COVID-19 Update Archive


COVID-19 update - 8 June 2022

Kia Ora,

I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and perhaps enjoyed some of the Queen’s Platinum’s Jubilee Celebrations.

It is now only a few weeks until we get to celebrate our inaugural public holiday weekend of Matariki.

Rostering Home

We are still experiencing several instances of COVID- 19, influenza, and other viruses at school, among both staff and students. For this reason we will be continuing the rostering home, reviewing this arrangement on Thursday 23 June.

We thankyou for your support in enabling us to manage staff and student absence using this mechanism.

Please continue to send an email or phone in (via the absence line on 06 8706143) if your child is sick, especially if they test positive for Covid or if your family are isolating.

Mask Use

We have also made the decision to return to compulsory mask wearing from tomorrow. We have an obligation to provide a safe and healthy working environment, taking reasonably practical steps to do so, and with so many viruses, not just Covid among us in our school environment, masking-wearing is best. Please make every effort to ensure your child comes to school with a mask.

Should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact your child’s year level dean.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 3 June 2022

Talofa lava,

There are increasing numbers of COVID- 19, influenza, and other viruses circulating in our community, which is putting significant pressure on our hospital and GP services. As we are aware this has seen a significant increase in absenteeism at schools, kura, early learning centres and te kohanga reo across Hawke’s Bay - Karamu has not been exempt from this.

It has been suggested by the HBDHB we share the following advice:

Make sure your whānau is up to date with immunisations.

With the borders opening, we are expecting a big increase in influenza numbers. There is also a risk that measles, whooping cough or other vaccine preventable illness outbreaks will occur over the next few months. Babies are at greatest risk from these diseases but making sure the whole whānau is up to date will help protect them.

Advice if unwell:

Test for COVID-19 using a RAT.

If you test positive, upload your result to your My Covid Record and follow the Ministry of Health advice. Continue to notify us at school as well. If you have had a COVID-19 infection within the previous 90 days and are unwell again it is very unlikely this is a reinfection of COVID. Repeat COVID testing (RAT and PCR) within these 90 days is necessary only on medical advice.

Stay home if unwell as winter viruses are very infectious.

Return to school/ kura/ early learning centre, te kohanga reo when symptoms have resolved. There may be some discretion used for children to return when they have improving and very mild symptoms such as a slight cough or runny nose but are otherwise well.

Wearing masks, cough etiquette and hand hygiene are strongly encouraged.

This helps to reduce the spread to other people.

Drink plenty of fluid

Take some paracetamol or ibuprofen as directed.

Paracetamol and ibuprofen can help reduce pain, headache and fever. 

Cold and flu medicines

Warm lemon and honey drinks have been found to be as effective as cough syrups. On average, a cough after a viral infection lasts for 17 days.

When to see a GP

If you have worsening symptoms, difficulty breathing, have pain in your chest, are feeling dehydrated despite drinking plenty of fluid, are coughing up blood, or have had fevers for more than five days or call Healthline on 0800 611 116

Rostering Home

As indicated in my previous Update, we will be reviewing the rostering home next Wednesday 8 June. Staff and student absences are still relatively high (20% each day, not including the year level rostered home) and so we need to ensure classes can be safely covered.

We will send an app alert and email home on Wednesday afternoon/evening so Year 11 please be prepared for school on Thursday 9 June.

Enjoy the long weekend

Tōfā soifua

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update - 23 May 2022

Kia Ora Whanau

Over these last three weeks we have carefully been monitoring and tracking staff and student absences. We are now at a stage where we can no longer safely offer only face to face learning to students. In the last 7 days absence of students has steadily sat at 25% and today we have 8 staff absent (3 relievers also called in unwell). It has become unsustainable to cover classes.

In Term 1 we successfully managed rostering home a year level one day a week, where students can access learning online through our online digital platform Microsoft Office ‘Teams’. We have made the decision to reintroduce this from Wednesday 25 May.

On a:

  • Monday: Year 13 stay home
  • Tuesday: Year 10
  • Wednesday: Year 12
  • Thursday: Year 11
  • Friday: Year 9

NB: The Year 11 and 12 days have changed to allow equity across timetables.

Once again we appreciate some Year 9’s (due to their age) may need supervision, and this will be available in a Year 9 bubble at school. They will not have their usual classes but have online work to complete. All Year 9s unable to be supervised at home are to report to the Hall at 8.35am on Friday 27 May.

When students are rostered home, they must stay at home and be engaged in the online learning set by their teacher. They are not to take up additional hours of part-time work or arrange to meet with friends. This increases the risk of contracting any winter illness, including Covid, which we are trying to minimize. We know whanau will support us with this.

If students have sports or cultural (ie: Kapa Haka) practices any day afterschool they are still to commit to these if possible.

We will review this arrangement in a fortnight.

Thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s engagement with online learning, please contact their year level dean:

Year 9: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 10: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 11: [email protected] or [email protected]
Year 12: [email protected] or [email protected]ramu.school.nz
Year 13: [email protected] or [email protected]

Should you have any other queries please contact [email protected]

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 29 April 2022

Kia ora koutou, 

I trust you have all enjoyed a well-deserved holiday break, including the Easter and ANZAC long weekends.

You’ll be aware that in Term 2 we will be operating under the ‘Orange’ COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light) setting.

The decision to move to Orange has been made on public health advice and reflects that we are moving past the peak of cases and our health system is able to cope. We are seeing that cases are declining due to high levels of vaccination and natural immunity after infection.

I wanted to give you an update on what the move to Orange means for us here at Karamu.

At Orange, face masks are no longer compulsory at school. They are optional and anyone choosing to wear a mask will be supported to do so. Wearing a mask is still seen as a key health measure that slows the spread of COVID-19 in indoor settings.

There may be times that we re-introduce compulsory mask wearing, for example if there are a high number of cases at school or in the community we may ask that masks are worn in classrooms for a time. Therefore, please do not get rid of them just yet!

NB: At Orange, our students are still required to wear a face mask on school or public buses.

We will continue to keep all the other health measures in place at school that we know slow the spread of COVID-19. These include ensuring our indoor spaces are well-ventilated, maintaining good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing whenever we can and, most importantly, staying home if we are sick. All students that present with symptoms will be asked to be picked up and taken home.

Please also continue to notify the office if your child is a positive Covid case or they are a household contact and are isolating (via the absence line on phone 06 8706143). We are required to report these to the Ministry of Education.

We will also be tracking our cases and if necessary, use the mechanisms that have been effective in Term 1 to manage the school ie: Year level rostering home and/or whole school circuit breaker days.

We will be returning to having 45min lunchtimes and assemblies, but remaining with a staggered finish to the day ie:

2.50pm: Year 9 and 10
3.00pm: Year 11-13

We have noted this is a much safer exit to the school for students, staff, whanau and our community.

We are looking forward to starting Term 2 with a school life that is a bit closer to ‘normal’ with winter sport up and running, trips outside the classroom and many activities on the calendar.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 23 March 2022

A warm afternoon to you all on this cold wet day,

This week we have continued with a steady pattern of absences. As you can see, we are still tracking between 20 and 35% of the school absent on any given day (not including rostered home numbers):


We have had growing numbers of staff away too, as either positive cases or as household contacts. This is putting tremendous pressure on staff to cover for absent staff, as well as provide both online and face to face lessons.

We have had positive feedback from students and whanau regarding rostering home and for this reason we will be doing a mass ‘across school’ circuit breaker of rostering home next Friday 1 April.  This means ALL Year 9-13 students will be learning from home on this day.

NB: Any whanau that cannot arrange supervision of Year 9’s between now and then please advise us on [email protected] by 3pm Wednesday 30 March. They will be supervised in one class at school by myself. There will be no other staff at school and no other students are to come to school on this day. 

The normal rostering home is continuing for the remainder of the term. On a:

  • Monday: Year 13 stay home 
  • Tuesday: Year 10  
  • Wednesday: Year 11  
  • Thursday: Year 12  
  • Friday: Year 9 

We thankyou for continuing to notify the office of all positive cases. It is a requirement I notify the Ministry daily. Please remember:

Positive Cases 

Please advise when students are likely to return to school. Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day a test was taken (whichever came first). Cases must isolate for a full seven days and are free to return to school on Day 8, if they are not symptomatic. 

Household Contacts 

Are also required to isolate for the same seven days as the case. They can return to school on the same day as the first case in their household, so long as all test results have been negative, and they are not symptomatic. Household contacts should continue to self-monitor for symptoms up to Day 10. Household contacts are required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 3 and Day 7 of the case’s isolation period. Please advise the office of these absences via the absence line 8706143, Karamu App or KAMAR App. Please advise when the student is likely to return to school.

We have received some updated clarity and information from the Ministry regarding: 

Household contacts testing positive at different times
 For households where someone has COVID-19, the Ministry of Health recommends you apply the following guidance. 

  • If someone becomes a confirmed COVID-19 case, then that case and all other people in their household must isolate for seven days.
  • If someone else in the household then tests positive for COVID-19 during those seven days: 
    • the isolation period for that person only re-sets – that person must isolate for an additional seven days from the day they test positive or symptoms begin
    • other household contacts who do not test positive are still able to leave isolation after the original case has completed their seven days isolation.
  • For the next 10 days after a household completes seven days isolation, evidence shows that due to their exposure to COVID-19 they are less likely to catch or transmit the virus. This means: 
    • if someone else in the household tests positive within those 10 days, the whole household will not have to re-isolate, only the positive case
    • if someone else in the household tests positive and it has been more than 10 days since the household completed isolation, household contacts should re-isolate along with the new case for seven days.
  • Any person who has had COVID-19 within the last 90 days/three months will not need to isolate as a household contact unless they become symptomatic and test positive again. This is because reinfection rates for people who have had COVID-19 are low for the three months after they have the virus.

You can visit the Ministry of Health website for further information here: What does it mean if I am a household contact? – Ministry of Health

Accessing School Work when Home

All learning is accessible via our learning management system Microsoft ‘Teams’. Teachers are mindful students are at home in a variety situations ie: Sick, looking after siblings that are sick. Please encourage your child to learn when able and keep in touch with teachers. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s online learning, please contact their Year level Dean in the first instance. 

Athletic Sports 

We are still planning to proceed with Athletics on Thursday 31 March. Year 12s are to attend (ie: it is NOT a rostered day home). A decision will be made by 9am Wednesday 30 March.  

Update on Mr Wooster

I am pleased to share Mr Wayne Wooster (Deputy Principal) has made pleasing progress since the beginning of the year when I advised he was quite unwell.
While remaining hospitalized for a period, I am pleased to report he is due to head home in the next week. I have visited him several times, sharing gifts and messages from school and he has enjoyed keeping up to date with all our news and stories.
We are unlikely to see him return to school in the immediate future and therefore Mr Tom Blake and Miss Tash Crawford will continue in their roles of taking over next level pastoral issues. 

Please keep being kind, safe, and look after each other.  

Arohanui   

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 17 March 2022

Tālofa Lava

This week we have seen a steady increase in staff and student positive cases, as well as absences for isolation. For this reason, we have made the decision to continue the year level rostering home for the remainder of Term 1. We thankyou for your support in this to enable us to continue to offer face to face learning for most students. 

A reminder each year level is rostered home one day a week and students can access learning online through our online digital platform Microsoft Office ‘Teams’. On a 

Monday: Year 13 stay home
Tuesday: Year 10
Wednesday: Year 11
Thursday: Year 12
Friday: Year 9

Some Year 9’s (due to their age) are being supervised in a Year 9 bubble at school. They do not have their usual classes but have online work to complete and these students have indicated their attendance to their Year Level Dean. They are to report to the Hall at 8.35am on a Friday with their laptop fully charged and their PE gear.

When students are rostered home, they must stay at home and be engaged in the online learning set by their teacher. They are not to take up additional hours of part-time work or arrange to meet with friends. This increases the risk of contracting Covid, which we are trying to minimize. We know whanau will support us with this.

Should you have any concerns regarding your child’s online learning please contact their Year level Dean in the first instance. 

If students have co-curricular practices any day afterschool they are still to commit to these if possible.

Positive Cases  

Please continue to advise the office on 06 8787139 when a student tests positive for COVID-19. Please also advise when the student is likely to return to school. Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day a test was taken (whichever came first). Cases must isolate for a full seven days and are free to return to school on Day 8, if they are not symptomatic. 

Household contacts  

Household contacts are also required to isolate for the same seven days as the case. They can return to their normal activities on the same day as the first case in their household, so long as all test results have been negative, and they are not symptomatic. Household contacts should continue to self-monitor for symptoms up to Day 10. Household contacts are required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 3 and Day 7 of the case’s isolation period. Please advise the office of these absences via the absence line 8706143, Karamu App or KAMAR App. Please advise when the student is likely to return to school.

Athletic Sports

We have postponed Athletics to Thursday 31 March and are hopeful to be able to run our event in a safe manner on this day. Year 12s are to attend (ie: it is NOT a rostered day home). A decision will be made by 9am Wednesday 30 March. 

Please keep being kind, keep safe, and look after each other. 

Arohanui   

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 15 March 2022

Afternoon,

As you will be aware from last Saturday isolation requirements for positive cases of COVID-19 and their household contacts have been reduced from 10 to seven days. This change has been made due to up-to-date public health advice as there is a decline in infectiousness of Omicron over time and in most cases, transmission occurs within seven days.

This reduction in the isolation period will ensure we maintain a balance between controlling the outbreak effectively and minimizing the impacts of isolation requirements on people’s lives. 

Evidence also shows that the risk of re-infection within the first three months after someone has had Omicron is very low, therefore for this reason, recovered cases are not required to isolate again if they become a household contact within 90 days of having the virus. 

Positive Cases
Please continue to advise the office on 06 8787139 when a student tests positive for COVID-19. Day 0 is the day symptoms began or the day a test was taken (whichever came first). Cases must isolate for a full seven days and are free to return to school on Day 8, if they are not symptomatic. 

Household contacts
Household contacts are also required to isolate for the same seven days as the case. They can return to their normal activities on the same day as the first case in their household, so long as all test results have been negative, and they are not symptomatic. Household contacts should continue to self-monitor for symptoms up to Day 10. Household contacts are required to take a self-administered rapid antigen test (RAT) on Day 3 and Day 7 of the case’s isolation period. Please advise the office of these absences via the absence line 8706143, Karamu App or KAMAR App.

Advice for anyone who is unwell:

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home until they are well;
  • When a child has respiratory symptoms, they should stay at home and seek advice from their GP or Healthline. Staying home is key to controlling the spread of any virus in a school setting;
  • Many children will have a long-lasting runny nose or cough after viral infections. If it is over 10 days since the onset of COVID symptoms and they are no longer feeling unwell, they are very unlikely to be infectious and can therefore return to school;
  • However, if they are continuing to feel unwell or their symptoms are worsening after 10 days, they should not return to school and a GP review, or a call to Healthline, is recommended.

Keeping Safe On-line
With us returning to a combination of face to face and online learning it is timely to remind ourselves around keeping safe online. Technology is great whether it’s for information, learning, keeping connected or for games, music and videos. However, we need reminders about how to keep young people safe in an online world where, unfortunately there are some predators. We encourage you to discuss internet safety with your children - of all ages. Please have some agreement about what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviors including:  

  • reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded 
  • reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications 
  • checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online 
  • check the sites your child is accessing 
  • reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet 
  • taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly 
  • some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them 
  • monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house 
  • making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away. 

Netsafe continues to be available to provide support for online safety. They have information for parents and caregivers and have pulled together a great list of top tips for online safety during the lockdown.  To report an incident To Netsafe - Report an Incident
If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police - if you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.
If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

Students working during school hours
It’s important that young people remain engaged in their learning during this unsettled time, and therefore students should not be working more when rostered home.
For students under 16, it is actually illegal to work during school hours under Section 54 of the Education and Training Act 2020. For students it is essential that they remain engaged in their learning so that their future opportunities for work or learning are not impacted.
If parents and caregivers need assistance to ensure their child is engaged in learning rather than being in paid employment during scheduled learning hours please contact me. 

Sport and Vaccination
Changes to school sport came into effect through the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Order from Sunday 13 March 2022.
All children and young people, regardless of their vaccination status, can participate in school-organised teams and groups, or as an individual representing the school in a competition or event. This applies whether on or off the school site, and to registered schools only.
School organised teams, groups and individuals are to be treated as if they are vaccinated and cannot be required to show a My Vaccine Pass.
Support staff, including coaches, managers, teachers and parent volunteers continue to be required to be vaccinated. This includes student coaches, both when they coach teams from their own school, and those from other schools. They will still be required to show a My Vaccine Pass if the external venue or facility requires. 

Wellbeing Resources
The following website have some wonderful information and tools available to support your own and others’ mental wellbeing and where to get help if you need it: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/covid-19-mental-health-and-wellbeing-resources

Keep safe and be strong, kia kaha  

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 9 March 2022

Kia Ora 

The health and wellbeing of our children, staff and community continues to be topmost priority and we have carefully been monitoring absences this week. 

