Monday 6 September, 2021
Kia ora Whānau
Sorry this week’s message is a little long - a bit of cabin fever kicking in, perhaps. As we head into another week of lockdown, I hope you and your families are in a nice routine that is working for you.
I have had a couple of parents reach out to me asking about the school holidays and if there has been any thought about moving them forward into the lockdown so that when we move to Level 2, we can come straight back into school. This was something discussed by Auckland Principals with the Ministry of Education a couple of weeks ago, and the Ministry said they were considering it. However, late last week they announced, mainly due to NCEA exams, that shifting the holidays now looks very unlikely. The Education Secretary, in her email to principals last week, did say, though, that things may change.
Individual public schools have no authority to move the holidays; however, I am very aware of how some families have had to use up annual leave, leave they would normally put aside for things like this, and I am working on something that may help families in that predicament. I’ll let you know how I get on next week.
I want to acknowledge the work that you are putting in to support your child’s learning. I know you didn’t sign up for being a teacher, and I will let you in on a secret - teaching your own child is way harder than teaching a whole group of other children! So be kind to yourselves.
We are currently preparing details for when we move to Alert Level 3. These are largely unchanged from previous lockdowns. However, based on Ministry of Health advice, in-school bubbles have been shrunk from 20 to 10 students, and there will be no singing allowed indoors. I will share the finalised details with you closer to the end of Alert Level 4.
Something a bit lighter, if you are interested in some good shows that I am enjoying, The Flight Attendant on Neon or Sky Go is great, and another murder mystery that is a bit light but really good is Only Murders in the Building on Disney+ (both are not suitable for kids).
If you have a child starting in 2022, we ask you to please enrol them by the middle of October. If you are Out of Zone, you need to enrol by the 29th of September. More details will be shared on Thursday.
Jayne Alexander, the Policy Rep. on the Board has asked me to share with you the review of our Concerns and Complaints Policy. You can read the policy and and give feedback here: https://forms.gle/bepDvWB9NRtqNbWt6
Two of our intermediate students, Zoe and Jett, met with the Local Board shortly before lockdown to talk about the Pump Track that was designed but never built at the Skate Park. They have a petition out now to get that going. You can sign it here: https://chng.it/Y45pgKVw
George is available for any counselor or wellbeing needs (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Olive and myself are also available should you have any questions or issues.
Ministry of Education Notices:
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect each of us and our whānau. The more of us who are vaccinated in our community, the greater our immunity.
The Government approved a vaccine to immunise and protect 12 to 15-year-olds. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved by our Medsafe experts. This vaccine is also used for 12 to 15-year-olds in other countries such as Canada, USA, Europe and Japan.
Here is a video you can watch to explain how the vaccine works.
Many parents and whānau would like to provide informed consent on behalf of their young person. The easiest way to do this is for a parent or caregiver to be present during vaccination and provide verbal consent. You can book your young person in for vaccination at the same time as your vaccination or accompany them to their appointment.
You can book through your GP or through vaccination centres:
Book online through Book My Vaccine
For a group booking, call the COVID Vaccination Healthline on 0800 28 29 26 (8am–8pm, seven days a week).
For personal devices, we suggest using Network 4 Learning’s simple but effective content filtering service Switch on safety for students learning from home.
We encourage all parents/whānau to take advantage of this free service. It’s a universally available support for learner devices once they are off the school site and not protected by your internet filtering service.
It’s important to note however that content filters are not a complete protection from online harm and should be used in conjunction with other cyber security precautions (for example, anti-virus software) and appropriate supervision.
We also fund Netsafe to support schools with online safety to ensure that all New Zealand kura and schools and their communities have access to quality advice and support for digital safety and security.
Cert NZ also provide advice on cybersecurity and any student experiencing incidents can report them directly.
Another great resource for parents and young people is the Department of Internal Affairs’ Keep it real online campaign.
Noho ora mai