Please find below updates regarding Covid-19 Coronavirus and/or School related information. New posts will appear at the top, so please keep checking back here.
27 MARCH 2020
Kia ora koutou
We have started into a new phase of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 and it is very different than anything most of us have ever experienced. I wanted to reassure you that our school staff and Board of Trustees will continue to be available to support your child’s learning and wellbeing in the next weeks.
You will understand the importance of routine for your family. If your routine has been shaken up, like you’re now working from home, it’s good to structure your time. Routines are reassuring, and promote health and physical wellbeing. The below timetable (targeted at children) could be something your household adapts to use over the next weeks. A school holiday version will likely look a little different, but some form of routine will still be important as we go through the lockdown period.
Eat breakfast, make your bed, get dressed, put any dirty clothes in the laundry
Family walk with the dog, bike ride,
Yoga if it’s raining
Learning at home
School-led learning or Sudoku, books, flash cards, study guide, journal etc
Legos, magnatiles, drawing, crafting, play music, cook or bake etc.
Helping at home
# wipe all kitchen tables and chairs
# wipe all door handles, light switches and desk tops
# wipe both bathrooms - sinks and toilets
Reading, puzzles, nap, radio NZ stories
Learning at home
School-led learning or iPad games, Prodigy, Educational show
Afternoon fresh air
Bikes, walk the dog, play outside
Free TV time
Kids shower time
All kids who follow the daily schedule & don’t fight
There are links below to more wellbeing information to support your family during the lockdown.
Some good news to support you either working at home and/or studying at home - Spark, Vodafone, Vocus/Slingshot, 2Degrees and Trustpower have all advised they have removed their data caps and the possibility of any extra charges based on usage.
For our Pacific families, if you are not aware the Ministry for Pacific Peoples’ has been working to ensure useful information is available to Pacific peoples. A one-hour special will be aired on Tagata Pasifika’s segment on Saturday at 9am; and on Sunday at 7.35am, Tagata Pasifika will share messages from community leaders. The Ministry is asking you to reach out to all your family members, community groups, friends and group chats to ensure our Pacific community groups are watching the programming on both days.
A big thank you to all of you for taking the lockdown so seriously. As the Prime Minister has noted staying at home will break the chain and save lives; breaking the rules could risk someone close to you and if the rules are not complied with, this could risk the lock down period being extended or could risk the virus being spread to thousands
Information and resources to support wellbeing and support learning at home
23 MARCH 2020
Email sent to parents 10:49pm
Kia Ora Parents/Caregiver
I am sharing with you sections of information sent to me from the Secretary of Education that is relevant to parents. Alongside this I have added extra notes in italics.
COVID-19 update Monday 23 March
This is an unprecedented event, and will continue to challenge us all.
I reiterate the words of the Prime Minister – be kind, keep safe, and look after each other.
We apologise sincerely for the delays in getting this information to you. We have been working with a range of agencies to be able to provide the following information.
Government announcement – moving to Alert Level 3 for 48 hours and then Level 4
The Prime Minister has today announced we are moving to Level 3 for the next 48 hours and then from Thursday 26 March we move to Level 4 in the COVID-19 Alert Level structure for a further period of 4 weeks where people are instructed to stay at home.
For Tuesday and Wednesday, the expectations are that teachers will come to work to teach the children of essential workers, including children of teachers, and to prepare online work.
My note - I have instructed teachers to be at school tomorrow apart from the two who are sick and one teacher who needs to be at home on medical advice for her son. We will use this time to sort out final communication systems and expectations. These will be communicated to you. I have told teachers that I want them at home on Wednesday to sort out their personal needs prior to alert level 4 however we will ensure we have enough personal on site for those children of parents who are identified as essential workers.
They will not be able to access the school site from midnight Wednesday and will work from home. Those staff already identified as over 70 and/or vulnerable to COVID-19 should remain at home but can work from home as needed.
Schools will be open for Tuesday and Wednesday this week for children of essential workers. Please ensure you continue to support good hygiene practices with these students and also undertake physical distancing.
All other children will be at home. You will need to provide them with learning opportunities there to the greatest extent practicable. This could be either as a pack of materials, or for those with online learning already in place, implement your online learning programme.
My note - We have provided sites and ideas for parents and we hope to have communicated to parents by the end of the day tomorrow what our communication schedule/routine will look like. I stress again this will not be teaching rather support, contact and encouragement for the children and a point of contact to support parents.
