The situation in regards to COVID-19 is rapidly evolving. MBIS continues to closely monitor and follow the advice provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education.
I will continue to send email updates and we are also updating our website. All current information will be found there. Moving forward this will be the most up to date source of information.
Here is what we know currently:
The Government announcement on the weekend requires all arrivals from overseas to self-isolate. It is important to note we continue to have no confirmed cases in schools or early learning services.
Schools are currently working with the Ministry of Education to plan for future scenarios.The most likely scenario is if a student or staff member is confirmed with COVID-19, the Department of Health may require a school to close for a day or two, to undertake tracking and tracing of close contacts.
At this point in time there is no expectation that schools will be closing. We are still open for instruction. A number of parents have made the decision to keep their students home as a preventative measure. Please note that at this time teachers are not being asked to provide additional learning programmes for these students. Our teachers are focused on the learners in their classroom. Teachers will however continue to share their planning and access to google classroom in the same way they currently do.
In preparation for possible closures in the future the MOE has asked our school to respond to a series of questions that explore our readiness and ability to deliver teaching and learning online. Our leadership team will be responding to these queries and making our own plans and preparations in the event that this becomes a reality in the future.
Following government advice teachers will be talking to students about limiting close contact. Students and staff will be actively discouraged from shaking hands and hugging etc. We will also continue to remind students about good hand washing practices and not touching their face.
Yesterday the Government advised that public events or mass gatherings where 500 or more people are together in one place, at one time should be cancelled. While this directive does not apply to schools we will be reviewing all our school operations and do not plan to hold any events that would be considered a ‘mass gathering’. This means events such as assemblies, concerts and large sporting events are likely to be cancelled.
Our school has a pandemic plan and Crisis Management Team in place. The team is keeping up to date with new information and responding accordingly. We will continue to communicate any new information as it becomes available.
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 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 flus 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.