HBHS Headmaster's Message Tuesday, 2 November 2021
I write today, with genuine sadness, to explain changes we have had to make to our calendar for the rest of this term.
As you are very aware, Hamilton remains at Alert Level 3, and no time has been suggested for a move out of our current situation. Thus, we have reached a point where we have had to make some very difficult decisions, given that we are very unlikely to move back to a more normal environment in time for us to maintain our current programme.
I know that these decisions will bring disappointment to many, in a time where we have already lost so many opportunities to celebrate the year we have shared. However, we must always remember what matters most - the well-being, happiness and success of our young men. Our focus remains on ensuring that each young man finishes the year in a positive way, proud of his efforts and achievements.
Today, we have confirmed the following changes for Term 4:
These events have been cancelled:
- Year 9 Activities and Year 10 Camps (Week 8). We will provide further information on proposed alternative programmes in the days ahead.
- Service Work Day (22 Nov)
- Grandparents morning (30 Nov)
The following are changes or confirmations:
- The Junior Exams have been postponed (the revised date will be determined by the return date of our Junior students)
- MOE Teacher Only Day: This has been moved to Friday, November 12. We have made this change, in order to minimise disruption to our Year 9 and 10 classes, if they are able to return to school on the following week. Our NCEA students will begin study leave on this day, and as it is an MOE approved day, no Year 9 or 10 online classes will occur
- Year 8 Testing for our new students has been moved to 26 November.
- Year 8 Elite Sports Testing remains on the calendar on 19 November at this stage.
End of Year Award Ceremonies:
Monday, November 8 Period 1 Maori and Pasifika Award winners only
Tuesday, November 9 Period 2 Music and Arts Award winners only
Wednesday, November 10 Period 3 Sports Award winners only
Senior Prizegiving - Thursday, November 11
Period 1 - Year 11 Prize winners only (all other boys in normal classes)
Period 2 - Year 12 Prize winners only (all other boys in normal classes)
Period 3 - Year 13 Prize winners only (all other boys in normal classes until the bell rings)
When the bell rings, at approximately 12, all students will move to Tutor Groups to listen to the Head Boy's leaving speech, via Zoom, followed by the Headmaster's speech. Year 13's will then be presented with their leavers folder by their Tutor Group teacher.
As parents and families will, sadly, not be able to attend, we will ensure each student receiving recognition at each of these ceremonies will be photographed, and these photographs will be made available after the events.
School will finish, for the Senior school, at approximately 12.30pm. No Year 9 or 10 online classes will operate on this day.
Study leave will begin on Friday, 12th November. However, in the following week, students are welcome, and encouraged, to attend study and revision groups, and Scholarship tutorials, as arranged by their teachers.
I will continue to update you as our situation becomes clearer. Thank you so much for your support and care through these challenging times. We feel very fortunate to be sharing these days with our Senior school, and ALP Year 10 students.
I have been so impressed by our students, as they make the most of the time we have together, and the resilience they show in dealing with the changes we face.
And I hope that we are able to welcome the rest of our school whanau “back to school” very soon. It feels strange without our Year 9s and 10s, and their exuberance and enthusiasm, and so different without your presence as parents in the school.
HBHS Headmaster's Message Tuesday, 26 October 2021
This morning we welcomed our Year 11, 12, and 13 students back to school, as we return to face-to-face teaching for our senior school. I take this opportunity to thank our staff, for the very professional and committed response to the need to be COVID tested, for the smooth transition back to classroom teaching for our senior students, and for working hard to ensure that the school is as safe as possible.
I thank you, also, for your support of the school and of your son. Once again, I am so proud of our families, who have met all expectations, and of our students, who have returned with enthusiasm, adjusting quickly to the rules surrounding mask-wearing and physical distancing. As we have so few days left with our senior students, it has been reassuring, as I have walked around the school this morning, to see classes settled and industrious, and happy.
On Sunday, we were notified by the Ministry of Education of a change to the rules regarding students who currently live in an Alert Level 2 area. From today, these students are able to cross the alert level boundary to attend school. The rationale for this change is that the school environment, with current restrictions in place, is low risk. Thus we are now able to have all students in the senior school attend, with the exception of those who are immunocompromised or live with someone in this situation.
The Ministry of Education also informed schools on Sunday that Year 10 students taking NCEA L1 subjects are likewise now eligible to return to school in order to prepare for external examinations. To manage this return safely, and ensure that we have appropriate staffing in place onsite, we have decided that this group of students will return to face-to-face teaching at school from next Monday, 1 November. Separate communication, with details of this process, will be sent to this group of ALP students on Thursday. We feel very fortunate to be in this position; I look forward to welcoming all our other Year 9 and 10 students back as quickly as possible, too.
All the very best in the days ahead, as we work, together, to ensure that our very special young men can finish their academic year positively, and with pride in their achievements.
Ngaa mihi nui,
Notice from the School Shop
BUSIT services for students returning to school on Tuesday 26 October
Kia ora koutou
This is a courtesy email to let you know that all BUSIT school assist services will return on Tuesday, 26 October to coincide with Year 11-13 students able to return to kura grounds.
For further information, please refer to our ‘Level 3 info page’ on our website: https://busit.co.nz/bus-alerts/alert/137
We would appreciate if you could continue to encourage students to follow the public transport health guidelines:
- Wear a mask on board, while waiting for the bus at stops and at the Transport Centre.
- Scan the QR code on board every time you travel.
- Board the bus via the rear door - except at the Transport Centre, or if you need the ramp for mobility issues.
- Tag on and off the bus with your registered Bee Card. Normal fares apply. If your Bee Card isn't registered, please call 0800 205 305 or visit beecard.co.nz to register it - this supports contact tracing.
- Do not travel if you are sick.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
HBHS Headmaster's Message Friday, 22 October 2021
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
- 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, email@example.com 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, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.