Monday 04 May, 2020
Kia Ora Whanau
I continue to be delighted by the quality and quantity of school work your children are completing. I know that in a large and important way this is because of all your efforts. The staff and I thank you for everything you are doing to support your children and their learning. Thank you.
I don’t know if you know but Raylene and I have six and a half grandchildren. Our seven year old grandson attends a primary school school near the Police College in Wellington. It has been very interesting watching him learn through distance. He mostly has got stuck into the work. He has really enjoyed the Zoom meetings with his teacher and class. He has been supported by his mother to do much of the other work, which they have done in short bursts a couple of times a day. He seems to have benefited from a daily routine. However, he has also had a couple of days where he hasn’t been at all interested in school work. Quite naturally this has caused a bit of fuss at his home with consequences and so on. Grandma had to help with Maths once or twice. There has been a bit of running around outside and jumping on their trampoline from time to time. He seems to have adapted reasonably well to the ‘new way’ of doing school.
I am sure your story is not unlike this one. The older your children are the more independent they will be with their work and the longer they will be able to keep at their work each session. Clearly if they are new to school or younger they will need more support from you and they will have shorter concentration spans. I’m sure you have worked this out by now.
Please feel free to discuss the progress and achievement of your children with their teacher if you are having issues or have concerns. Please contact them through Seesaw or by email.
When School Reopens
Eventually schools will reopen for all students. For some of you I am sure that will be a relief! I imagine for some it will also be a time of anxiety, especially around the safety of your children. On Friday last (May 01) the Ministry of Education published snippets from an article in the New Zealand Herald about COVID -19 and children. I have printed the passage from the Ministry below and have included the link to the article.
Dr Gary Payinda - what can a teacher do to decrease risk?
In the New Zealand Herald today, Dr Gary Payinda responded to the question: what can a school teacher
do to stay safe in the classroom when they return to work?
Teachers in general are not a high-risk group. The young are less likely to get infected, less likely to get seriously ill, and less likely to spread the infection to others.
When kids are affected, the illness is almost always mild. Luckily, unlike flu or many other infectious diseases, children with Covid are not super-spreaders.
Avoid contact with the highest-risk groups: the elderly, those in rest homes, and those in hospital - for your protection and theirs. Your fellow staff members are likely a greater Covid risk to you than the students.
Avoid being near anyone who has a fever or a cough.
Don't touch your face. Touching our mouth, nose, or eyes is one of the very best ways to give ourselves Covid.
Covid's not measles or chickenpox, it doesn't hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by. It travels on invisible drops of spit. You don't have to cross the street to avoid anyone. Just avoid getting in their 'moist breath' zone.
One part bleach in 20 parts water in a sprayer bottle is a cheap, quick, and effective disinfectant. Make up a new batch every week. There is no need for stronger or more expensive cleaners: Covid is a weak virus, and even simple soap and water is more than enough to kill it. Keep it simple and frequent: a quick twice-daily wipe down of a doorknob is worth more than countless weekly 'deep cleans'.
Ask kids to sanitise their hands upon entering and exiting your classroom. More importantly, model this behaviour yourself.
Make hand hygiene a habit - more than being scared of runners passing by, touching groceries, or standing in queues at the supermarket, we should be afraid of our own hands.
I am looking forward to being at school once again. Please continue to be safe and happy.