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Kia ora koutou

 

I hope you are all well in your bubbles and we know you will be both excited and a little anxious about bubbles going under alert level 2.

 

 

In this update I want to cover what we think school will look like under level 2.

 

We are being told that all students can return to school unless they are being advised by their medical professionals not to attend. Note: We continue to be able to fully engage all students as our virtual classrooms will run alongside our physical classrooms (“new normal”) so all of our students whether they are at school or home will be able to continue with their education. This “new normal” will also continue to include the many gains we have made in enhancing learning through leveraging digital. You can expect to see many more gains in this area in the future.

We have maintained an attendance level of around 88% throughout levels 4 and 3. The lowest was rate was 86% and the highest was 90%. The students not attending are the same students we were focusing on previously. We will continue to ask the questions “How are you?” and “How can we help?” to try and find a way to engage these students in learning consistently.

 

We have had 4 students attending school for the last two weeks. We can cater for another 6 using our current setup. If you are an essential worker and need this to happen then you need to contact me to see if arrangements can be made.

 

We currently are in the position where all students have devices. For students where the school has supplied a Chromebook, provided students are engaging in their education, we are not intending to ask for these back. Some students who have fully disengaged, or are seniors who are seeking employment, have been asked to return their device so we can issue it to another student if needed. At the end of 2020 we intend to donate the Chromebooks to their users if they are attending and trying in their classes. We have issued 114 Chromebooks and have no more to issue. Students will need to bring their devices to school each day. The school computers will not be in use at level 2 as touching keyboards can be an easy means of transmission of bugs between users.  

 

Getting to school and going home under level 2. Students are expected to maintain physical distancing when traveling to and from school. This includes when at school but outside of the classroom blocks or in the playground. School buses will be running but the front row of seats behind the driver will be empty. There will be no students standing on the bus. Only students on the approved bus list will be able to travel on the bus. This list will be part of a contact tracing list if required. Under level 2, no exceptions will be made.

 

Inside classrooms and classroom blocks what is physical distancing changes to “not being in the wet zone of someone’s breathing.” This correlates to not being very close face to face. Sitting or standing beside someone is not considered an issue although where possible physical distancing of more than 1m should be applied. In the classroom students will be assigned a desk and will not be able to swap to a different seating position. All teachers have a high grade cleaner, that is food safe, in a spray bottle that they will use to spray surfaces between a change of students, and then wipe off after at least 20 seconds has elapsed so the cleaner can disinfect the surfaces. All students will be required to hand sanitize on the way into the classroom and the way out. Teachers will have hand sanitizer bottles for this and will squirt a suitable amount onto each child’s hands as they enter and leave.

 

We are aware that some students could struggle with distractions when they return so we have purchased some display boards that can be used to create privacy for students and reduce distractions until they adjust.

 

We have high quality toilets with non-contact swipe taps and high-quality hand dryers. We will ask all students to clean their hands on the way into the toilets and clean their hands on the way out from the toilets. Drinking fountains will be functional. Ideally the safest way is for students to bring their own water, but a fountain is safe if you are not physically placing your face on it and you run the water for 10 seconds before use. 

What can happen at breaks and lunchtimes is still being discussed. This will overlap with what sort of sporting activities we are able to have running. We will not open our facilities to outside groups such as users of the turf, the gym or the fields for at least the first two weeks of the school being open for students under level 2 so we can assess fully the added risks of having extra people in the school. The school will continue to be closed to the public outside of school time during this time also. 

 

We are aiming for our teachers to be back at school for a day before students return. They will deliver their online learning programs from school and in the afternoon set up their classrooms for when students return. This will also allow them to practice with the configurations of their devices to allow both the virtual and physical classrooms to run at the same time. 

 

No student or staff member will be allowed at school if they are showing any signs of sickness. For students, if they show symptoms they will be sent to the sick bay. Our office staff will take their temperature with an infrared thermometer, apply normal first aid interventions and contact parents to come and get their child to take them home. Students will need to be covid-19 tested before returning to school. We will maintain 2m physical distancing for sick students with any excess of numbers being looked after in the student welfare meeting room. Of course, any students who are showing any sickness symptoms can stay home and join the virtual classrooms. We will mark them as present if they are attending either classroom.

 

Apologies for having so much in this update. Feel free to email back any questions or feedback or use this flipgrid link to provide the feedback through a small video. https://flipgrid.com/buckland8175

 

Nga mihi

 

Wayne

 

Wayne Buckland

Principal

Bream Bay College

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