LCŌ and MOE update #22

Monday 18 May, 10am: students return for onsite learning and straight to ako time.

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.

Monday 18 May (repetition from previous article)

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, 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.

Learning (further to previous article)

  • 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.
  • Monday is a fresh start for everyone.

As the Prime Minister has said we have been a team of 5 million and continue to be. Within that, LCŌ is a team of nearly 900, students and staff, and all of us will play our part, as our whole country has done over the past weeks in Levels 4 and 3. 

We are a school which means of course we have some students who, for whatever reason, push the boundaries. So I am being completely clear to our community – our whānau, students, staff, and Board of Trustees – the coming weeks is not the time to boundary-push. This is not just an issue about education and making up for lost learning weeks, but it is also a health issue. Therefore students who make life difficult for others will be sent home until they either understand the seriousness of the situation themselves or appropriate support can be put in place.

I will end this section positively. Whanaungatanga and community are at the heart of our school and we all have our own part to play for everyone’s wellbeing and learning. Mā pango, mā whero, ka oti te mahi. So’o le fau i le fau.

We do it together for each other, for our whānau, for ourselves. Every positive action counts: Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.

Ministry of Education:  Alert Level 2 information for parents

The following link is from the MOE and is advice for whānau about transitioning to Alert Level 2.

https://parents.education.govt.nz/essential-information/news-stories/covid-19-preparing-for-alert-level-2/#checklistforparents

Return to school information to students

Return to school information has been sent directly to each student on the google classroom student page. This is on our website under the COVID-19 link at the top of home page for whānau who wish to read it.

Our Alert Level 2 Health and Safety plan

This is  on our website under the COVID-19 link at the top of home page.

Our cleaning protocols

A comprehensive set of documents about our cleaning protocols from our cleaning company, SPS: Sharman Property Services is on our website. I wish to thank SPS for their complete professionalism and expertise through this time. We could not ask for a better partnership.

NCEA changes: COVID-19 response

To help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 there are several changes to NCEA for the rest of 2020, effective immediately:

  • delaying external NCEA examinations to start on 16 November instead of 6 November. This allows another week for teaching, learning and internal assessment in Term 4.
  • extending the submission date for subjects that require students to submit a portfolio, such as Design and Visual Communication, from 28 October to 12 November 2020, giving students more time to prepare
  • waiving the requirement for NZQA verification of Level 1 and 2 Visual Arts portfolios, allowing students more time to complete their portfolios and teachers more time for marking.

The MOE and NZQA have an existing NCEA Professional Advisory Group. This group is working on ensuring NCEA is fair to present students who are experiencing this disruption.

The Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, has said, “We recognise that students, teachers and schools are affected in different ways by COVID-19, and it’s important to provide a fair opportunity for students to achieve NCEA this year.”

And:

“It’s important to get the balance right. Any further changes will need to be carefully considered, so the credibility and reputation of the qualification are maintained and allow those who leave school after this year to continue with tertiary study, vocational education or employment.”

I completely support both comments and we are fortunate that we have a direct voice at the table as Ms Helen Mora, our Head of Science, is on this national group.  

It is likely that there will be further changes to NCEA. 

Essential health information (repetition from previous article)

  • 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

School attendance (repetition from previous article)

  • 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.

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 and charger they should return this to reception at school on Monday. 

Our future

As I said in the last article I am optimistic. I am looking forward to Monday. And if anyone wishes to contact me directly, my email is en@linwoodcollege.school.nz and my phone is 027 6221090.

Go well over the weekend.

Ngā mihi nui –

Richard Edmundson Tumuaki-Principal