COVID-19 Updates

News and updates regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic are occurring frequently and changing quickly. This page endeavors to capture information that the school receives about Coronavirus, so parents and visitors to our website can be as informed as possible. Not all the information on this page has been emailed to parents, however, parents can be assured that any key or vital information will be emailed to them as it comes to hand

20 August

Dear Parents

Next week we will be staying at Alert Level 2 operations ALL week (Monday to Friday), regardless of any government announced changes that may occur during the week. This is to ensure consistency and certainty for the entire week for parents, children and staff.  

Please note that there are some changes in requirements outlined below.

Contact Tracing

As contact tracing is a critical component during Alert Level 2, parents coming into the school grounds MUST either use the NZ COVID tracer app (QR Codes are available on fences and buildings at our two entrances) or newly introduced paper sign-in sheets at each entrance. 

Access to Buildings

Because of contact tracing we continue to ask parents NOT to enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office, during Level 2. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

Physical Distancing

When on site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and students. If you wish to talk to your child’s teacher, we request that you communicate by email in the first instance. 

Group Activities

Depending on numbers, some group activities that can provide physical distancing will start occurring next week, however others that have large numbers of children involved in a restricted area, such as whole school assemblies and after-school chess, will not. 

Sick Children or Staff

Thank you to those parents who have kept children who have been unwell away from school this week, including those with heavy colds. A reminder that:  

  • Children and staff are not to attend school if they are unwell.
  • Children and staff who become unwell during the school day will be sent home.

The key changes we will continue to implement ALL of next week are:

  • As far as practical, children seated far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on (moist breath zone) or touching each other.
  • Supervision by teachers of children washing hands after playing/before eating.
  • Children supervised by classroom teachers eating in classrooms after playing at break and lunchtimes. 
  • No large school gatherings involving parent spectators.
  • No class trips or excursions outside of the school. 
  • Regular cleaning of shared equipment such as balls, sticks etc.
  • We ask that children DO NOT play at school after 3:00pm.

All of our guidelines, while based upon the latest information from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, are about keeping children, staff and parents as safe as possible.  

Nga mihi nui (Kind Regards)

Paul Dolan 

Principal

12 August

Dear Parents

Thank you for your support and understanding as we entered Alert Level 2 this morning. While disappointing for everyone, we do have a plan for ensuring everyone’s safety as much as practically possible. You will all be aware that this situation can change quickly and as such guidelines and expectations may change. All of our decisions, while based upon the latest guidelines from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education. I will update you as soon as new information comes to hand.

Mid-Year Learning Conferences

As a result of the Alert Level 2 announcement, we regret to inform you that Learning Conferences scheduled for today, Wednesday 12 August, and tomorrow, Thursday 13 August, have been cancelled. From 4:00pm tomorrow, Thursday 13th August, you will be able to access your child’s mid-term reports. Please note that mid-term reports include next steps for each core subject, a progress chart and ways you can help at home. While learning conferences are no longer available if you have major concerns regarding your child’s progress please email your child’s class teacher and we will arrange a phone meeting at a time that is convenient for both parties. 

Year 5/6 Sport on Friday Afternoons

This competition has been cancelled for this Friday. 

A reminder of the key changes we are implementing during Alert Level 2 are:

  • As far as practical, children seated far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on (moist breath zone) or touching each other.
  • Supervision by teachers of children washing hands after playing/before eating.
  • Children supervised by classroom teachers eating in classrooms after playing at break and lunchtimes. 
  • School/Team assemblies/gatherings are postponed until further notice.
  • No large school gatherings involving parent spectators.
  • No class trips or excursions outside of the school. 
  • We ask that children DO NOT play at school after 3:00pm.
  • Contact Tracing – Parents are encouraged to use the  government app, NZ COVID tracer. QR Code related to this app are available on buildings closest to our two entrances. We would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

A reminder that the key principles for Alert Level 2 are to:

  • Practice good hand hygiene.
  • Sneeze and cough into your elbow.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Physical distance where possible.
  • Consider wearing a mask in places where you can’t physically distance.
  • Track your location via the government app, NZ COVID tracer.
  • If you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor or Healthline and get advice about being tested.

If your children cannot attend school at Level 2 for health reasons, please contact us via email (admin@nullilam.school.nz) 

Kia kaha, kia māia  (Be strong, be brave)

Paul Dolan

Principal

11 August

Dear Parents

Like me you will most likely be surprised and disappointed that most of New Zealand has needed to go into Level 2 restrictions as announced by the Prime Minister this evening. Our thoughts go out to those in Auckland and the surrounding area. Public health advice is that schools, early learning services and tertiary institutions are safe to open onsite at Alert Level 2 to all learners. People do not need to return to bubbles at Alert Level 2 and can meet with friends and family. But people need to play it safe and continue to take sensible health and safety precautions.

This email is a reminder of what Level 2 means for us and what precautions we need to take. I expect further information will be provided tomorrow. Please be aware that this situation can change quickly and as such guidelines and expectations may change during the day.   All of our decisions, while based upon the latest guidelines from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, are about keeping children, staff and parents as safe as possible.  

The key public health approaches under Alert Level 2 are:

  • Minimise the risk that someone gets infected. 
  • Ensure we can identify and contact anyone if someone is infected.

We will implement our Level 2 plan for the remainder of this week. This has a strong focus on playing it safe. We will review this plan on Friday, when I expect to hear more from the Ministry of Education about next steps for next week.

Learning Conferences

A decision regarding whether these will go ahead or not will be made by lunchtime tomorrow. 

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Hand Washing protocols come back into effect for eating. That is children to wash/dry and sanitise hands:
  • After playing outside/Before and after eating.
  • Any other time deemed necessary
  • Additional disinfectant and cloths will be provided to classrooms to sanitise spaces throughout the school day as required.
  • Cleaners will complete daily cleans in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

Sick Children or Staff

  • Students and staff are not to attend school if they are unwell.
  • Students and staff who become unwell during the school day will be sent home.

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a critical component during Alert Level 2.

  • Children – Attendance registers fulfill this requirement.
  • Parents – Use the NZ COVID Tracer App. QR Codes are available on buildings closest to our two entrances. 
  • Buildings – we would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

When on site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and students. If you wish to talk to your child’s teacher, we request that you communicate by email at first instance. Please advise us ASAP on (03 348 7492) if at any stage you think you, or any member of your family may have, or may have been exposed to someone, with COVID-19.

What school will look like for children.

Arrival – School starts at 8:55am

  • Children can play before school starts – 8:30-8:55am
  • Road Patrol on Ilam Road will be operated as per normal. 

Classrooms & Teaching Programmes

  • Children seated far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on (moist breath zone) or touching each other.
  • Outside music, maths, science and writing tutors will continue to work with individuals and small groups.

Playground

  • Break and lunchtime to remain as normal.
  • As they have been all term, drinking fountains will remain turned off. Students will continue to need a named drink bottle at school. These can be filled in classrooms. 
  • Children will eat, supervised by their teacher, in their classrooms.

Movement In and Out of school

We are limiting all non-essential curriculum activity both in and outside of school.

