Covid-19 - 22nd March 2020

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Kia ora to all of our St Michael's families,
Having watched the latest government announcement re Covid-19 
and the nations 4 step alert status system (see below).
The Alert System is outlined as:

Alert level 1:

"In this phase we prepare - the basics like border measures, contact tracing and cancelling mass gatherings are all activated. You'll see that this is where we have been when COVID first arrived in New Zealand.

Alert level 2:

 
"Where the disease is contained, but the risks are growing because we have more cases. This is when we move to reduce our contact with one another, we increase our border measures and we cancel events. This is also the level where we ask people to work differently if they can, and cancel unnecessary travel."

Alert level 3:

"Alert level three is where the disease is increasingly difficult to contain. This is where we restrict our contact by stepping things up again. We close public venues and ask non-essential businesses to close."

Alert level 4:

"This is where we have sustained transmission. This is where we eliminate contact with each other altogether. We keep essential services going, but we ask everyone to stay at home until COVID-19 is back under control."
The nation is at alert level 2 which for us in education means continued business as normally as we can deliver. I know some of you are worried about Covid-19 personally and for your families, and this is completely understandable. We are in an uncertain space where the playing field is altering before our very eyes.
I have today, entered into discussions with the staff members who, under new Ministry recommendations should be offered new ways of working.
I can confirm that on Monday the 23rd of March - St Michael's will have four staff members away from school. For reasons outlined by the Ministry of Health's guidelines for protecting their wellbeing or, the wellbeing of their 'high risk' dependendents.
Classes may need to be split across the school. The Health and Safety of our children is important and should we feel that our staffing compromises the safety of students and/or staff then the Board of Trustees can discuss the option of closing. We are NOT at this place yet. We know many parents are continuing to work. If you would like to continue to send your child. This is completely fine. 
I trust in our government's plan to contain and stamp out covid-19 and reassure you that the school is following all health and safety guidelines in regards to covid-19 outbreak. All families are free to consider their own family’s needs. We have noticed a small increase in student absenteeism. 

Physical distancing is a strategy that some families are already choosing to use at St Michael's School. This means that their children are already staying at home. 

Parents who are still sending their children to school MUST remember, parents who choose to keep their children away does not mean that their children are unwell with covid-19. It doesn't mean that the school is unsafe, it doesn't mean that they are in panic mode. They are simply selecting a strategy that works for them and their children. I encourage everyone to respect this.
At St  Michael's we are keeping up with our processes to keep people safe at school through rigorous hygiene practices and our own levels of physical distancing.
If you are a family who are in a position to keep their child(ren) home without it causing any disruption to their work or financial outlook then physical distancing is a strategy that I do encourage you to consider. It may help us to ease some pressure should we have any more staff who need to stay home. Relievers are now very tricky to get as many of them are older and “at risk” themselves.
 Our St Michael's School Home learning Ideas will be available on the School’s website tomorrow. 
If you already have plans to keep your children home by choice or if they are unwell. Please send an absentee alert as soon as you can. I can already see some that have come through. Thank you.
1) via the school app
3) phone and leave a message on the school phone
I do also ask that parents remember that our staff are human too. We have our own families, loved ones and considerations to make. I ask that parents stop texting/emailing/face book messaging the staff. If you have inquiries, please direct them to me personally.
I can be contacted by phone:
0273484128 (8am-6pm)
Email - anytime - principal@stmichaelsrotorua.school.nz
Stay safe and stay kind,
--
Kristina Crouch
Tumuaki / Principal
Te Kura o Hato Mikaere
St Michael's Catholic School, Rotorua

Posted: Sun 22 Mar 2020

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St Michael's Catholic Primary School is a Special Character Catholic School