COVID-19 update 26 March

School will be closed for the next 4 weeks and then the situation will be reassessed. We will keep you posted on updates from the Ministry of Education.

School holidays will start early, from 30th March to the 14th of April inclusive. During the ‘holiday break’, we will be refining and tweaking our e-learning options for Term 2.  Online Learning platforms will run until Friday the 27th of March to finish the current school term, then will start again in Term Two on the 15th of April. We will provide you with more details in future updates.

Please refer to emails from The Principal and your child’s teacher to give you information on our learning at home program and any important messages that you may need. You will also get updates via Skoolbag, GSNS facebook and the school website.

Best wishes and stay safe.

COVID-19 update 23 March 6 pm

Message from the Principal

Kia ora koutou

As you will have heard today, the Prime Minister has announced that all schools will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday), except for the children who cannot be looked after by those classed as essential workers.  We have yet to receive direct communication from the Ministry of Education and when we do so, will send this information out to you.

In the meantime, if you are an essential worker and you do have a child that needs to be at school as per normal school hours on either Tuesday and/or Wednesday, please also email me, preferably by the end of today, so that I can ensure adequate cover.  

Georgies is now closed until further notice.  If you are an essential worker and have children that required Georgies on Tuesday or Wednesday, please email me directly. 

With regard to all children, your child's class teacher will be in contact with you soon regarding online learning opportunities over the next few weeks.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to be in contact.

Stay safe.

Ngā mihi

Leanne Stanton

Acting Principal

George Street Normal School

COVID-19 update 22 March

22 March 2020

Kia ora koutou

As I write this letter on Sunday afternoon, schools are still open for instruction.

Thank you for your ongoing support in these uncertain times.

We are endeavouring to keep you informed with as much up to date information as possible.   Be assured 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.  We have been planning for developments and are in a position to respond quickly.

There are no cases confirmed in our school.

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 me about this, and we will work together to get quick and clear messaging out to you.  We would be asked to close temporarily by the Medical Officer of Health. This would allow time for close contacts to be traced, appropriate testing to be undertaken, and a careful clean of the school to be undertaken.

If our school does need to close, we have a plan in place to support student’s learning. To enhance this planning we have sent out a survey to all parents.  If you didn’t get the email, please contact the school office.

Good hygiene continues to be a priority at our school and we are reinforcing this regularly with all students and staff. We know that practicing good hygiene is still the best thing we can all do to prevent illness. You could help us by practising hand washing at home and encouraging children to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow.

While school looks different with less children and physical/social distancing practices, for example, we endeavour to keep school routines functioning as normal as possible in this present climate.

Thank you for letting us know your child will be absent and why/for how long.  As you will appreciate, knowing the whereabouts of children at any time, and especially now, is of high importance.  To ensure our office staff can work through this process as quickly as possible each morning, the most efficient way is for you to send a SkoolBag app message or to use our ring-in system.

Finally at this time, if you or your family are in any need of support in any way, please don’t hesitate to call or email.  We want to support one another in these times.

Ngā mihi

Leanne Stanton

Acting Principal

George Street Normal School

COVID-19 advice

16 March 2020

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Most of you will be aware that we are starting to see signs of a possible increase in the number of people catching COVID-19 virus and of the Ministry of Health’s increased preventative measures.

Our school has an emergency management plan, a response to widespread contagious illness procedure and a pandemic plan, all of which we are following.   We are actively following the information and advice being provided by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education with regard to COVID-19.  

In line with Ministry of Health advice, any member of our school community who returns to New Zealand from overseas after 11.59pm on Sunday 15 March, or has been in close contact with someone confirmed with COVID-19, is required to self-isolate, stay away from George Street Normal for 14 days, and register using Healthline's dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453. There is a list of Pacific countries which are excluded from this restriction. 

One action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of each other. We are encouraging staff to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. We ask that you please do the same with students. Colds and flus are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.

Although cases of Coronavirus within New Zealand have now been confirmed, the Ministry of Health has said that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak remains low. 

Everybody should continue to follow the basic principles of hygiene and cough etiquette to reduce the risk of getting an acute respiratory infection or passing it onto others. This includes:

  • regularly washing hands (for at least 20 seconds) with warm water and soap and drying thoroughly. You should do this before and after eating as well as after using the toilet

  • covering your coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or your elbow

  • putting used tissues in the bin

  • avoiding close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms

  • if you feel unwell you should stay away from school and avoid public gatherings and events.

An important part of emergency planning is ensuring we have up-to-date contact details for all students and staff. If your details have changed since you sent in the pink update information/permissions slip at the beginning of the year, please let us know.

In addition can I encourage you, if you are able and have not already done so, to download our George Street Normal School free app “Skoolbag” onto your phone, as this is our preferred method of communicating with parents/caregivers in the event of an emergency.   If you require further details with regard to downloading this app, please look on our school website at the newsletter published 20 February 2020.

If you have any questions or concerns at this stage, please contact me directly. 

Yours sincerely

Leanne Stanton

Acting Principal

George Street Normal School

EOTC Week for Year 5 and 6

All of our senior classes have been actively involved in learning a variety of skills while outside the normal classroom setting. 175 children have particpated in pursuits such as: tramping, cooperative problem-solving, team games, kayaking, yachting, orienteering, rock climbing, archery, bivouac building, raft building, search and rescue, first aid, bowls, frisbee golf, gardening and swimming. Thank you to all our helpful and multiskilled parent helpers!

Reminisce with Rod

On Tuesday 3 March the George Street Normal School community of pupils and parents, past and present, gathered together at the Edgar Centre to formally farewell their principal for the last 15 years, Dr Rod Galloway. MC Harriet Moir helped host a large 'school assembly', complete with awards and certificates, assembly songs complete with a large school band; guest performers included a Kapa Haka group led by Mrs N Yeoman and a rap group. In a departure from our normal assemblies there was chocolate cake to finish.

Coronavirus Parent Information

30 January 2020

Dear Parents/Caregivers

Please be assured that our school is closely monitoring information being provided by the Ministry of Health in regards to the Coronavirus that originated from Wuhan in China. Practical information about the coronavirus can be found here:

As always anyone who is unwell should not be at school. If you are concerned about you or your child, contact Healthline at 0800 611 116 or your GP for medical advice. Healthline has translators and interpreters available 24/7 in 150 languages and they do have Mandarin and Cantonese speaking staff available.

Please be vigilant in observing for signs of illness as the health and wellbeing of our community is one of our priorities. We strongly encourage parents to err on the side of caution.

For any child who may be at high risk of exposure because they have recently been to China or have been in close contact with someone confirmed with the virus, we ask that parents/caregivers where possible, delay the start of their school year for 14 days and voluntarily stay away as per Ministry of Education advice. We are able to supply any work that has been missed.

General advice that we will be reinforcing to help reduce the general risk of infection, is as follows:

  • avoiding very close contact with people showing symptoms
  • frequently washing hands
  • avoiding close contact with sick live farm animals or wild animals
  • practicing cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).

In the event of a reported case of the virus among our school population we will follow the advice of authorities as outlined in our Pandemic Policy. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

George Street Normal School

Phone 03 474 0825


You are welcome to attend 'A night to Reminisce with Rod'.   

When:  Tuesday 3 March 2020 from 6:30

Where:   More FM Arena, Edgar centre, Portsmouth Drive, Dunedin

Who:  Present and past friends and family of our school.  Please spread the word.