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Term 2 Update

posted 2 May 2016, 02:40 by Julie Shawcross

Important notice to parents

Kia ora koutou,

I hope that you have had a good break and that you are ready for the next term. Some key work was carried out to restore our building over the holiday and I thought it would be useful to provide you with an update.

Heating

The majority of the work to reconnect the heating system was completed according to schedule. However, some leaks were found in unexpected areas and some of these have been difficult to fix. The current work should be completed by Tuesday unless further problems are encountered. We expect to have heaters working in the school on Wednesday. In the meantime students and staff are advised to wear warm clothing to the school if cold weather is expected.

School uniform is expected, but warm jackets can be worn over the uniform.

Internet

The Internet will be running across the whole school and there will be full access to staff and students. The Internet speed will unfortunately be quite a bit slower for a short while until the next stage of the repairs are carried out. We will have a timescale for the full upgrade later this week but we expect to be done fairly soon.

Bacterial and mould contamination in classrooms

After the previous samples taken from some classrooms we have carried out further tests in A and B wing and these have shown high levels of mould and bacteria, most likely caused by the water in the building after the fire. Some levels are very high. Fortunately, there are no class A (Harmful) moulds or bacteria that present a serious risk to health. The main concern is the existence of high levels of pseudomonas bacteria. These are commonly found outside in dirt and water. Most are harmless to humans. However, continuous exposure over a long period of time can result in allergic reactions and other side effects. The fact that there have not been any reported instances of allergic reactions or other effects in the school is a positive sign.

Whilst we are concerned about this situation it is actually far less of a problem than when students have infectious illnesses such as the various forms of flu.

In the first instance we will minimise use of the contaminated rooms as much as possible and ensure that everything is done to improve hygiene standards by having anti-bacterial hand wash in classrooms and not eating in the rooms etc.

We are by no means complacent about the situation and are seeking further advice on the situation. Current options being considered include a disinfectant regime, immediate removal and replacement of all carpets and getting some mobile classrooms onto the site so that we can close down A and B wing as soon as possible to undertake the best course of remedial action.

We would ask parents and caregivers to remain alert and inform the school if their son or daughter is experiencing any allergic reactions and also to seek medical advice if they have any concerns.

Meeting with Parents and Caregivers

There will be a meeting at 6:00 pm on Monday 2nd May to discuss any concerns with parents or caregivers who wish to attend. This will be in room 11.

The important thing is to remain calm, maintain healthy hygiene practices and to contact the school if you have any worries or concerns. I fully understand that this is a difficult and emotional subject but we are doing everything that we can to ensure no further disruption to the education of our students whilst ensuring their health, safety and wellbeing.

Once again I would like to thank staff, students and whanau for their cooperation and support during these difficult and challenging times.

Nga mihi nui,
Trevor Jones
 


Information about Pseudomonas

Pseudomonas are gram-negative bacteria. They are found widely in soil and water. Some species are very common on human skin surfaces. They favour moist areas. Only a few of the many species cause disease or infection. The most common species that causes infection is called Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Healthy people are usually not at risk of infection. People who already have a weakened immune system because of another illness or condition are at a higher risk of infection. This is especially true for patients who are hospitalized for an extended period of time. The bacteria can be spread in hospitals via the hands of healthcare workers or by hospital equipment that is not properly cleaned.

Pseudomonas infections are considered opportunistic infections. This means that the organism only causes disease when a person’s immune system is already impaired.

Very mild illnesses like skin rashes and ear infections have been reported in healthy individuals but they are not common.

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