As with most schools in the Hawkes Bay/Tairawhiti region we have seen a steady increase in the number of cases this week and a growing number of households with cases (which of course means students need to isolate for 10 days – or 7 Days from Friday 11.59pm). We have been very fortunate to only have a couple of staff needing to isolate. And a reminder as we are now in Phase 3 positive cases and their households isolate and are responsible for notifying close contacts. 

As we have more cases I will no longer be notifying you of these, as we are all taking responsibility for following good hygiene practices including: 

  • Washing our hands often and drying completely; 
  • Washing our hands when we’ve been in a public place or after blowing our nose, coughing or sneezing; 
  • Avoiding touching our face if our hands are not clean; 
  • Coughing or sneezing into our elbow or covering our mouth with tissues;  
  • Staying home if unwell. 

We are monitoring the cases in the school, the number of staff and students isolating at home and staff absences to determine when or if we may move from Stage 3 to 4 in our Omicron Management Plan. 

The rostering home, however, has come at a good time to give both staff and students a change in pace, when staff or students are not safely able to face to face learn. We will review this at the end of next week.   

If your child should test positive please make contact with the school office so we can advise the Ministry of Education. 

Noho ora mai

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 7 March 2022

Morena Whanau, 

From today we are in Stage 3 of our Omicron Management Plan. So as communicated on Friday that therefore means a year level is rostered home a day due to increasing numbers of staff and students’ absences.

However, we do appreciate households are busy places with other children, parents working from home or heading out to be essential workers, so we would like to provide some support around the expectations for the day your child is home: 

  1. Routine 
    Routines are reassuring and promote health and physical wellbeing. Encourage your child to have time set aside for learning, but also exercise, chores and freetime. Asking them to unload the dishwasher, hang out a load of washing or mow the lawns is about contributing to the whanau – equally important as completing 30min of Science 😊
  2. What if I your child does not understand?  
    • Get them to re-read the instructions
    • Watch any video information together
    • Ask ‘have they done something similar before’? (ie: Link back to prior learning)
    • Get them to ask or check in with a classmate
    • For any on-going issues around a course please email the Year level Dean. 
  3. If it gets too much, just take a breather and come back to it later.  
  4. Staff Availability 
    Please be aware staff will still be at school when year levels are rostered home teaching or may themselves be isolating or unwell, so students should just wait until they return the next day if they have tried all other avenues of support 

COVID SUPPORT 

I know you are probably feeling bombarded with information now, but the following numbers and links are from our DHB Nurse, are deemed the most useful for the general public of helplines servicing different parts of the Covid response, including a link for ordering RAT tests and a YouTube link on how to upload results online. 

Once a RAT test positive result has been uploaded, it initiates Welfare support ie, if you indicate on the questionnaire that you need support with accessing food or medicine, it will send this request through to a local Covid Community Hub to action.    

  • 0800 358 5453 This is the number for the general COVID helpline. It’s run by Healthline and is the general go-to.  It is also the helpline for members of the public undertaking the case self service tool, or needing support to provide this information. 
  • 0800 512 337 This is the COVID Welfare Phone Line.  The number can be given out to anyone isolating with welfare concerns. It’s open seven days a week. Run by the Ministry of Social Development. 
  • 0800 222 478  This is the helpline for anyone in the public needing support to upload or notify a positive RAT test.  
  • You can upload your result online yourself; This video gives an overview to upload RATs to My COVID Record: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGifSro0rf4   
  • www.healthy.org.nz is also a simple, convenient and accessible portal website.  From there you can easily get to Healthpoint, Ministry of Health or Unite Against Covid.  
  • You can always call 1737 for help & support.  
  • And to order RAT tests: https://requestrats.covid19.health.nz/. Once you have completed the online information you are sent a code which you then take to one of the distribution sites and can pick up RATs tests. There are links to the distribution sites. These RATs are free. 

Keep safe, stay strong, til we meet again
E noho oranga, noho kaha, noho ora mai  

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 4 March 2022

Kia Ora Whanau

Our response to the Omicron outbreak has up to this point been guided by the Ministry of Education and Health, but now is being guided by both staff and students' absences. This last week we have carefully been monitoring these and forecast from next week we will be at a stage where we will no longer be able to safely offer only face to face learning to students. We appreciate up until this point we have been able to continue to mostly offer a ‘normal’ Karamu relationship-based learning experience for our students, but growing absences from staff and students make this no longer a safe or viable option.

Therefore, from Monday 7 March we will be rostering a year level home one day a week and students can access learning online through our online digital platform Microsoft Office ‘Teams’. On a 

  • Monday: Year 13 stay home
  • Tuesday: Year 10 
  • Wednesday: Year 11 
  • Thursday: Year 12 
  • Friday: Year 9 

We appreciate some Year 9’s (due to their age) may need supervision, and this will be available in Year 9 bubbles at school. They will not have their usual classes but have online work to complete. All Year 9s unable to be supervised at home are to report to the Hall at 8.35am on Friday 11 March.

When students are rostered home, they must stay at home and be engaged in the online learning set by their teacher. They are not to take up additional hours of part-time work or arrange to meet with friends. This increases the risk of contracting Covid, which we are trying to minimize. We know whanau will support us with this.

If students have sports or cultural (ie: Kapa Haka) practices any day afterschool they are still to commit to these if possible. 

We will review this arrangement on Friday 18 March.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we navigate this. If you have any concerns regarding your child’s engagement with online learning, please contact their year level dean:

Year 9: [email protected] or [email protected]

Year 10: [email protected]  or [email protected]

Year 11: [email protected]  or [email protected]

Year 12: [email protected]  or [email protected]

Year 13: [email protected]  or [email protected]

Should you have any other queries please contact [email protected]

Khsomicronstage

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 3 March 2022

Kia Ora

We can now confirm we have further student cases in Year 12 and 13. It is pleasing to note both students had followed correct procedures and were home with symptoms before testing positive.  We have also had our first staff member test positive. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 

  • A new or worsening cough
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • A fever
  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability. 

For more information, go to https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/about-covid-19/covid-19-symptoms/

If your child should test positive please advise the school as soon as possible by ringing the Office on 06 8787139.  

We remind you in Phase 3 of the National Health Plan, that you should get a COVID-19 test if you have two or more of the symptoms, or if you are a Household Contact (Living in the same household as a confirmed COVID-19 case). Households are also now responsible for isolating and notifying close contacts (NB: this is not the schools responsibility as was the case in Phase 2). 

We are monitoring the effect of cases daily and our response will be guided by the absences of both staff and students.

Help for Whanau Isolating

If you yourself or know of any whānau who need extra support while they are self-isolating because of COVID-19, Work and Income may be able to help.
Visit the Work and Income website and use their online form to let them know how they can help.
Many people will be able to self-isolate with help from whānau, family and friends, but there is help available for whānau who need it.
If help is needed, they may be able to get: 

  • money to pay for urgent and essential costs, like food, medicine, and some bills
  • things that are needed to be delivered.

Please contact us on [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Noho ora mai

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 2 March 2022

Kia Ora

The health and wellbeing of our children, staff and community continues to be a top priority.  

We’re sending this letter as we now have a further confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community. Both cases are in Year 11 and both students have been away from school isolating since last week.

Phase 3 of the National Health Plan, that has been implemented from 11.59pm on Thursday 24th February, means that you should only get a COVID-19 test if:  you have symptoms, or if you are a Household Contact (Living in the same household as a confirmed COVID-19 case). Households are also now responsible for isolating and notifying close contacts (NB: this is not the schools responsibility as was the case in Phase 2). 

Our response to Omicron | Unite against COVID-19 (covid19.govt.nz)

Therefore if your child is well they can still continue to come to school.

What you need to do 

  • You and your whānau should watch for symptoms 
  • If any develop, get tested immediately 
  • Then, stay at home until you receive the result 
  • If the result is positive please advise the school
  • If your whānau hasn’t been vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible. You can book on-line at bookmyvaccine.nz or by calling 0800 28 29 26. It’s free.

What we’re doing 

  • School will stay open 
  • We have appropriate public health measures and cleaning procedures in place

Symptoms of COVID-19 

  • A new or worsening cough
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • A fever
  • Temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath

Less common symptoms include diarrhoea, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, malaise, chest pain, abdominal pain, joint pain, or confusion/irritability. 

For more information, go to https://covid19.govt.nz/health-and-wellbeing/about-covid-19/covid-19-symptoms/

Please contact us on [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Noho ora mai 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update - 1 March 2022

Kia ora

The health and wellbeing of our children, staff and community is a top priority.  I wish to confirm one of our students has tested positive for COVID-19.
As we are now in Phase 3 this student and their household will isolate and be responsible for notifying close contacts.

I urge our community to continue to follow good hygiene practices including:

  • Wash hands often with soap for 20 seconds and dry your hands completely.
  • Wash your hands if you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your face if your hands are not clean.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover your mouth with tissues.
  • Stay home if unwell

If your child should test positive please make contact with the school office so we can advise the Ministry of Education.

Noho ora mai 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 25 February 2022

Kia ora koutou,

New Zealand’s COVID-19 response continues amid much larger numbers of daily cases.

You may well have seen the headlines in the media about the numbers of cases being seen in schools. Please don’t be alarmed by this. It is only natural as cases in our community increase, they will at some stage appear in our school, but we have really good systems in place to respond to this and to keep any spread of the virus – should it appear – to a minimum. 

You may have seen Dr Jin Russell in the media noting research from New South Wales about their recent Omicron outbreak showing that spread within the school setting is very low (less than 4% of cases at school infected someone else when at school). We have seen that in New Zealand too. 

This is why we remain open at Red. It’s great for a child’s wellbeing and learning to be at school with their friends and school staff, and we have very good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. 

Your job remains the same, too: please continue to keep a really close watch of your whānau for anyone with symptoms. If unwell, please stay at home and get advice about getting a COVID-19 test. 

With Phase 3 of the Omicron response, the key change is that it is only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. Everyone else, including those who may have had close contact with the case but aren’t in the household, must continue to monitor really closely for any symptoms of COVID-19.

Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now being used to diagnose COVID-19 as well as PCR tests. This means that you will get an almost immediate test result back if a RAT is used. 

If anyone in your family is confirmed as having COVID-19, you will be asked to notify your close contacts yourself. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can if your child has tested positive for COVID-19.

Transmission of COVID-19 is still most likely to happen in your home – so please keep doing the following to keep your whānau safe:

  • Wash your hands
  • Get lots of fresh air
  • Cover any coughs and sneezes
  • Clean surfaces regularly
  • Seek advice if anyone is not feeling well; and 
  • Wear a mask when you are out and about.

There is information online to help your family prepare to isolate if you need to. 

The most important advice we can give to keep your whānau safe is to act as if you have COVID-19. More than a third of people who have COVID-19 will not have any symptoms if they have had three doses of the vaccine. Please think about who you visit and what health measures you can put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Getting three doses of the vaccine will really help you to do that. Ministry of Health research has shown that compared with being unvaccinated, three doses of the vaccine will mean you are 67% less likely to be infected with Omicron and 97% less likely to get Delta. If you can’t get COVID you can’t pass it on.

Finally, we know how hard the impacts on COVID-19 have been for many families in New Zealand. If you know of a family in your community who is struggling, please encourage them to reach out for support for example to access food, medicine, or access financial support: Help is available – COVID-19 Health Hub.

If you have any concerns about sending your child to school, please do get in touch.  We are here to help.

Aku mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 24 February 2022

Morena Whanau,

Fortunately, in the last week we have still managed to continue with school-based teaching and learning. We value the opportunity to keep forming relationships between teachers and students.

So thankyou, for keeping students at home if they have been unwell or needing to isolate. We appreciate these are challenging times and therefore your resilience and agility to adjust is appreciated. However, we still need to be prepared for the changing landscape, whatever that may look like in the future. Therefore, the Ministry of Education have recently sent two support ideas:

1. Positive parenting during COVID-19

To support the mental health, resilience and emotional wellbeing for our tamariki and rangatahi, the Ministry of Health has partnered with Whāraurau to offer parents, whānau and caregivers free online versions of the Triple P: Positive Parenting Programme across the country.

Find out more about Triple P and register for programmes.

There are three free Triple P online programmes available to help positively support children to reduce anxiety, build emotional resilience and life skills and cope with challenges:

  • Fear-Less Triple P Online – for parents and caregivers of children and teenagers (aged six to 14 years) who have significant anxiety
  • Triple P Online – for parents with toddlers to 12-year-olds
  • Teen Triple P Online – for parents with ‘tweens’ or teenagers aged 10 to 16 years.

These programmes will also provide whānau a toolkit to help them to guide behaviour positively and encourage children’s learning.

2. Digital training for whānau and parents

Microsoft are also running two free training sessions for whānau and parents who want extra tips on online safety and how they can support their children moving to hybrid learning.
Find more information and registrations here. These sessions are scheduled in the evenings from 7.30-8.30pm and will be hosted on Microsoft Teams.

  • Wed 23 Feb Introduction to Microsoft Family Safety
  • Wed 2 March Back to School for the Remote Classroom: Teams for Families

Damage to School Property

Unfortunately, last evening the school suffered considerable damage in the form of graffiti. This is extremely disappointing considering we have such a wonderful school site that our whanau, students and staff take such pride in. It was heartwarming to see the students and staff first thing this morning rally round to clean and restore it as promptly as possible. However, commercial cleaners and painters are needed for most of the restoration work. This comes at cost that could otherwise be used for learning and/or sporting/cultural activities. The individuals responsible are taking away valuable assets and experiences from our community and our rangitahi. We seek our community’s support in helping us make sure this doesn’t happen again.

He waka eke noa
We are all in this together

Ngā mihi

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 21 February 2022

Morena Caregivers

While over the weekend there have been an increase in confirmed cases in Hawkes Bay, there are NO CONFIRMED CASES at Karamu High School. If there are I know we will be advised and supported by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in a timely manner.

However, please remember the symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of smell;

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19 as the symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. However, if you or any member of your household have these symptoms please call Healthline for free advice on 0800 358 5453.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 18 February 2022

Kia ora Whanau

With the move into Phase 2 of the Red Setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF), we are continuing to see the impact of positive cases on schools in our region. It is therefore important we continue to update you with the preparations we are making for positive cases and close contacts within our school community should the need arise.

The aims of the CPF are to keep schools open, where possible, with health measures in place that are appropriate for each setting. There was an update to many of our Covid-19 protocols in response to health measures at the Red setting, including the wearing of masks and avoiding large gatherings inside. Like the change in the daily times we continue to update our school processes as the Ministry of Education provides new health advice.

Contact Tracing at Phase 2
Due to the high number of Omicron cases now occurring in the community, the Ministry of Health will rely on us to carry out contact tracing and communications related to positive cases within schools. The Ministry of Education has supplied schools with a step-by-step guide and toolkit that guides us through the process of dealing with positive cases. The process involves:

  • Verification of a positive case (via caregivers or Ministry of Health).
  • Confirming when the case was infectious at school.
  • Contact tracing to identify close contacts of the positive case.
  • Sending the list of contacts to the Ministry of Health so that the National Contact Tracing System logs the contacts and follows up.
  • Communicating with close contacts and caregivers to provide instructions about self-isolation, testing and where to find further advice and support.

 Please note that the Ministry of Education allows schools time to complete the above process because contact tracing is a time consuming and complex process depending on the movements of the positive case. This may mean we take a ‘circuit breaker’ (ie: Close the school) for some online learning while we complete the process. 

Absence
If you are keeping your child at home because they are unwell and waiting for a negative result or because you have been advised by the Ministry of Health that they are a close contact, please contact the school via the absence line on phone 8706143. Your child can then communicate with their teacher through Teams or you can contact their Dean via email. All contacts are on the website and the App.

If you have been advised by the school that your child needs to isolate, we will ensure their teachers place learning on Teams.

Isolation periods in Phase 2
In Phase 1 of the response to Omicron, close contacts of people with COVID-19 were required to self-isolate for ten days. In Phase 2, the isolation period has been reduced to seven days. This means that close contacts can now return to school on day eight if their test day five was returned negative and they are symptom free.

There is no requirement for casual contacts or household members of close contacts to isolate at Phase 2 of the Red setting.

For more information about the different Phases of the Covid Protection Framework Red setting, please visit the covid.govt.nz web site: https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/about-covid-19/our-response-to-omicron/

Updating Contact Details
Given the current situation we face with COVID-19, it is vital that we can contact you in a fast and efficient way if required. If any of yours or your child’s emergency’s contact details have changed (home phone/cell phone/email), please send an update to [email protected] Please put your child’s name in the correspondence.

Mask Use and Exemptions
Thank you for ensuring your child is continuing to bring a face mask to school every day. A cloth mask that is washed every day is a great way to manage this current situation. The students are doing very well with mask wearing and we have been particularly impressed with how they have managed on some of the warmer days.

