Principals Message, Term 2, Week 4

Kia ora koutou,

Like me, I am sure you have followed with interest the announcements made by the Prime Minister.  

It is reassuring to hear how well our country has done at minimising the impacts of COVID-19. Alert Levels 4 and 3 have not been easy, and I thank you for your ongoing support for the work we are doing.  

Today, the Prime Minister advised that in Alert Level 2 schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff, and that additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.  The good news is that when we are able to, we will be ready to welcome all students and staff back to our school site.

The key Public Health approach is to minimise the risk that someone gets infected in the first place, and second to ensure we can identify and contact anyone who has been in close contact with a person, if someone in a school is infected. 

Schools will be open to all students and year levels at Alert Level 2 from the beginning of the next school week after the announcement is made.

All staff will be able to be on site from the start of Alert level 2, as will students who have already been on site at Alert Level 3.

As we have done in Alert Level 3, you can be assured that in Alert Level 2 we will know who is at school, who our staff and students have been in close contact with, and take appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.  Physical distancing is a good precaution to prevent the spread of disease. We do however know it is challenging in schools, so good hygiene practices and regular cleaning are even more important here.  This includes staff and students coughing into their elbows, handwashing and drying and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces.

Under Alert Level 2, we will advise any students and staff to stay at home if they are sick, and we will send anyone home immediately if they show any symptoms. 

Our school has safe and sensible practices to maintain the health and safety of everyone on the school site.  As described by Dr Payinda in his NZ Herald article, “Covid’s not measles or chickenpox, it doesn’t hang in the air for hours waiting to infect passers-by.  It travels on invisible drops of spit.  You don’t have to cross the street to avoid anyone.  Just avoid getting in their ‘moist breath’ zone”.  

We all just need to remember to have some breathing space at Alert Level 2!  

It’s important however that not just at school, but at home safe hygiene habits are practised by everyone, as this is essential to minimise the risk that someone gets infected with Covid-19. 

For more information about the Public Health measures at Alert Level 2, you can visit the covid19.govt.nz website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

If you have any questions about our health and safety plan, or have a child who might be vulnerable to serious illness and would like to discuss a plan for them, please contact me.

We will be in touch again soon to update you on our plans.

Ngā mihi

Alasdair Maclean
Principal, Fairfield School

Principal’s Message, Term 2, Week 3

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Today is the first day back on site for some of our teachers and students. While most children remain learning remotely at home. If you have questions around remote learning, please contact your child’s classroom teacher. As a school we are here to support and help you.

As always we want to ensure when the children come to school they are safe and in a learning environment where they able to continue with their learning in a positive way. Below are the safety regulations that have been put in place to ensure that the children who are attending school are safe.The Health and Safety practices that have been explained via phone call with the families who’s children are now back at school, are outlined below for your information:

  • Under these conditions play based learning will not be possible in the classroom, given that it uses equipment that multiple children may be interacting with. Similarly for sports, no sports equipment will be distributed at all.
  • Parents are asked to keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school,  send them home.
  • Breaks should be staggered as should start and finish times for the school day, and bubbles cannot mix during breaks.
  • Initially the number of children must be limited to 10 in a school bubble, but this can be increased to 20 once all processes are running smoothly. There can be multiple school bubbles in a physical space but there must be distance between bubbles and strictly no mixing between school bubbles (working this through).
  • To support contact tracing students should sit in the same place each day, with 1m physical distance between all children, young people and staff. They must maintain 2 metre physical distance outside and 1m inside during breaks and 1m on school transport.
  •  Physical education classes and break time activities cannot include sports with <2m physical distance or where the same equipment is touched by different students (balls, ropes, sticks, etc).
  • Contact tracing registers must be set up and identify which children are in each teaching space, record when and who they have contact with during the day if that changes. This includes recording who the adults are in contact with as well as recording any visitors to the site, including parents.
  • Staggered entry times into classes with one time for school transport to minimise gatherings of children or parents.

MoE Guidelines Alert Level 3 (April 2020)

School Policies

Our school polices are available to review online at https://www.schooldocs.co.nz/. We would appreciate your feedback/input on our policies and ask you to please take five minutes to review the following information. Instructions to access the information are below:

  1. Open the following link https://www.schooldocs.co.nz/
  2. On the right hand side of the web page select “Search for your school>>” type “Fairfield School Levin”
  3. Enter the following user name: fairfieldlevin and password respect
  4. In the search function type Recognition of Cultural Diversity, press search
  5. On the left side select “Recognition of Cultural Diversity (highlighted in blue)

5. Once you have read the policy, on the right side of screen, select the green box (beside the printer icon) and the below screen
will appear. Enter the email address: amaclean@fairfieldlevin.school.nz not your own.

