PHASE 3 UPDATE
PHASE 3 Information for Parents 25/2/22
From The Principal
Kia ora koutou,
Further to our newsletter yesterday, I wanted to update you with some important changes to be aware of as we embark on 'Phase 3' of the NZ COVID 19 response at Red.
We ask all our families to read this carefully, and let us know if you have any questions by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isolation Rules - Significant Changes From Today
The new requirements from the Ministry of Health replace all previous iterations.
Most importantly, close contacts within schools are no longer required to isolate.
How We Will Manage Close Contacts In School Moving Forward
As you can see from the graphic above, we will contact the parents of identified close contacts to request they test their child as a precaution (by Rapid Antigen Test). The availability of these tests will mean that children can be identified and 'cleared' to return with confidence and relative ease compared to PCR swab testing.
No isolation for your child or your family will be required with a negative test result, and your child will be free to return to school.
Making Informed Decisions
Our key message continues to be that children can and should be at school. We remain open for instruction, and have comprehensive plans for all contingencies to remain open as we move to 'living with COVID'. As we know, this is a virus that, unfortunately, is not likely to ever go away.
What The Science Says
None of us can protect our children 100% from COVID, but we can make informed choices, as we do with many other risks in life.
A recent NSW study demonstrated that the transmission rate from an infected case in school was below 4% (even in unvaccinated children in the case of under 12's in NSW).
This means that control measures in schools can and do significantly reduce the rate of secondary infection. The fact is that your child is overwhelmingly more likely to catch COVID elsewhere (particularly from within their own home) than when they are at school.
Next Steps and Distance Learning Options
As we enter a challenging phase in the outbreak that will involve greater personal choice and autonomy, however, we believe it is important to allow families to make informed decisions for themselves about their children's education and wellbeing. Parents know their child best, and we want to do what we can to support all of our families at this time.
Our professional advice and position is clear - there is no substitute to in-person learning at school (with the teacher) amongst friends. We do understand, however, that everyone's circumstances, situation and level of confidence will differ over the course of the next month or so.
For this reason, from next week, we will be introducing a self-paced home learning option for any family who requests it (whether sick, isolating or electing not to attend in person due to the current pandemic) for the remainder of Term 1.
Any families who 'opt in' to this by registering via the form below will remain on the roll until the end of Term 1, directing their own learning from home.
Please note that distance learning will continue to be provided during isolation, and children will be able to return as usual when their isolation is complete
Key Points To Consider
- Opting into self-paced learning at home is on the understanding that parents plan to take full responsibility for their child's learning until the end of this term, based on the materials we will provide. Our staff will be continuing to teach in class, and will not, therefore, be directly involved in conferencing/marking/feedback
- Those who opt for this will not be able to freely move in and out of in person and distance learning. They will be signed out as a future absence until the beginning of next term, and expected to remain so. This is to ensure that our school and teaching staff are able to plan and deliver lessons and experiences for the children they know will continue to attend in person
- There is no part-time option. Children will either learn in person at school, or at home full-time - not a mixture of the two
- Important: please be aware that those who opt for their child(ren) to temporarily learn from home but who do not return at the beginning of Term 2 may be removed from the school roll as per Ministry of Education procedures (unless for medical, isolation or otherwise authorised reasons)
It is natural to be a little anxious at the moment, but we have been through COVID-related challenges before, and we will again.
As COVID spreads, we can expect that we will all become more accustomed to managing the risks (which may well come and go in periodic waves from time to time) through personal choice, and - hopefully - become more confident in the way we respond.
Optional Distance Learning Registration Form
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