A handful of students are exempt from wearing a mask and have seen me to wear a sticker identifying themselves so classroom teachers therefore do not need to ask students why they are not wearing a mask. If your child need an exemption please get them to pop in and see me.

Swimming Sports Friday 4 March
We are looking towards this day with some innovative thinking. We are hoping to hold a house based water event at school, but possibly in a different style (intriguing without a pool I know!). However, as with all other large school events on site, I regretfully advise that we are not able to host parents, visitors or whanau. Students will get more information in the coming days.

We trust this update provides you with the reassurance that we have clear processes in place to respond to Covid-19 cases in our school should they occur. We will continue to maintain regular communication with you as we aim to keep the school open for on-site relationship-based learning. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 14 February 2022

Kia Ora 

As you will be well aware Covid has now made it’s presence in a number of local schools in the last week. Lindisfarne College, Te Mata Primary and just over the weekend Taradale High School. 

My colleagues have had to move rapidly into being contact tracers, communication specialists, health experts and implementers of hybrid learning and timetabling. NZ community cases are now also close to 1000.

There are number of key learnings from the current school cases: 

  • Correctly marked attendance is ESSENTIAL for contact tracing, please support us at school by ensuring your child arrives at school on time and notifying absences (via the absence line on phone 8706143) promptly if your child cannot attend due to COVID related concerns (or for usual absentee reasons);
  • Students wearing masks significantly reduces the risk of transferring infection within classrooms. They have had very few students contact the virus from another student in class. Please keep sending your child to school with a mask and we will continue to educate and support the students around mask use, but if they need a break (and us too!), we will go outside for 2 or 3min.
  • Ventilation also reduces the spread. This is as simple as opening windows. We will use the Air Conditioners if needed also, as well as, having windows and doors open.
  • Guidelines are changing very fast as we move closer to the second phase of response and I will keep you abreast as quickly as I can. 

Be Prepared 

I urge you therefore to be prepared in the following ways:

  • Have your whanau prepared for isolation as covered in my January 25 Update; 
  • Have your child prepared for Hybrid or online learning as much as possible by making sure their laptop or chrome book is bought to school and charged everyday and they know how to access Teams; 
  • Have a space at home ready for home learning if needed. 

Symptoms

We have asked our Nurse and First Aid staff to be very mindful of students presenting with any of the following symptoms: 

  • a cough
  • a high temperature of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose 
  • temporary loss of smell;

These symptoms do not necessarily mean your child has COVID-19 however with a large population that we want to keep learning onsite, we will be taking a high precaution approach and asking whanau to pick up students that present with two or more of these symptoms. 

If you have any questions or concerns please let us know. We have travelled this path together and will again, but “to be prepared is half the victory” 😊

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 10 February 2022

Kia Ora Whanau

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe during these uncertain times.

Your continued support in:

  • ensuring students maintain good hygiene practices (ie: washing/sanitizing hands, always use good cough/sneeze etiquette) at school;
  • scanning in using the NZ COVID Tracer app; and
  • students who have cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, staying home and calling a doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if a test is required

are all very much appreciated by us here at school.

However, we have been called apon by the Ministry of Education to ensure we are continuing to reflect and review our practices at school with the Omicron variant now being in our community.

One way is to ensure we are reducing the amount of time we are together in large groups. Hence, we are removing assemblies on a Monday and Friday, and shortening our lunch break.

That means from Monday 14 February we will be adjusting our timetable. A new timetable while we are in the ‘Red’ Covid Protection Framework setting is as below/attached. All students will be given a copy and it is important for whanau specially to know school finishes at

· 2.40pm for Year 9 and 10

· 2.50pm for Year 11-13

We are working with the bus companies in conjunction with the other schools who are also looking at their timetables.

However, if students cannot be safely supervised our library is always available as a safe venue until 3pm.

We know whanau appreciate our efforts in keeping school operating as a safe and consistent venue for students and we hope this adjustment to the timetable will allow us to continue to do this, even if a cases or close contacts were to arise at Karamu.Period Times 2022 Feb

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 28 January 2022

Kia Ora Parents and Caregivers,

Further information regarding the health and safety requirements under the Red traffic Light Covid Protection Framework settings in schools are transpiring each day and while I appreciate this may feel like ‘information overload’ your health and safety is of our concern. 

Mask Use
There is strong evidence that the correct use of masks decreases the risk of Omicron transmission, and that some types of masks are more effective than others in decreasing risk.
The Government has therefore strengthened the requirements and recommendations for use of masks.
Whenever masks are required to be worn (for example, by Year 4-13 students when indoors at school, at supermarkets, retails stores, cafes, public transport, school transport) they must be the type that attaches to the head either through an ear loop or a head loop.
Bandanas, scarves or t-shirts pulled up over the mouth and nose are no longer acceptable to be used in the settings which require masks to be worn.

Masks Exemptions
We recognise that some adults and children will be exempted from wearing a mask, including those who have a disability or health condition. If a student has an exemption card or a letter from their medical practitioner or health provider, we will support them at school to not wear a mask.
 For any student who is failing to comply with the legal requirement of wearing a mask, and who is not exempted, we will support them with education and manaakitanga to wear a mask, to support the health and safety of everyone in our community.

Vaccinations
Further to the last update please note boosters are only available four months after second doses for those students over the age of 18 years. 

Powhiri – Tuesday 1st February
As previously advised this event will still go ahead, but only students and staff will be in attendance.

Sound Splash Festival (Hamilton)
We are now aware that the Sound Splash Festival (Hamilton) that occurred last weekend is a place of interest. If your child attended this event, please refer to the instructions on the Ministry of Health website, regarding self-monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms.

As students return to school around New Zealand in the coming weeks, there will be both vaccinated and unvaccinated students re-joining their school communities. There will be varying degrees of anxiety amongst students as they prepare for the start of school, but in keeping with our school values, it is my expectation that all students will treat each other with whanaungatanga, demonstrating respect, kindness and consideration.

I thank you for your support and look forward to seeing everyone back at school very soon.

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 26 January 2022

Morena Whanau,

Further advise has been received from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education regarding operations under the Covid Protection Framework ‘Red Traffic Light’

Events and activities
Large hui and gatherings, especially when indoors continue to be one of the riskier activities we can undertake. We have therefore reviewed all our events and activities for the upcoming term to ensure we meet the health guidance for Red. This therefore means we will not be able to have parents or caregivers on site for our Powhiri on Tuesday 1 February.
We appreciate this is disappointing but the safety of our students and staff is essential. This important occasion will take place outside and students will continue to wear masks and be spaced where possible. We will take video footage and photos to share with whanau.
We ask parents entrust their child into our care on Tuesday morning, dropping them at the Hall or front of school for a quick farewell.

Ventilation
We have used the Ministry of Education self-assessment tool to review all our ventilation in readiness for the start of the year. Providing good old fashioned fresh air remains the most important thing we can do in our learning spaces to minimise risk for ākonga and kaiako (and the same goes for you at home). We will also be receiving a CO2 monitor in the coming weeks to further support our ventilation plan

School Practices

  • · We will be continuing a staggered end to our school day:
    - 2.50pm: Year 9 and 10
    - 3.00pm: Year 11-13
  • · Students must maintain good hygiene practices (washing/sanitizing hands, use good cough/sneeze etiquette) at all times at school;
  • · Visitors must scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app if they can or use another method. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required;
  • · All students or staff who have cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, should stay home and call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if a test is required. Students and staff should not return to school until a negative test is returned.

Omicron and testing

We have all seen the very large numbers of cases overseas and we will very likely see much larger numbers of cases 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 will fully recover in their own home.

However, some of our community who are immune compromised, are ill or have other vulnerabilities, even when they are fully vaccinated, could be more affected by Omicron. So, we all need to continue to play our part to minimise the spread of the virus.

In regard to testing, the health system currently has capacity to process 40,000 PCR tests a day. PCR testing is the most accurate test for COVID-19 and will continue to be used while New Zealand is in the stamp-it-out phase. 

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will begin to be used more widely over time. They are not as accurate as PCR tests and this means that some people who do have COVID-19 will get a negative test result back. There are currently 4.6 million RATs in the country and 10s of millions ordered. 

If you are symptomatic or need to be tested to access a workplace or service, you will be guided at the time on which test is best for you.

Face coverings
Staff and children in Years 4 – 13 must wear face coverings when inside at school when we are at Red.   

Public health advice is that an appropriate face covering will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This can include single use, disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers. 

The Unite Against COVID-19 website also has information on how to make a face covering.

All students need to bring a mask with them when they return to school and wear it when inside. Teachers will support students when they can remove it for specific activities ie: Physical Education or Food Technology classes. 

Vaccinations
Vaccination including a booster shot, remains an important tool to help prevent the most serious harm from the COVID-19 virus. If children and young adults who have been vaccinated do develop COVID-19, they are far less likely to get seriously ill and less likely to transmit the virus to others. 

The free five- to 11-year-old vaccination programme is now underway and more than 100,000 children in New Zealand have had their first dose. Boosters are also now available four months after second doses.

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 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. 

Preparing for COVID-19

You can also prepare for COVID-19, making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. This will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed. 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.

If you know anyone in your community affected by COVID-19 and who may need help, such as food and other financial assistance, Work and Income has a range of supports available for individuals, families, employers and self-employed people affected by COVID-19.

Work and Income support
The beginning of the year can be a tough time for parents who are faced with many costs and it is important you are aware of what assistance you may be able to get from Work and Income. These are available to people on a low income as well as those on a benefit.

Check what you might get here

Use the links above or call 0800 559 009 to find out more, or to apply. 

MoneyTalks can assist with free budgeting and debt help

You can also contact your local community provider. Please find more information here.

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.  

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 are also here to help. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or need help in any way.

We look forward to seeing the students return in good spirits next week.

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 24 January 2022

Kia Ora Caregivers,

He mihi mo te tau hou.

As you will be aware the Prime Minister announced yesterday that the whole of New Zealand has now moved to the COVID-19 Protection Framework (Traffic Light) Red setting from midnight Sunday 23 January. The intention is for schools and kura to remain open at all settings of the Covid Protection Framework.

However, all students, caregivers, and visitors who are visiting school this week for Course Interviews and uniform collection/payment need to wear face coverings when inside buildings and on the school site at all times. All students will be required to wear a mask on return to school next week so please prepare for this in your ‘Beginning of Year’ preparation.

We will continue to update you as we receive more information from the Ministry of Education related to the Covid Protection Framework Red setting during the week. This includes how the health measures will impact on some of our upcoming events, including our Powhiri scheduled for next Tuesday 1 February.

For now, we ask for your patience and understanding, as we work through the implications of this shift in Covid Protection Framework settings. Please be reassured that we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest advice and guidance from the Ministry of Education/Ministry of Health and in the best interests of our students and staff.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update - 16 December 2021

Kia Ora e te whanau  

As we all head off on a break from school it is important we remain aware we are still operating under uncertain times. With more travel freely available and many more areas moving into ‘Orange’ it is important we are aware of any interactions with Covid cases. If you or your child are suspect of any case interaction it is important you check the Ministry of Health web site regularly and follow the Ministry of Health’s instructions if locations of interest have been visited on the days and times indicated.

 In addition to checking locations of interest, other measures that are worth reminding ourselves about in our efforts to keep Covid-19 out of our communities at Alert Level 2 include: 

  • If students or staff have cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if a test is required. Being out and about will spread Covid 19.
  • Maintain good hygiene practices (washing/sanitizing hands, using cough/sneeze etiquette). 
  • Scan in EVERYWHERE using the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can or use another method. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required. 
  • At Alert Level 2, there are some places and situations where you must wear a face covering, such as on public transport and inside stores. 
  • The Ministry of Health is consistent in its message that vaccination is our best form of defense against Covid-19. Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 and over can book their free COVID-19 vaccination now, either online or by phone. The holiday period is an ideal time to get your first or second vaccination completed. 

Vaccine Certificate Requirements

As we are now in the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) some offsite providers we may be using for education outside the classroom activities in 2022 (or for other events and activities not relating to the curriculum ie: Sport), have highlighted to us they will be implementing the use of vaccination certificates.
 This will have implications for any student being able to access a facility who does not have a vaccine pass (or similar evidence of vaccination). 

We will advise this when we send EOTC permission letters home for each individual activity. Where possible we will offer an alternative activity for students who do not have a vaccine pass here onsite. However, this will not always be possible due to staffing or availability of an alternative activity. We are very aware this will be a challenging time for all parties – students, parents and staff and so I ask for patience and kindness as we walk through these new changing times. 

When we have parents visiting for events (ie: our powhiri) we will also be needing to strongly encourage parents to sign in or Scan in using the QR code. Please support us in this tracing requirement. 

Sport in 2022

Recently I received notification that the board of School Sport NZ have confirmed that all School Sport NZ sanctioned events in Term 1 2022 (including the term 1 holidays) will be restricted to fully vaccinated participants, aged 12 and over, only. Where practicable, this mandate extends to spectators attending also. This decision will be reviewed post Summer Tournament Week 2022 and taking into account the latest Government advice.

They have done this in accordance with the Covid Protection Framework, where quite simply, the events on the School Sport NZ Calendar would not be able to proceed if Covid Vaccination Certificates were not being checked. The gathering limits at Orange and Red in particular become too restrictive for viable sports events to take place and many public venues and facilities where sanctioned events take place are requiring Covid Vaccine Passes for entry. This mandate also provides clarity for all stakeholders to plan with confidence that events on the School Sport NZ Calendar will be able to continue.

National and Regional Sports Organizations are currently considering their options, but Canoe Polo and Rugby have made a Vaccine Pass mandatory for all participants. As more information comes to hand I will forward.

Once again I appreciate this becomes a perplexing time for students, parents and staff and so I ask for patience and kindness as we see how this unfolds. 

Thankyou for your support as we continue to navigate these changing waters.

Meri Kirihimete me te Hape Nū Ia!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

 

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update - 29 November 2021

Ata mārie e te whanau  

Over the weekend we became aware of another Covid case in Hawkes Bay. It is important people check the Ministry of Health web site regularly and follow the Ministry of Health’s instructions if locations of interest have been visited on the days and times indicated.

In addition to checking locations of interest, other measures that are worth reminding ourselves about in our efforts to keep Covid-19 out of our communities at Alert Level 2 include: 

  • If students or staff have cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if a test is required. Students and staff should not return to school until a negative test is returned. 
  • Maintain good hygiene practices (washing/sanitizing hands, using cough/sneeze etiquette). 
  • Scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can or use another method. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required. 
  • At Alert Level 2, there are some places and situations where you must wear a face covering, such as on public/school transport and inside stores. Continue to follow the rules and remember that students and staff will be supported if they choose to wear face coverings at school. 
  • The Ministry of Health is consistent in its message that vaccination is our best form of defense against Covid-19. Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 and over can book their free COVID-19 vaccination now, either online or by phone. 

Traffic Light System

The Prime Minister has confirmed all of New Zealand will move onto the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) at 11.59pm on Thursday 2 December.
Today, Cabinet will meet to determine which colour of the traffic light system different parts of the country will move into. We already know Auckland will move into Red and that the Government will yet not be placing any region into the Green setting.
The very good news for all schools is that there will be very little to no change needed for the remainder of 2021. As soon as we know whether we are in red or orange we will advise any changes to our practices or event plans for the remainder of the year.

Vaccine Certificate Requirements

From 3 December, when the new framework takes effect, schools cannot prevent children who are not vaccinated from accessing education. This means that all children and young people can attend onsite at school at any setting (Red, Orange or Green) under the framework regardless of their vaccination status.
However, you will need to be aware that some offsite providers we may be using for education outside the classroom activities (or for other events and activities not relating to the curriculum ie: Sport), may choose to implement the use of vaccination certificates.
This will have implications for any student being able to access a facility who does not have a vaccine pass (or similar evidence of vaccination). 

We will advise this when we sent EOTC permission letters home for each individual activity. Where possible we will offer an alternative activity for students who do not have a vaccine here onsite..

Mask Wearing in External Exams

NZQA have provided the following statement "Masks are not required to be worn in the exam – however, students and staff are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering in the exam." Seniors are encouraged to use these safety measures and others, such as sanitising in examinations. 

Thankyou for your support as we continue to navigate these changing waters.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 15 November 2021

Ata mārie e te whanau

Over the weekend we became aware that a member of the public tested positive for Covid-19 in Taupō. We are continuing to see cases being detected in other regional towns, such as Taranaki last week, but the Ministry of Health has not moved regions in Alert Level 2 to a higher alert level immediately following Covid-19 being detected in the community. We may well have had members of our community travel to these areas, so feel it is important to remind us of all the health measures we should be taking to keep ourselves and others safe. Anyone visiting these areas should check the Ministry of Health web site regularly and follow the Ministry of Health’s instructions if locations of interest have been visited on the days and times indicated. In addition to checking locations of interest, other measures that are worth reminding ourselves about in our efforts to keep Covid-19 out of our communities at Alert Level 2 include:

  • If students or staff have cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms, they should stay home and call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 to see if a test is required. Students and staff should not return to school until a negative test is returned.
  • Maintain good hygiene practices (washing/sanitizing hands, using cough/sneeze etiquette).
  • Scan in using the NZ COVID Tracer app if you can or use another method. This helps with rapid contact tracing if it is required.
  • At Alert Level 2, there are some places and situations where you must wear a face covering, such as on public/school transport and inside stores. Continue to follow the rules and remember that students and staff will be supported if they choose to wear face coverings at school.
  • The Ministry of Health is consistent in its message that vaccination is our best form of defense against Covid-19. Everyone in Aotearoa New Zealand aged 12 and over can book their free COVID-19 vaccination now, either online or by phone.

