COVID-19 Updates

27 August 2021

Kia ora koutou,

School opens Thursday

We are excited to welcome the children back on Thursday morning. It is not ‘business as usual’ for schools under level two Delta.
There will be no zooms on Wednesday as teachers prepare for children to return to school.

The most important thing for parents to note in readiness for Thursday is the arrival and departure process. Upon arrival parents need to stay in vehicles – kiss and go.

Children will go straight to their own classroom at the beginning of the day where their teachers will be waiting for them. At the end of the day they will go straight to their pick up area. Parents again should stay in their vehicles. Please take care on the roads and watch out for children. We will have children ready to be picked up from 2:55pm to ease congestion.

At level 2 children will be able to bring bikes, scooters and skateboards to school as usual. Students need to all have a hand towel in their bag and bring a named water bottle.

Visitors and Parents – entry to the school site is only through the reception area and we have to get everyone to fill out the contact tracing register. Visitors and parents should only enter the site if they absolutely need to.

School Bus – will run at the usual times with the front row of seats having to be kept free of children to maintain distance from the driver.
The school site remains CLOSED after hours so please keep an eye out for any random people trying to use our grounds! Many thanks to you all for your patience and understanding.

Ruru parents: technology at Devon starts this week.

Our hope is that all of our students will enjoy catching up with friends in their class and have a fabulous day.

Any queries please email [email protected]

Regards,
Karen

 

27 August 2021

Kia ora koutou,

We hope that you are safe and well within your bubble.

Our key focus continues to be on wellbeing, so if you can, you should keep your child at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you absolutely need to. Distance learning at home and maintaining your bubble is still the preferred option under Alert Level 3.

If you or your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness, you must keep children at home. If your child is sick you must keep them at home. In order to ensure the safety of those students and our staff who will be at school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures.

Some important information about Alert Level 3

  • Work and learn from home if you can. The government still want the majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home.
    The school remains essentially closed, but we will be able to supervise students from the 1st September ONLY for families who will have no one at home available to care for them.
  • Parents will need to email the Ōmata office ([email protected]) by midday Monday next week if their child/ren will need to attend school during level 3.
    We need to prepare our staff, the school site and start a contact tracing register. Please state the times and days your child/ren will be attending.

What we are doing

  • Staff will continue to provide weekly distance learning programmes in the same way they have been.
  • Students who need to be onsite during level 3 will supervised doing the same learning as they would be at home.
  • Students will be kept in bubbles of 10 and will have no contact with other bubbles.
  • Toilet areas will be allocated to bubbles.
  • We will have contact tracing registers.
  • Staff and students must maintain physical distancing.
  • Regular hand washing will be scheduled.
  • Students need to bring their own hand towel.
  • Drinking fountains are closed.
  • School grounds remain closed.
  • Staggered drop off and pick up times.
  • Only staff and registered students allowed onsite.
  • Start and finish times and break times will be staggered.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily and extra cleaning for contact points during the day.
  • No visitors will be allowed on site.
  • Drop and go only.

The Ministry of Education are working closely with the Ministry of Health and are updating their advice to us regularly so we will be responding to any new information we receive. I will keep you informed as we move forward. For now, we will continue to support your child’s learning by distance. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Stay well,
Karen Brisco

23 August 2021

Bubble Learning starts today. You should have received an email from teachers as to when your child’s zoom time is. Bubble Learning is published on our website. Just click refresh if it doesn’t show up.

We are anticipating doing online learning for the rest of this week at least. Please do what works for your family and circumstances. We understand many of you will be juggling working from home, running businesses and supporting elderly or unwell relatives. This is not a time to be under extra pressure so dive into the learning or online links as you please.

Teachers and support staff are able to help, and have organized to check in with children needing some extra support. Please email teachers if you need anything.
7pm is story time and there will be a post of staff reading a picture book on Facebook popping up at that time every evening.

Looking forward to seeing you all in the not too distant future!

Level Three
Should we move to level three later this week or next week then any essential workers who need to send their child/ren to school will need to email Mel at [email protected] as soon as possible so we can organise in-school bubbles. More detail will come out around this once an announcement is made.

Let’s hope this is a temporary measure!

All the best, regards
Karen

 

19 August 2021

Kia ora tātou,

What an astonishing time. For those of you who are working with the public in essential services, we cannot thank you enough. Working from home brings its own challenges and benefits! I hope you are adapting again and will be able to make the most of family time. Where I live on the coast, we have no access to broadband and have limited cell phone coverage, so it’s quite a challenge to work remotely.

Staff have been meeting on zoom over the last couple of days and we have a new set of learning bubbles for everyone that will go live on Monday with weekly zoom meetings planned with the children. That is unless of course we go back into level 1 or 2 by then! Teachers will be communicating directly with you via email tomorrow.

Bubble Learning will be available from our school website so that everyone can have access as easily as possible. Our teachers are working in collaborative teams:
Laura, Nicky and Skye: Kiwi and Pūkeko
Bridgit and Vicky: Pīwakawaka and Tūī
Stuart and Sean: Kōtare and Korimako
Jemma and Reece: Ruru

All the learning will be available to everyone, so if your child would like an extra challenge, they are welcome to engage with any of the activities from another team.

Please feel free to email teachers along the way to give feedback and ask questions. We are all learning and we will be adjusting things as we go to make the best of this!

