HBHS Headmaster's Message Tuesday, 17 August

Dear Parents/Caregivers
It has certainly been an unsettling few hours, since we learned of the positive COVID case in Auckland early this afternoon, and then received the news at 6.00pm that we are moving back to Alert Level 4, at midnight this evening, for an initial time frame of three days.
We can take heart from the experience we shared last year, when we faced the unknown together, without any understanding of what the future could bring. Then, we demonstrated the strength of our school community, as we worked together, to ensure that our young men were able to maintain progress through the difficult challenges they faced. Today, we can move back into lockdown, at the highest alert level, knowing that this swift action will make a very real difference, and bring every chance of success.
We have been told that we will be in Alert Level 4 for “at least 3 days”. 
Thus, our teachers will contact all students through Google classroom, and provide a brief summary of the work which they can complete over the next three days. While we do not expect the next few days to equal a normal classroom teaching and learning environment, your son’s teachers will be setting some work, and we appreciate your support in encouraging him to complete what he can, while he is at home for the remainder of the week. Although we do not need to create a routine for your son in this short time, it is so important that our young men accept that we are treating this as a temporary change, and that normal expectations continue, as does our hope that we will return to Level 1 or 2 quickly. 
My very sincere thanks to parents of our Argyle House boarders, who responded so quickly to our request for boys to be taken home following the announcement this evening. We appreciate your very real support of our world, at such a challenging time.
The school is now fully alarmed, and no-one will be on site for the duration of Level 4. However, we are available through email, so please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns over the next few days.
Sport and Cultural events: We must assume that all sporting events are postponed until further notice, and all practices are cancelled this week. It is very unlikely that any sport will occur this weekend. I am sure that I will receive formal notification of this tomorrow, and I will pass on any detail as I receive it.
As we move back to Alert Level 4, it is important to recognise the reality that we are all in exactly the same situation, facing the possibility of unprecedented change, and a continuing lack of certainty which can be very unsettling. So I wish you well as we work through the days ahead, and I hope that we are able to “return to school” next week!
In the meantime, take care of yourself. We are in the best possible situation, and must be grateful for the decisive decision made to move to Level 4. Do let me know if there is anything I can do to support you, or with any suggestions you may have. I will be in touch to ensure that you are kept up to date. 
I will be in touch, as I receive further information over the days ahead. I appreciate your very real support, for your sons, and for the school. It is a very special world which we share, and we are fortunate to be able to work together as we face the continuing challenge as a community.
Susan Hassall