Latest messages from the Principal
Term 2, 2021:
Welcome back to another Epic term of learning at CAS. We are currently sitting on 267 students after taking nine new enrolments this week already. With growth comes change, and over the course of Term One, we realised some things were either not working or needed to be re-visited. We have spent some time rethinking some of our curriculum initiatives and pastoral processes to accommodate this growth, and ensure that we keep our standards high. Over the course of the following weeks you will hear about our plans to learn about and celebrate Matariki as a school. We hope that whanau will be involved in this with us. Below are some reminders about our expectations and focus areas this term, and we hope that you can all support us by reinforcing these messages at home.
Kia Ora whānau
One more sleep! As everyone gets ready for the return to school, I know that some whānau are a little nervous about sending their kids back. This is very understandable. I have been contacted over the last week with questions about what we are doing about health & safety, and how things may look at school next week. I would like to reassure our community of a few things regarding re-opening, but also encourage you to continue to ask questions & let us know your concerns, so that we can make sure this is a smooth & safe transition back to school for our tamariki.
Here are the key points I would like to reiterate about our re-opening:
- Buses are running as usual, but students will be asked to use hand sanitiser when entering & exiting.- Students can (& will probably want to) give their friends a hug when they see them. We understand this physical connection is an important aspect of friendship. We will ask students to try not to do this after the first couple of days so that we get into the habit of staying outside of the ‘breath zone’ of others. This will be how we discuss ‘social distancing’ although there is no actual distance we must adhere too. Likewise, we will remind students that not everyone will welcome a hug & to respect this decision.- It is individual choice if students or teachers wish to wear masks. The advice from the Public Health Service is that masks are not necessary and are only worthwhile if changed up to three times in an hour, not touched or pulled down when talking occurs, and don't get moist from breathing – all of which will be hard to manage in a school setting. We will not be supplying masks for anyone.- Hand hygiene will be compulsory – washing hands or hand sanitiser will be used when entering/exiting all classes, before/after eating, before/after using the toilet, before/after sharing resources.- Doing physical activity will still be a part of the curriculum and team sports can be played – following correct hand hygiene procedures. - Keep your child home if they are sick. Ring the public health line or your local doctor for advice if they have cold/flu-like symptoms. A return to school will be based on that advice. It will be recorded as a ‘Medical’ absence.- If you choose to keep your child(ren) at home during Alert Level 2 due to worries about COVID-19, it will be recorded as an ‘Explained’ absence but not a ‘Justified’ absence, and we will work with you to talk through any fears or anxieties you have. - Online learning will not be on offer from Monday onwards, except for any child(ren) who are asked by public health officials to self-isolate due to possible exposure to COVID-19.- Our school counsellor, Pauline Dickinson, will be at school tomorrow (Monday) and if you or your child wish to speak to her about any fears or worries that you have, please don’t hesitate to ask at the school office. - The wellbeing of our staff and students is our number one priority so we will be keeping up-to-date on all public health requirements & informing our whānau if things change.
Hopefully, our students are looking forward to coming back to school, but I know it will feel a little odd returning, after such a long time off. We are going to be treating this next week like it is the first week back of the school year – building positive & safe relationships, setting our expectations, and settling back into routines & learning.
See you all tomorrow and remember to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.
Nga mihi nui,
Kia Ora whānau,
On Monday we welcome back our students who we have really missed seeing in person over the past 8 weeks. This has been a time in history in which we will never forget. Throughout it all we have had to work hard to establish and maintain very different types of relationships, and I take my hat off to all of our whānau and teachers who have ensured that ‘connectivity’ has been the priority. Our number one priority moving forward is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. At Alert Level 2 there will be some differences to how school operates, and we will be closely monitoring the hygiene practices of our students. The following are some of the things your child(ren) should expect upon returning, and you may like to go through this with them prior to Monday.
