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Coronavirus Update


COVID-19 Updates 

8th September 2021

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

 

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

 

We are looking forward to seeing our students back at school tomorrow. If, however, your child has any symptoms of any sickness or even a mild sniffle you must keep them at home. 

 

As stated in our Level 2 procedures below, parents/whanau are not to come into school, unless it is an emergency, but should drop their children off at the school gate. Please call this office on 07 863 8653 for any enquiries.  If parents/whanau must come into school you must wear a mask and scan in or sign in on the form outside of the school office.

 

For us, all the required safety precautions for Alert Level 2 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 frequently wash their hands and cough and sneeze into their elbow.

 

While physical distancing is not a requirement in schools, we will be doing our best to keep students from congregating in very large numbers and keeping spaces well-ventilated. 

 

Face coverings are not required to be worn in school. The Director General of Health has recommended that children 12 years+ wear a face covering at school – just as older children are required to wear face coverings in some other places.  The decision to wear a face covering is up to you and your whānau, whatever your decision it will be respected.

 

Below are our Health and Safety Procedures for Level 2. 

 

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS): Level 2
Health and Safety Procedures St Joseph’s School -Waihi

  1. Parents are not to come into the school grounds unless absolutely necessary. All visitors must wear a mask and scan in or sign the register outside of the school office.
  2. Mask wearing by students is not mandatory but recommended by the Ministry of Health for children 12 years of age and over.
  3. Everyone is to keep 2m distance from each other and no handshaking or close contact.
  4. Only one visitor in the office at one time and only of necessary. All enquiries should be made by phone (07 863 8653) if possible.
  5. Staff must sign in/out when leaving and re-entering school during the day- if they leave after entering school at the start of the day.
  6. Keep spacing of least 1m when working with a child in the classroom with no close contact – “breathing distance”.
  7. Keep hand santiser in classroom for children to use and encourage handwashing regularly. 
  8. Teachers are to encourage/enforce children to wash/sanitise their hands after using playground equipment or any activity where they may touch communal items.
  9. Staff are to wash/sanitise their hands before and after communal use of staffroom utensils, hot water taps etc.
  10. Avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery.
  11. Only one person in photocopying room at one time. Use hand santiser before use and/or wipe photocopier keypad and use hand santiser after use. Spray any other touched surfaces such as trays and benchtops.
  12. Wet wipe and dry classroom door handles regularly throughout the day especially after being touched before hand sanitser has been used .
  13. All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, door handles, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY.
  14. All people entering site need to sanitise/wash their hands, following best practice. 
  15. If feeling unwell do not come into school. Any sick children, or displaying symptoms of sickness, will be sent home immediately.

MOE - “There is no requirement to clean surfaces between uses by different groups, or to clean playground equipment. It is suggested that other shared equipment is cleaned regularly but, again, there is no requirement to undertake cleaning between each use by different groups or individuals.
 
Washing hands before and after using shared equipment including playground equipment remains a priority. Many school playgrounds will be accessible out of school hours and unable to be monitored for contact tracing. Ensuring students wash and dry their hands before and after use will help mitigate any possible risk from others using the equipment eg in the weekend.”

 

 

Take care and be safe.
Nga mihi
 
Shaun O’Leary
Principal

6th September 2021

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

 

You will have heard the Government’s decision this afternoon that New Zealand, beyond the northern and southern boundaries of Auckland, is moving to Alert Level 2 commencing from 11:59pm Tuesday 7 September. Auckland will remain in Alert Level 4 until at least 11:59pm Tuesday 14 September.

 

St Joseph’s School will be open again for students this Thursday 9th September.

 

Below are our Health and Safety Procedures for Level 2. We are still waiting for and update form the Ministry of Health and if there are any changes to the procedures below I will let you know.

 

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS): Level 2
Health and Safety Procedures St Joseph’s School -Waihi

  1. Parents are not to come into the school grounds unless absolutely necessary. All visitors must wear a mask and scan in or sign the register outside of the school office.
  2. Mask wearing by students is not mandatory but recommended by the Ministry of Health for children 12 years of age and over.
  3. Everyone is to keep 2m distance from each other and no handshaking or close contact.
  4. Only one visitor in the office at one time and only of necessary. All enquiries should be made by phone (07 863 8653) if possible.
  5. Staff must sign in/out when leaving and re-entering school during the day- if they leave after entering school at the start of the day.
  6. Keep spacing of least 1m when working with a child in the classroom with no close contact – “breathing distance”.
  7. Keep hand santiser in classroom for children to use and encourage handwashing regularly. 
  8. Teachers are to encourage/enforce children to wash/sanitise their hands after using playground equipment or any activity where they may touch communal items.
  9. Staff are to wash/sanitise their hands before and after communal use of staffroom utensils, hot water taps etc.
  10. Avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery.
  11. Only one person in photocopying room at one time. Use hand santiser before use and/or wipe photocopier keypad and use hand santiser after use. Spray any other touched surfaces such as trays and benchtops.
  12. Wet wipe and dry classroom door handles regularly throughout the day especially after being touched before hand sanitser has been used .
  13. All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, door handles, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY.
  14. All people entering site need to sanitise/wash their hands, following best practice. 
  15. If feeling unwell do not come into school. Any sick children, or displaying symptoms of sickness, will be sent home immediately.

MOE - “There is no requirement to clean surfaces between uses by different groups, or to clean playground equipment. It is suggested that other shared equipment is cleaned regularly but, again, there is no requirement to undertake cleaning between each use by different groups or individuals.
 
Washing hands before and after using shared equipment including playground equipment remains a priority. Many school playgrounds will be accessible out of school hours and unable to be monitored for contact tracing. Ensuring students wash and dry their hands before and after use will help mitigate any possible risk from others using the equipment eg in the weekend.”

 

 

Take care and be safe.
Nga mihi
 
Shaun O’Leary
Principal

 


30th August 2021


Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

This afternoon we received confirmation that New Zealand regions south of Auckland’s regional boundary will shift into Alert Level 3 at 11:59pm Tuesday 31 August and will stay in Alert Level 3 for a period of one week, with review on Monday 6 September.

Our teachers have been busy providing programmes and resources for your children to use and it has been great to see the uptake in children participating in this learning. Please remember to contact your child's teacher if you need assistance with anything.
 
Room 1  https://wsjroom1.blogspot.com/
Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 4  http://stjoswaihir2.blogspot.com/
Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz 
 
Room 6 https://wsjroom6.blogspot.com/
Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz
 

Take care and be safe.
Nga mihi
 
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


27th August 2021

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
No doubt you will have heard the Prime Minister’s announcement today that we are moving to Level 3 from midnight on Tuesday of next week, August 31st (effective Wednesday September 1st), with Auckland staying in Level 4.

“By design, Level 3 is a progression, not a rush to normality. It carries forward many of the restrictions in place at Level 4, including the requirement to mainly be at home in your bubble and to limit contact with others.” Jacinda Ardern 

During Level 3 schools are to remain closed except for children of parents working away from home who have one to look after their children. Parents will not be able to send children to school by their own choice but, must register with the school the intention for their child to return by email at principal@wsj.school.nz so the school is able to have all necessary provisions in place for any children in attendance. 
Please remember to contact your child's teacher if you need assistance with anything.
 
Room 1  https://wsjroom1.blogspot.com/
Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 4  http://stjoswaihir2.blogspot.com/
Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz 
 
Room 6 https://wsjroom6.blogspot.com/
Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz
 
COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS): Level 3
Health and Safety Procedures St Joseph’s School -Waihi
1. No one is allowed on school grounds apart from staff, approved
tradesmen, or those with prior approval.
2. At least two staff members must be on the school grounds when children
are in receiving instruction.
3. Everyone is to keep 2m distance from each other and no handshaking or
close contact.
4. Keep spacing of least 1m when working with a child in the classroom.
5. Keep hand santiser in classroom for children to use and encourage
hand-washing regularly.
6. Children are not to use playground equipment under level 3.
7. Staff bring in their own lunches and drinks in thermos or water bottle. This
is to avoid communal use of staffroom utensils, hot water taps etc.
8. Avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery.
9. Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must spray and
wipe photocopier keypad after use. Spray any other touched surfaces
such as trays and bench tops.
10.Wash hands with antibacterial hand cleanser after touching door handles.
11.All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, door handles, light switches etc. to be
cleaned DAILY.
12.All people entering site need to wash their hands, following best practice.
13.If feeling unwell do not come into school

Washing hands properly
Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water
Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between
fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds
Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water
Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as
available. 
Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

The prime minister may have more announcements next week that may affect our school, if so, I will keep you posted.
Take care and keep safe.
Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


23rd August 2021

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends,

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

 
As you will have seen this afternoon, the prime minister has extended the Level 4 Lockdown until midnight Friday August 27th so our school is closed until next Monday at the earliest.  Your child’s teacher will have been in contact with you either by text, school blogs or both. Please contact them if you need assistance with anything.
 
