Tatuanui School - A rural school making a difference

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COVID-19              Parent Information 16 March 2020

You will be aware that COVID-19 has now been declared a pandemic. I am receiving daily alerts from the Ministry of Education / Ministry of Health. For our school, we have a pandemic plan and procedures in place which are being closely followed. We will continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Handwashing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness, colds, flu and COVID-19.

There is an excellent video on YouTube from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPsY-jLqaXM

We have shared this video with classes today (Monday 16th March) and had a discussion with students. It would be useful to watch it at home with your family and reinforce the message for students about developing a plan to stop its spread and what they will do if they get sick.

Being vigilant about our own health and the health of our children is paramount at this time. Colds and flu are common in schools and by staying away if unwell, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all contribute to keeping any spread of illness to a minimum.  PLEASE make sure you contact Sheree in the office to let us know if your child is absent from school.

I am meeting with our teachers today to discuss how we will support learning in the event of a school closure or if an isolation time frame is imposed on any of our students.

Basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practices from the Ministry of Education:

Wash hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds each time (singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star slowly takes about 20 seconds) and dry hands thoroughly.

Cover their mouths with a tissue when they sneeze or cough and throw away the tissue immediately, or have them sneeze or cough into the bend of their elbow.

Do not share food or drinks.

Practice giving fist or elbow bumps instead of handshakes. Fewer germs are spread this way.

Discourage the child from touching their eyes, nose, and mouth.

Encourage your child to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly to develop a strong immune system for fighting off illness.

Discuss the new rules or practices at the child’s school or early learning service.

Keep in contact with your child’s school or service and let them know if there have been any changes within your family.

What to emphasise when talking to children about school

Adults at school are taking care of your health and safety.

Not many people have the COVID-19, and most of those who do will not get very unwell.

Teachers are being especially careful to make sure that as few people as possible get sick.

Children and students need to treat each other with respect and not jump to conclusions about who may or may not have COVID-19.

There are things you can do to stay healthy and avoid spreading the disease, including covering your cough or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Wash hands often with soap and water (20 seconds) and dry them thoroughly.

You can ring Healthline (for free) on a new dedicated 0800 number specifically for health-related calls about COVID-19 (0800 358 5453) at any time.        Thank you for your support and cooperation in this matter,

Kind regards,

Denise Jones (PRINCIPAL)