Karamu High School - COVID-19 Information

Karamu High School is CLOSED

Latest information from
the Ministry of Education

Latest information from
the Ministry of Health

COVID-19 update 27 March 2020

Update 3

Kia ora koutou,

We have started into a new phase of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and it is very different than anything most of us have ever experienced. I wanted to reassure you that our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing in the next weeks.

You will understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, like you’re now working from home, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring, and promote health and physical wellbeing. Have time set aside for learning, exercise, chores and freetime. A school holiday version will likely look a little different, but some form of routine will still be important as we go through the lockdown period to ensure positive well-being.

There are links below to more well-being information to support your family during the lockdown.

By now you or your child should have heard from each of their teachers through either email or Teams on Office 365. This was to firstly check they were ok pastorally and secondly to inform them how the online provision for learning would work when Term 2 officially starts on 15 April. Please ensure they have replied back.

This will vary greatly from school to school, from course to course and from level to level as the needs, style of delivery and level of learning varies. As usual we need to encourage students to take full part in their learning and we need to work with you as parents in ensuring that they complete as much set work as possible and maintain their learning. On-line work operates in different ways and it will be a different learning experience from the normal school day because of the nature of what is delivered. We need to be flexible and agile in these times.

Some good news to support you either working at home and/or studying at home - Spark, Vodafone, Vocus/Slingshot, 2Degrees and Trustpower have all advised they have removed their data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage. Yay!

Staff Availability
Please be aware staff will have up to another 100 students to respond to during this time. Staff have agreed to be available in the normal period they teach each course ie: L1ENGE Period 1 Monday, Period 2 Tuesday etc. However, it may be that staff and/or their families become ill and this may impact on their ability to provide learning for a period. In this case other staff would cover but if several teachers in any one faculty become ill this might disrupt their provision. We would be in contact with you if this is the case. We naturally hope it will not occur. If your child is sick and cannot work, please let their teacher know by e -mail.

A reminder we are still operating our normal flowchart for concerns, just contact via email

Concern Flowchart

All email addresses are available on the school app and website - Contact Us

A big thank you to all of you for taking the lockdown so seriously. As the Prime Minister has noted staying at home will break the chain and save lives; breaking the rules could risk someone close to you and if the rules are not complied with, this could risk the lock down period being extended or could risk the virus being spread to thousands.

Information and resources to support wellbeing and support learning at home

· The Ministry of Education has developed a resource for parents, caregivers, whānau and family - http://education.govt.nz/school/health-safety-and-wellbeing/pastoral-care-and-wellbeing/talking-to-children-about-covid-19-coronavirus/.

· The Ministry of Health’s website includes Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing during the Covid-19 lockdown.

· I AM HOPE is the youth and community focused support group run by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, started by Mike King - https://www.iamhope.org.nz/

· Nathan Wallis has some helpful videos on his Facebook page for parents and whānau - https://www.facebook.com/nathanwallisxfactoreducation/

· Tips on looking after mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19 from the Mental Health foundation https://www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/covid-19/

· a website by the Health Promotion Agency to help New Zealanders recognise and understand depression and anxiety - https://depression.org.nz/covid-19/

Keep being kind, keep safe, and look after each other. We are all in this together, he waka eke noa.


Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas

COVID-19 update 24 March 2020

Update 2

Kia ora koutou,

The Prime Minister announced yesterday in response to the Covid-19 pandemic all schools are to close for a period of 4 weeks. We appreciate this is a sudden and significant change and will be heavily disruptive to many people in our community. We also appreciate this brings a series of questions and I hope I can answer some of them with the following information:

School Closure

  • School is closed from Tuesday 24 March, except for children of essential workers. You may wish to check if you are considered an essential worker - https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/ however those roles include doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police. We continue to ask that children who are not well, do not attend school.
  • School grounds are out of bounds for all students, staff and community including fields, courts etc effective Wednesday 25 March midnight. 

School holiday bought forward

  • School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin on Monday 30 March through to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).
  • At the end of the school holidays, we will remain closed as the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond this new school holiday period and we will re-introduce the online learning. Teachers will be working offsite to deliver online.

Student Well-Being

  • Our initial focus has quite rightly been on the wellbeing of our staff and students. Please keep routines at home and ensure your children remain happy and connected. There is a great page on the Ministry of Health website on taking care of Mental Wellbeing - Wellbeing
  • Students first point of contact is their form teacher if they have any concerns.
  • If parents have concerns, they can contact the Year Level Deans (as indicated on the school app and website).

Isolation Groups

If you need to have your child cared for by someone other than those identified on our school records as ‘caregivers’ you will need to identify that person or people as part of your self-isolated group. This will need to be done by midnight Wednesday and the group must remain the same for the whole 4-week period. The caregiver’s own group (eg, their partner and children), your child and your own group (eg, your parents and other children) become one group. This group needs to be limited to minimise any risk of spread and should be no more than 20 people.

