by | Apr 29, 2022

Community and staff update Term 2 2022

We hope you have all had a happy holiday break and enjoyed time in the sun, with whanau, and had time to relax, rest and recuperate. We have a great many things planned for Term 2, so staff and students should come back prepared for busy weeks with lofts of exciting and varied activities. All activities are integral to the delivery of our school curriculum and we strongly encourage students to be ‘fully involved’ and ask whanau to encourage and support student engagement. We hope to implement all of our plans uninterrupted this term – and to keep everyone fit and healthy.  To that end we need to update you with our COVID safety measures for the upcoming term.

You may be aware of ongoing concerns about both an increased number of COVID cases and concerns about the impact of influenza after two winters in lock down. These ongoing concerns have informed our decisions, along with consultation with staff members. We thank you all, in advance, for your support. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Papatoetoe Intermediate School continues to hold the safety and wellbeing of students and staff as our priority. Therefore pandemic safety measures will continue as follows:

  • We will continue with the sanitising of hands and wiping of surfaces; encouragement of social distancing; ventilation of rooms; and encouragement of mask wearing.
  • Masks and sanitiser will continue to be available for all staff and students
  • Papatoetoe Intermediate also encourages staff and students (indeed all community members) to continue updating their COVID vaccinations. We encourage you to let our school know if you have updated vaccination information but this is not a requirement.
  • We ask that any person who has been exposed to COVID-19 or has symptoms to get a test and inform us if the result is positive or if they have symptoms.

Masks at Orange level –

  • Staff will continue to wear masks in classrooms and when with students
      • Staff may use discretion when in the staffroom and in offices
      • We encourage staff members to be mindful of others and maintain social distance, especially in shared spaces
  • All ‘front facing’ staff will wear masks (i.e. those at Reception or greeting whanau)
  • Papatoetoe Intermediate students are required to wear masks on school transport and on their bus to and from school
    • No-one will be required to wear masks outside but will be supported to do so if they wish. 
    • We will continue to make masks available for staff and students and allow them to wear masks of their own choosing.
  • If whanau do not want their child to wear a mask at school they will need to contact their child’s teacher directly (by email) to inform the teacher as to why their child cannot wear a mask. This information will be recorded in our student management system. 
    • If a student is not wearing a mask at school and whanau has not contacted the teacher. The teacher will provide the student with a mask and ask the student, respectfully, to wear it. 
    • The teacher, or a senior school leader, will contact the whanau to clarify expectations.
  • Masks will not need to be worn when
    • Outside
    • When staff are working in class alone or with a small number of students
    • In well ventilated spaces when there are no students present (e.g. meetings)
  • Masks will be worn by staff and strongly encouraged for students when
    • In class
    • In assemblies
    • In rooms with poor ventilation (e.g. if windows must be closed or in smaller spaces)
    • If there is a confirmed case who has been with people in that group

General Information

  • Visitors will be ‘discouraged’ from coming into school when students are present
  • Assemblies will only be held outside, on fine days, or in the gym or library – with good ventilation and with numbers less than 200. 
      • We will continue with whole school on line Assemblies until further notice
    • All normal school programmes including Kapa Haka, Choir, Music classes, Performing Arts and Dance, PE and Health, Sports Practices, Cultural Groups etc. will resume and continue throughout Term 2 (unless we are told by the MOE, not to)
    • School events will only be held outside or in the gym with numbers of less than 200
    • The school timetable will return to normal with start, finish and break times being the same for all classes 
    • Free lunches will continue to be provided at the end of Morning Break (11.30) for all students. If whanau do not want their child to receive a lunch they should contact the school office or their child’s classroom teacher.
  • Parent and teacher meetings will be encouraged to be held on line if possible. If a face to face meeting is needed then these will be held – after school hours (outside 8.30am and 3pm) and in larger well ventilated spaces. Staff members may request masks to be worn.

Attendance, symptoms and absences

  • All staff and students should now return to school
      • Staff and students who are not at school, must provide a satisfactory reason for non-attendance
  • On going absences, related to illness, must be accompanied by a medical certificate
    • Staff are provided with Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and encouraged to use them before coming back to school especially if they are symptomatic
      • Students and their whanau should get RATs from their local provider
      • Single RATs will be available from the school office, for student use.
  • Staff or students who are symptomatic should not come to school without first testing. Papatoetoe Intermediate School reserves the right to:
    • Send home a staff member or student who shows symptoms of any communicable disease, particularly COVID
    • People not returning to school, after being sent home, should see their doctor
    • Papatoetoe Intermediate School may request that person provide a medical note stating they are fit to be at school before returning to school. If necessary the school will provide support to visit a doctor.
    • Papatoetoe Intermediate School will provide any person who is sent home, under these circumstances, a Rapid Antigen Test, to use before they return to school. 
    • People should not return to school if 
      • They test positive
      • Continue to have symptoms
      • Are a close household contact of a positive COVID case