Thu, 28 May 20 : COVID-19 Community Update #16
Just a couple of reminders as we head into the Queen’s birthday weekend.
Teacher Only Day
Please note the Teacher Only Day that was scheduled for Tuesday June 2, has been cancelled. This day had been set aside prior to the country moving into Level 4 Lockdown. As our staff are eager to maximise learning opportunities, now that the students are back, we have decided to cancel this professional development day for Staff.
Contact Tracing at Drop Off & Pick Up
Contact tracing for parents entering the campus will remain in place up to and including Monday June 8. This practice will be revised to align with the Prime Minister’s Alert Level update on June 8.
Staggered Ends to the School Day
The staggered ends to the school day will remain in place up to and including Monday June 8. This practice will be revised to align with the Prime Minister’s Alert Level update on June 8.
Our lunch programme consisting of Subway and Sushi, will be reintroduced from Monday June 8.
My staff and I realize that some of the changes made to school operations to ensure that we comply with Alert Level 2 Public Health Guidelines, have been inconvenient.
I want to sincerely thank you all for your support during this time. Your flexibility and understanding is very much appreciated.
Warm regards, and have a fabulous Queen's birthday weekend.
Thu, 21 May 20 : COVID-19 Community Update #14
This week we welcomed the students back to school, and it has been fantastic seeing the students so happy to be reunited with their teachers. Our teachers have worked hard to reconnect with their students and time has been spent each day supporting the students’ well being. Naturally too, the teachers have been eager to get back to the curriculum, and have thoroughly enjoyed teaching face to face once more. Social distancing or avoiding the “moist breath zone”, has meant some changes to classroom routines, but the students are taking these minor changes in their stride.
The requirement to contact trace has meant that entering the school for drop off or pick up, is a little more tedious than usual, but our systems appears to be working well. I want to thank our parents for their patience at this time. I am unsure when the need to contact trace will stop, but rest assured we will close our tracing stations as soon as we are able. Thanks for your continued support.
Staggered Ends to the Day
We appreciate that having staggered ends to the day has not been ideal for some families. When planning these, it was difficult to know how much time to allow each mini school to exit the campus, without exposing parents to risk by having large groups of parents congregating whilst waiting for their children.
When we reviewed our operational changes this week, it became clear that the time we had allowed for each group to exit was too generous. Our parents have been very efficient.
While we are not in a position to remove the staggered end to the day at this stage, I am pleased to inform you that from Monday May 25, school will finish at the following times:
Year 0 to 2:will finish at 2:40pm
Year 3 & 4:will finish at 2:50pm
Year 5 & 6:will finish at 3:00pm
We are hopeful that these changes will ease some of the pressure on families at pick up time. Please continue to be punctual for your allotted time. It is only through your timeliness at pick up that we are able to make these changes.
When Will Our Operational Changes Be Eased?
We are all eager to return to “regular” school, but like all good things, it takes time. We await the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, and can assure you that we will be nimble in altering our operational changes to align with the Health & Safety requirements set out by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education when these are announced.
Thank you once again for your continued support. I have been humbled by the number of parents who have expressed their gratitude for the teachers work and engagement with students during lockdown.
Fri, 8 May 20 : COVID-19 Community Update #13
The Prime Minister’s announcement that schools will open when the Alert Level lowers to 2, was welcomed by the staff and I. We are excited to be able to reopen the campus and welcome our students back. While an exact date for reopening will not be known until Monday May 11, we are anticipating that school will reopen on Monday May 18.
Reopening the school under Alert Level 2 conditions significantly expands the learning opportunities for our students. The re-ignition of face to face teaching and learning, a return to more formalised group work, together with opportunities to engage with teachers are just a few of the things we are all very much looking forward to. Additionally, we are acutely aware of the need to re-establish relationships with and between our children. Attending to our children’s wellbeing will be a priority as we return to school.
For our students, school - in many ways, will look and feel as it did prior to Lockdown. Naturally, we will continue to prioritise our hygiene protocols. Hand sanitiser will be in every classroom, children will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly throughout the day, and high contact surfaces will be disinfected throughout the day. An adequate supply of paper towels will also be in every classroom, to ensure single use. A summary of the specific public health measures for schools can be found here.
