HBHS Headmaster's Message Tuesday, 26 October 2021
This morning we welcomed our Year 11, 12, and 13 students back to school, as we return to face-to-face teaching for our senior school. I take this opportunity to thank our staff, for the very professional and committed response to the need to be COVID tested, for the smooth transition back to classroom teaching for our senior students, and for working hard to ensure that the school is as safe as possible.
I thank you, also, for your support of the school and of your son. Once again, I am so proud of our families, who have met all expectations, and of our students, who have returned with enthusiasm, adjusting quickly to the rules surrounding mask-wearing and physical distancing. As we have so few days left with our senior students, it has been reassuring, as I have walked around the school this morning, to see classes settled and industrious, and happy.
On Sunday, we were notified by the Ministry of Education of a change to the rules regarding students who currently live in an Alert Level 2 area. From today, these students are able to cross the alert level boundary to attend school. The rationale for this change is that the school environment, with current restrictions in place, is low risk. Thus we are now able to have all students in the senior school attend, with the exception of those who are immunocompromised or live with someone in this situation.
The Ministry of Education also informed schools on Sunday that Year 10 students taking NCEA L1 subjects are likewise now eligible to return to school in order to prepare for external examinations. To manage this return safely, and ensure that we have appropriate staffing in place onsite, we have decided that this group of students will return to face-to-face teaching at school from next Monday, 1 November. Separate communication, with details of this process, will be sent to this group of ALP students on Thursday. We feel very fortunate to be in this position; I look forward to welcoming all our other Year 9 and 10 students back as quickly as possible, too.
All the very best in the days ahead, as we work, together, to ensure that our very special young men can finish their academic year positively, and with pride in their achievements.
Ngaa mihi nui,
Notice from the School Shop
BUSIT services for students returning to school on Tuesday 26 October
Kia ora koutou
This is a courtesy email to let you know that all BUSIT school assist services will return on Tuesday, 26 October to coincide with Year 11-13 students able to return to kura grounds.
For further information, please refer to our ‘Level 3 info page’ on our website: https://busit.co.nz/bus-alerts/alert/137
We would appreciate if you could continue to encourage students to follow the public transport health guidelines:
- Wear a mask on board, while waiting for the bus at stops and at the Transport Centre.
- Scan the QR code on board every time you travel.
- Board the bus via the rear door - except at the Transport Centre, or if you need the ramp for mobility issues.
- Tag on and off the bus with your registered Bee Card. Normal fares apply. If your Bee Card isn't registered, please call 0800 205 305 or visit beecard.co.nz to register it - this supports contact tracing.
- Do not travel if you are sick.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
HBHS Headmaster's Message Friday, 22 October 2021
- All students and staff must wear masks when they are indoors, at all times. This is prescribed by the Ministry. Students are expected to provide their own masks, and to wear them properly at all times they are inside. Students will be checked in tutor group each morning, and their mask is part of their mandatory uniform. Those without a mask may purchase one from the school shop for $1.00, or may be given one, from their tutor teacher, once only. This ruling on compulsory mask wearing is a mandate from the Government's Health order; thus the responsibility is on the student to provide a mask each day.
- Students will be asked to remain outside through all break times, and before and after school, to minimise the risk of infection, and all rooms will be ventilated as well as possible during all class time.
- Any student who becomes unwell will be sent to our Health Centre and his caregiver will be contacted to collect him.
- All staff will have had a negative COVID test within 5 days of returning to work, for the health and safety of our community. All students coming from Auckland will have had the same.
- There will be no gatherings of students or staff while at this Alert Level. Assemblies will be held by Zoom only.
- We continue to encourage good personal hygiene, and we appreciate your support in reinforcing this need.
- The school shop will only be open to students.
- No visitors are able to come on to the school site, including parents. If you have an emergency and need to come on site, please contact Mr Nick Power (firstname.lastname@example.org) for permission to do so.
- There are no sports activities, trainings or trials while we remain at Alert Level 3.
- While we are at this alert level, we will allow dispensation for longer hair. We will not allow any inappropriate styles or any dye. This dispensation will continue for 5 days after we return to Level 2.
- Year 10 ALP students taking NCEA L1 subjects. These students must remain at home, studying online. Ministry guidelines are clear, that no Year 10 students other than essential workers' children, can be on site. I apologise for this, but we are not able to change this requirement.
