LCŌ and MOE update #14

Distance learning of term 2 starts tomorrow – Wednesday 15 April.

Kia ora koutou. Talofa. Kia Orana. Malo e lelei. Bula. Fakaalofa atu. Namaste and Kumusta. Greetings to everyone at LCŌ and our wider LCŌ community as we start our term 2 distance learning tomorrow.

Distance Learning – term 2 

Term 2 starts tomorrow on Wednesday 15 April. All schools are still physically closed so this remains distance learning. Staff have been preparing, individually and in teams, for this new term, and while it is circumstances none of us chooses to be in, we are pleased that distance learning is beginning again to support student wellbeing and student learning. (And whānau sanity!)

Wellbeing is the foundation for learning

Wellbeing is the foundation for learning. Tomorrow is the first day of term 2 and, as it is up and down Aotearoa-New Zealand, LCŌ’s expectation is that students will be opening their devices, working online and doing other school activity, and responding to their teachers. Some of our students have been doing this over the holidays as well.

However we know that these are extraordinary circumstances and that the situation for each student and their whānau may be very different. LCŌ completely supports parents in their judgement and how they manage their whānau-life for wellbeing, everyone’s wellbeing.

Parents are the best people to judge the right amount of time of schoolwork for their children, whether the learning levels of the schoolwork are right, the balance of (school) screentime vs other activity, the level of engagement and all the other factors that make up the new land we find ourselves in – this vast and varying continent of LearningFromHome.

“Distance learning, Online learning”: How do parents find the schoolwork?

The schoolwork that students receive online is either on two learning platforms, google classroom or Hāpara, which come to the students via a link in an email or directly by email. These emails are to the student’s school email address. If parents want to see their children’s schoolwork – and I hope that they are able to do this – the starting place is the inbox of their children’s school emails. 

Devices

Nationally, some students do not have their own device nor do their families have devices at home. Our school is no exception to this. 

There is a two-fold response to this. Firstly, the Ministry of Education, is distributing devices nationally, and modems if necessary, to some of these families. This has been a massive logistical process. Some of our whānau are on this Ministry list and the deliveries are due to be today. All these whānau have been informed of this.

Secondly, LCŌ is distributing school devices to other students without them. This is also a major process starting with the gaining of written permission from the Director of Education in Canterbury for our IT company to access the school site. I wish to thank in particular Mr Paul Osborne, Deputy Principal, and Fusion, our IT company, for all that they have done in this, and continue to do so. The first set of deliveries is ready to go also today if the courier companies – think of all NZ schools doing this – can manage this. All whānau receiving devices in this first delivery have been informed.

Ministry of Education: Planning for changing COVID-19 alert levels

I don’t know whether the information below is helpful or not but in the interests of community openness of course I am sharing it.

Monday 20 April: this is the date that the government has said that it will announce whether or not the Alert Level will change. It is two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish.  

The Education Minister Chris Hipkins has spoken about the change of alert levels and the implications for education providers and their communities. The Minister has stated that it would be wrong to assume that all schools and early learning services will reopen with a return to Level 3.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120973800/coronavirus-education-minister-says-schools-may-reopen-from-april-29

Wednesday 29 April, a week after New Zealand may emerge from lockdown, has been spoken of as a date that some schools may be able to physically re-open for learning. However this is not fixed and even if it were, it may be a partial return with some students returning before others. However, whenever returning to school sites occurs, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health are already working through the realities of school operations in the future environment. To give one example of these realities: how does physical distancing work for different age groups?

I would prefer to be giving more definite information on this but this is not possible as yet. We are all waiting for the decisions and our instructions.

Internet safety repeating information from previous updates

Netsafe continues to be available to provide the school, our parents, caregivers, and community with support for online safety. Netsafe has information for parents and caregivers and has pulled together their top tips for online safety during the lockdown.

To report an incident To Netsafe – https://www.netsafe.org.nz/reportanincident/

If you think a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, report it to Police. If you or a child are in danger or a crime is being committed, call 111 or visit your nearest Police Station immediately.

It is by working together we make sure children are safe online and we make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

Communicating with LCŌ

Please call or email us if you have any questions. 

  • school office: 03 982 0100, office@linwoodcollege.school.nz
  • If phoning the office there is a temporary lockdown message. To get to the office answer phone either press 0 as soon as the message starts and wait 9 rings to leave your message, or hang on through the lockdown message and then a gap of 4-5 seconds. A second recorded message then says, “We have not received a valid response….” and then you connected you to the office phone. After 9 rings you are connected to the answer phone. The office answer phone is listened to daily with the messages passed on to the appropriate staff.
  • Sue Ingle, Head of Guidance: 982 0100 ext 822, ig@linwoodcollege.school.nz

And if anyone wishes to contact me directly, my email is en@linwoodcollege.school.nz and my phone is 027 6221090.

Finally, as we start term 2, a moment of reflection. I feel so honoured to be at our kura, our precious LCŌ. And, to go really big picture, I am quietly proud of our national response. Mahi tahi – working together. 

We are in extraordinary times and everyone is affected. I want to acknowledge that within this some of us face even deeper challenges and it is difficult, very difficult, to keep responding positively. Therefore thank you everyone for all that you do as we are all support one another through these unprecedented times. Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi. With your basket and my basket the people will live. Community and collaboration are all.

Go well.

Ngā mihi

Richard Edmundson

Tumuaki-Principal