SCHOOL CLOSURE CONTINUATION
VERY LIMITED OPENING FROM FRIDAY, 3rd SEPT.
Kia ora koutou
OPUA SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED ON TUESDAY, 31st AUGUST, WEDNESDAY 1st SEPTEMBER and THURSDAY 2nd SEPTEMBER UNDER COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 4 RESTRICTIONS. IT WILL THEN HAVE VERY LIMITED OPENING FOR A SMALL NUMBER OF CHILDREN FROM FRIDAY, 3rd SEPTEMBER UNDER ALERT LEVEL 3 RESTRICTIONS. PLEASE READ THE MESSAGE BELOW FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THESE CONDITIONS.
The quick move to Level 4, record volumes of testing for COVID in the community, extensive wastewater testing, huge numbers of New Zealanders being vaccinated (more than 2 million people have now received their first dose), and a very wide net being cast around confirmed cases, has given the government confidence that we are safe to move to Alert Level 3 on Friday, 3rd September.
At Alert Level 3, children must by law stay learning from home and stay within their household bubbles. As the Prime Minister noted in a recent Covid-19 press conference, schools are essentially closed at Alert Level 3 with the exception of those very few children whose parents and carers must go to work at Alert Level 3, and there is no appropriate caregiver at home.
So Opua School will be open this Friday, 3rd September for a very small number of children who have no alternative but to attend. As you can imagine, it will not be school as we know it under Alert Level 2 or 1. All our usual safety precautions for Alert Level 3 will be in place which include following all the recommendations from the public health experts. This means we will regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces, encourage everyone to wash their hands frequently and cover their coughs and sneezes, and keep everyone physically distanced from others as much as possible (1 metre inside and two metres outside). We will also keep any school bubble to a maximum of 10 students. If there is more than one school bubble, an individual room bubble will not mix with another room bubble. When we were previously at Alert Level 3 last year, there were only 3 of our children [one small school bubble] who had to attend school. I am expecting a similarly small number this time around but, obviously, I need to confirm this very quickly with parents. We will continue to support all children [which will be the vast majority of our school population] who remain learning from home through our distance learning programme.
Most, probably all, of our teachers will be working from home and I will be the teacher of the one bubble at school based in Room 5 with my wife, Kay, one of our Teacher Aide team, as my support at school. Denny, our Caretaker, will also be at school ensuring the site is regularly sanitised. This situation is similar to what happened last year. If you are an essential worker or you are permitted to attend work under Alert Level 3 and you genuinely have no other childcare arrangements for your child / children, please email me urgently to indicate your circumstances and that your child will have to attend Opua School under Alert Level 3. If I don’t receive an email from you, then I will presume that your child is continuing their learning from home under Alert Level 3.
Any parent dropping a child off at school under Alert Level 3 must sign in by scanning the Covid Tracer App QR code on the window of Rm 5 or sign the physical register that will be placed on a table outside Rm 5. Please do not enter Rm 5 as this would be ‘breaking our classroom bubble’.
You can also assist everyone’s safety by keeping your child at home if they are feeling unwell and please do contact your GP or Healthline, to seek advice about getting tested.
While we know how difficult it is trying to work from home as well as support your child’s learning, please follow the government rules and keep your child at home if there is an appropriate carer available. For those of you with no other option, I look forward to seeing your child at school this Friday. If your child is attending school under these conditions, please note that they will need to attend with all their normal school equipment and food and, especially, they must have their own personal water bottle as water fountains will not be operational. School will start at 9am [please do not drop your child off earlier than 9am] and it will finish at 3pm [please don’t be late collecting your child]. At 3pm, your child will be outside Rm 5, under the archgola, awaiting collection. I will be inside Rm 5 monitoring their safe collection.
If you have any questions about these arrangements, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring me at school on 09 4027840.
Nga mihi nui,