1) Parents/Caregivers are asked to drop & pick up children from the gates (with the exception of Room 1 and 2 parents). If you need to enter the school site, please sign-in and out at the office if your child is in Year 9 to 13 or sign the register at the class door if your child is in Year 1-8. 2) If you are worried about the wellbeing of your child(ren) either socially, mentally, physically, or emotionally please contact their teacher and let them know, so we can support them in the best way possible. We have counselling support available if needed.3) Hugging, shaking hands & high-fives are something we LOVE to do, but staff may avoid doing this. Please let your child(ren) know that this is not because we do not want to do it, but because we are trying to emphasis the right practices.4) School fountains will be turned off so students will need to bring a water bottle and we will provide places to fill these up (name them if you can).5) Food can not be shared, so every student needs to bring their own lunch.6) Hand sanitiser will be on the school buses and must be used when entering and exiting the bus.7) No students can sit directly behind the bus driver.8) Hand sanitiser &/or soap & paper towels will be in EVERY classroom in the school and must be used before and after entering & exiting rooms, sharing resources, eating, going to the toilet. 9) There will be regular cleaning of surfaces that are regularly touched. 10) If students are sick or are showing cold/flu-like symptoms they will be sent home.11) Students will be asked not to get so close to other people that they can feel their breath, or they can touch them. There is NO actual social distancing requirement in school settings.12) Normal school uniform should be worn. However, students can wear a mufti jumper or jacket if they do not have a suitable school one. This will remain the rule for Term 2. 13) Students can wear appropriate mufti shoes if they have not got suitable winter black shoes – until they are able to purchase new ones.Finally, the following two points are important to ensure a more settled & productive start to returning to school can occur.14) All chromebooks/laptops that were given out to students over lockdown MUST be returned in the original box and with the correct charger. 15) Students will need to bring any other resources, such as journals, books, stationary, that they took home with them at the start of lockdown.
We are all looking forward to seeing everyone together again. If you have any concerns, issues or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0277587420.
Nga mihi nui,Whaea Koren
14th May 2020
We understand that over the past eight weeks times may have been tough financially and that access to usual products in the shops has been hard. So with that in mind, we are making this announcement regarding uniform for the remainder of Term 2.
'Students are still to wear uniform to school, however, in order to keep warm & comfortable, they can wear mufti jumpers &/or jackets, if they have not got suitable uniform jumpers/jackets. This will be allowed for the remainder of Term 2 to allow families to update uniform requirements before Term 3 starts on Monday 20th July'.
See you next week.
Kia Ora whānau,
Below I have attempted to communicate some of the key points you need to be aware of around school re-opening at Alert Level 2. There will be more to come over the next few days, as we are given more guidance from the Ministry of Education. This will be communicated to you prior to Monday next week. But for now, this is what we know and what you need to know.
•We will open to all students on Monday 18th May. •The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick, have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test. •Students must stay at home if they are sick. If a sick child comes to school, we will send them home (and the threshold for this .•On Thursday and Friday this week, ONLY students who have been attending in Alert Level 3 can attend as usual.•School transport will resume but contact tracing will be a priority so there will be strict guidelines for both the school and the bus provider to adhere.•The bus company will also need to put some new procedures in place e.g. leaving seats in close to the driver free, hand sanitiser available on journey, cleaning bus after each trip.•Parents and caregivers who come on site need to sign-in at the office. Therefore, we ask that students are dropped off and picked up at the gates (all will be open). Try to only enter the school site if it is essential.•If you need to enter the school premises for any reason, please sign-in at the school office (including if you are just dropping off/picking up from the classroom).•Students need to return any school device they were given to use during lockdown. Please bring these back with the charger and in the box they were sent in.•Safe and sensible practices for hygiene and contact tracing will be the norm at school. These will include: regular hand-washing & drying &/or using hand sanitiser, regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, coughing into your elbow.•Hand-washing will be the most important practice - including before and after using shared equipment. •There is no minimum distance requirement for schools at Alert Level 2. We will follow the advice that students & staff should not be able to breath on or touch each other. •Playground, sports equipment use and sports, including contact sports, can resume.•Physical education classes and break time activities can include access to sports equipment.•The wellbeing of every student will be our priority upon re-opening. We will aim to give staff and students fair time to ‘catch up’, check-in with each other & get used to socialising again. Staff will plan how this looks over the next few days, but it will include a more flexible, modified approach to learning over the first couple of days. •Parents/caregivers should communicate with us if they are concerned about re-opening or about the wellbeing of their child(ren) both physically, emotionally or socially, so we know how best to support them.