Room 1  https://wsjroom1.blogspot.com/
Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 4  http://stjoswaihir2.blogspot.com/
Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 6 https://wsjroom6.blogspot.com/
Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz
 
 

Here is a link to a website with some resources and has lots of fun activities and ideas for children during lockdown.

 

https://sites.google.com/view/learningfromhome2021rtlb-ubby/home


A reminder below of the links provided by the Ministry of Education that aid in distance learning.
 
Distance Learning: Alert Level 4
  • Home Learning TV can be accessed on demand here or via the TVNZ App on a device (mobile phone, smart tv or tablet)
 
Alert Level 4 means we need to stay home in our bubbles and avoid any travelling as much as possible.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, foodbanks and other essential services will be open – but remember to wear a face covering if you are out and about (even a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose will help). Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go and please also keep a distance from people you don’t know and wash your hands well and often, especially before and after using any public facilities. 
Please go to the Ministry of Health website if you have visited Auckland or the Coromandel region recently.  There is a list of locations the confirmed case has visited while they were considered to be infectious. If you were at one of those locations and at the same time as specified on the website, then please follow the relevant instructions to isolate and potentially to get tested. Please keep checking that webpage as new locations may be identified over time.
 
Our focus as always will be to support the learning, safety and wellbeing of our rangatahi and tamariki and we continue to be here to support you as well.
 
For a copy of this email and further updates see the St Joseph’s COVID-19 update at the link below.
https://stjoswaihiprincipal.blogspot.com/2020/03/coronavirus-update.html 

Take care and be safe.
Nga mihi
 
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


20th August 2021

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
 
As you will have seen this afternoon , the prime minister has extended the Level 4 Lockdown until midnight next Tuesday August 24th so our school is closed until Wednesday at the earliest.  Your child’s teacher will have been in contact with you either by text, school blogs or both. Please contact them if you need assistance with anything.
 
Room 1  https://wsjroom1.blogspot.com/
Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 4  http://stjoswaihir2.blogspot.com/
Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz
 
Room 6 https://wsjroom6.blogspot.com/
Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz
 
 
A reminder below of the links provided by the Ministry of Education that aid in distance learning.
 
Distance Learning: Alert Level 4
  • Home Learning TV can be accessed on demand here or via the TVNZ App on a device (mobile phone, smart tv or tablet)
 
Alert Level 4 means we need to stay home in our bubbles and avoid any travelling as much as possible.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, foodbanks and other essential services will be open – but remember to wear a face covering if you are out and about (even a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose will help). Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go and please also keep a distance from people you don’t know and wash your hands well and often, especially before and after using any public facilities. 
Please go to the Ministry of Health website if you have visited Auckland or the Coromandel region recently.  There is a list of locations the confirmed case has visited while they were considered to be infectious. If you were at one of those locations and at the same time as specified on the website, then please follow the relevant instructions to isolate and potentially to get tested. Please keep checking that webpage as new locations may be identified over time.
 
Our focus as always will be to support the learning, safety and wellbeing of our rangatahi and tamariki and we continue to be here to support you as well.
 
For a copy of this email and further updates see the St Joseph’s COVID-19 update at the link below.
https://stjoswaihiprincipal.blogspot.com/2020/03/coronavirus-update.html 

Take care and be safe.
Nga mihi
 
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


18th August 2021

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Waking up in Alert level 4 is something we hoped wouldn’t happen but it has and it is really important we do everything we can to keep our community safe. At this stage Waihi schools are in lockdown for 3 days and this will have little impact on your child’s leaning. However, should this situation be extended, below are some links provided by the Ministry of Education that aid in distance learning.


Distance Learning: Alert Level 4

A reminder that should you require assistance with anything related to your child's learning, please feel free to contact their classroom teacher through phone or text or through their contact emails as below.


Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz


Alert Level 4 means we need to stay home in our bubbles and avoid any travelling as much as possible.  Supermarkets, pharmacies, foodbanks and other essential services will be open – but remember to wear a face covering if you are out and about (even a scarf wrapped around your mouth and nose will help). Check in using the NZ COVID Tracer App wherever you go and please also keep a distance from people you don’t know and wash your hands well and often, especially before and after using any public facilities. 

Please go to the Ministry of Health website if you have visited Auckland or the Coromandel region recently.  There is a list of locations the confirmed case has visited while they were considered to be infectious. If you were at one of those locations and at the same time as specified on the website, then please follow the relevant instructions to isolate and potentially to get tested. Please keep checking that webpage as new locations may be identified over time.


Our focus as always will be to support the learning, safety and wellbeing of our rangatahi and tamariki and we continue to be here to support you as well.


Please take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal 

17th August 2021

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

We have all been surprised that due to a community case of Covid 19 the prime minister announced this evening that the country will be in Level 4 lockdown from midnight tonight.  At this point school is closed for the next 3 days (Wednesday to Friday), but this may be extended as it is unclear as to whether Waihi is included Coromandel Peninsular which is lockdown for 7 days. This is all we know at this stage, but should this lockdown continue into next week – our teachers will communicate with you regarding online learning. Please check your phones also for text updates and refer to your child’s teacher’s classroom blogs on the school website. 

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz


- If you have any flu-like symptoms, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or ring your GP.
- Find your closest Covid-19 testing location on the Healthpoint website
- Essential services such as supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open.

For more information, visit covid19.govt.nz.


Whilst initially we are looking at a short term lockdown, should this situation extend further here are 4 tips that may assist with your child's education.

1. Set up a learning space
Create an area in the house for your child to be able to focus on learning.
Home learning has an advantage in that it can cater to the individual child. As long as the student can focus and be safe, there are no limits to where the learning can take place. Feel free to allow children different places to learn, whether lying on the ground or sitting at a table – whatever works best for them. But try to limit distractions. Turning the TV off and switching off app notifications will help.

2. Think about the technology you’ll need
It’s worth checking what programs you will need to access the work the school send. You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free) or any specific video players such as Abode Flashplayer.
Your child’s classroom teacher may also suggest some Apps that you can download to assist your child’s learning.

3. Create a structure
Make sure your children do not just see this as an extended holiday but as normal school, from home. It’s important to create a structure.
Communication is key. Keep checking in with your children as to how they are progressing, offering help as they feel they need it.
This is a time when you can interact with your child learning. Please remember that not all their learning has to be digital based or involve devices.

·      Get them to help with cooking – this is great for Maths (amounts etc), Literacy (reading recipes), and for future life skills.
·      They can help with gardening – a great time to learn names of plants,  life cycles, and where our food comes from.
·      Building projects
·      Board games and card games
·      Give them time to play outside (with you if possible) – children need and thrive on regular exercise.
·      This could be a great time to learn a musical instrument. Online tutorials are endless.
·      If you are lost in what to do, then encourage your child to read. Model reading, get your children books and discuss them. Developing a love for reading in your children will help them in all learning areas.


4. Be around to help, but don’t get in the way
If your child is undertaking set tasks and is finding a particular task difficult, be available to make suggestions and answer questions, but try to let them do things themselves as much as possible.
If you don’t know the answer, work with your child to discover a solution. Let your child, where possible, self regulate – that is to take control of their own learning and not rely on you.
You may need to take your child back a step to reinforce a concept before they move onto a new one.

Please take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal 



28 February 2021

Alert Level 2 - All of New Zealand excluding Auckland region

Last night the Prime Minister informed us of new cases of community transmission of COVID 19 in Auckland. Alert Level 2 began at 6am this morning, 28 February for a period of seven days.
 
 Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend. At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school and for school hostels to be operating as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness.


Below are Health and Safety procedures to allow us to uphold the welfare of our staff and students at St Joseph's School under Alert Level 2.


COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS):       St Joseph’s School –Waihi

Alert Level 2  HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


  • If parents or children are feeling unwell or presenting any symptoms of illness do not come into school.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Visitors into school must maintain 2 metre distancing. Parents are not to congregate on school grounds or outside of the school.

  • Parents who come into school grounds doing drop offs and pick-ups must sign in or be marked off in our visitor registerParents who wait for children in the car for their children to come out do not need to be marked off. Contact tracing continues to be an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Recording who comes on-site means we could work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.

  • Maintaining 2 metre distancing means only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception area one at a time – so please keep visits brief and only come into the office if absolutely necessary.
  • Children and staff will under take physical distancing as a precaution. In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices is also a priority. Children will be encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands, including before and after using shared equipment, and coughing/sneezing into their elbow as good practice Children will also be instructed to exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. door handles) and wash or sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces. Hand sanitiser will be located in classrooms and around the school so it is readily accessible to all.
  • Children are to avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery and will bring their own water bottles to school to avoid sharing use of water fountains. They will be able to refill their water bottles at school.

Cleaning practices will include
·      All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY. Door handles to be cleaned several times /day
·      Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must sanitise/ wet-wipe and dry photocopier keypad after use. Wipe any other touched surfaces such as trays and bench tops.
  • Interschool Sport, including swimming instructionis postponed until further notice. Lunchtime sport and PE can take place within school physical distancing guidelines.


School Buses
  • Schools are required to maintain up to date bus lists of all students travelling on school transport.  In the event of contact tracing, the Ministry of Health will work with schools.  It is important that schools record who is travelling on school transport each day (morning and afternoon) to ensure accurate contact tracing if required. 

·      Any child who catches a bus to school in the morning must report to the school office upon arrival so that an accurate recored is kept.
·      Children who catch the bus after school will be marked off by the duty teacher.
Maintaining distancing for students is not practicable on school buses, so the following steps are being taken to ensure the appropriate level of protection for drivers and students:
·       Seats immediately behind and beside the driver are not to be used.  Murphy’s Buses will tape these seats off so it is clear to students that they are not available to use.  Unfortunately this may mean that some students are required to stand where there are insufficient seats available.
·       Hand sanitiser will be made available to drivers and students on the buses as they board.
·       Murphy Buses drivers will sanitise the high touch surfaces after each journey.
·      Any student who appears to be unwell will not be allowed on the bus

Washing hands properly
  • Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

If the situation changes, we will be in touch again. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.


Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary

Principal

14 February 2021

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Tonight the Prime Minister informed us of new cases of community transmission of COVID 19 in Auckland.  Auckland is moving into Alert Level 3 and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 from midnight tonight.  Health authorities are quickly gathering more information about these latest cases and will review every 24 hours.

Alert Level 2 - All of New Zealand excluding Auckland region
Alert Level 2 applies from midnight tonight for 72 hours.
 
Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend.
At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school and for school hostels to be operating as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness.

Below are Health and Safety procedures to allow us to uphold the welfare of our staff and students at St Joseph's School under Alert Level 2.


COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS):       St Joseph’s School –Waihi

Alert Level 2  HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


  • If parents or children are feeling unwell or presenting any symptoms of illness do not come into school.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Visitors into school must maintain 2 metre distancing. Parents are not to congregate on school grounds or outside of the school.

  • Parents who come into school grounds doing drop offs and pick-ups must sign in or be marked off in our visitor register. Parents who wait for children in the car for their children to come out do not need to be marked off. Contact tracing continues to be an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Recording who comes on-site means we could work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.

  • Maintaining 2 metre distancing means only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception area one at a time – so please keep visits brief and only come into the office if absolutely necessary.
  • Children and staff will under take physical distancing as a precaution. In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices is also a priority. Children will be encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands, including before and after using shared equipment, and coughing/sneezing into their elbow as good practice Children will also be instructed to exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. door handles) and wash or sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces. Hand sanitiser will be located in classrooms and around the school so it is readily accessible to all.
  • Children are to avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery and will bring their own water bottles to school to avoid sharing use of water fountains. They will be able to refill their water bottles at school.

Cleaning practices will include
·      All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY. Door handles to be cleaned several times /day
·      Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must sanitise/ wet-wipe and dry photocopier keypad after use. Wipe any other touched surfaces such as trays and bench tops.
  • Interschool Sport, including swimming instruction, is postponed until further notice. Lunchtime sport and PE can take place within school physical distancing guidelines.


School Buses
  • Schools are required to maintain up to date bus lists of all students travelling on school transport.  In the event of contact tracing, the Ministry of Health will work with schools.  It is important that schools record who is travelling on school transport each day (morning and afternoon) to ensure accurate contact tracing if required. 

·      Any child who catches a bus to school in the morning must report to the school office upon arrival so that an accurate recored is kept.
·      Children who catch the bus after school will be marked off by the duty teacher.
Maintaining distancing for students is not practicable on school buses, so the following steps are being taken to ensure the appropriate level of protection for drivers and students:
·       Seats immediately behind and beside the driver are not to be used.  Murphy’s Buses will tape these seats off so it is clear to students that they are not available to use.  Unfortunately this may mean that some students are required to stand where there are insufficient seats available.
·       Hand sanitiser will be made available to drivers and students on the buses as they board.
·       Murphy Buses drivers will sanitise the high touch surfaces after each journey.
·      Any student who appears to be unwell will not be allowed on the bus

Washing hands properly
  • Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

If the situation changes, we will be in touch again. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.


Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
28 August


Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

 I wanted to give you an update on some changes taking place next week and what they mean for your children and whānau.

 You are probably aware the Prime Minister has announced that face coverings will be required on public transport from next Monday, at Alert Level 2 and above. This does not apply to any child who is under 12 years of age and does not apply to school transport (we have good systems in place to manage safety on school transport).

 Public Health officials have advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings.

 Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings at school. Other public health control measures are in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.

 If your child doesn’t need to wear a face covering but they want to, that’s fine.

Face coverings are another way we can help keep ourselves and others safe, along with good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing when out and about and staying home if we are sick.

 We’re continuing contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, so please check in every time you come onsite.

 If you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s website has information to help you do that. We’ll also keep a visitor register for anyone who doesn’t have the app and also for anyone who comes onsite for a period of time. This will help us with contact tracing in the unlikely case it is needed.

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary 
Principal



24 August

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends


Following the announcement from the Prime Minister we will remain at Alert Level 2.
 
Just a reminder that while everyone is onsite at Alert Level 2, we must adhere to key health measures including:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying away if sick
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
  • Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come onsite
  • Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other visitors who come onsite for a period of time.

We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible. Because of these measures, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school. We will of course support them should they choose to do so.
 
For those of you who might be finding things more difficult than usual, a reminder that there is a large range of support available for businesses and the community. We encourage you to go to the covid19.govt.nz for more information, or get in touch and we will help you to find the information and support you need.

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary 
Principal



16 August

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 2, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:

·       Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette

·       Staying away if sick

·       Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others

·       Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily

·       Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come on-site

·       Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other essential visitors

We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible. Because of these measures being in place, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school.

 

Thank you for your continued support for all we are doing to keep our community safe.

***Under Level 2, because gatherings of more than 100 people are not permitted, there will be no interschool or community sport in Waihi.

Below are Health and Safety procedures to allow us to uphold the welfare of our staff and students at St Joseph's School under Alert Level 2.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS):       St Joseph’s School –Waihi

Alert Level 2  HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


  • If parents or children are feeling unwell or presenting any symptoms of illness do not come into school.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Visitors into school must maintain 2 metre distancing. Parents are not to congregate on school grounds or outside of the school.
  • Parents who come into school grounds doing drop offs and pick-ups must sign in or be marked off in our visitor register. Parents who wait for children in the car for their children to come out do not need to be marked off. Contact tracing continues to be an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Recording who comes on-site means we could work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.
  • Maintaining 2 metre distancing means only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception area one at a time – so please keep visits brief and only come into the office if absolutely necessary.
  • Children and staff will under take physical distancing as a precaution. In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices is also a priority. Children will be encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands, including before and after using shared equipment, and coughing/sneezing into their elbow as good practice Children will also be instructed to exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. door handles) and wash or sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces. Hand sanitiser will be located in classrooms and around the school so it is readily accessible to all.
  • Children are to avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery and will bring their own water bottles to school to avoid sharing use of water fountains. They will be able to refill their water bottles at school.