We are still collecting student vaccination status at the office in a private manner. Under the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (the Order) secondary schools are required to maintain an up-to-date register with the vaccine status of all eligible students. Students can show their immunisation card (or a copy on their phone), or SMS that the student has received from their vaccine or medical provider, the Book My Vaccine website or the My COVID Record website. Alternatively, parents can email the evidence into the office.

Thank you once again for your understanding and support.

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 2 November 2021

Kia ora Parents & Caregivers

I wish to update you on our planning for the 2021 Senior and Junior Prizegivings which will occur in the final week of Term 4. We recognise that these are very special events on the Karamu High School calendar and often attended by many whanau members.

We have continued to monitor the Ministry of Health’s guidelines for large gatherings in schools at Alert Level 2 and are hoping for a drop in Alert Levels that would enable us to host our end of year celebratory events in their regular format. Unfortunately, whilst we remain at Alert Level 2, we will not be able to invite parents/caregivers and whanau members to these events. The rules for gatherings and physical distancing protocols mean that this would not be feasible and therefore unsafe for our school community.

At Alert Level 2 the Senior Prizegiving on Monday 13 December and the Junior Prizegiving on Wednesday 15 December will be attended by student prize winners and staff only. We are working through both Prizegivings being livestreamed so that other students, parents/caregivers and extended whanau members can join in the celebrations, albeit in a virtual format.

I recognise that if we remain in Alert Level 2 this situation is very disappointing for our community, but we must continue to take a cautious approach to events and make decisions that are based on the most up to date advice from the Ministry of Health. We will review our plans for these events if there are any changes to Alert Levels or to the rules for gatherings in the coming weeks.

Thank you once again for your understanding and support with respect to these difficult decisions we have had to make to adhere to the challenges of Covid.

Ngā mihi nui,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 27 October 2021

Kia Ora Whanau

Since 2018 we have been exceptionally lucky to have a nurse provided by the Hawkes Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) stationed at school. They provide a fantastic service that supports our students well-being.  

As part of this service the HBDHB will be coming into school this week to provide Covid Education sessions to all our students. Covid is now entrenched in our community and our students need to be informed about the effects of this global pandemic whether they are vaccinated or not, just as we are ensuring our school is a safe site at Alert Level 2 with the following strong public health control measures in place:

  • learners and staff staying home if they are sick;
  • contact tracing for all visitors on site; and
  • safe hygiene requirements (such as use of hand sanitizer/tissues and no availability of communal drinking fountains)

We feel these education sessions are another step in educating the students on one of the many facets of well-being.

Vaccination Opportunity

On Thursday 4 November we will also be opening our school hall as a vaccination site. An opportunity from 1-3pm will be available for our students to get their first or second dose and then from 3-6pm for any community and whanau members. All students not accompanied by a parent will need consent. Consent forms will be available at school.

Gathering Vaccination Status

Under the Covid-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 (the Order) secondary schools are required to maintain an up-to-date register with the vaccine status of all eligible students. We therefore are now ready to gather status from those already vaccinated. The immunisation card (or a copy on their phone), or SMS that the student has received from their vaccine or medical provider, the Book My Vaccine website or the My COVID Record website will be sufficient evidence. Students will be called for at specific times so please ensure your child is ready.

All students either vaccinated on 4 November or prior will be in lucky prize draws for HBDHB acknowledgments. 

He waka eke noa 

We are all in this together 

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update - 14 October 2021

Kia ora, 

The response by New Zealanders to this latest outbreak has been strong, with high rates of testing and more and more people getting vaccinated. 

If we were to have a case of COVID-19 in our school, public health authorities will want to know if we are a school with a high vaccination rate. This information will then be used as part of the local health authority’s risk assessment. The more highly vaccinated we are (staff and students), the less likely it will be that we will have to close down for a long period of time, or we might not need to close at all. We are also doing our part by working toward all our staff being vaccinated. 

We will therefore need to know if your child has had their first or second vaccine dose or is exempted from being vaccinated. This information will be held by us in accordance with the Privacy Act and will only be shared with public health authorities. 

We are therefore getting our data collection system in place and will get in touch with you again very soon to gather this information.

More than 5.7 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine have now been given in New Zealand (as of 7 October 2021):

  • 53 percent are fully vaccinated (2 doses) = 2.2 million New Zealanders
  • 81 percent have had their first dose = 3.4 million New Zealanders
  • 86 percent of Aucklanders have had their first dose
  • 61percent of Aucklanders have had their second dose

As of 3 October 2021, 86 percent of Pacific Peoples and 90 percent of Māori aged 65 and over had received their first dose (compared with 93 percent of non-Māori and Non-Pacific) and our average daily numbers for Māori getting their first dose have increased by 69 percent in the last fortnight.

While the signs are really pleasing, clearly the job isn’t done. The two best things we can to do keep our community as safe as possible is to get tested if we are feeling unwell and get everyone who is eligible vaccinated. 

Please take the opportunity this Saturday at one of the ‘Super Saturday’ vaccination sites ie: Splash Planet, and get vaccinated as vaccination is an important step towards getting us back to some sort of normal.

Ngā mihi,

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 14 September 2021

Kia ora e te whanau

You’ll be aware that yesterday the Prime Minister advised we are to remain at Alert Level 2 for at least another week. Our thoughts and positive wishes are with everyone in Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland. 

At Alert Level 2 there is low risk of community transmission, but it provides us with a lot more opportunities to engage and connect with others. However, there are still several public health requirements we all need to follow. Please do continue to monitor your health and do not send your children to school if they are not well (and please seek advice about getting a COVID test). 

For us, all the required safety precautions for Alert Level 2 are working well which include regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, encouraging everyone to frequently sanitize or wash their hands and to cough and sneeze into their elbow.

While physical distancing is not a requirement in schools, we are doing our best to separate students and keeping spaces well-ventilated. 

A number of students and staff are wearing masks, which has been recommended by the Director General of Health. The decision however, to wear a face covering is up to you and your whānau, whatever your decision it will be respected.

Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s kaiako or me if there is something you need assistance with. 

Changes to NCEA

On Thursday 9 September, the Government announced further changes to NCEA for this year’s students. Students disrupted by 16 days of alert level restrictions this year (which is our Karamu students) will be entitled to:
Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs) 

  • for every five credits a student earns, they get one extra LRC
  • students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to eight additional credits
  • students at NCEA Levels 2 or 3 are eligible for up to six additional credits.

Endorsements 

  • no change to normal requirements.

University Entrance 

  • no change to normal requirements.

This is in addition to the external examination dates being moved to allow an extra two weeks of teaching and learning time in Term 4 (as communicated on August 25).

Course Selection Process

We appreciate this is a busy time for students, returning to school for learning and assessments, but planning for their futures, including next years learning, is a process we need to start to ensure we have the necessary resources in place, including staffing. 

The process for your child to select their courses for 2022 has begun. Today, students in Years 10, 11 and 12 received their Course Selection Forms and access to the online Senior Course selection booklet.

When choosing their courses, students need to think about their ability, their interests and possible future career aspirations. They are encouraged to talk with their form teacher, subject teachers, year level deans and the Senior Leadership team around their choices. In addition, we would appreciate your support with assisting your child to choose their courses by having a conversation with them. In the front of the course selection booklet, there is valuable information that will assist during your conversation. This includes:

  • How to plan your course and choose your options 
  • Requirements for courses at Level One, Two and Three
  • NCEA Certificate requirements 
  • Literacy and Numeracy 
  • University Entrance and preparation for tertiary study 
  • The Senior Course matrix which shows the progression of courses through the levels

The Senior Course Booklet can be found on our website or by clinking the link below

https://karamu.ibcdn.nz/media/2021_09_10_senior-course-booklet-2022.pdf

The completed forms, including your signature, are due back to the office before Wednesday 22 September. Please indicate if your child does not intend to return to Karamu.

As we celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori I leave you with the following whakatauki that encapsulates the notion that while working in isolation might result in survival, working together can take people beyond survival and onto prosperity:

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi
With your basket and my basket the people will live

 Ngā mihi nui
Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 7 September 2021

Kia ora koutou katoa

A decision has now been made that we will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm tonight. 

This therefore means school will open for all Year 9 – 13 students on Thursday 9 September. It is expected all students will return to school unless:

  • A member of the household is unwell with Covid-19;
  • Your child is unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid-19.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will be continuing to support the registered ākonga who have been onsite at Alert Level 3 while we prepare for re-opening to all on Thursday.

Should your child not be attending school from Thursday, because they are unwell, you must advise the office by phoning the School Absence Line on 8706143 giving the reason.

We have been advised for students who have a household member who is at-risk due to serious illness or if they themselves are at risk, there is no reason for them not to return to school. The public health measures we have deployed will minimise risk. 

The key message is schools are safe to open at Level 2 because there is no known community transmission, large numbers are vaccinated (60% in Hawkes Bay have had one dose & 30% two doses) and the following controls are put in place for schools:

  • ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms or feel generally unwell stay away from school;
  • maintain physical distancing (in schools this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other);
  • enable good hygiene practices;
  • keep track of people that enter school.

The following Health and Safety measures will be put in place:

Preparation

  • We will start Thursday 8.35am with a formtime outlining all these Health and Safety guidelines;
  • Drinking fountains have been decommissioned so please bring bottled water from home;
  • Students will be lined up outside every classroom to minimize the contact on door handles. If a door can be propped or wedged open it should be.

Inside the classroom

  • Classrooms will be set up in exam style seating where possible, creating 1m spacing;
  • Marking of attendance has never been more important for contact tracing. Students must arrive at school on time and if they need to leave during the day they must sign in and out at the Office;
  • Each time a student enters the room they need to use the hand sanitizer provided;
  • Practical equipment used in the likes of physical education, science and technology must be cleaned between each use.

Co-Curricular

  • Sports (on school grounds) – physical activities including can go ahead. Physical distancing is not possible in some sporting activities, so in these situations extra emphasis on handwashing and drying (or cleansing with hand sanitizer) before and after activities and regular cleaning of equipment is very important.
  • Cultural activities - practices and rehearsals will be able to go ahead (a physical distancing recommendation of 1m distance where practicable, for singing and wind instruments). 
  • For sports and cultural practices that use external coaches they must sign in the visitors register at the front of school (for tracking and tracing purposes).

Outside the Classroom

  • Year 13’s can continue to use their Study to arrive after P1 and leave for P5 but they are NOT to leave the premises at any other time;
  • Queues at the school office and the canteen will be clearly marked using 1 metre spacing on the ground/walls;
  • Students are encouraged to sit 1m spaced at break and lunchtime;
  • Only 6 students will be able to sit at the tables around the canteen;
  • Contact tracing has implications for break and lunchtime. We will be asking students to consider keeping their own record of who in addition to their classmates, they were in ‘close contact’ with each day (as they would need to do for other close contacts they had in their personal time).
  • Assemblies will go ahead however, because we need to maintain sufficient distance between students, so they aren’t touching or breathing directly on each other, they will be only Year level. 

Parents Visiting School

  • We will need to record all visitors on site, including parents and caregivers, in the visitor register located at the front office, recording names, date, time in and out, where they visited and phone and physical address. This information is important for the process of contact tracing, should it be required to track down and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

End of the School Day

  • The end of the day will be staggered to reduce congestion
    • Year 9 and 10: finish at 2.50pm
    • Year 11-13: finish at 3pm 
  • Please clear the school site as promptly as possible

Bus services

Our school transport services also plan to return to normal schedules from Thursday 9 September. The ongoing safety of our students and the ability to contact trace are a priority on these services therefore, we must provide our transport providers with up-to-date bus lists and keep records to enable contact tracing to take place.   We also need to provide certainty for them around numbers intending to use buses.

Our bus providers will ensure:

  • Hand sanitizers will be available for each student to use as they board the bus.
  • Buses and surfaces will be sanitized after each journey by the transport company.
  • Seats in close proximity to the driver will be left empty.


If you have any questions in regards to bus services please contact Sarah Gunn: [email protected]

Health & Well-being

  • Symptoms to monitor for are any respiratory symptoms such as a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills and a fever. Anyone with these symptoms should not attend school. If these symptoms are observed children will be kindly and warmly instructed to go to the Office immediately. Home will be rung and they must be picked up as soon as possible. 
  • If we are connected to a confirmed or probable Covid-19 case, we must close for 72 hours. This time will allow for contact tracing and cleaning to take place. We could then remain closed for an additional 14 days.
  • If a child is self-isolating or can't return to school due to personal or health reasons, learning may still be available on Teams, but no face to face ‘Zoom’ type-lessons will be delivered.
  • Masks are not required to be worn in school. While the Director General of Health has recommended that children 12 years+ wear a face covering at school – just as older children are required to wear face coverings in some other places, the decision to wear a face covering is up to you and your whānau, whatever your decision it will be respected. Where an individual chooses to use a face covering they should supply and wear their own, and to do so safely.

Should at anytime you have queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Arohanui
Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal 


COVID-19 update - 6 September 2021

School will re-open Thursday 9 September - The Prime Minister has announced this afternoon that due to our community response to Covid-19 we are moving into Alert Level 2 as at 11.59pm tomorrow. We are awaiting more detailed information and direction from the Ministry of Education, but school will be open for all Year 9 -13 on Thursday 9 September. Further information will be sent tomorrow.


COVID-19 update - 30 August 2021

Morena

Having spent twelve full days in Alert Level 4, you will be aware the Prime Minister has announced that all of New Zealand will continue to stay in Alert Level 4 until 11:59pm on Tuesday 31 August.

At that time, subject to whatever information may emerge over the week, all New Zealand regions south of Auckland’s regional boundary will shift into Alert Level 3.

At Alert Level 3 schools effectively continue to be closed for face-to-face learning, other than for the children of Year 9 and 10 parents who need to go to work and have no alternative care options available. We have canvassed our community and have two very small bubbles of Year 9 and 10 students being supervised while they continue their distance learning. Further information will be sent to these families.

All learning systems, including face to face Teams/Zoom and online course arrangements, continue for Year 9 – 13 students. 

It is important everyone continues to stay home and keeps wearing a face covering when you are out and about, so we can all return to school soon.

Entering School

Parents and students cannot enter the school grounds without prior arrangements being made due to the current health and safety requirements needing to be adhered to. Any students entering the school grounds that are not part of a Year 9 or 10 bubble will be asked to leave immediately.

Students working during school hours

It’s important that young people remain engaged in their learning under the current Alert Level conditions, not be working more, even though I do appreciate a servant feeling of wanting to do ‘their part’.

However, for students under 16, it is actually illegal to work during school hours under Section 54 of the Education and Training Act 2020. If employers are putting pressure on students to work during school hours, please advise them that it is illegal. For older students it is essential that they remain engaged in their learning so that their future opportunities for work or learning are not impacted.

If parents and caregivers need assistance to ensure their child is engaged in learning rather than being in paid employment during scheduled learning hours please contact me.

Need Help?

A few reminders of the community mechanisms that are still out there and available:

  • Nourished for Nil: Are still providing free food @ 1004 Karamu Rd  Mon, Wed & Fri 4.30-5.30pm
  • Flaxmere Community Centre & FlaXrock Gym, 400 Swansea Rd Fri 4.45-6pm
  • 703 Kiwi Street, Hastings  Mon 3.30-4.30pm
  • Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga: Are still providing several health and wellbeing services - https://ttoh.iwi.nz/
  • Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day if you are feeling anxious, depressed or just want to talk through your feelings. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor. 
  • Mr Marks Rolls – our school counsellor is available to any student or whanau through his email [email protected] 
  • Mr Wooster (DP – Students Pastoral) and myself are also more than happy to try and help families in any way we possibly can.

Keep safe and be strong, kia kaha 


Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update - 24 August 2021

Kia ora koutou

Like me you probably looked at the emerging cases from this outbreak and thought that some further time at Alert Level 4 was the best thing for our community.

That thinking was confirmed yesterday when the Prime Minister advised that we will remain at Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on Friday 27 August, to be reviewed that afternoon.

I want to reassure you that our school staff and board will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing over this time.

We also hope you are doing OK at the moment – but it is also OK if you aren’t.

As the Mental Health Foundation of NZ says, “it’s all right to feel a range of emotions right now. Going into a Level 4 lockdown is a big deal and it brings all sorts of different feelings to the surface, including frustration, worry and even gratitude. However you are feeling, know that you’re not alone – we’re all going through this together.”

