Marsden's Coronavirus updates are posted here. We also encourage you to check the Government's Covid-19 website for more information, see link below.
Coronavirus Update 2.7 – 22/09/2020
It was good news yesterday regarding our move back to Alert Level 1. At Marsden, there will be no major changes to what we are currently doing and our school continues to be safe to attend, including for any staff and children who are considered more vulnerable to COVID-19. We have a good cleaning routine in place, people who are sick are staying at home and we continue to encourage good hygiene practices.
What that means for us is:
- Students and staff will continue to be encouraged to regularly wash and dry hands, sneeze and cough into elbows.
- We will regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
- If a child or staff member is sick, they should stay home. If they have cold or flu symptoms they should call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested. If recommended to get tested, they should do so.
- We will continue to support contact tracing efforts by displaying QR Code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App at our entrances. All school entrances are now available to parents.
- Face coverings continue not to be required when in school. This includes school transport and charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff to and from school. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting will be supported to do so.
What is changing is that we can now reintroduce whole-school assemblies, spectators at school and community sport, and audiences at cultural events and performances. There are a number of events for senior students which have been rescheduled to occur early in Term 4. There is a small window of opportunity for these events before the focus needs to shift to exams and we are hoping that Alert Level 1 remains in place to allow these to occur.
Exams at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3
We have been informed by the Ministry of Education that all exams including NCEA, Scholarship, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate exams are able to proceed at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3.
In the unlikely case that a region or regions were placed under Alert Level 4, exams will not be able to go ahead in those regions as schools are not open onsite at that level.
At Marsden we are planning for the most stringent requirements of a Level 3 scenario for NCEA and Scholarship exams and are confident that will be able to meet all requirements at this level. Students and parents will be provided with more detailed information regarding the measures which will be in place closer to the exam period.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation with the Alert Level 2 measures over the last few weeks. I know that our Primary parents in particular will be looking forward to being able to be in their daughter’s classrooms again. I look forward to seeing you soon and wish you all the best for a restful term break.
Coronavirus Update – Face coverings on school transport – 28/08/2020
You are probably aware the Prime Minister has announced that face coverings will be required on public transport from next Monday, at Alert Level 2 and above. We have been informed by the Ministry of Education that this does not apply to any child who is under 12 years of age and does not apply to school transport (we have good systems in place to manage safety on school transport).
Public Health officials have advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings.
Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings at school. Other public health control measures are in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
If your child doesn’t need to wear a face covering but they want to, that’s fine, but it is important that they know how to use it safely. The Ministry of Health website has helpful information on using masks safely.
Face coverings are another way we can help keep ourselves and others safe, along with good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing when out and about and staying home if we are sick.
We’re continuing contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, so please check in every time you come onsite.
If you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s website has information to help you do that. We’ll also keep a visitor register for anyone who doesn’t have the app and also for anyone who comes onsite for a period of time. This will help us with contact tracing in the unlikely case it is needed.
If you have any questions about face coverings or anything else, please get in touch.
Coronavirus Update 2.5 – 25/08/2020
Following the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday, we will remain at Alert Level 2 at least until Sunday 6 September. This will impact a number of events planned for next week, including our Primary Father’s Day breakfast (postponed to the first available date in Level 1), the second round of Learning Progress Interviews for students in Years 7–13 (going ahead as scheduled on Zoom) and the College Sport Wellington regional netball tournament (which has been cancelled). We will unfortunately also have two more weekends where sport will be able to go ahead but no spectators will be allowed on the side-lines.
We know that the Alert Level 2 restrictions are in place to keep our community as safe as possible and are grateful every day that our students are able to attend school and play sport.
We have had some questions about the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport, and whether this will apply to school transport.
The Minister of Health announced today that he would set out more details on Thursday including how the rules will work in practice on public transport and what will be asked of passengers and operators. Minister Hipkins will announce at the same time what requirements will be in place for school transport.
We expect to receive specific advice and guidance from the Ministry of Education soon after that announcement and will pass this on to you.
Guidance for the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport is also being developed by the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi | New Zealand Transport Agency.
Just a reminder that while everyone is onsite at Alert Level 2, we must adhere to key health measures including:
- Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
- Staying away if sick
- Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
- Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
- Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come onsite
- Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other visitors who come onsite for a period of time.
For those of you who might be finding things more difficult than usual, a reminder that there is a large range of support available for businesses and the community. We encourage you to go to covid19.govt.nz for more information, or get in touch and we will help you to find the information and support you need.
