Kia ora e te whānauAs you will have probably heard via tonight's news, we are moving to Alert Level 2 at 11:59pm tonight due to new community cases of COVID-19 today in Auckland.
Whilst this is never a situation we want to be in again, we have been here before and we have very successfully navigated this situation as a school and wider community. We've Got This!
The Secretary for Education has already emailed all principals around the country and the following ways of operating apply to Alert Level 2:
1. Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend.
At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness.
2. Learning will be onsite with distance learning offered in some circumstances.
Distance learning will be provided for those required to self-isolate, those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result, or those choosing to remain at home because they are vulnerable to illness.
If you believe that your child fits the above criteria, please let the office know and we will contact you regarding home learning options.
3. Schools are not classified as gatherings and a range of events and activities can go ahead.
For most day to day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply. Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order, schools are exempted from physical distancing requirements when people are there to receive, provide, or support education services.
However as soon as an event or activity brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply. This includes performances such as school plays, cultural events and sporting activities.
This means that we will return to our protocol of parents dropping and collecting children from the gate rather than coming onto the school site.
We will have staff at the main gate, and at the Park entrance to school so that you can hand children over to them, rather than coming onto the school site.
KORU - NE children - will finish at 2:30pm during Alert Level 2 to ensure that they can be collected at the MAIN GATE before the main rush of caregivers arrive for the 3pm pickup.
4. Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school.
Your Director of Education will work closely with you and health authorities should this occur. Please contact your Ministry regional office if you hear of a confirmed case in your school community but haven’t been advised about it by health officials.
5. Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport.
This includes charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting should be supported to do so.
6. Sick people must stay at home.
They should seek medical advice if they have COVID-like symptoms and get tested if advised to do so. If that person displays relevant symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate.
7. You must have a contact tracing system in place.
If you have to come onto the school site, please ensure you sign in at the office as usual, AS WELL AS using your COVID app if you have one
8. Fundamental public health measures continue to apply at every alert level:
- Physical distancing (not touching and not breathing on each other at Alert Level 2)
- Hand hygiene
- Cough and sneeze etiquette
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.
Stay in Touch
If you need to contact your child's teacher - email will be the best option at Alert Level 2. You can find all of the teacher and Admin email addresses HERE
If you need to contact Jacky in the office - email email@example.com or phone 337 1404
To contact Rachel in accounts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 337 1404
We will continue to keep updating you as more information comes to hand.
Ngā mihi nui
Sandy and the Team!
We have copied information from the Covid19.govt.nz website below for your reference.
Education information at Alert Level 2
At Alert Level 2, early learning centres, schools and tertiary education facilities are open for all age groups.
If an educational facility is connected to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, it legally must close temporarily, if advised by the public health unit, to allow for contact tracing.
Children or young people legally must stay home if they:
- are unwell
- have COVID-19 symptoms
- are self-isolating
- are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.
Distance learning will be available for any students not able to attend school.
Children, young people and teachers do not need to wear face coverings at school. This is because the risk of infection within the school environment is low.
Early learning services and schools
All early learning centres and schools are physically open including for years 11 to 13. Distance learning will be available for those who cannot attend school, for example where people are self-isolating.
Early learning centres and 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.
Shared parenting at Alert Level 2
From the COVID19.govt.nz website:
At Alert Level 2, parenting arrangements can be as normal.
Household bubbles do not need to be maintained, and you can connect with friends and family in a safe way.
It's safe to send your children to schools, early learning services and tertiary education. Appropriate measures will be in place.
Travelling for parenting purposes
Children can travel freely for the purpose of parenting arrangements. There's no restriction on distance for domestic travel.
Children still should not move between households if they show cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting a test or are required to self-isolate. Make sure you travel in a safe way and follow public health measures.
Public transport is available to everyone at Alert Level 2. Keep in mind that there’s less capacity on public transport because of physical distancing so if you can, consider travelling at off-peak times or walking or cycling. You should not travel on public transport if you’re unwell.
Legal advice and Family Court
Lawyers and other legal services are available during Alert Level 2 — physical consultations will need to follow public health measures.
You can find a list of legal aid lawyers on the Ministry of Justice website or you may be eligible for assistance from a Community Law Centre.
Community Law: Our law Centres(external link)
If you have a dispute on shared parenting the Family Court may be able to assist.
If you were doing Family Dispute Resolution check with your provider. These services will be available under Alert Level 2 but the way they are delivered may change, including doing some of the programme by phone or online.
Call 0800 COURTS (0800 268 787) if you need other information about Family Court.