Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek the treasure you value most dearly, if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain
Kia ora koutou
Today, Chris Hipkins announced that schools would be opening on Wednesday 17th November. Some of the information was shared first thing this morning at a workshop. The main body of information has just been sent to principals this evening so I will need to read it all tonight to aid Friday’s communication.
The workshop I attended this morning was about risk analysis and in particular, looking at ways to mitigate the risks associated with a return. I will outline the key findings of this on Friday.
After the announcement the three principals met to discuss, followed by the Senior Leadership Teams from the two primary schools. Our aim is to work closely together with all schools, so we are all on the same page and support one another. On Friday of this week, Waiheke Primary and Te Huruhi will announce our model so you are clear about what this means for you. We will outline how the model will work for both schools. It will not be normal and we completely understand that we will not be able to accommodate everyone.
We had planned four different options in the last week and after the announcement, the two primary schools went through the health and safety pros and cons with each one. It is very important you read the bullet points below and then either fill out the form or edit your form accordingly.
Health and safety is our number one priority and this forms the basis of our pending decision. We do need to wait for clarification from the Ministry of Education about a few things. In order to prepare, teachers will not do their distance learning programmes on Monday or Tuesday next week (week 5) so they can get ready for Wednesday.
Some of the points below I know, sound quite challenging.
Key points for you to know:
We are restricted to having limited numbers on site.
This is part time schooling.
All staff on site will have had at least their first vaccination and undertake weekly testing, or be fully vaccinated.
If your child has been in our current bubble, we have been informed they must remain there for the rest of the term.
It will be mandatory for Year 4-6 children to wear a mask.
There needs to be a 2 metre distance between all people.
We have to limit the adult:student ratio for contact to the bare minimum, so some children will see changes to how Teacher Aides may work with them for example.
We will keep windows and doors open and limit time inside.
We will dramatically reduce online and device use in favour of wellbeing and outdoor activities.
Sport is not permitted, along with singing inside or any assemblies or gatherings at this stage.
Playgrounds can be used during school time only.
We will use the undercover areas we have for shade.
All playtimes will be staggered with only members from the same class in any one area.
Tamariki will eat inside.
We will not continue with our zooms in the way we have done. They may stop altogether.
At this point in time, students will be placed with their peers. We will endeavour to host siblings at school on the same days.
Buses will be leaving at 2.10pm to allow for a changed high school schedule.
There will be staggered entries and exits to the school day.
We aim to be outside for a lot of the day so sunscreen is vital, as is a water bottle, a top to keep your child warm when the breeze gets up and a wide brimmed hat.
At this stage, we are uncertain of the protocols with parents being allowed on site.
If in light of this information you may feel you need to edit your response to our survey about coming back to school, we have enabled editing for you to do so.
More information will be sent out on Friday between the two schools and I am confident that we can make this work. Thanks for your ongoing support. Please remember, with all the will in the world we know that whatever model we put in place it will not suit all people, but we ask that we try to make the best of what we can.
We empathise with you as this is yet again another challenging transition. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
Ngā mihi maioha