COVID Information

Stay up to date with the latest news and protocols as we manage Covid 19 here at school.


Latest Parent Communications

Who do I need to contact and when should I keep my child at home?


My child has received a positive COVID test result.
Isolation7days

DO NOT PHONE THE COLLEGE

Complete this form immediately. Follow self isolation guidelines outlined here. He will need to isolate for 7 days from when he started showing symptoms/date he was tested.
A person in my child’s household has received a positive result

Please email [email protected] notifying us of his absence, state that he is a household contact, include the date on which the person developed symptoms/had their test - which ever came first.

Your child is a household contact and will need to isolate for 7 days. He must get a test on Day 3 and Day 7 of his isolation. If he develop symptoms he should get a test sooner. If he tests positive he will need to isolate for 7 days (guidelines here) from the test date that gave a positive result..
My child is getting a test because they feel unwellKeep him off school until he is well. If he is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms get him tested and keep him off from school until he has a received a negative test result. Please email [email protected] notifying us of his absence in the usual way.
A person in my child’s household is getting a test because they are unwellYour child is able to attend school as normal if they are well.
A person in my child’s household is a close contactNo need to contact the school, the child is expected to attend school as normal.
A person in my child’s household is a casual contactNo need to contact the school, the child is expected to attend school as normal.
My child is a casual contact (A casual contact is someone who has interacted with a close contact)No need to contact the school, the child is expected to attend school as normal.
My child has been identified as a close contactAt Phase 3, Close Contacts no longer need to isolate — unless they have symptoms. If he gets a notification from school or through the NZ COVID Tracer app that he is a Close Contact, you should monitor him for 10 days. If he exhibits symptoms, get him tested.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are now available at Waikato Community Testing Centres, with the Greenwood and Founders Theatre car park testing sites being the first to provide RATs to those who fit the appropriate clinical criteria. The sites will determine which type of test (PCR or a rapid antigen test) is most suitable.

This page sets out the key principles and public health requirements for St John's College (0136) working under the COVID-19 Protection Framework. As we return to school in 2022 we are confident that our community will once again be united in supporting each other as we navigate another year that will be impacted by COVID-19. By following public health recommendations we will all be doing our part to protect one another. These are dynamic times, information and guidance are constantly under review and evolving and your patience and understanding are really appreciated. The college is committed to ensuring that we provide a safe working environment for your son and to do our part to protect our tamariki.

As the situation with Omicron evolves, we will be adaptive and update this document. In keeping our children, families and selves safe it will require conscientious effort and this safety plan sets the expectations for how we will move forward together. 

We will continue to use Schoollinks to send out COVID-19 updates, you can access an archive of 2022 communications here.

To summarise Dr Ayesha Verrall, Associate Health Minister 27/01/2022: 

  • we have started a new chapter in the fight against COVID-19 
  • we will slow the spread of the virus through our high vaccination rate and high booster rate and through the tools and public health measures we know work 
  • while Omicron is the most transmissible variant of COVID-19 yet, it is markedly less severe than previous variants and for most it will be a mild to moderate illness to manage at home 
  • 31% of all children have already received their first dose or are booked to do so. 

Public Health Measures

Vaccinations

At this point the best way to protect ourselves and each other from severe infection is to get vaccinated. We encourage all students to get vaccinated. All workers in school, paid and unpaid, have had two doses by 1 January 2022 and, as mandated, are receiving boosters due by 1 March or 183 days after their second dose. Only a small number (less than 100 people in New Zealand) qualify for a vaccine exemption. Getting vaccinated, including a booster is important to improve your bodies ability to fight infection. Parents and caregivers are required to be vaccinated if they are undertaking work at the college, including voluntary work, and may have contact or be present at a time when students are also present. Parents are encouraged to update student vaccination status on Kamar.

Health & Safety Strategies

St John's College follows the Ministry of Health guidelines with clear protocols and procedures in place that enable us to operate safely and reduce the spread of Covid-19. These include, staying home if unwell, wearing masks, good ventilation, regular hand washing and physical distancing. We ask that any staff member, caregiver or child who feels even mildly unwell stays home. Anyone who becomes unwell during the day will be sent home. Parents - please ensure the school has up to date emergency contact details, you can check/update the details we hold on file by logging on to portal. We are guided by the MoH and MoE and acknowledge that as conditions change such as the Omicron variant being in our community, so can the guidelines. The Leadership team will continue to keep our community informed with the latest information.

School opening

Schools remain open at all levels of the CPF framework ‘traffic light’ system. If there is a case of COVID at St John's College we  would contact our regional Director of Education who will provide advice and their team will connect with public health services to seek advice on next steps for our school. Teachers will be teaching face to face at this stage and won't be offering remote learning. However, if you haven’t already, and your child has high and complex health needs please contact our school’s Special Education Needs Co-ordinator Mrs Helen Kato to discuss learning and support options. 

