Newsletter Friday 17 April
He mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa - warm greetings to all.
As you will have no doubt noticed, the information around education seems to change daily. We know that the Principal's Federation and the NZEI are meeting with the Ministry of Education today to discuss concerns around opening schools during Level 3. You can read Kathryn's principal's blog to find out more about what we are preparing for. Essentially however, at Level 3:
School will not be open as normal
We will not be fully staffed
Our remote learning plans will be running both for the children of those who have had to physically return to work and for those who are still at home, rather than running two separate programmes
The difficulty maintaining physical distancing for young children at school is a key consideration
The structure of the school will be changed to enable siblings to stay in their own bubble, which means multi-level groups across the school
Schools will have time to prepare for reopening (most likely) on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 April
Wednesday 29 April may be the first day back for some children
It is worth remembering that there are meetings happening today which may see changes to this. However this is what we are expecting at the moment using the information we currently have.
Support for Learners
Last week the Minister of Education announced the package of support that the government would be providing to schools and individual learners as we head into Term 2 while still in lock down. Chris Hipkins said, "The ministry has surveyed schools and about half say they are well set up currently for distance learning using the internet. But we are taking action to support new connections and resources for students at all schools." Ridgway School is "well set up for distance learning using the internet" and will continue to provide learning at home programmes that use online tools for communication and learning. Our children won't be receiving devices or hard copy packs from the Ministry of Education.
Just a reminder that Kathryn has been keeping a diary during lock down which you can read here. It is where she has been gathering her thoughts and explaining what we (leaders and staff at Ridgway School) are doing and why we are doing it as we all grapple with the impact of this pandemic.
Free internet safety filter for parents
While children are learning from home, they are away from the online safety and security services provided by Network for Learning (N4L) at school. So together with N4L and Netsafe, we have launched www.switchonsafety.co.nz - a free way to block the worst of the web for students and teachers. Remember, no technical solution is a silver bullet. Please remember to complement this with digital citizenship toolkits provided by Netsafe.
Netsafe provides comprehensive support and information to support everyone to stay safe as they work, learn and play online. Netsafe has new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students at https://www.netsafe.org.nz/advice/staying-safe/
Home Learning Survey
If you haven't already, we would appreciate it if you could find the time to give us some feedback on the home learning here Home Learning Survey.