- Sons of essential workers, including teachers, at Years 9 and 10 will maintain a separate programme next week, having separate interval and lunch breaks. Students in this category are asked to be at the school Library at 8.50am each morning. This is a change from the programme this week. If you would like your Year 9 or Year 10 son to join this group, please contact Mr Joel Baker, email@example.com for further details, and to register your son's attendance.
- School calendar and term programme. Please continue to check the most up to date school calendar, which is available on the website. Things are changing rapidly, as we receive new information, and so our calendar changes almost daily.
- Students in Alert Level 2 regions and those who are immunocompromised. Unfortunately, day students (those who are not boarders), who live in areas which remain at Alert Level 2 outside of the Alert level 3 boundary, will not be able to return next week. They will join those students who are immunocompromised, or have members of their household who are immunocompromised, in not being able to return to school. If your son is in either of these situations, please contact Dr Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org who is establishing a list of students for staff. Although senior classes will no longer be receiving teaching online, students who are unable to attend will be receiving regular contact and support from teachers.
- On Tuesday, we will be sending a request for information regarding the Vaccination status of your son. Please return this to us as quickly as possible, as the Ministries of Health and Education require this data from me at the earliest opportunity.
HBHS Headmaster's Message Thursday, 21 October 2021
Below is a copy of the letter the Ministry has asked us to send to our community. I will be writing separately to inform you of further details, after I have met with Senior staff tomorrow.
We look forward very much to welcoming our Year 11-13 students back to school next week.
Minister Hipkins has confirmed that all our students in Years 11 to 13 are able to return onsite from Tuesday 26 October.
This is very good news as we know how important face-to-face support and engagement will be for our senior students, so that they can complete their studies and continue to the next level.
Although more students will be onsite, our region remains at Alert Level 3 and we know there are active cases in our region.
Therefore, we will be following all the public health measures that are required so that we can keep everyone onsite (and their whānau) as safe as possible.
Higher vaccine rates, including in those aged 12-19 are one reason why we are able to bring our senior students onsite now.
Public Health has also advised that they consider that with the other public health measures that are being put in place, including the requirement to wear face coverings for Years 9-13, the risk of infection is low at school.
The greater risk for transmission will come from travel to and from school, including from any bad behaviours that might creep in off-site such as students congregating outside school on their way to and from home, and by any ignoring of the health measures we all need to follow in our region.
Public health experts at the Ministry of Health have reviewed our existing health requirements needed to operate at Alert Level 3 (for those small numbers of students we already have on-site). These include:
- staff and children who are unwell must stay at home, and get tested for COVID-19
- children at higher risk of severe illness remain home, where possible
- staff who are not fully vaccinated and at higher risk of severe illness should remain home
- mandatory mask wearing for staff and students in Years 9-13
- only essential visitors will be permitted onsite – visitors are asked to wear a face covering when onsite
- good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
- classrooms to be well ventilated
- high touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected each day
- physical distancing will be adhered to wherever practicable, particularly between adults
- physical distancing of two metres will be in place from people we don’t know
- QR code posters for the COVID app will be displayed
- a contact tracing register in place for everyone coming onsite including students and staff, through the attendance register, timetable and visitor register.
To support the return of our senior students, the additional measures that have been agreed by Cabinet to apply at Alert Level 3, based on public health advice are:
- face coverings will be required on school transport for people aged 12 and over
- time outdoors for students and staff will be maximised, including breaks, lunchtime, before and after school (unless the weather does not allow), and rooms will be aired during breaks
- exercising and singing will take place outdoors
- groups meeting indoors, including assemblies or staff meetings, will be avoided, and
- exams can go ahead, but physical distancing will be maximised within the space available, with a minimum of 1.5 metres between desks.
You can be confident that this approach is designed to keep children, teachers and our community as safe as possible.
But it’s important everybody continues to play their part. Please follow all the Alert Level 3 requirements – stay at home if you are unwell, get tested if you have any symptoms, even mild ones, maintain your bubble, and keep track of where you have been. And finally, please do support everyone you know who is eligible to get vaccinated.
People can access their COVID-19 vaccination record by registering for My Covid Record which is now available: