Moving to alert level 2

By: Urs Cunningham | Posted Saturday September 4, 2021

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 Tēnā koutou e hoa ma,

I hope you and your whānau are all doing well during these tricky times. I would like to send our thoughts and aroha to the people affected by Friday’s terrible incident in West Auckland. It was a senseless attack by a single individual, and hopefully our collective strength and compassion can help us all to get through this together.

It has now been confirmed that the rest of New Zealand outside of Auckland will be moving to alert level 2 at 11:59pm on Tuesday 7th September, with schools reopening on Thursday 9th September, hurrah! This is good news, as it means we can now welcome back all of ngā ākonga (our students) onto site at school on Thursday 9th. School is now open and safe for all tamariki to return. The information below outlines what will happen at school during level 2. Please ensure that this information is passed on to all whānau and caregivers who will drop off or pick up your tamariki from school.

On Wednesday 8th Sep we will be in alert level 2, but we will operate our learning bubbles in the same way as we have throughout alert level 3 for the tamariki who are registered to be onsite with us. The staggered start and end times for the learning bubbles will remain in place for Wednesday, and the level 3 learning structure will stay the same. We will then move to our normal school times for Thursday (see below for more information about this). Whilst we will be in level 2 on Wednesday, we would like to remind our community that school will still be in session during the day, so we ask that we do not have visitors onsite during the school day. However, you are most welcome to use the school grounds after 3:15pm - the basketball hoops will be open once again! 

What this move means for Amesbury School:

- All children can now return to onsite schooling on Thursday 9th September, unless they are sick or showing Covid-19 symptoms, or unless they have been told to self isolate or are waiting for results from a Covid-19 test.

- Learning programmes will operate as usual. At level 2, our school is considered to form its own large single ‘bubble’ and as such, break times and school starting / ending times will go back to normal. School will start at 9am as usual, and end for most ākonga at 3pm. Koru Hub will continue its usual routine of finishing just after 2:50pm, to allow younger students to be picked up a couple of minutes earlier.

- We ask that parents do not come ‘onsite’ unless it is really necessary to do so, as all parents and visitors will need to sign in if they do. The map of school attached to this article shows what is considered to be ‘onsite’ - if you come past the red boundary line marked on the map, you need to sign in with a teacher in your child’s learning hub or in the office if you are visiting reception.

- Several teachers / leaders will be out at the edge of the school boundary line (shown on the map in red) from 8:30am onwards to help children to come into school, if they are feeling a little nervous. 

- Please note that for very young children, especially tamariki who have just started school, or children who are feeling particularly anxious, it is fine for a parent or caregiver to come onsite with them, if that is needed. Please just ensure that you sign in each day in your child’s learning hub.

- Pick up after school: We are asking all parents and caregivers not to come into school to pick children up. All Koru ākonga, including those in the Kōwhai learning area with Angela and Esther, will be brought out to the netball courts just after 2:50pm. Please pick up all Koru ākonga from there, or from the drop off zone as usual (please make sure your child knows to go to the drop off zone). In level 2 this will happen even in poor weather, so please ensure you send your child to school with a coat.

- The drop off zone in the car park will still operate at level 2. Please do not get out of the car - let your child hop in. A teacher will be there to help, if needed. Car park: please remember that available parking bays in the car park are for caregivers and parents of Koru students only. If you are not picking up a Koru student, please use the drop off zone or park off site on one of the surrounding roads and have your child walk offsite to meet you. This leaves parking bays available for parents of very young Koru students who cannot walk offsite by themselves. Thank you for your help with this.

- While dropping or picking up your child, please maintain a 2 metre distance from people you do not know or regularly see.

- Kelly Club before and after school care will be operating as usual from Thursday 9th September onwards. If your child usually attends Kelly Club, please contact them to let them know your plans - this helps them with their planning and preparation.

- As with previous level 2 situations, we will be asking all children to be picked up or have gone home by 3:15pm. This allows for the responsibility of our tamariki to be passed to parents or caregivers. After 3:15pm the wider community also uses our school grounds, and it is important for families to decide what they are comfortable with for their children. It is fine for children to play in the grounds after school if they have a caregiver present or if they have been home first and a caregiver has allowed them to come back to school.

- Our school playground and fitness trail will be open for tamariki to use. We will not use the council playground (the smaller playground adjacent to Amesbury Drive) during school hours because it is open to the public during the day and we look to maintain our school bubble at level 2.

Learning at school in level 2

- Our remote learning websites will not continue to operate in the same way at level 2, as all teachers will now be onsite teaching face to face. If any children must stay at home due to Covid-19 - waiting for test results or having been told to self isolate, teachers can provide home learning support. For all other school absences, home learning will not be provided.

- On Thursday 9th all ākonga in Harakeke Hub and Pōhutukawa Hub who took their Chromebook home during lockdown are to please bring their Chromebook and charger back to school with them, so they can use them for learning. Where possible, please remind your tamariki to charge their device on Wednesday before bringing it back. Thank you. 

- All teams will continue to reinforce regular hand washing and/or sanitising before and after all breaks, before eating food, and after having been outside for any reason

- Teams will be reinforcing with children about not getting into each other’s ‘breathing zone’.

- Co-curricular lessons will continue as usual. All ākonga (students) have been sanitising hands upon entering and leaving the sessions, and we will ensure this continues consistently.

- Lunch orders will be available and staff will wear appropriate protective equipment to ensure a heightened food safety regime.

- We will not hold gatherings or events that bring larger groups of people together, such as learning celebrations, sports or community events. These will be held off until level 1. 

- It is not required that ākonga (students) or staff wear masks at school. However, any tamariki or adults are welcome to wear masks if they wish to do so.

If you have any questions about any of this content, please feel free to contact me -

We are looking forward to having your tamariki back onsite with us on Thursday, and hopefully we will see many of you along the way too, at least to wave to! As always, kia atawhai - be kind.

Ngā mihi, Urs Cunningham 

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