Term 1, Week 6, 2020 (Wednesday 11th March 2020)

He mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa - warm greetings to all.

Only 2 weeks to the fair!

Our Jars of Fun are looking a little sad at the moment with only 9 so far. We raised over $500 last year with this so please keep them coming in!

We are looking to borrow some clothing racks for our fair so the donated clothes can be displayed in all their finery. If you have some you are willing to lend us for the weekend of the fair, please let us know.

We are also after some gas cookers for one of our stalls. If you have one spare that you can lend us that would be appreciated. We don't need the gas attached!

Does anyone have any baskets that they can donate to our silent auction so we can package up some of the prizes? We are just after a couple of these.

We also have some stalls left that need helpers! Can you sell ice creams or help in the Bike Shed.

Email sarah@ridgway.school.nz if you can help with any of the above or you have any questions!

Learning Conferences - 31 March, 1 and 2 April - Event Code - dzpah

These conferences will be student led and are twenty minutes long. There will be a ten minute time slot for your child to show you their learning at the start of the conference and then another ten minutes with all the teachers in the whanau. If you are unable to book a time that suits, please email the kaitiaki teacher. These are on 31 March, 1 and 2nd April (Kaka also has a few available times on 30 March).

Early Finish on 31 March, 1 and 2 April

School will close at 2pm on those days. Although we ask that you arrange for your child to be picked up at 2pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we understand that there are times when this is not possible. Please fill out this form to indicate your intentions.

www.schoolinterviews.co.nz - Go to "Make a Booking". Put in the Event Code dzpah and follow the steps to book your child's appointment. Call the office if you don't have access to the internet. 049398771 and we will book a time for you.

Feeds to Seeds at Vogelmorn Bowling Club - Thursday 19 March 5-8pm

Come and join the Ridgway and local community to celebrate locally grown food from Ridgway School and cooked at Vogelmorn. Martin Anscombe and the Ridgway children have been growing vegetables for this event as partnership with the Vogelmorn crew. You can book here.

Feeds to Seeds Booking

Teacher Only Day Reminders

These are coming on Thursday 9 April and Friday 29 May.

Coronavirus - Precautions At Ridgway
Here at school we have employed an extra cleaner to clean door handles and light switches. Teachers are regularly cleaning the tables in their rooms. We are actively ensuring children wash their hands and follow good sneezing and coughing etiquette. Please reinforce this at home. We will pass on any information given to us by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health.


With four confirmed cases having links to schools we know there is some anxiety being expressed in school communities.

COVID-19 - the facts

Because COVID-19 is a new virus, it was always going to take time to understand how it is transmitted and who might be most impacted. While the scientists and health authorities have been quickly gathering and sharing the information they do have, there has been very unhelpful and inaccurate information shared about COVID-19, particularly through social media.

This misinformation has supported unreasonable levels of fear and worry in some parts of our communities, evidenced recently in New Zealand by some panic-buying of toilet paper, hand sanitiser and bottled water.

Scientists are working collectively and globally to quickly understand COVID-19. There has also been some significant research published recently by the World Health Organisation-China Joint Mission. So what we now know about COVID-19 is:

  • At this time the vast majority of people in New Zealand have no risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19

  • Children and young people under 18 account for only 2.4% of all reported cases of COVID-19 - this means we are unlikely to see widespread cases in schools and early learning services

  • New Zealand currently has very few cases of COVID-19 and no evidence of sustained person-to-person transmission in our communities

  • Although asymptomatic infection (people with no symptoms) has been reported, there is emerging evidence that this is rare and not a major driver in spreading the infection

  • Spread happens through coughing and sneezing by someone confirmed with COVID-19 - similar to the way that influenza spreads

  • "COVID-19 does not transmit as efficiently as influenza, from the data we have so far. With influenza, people who are infected but not yet sick are major drivers of transmission which does not appear to be the case for COVID-19" - Director General of World Health Organisation (WHO)

If someone is confirmed with COVID-19 infection:

  • 80% of confirmed cases of all ages have mild to moderate symptoms

  • 6.1% of all cases are treated as critical - most of these people have other health conditions

  • If a child or young person does get confirmed with the case, 97.5% will get mild to moderate symptoms only (0.2% critical)

  • Recovery time (median) from onset to recovery in mild cases is 2 weeks. For severe and critical cases it is 3-6 weeks

  • COVID-19 isn't easily transmitted - and in China research shows it is largely occurring in families (75% - 85% of clusters occur within families), not in the community

  • Again in China, early studies suggest that less than 10% of family members of confirmed cases, have been infected with COVID-19

  • The people most affected are those over 60 years of age, and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer

  • As with other illnesses such as flu, the highest mortality rate is in those over the age of 80

If we continue to get new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, the Ministry of Health is well-prepared through their pandemic plan.

  • The Ministry of Health is leading New Zealand's response to COVID-19. They are providing regular updates about COVID-19 through their website

  • If there is a potential impact on a school or early learning service, the Ministry of Education regional teams will work closely with Health to support the school or early learning service

  • For the vast majority of New Zealand and for all schools and early learning services we are still in a preventative stage

  • For three households and their close connections, Health is focused on supporting them to prevent further spread

  • Health is well prepared to move through the phases of their pandemic plan and there is strong and collective work happening across all government and sector agencies

  • Health advise that with continued vigilance, the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low.

Focus on prevention - the best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry thoroughly

  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

  • avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments

  • stay home when you are sick and seek medical attention

  • cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the rubbish

  • get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

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