Kia ora,   

This week has been a constant ‘watching brief’ as we continue to settle into the school year while trying to balance the effects of Covid.  We have been very fortunate this far that the virus has had minimal impact on our student body, and attendance has been very good. 

New Zealand has now moved into Phase 3, and on Friday we held junior and senior zoom assemblies to provide more clarity about what the changes are, and how we will manage these both in supporting our students, and for teaching and learning.  We know that school is the best place for our students to be, and we are doing everything we can to keep our school open.  We also realise that over the coming weeks some staff and students will need to be away.  To help support this we provided advice and guidance to everyone about the structure of online or offsite learning, and explained to the students the latest Ministry of Health advice about when they should stay home and/or come to school.

Unfortunately, we have had to make the very difficult decision to cancel any EOTC trips that take staff and students away overnight for the foreseeable future, and these will come off the Term 1 diary. This is mainly to reduce the impact of staff Covid related absence, and the further impact of teachers being away from school, and the limited relief teacher supply.  Maintaining our ability to support day to day teaching whether in person or online is our priority.

At last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, the annual election of the Board Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson was held.  I am pleased to announce that the Board Chair for 2022 is Lana McCarroll, and the Acting Deputy Chair is Tina Barriball.  We are very grateful to the members of the Board of Trustees for their ongoing support of our school, particularly during these challenging times.  

The PTA is a very valuable component within our school structure, and I am appreciative of their contribution and their comments as a sounding board in relation to current and future initiatives that the school seeks feedback about. Last Monday they held their first meeting for the year, and will be looking to hold their AGM at the next meeting mid March. 

COVID Phase 3 update: We are still at Red under the Covid-19 protection framework.  The latest information provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education in relation to the school setting now requires that only household contacts of confirmed cases are required to self isolate.  The isolation period will 10 days.  All other contacts of Covid positive people are not required to isolate, but they will need to monitor for symptoms. If any arise, for students, they should stay home from school and get a test.  Rapid antigen tests will become the primary testing method. Please click on the link for a more detailed explanation  

Ngā mihi nui

Jeff Smith