Welcome back, everyone! We hope it has been a wonderful summer for your family. The staff at John McGlashan College are feeling refreshed and ready to go, and we are looking forward to welcoming the boys back to school. This year, we have moved into the new traffic light framework for all school activities and events. You will be familiar with Covid health measures by now, and we can assure you that we will be able to support all our students’ learning needs onsite at the Red setting.
Events and activities
Large meetings and gatherings held indoors hold the most risk of all the activities we undertake at school. Therefore, we have reviewed all our events for the upcoming term to ensure that we meet health guidelines. Further details will be available through the school calendar.
Good old fashioned fresh air remains the most important safety factor in minimising the risk of infection in our classrooms and learning spaces. We will also be receiving a CO2 monitor in the coming weeks to further support our ventilation plan.
Omicron and testing
We have seen the large numbers of cases overseas and are likely to see a significant increase in case numbers in Otago in the near future, more than previously experienced over the last two years. While Omicron is more transmissible than previous strains, it is predicted that most people who contract COVID-19 will have a mild to moderate illness and should be able to recover in their own homes. If you are symptomatic or need to be tested, you will be guided by the Ministry of Health.
Staff and students must wear a face covering when inside at school. Public health advice is that an appropriate mask should fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This includes single-use disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers.
Vaccination, including a booster shot, remains an important tool in helping to prevent the most serious harm from the COVID-19 virus. If people who have been vaccinated develop COVID-19, they are far less likely to become seriously ill and are less likely to transmit the virus to others.
Managing cases in our school
We have a comprehensive contact tracing system in place. If there is a confirmed case that has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify their close contacts and advise them of the appropriate action. Only if the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Education advises us to do so, would we consider closing the school and moving to distance learning for everyone. At the Red setting, we will maintain onsite learning for as long as possible.
While the situation might feel a little overwhelming at times, we know that these measures will help our boys return to school, enable them to reconnect with their friends and continue to learn in a settled environment.
We are here to help. Please get in touch if you have any concerns or need help in any way.