Important Information for the resumption of school
The Ministry of Education, in association with the Ministry of Health, has issued a range of guidelines for how schools should operate at Level 2. The emphasis is on keeping our school communities safe and ensuring that the amount of contact with ‘non-school’ adults is kept to a minimum. A top priority is placed on all members of the school, staff and students alike, following personal hygiene best practice. They also state that wherever possible for secondary schools “children, young people and staff should be far away enough from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other.”
The general rules around social gatherings do not apply in a school setting. Assemblies and co-curricular activities can go ahead. “There are no restrictions on groups of children and students mixing with others on site.” However, as you will read below, Glenfield College will introduce its own restrictions.
The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) has carefully considered the official guidelines and developed our own set of standards and procedures that, wherever possible, extend those set out by the Ministry of Education, without creating an overly restrictive environment. We do want students and staff to enjoy being together and taking part in all those areas of school life they have missed out on. However, we want to do so in a measured way until we can return to total freedom and normality.
We understand that in our community, there will be a mixture of feelings about returning. For some students and parents, it cannot come soon enough. These students will be raring to go and get together with their friends, so life can return to normal. For others, there will trepidation and anxiety due to the nagging concern about coming together with so many others after so long in isolation. Our responsibility is to manage both these extremes. Our goal is to try and immediately create a school environment which has a high level of connectedness, belonging, normality and security. To do this, we want to ensure that everyone feels safe and secure. Therefore, while schooling will be back, we will be requiring students and staff to conduct themselves in ways that allow for physical distancing, contact tracing and maximises hygiene.
What follows is a list of expectations that we have set out that covers the major areas of school activity.
Access to School
The simple intention here is to limit the interaction that members of the ‘in-school’ community have with the ‘wider community.’ We respectfully ask that parents do not enter the school site. The gates to the staff carpark will be closed between 2:50 pm and 3:30 pm. Parents should arrange to meet their children further down Kaipatiki Road, past the school tennis courts.
We will not be holding any parent report evenings or other parent functions until we feel it is appropriate to do so. If you need to contact the school, please do so remotely in the first instance.
All contractors will be required to follow our Safety Plan for Contractors, be symptom-free and follow appropriate contactless sign-in procedures. Students may not leave school during the school day except with express permission.
The guideline here is to spread students out as much as is possible. Students will be facing one direction only where possible and thus not seated across from each other or in groups. Students will be required to use hand sanitiser on entry to the room. All frequently touched classroom surfaces will be cleaned daily.
While permitted, we will not be holding these large gatherings for the interim. School assemblies will not be held for the whole school but may be delivered through year level assemblies.
Physical Education and Sports
Permission has been given to resume physical education and co-curricular sports, and we know many students will be very keen to get back into it. Attendance at practices will be monitored to allow for tracing. We will insist on a hand hygiene system before and after practices. The College fitness centre and the equipment will be cleaned daily.
As with sport, these activities have been given the green light. We will require that music and performance groups spread out as much as possible. Itinerant teachers are required to limit their contact to their own individual students and conduct lessons two metres apart.
Cleaning and sanitising
Cleaning specifications have been raised to ensure all high touch surfaces are disinfected daily.
There are no enforced distancing rules that apply to school transport and it is not possible for us to expand the service so that social distancing can apply. Students who catch the bus must have their names recorded on a register held in the office. Please advise the office ([email protected]) if your child will be catching a school bus and if so, the number of the route. For more information regarding buses, please see the Auckland Transport website, https://at.govt.nz/about-us/news-events/public-transport-information. The school minivans have all been thoroughly cleaned ready for use when restrictions are lifted further.
Interval and Lunchtime
The guidelines put out do not require any special conditions regarding students mixing during interval and lunchtime. However, we will be insisting that the social guidelines apply. Students will be asked not to congregate but to ‘spread out.’ The College cafeteria will have a restriction on numbers entering and have markings down for distancing. We ask students to bring their own drink bottles filled at home. The drinking fountains have been disabled and are not currently open.
Please do not send your child to school if they are unwell. If a student appears unwell at school, they will be sent home. Attendance will be taken in every lesson. Any ‘outsider – student or teacher’ entering a classroom will be recorded.
The Ministry of Education has advised that ‘PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service.’ However, if you wish for your child to wear a mask, this is not a problem.
The last seven weeks have reminded us that Glenfield College is special because of the human connection around shared values. It is the warmth of the relationships, the encouragement of others, the smiles and laughter that really matters. The opportunities that have arisen and been grasped over this time, such as the House competition and ISO challenges etc. have highlighted the importance of relationships and how we are looking forward to getting back to a sense of normal.
If you have any queries regarding any of the information contained herein, please do not hesitate to contact me via [email protected].
COVID-19 Resources and Information
Further information may be added at a later time.