While school will look and feel the same for our children, there will be a range of operational changes for our parents. Contact tracing in Alert Level 2 is critical, and for this reason we are going to limit parents’ entry to the campus, but we need your support. Parents who do need to enter the campus will be asked to register at one of two registration points - Dromorne Rd, outside the main gates, and Platina St, by the Swimming Pool. A more detailed guide about drop off and pick up will be shared with parents next week.
We are asking parents of students from Year 3 to 6, to drop off and not enter the campus. This will ease congestion, and allow the parents of our younger children to register and enter the campus. We would also ask the same of parents at pick up.
As the Prime Minister has said, schools will need time to prepare for the reopening of their campuses. At RPS, we will be busy cleaning the school and setting up each classroom to ensure it complies with the public health guidelines. In most of our classes, some equipment will need to be removed to reduce possible contact areas. E.g. Some Play-based learning materials and some math equipment. Additionally, “mat time” will need to be modified slightly to ensure that children are not seated too close together. As most of our teachers have not stepped foot on the campus since March 26, they too will need time to prepare their classes and their teaching resources. I would ask that you allow us the time to do this, and reiterate that we are still in Level 3, and school will not open to students fully until the Monday following the lowering of the Alert Level to 2.
We understand that for some families there will be some anxieties around returning to school. In some cases, families will choose to remain in isolation. To assist us with our planning and to ensure we know where every child will be accessing their learning, we are asking parents to complete the following survey.
Please note, ONLY those parents who are keeping their children at home are to complete this survey.
Thank you, once again, for your support throughout this unprecedented time in Education. I am incredibly proud of the work of our teachers, and equally impressed with the enthusiasm of our students. But the real magic of teaching and learning occurs when the zest and enthusiasm of a teacher is blended with the curious mind of a young learner. This powerful recipe is why we chose to become teachers and is why we cannot wait to welcome your children back.
Until a Monday not too far away, I once again ask you to remain safe, remain connected and care for each other.
Mon, 4 May 20 : COVID-19 Community Update #12
The move from Alert Level 4 to Level 3 has been exciting in many respects as we experience a little more freedom, but has also presented families with some challenges as they juggle returning to work and also continuing to ensure that their children are accessing their learning. We realize, too, that there are factors beyond these that are also hindering some families from returning to life as we knew it. If there are things that we can assist with, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email: email@example.com
Teaching and Learning in Alert Level 3
Last week was another first for us at RPS as we launched our dual teaching platforms: RPS Learning @ Home and teaching once again in some of our classrooms. While we have very few students who are attending school, it is important for us to continue to offer access to learning via RPS Learning @ Home, as well as providing access to the curriculum for those students who have returned to school. Our teachers have worked incredibly hard to ensure that all students are able to access materials - regardless of their physical locations.
One significant change to this week’s programmes has been a more deliberate push to align our work more closely with the New Zealand Curriculum and also our RPS Learner Progressions. We are mindful that we will return to “regular” school shortly, and want to cushion the students’ return by reorienting them to the language of their current curriculum goals and their next steps in learning. We know that some students will have made academic gains during the lockdown, and there may also be those who have regressed. This is much the same as we witness when the children return from their Summer holidays, but it is important that - to the best of our ability, we hit the ground running when we return to school in the near future.
What About ...?
I am sure - like me, you have looked at the calendar and thought, what about …?
T2 Written Reports
Run, Swim, Run
Year 5 Museum trip
Year 1 Zoo trip
The PTA Green-a-thon, and so much more.
Clearly some of our scheduled events will need to be cancelled, and others postponed. One pressing event is the highly anticipated Year 4 Kelly Tarlton’s overnight. At this stage, we have had to cancel this event for Term 2, but are hopeful that we may be able to reschedule later in the year. Please hold off contacting the Accounts office for refunds for Kelly Tarlton’s. When a decision is made regarding the postponement or cancellation of this event, an update will be provided to all Year 4 families.
