2 May 2022
Kia ora koutou
Welcome back to Otaika Valley School and term 2. I certainly hope your break with your children was a good one. My emails over the first weekend of the holidays involved a number of families informing me that their child had covid. I felt for them as I did as well. We certainly had it starting to spread within a few classes during the last week of term. This shows us that when we have transmission within a class it can come on very quickly.
With the country moving to Orange for the last day of last term and into this term, we have only a few slight changes. During term one we did not mix class groups or class teachers across rooms and had rooms open to the maximum for ventilation. Our senior two classes worked both inside and on the deck with masks worn inside with a few exceptions. The advice around ventilation is that we do not have to open all windows during colder periods to get similar ventilation due to temperature differences. Therefore, all classes will be working inside during this term to keep children warm. We are fortunate to have a very good infrared heating system that heats the classes more efficiently than heat-pumps, which allows us to have a few windows open and retain heat. I will use the CO2 monitor to check class ventilation levels to give teachers feedback to help manage as well as we can.
Face Mask – Orange – Health Guidelines
Masks are strongly encouraged to be worn when indoors.
Masks are strongly recommended to be worn at indoor gatherings with large numbers of students.
Face Masks at Otaika Valley School under Orange:
We will leave it up to parents to decide if they would like teachers to encourage their child to wear a mask inside (fill in the google form only if you would like your teacher to encourage mask wearing https://bit.ly/3ynei5R). The school will inform parents if a positive case has been confirmed within specific classes and inform all parents if cases are increasing across the school. This allows parents to make their own choices.
Visitors – Orange – Health Guidelines
All visitors, including parents and caregivers, if they do come onsite, are strongly encouraged to wear a mask when indoors.
If you are sick, stay home and get tested
Call your doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.
Staff are to observe children on arrival, checking for symptoms. Those presenting as unwell will be asked to go home or arrange for parents or caregivers to come and pick them up.
Principals at state and state-integrated schools have authority to preclude a student from attending if they believe on reasonable grounds, they may have a communicable disease under section 77 of the Education and Training Act 2020.
The staff are looking forward to a term full of learning for as long as possible. Our challenge remains if teachers get sick and finding relievers. We have lost a few relievers to full time teaching jobs, which has not helped. As always we will continue to make Otaika Valley School a fun place to learn and play for your children.