Te Totara Primary School - Growing and Learning Together

Message to Te Totara Families Regarding Term 4

Return to School in Alert Level 3

Last Wednesday, our Government made the decision that we will be remaining in Alert Level 3 until 11:59 pm on Monday 18 October. They are hoping for a movement into Level 2 after that time, providing they are satisfied with how the virus containment is tracking.  An announcement will be made regarding this on Monday afternoon. 

Therefore, on Monday 18 October school will reopen for Term 4 with capacity for a very small number of students, as in previous Alert Level 3 times.

Unlike the other times we have been in this alert level, we do currently have active cases of Covid 19 Delta variant in Hamilton City and the wider Waikato. This is a time to be very strict with our guidelines and protocols and I will ensure that this occurs. 

The key message for you is under this Alert Level 3 if you can, you should keep your children at home. You should only physically send your child to school if you need to, due to there being no one at home who can supervise them. 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. 

We want to assure you that we will continue to support your child’s learning at home, in the way that we have been doing in previous Level 4 and 3 occasions.

If the decision on Monday afternoon is to move into Alert Level 2 at 11:59 pm on that day, then Te Totara will open for all learners on Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 8:55 am. We will be applying the same strict Alert Level 2 protocols as we had at the end of Term 3. As soon as that Alert Level change is indicated, I will be in touch with you all via our usual communication channels, reminding you all of our Level 2 protocols.

We have attached a diagram that may be useful to clarify the question of whether you should send your child to school in Alert Level 3.

To ensure the safety of those children and our Alert Level 3 staff who do come to school, we will be operating with strict enforcement of the following health and safety measures and Ministry of Education guidelines.

All staff onsite have been vaccinated and have had negative tests for Covid 19 in the days leading up to returning to school. This is a new requirement from the Ministry of Education, and I am delighted with the response of our ‘Alert Level 3 Bubble Staff’ in their positive and caring compliance with this directive.

Learning at school during Alert Level 3 will mean we have students in 'bubbles' within school of no more than 10 students, no intermixing of bubbles, physical distancing of 2 metres outside, 1 metre inside, staggered start times, staggered break times and end times. 

There will be no Before or Afterschool Care available. 

Your child may be being taught by a different teacher to the usual one, as some staff will still need to be working from home due to their own or a family member’s health needs. The education of the children at school will most likely mirror the types of activities that are provided for the students online. We might even use the TV channel to learn from time to time.

The first thing we need to know with a strong degree of certainty how many students would be at school so we can cater for the Health and Safety needs and the learning needs as well. The rest of the school would still have distance learning which we would be catering for, alongside the operation at school. 

We will be asking parents to respond to us with some specific information by 1pm on Sunday 17 October so we can plan effectively with known numbers. This is an important deadline for us.

We have set up a Google form that you are asked to fill in to enable us to plan for onsite supervision. You must complete this Google form to register your child/children. 

Alert Level 3 students - October 2021


The families we do not hear from, we will make the assumption that you are continuing to have your child learning at home. That is great. We will continue to prepare for your child’s learning by distance while we progress our planning for what Alert Level 3 will mean for our school. 

We will be in touch again soon to those families who register via the Google form above with further information just as we have in previous times.

As you have been doing so well, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have. We understand these are very challenging days.

If we keep doing what we need to as a community of care, then we will all be ‘growing and learning together’ again soon.

Thank you so much.

Nga mihi

Anne Fraser


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