Kia ora koutou,
I hope that you and your whānau are all well during our current rāhui. It is certainly a time like no other for us all, and hopefully this will help to further unite us as we all work together to make our community and country safer and stronger.
I am staying well and finding many things to keep myself occupied. It is interesting that it has taken a nation-wide lockdown to introduce me to some of my close neighbours, and I am discovering many previously unexplored local neighbourhood secret pathways and park areas during my daily walks. The need to stay local has helped me to find new treasures on my doorstep, and hopefully it is doing the same for all of you.
Online learning will begin again this week, after our Easter break. On Wednesday, a second pack of home learning will be sent out to all students. This pack will follow a similar structure to the previous one, although it will have more content as it is designed for a full five day week. Teachers have worked hard to design learning that is suitable for a wide range of needs, both learning needs and family circumstances. Teams are working to strike a balance between providing learning and connection for all students, and also not ‘hounding’ or pressuring them for work that is not yet completed or tasks that have not been started. We discussed at length how to manage this balance, and we have taken advice and guidance from teachers and homeschoolers worldwide. The strong message, from educators who have been teaching remotely for a while, has been to be very mindful of the different circumstances families find themselves in, and not place additional pressure at an already very difficult time.
As such, you will see in the next learning pack, that some tasks are designed to be marked and given feedback, and some tasks are more independent practise tasks that do not lend themselves to feedback. We understand that some students and/or their families are not in the position to be able to complete all of the work set, whilst others are. Teachers will ensure that they connect with each student through the week, with this check-in focused on connecting with each child and ensuring that they are doing okay. Parents will be included in this email communication. This will also provide a chance for each child to check back in with their teacher, if they would like to - let them know how they are going, ask any questions they have about aspects of the learning etc.
The government has said that on April 20th, two days before this current rāhui ends, they will announce whether we will leave Level 4 restrictions, and what that will look like for regions across New Zealand. Currently, we have been advised by the Ministry of Education that schools may be able to re-open for some students on Wednesday April 29th, if the nationwide rāhui is lifted on April 22nd. It also advised that this may not mean all students returning onsite to school full-time from this date. Much of this depends on what the health considerations and requirements are for our region under Level 3, and the Public Health requirements. As more details are worked through over the coming days we will keep you all updated.
Please remember that our school grounds and playgrounds are all closed throughout the rāhui. Thank you to everyone who is keeping our community safe by finding other local places to walk and exercise. We are aware that some people are still using the grounds for exercise purposes, and we are taking steps to stop this whilst adhering to the rāhui expectations ourselves.
Take care, and stay safe and connected. Me toro ki ētahi atu - check in on others.
Ngā mihi nui,