Principal’s Message, Term 1, Week 7

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

You may have seen that the World Health Organisation has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.  As noted by the Minister of Health, this doesn’t change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.  The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January.

You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impacts to New Zealand.  This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases.  It is important to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.

We have 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home.  Their children, four students at Auckland schools, continue to be well and show no symptoms.  While we expect that more cases will arise, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low in New Zealand.

We all have a role to play in this.  For our school, our pandemic plan is also ready to be implemented if needed.  In the mean time we will continue to focus on good hygiene practices.  Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.With that, there is a good video clip from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus – YouTube clip – NanogirlYou may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus:

One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our children.  I will be encouraging my staff to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds.  I ask that you please do the same with your children. Colds and flu’s are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.

Note: This letter was MOE and sent to all Principals near the end of last week. Some information may have changed since this was written.

The school will be ensuring a thorough clean of the classrooms will take place to protect our students and staff.  Each classroom will also be provided with additional cleaning products, including hand sanitisers, antibacterial sprays etc for teachers and staff to use to ensure our classrooms are sanitised.

I ask that students bring their own drink bottles to school, as we will not be allowing students to drink from the drink fountains until further notice.  

As always, we will continue to be diligent and keep you abreast of the situation.

Gala

I would like to say thank you to the Fairfield Community Group (FCG) for organising another outstanding gala.  Thank you to everyone who made one of the most successful events in our community.  This was my first gala. I must say how blown away I was with the turnout and the support. Well done to us!

I am excited to share that we have raised $20,000 (unofficially). Thank you everyone for making this possible.All of the proceeds will be allocated to purchase STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Art, Mathematics) equipment, as well as other play-based learning items, making wonderful additions to our children’s learning in their classrooms.  Again, well done everyone and thank you for coming and supporting our children.
Below is a photo album for Gala. This is unedited. A more professional presentation will be shared in the near future. Please copy and paste the URL below into your browser https://photos.app.goo.gl/WTvgZj5qnNW2znNy8 
Athletic Sports

A huge congratulations to all the students that participated in the junior athletics day on Friday. It was wonderful to see so many parents coming to support the students. The event had a real community feel about it.

Learning Conferences

Learning Conferences are an important part of growing the home/school partnership, so we encourage you all to come along and learn about your child’s goals, aspirations, progress and achievement.

Learning Conferences are scheduled this Monday 23rd March (1:00pm – 5.15pm) and  Tuesday 24th March (3.15pm-5.30pm).  Please note, the school will close at 12.30pm on Monday 24th March to facilitate learning conferences.
To book a time slot for learning conferences, please go to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the event code wgzq4.  If you do not have access to the internet, please contact the office staff, who will be only too happy to book a time for you.
eTAP
We recently shared changes with you that will be happening with eTap, our school computer system.  In the next few weeks we will be changing how we send out school communication. A letter has been sent home to check that we have up-to-date contact information on file, including an email address.  If you have not returned this letter please do so urgently, to the school office to ensure you don’t miss out on important school information.
What’s happening this term:
March
18th Y 1, 2 and 3 Athletics, 9:00am – 10:45am
20th Y 7 and 8 Athletics
23rd
School finishes 12:30pm.
Learning Conferences 1;00pm – 5:15pm
24th Learning Conferences 3:15pm – 5:30pm
25th Y7/8 EPro 8, Levin Intermediate 5pm – 8pm
27th Y1/2 Welcome to Fairfield Concert, 1:45pm
April
3rd Inter school Athletics Y4-8
9th Thursday, Term 1 finishes 2:50pm
10th Good Friday
28th Tuesday, Term 2 starts 8:50am

2020 School Term Dates:

Term 1 Monday 3rd February Thursday 9th April 96 half days
Term 2 Tuesday 28th April Friday 3rd July 96 half days
Term 3 Monday 20th July Friday 25th September 100 half days
Term 4 Monday 12th October Tuesday 15th December 92 half days
Kind regards,
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Alasdair Maclean
Principal