Important Message

Update 17th May

From the Ministry of Education
Material for our parent communities as they prepare for children returning to school. URL: https://parents.education.govt.nz/essential-information/news-stories/covid-19-preparing-for-alert-level-2/

From School

Kia ora whānau,

We are really looking forward to seeing your children as they return to school tomorrow. Please be assured that we will, as always, do our very best to make them feel safe and connected.

With the return of 600 students and staff to school at Alert Level 2, we have needed to implement a number of systems to assist us in keeping everyone as safe as possible, and we appreciate your cooperation.

We ask that all children have:
• Named water bottle
• Named stationery – ideally in a pencil case – pens, pencils, rubbers, ruler, glue stick
• Their BYOD device (if they have one)
• Their fully charged loan device (if they were assigned one)

Pick up/drop off:
If your child is confident to come and go from the classroom independently we would be grateful for you to greet/farewell them at the school gate. The three gates to be used are the main gate on Sheppard Place next to the office, the gate next to the staff car park and two-story block and the Westminster Street entrance.

In order to adhere to Ministry requirements, one teacher from each kāhui will be stationed outside each pair of rooms to administer hand sanitizer and record the names of adults who have been on-site to drop off children. Under level 2 restrictions parents will not be able to enter classrooms, excluding whānau of students starting St Albans School for the very first time.

If you are on-site please maintain distance from any other children or adults while on the school grounds. Please do not gather on the school site during this time, move off-site for social catch-ups.

Gates used for entry to school will be opened from 8.30 – 9.00am and re-opened again at 2.45pm.

Please remind your child every morning what their after school pick up arrangements are, e.g., what gate you will meet them at.

If Your Child is Unwell
Under Level Two guidance from the Ministry of Education, all sick children will be sent home – please keep children home if they are unwell.

Parking
Even without road works parking at St Albans is challenging and as you will have seen in the past week there are many road closures and reduced parking. We encourage you to allow plenty of time to park away from the school and walk to your chosen entry point. Please be mindful of our neighbours by ensuring that you don’t park in or over their driveways at any time. Please note, the 3 minute carpark on Westminster Street is closed for a month from 4th May.

See you tomorrow!

Ngā mihi

Ginnie Warren

Principal – Tumuaki

Update  – 12 MAY 2020

Alert Level 2 at St Albans School 

Kia ora whānau,

Thank you all for your patience in waiting for information regarding the school’s plan to return to school under Alert Level 2.

Yesterday Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand will be moving into Alert Level 2 and schools will open on Monday 18th May for all students. This is great news for our students, staff and families.

Many thanks to all those families who completed the recent survey. It was heartening to see all the students who are excited to be coming back to school. This information has really assisted us with our planning. We do not need to hear from you if you have changed your mind about your child/children returning to school, as we will return to recording daily attendance.

Schooling under Alert Level 2 is not business as usual. While it is safe for students to be back onsite, we still have to take practical steps, aligned with public health measures, to ensure that we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk of any infection occurring in our school.

Learning Spaces

There is no bubble concept at Alert Level 2 so there are no restrictions on groups of students mixing with others on site. However, physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. Students and staff should be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other. There does not need to be a specific measurement.

To ensure we can provide extra space for students and staff Kererū 13 and Kererū 14 will be relocating to the hall. Kererū South will then make use of the entire central learning space.

We are also going to limit the number of visitors in the School Office to ‘one in and one out’. A staff member will meet you at the door to assist with your query and grant access if required.

Pick Up and Drop Off

Students will not be allowed to enter the grounds before 8:30am.

Some schools are asking whānau not to come on site. We have thought long and hard about this and we understand that reconnecting is not just about students and teachers, it is also about whānau. Our solution for this is:

  • If your child is feeling confident and comfortable… please ‘drop and go’ at one of the entry points.(see below)
  • If your child requires support to come back on site please have one adult per family to complete the drop off and pick up.

During Alert Level 2 there will be no parent or visitor access to the learning spaces and we ask that you remain outside. An exception to this will be our students starting at St Albans School for the first time. Contact tracing information will be recorded separately for this group.

Access to Site

Students will not be allowed to enter the grounds before 8:30am. 

Some schools are asking whānau not to come on site. We have thought long and hard about this and we understand that reconnecting is not just about children and teachers, it is also about whānau. Our solution for this is:

DROP OFF

  • If your child is feeling confident and comfortable… please ‘drop and go’ at one of the entry points.
  • If your child requires support to come back on site please have one person accompany them. There will be no access to the learning spaces and we ask that you remain outside. Staff will meet children outside spaces and record who has dropped them off (this is a Ministry requirement).
  • An exception to this will be our new entrant students starting school for the first time. Contact tracing information will be recorded separately for this group.
  • Students can bring their own scooters and bikes.

