Term 3 / Mask Wearing Update

COVID-19 Update for the start of Term 3                                                                                              Thursday 21 July 2022

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students

I hope you have had an enjoyable holiday (for those who had time off) and experienced a time of much needed rest and relaxation.  I know a number of staff and school families have been unwell during the holidays with either COVID-19, influenza or other illnesses which has been frustrating for them.  Please continue to look after yourselves and your families as we support each other and prepare for what will no doubt be another busy term of teaching and learning and providing the full range of services that we offer as a school.

Colossians 1:11

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.

As many of you will be aware, New Zealand remains at the ORANGE setting of the Traffic Light System (CPF), after the NZ Government reviewed the situation recently due to the increasing number of daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations due to a second wave of COVID-19.  It appears the Government are reluctant to re-introduce any additional mandates at this time.

You may also be aware that TWO new COVID-19 variants have entered New Zealand, The BA.5 and the BA.2.75 which appear to be more transmissible and infectious.  Health advice now suggests reinfection can now occur within just 29 days of recovering from COVID-19, due in part to waning immunity and the new variants.  On top of this we have the flu virus and other colds and illnesses which seem to be affecting people in large numbers.

After considerable thought, prayer, and discussion the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) have decided on the following health and safety measures to keep staff and students safe at school, and to avoid further illness and absenteeism from school during Term 3:

  • Middleton Grange School will be OPEN for on-site learning for ALL students and staff from Monday 25 July.
  • Face masks are required to be worn as follows:
    • For ALL students in Years 4 to Year 13when indoorsg., in classrooms/hallways/locker bays/etc. Masks will be available from the Primary Office and the Student Services Office for those who need one and do not have their own.
    • Surgical grade masks must be worn by ALL staff (teaching and supporting the provision of education) – when indoorsg., in classrooms/hallways/locker bays/shared office spaces/staffroom. These will be provided by the school and are available from the Student Services Office & / or Main Reception.
    • On school and public transport for ALL students aged 12 years and above.
  • Masks do not need to be worn when outside or when eating / drinking.
  • Classroom seating arrangements will not need to change.
  • Physical Education and Performing Arts classes can take place, but hygiene practices will need to be observed and masks worn where appropriate.
  • Year Level assemblies will still be able to take place, but participants must wear masks when indoors.
  • Classrooms will be kept well ventilated where possible (windows & doors open where possible).
  • All visitors, including parents and caregivers, that come on site must wear face coverings when in buildings on the school grounds

Note 1: Year 7 – 13 House Singing practices and competition for Week 1 has been postponed.  This means bell times will be ‘as usual’.

Note 2: These measures will be in place for at least the first TWO weeks of Term 3 after which they will be reviewed.

Note 3: Information around mask wearing and those requiring a mask exemption due to medical, or disability reasons can be found below on this link.  If you are unable to wear a mask due to the above conditions, you must have a mask exemption to be able to show staff if requested.

A reminder: If you are unwell – stay home and get tested.  If you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, or are waiting for any Covid-19 test results – stay home.  Call your doctor, or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested.

I look forward to seeing all our students on Monday 25 July for the start of Term 3.

Please ensure you wear your face mask indoors as requested.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The LORD’S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

Nga mihi nui

Mike Vannoort