Information our school has officially received from the Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted that you might find informative and relevant. While there is a lot of discussion and speculation in the media and other sources regarding education during the Covid-19 pandemic, schools are required to follow the direction of the Secretary for Education.
Thursday 9 April 2020
Planning for changing COVID-19 alert levels
This afternoon, the Prime Minister set out the timelines for some key decisions that will affect us all.
It is the Government’s intention that on the 20th of April, two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish, Cabinet will make a decision on whether or not the Alert Level will change. They will use the most up to date data they have to make that decision.
Level 4 has come with some heavy restrictions and next week, the Government will give some guidance on what life at Level 3 looks like. We will ensure we provide you with some information for you to begin early planning on ahead of the detailed guidance we will give you when a final decision is made.
In Select Committee today, Minister Hipkins also spoke to the change of alert levels and the implications for education providers and their communities. The Minister noted it would be wrong to assume that all schools and early learning services will reopen at Level 3.
We are looking at various scenarios and they will be based on health considerations and requirements under Level 3, particularly managing physical distancing. A hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages of Level 3. The Public Health requirements will affect each school differently.
We want to reassure you that following any announcement, you will have some time to prepare for physically re-opening your school or early learning service to welcome back on site your staff and some, but not all, of your children/students.
Assuming the alert level does change, current planning assumptions are that you will have Thursday 23 and Friday 24 April to fully access your site and undertake a property inspection and necessary maintenance and cleaning. Monday 27 April is a public holiday (ANZAC Day observed) and Tuesday 28 April will be a staff-only day. We therefore anticipate Wednesday 29 April would be your first day with some of your students/children able to attend in person. Early Learning Centres might not need all of this time.
We are developing detailed guidance to support you through this process. This will be ready in time for any decision announced on 20 April. Our staff will then work with you to support you to develop a detailed plan for your school and communication to your parents.
The Prime Minister reiterated that we will not be moving out of Level 4 early so our intention is to help you to be ready when the time comes.
Distribution of Devices
As you know, from Tuesday we are dispatching the first tranche of devices to students and ākonga where schools cannot provide devices, starting with senior secondary students. This is a big job being delivered at pace and we thank you for your ongoing support with this.
Reminder from Oranga Tamariki about how to keep children and young people safe
Families are spending lots more time together at the moment, which is a great chance to have fun together and offer each other support but some children and their whānau might be finding this time stressful. It’s important to know you can still contact us if you are worried about a child or young person.
If you know a child is in immediate danger, please call NZ Police on 111. If you have ongoing concerns about a child’s safety, please call Oranga Tamariki on 0508 326 455. Further information about reporting a concern is available on the Oranga Tamariki website