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Updates Student Wellbeing Online Learning – Students Online Learning – Parents


Thursday 27th January

Omicron Guidelines for Students & Whānau

Under RED of the COVID Protection Framework (CPF), Nelson College remains open for onsite (face-to-face) learning.  However, many things will change to follow government and Ministry of Education (MOE) guidelines.  We’re still working through many of these, but below are our initial guidelines and changes for students and whānau.

Face coverings
All students must wear face coverings when inside at school when we are at RED.  Public health advice is that an appropriate face covering will fit snugly and seal well around facial contours. This can include single use, disposable masks (medical masks) and re-usable fabric masks with three layers.

Don’t worry if you don’t have these specific types of face coverings, as public health experts also say that any face covering is better than no face covering.  The Unite Against COVID-19 website also has information on how to make a face covering.

For those of you with children who might be reluctant to wear a face covering, there is some helpful advice from Michigan Health, including using simple, specific explanations about why they need to wear a face covering, adults being the role models, providing small rewards for wearing them, bringing face coverings into play such as drawing face coverings on characters in colouring books, or letting them choose/make the mask.

If your child requires an exemption, please contact his Dean to discuss this.  Students with an exemption must wear a pass on a lanyard while indoors.

Vaccination for five- to 11-year-olds
Vaccination including a booster shot, remains an important tool to help prevent the most serious harm from the COVID-19 virus. If children and young adults who have been vaccinated do develop COVID-19, they are far less likely to get seriously ill and less likely to transmit the virus to others.

The free 5-11 vaccination programme is now underway and more than 100,000 children in New Zealand have had their first dose.  There is some helpful information available to support you on the Unite Against COVID-19 website including How to book a vaccine for your 5 – 11 year old and some great videos on the Kids Health page that can support you to talk to your tamariki about the COVID-19 vaccine.

Events and activities
Large hui and gatherings especially when indoors continue to be one of the riskier activities we can undertake.  The MOE has advised schools and kura against running these.  We’ve therefore adjusted our first week calendar.  For example, we will run smaller mihi whakatau rather than a full pōwhiri for new students.

Students should still come to school as per our start up dates and times.  However, should it be raining on Tuesday 1st February, we may need to finish the day early.  A summary of dates and times for next week are as follows:

  • Mon 31st Jan Nelson Anniversary
  • Tue 1st Feb Year 9 Orientation Day
                                                    … 8.45am              Y9 students meet outside Hall to be taken to homeroom
    … 2.00pm              end of day (good weather)
    … 1.00pm              end of day (wet weather … check our website on Tuesday)
  • Wed 2nd Feb All students at school
                                                    … see start times on school website.
    … students go straight to homeroom, or Crush Hall if unsure where to go
  • Thu 3rd Feb 1st full day
                                                    … Monday timetable, students start in homeroom at 8.45am

We will advise changes to other upcoming calendar events next week.

School Canteen
The school canteen will remain open under RED.

Managing cases in our school
We have a good contact tracing system in place so that if there is a confirmed case who has been at school while infectious, we can quickly identify who was a close contact of that person.  We will then quickly advise those contacts of what they need to do.  Please make sure your contact details we have on file are up to date, so we can get in touch with you if needed.

It is possible that an outbreak of Omicron could force the school to close our physical on-site school and move to distance learning for everyone.  We will work closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) or the MOE around this. At RED we will keep everyone learning onsite for as long as we can.

Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell
We ask students who are feeling unwell for any reason to stay at home in the first instance until they are feeling better.  We encourage each student to have a ‘buddy’ for each class,so that if your son is away for any reason, he has someone to catch up on notes, resources, etc

Preparing for COVID-19
You can also prepare for COVID-19, making sure you and your household have a plan and know what to do. This will mean your whānau and community can help each other if needed. Find out more here:


Self-isolating at home because of COVID-19
Many people will be able to manage self-isolation with help from friends and whānau, but there is help available if you need it – both with health support and access to food and other essentials.