If you need to talk, check in with a friend or whānau member, or free call/text 1737 to chat with a trained counsellor. It's free and confidential. Check out our school website for support links.

You will also understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring and promote health and physical wellbeing.

This is why we implemented the timetable routine on Monday and will continue with this until further notice. We also encourage you to form routines around household chores and exercise. 

Vaccinations

Of significance announcement has been the Government’s decision to make the Pfizer Vaccine available to 12 to 15-year-olds from Wednesday 1 September (with bookings open from Friday 20 August). Vaccination dates are also now available for all people over the age of 40. There is no shortage of vaccines and more sites will be available over the next few days, so now is a good time to get vaccinated. Please be aware this is one of the few reasons you are allowed out, even during Alert Level 4 to get vaccinated. High levels of vaccination are a prerequisite to a more porous border and to minimise the risk of further and longer lockdowns. So I do urge our community to take up this vaccination opportunity. You can book online at https://bookmyvaccine.covid19.health.nz/ or phone 0800 282926.

NCEA

Below are a couple of pieces of latest communication from NZQA.

"With the situation still developing rapidly, it is too early to make decisions on any changes to NCEA (or University Entrance). However, we are continuing to work with the Ministry of Education, the Minister’s Professional Advisory Group and schools to make sure any advice to Ministers on possible interventions - if they are required - would be fair and proportionate”

It is therefore important our seniors just keep focused on their learning, any assessment will follow when we return to school or students are naturally ready.

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Regarding the fast approaching Level 1 Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) -NZQA is reviewing the situation to see if the dates for MCAT (14 & 16 September) should be changed. We will let you know when we have more clarity.

A big thank you for taking the lockdown seriously and doing what we have been asked – we’ve seen before that staying at home will break the chain of transmission and save lives. However, this time it is even more important that we all follow the health advice because the Delta variant is very contagious.

Breaking the rules risks the health of those close to you, the wider community and could result in the lock down period being extended.

Please remember that all of school, including the tennis/basketball/netball courts and school grounds, remain closed at Alert Level 4. The experience overseas (most recently in New South Wales) has been the lockdowns can be prolonged for reasons such as groups of young people congregating and using communal equipment. 

As always, please let us know if there is anything you need to support you and your tamariki during this time.

Ngā mihi nui
Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 21 August 2021

Kia Orana,

As you will be aware the Prime Minister announced yesterday we will be remaining in Alert Level 4 for a minimum of 4 more days. This means school remains closed until at least Wednesday 25 August. We are unsure of course whether we will return to Level 3 or 2 at this stage.

Therefore, we will look to continue supporting your child’s learning and wellbeing over this time in a manner that can continue for two days, or longer if needed. I offer more clarity on that below:

Well-being

By now you will have heard from your child’s form teacher through email, checking in on your child and whanau from a well-being perspective. We trust this means you can now keep in touch, ask questions and feel supported. Your child’s Year Level Dean will also make contact too if they have any concerns and you can too if you like. All email addresses can be found on the School App and the website. 

Learning

Now we are in lockdown for a longer period the focus does need to move to supporting your child’s learning and we will be doing this through our online platform Teams.

Each course teacher (Juniors and Seniors) will email parents to inform you how the online provision for learning will work. It will clearly indicate when the one face to face lesson a week with each teacher will occur (through Zoom or Teams) and the other learning conditions/content. Please reply directly if you have any queries. The students timetable of their face to face lessons are now available through the KAMAR portal, via the website or App, but they are approximately as follows:

Year 9

Monday - PED/Health
Tuesday - Social Studies (& Option 1 Period 4)
Wednesday - English
Thursday - Science (& Option 2 Period 4)
Friday - Mathematics

Year 10

Monday - Mathematics (& Option 1 Period 4)
Tuesday -English
Wednesday - Science (& Option 2 Period 4)
Thursday - Social Studies
Friday - PED/Health

Seniors

Monday - Line 1 (Period 1 Monday on Normal Timetable)
Tuesday –Line 2 (Period 2 Monday on Normal Timetable)
Wednesday - Line 3 & 4 (Period 3/4 Monday on Normal Timetable)
Thursday - Line 5 (Period 5 Monday on Normal Timetable)
Friday – Line 6 (Tuesday period 1 class) 

NB: All Studies have been removed.

Parents can expect for each course their child to have one hour of face to face teacher contact in a week and another two hours of ‘other learning’. Some senior courses may arrange another one face to face meeting at a mutually agreeable time. The ‘other learning’ may include work on Education Perfect; research online or in hardcopy; completion of tasks online, in person or around home; reading; writing; speaking or drawing. Students will get instruction of this ‘other learning’ through their course ‘Team’ on Office 365. 

The learning type and speed may vary a little from course to course and from level to level as the needs, style of delivery and level of learning varies, but as usual we just encourage students to take part in their learning to their personal best. We aim 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. If it gets too much, just take a break and return to it later.

As parents, what if your child does not understand the learning?

  • Read the instructions or watch the information together
  • Ask ‘have they done something similar before’?
  • Get them to check with a classmate 
  • Get them to email or message/chat with the course teacher for further clarification
  • For any further queries around a course please email the Year level Dean.

We do appreciate households are busy places with other children, parents working from home or heading out to be essential workers, so if it gets too much, just take a breather and come back to it later.

We will be monitoring students engagement in courses across the whole week, a combination of the face to face AND other learning, and this is what course teachers will be reporting to Deans on. Parents will be contacted if we have concerns.

I will continue to update you with information as it comes to hand, but for now please continue to follow all of the instructions of the Ministry of Health, take care and be kind.

Keep safe, stay strong, til we meet again

E noho oranga, noho kaha, noho ora mai

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 20 August 2021

I trust this message finds you safe and well as we continue to work towards stamping out Covid in the community once again.  I am sure many of you are aware our Prime Minister has just announced that due to the number of growing community cases and increased risk to others we will be remaining in Alert Level 4 for a minimum of 4 more days. This means school remains closed until at least Wednesday 25 August. Further whanau updates regarding learning to come.

Stay safe. Kia Māia.

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 19 August 2021

Afternoon Whanau

As the sun shone brightly today, I am reminded of this quote ...

“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome” 

Wilma Rudolph

I do hope as a family you have found today safe, peaceful and productive – whatever that might look like for your family. 

I write to advise the Ministry of Education are continuing to work with the Ministry of Health to enable possible distribution of materials and/or devices due to the sudden imposing of the Level 4 lockdown. We will work through the public health requirements that we all need to meet, as you are doing at home, but we want to be sure that what we do at school will keep our community as safe as possible. 

For now, we will continue to support your child’s learning remotely while we progress our planning for what this will mean for you and for our school. We will be in touch again soon with more information. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your form teachers/course teacher with any questions you might have. 

While today there has been an increase in confirmed cases in New Zealand, we are very lucky there are NO CONFIRMED CASES IN HAWKES BAY. We know if there are any active cases connected to Karamu High School we will be supported by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. 

However, please remember the symptoms of Covid-19 include:

- a cough
- a high temperature of at least 38°C
- shortness of breath
- sore throat
- sneezing and runny nose
- temporary loss of smell;

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19 as the symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. However, if you have these symptoms please call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 or you call your doctor immediately.

Keep safe and be strong, kia kaha

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 18 August 2021

Kia ora koutou,

As you will be aware the Prime Minister announced last night that in response to a recent community outbreak of Covid-19 we are moving into Alert Level 4. This means school will be closed for a minimum of 3 days.

While we are moving into a new phase of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19, please be reassured that our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing over this time, whether it be for 3 days or more.

Well-being & Learning

Today it is important you as a family, and my staff with family, to adjust to life again in Level 4. We therefore will not impede on your whanau time today. 

However, over the subsequent couple of days you (through email) and your child (through Teams on Office 365) will hear from your child’s formteacher, checking in from a well-being perspective, and the Dean will too if we they have any concerns (and you too can be in contact at anytime!)

We realise that some children may have headed home without their devices and because of the importance of the first 24 hours in tracing this virus, at this stage there is no exemption process to allow staff or students to go back on site to get devices or hard pack resources therefore we are being flexible in the learning offered. 

Juniors will not be required to complete any formal learning with their teachers over these two days. However, if they have incomplete homework, historic unfinished tasks on Education Perfect or a reading book they are halfway through then they may choose to dive into those, but there will be no formal interactions with each of their teachers. If the situation changes on Friday 20 August we will communication the online timetable from Monday 23 August.

Seniors however, will continue with the learning they are currently doing and it will be accessible through Teams. Any face to face lessons will occur in their usual hour timetabled Thursday or Friday lesson time via Zoom or Teams. 

Concerns

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

If you are a student and you have a concern ...

If your concern is about:You should first see ...If not resolved then ...And is still not resolved ...
Your learning,
eg classwork and assessment
Your teacherYour deanMs Gunn, Deputy Principal
Curriculum & Assessment
A discipline problem,
eg a detention
The teacher who gave you the detentionYour deanMr Wooster, Deputy Principal
Student Management
A pastoral issue,
eg bullying, attendance
Your form teacherYour deanMr Wooster or
Mr Rolls, Guidance Counsellor

If you are a parent and you have a concern ...

If your concern is about:You should first see ...If not resolved then ...And is still not resolved ...
A learning problem,
eg classwork and assessment
The deanMs Gunn, Deputy Principal
Curriculum & Assessment
Mrs Thomas
Principal
A discipline problem,
eg a detention
The deanMr Wooster, Deputy Principal
Student Management
A pastoral issue,
eg bullying, attendance
The deanMr Wooster or
Mr Rolls, Guidance Counsellor
A financial issue
relating to any account or charge
Either Mrs Gray or
Ms Radley in the office
Mrs Hantler
Principal's PA


All email addresses are available on the school app and website.

We must continue to take this lockdown seriously like we did in 2020. 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.

 

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 - Talking to Children
  • 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 - Nathan Wallis Facebook
  • 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/

It is really important we do everything we can to keep our community safe. Alert Level 4 means we need to stay home in our bubbles and avoid any travelling as much as possible.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, foodbanks and other essential services will be open – but remember to wear a face covering if you are out and about (even a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose will help). Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go and please also keep a distance from people you don’t know and wash your hands well and often, especially before and after using any public facilities.

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

Arohanui  

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update - 17 August 2021

School is closed for 3 days

The Prime Minister has announced this evening that in response to a recent community outbreak of Covid-19 we are moving into Alert Level 4 as at 11.59pm tonight. We are awaiting more detailed information and direction from the Ministry of Education, but from tomorrow school will be closed for 3 days.  Students should stay at home and stay safe. Further information will be sent to whanau.

Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 8 March 2021

Afternoon All,

It is pleasing that from yesterday morning we moved back to Alert Level 1.
This means we can look forward to hosting the Year 9 Parents Evening on Wednesday 10 March and Athletic Sports on Friday 12 March.

While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 1, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette;
  • Staying away if sick;
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily;
  • Contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, so please use these or sign in at the Office during school hours when visiting.

Thank you for your continued support to keep our students, our school and our community safe.

Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 28 February 2021

Tena Koutou

As you will be aware the Prime Minister advised last night that Auckland would move to Alert Level 3, and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2, from 6.00am this morning. This will apply for 7 days and is to be reviewed regularly by the Government. Our thoughts are again with everyone in the Auckland region as their daily lives continue to be unsettled by Covid-19 cases in the community.

From tomorrow we will once again put our Alert Level 2 public health control measures back in place at school, including:

  • learners and staff staying home if they are sick;
  • contact tracing for all visitors on site;
  • safe hygiene requirements (such as use of hand sanitizer/tissues and no availability of communal drinking fountains).

Alert Level 2 is all about being safe and sensible and therefore physical distancing will also remain important where possible.

We will again stagger our finishing times to lessen the mass exit from school:

  • Year 9 and 10 – finish 2.50pm
  • Year 11, 12 and 13 – finish 3pm

We wish to remind you it is the Government’s expectation that all children attend school at Alert Level 2. It is safe for children and staff to attend school, as there are appropriate health measures in place, including for the children and staff who may be immune compromised. The only exceptions to this are students who are sick and have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, are awaiting the result of a test, or those who have compromised health and are choosing to stay home. If your child falls into any of these categories please notify us promptly via the absence line on phone 8706143. If students or their close contacts have visited Auckland over the past week, please check the Ministry of Health’s “locations of interest” section on their web site.

Schools are not classified as large gatherings and therefore most events and day-to-day activities at school can go ahead as long as we can adhere to physical distancing. However, as soon as the event or activity brings additional people together, including other students, parents and caregivers, or is offsite, then the rules for gatherings do apply. This unfortunately is the case for the Year 13 breakfast on Wednesday morning. This event therefore will be for students only. Parents that have paid will have this put as a credit on their account. We will advise other event amendments as they arise.

Thank you for your continued support as we work together through these movements between Alert Levels.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 18 February 2021

Kia Ora Whanau

It was pleasing to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday afternoon about moving back to Alert Level 1 from today.

It is very important however, that we will continue to have good cleaning routines in place, people who are sick stay at home and we encourage good hygiene practices.

QR code posters will remain at our entrances and we will continue to request all visitors to please sign in at the Office during school hours. While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 1, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette;
  • Staying away if sick;
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily.

While new cases in the community are always disappointing to hear of, it is reassuring to see how quickly they have been identified. I am sure you join me in being grateful for the efforts of our health workers, scientists and experts in this regard, and the thousands of people who have been tested. The way in which the community of Papatoetoe High School has responded to this challenge should also be acknowledged.

Once again I appreciate some students may be feeling anxious, angry or frustrated about the changes in Alert Levels so I urge them to seek support from their teachers, form teacher or year level dean. Our counsellor, Mr Mark Rolls, is also available for any student that feels they need additional support or guidance.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 15 February 2021

Kia Ora Whanau

As the Prime Minister announced last night, due to community transmission, we have now moved back to COVID-19 Alert Level 2. However, we strongly encourage all children to continue to attend school for learning at Alert Level 2. The year has just started, and public health advice is that schools, early learning services and tertiary institutions are safe to operate at Alert Level 2 for all learners. It is however, very important people be safe and continue to take sensible health and safety precautions.

At Level 2, almost all children and young people can continue to attend early learning services, schools and kura onsite. The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick and have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test.

School transport services remain at normal schedules, however the ongoing safety of drivers and students and the ability to contact trace will be a priority at Alert Level 2 so a roll will be taken on our bus services.

There are two key public health principles that support our education approach to Alert Level 2. These are to minimize the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact if someone at school is infected. Prompt and regular attendance is therefore very important. Please notify absences (via the absence line on phone 870 6143) promptly if your child cannot attend due to COVID-19 related concerns (or for usual absentee reasons).

Strong public health control measures will also be back in place at school, including:

  • learners and staff staying home if they are sick;
  • contact tracing for all visitors on site;
  • safe hygiene requirements (such as use of hand sanitizer/tissues and no availability of communal drinking fountains).

Alert Level 2 is all about being safe and sensible and therefore physical distancing will also remain important where possible.

Due to the recommendations from the Ministry of Health and Education around avoiding large gatherings we have also had to make the unfortunate decision to cancel Swimming Sports planned for Wednesday 17 February. We look forward to Athletic Sports on Friday 12 March.

Some students may feel anxious, angry, or frustrated about the move back to Alert Level 2 and I urge them to seek support from their teachers, form teacher or year level dean. Our counsellor, Mr Mark Rolls, is also available for any student that feels they need additional support or guidance.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 14 February 2021

Dear Whanau,

As you will be aware, due to community transmission, we have been advised we are back at COVID Alert Level 2 for the next three days minimum. However, children can continue to attend school for learning at Alert Level 2.

We would ask that you do the following to ensure we can continue to operate safely:

  • Your child must stay at home if they are feeling unwell;
  • Do not visit the school unless it is essential or if you do need to visit the school, you must scan or sign in through the Admin Office;
  • Notify absences (via the absence line on phone 8706143 or email) promptly if your child cannot attend due to COVID related concerns (or for usual absentee reasons).

School events, which involve large numbers gathering or the public, will be reviewed, as will sports and cultural activities, in line with the Government’s COVID Alert Level 2 rules for schools. We have already been notified the Weetbix TRY (which involved all of our Year 13s on Tuesday has been cancelled) We will send out a further update tomorrow, Monday 15 February.

Ngā manaakitanga, take care of yourself and your whanau.

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 22 September 2020

Afternoon All,

I am sure you were as pleased as I was to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday about moving to Alert Level 1. 

At Karamu we will continue to have good cleaning routines in place, people who are sick are required to stay at home and we encourage good hygiene practices.

We are supporting contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances – so if you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app, please visit the Ministry of Health’s NZ-COVID Tracer app page on their website as it has information to help you do that. However, even if you sign in using our QR codes we also request all visitors to please sign in at the Office during school hours.