When regular school resumes, I will be in a better position to decide what is cancelled, and what is postponed. Please keep an eye on the school calendar. This can be viewed on the school website and also on the RPS App.
Scholastic Book Orders
Prior to the country moving into Lockdown, our office staff processed your scholastic book orders. Please note that these will be available for collection, once school reopens fully.
When Will School Resume As Normal?
This week the Government will determine the conditions for schools operating within Alert Level 2. My update at the end of this week, will outline these for all families. In the meantime, we know now that we will remain in Alert Level 3 at least until midnight on May 13.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
Fri, 24 Apr 20 : COVID-19 Community Update #11
How our lives can change in just 33 days. I bet like me, you and your family are really looking forward to the Alert Level being lowered to 3 on Monday evening. This is an important phase in our country's recovery as businesses will start to reopen. It will also mean that many of our families will be able to return to work. Let’s continue staying safe so that the alert level can be lowered even further.
Next week we will welcome a small group of students back to school, but school will look very different. Developing our Alert Level 3 Operations so that we align with the Health & Safety standards for Level 3, has been challenging but I believe we are finally there and ready to go. We will continue to prioritise the health and safety of our children and staff, by minimising contacts and protecting bubbles.
Please remember that RPS Learning @ Home will continue while we are operating in Level 3. Our teachers will continue to make face-to-face connections with their class and there will be opportunities for this to occur twice a day.
Tuesday April 28 is the national “Teacher Only Day”. Due to the work that our teachers will be engaged in on this day, there will be no RPS Learning @ Home, it will however resume on Wednesday April 29.
Lastly, I want to thank you all for your continued support. I have been overwhelmed by the messages of support for our teachers and the great work they are doing, and moved by pictures from lockdown that have been shared.
We live and work in an incredible community, and it is my privilege to lead this wonderful school.
Take care everyone. Stay safe, and care for each other.
Remuera Primary School
Mon, 20 Apr 20 : Attending School in Alert Level 3
The Prime Minister announced this afternoon that New Zealand would move to Alert Level 3, effective at midnight on April 27. This announcement will also mean that school will reopen on Wednesday April 29. Please note that parents are not free to choose whether they send their child back to school. School is only open for those students who cannot access learning online, and for families where both parents are working away from home and there is no available childcare. The Government is continuing to recommend that where possible, children should remain at home.
Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey indicating if you are keeping your children at home or registering them to attend school during Alert Level 3. If you have not already completed the survey, please take a moment and complete it now. It can be accessed via this link.
If you do not complete this survey, you child will not be able to attend school in Alert Level 3.
The Staff and I have finalised changes that enable us to meet the Health & Safety requirements for Alert Level 3. As indicated in last week’s update, school will be very different. Here is what you can expect on campus at RPS.
During Level 3 schools will be required to run dual learning platforms:
RPS Learning @ Home
Learning @ RPS
To ensure synchronicity of learning delivery, we will endeavour as much as possible, to align these learning programmes.
There will be a strong emphasis on minimising the social contacts for students and of course our staff. This will also apply to parents at drop off and pick up.
Learning groups will initially only have 10 students. This may expand to 20 at a later date.
Students will be placed into either a whanau/family learning group (multi level eg. Year 1, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 6)), or a Year Level group. This is to reduce the number of possible contacts which is a requirement. There will be no choice offered to students or families. Siblings will be placed in whanau/family groups.
Each Learning Group will have two teachers. It is important to also recognise that your child’s teacher during Alert Level 3, will most likely not be their homeroom teacher, but will include a teacher from their Year Level.
Start times for classes will be staggered. Times to be communicated prior to April 29
Break times for classes will be staggered.
A physical distance of 1m between students/adults will be observed while in class.
A physical distance of 2m between students/adults will be observed while outside.
Contact tracing spreadsheets have been developed for each Learning Group. These will be completed daily and detail the number of student & adult contacts.
All contact surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day and thoroughly after school.
Teachers who are remaining at home due to underlying health conditions will continue to work with the remainder of their class that are also in home isolation.
There will be no SKIDs.
There will be no lunch programmes.
