COVID-19

COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR PARENTS

 

Ministry of Education Letter – 27 March 2020

Ministry of Education Letter outlining the closing of school – 23 March 2020

Information Letter – 20 March 2020

 

MINISTRY OF EDUCATION INFORMATION

From Tuesday 24 March, early learning services, schools and kura will be closed for most students.

Children whose parents are essential workers will be able to attend early learning services or school on 24 and 25 March, while their parents make other arrangements.

Early learning services, schools, kura and tertiary education providers will then close from midnight on Wednesday 25 March for four weeks. Distance education will be provided where possible.

School holidays will start early, from 30 March to 14 April inclusive. During the holiday break, we will support schools to develop e-learning and other distance learning options for Term 2.

Special Bulletin – COVID-19 update

25 March

State of Emergency declared

A nationwide message will go out to all of New Zealand between 6pm and 7pm this evening. It is vital that all your community understand how crucial it is that they self-isolate within their group, minimise travel, practice physical distancing when outside their group and outside, and practice very good hygiene for the next 4 weeks.

There will be no tolerance for people who don’t self-isolate.

Schools are closed

After 11.59pm today, no one is to go on site to schools during the lockdown. If there is an emergency Police and/or Fire services will respond.

Government announcement about children aged 0 – 14 of Essential Workers
Further to our Bulletin content about self-isolating groups (circles of care), Government has confirmed the following arrangements today. You may wish to forward this to your community immediately.

Where possible, essential workers need to make their own arrangements for childcare from Thursday 26 March until the end of the lockdown, due to limited capacity.

Where this is not possible alternative arrangements have been made so essential workers can continue to work.

What essential workers need to know when making their own arrangements
Essential workers will need to use their existing networks for in home care, for example a neighboor, relative, friend or current carer/nanny who can come to their house, or provide childcare in their own home. There are Public Health rules that must be observed:

  • The person caring for your child becomes part of your self-isolating group
  • This group must remain the same for the whole period
  • The carer must not care for children from other households (other than their own) over the same period
  • If a child or carer becomes unwell, they must stay at home

If essential workers do not have access to childcare through their own networks
If essential workers are unable to access childcare to perform their essential service, the government will fund other licensed childcare providers (for example through PORSE, Barnados and Edubase / Home Grown Kids) to provide in home care to the children aged 0-14 of essential workers. The carer would be subject to the same Public Health rules as set out above.

For the purposes of providing care to children of essential workers, the in home carer will be classified as an essential worker in both cases.

Initial list of contact details for providers

COVID-19 update Monday 23 March

Thank you to all of you who have shown considerable leadership in the last few weeks.

This is an unprecedented event, and will continue to challenge us all.

I iterate the words of the Prime Minister – be kind, keep safe, and look after each other.

I look forward to working with you and those staff who are interested in developing our distance learning options.

We apologise sincerely for the delays in getting this information to you. We have been working with a range of agencies to be able to provide the following information.

Government announcement – moving to Alert Level 3 for 48 hours and then Level 4

The Prime Minister has today announced we are moving to Level 3 for the next 48 hours and then from Thursday 26 March we move to Level 4 in the COVID-19 Alert Level structure for a further period of 4 weeks where people are instructed to stay at home.

For Tuesday and Wednesday, the expectations are that teachers will come to work to teach the children of essential workers, including children of teachers, and to prepare online work.

They will not be able to access the school site from midnight Wednesday and will work from home. Those staff already identified as over 70 and/or vulnerable to COVID-19 should remain at home but can work from home as needed.

Schools will be open for Tuesday and Wednesday this week for children of essential workers. Please ensure you continue to support good hygiene practices with these students and also undertake physical distancing.

All other children will be at home. You will need to provide them with learning opportunities there to the greatest extent practicable. This could be either as a pack of materials, or for those with online learning already in place, implement your online learning programme.

The Ministry will be working over the next few weeks to provide support for distance learning. We would be pleased to connect with teachers interested in working with us.

Depending on how many children of essential workers arrive at school tomorrow morning, you may want to work with a neighbouring school to support their learning.

The exceptions to this are those schools where there is a case of Covid-19 that affects them. They will remain closed for a defined period based on health advice and which includes children of essential workers.

Essential workers
A list of essential businesses can be found here – https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/

School holidays brought forward
School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).

At the end of the school holidays, schools will be open for distance learning but not physically open for staff to work at the schools.

Please note the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite.

Supporting learning from home
We are asking that where possible you put together small packs for your learners. Packs could include reading material and familiar activities for your learners. Where eLearning is established ensure your learners have passwords and access to the things they need.

Today we have launched Learning from home and Ki te Ao Mārama, two new websites to support teachers, learners, parents and whānau so that learning for children and young people can continue.

The websites include resources for parents and whānau, teachers and leaders. Resources span the learning pathway from early learning through to senior secondary, and more resources will be added as they’re developed.

The information and resources are available at https://www.learningfromhome.govt.nz/ and https://www.kauwhatareo.govt.nz/ki-te-ao-marama/

More resources will be added as they’re developed. Hard copy packs are being prepared for learners and whānau who don’t have connectivity at home.

The website will help you to get through the next few days as we move to remote learning. This will help you and your staff to get ready, support you to be working from home, and maintain wellbeing.

Over the next two to three weeks we will be working on next steps to support distance learning where it is most needed and as part of contingency planning in case the 4 week period is further extended.

We are working to establish online learning and distance learning options to support all children’s ongoing learning. These will be made available by the end of the school holidays.

COVID-19 update

Sunday 22 March

We really appreciate how you are all responding to what are very uncertain times.

Unfortunately the situation is going to remain uncertain for some time yet.

It is important to maintain contact with colleagues and help one another. Everybody is facing tough decisions; talking those through with a colleague is a powerful act to help you, and you will be helping them too.

We will do our very best to help and we know you will also help each other.

COVID-19 update

21 March

With the announcement that New Zealand has moved to Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact for COVID-19, people over 70 years of age and those with compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions are asked to remain at home as much as they can from now on and avoid any non-essential travel.

Staff, children and young people in schools and early learning services are therefore asked to follow this advice.

Where possible, please encourage your staff at home to continue to support school curriculum or other school activities for example providing pastoral care by phone, marking, and lesson planning.

High risk individuals
While the majority of people who are confirmed with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, some individuals are at risk of more severe symptoms.

Older people, particularly those with pre-existing health problems are more likely to get severe illness and are therefore considered at risk. High risk individuals also include people with underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • a compromised immune system
  • liver disease
  • cancer
  • kidney disease
  • heart disease
  • diabetes mellitus

Further information is available at: