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COVID-19 Update – 23 March 2020

Kia Ora koutou, Talofa Lava

As you are aware this afternoon the government announced the move to place New Zealand at alert level 3. After 48 hours New Zealand will move to alert level 4.

As a result of this announcement schools will close from tomorrow except to the children of essential workers such as doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers and police. This will be temporary, and school will close entirely from midnight Wednesday.

At St Thomas of Canterbury College, staff will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday to care for only children of essential workers. All other students are asked to remain at home.

At this time there is a lot of information that needs further clarification and more specific answers, so it is important for us to only give you the information that we know to be true and correct. When we have more specific information and guidance from the Ministry of Education we will be prompt around giving this to you.

What we currently know:

· School is closed tomorrow except to the children of essential workers. Staff will be onsite Tuesday and Wednesday for these children only.

· All other children are asked to stay at home.

· This closure will be in place for 4 weeks at this stage.

· School holidays will be brought forward, we are waiting for further information from the Ministry of Education around the exact dates for this.

· Online learning will be made available to our young men after the holiday period has been confirmed.

We understand that this situation presents uncertainty and anxiety moving forward. We ask that you prioritise your families at this time and ensure their well-being takes precedence. We strongly encourage you to take the advice of the government around social interactions and isolation.

As we receive confirmed information and further guidance, we will communicate this with you in as much detail as possible. For now, talk with your young men about this situation and engage with only facts.

We will confirm with you when online learning will be available to your young men to ensure they have the opportunity to continue their learning. It does seem to appear that school holidays will be moved forward but this will be confirmed when we hear.

Stay safe, secure and look after each other.

Steve Hart

Principal