Covid Updates


Covid Level 3 Covid Update 6 (7 September 2021)

 

Morena to all our school families

 

We are excited to be changing Alert levels and look forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Thursday. It is important that students get sorted with their uniform and gear ready for all of their normal classes and timetable from Thursday. The remaining class and examination time this term will be valuable. School holidays remain unchanged, beginning on Friday 1st October.

 

There may be a reduced number of Zoom meetings on Wednesday as teachers will need time to prepare for their return to school. However work will be set and students should check their Google Classroom.

 

School activities will resume but it will be important for students to keep up with the notices and School-Wide Google Classroom so they are up to date with postponements and cancellations.

 

Masks or face coverings are not required at school however students may use them if desired. A student on a public bus MUST wear a mask. If your child is unwell, please do not send them to school. Good hygiene practice, hand-washing and cough and sneeze etiquette will be important.

 

We encourage parents to communicate with us by telephone or email and to only come in by appointment. Parents coming in must contact-trace and sign in at reception. Many thanks for your support of online learning in the lockdown. Thanks also to our wonderful teachers, support staff and cleaners who have worked so hard to manage the transitions from and back to school.

 

Ngā mihi nui

Bridget Davidson

Acting Principal

Covid Level 4 Update 5 (27 August 2021)

Kia ora koutou

Greetings to all our school families at this uncertain time. We eagerly await the government’s announcement this afternoon and hope that a return to school is somewhere on the horizon.

In the meantime please keep students calm and focused on their online learning. This could continue for sometime yet if we remain at Levels 3 or 4. At Level 3 we are able to have students at school if their parents are essential workers, they are under 14 years of age and they have no other options for care. We would prefer where possible that students remain offsite and engage in their learning remotely as this is a more conducive and relaxed learning environment for them. There will of course be exceptions beyond this and we want to support families in every way possible. Please contact the school at admin@otagogirls.school.nz if you require your child to be at school during Level 3 lockdown conditions.

A reminder that Student Learning Conferences will occur at a later date and that there will be opportunities provided to discuss subject selection on the students’ return to school, most likely in the form of lunchtime drop-in forums. If we are able to, we will invite parents to attend these forums if they wish to discuss their child’s subject selection options. The NCEA evening that was scheduled for Year 10s is postponed but will happen at a later date.

As you may have realised, NCEA examination dates have been pushed back by two weeks and the examination period will now happen from 22nd November to 14th December. You can look at the revised timetable here. This has implications for the school calendar and please bear with us while we manage this and come up with the best solutions for everyone. We will not be making any firm decisions until we emerge from Level 4 lockdown and we will keep you fully informed. We are particularly aware of the Prizegiving and Graduation Formal dates and we are working towards solutions for easing the clash of these dates with the new exam timetable.

Parallel examinations for Years 11 to 13 students will take place in Weeks 9 and 10 this term, pushed slightly back from the dates previously published. We will advise further on the format for this soon and will keep students and families updated.

Your support at this time is greatly appreciated. Again, thanks to the Board, teachers, support staff and senior leadership team for their huge work at this time.

Take care in your bubble.

Mrs Bridget Davidson
Acting Principal

COVID Level 4 Update 4 (20 August 2021)

Kia ora koutou
 
With today’s announcement by the Government, we are implementing with urgency our ongoing plan to support your child’s learning from home. We appreciate this is a significant change, and will be heavily disruptive to many people in our community. Please be assured that our staff continues to work together and with the Ministry of Education to ensure that learning continues.
 
As I write the teachers are preparing a timetable for parents of students in the junior school to tell you when the students are expected to be on a Zoom lesson and when they are to work independently.  This will align with their normal timetabled classes. Seniors should expect to have some compulsory zooms; at least one per week per subject, and one optional Zoom class where they can pop in and talk to their teacher. Parents, feel free to ask the senior students about their Google Classroom for information from the teachers about specific times for zooms and work requirements. For Years 9 and 10 there is an additional summary form coming out to you on Sunday night and that will specifically outline when their Zooms will be.

We will put the links to all the Zooms on the subject-specific Google Classrooms.

There is the expectation that for the other hours of timetabled classes per week they will be working independently on assignments or on work that has been set by their teacher. This might include reading materials or completing tasks. We will be using our normal school timetable and will be available to our students during those hours. We have told them to email their teachers or their Deans if they are concerned about their progress or achievement or if they have any questions that have not been answered in class time.

We know that some of your children will be needing access to learning or assessment materials that are still at school. We will address that issue if the PM asks us to stay at Level 4 for a longer period of time. If this is the case, we will be sending the students a Google Form to fill out so that they can tell us what and where those most essential materials are. At some stage next week we hope to contact you with a time when the materials will be dropped off at your bubble address or where you can pick them up from. Remember, the materials should be absolutely essential to their learning.

