Kia ora koutou,
I hope that you and your families are all managing well. It was certainly the most unique ANZAC Day I have ever spent in New Zealand, and one I’m sure many of us will never forget. As I walked around my neighbourhood on Saturday and noticed the many tributes in windows and gardens, and on doors, it made me think again about all the things I have learned in the last few weeks about the people and places around me where I live. About the elderly lady who lives in my building - I didn’t know she used to be a nurse in Scotland for many years and has struggled, and still struggles at times, to adapt to living in a country away from her birthplace and family. About the man with the tired smile who usually gets the same early bus as me in the morning - I now know he has three small children and works long hours at the hospital, no wonder he looks so tired! About the park a stone’s throw from my building that I did not know existed. It has a fabulous array of birds in it, and I’m really thankful I discovered the lovely place.
As we move out of level 4, and slowly begin to think about what life will look like as we continue to contend with the Covid-19 virus, it will be good for us to think about what we have learned during this early phase, and ensure we don’t lose those learnings as we move forward. I hope we all remember the people who were essential to us during this crisis - healthcare workers, cleaners, supermarket employees, bus drivers, waste management workers. As a country and a community, do we value them as we should? How can we continue to show them how essential they truly are for healthy, safe communities? Knowing that the instances of domestic violence spiked during lockdown, and that the call for food parcels and support with feeding families increased significantly, what can we do differently as life slowly opens up again? As a nation being called to kia atawhai - be kind, we need to think about what we can we do to ensure that we don’t just slip back to ‘normal life’, because perhaps we are seeing now more than ever that ‘normal’ wasn’t working well for some people in the first place.
With our move to level 3 at midnight on Monday, many staff will be back onsite from Tuesday 28th April for a teacher only planning day, and we will open on Wednesday 29th April for students who will not have someone at home to care for them during level 3. Thank you to people who have completed the registration form for onsite learning, if this is needed. If your family does not have someone at home to care for your child/ren and they need to come onsite for their learning during level 3, please ensure you complete this form to let us know. It is essential to register online before sending your child/ren to school, so that we are well prepared to receive them.
As part of this digest there is a separate article that explains the organisation of student bubbles and safety for children learning onsite, and also outlines what the learning will look like for children, both onsite and at home. We have also attached an information poster about onsite learning for parents and caregivers as part of the article. It gives some useful things to consider and plan for.
As the schools and grounds will now be open in level 3, this means that the fields and bike track will be open for people wanting to have some daily exercise, ensuring that physical distancing and maintenance of bubbles are observed. Please note that both playgrounds on our school site will remain closed to everyone throughout level 3, and our grounds are not open to the public between 8:30am - 3:30pm on Monday-Friday, when school is in session. Thank you to you all for observing this and keeping our community safe.
Kia atawhai - be kind.
Ngā mihi nui,