A list of essential businesses is attached.
School holidays brought forward
School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).
My note - I will not be expecting teachers to be communicating with parents during the newly designated holiday period however after this period they will be scheduling in contact with your child and at the same time planning for the new term.
At the end of the school holidays, schools will be open for distance learning but not physically open for staff to work at the schools.
Please note the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite.
Supporting learning from home
Today we have launched Learning from home and Ki te Ao Mārama, two new websites to support teachers, learners, parents and whānau so that learning for children and young people can continue.
The websites include resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders. Resources span the learning pathway from early learning through to senior secondary, and more resources will be added as they’re developed.
The information and resources are available at https://www.learningfromhome.govt.nz/ and https://www.kauwhatareo.govt.nz/ki-te-ao-marama/
More resources will be added as they’re developed. Hard copy packs are being prepared for learners and whānau who don’t have connectivity at home.
The website will help you to get through the next few days as we move to remote learning. This will help you and your staff to get ready, support you to be working from home, and maintain wellbeing.
Over the next two to three weeks we will be working on next steps to support distance learning where it is most needed and as part of contingency planning in case the 4 week period is further extended.
We are working to establish online learning and distance learning options to support all children’s ongoing learning. These will be made available by the end of the school holidays.
Children with special needs
Ministry staff will be available to ring and Skype with families who require assistance with children who have special needs.
All school buses and SESTA mobility services will run as normal on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 March but only for students of parents working in to provide those workers with time to make arrangements for their children
After Wednesday, no school transport will operate as schools will be closed until further notice.
Below are sections of a letter which may be relevant to you
If you need to have your child cared for by someone else you will need to identify that person or people as part of your self-isolated group. This will need to be done by midnight Wednesday and the group must remain the same for the whole 4 week period. The caregiver’s own group (eg, their partner and children), your child and your own group (eg, your parents and other children) become one group. This group needs to be limited to minimise any risk of spread and should be no more than 20 people.
Your child will be looking to you for guidance about this decision. Parents, caregivers, whānau and teachers will have a particularly important part to play in reassuring children at this time. If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to read the information put together by the Ministry of Education to support your conversations with your children – Talking to children about COVID-19
As noted by the Prime Minister these restrictions are our best chance to slow the virus in New Zealand and to save lives. We all have a clear role here to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We will continue to communicate with you over the coming days. Thank you for your ongoing support of our school staff and school community. Our regional staff will be in touch with you soon to determine how we can best support you.
23 MARCH 2020
Email sent to parents 2:40pm
There is no doubt this is an unprecedented moment in our lifetimes. We as a staff are committed to providing the best possible outcomes for your child and the Kaharoa School community.
We continue to follow advice from the Ministries of Health and Education. The school has maintained a calm and sensible approach regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. As a school, to reassure ourselves and subsequently our staff and community, we have followed up all known students and parents who may have required self-isolation. From the beginning of the year staff have maintained a regime of reinforcing the recommended hygiene protocols with the children. We will continue to do this. We are very proud of how the community has supported and worked with us to date.
As at 1.30pm today we have been advised that we are now at Alert Level 3 and will be moving to Alert Level 4 in 48 hours (All schools closed from midnight Wednesday). For the majority of our children Kaharoa school will be closed tomorrow and there will be no school buses running. However, Kaharoa School will remain open for 48 hours, tomorrow Tuesday 24 March and Wednesday 25 March for those families whose parents identify as being in essential services; police, medical - doctors, nurses etc. A list will be provided to us of essential services and we will forward this to you as soon as we receive it. Please let us know if your child(ren) therefore need to attend school by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staff have been working to prepare for the eventuality of children being isolated at home outside school holidays. For that, the school has reviewed its contingency plans as to how teacher support and learning will continue. We have looked at various ways of online communication whereby teachers can communicate with children. To assist us and your child’s learning we will share a google form with you (hopefully today) to seek information that will assist this communication process.
Below, teachers have put together initial ideas and links to programmes of work for each class that children could engage with. A few important points to note should we be placed in a situation whereby we need to close.
1) The work below is not homeschooling. This is an unprecedented situation impacting everyone and at best is distance learning ‘on the hoof’ where we are going into uncharted territory.
2) As parents, you are, and always have been, your child’s primary educator. If you decide that your child isn’t going to engage with anything highlighted below and instead chooses to spend time playing in the dirt, or baking, or watching TV, that is your choice and this is nothing you should stress or feel guilty about.
