April 29 Letter from Principal Matt Dalton:
Tēnā koutou katoa,
I hope our students have enjoyed a restful break over the Term 1 holidays. We have reviewed our CPF Operational Protocols using the latest guidance while mindful of our College’s situation.
The particular areas to note in the Orange Light setting for our College are as follows:
1. Masks will remain mandatory at the College inside. In making this decision, we recognised the added layer of protection masks offer our community in limiting the spread of the virus. You may have read yesterday in the New Zealand Herald that more than 150 doctors and scientists are backing a fresh plea to keep a classroom mask mandate in place over winter as part of a tougher Covid-19 strategy just put to the Government. From the article: “It’s true that a lot of kids will have mild infection – but we’re still learning about the potential for long-term effects, and just withdrawing protections is a bit cavalier.” By the end of the term, we saw evidence of reinfection within our community and reports of ‘long Covid’ emerging. We also know from previous experience in the Alert Levels that when masks were strongly recommended, they were not widely worn by students due to the critical mass dynamic. We will continue to monitor our College case numbers and regularly review this decision.
2. Masks remain mandatory on all school buses.
3. Year level assemblies, House assemblies, middle school and senior school assemblies will occur this term, observing physical distancing where practicable. A critical part of school culture is in coming together to celebrate. We have missed these opportunities in the Red Light settings and are excited to graduate back into these opportunities. We felt it wasn’t wise to bring the whole school together for assembly yet as we customarily would do. Breaking into two groups enables us to space students a seat apart on the bleachers in the gymnasium. Students and staff must wear masks at assemblies unless they are conducted outside.
4. Classroom arrangements will be maintained as in the red light setting to promote distancing while not sacrificing the ability to group work and the co-construction of knowledge.
5. In the Red Light setting, we did not allow non-essential visitors to the site. In the Orange setting, visitors are permitted onsite, provided they have signed in and wear a mask.
Please note that the isolation requirements for Covid-19 have not changed for a positive case or household contacts (see chart below.) Please continue to inform the College office if your child tests positive or is a Household Contact. This is important for us to monitor our trends and communicate to teachers students who are required to isolate so they can be supported in their learning from home.
Ma te Atua tātou e manaaki