Nga mihi nui,Koren Hopoi
Kia Ora whānau,
I am still waiting on the finer details of what opening at AL2 will look like for schools, but the Prime Minister has just confirmed that all schools will open at Alert Level 2. She has also stated that when that decision is made, schools will not open until the following week after the announcement is made.
So, if on Monday we do go to Alert Level 2, our school will open on Monday 18th May.Like I said yesterday, we will do so with all Health, Safety & Wellbing measures put in place. We will all wait now for the announcement to be made on Monday, and fingers crossed we do go into AL2.
Further communication will come out this week with what our classrooms will look like & how they will operate.
Nga mihi nuiWhaea Koren
Kia Ora whanau,
I know all of you will be starting to question when school will be re-opening & what that will look like. Just to keep you all in the loop, I will be receiving an important email from the Ministry of Education tomorrow, that will have information in it about how we manage health, safety & wellbeing should we get the all clear to open at Alert Level 2.
That means if the government does announce we can go into Alert Level 2 at the press release on Monday 11th May, we will most likely be told we can open on Thursday 14th May. However, what that looks like will depend on the health, safety & wellbeing guidelines & restrictions that are imposed. There may be a staggered approach to begin with, eg. certain year levels can attend. We will wait and see.
Rest assured, we are super excited and ready to re-open, as long as we can ensure that the health & safety of all of our students and staff can be maintained.
As soon as I know about what re-opening will look like and our staff have had a chance to put plans in place to ensure we can meet all of the health & safety guidelines - you will be the next to be told!
Fingers crossed that we can all safely return in the near future. Until then, keep safe, keep well, and be kind!
Nga mihi nui
1st May 2020
28th April 2020
From tomorrow onwards our kura will be functioning under Alert Level 3 guidelines. That means we will have 12 staff on site, and up too 14 students present. There are many procedures and safety checks in place to ensure we maintain social distancing and good hygiene practices during this time. To support this, we are locking all gates excepts the one outside the main office on Wollams Ave. This is to prevent anyone from bursting our pre-arranged bubbles. No-one is allowed to enter the school site unless it is essential. All visitors that have essential business must register at the office, sign in and read our health & safety guidelines. Parents who are dropping off or picking up our AL3 students are not to enter unless absolutely necessary. There has been an important message emailed/text to the whānau of the 14 returning students. Please check your email/phone and ensure you read this message with your child(ren) who are returning. School will look very different for them. If you know someone whose child(ren) is returning, please pass this message on to them.
Kia Ora whanau,
As we enter Alert Level 3 at midnight tonight, I thought it timely to update you on what is happening at school and also give a big shout out to our amazing staff.Over the last two weeks we have been preparing for this stage and have connected with all of our students and their whanau. As of Wednesday, we will have 16 students at school who need to return so that parents/caregivers can work.
I know it was a hard decision for some families to make and I appreciate that students may have been keen to return. If we can support the governments call to 'stay at home if you can' we can hopefully all return to school safely and sooner rather than later.
There will be a skeleton staff on site who have been grouped into two bubbles of 10. Each bubble will have 8 students and a couple of staff who will support them to continue with their online learning. We thank the staff who are able and willing to return. To whanau of students returning, there will be a further communication with guidelines and procedures for returning to school sent out tomorrow.
Buses will not be running as they are not required. If over the next two weeks, your circumstances change & you require your child(ren) to return to school, you must first contact me directly, as we have strict guidelines & procedures to follow. No student is able to just 'turn up' to school during this time.
