Newsletter - Week 6 Term 1
Greenmeadows School 9 March 2022
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,
WELCOME TO GMS
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.
WHEN CAN I 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!
WHEN MIGHT THE SCHOOL BE CLOSED?
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
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.
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
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
This is how we communicate with the school community any importmant messages or reminders.