  • School/Team assemblies/gatherings are postponed until further notice.
  • No large school gatherings involving parent spectators.
  • No class trips or excursions outside of the school. 

Leaving – School finishes at 3:00pm

  • We ask that children DO NOT play at school after 3:00pm.
  • Our Road Patrol on Ilam Road will operate as per normal between 3:00 and 3:15pm.
  • Ilam OSCAR will operate as per normal.

If your children cannot attend school at Level 2 for health reasons, please contact us via email (admin@nullilam.school.nz) 

I will update you as soon as new information comes to hand. 

Kia kaha, kia māia  (Be strong, be brave)

Paul Dolan

Principal

29 May

Talofa Lava! 

This week is Samoan language week. Samoan is the third most spoken language in New Zealand, with 144,000 people at the last census identifying as Samoan. Language weeks help all of us journey towards shared cultural understandings which gives insight into new ways of thinking, and to different beliefs and cultural practices. Through these shared experiences, not only are we endeavouring to ensure that different cultures’ identities are being kept alive, but we also endeavour to ensure all children and their families feel as if they belong at Ilam School

This will be the final weekly email that I send out about our response to the COVID-19 situation. Fortnightly emails will replace the weekly email. 

This week’s email contains information about the following:

  • Contact Tracing – Parents Signing in and Out
  • Physical Distancing
  • Changes to School Organisation Next Week
  • Hygiene and Handwashing
  • Ilam OSCAR Operating
  • Business Database

Contact Tracing – Parents

Like many organisations, we are required to keep a contact tracing register of everyone who comes onto the school grounds during Alert Level 2 each time they do so. Most of you will be used to our processes after the past fortnight. I once again apologise for the inconvenience that this causes each time you enter our grounds.

We would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. If you feel this is necessary you will be required to fill in another register for that particular area of the school. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

Physical Distancing

If on-site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and children. 

Changes to School Organisation Next Week

From next Tuesday: 

  • Classrooms can begin to work with their buddy classes. 
  • Kapa Haka, Pasifika, Orchestra and Choirs can start to operate again, depending on tutors availability. 

While our class ‘bubbles’ are being expanded, physical distancing guidelines will continue to be adhered to. Whole-school assemblies, team assemblies and large group gatherings such as the Chess Club are still not going ahead at this stage. This will continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis. 

Children can now play before 8:55am

Children no longer need to go straight to classrooms when they arrive at school. Children arriving at school before 8:30am will be asked to wait on the verandah near the boiler. They may play on the senior court before 8:30am.Children can continue to play between 8:30 and 8:55am.  

We continue to ask that children do not play after school and that they go home or are collected as soon as possible after 3:00pm.

Good Hygiene

Good hygiene practices and regular cleaning continue to be very important aspects of Level 2. 

  • Hand Washing/Hand Drying/ Hand Sanitising practices will continue to follow Ministry of Health guidelines. This will occur when children enter rooms in the morning, after they have been playing outside, before eating and before going home. 
  • Children will be encouraged to cough into their elbows and try not to touch their face. 
  • Drinking fountains will remain closed off so all children will require a drinking bottle. 
  • Children are not to share any food with others.   

Ilam OSCAR

Our Ilam OSCAR programme is up and running. The hours of operation and cost are: 

Breakfast Club: 7.15am – 8.30am ($8.00)

After School Programme: 3.00pm – 4.30pm ($10.00)

                                              3.00pm – 6.00pm ($20.00)  

Our July Holiday Programme will be open for booking from Friday 29th May until the 19th June. This programme will operate entirely on site and will follow our COVID19 safety plan. Unfortunately, if our numbers are too low days will be cancelled, so we please ask that you book as soon as possible.

Please visit AIMYPlus to make your booking or email oscar@nullilam.school.nz with any enquiries.

https://ilam.aimyplus.com/Account/Login

Ilam Community Business Register 

If you are looking to support local business, the following organisations are owned by Ilam parents.  

Clinton Lloyd Photography – Clinton is a commercial photographer based in Christchurch. A problem-solver with a camera, he will go above and beyond to frame that perfect shot. https://www.clintonlloyd.com

CompuTech Club – An after school Digital Technologies programme for children that  gives children access to key computing concepts, tools and skills that will shape their future. https://www.haddac.co.nz

Dubba Dubba – a Moroccan inspired restaurant in Christchurch serving fresh & healthy food that’s full of flavour. You can either eat in or takeaway. http://www.dubbadubba.co.nz

If you would like your business to be promoted in this way please fill in this form – Community Business Register Many of our Ilam parents work in various businesses that have been incredibly supportive of the school at various times and hopefully this is a small way in which the school and community can respond in kind. 

Wishing you all a lovely Queen’s Birthday Weekend. 

Manuia tele (Kind Regards)

Paul Dolan

Principal

22 May

Dear Parents

This week’s email contains information about the following:

  • Handwashing /Hand drying/ Hand Sanitising
  • Contact Tracing – Parents Signing in and Out
  • Break and Lunchtime back to regular times
  • Ilam OSCAR Operating 
  • Business Database

Thank you very much for all your support this week as we started our first week in Alert Level 2. It has been lovely having your children back at school and hearing the familiar babble of happy voices in the grounds.  I appreciate that some parents may have been a little nervous about the prospect of their children being at school. I hope any fears have been alleviated as a result of your children’s experience this week. Our attendance levels have been around 85% this week, with the vast majority of absent children having colds or being sick. Thank you to those parents who are being so cautious and conscientious around this.  

It has been terrific to read of virtually no new cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand this week. There are currently only 5 cases in Canterbury, with the last case reported on 15 May.  Even though there is such a low risk of the virus being in schools, we are required to keep up hygiene practices and other public health measures for as long as we’re at Alert Level 2. Most parents will have heard about the amount of hand washing that children are doing. We have heard of a small number of children suffering from skin irritation as a result of these practices. If your child’s skin is being affected in any way please let class teachers know so we can try different soap and/or hand sanitiser. Alternatively parents can send their own soap and/or sanitiser to school with their child. If you decide to do this, please let your child’s teacher know via email.   

Contact Tracing – Parents 

Like many organisations, we are required to keep a contact tracing register of everyone who comes onto the school grounds during Alert Level 2. Most of you will be used to our processes after this week. I apologise for the inconvenience that this causes each time you enter our grounds. 

We use tracing.co.nz with our QR Codes. This gives the day and times that people enter the school. Personal information in the app. can only be accessed by health authorities for the purpose of contact tracing and the data is completely deleted after 60 days. While faster, there is no compulsion to use the QR Codes, alternatively fill in a paper copy of a register each time you enter the school grounds and place in the plastic container provided at each entrance.  

We would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. If you feel this is necessary you will be required to fill in another register for that particular area of the school. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries.  

If on-site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and children. If you wish to talk to your child’s teacher, we request that you communicate by email at first instance. Please advise us ASAP on (03 348 7492) if at any stage you think you, or any member of your family may have, or may have been exposed to someone, with COVID-19.  

Break/Lunchtime Times back to regular times

While next week’s routine at Ilam will be very similar to this week, today will be the last day of our split Breaks/Lunchtimes with regular Break and Lunchtimes resuming on Monday. Eating will continue in classrooms with classroom teachers supervising this as well as the pre-eating handwashing process. 

Ilam OSCAR

Our Ilam OSCAR before and after school programmes have been up and running since Monday. If you would like to enrol your child or find out about Ilam Oscar go to https://www.ilam.school.nz/ilam-oscar 

Ilam Community Business Register

Supporting local businesses has been an area of focus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting Lockdown. I would like to set up a register of businesses that can be promoted via school emails so that other Ilam parents can choose to not only support local businesses but support local businesses that are owned by parents or have parents directly involved in them. If you would like your business to be promoted in this way please fill in this form.  Community Business Register Many of our Ilam parents work in various businesses that have been incredibly supportive of the school at various times and hopefully this is a small way in which the school and community can respond in kind.  

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.  Take Care, Stay Safe, Be Kind!

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

Dear Parents 

We are looking forward to seeing your children back with us on Monday. As we head into this next period I wanted to inform you again about some key points about schooling at Level 2.This email contains information about:

  • Contact Tracing Systems – Scan the QR Code now to make Monday’s entry even easier
  • Buildings – Please avoid entering them. Call or email us.
  • Physical Distancing – Stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and children.
  • Hygiene and Cleaning – What to expect.
  • Sick Children or Staff  
  • Health Compromised Children – Contact us
  • School Council ‘Bubble News’ – Same light relief
  • Transition from Linc-Ed to HERO – Have you logged in to HERO?

Contact Tracing – ParentsAs per my email earlier in the week, we are required to keep a contact tracing register of everyone who comes onto the school grounds during Alert Level 2. If you don’t need to enter the school grounds please don’t. For parents who need to pick up their child(ren) from the school grounds, or who have younger children who need to be accompanied to their classrooms in the morning, we want to take a common-sense approach to physical distancing.  For this reason, we have decided that it is safer for parents to be spread out on the school grounds, particularly at the end of the school day, rather than herded into a ‘waiting area’ outside the school gates.  If parents are on the school grounds there will be two different types of contact registers, an on-line register (our preferred option) and a paper register.  

On-line Register – Like many businesses in Christchurch, we will be using tracing.co.nz for ease of use. The QR Code below will be placed around the school from Monday 18 May. Scan it now with your phone camera and enter your details so the process on Monday will be even quicker.  If your phone is unable to scan the QR code, you will need to download a QR Code Reader App. The first time you use this you will fill in your name, contact number and email address. These details will be saved and automatically loaded every time you scan a QR code upon entering the school. This gives us the day and times that people enter the school. Personal information in the app. can only be accessed by health authorities for the purpose of contact tracing and the data is completely deleted after 60 days.

Paper Register – Fill in a paper copy of a register each time you enter the school grounds and place in the plastic container provided at each entrance.

 

Buildings – We would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. If you feel this is necessary you will be required to fill in another register for that particular area of the school. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

Physical Distancing – When on-site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and children. If you wish to talk to your child’s teacher, we request that you communicate by email at first instance. Please advise us ASAP on (03 348 7492) if at any stage you think you, or any member of your family may have, or may have been exposed to someone, with COVID-19. 

At Alert Level 2, schools are deemed to be safe environments for children and staff.  We will also be taking enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures to keep everyone safe.  

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Teachers will regularly discuss hand washing/drying/sanitising protocols with children.
  • Children to wash/dry and sanitise hands:
  • Upon entering classrooms at the start of the day.
  • Before eating.
  • After playing outside.
  • Before going home.
  • Any other time deemed necessary
  • Teachers will discuss good cough and sneeze etiquette (coughing/sneezing into your elbow) with children.
  • Additional disinfectant and cloths will be available in classrooms to sanitise spaces throughout the school day as required.
  • Cleaners will complete daily cleans in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines. 

Sick Children or Staff

  • Students and staff are not to attend school if they are unwell.
  • Students and staff who become unwell during the school day will be sent home.

Health Compromised Children

We will be providing on-line learning material on our website for children who are unable to attend school for health reasons. Belinda Kennedy, our Deputy Principal will oversee this learning. Any parents of children in this situation should email their class teacher in the first instance to inform them that their child will not be attending school at this stage. 

School Council ‘Bubble News’

The latest edition of ‘Bubble News’ from the School Council, click on this link. This might provide some entertaining reading over the weekend. 

Transition from Linc-Ed to HERO
As you will hopefully be aware, all of our communication is now through our new student management system, HERO. There are some key points to follow to ensure you make a successful transition to HERO.
1. Use this link to open HERO – go.linc-ed.com  (If you don’t do this you will get nowhere. PLEASE DO NOT USE THE LINC-ED LOGIN PAGE.)
2. Enter the email address you have provided the school, not your previous Linc-Ed log in.
3. Use your previous Linc-Ed Password. If you cannot recall your password, please enter your email address and click on “Forgot Password”. You will be receiving and email link in your email account to reset your password.
4. Down load the Hero app from your app store.  Search ‘Hero by LINC-ED’. By doing this and then logging in to the app, all correspondence will be via notifications in the app rather than receiving emails in your inbox.
If you are still having problems please email Marlene (admin@nullilam.school.nz) who will be happy to help you resolve any issues.Thank you for taking the time to read through this. I fully appreciate that there has been a lot of information sent to you.  I hope you have a lovely weekend, perhaps even catching up with people you haven’t seen, as we enjoy life at Level 2. I look forward to seeing you next week. 

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

13 May

Dear Parents

You will know from the Prime Minister’s announcement that under Alert Level 2 all schools will re-open next Monday, 18 May. The Ilam staff are ready and excited to welcome children back from Monday for the remainder of Term 2 which concludes on Friday 3 July. 

Some parents will be excited by the prospect of school opening while others will be feeling anxious about this happening. All of these thoughts and feelings are valid and reasonable. All of our decisions, while based upon the latest guidelines from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, are about keeping children, staff and parents as safe as possible.  

The key public health approaches under Alert Level 2 are:

  • Minimise the risk that someone gets infected. 
  • Ensure we can identify and contact anyone if someone is infected.

We have developed a plan for the next few weeks that has a strong focus on playing it safe. We will review this plan towards the end of next week. 

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • Teachers will regularly discuss hand washing/drying/sanitising protocols with children.
  • Children to wash/dry and sanitise hands:
  • Upon entering classrooms at the start of the day.
  • Before eating.
  • After playing outside.
  • Before going home.
  • Any other time deemed necessary
  • Teachers will discuss good cough and sneeze etiquette (coughing/sneezing into your elbow) with children.
  • Additional disinfectant and cloths will be available in classrooms to sanitise spaces throughout the school day as required.
  • Cleaners will complete daily cleans in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines.

Sick Children or Staff

  • Students and staff are not to attend school if they are unwell.
  • Students and staff who become unwell during the school day will be sent home.

Contact Tracing

We are required to keep a contact tracing register of everyone who comes onto the school grounds during Alert Level 2.

