COVID-19 Updates


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Locations of Interest 

With the news of the worker at the Grand Millennium testing positive for COVID-19, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has updated the list of Locations of Interest on their website.  

This list clearly indicates the Contact Category (Close contact/Casual contact) and relevant actions to take. It is important to know that sometimes the category status may change along with the instructions. If you are unsure of what is required, please visit the website link to help identify what it means to you and your family and/or call HEALTHLINE.

Please also view here for Case definition and clinical testing guidelines for COVID-19 provided by MOH. This clearly outlines in the primary health care and community setting to TEST if respiratory symptoms are present and stay home until the test is received, even if you don’t meet the higher indication of risk index. It also states to stay home for 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.

 

Sunday, 7 March 2021

Following the Government announcement on Friday, the College is open for all students Years 7-13 from tomorrow, Monday 8 March at the normal start time. Please note, a number of College events have been rescheduled. Please refer to the College Newsletter from Friday for a full list of events and new dates. Some event dates still need to be confirmed, and can only be done so once we are in Alert Level 1. 

Alert Level 2 – Returning to school

The College, Hostel and Health Centre continue to work closely, ensuring we have a safe and well-prepared environment for our students and staff when we return onsite. We will continue to review and implement the most up-to-date recommendations, as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

We ask our school community for your collective and full support, to assist us in maintaining the safest environment possible. For this to be effective in protecting everyone, key measures and practices must be strictly adhered to by everyone.

Again, we must reiterate, the most important and effective measure that we expect everyone to follow is to stay at home if you are sick. This is still the best thing we can do to stop any future spread of COVID-19. No student or staff member should enter the school grounds unwell, with any of the following symptoms – sore throat, runny nose, fever, head cold symptoms, cough, breathing difficulty or loss of smell.  

Please, it is absolutely imperative that you keep your son home if he is unwell. Call Healthline or your GP who will provide guidance regarding the requirement for COVID testing. (A reminder that Healthline is free to call – 0800 611 116 and they have people who speak many different languages).

Usual processes should be followed by caregivers to notify the school of student absences in this instance.
 
Should a student present to school or develop once at school, even a singular symptom as above, they will be assessed at the Health Centre, isolated and the caregiver will be contacted, requesting immediate collection.
 
In addition to this, we will continue to remind students and staff regarding the key hygiene measures which include:

  • Safe social distancing (staying out of the breath zone and not touching each other)
  • Hand hygiene upon entrance to each class and prior to eating, after blowing your nose, after visiting a public space including public transport and facilities
  • Increased cleaning of desks/chairs and high touch points
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette (containment in the elbow)

Masks

The current information from the Ministry of Health is that masks are not required to be worn by students or teachers within the school setting. There will be students and staff who choose to wear masks upon return to school and that is fully supported.

At present the Ministry of Health has advised that masks are not required at schools. However, masks or face coverings are mandatory for use on all public transport. This does not apply to any child who is under 12 years of age. Acceptable options are a disposable or reusable mask or a College scarf but not a bandana or suchlike.    

The Ministry of Health continues to review research on mask use in schools and we will be following closely any developments. Please visit covid19.govt.nz website for more information about face coverings. There is also useful information on the Ministry of Education website for parents and carers.
 
Further points to note:

  • Measures are in place for having hand sanitiser available.
  • Although students are not required to wear a mask, boys are welcome to bring their own masks as well as their own personal wipes and hand sanitiser to school
  • Boys are encouraged to wear a mask on a school bus
  • Boys should bring their own NAMED water bottle 
  • Boys are strongly encouraged to bring their own morning tea and lunch. The tuck shop will be operating but it is very likely that the time to deal with requests will be much longer than usual
  • Boys are encouraged to clean their computer device at home every day
  • We are continuing contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, please check in every time you come onsite. If you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app, the Ministry of Health’s website has information to help you. We’ll also keep a visitor register for anyone who doesn’t have the app. This will help us with contact tracing in the unlikely case it is needed.
  • For more information about public health measures at Alert Level 2 you can visit the COVID-19 website.