Cleaning practices will include
·      All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY. Door handles to be cleaned several times /day
·      Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must sanitise/ wet-wipe and dry photocopier keypad after use. Wipe any other touched surfaces such as trays and bench tops.
  • Interschool Sport is postponed until further notice. Lunchtime sport and PE can take place within school physical distancing guidelines.


School Buses
  • Schools are required to maintain up to date bus lists of all students travelling on school transport.  In the event of contact tracing, the Ministry of Health will work with schools.  It is important that schools record who is travelling on school transport each day (morning and afternoon) to ensure accurate contact tracing if required. 

·      Any child who catches a bus to school in the morning must either be marked off by a teacher before disembarking or report to the school office upon arrival so that an accurate recored is kept.
·      Children who catch the bus after school will be marked off by the duty teacher.
Maintaining distancing for students is not practicable on school buses, so the following steps are being taken to ensure the appropriate level of protection for drivers and students:
·       Seats immediately behind and beside the driver are not to be used.  Murphy’s Buses will tape these seats off so it is clear to students that they are not available to use.  Unfortunately this may mean that some students are required to stand where there are insufficient seats available.
·       Hand sanitiser will be made available to drivers and students on the buses as they board.
·       Murphy Buses drivers will sanitise the high touch surfaces after each journey.
·      Any student who appears to be unwell will not be allowed on the bus

Washing hands properly
  • Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary 
Principal

12 August
Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Last night the Prime Minister informed us of new cases of community transmission of COVID 19 in Auckland.  Auckland is now moving into Alert Level 3 until Friday midnight and the rest of the country to Alert Level 2 until the same time.  This may change so please keep up to date or refer back to this blog which will be updated as new information is received. 

Below are Health and Safety procedures to allow us to uphold the welfare of our staff and students at St Joseph's School under Alert Level 2.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS):       St Joseph’s School –Waihi

Alert Level 2  HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


  • If parents or children are feeling unwell or presenting any symptoms of illness do not come into school.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Visitors into school must maintain 2 metre distancing. Parents are not to congregate on school grounds or outside of the school.
  • Parents who come into school grounds doing drop offs and pick-ups must sign in or be marked off in our visitor register. Parents who wait for children in the car for their children to come out do not need to be marked off. Contact tracing continues to be an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Recording who comes on-site means we could work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.
  • Maintaining 2 metre distancing means only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception area one at a time – so please keep visits brief and only come into the office if absolutely necessary.
  • Children and staff will under take physical distancing as a precaution. In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices is also a priority. Children will be encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands, including before and after using shared equipment, and coughing/sneezing into their elbow as good practice Children will also be instructed to exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. door handles) and wash or sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces. Hand sanitiser will be located in classrooms and around the school so it is readily accessible to all.
  • Children are to avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery and will bring their own water bottles to school to avoid sharing use of water fountains. They will be able to refill their water bottles at school.

Cleaning practices will include
·      All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY. Door handles to be cleaned several times /day
·      Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must sanitise/ wet-wipe and dry photocopier keypad after use. Wipe any other touched surfaces such as trays and bench tops.
  • Interschool Sport is postponed until further notice. Lunchtime sport and PE can take place within school physical distancing guidelines.


School Buses
  • Schools are required to maintain up to date bus lists of all students travelling on school transport.  In the event of contact tracing, the Ministry of Health will work with schools.  It is important that schools record who is travelling on school transport each day (morning and afternoon) to ensure accurate contact tracing if required. 

·      Any child who catches a bus to school in the morning must either be marked off by a teacher before disembarking or report to the school office upon arrival so that an accurate recored is kept.
·      Children who catch the bus after school will be marked off by the duty teacher.
Maintaining distancing for students is not practicable on school buses, so the following steps are being taken to ensure the appropriate level of protection for drivers and students:
·       Seats immediately behind and beside the driver are not to be used.  Murphy’s Buses will tape these seats off so it is clear to students that they are not available to use.  Unfortunately this may mean that some students are required to stand where there are insufficient seats available.
·       Hand sanitiser will be made available to drivers and students on the buses as they board.
·       Murphy Buses drivers will sanitise the high touch surfaces after each journey.
·      Any student who appears to be unwell will not be allowed on the bus

Washing hands properly
  • Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.



Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal

9 June

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

I am sure you were as pleased as I was to hear the Prime Minister’s announcement about moving to Alert Level 1.  For us, there will be no major changes to what we are doing and our school continues to be safe to attend, including any staff and children who are considered more vulnerable to COVID. We have a good cleaning routine in place, people who are sick are staying at home and we continue to encourage good hygiene practices.

We are supporting contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances – so if you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s NZ-COVID Tracer app page has information to help you do that.

What is changing is we can now look forward to inter-school and community sport, cultural events and performances and to welcoming all of our school community on site for these activities.

There are key public health measures - Golden Rules - for everyone in New Zealand to follow. For schools and early learning services this means:
  • If people are sick, they should stay home (phone Healthline or their GP and get tested if they have cold or flu symptoms).
  • Continue to regularly wash and dry hands, sneeze and cough into elbows.
  • Support contact tracing efforts by displaying QR Code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.
  • Stringent self-isolation of those who display relevant symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, or have been overseas in the last 14 days – Ministry of Health information for self-isolation.

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary 
Principal

26 May

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Thank you to all those who completed our school survey. Please check out the following for the Link to Distance Learning During Lockdown Results

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal

22 May

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
It was a fantastic week at school and so great to see all our children back with a smile on their faces. 

A reminder for those who haven’t completed the 3 minute survey on distance learning under lockdown. Your completion will really help us in going forward should this happen again.Please click on the following link to complete the short survey.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S9W6NCV

Below are messages from the Ministry of Education in relation to how all is going under Level 2

 -      The return to school, kura, kōhanga reo or early learning service has gone really smoothly and it has been brilliant to see how excited the children have been to get back to their learning and social routines.
-        We know some of our families and whānau are still feeling a bit anxious about sending their children back which is understandable given everything we have been through these past 2 months.
-        It’s really important children do return, not just for their education but also their health and wellbeing.
-        Instances of COVID-19 in New Zealand are very low and here in the Waikato we have no cases, with the last case reported on 10 May.
-        We’re aware of concerns out there that people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. The Ministry of Health has advised us that there is no instance in New Zealand of someone spreading the virus without ever having symptoms.
-        Our schools, kura, kōhanga reo and early learning services are safe. Even though there is such a low risk of the virus getting in the gates to start with, we will be keeping up our hygiene practices and other public health measures as an extra precaution for as long as we’re at Alert Level 2.

Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal

20 May

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
It is great to have all our children back at school.


We are conducting a brief survey of how the distance learning went during lockdown. Please click on the following link to complete the short survey.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S9W6NCV


Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal

15 May


Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
For many Monday can’t come soon enough for all of children to be back at school but we are almost there. It has been a long drawn-out process and we are so looking forward to having the children back again. It seems we are winning the COVID-19 battle but we are to remain vigilant. Below are some key points for school next week.  
  • If parents or children stay home if unwell in any way.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Parents are requested to avoid coming on to school grounds but if you do come into school grounds for drop offs and pick-ups you must sign our visitor register which will be on a desk outside of the school office. Recording who comes on-site is mandatory in the case we need to work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.
  • Only come into the school office if absolutely necessary. Only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception at a time – and visits are to be brief.
  • Children are to bring in their own drink bottles so they don’t have to share use of the water fountains.
  • The new classroom upgrade is now complete and students in Years 3 and 5 will move to their new classrooms either at the end of the first week or the start of the second depending on how they settle in once we are back. 

Full Health and Safety procedures are in the blog post below this one.

Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
13 May
Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

We are very much looking forward having all our children back on Monday May 18th.  Below are Health and Safety procedures to allow us to uphold the welfare of our staff and students under Alert Level 2.

