COVID Phase 3 - email to parents 01 March

Kia ora parents and caregivers

You’ll be aware that the increasing numbers of people with COVID will be impacting on a number of areas throughout the country. We have been very fortunate at UHC so far – as of today, we have 3 staff and 1 student who are confirmed COVID positive, but an increasing number of staff and students who are isolating at home. 

This email is to update you on two important aspects of the UHC response to COVID - the processes around managing COVID – home and school, and about students being rostered home.

1.   Managing COVID – home and school

This information comes from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health

 a) If a student is unwell and has COVID symptoms:

  • keep them home
  • get a COVID test – the new Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) is available at a variety of locations including community testing centres, GP’s, pharmacies, and will soon be in supermarkets.

b) If a student tests positive

  • student self-isolates at home for 10 days (from the date tested or when symptoms start)
  • contact the college to let us know – call 04 527 8749 or email [email protected]

c)  If a student is a household contact (someone in the house is a confirmed COVID case)

  • student isolates for 10 days from the day of the positive test result
  • student gets tested using a RAT on day 3 and day 10 of the case’s isolation period
  • if the student becomes unwell and develops symptoms, get a test
  • if the student returns a negative test on day 10, they can return to school the following day if symptom-free. 

d)  If a student is a close contact (outside of the household) 

  • they do not need to self-isolate and can continue to attend school
  • monitor, and get tested using a RAT if symptoms develop

Factsheet – Guidance for household contacts (Ministry of Health) - here

Advice for people with COVID-19 (Ministry of Health) - here


2.   UHC Response to COVID - rostering students home

The number of staff away, either because of COVID-related issues or other reasons, continues to rise, and this is causing a number of problems. We are finding it increasingly difficult to cover classes of teachers who are away, and teachers are losing non-contact time filling in for others on top of their own teaching load and normal wider-school responsibilities. This is not sustainable and therefore, the following response will be put into action:

  • Year 12 & 13 students will be independently learning at home for a period of 7 school days, starting Thursday 3 March, to Friday 11 March. They will return to school on Monday 14 March.
  • Year 10 & 11 students will then be independently learning at home for a period of 5 school days, starting Monday 14 March, to Friday 18 March. They will return to school on Monday 21 March.
  • Year 9 students will continue to learn at school.

 This hybrid model is NOT [email protected] as we have done over the last two lockdowns – there will be no compulsory google meets (although a class teacher may set one), and no Ako times – students will be learning, independently, on work that teachers will set, at home. 

 This means:

  • teachers will set work that can be accessed via the class Google classroom, or they will provide hard copy materials that students will take home. They may be available to answer questions etc, if isolating, but if they are sick, there is no expectation that they will also continue to work
  • chromebooks will not be available for students to take home – they will still be required at school for classes
  • any class trips already scheduled will go ahead, some itinerant music lessons will still be held – the specific teachers will clarify this with students. Sports trainings and games etc will continue as usual 

We will carefully monitor the process and review as we go. The aim is to keep disruption to a minimum and to keep the teaching and learning going as purposefully as possible. This period of time won’t last forever, and the health authorities predict that the worst will be over by the end of March. We all look forward to getting back to normal. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. 

Ngā mihi nui


Judith Taylor