This document sets out the key principles and public health requirements for Taradale Intermediate School working under the COVID-19 Protection Framework.
For the Taradale Intermediate community COVID-19 became a part of our reality near the end of term 1 in 2020 when New Zealand went in to its’ first lockdown. In the course of two days, we managed to ensure all students who had internet connection at home had either their own or a school device to work on and that those students who lived in internet blackspots had hard copy learning programmes. The staff worked together to design meaningful and relevant on-line programmes for our students.
This was just the beginning. Now, with the 2022 summer holidays over and with Omicron in some parts of the community we are preparing for another pivot. As guided by the by the Ministry of Health [MoH] and Ministry of Education [MoE], we will provide education under the RED setting of the new covid protection framework [CPF]. Our staff are well prepared to deliver face to face learning or should the need arise, learning through distance.
As we all return to school, Taradale Intermediate School Community will come together again, and by following the public health recommendations we’ll all do our very best to protect each other. These are tricky times, with a constantly changing situation. Your patience and understanding are appreciated. We are equipped with a greater knowledge of how to run the school safely and we are committed to doing our part to protect our most vulnerable. With this in mind we would like to share this safety plan with you, as we follow public health recommendations.
As the situation with Omicron evolves, we will be adaptive and update this document. In keeping our children, families and selves safe it will require conscientious effort and this safety plan sets the expectations for how we will move forward together.
To summarise Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Health Minister 27/01/2022:
we have started a new chapter in the fight against COVID-19
we will slow the spread of the virus through our high vaccination rate and high booster rate and through the tools and public health measures we know work
while Omicron is the most transmissible variant of COVID-19 yet, it is markedly less severe than previous variants and for most it will be a mild to moderate illness to manage at home
31% of all children have already received their first dose or are booked to do so.
Remember, we’re here to help. If you have any concerns adults please email our SENCo Mr Cole Paige email@example.com and students firstname.lastname@example.org which will be picked up by our pastoral care co-ordinator Mrs Jo Woolley.
Taradale Intermediate follows the Ministry of Health guidelines with clear procedures to enable us to operate safely and reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Akonga may experience cold and flu like illnesses that mimic COVID over the winter months.
If a child has had a COVID infection within the previous 90 days and is unwell again it is very unlikely this is a reinfection of COVID. Repeat COVID testing (RAT and PCR) within these 90 days should be discouraged except on medical advice.
If other viral illnesses are more likely, normal advice applies:
However, if the ākonga with relevant COVID symptoms: (include a new or worsening cough, sneezing and runny nose, a fever, sore throat, temporary loss of smell or taste, shortness of breath. For more information go to the Unite Against COVID-19 website)
Similar advice to the above applies to teachers and other staff members.
Isolation advice for cases and household contacts
Those who are diagnosed with a COVID reinfection must follow standard isolation requirements, as per the MOH website: link: https://www.health.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/advice-people-covid-19/covid-19-isolating-others
Only household contacts of COVID cases need to isolate– either initial or reinfection. No contact is required to isolate if they have been a case within the previous 90 days or if they are a household contact who was required to isolate within the previous 10 days.
. The Taradale Intermediate Leadership Team will continue to update the community as we act in response.
At this point the best way to protect ourselves and each other from severe infection is to get vaccinated. Parents and caregivers now have the opportunity to protect their tamariki aged 5 - 11 against Covid-19 by being immunised with a paediatric formulation of the vaccine. We encourage students aged 5-12 and above to get vaccinated. All workers in school, paid and unpaid, have had two doses by 1 January 2022 and, as mandated, are receiving boosters due by 1 March or 183 days after their second dose. Only a small number (less than 100 people in New Zealand) qualify for a vaccine exemption.
As of Jan 28th, 2022, Hawke’s Bay District Health Board report a 94% double vaccination rate of the eligible (people aged 12+) population. Getting vaccinated is a key step to gain more protection against the virus.
Schools remain open at all levels of the CPF framework ‘traffic light’ system. If there is a case of COVID at Taradale Intermediate we would contact our regional Director of Education who will provide advice and their team will connect with public health services to seek advice on next steps for our school.
Teachers will be teaching face to face at this stage and won't be offering remote learning. However, if you haven’t already, and your child has high and complex health needs please contact our school’s Special Education Needs Co-ordinator Mr Cole Paige email@example.com to discuss learning and support options.