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS):       St Joseph’s School –Waihi

Alert Level 2  HEALTH AND SAFETY PROCEDURES


  • If parents or children are feeling unwell or presenting any symptoms of illness do not come into school.  Unwell children will be sent home immediately.
  • Visitors into school must maintain 2 metre distancing. Parents are not to congregate on school grounds or outside of the school.
  • Parents who come into school grounds doing drop offs and pick-ups must sign in or be marked off in our visitor register. Parents who wait for children in the car for their children to come out do not need to be marked off. Contact tracing continues to be an incredibly important part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19. Recording who comes on-site means we could work with health authorities to identify who had been in close contact with that person, if there was a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in our school community.
  • Maintaining 2 metre distancing means only one parent will be allowed into the school office/reception area one at a time – so please keep visits brief and only come into the office if absolutely necessary.
  • Children and staff will under take physical distancing as a precaution. In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices is also a priority. Children will be encouraged to regularly wash or sanitise their hands, including before and after using shared equipment, and coughing/sneezing into their elbow as good practice.  Children will also be instructed to exercise caution with common touch points (e.g. door handles) and wash or sanitise their hands after touching these surfaces. Hand sanitiser will be located in classrooms and around the school so it is readily accessible to all.
  • Children are to avoid the use of shared objects such as pens and other stationery and will bring their own water bottles to school to avoid sharing use of water fountains. They will be able to refill their water bottles at school.

Cleaning practices will include
·      All site toilets, lunch rooms, offices, light switches etc. to be cleaned DAILY. Door handles to be cleaned several times /day
·      Only one person in photocopying room at one time. User must sanitise/ wet-wipe and dry photocopier keypad after use. Wipe any other touched surfaces such as trays and bench tops.
  • Interschool Sport is postponed until further notice. Lunchtime sport and PE can take place within school physical distancing guidelines.


School Buses
  • Schools are required to maintain up to date bus lists of all students travelling on school transport.  In the event of contact tracing, the Ministry of Health will work with schools.  It is important that schools record who is travelling on school transport each day (morning and afternoon) to ensure accurate contact tracing if required. 

·      Any child who catches a bus to school in the morning must either be marked off by a teacher before disembarking or report to the school office upon arrival so that an accurate recored is kept.
·      Children who catch the bus after school will be marked off by the duty teacher.
Maintaining distancing for students is not practicable on school buses, so the following steps are being taken to ensure the appropriate level of protection for drivers and students:
·       Seats immediately behind and beside the driver are not to be used.  Murphy’s Buses will tape these seats off so it is clear to students that they are not available to use.  Unfortunately this may mean that some students are required to stand where there are insufficient seats available.
·       Hand sanitiser will be made available to drivers and students on the buses as they board.
·       Murphy Buses drivers will sanitise the high touch surfaces after each journey.
·      Any student who appears to be unwell will not be allowed on the bus

Washing hands properly
  • Step 1: Wet hands with safe running water

  • Step 2: Apply enough soap to cover wet hands

  • Step 3: Scrub all surfaces of the hands – including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails – for at least 20 seconds

  • Step 4: Rinse thoroughly with running water

  • Step 5: Dry hands with a clean, dry cloth, single-use towel or hand drier as available
  • Wash your hands often, especially before and after eating; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom/ toilets/latrines and whenever your hands are visibly dirty. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, if hands are visibly dirty.



Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
11 May
Tena koutou katoa



Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

As you will have heard, the Prime Minister has announced that from 11.59pm on Wednesday we will be moving to Alert Level 2. 

School will start again for all on Monday May 18th and we are looking forward to seeing all children back then. Teachers will be contacting you by phone over the next few days.

I will have Health and Safety information out to you later in the week so you will know what procedures will be in place when the children return.

Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
7 May
Tena koutou katoa


Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Like me, I am sure you have followed with interest the announcements made by the Prime Minister.

It is reassuring to hear how well our country has done at minimising the impacts of COVID-19. Alert Levels 4 and 3 have not been easy and I thank you for your ongoing support for the work we are doing.

Today, the Prime Minister advised that in Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff and that additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.

The good news is that when we are able to, we will be ready to welcome all students and staff back to our school site.

Schools will be open to all students and year levels at Alert Level 2 from the beginning of the next school week after the announcement is made. All staff will be able to be on site from the start of Alert Level 2, as will students who have been on site during Alert Level 3. This means that if the Prime mInister decides next Monday that we will go to Level 2 the first day of school for our students will be on Monday May 18th.


The key Public Health approach is to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and second to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected.

As we have done in Alert Level 3, you can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.

Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. We do however know it is challenging in schools, so good hygiene practices and regular cleaning are even more important here. This includes staff and students coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

Under Alert Level 2, we advise any students and staff to stay at home if they are sick, and we will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms eg a runny nose.

Our school has safe and sensible practices to maintain the health and safety of everyone on the school site. As described by Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, “Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit. You don't have to cross the street to avoid anyone. Just avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone”. We all just need to remember to have some breathing space at Alert Level 2!

It’s important however that not just at school but at home, safe hygiene habits are practised by everyone, as this is essential to minimise the risk that someone gets infected with Covid-19.

For more information about the public health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

Over the next week I will be reviewing our health and safety plan and how it relates to Level 2. If you have any questions regarding health and safety or have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a plan for them, please contact me.

I will be in touch again next week to update you on our plans.

Ngā mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


2 May

Tena koutou katoa

Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

 I wanted to give you a quick update on how we are doing under Alert Level 3. 
Our distance learning and hard copy packs going home is working well. While it will certainly have challenges for you at home balancing work and care for your children, we are getting a lot of great feedback too. It is exciting to see the innovation that has been happening and some great photos coming through of what our students, families and whānau have been up to at home. 

We have closely followed the public health measures that have been put in place for Alert Level 3.  These were set by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to minimise spread in the unlikely event that someone in our community is confirmed with COVID-19.
  
Just to remind you also that COVID-19 is not an illness that impacts heavily on children and young people.  An article by Dr Gary Payinda in the NZ Herald highlights this:
 
  • The young are less likely to get infected, less likely to get seriously ill, and less likely to spread the infection to others.
  • When kids are affected, the illness is almost always mild. Luckily, unlike flu or many other infectious diseases, children with Covid are not super-spreaders.
  • Covid's not measles or chickenpox; it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit. You don't have to cross the street to avoid anyone. Just avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone.
  • Make hand hygiene a habit - more than being scared of runners passing by, touching groceries, or standing in queues at the supermarket, we should be afraid of our own hands.
 

You will also be interested to know there have been no confirmed instances of a person with COVID-19 who never developed symptoms spreading the virus. For more information on how COVID-19 is spread go to the Ministry of Health website.
 
Staying home if sick, physical distancing, good hand hygiene, not touching your face, good cough/sneeze etiquette and regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces minimises any potential spread of the virus. 

A reminder that should you require assistance with anything related to your child's learning, please feel free to contact their classroom teacher through phone or text or through their contact emails as below.

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz

Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal

28 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Today we moved from lockdown Level 4 to Level 3 as we navigate our way through COVID 19. We are reminded not to let up our guard and keep on with social distancing, hand washing and hygiene and keeping ourselves safe. If we all keep to this regime it will not be long before we are able move to a more familiar way of living.

At our Teacher Only Day today we shared stories of what the children are doing and the teachers contacted parents to see how all was going and to discuss ways in which the school could support either digitally or through hard copy materials going home. It makes us all proud to see our children doing so well in taking up the online learning challenges. Well done to all.

Here is a link to a story by a psychologist with his take on what we are going through with the COVID situation, followed by some links to sites that help with coping strategies to get through.
COVID short story by Mel Churton, Psychologist


Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
24 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
Through your emails, or phone calls with teachers or myself, we have received replies from all parents/caregivers with regards to learning during Level 3.

Teachers are are having a Teacher Only Day on Tuesday of next week and from there they will again be contacting parents and caregivers of their students to see who may need assistance with digital connections for online learning and who may benefit from hard copy learning resources that can be sent out. Only staff are allowed on to school grounds.

The Prime Minister stated that a review of  when we can move on from Level 3 will take place on Monday May 11th, so we will have at least two more weeks of online learning.  Our teachers have been working hard to provide work and online resources and have communicated through online platforms such as Zoom, which has gone very well. Many of you have commented on how pleased you are with the school work being provided. Should you require additional resources over this coming long weekend break, however, below are links to the Ministry of Education sites with a galore of educational activities for your child.




Should you require assistance with anything related to your child's learning, please feel free to contact their classroom teacher through phone or text or through their contact emails as below.
Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz


Tomorrow in Anzac Day and it is the first time since 1916 that New Zealanders haven't been able to gather across the nation to mark the Anzac anniversary. 

