Covid-19 – information for our community

15 Apr Covid-19 – information for our community

Latest Information:

With distance learning starting today, our Academic Leaders have a quick message for all our students and their families.











A Good Friday message from the Service Team.

A link to the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch’s live mass and liturgy streams is below the Service Captains’ message along with their scheduled times.

Aroha nui, Villa Maria College.











Catholic Diocese of Christchurch Live Mass Streams



The latest Challenge from the Sports Captains:

Hi girls,

Here’s your next challenge from the sports captains,

I challenge you to get outside in the sunshine and be active. Let’s see who can do the most steps over this Easter weekend. This can be either walking or running but remember to stay within your bubble and exercise locally to home. Send a screenshot of your total steps each day tracked by either your phone or watch to Mrs Restieaux,

Prizes will be awarded to the top three people who have the highest combined total over the three days so get outside and get involved.

Good luck!


Video Message and challenge from our Sports Captains:












Video Message from our College Leaders: 










Removing data caps for internet

Please be advised most of the major telcos have now removed data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage.

Please see the links to those major companies below if you or your daughter needs further support with this.

“Removing overage charges for customers who are on data-capped broadband plans, so they won’t have to worry about paying extra to stay connected. This applies to both small and medium business and consumer customers;”

“The removal of data caps from data-capped Broadband plans for consumers and small to medium sized businesses until at least the end of June 2020”

“We removed all the data caps from our plans to better enable you to work from home during this time of social distancing and self-isolation.”

“Any customer who was on a limited data plan on or before Friday, March 20 will now receive unlimited data through until June 2020.”


Two online spaces went live this week. These have been produced with other agencies and are available online at and with resources for parents and whānau spanning early learning through to senior secondary. Ki te Ao Marama has been developed to support those students learning te reo Māori.



NZQA and the Ministry of Education have indicated that they will help kura develop effective plans for NCEA assessment and qualifications for students affected by COVID-19, including supporting remote learning. NCEA’s flexibility is a huge strength in times like these, and means that we can adapt how we deliver and use NCEA to fit with our conditions – including remote learning. They will be supporting schools to use this flexibility in how they manage internal assessment through remote learning, and to generate grades derived from learning programmes should attendance at external assessments be disrupted. They have also stated that work is underway to make sure that all qualifications, awards and pathways (including University Entrance and Vocational Pathways) will remain available through any disruptions.

For students taking part in Trades Academies and Gateway Programmes, further information can be found at


Ongoing Information:

Dear families,

Please continue to regularly check the website and College Calendar for the latest information.  As a College, the health and well-being of our community is paramount in all of our decisions. We are taking the following actions to protect the health of our College community and to do our part to reduce the threat of transmission of COVID-19.  As a College faith community we will keep everyone in our prayers in the times ahead. Please let us know if we can support you in any way.

School holidays will start early, from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive. We are then back into learning online after Easter, from Wednesday 15 April.

We will send full details of how learning will continue to all families. We will remain as a close community and care for each other.


  • Communication will be through the College website with reminders through the Villa App to check the website as things change.
  • Please check your contact details on the parent portal and contact the College if your contact details change: click here


Health  (for when we are back on site)

  • Parents have been emailed a link to let us know if your daughter is considered higher risk due to being “immune compromised”
  • Any member of our College community who is unwell should not be at school. Even when you know it is a common cold, and not Covid-19, we ask students and staff to stay home, so as to not spread the virus in the community. Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms must ring Healthline on 0800 358 5453, or contact their GP
  • Any member of our College community who has been overseas or in close contact with someone confirmed with Covid-19 must follow Ministry of Health guidance : click here
  • Girls are being regularly reminded to focus on strong hygiene practices. Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and drying thoroughly – before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet, covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow and putting used tissues in the bin are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.
  • Girls have been told that hand-shaking, hongi, high-fiving and hugging are not to happen, as a practical way to limit close contact. The College has some supplies of antiseptic handwash.
  • Lunch has been shortened each day to 25 minutes. As a result we will finish earlier each day. Monday 2:30pm, Tuesday 2:45pm, Wednesday 2:00pm, Thursday 2:45pm and Friday 2:45pm. The new Bell Times are on the Villa App in the “News” section.
  • At Interval and Lunch all girls need to be outside if warm enough. If outside, spacing of a minimum of 1.5 metres or more must be maintained. You need to take note of who you are sitting with in case we need to trace groups at a later stage.
  • Year 7-10: If inside, Years Y7-10 must be in their designated room. There is no mixing between the rooms for Year 7-10.  This is so we have traceability of who is in each room.  Designated rooms are on the Villa App in the “News” section.  
  • Year 11-13: If inside, Y11-13 must be in their designated rooms or spaces. You need to take note of who you are sitting with in case we need to trace groups at a later stage.  Designated rooms and spaces are on the Villa App in the “News” section.  
  • In classrooms, spread out as much as possible.
  • When moving between rooms, avoid touching door handles where possible. Doors are to be kept open and pinned back.
  • College Assemblies will not continue, and girls will now be in Ako on Tuesday instead of Assembly. Assembly notices need to be emailed to Mr Baugh by 10am on Tuesday so I can have them ready to be read out by Ako teachers.
  • If a student was identified as symptomatic while at school, parents will be contacted and asked to collect their daughter.  We have a designated isolation room in the College.
  • Flu vaccination for College staff has been arranged.  To read about Ministry of Health information about flu vaccination click here
  • The College are in regular contact with our cleaning company regarding the cleaning schedule.  They are doing  additional hours  to enhance the cleaning of hard surfaces and contact points.