If you know anyone in your community affected by COVID-19 and who may need help, such as food and other financial assistance, Work and Income has a range of supports available for individuals, families, employers and self-employed people affected by COVID-19.


Work and Income support
The beginning of the year can be a tough time for parents who are faced with many costs and it is important you are aware of what assistance you may be able to get from Work and Income. These are available to people on a low income as well as those on a benefit.  Check what you might get here

Use the links above or call 0800 559 009 to find out more.  MoneyTalks can assist with free budgeting and debt help.  You can also contact your local community provider. Please find more information here.


Sunday 23rd January

The Prime Minister has announced that at midnight tonight, all of New Zealand will move to RED under the Covid Protection Framework, otherwise known as the Traffic Light framework.

Schools and kura remain open under RED, however, with stricter health and safety guidelines.  Attached is our COVID Protection Framework in RED


Thursday 1st December

You may have heard that everyone in Aotearoa will move to the new COVID-19 Traffic Light Framework on Friday 3rd December. We will move to Orange in Nelson (South Island).

Elimination and the alert levels have worked well, with New Zealand having the lowest numbers of cases and hospitalisations in the OECD. While controlled, Delta is in our communities and the Government’s strategy now focuses on minimising its impact.

With 85% of eligible New Zealanders now fully vaccinated, and by mid-December it is expected to be approximately 90%, the Government has decided to have shift its COVID strategy while continuing to protect New Zealanders.

This means that we don’t have to change the way we are operating classes this year and all students can continue to attend school on-site.

For next year, we can confirm that everyone will be on-site for learning from the start of the school year, regardless of what setting under the new Traffic Light Framework we will be in. This is good news and means we can plan for a great 2022.

Health measures in place at school

This year and next, health, safety and wellbeing will continue to be a priority for us and the same public health measures you are very familiar with will remain in place:

  • good hygiene and cleaning
  • contact tracing systems in place
  • vaccination requirements for workers (paid and unpaid)
  • if you are sick, you must stay home and get tested
  • good ventilation.

If the Nelson region goes to Red at any stage:

  • face coverings will be required at school when indoors for students and staff
  • we will ask that only essential visitors come onsite.

With all these measures in place, public health has confirmed the risk of infection remains low when at school, with households continuing to be where COVID-19 is spreading the most. As noted by Dr Caroline McElnay, Director of Public Health:

“Our experience in New Zealand and overseas with COVID-19 shows that it does not affect children and teens in the same way it does adults. Children and teens don’t become as unwell if they do get infected, and they don’t tend to pass the virus on so much as adults when in a classroom setting.

 Compared to other places, schools and early learning services are not environments where we have seen significant spread of COVID-19. Household members and work colleagues who are in close contact with people with COVID-19, are the most common sources of transmission.”

However, if we do have someone confirmed with COVID-19 in our school, we will work with education and health authorities to manage this and will contact you as soon as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about the framework visit COVID-19 Protection Framework.


Tuesday 7th September

As announced by the Prime Minister yesterday afternoon, Nelson College will open for face-to-face learning under Alert Level 2 on Thursday 9th September.

  • SCHOOL WILL START AT 8.45am ON THURSDAY.  Students are to go immediately to homeroom and then to other classes through the day.
  • THERE WILL BE NO ONLINE LEARNING ON WEDNESDAY 8th SEPTEMBER.  To support our preparation for Thursday, staff come into college tomorrow to prepare their classrooms and lessons.

The goal of Alert Level 2 is to protect ourselves and each other, and eliminate COVID-19.  With this in mind, the following guidelines will be observed:


  • visitors (including parents) to the school must record their visit via the NZ COVID Tracer app, or signing in.  This must be done at the front entrance to the school.
  • please don’t enter the school via other entrances.
  • staff and students are not required to track their coming to school, as our attendance systems will record this.
  • students may not leave school grounds during the day unless they are sick or have a pre-scheduled appointment.  This includes Year 13 students and other students who may have study classes.