We might not be able to hold dawn services for Anzac Day this year amid lockdown, but we can still remember the fallen from home. Anzac Day services are not allowed during lockdown and instead, people can mark the anniversary by standing by their letterboxes at dawn and through virtual services and online events.The Stand at Dawn service, which has been organised by the RSA head office and the New Zealand Defence Force, will be broadcast over RNZ National from 6am.TVNZ is streaming a special Anzac Day programme on tomorrow, April 25, at 11am on TVNZ 1.

Have a safe weekend.

Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
20 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends
No doubt you will have heard the Prime Minister’s announcement today that we are moving to Level 3 from midnight on Monday of next week, April 27th.

“By design, Level 3 is a progression, not a rush to normality. It carries forward many of the restrictions in place at Level 4, including the requirement to mainly be at home in your bubble and to limit contact with others.” Jacinda Ardern said.

Schools will be open for a teacher only day on Tuesday April 28th with the facility for the return of some students on April 29th. Parents and caregivers are advised to keep their children at home and maintain distance learning where that is possible and only send their children to school if absolutely necessary.
During Level 3 parents will not be able to send children to school arbitrarily but must register with the school the intention for their child to return so the school is able to have all necessary provisions in place for the number of children in attendance. Please email me at principal@wsj.school.nz indicating whether you will be keeping your child at home under Level 3 or intend them to be at school.
Specific public health measures to be taken in schools:
Under alert level 3
· Parents and caregivers keep their children at home and maintain distance learning where that is possible. Parents and caregivers send children to school only if they need to.
Parents are to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, they are to be sent home.
Staggered entry times into classes with one time for school transport to minimise gatherings of children or parents.
Starts and finishes to the school day are to be staggered as are breaks, and bubbles cannot mix during breaks.
Contact tracing registers will be set up and identify which children are in each teaching space, record when and who they have contact with during the day if that changes. This includes recording who the adults are in contact with as well as recording any visitors to the site, including parents.
To support contact tracing students should sit in the same place each day, with 1m physical distance between all children, young people and staff. Must maintain 2 metre physical distance outside and 1m inside during breaks and 1m on school transport.
Initially the number of children must be limited to 10 in a school bubble, but this can be increased to 20 once all processes are running smoothly. There can be multiple school bubbles in a physical space but there must be distance between bubbles and strictly no mixing between school bubbles.
Physical education classes and breaktime activities cannot include sports with <2m physical distance or where the same equipment is touched by different students (balls, ropes, sticks, etc).
Hand sanitiser at entry to classrooms and in bathrooms.
All surfaces to be disinfected and cleaned daily.
We will be finalising procedures for these measures over the next week.The Ministry of Education is in meetings at present and some things may change.

Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal
16 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

Today the Prime Minister outlined the high level descriptions of COVID-19 alert levels with a focus on alert level 3.  Below is the current description of how Education will look when the decision is made to go to Alert Level 3.

Education Under Alert Level 3
Under Alert Level 3 it will be safe for Early Learning / Education Centres and schools to open for children up to and including year 10, with appropriate public health measures in place. All young people in years 11-13 will continue to learn at home.

Physical attendance at school is voluntary, but all children not at school should be learning by distance. Schools will be a safe place for children to go to learn if their parents need to return to work, or the children cannot learn at a distance. Children who are able to, should remain home and learn via distance.

Schools and Early Learning / Education Centres will contact parents as they work through their plans for re-opening. Home based early learning services can resume up to the maximum number of licensed children of 4 including the educators own children, provided public health requirements are met. Play centres and play groups will be closed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks are not necessary for a school environment. Children, young people and staff who are at greater risk are encouraged to stay at home. Any child, young person or staff member who is sick should remain at home.

It will take at least a week for Schools and Early Learning Services to get ready to open after we go to Alert Level 3.

Most tertiary education will be through distance learning. Tertiary education facilities may open for limited activities involving small stable groups (up to 10 people who do not change). Campus research that can’t be done off campus such as lab work, and practical hands on learning, such as trades courses, where the learning can happen in small groups with appropriate physical distancing. Courses where close contact is unavoidable will remain online only. 

Examples to explain these measures
Schools will look different under Alert Level 3. There will be far fewer students on the grounds, and they will stay within their small groups. Some teachers will be teaching students at school, while others will providing distance learning.


There is a lot of detail to work through to operationalise the re-opening of schools and early learning services when the decision is taken to go to Alert Level 3. I will let you know as soon as it is clear as to when we will be open for students to return and what that will look like.

Nga mihi
Shaun O’Leary
Principal


15 April
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

The first day of Term 2 with Home Learning officially starts today. There has been much information in the media about students being able to receive devices to help with online learning. There are, however, a limited number of devices to go around and the roll out will be to secondary students first, especially those students undertaking NCEA.

With Home Learning – the priority is the wellbeing of the child first. There is a global epidemic that is unprecedented in our history and it is a very difficult time for many.   Our teachers are posting school work online for your children but if your child is unable to undertake all or any of the tasks do not be concerned.
Psychologist Nigel Latta spoke on this on 7 Sharp last night. 
Asked “How much home schooling do children really need during the lockdown?”
Latta replied:
“Well, the simple answer is none. Need versus want.
“So there’s some kids that will want to do school work and that’s great because teachers have worked really hard and there’s lots of good content for them to do, and if they want to do it, and they enjoy doing it, and it’s easy for the parents to do, and it doesn’t add stress, great, do it.
“If you’re trying to juggle work and a bunch of other things and the kids don’t want to do it and it’s just adding stress, don’t do it, and it will do them no harm at all.”

Our teachers are posting content for online learning on their classroom blogs, Google Classroom and ZOOM conferencing.  Today we welcome back Diana Choat - who is working hard to update her online programme.

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz


Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV is now free to air, on TVNZ channel 2+1 and on TVNZ on Demand, channel 7 on Freeview, as well as on Sky Channel 502. It will run from 9am to 3pm on school days with programming for children and young people, as well as for parents.
 
Content will be grouped for early learners and students by age range, and will include play, literacy, mathematics, science, te reo Māori, physical education and wellbeing. All of the programmes will feature highly experienced teachers and presenters, along with wellbeing and movement experts.    

Check the Programme Schedule for daily programming information.
 
Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be on air for one month with provision to extend beyond that if needed.

Mauri Reo Mauri Ora’, will broadcast via the Te Reo Channel on SkyTV and Vodafone TV Channel 52, Free view channel 15 and Māori TV website https://www.teaomaori.news/its-kura-your-own-home-mauri-reo-mauri-ora from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am-3pm for the next 10 weeks, starting on the 15th of April. The programmes will be aligned to the curriculum and contain age appropriate content that tamariki can do on their own, with their siblings or together as a whānau.
 
The programmes on Māori television are for reo Māori learners of all ages, with a focus on those who are aged 0-18, covering ākonga in kōhungahunga (early learning), kura tuatahi (primary) and wharekura (secondary).
 
At the moment there is no clear indication when students will be allowed back to school. This may become clearer over the next week and the government assesses the COVID 19 situation further. We will let you know as soon as we know.

Nga mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal
12 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends


During the lockdown there are some families in our community who are finding it hard to make ends meet so in partnership with Waihi Salvation Army, the Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Team is raising funds to pay for food which they will distribute to needy families during the COVID-19 lockdown. All money raised will be used for this purpose. Any money remaining at the end of the lockdown will be donated to Waihi Salvation Army to assist their continued work with local families in need.
They have set up a Give a Little page
That way, those who can help have an easy way of assisting those who most need practical support at this me. If you would like to donate please visit this page.
Nga mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal

8 April

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

The Ministry of Education announced today their package to support education during COVID-19 school closures with school officially starting back next week on Wednesday April 15th.

The package includes: 
  •   increasing the number of students and ākonga who have access to connectivity and devices by an estimated 2000 this week (limited by the number of modems available) with an initial focus on connecting students and ākonga in senior secondary school working towards NCEA – to minimise disruption for those working towards a qualification – and on those with greatest need due to disadvantage.
  • supporting where they can with hard copy materials for different year levels
  • more online resources for schools and kura, parents, ākonga and whānau available through the Learning from Home and Ki te Ao Mārama websites
  • TV channels in English and te reo Māori offering learning programmes for learners from early learning to year 10
  • Extending access to the Virtual Learning Network.


