Hero photograph
Outside classroom
Photo by John Western

From The Principal 10 March 2022

Carolyn Newman —

As you will have noted from our recent communications we are still experiencing a very low number of cases in our school and community. Surveying other local schools, we are definitely seeing fewer cases. I am sure that this is due to a number of reasons, some due to what we are doing at school and some from what you are doing. I do wonder how big a difference our ventilation system is making, and I have written about this at the bottom of this section.  We have had no new student cases and we now have one non-teaching staff member positive.

You may not be aware of the stuff article where Dr Bloomfield discussed that there are some new symptoms some children are experiencing. We are hearing of some children with these symptoms.

Our school continues to be a safe place for your children and we are continuing with as many ‘normal’ activities as possible.

Many students and staff are taking part in Moving March. Please remember that if your child is on a scooter, they also need to be wearing a helmet. 

School Information Videos

Earlier this week, we shared with families in the Senior School short videos explaining key elements and important information pertaining to Year 5&6 and Year 7&8. If you have not had a chance to review them, please select the links above.

Teacher Only Day on April 1

School is closed for instruction on this day. We are unable to offer the ASC programme on this day.

3 Way Conferences

Conference Agendas go home on Monday 28th March. You will have the opportunity to share with your child’s teacher what you would also like to cover. These conferences will be held via Zoom or Google Meet and please bear with us in the setting up of these video links. Your child/dren do not come to school this day.


Conference Link — Image by: Carolyn Newman

You will be aware that yesterday the Government made major changes to the rules for self-isolation reducing the self-isolation period from 10 to 7 days.

“From 11:59pm Friday, people with COVID-19 and their Household Contacts must isolate for 7 days, not 10 days.”

Students and staff whose Day 0 was before and including Sunday 6 March may return to School from Monday 14 March provided they:

• Have no symptoms

• If a household contact, have tested negative on Days 3 and 7

All other students and staff isolating can return to School on their Day 8. You do not need to notify us of the change in date unless your child remains symptomatic and will be absent for longer.

From Saturday:

Household contacts will be required to:

• Isolate for 7 days

• Test on Day 3 and Day 7

• Can return from isolation on Day 8 if symptom-free and both tests were negative

If a household contact returns a positive result on Day 3 or 7, they are required to isolate for 7 days from that point.

More information on Household contacts is available here

Positive cases will be required to:

• Isolate for 7 days

• Can return from isolation on Day 8 if symptom free. If a person is isolating and still has symptoms after 7 days, they are advised to stay home until 24 hours after symptoms resolve.

• As advised by the Ministry of Health “You do not need to be retested. If you were, the result would likely show as positive but that does not mean you are infectious.”

• Recovered cases no longer need to self-isolate if they become a household contact within 90 days after having the virus. This is an increase from the current 28 days.

More information on what to do if you test positive is available here.

When notifying the covidresponseteam@seatoun.school.nz  that your child is either a household contact or has tested positive it is helpful for us if you are able to please advise their Day 0, the earlier of “the day your symptoms started or the day you got tested” so we can anticipate their date of return to school.

In addition, if your child is isolating as a Household contact and later tests positive, please do notify the covid response team as we are also required to update the Ministry of Education on case numbers.

HERO Updates

Are you logged into HERO on your phone? I know most parents access HERO communications via your phone. It does have a tendency to log-you-out (which we are being assured is being worked on).

HERO for Absence Notifications
Thank you for using the absence notification feature on HERO, this is making checking absences a lot more efficient for the office team.

Term 1 School Wide Focus - Kōrinorino, Our Ancestors’ Wake 

Our Year 5-8 area of the school has commenced this piece of learning. Your child will come home and ask how your earliest ancestors arrived in New Zealand. We are going to make a display in the atrium showing how all of us arrived in Aotearoa.  As part of this programme, our tamariki in Year 5-8 will spend a day at Worser Bay Boating Club. They will learn about local sites of interest, traditional forms of navigation including Māori navigation and have a go at sailing. We are very grateful to Worser Bay Boating Club for making this possible.

Room 15 Sailing — Image by: John Western

Ventilation in our Teaching Spaces

We have been using a Co2 censor to monitor classroom ventilation levels. It has been reassuring to see that the levels have remained very low and within what is recommended. The below graph is very typical. You will see the levels drop considerably when children are outside, and when back inside, stay well within the green levels. This is with our ventilation system running and windows and the door open. We are using this data to determine how many windows and doors we need to have open to maintain good ventilation - and at the same time keep the classrooms slightly warm as the weather cools.

Initial testing suggests that as the weather cools we will be able to close the external classroom door and keep the high-level windows open and still provide good ventilation. 

As an aside, NIWA has been recording C02 levels at Baring Head since the early 1970’s. I have included a graph of the atmospheric levels over the past nearly 50 years!

CO2 Monitor — Image by: Carolyn Newman
Classroom Graph — Image by: Carolyn Newman

Baring Head Graph — Image by: Carolyn Newman

Thank you Plumb1 Plumbers

Today we had a major issue with our main sewerage pipe being blocked.  Our regular plumbing company had all their staff off sick. Paul and his team from Plumb 1 dropped everything and came to our rescue.  What tremendous service.

Plumb 1 plumbers — Image by: John Western