  • Children – Attendance registers fulfill this requirement.
  • Parents – If you don’t need to enter the school grounds please don’t. However, for parents who need to pick up their child(ren) from the school grounds, or who have younger children who need to be accompanied to their classrooms in the morning, we want to take a common-sense approach to physical distancing.  For this reason, we have decided that it is safer for parents to be spread out on the school grounds, particularly at the end of the school day, rather than herded into a ‘waiting area’ outside the school gates.  If parents are on the school grounds there will be two different types of contact registers, an on-line register (our preferred option) and a paper register
  • On-line Register – Like many businesses in Christchurch, we will be using tracing.co.nz for ease of use. Parents just need to scan one of the QR codes that will be placed around either entrance to the school using the camera on your phone. The first time you use this you will fill in your name, contact number and email address. These details will be saved and automatically loaded every time you scan a QR code upon entering the school. This gives us the day and times that people enter the school. Personal information in the app. can only be accessed by health authorities for the purpose of contact tracing and the data is completely deleted after 60 days.
  • Paper Register – Fill in a paper copy of a register each time you enter the school grounds and place in the plastic container provided at each entrance. 
  • Buildings – we would prefer parents do not enter any classrooms or buildings, including the office during Level 2. If you feel this is necessary you will be required to fill in another register for that particular area of the school. Please call (03 348 7492) or email with any queries. 

When on site please remember physical distancing and stay at least 2 metres from other parents, staff and students. If you wish to talk to your child’s teacher, we request that you communicate by email at first instance. Please advise us ASAP on (03 348 7492) if at any stage you think you, or any member of your family may have, or may have been exposed to someone, with COVID-19.

What school will look like for children.

Arrival – School starts at 8:55am

  • Upon arrival children are to head straight to their classrooms. We ask that children DO NOT arrive at school before 8:30am.
  • Our Road Patrol on Ilam Road will be operated by staff between 8:30 and 8:55am. 
  • When they enter their rooms the first thing they will be asked to do is to wash and dry their hands and use hand sanitiser. 
  • Late children are asked to go to their classrooms NOT the office. The office will be rung to advise that late children have arrived.   

Classrooms & Teaching Programmes

  • Children seated far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on (moist breath zone) or touching each other.
  • This has been a very different time for the children and we will be planning programmes that in some ways resemble the start of the year – going over routines and expectations whilst ensuring everyone feels happy and safe to be at school.
  •  Wellbeing will be our number one priority.
  • Outside music, maths, science and writing tutors will begin working with individuals and small groups.

Playground

  • Staggered break and lunchtimes implemented to reduce the number of children and staff out of rooms at any one time.
  • There will be regular cleaning of shared equipment such as balls, hoops, etc.
  • Drinking fountains will remain turned off. Students will need a named drink bottle at school. These can be filled in classrooms. 
  • Children will eat, supervised by their teacher, in their classrooms.

Movement In and Out of school

We are limiting all non-essential curriculum activity both in and outside of school.

  • No school assemblies.
  • Classes will stick to themselves. No Choirs, Kapa Haka, Chess Club, etc initially. 
  • No large school gatherings involving parent spectators.
  • No class trips or excursions outside of the school. 

Leaving – School finishes at 3:00pm

  • Children will wash and dry their hands and use hand sanitiser before leaving rooms. 
  • We ask that children DO NOT play at school after 3:00pm.
  • Our Road Patrol on Ilam Road will be operated by staff between 3:00 and 3:15pm.
  • Ilam OSCAR will begin on Monday 18 May. 

Once again we look forward to your children joining us. If your children cannot attend school at Level 2 for health reasons, please contact us via email (admin@nullilam.school.nz

Please warn your children that their teachers may look a little different on their return! Some male staff now have facial hair, while other staff have decided to grow their hair longer and add tints of grey!

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

8 May

Dear Parents

I hope this finds you all well and safe in your various bubbles. 

Yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister has started to provide some clarity for what Alert Level 2 will look like for schools. Like you I’m sure, we are looking forward to seeing our children back at school as soon as possible. Once a move to Alert Level 2 is announced, schools will open at the beginning of the following week. Therefore, if the government makes a decision to shift to Alert Level 2 next week, the earliest schools will be open is Monday 18 May.

Physical Distancing

We know that physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of this disease, however this can be challenging in schools. We will do our very best to ensure children maintain enough distance from each so that they are not breathing on or touching each other. (There is no minimum distance requirement for schools at Alert Level 2)

Good hygiene

Good hygiene practices and regular cleaning will be very important aspects of Level 2. Washing, drying and sanitising of hands as well as coughing into elbows will be regular practices in classrooms.

The drinking fountains will remain closed off so all children will require a drinking bottle. 

The school has had a thorough clean and we have good supplies of cleaning materials. All surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned each day.

Contact Tracing

As we have done in Alert Level 3, you can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will have procedures in place to know who is at school at any one time, who our staff and students have been in close contact with, and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe. 

Sick Children

Parents are asked not to send children to school during Alert Level 2 if they show any signs of illness such as a runny nose, temperature or cough.  

I will be in touch next week to update you further as more information comes to hand and our plans are further developed.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend and special thoughts go out to all of the Ilam Mothers wishing you all a very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday!

Paul Dolan

Principal 

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

1 May

Dear Parents

Thank you so much for your support as we have transitioned from Alert Level 4 to Alert Level 3 this week. 
This message contains information about the following areas:

  • Hard Copy Packs of Learning Materials  
  • Home Learning during Alert Level 3 
  • Alert Level 3 Teaching Bubbles
  • The transition from Linc-Ed to HERO

Hard Copy Packs of Learning Materials  Our Deputy Principal Belinda Kennedy has done a tremendous job of organising and distributing 200 packs of hard copy learning materials. For those who indicated via our survey last week that you wanted these, they are spread out in regular class groups on the senior courts near the Ilam Road entrance until 3:30 today.  Any not collected today will be available for collection again on Monday.
If you didn’t order a pack but now would like one, please complete this form –  These will contain the same material as the packs collected this week. We will contact you early next week, when these are available for collection. 
Home Learning during Alert Level 3 Please remember that my consistent message in regards to on-line learning and home learning packs has been just do what you can. The learning activities emailed to families can not replicate a standard school day.  Each home situation will be different, you are not expected to suddenly become trained teachers and your home become a classroom during this time. While it would be ideal if there is an opportunity for children to do some of the activities provided, your greatest priority may be looking after the health of family members or trying to run your own business from home. We do not want homes to become a battleground over schoolwork.Below is a link to a blog post from Janelle Riki-Waaka who works at  CORE Education. CORE Education provides professional development opportunities for schools. Janelle’s post is humourous and will be reassuring to many parents at this time. I have included a snippet of her post below the link. 
http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2020/04/so-youre-the-teacher-now-tips-and-strategies-for-whanau-navigating-learning-at-home.html

A recent post on Facebook from a friend resulted in a flurry of comments from parents who are all asking the same question in many different ways. “How am I supposed to be my kids’ teacher?” So here’s the answer you are so desperately seeking – it’s all good, you’re not. At least you’re not expected to be a ‘teacher’ in the sense of the profession. You have always been your child’s teacher in life though and that’s the lifelong gig you signed up for. Despite the fact that our tamariki are now engaging in school work from home, your job is unchanged. You’re still their life coach, cheerleader and chief snack engineer. Put simply, you’ve got this learning at home lark in the bag, you’ve been holding this down since ages ago!Alert Level 3 Teaching BubblesAs a result of some changes on Wednesday morning, we have 3 bubbles operating currently. I would like to sincerely thank the teachers who are on-site managing these multi-year group bubbles while also being responsible for their regular class’s on-line learning. As you would appreciate there are a multitude of health and distancing requirements that staff, parents and children have to comply with under Alert Level 3.  All involved are doing very well with complying with these restrictions. 
I completely understand that some of you will not know what your working circumstances are for the next week yet. If your situation changes, please email admin@nullilam.school.nz or call the office (03 348 7492) so we can endeavour to cater to your changing circumstances.  
Transition from Linc-Ed to HEROAs you will hopefully be aware, all of our communication is now through our new student management system, HERO. There are some key points to follow to ensure you make a successful transition to HERO.  