    Home learning television
    They have been working with teachers and leaders, alongside staff from ERO and Te Kura  to develop Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV, on TVNZ, which will run from 9am to 3pm on school days on TVNZ2+1 and Sky channel 502. Some lessons will also be available on TVNZ On Demand. This is planned to start from Wednesday April 15th.

    There will be content for parents and whānau with preschool children and tamariki, and lessons for those aged 5 to 15 years of age will cover a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science through an integrated approach to curriculum.

**Your child’s classroom teacher will be contacting you by text to see if your child has access to internet and the use of a device. We ask that you reply with this information so they can best plan programmes for their classes.



Nga mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal
7 April


Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

I hope you are all well and keeping safe.

I ask for your prayers for our teacher Diana Choat and her family.  Diana’s mother suffered severe stroke at the end of last week and passed away on Sunday. This was all very sudden and Diana is in lockdown in Te Awamutu as her family go through final funeral preparations etc.   

For parents of children in Room 1, Diana won’t be online again until mid next week – we ask for your understanding at this time.

Nga mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal


3 April
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends,

Below is an update of information links provided by the Ministry of Education to support school communities through COVID-19


Wellbeing information updated including new tip sheets for families, caregivers and whānau
We have slightly updated the wellbeing information on our website to better reflect how the COVID-19 response has changed over the last weeks. Included in there are three new tip sheets for parents, caregivers and teachers:
  • Tips for teachers, parents and caregivers – supporting toddlers
  • Tips for teachers, parents and caregivers – supporting children
  • Tips for teachers, parents and caregivers – supporting young people

If you know someone who might be struggling in your school or early learning service community, there are a large range of supports in place that may be able to assist including:


Welfare
If you are aware there are people in your community who cannot get access to essential goods such as food, they can contact the local Emergency Coordination Centres (ECC), part of Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) Groups. These groups coordinate the regional multi-agency response and provide a range of support activities.  This is intended for people who don’t have any other options available to them and operates 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm - https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/resources/news-and-events/news/cdem-group-0800-numbers-for-supporting-communities/  

Take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal

1 April
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends


Technology is great whether it’s for information, learning, keeping connected or for games, music and videos. This update provides a reminder about how to keep young people safe in an online world where, unfortunately there are some predators.



Keeping on line safe

 Parents, caregivers and whānau are encouraged to discuss internet safety with their children - of all ages. They should agree with their children what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviours including:
  • reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
  • reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
  • checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
  • check the sites your child is accessing
  • reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
  • taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
  • monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.

There is a unique opportunity during the lockdown of families going out together, albeit it close to home, but if your child is going out on their own it’s still important to check where they are going.

  • If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police - if you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.

Please take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary

Principal
28 March 

28 March 2020 
Pastoral Letter to the Catholic People from the Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand regarding Covid-19
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
As we begin these weeks of lockdown in Aotearoa New Zealand, we are deeply aware of the shared sacrifice for the protection of our families, workplaces and the wider community both local and international. In these weeks the safety of all people is our primary concern. We are unable to leave our homes and must remain isolated from everyone other than those with whom we live.

The current restrictions prevent priests from leaving their homes, even to minister to the sick and dying, and therefore the sacraments of the church are unavailable to parishioners. This an especially great suffering for both priests and people, unprecedented in our lifetime.

But this lack of availability of the sacraments is not unknown in the history of the Church in our land. Before the arrival of the first priests in Aotearoa in 1838, Catholic faith was growing in New Zealand with families and small communities of Catholics living with the strong desire for the sacraments of Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, and Anointing that they were not yet able to celebrate. Even following the arrival of priests many of our Catholic ancestors still found themselves unable to participate in the Mass because of distance, but they embraced the mission of forming their families in faith with daily prayer together and ensuring that the scriptures and the lives of the saints were read for personal formation and shared with their children.

In these days we hear that many of you are praying more regularly in your homes using every means of support available, especially online streaming of the Mass and Stations of the Cross, reading the scriptures privately or with your families and praying the Rosary and other devotional prayers. We are inspired by your generous response to this unexpected Lenten penance and we are excited by the evidence that Christ is meeting you in your closed room.

God always provides for his people. The sacraments, which are the primary communicators of the life of God within the Church, are not the origin of grace, nor do they have a monopoly on it. God is the origin of all grace and God freely chooses to reward virtue, good intentions and actions.
In these extraordinary days of lockdown, when we are unable to receive the sacraments we desire (Eucharist, Reconciliation or Anointing), the Vatican, following the leadership of Pope Francis has communicated how we may obtain the graces usually given through these sacraments.

The healing and grace of these sacraments and more is still available to you, directly and without the sacraments through a Plenary Indulgence. This is the beauty of what was offered throughout history by Indulgences, before our understanding of these communicators of grace was corrupted by misuse.
This is a beautiful opportunity to know the mercy, forgiveness and love of Jesus Christ. How we might receive these graces is detailed on the appended last page: When you cannot receive the Sacraments because of Quarantine.
The Church has always responded to people in times of need with extraordinary generosity and mercy. This is true in these days, with the Indulgence offered not only to those in danger of death, but to all people who seek to rekindle their relationship with Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church.
Finally, we must remind you, please stay true to the spirit and the letter of the restrictions. Unless you work in an essential industry, or need to visit a supermarket, a doctor or a chemist, do NOT break this lockdown. Stay in your own household. Do not let visitors enter.
At the heart of our faith is the fact that in Jesus, God comes to us. We do not have to leave home to find God. In these days, in Jesus, God is coming to us, seeking to encounter us in the confines of our own homes.
Your parish priests are available to give counsel via the telephone and online. Mass is being celebrated online, with links available from your parish websites, or this special National Liturgy Office page:
Lent is traditionally a time of sacrifice, but we are usually free to choose what we will do and not do for Lent. This Lent, so much has changed unexpectedly, depriving us of many freedoms. An unexpected penance has been imposed from outside. Yet these next few weeks of lockdown offer us an unprecedented and extraordinary opportunity for growth. Let us unite in embracing this opportunity to grow together seeking greater maturity in faith in Jesus Christ within the Catholic Church.
Yours in Christ,

Patrick Dunn, Bishop of Auckland and NZCBC President

✠ Stephen Lowe, Bishop of Hamilton and NZCBC Secretary

✠ John Dew, Cardinal Archbishop of Wellington, NZCBC Vice President ✠ Paul Martin SM, Bishop of Christchurch

✠ Michael Dooley, Bishop of Dunedin

✠ Michael Gielen, Auxiliary Bishop of Auckland


When you cannot receive the Sacraments because of Quarantine
On 20 March 2020, The Apostolic Penitentiary issued a statement for people affected by the Covid-19 lockdown. It gave a way (a Plenary Indulgence) for those in danger of death to be forgiven their sins and to be readied for eternity. The extract below clarifies the necessary steps to prepare for and to receive this abundant mercy of God.

For those unable to receive the sacraments (for example, Mass, Reconciliation):

Do any one of the following:
  • unite spiritually in Mass online, OR
  • read the Holy Scriptures for at least half an hour, OR recite the Holy Rosary, OR
  • do the Way of the Cross, OR
  • recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, to implore from Almighty God the end of the epidemic, relief for those who are afflicted and eternal salvation for those whom the Lord has called to Himself, and to pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.
  • And have the intention of going to sacramental confession and holy communion once these things are possible.
For those who are sick:
  • recite the Creed and pray the Lord's Prayer and pray the Hail Mary, or other prayer invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father offering this trial in a spirit of faith in God and charity towards their brothers and sisters, with the intention of going to sacramental confession and holy communion, once these things are possible.
For those who are dying:
  • This indulgence is granted to them, provided that they are well disposed and have recited a few prayers during their lifetime. The recommendation is that the dying person be given a crucifix to hold or to look at.


27 March

Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers 
Hope you are all coping well at home and staying safe.

The teachers classroom blogs are working well and I trust you are encouraging your children to complete the tasks suggested.

The Ministry of Education has also made up a webpage for of suggestions for parents to help their children if they are concerned about what is happening in regards to the Coronavirus epidemic.
You Tube – Coronavirus explained –for kids


As there are no community Mass celebrations you may tune in to watch Bishop Steve Lowe daily livestream celebrating Mass on either the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton website or  Bishop Steve Lowes facebook page .


Keep safe.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal


26 March
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

I hope you are all well and keeping safe. We are now into our first day of nationwide "lockdown" and it is important to keep our children mindfully occupied.