Visitors

Under the RED settings there are to be essential visitors on site only. To minimise congestion, parents and caregivers are encouraged to do drop offs and pick-ups  from outside the school grounds and to remain in your vehicle. If you need to come on site please comply with the visitor protocol below. Under the Public Health Order all schools are required to display a QR code poster for the NZ COVID Tracer app. At St John's College this is at the entrance to the school office. Visitors who do come on site are expected to conform with the following:  

  • Come to the school office
  • Scan the QR code on your phone or physically sign the visitors register 
  • Wear a mask 
  • Be vaccinated 
  • Sanitise your hands

Masks

There is strong evidence that the correct use of masks decreases the risk of Omicron transmission, and that some types of masks are more effective than others in decreasing risk. Whenever masks are required to be worn (for example, by Year 4-13 students when indoors at school, at supermarkets, retails stores, cafes, public transport, school transport) they must be the type that attaches to the head either through an ear loop or a head loop.   We recognise that some adults and children will be exempted from wearing a mask, including those who have a disability or health condition. The person will have an exemption card or a letter from their medical practitioner or disability organisation. The current mandate for Year 4 and above is clear regarding face coverings whilst at school – it must be a mask.  Unless your child has a mask exemption, they are required by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to wear one while indoors at school. If your child misplaces their mask, we’ll provide one for them. Masks are not required when students are eating/drinking, during PE and sports, or when they are learning outside.  

To support us, please remind your son the correct way to wear their mask. Please be aware that there will be some members of our learning community with a mask exemption.

Stay at home if you are sick

Play it safe. Stay home if you’re feeling unwell even if it is mild. Don’t come to school and keep unwell children home from school.  If your son has symptoms of COVID-19, get him tested and keep him at home until a negative result is received and he has been free of symptoms for 24 hours. Staff will observe children on arrival, checking for symptoms. If a child presents as unwell, arrangements will be made for them to go home.

  • If a student becomes unwell at school, they will be taken by their teacher to an outdoor area. The school will notify the parents/caregivers to come and pick the child up and discuss where that place will be.   
  • If a teacher becomes unwell at school they will self-isolate in the sick bay until we can arrange safe transport for them home.  
  • If a child has been unwell, stay home and get tested. We require them to stay home for at least 24 hours after their symptoms have gone, then they can return to school.  
  • If a staff member is unwell, follow the advice of your GP or Healthline and notify [email protected] of the result of a Covid-19 assessment/test. 

Improve ventilation

Maintaining good ventilation in schools is recommended at all levels of the COVID-19 Protection Framework. We will be ensuring that classrooms are well ventilated to keep fresh air moving through our classrooms. We have received a CO2 monitor from the MoE as part of the ventilation self-assessment toolkit. It will be used to monitor air quality around the college. as this the fastest and best way to ventilate a space.

Public and School Transportation

Under the RED settings students must wear masks on all public and contract (rural) bus services.

Physical Distancing & Groupings   

The risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 increases the closer you are to a person and the longer you are close to that person. The risk is highest in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and is lower outside, where there are fewer people, and when you are  further away from others. To avoid infection, follow physical social distancing guidelines – by keeping your distance when outside your home.  

School Trips (EOTC)

With careful planning, education outside the classroom can go ahead at the RED setting. Curriculum related services will be able to be provided under several conditions:

  • staff delivering the service are vaccinated  
  • the activity is in a defined space  

We anticipate that public health orders will be in place so that EOTC providers will be able to offer curriculum-related activities/services to a registered school that does not require all children to be vaccinated (even if require this from other users of their facilities). This means the provider will need to meet several conditions, such as:

  • working with a registered school to deliver curriculum-related activities 
  • the activity is in a defined space (sole use of part or all of a setting/venue for the period the service is provided) 
  • staff delivering the service are vaccinated. 

 The provider will essentially be treated as a school premise while the EOTC activity is taking place.   Guidance is also being developed to support the EOTC provider to meet anticipated legislative requirements. We will provide you with this information as soon as it becomes available. Please note that this may be different if the trip involves an overnight stay. Whilst we will endeavour to use accommodation that does not require a vaccination pass, it is likely that students will require vaccination passes for overnight trips. Unvaccinated students who are unable to access fieldtrips that are required for a particular NZQA standard will be provided other alternative opportunities to access the assessment.

Contact Tracing Plan

Record your movements. If cases of COVID-19 are confirmed, we need to  stop the spread. Keeping a record of your movements helps the Ministry of  Health to do contact tracing quickly and efficiently. Contact tracing and  case management will continue to be very important with contacts being  identified, self-isolating and getting tested. The NZ COVID Tracer is a Ministry of Health app that supports fast and  efficient contact tracing by creating a digital diary of the places you visit. We have our QR codes displayed prominently on our main entrances/exits and all staff and essential people on-site need to sign in.   

In addition to scanning into the school:  

  • Teachers will continue to maintain class attendance rolls of students for all periods on our student management system
  • Staff will notify school administration with any changes in personal contact details
  • Parents and caregivers, when your contact details change, please update on the portal.

Where hand hygiene, physical distancing, student and staff vaccination and good ventilation has been in place the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school settings is considered low. We will focus on our protocols and maintain vigilance as part of keeping everyone safe. From international evidence we know the greatest risk is adult - adult, and adult - child transmission but this is significantly reduced in settings where vaccination is high and other safety measure are in place. 

Resources

General COVID-19 advice for everyone

COVID-19 readiness checklist

Protect yourself and others from COVID-19

How to wear a face mask properly

Government COVID-19 website

MoE Information and advice for students, whānau, and the education sector

COVID-19 Protection Framework for Schools