Transport, drop off and pick up 

In Alert Level 2, a mask or face covering is mandatory for those over 12 years old, when using public transport (buses, trains and commuter ferries). Dedicated school buses is not included in this requirement, however, many of our boys who catch a school bus may also catch another form of public transport. If this is the case, please remember a face covering or mask WILL be required to be worn when transferring to the other service. 

Other transport information:

  • Parents are not to drop off or pick up their boys in the school grounds. Any person who comes on-site must be recorded. Please drop off and pick up in the surrounding streets.
  • Auckland Transport school bus services will be operating as usual, without the limited capacity.
  • Regular fares apply. Please note that bus drivers won’t accept cash. Instead, you’ll need to use a registered AT HOP card to tag on and off.
  • Hand sanitiser will be made available for students boarding and departing the bus, in addition to the bus being cleaned in accordance with government guidance.
  • Kiwi Coaches school bus services will be operating with their system NO CARD – NO RIDE. They operate their own unique ID CARD SWIPE (TAP & TAG system) which allows tracking of every passenger.

 

Monday, 1 March 2021

College Calendar Events

Based on the information we currently have, the following College events have been postponed and in some cases rescheduled to an alternative day. All events that include parents or visitors to the College will not go ahead unless Auckland is at Alert Level 1 or less.

  • Year 7 Outdoor Education week – postponed until Term 2
  • Years 12 & 13 Parents Evening – rescheduled to Thursday, 18 March
  • Year 12 Retreat 1 – postponed until further notice
  • Quick Fire Mufti day – rescheduled to Friday, 12 March
  • Fair drop off – was Saturday, 6 March – cancelled
  • Year 8 Parents Evening – rescheduled to Monday, 15 March
  • Year 9 Parents Evening – rescheduled to Tuesday, 16 March
  • Year 11 Parents Evening – rescheduled to Thursday, 18 March

College Sport have announced that all College Sport Auckland competitions are currently on hold until at least Monday 8 March.

We appreciate this can create some confusion around what events are going ahead or what is being postponed. We are trying to keep as many events as possible in our calendar, however as these lockdowns occur we may find we will need to look at alternative options. We endeavour to keep you as informed as possible through this process.

We will continue to update the College calendar on our website and the SHC App. Please note, there can be a time delay in updates feeding through to the SHC App. If you need clarification, please contact communication@sacredheart.school.nz.

Locations of Interest and Healthline Information

With the Government’s decision to move Auckland back into Alert Level 3 as of 6am yesterday morning, we wanted to draw specific attention to some of the COVID information that was in our newsletter on Friday.  

With the new community positive cases this week and the growing number of Locations of Interest, it is understandable that we have received inquiries regarding the process to follow when a student or staff member of the College has been to any of the listed locations, or they are living with someone who has. 

The Ministry of Health (MOH) keeps an updated list of Locations of Interest on their website. This list changes and additional locations added as we see more community positive cases who have not been in isolation while symptomatic and potentially infectious.

This list clearly indicates the Contact Category (Close contact/Casual contact) and relevant actions to take. It is important to know that as more information comes to light for the MOH, sometimes the category status may change along with the instructions. If you are unsure of what is required, please visit the website link to help identify what it means to you and your family and/or call HEALTHLINE. 

Our information is as follows:
If the NZ COVID Tracer App has been used at any of the locations of interest during the days/times specified, a notification would have been sent to you with instructions regarding isolation and testing and additionally, what the household contacts need to do. 
If the NZ COVID Tracer App has NOT been used, but you/your household member were at the locations of interest at the specified days/times, please check the website link, follow the instructions and/or contact HEALTHLINE for further guidance. 