Tūī: [email protected]
Korimako: [email protected]
Kōtare: [email protected]
Kiwi: [email protected]
Pūkek:o [email protected]
Ruru: [email protected] and [email protected]
Pīwakawaka: [email protected]

Zoom
For newbies to this online learning, and to enable staff to have a weekly meeting with students, you will need to become familiar with Zoom. Go to
zoom.us and have a try. A meeting schedule for your child will be provided.

Learning at Home
Children will not come to any harm if they have a break from formal learning for a while. I am sure many of the experiences they will have at home with you at this time will create special bonds and lasting memories. Please do not feel any guilt over unfinished tasks.

There are some amazing online learning opportunities that teachers will be sharing with you. Try some out; I am sure these links and others you have found will engage students in many rich learning activities. The Ministry of Education are adding to their bank of online resource links so do try some of these.

If you have no, or limited connectivity at home, then please email teachers and we endeavour to help.

Be reassured, during the last lockdown our children came back to school in a really good mindset to re engage with learning and were up to expected levels of progress very quickly. Families made great decisions and kept learning time fun and as engaging as possible. Fit it into your family’s rhythm and do not worry if you don’t get around to it every day. Teachers have families too and are juggling working from home just like you, so we understand the pressures.

Please remember that wellbeing comes first, then learning.

Ngā mihi nui,
Karen 

 

17 August 2021

Well here we go into Level 4 tonight and back into our bubbles. Fasten those seat belts for the next three days at least. We will obviously postpone 3D Conferences. School is closed until at least Monday.

The most important thing is to hunker down, be positive, play, read, walk or cycle and cook. Remember what was good about the last lockdown and try to enjoy this time with your family. For those of you working in the frontline, we thank you and hope that we come out of this quickly.

Please keep me informed if you are being tested and self isolating due to potential exposure.

There is no pressure to get on with learning over the next few days, the best thing is for you to provide a sense of calm and reassurance for your children as they adapt.

Be well everyone.

Regards,
Karen

 

14 February 2021

Back to COVID level two for us today. Please notify us if you are keeping your children at home due to you or your child possibly having been exposed to Covid or needing to be tested.

Reminder of what this means for school.

It is not ‘business as usual’ for schools, so please keep up to date with our posts and any further information which will be both on our website and facebook pages.

We will continue to have a few senior students out along the front of the school from 8:30-9am to welcome students and help the younger ones to their classrooms. Pick ups will be from the pick up points that you are already using.

Visitors and Parents – entry to the school site is only through the reception area and we have to get everyone to fill out the contact tracing register. Visitors and parents should only enter the site if they absolutely need to.

School Bus – will run at the usual times.

Students should continue to bring a hand towel and their own named bottle of water. Classes will continue as usual although extra activities may be postponed or cancelled. We will notify you of any changes.
So pretty much carrying on as we have been with extra care and more hygiene routines in place.

Unwell children should stay at home.

Please keep watching our posts for any notifications. We will be advised by the Ministries of Education and Health if there are any further adjustments to be made.
Your reactions to this change in levels will be picked up very quickly by your children, so consider this carefully to minimize anxiety.

Regards,
Karen

 

12 August 2020

Back to COVID level two for us today.

Reminder of what this means for us:

It is not ‘business as usual’ for schools, so please keep up to date with our posts and any further information which will be both on our website and facebook pages.

We will continue to have staff and a few senior students out along the front of the school from 8:30-9am to welcome students and help the younger ones to their classrooms. Pick ups will be from the pick up points that you are already using.

Visitors and Parents – entry to the school site is only through the reception area and we have to get everyone to fill out the contact tracing register. Visitors and parents should only enter the site if they absolutely need to.

School Bus – will run at the usual times.

The school site is CLOSED after hours so please keep an eye out for any random people trying to use our grounds! Many thanks to you all for your patience and understanding.

Students should continue to bring a hand towel and their own named bottle of water. Classes will continue as usual although extra activities may be cancelled. We will notify you of any changes.

So pretty much carrying on as we have been with extra care, some distancing and more hygiene routines in place.

Unwell children should stay at home.

Please keep watching our posts for any notifications. We will be advised by the Ministries of Education and Health if there are any further adjustments to be made.

Your reactions to this change in levels will be picked up very quickly by your children, so consider this carefully to minimize anxiety.

 

19 May 2020

Newsletters
We are going to start emailing out a newsletter every Friday. You will need to subscribe to this service. You will see where to fill in your email address and it will be sent to you every week. This will be great for any other family members who want to receive a copy. The newsletter will also be available for viewing on facebook and a copy will be posted on our website.

♻️ We are cutting down on our paper consumption!

 

18 May 2020

What a brilliant morning it was as we welcomed back our students today. There has been an excited buzz around the school as children have had so much to share with each other. We had a 96% turn out. Thank you everyone for making the drop off so smooth this morning.

Ōmata 2020
He waka eke noa

Students abuzz on the first day back at school following lockdown

We certainly have been ‘all in this together’. I thank the awesome Ōmata Community who have dug deep and made the best of the lockdown times. One to tell your grandchildren about for sure! Let’s hope we continue taking steps towards having everything, and everyone, working and well.

Kind regards,
Karen

He waka eke noa

 

15 May 2020

We are all set and excited to welcome the children back on Monday morning. It is not ‘business as usual’ for schools under level two, so I hope you have been keeping up to date with our posts and information which are both on our website and facebook pages.

