Kia ora tatou

The government announcement today– moving to Alert Level 3 for 48 hours and then Level 4

Mairangi Bay School closed at 3pm today for the next four weeks.

I appreciate this is a sudden and significant change and will be heavily disruptive to many people in our community.

Tomorrow and Wednesday 

There is an exception for children of essential workers, who are welcome at school tomorrow and Wednesday.  Please email me principal@mairangibay.school.nz with your child’s name and room number if your child will be attending.  You may wish to check if you are considered an essential worker – https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/ The roles include doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police. We continue to ask that children who are not well, do not attend school.

Home learning ready to go…

You will see that Year 5-6 students are set up and teachers have started to push out learning activities.

Parents of Year 1-4 students should expect to receive a unique code to provide them access to the learning teachers are making available through Seesaw.

Parents who told us they need to borrow a device will be contacted in the next two days.

Further information providing school expectations and guidelines for parents will also be available soon.

Note that this week is the time to set this up and trial the new approaches. It will then be resumed after the holidays. See below.

School holidays brought forward
The Ministry informs us that

School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).
At the end of the school holidays, schools will be open for distance (online home) learning but not physically open for staff to work at the schools.
Please note the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite.”

Also from the Ministry of Education:

If you need to have your child cared for by someone else you will need to identify that person or people as part of your self-isolated group. This will need to be done by midnight Wednesday and the group must remain the same for the whole 4 week period. The caregiver’s own group (eg, their partner and children), your child and your own group (eg, your parents and other children) become one group. This group needs to be limited to minimise any risk of spread and should be no more than 20 people.
 
Your child will be looking to you for guidance about this decision. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers will have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to read the information put together by the Ministry of Education to support your conversations with your children – Talking to children about COVID-19

Finally

As noted by the Prime Minister these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. We all have a clear role here to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We will continue to communicate with you over the coming days. Thank you for your ongoing support of our school staff and school community.

Ngā mihi

Bruce Warren, Principal