Kia ora whānau. The announcement that the country is able to move out of Alert Level 4 in response to Covid-19 comes as welcome news.

As from midnight on Monday 27 April the country moves to Alert Level 3
for at least two weeks and on Monday 11 May, Cabinet will make a further decision about alert
levels. 

What are the key messages about Alert Level 3 and students at Avonside Girls’ High School? 

  • Years 11 – 13 students will remain at home, continuing with online learning. 
  • Years 9 and 10 students who are not able to stay home because there is no supervision
    available can return to school from Wednesday 29 April. The key message from the PM was that
    if they can, students should stay home. 
  • Year 9 and 10 students who come to school will wear school uniform. 
  • Whether at home or at school, students will be completing learning online. There will not be any
    different teaching and learning programme operating for those who come to school. 
  • In order to ensure the safety of those students who come to school, and the staff who will be at
    school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures. 
  • This means for example, that students will be placed within a bubble of students of maximum
    size of 10 students and will remain within that bubble for the whole of the school day. 
  • Each bubble of 10 students will be allocated set seating within a specific area of the school, to go
    to every day. Each student in that bubble stays within that space and does not go elsewhere in
    the school. 
  • Specific nearby toilet facilities will be allocated to each bubble. 
  • Physical distancing must be observed, with students a distance of 1 metre apart indoors and 2
    metres outside. 
  • Students must understand the need to observe physical distancing. Anyone who does not
    comply with the requirements puts others at risk and parents will be contacted to collect her. 
  • Break times will be observed separately so there is no mingling of bubbles at school. 
  • Cafeteria, library, gym, dance, drama, technology, art rooms and theatres will not be accessible. 
  • Students will need to bring their device for learning as this is how they will access and engage
    with learning at school. 
  • Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, they will be
    sent home. 
  • Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entry to learning spaces and in bathrooms, and all surfaces
    disinfected daily. 
  • Bus services are likely to run. On buses 1 metre distancing is also required, and a record kept of
    which bus a student travels on to support any future request for contact tracing. 
  • Student safety is important so we will be gathering information from you as to whether your
    daughter will be attending school from 29 April so we can create an Alert Level 3 at school roll. 
  • If your daughter is coming to school from 29 April and travels by bus, we also need to gather
    that information to advise the bus companies so that they know what numbers are travelling
    and can plan accordingly. 

I recognise that this seems quite a formidable list of requirements and outlines a school day quite
different to our usual operation. However, we are living through extraordinary times, and such
measures are required for the health and safety of everyone. 

As educators we understand that we have a role to support the gradual return to economic
operation and so assure you of our care for those girls who need to come to school, because parents
must return to work.
However, as the Prime Minister reiterated a number of times at the press conference announcing
the lifting of level 4, parents who can keep their children home for alert level 3 should do so. 

In order for us to do our planning and prepare for the return of students to school, we need to hear
back from parents and caregivers of all our junior students as to whether your daughter is returning
to school on 29 April. 

A simple form can be reached here: https://forms.gle/LWXSg8D6WTADSMCh6 (you may need to
copy and paste this link into a URL). We need to receive back from you by 3pm tomorrow,
Wednesday 22 April. 

This information is vital, as we need to plan for allocation of students to spaces,
and to assign staff to supervise.
We will follow up later in the week with further information about the arrangements for Year 9 and
10 students who cannot be supervised at home and will be returning to school on 29 April. 

This information will incorporate additional advice and procedural directives from the Ministry of
Education and the Ministry of Health.
Thank you for your understanding and support. 

Ngā mihi 

Sue Hume