Onerahi Primary School at Alert Level 3

14 October 2021

Kia ora e te whānau,

We trust you are all doing well in your bubbles. It’s definitely not the school holidays we were hoping for, nor is it great news that this is so closely linked to our community. We acknowledge the added stress that this situation has brought for us all. No doubt, like me, you are frequently checking locations of interest!

As you know, the Government made the early decision to shift our region to Alert Level 3 while health authorities quickly track down contacts, and test and isolate confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community. Minister Hipkins has confirmed we will remain at this level for a further five days until 11.59pm Monday 18 October.\

The Onerahi School Board has decided that the school will not open to any students on Monday 18 October. This allows time for staff to have accessed COVID testing and received their results, and be vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. It also allows staff to prepare for further distance learning if Alert Level 3 continues past Monday night and for management to complete organisation for the bubbles to return on site from Tuesday 19 October. If your child/ren was part of a bubble in Alert Level 3 last term can you please confirm with their teacher that this will still be required.

Under Level 3 our school operates under very strict criteria as specified by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health. Students who attend school under Level 3 do not necessarily return to their classroom or classroom teacher. Students stay in small groups or bubbles of no more than 10 students and 2 supervising teachers. If the students have siblings they live with, they are in the same bubble at school.

We will regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes, and keep everyone physically distanced from others as much as possible (one metre inside and two metres outside). We will also keep school bubbles to no more than 10 students. These bubbles will not mix with other bubbles.

It is important you are aware that school in Level 3 is not like school was in Levels 1 and 2. All students continue to distance learn in a partnership with their own classroom teacher. Teachers at school are safety supervisors to ensure our students and staff are kept well. Our staff on-site will have been tested for COVID-19 before they get back to work and we are moving toward having 100% of our staff vaccinated.

It is also now legally required that we hold a COVID-19 vaccination register for all staff and we are working towards this.
Our contact tracing systems will be in place, which includes our attendance register and visitor register, and we will be limiting staff onsite with the majority of our team working from home under Level 3.

We are proud of how our community has responded to this outbreak, but the mahi isn’t yet done. Please continue to follow all the alert level requirements including staying at home, getting tested for COVID-19 if you are feeling unwell, and for your own sake and for the health of your whānau, please get vaccinated.

These are the very best things we can do to keep our community as safe as possible and get everyone back to school.
Please communicate with your child’s teacher if you have any queries or concerns.

Thanks for your cooperation and understanding as we navigate this situation. Please take care and stay safe.

Annmaree MacGregor              Danny Hamilton
Principal                                      Deputy Principal


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