The most important thing for parents to note in readiness for Monday is the arrival and departure process. We will have staff and a few senior students out along the front of the school from 8:35-9am to welcome students back and help the younger ones to their classrooms, as we know there will be some children and parents who will be a bit nervous.

Arriving and Departing School
Children will go straight to their own classroom at the beginning of the day where their teachers will be waiting for them. At the end of the day they will go straight to their pick up area. (Teachers of the younger children in Rooms 1, 7, 4, and 5 will take them to the right place and the other children will be reminded where they need to be.)

Pick Up and Drop Offs
To ease congestion and make this as smooth, safe and stress free as possible it will be helpful if you could follow these guidelines: (although we understand this will not always work for you!)
Families with surnames from A-H your drop off time is between 8:35-8:45 and pick up time is 3-3:10.
Families with surnames from J-Z your drop off time is between 8:45-8:55 and pick up time is 3:10-3:20.
Parents should stay in their vehicle.
Please let your children know where you would like to pick them up from at the end of the day so they can wait at the best spot:
either the front drop zone,
the carpark or
the footpath at the front of the tennis court.
Staff will be stationed at these areas to help make mornings and afternoons as smooth and safe as possible. Teachers have requested that you let them know your preferred option also so they can make sure the children go to the right place.

At level 2 children will be able to bring bikes, scooters and skateboards to school on any day of the week. We will have the skatepark, pump track and tennis court area for them to use.

Visitors and Parents – entry to the school site is only through the reception area and we have to get everyone to fill out the contact tracing register. Visitors and parents should only enter the site if they absolutely need to. Parents of our new R4 children may be wanting to accompany their child to the the classroom at the start of the day via the office. (Viv has rung those parents to arrange this)

School Bus – will run at the usual times with the front row of seats having to be kept free of children to maintain distance from the driver.

The school site remains CLOSED after hours so please keep an eye out for any random people trying to use our grounds! Many thanks to you all for your patience and understanding.

Our hope is that after some initial nervousness, everyone enjoys catching up with friends and has a fabulous day.

See you Monday
Regards
Karen


13 May 2020

Nō reira, mōrena ki a koutou katoa
Good morning everyone

It is hard to put into words the upheaval that has occurred during the last couple of months, both personally and professionally. Everyone has been affected and I would like to acknowledge the way our Ōmata Community, Staff and Board have responded to this unprecedented challenge.

Having a few children arrive back to school over the last week has been encouraging. Children have had many positive experiences during lockdown and have mostly enjoyed the enforced family time. Whilst they are very pleased to be back at school, they also realise things are a little different and are embracing the new routines. This is reassuring as we prepare to welcome back students on Monday.

Just letting you know that staff will be all onsite tomorrow and Friday as we prepare for the return of students. We will be discussing how we are going to best manage the first week back.

It would be useful, now that you have had time to think about it, to let us know if you have any particular worries around how this will work for you and your children. If things are troubling you please email the office or a teacher and we can discuss these tomorrow. You will have thought of things that may not have occurred to us!

We will try and find solutions that will work for you but also being mindful we must follow some strict procedures at Level 2.

Tēnā rawa atu kotou
Many thanks
Karen

 

12 May 2020

Kia ora koutou Ōmata School whānau,

Well the time of bubbles is nearly over as we move into level 2 on Thursday! All teachers will be allowed onsite on Thursday and Friday to prepare for the return of our students.
(Any Zoom meetings for Thursday and Friday are being rescheduled.)

We are looking forward to seeing your children back at school on Monday. This will be a time of adjustment as we ease into some new routines and learning over the first week, being mindful that some may be anxious about the return to school. Children will be excited to see their friends and will have many experiences to share. It will be important for you to speak positively about going back to school and reassure children if they have worries. You may like to share some of the new routines outlined below, so that they know what to expect and to give them confidence.

Information for your peace of mind:
Cleaning regime – Commonly touched surfaces such as door handles will be cleaned by the staff during the day and by our cleaner after school. Students will wash their hands several times during the day. Hand sanitiser is available in all rooms and toilets.
Water – Drinking fountains are disabled. Students to bring their own NAMED water bottles.
Distancing – Teachers and students will be asked to avoid touching or breathing on each other.
Eating – Each class will have morning tea and lunch at their own designated outside deck space and when wet, they will eat in classrooms.
Proximity – Classes will not mix and mingle for learning at Level 2, but will share the playground at break times, keeping 1m apart where practicable.
Music – will go ahead on Wednesdays in the hall for each class
Kapa Haka – will go ahead on Fridays in the hall for Rooms 1, 2, 3 and 6 at this stage. Each class will be allocated a separate time.
Room 6 – will attend technology at Devon on Thursdays. We do not mix with children of any other school while we are there and because we are at the start of the day we are assured surfaces will all be clean. Sanitiser is provided on the bus for entry and exit.
School bus – will run at the usual times with the front row of seats having to be kept free of children to maintain distance from the driver.
Illness – Children or staff who are unwell need to stay home. Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 will be sent home and they should seek testing and clearance before returning to school (in line with National Guidelines).
Arriving and Departing School -Children are to go straight to their own classroom at the beginning of the day. At the end of the day they go straight to their pick up area.
Visitors and Parents – entry to the school site is only through the reception area and we have to get everyone to fill out the contract tracing register. Visitors and parents should only enter the site if they absolutely need to. Parents of our new R4 children will be needing to accompany their child to the the classroom. Viv is ringing you to arrange this.

