Update from Karen Morgan 31/03/2020

COVID-19 UPDATE 30-03-2020

Kia ora koutou

We wanted to check in to make sure you are doing okay. We hope you are all doing well and adjusting to self isolating in your homes and looking after those in your bubble. Our key messages to keep at the forefront are:

  • STAY AT HOME
  • STAY SAFE
  • BREAK THE CHAIN
  • BE KIND TO EACH OTHER
  • STAY CONNECTED TO EACH OTHER ONLINE

If you leave your house for exercise or essential goods, remember to keep 2 metres away from anyone who isn't in your bubble & wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.

School holidays brought forward

Whilst the holidays have now been brought forward to begin on Monday 30 March going through to Tuesday 14 April, we would still encourage to do the following:

Establish Routines:

  • Regular wake up time, breakfast, bed time.
  • Exercise will be important, so perhaps you could all tune into the Les Mills workouts at 9am each day on TVNZ - and we could get fit together!

Goals:

  • Set at least 3 goals you set for yourself each week.
    This can give you a real focus and helps you stay motivated. Write a journal and monitor your progress in meeting your goals.

NCEA Assessments and Deadlines:

  • Many deadlines were set and work was given to senior students before we went into lockdown and the holidays were moved forward.
  • Do all you can to meet those deadlines and communicate to your teachers to ensure you are on target.
  • Your teachers are all committed to work alongside you to achieve these assessment deadlines.

Learning:

  • Read as much as you can.
  • Check in with teachers via email or google classroom

Devices and Connectivity:

  • Your tutor teachers should have emailed you to see if you have access to a device at home to work on, and if you have connectivity. Please respond.
  • If we have no response from you we will presume you do not have a device or connectivity.
  • The Ministry of Education has asked us for information on who doesn’t have online learning capability so we want to be sure we give them the right information if and when they ask us for it.
  • The Ministry of Education is trying to get connectivity and devices for all students who need it but it will be a huge undertaking. Please do not rely on this, as depending on the impact of COVID-19 many people will be compromised. Do your best to work on the photocopied material you have at home.

Term Two

When the holidays are completed, we would expect a more full timetable online to begin immediately. Do your best to try to self manage you and your learning to the best of your ability.

Your safety

If you or anyone in your family presents any flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, temperature, is sore and tired, or is coughing, call the Healthline number for advice: 0800 358 5453

If you have any urgent questions or concerns please email: COVID19.info@taita.school.nz

Please also check our website for the latest communications:

Looking after each other

  • Follow all advice given by the Government and Health Board to minimise the impact of COVID-19. For the most up to date information go to: COVID19.GOVT.NZ
  • Look after the elderly particularly, and ensure that those who have high health risks are safeguarded as much as possible.
  • Take care of each other, make sensible decisions, keep to routines at home, shop sensibly, wash your hands, and stay connected online to friends and family to check in.

We will get through this, but the more we can do to stay safe and isolated, the more we will be able to minimise the impact.

Kia kaha
One heart, one beat!.

Ms Morgan and the TC team.

COVID-19 UPDATE 26-03-2020

Kia ora koutou

Wellbeing
As you will all be aware we are now on ALERT LEVEL 4. This means that we are all in self-isolation as a nation so we all must:

STAY AT HOME, STAY SAFE!
Take care of yourselves and your families.

It is really important that we all take responsibility to stay in our “bubble” with the people we live within our house, and not venture out of that bubble, so that together we can minimise the impact of COVID-19. That means you need to stay at home, and not visit friends, or have your friends come over to your house. Of course, you can text, email and stay connected online.

If you leave your house for exercise or essential goods, remember to keep 2 metres away from anyone who isn't in your "bubble" & wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.

School holidays brought forward
The school holidays have been brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period of self-isolation. The school holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).

Please note the instruction to stay at home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period, but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite as all schools are now closed for 4 weeks.

What does that mean for you
Be kind to each other.

Routines will be really important.

We would strongly encourage you all to set some little goals, and try to stick to them each day or week.

Despite it being school holidays from Monday, as we have only just started to learn online and adjust to learning at home, we would strongly encourage you to set up some time each day for your learning. We would normally expect all senior students to be working at home in the holidays, to ensure that work and assessments could be completed.

