From the Principal and Board of Trustees

Covid – 19 Update 

From the advice, we’ve been given by the Ministry of Education (at the time of publishing this letter) there are no immediate plans for widespread school closures or the moving of school holidays.

For St Anne’s, at the moment it’s business as usual, with an emphasis on health and hygiene.  This includes student education and cleaning. Our cleaning has been increased even more so there is nothing to be missed daily. In saying that, we are working behind the scenes to ensure that if the situation worsens we have covered all scenarios, including the potential of online learning for children at home. If a case of Covid-19 appears in a school, then the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, will track, trace and manage the contacts of the individual with the help of the school community. A school may be closed for several days whilst this happens. Such cases will be dealt with on a school by school basis. 

We will reduce events where the whole school meets, avoid handshakes, hongi and hugging. As such we will not be holding our science fair and any community invited assemblies for the remainder of the term.  We may use our outdoor stage for a smaller gathering to allow for social-distancing. The Canterbury Duathlon along with all interschool sports this term has been cancelled. We will continue to assess the situation as information comes to hand.

If you have to travel overseas, you must inform the school and plan to self-isolate on your return for the health of all in the community. We are asking you to isolate children too, when an adult in their house arrives from overseas.  While we are open, we will support the slowing of COVID-19 in New Zealand. 

What can you do?
Illness: Please keep children at home if they are unwell. If children become unwell at school we will be calling you to pick up your child. Please make plans so that this can happen easily. We only have one sickbay, and won’t put children together hence we need you to act quickly should your child be unwell at school.  If you are concerned, Healthline has a dedicated line for COVID-19 enquiries with translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages: • Free call 0800 358 5453. 

Update: Always update us with current contact details, phone and email especially. 

Normality: Here is better. Keeping students home as an avoidance strategy may make them more scared. Keep the media off when they are around.  

Modelling: Your vigilance is important. Please also monitor the hygiene of your children and ensure they have sound habits. Cutting and cleaning fingernails, handwashing before and after meals and toileting. Teaching them to dispose of tissues correctly when coughing and sneezing.    NOT TOUCHING YOUR FACE.  

Strengthen your children: For strong immune systems, children NEED healthy food, water and exercise. It is not rocket science, yet I see lunches still that will NOT make your children strong. Please don’t give in! Time to flag treats! I have seen family-sized packets of chips, boxes of crackers and McDonalds in lunches. Whilst we love making our children happy with treats or trusting them with money to buy their own lunch.  Now is the time as you have a good excuse to show them even more love by enforcing healthy breakfasts and healthy waste-free lunches. You will get bonus effects like more settled children who learn even more. Go hard! As Jasinda would say!

Learning from home:
One thing we always stress and is backed by research is that regular attendance is one of the biggest factors in children’s learning. If children are staying home and are not sick themselves, please ensure you are doing the full 4h 40m of learning a day with them. You can still assume they will regress, but it will be less than if no effort is made.  Please don’t let them work unassisted. At school, learning is shared, children, teachers and teacher aides all assist each other ALL the time. Teachers are well underway with forming home learning should we shut for a short period or even a longer period.  

Thank you for your support in this challenging time. Please care for one another and your children. 

Ngā Mihi Nui