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COVID-19 Update 12.08.2020

Written by Denise Torrey


Returning to Alert level 2. Sadly our country is moving back into Alert Level 2. From Midday Wednesday to Midnight Friday.

Somerfield Te Kura Wairepo is committed to delivering a safe and nurturing environment for all our tamariki. We have developed a comprehensive Health and Safety Plan based on the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education directives of which the main points are below. The full plan is available on our website.

We have updated some of our previous messaging so please read carefully. We all did a great job in Alert Level 2 last time so thank you in advance for your support.

The overriding principles for Alert Level 2 are:

  • to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place
  • to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school or early learning centre is infected
  • understand that Level 2 is not business as usual

Based all the available information we can say with confidence that it is safe for all students and staff to return to school in Alert level 2. Schools are safe because hygiene habits will be strong and schools will put into place safe and sensible practice.

The government has made it clear that expectation is that with the exception of some students who are sick, all students will be attending at Alert Level 2. Distance learning on the Hapara Worksite is ONLY available for those unable to attend school if they need to self-isolate. Zoom lessons will not be daily .

The safety of our tamariki and staff is paramount, so it is important that our community supports us as it brings many new challenges to a school. We want your children to be both physically and emotionally safe at school so we will be easing them back into the normal routines. Our focus is on getting the new routines in place and engaging them back with their class and learning. The gently, gently approach has been found to ensure wellbeing instead of rushing into the usual intensity we often operate at!!

Here are the main points of the Health and Safety Plan. Please read carefully especially if you will be dropping or picking up your child by car as these times are staggered.

Sick Children

· Children are not to attend school if they are sick. If your child has a cold, sore throat, temperature, coughs, sneezes or a tummy bug or any other symptoms or sickness they are to stay at home.

· If your child or any member of your child’s bubble is a confirmed or probable or recovered COVID -19 case or is awaiting a test or the result of a test OR under instructions or required to self-isolate or quarantine (for example as a close contact or recent traveller) then they are to stay at home.

· It is really important you inform the school if your child is sick or absent before 8:30am in the morning if they are on the Alert Level 3 roll as a result of this survey – the school will be monitoring and following up absences as usual

· If Children do come to school unwell, their parents will be contacted and expected to pick up immediately. WE DO NOT HAVE THE FACILITIES TO ISOLATE UNWELL CHILDREN

Physical Distancing

· Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. Please note that in an Alert Level 2 school environment, this is a very different to the restrictions we are currently used to. In Alert level 2 this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on (avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone”.)or touching each other.

· Good hygiene practices will operate including (coughing into your elbow, handwashing and drying). Everyone will sanitise hands when entering the space.

· There will be no deice sharing and all equipment will be cleaned. Our classes are deep cleaned by our cleaners every evening

· If you have to go to the office there are to only be two in at a time. Physical distancing for everyone waiting. Communication with the office is better by email

Contact Tracing

· We are required to contact trace and this is very difficult to do with the numbers on site so unlike our normal practise of welcoming you into school I am going to encourage you to only to come on the school grounds if you absolutely have to. The exception being the whanau of children starting in Space 11 next week. If you absolutely have to enter the school ground, see the teacher or visit the class, you need to fill in the contact tracing form at the door of your child’s space. Bring your own pen

Drop off and Pick-ups . Starting this morning

We would prefer that children walked, biked or used their scooters where appropriate or when parents can walk children and leave them at the gate.

· If you must drop off by car both Studholme and Somerfield Streets entrances operate as drop off zones. This is a Drop, Kiss and Go zone. Please do not park or enter the school grounds. You will need to be patient and wait, but it does work!

We are proud of the way the bubble kids and parents coped with the dropping off and not entering the grounds. Our tamariki showed their resilience!

· To ensure we can drop off and pick up by CAR we have staggered this .

Those with the surname starting

o A- L, drop off between 8:20 – 8:30am and pick up 2:55- 3:05pm

o M-Z , drop off between 8:35- 8:45am and pick up 3:3:10 – 3:20pm

If you absolutely have to come on site we will be contact tracing and you will need to use your COVID APP

All children will be required to go straight home. They will not be able to play on the bike track or playground after school.

School will start as usual at 8:55am


Events such as assemblies, sporting events can continue as normal for tamariki and staff if we can ensure the physical distancing. E.g. We will have ropu assemblies in the hall. At this stage we have postponed or cancelled some events .If we do have any events with parents we have to contact trace.

There is no full assembly this week .We are hoping to have other assemblies and other events when we have our routines re-established and when we can be assured that we can do so in a safe way. I’ll let you know the procedures for contact tracing if parents attend for events through the newsletter beforehand.


· If you need to contact the school office, we ask that you do so by phone or email if possible. If you have to go to the office there are to only be two in at a time. Physical distancing of 2 meters is required for everyone waiting

· There will be no shared lunches, the café will be closed and children will need to bring their own drink bottles.

· Masks – these are to be worn when not able to physically distance ie bus not necessary at school

No full assembly Friday.

Kapahaka on hold until Saturday when you will be notified.

Thank you. I know there is a lot of information again but all necessary under the circumstances.