I you haven’t checked out the teachers blogs yet – please do so.

Our teachers have been posting work suggestions for our students on their blog spaces on the school website. Links for these pages are below along with the teachers emails should you wish to contact them about work for your child.

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz


In my last blog, below this one, you can look through some suggestions of ways you can assist your child’s learning at home. 

Here is a link to a page where your child can keep a "gratitude journal' each day over the lockdown to remind them of the blessings they have in their lives.
Printable worksheet.

Please take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary

Principal

24 March
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

With school closed today – our teachers are in the process of setting up work for online learning. Your child’s teacher will be providing ideas for your child's learning over the the time your child is at home.  The format of the online learning will differ from class to class, depending on the level of the student. Please refer to your child’s teacher’s classroom blogs on the school website.  Please check every few days for updates.

Linda Hughes – email: linda@wsj.school.nz

Lynn James – email: lynn@wsj.school.nz

Diana Choat – email: diana@wsj.school.nz


To assist you with your child’s learning here are 4 tips that may assist.

1. Set up a learning space
Create an area in the house for your child to be able to focus on learning.
Home learning has an advantage in that it can cater to the individual child. As long as the student can focus and be safe, there are no limits to where the learning can take place. Feel free to allow children different places to learn, whether lying on the ground or sitting at a table – whatever works best for them. But try to limit distractions. Turning the TV off and switching off app notifications will help.

2. Think about the technology you’ll need
It’s worth checking what programs you will need to access the work the school send. You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free) or any specific video players such as Abode Flashplayer.
Your child’s classroom teacher may also suggest some Apps that you can download to assist your child’s learning.

3. Create a structure
Make sure your children do not just see this as an extended holiday but as normal school, from home. It’s important to create a structure.
Communication is key. Keep checking in with your children as to how they are progressing, offering help as they feel they need it.
This is a time when you can interact with your child learning. Please remember that not all their learning has to be digital based or involve devices.

·      Get them to help with cooking – this is great for Maths (amounts etc), Literacy (reading recipes), and for future life skills.
·      They can help with gardening – a great time to learn names of plants,  life cycles, and where our food comes from.
·      Building projects
·      Board games and card games
·      Give them time to play outside (with you if possible) – children need and thrive on regular exercise.
·      This could be a great time to learn a musical instrument. Online tutorials are endless.
·      If you are lost in what to do, then encourage your child to read. Model reading, get your children books and discuss them. Developing a love for reading in your children will help them in all learning areas.


4. Be around to help, but don’t get in the way
If your child is undertaking set tasks and is finding a particular task difficult, be available to make suggestions and answer questions, but try to let them do things themselves as much as possible.
If you don’t know the answer, work with your child to discover a solution. Let your child, where possible, self regulate – that is to take control of their own learning and not rely on you.
You may need to take your child back a step to reinforce a concept before they move onto a new one.

Please take care and be safe.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal




Below is a letter from Bishop Steve Lowe re COVID-19


23 March 2020

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I write to you today, the families of our Catholic schools and home schooled children, as your bishop in the midst of perhaps the most severe global challenge our world has ever had to face. Whatever happens in the weeks and months ahead our world will not be the same. Perhaps also, each of us might have to reassess our lives, how we live as individuals and families, how we love, how we appreciate each other or how we might live a more simple life.Perhaps as part of this you might want to rethink your own spiritual life or the spiritual life of your family. In the midst of this crisis we can buy into fear. Alternately we can use this as an opportunity for something new to come to birth for us, our families and community. Perhaps for many of you this might lead to an awakening of your spiritual lives.Today I am asking my clergy and staff to make available resources to help people in self-isolation or lockdown in their spiritual life. Today I will be asking staff of our schools to prepare resources available through our Diocesan schools office and these will be placed on our Diocesan website, www.cdh.org.nz in the coming days and weeks. Already I have offered a first Sunday Mass online and this will become daily from later this week. I am also doing daily reflections on my “Bishop Steve Lowe” facebook page.
These days provide an opportunity to prepare. You might purchase a large family prayer candle and or prepare a sacred place in your home.May God bless you and your family in these uncertain times. Please be assured of my prayers and the prayers of all our clergy in this challenging time.
Yours sincerely in Christ the Good Shepherd
Steve Lowe

BISHOP OF HAMILTON 


23 March

SCHOOL CLOSURE


Dear Parents/Caregivers,

As you will have heard the Prime Minister announced today that in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in New Zealand all schools will be closed from tomorrow.  It is anticipated that school closures will continue for several weeks and encompass the school holiday break.  However, this time frame may change as new developments occur in the coming days and weeks.

You can keep up to date with developments by going to our school website (www.wsj.school.nz) and clicking on the COVID-19 link next to the newsletter link.

Over the next few days, teachers will be looking at ways we can continue with your child’s schooling through online programmes.  Any updates will be on the COVID-19 link and the teacher’s classroom blogs on our school website.

These are unprecedented times in New Zealand’s history and the priority is the health of us all.  

I wish you the very best and that you stay safe.

Kind regards.

Shaun O’Leary
Principal


21 March
Kia ora koutou

Today our Prime Minister announced that New Zealand has a Four-stage alert system for COVID-19 and that New Zealand has moved up to COVID-19 alert level 2 – reduce contact.
This means New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions have been told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus. 

Workplaces to implement plans to reduce person-to-person contact, including work from home where possible

• Limit all non-essential domestic travel


Schools, however, are to remain open.


With so much information and misinformation swirling around about COVID-19, I wanted to share with you what will happen if we were to have a case in our school community. We have been planning for this and are in a position to respond quickly.
  • As soon as a case is confirmed in our immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you
  • If there was a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.


We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for the wellbeing of our children. Please be assured that with no case confirmed in our school, your children are safe here.


Good hygiene is a priority at our school, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness.


We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community.   


Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal

20 March
Tena koutou katoa
Dear Parents/Caregivers and friends

It is comforting that New Zealand government is being so proactive in keeping ahead of situation and doing everything to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Our school and Waihi school community are also being proactive in staying ahead of the situation by not engaging in unnecessary gatherings such as sporting activities.  It is good to remember that to date there have been no community transmissions of the virus in New Zealand.

Good hygiene is a priority at our school, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness.

Below is the latest information from Iona Holsted – The Secretary for Education.
‘Rules on gatherings do not apply to schools
You may have seen today that the Government has announced that indoor gatherings of more than 100 people are to be cancelled. This does not apply to schools, early learning services, tertiary providers, workplaces, supermarkets or public transport. We will continue to provide you with guidance around events and gatherings that could be relevant to schools.

When is sick, sick?
The messaging remains clear – that if you are feeling unwell please stay home, and the same goes for children and young people.’  This means that for any kind of sickness– keep your child at home.

Keep safe.

Ngā mihi

Shaun O’Leary
Principal


19 March
Dear Parents and Caregivers

This week there have been a number of developments concerning Coronavirus or COVID-19.
Yesterday we cancelled participation in the Hockey Big Day Out and today St Joseph’s Day events with other Catholic Schools.  Waihi Principals met this morning and in line with ministry information, all sporting, cultural and educational interaction between schools are now suspended until we have clearance from either the Health Department or MOE to resume. This includes all after school sport. These steps have been taken to reduce the risk of any transmission of the virus.
The Secretary for Education has advised that while we are seeing large-scale school shutdowns elsewhere in the world, as we still have no community transmission, schools in New Zealand will remain open and any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis. In the meantime, unless students are unwell themselves, then parents should keep sending them to school.
Students need to stay home if they are unwell in any way (whether or not their illness relates to COVID-19). If they come to school unwell, you will be called to come and get them. Students who are not unwell should continue to attend school.

As you have been doing, please continue to focus on prevention of spread including through:
  • Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and drying thoroughly - before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow
  • Putting used tissues in the bin

A page has been set up on our school website at www.wsj.school.nz  next to the Newsletter link called COVID-19 where we will post updates. On the page there is information on how to talk to your child about Coronavirus. We will also email out any updates – please return the slip inside this newsletter with your latest email address so you can be included in the mailing list.



18 March

Talking to children and young people about COVID-19

Given the rise in the number of reported cases, there may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19 – it can be good to talk to them now, so they can understand the illness and be reassured.


This can also be downloaded as an information sheet.