  • Use this link to open HERO – go.linc-ed.com  If you don’t do this you will get nowhere.  PLEASE DO NOT USE THE LINC-ED LOGIN PAGE.
  • Enter the email address you have provided the school, not your previous Linc-Ed log in. 
  • Use your previous Linc-Ed Password.  If you cannot recall your password, please enter your email address and click on “Forgot Password”.  You will be receiving and email link in your email account to reset your password.
  • Down load the Hero app from your app store . Search ‘Hero by LINC-ED’. Buy doing this all correspondence will be via notifications in the app rather than receiving emails in your inbox. 

If you are still having problems please email Marlene (admin@nullilam.school.nz) who will be happy to help you resolve any issues. 

I sincerely hope all in your bubble are safe and well. Enjoy the weekend.

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

28 April

Dear Parents

I hope this finds you and your families well and you got to enjoy the lovely Autumn weather we had over the ANZAC Weekend.

Thank you to everyone for filling in the survey last week regarding which children will be returning to school this week. We will have 5 separate bubbles operating from Wednesday, with 30 children and 19 staff on-site most days. Some of these bubbles have mixed year groups in them while others are similar to our normal classroom make-up, for example, children in Year 5/6 together. Parents of children who are attending will have received an email about the make-up and organisation of the bubbles.  

I completely understand that some of you will not know what your working circumstances are for the next two weeks yet. If your situation changes, please email admin@nullilam.school.nz or call the office (03 348 7492) so we can endeavour to cater to your changing circumstances.  

A reminder that the key messages under Alert Level 3 for parents are:

  • If you can, you should keep your child at home.  
  • If your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness you must keep them at home.  
  • If your child is sick please also ensure you keep them at home.

Just like those children who remain at home, for those that attend school this week, the main learning focus will be the on-line learning provided by regular class teachers. This will be on-going throughout Alert Level 3.  If you want more learning for your child, please feel free to ask. Your child’s classroom teacher will be happy to organise this for you. There will also be Zoom meetings organised so your child can see their teacher and classmates. As you will be aware on-line learning has paused so far this week due to the ANZAC Day holiday yesterday and today being set aside by the government as a Teacher Only Day. On-line learning emails from classroom teachers will resume tomorrow. Your child’s classroom teacher will remain your key contact for on-line learning during Level 3 as they have been during Level 4.

We are in the process of having 170 packs of hard copy learning materials ready for collection for those who indicated that they would like these in last week’s survey. An email will be sent out indicating when and where to collect these from. 

You may want to share with your children the School Council’s Newspaper that has been developed during the Lockdown. This is available on the Home Learning Opportunities page of our website – https://www.ilam.school.nz/home-learning-opportunities   

Thank you once again for your support during this challenging time. 

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

21 April

Dear Parents

I hope this finds you and your families well and able to deal with all the challenges that the Lockdown situation has created for you. Thank you for the support you have given to your children’s on-line learning since last Wednesday. I appreciate that this has been challenging for many families for many different reasons. 

As you will be aware, yesterday the Government announced that we will move into Alert Level 3 next Tuesday 28 April.  Ilam School will be open to receive students from the 29 April. Property and cleaning staff started work today as we start to prepare for next Wednesday. We have received advice that Our OSCAR programme should not operate during Level 3 because of the risk of ‘mixing’ and therefore spreading Covid 19.

The key messages under Alert Level 3 for parents are:

  • If you can, you should keep your child at home.  
  • If your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness you must keep them at home.  
  • If your child is sick please also ensure you keep them at home.

To allow us to prepare for 29 April, could you please complete this attached form indicating whether your child/ren will be physically attending school, from Wednesday 29 April. 

We need the form to be completed by all families and would appreciate this being completed by 12:00pm on Thursday 23 April.

For Children Returning to School at Level 3

The Ministry of Education has advised that they are working closely with health to develop clear guidance that will support schools to safely re-open their premises to students and staff. This will help us work through the public health requirements that we all need to meet. As you will be doing, we want to be sure that we keep our community as safe as possible.

As advised by the Public Health Service, children that attend school will be in separate ‘bubbles’ of no more than 10 people. Bubbles are likely to be a mix of year groups with family members placed in the same bubble. Your child’s regular classroom teacher, for a variety of reasons, may not be the teacher assigned to your child’s bubble.  

We anticipate that there will be multiple ‘bubbles’ within the school but we will create distance between ‘bubbles’. We will also endeavour to have no mixing between ‘bubbles’, this will include break and lunchtimes. Recommendations state that there needs to be a 1m physical distance between all people when inside and a 2m physical distance when outside. We will do our very best to comply with this.

For Children Remaining at Home during Level 3

For those children who are able to remain at home during Level 3 we will develop more packs of hard copy learning materials for those that would like this and will look into lending devices to families. It is anticipated that your child’s classroom teacher will remain your key contact for on-line learning during Level 3 as they have been during Level 4.

Please note that due to Monday 27 April being an ANZAC Day Holiday and Tuesday 28 April being set aside for teachers to plan and organise resources. Online learning material and communication with teachers will not be available on these two days.

For now, we will continue to provide on-line learning while we plan for what Level 3 will look like at Ilam. I will be in touch with you via email once we have collated the information in the form.Thank you once again for your support during this challenging time.  

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

14 April

Dear Parents

I hope this finds you and your family well and coping with life in your Lockdown bubble.

On-line Learning Information regarding on-line learning will be sent out to you by your child’s teacher this coming Wednesday, 15 April. This is officially the start of Term 2, 2020, albeit in a very different format and setting than any of us would have imagined at the start of the year. You should have already received an email with initial information regarding home learning, and usernames and passwords required for learning websites from your child’s teacher.  If you have not received this, please contact your child’s teacher via email or email admin@nullilam.school.nz, so we can get this information to you. As well as regular emails, over the coming weeks, teachers will be in contact via phone calls with families just to touch base with children. Some families may appreciate this while some families may not want this contact. Families will have an opportunity to decline this phone call by responding back to their child’s teacher’s email. 

As I  stated in an email prior to the Lockdown, the learning activities being sent to families from tomorrow, will not, and can not, replicate a standard school day.  Each home situation will be different and you are not expected to suddenly become trained teachers and your home become a classroom during this time. While it would be ideal if there is an opportunity for children to do some of the activities provided, your greatest priority may be looking after the health of family members or trying to run your own business from home. We do not want homes to become a battleground over schoolwork.  