What is changing is we can now look forward to welcoming our school community back on site for sport, cultural and other school activities, and we will now be able to have assemblies. We are especially looking forward to ‘Karamu’s Got Talent’ on Friday. While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 1, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying away if sick
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily

Please also maintain these through the upcoming holiday period, especially if travelling or in areas with large numbers of people.

Thank you for your continued support for all we are doing to keep our students, our school and our community safe.

Ngā mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 15 September 2020

Tena koutou katoa

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced a continuation of current Covid alert levels until next Monday.
It is hoped we will move to Alert Level 1 at 11.59pm on Monday 21 September.

This decision is contingent on cases tracking as they are and maintaining the containment we have seen. The move to Alert Level 1 will be confirmed when Cabinet meet on Monday 21 September.

We are therefore still in Alert Level 2 and therefore remind all students, staff and caregivers of the following guidelines:

  • Maintain good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette;
  • Stay away from school if sick;
  • Keep the appropriate physical distance from others;
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily;
  • Use the QR code on the posters at our entrances for the NZ COVID Tracer App or sign in the visitor register if you visit our site.

Face coverings continue to be compulsory on public transport (with existing exemptions continuing, including anyone under 12).  Face coverings continue to not be required on school transport.

Covid Information
While we are doing the right things, it is important that we continue to pay attention to the right information. Misinformation is designed to create panic, fear and confusion. Check your source. Get the real deal from the Ministry of Health or Unite Against COVID-19 websites. The Ministry of Education also provides information for schools and early learning services including specific information for parents and caregivers.

Our knowledge of COVID-19 is developing quickly. But misinformation spreads further and faster. Be part of the solution. Don’t share posts or stories if you’re not sure if they’re true or aren’t from trusted sources like the Ministry of Health or Unite Against COVID-19 websites. 

Te Wiki o te reo Māori
Yesterday also marked 45 years since the first Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week) was held. It is a point in time to celebrate, promote and encourage use of te reo – it is also a prompt that every time we use te reo we contribute to its revitalisation. Te Wiki o te reo Māori is part of the much broader strategy and work programme, Tau Mai Te Reo (Māori language strategy for Education) to help achieve the Government’s target of a million people using te reo in everyday life by 2040. Within this strategy is the very successful Te Ahu o te Reo Māori programme providing opportunities for teachers to make te reo part of their everyday teaching lives. We are enjoying the heightened opportunity this week to celebrate, share and honor this wonderful language with activities in classes, at lunchtime and across the school.

 Āraia te kino and protect yourself, your whānau and your whakapapa.

Ngā mihi 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 28 August 2020

Kia ora koutou 

I wanted to give you an update on some changes taking place next week and what they mean for your children and whānau.  

Masks
You are probably aware the Prime Minister has announced that face coverings will be required on public transport from next Monday 31 August, at Alert Level 2 and above. This does not apply to any child who is under 12 years of age and does not apply to school transport (there are good systems in place to manage safety on school transport). 

Public Health officials have also advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings.  

Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings at school. Other public health control measures are in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements. 

Your child can wear a face covering to school however, if they want to, that’s fine. 

Face coverings are another way we can help keep ourselves and others safe, along with good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing when out and about and staying home if we are sick. 

QR code posters
We’re continuing contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, so please check in every time you come onsite.  

If you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s website has information to help you do that. We’ll also keep a visitor register for anyone who doesn’t have the app and also for anyone who comes onsite for a period of time. This will help us with contact tracing in the unlikely case it is needed. 

If you have any questions about face coverings or anything else, please get in touch. 

Ngā mihi 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

 

COVID-19 update 25 August 2020

Kia ora koutou

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon we will be remaining at Alert Level 2 until at least 6 September.

A few reminders that while everyone is onsite at Alert Level 2, we must adhere to key health measures including: 

  • Good hand hygiene (ie: Hand sanitizing) on entry to rooms 
  • Sound cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying away if sick
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
  • Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come onsite
  • Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other visitors who come onsite for a period of time.

Masks
We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible and because of these measures, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school. However, we will of course support them should they choose to do so. Face coverings have become mandatory when using public transport from Monday 31 August and we are awaiting confirmation on an age limit. We will update students that use our bus services on this when details are confirmed.

Support
For those of you who might be finding things more difficult than usual, a reminder that there is a large range of support available for businesses and the community. We encourage you to go to the covid19.govt.nz for more information, or get in touch and we will help you to find the information and support you need.

Sport 
Each sporting code has now worked through their Alert Level 2 plans and once again we urge parents and caregivers to look directly at the websites or Facebook pages for the codes your children are participating in ie: Hawkes Bay Netball, Hawkes Bay Hockey, Canoe Polo Hawkes Bay etc. for the most up-to-date criteria for that code/facility. Many codes are not allowing spectators so please check before attending. 

Being in Alert Level 2 has meant several planned activities have been canceled or postponed due to gathering restrictions, health and safety regulations or the challenge of planning events that cannot be guaranteed to proceed. We appreciate this has been exceptionally frustrating for students, whanau and staff. Thankyou for your understanding and patience while we have tried to work through alternative dates for the likes of the Cabaret. If anything, this year has taught us resilience. We have drawn on focusing on those things we can control, made connections we never thought we would, contributed in ways we never imaged, coped and developed character.  Kia Kaha Karamu.

Ngā mihi 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 17 August 2020

Kia ora koutou 

It is pleasing to see that we have not moved to a higher alert level and we are to remain in Level 2. This means we can keep the school open and face to face learning in the classroom will continue in a safe environment. 

New Zealanders are responding to this latest outbreak by getting tested if unwell and staying home; good practice for all of us to follow if we are to get on top of this pandemic. 

While most of us are familiar with the requirements at Alert Level 2, we must continue to emphasise the importance of:  

  • Good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette 
  • Staying away if sick 
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily 
  • Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come on-site 
  • Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other essential visitors 

We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible. Because of these measures being in place, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school. 

Reports Evenings  

  • Seniors Tuesday 18th August 4.30 -7.30pm  
  • Juniors Thursday 20th August 5-8pm 

Because of the current restrictions around gatherings and social distancing we have made the decision to run these ONLINE. 

We will be using the video call function within our remote learning tool TEAMS of which your child will be familiar with. The teacher will be calling the student through TEAMS at the time you booked your interview through the Schoolinterviews website. This does not mean the child needs to be at the interview the whole time, you could ask them to leave the room etc, you just need their device set up with the school TEAMS application open. 

If you would rather not have an online interview please email the teacher directly and cancel. 

However, I do encourage you to continue with these as teachers will be prepared with your child’s most recent results, a copy of their report (which you have been emailed last week) and any other learning notes they see as needed for the interview.  

Students will be briefed on Monday and Tuesday this week around how the interviews work. Any questions please contact DP, Mr Damien Hollands. 

Interviews will be 4 minutes long to give time to call the next parent. 

NCEA
We know that whanau and students will be concerned about the possible effect a change in Covid Alert level may have on NCEA. 

The re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community just further highlights the importance of being ready in the event that students are unable to complete their full programme of assessment.

Benchmark (practice) examinations are our means of collecting valid, standard-specific evidence that can be used for derived grades or Unexpected Event Grades. Collecting this evidence will ensure students can be assessed for these standards if COVID-19 disrupts their external assessments.  Internal assessments are just as important. 

Staff are working with students to track their NCEA achievement and we appreciate whanau working with us in this manner. Conversations around this at the Senior Report Evening will be timely, but if necessary, contact your child’s Dean for further support or Acting DP – Curriculum Ms Sarah Gunn if you have concerns.  

Sport
While disappointing most sport was cancelled or postponed in the second half of last week, it was in the safety interests of the players and spectators.  

We have been advised each sporting code has been working through their Alert Level 2 plans and therefore I therefore urge parents and caregivers to look directly at the websites or Facebook pages for the codes your children are participating in ie: Hawkes Bay Netball, Hawkes Bay Hockey, Canoe Polo Hawkes Bay etc. for the most up-to-date criteria for that code/facility. Secondary sport does not fall under one umbrella in Hawkes Bay and so we have information coming from multiple platforms.  

School coaches/managers will also inform students as the information comes to hand.  

Thank you for your continued support for all we are doing to keep our community safe.

Ngā mihi 

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 12 August 2020

Kia Ora Whanau 

The Prime Minister announced last night, due to community transmission in Auckland, Hastings is now back in Covid Alert Level 2. However, children can continue to attend our school site for learning at Alert Level 2. 

Public health advice is that schools, early learning services and tertiary institutions are safe to open onsite at Alert Level 2 to all learners. People do not need to return to bubbles at Alert Level 2 and can meet with friends and family. But people need to play it safe and continue to take sensible health and safety precautions. 

At Level 2, almost all children and young people can continue to attend early learning services, schools and kura onsite. The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick and have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test.  

Playground, sports equipment use and sports, including contact sports, remain available at Alert Level 2. School transport services remain at normal schedules. The ongoing safety of drivers and students and the ability to contact trace will be a priority at Alert Level 2. 

There are two key public health principles that support our education approach to Alert Level 2. These are to minimize the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact, if someone in an education institution is infected. Prompt and regular attendance is therefore very important. 

Strong public health control measures will be back in place in all education institutions, including learners and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing for all visitors on site, and safe hygiene requirements (such as use of hand sanitizer and no availability of communal drinking fountain).  

Alert Level 2 is all about being safe and sensible and therefore physical distancing will also remain important where possible. 

We are seeking guidance around the Year 13 Cabaret planned for Thursday evening. 

Some students may feel anxious, angry or frustrated about the change in Alert levels and I urge them to seek support from their peers, teachers, form teacher or Dean. 

Ngā manaakitanga, take care of yourself and your whanau.

Dionne Thomas
Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 12 June 2020

As we come to the end of Week 9 of Term 2 never did we imagine we would have travelled this road in 2020. So many new learnings have come from it and we will look through a different lens forever.

I cannot thankyou enough for your support and commitment in having your child return to school. I have been very impressed with our attendance and continue to be warmed by the way students and staff have embraced the challenges faced with empathy and compassion, yet still with learning at the core. 

It is still not too late for you to contribute to the Covid-19 Parent Survey. Thank you to the parents and caregivers that have already completed the survey to date. I will share your voice in our end of term newsletter but we would still like to hear from others that have not yet had an opportunity to complete it. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey here: Survey 

Benchmark Examinations

Due to the impacts of Covid-19, especially regarding displaced teaching and learning time, we will be running NCEA Benchmark Examinations during normal class times.  This means they could run anytime from now until Term 4, instead of our traditional Week 3, Term 3 Benchmark Examination week.  

Benchmark Examinations are important for several reasons:  

  • Students get the opportunity to practise completing assessments in external examination conditions;
  • It provides teachers valuable information on student progress to better prepare them for the end of year external examinations; 
  • It can be used to generate a derived grade if circumstances prevent a student from sitting end of year examinations (there is an application process and eligibility criteria apply). 

It is important for students to attend regularly, engage in lessons, ask for help and revise to ensure the best grade is achieved in both Benchmark Examinations and internal assessments completed throughout the rest of the year. Absence at benchmarks will be managed according to the Ministry of Education attendance guidelines. 

Winter School – 8 & 9 July

Winter school is an opportunity for students to catch up on work in a supportive learning environment, with teacher assistance, digital resources and wifi accessibility.  This will run in the first week of the school holidays on Wednesday 8 July and Thursday 9 July from 9-3pm.  Students will be based in the library.  A letter will be sent out in Week 11 to let you know if your child would benefit from attending.  Students who are nominated are expected to attend.

Bus regulations under Alert Level 1 

Under Alert Level 1 we are still expected to keep accurate up to date bus lists for contact tracing.  Therefore, if your child decides to start using a bus to get to school, could you please let the office know in advance so we can ensure our lists stay as up to date as possible.  For the month of June:

  • hand sanitisers will be available for drivers and students to use as they board the vehicle.
  • vehicles and surfaces will be sanitised after each journey.

Thank you for your continued support and we wish you all an enjoyable weekend with whanau and friends.

Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 9 June 2020

I am sure you were as pleased as I was to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement about moving to Covid-19 Alert Level 1.  For us, there will be only minor changes to what we are doing so our school continues to be safe to attend, including for any staff and children who are considered more vulnerable to COVID. We have a good cleaning routine in place, people who are sick are to continue to stay at home and we continue to encourage good hygiene practices.

We will however, for the remainder of this term be maintaining: 

  • Beginning of school form times every day;
  • Staggered finishing at the end of the day ie: 
  1. Year 9 and 10: finish at 2.50pm 
  2. Year 11-13: finish at 3pm 

These are timetable changes that have become ‘new’ routines and rather than make another timetable change we thought it was best to continue with these. They have also had added benefits of greater form teacher-student connection and better traffic/safety management at the end of the day, respectively.  

Students, however, will no longer be required to hand sanitize each lesson (even though it will still be available) or physically distance themselves from their peers in classes, assemblies and around the school. The drinking fountains will also now be available for use. 

We are supporting contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances – so if you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s NZ-COVID Tracer app page has information to help you do that. 

We can now look forward to inter-school and community sport, cultural events and performances and to welcoming all our school community on site for these activities.  

Covid-19 Parent Survey 

Thank you to the parents and caregivers that have completed the survey to date. We would still like to hear from others that have not yet had an opportunity to complete the Covid-19 Parent Survey. Your voice will help us learn from your experiences during the lock-down period and give us a useful summary to assist us if we ever find ourselves having to return to Alert Level 3 or 4. 

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey here: Survey  

As we have learnt by being together in this crisis we have emerged stronger together after it.  So should at anytime you have queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 4 June 2020

NCEA Update

Tēnā koe,

I hope you and your whānau are well.

We know some of our students - and their whānau - are worried that they might not be able to attain NCEA or UE this year, because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

To help address this and support students, the following changes are being made to NCEA and University Entrance (UE) requirements for this year:

  • Students working towards an NCEA can gain additional credits, based on the number of credits they achieve during the 2020 school year. These additional credits will be known as Learning Recognition credits. For every 5 credits a student achieves towards their NCEA either through internal or external assessment, they are entitled to an additional 1 credit. Students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to a maximum of 10 additional credits while those at Levels 2 and 3 are eligible for up to a maximum of 8 additional credits.
  • Students will be awarded a certificate endorsement if they achieve 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, rather than the usual 50. Students achieving 12 credits at Merit or Excellence level in a course – rather than 14 – will be awarded a course endorsement.
  • Current UE requirements have been reduced from 14 to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects. Students still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded University Entrance.
  • External NCEA examinations and NZ Scholarship examinations will now take place from 16 November 2020 to 9 December 2020. This will provide extra time for teaching, learning and assessment in Term 4.
  • The submission date for subjects which require students to submit a portfolio (for example, Design and Visual Communications) has been extended to 12 November 2020, to give students more time to complete their portfolios.

These changes have been designed to encourage students to continue working towards their NCEA and to ensure that the NCEA attained this school year is just as valid as those earned in previous years.

If you have any queries about the changes, please contact DP-Curriculum Mr Aron Noble on [email protected] 

Nga mihi

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 29 May 2020

Slowly but surely many more school routines are starting to return which is great. 

Students are practicing for winter sport, engaging in learning and assessments are being sat. These are exciting times. However, we cannot be complacent. It is important we continue following Health and Safety mechanisms to ensure we keep Covid-19 at bay so students feel physically and mentally safe at school. Because of this we will be continuing abiding by the following mechanisms for the remainder of this term:

  • Beginning of school form times every day
  • Hand sanitizing at entry and exit of every class;
  • Spaced seating in classes;
  • Physical distancing encouraged at break and lunchtime;
  • No use of school drinking fountains (please continue to have children bring a drink bottle)
  • Virtual Year level assemblies
  • Staggered finishing at the end of the day ie:
    1. Year 9 and 10: finish at 2.50pm
    2. Year 11-13: finish at 3pm

These are minor changes in our ‘old’ routines, which become the ‘new’ routine, to ensure we can all feel a little bit safer. 

Parent Survey

We would like to gather your voice to help us learn from whanau experiences during the lock-down period. It will have the added benefit of providing a useful summary to assist us if we ever find ourselves having to return to Alert Level 3 or 4.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey here: Survey

Parents Visiting School

A reminder the Ministry of Health have advised ALL visitors on our site, which includes parents and caregivers, must sign in at the register located at the front office while we remain in Alert Level 2. Please record your name, date, time in and out, where they visited and phone and physical address. This information is important for the process of contact tracing, should it be required to track down and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

This includes if you are just ‘dropping off’ lunch, a drink bottle, an EFT-POS card, a pair of shoes etc. Please support us in all we are doing, by doing your part.

I wish all our families an enjoyable Queens Birthday weekend.

Nga mihi

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 20 May 2020

Many times this week I have been asked am I happy to have the students back, my answer - ABSOLUTELY! Schools are just a bunch of buildings without students. Students are the life and heart of our school and it has been so heartwarming to have their presence back. The chat, the laughter, the screeching and the yelling are what makes our school a special place.