Communication regarding start times and lists of learning groups with the assigned teachers, will be communicated directly to those families who are returning to RPS.
For families returning to RPS, it is important that you share the details above with your child before they return to school on the 29th. My staff will also spend time explaining this on the 29th, but giving your child time to understand these changes will assist their transition back to school.
On behalf of the entire staff, I want to thank you for your continued support. These are tricky times, but each new day brings us that much closer to a return to what we once knew and loved.
Fri, 17 Apr 20 : Returning to School at Alert Level 3
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced that schools will reopen when the NZ COVID-19 Alert Level lowers to 3. The Prime Minister said “Schools will be safe places for children to learn if their parents need to return to work, or the children are unable to learn at a distance. Children who are able to, should remain at home and learn via distance.”
It is important for families to understand that school is different at Alert Level 4 with all students accessing their learning via RPS Learning @ Home, and school will be different again at Alert level 3. School as we knew it, will not return for some time yet.
My staff and I are now planning for the reopening of RPS. As I have approximately 10 staff who will be required to continue working from home due to underlying health conditions, there will be several changes to our daily operations. Some teachers will continue to provide lessons via the RPS Learning @ Home platform, and others will assume responsibility for teaching and learning at school. Our classrooms will also be reconfigured to accommodate no more than 10 students. This will assist us in ensuring physical distancing and the maintenance of high hygiene standards.
I have been and continue to be, incredibly impressed and proud of the efforts of my staff. They have worked tirelessly to provide quality learning for all students throughout the Lockdown. I am confident that we will continue to do our very best to meet the needs of our learners, be it via RPS Learning @ Home or onsite at RPS.
While an exact date for the reopening of RPS will not be announced until April 20, in order for us to plan effectively for the reopening of RPS, please click on this link and complete the survey.
This will allow us to determine the number of students who will continue their learning from home, and those who will be attending school.
Further details around the guidelines for schools opening in Alert Level 3 will emerge in the coming days. As these come to hand, I will continue to update you. Thank you once again for your continued support.
Thu, 9 Apr 20 : The Holidays Draw To A Close
RPS Learning @ Home Resumes
With the Easter weekend upon us, it means that the school holidays will also draw to a close on Tuesday evening. RPS Learning @ Home will therefore resume and be available for all RPS students from 9:00am on Wednesday April 15. Our teachers have been busy throughout the holidays fine-tuning work for our children to access and are excited to connect with their classes.
Making Social Connections With Our Students
It is becoming clear to us that one of the realities of life in the bubble, is that we are all craving enhanced social connections with each other. Our children are no different. They too are eager to see their teacher and hear their voice. I am delighted to announce that each year level will now also be incorporating a face to face element as part of the RPS Learning @ Home. While this will take different forms for each year level, your child's teacher will make a face to face connect with small groups of students each week that the Lockdown remains in place.
As you can imagine, this move to online learning is exciting and a little challenging at the same time, and I thank you in advance for your patience and support as we work to enhance the offerings for your children.
New Resources for Home Learning
As you will have seen in the media this week, the Ministry of Education has launched several new resources to support home learning. Please note that these are designed to supplement what our teachers are doing not replace.
- Learning from Home (Ministry of Education website)
- Home Learning TV, on TVNZ (This will run from 9am to 3pm on school days on TVNZ2+1 and Sky channel 502. Some lessons will also be available on TVNZ On Demand.
Home Learning TV will have content for parents with preschool children, and lessons for those aged 5 to 15 years of age will cover a broad curriculum that includes movement, music, physical education, wellbeing, numeracy, literacy and science through an integrated approach to curriculum.
When Regular School Resumes
While I am unaware of when "regular" school will resume, I want to assure you all that the school will be thoroughly cleaned prior to the students and staff returning. The strict hygiene protocols that were in place prior to the Level 4 Lockdown will be maintained for quite some time. We will do everything we can to ensure that our environment remains safe and hygienic for all students, staff and parents.
