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For COVID-19 information from the Ministry of Education please follow this link

WGC Safety Plans

WGC Covid-19 Updates

Info for parents updated 12 August 2020

Kia ora te whānau

As a result of the move to Alert Level 2, please be aware of the following:

1. The Senior parent interviews scheduled for tonight have been cancelled. Once we know more we will be in touch about alternate plans. In the meantime if you have any concerns or questions, please email the teachers directly

2. Students need to bring their own device to school each day. Students who don’t have a device at present need to tell their wānanga teacher so that we can get them a chromebook issued long term

3. Students are encouraged to wear masks, particularly when they are in large groups

4. We will revert to spraying the desks (not with bleach) more regularly and having a virtual assembly. Some sports tournaments scheduled for this week are postponed

5. We will be in touch, by email, as we know more

At least we know what to do this time…I guess there is some comfort in that.

Take care and wash your hands

Julia

Info for parents updated 14 May 2020

Kia ora koutou

Today’s the day. Level 2. Thank you so much for your support and kindness over the last, nearly 8 weeks. We are so looking forward to seeing the students back next week. 

We have Support staff in today working on the final stages of preparing the school for teaching staff to return tomorrow and students on Monday.

The school’s Safety Plan is attached. It is a Google doc, so is constantly being updated. It should be read in conjunction with the WGC response and also the school’s Pandemic Plan.  Please read the Safety Plan and the WGC response document closely – they have lots more detail than this letter can provide. 

Please be aware that the rules for schools around distancing and numbers of people are very different from the rest of society. That said we are doing everything possible to keep everyone safe. 

Our key drivers are:

  • To maintain social distancing wherever practicable
  • To minimise ‘moist breath’ 
  • To prevent the spread of infection wherever possible
  • To ensure contact tracing if necessary
  • To encourage individual responsibility

If students are unwell, they must stay home. If they aren’t well at school we will send them home. Please be extremely careful about this.

Return to school:

As you are all aware, WGC is extremely overcrowded. We are therefore cautious about having everyone back too quickly – we need to test some of the systems we are putting in place with increased numbers each day. Next Friday we’ll review how things are going and if we have worries, we’ll be in touch about the following week.

Here is the plan for next week:

Week 6:  18 – 22 May
Learning at school Learning at home

Monday 

18 May

Yr 9 – P1 Assembly in Hall and then regular lessons 

Yr 13 – P2  Assembly in Hall and then regular lessons (no class P1)

Yr 10, 11, 12

Tuesday

19 May 

Yr 12 – P1 Assembly in Hall and then regular lessons

Yr 9, 13 – regular lessons

Yr 10, 11

Wednesday

20 May 

Yr 11 – P1 Assembly in Hall and then regular lessons

Yr 9, 12, 13 – regular lessons

Yr 10

Thursday

21 May

Yr 10 – P1 Assembly in Hall and then regular lessons 

Yr 9, 11, 12, 13 – regular lessons

Friday 

22 May

Regular lessons for everyone all day 

Staff and student feedback to review systems. If we need to make changes, families will be told what the plan is for 

Week 7

 

We do expect the Yr 9-12 students to be in full uniform with hair back to a ‘natural’ colour when they return to school. 

What students need to bring:

It would be really helpful if you could make sure your student has the following when they return to school. 

  • Their device. We won’t be lending any devices out 
  • Headphones  
  • A small ziplock type with a couple of chux (or similar) cloths and some hand sanitiser. Please name your bag. Wash the cloths each night so they are clean for the next day
  • Lunch and a drink bottle 

What else do we need to know?

  • Students will be cleaning their own desk at the start and end of each lesson, as per the MOE instructions. That’s why they need the cloths. The teachers will spray the desks and they will wipe them 
  • Cleaning PE gear each lesson. This will be the same process as for classrooms – and gear that has been used will have to be sprayed and wiped
  • Buses are a worry – Met Link have been quite vague, but they say everyone needs a Plan B, especially for getting home. Again their link is on the website. Please check it and talk at home about what Plan B might look like in your family
  • We will have a Custodian on site from 8-4 each day, continually cleaning common areas and heavy use areas like handrails, door plates, toilets etc

If your student is staying at home, please remember to email me and include  a reason (the MOE have asked for this). Students working from home will need to be really independent with their learning – the main focus for the teaching staff will be on those in front of them. We recommend that students have an in class buddy and maybe come in by Facetime (or similar) each lesson, so they know exactly what is going on in class.

If students are sick, just contact the absences team as you have done in the past.

I know you’ll have lots of questions, so please read the documents carefully – we hope they answer most things, but if not, please ask. 

We’re looking forward to seeing most of the students next week and getting things vaguely back to normal. 