Good Hygiene

  • it’s important to use basic hygiene measures, including washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow.
  • the college will provide hand sanitizer for staff and students, which students are encouraged to use as they enter and leave classrooms.


  • the Government recommends masks, but they are not mandated
  • if students wish to wear a mask, we request that it is a mask (not a bandana or scarf) and is appropriate for school (no offensive images or words)
  • students must wear masks on public transport.  We’re waiting on MOE advice for school buses.

If you’re unwell

  • under Alert Level 2, all students and staff are required to be at school
  • if a student is feeling unwell, he should remain at home.
  • we will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms
  • call Healthline for free (0800 358 5453) or your GP if you have any questions or concerns

We encourage whānau to follow public health advice regarding vaccinations, which are now available for 12-15 year olds.

For more information about the public health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the Covid-19 website:

Thank you for your ongoing support.  I look forward to seeing your son at 8:40am on Thursday.


Monday 30th August

The Ministry of Education has clarified that schooling at level 3 begins on Wednesday 1st September. Current Ministry of Education guidelines state:

  1. The college will open from Wednesday 1 September for pre-registered year 7-10 students without appropriate supervision within an extended bubble.
  2. Years 11-13 students are required to study from home unless there are special circumstances. These must be discussed in advance. Please contact Mr McLaren ( if this affects you.
  3. At Alert Level 3, you legally must stay within your household bubble unless for essential personal movement including going to work and going to school.
  4. As the Prime Minister noted on Friday, schools are essentially closed at Alert Level 3 with the exception of those few children whose parents and carers must go to work at Alert Level 3, and there is no appropriate care at home.
  5. For students that absolutely must come to school they will be working on supervised online study. Students must bring their own device, lunch and drink bottle.
  6. Face coverings are not required, however, remain a personal choice for students and staff.

To enrol for Level 3 at Nelson College please follow this link:

Registrations close at 2.00pm on Tuesday 31st August. Don’t complete this link if your child can stay at home. Parents of Preparatory students don’t need to complete this form as you’ve already contacted Mr Nott.

Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll contact whānau/caregivers with information for Wednesday. Please be aware that the canteen will be closed and school buses are not currently running.

All our usual safety precautions for Alert Level 3 will be in place which include following all the recommendations from the public health experts. We’ll regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces, encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cover their coughs and sneezes, and keep everyone physically distanced from others as much as possible (1 metre inside and two metres outside).

It’s currently difficult to cater for students that require close supervision from a Learning Assistant (Teacher Aide). This is due to physical distancing requirements. If you are not able to supervise your child please contact Mr Aberhart ( so that arrangements can be made.

Our contact tracing systems will be in place, which includes our attendance register and visitor register, and we will be limiting staff onsite with the majority of our team working from home.

You can also assist everyone’s safety by keeping your child at home if they are feeling unwell and please do contact your GP or Healthline, to seek advice about getting tested.

While we appreciate how difficult it is trying to work from home as well as support your child’s learning, please keep your child at home unless they are under 14 and you are an essential worker.

Thank you for your support.

Friday 27th August

1. Lockdown Update
The Prime Minister has announced that Nelson (i.e. south of Auckland) goes to Level 3 on Wednesday. The timing may differ for schools, as the MOE has previously indicated that there will be an extra day or 2 at level 4 for schools to prepare. We’ll update you as soon as we know more. The key message is that it’s online learning next week.

2. Online Timetable
We’ve updated the timetable for next week. Two changes … Period 1 on Monday is at 9.00am (we didn’t have that this week) and Period 5 on Wednesday disappears. Next week we’ll start tracking student engagement and want to use Wednesday afternoon to connect with students and whānau struggling to engage.

3. Student Wellbeing
Please contact us if you have any concerns about your son’s wellbeing, or if you possibly know of another family who are struggling. Email your son’s Dean or one of our Guidance Counsellors and we can follow up. There are also a number of online organisations whom who can email, phone or text. These are on our college website under COVID UPDATES\student wellbeing.