Students and staff have been taking the time to reconnect, wellbeing has been supported and learning has begun to be incorporated back into student's routines. Our ‘new normal’ is being imagined.

We will continue the following Health and Safety support mechanisms to ensure students feel physically and mentally safe in returning to school:

  • Daily beginning of school form times NB: Wednesday Formtime is 9am, every other day is 8.35am;
  • Hand sanitizing at entry and exit of every class;
  • Spaced seating in classes;
  • Physical distancing encouraged at break and lunchtime;
  • No use of school drinking fountains (please continue to have children bring a drink bottle).

As with all good Health and Safety practices we have been reviewing these daily and we have reviewed our Year Level assemblies. While we were able to ‘physically distance’ seat the students, so they were not touching or ‘sharing breath’, having over 200 in one space meant when they were leaving the area they were inevitably going to touch. Therefore, these will now be replaced with an additional form time and the Dean or SLT will Zoom in with collective messages. 

Students not attending yet

A small group of children and their whanau have made an informed decision to not yet return to school. All of these are on a case by case basis, due to high health needs, compromised health or anxiety. As a school we respect these decisions and hope to see you back soon. If these whanau can continue to keep communicating with teachers and the office around their absence and intended return to school we would appreciate it. 

Pink Shirt Day

Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a peer was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In Aotearoa, Pink Shirt Day aims to create schools, workplaces, communities and whānau where all people feel safe, valued and respected. We will celebrate Pink Shirt Day on Friday 29 May with a Mufti Day where all students can wear mufti if they are wearing a clothing item that is pink. A gold coin donation will be collected in formtime and this will go to the Mental Health Foundation. #ProudlyHastings

Parents Visiting School

Some schools nationally have fiercely restricted parent access to schools ie: NO parents on site. We did not want to do this as we believe Karamu is school where we welcome whanau. However, the Ministry of Health have advised ALL visitors, which includes parents and caregivers, must sign in at the register located at the front office, recording name, date, time in and out, where they visited and phone and physical address. This information is important for the process of contact tracing, should it be required to track down and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

This includes if you are just ‘dropping off’ lunch, a drink bottle, an EFT-POS card, a pair of shoes etc. Please support us in all we are doing, by doing your part.

I wish all our families continued strength and safety as we travel this new path.

Nga mihi

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 15 May 2020

Welcoming all staff and students back to school
We hope Update 12 gave assurance all staff and students it will be safe when returning on site. However, checking on student’s wellbeing is the first and most important job staff will do. We acknowledge the time it will take for children and staff to reconnect and relax will be different for everyone. Wellbeing needs to be addressed before learning will happen. 

The support mechanisms we will be using to ensure students feel physically and mentally safe in returning to school are:

  • Daily beginning of school form times for week one (as the Form Teacher is a key person is your child’s learning journey)
    NB: Wednesday Formtime is 9am, every other day is 8.35am
  • Any student showing signs of concern (upset, anxious, scared etc) will be supported by their Year Level Dean
  • Mr Mark Rolls the SchoolCounsellor is always available to assist students
  • The Senior Leadership Team of Mr Wayne Wooster, Mr Damien Hollands and Mr Aron Noble will support all layers of staff

We acknowledge this next step in our journey may be exciting for some, but create anxiety for others, but by returning to school we hope the following happens:

  • Children get to see their friends, their teachers, their classrooms, the school grounds. We will give them time to reacquaint themselves with these aspects but plan to do it in safe physical distancing ways;
  • Students will be confronted with many changes. They will need to learn new routines but be comforted by the old ones like their subject timetable, when lunchtime is etc.
  • Our usual expectation of wearing our uniform with pride will return, but we appreciate we may need to be a little relaxed about haircuts for awhile to take stress off families waiting for hairdressers to get up and going ???? ;
  • Distracting children from things they find distressing is important. While acknowledging children’s sadness, fear or anxiety activities in class allow us to gently move to another activity;
  • Making plans, talking about the future, and discussing new possibilities are also part of healing and moving forward in a positive way;
  • Children need to get outside at break or get fully involved in Physical Education classes because games, physical challenges, and getting outdoors can release energy and tension as well as provide a break from indoor activities but, of course, these must be done within current limitations;
  • Children look to trusted adults to know how to respond and how to construct their personal narrative of events. Staff acting in a calm but empathetic manner models that we can still choose how to talk and behave despite all we have been through.

(Adapted advice from Professor Carol Mutch Education Commissioner for UNESCO New Zealand, a researcher in disaster response and recovery)

Self-help tools
Your child may need additional help in the future, and we encourage these tools:

  • SPARX is a computerised self-help program for children aged 12-19. Research has found that SPARX helped children who were feeling down, depressed or anxious to feel better. SPARX is unique as it incorporates a fantasy setting with the use of graphics and customized playing design characters. Children reported that they found SPARX to be very helpful, and they learnt self-help skills in order to feel better. Your child can use SPARX as well as getting other types of help.
  • Aroha is a chatbot to help young people with practical evidence-based tools for managing stress and practical ideas to maintain social connection, and to stay active and well through youth-friendly digital activities.
  • Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day if you are feeling anxious, depressed or just want to talk through your feelings. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor. 
  • Mr Marks Rolls – our school counsellor is available to any student or whanau through his email [email protected]

NCEA Changes
We are pleased to advised the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have advised a series of changes to NCEA this year in a two-step process designed to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

 The changes, effective immediately, are to:

  • delay external NCEA and New Zealand Scholarship examinations so they start on 16 November instead of 6 November, allowing additional time for teaching, learning and internal assessment in Term 4. Examinations will now finish on 9 December 2020. An amended examination timetable will be available on NZQA’s website soon.
  • extend the submission date for subjects that require students to submit a portfolio, such as Design and Visual Communication, from 28 October to 12 November 2020, giving students more time to prepare
  • waive the requirement for NZQA verification of Level 1 and 2 Visual Arts portfolios, allowing students more time to complete their portfolios and teachers more time for marking.

Secondly, the Ministry of Education and NZQA will consider how to address equity issues arising from the disruption caused by Covid-19.  They recognise that students, teachers and schools are affected in different ways by COVID-19, and it’s important to provide a fair opportunity for students to achieve NCEA this year.  We will update you when these changes are finalised.

Bus information
As we need to be able to contact trace our students using the bus, we must have up to date lists each day.  A roll will be taken each morning and afternoon as the buses arrive and depart.  Students must get their name signed off once they get off and on the bus at school.

  • Nimons and WBL (Waipawa Bus Limited)
  • Passengers must remain seated and not move from seat to seat.  On the WBL run numbers can fluctuate and there may be occasions where passengers may need to stand.  
  • Both providers would prefer tickets to be purchased through their offices:
  • WBL: manually over the phone with credit card or by going to their Manchester Street office). 
  • To further reduce the handling of cash WBL Frederick Street pick ups (1:00 coin fare) will be temporarily stopped.
  • Nimons: can pay for tickets over the phone or via internet banking.
     The bus driver will then hold the tickets for these passengers.
  • Note:  The drivers will still have tickets to purchase if necessary.
  • Go Bus: https://www.gobay.co.nz/ have information regard their services here

Any questions in regard to bus services can be answered by calling or emailing the bus services directly.

WBL Ph:  870 8740.  email:  [email protected]
Nimons  Ph: 06 877 8133 ext 829 [email protected]
Go Buses  Ph: 8789250

Getting ready to return to school
After spending the last 7 weeks at home children will need some support in being ready to return to school on Monday. Please work with them over the weekend to ensure they have a positive return on Monday by completing this checklist:

  • All Uniform items clean (including shoes)
  • Device charged
  • Books for Monday
  • Pens, pencils, ruler, calculator (as they will not be able to share stationary) 
  • Lunch packed (as the canteen will be only offering a limited amount of hot items)
  • Filled drink bottle of water
  • PE gear if required
  • Leave home in plenty of time to be at school by 8.30am for an 8.35am start

Staff are looking forward to supporting students in their return.

As we take steps in this new direction, we learn to value what is precious and to face the future with renewed hope.
Should you have any questions around your child’s return please make contact with us.

Enjoy the weekend with your family and friends.

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 12 May 2020

Kia ora koutou katoa

A decision has now been made that we will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Wednesday 13 May. 

School’s however, were always to be given a weeks' notice and so we will open on Monday 18 May. It is expected all students will return to school unless:

  • A member of the household is unwell with Covid-19;
  • Your child is unwell with any of the symptoms of Covid-19.

Should your child not be attending school because they are unwell you must advise the office by phoning the School Absence Line on 8706143 giving the reason.

We have been advised for students who have a household member who is at-risk due to serious illness or if they themselves are at risk, there is no reason for them not to return to school. The public health measures we have deployed will minimise risk. If you have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a ‘return to school’ plan for them, please contact me as soon as possible.

The key controls for schools to re-open under Covid-19 Alert Level 2 are:

  • ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms or feel generally unwell stay away from school;
  • maintain physical distancing (in schools this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other);
  • enable good hygiene practices;
  • keep track of people that enter school.

Our Health and Safety measures we are putting place are:

Preparation

  • We will start each day next week at 8.35am with a formtime outlining all these Health and Safety guidelines;
  • Drinking fountains have been decommissioned so please bring bottled water from home;
  • Students will be lined up outside every classroom to minimize the contact on door handles. If a door can be propped or wedged open it should be.

Inside the classroom

  • Classrooms will be set up in exam style seating where possible, creating 1m spacing;
  • Marking of attendance has never been more important for contact tracing. Students must arrive at school on time and if they need to leave during the day they must sign in and out at the Office;
  • Each time a student enters and exits the room they need to use the hand sanitizer provided;
  • Practical equipment used in the likes of physical education, science and technology must be cleaned between each use.

Co-Curricular

  • Sports (on school grounds) – physical activities including can go ahead. Physical distancing is not possible in some sporting activities, so in these situations extra emphasis on handwashing and drying (or cleansing with hand sanitizer) before and after activities and regular cleaning of equipment is very important.
  • Cultural activities - practices and rehearsals will be able to go ahead (a physical distancing recommendation of 1m distance where practicable, for singing and wind instruments). 
  • For sports and cultural practices that use external coaches they must sign in the visitors register at the front of school (for tracking and tracing purposes).

Outside the Classroom

  • Each set of student toilets is currently having its fabric handrolls being replaced with hand dryers;
  • Year 13’s can continue to use their Study to arrive after P1 and leave for P5 but they are NOT to leave the premises at any other time;
  • Queues at the school office and the canteen will be clearly marked using 2 metre spacing on the ground/walls;
  • Students are encouraged to sit 1m spaced at break and lunchtime;
  • Only 6 students will be able to sit at the tables around the canteen;
  • Contact tracing has implications for break and lunchtime. We will be asking students to consider keeping their own record of who in addition to their classmates, they were in ‘close contact’ with each day (as they would need to do for other close contacts they had in their personal time).
  • Assemblies will go ahead however, because we need to maintain sufficient distance between students, so they aren’t touching or breathing directly on each other, they will be only Year level. So Monday’s will be SLT Year Level Assemblies and Friday’s Dean’s Assemblies.

Parents Visiting School

  • We will need to record all visitors on site, including parents and caregivers, in the visitor register located at the front office, recording names, date, time in and out, where they visited and phone and physical address. This information is important for the process of contact tracing, should it be required to track down and prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

End of the School Day

  • The end of the day will be staggered to reduce congestion
    - Year 9 and 10: finish at 2.50pm
    - Year 11-13: finish at 3pm
  • Please clear the school site as promptly as possible

Bus services

Our school transport services also plan to return to normal schedules from Monday 18 May. The ongoing safety of our students and the ability to contact trace are a priority on these services therefore, we must provide our transport providers with up-to-date bus lists and keep records to enable contact tracing to take place.   We also need to provide certainty for them around numbers intending to use buses.

We therefore must get an accurate picture of who intends to use buses next week to attend school. If your child/ren will be using a bus next week you must complete the bus survey at this link:  BUS SURVEY

Please complete by 2pm Wednesday 13 May. 

Our bus providers will ensure:

  • Hand sanitizers will be available for each student to use as they board the bus.
  • Buses and surfaces will be sanitized after each journey by the transport company.
  • Seats in close proximity to the driver will be left empty. 

If you have any questions in regards to bus services please contact Aron Noble: [email protected]

Health & Well-being

  • Symptoms to monitor for are any respiratory symptoms such as a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills and a fever. Anyone with these symptoms should not attend school. If these symptoms are observed children will be kindly and warmly instructed to go to the Office immediately. Home will be rung and they must be picked up as soon as possible. 
  • If we are connected to a confirmed or probable Covid-19 case, we must close for 72 hours. This time will allow for contact tracing and cleaning to take place. We could then remain closed for an additional 14 days.
  • If a child is self-isolating or can't return to school due to personal or health reasons, remote learning may still be available. 
  • The general advice from the Ministry of Health regarding the widespread use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been consistent. Members of the public are not required to wear masks or other PPE. This advice carries over to the school setting as well. The information originally set out by the Ministry of Education indicates that in level 2, PPE is not "required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service".

In returning to school we are laying new tracks and starting a new journey, while at the same time healing our systems. It is therefore important we take the time to care for all communities while these paths are created. Staff, students and parents can support each other in this process of recovery by being patient, supportive and showing aroha.

By being together in this crisis we will emerge stronger together after it.

Should at anytime you have queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are all in this together, he waka eke noa.  

Arohanui

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 8 May 2020

Kia ora koutou

Like me, I am sure you have followed with interest the announcements made by the Prime Minister.

It is reassuring to hear how well our country has done at minimising the impacts of COVID-19. Alert Levels 4 and 3 have not been easy and I thank you for your ongoing support for the work we are doing.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister advised that in Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff. Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.

The good news is that when we are able to, we will be ready to welcome all students and staff back to our school site.

The key Public Health approach is to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and second to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected. 

As we have done in Alert Level 3, you can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. We do however know it is challenging in schools, so good hygiene practices and regular cleaning are even more important here. This includes staff and students coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

Under Alert Level 2, we advise any students and staff to stay at home if they are sick, and we will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms. 

Our school has safe and sensible practices to maintain the health and safety of everyone on the school site. As described by Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, “Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit. You don't have to cross the street to avoid anyone. Just avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone”. We all just need to remember to have some breathing space at Alert Level 2!

It’s important however that not just at school but at home, safe hygiene habits are practised by everyone, as this is essential to minimise the risk that someone gets infected with Covid-19. 

For more information about the public health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

We are currently developing our health and safety plan for the impending possible Level 2 ‘return to school’, so if you have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a ‘return to school’ plan for them, please contact me.

We will be in touch again soon to update you on our plans.

Ngā mihi

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal


COVID-19 update 6 May 2020

Morena whanau,

A decision about when New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2 will be made on Monday 11 May and the Prime Minister has said that the move to Alert Level 2 would occur with 48 hours’ notice. Therefore, the earliest we would see any students returning to school may be Thursday 14 May. However, we are yet to receive the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education guidelines around what operating safely at Level 2 look likes. We will communicate with you again as soon as a decision is made when we are moving to Level 2. 

In the meantime, keep safe, keep calm and focus on one day at a time. 

Remote Learning

Staff have appreciated this has been a challenging for students. There has been an upheaval of a personal nature, as well as new learning of platforms (Teams, Zoom, Flipgrid...) and the way students have had to show more independence. 

Considering this we would like Monday 11 May to be a student ‘Catchup Study Day’. This means:

  • No scheduled video lessons;
  • No teacher directed contact, except perhaps a short survey from teachers of how they are finding the learning;
  • Students can contact teachers for any clarification in the lesson they normally have one.

We hope this will give students some breathing space to refocus and organise their thoughts and processes for this ‘last stretch’ before we return to school.

NCEA

We appreciate NCEA has been an area of anxiety for our Year 11 – 13 students and during Covid-19 Level 4 restrictions (and now Level 3), many students have made every effort to continue to work towards their NCEA qualifications.  Our NCEA students should continue to make every attempt to engage and keep up to date with all remote learning and work presented to them by their teachers.

Teachers continue to focus on:

  • Student well-being and strong educational relationships;
  • Teaching and learning;
  • Prioritizing work and assessments that suit the remote learning environment.

It is important for students to know that the learning and work they are completing now

  • is preparing them for their assessments when they return to school;
  • could be used as evidence towards their level of achievement in assessments;
  • needs to be completed in a manner that meets our agreed authenticity policy.

Students must also ensure milestones are met and assessments are handed in on the due date set by their teachers. If there any questions relating to NCEA please contact Aron Noble [email protected]

Return to School

When we do return to school it is still very important students stay home if sick. Symptoms of Covid-19 include: 

  • a cough
  • a high temperature of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose 
  • temporary loss of smell 

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19 as the symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. However, if you have these symptoms please call Healthline for free on 0800 358 5453 or you call your doctor immediately.

Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

Students will also be strongly encouraged to continue:

  • Hand washing and drying
  • Good cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Physical distancing
  • Using hand sanitizer in classrooms and around the school 

Career Exploration

Being out of your usual environment and routine can be unsettling, but also a good time for reflection on what your goals and plans are for the future. 