Learning (for when we are back on site)

  • If students are self-isolating, staff are prepared for learning to continue remotely.  Students would access this through an internet connection.  Please let us know if this presents a potential difficulty for you.
  • If students are well enough to continue with school work while at home sick and/or self-isolating, parents need to please email the Head of House to ask if teachers can be notified, so work can be made available online.
  • If staff are self-isolating they will be able to work remotely, should they be well enough to do so.
  • If student assessment is impacted from staying at home, we ask that on the first day back at school students report to Ms Craig, Principal’s Nominee or Ms Kirk, Assistant Principal Curriculum, with a written note from parents explaining the reason for the absence. This is because the usual requirement of getting a medical certificate, when missing assessment,   may not be practical. The College will follow the guidance coming from NZQA in regards to assessments.



  • all EOTC events are cancelled, or in some cases postponed



  • As the situation evolves, additional physical distancing strategies such as restricting College events and extra-curricular activities may be required. We are making decisions by applying risk analysis on a case by case basis.
  • The College will continue to follow the advice provided by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education. The College has established a link with our local Medical Officer of Health. We are getting the most up to date advice and guidance so that we can confidently make informed decisions about the safety and wellbeing of our school community.
  • To access the latest information on Covid-19 from the Ministry of Health website: click here
  • If a case was confirmed in our immediate school community (eg. a student, staff member, or member of their household), the Medical Officer of Health and Ministry of Education will inform the College, and we will get quick and clear messaging out to you
  • If there was a case confirmed of someone in our school, we will likely be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This will allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.


Resources for our Community:

This Government website has everything you need to know about COVID-19 in one place:  click here

There is a useful video clip from Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) that will help your children to better understand the virus – YouTube clip – Nanogirl

You may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus:
Watch on the PM’s Facebook page
Read and watch on the Newshub website


Information for supporting young people:

 Remain calm and reassuring.

  • Children will react to and follow your verbal and nonverbal reactions.
  • What you say and do about COVID-19, current prevention efforts, and related events can either increase or decrease your children’s anxiety.
  • If true, emphasise to your children that they and your family are fine.
  • Remind them that you and the adults at their school are there to keep them safe and healthy.
  • Let your children talk about their feelings and help reframe their concerns into the appropriate perspective.

Make yourself available.

  • Children may need extra attention from you and may want to talk about their concerns, fears, and questions.
  • It is important that they know they have someone who will listen to them; make time for them.
  • Tell them you love them and give them plenty of affection.

Avoid excessive blaming.

  • When tensions are high, sometimes we try to blame someone.
  • It is important to avoid stereotyping any one group of people as responsible for the virus.
  • Bullying or negative comments made toward others should be stopped and reported to the school.
  • Be aware of any comments that other adults are having around your family. You may have to explain what comments mean if they are different than the values that you have at home.

Monitor television viewing and social media.

  • Limit television viewing or access to information on the Internet and through social media. Try to avoid watching or listening to information that might be upsetting when your children are present.
  • Speak to your child about how many stories about COVID-19 on the Internet may be based on rumours and inaccurate information.
  • Talk to your child about factual information of this disease—this can help reduce anxiety.
  • Constantly watching updates on the status of COVID-19 can increase anxiety—avoid this.
  • Be aware that developmentally inappropriate information (i.e., information designed for adults) can cause anxiety or confusion, particularly in young
  • Engage your child in games or other interesting activities instead.

Maintain a normal routine to the extent possible.

  • Keep to a regular schedule, as this can be reassuring and promotes physical health.
  • Encourage your children to keep up with their schoolwork and extracurricular activities, but don’t push them if they seem overwhelmed.

Be honest and accurate.

  • In the absence of factual information, children often imagine situations far worse than reality.
  • Don’t ignore their concerns, but rather explain that at the present moment very few people in this country are sick with COVID-19.
  • Children can be told this disease is thought to be spread between people who are in close contact with one another—when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • It is also thought it can be spread when you touch an infected surface or object, which is why it is so important to protect yourself.


Jesus our caregiver and healer, you travelled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well.  Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of covid-19, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus.  May they regain their strength and heath through quality medical care.  Heal us from fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another.  Heal us from pride which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.  Jesus our caregiver and healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.  Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.  Be with the families of those who are sick or have died.  As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair.  May they know your peace.

We make our prayer through Jesus our caregiver and healer.  Amen.