Pick Up and Drop Offs
To ease congestion and make this as smooth, safe and stress free as possible it will be helpful if you could follow these guidelines: (although we understand this will not always work for you!)
Families with surnames from A-H your drop off time is between 8:35-8:45 and pick up time is 3-3:10
Families with surnames from J-Z your drop off time is between 8:45-8:55 and pick up time is 3:10-3:20
Parents should stay in their vehicle
Please let your children know where you would like to pick them up from at the end of the day so they can wait at the best spot: either the front drop zone, the carpark or the footpath at the front of the tennis court. Staff will be stationed at these areas to help make this as smooth and safe as possible.

We are very keen to keep in close contact with our families, so even though we won’t be seeing you as we usually do, we encourage you to email teachers or send along a note with your child. Hopefully level 2 will not need to go on for too many weeks and we can welcome you all back in!

Please don’t hesitate to ring should you have any queries or if you have information pertaining to the health or wellbeing of your child.

Ka kite anō au i a koutou
Karen

 

5 May 2020

Kia ora koutou Ōmata School whanau
I hope everything is going well for you and your bubble and I am sure many of you are either back at work or working from home. You are all doing a great job managing that on top of supporting children with their learning. Teachers have been delighted to see students in zoom meetings and hear about what they have been up to. Every family is managing this differently and that is absolutely fine. There is plenty of learning in the bubbles and like I have said before, please dive into the bonus bubble or into the other bubbles if your child would like some extension. On the other hand please do not feel it all needs to be finished every week.

I am very proud of all of our staff who are going the extra mile to create and supply what is essentially a completely new way of delivering education. We will all be very pleased to get back onsite as this way of ‘teaching’ certainly has its limitations! Thanks team.

When we move to level 2, we are expecting that more students will be able to attend school, but as yet we have had no guidelines from the Ministry of Education. I hear they are working on the details this week. Essentially school will operate in a modified way and of course many of the planned activities for this term will have to be cancelled.

As soon as I have more information I will get this out to you.

 

28 April 2020

Learning Bubbles
Hope week one of distance learning went well for you and your family. This week’s learning is available on the website. Please remember to refresh the web page so that the new learning shows up. You can engage with the learning in a way that suits your family. There is not right or wrong way.

Now that most of you have had children on zoom meetings and you have seen the learning that teachers have put up, please let us know if you have any issues. We will be refining things as we go and would love some feedback. Many people are emailing teachers with questions and that is great, we want communication to be two ways and we want to learn from what is working or difficult for you.

Just heard that a few people are needing some resources printed. We may be able to help you. If you have a need for this please email [email protected] and let us now what you need. Anything else we can help you with, we are more than happy to hear from you.

Reminder that the school grounds are still closed during alert level 3 (except to those working at school)

Take care everyone and be kind to yourselves.

Kind Regards
Karen

 

24 April 2020

Thanks to teachers and parents for bringing learning to our students, whether through family games, constructions, stories, online programmes, creative arts, music etc. they will be all the richer. New learning will be posted on Monday for next week. Please note that it will replace this week’s learning, so please copy or print anything you still need.

Look out for our Ōmata ANZAC remembrance video on our Facebook page at 5:50am tomorrow. Thank you Lola, Mitchell, Aliana, Amelie and Mr Murphy for your contributions.

 

21 April 2020

Alert Level 3 starts on Tuesday the 28th April

Kia ora koutou
We hope that you are safe and well within your bubble.
Our key focus continues to be on wellbeing, so if you can, you should keep your child at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you absolutely need to. Distance learning at home and maintaining your bubble is still the preferred option under Alert Level 3.
If you or your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness, you must keep children at home.
If your child is sick you must keep them at home.
In order to ensure the safety of those students and our staff who will be at school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures.

Some important information about Alert Level 3:

  • Stay home. If you are not at work, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home, the same as at Level 4.
  • Work and learn from home if you can. The government still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home.
  • The school will be open from the 29th April ONLY for students who will have no one at home available to care for them.
  • Parents will need to email the Ōmata office ([email protected]) by midday Thursday this week (23rd April) if your child will need to attend school during level 3. We need to prepare our staff, the school site and start a contact tracing register.

What we are doing

  • Staff will continue to provide weekly distance learning programmes in the same way they have been. Students who need to be onsite during level 3 will supervised doing the same learning as they would be at home.
  • Students will be kept in bubbles of 10 and will have no contact with other bubbles.
  • Toilet areas will be allocated to bubbles.
  • We will have contact tracing registers.
  • Staff and students must maintain physical distancing.
  • Regular hand washing will be scheduled.
  • Drinking fountains remain closed.
  • School grounds remain closed.
  • Staggered drop off and pick up times.
  • Only staff and registered students allowed onsite.
  • Start and finish times and break times will be staggered.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily and extra cleaning for contact points during the day.
  • No visitors on site.

The Ministry of Education are working closely with the Ministry of Health and are updating their advice to us regularly so we will be responding to any new information we receive. I will keep you informed as we move forward. For now, we will continue to support your child’s learning by distance. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Stay well
Karen Brisco
Principal

 

 

8 May 2020

Kia ora Whānau
Yesterday the Prime Minister went over guidelines for Level-2 with some information for schools. We then received information from the Ministry of Education with a little more detail.

