LCŌ and MOE update #21

Last two days of distance learning: students return for onsite learning Monday 18 May, 10am.

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.

“The team of 5 million.”  We have been through extraordinary times and what seems even more extraordinary is that I first mentioned the word “Coronavirus” in a newsletter on 28 January, before term 1 had even officially started. While everything is not yet over, we can say that the next stage is beginning and there are positive things to look forward to. 

The next two days: Thursday 14 and Friday 15 May

These are the final days of distance learning. While students can and should continue with their distance learning, I have asked staff to reduce their direct on-line interaction with students over the next couple of days. This is to enable staff  to return to school and prepare for Monday’s face to face learning. 

Monday 18 May

This will be our first day together since Thursday 26 March, which will have been 7.5 weeks before. The starting time for students is 10am with ako time. After ako we then have interval and P3 and the day proceeds as usual. The Aldwins Rd school buses are running at the end of the day but not at the start.

Information to students

Return to school information is being sent directly to each student on the google classroom student page.

Buses

All students must register to be on the school buses. With the requirements of potential contact tracing no registration means no bus travel.

Hygiene and health protocols

The Ministries of Health and Education (MOE) have put out explicit information about schools being safe for on-site learning. The MOE states:

It is safe for all students and staff to return to school in Alert level 2. Schools are safe because hygiene habits will be strong and schools will put into place safe and sensible practice. The overriding principles for Alert Level 2 are:

  • to minimise
    the risk that someone gets infected in the first place
  • to ensure we
    can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a
    person, if someone in a school or early learning centre is infected
  • understand
    that Level 2 is not business as usual

And:

The key controls for schools and all workplaces are:  

  • ensuring people with COVID-19 symptoms or feel generally unwell stay away from school
  • maintaining Level 2 school physical distancing which means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other – staying out of the “moist breath zone”
  • enabling good hygiene practices
  • keeping track of people who enter school

There is a lot of detailed information on this but so this communication is of a readable length I am including only essential information here. The detailed information is available from tomorrow on our website for anyone who wishes to read it.

Essential health information

  • students and staff who feel unwell, even with “only” cold-like symptoms, must remain at home
  • “moist breath zone” physical distancing 
  • hand sanitiser in/out of classroom and shared spaces 
  • soap, water and the ability to dry hands in toilets
  • students and staff regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face
  • physical education classes and break time activities can include access to sports equipment including playgrounds but hygiene practice should be observed after playing with equipment
  • disinfect and clean all surfaces daily with specific cleaning protocols for high-touch surfaces
  • contact tracing registers set up to identify which students and adults – staff, parents, visitors – are on site and in what areas

Students’ views of returning to school

  • student surveying informs us 55% are completely fine about returning to school, 35% have a few questions or concerns, and 10% have considerable concern
  • our Guidance team and deans are working with students who have concerns 

School attendance

  • the government’s expectation is that all students return on Monday except for those who are sick
  • please contact the school in the usual way if your child will be absent on Monday

Learning

  • teachers will work with their classes where each individual is in their learning and create learning plans for the rest of the year
  • to assist this we will have extra teaching staff until at least the end of the term
  • NCEA students: the NZ Qualifications Authority is altering NCEA rules so students are not disadvantaged by this lost time
  • Monday is a fresh start for everyone

Devices

  • if students have a device they should bring it, charged, every day to school. We have to get better at this.
  • if students have a borrowed device they should return this to reception at school. This can begin from tomorrow, Thursday.

Our future

Further information about health and other protocols will be placed on our website over the next few days. Of course we will continue to face challenges throughout the year. However, as we head into Alert Level 2, there is a sense of optimism in our school, our community, and across the country that we will make this work. 

Ngā mihi nui –

Richard Edmundson Tumuaki-Principal