A quote that is on Nathan Wallis’ (A renowned New Zealand neuroscience educator) Facebook page is a good reminder for all of us. “At the end of all of this, your kid’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone.”  

While completing some school work will be beneficial, assuring everyone that they are loved and safe and that we are all doing the right thing to look after each other will be more important.

FREE N4L safety filter for students
Network for Learning (N4L) is a crown company that connects 99% of New Zealand schools to internet services through their smarter, safer Managed Network. N4L have set up a safety filter that parents can set up on their child’s learning devices from home. Just go to switchonsafety.co.nz to find clear instructions on how to do this.

The free N4L safety filter (by global cyber-security leader, Akamai) blocks websites containing known cyber threats like phishing scams, malicious content and viruses, while also protecting children from content deemed the worst of the web (like adult sites).

It is an extension of one of the many safety and security services that are in place at schools and is a valuable layer of protection to help keep children safe online. Please remember that technology is not a silver bullet and the filter should be used in combination with Netsafe’s online parent safety toolkit.

Home Learning TV Channel As I’m sure you are aware, Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will start education broadcasting for early learners and students (Years 1–10) from 9:00am on Wednesday April 15. Māori Television will launch a series of te reo educational programmes (for ages 0 to 18) on the same day. Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be free to air, on TVNZ channel 2+1 and on TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 502. All programmes will feature highly experienced teachers and presenters, along with a range of wellbeing and movement experts. Content will include play, literacy mathematics, science, te reo Māori, physical education and wellbeing. There will also be Pacific language content.

Government’s announcement on 20th April You also will be aware, the government will make an announcement on the 20th of April, regarding a decision on whether or not the current Alert Level 4 will change. The following information has been sent from the Ministry of Education to principals regarding this. 

It is the Government’s intention that on the 20th of April, two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish, Cabinet will make a decision on whether or not the Alert Level will change. They will use the most up to date data they have to make that decision. 

In Select Committee, Minister Hipkins spoke to the change of alert levels and the implications for education providers and their communities. The Minister noted it would be wrong to assume that all schools and early learning services will reopen at Level 3.

We are looking at various scenarios and they will be based on health considerations and requirements under Level 3, particularly managing physical distancing. A hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages of Level 3.  The Public Health requirements will affect each school differently.

Assuming the alert level does change, current planning assumptions are that you will have Thursday 23 and Friday 24 April to fully access your site and undertake a property inspection and necessary maintenance and cleaning. Monday 27 April is a public holiday (ANZAC Day observed) and Tuesday 28 April will be a staff-only day. We therefore anticipate Wednesday 29 April would be your first day with some of your students/children able to attend in person. 

This, of course, all depends on the government’s announcement next Monday. Following this announcement, the Ministry of Education will be in touch with principals to inform them of the implications for schools. I will email you as soon as possible after this, as to our next steps at Ilam. 

In the meantime, I wish you well. You may be interested in the following podcast – https://www.crowdcast.io/e/nanogirlslab from Dr Michelle Dickinson about families coping during the Lockdown.  

Kia kaha, kia māia  (Be strong, be brave)

Paul Dolan

Principal

6 April

Dear Parents

The following information is from the Ministry of Education. 

Keeping online safe

You may want to encourage your parents, caregivers and whānau to discuss internet safety with their children – of all ages. They should agree with their children what they can do online including sites they can visit and appropriate behaviours including:

  • reviewing and approving games and apps before they are downloaded
  • reviewing privacy settings of sites and applications
  • checking children’s profiles and what they are posting online
  • check the sites your child is accessing
  • reminding children that anything that is posted online will be permanently on the internet
  • taking the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join them
  • monitoring a child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • making sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to parents and caregivers straight away.

There is a unique opportunity during the lockdown of families going out together, albeit it close to home, but if your child is going out on their own it’s still important to check where they are going.

If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

Wellbeing information updated including new tip sheets for families, caregivers and whānau

We have slightly updated the wellbeing information on our website to better reflect how the COVID-19 response has changed over the last weeks. Included in there are three new tip sheets for parents, caregivers and teachers:

26 March

How to talk with your kids about COVD-19

https://sparklers.org.nz/parenting/how-talk-your-kids-about-covid-19/

26 March

Dear Parents

The Ministry of Education has asked me to share the following information with you. 

Government announcement about children aged 0 – 14 of Essential Workers
Further to our Bulletin content about self-isolating groups (circles of care), Government has confirmed the following arrangements today. You may wish to forward this to your community immediately.

Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare from Thursday 26 March until the end of the lockdown, due to limited capacity.

Where this is not possible alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can continue to work.

What essential workers need to know when making their own arrangements
Essential workers will need to use their existing networks for in-home care, for example, a neighbour, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home. There are Public Health rules that must be observed:

  • The person caring for your child becomes part of your self-isolating group
  • This group must remain the same for the whole period
  • The carer must not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period
  • If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home

If essential workers do not have access to childcare through their own networks
If essential workers are unable to access childcare to perform their essential service, the government will fund other licensed childcare providers (for example through PORSE, Barnados and Edubase / Home Grown Kids) to provide in-home care to the children aged 0-14 of essential workers. The carer would be subject to the same Public Health rules as set out above.

For the purposes of providing care to children of essential workers, the in home carer will be classified as an essential worker in both cases.

Initial list of contact details for providers

Removing data caps for internet

Please be advised most of the major telcos have now removed data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage.

Please see the links to those major companies below if your staff or students working from home need further support with this.

SPARK – https://www.spark.co.nz/help/covid-19/
“Removing overage charges for customers who are on data-capped broadband plans, so they won’t have to worry about paying extra to stay connected. This applies to both small and medium business and consumer customers;”

VODAFONE – https://news.vodafone.co.nz/covid-19-care
“The removal of data caps from data-capped Broadband plans for consumers and small to medium sized businesses until at least the end of June 2020”

VOCUS/SLINGSHOT – https://help.slingshot.co.nz/hc/en-us/articles/900000386943-Our-action-against-COVID-19?_ga=2.224375707.1878754814.1585097493-87562686.1585097493
“We removed all the data caps from our plans to better enable you to work from home during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.”

2DEGREES – https://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/mobile/your-account/covid-19/
“Any customer who was on a limited data plan on or before Friday, March 20 will now receive unlimited data through until June 2020.”

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

25 March

Real-time Resilience: Supporting Young People with Dr Emma Woodward & Denise Quinlan

24 March

Dear Parents

Now that the dust is starting to settle on the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday, I wanted to touch base with you around what the next four weeks, from a learning perspective, might look like for Ilam families. 

Work for this week – if required

Prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement, our main focus at Ilam was on getting our systems organised so we could run programmes as normally as possible while at the same time putting in place a variety of precautions to try and keep everyone safe and well.  Our Deputy Principal, Belinda Kennedy has been working in the background organising learning opportunities for children who were self-isolating. These activities are on the COVID-19 Home Learning page of the Ilam website –   https://www.ilam.school.nz/home-learning-opportunities  Parents might want their children to work on some of these this week and your class teacher may suggest you visit this site too. There will be activities and links updated regularly. 

