Below are the latest emails sent to Parents/Caregivers
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Friday 15 May
Kia ora koutou
There was a great buzz around the place this morning as staff came back onto the school grounds as a group on our staff only day. We started by joining together with a karakia, kōrero whakatau and then took time to share some reflections. Through this we acknowledged those who had passed over this time. A number of staff have sadly lost family members under quite difficult circumstances in lockdown. We of course have also lost Year 11 student, Kaleb Haerewa, from our school community and we collectively joined to acknowledge these sad losses. We also shared together our experiences of lockdown as a staff in groups. We then enjoyed singing waiata together and through this reconnecting as a staff, readied ourselves to get into the rest of the day and planning for the days ahead. It was a very special time together.
We are certainly finishing today feeling ready to welcome all students on Monday and cannot wait to have you all back. This newsletter just runs over the key considerations and plans for next week. So please have a read through.
I first start with the message from the Government that Under Alert Level 2 it is safe for all schools to open. The key message for us all moving forward is that we need to play it safe (and everyone has a role to play in this).
As a College we are not classed as a mass gathering and there are no minimum physical distancing requirements that apply but we have to apply the specific public health measures for schools which are:
- If you are unwell, stay home. If you are displaying any COVID related symptoms, please stay home and seek guidance from the Health line around getting a COVID test.
- If a student is sick at school, we will be contacting families for that student to go home and remain home until well.
- maintain safe physical distance
- students and staff to be far enough apart so they are not breathing on, or touching each other
- maintain safe and sensible hygiene practices (hand washing and drying / coughing and sneezing into your elbow / avoid touching your face / don’t share food or drink). Please bring your own drink bottle as we will not be using drinking fountains.
- hand sanitiser will be present in classrooms and shared spaces. Please use this entering and exiting rooms.
- there will be regular cleaning of high touch surfaces and all students will be involved in this process. Walking into a class, students will collect a paper towel. At the end of the lesson the teacher will spray the surface with a disinfectant solution and students will wipe clean their space available for the next student to use. Paper towels will be disposed of on exiting.
- contact tracing requirements of students are met via our school roll. It is important all students attend form time as the first step in recording school attendance and to receive messages around Health and Safety requirements. Students must sign in and out of school if they leave during the day. The only students able to leave the school ground during the day are those with appointments, Year 13 and those with a lunch pass. Lunch pass students can only go directly home, on their own, not with any other student.
- Entry into Te Manawa for students is only through the door by A-block. Entry to Te Manawa for any guests to the college is the main entrance of Te Manawa. We ask that parents to please only come into Te Manawa if absolutely necessary to minimise numbers of guests onsite. Entry will be controlled if numbers of guests warrant it. We ask parents to please remain in cars during pick up and drop off.
- Arrows have been placed around the school to show direction of flow for students. Please follow arrows and signs. These are there to allow for physical distancing and prevent congestion in corridors. Entry into blocks is by the central doors. Exit out of blocks is by the end of corridor doors.
- Please remember to bring your own device, every day, charged and good to go. There will be no period by period loaning of devices. If students are still without a device they should see Kate in the library before school to discuss a loan device, available during Level 2. These will be prioritised for those who need it, not those who decided not to bring their device that day.
- The canteen will be open
- All food/drinks need to be pre-ordered online or before school. This is to help us manage our canteen service and avoid queuing.
- Ordering before school – come up to the window and place your order. Come and collect at either morning tea or lunch time. There will be two staff taking orders to make this quick and queues will be managed.
- Online – we offer CLICK AND COLLECT and this is our preferred, pre-paid and contactless way of providing our canteen service. To do this go to the Paraparaumu College website and search
- Instructions are pretty easy to follow. You can then preload a credit amount, which takes 2 days to be able to access. Most people credit the amount for the following week, or for several weeks.
- For those who buy breakfast before school, this is still available. Breakfast before school has become popular, especially on late start Thursdays, so we have added some cereal choices.
- Preferred method of payment is Eftpos, to minimise the handling of cash – however, we will accept cash if necessary.
- Hand sanitiser is available and will be required to be used. We encourage students to think about cross contamination, ie if paying by cash, put change in your pocket, then sanitize your hands so your hands are clean for eating.
- The Ministry of Education have indicated that masks are not required in schools. However, if students choose to wear masks at school and to and from school, they are able to do so. Please be well aware of the safe use of mask if you are going to do this.
I also ask all students to take seriously the action plans and the Health and Safety of others. If students behave in a way that puts others Health and Safety at risk, then they may be sent home for a period of time.
We have also been discussing plans around teaching and learning programmes. We do not want you to be worrying about this, we have it well in hand. For those doing NCEA you may have noticed that there has been a shift in the timing of external exams, the delay allowing for more teaching time over the year. There are still other possibilities being considered around NCEA so please don’t pressure yourself with concerns about any missed learning time. Teachers will work with you, to support your learning and help you get back into the rhythm of school learning in the weeks ahead.
