Whānau Update March 27th 2022

27 March, 2022

Kia ora koutou

Just a quick update today around how we are managing our Covid case numbers and attendance. 

Firstly, I am aware that we have a group of parents who are using the parent facebook page to organise meal support for isolating families if needed. Thank you very much to all those families who are helping out with this. It is a generous effort and I know that people appreciate it. 

Thank you to all our whānau for your continued support. I would like to acknowledge Mel Fisk’s Home Base who stayed off site last week to break the within-school transmission that seemed to be occurring in their class. We are looking forward to seeing you back on site as you leave isolation and come back to school this week. Thank you also to all the whānau who are keeping their children at home if they become unwell and for communicating with the school. 

Case Numbers

On Thursday the Ministry of Education informed Principals that there have been 15270 positive cases within schools and early childhood centres in the Canterbury / Chatham Islands area. 1328 of those cases have been staff, with 947 teachers. Overall 13.9% of the 

Canterbury / Chatham Island’s student body has tested positive. 

Since I last updated you on Friday 18 March we have had 52 students test positive. 

We also had 3 staff members test positive earlier in the week, but no new staff cases since Tuesday. 

Year Level Number of Cases


At Ao Tawhiti our on-site attendance over the last week increased from 60% to 64%, as students return from isolation and being unwell. 

We had a high staff absence rate last week as a number of staff had to isolate due to being a household contact. This could continue this week so please do expect your child to be working with relief teachers as well as their normal Learning Advisors.

The updated guidelines around isolation are below. 

Positive covid case – isolate for seven days from the onset of symptoms or positive test. Don’t come back to school until symptom free for 24 hours after the seven days. 

No need to isolate again for 90 days after Covid infection – even if someone in the household gets covid. 

Household contact – isolate for seven days from the onset of household contact’s symptoms or positive test. RAT test on day 3 and day 7. If tests are negative and the household contact is symptom free then they can return to school on day 8. 

If as a household contact, the person has finished their period of seven days isolation they don’t need to return to isolation if a new case is identified in the household. 

However – this only applies for ten days following the end of isolation. If there is a new confirmed case in a household ten days after leaving isolation – then that person must start a new period of seven days isolation. 

Flow Charts to explain isolation rules

Here is the link for the learning from home packs  Learning from home packs

We also have hard packs from the Ministry of Education and they are being stored at reception for parents to pick up. Thank you to Jean Serjeant for donating all these resources to the school. 

RAT Tests

We are still waiting for our RAT tests to arrive and are expecting them early this week. These tests are for staff and students who become symptomatic. If your child becomes symptomatic during the school day we will ring home and ask you to collect your child. We will give you RAT tests to take home with you. We will not be administering RAT tests at school. We also continue to have bulk quantities of masks, including the smaller masks for younger children. 

Remember we now have a dedicated email address for any Covid related questions. Covid@aotawhiti.school.nz

Be in touch with me, or your Home Base Learning Advisor if you have any questions or need extra support. 

Take care 

Ngā mihi nui