The great news is that at Level 2 Ōmata School will be open and welcoming back all of our learners. This will likely be ​Monday 18th May​ although we are waiting for Monday to confirm this. Then I will be able to get back to you with more detailed information about what procedures we will need to put in place under level 2. Please be aware that for all of next week the school will continue with its current organisation, operating within the rules/procedures of Alert Level 3. This will only be with the students that are currently attending in our bubble.

The Ministry have advised us that in Alert Level-2 schools will be safe environments for learners and staff. We know that physical distancing and regular hygiene practices are ideal to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but we acknowledge that this can be extremely challenging in a school setting. ​It’s also important to remember, C​ovid-19 not the measles or chickenpox, it doesn’t hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of saliva. The key is avoiding getting in their ‘moist breath’ zone”.

As a school we will continue to follow the advice and guidance of the Ministry of Health and we will err on the side of caution.

Reminders
The following minimise potential spread of the virus,

  • Staying home if you are sick
  • Physical distancing
  • Good hand hygiene
  • Good cough/sneeze etiquette
  • Regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces

For more information about the public health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

Let’s use common sense, speak honestly, work together, be alert but not alarmed, be kind, and care for each other.

I will be in touch again on Tuesday to update you.

Ngā mihi
Karen Brisco

 

5 May 2020

Kia ora koutou Ōmata School whanau
I hope everything is going well for you and your bubble and I am sure many of you are either back at work or working from home. You are all doing a great job managing that on top of supporting children with their learning. Teachers have been delighted to see students in zoom meetings and hear about what they have been up to. Every family is managing this differently and that is absolutely fine. There is plenty of learning in the bubbles and like I have said before, please dive into the bonus bubble or into the other bubbles if your child would like some extension. On the other hand please do not feel it all needs to be finished every week.

I am very proud of all of our staff who are going the extra mile to create and supply what is essentially a completely new way of delivering education. We will all be very pleased to get back onsite as this way of ‘teaching’ certainly has its limitations! Thanks team.

When we move to level 2, we are expecting that more students will be able to attend school, but as yet we have had no guidelines from the Ministry of Education. I hear they are working on the details this week. Essentially school will operate in a modified way and of course many of the planned activities for this term will have to be cancelled.

As soon as I have more information I will get this out to you.

 

28 April 2020

Learning Bubbles
Hope week one of distance learning went well for you and your family. This week’s learning is available on the website. Please remember to refresh the web page so that the new learning shows up. You can engage with the learning in a way that suits your family. There is not right or wrong way.

Now that most of you have had children on zoom meetings and you have seen the learning that teachers have put up, please let us know if you have any issues. We will be refining things as we go and would love some feedback. Many people are emailing teachers with questions and that is great, we want communication to be two ways and we want to learn from what is working or difficult for you.

Just heard that a few people are needing some resources printed. We may be able to help you. If you have a need for this please email [email protected] and let us now what you need. Anything else we can help you with, we are more than happy to hear from you.

Reminder that the school grounds are still closed during alert level 3 (except to those working at school)

Take care everyone and be kind to yourselves.

Kind Regards
Karen

 

April 24

Thanks to teachers and parents for bringing learning to our students, whether through family games, constructions, stories, online programmes, creative arts, music etc. they will be all the richer. New learning will be posted on Monday for next week. Please note that it will replace this week’s learning, so please copy or print anything you still need.

Look out for our Ōmata ANZAC remembrance video on our Facebook page at 5:50am tomorrow. Thank you Lola, Mitchell, Aliana, Amelie and Mr Murphy for your contributions.

 

21 April 2020

Alert Level 3 starts on Tuesday the 28th April

Kia ora koutou
We hope that you are safe and well within your bubble.
Our key focus continues to be on wellbeing, so if you can, you should keep your child at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you absolutely need to. Distance learning at home and maintaining your bubble is still the preferred option under Alert Level 3.
If you or your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness, you must keep children at home.
If your child is sick you must keep them at home.
In order to ensure the safety of those students and our staff who will be at school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures.

Some important information about Alert Level 3:

  • Stay home. If you are not at work, exercising or getting essentials, then you must be at home, the same as at Level 4.
  • Work and learn from home if you can. The government still want the vast majority of people working from home, and children and young people learning from home.
  • The school will be open from the 29th April ONLY for students who will have no one at home available to care for them.
  • Parents will need to email the Ōmata office ([email protected]) by midday Thursday this week (23rd April) if your child will need to attend school during level 3. We need to prepare our staff, the school site and start a contact tracing register.

What we are doing

  • Staff will continue to provide weekly distance learning programmes in the same way they have been. Students who need to be onsite during level 3 will supervised doing the same learning as they would be at home.
  • Students will be kept in bubbles of 10 and will have no contact with other bubbles.
  • Toilet areas will be allocated to bubbles.
  • We will have contact tracing registers.
  • Staff and students must maintain physical distancing.
  • Regular hand washing will be scheduled.
  • Drinking fountains remain closed.
  • School grounds remain closed.
  • Staggered drop off and pick up times.
  • Only staff and registered students allowed onsite.
  • Start and finish times and break times will be staggered.
  • Disinfect and clean all surfaces daily and extra cleaning for contact points during the day.
  • No visitors on site.