7. Enter your name (optional)
8. Enter your comments
9. Select “Send message to the Principal”.

School Calendar

To help you with school dates, whole school events the following calendar has been created.  The calendar is available on our school website/school calendar, or open the following link School Calendar

2020 School Term Dates
Term 1Monday 3rd FebruaryWednesday 25th March72 half days
Term 2Wednesday 15th AprilFriday 3rd July106 half days
Term 3Monday 20th JulyFriday 25th September100 half days
Term 4Monday 12th OctoberTuesday 15th December92 half days

While we operate in the Level 3 lockdown, the school phone will be diverted to my phone. If you need to contact us please call me in the first instance on 027 368 1143. I wish you all the best as you remain safe at home, and we all look forward to seeing your children back at school in the near future.

Kind regards,

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Alasdair MacleanPrincipal

Principal’s Message Term 2, Week 1

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

This week begins our remote learning.  The school holiday officially finishes today (Tuesday 14th April) and school re-opens tomorrow, albeit a little differently from what we have experienced in the past.

I have previously shared what each team will be having the children complete during lockdown.  If you have not read about this, please go to the home page of our website and click on the tab labelled “learning from home“.  There is a brief overview of what each team will be doing.  If you are unsure, please contact your child’s classroom teacher.  The teachers will be online during the school hours to support you and your child.

Many parents are justifiably concerned at the moment, worried about their family’s health, worried about financial matters, having to work from home and all the while trying to keep everybody calm and sane in very stressful circumstances.  I know that parents may feel overwhelmed at the moment by work being sent home from schools and how to access this information…. Seesaw… Google classroom…. times have changed a lot since we were students.  Please do not feel guilty or inadequate, We are all on a steep learning curve but I would like to make a couple of points.

1.  Please treat the lockdown learning as a MENU of options.  Some days you may decide to have four courses, other days you might decide to just have a main course, and some days you might even choose not to look at the menu, this is all fine.  We know that every family has different circumstances and we are here to support you and your family.
 
2.  As parents, you decide what is obtainable, based on your family situation.  Remember your children are in primary school, please don’t worry about your child falling behind as they will cover this work again in school many times.  As teachers, it is our job to support their learning and we will help any child who is struggling when we return to school as best we can.
The Government has advised that the earliest date that schools will open is Wednesday 29 April.  More direction will be provided by the Government on Monday 20 April when they make a public announcement.

Below I have shared some information from Netsafe on how to keep ourselves safe while working from home online, as these are difficult unprecedented times for all of us.  Child Protection and OCEANZ groups have been working with Netsafe to produce safety advice around preventing child exploitation and online child sexual abuse during the lockdown.

Increase in Child Exploitation Material and Online Child Sexual Abuse during Lockdown

Overseas law enforcement have indicated a dramatic increase of the amount of online child exploitation and child sexual abuse during the lockdown period.  Due to New Zealand being at level 4 with most Kiwis being confined to their homes, everyone will have an increased online presence, including children.  Many Kiwis are also working from home while level 4 is in place and may not feel they have as much time as normal to monitor their children’s internet use.  Unfortunately, online offenders are also at home with an increased online presence.

To get ahead of the overseas trend and prevent sexual predation, sexting, cyber bullying and other types of cyber crime occurring, please refer to the link and information provided by Netsafe:

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/online-safety-for-parents/

https://www.netsafe.org.nz/the-best-online-safety-tips-for-lockdown/

While the internet is a great place for learning and education and during this time a great tool for delivering distance education, there are some dangers and things that parents and caregivers should remember to be aware of.   Try and prevent children and young persons from becoming victims and exploited online.  Discuss internet safety with children of all ages and agree with them on what they can do online including sites to visit and appropriate behaviours

  • Review and approve games and apps before they are downloaded
  • Review privacy settings of sites and applications
  • Check your children’s profiles and what they are posing online and be aware that anything that is posted online with be permanently on the internet
  • Take the time to understand what sites they are visiting and who they are talking with and check in regularly
  • Some social media sites have age restrictions to join, check these before letting your child use them or join
  • Monitor your child’s use of the internet and consider having them use it in an open, common area of the house
  • Make sure your children know to report any activity they don’t feel comfortable with to you straight away.

Remember if your children were going out, you would go with them or depending on their age check where they are going.  If your children are online you should be with them or check what sites they are visiting.  If you think your child or a child in your care is the victim of online exploitation or abuse, please do not hesitate to report it.  If we all work together to make sure children are safe online, we can make the internet a great tool for people of all ages.

School Calendar

To help you with school dates, whole school events the following calendar has been created.  The calendar is available on our school website/school calendar, or open the following link School Calendar

2020 School Term Dates
Term 1 Monday 3rd February Wednesday 25th March 72 half days
Term 2 Wednesday 15th April Friday 3rd July 106 half days
Term 3 Monday 20th July Friday 25th September 100 half days
Term 4 Monday 12th October Tuesday 15th December 92 half days
I wish you all the best as you remain safe at home, and we all look forward to seeing your children back at school in the near future.
Kind regards,
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Alasdair Maclean
Principal
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