Covid Update – 7 – Sep – School under Level 2 on Thursday 9th Sep

Update 7th September – 2021 – Conditions for opening under Level 2 on Thursday
Chris Mitchell

Mālō e Lelei Parents! – Yes, this week is actually Tongan language week! Blessings on all our awesome Tongan families. 

You may want to read Covid Alert Level 2 information in Lea Faka-Tonga or other Pacific languages.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister advised that as of midnight tonight (Tuesday 7th September), everywhere outside of the Auckland region will move to Alert Level 2. Cornerstone Christian School will re-open for instruction on Thursday 9th September 2022 at 9.00am. Can I please ask that if your child has not already been attending school under Alert Level 3 that they do not come to school tomorrow (Wednesday 8th September). We simply will not have the staff onsite to cope with increased numbers of children as most of our teachers are parents themselves.

Today (Tuesday 7th) and tomorrow, we have a small number of staff on site, working hard, to ensure that Cornerstone Christian School is safe for your child(ren) or young person to return to on Thursday. We are looking forward to having all enrolled children back on site. The only exceptions are children or young people who are sick, have any COVID-19 symptoms, are in isolation, or are awaiting the result of a test.

Parents Not Coming Onsite: We are asking that ONLY parents of Aroha Team students (year 1 and 2) come on site during Alert level 2 to drop off and pick up their child(ren), however they must sign-in using the COVID-19 app (scan the QR code at the gate please). Please do not linger and make sure you exercise sensible physical distancing measures (2 metres). Can I please ask that all other school parents do not come onsite at this stage, however you are welcome to visit the school office. Again, please remember to sign in at the office doors using the COVID-19 tracing app.

Covid 19 Hygiene Practices:
Practice good hygieneWe are required, to exercise good physical distancing and hygiene practices within school to keep our children safe. This includes:

  • The Ministry of Health has recommended that all children in year 7- 13 wear a facemask. Children should bring their own to school however we will have a limited number available from the student office at school. This is a new recommendation, and we are awaiting further guidance around this matter.
  • Children, young people and staff should where practicable maintain a 1 metre distance from each other in class. This includes separate seating arrangements.
  • No hugs, handshakes, high fives etc.
  • Good hygiene practices amongst including coughing into your elbow, regular handwashing and drying.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be set up in every room in the school. Please use these!
  • Surfaces in each learning space will be disinfected each night by our cleaning team
  • If our school has a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, we are required to close for 72 hours, to allow contact tracing, and then potentially for a further 14 days.

What will be running:

  • The Feilding and Ashhurst Buses will resume normal service on Thursday 9th September 2021
  • Kelvin Kids After School Care (and before school) will resume on Thursday 9th September 2021
  • The EPIC music programme will resume in week 8 (next week).

As indicated above, we are still waiting for updated advice around Alert Level 2 from the Ministry of Education. If any of the above needs updating or amending, I will email you all again as soon as this comes out.

Malo ‘Aupito,

Chris Mitchell


Update 6th September – 2021
Chris Mitchell

Cornerstone Christian School will re-open for all enrolled students from year 1 through to 13 under Alert Level 2 conditions on Thursday 9th September.

More information to come. 

Update 27th August – 2021 – Planning for Level 3 – Children of Essential workers onsite
Principal Chris Mitchell

Practice good hygiene

At 3pm today, our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern advised that All of New Zealand, south of the Bombay Hills (Auckland) will likely drop to Alert Level 3 at 11:50pm on Tuesday 31st August 2021. Cornerstone Christian School intends to therefore be physically open to cater for year 1- 10 children of essential workers only, onsite, from Wednesday 1st September 2021. Distance learning will continue for all years 11 to 13 students. It is important that we make clear however, that if there is a parent or caregiver available to look after children at home and school children have access to distance learning, please continue education at home. Level 3 onsite education at school is only for those parents whose employer requires you (both) to be at your place(s) of work (i.e. not at home) during school hours and you are unable to find alternative care for your children This is the directive from the Ministry of Education.


If students do attend school, we need parents to realise that School will look quite different to normal i.e.