Finally, I suggested a while back that I’d really like to hear the voice of parents and students about things from learning remotely that they would like us to be able to carry forward into teaching back at school. I would really love you to answer this short three question survey to give you an opportunity to share your thoughts while they are fresh in your mind. Please complete this quick survey here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd-rVCzTZ2kXkiRwZ-F_XYQsAvpEPQ36vGE4O_nKfbxXL91iw/viewform?usp=sf_link
I am so looking forward to seeing you all back here next week.
Have a great weekend.
Ngā mihi nui
Thursday 14 May
Kia ora koutou
Today’s email focuses on our bus services. We have two different bus operations that families use. Both services will commence from Monday. I will cover them both separately.
1. Peka Peka and Reikorangi services: These services are Ministry of Education operated services provided by Mana Coach Services. They are subject to Ministry guidelines which are available on their website. http://www.education.
2. Other services are public services offered through Uzabus and they have released the following guidelines for users:
We will be resuming normal services next Monday, however the following will apply:
· Students are to Snapper On and Off – No charges will apply at this stage.
· There are no Cash fares, GWRC are encouraging all students to acquire a Snapper Card moving forward.
· Students are to have an understanding of the hygiene requirements before boarding the bus.
· If the student is not well they are not to board, the driver may use their discretion.
· Physical distancing is to adhered to at bus stops (2 metres).
· Hand Sanitiser is available upon entry to the bus.
· Bus capacity is seated only, no standing.
· Parents are to have a “Plan B” if the bus is full.
· Schools are responsible for bus loading in the afternoon from the school.
· Signage and Equipment is not to be tampered with – this may lead to a trespass order.
· Uzabus will clean the bus to the Ministry of Health regulations/standards
Uzabus are looking at possible backup services, but this is in their words “a work in progress”, so we cannot offer any guarantees in this regard.
We are well aware as a school that the two services have similar, but different guidelines. One being a Ministry operated service and one being a public transport service. At the end of the day, parents need to make their own decisions around transport to and from school based on the information that has been made available.
An increase in any services to alleviate any potential crowding is unlikely at this stage, therefore alternative options for travel may wish to be considered by some families.
Ngā mihi nui
Wednesday 13 May
We have published our near final Level 2 Health & Safety plan onto our website. It is available now for you to read (however, will go through its final consideration and sign off tomorrow – as you will see on the dates. We just wanted to make this final draft available now). I know this will answer some of the questions you have asked. It also hopefully demonstrates the amount of thinking and planning that has been going on to ensure a safe return to College. I won’t try and summarise everything in an email today. Instead, I invite those of you who want to know more of the specific details to click the link below:
I know there are still concerns about buses. I am still gathering information around the bus system, but my understanding is the buses will be operating as per usual, with additional hygiene measures in place on the bus. I will send more information about this before the end of the week.
I am going to leave it at that at the moment and simply allow you time to have a look through. I will continue to send information around key messages we would like to emphasise further over the next couple of days.
Ngā mihi nui
Tuesday 12 May
Kia ora koutou
I had indicated I wanted to get an email to you today following our discussions at school. I apologise it is a little late in coming but I was still keen to get something to you today as promised. I will, however, keep this quite brief and just cover a couple of key points today. I will then send more details as the week progresses and as we confirm arrangements.
First of all, you may have read that a number of schools are doing staggered starts. I can confirm that Paraparaumu College will have all students, Year 9-13, return to school on Monday 18th May. We believe this will work best for our community, will allow us to work with the whole school to set up the processes and enable students to return to their school community, as a whole school community. I am absolutely looking forward to the return of students to the College. It is going to be great to have them back come Monday.
In light of this decision, we want our staff to be able to prepare for onsite learning. Staff are able to return to the College from Thursday and setting up may include getting their classrooms arranged, preparing resources, planning lessons and so forth. As such, there will be no face to face online teaching on Thursday and Friday this week. In making this decision, we also considered what students would want for Thursday and Friday, the first two days of Level 2. What have they missed the most over the last seven weeks of lockdown? Connecting with their friends. By offering flexibility for learning over Thursday and Friday students can choose how they finish off any remaining work while offering them the flexibility to catch up with a friend or two that they haven’t seen face to face in weeks. We think this takes account of the wellbeing of students and staff, and families too who might enjoy the flexibility offered at Level 2 to catch up with grandparents or family you haven’t been able to see for many weeks. Learning can still occur as students finish off their weekly tasks, it can just be completed within flexible timeframes.
On preparing for next week I want to signal the clear messages from the Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Education, that schools are safe places to return. We have a range of health & safety measures in place that will help in this respect. Tomorrow’s email will go through these measures in more detail. We therefore expect for the vast majority of students that school will start again on Monday. If your young person is immune-compromised or has health conditions that make them vulnerable and you are planning on keeping them at home, we would appreciate hearing from you so we can touch base to see if there is anything we can do to support them in their return. If your young person is not returning at Level 2 please complete the following form https://docs.google.com/forms/
We are appreciative of the fact that some students returning next week will need to get some new uniform. The Uniform Shop will be open on Friday from 10am-3pm. A booking system has been set up on www.schoolinterviews.co.nz
That is me for now but I will be in touch again tomorrow with more details around our Health and Safety plan.
Ngā mihi nui