Work after the School Holidays – from Wednesday 15 April

Teachers are currently setting up learning programmes for you to access at home after the school holidays. (The school holidays are from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April.) In preparation for this, by this Friday, 27th March, your child’s classroom teacher will send you an email with information regarding home learning, and usernames and passwords required for learning websites.   While you will have access to all the content on these websites, teachers won’t assign work until Wednesday 15th April. 

A reminder that teachers are also going through the same concerns and worries that you are. The holidays are an important time for them to become familiar with their new way of living, be with their families and rest and recover during this time. I respectfully ask that families do not contact teachers during this period.

From Wednesday 15 April, classroom teachers will be in contact via Linc-Ed with families via email and will be providing specific learning activities for children. 

Final Thoughts

I would like to emphasise that programmes sent to families will not, and can not, replicate a standard school day.  Each home situation will be different and you are not expected to suddenly become trained teachers and your home become a classroom during this time. While it would be ideal if there is an opportunity for children to do some of the activities provided, your greatest priority at that time may be looking after the health of family members. We do not want homes to become a battleground over schoolwork.  

A quote that is on Nathan Wallis’ (A renowned New Zealand neuroscience educator) Facebook page is a good reminder for all of us. “At the end of all of this, your kid’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone.”  

In summary, your relationships with your family members will be the most critical aspect of this time ahead. While completing some school work will be beneficial, assuring everyone that they are loved and safe and that we are all doing the right thing to look after each other will be more important.

Please take care. I will be in contact in due course.

Kia kaha, kia māia  (Be strong, be brave)

Ngā mihi nui

Paul Dolan

Principal

Corona Virus & Anxiety

Dear Parents

Below is a link to a video clip from Nathan Wallis giving tips for families on the topic of Corona Virus & Anxiety, and how to best support children. Other helpful videos and advice can be found on Nathan Wallis’ Facebook page.

Corona virus & Anxiety.

Posted by Nathan Wallis on Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Real-time Resilience Strategies for Coping with Coronavirus by Dr Lucy Hone & Dr Denise Quinlan

Monday 23 March

Dear Parents 

Further to my email this afternoon, I am now able to provide some clarity for you following the Prime Minister’s announcement this afternoon. 

This Week

Ilam School will be open tomorrow (Tuesday 24 March) and Wednesday (25 March) for children of essential workers. You may wish to check if you are considered an essential worker – https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system Children who are attending school tomorrow will start their day in their normal classrooms. We continue to ask that children who are not well, do not attend school.

Ilam School will be closed for access from 6:30pm on Wednesday 25 March until further notice. 

The Home Learning page of our website – https://www.ilam.school.nz/home-learning-opportunities – is available for any children required to be at home both on Tuesday and Wednesday and for all children for the remainder of the week. It has a variety of learning activities for all year levels. 

School Holidays

The school holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (The Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).

Home Learning

From Wednesday 15 April, classroom teachers will be in contact with families via email and will be providing home learning activities for children. In order to ensure all children at Ilam can access online learning, please fill in this form Online Learning Survey if your children DO NOT have access to the internet, a computer/laptop/tablet/iPad, or a printer.  

Ilam OSCAR

Ilam OSCAR will be open on Tuesday (24 March) and Wednesday (25 March) for those children whose parents are classified as essential workers and already had a booking for these dates at Ilam OSCAR. Please email oscar@nullilam.school.nz by 10:00am tomorrow morning to confirm that your children will still be attending on these days. All other bookings will be cancelled and a refund provided. 

While obvious, for clarity, Ilam OSCAR will be closed from 6:00pm Wednesday 25 March until such time as the government’s restrictions are lifted.  

Today’s announcement is a sudden and significant change for everyone in New Zealand and will be heavily disruptive to many people.  As I have stated previously, at times like this it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel you have no control over the situation. I encourage you to take care of yourselves so you are in the best mental and physical space possible to care for your children.

I will endeavour to keep you informed of relevant updates as they come to hand. As noted by the Prime Minister, these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. 

Kia kaha, kia māia  (Be strong, be brave)

Paul Dolan

Principal

Monday 23 March

Dear Parents

Like many of you, we have just heard the Prime Minister’s address to the nation outlining the change from COVID-19 Level 2 to Level 3 and then in 48 hours to Level 4. 

We are processing this information now and are waiting to hear officially from the Ministry of Education. You will appreciate that we want to get the correct information to you and as such will be sending an email to you later this afternoon/evening once we know more. 

My understanding at the moment is that school will be open tomorrow and Wednesday for children whose parents are identified as ‘Essential Workers’ but closed for all other children. An absolute definition of who are Essential Workers is yet to be released. 

I will be in touch as soon as possible. 

Ngā mihi nui
Paul Dolan
Principal

Sunday 22 March

Dear Parents

Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, I wanted to update you as to what this means for us at Ilam. 

If you are over 70-years-old – you need to stay at home. This is because older people, particularly those with pre-existing health problems are more likely to get severe illness and are therefore considered at risk. 

High-risk individuals means people with underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • a compromised immune system 
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus

If you are unsure – contact your doctor or ring health line 0800 611 116.

Effective immediately, the following systems and processes will be put in place at Ilam as we endeavour to provide as much physical distancing as possible for everyone.

  • The library is closed at all times – effective immediately.
  • A 3 Rotation Break & Lunchtime Roster will be put in place for the remainder of the term. This means that break and lunchtimes will be staggered for children. Only 7 classes at a time, from across the school, will be released to play and eat. 

In addition to these two initiatives, our website has been updated to contain a COVID-19 page on the menu. This area has a news updates page, where all information regarding COVID-19 is placed (Parents will still be emailed key information, however additional ‘non-urgent’ information received will be placed on the website) and a Home Learning Opportunities page for parents, who for what-ever reason have children away from school at the present time. The page contains links to a variety of resources that can either be accessed online or downloaded.
This is all in addition to the following that was put in place last week.

  • Canceling, postponing or rearranging all gatherings that are generally bigger than one class size (approximately 30 children) until such time as it is deemed appropriate to meet.
  • Ensuring, while supplies allow us, all classrooms have additional hand sanitiser, soap and hand towels placed in them. These are monitored daily. 
  • Asking children to bring their drink bottles to school which can be filled from taps in classrooms as the drinking fountains have been turned off. 

A reminder that we are asking families who are, or soon will be, in self-isolation to register with the school by the completion and submission of this form

We are also asking families who have any upcoming confirmed international travel to register with us by completing this online form as soon as possible. 

This is a tough time for everyone. There will be many of you who are very worried about COVID-19 and the safety of your family.  Please do not hesitate to contact me or our Deputy Principal, Belinda Kennedy, if you have any issues or questions around how the school is endeavouring to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

Kia Kaha
Paul DolanPrincipal

Friday 20 March

ARE SCHOOLS GOING TO CLOSE?

With so much information and misinformation swirling around about COVID-19, I wanted to share with you what will happen if we were to have a case in our school community.