HEALTHLINE number is 0800 358 5453
You can also text INFO to 5353 and a message will be sent to your mobile with COVID website links

HEALTHLINE and the COVID-19 website with locations of interest are the best way for you to find out the relevant information for you and your family/household. If you are unsure, please speak to HEALTHLINE first.

While we are hopeful of returning to Level 2 at the 7 day mark or prior, it is important to note that some student’s/families may need to isolate for 14 days total, if that has been outlined as a required process to follow. This is likely to be related to you having been at a location of interest on the specified days and times.

To enable us to best support any students who are required to isolate as a precaution once we are at Level 2 or Level 1, please advise the College a soon as possible by contacting Deputy Headmaster, Mrs Tracy Purcell.

We strongly encourage all families and students to use the NZ COVID Tracer App, everywhere you go. It is the fastest, most effective way to trace those people who are deemed as contacts and minimise the impact of any cluster outbreaks.

Once we return to either Level 2 and/or Level 1, please continue to keep your son/s home if they are showing ANY respiratory symptoms, even if it is mild. You will need to contact your GP for advice regarding COVID testing. By doing this it will hugely assist in protecting our students, staff and community.

Devices

If any student doesn’t have their own device to use during lockdown, please contact Mrs Daria Spence to arrange picking up a loan one from school, dspence@sacredheart.school.nz.

Tips for Parents to Support Learning from Home

We know that managing online learning at home is difficult and comes with many frustrations. This is heightened when parents are also working from home, along with siblings and other family members. So how can parents help so that their son’s make the most of the online learning?

  • Create a space – ideally a distraction-free area where he can set up his device, books and learning equipment
  • Establish rules and goals – research shows that students will work hard when expectations are clear
  • Rely on routines and systems to get and stay organised – make sure your son sticks to his usual routine, get up, take a shower, have breakfast and be ready to start the day at the normal school time
  • Be active – exercise helps us think better. When we move our problem-solving, memory, and attention improve. Physical activity is a natural way to reduce stress and prevent anxiety
  • Be supportive – check in with your son, asking questions like: What did you accomplish today that you hoped to? What did you discover? What do you need to do today so tomorrow will be a success?

If your son needs any additional support at this time, please contact any of the following:

  • Subject Teachers – Students should let their subject or class teacher know if they need help with or are unsure about course work.
  • Head of Year – Heads of Year will continue to work with both students and parents. They are available to support in a number of areas and if there are things happening inside or outside of school that are preventing you from completing your work. This could include things like timetable or Zoom issues, problems in your home life, difficulty in balancing your academic studies and commitments during Lockdown or self-organisation.
  • Learning Support Services – Ms Spence and her team in the Learning Support Centre will continue to work and support online students whose classes they attend and work with within the school environment.
  • College Staff Contact Details are found on our website.
  • Guidance Counsellor – Mrs Silipa is available to support students who are facing personal issues during lockdown. Please contact her at nsilipa@sacredheart.school.nz if one of the above people are unable to assist.

Outside of school hours, should you or a member of your family need someone to talk to, there are a number of other support options, please see the list of numbers below:
Support Line Phone Numbers

  • Ministry of Health Help Line: “Need to talk? 1737 is free to call or text from any landline or mobile phone, 24 hours a day 7 days a week and allows callers to gain support from a trained counsellor. Visit their website
  • Youthline: Text 234 or call 0800 376 633.​​​​​​​​ Or visit youthline.co.nz
  • Healthline: Call free on 0800 611 116 for health advice and information. Or visit their website
  • Kari Centre Crisis Line: emergency line 0800 800 717
  • Whirinaki Crisis Line: 09 265 4000 after hours 0800 775 222
  • Parenting Place: (09) 524 0025 or 0800 535 659
  • Pasifika Health Services: (09) 828 4307
  • Chinese Lifeline: 0800 888 880
  • Domestic Violence Centre: (24-hour line) (09) 303 3939
  • Sexual Abuse Help: (24 hours) (09) 623 1700
  • For immediate help: CALL 111

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