The Ministry of Education are working closely with the Ministry of Health and are updating their advice to us regularly so we will be responding to any new information we receive. I will keep you informed as we move forward. For now, we will continue to support your child’s learning by distance. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Stay well
Karen Brisco
Principal

 

17 April 2020

Kia ora koutou Omata School whanau,

What a couple of weeks! Like many of you it’s been an adjustment to a new normal in our household, with the initial surreal feeling settling down (mostly) now that Easter is here. In between it was a juggle, as work life sped up as we created online services for our business, while at the same time home-schooling two children (or not – as was the case more often). There was some parent negotiation around roles too J I let go and counted the day a good one if my children created ‘something’, were happy and didn’t spend excess time on a screen, while I held zoom meetings from the kitchen table. Right now I have my twelve year old attempting to show me his craft and have a conversation with me, while I think how best to connect with you all – the mind boggles!

Our Omata staff have similar home-work challenges and yet wonderfully have put together distance learning online for our children. I thank the staff whole-heartedly for doing this and also Karen for her leadership and encouragement to enjoy this time with our children, over structured learning. A combination of distance learning and onsite learning is likely at Alert Level 3. We expect to be informed of the alert level status on the 20th April.

We all have unique home-work situations and I encourage you, if you can, to simply enjoy the opportunity to take a rest and spend time together as a family. Our Board of Trustees remain available to support Karen, staff and the school community – from all of us to all of you, Kia kaha

Bena Denton,
Board Chair – Omata School, Board of Trustees

PS: Remember our Omata School Community Support Facebook Group, where you can connect, ask and share with our school community.

 

16 April 2020

Kia ora, te whānau
Heard the news about schools opening when we move to level three the same time as you all. I have had no more notifications from the Ministry to clarify just how this would happen. We will wait with interest over the next week as they work on the detail. Rest assured you will be making the decision whether to send your children to school or not.
On a more exciting note, online learning ‘bubbles’ will be on the school website later tomorrow in readiness for Monday. Have a look through over the weekend and see how you might like to engage with the learning on offer. Remember be kind to yourself and your situation. What works well for some may not work for others, so no pressure at all!

Kia pai tō rā whakatā
Have a great weekend in your bubble

 

13 April 2020

Kia ora tātou,

Staff have nearly completed the new sets of learning for everyone with weekly zoom meetings planned with the children. Learning will be available from our school website on the 20th April. You should receive an email this week from your child’s teacher to confirm that we have your correct email contact.

Please feel free to email teachers along the way to give feedback and ask questions. Children can send their learning, or photos of their learning, through to the teachers for feedback.

Learning Plan
This is new territory for us all and I know many of you are working from home or involved in essential services work, as well as caring for your children. This is not easy, so be kind on yourselves!

  • Create a daily rhythm that works for your family.
  • We are aware that many people might be anxious or under stress, so our activities are learner friendly and should not need too much parent input, although for very young children this is harder to manage!
  • Our teacher aides Sarah, Caroline and Karyn, are also working during this time and will be contacting some students during the week to maintain contact and help with any learning where needed.
  • Supplementary learning can be found on the new Learning from home TV channel. Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be shown, free to air, on TVNZ channel 2+1 and on TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 52. It will run from 9am to 3pm on schooldays.
  • The Ministry of Education are adding to their bank of online resource links so do try some of these

Children will not come to any harm if they have a break from formal learning for a while. I am sure many of the experiences they are having at home with you at this time will be creating special bonds and memories for life. Please do not feel any guilt over unfinished tasks.

Zoom
Hopefully you have had a chance to practice with Zoom over the last couple of weeks. The teachers will email a Zoom meeting link and a password for each child’s scheduled meeting. You just need to click on the link and enter the password. I am sure the first meeting will have a few glitches as everyone learns to turn on their microphones and videos etc and teachers will be able to mute children if needed! If your child is unable to attend their Zoom meetings that is not a problem. Do what you feel comfortable with.

Thank you to everyone for your support as we all work through this interesting time in our history. There is no right or wrong, and each child and whānau will engage in the way that works best for them. That is perfectly fine.

Let’s use common sense, be kind, and care for each other.

Ngā mihi nui
Karen

 

12 April 2020

Great news. Learning from home TV channel starts Wednesday, 15 April.

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will be shown, free to air, on TVNZ channel 2+1 and on TVNZ on Demand, as well as on Sky Channel 52. It will run from 9am to 3pm on schooldays with programming for children and young people aged 0 to 15, as well as for parents. Home Learning TV will initially be on air for one month – with provision to extend beyond that depending on the lockdown situation.

Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV

 

6 April 2020

Kia ora tātou,

What an astonishing time we are living through. Hoping you and your whānau are well and are making the most of the ‘bubble’ time together. For those of you who are working with the public in essential services, we cannot thank you enough. By now you have probably developed a daily ‘bubble rhythm’. Working from home brings its own challenges and benefits! I hope you are making the most of family time and are enjoying time to slow the pace of life.

I have been granted permission by the Ministry of Education to enter the school site every Monday to check on security and to access the network and broadband. Where I live on the coast, we have no access to broadband and have limited cell phone coverage, so it’s quite a challenge to work remotely.

Staff are meeting on zoom regularly and we aim to get a new set of learning for everyone on the 20th April with weekly zoom meetings planned with the children. Learning will be available from our school website so that everyone can have access as easily as possible. Our teachers are working in collaborative teams:

Laura and Viv R5 and R4
Bridgit and Vicky R7 and R1
Stuart and Sean R2 and R3
Jemma and Reece R6

All the learning will be available to everyone, so if your child would like an extra challenge, they are welcome to engage with any of the activities from another team.
Please feel free to email teachers along the way to give feedback and ask questions. We are all learning and we will be adjusting things as we go to make the best of this!