Over the last month I have seen our staff step-up to the challenge of connecting remotely with students and whanau and supporting an online learning programme. I would like to take the chance to thank them for their care, effort & flexibility over this time. I know it has made my job a lot easier and I am grateful for the amazing staff we have.
Tomorrow is a Teacher Only Day, and there will be a few staff in school, and the majority of staff linking in via Zoom. The agenda for this meeting is mostly about the health and safety plan we have in place to re-open and how to continue to support students remotely.
I can assure parents of NCEA students that there is a lot of discussion happening with our senior staff about further support, course outlines, future assessments & the flexibility required.
Finally, thank you for your continuing support of our kura, for the patience you have shown throughout this time, and for supporting our students, staff, whanau & community to get through this stronger and more united than ever.
Nga mihi nuiKoren Hopoi0277587420
Kia ora koutou,
The last few weeks have been some of the toughest, yet some of the most rewarding weeks of my teaching career. The way our small community has come together and supported each other through these tough times has been inspirational. Thank you especially to the staff, students & parents/caregivers that are part of our education bubble, for your patience, support and encouragement of each other throughout this time.
Yesterday the Government decided that we will move into Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28th April. We now have a very small window to prepare our school site for Year 1 to 10 students to be able to attend, possibly on Wednesday 29th April. This will depend on how quickly our preparations can occur and how easily we can work out the logistics of reopening – such as, staffing, social distancing, hygiene.
There is a clear message from the Government regarding whether your child(ren) should return to school, and we support and re-iterate this message.
‘If you can, you should keep your child at home’
You should only physically send your child to school if you need to. If your child has a health condition that means they are at a greater risk of a severe illness you must keep them at home. If your child is sick please also ensure you keep them at home.
In order to ensure the safety of those children and our staff who do come to school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of health and safety measures. We will be working hard this week to put these measures in place. This includes, finding out whether the school buses can run and whether the same strict measures can be ensured during transportation to and from school.
I want to assure you that we will continue to support your child’s learning at home. A realistic possibility is that if your child(ren) does attend school in person, they will be following the same online learning programme that has been set up by their teacher already. Not only will be operating with a reduced number of staff, staff will not be able to run both an online and a face-to-face programme at the same time.
Today, you will be contacted by your child(ren’s) homeroom or mentor teacher to find out whether you can keep your child(ren) learning from home, or need your child(ren) to attend in person.
In closing, we will continue to support your child’s learning by distance while we progress our planning for what Alert Level 3 will mean for you and for our school. I will be in touch with further information tomorrow. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have, or please contact me directly. Nga mihi nuiKoren Hopoi0277587420principal@coroarea.school.nz
17th April 2020
16th April 2020
For whānau struggling with getting WIFI – go to this link
https://steppingup.nz/get-jump/ and sign up for Skinny JUMP.
A modem will be sent to you. The suppliers have been running at their capacity and are struggling to fill the demand but there is an eligibility check and 'living in a rural community' is one of the criteria which would cover Coromandel people.
There is a form to fill out and modems are shipped from Wellington.
If you can’t access this link or are unable to fill in the form please contact Matt at CILT and he can do this on your behalf.
8th April 2020
As promised, here is a link to our 'Home learning guide for students & whānau.'
This is designed to clearly state our intentions over the next couple of weeks, with student and teacher expectations. Hopefully you will see from this guide that we are extremely aware of the different contexts each of our whānau face, and therefore pretty realistic, but also very hopeful, of a successful and effective home learning journey for us all. Please have a read and if you have any questions or worries contact Whaea Koren - email & number on document.
NOTE: The intent is to have devices & or hard-copy packages out to parents as soon as we can do this (big project!).
Kia Ora e te whānau,
We just held our first staff meeting post lockdown and it was successful! It was great to connect and see all of our teachers again. We discussed student and teacher expectations for learning at home and these will be sent out to whānau in the next day or two. Likewise, I will be completing my home phone calls to the remainder of students on the list - so expect a phone call from me!Hope you are all well, all staying connected, and not missing us too much! We definitely are missing our kids.
