It was a marathon; it wasn’t a sprint;
we travelled well
and now we have crossed the finished line!
Gold medals all round
Yes – we have school “as usual” at Alert Level 1. It is incredible how our nation has operated collectively, collaborative and courageously over the last 8+ weeks. Covid-19 has certainly touched us all – and now as educators, our key focus is back on learning, and for our country, re-engaging in our economy, so that we can all pull through this incredible challenge successfully.
You will have noticed the information on our school sign:
All students to be at school by 8:40 please
This is so that everyone can be in class by 8:45, ready for learning. We are managing our bus bay with the “kiss and drop” process and it is flowing really well. Always move to the furthest end possible of the bus bay and we will help guide you through. When it is wet, this will be very important and we want all of our young people here by 8:40 to help with this process. A note explaining this is here.
Schooling under Alert Level 1:
In short – it looks like “schooling as usual”. I expect that all students will now be at school. A note has been sent (Covid-19 #14) to parents and is linked here and I have replicated a summary of our protocol here
so we are all on the same page.
The criteria for AL1 are here: (from the Secretary)
Physical distancing is not a requirement but where possible or practicable is encouraged when you are around people you don’t know.
There are no specific public health requirements.
There are no restrictions on personal movement so all students, children and staff continue to be safe to go to school / early learning, and all students must attend school.
You are no longer required to keep a contact tracing register but will continue with the usual practice of having a visitor and an attendance register (and will need to work with local health authorities to identify close contacts, should there be a case connected with the school).
There are no restrictions on numbers at gatherings or on physical activities including cultural and sporting activities, practices and events.
There are key public health measures - Golden rules - for everyone in New Zealand to follow. For schools and early learning services this means:
If people are sick, they should stay home (phone Healthline or their GP and get tested if they have cold or flu symptoms).
Continue to regularly wash and dry hands, sneeze and cough into elbows.
Soap, water and the ability to dry hands should be provided in bathrooms.
Regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
Support contact tracing efforts by displaying QR Code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.
Stringent self-isolation of those who display relevant symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, or have been overseas in the last 14 days – Ministry of Health information for self-isolation.
Other information from the Ministry
- The Nationwide Teacher Only Day planned for August 12, 2020 has been carried forward to 2022
- Nationwide, the school-year will be reduced by two days, due to Covid-19 interruptions; I am calculating the final days for 2020 directly
- Further changes to NCEA and University Entrance address COVID-19 impact
- To support students, further changes to NCEA and University Entrance requirements will be made for this school year. The following changes were agreed by the Ministry of Education and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) to help ensure that students are not disadvantaged by the disruption of COVID-19, whilst maintaining the integrity and credibility of NCEA:
- Students working towards an NCEA can gain additional credits, based on the number of credits they achieve during the 2020 school year. For every 5 credits a student attains towards their NCEA, either through internal or external assessment, they can be awarded 1 additional credit. Students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to a maximum of 10 additional credits, while those at Levels 2 and 3 are eligible for up to a maximum of 8 additional credits.
- Students will be awarded a certificate endorsement if they achieve 46 credits at Merit or Excellence level, rather than the usual 50. Students achieving 12 credits at Merit or Excellence level in a course – rather than 14 – will be awarded a course endorsement.
- Current UE requirements have been reduced from 14 credits to 12 credits in three UE-approved subjects. Students still need to attain NCEA Level 3 and meet literacy and numeracy requirements to be awarded University Entrance.
Finally – now that we are at Alert Level 1, life will now return to how it was in February, in many ways. We know full attendance is critical for quality learning and achievement for us all; and that there will be anxieties that remain for us all – so we now need to continue to look after each other with Kindness, Patience and Tolerance.