By Simon Clarke | Posted: Thursday May 14, 2020
Well done and thank you!
Action Points from this newsletter
1. Thank you and well done!
2. Read the article attached and prepare your children for return to school on Monday
4. They need a drink bottle as fountains are out of bounds
5. No parents on-site at any time unless they have signed the visitor register
6. Road Patrol is back on Monday
7. Kelly Club is open
8. If your child is sick, keep them home
9. The learning programme will be classroom-based while some online resources will be available for children who continue to work from home or are sick.
10. Do not leave your car in the kiss and run zones on the north and south side of Wright St. This area is intended for quick pick up and drop offs.
Friday 15 May 12:45 - Kapa Haka on Google Meets. Please ensure you use the correct link
Monday 18 May - First day back for all students!
I was listening to the radio when I heard the ad about not being hard on yourself if you haven't learnt another language or how to bake sour dough during the lockdown and it brought a smile to my face as I know I have not achieved either of those things. But it got me thinking more about what success looks like during the lockdown.
Whatever you did for your children during the lockdown you have been successful and you should be very proud of your efforts! Every family has handled the lockdown differently and as teachers we are not particularly interested in what formal learning they have or haven't done during the last 8 weeks. We are only interested in what we will do for your child next in their social, emotional and academic learning.
It is at times like this, institutions like schools rely on their values and for us, the KAIK values will be very important over the next few weeks.
As mentioned in the last newsletter schools across the country, including ours, are starting slowly and ensuring that children are emotionally and mentally ready to start formal learning again. I have attached some very useful information from Mike Parkes who is one of Dunedin's wonderful child psychologists to help you understand the importance of starting slowly and how you can prepare your child.
Teachers will spend the first part of Monday checking in with children and listening to their stories that they may want to share during the lockdown. We will be focusing on the positives and reassuring that they are safe at school and what we have to look forward to. Teachers will be in contact with you if they have any concerns and likewise, you should do the same if you are seeing changes in behaviour at home.
Children will be returning having had a range of experiences during the lockdown. For some it has been a great time while for others they may be living in stressful conditions as parents are worried about their future employment or know someone who has got sick through Covid 19. Some children may come to school wearing a mask. What will get us through all of this is by being kind to each other.
Due to the conditions of return for all schools, one of the things our children may need to do is to become more independent. Parents are not allowed onto the school grounds unless they have signed the visitor registration form in the office. Next week we will have teachers and teacher aides, especially at the junior gate, welcoming students back and taking them to their classes. Parents will need to say their goodbyes either on Wright St for middles and senior students or Tyne St for juniors. Social distancing could become an issue if parents don't show common sense here as we can't have 100 parents giving their child a hug goodbye directly in front of the entrances. We would encourage you to drop your child off and say farewell some distance from the gate and they can walk towards the teachers who will be waiting for them. Thank you to Kelly and the Road Patrol team who will be back in operation on Monday ensuring that your child can cross the Wright and Tyne Streets safely.
If this doesn't work we will have to use staggered start times which will be much harder for parents who are returning to work. School is open from 8:30 and teachers will be at the gate from then.
It will be the same for afterschool where junior teachers will take their class to the Tyne St gate and seniors and middles will leave via the front gate. For this first week, we ask that no children play in the playground after school. Please keep both the south and the north kiss and run zones on Wright St clear before and after school. This will aid the children in dispersing quickly. Remember you shouldn't leave your car if you are using these areas. Parking enforcement will be patrolling at times next week.
Kelly Club is open from Monday and parents are welcome to come onto the school grounds as long as you sign the Kelly Club register on arrival.
One of Mike Parkes pieces of advice is to reduce uncertainty. The school grounds including the playgrounds are open over the weekend and you might like to practise saying goodbye at the correct gate or walking from where you are going to drop them off as a family.
"Being the best you can be" is being the healthiest you can be in relation to Covid19.
CLEAN HANDS AND DRINKING FOUNTAINS
Students will wash their hands using soap for 20 seconds before and after all breaks. Hand sanitisers will be available in each class and all people on site are encouraged to use this regularly through the day. Drinking fountains are not to be used. Children are to bring their own, named drinking bottles to use throughout the day.
DISINFECTANT AND CLEANING
Every learning space will have a bottle of disinfectant and cloths available to them, and staff and students are encouraged to use this regularly to reduce the possibility of the spread of disease. Door handles, tables and high touch areas will be professionally cleaned during the day.
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROVISIONS
Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. In an alert level 2 school environment, this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices (coughing into your elbow, handwashing and drying) and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
Hand cleaning products will be available in:
the entry of every learning space, including the library and hall
by all toilets
at both gates before and after school
in the office and admin areas
Soap is available at every sink, and paper towels for drying hands thoroughly. Paper towels must be thrown out and not recycled
Disinfectant wipes/spray in every classroom, office and staffroom.
Children may wear masks, but these must be provided from home
Children, young people and staff should be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.
It is important that children do not share food or drink at school during level 2. Staff will support children with this. Morning tea and lunch will be eaten in class.
Staff will closely monitor children as they come into school each day, and if any symptoms of illness are noted, they have been instructed to contact the office to be sent home. Symptoms to monitor for are any respiratory symptoms such as a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills and a fever. Stay home if unwell is the consistent message to all New Zealanders.
And finally, we hope that your children are keen to get back to school, to experience a new normal, as much as we are! Our learning programme will focus on those who are at school and their needs while also providing a smaller version of our Emergency Response Teaching available online for children who are staying home or are sick.
I am already looking forward to the week 25-29th, when if all going well, we will restart many of our extra programmes including the choir, KPSTV, dance group, guitar and keyboard lessons, French, Mandarin, math and writing extension. Lunch online will also start in the second week back. By the third week back we aim to have all of our programmes running especially the support programmes such as Quick 60, targeted math groups and our testing programmes.
I wouldn't expect school sport to start until next term at the earliest but we will be keen to run some skill sessions at the end of this term for the different sports codes.
8 weeks ago I used the analogy of our learning programmes will be a little like building a plane while flying it. On behalf of the Board, the community and myself I wouild like to say a final thank you to the teachers and teacher aides who manage to "build the plane" over the last 8 weeks and tried their very best to support you and your children with their learning.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Monday!