Newsletter – 13th April 2020

Nau mai haere mai, Greetings | Tena Koutou | Talofa Lava | Malo e Lelei | Namaste | Ni sa bula | Noaia’e mauri | Fakalofa lahi atu | Kia Orana | Asalam Alykum | Ni Hao | Konnichiwa | An Nyung Ha Sai Yo | Nay Ho | Goeie Môre | Привет

Good afternoon

We hope this newsletter is informative as we countdown to the end of the school holidays, the start of Term 2 on Wednesday, 15 April and the start of online learning. The teachers have been busy contacting all the families to ensure a smooth start on Wednesday. If you have not been contacted, please check your emails including spam and phone messages. If a teacher has not contacted you before Wednesday April 15th then it means the teacher does not have your correct/updated details. Please contact the teacher or one of the senior management in this instance. We are also currently trying to get devices out to the few families who were unable to make it to school before the lockdown.

Latest news from the Ministry of Education

Schools have been told to prepare to reopen for “some but not all” of their students on April 29 – but principals are still uncertain what reopening will look like.

The Ministry of Education has sent a bulletin to schools saying that “a hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages” after the coronavirus lockdown ends.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said the Cabinet will decide next Monday, April 20whether the lockdown will end as originally planned at midnight on April 22.

“Assuming the alert level does change, current planning assumptions are that you will have Thursday April 23 and Friday April 24 to fully access your site and undertake a property inspection and necessary maintenance and cleaning,” the ministry has told schools.

“Monday April 27 is a public holiday (Anzac Day observed) and Tuesday April 28 will be a staff-only day.

“We therefore anticipate Wednesday April 29 would be your first day with some of your students/children able to attend in person. Early learning centres might not need all of this time.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins told TVNZ’s Q&A that teachers might return to schools before their students.

“It may be that in the first instance they are able to come back into their classrooms and continue to provide remote learning from the school environment where they have access to broadband,” he said.

“We do need to prepare for a number of scenarios, and one of those scenarios is that a significant number of young people could be at home for a long time after level 4 is lifted.”

Once it was safe to let some children return to school, he said the children of essential workers were “clearly a priority” so that their parents could go to work.

Below is some general information and specific information from each team.

Online learning is new for everyone so please manage your child’s workload. As parents, you can decide they have done enough or if you feel it is too easy/hard etc. then please let your child’s teacher know. As parents, you are the judges of how this work is going for your child.

The work is for your child so please do not do it for them, it is great to help but giving all the answers will not help your child. It is important to go at your child’s pace, as learning should be a balance of fun and challenge but not stressful.

The teachers will be very busy responding to questions from students and parents and part of their challenge is to manage this within school hours. Please do not be upset if it takes time for your child’s teacher to respond. The teachers will not respond to emails in the evening as you can appreciate many have families and are experiencing the same challenges as you with lockdown.

The Ministry of Education has stated they have hard copies of learning materials that are available to be rolled out on a needs basis. Pakuranga Heights School has not opted into this as the lessons supplied are essentially one size fits all learning programme and does not take into account the level your child is working at. Working directly with the teacher ensures your child’s learning programme is tailored to their needs.

Attached to this newsletter is a guide for parents in helping with your child’s learning.

Junior School Guide (Room 1 to Room 8) 

  • By 9am each morning teachers will send via email  a good morning video for their class and details of the day’s learning activities including links to their online learning.
  • The Year 2 students will require access to Google Slides to view their online learning and access their links.
  • Teachers have sent an email to all parents with their child’s individual log on details. If you have any problems logging on please contact your child’s teacher
  • Teachers will be available throughout the day during normal working hours to answer questions or to provide support.
  • The teacher closely monitors links to literacy and numeracy websites that require logins. The teacher has selected tasks and activities for your child based on their individual learning goals and will be monitored and new tasks reassigned when required.

Feedback on other tasks are via email. If possible, please email once a week, three examples of your child’s home learning for teachers to give  feedback on. Hard copies of work completed can be brought back to school for sharing once schools reopen.

Middle School Guide (Room 11 to Room 17)

  • By 9.30 am each morning teachers will send a video  to the children through their class email address or Google Classroom.
  • Each school day slides will be available on the blog:
  • Teachers will be available through email to answer questions or provide support

Feedback on other tasks are via email. Hard copies of work completed to bring back to school for sharing once schools reopen.

Senior School Guide Rooms 

  • Each school day at 9 am, your child will receive their daily task board via their own email addresses.
  • All students have been sent their individual logins and passwords for the learning sites we are using. If you have any problems logging on please contact your child’s teacher
  • Teacher support will be given through video conferencing and online feedback. Teachers are available via email for questions.

A video tutorial for parents and students to show how to access video conferencing will be made available.

Thank you for your continued support we expect there will be issues that arise and some parts of online learning that work better than other parts. The teachers have been working hard so that  the learning for your child is relevant and at your child’s level. Feedback from you as parents is invaluable as we deliver learning for the next few weeks. We know this can be a very stressful time for families, please reach out if you need any support or help.

It has been great to see all the innovative ways families have been keeping their children busy and active over the holidays.

Take Care
Fintan, Sue and Libby

Need to Know