After three weeks in our bubbles, I know everyone is asking when will we get out and how will it look? Here is a small snippet of what we have gleaned so far. We are hoping to know more on Monday, when the Government and Ministry give us further guidelines.
When it is announced that the Country will be moving to Level 3 – life will still be considerably different from going back to normal. We certainly want to be the country to eliminate COVID 19 and not the next example of lifting restrictions too fast and having a serious outbreak and having to lock down for longer.
The Government Information for Level 3 states:-
- Physical distancing of two metres outside home (including on public transport), or one metre In controlled environments like schools and workplaces.
- Bubbles must stay within their immediate household bubble, but can expand this to reconnect with close family / whanau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. This extended bubble should remain exclusive.
- Schools (Years 1 to 10) and Early Childhood Education Centres can safely open, but will have limited capacity. Children should learn at home if possible.
- People must work from home, unless that Is not possible.
- Public venues are closed (e.g. libraries, museums, cinemas, food courts, gyms, pools, playgrounds, markets).
The Government is asking if families are able to keep your children home with distance online learning to please do so. This will allow more space at school and keep bubbles restricted as much as possible.
Those coming to school will be children of essential workers and those of families where both parents are now back working in the outside world rather than online.
You can reassure your children that school will be different from ‘normal school’ anyway. There won’t be the same fun of contact sports, playgrounds and classrooms with their own teacher in it. Students who are at school will be more spread out, if possible, and will be following the same online learning that everyone else will be continuing within your homes. Your children will certainly not be disadvantaged by staying at home with their learning, however they will remain safer.
We will be trying to run smaller bubbles with different staff rostered on to different days. So we will basically be operating in 2 – 5 different bubbles as a staff ourselves. Students may not end up interacting with their own teacher, but rather different staff each day.
One of our challenges is that we have to keep ensuring online learning is operating and for all families. For teachers, this is significantly time-consuming especially for our Maungatautari teachers with their interactive workshops. On days when staff members are at school with other students, there will be fewer interactions on their online platforms. We may manage this with a teacher available online adding in a few extra students, so that the teacher in the classroom can focus on what is happening at school.
For us to be able to prepare better for when a Level 3 is announced and have a better understanding of what to expect can you please fill in the form below if you think you will be sending your child/ren to school while under Level 3. Even if this is on a part-time basis. i.e Tuesdays when both parents need to be at work out of the house. Please click here to fill in the survey.
The voluntary aspect explained by the Prime Minister is more to cater for the safety of children whose family surroundings may be impacting on their physical and emotional safety, not that they are finding online learning more difficult than when at school. We understand things will evolve as you learn what your businesses are able and not able to do under Level 3. If you can please keep us updated that would be great.
As usual, any child showing signs of any illness need to be kept at home. Please do not send any child to school with cold or any other symptoms. We need to keep our family bubbles as healthy as they possibly can be.