4. Equity Devices and Student Resources
We’ve been sharing devices and printed resources to students who need them. Please contact us via you son’s Dean if you know of someone who needs support.

I hope the weather improves for the weekend and that you get a chance to relax.

Ngā manaakitanga,

Tuesday 24th August

Thanks again to everyone’s support for our students learning online at Nelson College. Just one item today.

1. School Exams
We’ve decided to postpone the ‘Derived Grades’ exams from week 6 to week 8, with week 9 as a further backup. We’ll continue to review this as we get more information from the Government/Ministry.

Kia pai tō rā … have a great day.

Tuesday 24th August

Two days in, online lessons appear to be going well with teachers connecting with students via MS Teams. Thanks to all students and whānau for your support.

1. Lockdown Update
With the Prime Minister’s announcement last night, we will be teaching online for the rest of this week, and expect to do likewise though next week in Alert Level 4 or 3. However, we’ll wait for MOE advice on Friday before making any definite calls.

2. Learning Support
With the expectation that the lockdown will continue into next week, we’ve been working to get devices and resources to students who need these. Please contact your child’s Dean if he needs support, or if you know of another family who we can support. The Dean’s contact details are on the college website.

3. Online Learning
The majority of students are engaging very positively with our online lessons and distance learning. As always, we appreciate you talking with your son about appropriate behaviour online.

4. Student Wellbeing
We’re mindful that our students live in a range of different situations and circumstances. We have ways of supporting students and whānau, so if you know of anyone who needs support around their wellbeing, contact a Dean or Guidance Counsellor at school.

5. School Exams
We’ve been talking today about how we might do these. We’ll get information out to students tomorrow.

Thanks for your ongoing support through this lockdown. I will be in touch later this week when we know more about the Government’s plans.

Monday 23rd August

1. Online Learning
Full online learning is under way today. Your son should be in touch with his teachers by now. We’re posted more information on our college website under ‘COVID UPDATES’. Thank you for your support of your son(s) and his (their) learning. Please contact our staff if you have any questions or need support.

2. Course Selection
Course selection has been extended for one week through to Friday 3rd September. Mr Hore will email whānau today with more information.

3. Tournament Week
Unfortunately tournament week has been cancelled. This is a major blow for the students who’ve been building up to this. Thanks to everyone who has supported our teams through the year and has assisted with the planning for tournaments. Our sports staff are working through the details now and will be in touch with students and whānau.

4. 1st XV
At this stage, the final is postponed to Saturday 28th August. However, this date is looking very unlikely. The decision sits with the competition organisers who’re liaising with our sports staff and Christ’s College. We will keep you updated.

Friday 20th August

1. Current Situation
The Prime Minister has announced that our region remains at Alert Level 4 until midnight on Tuesday at the earliest. Based on this, we expect to provide online learning all of next week. Like everyone else, we will review our plans when we hear more on Monday or Tuesday.

2. Online Learning
We’ve posted a copy of the online timetable on the school website. Go to ‘COVID – Online Learning’ under ‘2020 COVID Updates’ in the top menu. Staff will contact students by email or MS Teams with work for them to do, and a plan for any face-to-face classes by MS Teams.

3. School Exams
These are still planned for week 6. If this isn’t possible, the exams will be postponed by a week. We will continue to update this as we hear more from the Government.

4. Course Selection
We have pushed out the date for students to confirm their 2022 course selection by one week. This information is now due by Friday 3rd September. You can do this online. Mr Hore will be in touch on Monday with a reminder about how to access our online system. Unfortunately it won’t be possible to reschedule a Course Selection evening. Instead I encourage you to contact teachers in charge of subjects by emails with any questions you have. This information is available on Schoolpoint via the school’s webisite. Mr Hore will contact you on Monday with instructions of how to do this.

5. Sports / Tournament Week
Very sadly, we now expect this to be cancelled. We’re awaiting official confirmation and will let you know when we do. I’ll say more to this when we have received a final decision.

