|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.
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.