COVID-19 Update Archive

COVID-19 update 8 May 2020

Update 11

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

Update 10

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

Update 9

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

Update 8

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

Update 7

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

Update 6

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

Update 5

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

Update 4

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

Update 3

Kia ora koutou,

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

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

Update 2

Kia ora koutou,

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

School Closure

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

School holiday bought forward

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

Student Well-Being

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

Isolation Groups

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

School transport

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

NCEA Concerns

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

Student Learning

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

Online Communication Guidelines

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

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

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

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

Students Collection of Work

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

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

Students are not to come in if unwell.

As noted by the Prime Minister these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. We all have a clear role here to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

We will continue to communicate with you over the coming days so please ensure you regularly check your emails and the school website.

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

Arohanui

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
Principal

COVID-19 update 23 March 2020

Update 1

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

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

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

Ngā mihi

Dionne Thomas

Mrs Dionne Thomas
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