I am sure you have been reading a lot of advice from various sources about distance/on-line or homeschooling. Here is some advice from SchoolTV
SPECIAL REPORT: Preparing for Homeschooling
Homeschooling could soon be a reality for many adult carers as nations act to implement strategies in the prevention of COVID-19. The daunting task of establishing new routines and schedules, whilst juggling work responsibilities, could prove to be disruptive and challenging for families and schools.
Some young people will transition seamlessly, whilst others may struggle. Therefore it will be vitally important for parents to be vigilant in looking for signs of anxiety and depression. Parents will need to continue to be reassuring and supportive in this time of uncertainty and acknowledge that this may be a stressful time for students of all ages.
Schools will be working hard behind the scenes to ensure a child’s academic needs are met, but parents will need to play a key role in providing them with the structure and groundwork for success. Young people will be looking towards their parents to keep things in context and help ease the transition to a different learning environment.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to navigate this time of transition with minimal disruption. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Following the Prime Minister announcement yesterday, school is closed for instruction except for children of parents in essential services. If students in this category come to school on Tuesday and Wednesday they will be supervised in the library – please report there at 8.30.
School is open tomorrow Monday 23 March and for the foreseeable future unless you are officially notified otherwise.
Please note the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding students who should stay at home during “Alert Level 2”. These measures are designed to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk to the safety of those vulnerable. This includes people with underlying medical conditions, such as:
a compromised immune system
Should students fall into this category, please notify the school in the normal manner and every effort will be made to ensure that work is sent to them. Our teachers are equipped to continue the curriculum as best we can in these circumstances.
May I also request that students and parents only visit Reception should this be absolutely necessary while we are in this phase.
I take this opportunity to share some significant actions of our students this past week which show their heart and ability to take action.
To commemorate the anniversary of the tragic events in Christchurch on March 15, each whānau assembled to pay tribute to the victims and their families, the courage of the first responders, the resilience of the hospital staff and to remember the world wide sharing of aroha and awhinatanga. Our message to the students is never to forget the lessons we learnt that day – to respect and celebrate our differences, to condemn hurtful comments or actions and to reach out in times of need. It is amazing how quickly time passes and we should not forget this momentous event.
Under the lead of Mr Gardi and the Enviro Council students have been working hard to save precious taraire trees in Tāne forest. Several have died already as a result of the unusually dry conditions we are experiencing and the school has taken up the challenge with pleasing urgency. This is an active way to promote kaitiakitanga or guardianship of this precious natural resource and complements other initiatives which each whānau has committed to.
You may have seen that the World Health Organisation has now declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic. As noted by the Minister of Health, this doesn’t change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January. You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impacts to New Zealand. This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases. It is important to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.
We have 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home. Their children, four students at Auckland schools, continue to be well and show no symptoms. While we expect that more cases will arise, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low in New Zealand. We all have a role to play in this.
Schools have been advised to develop their pandemic plan so it will be ready to be implemented if needed. In the mean time we need to continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are very important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.
With that, there is a good video clip from Nanogirl that will help your children to better understand the virus –YouTube clip – Nanogirl
You may have also seen the Prime Minister sat down with Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nanogirl) and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Juliet Gerrard, to talk about coronavirus:
One other action we can all take is to be vigilant about our own health and the health of our children. Staff are encouraged to stay away from school if they are showing signs of illness such as coughs and colds. Please do the same with your children. Colds and flus are common in schools and by staying away, seeking medical attention and practicing good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.
Our new platform to support parents contains the following advice:
Coronavirus is an evolving international health concern. Around the world, people are being affected in many ways. Individuals of all ages from numerous nationalities are being diagnosed with the virus –– it doesn’t discriminate. Although children are considered at lower risk of infection, they are not immune to the multitude of news reports regularly seen or heard in the media.
This epidemic is a cause for great concern to parents, but it is also very worrying to young people. Many are wondering how best to discuss this epidemic in a way that will be reassuring to kids without making them feel more worried than what they may be already. Parents should not avoid such a discussion with their kids. Not talking about something can often make them worry more.
Although most children will have already heard about the coronavirus, it is important for parents and care-givers to take this opportunity to convey the facts about it and set the emotional tone. This may help kids feel more informed and reassured. Involving them and encouraging self-efficacy can also give them a sense of control and purpose.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some guidelines on how best to approach this topic whilst still ensuring the wellbeing of their child. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact Healthline on 0800 358 5453 or seek medical or professional help.
Auckland Regional Public Health Service – 04 March 2020
COVID-19 Information for parents
While a parent of secondary school students has been confirmed as the second COVID-19 case in Auckland, please be assured there has been no exposure from this case at these schools or any other schools. There will be concern in school and wider communities, and misinformation circulating through social media.
Here are the facts: The students did not travel with their parents. The students have been to school since their parents returned, but they were not infectious. They did not have, and do not have, any symptoms. All of the family is in isolation, but the students are well and are at home as a precaution. Credible, evidence-based information about COVID-19 can be found at the following places: The Ministry of Health COVID-19 webpage. The Auckland Regional Public Health Service COVID-19 webpage. The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 site. Anyone seeking health-related advice about COVID-19 can also free call Healthline’s dedicated 0800 number: 0800 358 5453.
There are so many different opinions offered on how best to parent. New parents will often have firm beliefs about how they wish to balance love and discipline, but this ideal often goes out the window when a toddler throws their first tantrum in the supermarket!
Raising children can bring parents and caregivers great joy despite many learning ‘on the job’ and growing into the role through experience and understanding. Children will always flourish in a warm and loving environment, supported by clear guidance.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers can gain a greater understanding of the four defined parenting styles by taking part in the quiz. It can guide parents towards deciding which style they wish to adopt and the effects it may have on their children.
We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Following advice from the Ministry of Education and the identification of the first case of the virus in New Zealand, the same advice remains for our students. Risk remains low of the spread of the virus and we remind the community to take normal precautions – practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence:
– wash your hands often with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet,
– cover coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or your elbow,
We have enrolled our first international students who started this term. I thank our team including Mrs Dada and Mrs Clansey (International Student Coordinator) who worked hard to gain accreditation. This builds on the growing international connections which started with our annual attendance of the Hwa Chong Student Congress in Singapore and our reciprocal visit to our sister school in Nanching, China.
This reinforces the mantra “think global, act local” and helps our students to appreciate and understand other cultures and perspectives.
Growing greatness – Kia mana ake!
The home of Mission Heights Junior College, Auckland, New Zealand