Coronavirus Update 2.4 – 21/08/2020
I would like to thank you for your continued support of the public health measures we have in place at Marsden during Alert Level 2. It has been another smooth week at school and we have taken the opportunity to work on some ‘Plan B’ scenarios for events we have had to postpone due to the current restrictions on gatherings. As soon as know when we will be moving back into Alert Level 1 we will provide you with an update.
While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 2, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:
- Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
- Staying away if sick
- Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
- Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
- Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come on-site
- Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other essential visitors
We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible. Because of these measures being in place, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school.
In this update you will find further information regarding the following:
- Public health advice about face coverings in schools and early learning services
- COVID-19 test and treatment
- Ministry of Education parent website
Public health advice about face coverings in schools and early learning services
Can children, young people or teachers wear face coverings at school or early learning services if they wish to?
Yes. Any children, young people or teachers who wish to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth (including masks) at schools or early learning services may do so if they want to. They are entitled to make this decision and should not be criticised for doing so.
Do children need to wear face coverings at early learning services at level 2?
No. Public Health officials have advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings. Other public health control measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
Do children and young people need to wear face coverings at schools at level 2?
No. Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings because the risk of infection within the school environment is low. Other public health control measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
Do tertiary students need to wear face coverings at level 2?
While it is not mandatory to wear a face covering, wearing them is advised where it is not possible to practice social distancing or to carry out contact tracing. This includes, for example, in crowded spaces on TEO campuses, or teaching and learning situations where close physical contact cannot be avoided.
Do teachers need to wear face coverings at early learning services and schools at level 2?
No. Teachers do not need to wear face coverings at level 2. Other public health measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
Do children and young people need to wear face coverings on school or public transport at Alert level 2?
Children and young people are not required to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth on school transport. At Alert level 2, children and young people aged 6 years and over are encouraged to carry a face covering to wrap around their nose and mouth, when they are on school and public transport.
Clarity around COVID-19 test and treatment
COVID-19 related care – including diagnosis, testing and treatment – is provided and free of charge to anyone who requires it, who has symptoms. This is irrespective of citizenship, visa status, nationality or level of medical insurance coverage. The only time a person should be charged is when they ask for a test in order to enter another country.
COVID-19 information on our parent website
The Ministry of Education parent website has information about COVID-19 alert levels for parents and whānau.
Coronavirus Update 2.3 – 13/08/2020
The last couple of days at school have been very busy and positive, despite the Level 2 restrictions. We are hoping for the best and planning for the worst with regard to Alert Level changes over the next few days. With that in mind, we will be encouraging students to make sure they take home their key learning materials tomorrow afternoon, just in case something changes over the weekend.
Given the new cases of COVID-19 occurring in New Zealand, you will appreciate the importance of contact tracing as a critical aspect of the ‘stamp it out’ strategy. The quicker close contacts of cases can be identified, the sooner those people can go into self-isolation and get support.
Marsden has QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App displayed around the school. Every time you come onto the school grounds for pick up or drop off please make sure that you scan the QR code. If you are not coming into the buildings, this will be sufficient for contact tracing purposes. If you are coming in, you will also be asked to sign in to our visitor register.
If you cannot use the NZ COVID Tracer App, please let us know so that we can advise you on the best way to register and, as always, please make sure that you have updated your contact details with us if they have recently changed.
Preparations for Year 7 – 13 House Music have been progressing well and the competition was due to take place over an afternoon and two evenings next week. Due to the difficulty with maintaining appropriate social distancing during House Music performances we are temporarily suspending rehearsals while we are in Alert Level 2. House Music rehearsals will re-commence as soon as we are back in Level 1 and we will reschedule the afternoon and evening performances, which are always a highlight of the school year.
Coronavirus Update 2.2 – 12/08/2020
Due to the current restrictions on the size of gatherings under Alert Level 2 and other public health requirements for external venues, we have made decisions about the following upcoming events:
Year 11 Dance at the Boatshed – scheduled for this Friday evening. This has been postponed and will be rescheduled pending availability of the venue when we return to Alert Level 1.
Year 7 & 8 Dance at Wellesley – scheduled for this Friday evening. This has been cancelled. Ticket refunds will be credited to school accounts.
Careers Evening – to have been held at school tomorrow night. This has been cancelled. Where possible online meetings will be set up with presenters over the next few weeks.
Year 13 Father Daughter Breakfast – scheduled for next Tuesday morning. This has been postponed until we can identify a replacement date once we have returned to Alert Level 1.
