COVID Information for whānau 2022
You can use this website to locate any information related to COVID-19. In the first section you can locate information about Red from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and how we enact the Covid Protection Framework at Oranga School.
You can also find the latest updates from our principal and links to websites that can support you to navigate COVID with your whānau.
As we know, information regarding COVID can change rapidly and we will regularly update this website so that you can easily source information.
Covid Protection Framework Guidelines for ORANGE
Covid Protection Framework Guidelines for RED
COVID Response Plan for Whānau
Frequently Asked Questions
Updates from our Principal
Click on the drop down boxes below to read the latest updates from our principal, Bridget Lummis.
24th February - Moving into Phase 3
Kia ora koutou,
You may well have seen the headlines in the media about the numbers of cases being seen in schools. Please do not be alarmed by this. It is only natural as cases in our community increase, they will appear in our school. We have really good systems in place to respond to this and to keep any spread of the virus to a minimum.
You may have seen Dr Jin Russell in the media noting research from New South Wales about their recent Omicron outbreak showing that spread within the school setting is very low (less than 4% of cases at school infected someone else when at school). We have seen that in New Zealand too.
This is why we remain open at Red. It is beneficial for a child’s wellbeing and learning to be at school with their friends and school staff, and we have very good systems in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Your job remains the same, too: please continue to keep a really close watch of your whānau for anyone with symptoms. If unwell, please stay at home and get advice about getting a COVID-19 test.
With Phase 3 of the Omicron response, the key change is that it is only confirmed cases and their household contacts who need to self-isolate. Everyone else, including those who may have had close contact with the case but are not in the household, 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 an almost immediate test result back 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.
Transmission of COVID-19 is still most likely to happen in your home – so please keep doing all those good things to keep your whānau safe. Wash your hands, get lots of fresh air, cover any coughs and sneezes, clean surfaces regularly, and seek advice if anyone is not feeling well. And please wear a mask when you are out and about. There is information online to help your family prepare to isolate if you need to.
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.
Finally, we know how hard the impacts on COVID-19 have been 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 about sending your child to school, please do get in touch. We are here to help.
14th February - Information following a positive case at Oranga
Kia ora whānau,
We have done so well making it this long without having a positive case connected to our school. However, you will be aware that this bubble has now burst.
The positive case is a staff member and our thoughts are with them and their family during this challenging time. We wish them all the best for a very speedy recovery.
With our current situation we feel that it is a perfect opportunity for all whānau to be aware of the procedures that we have in place to ensure safety and support for our community. Our first priority when a positive case has been identified within our school, is to personally call the parents/caregivers of all Close Contacts to inform them. This is important as it allows whānau the opportunity to ask any questions and clarify any concerns. However, in this instance as we called whānau very late on a Sunday night, some did not answer and therefore did not hear this message from us. If your child was a close contact and you did not receive a call or have a missed call on your phone, please contact the school office and update your contact details.
We understand that the process we followed caused confusion for whānau who have more than one child at Oranga School. We acknowledge that it was not clear which child was a Close Contact and which child could continue to attend school. As a result of this, we will now include the name of the Hub that the Positive Case had contact with in our communications.
If your child was absent when the positive case was infections at school, we will contact you to inform you that there has been a positive case within their Hub and that their Hub will be isolating. In this instance your child can still continue to come to school and will connect online with their Hub and Kaitiaki.
It is absolutely vital that we have your correct contact information so that we can contact you both by phone and email. We are also required to provide this information to the Ministry of Health to support them with Contact tracing.
Regardless of having a Positive Case connected to the school, it has been wonderful to see that many students are still continuing with their learning at school. We look forward to having those that are currently isolating return to school happy and healthy after the isolation period has been completed.
31st January - It's our first day back tomorrow
Kia ora e te whānau,
I hope you have all had a lovely long weekend, enjoying the fabulous summer weather.
Wānanga Day provides an important opportunity to establish a learning focused relationship between whānau, the student and teacher. Thank you to everyone that has booked in. When you enter the school gates, you are required to scan in and wear a mask. At each gate there will be spare masks and hand sanitiser available. Below is a map of where the teachers will be located for Wānanga Day. There will be a copy of this at each of the school entry points to help you find your child’s kaitiaki.
Pick ups and drop offs
At Red, whānau are not able to enter the school buildings.
We know that this may be challenging, particularly on the first day, and so for this week teachers will meet their students on the field at 8.50am. This enables you to see that your child has connected with their teacher and know that they are safe. This will also support the transition of students walking themselves to their classrooms from Week 2. Since this week teachers will be meeting their students on the field, our classrooms will be closed for students so we encourage you not to send your child to school before 8.50am.
At the end of the day for the first week all teachers will bring their classes back out to the field at 3.00pm, so that they can be collected directly from there. If you have more than one child, please talk to them about where you will stand at the end of the day so that they are clear about where they need to be.