Take care and I hope your own plans are going smoothly.

Play it safe

Julia

Info for parents updated 8 May 2020

Kia ora te whānau

Thanks to everyone who came to the Drive through yesterday. It ran pretty well until the rush came after 2pm. We’ve changed the process for today to get cars off the street more quickly and will have a holding area on the field as we get busier. Please be patient and please note it isn’t allowed to be a ‘walk through’. We have been given permission to hold this only as a drive through because of the numbers.

Yesterday’s information about Level 2 is in the process of being clarified by the Ministry of Education and we are working through the enormous number of pages we have so far – more will come! 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. We need to work on a plan which the BOT will need to approve before we can have students back, but we’ll aim to let you know what is going on as soon – we hope by Thursday next week at the latest. To help us in our planning,we need to know from you, who won’t be coming back to school once we are fully open. So if your child has a condition that would put them at severe risk if they got Covid-19, can you please email me before Wednesday 13 May telling me that they won’t be returning and will need to continue with online learning.

Until we are able to have the students and staff back, online learning will continue. We know many of our students and whānau have found the online format challenging. While we have been doing our best to touch base with specific students sometimes we don’t always know when they are finding things difficult. Here is some of the advice and support options we have been sharing with the students that might help you .

Firstly you need to have a plan:

  • A weekly time able with each of your Meets/ chats added in
  • Add in a 15-20 minute break between your work blocks and of course lunch!
  • Where possible add in some workspace after each Meet/ chat to make a list of what you need to do next in this subject. or to follow up any work while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • Finally, add in some set work times for each subject this is to complete assessments and class learning tasks.
  • Remember the school does not expect you to be working solidly online from 8:45-3:20. You need to also be looking after your physical, social and mental health.
  • Need help with any of this? please email your wānanga teacher or the Learning Services department wgc.learningservices@wgc.school.nz and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help.

I know we’ll all be waiting to hear Monday’s announcement. We’re really in limbo until then, but the planning has started and I can assure we’re doing everything we can to prepare for a safe and positive return to school for everyone.

Until then, take care and be kind
Arohanui

Julia

Info for parents updated 1 May 2020

Kia ora te whānau

I hope your week hasn’t been too hectic. We haven’t had any students at school, but we have a skeleton staff back to help organise the property and deal with the huge amount of mail and courier parcels that have been delivered. We’ve even had some carpet laid in a couple of classrooms. Every now and then a teacher pops in to collect a resource, but they are a rare sight. At this stage it looks as if we’ll have even fewer people here next week.

Thank you for your feedback on last week’s parent survey – and as you can see we are acting on the request the majority of you made to have a direct email each week. This information will also go up on the website.
We really appreciated your thoughts and your articulation of the learning issues – and how we could help. There were some common themes and we have been sharing these with the staff. We surveyed the staff and students at the same time and we also have some feedback about how you could help at your end:

  • We’ve been at this for three weeks now and while we have no idea how much longer it will last, we know that at some stage we will all head back to school and that’s going to be a shock for the students who aren’t getting up until midday and are online until 2 or 3 in the morning. Getting a daily routine which even vaguely resembles a school day would be a help
  • Some people need help managing their emails and calendar. That’s where they will be getting invitations to class meets and instructions for their work – and if they aren’t being checked, the whole experience will be completely overwhelming. If you know that your student is finding things tough, this might be the first place to start. Using the Google calendar function might be the best thing you can do at this stage, to help organise the week
  • Deb King (DP Teaching & Learning) is preparing a short video clip to help parents support online learning. Look out for it next week

In the survey several people asked about NCEA. At this stage, we haven’t lost much actual teaching time, so there is no suggestion from NZQA that anything significant is changing. What they are doing is sharing ideas with teachers about how to change the ways they assess in an online context. They have started with some of the practical subjects – like Drama – which are so dependent on group work and performance. But more ideas are coming every week and staff are using them to inform their practice, particularly how they gather evidence that could be used instead of assessment if necessary. Probably the best thing you can do is try not to worry about NCEA and be confident that if any changes are made we will keep you informed and we will make them work. I am constantly reminded of the research after the Christchurch earthquakes, when some students missed a whole term’s work yet results improved – when the chips are down teachers will focus on what is needed for the assessment.

Some of you have asked to see the Virtual assemblies and my daily briefings. You can – https://wgc.school.nz/wgc-hub/4students will get you to the page and then go to the left hand side. Right down the bottom is the Virtual assembly folder and they are all in there. They aren’t intended to organise the students for that day, they are much more general than that.