Staff will be on holiday too, so they may not be in immediate contact with you. However, given the commitment they have for you all and your learning, they will be there online to help and support when they can.

Once the holidays are completed, we would expect a more full timetable online to begin immediately. Do your best to try to self manage you and your learning to the best of your ability.

Your safety
If you or anyone in your family presents any flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, temperature, is sore and tired, or is coughing, call the Healthline number for advice: 0800 358 5453

If you have any urgent questions or concerns please email: COVID19.info@taita.school.nz

Please also check our website for the latest communications:

Looking after each other
More than ever this is a time to follow all advice given by the Government and Health Board to minimise the impact of COVID-19. For the most up to date information go to:
COVID19.GOVT.NZ

We need to look after the elderly particularly, and ensure that those who have high health risks are safeguarded as much as possible.

Take care of each other, make sensible decisions, keep to routines at home, shop sensibly, and stay connected online to friends and family to

We will get through this, but the more we can do to stay safe and isolated, the more we will be able to minimise the impact.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

Aroha nui to you all.

Karen Morgan
Principal of Taita College

COVID-19 UPDATE 24-03-2020

Kia ora koutou

Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) we have been instructed by the Government to close the school - Taita College.

If you have any urgent questions or concerns please email: COVID19.info@taita.school.nz

Please also check our website regularly for the latest communications: taita.school.nz

What does this mean for you and your child:l.

  • No student would be allowed on the school site or property whilst closed.
  • We will be sending any messages to you as a family via email, the School APP, or text messages, to stay connected.
  • We would ask that you check emails each day to be aware of any changes or important messages. A key message time would be 3pm each day for any updates, if there are any changes at all.
  • As parents you would need to take full responsibility for your child at home, and follow all Health Board and Government instructions, particularly if instructed to self-isolate.
  • We will only be able to open the school when the Government and Health Board has made an assessment regionally and nationally and instruct us to do so.
  • Check all information on the government site: COVID19.GOVT.NZ
  • Email the school by using COVID19.info@taita.school.nz - for any questions or help required. If you or your family is in need of any kind of support, please use this email to alert us.

In respect to your child’s health:
If your child presents any flu like symptoms such as a runny nose, headache, temperature, is sore and tired, or is coughing, call the healthline number for advice: 0800 358 5453.

Once again, we ask that you follow all instructions issued by either the Health Board or the Government.

It is important to remember that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our school nor in our immediate community. All junior students without existing health conditions and who are feeling well should attend school as they normally do.

In respect to your child’s learning:
We would encourage your children to continue to follow their normal school timetable, whilst at home.

Students have either got work to do in school workbooks, have photocopied booklets, or have the ability to learn online through Google Classroom and Google Docs.

The more they can keep to a routine each day the better. We would recommend for secondary school students that they work to their normal school timetable, and allocate time in the day for the different subjects and learning required.

Students can email teachers, text their tutor teacher, and link with all staff online to answer any questions or for any support they may require with their learning.

If for some reason your child has no work at all, and no access to online learning, please encourage them to read as many books as possible whilst the school is closed.

Looking after each other:
More than ever this is a time to follow all advice given by the Government and Health Board to minimise the impact of COVID-19.

We need to look after the elderly particularly, and ensure that those who have high health risks are safeguarded as much as possible.

Take care of each other, make sensible decisions, keep to routines at home, shop sensibly, and stay connected online to friends and family to

We will get through this, but the more we can do to stay safe and isolated, the more we will be able to minimise the impact.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui.

Aroha nui to you all.

Karen Morgan
Principal of Taita College

COVID-19 UPDATE 23-03-2020

Kia ora koutou

With the announcement that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2 - Reduce Contact for COVID-19, people over 70 years of age, and those with compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions, are asked to remain at home as much as they can from now on and avoid any non-essential travel.

The Ministry of Education has asked that staff, children and young people in schools and early learning services now follow this advice.

High risk individuals also include people with underlying medical conditions, such as:
Medical conditions including; a compromised immune system, liver disease; cancer; kidney disease; heart disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and diabetes mellitus.

If your child/children have one of the existing conditions mentioned you are being asked to keep them home from school for their own safety.

