To avoid any confusion this announcement may cause, next week and until the end of the school year, MHJC will continue to offer students the same distance learning opportunities either on site or at home as we have for the last two weeks.
Please note this day has been cancelled to allow for supervision of our Year 7 and 8 students on Friday 26th November.
Dear parents and caregivers
We are excited by the prospect of welcoming our students and staff back to school on November 17th as announced by the Minister of Education yesterday. I realise and appreciate the efforts you have made to support your child/ren during the lockdown period and this letter is intended to outline how we will manage their safe return to school.
From the responses to the survey I sent last week I am aware that there are a number of parents who are concerned about sending their child/ren to school next week. I want to assure you that our teaching and support staff will be doing everything possible to follow the guidelines provided to us but I must emphasise that we will depend on our students showing high levels of personal responsibility to ensure they and others around them remain safe. I also want to state that while many students may wish to come back to school, this is a personal decision you need to make based on the information I can provide you and which in turn has come from the Ministry of Health.
Based on the guidelines we received from the Ministry of Education and following consultation with the Board and neighbouring schools we have decided to roster the year levels as follows:
Year 7 and 8 – Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Year 9 and 10 – Tuesday and Thursday.
Reasons for rostering include the need to maintain a well managed, safe environment which may not be possible with the entire school returning at the same time.
If you cannot provide supervision for your child at home at all, please contact your child’s Whānau Leader or Whānau Assistant so we can arrange this outside the days specified above.
Wednesday 17 November – Year 7 and 8 students may return to school
Thursday 18 November – Year 9 and 10 students may return to school
Friday 19 November – Year 7 and 8 students may return to school
Week 6 (22-26 November) and until further notice:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday – school is open for Year 7 and 8 students
Tuesday and Thursday – school is open for Year 9 and 10 students.
- Students will report to school at the normal time between 8.15 and 8.30 and leave the site immediately at 3.00pm via the Valderama Stairs (MHP students will use the Jeffs Rd entrance).
- They are to proceed immediately to their Whānau commons where they will be directed to a classroom with their Home Base Class eg 7C1.
- Students are to bring a novel, lunch, laptops and chargers and work books.
- Students will be supervised by their Whānau teachers.
- I.e. students will continue with distance learning in classes within their Whānau.
- Students will have regular breaks but will have no contact with students from other Whānau to minimise the number of close contacts should a case of COVID arise in the school.
- The school will have heightened Health and Safety guidelines in place including:
- Mandatory wearing of masks by staff and students, inside and outside the classroom;
- Opening of doors and windows to allow maximum ventilation;
- Only allowing fully vaccinated staff to be in contact with students;
- Minimising physical contact, assemblies or gatherings and sharing of equipment eg microwaves;
- Maintaining social distancing where possible;
- Finding opportunities to teach and learn outside;
- Following general health advice – wash hands, sneezing/coughing etiquette, staying home if showing COVID symptoms etc.
Following the first three days we may be able to modify the plan but at this point Health and Safety is our priority which involves keeping students in well controlled “stable groups” physically distanced from other groups which means we cannot follow a “normal” timetable.
I realise that some students may be disappointed that we cannot offer our “normal” exciting learning opportunities at this stage, but we have to prioritise health and safety. I also acknowledge that this plan asks parents to continue to provide some supervision at home and that families with children at different schools or in different year levels may be inconvenienced but it is simply impossible to plan for every combination. Under the circumstances I feel this is the best compromise we can offer.
Thank you for your careful consideration of these important messages and continued support including helping us to create a vaccination register. Please note that we are unable to provide information about individuals or groups according to the Privacy Act.
We wish to congratulate Kate Lambert (left) and Reshmika Lal (Right) who have been appointed to these new positions with school wide responsibilities. The successful candidates are current Senior Leaders and we look forward to both supporting the team to achieve our strategic goals and operational efficiency. Both leaders have, for over ten years added significant value to the MHJC culture and ethos in various positions and we look forward to seeing their influence strengthening our vision in the future.
Growing greatness – Kia mana ake!
Kia ora koutou
Many thanks to Matua Anthony our Te Reo Māori teacher and Māori Students Coordinator who has in difficult circumstances organised various activities to celebrate Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori and submissions to the Māori Language Moment – Te Wā Tuku Reo Māori.
At MHJC we believe it is important that we integrate Te Reo (the language), Te Ao and Ti Kanga (customs) and the Māori World View (beliefs and values) into what we learn and do. We do this not only as part of our obligation to honour the Treaty of Waitangi – Te Tiriti o Waitangi, but also because we believe that as citizens of New Zealand – Aotearoa we can all benefit from learning, understanding and celebrating a language and culture which is precious and unique.
I believe we are at an important stage in nation building with a surge of interest in Te Reo Māori and soon the introduction of a new perspective to the teaching of Aotearoa New Zealand Histories in schools. This title deliberately acknowledges the role all communities played in building this nation. In a sense a diluted Euro-centric focus may challenge some, but this should be seen as a healthy realignment which can be compared to a whānau welcoming a long lost son or daughter. Naturally, at first, there will be more time and energy spent catching up with him/her and others may feel neglected. However in time, the wheel will turn and a balance restored as the family returns to its normal lives enriched by their return.
Nation building is like a marriage. A healthy marriage needs to develop and grow and cannot be sustained simply by the signing of the marriage vows. So to, the Treaty of Waitangi may signal the birth of our nation which every generation must help to develop and our time has come.
This week we urge our community to practice their Te Reo. Have a go, because the more we try, the more we build connections and the more we show a desire to be one nation.
Kia mana ake – growing greatness!