Fri, 3 Apr 20 : COVID-19 Community Update
I hope that by now you have settled into a family routine for the lockdown. The Staff and I realise how challenging it is for many of you who are juggling children at home and a spouse who is working from home also. These are challenging times and my hope is that with each passing day, we edge a little closer to a return to life as we knew it. Please take care of each other and remain connected with your loved ones.
RPS Remains Out of Bounds:
The Ministry of Education has placed very strict limits on entering schools. I am not allowed on campus without the express consent of the Secretary for Education. The entire RPS campus - including our playgrounds is out of bounds. PLEASE stay away and resist the temptation of “popping” in.
RPS Learning @ Home:
The Senior Teachers and I have reviewed the first few days of our Learning @ Home Programme and we are pleased with the feedback we have been getting from parents. Thank you for supporting us. We understand this style of learning is new to most.
One of our early reflections has been the degree to which some students engage. If you are worried about your child's level of engagement, please email your child's teacher. We are also aware of the dynamics in some homes. Children at different schools, mum and dad working from home, it is complex. Let us know if we can be of any assistance.
Lastly, we are aware too that many of our students are craving opportunities to see and speak with their teacher. We are in the process of designing what this might look like at each year level and I will update you next week as to how this will unfold.
A reminder that our Home Learning will begin again after the school holidays, on April 15.
Parent Conferences are on hold at this stage. We have discussed several alternatives, but until we know when school will resume, it is difficult to make a definitive decision. Once a decision is made I will update you all.
Term 2 Written Reports:
With Term One finishing in Week 7, and an unclear forecast as to when school will resume, our scheduled Term 2 written reports are also on hold until it becomes clearer when "normal" school will resume. Staff would normally begin drafting these early in Term 2, but this is not possible in the current climate. A written summary of learning will be provided, it is just unclear at this stage when these would be distributed.
In closing I want to thank each of you for your support during this difficult time. Please stay safe, stay connected and care for each other.
Fri, 27 Mar 20 : THANK YOU
Thank You Everyone
I want to reach out and thank you all very much for your support, as the school moved into the new phase of Learning @ Home. The staff have worked hard preparing work for the children. As you know this is a relatively new field for us, and was a steep learning curve for some of our staff. To receive so many emails praising our staff for their efforts has been humbling. Thank you.
A reminder that the School holidays start this afternoon at 3:00pm. The staff will continue to work throughout the holidays preparing for Term 2 Learning - both additional "Learning @ Home" material, and of course work for the day we return to school as we know it. The Staff will NOT be accessible online during the holiday period (March 30 to April 14). Please allow them the space to enjoy some R & R also.
Learning In The Holidays
A reminder that we have prepared a bank of work that you can access throughout the holiday period. To access this material, please click on this link. (RPS Holiday Learning Options). In addition to these, you can also access a wide variety of Home Learning Ideas, from the Ministry of Education website, by clicking this link. Home Learning Link
A reminder that I will continue to provide weekly updates. These will be published on the RPS App and also on the RPS Website.
Thank you once again. These are troubling times and it is stressful for many of our families. Please stay safe, stay connected and keep your bubble secure.
Tue, 24 Mar 20 : HOME LEARNING UPDATE
With yesterday’s announcement by Government, we are implementing with urgency our plan to support your child’s learning from home. We appreciate this is a sudden and significant change and will be heavily disruptive to many people in our community.
RPS Will Be Closed
From Thursday, school will be closed for instruction, until such time as the Government changes the COVID-19 Alert Level. We will be initiating our RPS Home Learning Programme from today March 24. Teachers will inform students what this looks like and how to access materials. Our teachers will be accessible online on Thursday and Friday of this week, between 9:00am and 12:00pm to assist students.
School Holidays Brought Forward
School holidays are being brought forward by the Government so that they are completed within the four week COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools). During this holiday period, the RPS Home Learning Programme will cease, and teachers will not be accessible online.
At the end of the school holidays (April 15), schools will be closed to students and teachers, but open for online learning. At this time the RPS Learning at Home Programme will re-activate. Teachers will again be accessible online between 9:00am and 12:00pm each day. We will continue to provide your child access to learning activities until such time as schools reopen.
What Can I Do To Support My Child During the Holidays?