School transport

  • All school buses and SESTA mobility services will run as normal on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March but only for students of parents working to provide those workers with time to make arrangements for their children
  • After Wednesday 25 March, no school transport will operate as schools will be closed until further notice.

NCEA Concerns

General NCEA advice is available through the COVID tile on the NZQA website’s home page. NZQA will be adding to this information later this week and regularly. NZQA continues to work closely with the Ministry of Education to work towards minimising the disruption for students working towards NCEA.

Student Learning

We appreciated this may have been coming and remote learning processes are underway. Staff will be in contact with students in the next day or two. We have as a staff collectively come up with the following online guidelines to support staff and students during this time:

Online Communication Guidelines

  • Student contact will only be between the hours of 8am – 4pm;
  • Students can contact teachers in the period they are usually taught by them ie: L3 PE Period 2 Monday, Period 3 Tuesday etc;
  • Only school emails (no personal emails) are to be used.

Please be mindful online learning may not be as effective as face to face, but the priority must be student health and safety at this time.

Most telco’s have removed data caps, but please check with your provider. Hotspot a phone to receive WIFI.

If your household will not have access to a device during the lockdown period please contact us today to see how we may be able to help.

Students Collection of Work

We are aware the students were not given a large amount of notice to take essential items from school to continue their learning remotely ie: Purchased maths workbooks, Art Portfolios, Tourism & Hospitality booklets. We would like to allow a collection for senior students to collect these. They are to come into school for this purpose only and then return straight home. Time and venues are: 

  • Arts & Hospitality Tuesday 24 March 11-3pm               VA1
  • Tourism Tuesday 24 March 11-3pm                           SSC1
  • Maths Tuesday 24 March 11-1pm                           Maths 1
  • Food & Fashion Tuesday 24 March 11-1pm               TEC1

Students are not to come in if unwell.

As noted by the Prime Minister these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. We all have a clear role here to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to communicate with you over the coming days so please ensure you regularly check your emails and the school website.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our school staff and school community. Be kind, keep safe, and look after each other. We are all in this together, he waka eke noa.


Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas

COVID-19 update 23 March 2020

Update 1

The Prime Minister has announced this afternoon that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic all schools are to close. We are awaiting detailed information and direction from the Ministry of Education.

Tomorrow school will be closed, only open to provide for the children of essential service workers (Health Care Workers, Police etc.). If your child fits this category and will be in attendance tomorrow, please contact us at [email protected]

In the next couple of days, we will contact you regarding beginning possible future learning procedures.

Ngā mihi

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas

COVID-19 update 20 March 2020

Kia ora koutou whanau

With so much information and misinformation swirling around about COVID-19, I wanted to share with you what will happen if we were to have a case in our school community. We have been planning for this and are able to respond quickly:

  • As soon as a case is confirmed in our immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you.
  • If there was a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.
  • If our school does need to close temporarily, staff are putting plans in place to support student’s learning.

We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for the wellbeing of our children. Please be assured that with no case confirmed in our school, your children are safe here.

Good hygiene is a priority at our school, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness.

We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

We have created a dedicated COVID-19 page on our website and will update this with pertinent information. I urge you to ensure you have the school app on your phone, selected to receive notifications and check the website regularly to be aware of any new updates.

Keep safe.

Ngā mihi

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas

From the Ministry of Education:

COVID-19 update 18 March 2020

You will be aware the Ministry of Health’s Director-General has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a Dunedin school following a student testing positive for coronavirus.  
On advice from the Southern District Health Board the school will now remain closed until Tuesday (Monday being Otago Anniversary Day). Close contacts have been identified and are being tested for the virus. The letter to the community from SDHB provides further information 
The Ministries of Education and Health are working closely with Public Health services in Dunedin and the school leadership to help minimise disruption, progress contact tracing and reduce the possibility of spread.

Reminder – schools remain open
At this stage, we are not expecting widespread school closures. We are planning for temporary closures, like what is happening at Logan Park School but as the World Health Organisation has confirmed, the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres.
Consequently any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis. In the meantime, unless students are unwell themselves, then parents should keep sending them to schools and early learning centres as these environments continue to be safe and the best place for them to continue their learning.
Talking to children and young people about COVID-19

Given the rise in the number of reported cases, there may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19 – it can be good to talk to them now, so they can understand the illness and be reassured.
A useful resource for parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers talking about the virus with children and young people can be found here
This can also be downloaded as an information sheet.

Up-to-date information and advice

A reminder that information and advice for students, whānau and the education sector is available here
While the website is being regularly updated with education-related content, the Ministry of Health is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19
The Secretary for Education joined the Director-General of Health for the Ministry of Health’s COVID 19 update today. You can view that, and all Ministry of Health updates here