Principal Update - 28 January 2022
Kia ora koutou
Good evening, I hope everyone has had a break over the Christmas period. Times are no less busy or stressful as we start back into 2022.
I have reviewed our Covid Response Plan in light of changes since the end of 2021. In line with the information I have received the following is important and pertains to our school:
School is open for on site learning for all students.
We are prohibited from requiring students to be vaccinated to access education.
We will continue with our system of pick up and drop off at the gate each day.
If caregivers need to go through the gate they must scan the QR code AND complete the paper register at the gate before going to the office. The paper register is the school's record of parents coming onto our site. Parents/caregivers must go to the office and Sheree (Office Administrator) will assist with any requirements. Please do NOT go to classrooms/cloak bays.
CONTACT TRACING VACCINATION - from 1 January 2022, only fully vaccinated staff and support people can have contact with children and students at school.
Staff will observe children on arrival, checking for symptoms. Those presenting as unwell will be asked to go home or arrange for parents or caregivers to come and pick up. NB - Principals at state and state-integrated schools have authority to preclude a student from attending if they believe on reasonable grounds, they may have a communicable disease under section 77 of the Education and Training Act 2020.
MASKS - It is mandatory for all students from Year 4 up to wear masks indoors. This is a medical-grade mask (for example, a Type IIR/Level 2 mask).The widely available ‘blue’ medical mask is an example of these. This can no longer be a cloth mask.
As parents may be aware, we have Te Whare Kea which has a Year 3 and 4 class mix. In this case the school has made the decision to have all Kea students - including our Year 3 students, wear masks as these students will be mixing with the year 4-6 students once the new building is opened.
Masks are not mandatory in Years 1-3 for students or teachers although they may choose to wear them in the classroom.
Masks will be worn indoors by Years 4-6 and staff, but will not be required to be worn outside in the playground.
Movement between classes by staff will be minimised as much as possible.
As our roll is over 100 we will not be able to access the hall for whole school use.
As much as possible we will undertake to have teaching activities and eating of food outside under shade areas.
PLAYGROUND - Luckily we have a huge playground area so we will maintain our normal break times for playtime and lunch. However, we will mark out the grounds to have designated play areas for Junior/Senior children that alternate each day between areas - e.g. on Monday - the junior hub (Piwakawaka & Kiwi) might play on the adventure playground/native bush and courts while the senior hub (Ruru,Kereru and Kea) may use the field/ trees/cricket nets/obstacle course and sandpit. The following day they would swap. This is to be organised by teachers on Tuesday.
Swimming will continue but we will ensure students' use of changing sheds are utalised to ensure distancing. Again, teachers will organise this starting on Tuesday.
VENTILATION - Indoor spaces will be well ventilated, for example by opening windows and doors. If temperatures are high we will use air con units but will regularly ensure a clean air flow by ventilating the classrooms regularly throughout the day.
We will also be receiving a CO2 monitor in the coming weeks to further support our ventilation plan. Our new building is equipped with one already.
DRINKING FOUNTAINS - these will be available for use and cleaned daily - but we encourage students to have named water bottles that can be refilled at school.
There will be no singing or ‘jump jam’ (exercise to music) inside classrooms.
Hand Sanitizer will continue to be available for students in classrooms.
FYI: FROM THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION - MESSAGE TO PRINCIPALS
1: School Bus - Preparing for disruption –
You will need to be prepared for the possibility that their school transport service is cancelled at some point over the next few months.
Parents/caregivers will need to have their own plan in place for transporting their children to and from school in the event of their school transport not operating.
What happens when a school transport service is cancelled?
The transport service provider has been instructed to let me know as early as they can if a service is going to be cancelled. They have also been instructed to let me know the duration that they expect the service to be cancelled for.I will then pass on this information to affected students and caregivers as soon as possible.
2: BOOSTER - The COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2022 has been published and comes into force at 11.59pm on 23 January 2022.
To meet the booster dose requirements as set out in the revised Public Health Order:
all affected persons need to have received two COVID-19 vaccinations as well as a booster dose within 183 days of their second vaccination
if 183 days have already passed since the person received their second vaccination, they are required to receive their booster dose by 1 March 2022
any person who does not meet these requirements will not be able to continue working on site.
This is important if you have submitted your vaccination details to the school and are on our covid tracing register. Remember, it is a requirement if you are going to be working with or for the school and be around students. This includes parent volunteers.
Please contact Sheree to update your information when you have had your booster.
3. Getting ready to return to school
The Ministry of Education has some helpful information on their Parents and Whānau website to support your tamariki to get back to school. There is also a very important reminder about how you can take care of yourself.
4. Managing cases in our school
We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person. We will then quickly advise those contacts of what they need to do.
Only if the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education advises to do so, would we consider closing a physical onsite school and moving to distance learning for everyone. At Red we will keep everyone learning onsite for as long as we can.
Please make sure your contact details we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed.
While this might all feel a little overwhelming at times, we know that all these measures will help our children return to school, reconnect with whānau and friends and do what they enjoy.
We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible.
Thank you for your continued support for all we are doing to keep our community safe.
Denise Jones (PRINCIPAL)