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Rostering Home

Updated: Mar 1

Dear Parents and Caregivers

New Zealand’s COVID-19 response continues amid much larger numbers of daily cases. This is reflected in the number of cases that we are recording at Avondale College. The numbers of students who are confirmed cases remains relatively low, with our cases spread quite evenly across mostly Years 10 to 13. The number of cases in Year 9 is extremely low. Whilst this would indicate that there is not widespread transmission within school, there is inevitably some, and so it is more important than ever that students stay home if they are unwell, wear a mask inside at all times, only eat outside, and wash hands / sanitise regularly.  Rostering Home Over the last few days we have an increasing number of staff who are either COVID-19 positive, or are household contacts and so must stay at home for 10 days. Therefore, we have reached the point where we need to roster students home for one day a week as follows: Monday - Year 13 Tuesday - Year 12 Wednesday - Year 11 Thursday - Year 10 Friday - Year 9 The rostering home will start on Tuesday 1 March, so Year 12 students should work at home tomorrow. The school library will be available as a study centre for students who need to study at school on the day they are rostered home. They must report to the duty teacher at 8.50am, and will be dismissed at 3.15pm Teachers who are at school will be working with students in class every day, including covering for absent colleagues. Therefore, they will not be actively teaching students on the day they are rostered home. Students should continue with their work and study independently on the day that they are home, which may include finishing classwork, doing homework, working towards assessments or going over class notes. In line with Ministry of Education advice, we are committed to keeping school open for on-site learning as much as we can. It is important for children’s learning and wellbeing to be at school with their teachers and friends. We have good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. The Ministry of Education note that research from New South Wales about their recent Omicron outbreak indicates that onward transmission within the school setting is very low. For every child who is infected and attends school only 3.7% of their close contacts at school subsequently tested positive. We have seen that in New Zealand too – public health teams on the ground have seen that even though cases pop up in schools, there has been very little onward spread through the school because of the protective measures we have in place. Transmission of COVID-19 is still most likely to happen in your home, or through the busy social lives of teenagers. Confirmed cases and household contacts are the only people who need to self-isolate. At Phase 3 of New Zealand’s Omicron response, the key change is that it is only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. Everyone else may attend school, but must continue to monitor really closely for any symptoms of COVID-19. Rapid antigen tests (RATs) are now being used to diagnose COVID-19 as well as PCR tests. This means that you will get a test result back almost immediately if a RAT is used. If anyone in your family is confirmed as having COVID-19, you will be asked to notify your close contacts yourself. Please get in touch with us as soon as you can if your child has tested positive for COVID-19, using the links that we circulated last week:

Notify us that your child is a Covid Case Notify us that your child is a Household Contact The most important advice we can give to keep your whānau safe is to act as if you have COVID-19. More than a third of people who have COVID-19 will not have any symptoms if they have had three doses of the vaccine. Please think about who you visit and what health measures you can put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible. We are very aware that the impacts of COVID-19 continue to be hard for many families in New Zealand. If you know of a family in your community who is struggling, please encourage them to reach out for support - for example, to access food, medicine, or access financial support: Help is available – COVID-19 Health Hub. If you have any concerns or questions, please do get in touch. Your child’s Home Room teacher or class teachers should be able to help you with most queries, and all of the contact details for our staff are on our website. Aku mihi, Lyndy Watkinson PRINCIPAL


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