The PM’s announcement about what the country would look like at Alert Level 2 provided us with a great deal of insight into what learning at schools will look like. The MOE is still in the process of finalising the exact details but we have enough information for myself and the staff to start planning for the return of students to school.
The key messages from the PM concerning schools were as follows
- All schools will be open
- Schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff. Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing
- Distance learning will be available for those unable to attend school (eg self isolating)
- If a school has a confirmed or probably case of COVID-19, they must close for 72 hours, to allow contract tracing, and potentially for a further 14 days
- Schools won’t open midweek. They will open at the beginning of the following week.
- The two key public health principles are to reduce the risk of someone getting infected and to ensure that we can identify and contact anyone who becomes infected.
- Keep children home if they are sick and practice good hygiene such as handwashing and coughing into your elbow.
- Practice where possible physical distancing. “We do, however, know that it is … challenging in schools”.
- Schools will prepare for physical distancing and maintaining good hygiene practices and regular cleaning
- All schools will need to collect information about who is at school so Public Health can contact people quickly if they need to.
- And finally, “We know parents will have lots of questions, but please give schools and early learning centres time to plan and contact you”
With all of that said, I just want to provide you with a rough timeline for how I will communicate with you regarding a potential move to Level 2.
With the PM making a potential announcement on Monday afternoon, you can expect a follow up from me on Tuesday morning to let you know how we roughly intend to work at Level 2. I’ve already started working with the senior leadership on how we will operate to ensure that our school is a safe place for your child to return to.
The PM’s announcement indicates that school is most likely to reopen at Level 2 on Monday 18 May. With that in mind you can expect us to have shared with you our final plans by the morning of Friday 15 May
I hope you’ve all had a great week of at home learning. We had a busy day at school yesterday with 6 students working from school. Regardless of where your child is learning from right now, I really hope that you are finding a way to enjoy the extra time that this pandemic has provided us with our families. Enjoy your 1:1s today and I’ll be in touch again next week with more detailed plans.
Steven Mustor – Director