If you are a parent of a student sitting NCEA,  please remind them to check their external exam entries and if there are omissions or they need to alter them, please ask them to alert their subject teacher immediately.
 
Kā mihi
 
Kathryn Dick, Assistant Principal

COVID Level 4 Update 3 (20 August 2021)

Morena, As-Salaam Alaikum, Noa'ia, Mauri, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Tālofa, Kia orana, Mālō e lelei, Mālō nī, Talofa lava, Tēnā koutou katoa and warm Pacific greetings!

We hope your young people have been able to enjoy some of the lessons the teachers have put up on the Google Classrooms and that those who have been Zooming have had time for some smiles and a bit of laughter with their friends. 

As you will be aware the Government has approved the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds in New Zealand, following Medsafe’s provisional approval in June. From today you can also book in a vaccination for any 12 to 15-year-olds in your whānau if that's a choice you'd like to make.

Like you, we are awaiting the 3 pm announcement from the Prime Minister after she has met with her cabinet and health officials this afternoon. If we do need to stay home for longer, we will let you know the next steps when we too, have got all the information from the Ministry of Education. Be assured that our staff is ready to move to the next step of learning online and that there are some plans afoot to allow the students to retrieve the most essential learning or assessment materials from school.

Kā mihi
The Senior Leadership Team

COVID Level 4 Update 2 (19 August 2021)

We hope this finds you safe and well. We remain waiting to see what will happen across New Zealand after the Prime Minister's update tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime we assure you that your young people are being contacted by their teachers with help and support in their learning and they are fixing deadlines for assessment where applicable.

 

NZQA is looking at alternative ways to gather evidence for assessment against NCEA should that need to happen. The experience of 2020 means we are well prepared this year if interventions are required. If any changes to NCEA settings are necessary, NZQA and the Ministry will be working together and we will hear about those changes and ensure you know about them as soon as possible (again, if, in fact, this looks likely to happen).

 

Below is a message that is going out on the School-Wide Google classroom to all students at 9.50 am today for your reference.

 

We know how frustrating it must be for you to miss seeing your friends in person but we know that you can transfer all the values of OGHS to your life at home. Keep positive, respect all the rules that we have around keeping safe, and look for good things to do for people around you, even when no one is looking.

 

We just want you to know that the Ministry of Education is working with the Health ministry to seek an exemption to allow devices and/or hard pack materials to be distributed to support distance learning if we need to go to that country-wide lockdown next week. If approved. there would be very strict criteria to manage a contactless system. They are working very closely with the public health experts on what those protocols would need to be, in order to keep you and your families safe. So for now, we can't offer you the ability to get into school until we get the go-ahead from them.

If we do get the go-ahead there will be a system we will put in place for you to get into school to get your gear but we can't tell you any more than that at this time.

Remember, only leave your home if you absolutely need to, and please wear a face covering when you do. You may wish to continue your sport training or just get outside for some fresh air with your dog. Exercising for wellbeing is so important but do follow the rules. Stay in your bubble.

Just remember the basics:

• Physical distancing

• Hand hygiene

• Cough and sneeze into your elbow

• Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces

Your teachers are following the updates and working behind the scenes to ensure that if we have to work on distance learning next week, everything will be in place.

He Waka Eke Noa -A waka we are all on and what a great waka it is!

Kā mihi,

The Senior Leadership Team

COVID Level 4 Update 1 (18 August 2021)

We know that this will be a very uncertain time for us all. Please rest assured that the staff at OGHS are getting things in place to make sure that learning continues and assessments for our NCEA students go ahead where practicable. Our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing. The next few days may be bringing new challenges for you as parents, family and whānau as you adjust to supporting your child’s learning from home again. 

Our intention over the next few days is to provide your young person with work via our Google Classroom. It is not possible for anyone to go onto the school site so please keep your child at home. We ask that they update or download the Zoom app as a first step in preparation for the potential to begin a reduced online Zoom timetable. 

Students can download the Zoom tool on their device by going to this link: https://zoom.us/freesignup/  using their school email address to register. This is the video conferencing platform that OGHS uses for online lessons. We ask that Year 9 and new students ensure they have downloaded Zoom before Friday morning. 

Year 9 Whānau Teachers will host an introductory Zoom session on Friday Aug 20th at 9:45am. Students will receive an invitation to join this Zoom meeting via their school email or Google Classroom. This will be an opportunity to set students up for the future use of this tool should we be required to remain at Alert Level 4 for longer.

Teachers will be available via their email address for any questions students might have about their learning or upcoming assessments.

We will continue to update you via email, school website, the Mobile School app (SchoolAppNZ), and the School Wide Google Classroom (for your young person). 

Maintaining social distancing is going to be crucial to us limiting the spread of this virus.  Please follow the advice given and keep you, your family, and others safe. 

We wish you all the very best.

The Senior Leadership Team