Kia ora Koutou
Welcome back to the 2022 school year after what I hope has been a wonderful summer for your whānau. Our team has been working hard to prepare for the school year - this includes numerous building changes, teaching and learning, planning and Covid preparations.
Regarding COVID-19, we have moved fully into the new traffic light framework for all our school activities and events this year. This email is to brief you on the health and safety measures that we have in place, now that we are at the Red Light Setting.
- All staff are fully vaccinated. And by March, all will have received their Booster.
- All visitors and workers that come on-site must be fully vaccinated and show vaccination passports.
- Parents and caregivers who are not vaccinated will be offered a virtual meeting.
- All students, staff and visitors will wear a mask while indoors. Public health advice is that an appropriate face covering will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. Masks can include single-use, disposable masks (medical masks) and three layers of reusable fabric masks.
- We encourage good hygiene practices, including:
- regular hand washing/sanitising (sanitiser is provided in all classrooms).
- cough and sneeze etiquette
- Cleaners will regularly clean high touch surfaces.
- Staff will prop open doors and open windows where possible to improve ventilation.
- We ask that students and staff stay home if sick and get tested.
Omicron and Testing
We have all seen the huge numbers of cases overseas, and we will likely see larger case numbers in Aotearoa than we have previously experienced in the last two years. While Omicron is more transmissible than previous strains, most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness and fully recover in their own homes.
However, some immune-compromised communities are vulnerable, even when fully vaccinated. Therefore, we all need to continue to play our part to minimise the spread of the virus.
It is not mandatory that students be vaccinated to attend school. But we do encourage our students to get vaccinated.
Please be aware that the Board of College Sport Wellington has confirmed that all sanctioned competitions and events in Term One 2022 will be restricted to fully vaccinated participants. More detailed information is available from the Sports Department. We will update you if this situation changes.
Students are welcome to make vaccination appointments during the school day. Please email the school as per any other medical appointment. There are several vaccinations centres close to the school:
- Life Pharmacy - Queensgate Shopping Centre
- Waiwhetu Sports Centre - Whiteline East
- High Street Health Hub - 577 High Street
- Ropata Health - 135 Witako Street
There are additional measures that we will take this while in the Red Light setting:
- We will not be holding any large hui and gatherings.
- The Y9 Powhiri will not occur on February 2nd. Instead, Yr 9 students will be met at the front of the school (Woburn Road) by staff and escorted to their Mentor classroom. Information has been emailed to all families detailing the Mentor class that students will be in.
We ask parents and caregivers to say goodbye at the gate and do not come into the school grounds. Unfortunately, we do not have enough space to accommodate you or the capacity to check your vaccination status.
We will be sending a video greeting to all families shortly.
- Y10-Y13 students will be able to access their timetables on Kamar and move directly to their Mentor classroom at 11.30 am on February 3rd (wearing a mask, of course!). There will not be year level assemblies.
- The annual Sports Day and the Meet and Greet for Y9 parents and caregivers will not occur in term one. We will look to replace the Y9 Meet and Greet with a welcome video from each class group of teachers.
- Year level assemblies during the term will be virtual via Google Meet.
- Parent and caregiver meetings will be virtual or held in well-ventilated rooms with a 2m distance between participants.
- Students need to have access to a device and must access their Google Classroom regularly - especially if they have to be at home. Please contact Tim Fox if you require assistance with internet connections or devices. (email@example.com)
Managing cases in our school
The Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education will advise us on a positive Covid case recorded at school. We have a sound contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case of someone who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a ‘close contact’ with that person. We will then quickly advise those contacts of what they need to do.
Please make sure the contact details we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed. You can log in to the kamar portal to update your details or ring the school office for assistance.
Preparing for COVID-19
It is wise to prepare for COVID-19, ensuring you and your household have a plan and know what to do.
Find out more here:
Self-isolating at home because of COVID-19
Many people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and whānau, but there is help available if you need it – both with health support and access to food and other essentials.
- What to expect when self-isolating at home | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
- Getting extra support if you have COVID-19 or are self-isolating | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)
- COVID-19 positive – managing your symptoms | Health Navigator NZ
While this might feel a little overwhelming at times, please know that we are well prepared for the year ahead. We are hopeful that there will not be too much disruption to learning, but like most of New Zealand, we have become experts at adapting quickly to the changing landscape of Covid and education.
Please get in touch if you have any concerns or need help in any way.
Ngā mihi nui