  1. There will only be minimal staff in place as many Cornerstone staff are obligated to look after their own children or live in bubbles where there is higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  2. Students attending school will be supervised and will complete what the rest of their peers are doing via distance learning.
  3. A number of strict health measures will be in place:
    • Parents MUST keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, they will be sent home immediately.
    • Hand sanitiser must be used by all students on entry to classrooms and in all bathrooms – and regularly throughout the day
    • All School playgrounds will be out of bounds and there will be no use of shared classroom or sports equipment such as scissors, balls or skipping ropes.
    • The number of children must be limited to 20 in a school bubble.
    • Parents will not be allowed to enter classrooms and entry times must be staggered to minimise gatherings of children or parents.
    • Breaktimes will be staggered as will start times and finish times to the day. Bubbles will not be allowed to mix during breaks.
  1. To support contact tracing students will sit in the same place each day, with 1m physical distance between all children, young people and staff. Students must maintain 2 metre physical distance outside and 1m inside during breaks.
  2. All school surfaces will be disinfected and cleaned daily.
  3. Contact tracing registers will be set up to identify which children are in each teaching space and who they have contact with during the day.
  4. The Feilding and Ashhurst buses will not be running until further notice.
  5. If you haven’t done so already, can families please fill in the online survey below, allowing Cornerstone Christian School management to gain a clear picture of which students will need to attend school because there is NO parent or caregiver available to look after year 1-10 children at home under alert level 3. Link to survey:

God bless,

Chris Mitchell


Update 20th August 2021 – Please complete our Distance Learning Survey
Principal Chris Mitchell

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

As you will know, today our Prime Minister confirmed that New Zealand will remain in Level 4 lockdown until midnight on Tuesday 24th August. Cornerstone Christian School will remain closed for onsite instruction during this time. We are however, looking to ramp up our distance learning from Monday 23rd.

So we can manage our distance learning as well as possible, can all parents and caregivers in our school community please complete the survey below. If you have already done this yesterday you do not need to do it again. Our survey asks the following four questions: 

  1. Do you need to borrow a device (laptop) from school in order for your children to continue with distance learning from home (We have a small number of school laptops we are happy to loan to year 5 and up students only. If available, these will be couriered to your home address).
  2. Do you require hard (printed) lesson materials and learning activities delivered to your physical address?
  3. Are the adult caregivers in your home essential workers, and therefore your children would need to attend school under an Alert level 3 lockdown?
  4. Do you have any concerns about your child(ren)’s wellbeing under the current lockdown situation and require assistance?

Survey link: Thank you for taking the time to fill in this survey.

John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

God bless,

Chris Mitchell

Update: 17th August 2021 – School is closed 
Principal Chris Mitchell

As from 11:59pm tonight, Tuesday 17th August 2021, Cornerstone Christian School, and all New Zealand schools are closed for the rest of this week due to a Covid 19 outbreak. All of New Zealand will be at Alert Level 4. This means:

  • People are instructed to stay at home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement.
  • Safe recreational activity is allowed in local area.
  • Travel is severely limited.
  • All Educational facilities are closed. This includes Cornerstone Christian School
  • All gatherings are cancelled and all public venues are closed.
  • Businesses are closed except for essential services – for example, supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, petrol stations and lifeline utilities will stay open.
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities is possible.

Teaching and Learning this week:
During this period of school closure, the primary method of school communication with parents and families will be through school email and on occasion the phone-based SchoolApp.

Please note that many of our teachers are also parents and many are in primary care-giver roles for their own child(ren) or elderly parents. There is no expectation from the school that every class will have work provided online.

Term 2 Distance Learning

  • Primary year 1-4 – provision of work set will mainly be around online apps that students are familiar with such as Reading Eggs, MathSeeds and Mathletics. Teachers may also arrange project work and various reading / writing tasks via email.
  • Primary year 5-6 – In these years groups the distance learning will be a blended approach consisting of a range of online tasks using OneNote, Reading Eggs and Mathletics and various other reading / writing tasks.
  • Secondary year 7-13 – provision of work set will be predominately via Microsoft OneNote notebooks. This is a programme that most secondary students are already using and are familiar with. Teachers will check in with students as they are able via e
  • mail and other online tools within the Microsoft Office suite. Please note that communication will continue to be based within school-based apps. There is no expectation for teachers to communicate with students via their own personal emails/social media/cell-phones. We are yet to receive any advice from the Ministry of Education around changing NCEA requirements.

COVID-19 Symptoms

Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • sneezing and runny nose
  • a new or worsening cough
  • sore throat
  • a fever of at least 38°C
  • shortness of breath
  • temporary loss of smell or altered sense of taste
  • diarrhoea
  • headache
  • muscle pain or body aches
  • nausea and vomiting.

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have COVID-19. The symptoms are like other illnesses that are much more common, such as colds and flu. If you have ANY of these symptoms, contact Healthline, or your doctor on 0800 358 5453 or your iwi health provider.

Please take time to pray for our nation and our school over the next few days. We hope to see everyone again next week.


Chris Mitchell