Newsletter - Week 6 Term 1

Greenmeadows School 9 March 2022

PRINCIPAL'S MESSAGE

Tēnā koutou kātoa,


Another week, another Greenmeadows newsletter! In our rapidly changing landscape one of my present challenges is making sure that our school community is well informed of our current status, but not overwhelmed with a barrage of information. This is a delicate balancing act, but at the moment it seems appropriate to be giving you weekly updates. Below, I have provided some guidance around questions I have been asked this week.


I started the last newsletter by thanking those parents who have been in contact with us recently to inform us of COVID-related illness or household contact status. I reiterate those thanks again this week as it has helped us to keep tabs on this outbreak, to the best of our ability. It is no doubt an anxious time for families who are dealing with isolation at home so we really appreciate that you are able to take the time to keep us informed.


Please keep an eye out for families that you know are isolating. Many of us are lucky to have great support networks around us, others may need a helping hand from our wonderful community. To those of you who are isolating at home, our thoughts are with you all.


In other news, Mr J continues to cycle his way towards Wellington and by Friday he should be heading towards the South Island on the Interislander. Personally, I think it would be more in the spirit of his cycle challenge (and quite entertaining) to travel by pedalo! We are all wishing him well for the challenging days ahead.


Ka kite anō,


Darren Holloway

Deputy Principal

WELCOME TO GMS

A very warm welcome to Arlie Wallace and Hunter Lo, the newest members of our Greenmeadows School community. Our roll is currently 438.

COVID-19 INFORMATION

Since our last newsletter we have had some significant developments with regard to our COVID situation. We learned of our first case on Friday afternoon and each day since then we have been notified of further cases.


While the situation continues to change daily, we presently have 48 people absent from school who are either household contacts or have tested positive for COVID.


KOWHAI: 8 household contacts, 0 positive cases.

POHUTUKAWA: 5 household contacts, 14 positive cases.

TOTARA: 12 household contacts, 6 positive cases.

STAFF: 2 household contacts, 1 positive case (affected class have been notified)


Although it is only household contacts that need to isolate during Phase 3, we are continuing to notify classes of a "first case". Our experience over the weekend has suggested that further notifications to the same classes are overwhelming. We must now accept that COVID has found its way into our school, and that we all need to be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms, regardless of whether or not we have received a first case email.

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WHEN CAN I RETURN TO SCHOOL?

Next week we are looking forward to welcoming back some of our students who have been in isolation. If you have been in isolation, either as a household contact or a positive case, the key to your return to school is a negative Day 10 test. We know that some children who were in isolation for several days as household contacts have then contracted COVID-19 themselves, which unfortunately restarts their 10--day isolation period. See the graphic below to decide when it is safe to return to school.


Since I started the newsletter this morning, it appears that we may be heading towards a reduction of isolation time to 7 days. This will potentially affect the return date for some of our children presently isolating. As yet, we have not received official notice of any change - watch this space!

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WHEN MIGHT THE SCHOOL BE CLOSED?

This is one question that I have been asked by several parents this week. Ultimately, the decision to close would be made by our very capable Board, under guidance from the MOE, to whom I report daily with regard to our COVID numbers.


Although the Ministry are working hard to keep schools open, you may be aware of several local high schools that have switched to distance learning (and back again, in some cases). High schools face very different challenges involving the mobility of students and teachers throughout their sites daily. It is also much easier for older children to be able to self-manage distance learning.


Here at Greenmeadows, the most likely "extreme" scenario that might lead to school closure would be a mass loss of staff to COVID-related absence. We understand how important it is for our children socially to be at school and that it is often very difficult for families to juggle work commitments with childcare. As always, we have your child's best interests at heart and will work as hard as we can to remain open. Even with several new cases reported daily, we remain optimistic that we can currently remain open for students who are able to attend.

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Yesterday was a day when we globally celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. When we think of influential women in our lives we sometimes default to those who have made significant achievements on the global stage or who are perhaps in the media a lot. More often than not though, we actually live and go to school or work with the women that are the biggest influence in our lives.


Today, as part of Girls and Womens Month in Football, New Zealand, we have hosted Aleesha Heywood from Central Football. Aleesha is a regular visitor to our school and somewhat of a local champion in terms of promoting girls football in our local area. Our lucky girls from Y3-6 enjoyed taking part in fun football-related activities with Aleesha this morning.

CHILD ABSENCES

If your child is going to be absent from school, please let the school know before 9.00am on that morning.

The absent text service is NO longer available. Please do not text.

To report your child being away please use the school app. Find the absence button then use the email function.

REMINDER ABOUT PICKING YOUR CHILDREN UP DURING THE SCHOOL DAY & THE REQUIREMENT OF FACIAL COVERINGS

If you need to pick up your child during the school day, please call the office and let the office staff know you are here and at which gate you are waiting.


Carolyn or Sara will ring through to the classroom and have your child sent out to meet you. The office staff will sign your child out on your behalf.


If you do need to come into the office to collect your child from the sickbay or for some other reason, please make sure you are wearing a mask and have scanned in. Many thanks.

GMS SCHOOL APP

Below is a link to download our school App if you haven't already.

This is how we communicate with the school community any importmant messages or reminders.

https://www.smore.com/app/reporting/out/ktaxf?u=https%3A%2F%2Fschoolappsnz.co.nz%2Finstall%2F&t=install%20link&w=w-5610919473&i=&l=l-7600403145