Covid-19: Sunday Update

Kia ora koutou

Day 5 of lockdown … hope it’s treating you well.  It’s certainly been interesting watching the bulletins and listening to my friends make predictions for how long various parts of the country will be locked down for.  I prefer to focus on things day by day personally but obviously in my role as Acting Principal, I’ve got to be a little more future focused.

Learning from home

I’ve been working with Lily, Brenda, Katrina and Peter as coordinators, and the teaching staff, to make sure that we’re ready to go for at home learning.  Each area of the school has slightly different expectations for this but in general the plan right now is to take direction from your child’s teacher. 

Tomorrow you can expect teachers to check in with students / whānau.  That means you can expect an email or phone call from your child’s teacher.  They will be checking on your readiness for at home learning as well as making sure that things are going well for you at home.

From Tuesday, the Upper School will start delivering their classes online.  They will share this info with you tomorrow. 

The Lower School and Kindergarten will continue to liaise with you and provide material to help keep your child engaged in learning while at home.

School site is closed at Level 4

In terms of gathering learning material from the school, a small team of staff is likely to go onsite during the week to prepare learning materials that can be sent home, should we need to.  It’s important to recognise that the exemption granted to schools by the MOH is very specific.  It includes several conditions that must be met including having the exclusive purpose of being at school to create and distribute essential learning materials.   Teachers will only be on site to prepare these resources and arrange the delivery of these items to families.  They will not be there to collect any personal belongings left at school by students.  As the Alert Level drops, we should be able to resolve the collection of these items.

NCEA – Message from Maxine

I hope you are all well and settling in to hopefully, a short period of lockdown. 

As the Principal Nominee (NZQA Representative for the school) I will be connecting over the coming weeks to update you with any news received from NZQA, relating to our current lockdown. The correspondence I have received to date relates to teacher resources. 

However, NZQA has stated that NCEA’s flexibility is its strength. They believe that ‘Schools can adapt how they deliver NCEA to reflect their environment – including distance learning where necessary’. The resources and information NZQA have previously provided to support assessment and the gathering of valid, standard-specific evidence has been further developed to help schools through the present lockdown. 

NZQA has informed us that with the situation still developing rapidly, it is too early to make decisions on any changes to NCEA (or University Entrance). However, they are continuing to work with the Ministry of Education, the Minister’s Professional Advisory Group and schools to make sure any advice to Ministers on possible interventions – if they are required – would be fair and proportionate. 

Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT)

 NZQA is reviewing the situation to see if the dates for MCAT (14 & 16 September) should be changed. We will let you know when we have more clarity. 

At present teachers have been working hard to set up systems to support remote learning and ensuring students have the resources they need to continue their course of study at home. Teachers will start connecting with students on Monday if they have not already done so. 

I am happy to answer any questions or concerns which relate to NZQA or NCEA programmes and will forward updates from NZQA as I receive them. 

Ngā mihi nui 

Maxine Ude Shankar – Principal Nominee

MOE Notice: Childcare for Workers of Alert Level 4 Business or Services Scheme

The MOE has announced a childcare service for children of essential workers.  At Alert Level 4, all schools are closed.  The scheme is in place to help alleviate the pressure for families unable to find childcare while they are working.

The Government has contracted approved licensed home-based education and care providers across the country to provide childcare to workers in Alert Level 4 businesses and services.

Childcare through this scheme is only available:

  • during an alert level 4 lock-down period as announced by the New Zealand Government.
  • for children under the care of Alert Level 4 business or service workers.
  • where there are no other adults in the household able to undertake childcare.
  • for children aged 0-13.

The preference remains that Alert Level 4 workers make their own private arrangements where you can do so.

A list of approved licensed home-based education and care providers can be found on the MOE’s website. If you are an Alert Level 4 business or service worker, you can organise childcare by contacting one of these providers directly.

Ngā mihi nui

Steven Mustor – Acting Principal