LCŌ and Ministry of Education update #9 on COVID-19

Stage 1: our next four weeks – learning and teaching over this time.

Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste and Kumusta. Greetings to our LCŌ Community.

My apology, whānau, for the lateness of this communication. Yesterday I said it would be out this afternoon but that didn’t occur.

The key information from the Ministry of Education (MOE) today is that we are operating in a specific time period, namely the present four weeks of Level 4 activation. We are in week 1 now. For education, with the bringing forward of the school holidays, the four weeks mean:

Week 1: Today and tomorrow,  Wed 25 March. Schools open to children of essential services workers.

Week 1 cont: Thursday-Friday 26-27 March. Distance teaching and learning 

Week 2: Monday 30 March-Friday 3 April. Holidays.

Week 3: Monday 6 April-Friday 10 April. Holiday. (Friday 10 April is Easter Good Friday.)

Week 4: Monday-Tuesday 13-14 April. Holiday. (Easter holiday days.)

Week 4 cont: Wednesday-Friday 15-17 April. Term 2 starts. Distance teaching and learning.

Over this four week period there are five days of teaching and learning which shows the good sense of the MOE’s decision to bring the holidays forward. Therefore, our immediate response is based on these four weeks while at the same time we make preparations if the four week period is extended. My view, for what is worth, is that the four weeks of schools being physically closed will be extended and LCŌ is planning from viewpoint. I would love to proved wrong on this.

Distance learning: classroom teachers

The most important thing about this is that five days learning, or not learning, over the next four weeks is less important than children’s and whānau wellbeing. You are the parents and caregivers so you know what is best for you, your child and your whānau in your present circumstances.

It is clear that routine is a good thing for students of all ages so as much as is possible we wish the 5 days of distance learning to follow the school timetable. Therefore, again as much as possible, this means staff are available for their classes as timetabled. This is to:

  • give certainty to students and staff
  • support students to manage independent learning
  • balance staff workload

Our ideal is:

  • all messages from students are replied to within a 48 hour period during the ‘term time’
  • lessons are prepared ahead of time so that they are available for learners during their timetabled slot

I am very clear that this is new territory for us, and students, whānau and staff will do what is possible, making the best of the given situation. An example of this is that we are also preparing for the possible times that staff are unable to participate in distance learning because of illness or they have dependents to look after.

Distance learning: kaiārahi (form teachers)

  • during the teaching and learning days kaiārahi will email students in their Ako class every second day. The purpose of this is a wellbeing check.

Distance learning: deans

  • deans are available on their email addresses
  • regular individual appointments will continue
  • deans will follow up on students referred to them by classroom teachers and kaiārahi. The purpose of this is student wellbeing.

Distance learning: counsellors and external support agencies

  • counsellors are available online during the normal school day for existing and new referrals
  • regular student-counsellor appointments will continue
  • contact will be via email, phone or google meet

Safety in the online environment

  • student-staff communication email communication should only be through the respective school email addresses.
  • students and staff are expected to retain professional boundaries
  • Talk with your child about keeping safe online generally.
  • “Netsafe” is New Zealand’s independent, non-profit online safety organisation endorsed by the MOE. Their website is extensive and useful:  Their contact number is 0508 638 723

NZ Qualifications Authority – delivering assessments online

  • Information about NCEA will be coming out from NZQA on this. No student will be disadvantaged by these external circumstances

MOE information

The following links are the MOE website for whānau about the next four weeks:


Information from the MOE: Today the MOE  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.


I will put out another communication either within the next 2-3 days or immediately if there is a further update.

Communicating with LCŌ: please contact us if you have any questions. All staff emails are on the school website.  My email is 

All these communications are posted on LCŌ’s Facebook so are available without having to access an email account.

A lighter point: this morning’s Senior Leadership Team meeting

Reflecting our present circumstances the team met this morning by distance through google meet. It is the first SLT meeting that I have been in where three of the team had under 5s bouncing on their laps. It worked  – of course it did – and is perhaps a pointer to us all that positive developments about our workplaces will come out of this.

Ngā mihi

Richard Edmundson