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Special COVID-19 Newsletter

by Mark Elder

12 May 2020                                                                                       Newsletter No. 9/2020

Dear Parents, Caregivers & Whānau,

We hope you and your family are well at this time. This newsletter has information about how learning is progressing for Puhinui during Level 3. It also has information that relates to the preparation for our return to learning at Level 2 on Monday 18th May.

CURRENTLY AT LEVEL 3: Over the last two weeks we have had close to 20 students who have been at school during Level 3. The majority of children are still being catered for at home with online learning and learning hard packs. We have prepared our third and final instalment of hard pack learning resources. A number of families have picked these up from school and we have a number of packs still waiting to be picked up. Families who have not yet picked up their learning packs can do so from outside Room 22. They have student names on them and are in order of classroom numbers. By now we are all used to the online learning the teachers have posted on our website. This will continue for this week and next before teachers will re-focus on learning at school and their class programmes. In the next few days before Level 2 we would like to encourage our families to make the most of the opportunities left to help children grow as a person, we are more than happy for your family to do any number of interesting life based skills, that include the everyday things like preparing and cooking food, helping around home, making things and playing games. Learning is more than the learning sheets and activities prepared by our teachers and you as a family have so many valuable experiences to offer your children.

THE PRIME MINISTER’S ANNOUNCEMENT: Yesterday, the PM confirmed the country will move to Alert Level 2 this week. Schools will reopen for all staff and students on Monday 18th May. It is more than likely that some families will choose to keep their children at home and we understand this. Our plan is to transition into learning routines as soon as we can. We believe this will help our staff, students and families get a sense of rhythm and normality into their school lives in a new, normal kind of way. Let’s hope we continue to progress well through Alert Level 2.

REOPENING NEXT MONDAY: Parents please wait until Monday 18th May before sending your children back to school. Please do not send your children to school this week, because they are bored, or because you want them to have a break from home. If you are unsure please call the school on 09 2788703 during office hours 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. This week we are only open to families that do not have anyone to look after their children.

PICK-UP AND DROP OFF ROUTINES: Parents we ask you to continue showing patience and follow the expected morning and after school pick-up routines. Parents are able to come into the school, however, please remember to keep a safe distance from others and please stay back from the classrooms.

SICK CHILDREN: Please remember if your child is sick we ask you keep them at home and if you could also ring to let us know that would be appreciated. If a child arrives at school or becomes unwell at school we will ring home and request they are collected and taken home to recuperate. Please remember the advice from the Ministry of Health: Stay at home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. Follow the directions of your local health authority. 

SAFETY AT SCHOOL: We have an established safety plan and hygiene guidelines all ready for Alert Level 2 learning at school. The key aspects of Level 2 management are good hygiene practices when entering and leaving classes, coughing and sneezing into elbows, where possible, distancing from each other. We will continue to practise cleaning routines with students and staff, and our after school cleaners will continue with their Covid 19 daily cleaning routines.

SCHOOL HOURS: School will operate at normal times from Monday 18th May. We ask that students arrive before 8.40 a.m. in the morning to give them time to play before the bell rings for the start of school at 8.50 a.m. Please make sure your child does not arrive at school before 8 a.m. in the morning, unless they are going to SKiDS in the Tech Room. Morning tea will be at the usual time of 10.50 a.m. and lunch at 12.40 p.m. The school day will end at 3 p.m. Please ensure you collect your child promptly at 3 p.m. A reminder, we encourage you to park on the back streets around the school and walk to pick-up your child, or arrange for them to meet you at the same place each day near where you park. Parents are allowed on site, and if you could practice safe, social distancing and please wait away from the classrooms please.

SKiDS OPEN: SKiDs will be open for before and after school care. Please contact SKiDS if you would like to make arrangements for care and you are not one of their regular families.To contact SKiDS, ring Becca at 0800 754 377.  Text 022 473 0281 or email SKiDs at puhinui@skids.co.nzPlease see our website for more information.

PLAY, SPORT AND CULTURAL GROUPS: During breaks our playgrounds will be open for play. We will resume our normal sports training and cultural practices at Level 2. We will operate almost as normal as possible in every respect apart from school assemblies and mass gatherings, which will continue to be postponed for at least the next few weeks.

WATER FROM HOME: We encourage each child to please bring water bottles from home each day. Our water fountains will remain closed for at least the first few weeks of school.

SCHOOL UNIFORM: Angels Fashions Uniform is operating in Level 3 (contact-less trading), they are taking orders through phone and email. An order form is available on our website if you need to check the prices of uniform items. At Alert Level 2 the shop will reopen Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Parents please make sure we have up to date contact information. This includes your current address, home phone, mobile number, email and emergency contact details. Please email office@puhinui.school.nz with any changes and updates you may have.

HEALTH AND SAFETY: You will be aware we continue to take our guidance from the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). This week in preparation for all students returning to school, we have been organising a number of tasks to ensure we are ready on Monday 18th May. All health and safety measures are in place for next week. All staff and teachers will be returning to school next week. The teaching staff will have a teacher meeting at school this Thursday in preparation for next week. They will receive a health and safety briefing as part of the preparations. Support staff will receive a briefing on the first day back at school to ensure all staff understand and will follow the expected health and safety routines.

RETURNING OF DEVICES TO SCHOOL: For the families that received a digital device from the school over the lockdown period we ask that these be returned from Monday 18th and during our first week back at school in Level 2. We hope the devices have helped your child and we look forward to having them back at school so we can continue to work with devices in our school programmes. Please return the device and chargers to your child’s teacher.

TESTING FOR COVID 19: There are community based assessment centres (CBACs) across the Auckland region where you can get assessed and tested for COVID-19. You only need to have ONE of the below symptoms to be tested:

Cough                         Sore throat                  Runny nose                 Shortness of breath

Loss of smell              Fever

If you do not have any symptoms, you will not need to be tested. If you’re unsure if you need to be tested, call your family doctor or phone Healthline on 0800 358 5453.

Thank you parents, we hope your whānau remains well.

Stay safe.

We look forward to seeing our students next week.

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