Many Northland schools have already made the call to close on Monday with forecasters predicting the worst is yet to come as Cyclone Gabrielle sweeps across the region.
Te Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association president Pat Newman said the decision had been an easy one for schools as the safety of staff and students was paramount.
“If you believe that children or staff could be put in danger travelling to and from school or at school or could get caught at school because they can’t get home then the decision to close isn’t difficult,” Newman said.
“Particularly up here where there are so many schools with rural or isolated roads, staff that live out of town, children that rely on the buses.”
The following schools have said they will be closed on Monday:
The Far North Principals group has made the decision to close all schools in the Far North tomorrow to ensure that everyone is kept as safe as possible.
The group said in a letter addressed to whānau that a further decision will be made on Monday at 2pm as to whether the closure will be extended.
“This is to ensure that we keep everyone as safe as possible due to the buses not running, power cuts, road closures, flooding and high winds.”
Arapohue School principal Kylie Piper said her school would not open on Monday due to the state of emergency, heavy rain and the wind warnings in place.
“Travel conditions are treacherous and we want to keep our whānau, students and staff safe,” Piper said.
A decision about whether the school will reopen on Tuesday will be made at 3pm on Monday.
Following in her footsteps are Kaiwaka Primary School, Mangawhai Beach School, Matakohe School, Maungaturoto School, Otamatea High School, Ruawai Primary, Ruawai College, Selwyn Park School, Tangiteroria School, Tangowahine School, Te Kopuru School, Dargaville high and primary schools.
Most schools in the Whangārei district are closed on Monday, and Tuesday’s fate will be decided later that afternoon.
Schools in areas expected to be hit hardest by Cyclone Gabrielle - Bream Bay College, Ruakākā Primary School, One Tree Point Primary School and Waipū Primary - are closed until Wednesday, as is Mangakahia Area School.
Bream Bay College principal Wayne Buckland said the cyclone’s path as well as “random power outages” in the area, coupled with worsening heavy rain and high winds, all contributed to the decision.
The school opted against online learning as it could not ensure staff would have internet or power and many students would not be able to do so for the same reasons, Buckland said.
Blomfield School advised students who attend Kaitāia High School Satellite that their school is closed until Wednesday at this stage and all Sesta transport has been cancelled.
Other closures include Glenbervie Primary, He Punaruku Mātauranga O Whangaruru, Hikurangi School, Hora Hora Primary School, Huanui College, Hurupaki School; Kamo high and intermediate schools, Kokopu School, Manaia View School, Matarau School, Maungatapere School, Maunu School, Morningside School, Ngunguru School, Onerahi School, Otaika Valley School, Parua Bay School, Poroti School, Portland Primary School, Raurimu Avenue School, Renew School, St Francis Xavier School, Tauraroa Area School, Te Kura o Otangarei, Tikipunga high and primary schools, Tōtara Grove School, Waiotira Primary School, Whangārei girls’ and boys’ high schools, Whangārei primary and intermediate, and Whau Valley School.
Pompallier Catholic College in Whangārei has moved to online learning for Monday.