3) We will be ‘finding our way’. We have received little notice, or preparation in what is a challenging time and will be trying to do the best we can for you and your child.
4) It is new territory attempting to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child while working from home at the same time, however we will give this ‘our best shot’ should this be required.
5) Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don’t let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and any of the work below is your call.
6) Teachers will not be in a position to assess or monitor all of the work your child may do however we do hope we will be in a position to encourage and motivate through video or online links.
7) If children are restricted to home we will endeavour to set times where we will make ourselves available to answer/respond to parents email questions.
As you will appreciate this is new ground for all of us as we come to grips with this way of interacting with your child purely online. there may be glitches in the system and how we are learning to do this.
Please be patient with us and be assured we are doing our very best. Be safe, take care, ask for help if required. Kia kaha Kaharoa School and wider community. This is a time when our Cornerstone Values or Kindness and Compassion will come to the fore.
Warwick Moyle 0275425400
Deputy Principal email@example.com
[Please scroll to the bottom to find initial ideas & links to programmes of work for each class, attached as a pdf. This was also emailed to all parents as part of the above letter].
19 MARCH 2020
Covid 19 Update - Bus Transport
As mentioned by email yesterday we are continuing to remind the children about the importance of healthy practices at school which includes washing their hands as directed when entering and leaving class, after going to the toilet and prior to eating. High touchpoints are being cleaned regularly.
One area out of our direct control is the transport to and from school on the school bus. I have contacted the bus company to enquire about cleaning and have been advised that the drivers have been given disinfectant for wiping down surfaces. Unfortunately regular cleaning of the bus doesn’t alleviate the challenge of 50-60 children travelling together in close proximity.
Though there is no community transmission at this stage I thought it prudent to make parents aware of this. In the meantime buses will continue as normal however, should you choose to transport your child to and from school please ensure your child’s name is marked off the bus each day.
Thank you for your ongoing support during this time.
18 MARCH 2020
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS (Email sent to all parents 18/3/20)
We are receiving regular updates and communication from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health regarding the Covid-19 virus. As you will appreciate we are keeping a very close eye on the directives as part of our duty of care for your children and our staff. As we have done from the start of the year we are reminding children regularly each day to wash their hands as directed when entering and leaving class, after going to the toilet and prior to eating. Please reinforce this at home. High touchpoints are being cleaned regularly.
The current advice from the Ministry of Education is to be prepared in the event the school needs to close. With this in mind, our teachers have been meeting and discussing what we could provide to support your child’s learning remotely. At this stage, the Ministry has no plans for mass school closures.
Rest assured we are following events closely, taking the changing events seriously and monitoring children to ensure we follow best practice while keeping things as normal as possible. We consider this to be very important particularly when families may be under other pressures related to this unprecedented situation.
We will be regularly updating our website in regards to Covid-19 and the related impacts this may have to school-related events and happenings.
Should we receive any urgent directives or any important changes to the current status we will contact you via email via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
The latest information received from the Ministry of Education this evening is below
Reminder – schools remain open
At this stage, we are not expecting widespread school closures. We are planning for temporary closures, like what is happening at Logan Park School but as the World Health Organisation has confirmed, the risk to children remains low and parents should continue to send their kids to schools and early learning centres.
While the website is being regularly updated with education-related content, the Ministry of Health is the Government agency leading the response to COVID-19
Consequently, any decisions about school closures will be made on a case by case basis. In the meantime, unless students are unwell themselves, then parents should keep sending them to schools and early learning centres as these environments continue to be safe and the best place for them to continue their learning.
Up-to-date information and advice
A reminder that information and advice for students, whānau and the education sector is available here.
12 MARCH 2020
You may have seen that the World Health Organisation has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. As noted by the Minister of Health, this doesn’t change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January. You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impacts to New Zealand. This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases. It is important to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.
We have 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home. Their children, four students at Auckland schools, continue to be well and show no symptoms. While we expect that more cases will arise, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low in New Zealand. We all have a role to play in this.
For our school, our pandemic plan is also ready to be implemented if needed. In the mean time we will continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.
With that, there is a good video clip from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus - YouTube clip - Nanogirl
You may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus:
One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our children. I will be encouraging my staff to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. I ask that you please do the same with your children. 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.
File Download: essential-services-list.pdf
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