Covid-19: Latest Update (09/04/20) #4
Dear Parents, Caregivers and Students
I want to wish you all a Happy Easter weekend, though it is a very different kind of holiday this year. I trust you have managed to have some relaxation and fun in the first term holidays even with the short notice and the difficult circumstances we are facing.
School commences again next Wednesday 15 April in remote teaching and learning mode. No one is allowed to be on site but everyone is expected to be online. TGS made a great start to remote teaching and learning in the days before the lockdown and we are very optimistic about the progress we will make in the weeks ahead.
Senior staff have been very busy in the last two weeks preparing for Term 2 starting in this different and exciting way. Our staff and students had a short trial before the lockdown began. This went well considering how quickly things shifted. Now it is time to get down to making this way of operating work powerfully for TGS.
Our staff and students are highly intelligent and capable. We are resourceful and adaptable and really looking forward to getting back to school. There are many new and unexpected challenges for families in these extraordinary times. There is hardship and unfairness about much that is happening, but there are opportunities too. We will work together to enable our students to flourish, develop new skills and attitudes and learn new ways of doing things.
Next week classes will be held as per the timetable, starting with Day 8. Teachers will post work using Google Classroom and other strategies. We recommend students work a normal school day, each day as far as is possible. Where there are other factors that affect this, students should adapt to suit their circumstances with their parents’ support. Teachers will be doing this too. We understand there are more people working at home which means everyone has to be more flexible.
Our staff and students have excellent relationships and we will build on these this term. To keep the school connected we will use specific tools to ensure accessibility and continuity for everyone. Next week, the focus is on setting up the way school will work using remote programmes for the next period of time.
Teachers will make direct contact with students in each class at least once next week, using Google Meet or another video tool. There are many different methods and tools available. These can get complicated, create confusion and trialling different ways can divert staff away from the main focus of teaching. To keep the school connected we will use specific tools to ensure accessibility and continuity for everyone.
Parents can help students by monitoring their daily school schedule and seeing how they are learning. There are additional methods being made available nationally such as TV channels for schooling that families can access. These will provide added support for students and increase their motivation in this new era of schooling.
Students will have questions about assessments and co-curricular activities. We are working on how these will be done if the remote programmes continue beyond the next couple of weeks. I will keep you informed with regular communications as we work through this one step at a time.
Thank you for being positive and supportive of each other and for doing as the Prime Minister and other officials ask. The next few weeks will determine what is needed for the next few months.
Nga mihi nui
Takapuna Grammar School