PICK UP

  • If your child is feeling confident and comfortable… please confirm which of the entry points you will meet them at.
  • If you come onsite to pick up your child please stay outside the learning area and staff will bring the children out, once again recording that you have been on site.

ENTRY POINTS TO SCHOOL

We will be creating three points of entry, all other gates will remain locked.

1. Sheppard Place entry next to the office

2. Gates next to the two-storied block

3. Westminster Street entrance

We will have staff at these entry points before and after school. Anyone entering the site must sanitise their hands.

If you are on-site please maintain distance from any other children or adults while on the school grounds. Please do not gather on the school site during this time, move off-site for social catch-ups.

Contact Tracing

Under Alert Level 2 a register of all people on site is required for contact tracing. In schools our contact tracing is a combination of our attendance register, visitor register and record of parents/whānau who come to site.

Sick Children

Over the coming months we are going to need your support in keeping all sick children away from school. The Ministry of Health guidelines are very clear: Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, we have been instructed to send them home. Students and staff who become unwell with symptoms of Covid 19 virus during the school day will be sent home and a Covid-19 swab and result will be required before they return to school (this is in line with National Guidelines).

Hygiene Practices, Additional Cleaning and Touch Reduction Strategies

We will continue to model good hygiene practices (coughing into your elbow, handwashing and drying) and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

  • Hand sanitiser at all door entries and entrance ways to toilets; students and staff will use this hand sanitiser each time they enter the space.
  • Students will wash their hands before leaving the space and when eating food. Younger students will be supervised by staff.
  • Gates and doors will be open at the beginning and end of the day to avoid touching handles.
  • Hand cleaning reminders will be placed on each entry door.
  • Soap and towel supplies maintained in all toilets.
  • Each hub has a cleaning kit that allows them to sanitise spaces throughout the school day as required.
  • Parents are asked to provide their children with a pencil case with named pens, pencils, an eraser etc, and where possible a device.
  • Office counter and eftpos machine will be cleaned and sanitised regularly.
  • Cleaners will complete daily cleans in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • PPE not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service.

Returning Devices and Device Use

Children who return at Level 2 must bring their loaned device back with them (if they were given one). Return stations will be set up next to the open entry points. School devices will be allocated to student pairs or small groups for those without a personal device. If a shared device is to be used, hand washing is required. Devices will be cleaned at the end of each day.

In the Playground

  • Physical education classes and break time activities can include access to sports equipment including playgrounds but hygiene practice should be observed before and after playing with equipment.
  • Drinking fountains will remain turned off. Students will need a named drink bottle at school.

Movement In and Out of School

Although there are no health restrictions in gathering the school together, for the time being we have made the decision not to hold full school or large hub assemblies for the remainder of Term 2. We have also postponed or cancelled all trips off-site.

Reporting to Parents in Term 2

When students return to school in Alert Level 2 their wellbeing will be our number one priority before any academic learning and assessment takes place. Reports and parent-teacher interviews will be scheduled in Term 3. Teachers will use Term 2 to gather up to date information and evidence to help them make informed decisions of their learners’ next steps and identify individual learning goals. Parents are welcome to make an appointment with teachers, should they have a need.

On-Site and Remote Learning Programmes

Our goal for the start of Level 2 is to ‘Reset and Reconnect’ with a strong focus on wellbeing. The remote learning programme will be our ‘School from Home’ programme on the school’s website. There will be no Zoom check-ins or daily templates.

Road Closures 

Westminster Street will be closed at both sides of Cranford Street intersection from Monday 4 May for approximately 4 weeks at all times of the day and night. Detours will be in place.

Oakleaf Cafe

This will be closed to the community under Alert Level 2.

School Uniform

Either summer or winter uniform is acceptable.

What if you are needing to go back to work prior to Monday 18th May?

Under Alert Level 3, we have had a small number of students who have needed to be supervised at school because their parents have had to physically return to work. This week our school will be operating under Alert Level 3 all week, despite the level drop scheduled for Thursday and Friday. If you are needing to return to work, and can’t find an alternative arrangement, please contact me directly and we can discuss your needs. We are unable to accept students onsite without prior discussion/arrangement. This is a Ministry of Health requirement.

Staff Preparation – Friday 15 May
Most of our staff have been working from home during this period and will be back onsite this Friday 15 May for a Staff Only Day. This is a day to prepare for returning to school on Monday 18th May. Distance Learning will continue on this day, but there will be no contact by teachers. The ‘Alert Level 3 Student Bubbles’ will also continue as normal on this day.

Key Action Points for Whānau:

  • Only enter the site if necessary and complete the contact tracing register
  • Named water bottle
  • Pencil case
  • Personal device (if available)
  • Return the loaned school device (fully charged)

We are really looking forward to seeing all the students on Monday. If we all do our bit to keep everyone safe, we will get through this. I really appreciate all your continued support and patience.

Ngā mihi,

Ginnie Warren

Principal – Tumuaki

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