Te Whare Akoranga o Maungawhau, February 10, 2022
From the Principal
Kia ora koutou,
Even with case numbers relatively low, today marked the highest daily total, and we're advised by experts to brace for an impending Omicron 'surge'. The timing and scale of this remains to be seen, but I would urge continuing caution rather than alarm. The practical question on many parents’ minds will naturally be what happens if there is a case (or cases) at school?
The reality is that it's probably more a question of ‘when’ than ‘if’ at this stage. In terms of what a response would look like, this would follow a Ministry of Health process in order to determine;
- if the COVID-19 case was wearing a mask at school;
- how long the COVID-19 case spent in close proximity to other students;
- who they spent most of their time with during breaks;
- contact with teaching/non-teaching staff, parents/other visitors etc.
Recent contact tracing in NZ schools has been based on the criteria above, resulting in all (or some) members of an affected class being required to isolate (currently for a period of 10 days at the 'Red' setting), with distance learning provided. A negative test would, of course, be required before returning to school.
As you'd expect, communication is key - if a member of your immediate family tests positive or is required to self-isolate as a close contact, we request that you let us know without delay. For our part, you can expect to be kept fully informed in the event of any confirmed cases connected with school.
We have contingencies for this scenario, but we should all take some reassurance from the fact that the public health measures we have in place (including mask use, limiting non-essential contact and natural ventilation standards) make a genuine and significant difference to limiting the potential spread of the virus within and between groups.
In fact, schools are not considered ‘high risk’ environments with basic mitigation strategies in place. You may no doubt also be aware of the growing body of international evidence suggesting that children appear to be at extremely low risk of serious illness from this variant (non-zero, but still remarkably low according to current statistics).
Added to this is the fact that we now have a greater range of tools at our disposal than ever before, including very high adult vaccination rates in the local community and an increasing number of students having now received their first vaccination.
None of this is to in any way underplay the virus or suggest that we should take a cavalier approach, of course. As a relatively 'immunologically naive' population (due to successful suppression of previous outbreaks), preventing and limiting transmission remains the priority. This not only slows the spread, but also protects more vulnerable adults and children within our community.
Ultimately, the closure of schools is now very much considered a ‘last resort’, which is good news for the continuity of learning at school that we all want for our tamariki. Our focus, therefore, is to continue to take all available practical steps as we re-engage our learners with a rich, vibrant classroom curriculum, in line with our school vision for students who are 'Wide-eyed and Enthusiastic About Learning!'
A good example is the upcoming Y5 Carey Park EOTC week. While they may not be able to stay overnight in dorm cabins as originally planned, we are pressing ahead and wish them well for what will undoubtedly be a fun, challenging and very memorable experience!
Important: Drop-off and Pickup time
In the interests of safety, the Board's policy states that children may be dropped at school no earlier than 8.15am, and must be picked up no later than 3.15pm
Children at school between 8.15am and 8.30am are required to wait by the school hall, after which time general staff supervision commences
Children dropped or picked up outside of these times are not allowed to wait unsupervised and so must be enrolled in a before or after-school care programme
Second hand uniform shop
The shop won't be available onsite again until Traffic Light Orange. If you need anything from the second-hand uniform shop, please email us at email@example.com with the details and we will try to organise a solution.
Many thanks to those that have been in touch with old / outgrown uniforms. Uniforms can be dropped off at the school office by individuals during school hours - adults must wear a mask, scan in and only remain onsite for the drop off to the office.
New uniforms can be ordered here https://schooluniformcentre.co.nz/mt-eden-normal-primary/
Help needed - roles at the PTA
Thank you to the parents that joined us at the first PTA meeting of the year. Save the date now for the next meeting - 7pm on March 8.
We need help filling a few roles - please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any of the following:
- Treasurer - Up to an hour a month when there are no functions going on. During event time - working with the Kindo administrator, running receipting money and reconciling.
- Kindo admin - helping set up and manage events in Kindo, an easy to use school payment portal.
- Poster designer/Facebook updater - suitable for someone with graphic design skills who can draft up adverts/posters for PTA events and keep our school Facebook page alive with photos and info about what’s happening.
- Class Coordinator Leader - as Jane is covering the Secretary role we need someone to take over the organisation of class coordinators.
Fair 2022 - rescheduled
Many thanks to the parents quickly putting their hand up to help with this important role - helping to provide a link between caregivers, the teacher, the PTA and the school.
Under red the community building role is an even more important job, especially for families new to the school.
PTA - Supporting our school through fundraising & fun events
Chairperson Aimee Chikunda
Deputy Chairperson Pam Clifford
Secretary Jane Cunningham
Treasurer Linda Waddington-Miller
Class Coordinator Leader Jane Cunningham
PTA Advisor Scott Optican
Facebook and keep up to date with the PTA on Mount Eden Normal Primary School PTA page.