27 January 2022

Dear Parent / Caregiver and Student 

With the country moving to the Red setting of the COVID – 19 Protection Framework  the school feels it important to outline what this means in an educational setting. 

  • Students, staff and all visitors to the school must wear a mask at all times whilst indoors or when in close contact with others when on the school grounds.
  • Students in the boarding house are encouraged to wear a mask whilst in communal areas of the boarding house.
  • If a student is sick they must stay at home. We will be asking any boarders who are sick to either return home or stay at home. The Boarding House staff will be contacting families to ask for a Timaru contact who is willing to support with isolation of a boarder who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID – 19 if a family can not collect a sick student. 
  • A student who has exhibited symptoms of COVID -19 may only return to school once they have received confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test. This is to be emailed to mckenzieke@craighead.school.nz.
  • All students using school transport must wear a mask at all times when travelling.

Some events and school related activities may be affected by gathering sizes being restricted and the need for vaccine passes at venues beyond the school premises. It must be emphasised that for schools, including Craighead, at this point in time there is no direction nor mandate for students to be vaccinated (unlike staff and volunteers). Craighead remains considerate of an individual’s choice to be vaccinated, but individuals must bear in mind the public health orders that govern the activities in which they represent the school in wider competitions.

The Timaru District Council has published this information on its website about the availability of their facilities under the ‘Framework’. For our students this means that in order for students to use TDC facilities, they must be fully vaccinated and present a vaccine pass if they wish to participate in any competitions that use the Southern Trust Events Centre including: 

  • Volleyball
  • Netball
  • Basketball
  • Futsal

Hockey South Canterbury has also notified the school that their facilities will also “ remain a Vaccine Required Site at all levels of the CPF – Green, Amber, or Red ” for all players, coaches/managers, officials and spectators over the age of 12. 

In addition, the Board of School Sport NZ have looked at Sport New Zealand’s interpretation of the ‘Framework’ and confirmed that all School Sport NZ sanctioned events in Term 1 2022 (including the Term 1 holidays) will be restricted to fully vaccinated participants, aged 12 and over, only. Where practicable, this mandate extends to spectators attending also. This decision will be reviewed post Summer Tournament Week 2022 and take into account the latest Government advice. From a Craighead perspective this includes:

  • South Island Secondary Schools Athletics
  • South Island Secondary Schools Touch
  • Aoraki, Mainland and South Island Secondary School Volleyball Championships
  • South Island Secondary Schools Rowing and Maadi Cup
  • Summer Quad

Craighead also runs many education outside the classroom opportunities such as subject field trips and camps to support curriculum learning. The ability to participate in these may be governed by the requirements of the individual accommodation and activity providers. From Craighead’s perspective, should the school engage with an external provider we are testifying that all students and adults involved meet their requirements. The requirements of specific trips will be detailed by the respective staff in charge when communicating with students and parents/caregivers during the permission process. If students are unable to meet the requirements of external providers and are unable to attend curriculum related events, then alternative arrangements will be made to ensure that curriculum objectives are met. Further information and clarification surrounding this will come with a public health announcement on February 4.

It is suggested therefore that if students have been vaccinated, they have evidence in the form of the vaccine passport that can be downloaded to their device or printed onto a card and carried with them. For further information you can go to https://mycovidrecord.health.nz/ . For ease you may decide that you wish to share this evidence with the school and can do so by clicking on this link. In order to comply with venue requirements students may be asked to confirm their vaccination status by the teacher in charge of an activity prior to entry/ start of a season to ascertain whether the entry of a team may be compromised or viable. This will be a verbal conversation and no record of vaccination will be kept. Should evidence be required as a condition of entry into a venue and a participant be unable to provide such evidence, then they will be unable to participate.

The Ministry of Education has some helpful information on their Parents and Whānau website to support your student to get back to school. There is also a very important reminder about how you can take care of yourself.  While this might all feel a little overwhelming at times, we know that all these measures will help our students return to school, reconnect with whānau and friends and do what they enjoy. 

We are also here to help. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or need help in any way through Joanne Grace ( gracejo@craighead.school.nz) or your student’s Whānau teacher or Year Level Dean.

You can also prepare for COVID-19, making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. This will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed. Find out more here:

We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person.  We will then quickly advise those contacts of what they need to do. Only if the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education advises to do so, would we consider closing a physical onsite school and moving to distance learning for everyone. At Red we will keep everyone learning onsite for as long as we can. Please make sure your contact details we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed. 

Craighead thanks you for your patience in these ever changing circumstances and will do its best to keep you informed of any requirements.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at jonesan@craighead.school.nz .

Kind regards/ Pā atawhai

Andrew Jones

Assistant Principal