Nga mihi nuiKoren Hopoi
7th April 2020
Kia Ora whānau, I hope that you are all keeping safe and healthy and finding some positives from this situation, such as, having quality time with family, enjoying 'slowing down', having a go at learning a new skill, or just being grateful for the beautiful weather we currently have.
Now is the holiday period for every teacher and student. No work or tasks are expected to be due in to teachers during this two week period. As with a usual holiday break, it is for rest, refreshment and to spend time with loved ones and do things you enjoy (although limited I know). This means that students are not expected to be online or doing regular home learning sessions.
This means that both the students AND the teachers get to have a well earned break, and I am sure you all understand the importance of this. Teachers may continue to set up home learning tasks online, and students may still get bombarded with emails telling them this. But it is important to remember that these are in preparation for Term 2. If students wish to continue to complete work, or if whānau want to continue doing learning each day to get into a routine, that is completely your choice!
As a staff, we are preparing for the reality that this lockdown may go on longer than the minimum 4 week period. So on Wednesday 15th April, when Term 2 officialy begins, we will be back up in running with clear expectations set for both teachers and students, in terms of what home learning should look like. These expectations will be coming out towards the end of the holiday period.
During the next two weeks I will be personally contacting every family to find out what barriers they may face to engaging with learning at home. We will then do everything we can to remove or minimise these barriers for you.
Thank you to those parents/caregivers who have been contacting me and connecting with other staff, to ask for advice or support, or to just have a chat. Communication will continue to be the main factor moving forward. I will always put all Prinicipal messages on Facebook, the school website & email to parents/caregivers.
So thank you once again for your continued support of our kura and for having patience while we get our heads around how this pandemic has (& will) change the face of education. I look forward to the day that I can connect again with everyone face-to-face, but until then look after yourselves and those around you.Nga mihi nui
25th March 2020
Equipment for our kids to keep being physically active:
We have a stash of older sports equipment that is more than suitable to use to keep active at home. Some balls, bats etc. If you are keen to pick some up, then drop into school today . or text me to organise a time.
0277587420 - Koren Hopoi
25th March 2020
Message to Room 4 students & whānau:
The learning at home packs are ready to be picked up at the school office. I will be around today until about 5pm. However, can be around to leave somewhere at any stage over the next few days. You can text me if you are unsure how to get the packs & we may be able to organise something. 0277587420 - Koren Hopoi
Tuesday 24th March 2020
24th March 2020
The upcoming school holidays have been brought forward to start on Monday 30th March (next week) and end on Tuesday 14th April (Easter Tuesday). So Term 2 (even though we won't be back at school) and online/home learning will resume again on Wednesday 15th April.
What does that mean for our teachers?
For the remainder of this week and through the two weeks of school holidays, our teachers will be establishing ways to deliver teaching online and remotely. They will not be delivering this learning until AFTER the holidays, but they will be contactable via phone/email to talk and support you in anyway needed.
What does this mean for our students and whānau?
Use this time to prepare for home learning to occur and to establish communication with teachers, especially if you will need physical resources rather than online resources. Prepare space in your home which could be used for learning.
And, use the time as a 'holiday' (even one in self-isolation), so don't put the pressure on to be learning or doing homework just yet (unless you want too).
As a school, we are absolutely commited to supporting our students and whānau through this time. This is not just through the home learning, but with all the other things that schools & staff support: emotional, social, mental, spiritual and physical well-being.
We are still here to help in anyway we can. Please keep the communication going and don't be scared to ask for support - if we can't do something, we have access to networks who can!
Nga mihi nui
To any of our whānau or students who are a little anxious about what is occuring, need to connect with someone or ask for some advice, our school counsellor Pauline Dickinson is going to be available all hours, and can do telephone or online face-to-face conversations.