6. Student Wellbeing
Please contact our Deans or Guidance Counsellors if you have any concerns about your son – his learning or his wellbeing. Their contact details are on our website. Alternatively there are many sites that you or he can access online or by text. These are also available on our website.

Thursday 19th August

1. Current Situation
There is no change at this stage. We remain closed for on-site learning under Alert Level 4.

2. Online Learning
It looks increasingly likely that we’ll be in lockdown next week (though have no official confirmation of that). Our Leadership Team and staff continue to prepare for online learning starting next week.

3. Access to Resources at School
We expect the MOE to provide us with guidelines soon (today?) about being able to access school to get devices and other resources, and to be able to distribute resources to students if needed. We’ll let you know when we know more.

4. NCEA Assessments / School Exams
Again, we’re holding off on making any further decisions until we know more.

5. Sports / Tournament Week
No update.

6. Student Wellbeing
We’re aware that lockdowns can be challenging for our young people, especially with the uncertainty that they bring. We’ve posted some general information and contact details for students and whānau on our website under the COVID-19 Updates link. You or your son are welcome to contact our Deans or Guidance Counsellors by email. Their contact details are on our website.

Wednesday 18th August (10.00am)

  1. Current Situation
    Nelson College is currently closed for face-to-face learning until Friday midnight. We have no further information with regard to expected changes.
  2. Online Learning
    We are currently working on the assumption that we will be closed next week and are planning for full online learning starting next week. However, several teachers may already have work (e.g. assessments) that students are working on. They will be in touch with students with regard to this.
  3. Access to Resources at School
    The Government has been explicit that schools may not allow teachers or students into school to pick up resources for the first 24 hours of the lockdown. Nor may we deliver devices or resources. The Government will continue to review this decision, especially in light of the late and sudden notice of the lockdown.
  4. NCEA Assessments / School Exams
    NCEA assessments planned for this week (18 – 20 August) will be postponed. Teachers will advise students when they know more. At this stage, we’re still planning for the school (derived grades) exams to take place in two weeks time, i.e. August 30th – September 3. We will keep you informed about this.
  5. Sports / Tournament Week
    Any sports this week are currently postponed. No decision has been made with regard to Tournament Week (August 30 – September 3) until more information is available from the Government.

Tuesday 17th August (8.10pm)

  1. Current Situation
    Nelson moves into Level 4 at 11.59pm tonight.  At this stage this is until 11.59pm on Friday.  All students are to remain home until then.  We have no information beyond this.  At this stage we’re hoping that students can return next week, but are preparing for an extended lockdown (at Level 4 or 3).
  2. School Events (This Week)
    All school events this week are postponed.  Events this week include:… subject selection evening (Thursday night)
    … school trips (e.g. 12 OED)
    … rugby games (including 1st XV on Saturday)
    … boarding interviews & concert
    … all student group practices/rehearsals
    … other school events (e.g. senior drama production)
  3. Boarders
    All domestic Boarders must return home immediately.  We have already communicated directly with Boarding parents.  International students remain in Nelson, either in our hostels or with their homestay family.
  4. NCEA Assessments
    NCEA assessments planned for this week will be postponed.  Teachers will keep students updated about this.
  5. Online Learning
    As per last year, we will use MS Teams for online learning.  We have advised staff to be ready to teach online by Monday 23rd August in case we’re in still in level 3 or 4.   Some students will already have work (e.g. assessments, reading, etc) that they can carry on with immediately.  Please discuss this with your son.
  6. Updates
    We will update you regularly by email and via the school website.  The Leadership Team is meeting tomorrow morning.  We will be in touch after that.
  7. Student Wellbeing
    We’re aware that these circumstances affect students differently.  We will be in touch as soon as possible for systems to support students while at home.

Thanks in advance for your support.  Together we will get through this and support our ākonga/students in their learning and wellbeing.  Take care.  Look after you and your whānau’s wellbeing.