You may feel that the world of work is full of uncertainty and instability and in these changing times, it is even more important to continue to develop the skills and knowledge you have in your kete so that you can be flexible and adapt to the changing environment. Think more of the ‘bundle of skills’ you possess, rather than a job you may do. Continual learning & upskilling will ensure ease of transition between sectors and types of work roles.

Research has suggested: Generation Z (age 10 – 24) are predicted to have 18 different jobs and up to 6 career changes in their working lifetime (CICA, McCrindle)

Although it is difficult to predict, experts believe the evolving workplace will require four areas of expertise:

  1. An aptitude for technology, regardless of discipline;
  2. Creativity and the ability to engage in critical thinking and problem solving;
  3. The need to collaborate in cross functional, interdisciplinary teams;
  4. People skills including: interpersonal communication, flexibility, emotional intelligence, management of self and others and negotiation.

An attitude of continual learning, problem solving with an entrepreneurial mindset is important as we may experience less direct management and more flexible working arrangements.

The following are some tools and websites to help in the process of clarifying your unique skills, qualities, and interests and also to enhance your knowledge of the learning and training opportunities that exist out there.

  1. Career Central – This is our schoolwide career tool we currently use at Karamu. You can find it by logging into www.careercentral.school.nz Karamu students then sign in under ‘student login’, but parents can also use the ‘parent login’ (if you know your parent portal details). You select ‘Karamu High School’ from the drop down. Once on the homepage, there are many activities you can engage in to explore preferences and skills. These can be good to work through together. There is also a career quiz (‘Bullseye’) to try out and a resource page which covers a lot of topics, including road code practice tests.
  2. www.careers.govt.nz – This is the government funded website which has a lot of information to help with planning your career, job profiles, interactive tools and many other resources
  3. www.eit.ac.nz – the local tertiary provider, in case you are keen to research what courses are available locally and their content and entry requirements

Students are most influenced by parents when seeking and heeding career advice and therefore, the more informed you are as a parent, combined with the knowledge you have of your child, makes for the most meaningful advice for them.

We appreciate this ‘change’ in direction may have been especially unnerving for Year 12 or 13 students considering transitioning out of school so Mrs Hunter (Careers Advisor) is available to offer any career guidance support by emailing her on [email protected] and you can then arrange a face to face or phone meeting. 

Keep safe and be strong, kia kaha

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 1 May 2020

Thank you whanau for all you are continuing to do to keep safe.

Attending School 

We only had a very small number of students that needed to attend this week under Covid-19 Level 3. A reminder if your circumstances change and you need to send your child to school from Monday 4 May you MUST notify the school first by either emailing [email protected] or ringing 8787139 between 8.30-3pm. Parents and students cannot enter the school grounds without prior arrangements being made due to the current health and safety requirements needing to be adhered to. Any students entering the school grounds that are not part of a Year 9 or 10 bubble will be asked to leave immediately. 

We are yet to be advised by the Ministry of Education when or what attendance at Covid-19 Level 2 will be.

Health and Well-being Support

Fran Bayley our Health Nurse is now back and available for students to contact her by texting 027 534 5649 and she will follow up and support as necessary or if possible. 

However, remember all urgent health care issues should be directed to your GP Practice, and Directions Youth Health Centre is still open and operating (including contraception & counselling services) – check their website for information on accessing their services.

The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board have set up a triage number for Hawke’s Bay residents struggling to cope with the effects of COVID-19.  The number is 0800 561 322. It is available 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).  “It is important to note that this is a non-emergency number,” says Hawke’s Bay District Health Board Nurse Director and Psychosocial Support coordinator, Peta Rowden. 

“People with emergency mental health needs should, as always, contact the emergency mental health number (0800 112 334) or, if it is a life-threatening situation, phone 111.”  People with mental health needs requiring counselling can use the national health number, 1737, which is manned by counsellors 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The new number is aimed at people struggling with the COVID situation. 

“It may be that people are distressed or anxious because of an employment issue, or are feeling cut off from society due to self-isolation, or are perhaps struggling to feed their families.”   The clinicians answering the call will help by referring the caller to a Hawke’s Bay service that can help with their welfare needs, and/or refer them for assistance with their mental health needs.   All health boards across New Zealand are required to provide a psychosocial response to their communities. 

We wish all our families a safe weekend.

Nga mihi

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 27 April 2020

Thank you to the Year 9 and 10 parents that returned the response form for Covid –19 Level 3. We only have a small number of students that need to attend under Level 3 and we are managing to supervise these students safely under the Ministry of Education and Health guidelines (individual information will be sent to these whanau). If your circumstances do change and you need to send your child to school you MUST notify the school first by either emailing [email protected] or ringing 8787139 between 8.30-3pm. Parents and students cannot enter the school grounds without prior arrangements being made due to the current health and safety requirements needing to be adhered to. Any students entering the school grounds that are not part of a Year 9 or 10 bubble will be asked to leave immediately.

Teacher Only Day – Tuesday 28 April

As has been advertised in the media there will be no remote teaching and learning tomorrow. All staff are involved in either professional development for remote learning or preparing the site for the students returning on Wednesday. We look forward to seeing all students back engaged remotely on Wednesday.

Remote Learning

All Year 9-13 Karamu High School students are continuing with remote learning until otherwise advised, therefore it is very important students engage in this learning. What does this mean?

· Attending any online lessons run by the teacher ie: A Teams meeting
· Completing any set tasks ie: Education Perfect
· Responding to any communication from the teacher ie: Emails, messengers, chats
· Submitting any work that is due ie: Sending in a piece of work

What if I your child does not understand?

· Read the instructions or watch the information together
· Ask ‘have they done something similar before’?
· Get them to email or message the teacher for further clarification
· Get them to check with a classmate
· For any further queries around a course please email the Year level Dean.

Year level Deans will be making phone calls home this week for students that have appear to have struggled to engage with the remote learning.

We thank you for your continued support and understanding, we really do feel ‘we are in this together’.

Stay safe, stay well.

Dionne Thomas

Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 22 April 2020

From next Wednesday 29 April you should only send your Year 9 and 10 child to school if you absolutely need to because your child cannot be supervised. This may be due to all parents/caregivers continuing to be essential workers or beginning as Level 3 workers or being away from your home. Alternatively, if you or your child is sick or has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness, you must keep them at home.

As was the situation when we were last in Level 3, we would expect that there will be a limited number of students who might need to come to school. Those who are here will be supervised in a classroom and they continue with the remote learning currently provided.

In order to ensure the safety of those children and staff who do come to school, we will be operating under the advice and guidance of the Ministry of Education, with strict enforcement of health and safety measures advised by the Ministry of Health. These include such measures as:

  • Students will be placed in Year level class ‘bubble’s of no more than 9 students with 1 teacher;
  • Students will remain in one classroom all day, with desks spaced 2m apart; 
  • Students will have morning tea and lunch breaks in quite limited areas of the school;
  • If there is more than one bubble at school they will not be permitted to interact;
  • There will be no access to the gym (including sports equipment), music facilities or the library;
  • The canteen will not be in operation;
  • No school buses will be operating;
  • Any student or staff member displaying respiratory symptoms will be asked not to attend.

If you meet the criteria of having no one to supervise your Year 9 or 10 child during Level 3, or you have decided to keep your child at home, it is essential that you advise us by completing the on-line form ASAP. You must inform us by 4pm on Thursday 23rd April. This will allow us time to make the required staffing and health arrangements.

The link to the response form is  https://forms.schoolappsnz.co.nz/form-5403700/

Thank you for your support.

Keep safe, keep well and stay safe
Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 21 April 2020

Kia ora koutou

I wish to thank all whanau and students for the positive way they engaged in Week One of Term 2. We can navigate our way through and out of this, but it takes all of us working together to do this. The crisis is affecting all of us no matter who we are. We may all know people that have lost jobs, are ill or are struggling physically or mentally but because we are all in this together, together we will get through. It’s ok to be scared, reach out for support and do the right thing to help others. As your school we are here for you.

Yesterday the Government decided that we will move into Alert Level 3 on 28 April. That means we will be open to receive Year 9 and 10 students from the 29 April. We will start to prepare our site from tomorrow.

The key message for you is that if you can, you should keep your child at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you need to.

If you or your child is sick or has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness you must keep them at home. In order to ensure the safety of those children and our staff who do come to school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures.

I want to assure you that we will continue to support your child’s learning at home.

We will contact you very soon to find out whether you can keep your child learning from home, or need your child to attend in person. YOU MUST indicate if they are attending or not so we can safely manage the risks.

The Ministry of Education has advised that they are working closely with health officials to develop clear guidance that will support schools to safely re-open their premises to students and staff. This will help us work through the public health requirements that we all need to meet. As you will be doing, we want to be sure that what we do will keep our community as safe as possible.

For now, we will continue to support your child’s learning remotely while we progress our planning for what Alert Level 3 will mean for you and for our school. We will be in touch again soon with more information. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have.


Stay safe
Nga mihi nui

Dionne Thomas
Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 17 April 2020

Thank you once again for maintaining your safety and wellness over the Easter break. We hope you managed to enjoy the autumn sun and some family time. As Term 2 started this week it is timely to connect again and share what we believe is important information. Now more than ever, COVID-19 has shown us how much we rely on each other. It has also shown us that strong connections and resilient communities are critical. A well-resourced and responsive public service can help support these things. We need to build this over the long term to ensure we are prepared and resilient for whatever may still be to come. “We are all in this boat together, let’s paddle in the same direction.”

School Plans to Open

The Prime Minister is soon to set out timelines for some key decisions that will affect us all. It is the Government’s intention that on the 20th of April, two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish, Cabinet will decide on whether the Alert Level will change. They will use the most up to date data they have to make that decision. 

Level 4 has come with some heavy restrictions and the Government have now given us some guidance on what life at Level 3 may looks like for schools:

  • Students and workers (including teachers) remain home where they can;
  • School will only be open to those up to Year 10 if they cannot safely be supervised at home;
  • Only reduced numbers of teachers will be at school, ie enough teachers to supervise Year 9 and 10s;
  • Remote teaching learning will therefore continue for all Y11-13s and Y9 and 10s at home.

We will communicate with you in a timely manner when we can welcome back on-site staff and some, if not all, of your children. Because of this, it is important our students embrace the remote teaching and learning that has started formally this week. It may well be that this model, and or a combination with physical school attendance, continues for some time yet. If your child does not engage with the learning this week, we will be making contact home to ask why.

Students Working

It is very timely to acknowledge the contributions students have been making to the essential workforce during the school holidays, including working hard in many of your local supermarkets. I have always enjoyed being served by many of our students, both current and former, with a friendly smile and chat at New World, Countdown and Pak n Save. However, the start of term 2 does signal that students’ work hours must return to being outside of school hours only. If you are aware of any employer putting pressure on students to work during school hours, you may wish to advise them that it is unlawful, as Section 30 of the Education Act does not allow this, even during the lockdown period.

Itinerant Music Lessons

Lessons will be resuming this week for students who had previously had lessons. (Unfortunately, we will not be initially starting up lessons for those that have not had lessons before as the virtual learning scenario is not conductive to beginners).

Itinerant teachers are either providing online video lessons using one of several available software programs (ie: Skype, Zoom, Facetime and Whatsapp) and where the teaching method of playing along with the student is not possible they will look at providing recorded backing tracks for them to play with. Other teachers who feel that their teaching would not be possible via video link are providing regular practice schedules and feedback on videos provided by the students. They are also providing music theory worksheets to keep the student’s musical learning going. Should any parents have any questions regarding ITM please contact Mrs Amanda Cooper on [email protected]

Cybersafety of Self and Others

We reminded students earlier this week that one of the elements of our schools’ Student ICT Use and Cybersafety Agreement is students are not to have any involvement with any ICT activity which might put themselves or anyone else at risk (such as bullying, harassing or demeaning) through the use of ICT. Using images, including personal information such as photos (including those captured or manipulated in video sessions), will be considered a serious matter and may result in consequences as for other behavioural issues. If you have an opportunity to remind your children of the value of respect around ICT use, please do so.

While children are learning from home, they are away from the online safety and security services provided by Network for Learning (N4L) at school. So together with N4L and Netsafe, the MoE have launched www.switchonsafety.co.nz - a free internet safety filter for parents, A way to block the worst of the web for students and teachers. Please follow the instructions to set up your child’s device for safer connectivity while they learn from home.

However, remember, no technical solution is a silver bullet, this needs to be complemented with digital citizenship toolkits provided by Netsafe. Netsafe provides comprehensive support and information to support everyone to stay safe as they work, learn and play online. Netsafe has new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students at https://www.netsafe.org.nz/advice/staying-safe/

Home learning television

The Ministry of Education wanted to ensure that every learner and ākonga in New Zealand has an opportunity to access educational content from the beginning of Term 2 (15 April) in a variety of ways. (This would be in support of what our teachers have already arranged for our students)
They have worked with teachers and leaders across NZ to develop Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV, on TVNZ, which will run from 9am to 3pm on school days on TVNZ2+1 and Sky channel 502. Some lessons will also be available on TVNZ On Demand.

There will be content for parents and whānau with preschool children and tamariki, and lessons for those aged 5 to 15 years of age will cover a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science through an integrated approach to curriculum.

12.30-3pm content is suitable for our Year 9-11 students.

E noho i tō rāhui - Stick to your bubble 

Nga mihi

Dionne Thomas 

Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 8 April 2020

Thank you for everything you have done, are doing and I know will continue to do for your children, your whanau and the greater good. When we wash our hands, stay apart and stay home we keep everyone well in our whanau and our community. 

For those working in essential services – THANKYOU. You are ensuring we can all keep safe, fed and healthy in these unprecedented times. 

This situation is bringing out the best in people, showing how well people can pull together and look after each other in a crisis. We are learning new things, connecting new ways and showing new levels of care. Every crisis has a silver lining #ProudlyKaramu. 

Key dates reminder

26 March - Alert Level 4 commenced
28 March - School holidays began
10–14 April - Easter (includes the Tuesday after Easter)
15 April - Term 2 begins (through distance learning)
22 April - Current date for ending of lockdown period
27 April - ANZAC Day observed

Keeping Safe On-line 
Technology is great whether it’s for information, learning, keeping connected or for games, music and videos. However, we need reminders about how to keep young people safe in an online world where, unfortunately there are some predators. We encourage you to discuss internet safety with your children - of all ages. Please have some agreement about what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviors including:

  • reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
  • reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
  • checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
  • check the sites your child is accessing
  • reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
  • taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
  • monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.

Netsafe continues to be available to provide support for online safety. They have information for parents and caregivers and have pulled together a great list of top tips for online safety during the lockdown.  To report an incident To Netsafe - Report an Incident

If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police - if you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.

If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

Feeling Unwell?

Flutracking is an online survey which asks if you have had a fever or cough in the last week and which can help the Ministry of Health track COVID-19.  Registering online will help surveillance efforts by providing early detection of community spread of the flu and also of COVID-19 symptoms. They are encouraging people to register online at https://info.flutracking.net/.
This is a practical thing everyone can do to help us monitor flu and COVID-19 symptoms throughout NZ. 

Learning Online

  • From Wednesday 15 April (this is when Term 2 starts) students need to get back into as much of a school routine as possible. What they do now will support their transition back into learning when we return to ‘normal’. ????
  •  Teachers will be continuing their communication through email and Teams (as they initiated when we first went into lockdown) and learning will be a combination of self-directed activities and teacher-led sessions. 
  •  If staff deliver virtual or video online lessons these will run in the scheduled timetable slot so there shouldn’t be any clashes or students choosing one subject over another. 
  •  If you do not have access to a device at home, please make contact with Mr Hollands ASAP so we have the most up to date records to advise the Ministry of Education. 
  • At anytime you have any queries around a course or your child has not received contact from a course please email the Year level Dean.  

LearnCoach

NCEA online learning tool LearnCoach (which offers video tutorials to help students with NCEA) has been made free during the lockdown. I encourage parents to see whether their Year 11-13 children have checked out this website as a support mechanism to their lessons. 

Need Help?

A few reminders of the community mechanisms that are still out there and available:

  • Nourished for Nil: Are still providing free food @ 1004 Karamu Rd 4-5pm Mon, Wed & Fri
  • Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga: Are still providing several health and wellbeing services - https://ttoh.iwi.nz/
  • Free call or text 1737 any time, 24 hours a day if you are feeling anxious, depressed or just want to talk through your feelings. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor.
  • Mr Marks Rolls – our school counsellor is available to any student or whanau through his email [email protected]
  • Mr Wooster (DP – Students Pastoral) and myself are also more than happy to try and help families in any way we possibly can.


Keep safe, stay strong, til we meet again

E noho oranga, noho kaha, noho ora mai

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 27 March 2020

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.

Routine
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.

Learning
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.

Concerns
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.

Arohanui

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 24 March 2020

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.

Arohanui

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 23 March 2020

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
Principal

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
Principal

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