Children with complex medical needs
Seek advice from health professional and work with the school to develop a plan to support attendance on site should it be appropriate. Key Liaison staff: SENco firstname.lastname@example.org
We would appreciate all visitors to the school to wear a mask on the school grounds as per covid guidelines. This will help keep all involved safe. Learners and staff can choose whether to wear masks as per current school covid guidelines. There is hand sanitiser available in the school office and we would appreciate people maintaining a metre distance from those that they don't know well.
In previous years we have found there is an increase in winter illnesses in schools at the start of Term 3 as students bring back infections after travelling and socialising during the holidays. This year cases of COVID-19 are increasing in most parts of the country, and we are also seeing high numbers of other winter illnesses.
For the start of Term 3, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health strongly recommend that all schools and kura amend their mask policy for the first four weeks of term to require mask wearing in all indoor settings (where it will not have a significant impact on teaching and learning – see below) for students in Years 4 and above.
This recommendation does not include any situation where mask wearing might not be practicable, such as while eating and drinking, playing certain musical instruments, indoor sport, where it will have a significant impact on teaching and learning (for example, students with particular learning needs), certain activities such as singing or drama performance on stage, and PE.
Wearing masks can reduce new cases of the virus by as much as 53%. It works alongside other measures including vaccination, good ventilation, staying home when sick, and hand washing and other hygiene measures, to protect our students and staff.
Adult-sized masks can generally be adjusted to fit older children by tying knots in the ear loops. We have ordered both children and adult masks for our school community. These should arrive next week.
We know that that some of our tamariki/ākonga are exempt from wearing a mask. If they have an exemption card or a letter from their health provider, or we have agreed that mask wearing is not practicable for them, we will support them to not wear a mask.
Please make sure that your children come to school ready to wear masks. Students should bring masks from home from Monday 25th July if possible. If students cannot bring masks from home there will be a limited supply available at school.
Thank you for your support in protecting our school community.
Play it safe. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell even if it is mild. Don’t come to school and keep unwell children home from school.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get a test and remain at home until a negative result is received and they are symptom free for 24 hours.
Staff will observe children on arrival, checking for symptoms. If a child presents as unwell, arrangements will be made for them to be picked up.
If a student becomes unwell at school, they will be taken by their teacher to an outdoor area. The school will notify the parents/caregivers to come and pick the child up and discuss where that place will be.
If a teacher becomes unwell at school they will self-isolate in the sick bay until we can arrange safe transport for them home.
If a child has been unwell, stay home and get tested. We require them to stay home for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have gone, then they can return to school.
If a staff member is unwell, follow the advice of your GP or Healthline and notify email@example.com of the result of a Covid-19 assessment/test.
Washing hands has been a good strategy in maintaining a healthy environment.
Maintaining good ventilation in schools is recommended at all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. We will be keeping windows and doors open as much as we can to keep fresh air moving through our classrooms as this the fastest and best way to ventilate a space. Classes will be outside whenever this is sensible. The MoE will be distributing CO2 monitors to all state and state-integrated schools as part of a classroom ventilation self-assessment toolkit. Taradale Intermediate has registered for this programme.
When required our school has a modern, high spec heat pumps throughout the school.
With most people living within such a close proximity to school, we expect that in good weather the vast majority of people would come to school by foot, scooter or cycle.
The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 increases the closer you are to a person and the longer you are close to that person. The risk is highest in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and is lower outside, where there are fewer people, and when you are further away from others. To avoid infection, follow physical social distancing guidelines – by keeping your distance when outside your home.
With careful planning, education outside the classroom can go ahead at the RED setting. Curriculum related services will be able to be provided under several conditions:
By 4 February we anticipate that public health orders will be in place so that EOTC providers will be able to offer curriculum-related activities/services to a registered school that does not require all children to be vaccinated (even if require this from other users of their facilities). This means the provider will need to meet several conditions, such as:
working with a registered school to deliver curriculum-related activities
the activity is in a defined space (sole use of part or all of a setting/venue for the period the service is provided)
staff delivering the service are vaccinated.
The provider will essentially be treated as a school premise while the EOTC activity is taking place. Guidance is also being developed to support the EOTC provider to meet anticipated legislative requirements. We will provide you with this information as soon as it becomes available.