Room 1 [email protected]
Room 2 [email protected]
Room 3 [email protected]
Room 4 [email protected]
Room 5 [email protected]
Room 6 [email protected] [email protected]
Room 7 [email protected]

School Terms
School terms have been moved.
From the 28th March we entered into the school holidays with the start date of term two moved to Wednesday 15th April. Other term dates are the same.

Learning Packs
We gave out two learning packs in the last week of term one which were designed to be about two weeks of learning. I know some children will have been carrying on this learning through the school holiday period and others will have had a break and put them aside until after Easter. How you organise your days and the learning is completely up to you and your family.

Zoom
To enable staff to have a weekly meeting with students, you will need to become familiar with Zoom. go to zoom.us and have a try. A meeting schedule for your child will be provided.

Learning at Home
Children will not come to any harm if they have a break from formal learning for a while. I am sure many of the experiences they are having at home with you at this time will be creating special bonds and memories for life. Please do not feel any guilt over unfinished tasks.
There are some amazing online learning opportunities that I have been sharing with you already through facebook links. Try some out; I am sure these links and others you have found will engage students in many rich learning activities. The Ministry of Education are adding to their bank of online resource links so do try some of these: learningfromhome.govt.nz

If you have no access to the internet at home or have no device for your child to use then please email me by tomorrow lunchtime [email protected]
The Ministry of Education are trying to help with these issues and I will pass on your information to them. Ministry are targeting NCEA level students and those in disadvantaged areas first.

This is a whole new experience for all of us and we don’t want it to be overwhelming for anyone. So please remember that wellbeing comes first, then learning.

Ngā mihi nui
Karen

 

25 March 2020

Well it’s nearly time to close the doors and the grounds. We have been instructed that grounds are now closed during the lockdown. Thank you to all of you carrying out the essential services. Towards the end of April if we are still in lockdown, we will be setting up new ways of connecting with children through zoom.us

Sign up to this over the next couple of weeks for free video conferencing. I suggest you use this to connect with family and friends so that you become familiar with how it works.

In future each teacher will send an invite to a zoom meeting for your child through your email address (or in the case of Year 7/8, through their own school email).
It will be a way to have a face to face chat with the class and sometimes the individual or a group. We want to keep in touch. Details are still to be sorted out, but we will make it happen!

My advice:
Put the parent ‘face’ on as much as you can, even when you are feeling unsure. Your children will learn and grow through the resilience and attitude you demonstrate. Keep them away from the constant stream of worrying news. That is a parent’s burden to bear. Yes, the older children will need to know about what is happening but it can be overwhelming. Reassure, hug them and have some fun family times along the way.

In the words of Dame Whina Cooper “Take care of our children. Take care of what they hear, take care of what they see, take care of what they feel.”

I look forward to seeing you all again soon and wish you and your whānau the very best.

Kindest regards
Karen

 

24 March 2020

The Essential Services List can be found online.

Learning Packs

  • Pick up will now be from the hall from 10:30am-3pm
  • Only one person to come in and pick up the packs please
  • They will be organised on tables in class groups
  • A second learning pack will be available for your child from 12-3pm on Wednesday so you may wish to wait until then to pick up both a the same time

School holidays have been brought forward and officially go through until the 14th April. The 2 learning packs are designed to be about two weeks of learning. Right now our staff and their families and you and yours need to be physically isolating and having a break. Please keep the learning pressure off for a while until you all develop a new ‘normal’.

Teachers are happy to have you or your child contact them by email after the break with any questions about the learning.

Room 1 [email protected]
Room 2 [email protected]
Room 3 [email protected]
Room 4 [email protected]
Room 5 [email protected]
Room 6 [email protected] and [email protected]
Room 7 [email protected]

We will be in touch again with new learning at the end of April
Please hang on to our school books and resources which are to be returned at a later date. Thanks

Online Learning Resources
The government has developed a website you can go to which has a great selection of online resources you can access for learning at all levels right up to senior secondary. I recommend that you utilise some of this material as well for your children. There are some great ideas with some free online learning options. They are saying they will continue to develop this.
https://www.learningfromhome.govt.nz

Be well everyone.

Kia kaha,
Karen

 

23 March 2020

    I am still waiting (not so) patiently at my computer for an MoE bulletin with the details around the latest news. As it stands at the moment Ōmata School is now closed to all students except those children of workers who are deemed ‘essential services’. Staff will still be onsite for now. I will let you know detail as it comes through.

    News is reporting that:

    • Non-essential businesses must close – pools, bars, cafes, restaurants, playgrounds
    • In 48 hours all businesses which provide takeaway services must close their doors
    • All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed
    • Schools will be closed from tomorrow except to the children of essential services such as doctors, police, ambo drivers; this will give them time to plan
    • Schools will close entirely from midnight Wednesday
    • People must work from home so contact with others is limited
    • Public transport will begin to transition over the next 48 hours.
    • It will remain for essential workers and transporting freight

    Learning at Home
    An initial learning pack for all children will be available for collection tomorrow at the office from 10:30am – 3pm. The learning pack is deliberately balanced with some online learning options, practical activities and set learning tasks.

    What children need right now is to feel security and love. To feel like it’s all going to be okay. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Let them have time to do nothing. Break up the day and find a new routine.