We have also asked staff who have concerns about their health to stay away from school.

Because of the impact now on staff and students who may be ‘at risk’ due to their health, we have made the following decisions to best manage the safety and health of all.

  1. Monday 23 March - school as normal.
  2. Tuesday 24 March - school is open but for juniors only (yr 9 and Yr 10 students).
  3. Tuesday 24 March - all senior students yr 11-13 are to work from home for the week or until further notice. Communication will be emailed to parents and staff of any updates on this.
  4. Tuesday 24 March - Junior students school as normal - all classes operational as per normal for the week, or until further updates.

Alert Level 2 means the virus is contained but with the risk of community transmission growing.

Further information is available at:

It is important to remember that there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at our school nor in our immediate community. All junior students without existing health conditions and who are feeling well should attend school as they normally do.

We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for the wellbeing of our students/children. That is why we are providing up to date advice and guidance so that we can all make informed decisions. We are all committed to supporting the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

If your child does feel sick with cold or flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose, just as you normally would, please keep them at home. Call or text the school to inform the main office. As a family then ring the health line 0800 358 5453.

The country and the world is going through major changes due to COVID-19. This is the time that we do all we can to support one another and to look after our community.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Let's stay calm, be safe, and stick to the facts.

Ngā mihi nui

Karen Morgan
Principal of Taita College

UPDATE 20-03-2020

Rules on gatherings do not apply to schools:
You may have seen today that the Government has announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled. This does not apply to schools, early learning services, tertiary providers, workplaces, supermarkets or public transport. We will continue to provide you with guidance around events and gatherings that could be relevant to schools.

Why a school would close:
There is a lot of discussion about school closures in the media with many varying opinions being expressed and some misinformation being deliberately spread.

At the time of writing we have already seen one temporary closure following direction from a Medical Officer of Health. This was following confirmation that one student had been tested positive for COVID-19. That student is self-isolating and all their close contacts (150 students and staff) have been tested for the virus. It has just been announced that all of those tests have come back negative.

The school will reopen next week however those 150 students and staff will remain away from the school for a period of 14 days from when they last had contact with the student confirmed with the virus. This is a precaution only, to keep those people and those around them safe.

Medical Officers of Health – will direct schools to close if needed:
Medical Officers of Health have the authority to close a school. They would only do so if there was a medical reason for this, or, after a confirmed case in the school they need to close it for a short period of time while they determine if there is any risk to others (which means staff and students stay away while they undertake contact tracing).

If you have a confirmed case in your school, or your school community: If there was a confirmed case linked with your school, you will be quickly advised of that by the Medical Officer of Health.

Our regional Ministry of Education staff will work with you and local health authorities to agree a plan for the school. That will happen quickly and support will be provided to assist you to communicate with and support your parent community. Closure for a short period of time is one option for the Medical Officer of Health.

Decision tool for early learning and school responses to COVID-19: The Ministry is working with other government agencies to align our planning for a range of possible scenarios relating to schools and early learning services. An overview of our decision tool is available here for your information. This tool tells you what will happen in different situations.

We have seen this in practice already. An example for Level 1 was Westlake Girls High School, where a students’ parents were both confirmed with the virus but the student had no symptoms (and continues to have no symptoms). An example of Level 2 is Logan Park High School, where a student has tested positive for COVID-19..

You will see that higher levels of risk also have plans in place, which could include school closures for longer periods of time. Most of the scenarios at these higher risk levels relate to community transmission. Community transmission is when a confirmed case had no known contact with another confirmed case, and hasn’t recently arrived from overseas. There is currently no community transmission in New Zealand.

When is sick, sick? The messaging remains clear – that if you are feeling unwell please stay home, and the same goes for children and young people. However at the tail end of a cold, there will be runny noses and probably some coughing. This might be worrying for some people who are being vigilant about their own and others’ health.

A diagram has been developed by Dr Siouxsie Wiles to assist you when considering symptoms (sent to us by a teacher who found it useful). What it tells us is:

  • A dry cough and a high temperature are common to both flu and COVID-19
  • Sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19, however if someone has COVID-19, then sneezing can spread droplets containing the virus

Ngā mihi ki a koutou

Karen Morgan
Principal of Taita College