Marsden Open Morning – scheduled for this Friday. This is going ahead, but with a significantly amended format to ensure that groups can be managed with appropriate physical distancing and contact tracing arrangements in place. Essentially this means we will be running three separate Open Morning sessions on Friday morning with no overlaps between the groups.
College Sport Wellington fixtures - Following the Government’s Alert Level 2 announcement last night and update this morning, College Sport Wellington has reviewed its competitions and events over the next 72 hours.
Based on that review, the following decisions were made to proceed with the following fixtures this afternoon (Wednesday, 12 August):
• Wednesday afternoon girls football matches proceded today
• Wednesday afternoon Ultimate Frisbee competition matches proceded today
• Wednesday afternoon eSport competition matches proceded today
The following events have either been cancelled or postponed:
• Girls Rugby – no matches may proceed tonight. The decision on whether these games are cancelled or postponed will be communicated in due course
• Table Tennis – no matches may proceed tonight. The decision on whether these games are cancelled or postponed will be communicated in due course.
• Indoor Bowls – Thursday’s tournament (August 13) is postponed, with a new date to be confirmed in due course.
Clearly this is a very fluid situation, and College Sport Wellington have let us know that they will not be rushing their decisions on competitions and events beyond those listed above. In terms of a timeline, from here they will adopt the following time frames:
• Thursday afternoon sport – decisions to be communicated late morning on Thursday
• Friday afternoon sport – decisions to be communicated late morning on Friday
• Weekend sport – decisions to be communicated late afternoon on Friday.
All College Sport Wellington decisions will be communicated via email, their website and social media.
Other sport fixtures: We will communicate decisions regarding the status of other sports competitions as soon as these become available.
Training for sport is continuing under Alert Level 2 protocols.
Coronavirus Update 2.1 – 12/08/2020
As you will have seen there has been a decision to upgrade the Covid Alert Level overnight. The Alert Level for the Greater Wellington Region is Level 2 from midday today Wednesday 12 August. At this stage Alert Level 2 is in place until Friday 14 August at midnight.
We are aware that there will be a big range of emotional responses to last night’s news and the imposition of further restrictions… from the students and from ourselves. It’s good to remind ourselves and our children that it is ok to be sad, disappointed, worried etc. but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be strong, resilient, kind and caring. Staff today have been taking some time to discuss with the students how they are feeling, and what strategies they have to respond, and most importantly, how they can look after each other and contribute to wellbeing at school and in their families.
This morning at Marsden we are readying the campus for compliance with Alert Level 2 public health requirements and working through the decision-making processes around a number of school events which are scheduled to take place over the next few days. We have received the following information this morning from the Ministry of Education:
• At Alert Level 2 it is safe for all students, children and staff to attend school and early learning. There will be appropriate precautions in place.
• Children and staff who are at higher-risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.
• Masks are not required at schools and early learning services at Alert levels 2 and 3.
• Mass gatherings – workplaces, educational facilities, and public and school transport are not considered mass gatherings. This means there are no restrictions on numbers of people indoors or outside at schools and early learning services other than what other public health or health and safety measures require. The exception is where people from outside the school may be attending, e.g. for a school production or school ball.
Four key safety controls for schools under Alert Level 2
● Ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms or who feel generally unwell stay away from school.
● Maintain physical distancing (in schools this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other).
● Enable good hygiene practices.
● Keep track of people who enter the school.
Staying home if sick – symptoms to monitor
Symptoms to monitor for are any respiratory symptoms such as a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills and a fever. Anyone with those symptoms should stay home and contact Healthline for advice, which may include getting tested for COVID-19 as a precaution. Anyone with these respiratory symptoms should not to enter the Marsden campus.
Public health measures that will be in place at Marsden
In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:
● Please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.
● Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
● Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to class rooms and in shared spaces. This is in addition to soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
● Children and young people will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
● We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
● Contact tracing registers will be set up and identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day. This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents.
● PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service. Some children and young people may choose to wear face masks. It could be part of their cultural practice to do so and to support their hygiene needs. We will encourage respect for individual choices.
Procedures for students
Students will be briefed again today on the ‘rules’ for Alert Level 2.
Procedures for parents and other visitors to the school
Marsden parents have once again been enjoying a great deal of freedom to move around the school. Unfortunately, this will change temporarily during Alert Level 2 due to the requirements for contact tracing and physical distancing from strangers. Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the Main Reception area or the office entrance in the Primary school only. You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.
Jennifer Ioannou and Helen McConnell will be in touch with Preschool and Primary parents later today regarding procedures for drop off and pick up of younger children.
Due to the evolving situation it is likely that there will be an increased level of communication from Marsden in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned and stay safe.