Kia ora koutou
As you will have heard, New Zealand has now moved into level 3 and schools will be closed until Thursday 18 February. At this stage there are strict guidelines around who can attend school and even stricter rules around what children will be permitted to do at school.
Your child may return to school only if you need to go to work (ie cannot work from home) and there is no one else available to take care of your child. Any child with any condition that makes them vulnerable, may not return to school. If any child is sick, they may not attend school. The expectation is that the vast majority of children will be kept home and continue to learn from there. Teachers will offer an online programme based around the 21-Day Challenge. The online programme for these three days will differ to that last year as the children were only just in the process of going through our online safety activities and Google Drive accounts have not yet been introduced into the class programme. Teachers will however set up Google Meets with their classes. Watch for more information from the classroom teachers!
For children who return to school, there will be strictly enforced physical distancing. This physical distancing will include the adults too. Children will be grouped in small bubbles and, as well as physical distancing in their bubble, there will be no mixing between bubbles. Children will need to arrive at school no earlier than 8.45am and must be picked up by 3pm with no waiting around in the playground before or after school. There will be no before or after school care available.
Children will not be able to handle school equipment which could be touched by others so sports, playgrounds and toys will be off limits. For this reason, we will be asking children to bring a small selection of toys or activities from home, which they can play with by themselves. This will obviously have to be a solitary activity as children will not be allowed to touch what another child has played with.
Children’s learning at school will be very similar to the online learning which will continue at home. Each bubble will be supervised by staff members but this is unlikely to be your child’s class teacher as school will be running with reduced staffing. Some staff will continue to work from home to produce the online learning which will be available at home and at school.
As you can appreciate, these rules will make school a very different place to usual. School staff will do their very best to ensure children feel settled and secure but, there is no getting away from it, it will be a very odd experience. If any of the adults in your whanau are continuing to work from home, then children should remain at home. If all adults in your family must leave your home for work and there is no one else to care for your child, perhaps you will be considering extending your family bubble, within the guidelines for Level 3. If this is the case, there may be an adult in your new, extended bubble who would be able to take care of your children. This would be a good solution for many families.
If you intend to send their child/ren to school please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Children arriving at school are to be brought to the exterior door of Room 2, and picked up from the same place.
Kia haumaru ai koutou! Keep safe!
Acting Principal Tumuaki Tuarua