Please be aware that we are asking staff to monitor students’ engagement and work completion. If there is a concern across a number of subjects, the Deans will be in touch with you. If your student is having trouble contacting staff or getting feedback, please let me know. As I’ve said before, we can’t replicate school and a significant number of our staff are having to structure their weeks very differently to deal with their own circumstances, but do let me know and I’ll see who else might be able to offer some support if they can’t.

At some stage over the next week or so, every family will be contacted by the school to check your contact details and to see how things are going for you. Please let the staff who ring know if there is anything we can do to better support your student’s learning – and if we can do it, of course we will. We are all making this up as we go along, and we’re so grateful for the feedback and suggestions people have made so far.

In the meantime, stay home if you can, be kind and take care.
Arohanui

Julia

Info for parents updated 24 April 2020

Kia ora te whānau

I hope things are going as well as they can in your bubble.

Today’s the 8th day of running things in this new way. We have a short survey we’d love you to complete to let us know how things are going and give us some ideas about what we could do differently/better in the weeks ahead. Students and staff are also being surveyed today.

It has been an interesting week, and the news that we are moving out of Level 4 next Monday has meant a lot of discussion about what we are able to do at school. To keep you in the loop:

  • The parents of all Yr 9 & 10 students were emailed on Tuesday and we have been told there will be two students with us from next Wednesday
  • These parents will be emailed today with information about the processes for being at school next week. Health and safety is paramount so there will be some really tight rules in place, as you would expect
  • We understand that people’s circumstances will change as more companies return to working on site. If your Yr 9 or 10 student can’t be supervised at home because you have to be at work, please email me and we can add them to the school bubble julia.davidson@wgc.school.nz I would need 24 hours notice as we will need more staffing in place as the bubble grows
  • The cleaning of the school has started
  • The grounds are being looked after again – goodbye to the toadstools and flowers that have covered the field, but we hope the rabbit is still around somewhere
  • There will be no lessons on Monday 27 April – it is the public holiday for Anzac day
  • WGC will have lessons on Tuesday 28 April. The Prime Minister announced schools could have a Teacher Only Day to prepare for students being on site, but with only two students to deal with, that has been managed already. And we seem to have got into a bit of a rhythm, so we want to keep that going
  • We have a large number of resources that teachers want to get to students. We’ve been told we can do this as long as we make it contact-less. So we’re working on that and hope to have a plan in place later next week that we can share with you. Some of the resources are waiting for the school to open before they can be delivered, so we won’t be able to do anything until all the materials are on site – we don’t want people having to come out several times
  • Remember the key message at Level 3 is that if you can stay home to work, you should. While we will have a skeleton staff at school, it doesn’t mean that students can pop in and grab stuff from lockers or classrooms. Maybe that will come at Level 2 – we have yet to hear

I’ll appreciate anything you can tell us through the survey and will be in touch next Friday as we learn more.

Stay home, be kind, stay safe
Arohanui
Julia

Info for parents updated 17 April 2020

Kia ora te whānau

Thank you all for your support of your kids as we settle into the new term. We were aware that wednesday was a bit overwhelming for lots of kids (and parents and staff) but it sounds as if we have settled into a bit of a rhythm now that is less frenetic and everyone can manage a bit better. Just remember we’re all learning and it will take a bit of time to get things right.

Yr 9 & 10 voluntary return to school at Alert Level 3
The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday has left us all wondering what this will look like. We have surveyed our staff and we know already that we won’t be able to run actual classes at Alert Level 3, but we will be able to provide supervision (using our relievers) from 8.30 – 3.20, for students who need to come to school while their parents are at work – just as we did on 20 March. Students will be put in one room for the day and will work on their on-line lessons, just as they do at home now. Because of the need to maintain as safe a workplace as possible, they will not be able to access any other rooms and they won’t be able to leave the site during the day.
If you intend to send your child to school once the voluntary option is available, please email me at julia.davidson@wgc.school.nz as soon as possible, so that we can work out the logistics.


Term One Subject Overview reports

These are being completed over the next couple of weeks and we will have them live in early May.

Senior parent interviews
These were scheduled for 5 & 7 May. they are now cancelled. We will run them later this term, and they will definitely be online. The package we looked at using requires a huge set up, so we’re working on that currently and will let you know details as soon as we have them.

School grounds closed
If you live in the Thorndon area, please stay away from the school. It hasn’t been widely enough reported, but all school grounds are closed during the lockdown. Our Property Manager has had a few unpleasant episodes with locals over the lockdown period. We have now employed a security guard to be on site 24/7 and if there are any issues the Police will be called. We’re not trying to be difficult – we have been instructed to close our school to the public – it’s just really hard to do that when we have no gates we can lock and the perimeter is so porous.

We are also working on a solution to our email problem which will mean we can contact you directly. In the meantime, check this site every Friday for updates.

