Covid-19 and School at Level 2

Guidelines for Whanau – Wednesday 13th May

The Government has announced that New Zealand will move into Alert Level 2 from Thursday 14th May, and school will reopen for all students on Monday 18th May.  We are all very excited to be welcoming our children back to school!  Please be assured that we are following public health requirements for schools at Alert Level 2, and therefore have systems in place to support an increased level of hygiene, cleaning, and contact tracing. This update includes some points to support the transition of our children back to school and guidelines for parents.

Transition for children

Before your children come back to school, please talk to them about how things will be a bit different than it was before the lockdown at Alert Levels 3 and 4. We understand that they will be experiencing a range of emotions at this time: anxiety, grief, excitement, anger or relief. Our teachers have been preparing for this, and they will respond with kindness and empathy.  School will be a really good place for our children to be, to work through these feelings with their peers. The learning programmes are being adjusted to support the transition of our children back to school for the first few weeks on their return.  Our teachers are amazing, and they will be a wonderful source of support for your children

Without over-reassuring, it will be helpful for you to remind your children of the positive things about going back to school.  Remain calm and positive yourselves, even if you are not feeling that way.  Because your children will be watching you and picking up on your emotions.

The following points are some things you could explain to your child to help prepare them for school at Alert Level 2:

  • While adults need to stay one metre apart, the rule is a bit different for children. They do not have to stay one metre away from their peers; however, they are asked not to touch each other and not to get in someone else’s breathing space. They will be gently reminded of these things at school.
  • Children will be directed to a hand wash station on arrival at school (we have four stations), and then a hand sanitiser whenever they enter their classroom space.
  • They will be washing their hands before and after heading out to play, as sport and use of playground equipment will be allowed.
  • Children will need a drink bottle filled with water each day, as the drink fountains will not be in use.
  • Bus children will be spaced to one child per seat, except in the case of siblings, and no one will be allowed in the seats closest to the bus driver.

 Important information for parents

  • At Alert Level 2, students will not be permitted inside the school gates prior to 8:10am each morning. Please do not drop them off outside the school before this time.
  • Parents are requested to stay outside the school gates when dropping off or collecting students, to ease congestion and queues at these busy times.
  • New Entrant students may be dropped off at their classroom by their parents as long as they have been through the hand wash station between Pod 1 and the Learning Centre, register their arrival (prior to visiting the classroom) and departure at the school office. Spacing of one metre is required for adult queues at the school office. Parents and visitors who do come onto the school site will be required to register their visit at the school office on arrival and departure in order to meet our contact tracing requirements at Alert Level 2.
  • Parents may arrange an early pick-up time by contacting the school office.
  • Sick children must stay home. If a sick child comes to school, we will be sending them home. If a staff member or child becomes unwell with COVID19 like symptoms during the school day – they are to go home, remain home, and seek medical advice; GP, Healthline, or get tested.  If there is a probable case of Covid-19 in the school, it must close on an individual or group basis for 72 hours, to allow for contact tracing and cleaning, and then once confirmed, potentially for another 14 days. The school will only close on instruction from public health – it is not a decision the school can make itself. Parents will then be informed by email and a notice will go on the website home page.
  • Please contact the school office if you wish to make an appointment to see a teacher or to make a new enrolment. Enrolment forms are available to download from our Hurupaki School website, and may be emailed to our school office along with a copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of address.
  • The bus will run as usual, with contact tracing and distance protocols being observed.
  • Hurupaki Educare will run as usual, with contact tracing, hygiene and distance protocols in place.
  • Those wonderful parents who had been volunteering their time to help at school on a regular basis prior to Alert Levels 3 and 4 will be advised at a later date, as to when and how this might resume.
  • Children must be dressed warmly, bring a rain coat, morning tea, lunch, and a water bottle each day. We will advise when bought lunches resume.
  • Teachers will continue to provide learning plans to support our children who are unable to return to school. These may be found through the Pod link on the homepage of the website – (scroll down this page).

Thank you for your support with the measures outlined above. It will help us work through the public health requirements that we all need to meet in order to keep our community as safe as possible. I will keep you updated as any further information becomes available. However, I am aware that there is media overload at the moment, and will only communicate as it becomes necessary. If you have any concerns, please contact the school office.

Stay safe, stay calm, and be kind.