Our love and thoughts are with the Muslim community following the sentencing yesterday of the Christchurch terrorist. This has been a terrible chapter in our country’s history and I hope that the feelings of unity and the focus on the fight against racism that resulted from this attack are not forgotten.
We were all disappointed this week to learn we were to remain at Alert Level 2 for another two weeks. This has meant the postponement of Te Puna, our showcase event which was to be held last night. Hopefully this will be able to be rescheduled once we drop back down to Alert Level 1. Another casualty of the recent reemergence of Covid-19 was the annual Otago Daily Times Class Act Award presentations. These are always presented to the recipients at an event attended by the Prime Minister and in front of family and school representatives. Unfortunately the Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, was attending to other matters and the Alert Level made it impossible for the event to go ahead. Nonetheless we wish to acknowledge the achievement of our two recipients, Jen Marsh and Hannah Matehaere, whose outstanding leadership, academic, sporting and cultural achievements made them highly deserving of this prestigious award.
The Government has brought in some new requirements starting from Monday 31 August relating to the wearing of face coverings on public transport. All students over the age of 12 will be required to wear face coverings on public buses. The wearing of face coverings on school transport (eg. in the school vans or in a bus on a school trip), is not required. Further information about the use of face coverings has been provided by the Ministry of Education and can be found below.
On Wednesday we hosted Waitaki Girls’ High School for the annual Junior Winter Sports Interchange. It was great to see a sporting fixture like this go ahead and while we weren’t able to have spectators at the indoor events, the students taking part enjoyed the competition. Waitaki Girls’ were the victors on the day, winning Year 9 netball, badminton and basketball while Otago Girls’ won Year 10 netball and debating.
Our annual school ski trip gets underway today. We are hoping for lots of snow and clear days ahead for the staff and students involved. Tournament week gets underway over the next few days also with Senior A teams competing in hockey, football and netball tournaments. The netball tournament is being held in Invercargill while football and hockey are here in Dunedin. All the best to the staff and students involved.
With winter ills and chills doing the rounds it is important to remind everyone to stay at home if unwell. If students are not unwell however, it is important they attend every class, every day. Every day a young person attends school matters because it:
increases their ability to achieve
provides an important emotional and support network for them, with their friends and classmates
keeps them engaged in learning
gives them direct contact with their teachers
is an environment where the focus is on their safety, wellbeing and learning
helps them feel more comfortable transitioning throughout their schooling journey
is not just now but their future that counts.
The following FAQs come from the Ministry of Education:
Alert Level 2 advice
Do children and young people need to wear face coverings at schools at Alert Level 2?
No. Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings because the risk of infection within the school environment is low. Other public health control measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
Do teachers need to wear face coverings at early learning services and schools at Alert Level 2?
No. Teachers do not need to wear face coverings at Alert Level 2. Other public health measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
Do children and young people need to wear face coverings on school transport, or transport provided by early learning services, at Alert Level 2?
No. Children and young people are not required to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth on school transport or early learning service transport. This includes buses or vans chartered or used by schools or early learning services to carry children, students and staff. Good hygiene measures, contact tracing and staying away if sick will remain in place.
Do all children and young people need to wear face coverings on public transport at Alert Level 2?
No. Children under 12 years of age are not required to wear face coverings on public transport at Alert Level 2.
Children aged 12 and over are required to wear face coverings at Alert Level 2 (as are the majority of New Zealanders).
Who is exempted from wearing face coverings on public transport at Alert Level 2?
Children under 12 years of age are not required to wear face coverings on public transport at Alert Level 2.
For people with a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable, they will be exempted from having to wear a face covering on public transport.
Further information on face coverings is available on the covid19.govt.nz website