Stay home, be kind, stay safe
Arohanui

Julia

Info for parents updated 9 April 2020.

Kia ora koutou

I hope you are all well and coping with everyone at home over the last couple of weeks. At least the weather has been pretty good.

As we indicated a couple of weeks ago, this update gives you the information about how WGCLearning@home will operate, starting on Wednesday 15 April.

What if my child is sick? Please let us know. Use the WGC app or the absence@wgc.school.nz email ONLY (no-one will be able to check the phone!). It’s important that we know if people are sick – with Covid-19 or anything else – so that teachers aren’t expecting them to engage with work at that time

How will they know what is happening? Students will be emailed a daily briefing from me. It will come to them before 8.30 every day and we’d ask that they check it before they start work. It will also tell them which staff are sick – so they won’t be able to expect contact from them that day. The briefings will also be uploaded to the Virtual assembly page in the 4Students section of the website if you want to see them. Next Wednesday they will also get an email which gives them lots more information about the structure of the week and what we expect of them regarding work

So what can we expect?  We’re really glad that we had the day on 20 March to trial things. We learned a lot and have adapted the timetable accordingly. Please be aware of the following:

  • All classes will have work pared back to the essentials; some of the extras are likely to go
  • All work will be uploaded by 9am each day
  • All classes will have 3 learning ‘events’ per week, but each is likely to be shorter than before – so it might be one 20 minute  session with the teacher, followed up by two activities to support or develop this work
  • Staff will nominate a time for the class to meet – this will be once a week – and students need to put that into their timetable and be at that meeting (unless they are sick)
  • Wānanga teachers will connect with their students twice a week – again these times will be arranged with the students
  • Yr 11 – 13 students will have time in the afternoon to dedicate to their NCEA assessments
  • Yr 9-10 students will have time in the afternoon to dedicate to an individual inquiry or project. More information about this will come to them next Wednesday
  • Some of you gave us feedback that it would help if all work was on the same platform – sorry, wth the lead in time we’ve had that hasn’t been possible, but staff will let students know what they are using, and they will vary to best suit the activity

 

What will the day look like? Here is a link to the Covid19 Daily Timetable Template

 

What do we expect from you as whānau?  Well, we don’t expect you to be teachers! We’re sorting that bit out. These are strange and unusual times and we realise that everyone has individual stresses and pressures at both work and home. You need to be there for your kids to give encouragement and support – and maybe help them frame questions if they are stuck. We’re trying to keep things simple, but remember, this is new to us as well and we won’t always get it right. We know that everyone needs to spend time exercising and relaxing as well as working, so we’ve tried to build this into the day.

And please remember that most teachers teach around 150 students a week, so replying to individual emails takes more time than answering questions in class – so patience will be needed!

What if my child is having problems? The usual support networks are still available

And of course you can email me at any stage – if I can’t help, I might know who can.

What about Senior Parent interviews? These were in the calendar for early May. We are assuming that we won’t be able to hold them in the usual way, so we’re working on digital interviews and we’ll send you the details once we have the logistics sorted

How often will this site be updated? The plan at this stage is that we will update this site every Friday we continue to be in lockdown. If something happens nationally, which is significant,and we need to respond to it, we’ll do so and send an alert  through the WGC app, but we want to try and get into a regular rhythm if we can

What about post Lockdown planning? We are working on this and will have a plan ready for the BOT at their next meeting. Because of the over crowding at WGC, the number of staff with small children and the number of staff and students with pre-existing conditions, we are concerned about the practicalities of returning from lockdown, so we are working on a plan that will maintain safety while also maintaining learning. I think it would be fair to say that we are erring on the side of caution as we plan

What about the property work? That continues, but obviously construction of the new village has stopped while the lockdown is in place, so that is delaying any move out of Tower and into the new rooms. We will keep you posted about a timeframe once things are back to ‘normal’

And what about the reports that should have been done by today? Sorry about that, but we’ve been a bit distracted and have put our energies into the online work instead. We were also keen that our staff had a break over the ‘holidays’. We’ll get onto them and get the new upload date to you next week

Thanks for getting to the end. Any questions, just email me and I’ll do my best to get you answers

Stay home, be kind, stay safe

ArohanuiJulia

Update 25 March 2020

Kia ora te whānau

Thank you for all the support as we start this new way of working and living for a while.

This is the site you will now come to for any information about how we are managing Working from home if you are a WGC student.

We will be posting on or before 9 April with information about how things will work as from the first day of Term 2 – Wednesday 15 April. (The Tuesday after Easter is always a holiday for schools in New Zealand.)

This page will be updated and new information will go at the top of the page. All posts will be dated.

Look after each other

Arohanui

Julia