HBHS Headmaster's Message Friday, 22 October 2021

Tena koutou katoa e te whanau
I hope that the week has been calm and successful for you all, as we adjust to the very different situations in which we find ourselves through these stressful times.
Thank you for your patience, as we establish our protocols for the return to school of our Year 11-13 students, and focus on the continuation of teaching and learning for our Year 9s and 10s. Much of my email this afternoon relates to our Senior school and their return on Tuesday.  However, please be reassured that we are very aware of the need to support our Year 9 and 10 young men as they prepare for their end of year assessments in only 3 weeks. Their needs are being taken into serious consideration in all of our decision making.
Thank you also for your emails; your questions and perspectives are very useful to us, as we attempt to balance what is best for all members of our community. I hope very much, that we will be able to return to Alert Level 2 in the near future, so that we can spend time together, as the whanau of the school, before the end of the year.
On Tuesday, our senior school returns to face to face teaching. Those senior students who have been in the Auckland region will return, and will have their school practice examinations, beginning on Tuesday. For all students, we have established protocols around their attendance at school, while we remain at Alert Level 3.
These include:
  • All students and staff must wear masks when they are indoors, at all times. This is prescribed by the Ministry. Students are expected to provide their own masks, and to wear them properly at all times they are inside. Students will be checked in tutor group each morning, and their mask is part of their mandatory uniform. Those without a mask may purchase one from the school shop for $1.00, or may be given one, from their tutor teacher, once only. This ruling on compulsory mask wearing is a mandate from the Government's Health order; thus the responsibility is on the student to provide a mask each day. 
  • Students will be asked to remain outside through all break times, and before and after school, to minimise the risk of infection, and all rooms will be ventilated as well as possible during all class time.
  • Any student who becomes unwell will be sent to our Health Centre and his caregiver will be contacted to collect him.
  • All staff will have had a negative COVID test within 5 days of returning to work, for the health and safety of our community. All students coming from Auckland will have had the same.
  • There will be no gatherings of students or staff while at this Alert Level. Assemblies will be held by Zoom only.
  • We continue to encourage good personal hygiene, and we appreciate your support in reinforcing this need.
  • The school shop will only be open to students.
  • No visitors are able to come on to the school site, including parents. If you have an emergency and need to come on site, please contact Mr Nick Power (npower@hbhs.school.nz) for permission to do so.
  • There are no sports activities, trainings or trials while we remain at Alert Level 3.
  • While we are at this alert level, we will allow dispensation for longer hair. We will not allow any inappropriate styles or any dye. This dispensation will continue for 5 days after we return to Level 2.
Other important information:
  • Year 10 ALP students taking NCEA L1 subjects. These students must remain at home, studying online. Ministry guidelines are clear, that no Year 10 students other than essential workers' children, can be on site. I apologise for this, but we are not able to change this requirement.
  • Sons of essential workers, including teachers, at Years 9 and 10 will maintain a separate programme next week, having separate interval and lunch breaks. Students in this category are asked to be at the school Library at 8.50am each morning. This is a change from the programme this week. If you would like your Year 9 or Year 10 son to join this group, please contact Mr Joel Baker, jbaker@hbhs.school.nz for further details, and to register your son's attendance.
  • School calendar and term programme. Please continue to check the most up to date school calendar, which is available on the website. Things are changing rapidly, as we receive new information, and so our calendar changes almost daily. 
  • Students in Alert Level 2 regions and those who are immunocompromised. Unfortunately, day students (those who are not boarders), who live in areas which remain at Alert Level 2 outside of the Alert level 3 boundary, will not be able to return next week. They will join those students who are immunocompromised, or have members of their household who are immunocompromised, in not being able to return to school. If your son is in either of these situations, please contact Dr Williams, dwilliams@hbhs.school.nz who is establishing a list of students for staff. Although senior classes will no longer be receiving teaching online, students who are unable to attend will be receiving regular contact and support from teachers.
  • On Tuesday, we will be sending a request for information regarding the Vaccination status of your son. Please return this to us as quickly as possible, as the Ministries of Health and Education require this data from me at the earliest opportunity.
We have spent the past few days preparing for the return to school of staff and students, and we look forward to seeing your son on Tuesday. It is so important that the opportunities of these final few weeks are maximised, for every student. Our staff will be onsite, teaching Seniors here and Years 9 and 10 online. We trust that it will be very temporary; the way to ensure that we can return to Level 2, is for us all to do our very best, all of the time. Working together, as a community, makes all of the difference!
I will continue to update you, as I receive further information.
In the meantime, I wish you a relaxed and very happy long weekend. And, as always, I thank you for your very real support of our world, and your understanding of the challenges we face.
Susan Hassall