COVID-19 Response

Term 1 2022

Our Vision: To grow Catholic, Christian young people,

who are confident, connected lifelong learners, inspired by the teachings of Jesus,

and who make a positive difference in their community.

Dear Family/Whānau

Thank you for the way you have supported our school community to be safe, healthy and happy over the last three weeks. There is a real positive vibe around the school. I am enjoying meeting many of you before and after school and I’ve received positive feedback about this process.

I’m sending home this Covid update to inform you about our next steps in our Covid planning.

Together with the health and safety committee from the School Board, and advice from the Ministry of Education, we have a clear plan about how to keep our students safe, at school and learning, or at home and learning.

The school’s flexible response to Covid will depend on the various scenarios that could play out within the school community. The movement between the stages need to be fluid considering the potential for volatile conditions which we are currently facing due to Covid:

  • The overarching consideration will be given to the safety of students and staff, and whether the school will be able to function on limited staff, in extreme cases.

  • Staff, in consultation with the board, will shift to Stage 2 due to high absences (students and staff).

  • The board, in consultation with staff, will make the decision to switch over to home based learning (Stage 3) should it no longer be possible to run school-based learning programmes.

  • The Ministry of Education will instruct schools to shut down in the event of a regional/local or national pandemic event. This stage may still have an aspect of home-based learning.

  • Ministry of Education Toolkit

Big picture

What will happen if we have a positive Covid case at St James’ Catholic School?

If a student is a positive case, their family will be advised by the Ministry of Health to isolate for 10 days and return after a negative test.

The MOE will help us to ascertain whether the student was infectious at school and whether the class were close contacts.

Close contacts will be required to isolate for seven days from the last date they were exposed to the case and get tested on day five.

Close contacts can return to school on day eight if their test day five was returned negative and they are symptom free.

All parents in the student's learning space will be contacted by the school and told to self isolate and may be told to get a covid test.

  • Contact details of all learning space students and teachers will be given to the Ministry of Education & Health. (If you have had a change in your contact details we ask that you please email the office@stjamescatholic.school.nz with these or phone the office on 06 357 9719 so we can ensure that we have all the correct details for our school community.)

  • The school will begin a hybrid method of learning, that is some online and some school based.
  • Students will be able to access the learning from the Seesaw home learning website, set up by the teachers. Parents will be sent home their families' home learning code.

  • The school will remain open, while it is safe to do so, for unaffected staff and students.

  • Should the outbreak grow to affect a number of learning spaces, school will remain open with unaffected staff and unaffected students, if it is safe to do so.

  • Once we are not able to provide staff to look after students, the school will be shut and learning programmes may be available, dependent on staff availability.


On Thursday, your child will bring home a spare exercise book and pencil. This is to keep at home to supplement the Seesaw online learning, should this be required.

Sickness - We do ask that you support us and if your child is unwell that they remain at home, get tested and do not return to school until the symptoms have cleared.

Once again thank you for encouraging your child year 4 -6 child to wear a mask indoors. Staff are doing their utmost to ensure we make the most of this lovely weather with outside learning opportunities in shady spots. Please can you send your child along with a spare mask in their bag, in case their mask is broken or misplaced. If you have a mask exemption please send these to the office.

Thank you so much for the way in which you are supporting your children and each other through this 'interesting' time and meeting them at the gate.

If you have any concerns or queries don't hesitate to have a chat with me.

Together we make a difference

Christine Cosgrove