Gastro outbreak: Pupils return as schools open

By Alice Lock

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Havelock North High School students (from left)  Amy Culham, Sarah Birkett, both Year 9, and Blake Campbell, Year 10, get some  free water donated to the school yesterday by OnePure and Richard Lucas from Havelock North New World. Photo / Warren Buckland
Havelock North High School students (from left) Amy Culham, Sarah Birkett, both Year 9, and Blake Campbell, Year 10, get some free water donated to the school yesterday by OnePure and Richard Lucas from Havelock North New World. Photo / Warren Buckland

Havelock North High School, Woodford House and Iona College reopened yesterday with more than half of their students through the doors.

Iona College principal Shannon Warren said it had been "wonderful" to see so many "happy and healthy girls" back on campus.

The school had 70 per cent of students and 80 per cent of their staff return which she thought was a good start.

Posters had been put up throughout the school reminding students of the importance of washing hands. They also had a demonstration of the correct method in an assembly.

The school had continued to offer virtual classrooms as a way to communicate to those students still absent and teachers were able to Skype into lessons from home.

She said she appreciated the way the school community had come together and helped with the situation.

"Our Iona community have been patient, understanding and completely supportive of our management of this changing situation," Mrs Warren said.

Woodford House principal Julie Peterson said they had 65 per cent of girls back and 85 per cent of staff. Like Iona they went over their safe water policy and hygiene standards in assembly and had placed posters around the school explaining the importance of hand washing.

"It was lovely to have the girls back at school yesterday morning continuing their learning opportunities."

Havelock North High School principal Greg Fenton said they had 60 per cent of their roll back and he hoped this would only increase.

"We had under half on Monday so it was a good sign to see it back above the 50 mark today," he said.

Year 12 students Harrison Painter and Rowan Craik had gone back to the high school yesterday and said it was getting back to normal.

"You could tell there were still people away but it was much better compared to Monday," Harrison said.

All the schools were very grateful to OnePure and Richard Lucas from Havelock North New World for delivering bottles and pallets of water yesterday morning.

Mrs Warren said: "It was heart-warming to see our community caring for each other in this way."

Mr Lucas said it was a success and, depending on the situation, they may look to repeat it next week.

"We were just happy to help and it was also great to see the students and staff enjoying it."

The weekend for school sport was also up in the air with the Intercity Junior Rugby Board cancelling all junior rugby tomorrow.

They said the decision was made at the meeting on Wednesday night and would include all Intercity Junior rugby in Hastings, Napier and Wairoa, all Hastings and Napier Sub-union Rep trials and all Hastings and Napier Wakely Shield trials.

Hawke's Bay Hockey advised that all Hastings-based primary school hockey had been cancelled tomorrow but Napier-based hockey was still going ahead unless teams were to face a Havelock North team.

Hawke's Bay Netball operations manager Tina Arlidge said Hastings primary school netball had also been cancelled but secondary school was still going ahead at this stage.

All players were advised to check the Sport Hawke's Bay Facebook page for updates.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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