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Returning To School – Information Update 13 May 

Kia ora tamariki, family and whānau

Welcome back to Tai Tapu School. It is with such pleasure and relief that school starts again on Monday, 18th May. Yes, things will look and feel slightly different, but that’s okay. What will make up for this is getting to see and talk to our friends and teachers again. And, let’s not forget, getting outside and away from too much screen-time. I don’t think anything makes up for the personalised learning our teachers provide each of the tamariki that attend Tai Tapu School. 
I would also like to thank all the families and whanau who completed the Returning to School Survey!

Alert Level 2 – ‘Play it Safe’ Key messages:

Key public health measures to be undertaken in schools at Alert Level 2 focus on safe and sensible practice:
  • School for all students will resume under Alert Level 2 on Monday May 18.
  • Schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff. 
  • Stay at home if you are sick.
  • If you have any symptoms, stay at home, get tested, self-isolate.
  • Distance learning will continue for those students who are unable to return to school, i.e. those who are sick or need to self-isolate.
  • In schools, physical distancing means children, young people and staff maintaining enough distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other. 
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices, and regular cleaning of the buildings. 
  • Regular cleaning of equipment.
  • Additional public health control measures need to be in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.
  • Before and after school care resume with Level 2 social distancing, contact tracing and hygiene practices in place..
  • Bus can resume with Level 2 social distancing, contact tracing and hygiene practices in place. 
  • If a school has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, they must close on an individual or group basis for 72 hours, to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.
Note that personal protective equipment is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health officials.  

What will Alert Level 2 – ‘Play it Safe’ be like at Tai Tapu School?
Beginning and finishing our school day:Instead of a staggered start and end to each day we have decided to manage numbers on site by having 4 separate entry points into the school grounds. 
  • Students can start arriving at school between 8:40am and 8:50am through one of 4  dedicated gates, (see appendix of document for further details).
  • Children will be met by a teacher at each gate and then directed to the courts where another teacher will ensure they get to their classroom and  use hand sanitiser before entering their classroom.
  • At the end of the day, 3:00pm, please meet your child/ren at their dedicated gate. We will have teachers at each gate.
  • Parents please be on time at both ends of the day.  
  • Children who attend before and after school care will follow the guidelines of that organisation. 
  • The bus service will be back up and running.  Jude Irwin, the school bus controller, will be in contact with those families eligible to use this service. 

Contact tracing and managing numbers of parents on the school site:
  • We ask parents to ‘kiss n drop’ their child/ren off on the school side of the road (no road patrol first week)  and remain off site. We need to control the number of people on site at the beginning and end of each day, enabling the school to meet the requirements of limiting numbers, and contact tracing.
  • Parents, at times, are allowed on site. Parents who know they need to settle their child/ren because of anxiety, or if a child is sick  they are able to come on site.  
  • When parents do come on site we must contact trace them. This means they need to sign in at the office or with the classroom teacher.
  • Parents please make contact with your child/ren’s teachers if you know you need to settle your child/ren back into school.  
  • If you need to contact the school office,  SENCO, or Principal, please phone ahead and make an appointment time. 
Managing and organising numbers of children over the day:
  • We will have staggered breaks over the day
  • We have limited the number of students in each learning area to help with the spacing of children.  This means one of our Porowhita classes will work out of the Library for the next two weeks. Don’t worry though, they will still be able to mix with their friends at break times. 
  • We are increasing the number of teachers in each learning space over the next two weeks to ensure learning programmes are back up and running successfully.
  • Each child will have their own dedicated seat and desk.
  • Students will not be sharing classroom resources or equipment.
  • Groups of children will use a dedicated toilet block, with one in, one out access.
  • Our small group tutoring, Kapa Haka and itinerant  music and arts programmes will resume on Monday 25th May.
  • The school playgrounds are open during Alert Level 2.
  • All whole school gatherings will only resume under Alert Level 1.

Maintaining health and hygiene at school:
  • All classrooms will receive a high level hygienic clean each and every night with a focus on high contact surfaces.
  •  Teachers will continue to complete regular cleaning of high contact surfaces over the day.
  • Children and staff will wash and  sanitise often. The school has a good supply of high quality liquid soap and sanitiser for hands.
  • Children follow washing and sanitising rules when using the toilets. 
  • Drinking fountains are closed, students need to bring a drink bottle.
  • Students need to  bring their own self contained lunch and snacks (Please nothing that needs heating, no pie warmers etc).

 Wellbeing of our children remains a top priority:
Making students feel safe and ensuring they are having engaging learning experiences will be our priority. Learning sessions will be interspersed with periods of the arts, relaxation and  breathing exercises and physical well being activities and challenges in the outdoors.

What should your child/ren bring to school each day under Alert Level 2?

Koru  Students
  • Students need to  bring their own self contained lunch and snacks (Please nothing that needs heating or peeled by teachers).
  • Named water bottle
  • Named pencil case that includes – scissors, jovies/crayons (if you have some). 
  • Named activity book-ie. colouring, paper doll, paper craft, puzzle book etc
  • Scooter, skateboard or rollerblades (optional)
  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • Tissues. 

Porowhita Students
  • Students need to  bring their own self contained lunch and snacks (Please nothing that needs heating or peeling from the teachers).
  • Named water bottle
  • Personal device (only if you already have one- please let Deb Whelan know if your child does not have one prior to school starting so this can be arranged), fully charged and charger. 
  • Headphones
  • Named pencil case that includes – Named scissors, colouring in items-jovis, coloured pencils, pens. A writing (blue or black) pen and a pencil. 
  • A book to read
  • Named activity book-ie. colouring, paper doll, paper craft, puzzle book etc
  • Scooter, skateboard or rollerblades (optional)
  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • Tissues. 

Pikorua & Koropepe Students
  • Students need to  bring their own self contained lunch and snacks (Please nothing that needs heating) 
  • A named water bottle
  • Personal device (only if you already have one) *Please ensure it comes to school each day fully charged and with its charger. 
  • Headphones (we cannot use the school ones)
  • Named pencil case that includes –  colouring in pencils, felt pens, scissors if there are any spares at home, and a ruler.
  • A book to read at an appropriate level
  • Something of your own to play with (small items)
  • Scooter, skateboard or rollerblades with helmet (optional)
  • Personal hand sanitizer
  • Tissues 

Appendix. 1 Entry and exit locations for your family
  • Each gate will be clearly labeled. Please use the correct gate assigned to your family.
  • You may need to park a little further away from the school, leave yourself plenty of time.
  • Please make sure you drop your child/ren on the school side of the road.
  •  Road Patrol will start later in the week.
  • If your child walks to school please plan a safe route for them to arrive at school on the school side of the road and at the correct gate. 
  • A teacher will be stationed at every gate to welcome students back to school.

The letter beginning your surname determines the gate your family will enter the school grounds.

Gate 1School Car Park gate (Christchurch/Akaroa Highway)
A to G

Gate 2Road Patrol gate (Christchurch/Akaroa Highway)
H to N

Gate 3Single gate closest to the school office (School Road) 
Children who travel by the school buses.

Gate 4

Double gate closest to the school pool (School Road)

O to Z

If we take these precautions we will be back to Level 1 before we know it!  This is all about common sense and care for each other. Thank you for your continued support of our school. If you require any assistance or have questions please do not hesitate to contact me by email or on 0210772775. 

Nga mihi nui
Bernadette May
Tai Tapu School

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