Her contact details are:
Also, please do not hesitate to private message the school through Facebook messenger, or our school website contact form. We are all in this together, and if there are any issues or questions you may have, or if you need support with anything else, such as requiring extra food, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Message from Coromandel Area School Principal
Kia Ora whānau,As you will be aware New Zealand has now entered Alert Level 3. That means that schools will be closed from tomorrow onwards. The only exception is for students of essential healthcare workers (doctors, nurses) and police. As of midnight on Wednesday these students will no longer be able to attend school either. Our staff have already started planning for this eventuality and are preparing resources for learning at home, whether this be bookwork or online. Over the next couple of days our teachers will continue to transition into creating physical resources or online learning platforms for our students. Please remember that although there will be avenues for home learning set-up, it is important that students don’t get anxious about missing school, getting behind, or not achieving their grades. This is an unprecedented event and in the end their health is the most important thing to consider. We will get through and they will still achieve their goals!We will be communicating with both students and parents/caregivers about the options open to students for accessing these resources. We will communicate this through our school website, Facebook page, phone and email. We understand that this is a very unnerving and uncertain time for our community. The health and wellbeing of our staff, students and whānau is our number one priority. Heed the governments advice and self-isolate. Stay connected via social media platforms. Look after each other. Be kind. Let’s get this right now and slow down any further spread of this virus. Let’s look forward to Term 2. Kia Kaha!Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, Koren HopoiPrincipalprincipal@coroarea.school.nz
Sunday 22nd March
Kia Ora whanau,
School is open for business tomorrow as usual and buses will be running as usual. Some families are already choosing to keep their tamariki home and that is fine. Can we ask that you still advise the school of absences through the usual ways: phone call to office or through our website absence form. We will do everything we can to make school as normal as possible over the coming days, however, we may have staff that choose to stay home due to age or health concerns. If this occurs there may be some classes that need to be joined together. We stress that whanau coming to school must sign in at the office, but are asked to avoid any non-essential visits. Thank you for your appreciation and support during this uncertain time.
Nga mihi nui
Nationwide alert system for COVID-19
21 March 2020
The Prime Minister has introduced a nationwide alert system for Covid-19.
We are at alert level 2. At alert level 2 schools and early childhood centres remain open, but will be closed if there is a case of Covid-19 that affects them. This will be for a defined period based on health advice to undertake contact tracing and other activities. This means our current practice does not change. We will continue to apply our decision making tool to assess what actions are needed.
Schools and early childhood centres remain safe for your children and for teachers. The best defence continues to be good hygiene practice and physical distancing.
The most up to date advice is available from the Ministry of Health.
18th March - From Ministry of Education
You will be aware the Ministry of Health’s Director-General has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a Dunedin school following a student testing positive for coronavirus. On advice from the Southern District Health Board the school will now remain closed until Tuesday (Monday being Otago Anniversary Day). Close contacts have been identified and are being tested for the virus. The letter to the community from SDHB provides further information The Ministries of Education and Health are working closely with Public Health services in Dunedin and the school leadership to help minimise disruption, progress contact tracing and reduce the possibility of spread. Reminder – schools remain open At this stage, we are not expecting widespread school closures. We are planning for temporary closures, like what is happening at Logan Park School but as the World Health Organisation has confirmed, the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres. Consequently any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis. In the meantime, unless students are unwell themselves, then parents should keep sending them to schools and early learning centres as these environments continue to be safe and the best place for them to continue their learning. Talking to children and young people about COVID-19 Given the rise in the number of reported cases, there may be children or young people in your life who experience distress. As a trusted adult, you can help reassure and educate them about COVID-19 – it can be good to talk to them now, so they can understand the illness and be reassured. A useful resource for parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers talking about the virus with children and young people can be found here This can also be downloaded as an information sheet. Up-to-date information and advice A reminder that information and advice for students, whānau and the education sector is available here While the website is being regularly updated with education-related content, the Ministry of Health is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19 The Secretary for Education joined the Director-General of Health for the Ministry of Health’s COVID 19 update today. You can view that, and all Ministry of Health updates here.