We’re doing our final prep and looking forward to seeing most of you on Monday! In this article I’ll cover health and safety and how it will impact you, our new cafe, NCEA changes, and some thanks.

Kia ora koutou

On Monday 18 May, Grey High will open our doors for the first time in over 7 weeks. We’ll be working to Covid-19 Alert Level 2 rules, NOT business as usual.

This week, our staff have been getting ready by checking we all understand the new health and safety requirements, looking for ways we can do the best for our students from next week, and getting the school site ready.

Our Health and Safety Plan is updated and is linked here. Please read it if you can. The biggest routines to get used to are:

  • No person with a contagious respiratory illness may enter the school site (if you’re sick, stay at home!)

  • Staff and students will be allowed to access school by normal means and at normal times. Visitors will need to enter through atrium to office, sign in and out, agree to site H&S and complete a contact register.

  • Hygiene routines will be taught and prioritised: no spitting or dropping tissues; hand sanitise on entry to and exit from the school and on entry to and exit from each teaching space; wash hands with soap and dry hands before leaving toilets; contactless greetings; sneeze/cough into elbow; where sneezing/coughing contacts a shared surface this surface will be disinfected promptly; maintain as much physical distance as is practical (1m is a guide); walk to left and no running in corridors; water fountains not to be used; no sharing of bottles or other touch items which go close to the mouth/nose eg phones.

  • Lunch passes are suspended (exceptions below) for the duration of CV19AL2 meaning all students stay onsite (increased risk of transmission if students come and go). Passes to go home will continue. Year 13 students may sign out to work from home. Professional appointments (eg PHO, dentist) during school day are allowed (sign out at Student Office)

  • If any person on site starts to show signs of illness, they should carefully make their way to the office for assessment and exiting the building. Anyone not complying can be directed to comply and may be directed home by the principal.

  • School day: mentor classes held daily at 8.40am; interval extended and lunch shortened with Year 9 released 10 min early from class p2 at teacher discretion

  • Teachers will adapt learning plans, including teaching spaces, to reduce potential transmission of CV19 eg avoiding close face to face exposure, increased distance for singing, adapted sports, increased washing

  • Students in uniform to promote normality with agreed approach by staff to support students’ mental health

  • Whole school assemblies will not be held; the school ball and production have been postponed, overnight trips will require additional planning

  • Emergency evacuation drills will not be held but emergency evacuation should be as normal if required.

  • Internal doors for high use areas will be left open to reduce touching; classrooms generally open to increase spacing at breaks.

  • Additional cleaning staff employed to clean student kitchen and cafe, staffroom and staff toilets plus sports equipment during the day.

  • External hire of school facilities will be suspended until further notice (expect 25 May update).

Basically, we are very excited to see everyone but it is not back to business as usual.

At last we have a school cafe :) MummhG’s Kai will serve the food you love at a good price. See menu here

NCEA has been changed to reflect the extra pressures from Covid-19:

  • delay external NCEA examinations and New Zealand Scholarship examinations so they start on 16 November instead of 6 November, allowing another week for teaching, learning and internal assessment in Term 4
  • extend the submission date for subjects that require students to submit a portfolio, such as Design and Visual Communication, from 28 October to 12 November 2020, giving students more time to prepare
  • waive the requirement for NZQA verification of Level 1 and 2 Visual Arts portfolios, allowing students more time to complete their portfolios and teachers more time for marking.

NCEA examinations will now finish on 9 December 2020. An amended examination timetable is available on NZQA’s website.

My thanks go to our whole team, including you parents and whanau, who have done an amazing job during Alert levels 4 and 3. I’m going to mention our onsite teaching team for the last three weeks, and the students who’ve come every day: “Bubblicious“…they’ve done amazing work, developed a close bond and showed great commitment. 

See you soon. Mauri ora

Andy England, Principal