Tena koutou katoa. Nga mihi atawhai nui.
Red, orange, green. No more Levels – we’re now moving to the traffic light system. And, as a school in Auckland, we are going to be in Red by the end of the week. For practical reasons, the MOE is advising that schools in the red zone continue with the Level 3 requirements until the new year.
Their advice is that we will be starting the school year still on the red light so that means masks must still be worn indoors and on school and public transport; no large gatherings; no non-essential visitors onsite and non-curriculum related events are to be limited, and only go ahead with vaccination certificates. So, nothing much will be changing for us in the new year.
This will impact on our start of the year activities. For our new students, they will have to be dropped at the gate and parents won’t be able to come onto the grounds. Our Powhiri will have to be held outdoors and, again, no parents will be able to attend. Our welcome Mass in Week 2 will be student only and be organised in a different way. All the other Health and Safety regulations will still be applied, including mask wearing indoors.
What is reassuring is that schools will be open at all colours of the traffic lights. If there was a COVID case in our school community, we may have to move to online learning for a brief 48 to 72 hours but we won’t have to do online learning for extended periods – or that’s the wisdom from this week! As we all know, everything and I mean everything, is subject to change.
Meantime, we continue at Level 3.2 until the end of the school year. Our onsite students are enjoying their activities week. Yesterday, I visited the Year 10 Retreat rooms to see Advent calendars being made, hope boxes being decorated and Advent cards being designed. It was inspiring to see the many gifts and talents of our staff and students on display.
“In this season of Advent, we are called to expand the horizons of our hearts, to be amazed by the life which presents itself each day with newness. In order to do this, we must learn to not depend on our own certainties, on our own established strategies, because the Lord comes at a time that we do not imagine. He comes to bring us into a more beautiful and grand dimension.” Pope Francis, Angelus, 27th November 2016