Schools and early learning services are open
- At Alert Level 3, there is a medium risk of community transmission and active but managed clusters.
- All schools must open for those children who need to attend.
- More businesses and services are open at Alert Level 3, not just essential services, and therefore more parents and caregivers need to leave home to go to work.
- If there is no suitable carer in the home, children need to be able to go to school to learn.
- Distance learning will need to be provided for all students who are off-site, including those required to self-isolate and those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result.
- Students in Year 11-13 must remain learning from home. However, there is a possibility for an exemption for some Year 12 and 13 students in limited circumstances, to attend onsite (see item further below).
Bubbles of 10
- Bubbles of no more than 10 students will need to be formed with staff additional to that number; bubbles need to keep at least two metres’ distance from other bubbles.
- Staff should not move across different bubbles if at all possible.
- Staff at higher-risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (for example, older people and those with underlying medical conditions, especially if not well-controlled) are able to work but should take additional precautions when leaving home (and have a discussion with their employer).
If there is a COVID-19 case connected with a school
- Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school.
- Your Director of Education will work closely with you and health authorities should this occur.
- Please contact your Ministry regional office if you hear of a confirmed case in your school community but haven’t been advised about it by health officials.
- Ministry of Education website provides further information.
Other public health measures
- At all alert levels there are a range of public health measures to follow including:
– Staying away if unwell and seeking advice about getting tested.
– Mandatory displaying of QR codes.
– Having a contact tracing system in place (for example, an attendance register, visitors register, timetable). Further information on contact tracing is on the Ministry of Education website.
– Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette.
– Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces.
- Physical distancing is one metre inside where practicable, particularly by adults, and two metres outside for everyone.
- Keep rooms well ventilated (see information on school property below).
- Face coverings are not mandatory in school settings and remain an individual choice. However, the Director General of Health has strongly recommended they are worn by students in secondary settings (see item below and also go to the Ministry of Education website for face coverings guidance for more information).
- No singing should take place inside – it is recommended that participants are outside and two metres apart from each other.
School hostels can continue to operate with those boarders and staff currently onsite, but otherwise should not be adding new boarders to their premises at Alert Level 3.
Ngā mihi nui
Dr Brian Evans
BA, Dip Tch, MEd, PhD