Covid-19 Alert L3 - Letter to Parents, Caregivers (20/08)
Dear parents and whanau,
I am sending you an update as the TGS Level 3 Alert plan evolves to keep you in the loop with what teachers and students are doing. The plan will be adapted if the Alert Level changes and I will let you know as soon as any adjustments are made. TGS staff and students are well prepared and we can adapt quickly when we need to. We are endeavouring to keep you up to date as you can help us communicate and implement plans and any adjustments that might be needed. Moving back to stricter alert levels is easier for students to engage with as they know how to operate, but some find it harder to stay motivated and to push themselves to be their best. We would like you to reassure our students and encourage them to keep connected with the plan. Their teachers and friends can also help with this. Together we are a powerful positive influence on each other.
1. What is the current TGS plan?
This week marks the mid-point of Term 3. Teachers will be looking at each student’s progress in the topics they are teaching. They want to see evidence of each students learning journey and may use this if required to predict grades if formal assessments including examinations are unable to take place. This applies to students at all levels.
2. What should students be doing in Week 5 and 6?
For their learning:
Students need to participate in the remote learning programme the teacher is providing, do the set work and assignments and engage with the teacher by asking questions and interacting in Google classrooms and via email.
Assessments planned for Week 6 are likely to be deferred to Week 7. Students will be advised by their teachers about this and should ask their teacher directly or by email if they do not yet know the arrangements. A few assessments may still be scheduled for Week 6, but only if this is helpful to those involved. If this is the case, those students will be informed
For subject selection for 2021:
Students are expected to have their subject selections entered now. This was done by each student via the Kamar portal. Parents should be able to access this information through the Kamar portal under the subject selection tab.
For tertiary courses for 2021:
Year 13 students should apply for entry to the tertiary providers they are interested in and make scholarship applications.
3. Why is active engagement in remote and classroom learning programmes important?
Terms 1 and 2 focus on students building their knowledge and constructing their understanding from this. Term 3 is when students are developing the skills to apply and demonstrate their learning. More internal assessment and all external assessment happens in Term 3 and during Term 4. Participation in remote learning programmes shows the teacher how each student is progressing and informs decisions about assessment that may be needed if grade predictions are required for NCEA or IB. This information also contributes to decisions about suitability for and consideration of subject selection for 2021. Testimonials and reference applications for tertiary scholarships and hostel applications also derive information from teacher input.
4. Are students allowed to come to school in Alert Level 3?
Most students are not allowed on site. Students of essential workers may attend and need to email Brian Wynn [email protected] the day prior if they wish to do so. Year 12 and 13 students may apply to Mr. Scovell [email protected] if they have an appropriate reason to attend. He sent all Year 12 and 13 students a survey on 18 August about this and has responded to students’ requests.
The priority at TGS is students studying practical subjects who require specialist equipment or spaces and students who have other specific needs that genuinely require them to be onsite. Students will not be taught while on site, but can access essential resources they do not have at home. Parents may email Mr. Scovell if they want to make a request for a Year 12 or 13 student.
5. How is TGS keeping the school safe and reducing the chance of community transfer of COVID-19?
There are very few people on site. Those on site must have permission from the principal or deputy principal and are required to follow strict protocols each day, as advised by the government and health authorities. These include entering by the main building entrance, using the QR tracer tracking app and manually signing in and out, wearing face masks on entry and when near others, using sanitiser and following any other rules the school deems necessary. Areas being used and high touch points are being cleaned twice daily.
6. What if a student needs to pick up a book or other resource from school?
Most students have already done this with permission from a deputy principal. From 20 August, students must get prior permission by emailing their request to a deputy principal who will give them instructions for coming on site. This will prevent any interaction with other students who may be on site. Students will need to have the COVID Tracing app and to use the QR code before entering the main building to reception. Parents are not permitted to accompany students on site. This reduces the number of casual or close contacts at the school.
7. Will staff and students return to school if the Alert Level lowers next week?
Staff are expected to be on site at Alert Level 2 or lower. However, many of them like you are balancing their teaching alongside an array of other responsibilities while working from home. TGS will manage the return of both staff and students when the Alert Level lowers. We will advise how this will be done at the time. It is likely to require a day or so of staggered re-entry as we did last time to allow staff to transition from remote programme learning to being back in the classroom.
We are balancing the needs of many different individuals and groups and appreciate your trust and support for us in doing this. I will communicate with you again once the Prime Minister has announced her review of the situation tomorrow evening.
If you are having trouble reading this letter, click here to view pdf version.