    At the end of all of this, your child’s wellbeing is the most important thing. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.

    Ōmata Rōpū Tautoko – Omata Community Support
    Please request membership of the facebook Ōmata Rōpū Tautoko group and ask anyone else in Ōmata to join.

    This is what it is all about:

    “Be strong, be kind and support each other”. As we go into a greater time of physical isolation, Jacinda’s words today will hopefully be how our community stands together in the days, weeks and months ahead. Please use this page to reach out for support anytime you need it; whether it is asking for a daily phone call, some wood that needs chopping or if you have run out of something etc. There will be people in our community who might be able to help. Please also use this page to offer your support, whether it be produce that you have in abundance, panadol or even extra toilet paper!”

    Tag your post topic with either ‘Support offers’ or ‘Support Requests’.

    There are a thousand of pages and websites dealing with information about COVID-19 so PLEASE leave postings like that off our rōpū page. Keep it for the kindness of a community to reach out and wrap around those in need.

    Kia kaha,
    Karen

     

    22 March 2020

    As you will be aware New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2.

    Reduce Contact for COVID-19, people over 70 years of age and those with compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions are asked to remain at home as much as they can from now on and avoid any non-essential travel.

    Unwell students are to remain at home until 100% recovered. Adults also are to stay away from school if they are unwell.

    Please drop off and pick up children quickly to minimize extra contact. I ask that you try to stagger pick up times to make this flow more easily at the pick up areas. Many thanks everyone.

    Some whānau may choose to keep their children home. I understand this may be the best decision for you and your family depending on your personal circumstances.

    Please leave us a message [email protected] or (06) 751 2308 if this is the case.

    If you or anyone in your household are in mandatory self isolation, please let me know.

    Postponed:

    • Laughton King Dyslexia talk
      If you have purchased tickets please return them for a refund or hold on to them for later in the year.

    Further information is available online.

    21 March 2020

    Thank you for your kindness and support over the last week. We now have extra supplies of wipes and gloves that will really help in the days ahead.

    We are getting together learning packs for each child should we close and of course making adjustments to the way we are learning together.

    Maintaining routines and normality as much as possible is important for children. ‘Physical distancing’ is a good term to use rather than ‘social distancing’, as we want people to stay connected. It might just look a bit different for a while.

    I am starting up an ‘Ōmata Rōpū Tautoko’ Closed Facebook group (Ōmata support group) to enable our Ōmata Community to reach out and ask for, or offer, support.

    Please ask to join the Ōmata Rōpū Tautoko Facebook page and let anyone in our Ōmata Community know about it

     

    20 March 2020

    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. We have been planning for this and are in a position to respond quickly.

    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.

    Good hygiene is a priority, 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. Please supply your child with a fresh hand towel every day and a water bottle. We have closed off the outside drinking fountains. Children and adults that are ill need to be home.

    We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community.

     

    19 March 2020

    Postponed Events

    Y7/8 Inter-school Swimming Sports postponed

    Hockey Taranaki has postponed all scheduled workshops and training for March and April

     

    18 March 2020

    Communication
    Information will be shared through our website and facebook page. Please check daily for any updates. If you have any queries about anything to do with our notifications or wish to share information with us then please call directly. Txts will be used for short, quick messages.

    If you or your child are at all unwell, they need to stay away from school. Our staff will be doing the same.

    • Anxiety is highly contagious so try and ensure your children don’t catch this from you. Reassure children.
    • Please follow the Ministry of Health instructions carefully if you are needing to self isolate.
    • At school we are scheduling regular and thorough hand washing.

    If you could please give your child a fresh hand towel daily to keep in their bag that would be really helpful.

    • We are adjusting our events and will alert you to any changes as soon as possible.

    Cancelled Events:

    • School Assemblies
    • ANZAC Commemoration
    • Touch Rugby
    • Cricket
    • Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon

     

    17 March 2020

    What is happening with Covid-19 is changing daily, our aim is to be vigilant to ensure the safety of everyone. You will be aware that there is now a compulsory 14 day isolation for those returning from overseas.

    The Omata community, staff and students have a role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 through:

    • Awareness
      Know the symptoms and where to get good information
    • Vigilance
      Students and adults are to stay away from school if they are ill. Any staff or students showing flu-like symptoms will be sent home
    • Good hygiene
      Hand washing and drying, good cough and sneeze etiquette will all help prevent spread of a range of ills as we move into cold and flu season

    Teachers are being strict around hand washing and scheduling alternate times for this throughout the day. Sanitisers are now provided in every toilet area and students may chose to use this option as well as soap.

    If there are any changes to our programme we will inform you ASAP.

    With COVID-19 (Coronavirus) let’s continue to work together, be alert but not alarmed, and let’s keep each other safe.

    Take care

    Symptoms

    The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

    • A cough
    • A high temperature (at least 38°C)
    • Shortness of breath

    These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

    Shortness of breath is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention.

    We don’t yet know how long symptoms take to show after a person has been infected, but current World Health Organization assessments suggest that it is 2–10 days.

    If you have these symptoms of COVID-19 and have had possible exposure, please telephone Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453 or your doctor immediately.

     

    13 March 2020

    Kia ora

    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 5 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.

    School will be guided by the ministry of education and health as to how we respond. 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 – Nanogirl

    • You 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:
    • Watch on the PM’s Facebook page
    • Read and watch on the Newshub website

    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 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.