By clicking on this link (RPS Holiday Learning Options), you will be able to access a range of activities that we have selected for each mini school, as holiday home learning activities. In addition to these, you can access a wide variety of Home Learning Ideas, from the Ministry of Education website, by clicking this link. Home Learning Link
I will continue to update our community via the RPS App and also the RPS Website. Please check these regularly for updates. If you don’t already have the school App, I urge you to download this.
I thank you all for your support during this difficult time, and on behalf of the entire Staff, ask that you remain safe and continue to look after each other.
Mon, 23 Mar 20 : COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 3
You will have heard the Prime Minister's update informing us that the country is moving to Threat Level 3, and to Level 4 in 48 hours.
School will remain open until 3:00pm on Wednesday March 25. From Thursday, school will be closed for instruction, until such time as the Government changes the Threat Level.
We will be initiating our RPS Home Learning Programme from Tuesday March 24. Teachers will inform students what this looks like and how to access materials.
I will continue to update our community via the RPS App and also the RPS Website. Please check these regularly for updates.
I thank you all for your support during this difficult time, and on behalf of the entire Staff, ask that you remain safe and continue to look after each other.
Mon, 23 Mar 20 : ADDITIONAL WORK FOR STUDENTS IN ISOLATION
Last week, we developed plans for each year level that would support home learning, when the school was closed by the Ministry of Health. Following the Government’s move to COVID-19 Threat Level 2, many families are choosing to isolate prior to school being closed. This has necessitated the development of an additional home learning resource that bridges the gap between now and a full closure of the school. Steve and the Leadership Team are currently finalising this resource and hope to have it ready for distribution by tomorrow morning (Tuesday). We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Sat, 21 Mar 20 : NEW ZEALAND AT COVID-19 ALERT LEVEL 2
This afternoon the Government moved to Threat Level 2 in their risk analysis for COVID-19. The Ministry of Health - supported by the Ministry of Education, have asked schools to ensure that students, parents and our staff who have compromised immunity and certain existing medical conditions to remain at home as much as they can from now on. I am in the process of speaking with my staff to ascertain where relief teachers may be required.
School Remains Open for Instruction
While we may see additional relievers in school over the coming weeks, I must stress that school remains open. We will continue to provide sound academic instruction for your children and will ensure there is a sense of comfort and normality. Our teachers are outstanding in their dedication and will ensure that learning remains a priority.
High risk individuals
While the majority of people who are confirmed with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms, some individuals are at risk of more severe symptoms.
I must stress that any parents with pre-existing health problems or respiratory illness, should avoid coming to school - where possible.
These are challenging times for us all, but on behalf of the Board of Trustees and my Staff, I thank you sincerely for the support you are providing our teachers and your learners.
Kia Kaha RPS.
Fri, 20 Mar 20 : SCHOOL CLOSURES
We continue to prepare for the possibility of our school being closed by the Ministry of Health, and are ready to support virtual learning for your children.
Our staff are working hard to prepare a range of materials that would support student learning at home, and have been conscious in our planning to ensure a balance between screen time as well as time to "stretch the legs".
In the event of school being closed, an overview will be provided to each family. However, to reassure families in the interim, here are some key points about our virtual learning programme.
- will be specifically designed for each Year Level
- will be sent home each Monday
- will cover the following curriculum areas; Reading, Writing, Maths, STEAM, The Arts, PE & Topic
- will be bundled into portions designed to last the students one week
- will be working throughout each day - both at school and at home, planning resources, units of work and preparing for Term 2
- will be accessible online each school day between 9:00am and 12:00pm to provide support, feedback and answer questions relating to the virtual programme content
- will be asked to manage their work across the week, as no additional work will be provided for "quick finishers"
- will be encouraged to break up their day and spend time both inside and outside
- We are conscious of the anxiety and added stress that a school closure may present to some of our families. With this in mind, all work provided during a closure will be optional for students to complete
Communication During A School Closure
- In the event of a School closure, a message will be sent to all families via, email, txt, the School App, and the website
- ALL subsequent updates will be posted on the home page of the School Website www.rps.school.nz