COVID19 – Preparation to move to Alert Level 2

12 May 2020

Dear Parents

You will have heard the Prime Minister inform the country that we are moving to Alert Level 2 on Thursday 14 May. Schools are asked to open for all students from Monday 18 May.

The key principles for Alert Level 2 are to:
● reduce the risk of someone getting infected in the first place
● ensure we can identify and contact anyone who becomes infected
● understand that Level 2 is not business as usual.

In order to prepare for our students’ return, the school will be holding two preparation days. On Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May all staff will be at school to prepare for our reopening on Monday 18 May. Distance learning will continue for children at home, however teachers will not be available to conference, meet or provide feedback to children.

The key message is ‘Play it Safe’. All students are expected to return to school, however;
● If your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness, you may keep them at home.
● If your child is sick you must also keep them at home.

What are the significant changes for schools as outlined by the Ministry of Health?
All schools are open.
Enabling good hygiene practices – regular washing and drying of hands and good cough and sneeze etiquette remain fundamental to preventing spread of illness such as colds, flu and COVID-19. We will be reinforcing these practices at school and we encourage you to do the same.
Cleaning – Additional cleaning of table surfaces, high touch areas, handles and resources will be cleaned during the day and as much as possible.
Hand Sanitising – We have purchased a large stock of hand sanitiser: learners will be asked to use it each time they enter the  classroom. Handwashing will be carried out throughout the day before food and after using the bathroom.
Physical Distancing – Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Health (MOH) have advised as much as practicable, physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. In an Alert Level 2 school environment, this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices (coughing into your elbow, handwashing and drying) and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

  • There are situations where physical distancing is not possible, such as some sporting activities. In these situations extra emphasis on
    handwashing and drying (or cleansing with hand sanitiser) before and after activities and regular cleaning of equipment is very important.

Playgrounds – The use of school playgrounds can resume but in a managed way.
Parents and visitors on site – We would prefer that you kept your entry to the school at a minimum. Anyone entering the Kohimarama School site must register and fill in a contact tracing form. More information about this will follow on Thursday along with our procedures and protocols.

We do expect that all students will be returning to Kohimarama School on Monday 18 May.

A Google form is attached to this letter. It asks you to indicate if your child(ren) is not returning to school on Monday 18 May.

It is most important that this form is filled in and returned to school. We would appreciate a quick response, no later than Wednesday 13 May at 4pm .

The Ministry of Education has advised that they are working closely with health 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. A letter will be sent home on Thursday 14 May, detailing our school procedures and processes.

Reminders

● Complete the Google form immediately and no later than 4pm on Wednesday 13 May if your child(ren) are not returning to school.
● Thursday and Friday 14 and 15 May – Teachers will be undertaking preparation for the school opening and will not be available. Work will be set for students online.
● Monday 18 May – School reopens for all students

Yours sincerely

Paul Engles
Principal