HBHS Headmaster's Message Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Tena koutou katoa e te whanau

Thank you for continuing to provide a sense of ‘business continuing as usual’ for our students over the past few weeks. Your support for your son has helped ensure that the school remains calm and positive. 

For those of you whose son has become COVID positive, or who is isolating as a household contact, I have also appreciated your regular communication to us. It is reassuring to have accurate and up to date information about our young men. We do wish all families who are isolating and dealing with COVID, all of the very best in the days ahead. 

Over the first two days of this week, it has become increasingly difficult for us to provide cover for all staff who are away. We now have several staff and support staff who either have COVID or who are isolating as they are household contacts. 

As well, we have staff who are away for the normal variety of reasons, and staff who are feeling unwell and who stay home until they can be tested.

And at this point in the progress of COVID in the Waikato, we expect this number to grow over the next two/three weeks.

Thus, we have made the decision this morning, at our Senior Management meeting, that we will begin rostering home one year level each day, beginning this Thursday.

Year levels will be rostered home as follows:

Year 9:   Monday
Year 10: Tuesday
Year 11: Wednesday
Year 12: Thursday
Year 13: Friday.

At this stage, we will continue this rostering from this Thursday, 3rd of March, through all of next week (Week 6). If necessary, we will continue through Week 7, until we return to a situation where we have enough staff available to cover classes with the full school present.

The purpose of rostering students home is to allow us to cover all on site classes, thus ensuring that the school remains a safe environment. It also allows us to continue face to face teaching with all of our students, for four days of the week. In doing so, we maintain that critical sense of normal life for the boys, which is so important through these times.

The year level which is rostered home will not receive work on their rostered day, and we do not expect staff to set work for the classes. Instead, staff will cover classes of absent staff, in the times when they would normally teach classes of the absent year level.

I recommend that students utilise the time they have during their rostered absence to catch up on homework, prepare for assessments, and to ensure that all work to date is up to date.

We will provide supervision for Year 9 students on Monday, and Year 10 students on Tuesday, for sons of essential workers. If your son is in this situation, please ask him to report to the Library at 8.45am, with work for the day. I would appreciate you letting us know, by reply email, if you intend to have your son attend on his rostered day, if he is in Year 9 or Year 10. 

We are managing a situation which is unique, and I appreciate all that you are doing to support us all, as we strive to make the daily world of school positive for each and all of our students. The boys are happy and settled, and, as we manage this next, temporary stage, maintaining the same sense of positive purpose remains our priority. 

Thank you for your understanding of the need to make this change. We make all decisions with the best interests of our students as our key motivation, and I value your very real contribution to ensuring that we can maintain our normal routines as much as we possibly can.  

The change I have outlined begins on Thursday. Thus no Year 12 students will be at school on the 3rd March, and no Year 13 classes on the 4th.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you again for your support and care.

Ngaa mihi nui