News

20th March 2020 Newsletter

Kia ora and Greetings,
What a difference a week makes!
Like you, we too have spent the week re-thinking and reorganising things as the situation changes around us.

COVID-19 (or Coronavirus)

This is a significant and international threat that every country, every school and every community is responding to.
NZ’s Plan
NZ has a very good National Plan and we are currently in the “Keep It Out” and “Stamp It Out” phases:

New Zealand phase New Zealand situation and triggers
Plan For It • No human cases in New Zealand
Keep It Out • No human cases in New Zealand
Stamp It Out • First case identified in New Zealand
• Clusters of cases in New Zealand
Manage It • Increased and substantial transmission in the general population
Manage It: Post-Peak • Wave decreasing; possibility of a resurgence or new wave
Recover From It • Pandemic over and/or population protected by vaccine

Refer to NZIPAP page 62, and pages 63 to 99 (https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-influenza-pandemic-plan-framework-action)

JCHS Plan

We put our school plan into action this week. We are in Stage 1: Prevention and Education.

JCHS Stages What This Means
1. Prevention and Education Promotion and education for students and staff about:
• Handwashing
• Coughing and sneezing
• Social spacing (including no handshakes etc)
2. Enhanced Prevention Includes
• Compulsory hand washing when students and visitors arrive at and leave the school
• Compulsory handwashing as students move between different parts of the school
• Extra cleaning of the school during the day
3. School Closure: Learning Support This will be used if our school is closed to students, but not for staff. It includes how we get classwork to all of our students in their homes
4. School Closure: Community Support This stage is when our school is closed for students, staff are providing learning for students at home, and other agencies are also using our school facilities.

You can pick up a copy of our School Plan from our school office, and it is also on our website. Or contact us and we will email a copy to you.
We will not put our students or staff at risk. Also, we will not break the law, and even if schools are exempt, we will do our best to apply the new rules that apply to the rest of NZ.

Cancellations

There have been cancellations and postponements all week. We have had to re-plan and re-organise some things several times, as the rules seem to change every day.
Here is what we know:
PolyFest was cancelled on Monday. We received lots of requests for groups to perform or to make video recordings. Since then, we organised and reorganised different performance opportunities several times. Yesterday’s ban by the Prime Minister’s on indoor meetings of more than 100 people changed things again.
So, we have asked each JCHS PolyFest group leader what they want to do (within the rules). Some have said that they do not want to perform until after everything is over, some are thinking about making a video, and some have said that their group has now stopped.
School Sport. Almost all school sport has been cancelled, including local competitions and regional and national; championships.
We don’t yet know what is happening with Winter Sports, but I am expecting a “late start’ to the season, or even a cancellation being announced in a few weeks’ time.
School Trips and EOTC. We are assessing and approving these on a case by case basis. Some trips are being cancelled because the venue is no longer open. Please be prepared for changes or last-minute cancellations of some activities.

School Closures

Schools will only close for two reasons:

  • Closing for 2 or 3 days if it is thought that someone in the school might have the virus. (This happened in Dunedin during the week); or
  • Closing for longer if a Health Official says the school should to prevent or slow the spread of the virus in a community. This is the “Manage It” phase of the NZ Plan.
    We are not in this phase yet.

Otherwise our school is open and we are doing our best to keep learning and teaching as usual.

Good Things

Many, many good things have also happening on our school this week. Sadly, there isn’t enough space in this newsletter, so please look on our FaceBook and website.

Thank you all for your help and understanding.

Ngā mihi nui, Kind regards,

Grant McMillan

Tumuaki Principal