Stratford High Times
From the Principal's Desk
Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnā koutou katoa i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.
Welcome back after what we hope has been a wonderful summer for your whānau.
As you know, schools remain open in RED and to that end, we have been working through how school will look upon return this week. We are looking forward to the start of the school year and seeing everyone. Although the circumstances are not what we wanted, our staff are committed to ensuring your child gets the best education possible in these trying times. Below is important information about the return to school and also how you can support yourself and your whānau while at RED.
Please see our COVID Safety Plan in relation to the Traffic Light Framework, which you will find in our newsletter too. It is a living document and will be updated to reflect necessary changes.
Unless they have proof of an exemption, all students are required to wear a mask while they are inside, whether that be in a classroom, the workshop or the gym. Masks do not have to be worn outside (eg moving between classes, at interval or lunchtime). Mask wearing has been mandated by the government: it is not optional. At this stage, the Ministry has not funded masks for students and all students are therefore required to provide their own masks. I am sure you will understand we are not in a position to provide them on a daily basis. Please support your child by having a mask for school (and school buses) so that school can run smoothly.
Public health advice is that an appropriate face covering will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This can include single use, disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers.
Don’t worry if you don’t have these specific types of face coverings, as public health experts also say that any face covering is better than no face covering.
Events and activities
Large hui and gatherings especially when indoors continue to be one of the riskier activities we can undertake. We have therefore reviewed all our events and activities for the upcoming term to ensure we meet the health guidance for Red but we do want to keep school life as ‘normal’ as possible. Therefore, we endeavour to run most events, albeit in a modified form. We will continue to update you on any changes to upcoming events.
Omicron and testing
We have all seen the very large numbers of cases overseas and we will very likely see much larger numbers of cases in Aotearoa than we have previously experienced in the last two years. While Omicron is more transmissible than previous strains, most people who get COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness and will fully recover in their own home.
However, some of our community who are immune compromised, are ill or have other vulnerabilities, even when they are fully vaccinated, could be more affected by Omicron. So, we all need to continue to play our part to minimise the spread of the virus.
In regard to testing, the health system currently has capacity to process 40,000 PCR tests a day. PCR testing is the most accurate test for COVID-19 and will continue to be used while New Zealand is in the stamp-it-out phase.
Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) will begin to be used more widely over time. They are not as accurate as PCR tests and this means that some people who do have COVID-19 will get a negative test result back. There are currently 4.6 million RATs in the country and 10s of millions ordered.
If you are symptomatic or need to be tested to access a workplace or service, you will be guided at the time on which test is best for you.
Managing cases in our school
We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person. We will then quickly advise those contacts of what they need to do. We will work closely with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education through this process.
Under the Traffic Light Framework schools do not automatically close if there is a diagnosed case. At Red we will keep everyone learning onsite for as long as we can.
All communication when managing a case in school will be through EMAIL and our school FACEBOOK page. Please make sure your contact details we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed. If they have changed, please phone the office.
Preparing for COVID-19
You can also prepare for COVID-19, making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. This will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed. Find out more here:
Self-isolating at home because of COVID-19
Many people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and whānau, but there is help available if you need it – both with health support and access to food and other essentials.
If you know anyone in your community affected by COVID-19 and who may need help, such as food and other financial assistance, Work and Income has a range of supports available for individuals, families, employers and self-employed people affected by COVID-19.
Work and Income support
The beginning of the year can be a tough time for parents who are faced with many costs and it is important you are aware of what assistance you may be able to get from Work and Income. These are available to people on a low income as well as those on a benefit.
· School and Year Start-up Payment (for people getting Orphan’s Benefit or Unsupported Child’s Benefit)
Use the links above or call 0800 559 009 to find out more, or to apply.
MoneyTalks can assist with free budgeting and debt help
You can also contact your local community provider. Please find more information here.
Getting ready to return to school
The Ministry of Education has some helpful information on their Parents and Whānau website to support your tamariki to get back to school. There is also a very important reminder about how you can take care of yourself.
While this might all feel a little overwhelming at times, we know that all these measures will help our children return to school, reconnect with whānau and friends and do what they enjoy.
We are also here to help. Please contact your child’s Dean or Form Teacher, a member of the Senior Leadership Team or simply phone the school office (they will direct you to the right person).
Take care and see you soon!
Information for students attending Stratford High School in 2022
Wednesday 2 February: First day of attendance for Year 9 and Year 13 only
Students to meet in the school hall at 8.45am. Uniform to be worn and students to bring pens, paper and sports gear (for Tabloid Sports). Buses will be running.
8.45am Year 9 and 13: please go to the Hall.
9.00am Mihi Whakatau Year 9 and Year 13. In the Hall.
1.00pm Tabloid Sports - bring change of clothes
3.15 Day finishes
Thursday: Year 9 and 13 only
8.45am Students go to form class
Friday 4 February: Whole school attend.
8.45am New students from Year 10 – 13 go to the hall. All other students to form class
9.20am Deans Assemblies:
Year 9 - Hall, Year 10 - Gym, Year 11 – Under trees on field by soccer ground,
Year 12 – Grass area by Te Amorangi, Year 13 – Deck area by canteen
9.45am Period 2
10.45am Form time
11.30am Period 3
12.30pm Period 4
2.15pm Period 5
3.05pm Form Time
3.15pm School Finishes
Monday 7 February: Waitangi Day observed
Stationery Lists and uniform outline can be found on our school website. Links are below.
If your child decides not to return to Stratford High School in 2022, could you please contact the school office by phone or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Uniform - Stratford High School
The physical education tops are available through the student office. Year 9 students are measured for these at Orientation Day (previous year). Once these have been paid for, students can collect them from the first day of school. Students who need a new top are able to order these through the student office.
Stationery/Course costs - Stratford High School
All items purchased via the school are approximate pricing until the start of the new year. Parents will be invoiced in February. This will include the compulsory administration fee and general school donation. If students purchase their stationery from Stratford Paperplus or the Warehouse Stationery in New Plymouth, this assists the school in raising funds to purchase library and reference books.
COVID Safety Action Plan and Important Reminders
Please find below the link to the 2022 COVID Safety Action Plan which is on the school website.
These must be worn indoors by all students and staff (except those with an official exemption). You are expected to have your own mask and wear it properly (up over your nose). Students who do not have a mask will be sent home. If you have a medical exemption, please wear this around your neck on a lanyard so that it is visible at all times. Teachers then will not need to ask you to put on a mask.
- Mask wearing has been mandated by the government. It is not optional.
- Make sure you have spare masks with you at school each day.
- Masks are NOT to be shared. They are to be washed regularly.
This is to be observed where practicable. We know that in some learning contexts this is not ideal. Please respect this and if a teacher reminds you about this, please comply willingly and graciously.
New Parents Information
Please click on the link below to go the start of school information for 2022.
Within this link you will find information titled "Jan-New Parents Information" which will give you an outline of key organisational information at Stratford High School.
HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR CONTACT DETAILS?
Have you moved recently? Have you changed your phone number or email address recently? Please contact the school office and update your details.
It is very important we have the correct information for your child in case there is an emergency and we need to contact you immediately. If any contact details change throughout the year please let the school office know.
Stratford High School
Location: Stratford High School Swansea Road, Stratford, New Zealand