With the move to Level 2 as of today we are looking forward to being able to welcome back our students from Monday 18th May. We have been in email contact with families over the last few days with some updates including information about buses; school canteen; water fountains etc and I am adding to the site today our Alert Level 2 Health and Safety Plan which will eb actioned over next few weeks while we remain in Level 2. We will review the plan after any government announcement regarding a move out of Level 2. Hopefully this will be in a few weeks time if things continue to look positive in terms of cases across the country.
An important note for families to be aware of - which is detailed in the plan - is the process we are following regarding physical distancing. Schools are classified as 'managed' environments which relates to the ability to accurately contact trace people if there was a suspected case of Covid 19. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health are assuring us in all their communications that school is safe for students and staff, and that there is no specific requirement for distancing for students other than reminding them to stay out of other people's personal space e.g. not being close enough to breathe on another person and avoiding touching another person where possible. Adults are recommended to keep 1m spacing where practicable as we are considered more at risk than the students.
With our scale and student numbers, we are lucky enough to be able to manage approx. 1m spacing in all classes and we will operate in that manner during Level 2 as an extra precaution alongside all our hygiene practices, but 1m distancing will not be a requirement during interval and lunchtime breaks for students. Instead we will focus on the message to avoid being in each others personal space and reiterate that in a calm, measured manner to ensure we don't raise anxiety levels of our students.
We consider this one of our main roles in the next few weeks - getting our students back into good routines at the same time as managing what we know will be a variety of anxiety levels about being back at school.
We will be displaying our Health and Safety Plan at school for students to see aswell and a link to download the file is available under the Covid 19 Files section at the bottom of this page. Also listed in those files are the Bus protocols that our bus company will be employing during Alert Level 2.
Please don't hesitate to get in contact with us if you have any questions or concerns.
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Following the announcement of the move to Level 3 from next I'm sure there are plenty of people out there with questions about school at Alert Level 3.
Aparima College is encouraging all our families to please follow the advice given by the government and if you can continue to learn from home, please do so.
We will be ringing around all our families today and tomorrow to build a picture of need in terms of students having to be supervised at school, starting with Year 7-8's.
We want our community to know that we recognize we have a part to play in helping get the country moving again and will happily supervise any children that cannot stay at home due to their parents / caregivers having to return to work.
However, school at Alert Level 3 will be far from the normal experience of school. We will be continuing with our online platform and supervising the students that are here in bubbles of 10 in different spaces around the school. Break times will be staggered so students will only be mixing with their bubble of 10 students maximum.
We are required to provide daily contact tracing records so will be enforcing these rules strictly to keep everyone safe.
Our school canteen will not be operating while at Alert level 3 either, so you will need to make sure if your child comes to school, they bring lunch with them.
Buses will not be running at all for next week - both Aparima College and Riverton Primary School are working with the bus company to try and develop a solution to the distancing requirements that have to be in place on all transport. Once we have established the need in our community and developed an 'Alert Level 3 school roll', we may be able to offer a different bus service to accommodate some families, but we will provide further information around that by the end of next week.
If you need your student to come to school from next Wednesday 29th, please let us know, either by direct email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letting us know when we phone you over the next few days. Obviously the more people that can let us know by a quick email will be helpful in managing this process.
Also at this time, I would like to encourage all students to make contact with their teachers if they haven't already - we need to make sure we have everyone accounted for and a quick email; message on Google Classroom will be really helpful. If you can't contact your teacher directly, you can get in touch with me at the above address or Mrs Fraser on email@example.com or Mr Jones on firstname.lastname@example.org - it is really important that we hear from you, so please make contact ASAP.
Take care everyone and we look forward to hearing from you.
With school officially starting again on Thursday – in an online capacity - it is important for us to communicate our expectations of students to you all.
I would like to stress, that as this is new territory for us all, our approach to students learning from home is focused on balance and flexibility and with everyone’s wellbeing at the forefront. There is absolutely no expectation that your living room turns into a classroom and for parents to become teachers. Also – for students, we don’t want to bombard students with immediate tasks from all teachers and add stress to an already potentially stressful situation.
With this in mind, I have asked staff to focus on making contact with as many students as possible over the first few days of school ‘going back’ and for them to be managing work flows for their classes to encourage students to keep up some momentum for learning so that they are well-placed to hit the ground running when school goes back in a normal sense. We are looking at well-being of students as the main focus rather than a ‘business-as-usual approach.
Students should make every effort to keep in contact with their teachers – as many have already – but while school is still not operating as normal, we understand that there will be other obligations in place for many people and we want students and parents, to know that we do not expect students to be sitting at devices from 9am to 3pm.
We will do our best to keep a managed approach to workflows and teachers will be keeping in regular contact with students to alleviate any stresses about school work, assignments, grades etc.
At this stage we still don’t have finalised dates for a return to school, given the decision on whether we move out of the lockdown has not been made yet, but our hope is that by making regular contact with students; reassuring them and keeping up some kind of learning momentum, we can put ourselves in a good position when that decision is made and we return to school in some form.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Education continues to support schools and families with helpful information and resources which can be found at www.learningfromhome.govt.nz It was pleasing to see included in the educational support package announced on Wednesday, two tv channels with educational content throughout the day, will be appearing on our screens soon.
Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we develop, for the first time, a new look home-school partnership.