  • As soon as a case is confirmed in our immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you
  • If there was a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.
  • If our school does need to close temporarily, we have a plan in place to support student’s learning.

We know COVID-19 feels scary and of course people are concerned for the wellbeing of our children. Please be assured that with no case reported at Ilam, your children are safe here.

Good hygiene is a priority for us, and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness.

Paul Dolan

WHEN IS SICK, SICK?

The messaging remains clear – if children are feeling unwell please stay home. 

A diagram has been developed by Dr Siouxsie Wiles to assist you when considering symptoms. What it tells us is:

  • A dry cough and a high temperature are common to both flu and COVID-19
  • Sneezing is not a symptom of COVID-19, however if someone has COVID-19, then sneezing can spread droplets containing the virus

Thursday 19 March

THE FOLLOWING WAS PART OF OUR SCHOOL NEWSLETTER EMAILED TO PARENTS.

Updates relating to the coronavirus pandemic have been changing so frequently this week that some are outdated shortly after being sent out. Please be assured that the health and safety of your children and our staff is our number one priority. We are endeavouring to put as many actions into place to try and mitigate any form of illness at Ilam, while at the same time keep the school operating as near to normal as possible. You should have received an email on Monday outlining those plans, however in short we are:

  • Canceling, postponing or rearranging all gatherings that are generally bigger than one class size (approximately 30 children) until such time as it is deemed appropriate to meet.
  • Ensuring, while supplies allow us, all classrooms have additional hand sanitizer, soap and hand towels placed in them. These are monitored daily. 
  • Asking children to bring their drink bottles to school which can be filled from taps in classrooms as the drinking fountains have been turned off. 
  • Asking families who are, or soon will be, in self-isolation to register with the school by the completion and submission of this form
  • Developing a page for our website that will contain school work for children who are required to be at home. I will update you once this is completed. 
  • Asking families who have any upcoming confirmed international travel to register with us by completing this online form as soon as possible. 

The Ministry of Health continue to emphasise the importance of good hygiene practices, which include:

  • Washing hands with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow
  • Encouraging staff and students to stay home if they are unwell

I’m sure the whole subject of coronavirus has been discussed many times at home recently, however, if you are looking for some advice on how to talk to children about the pandemic, the following Ministry of Education page may help.

I have heard numerous rumours about school closures since the government’s announcement last weekend. The following quote is taken from an email from Iona Holsted, Secretary of Education sent to schools on Wednesday evening.

“At this stage, we are not expecting widespread school closures. We are planning for temporary closures, like what is happening at Logan Park School but as the World Health Organisation has confirmed, the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres. Consequently any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis.”

I will endeavour to keep you informed of relevant updates as they come to hand. At times like this it is easy to become overwhelmed and feel you have no control over the situation. I encourage you to take care of yourselves so you are in the best mental and physical space possible to care for your children. Please do not hesitate to contact me or our Deputy Principal, Belinda Kennedy, if you have any issues or questions around how the school is endeavouring to manage the coronavirus pandemic.

Paul Dolan

Principal

Monday 16 March

EMAIL TO PARENTS

Dear Parents and Caregivers

The Government’s announcement on Saturday in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has led us to review how we go about our daily activities at Ilam. While we want life to be as normal as possible for children, parents and staff at school, we also want to be socially responsible and put steps in place to avoid the possible spread of any colds, flu and of course the potential of Coronavirus.

Cancellation of Events 
As a precautionary measure, as of tomorrow, Tuesday 17 March, all gatherings that are generally bigger than one class size (approximately 30 children) will be cancelled, postponed or rearranged until such time as it is deemed appropriate to meet. For the time being, this means the following events scheduled for the rest of Term 1 will not be going ahead as planned. 
– Assemblies (School and Team)
– Year 4 Children’s University Passport Assembly 
– International Lunch – scheduled for this Wednesday, 18 March 
– After School Chess Club 
– Choir (The Senior Choir may continue in smaller groups. This is to be confirmed)
– Kapa Haka Group
– Pasifika Group
– Talanoa – scheduled for Thursday 26 March

Small group activities such as music tuition, creative writing and Science with Dr Joyce will still go ahead.

Precautionary Measures

In addition to the above, all classrooms have had additional hand sanitizer, soap and hand towels placed in them. These will be monitored daily to ensure supplies are adequate. The school drinking fountains are now closed, we ask that children bring their drink bottles to school which can be filled from taps in classrooms.

Self-Isolation

As I’m sure you will know, every person entering New Zealand (excluding from the Pacific) after midnight Sunday 15 March is required to self-isolate for 14 days. As a result, there is now a mandatory self-isolation period of 14 days for any child who has had contact with a member of their household where that household member is required to self-isolate under the Government’s current rules. We ask that any families who are currently, or soon will be, in self-isolation, register with the school by the completion and submission of this form.

Children absent from Ilam

We are currently developing a page for our website that will contain school work for children who are required to be at home. I will update you once this is completed.

April School Holidays

With the April holiday period approaching in four weeks, we would like to collect information regarding any planned international travel. I completely understand that families travel plans could now be undecided as the result of the government’s announcement. However, I would ask that any confirmed international travel is registered by completing this online form as soon as possible. 

As we have seen throughout this term, matters pertaining to the Coronavirus pandemic can evolve rapidly. Be assured that we will continue to monitor and act on the latest information as it is made available in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of our community.

Please continue to practise good hygiene around staying home if not well, managing coughs and sneezes and disposal of tissues. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this or any related Coronavirus matter.

Ngā mihi nui (Kind Regards)

Paul Dolan

Principal

Sunday 15 March

EMAIL TO PARENTS

Dear Parents

As you will be aware the world reaction to Coronavirus and events is rapidly changing.

Tomorrow’s planned event to honour those martyred and injured in the March 15 mosque attacks will still go ahead at 2:35pm in the hall.

Tomorrow we will again review planned school events and measures we have in the school to stop the spread of any illness. I will update you once this is completed.

Please note that with the government’s announcement regarding travel and self-isolation on Saturday afternoon, there is now a mandatory self-isolation for any child who has had contact with a member of his household where that household member is required to self-isolate.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding this or any other matter related to Coronavirus.

Paul Dolan
Principal

Monday 9 March

EMAIL TO PARENTS

Dear Parent

Coronavirus Update

The Ministry of Education has shared an update about Coronavirus with schools this morning, as a result of the COVID-19 New Zealand cases having links to school communities.

It was reassuring to read the information from the Auckland Regional Public Health Service that the children in these families are not showing any symptoms of COVID-19 and are doing well. Because the children continue to not show any symptoms, they were not infectious when they were at school and the Ministry of Health is confident there is no risk for the students and staff in those schools. The Ministry of Health’s current advice is that with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low.

A reminder that the recommended best preventative steps are:
– wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly
– avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
– avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments
– stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention
– cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish
– get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

As you will be well aware, Social Media contains a variety of stories, opinions and advice. The Ministry of Health is the best source of information for New Zealand and is updated regularly – https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

Finally, a reminder that anyone who is unwell with any sort of ailment should not be attending school.

Nga mihi nui (Kind Regards)

Paul Dolan

Principal

Ilam School Grounds