Beginning this week, for pick up and drop off times we will continue to open the big gates on Maroa Road, this helps to ease before and after school congestion. Please do not mingle at the gates and be mindful to ensure you maintain distance from other families and students.
From Week 2 onwards, students are able to arrive at school anytime after 8.30am and classrooms will be open for students as per usual. If it is essential, one member of your whānau can walk your child to the outside of their classroom. When on school grounds you must scan in, wear a mask and complete our register. All whānau must leave the school grounds by 8.55am when our first bell rings.
Hubs as groups
The Ministry of Education states that “there is no physical distancing requirement between group members, only between groups”. This means that while your child is indoors they will only interact with their own classmates and teachers. We are fortunate to have a relatively small school of approximately 300 students and huge school grounds. Because of these factors students will have break times together but will be separated into different areas.
You may have heard that The Ministry of Education (MOE) has advised schools that from this week onwards, they will be distributing CO2 monitors. The MOE has also ordered 5,000 portable air cleaners that they expect to roll out to targeted areas within some schools in 2022 and will keep us updated on this.
Meetings with Teachers
If you would like to meet with your child’s kaitiaki, please email them so that you can make a time to meet over Zoom.
We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.
26th January - Welcome Back!
Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, tēnā koutou katoa i roto i ngā āhuatanga o te wā.
Welcome back after what we hope has been a wonderful summer for your whānau.
Our team is feeling refreshed and ready to go for the 2022 school year. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back onsite!
This week teachers have been back at school for our Teacher Only Days. Over these days our focus has been on:
Developing and strengthening relationships through team building.
Unpacking and connecting teaching and learning programmes to our School Vision, which I will share with whānau in the coming weeks.
Teaches have also developed deeper knowledge and practical application of teaching and learning processes that develop student skills to become 21st Century learners.
In regards to COVID-19 we have moved into the new traffic light framework. It is good to know that at Red setting, we are able to support everyone learning onsite.
Wānanga day - Tuesday 1 February
Under the Red setting Wānanga Day can still go ahead but with thorough safety protocols in place. These include:
holding the day outdoors
scanning our QR code at the gate
wearing a face masks
maintaining a contact trace register
Teachers will be located at tables under the trees in the following areas:
Te Rangi teachers - top courts by office from Rangipawa Road gate
Te Whenua teachers - by whare and library
Te Moana teachers - path from Maroa Road gate.
There will be QR codes, maps and hand sanitiser available at all gates.
If you have not already done so, please book in a timeslot using these instructions:
Enter our event code: g4swt
Choose a suitable time
Enter details required
Providing good old fashioned fresh air remains the most important thing we can do in our learning spaces to minimise risk for students and teachers. We will also be receiving a CO2 monitor in the coming weeks to further support our ventilation plan.
All of our staff will be wearing face coverings and students in Years 3 – 6 must wear face coverings inside while we are at Red. For those of you with children who might be reluctant to wear a face covering, there is some helpful advice from Michigan Health, including using simple, specific explanations about why they need to wear a face covering.
We recognise the importance of the relationship between home and school and we want to balance this with our safety protocols. For the first week, all teachers will meet their students out on the field. If you would like to walk your child or speak to the teacher, you are able to enter the school grounds but will need to scan, wear a mask and maintain safe distancing from other adults and students. From Week 2, you will need to stay outside of the school grounds, and say your goodbyes at the gate.
Vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds
The free 5 to 11 year old vaccination programme is now underway and more than 100,000 children in New Zealand have had their first dose. There is some helpful information available to support you on the Unite Against COVID-19 website including How to book a vaccine for your five – 11 year old and some great videos on the Kids Health page that can support you to talk to your child about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Managing cases in our school
We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person. We will then promptly advise those contacts of what they need to do.
Only if the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education advises to do so, would we consider closing the school and moving to Distance Learning for everyone. At Red we will keep everyone learning onsite for as long as we can.
Please make sure your contact details that we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed.
Getting ready to return to school
The Ministry of Education has some helpful information on their Parents and Whānau website to support your students return to school. There is also a very important reminder about how you can take care of yourself.
While this might all feel a little overwhelming at times, we know that all these measures will help our students return to school, reconnect with whānau and friends and do what they enjoy.
We are also here to help. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or need help in any way.
See you soon!
Online Learning Resources
Students or teachers may be required to isolate at home at some point this year. While the Ministry of Education tells us that closing school for on-line learning is an unlikely option in all colours of the Covid Protection Framework, it may be considered where there is a high volume of cases in a school and/or we have too many staff sick and or isolating.
If students are not able to attend school as they are isolating , or waiting for a test result, we will provide online Distance Learning.
Navigating COVID with your whānau