Today has certainly introduced unchartered waters not only within the education sector, but within all sectors. However, as a Board and as a school, dialogue has now, for some time, been centered around how we would potentially address and support distance learning should the need arise.
We are continuously being informed and guided by the Ministry of Education as information comes to light. Please note that during the next 48hours, schools are open only to children of essential workers/businesses; and to teachers who are preparing online resources to provide your children with a continuation of their learning from the classroom, to date. Please refer to the following website which clarifies who is deemed an Essential Business: https://covid19.govt.nz/government-actions/covid-19-alert-system/
We appreciate the unique and difficult position our essential workforce are in and those in our community who will be part of this. Our thoughts will be with you as you embark on this difficult challenge.
Clarification regarding the change of school holidays has now been provided. Holidays will now begin next Monday, 30th March to Tuesday 14th April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools). This means that your child/children will be provided with online learning from approximately Wednesday (as teachers implement online lessons/classes) until Friday this week, and that online learning will resume at the conclusion of the holiday period (Wednesday 15th April) until the conclusion of the Level 4 status lockdown.
We thank you for your understanding and your accommodation in keeping your children at home over the next 48 hours as we move, as a nation, towards a Level 4 on the alert system (exception of course to children of essential businesses). This is going to allow teachers to put measures into place to ensure your children’s learning is not compromised due to the current situation.
We, as a Board, would like also to acknowledge the tireless commitment of Greg and all the teaching staff at South Markirikiri who have been, for some time now, working on alternative solutions to what was presenting as an imminent eventuality.
Lastly, I would like to remind you and your families to adhere to the advice given by our government as we prepare for a minimum of four weeks lockdown and to be kind, keep safe, and look after each other as much as possible.