Lockdown Update 2 – Information for Parents & Caregivers

09 Apr Lockdown Update 2 – Information for Parents & Caregivers

Dear Parents / Caregivers

I wanted to touch base with you to offer support and encouragement during this challenging time.

Now that we are halfway through the lockdown and the number of cases appears to be dropping, it is important that we stay committed to ‘Staying home, Staying safe and Saving lives’.

Your children will be missing their friends but it is really important that you ensure that they do not ‘weaken’ and meet up with them. Already, we are seeing reports of groups of young people out in the community. Please reinforce with them that staying in their bubble saves lives!

The last few days of the term were a whirlwind. To close up the school and move to a completely on-line learning environment in 2 days was quite a feat! Fortunately, the transition for us and our students has been relatively straightforward, as we have been heavily involved with digital learning for a long time. Our systems were already in place with most teachers using Google Classroom. As a result, students are familiar with how to access the resources and learning.

The vast majority of our students have their own devices and internet connections at home. For those that don’t, we quickly contacted as many as possible and got devices to them.  If your child doesn’t have a device, or you don’t have an internet connection at home, please let your Dean know and we will do our best to get it sorted.

Start of Term 2
On Wednesday 15th school starts again (online school). Teachers will be back online setting work, arranging Zoom and Google Meet video class meetings, and answering questions.

Every class has a Google classroom (virtual classroom), and your child’s tutor has also set up a tutor group Google classroom. Your child should be able to show you the Google Classroom for each subject and for their tutor group.

Students should go to the Google Classroom for the work that needs doing each day. There will also be messages from the teacher. In the Tutor group Google Classroom, there are critical links to:

  • How to make an appointment with our Guidance Department
  • Wellbeing resources – Parents can also access this once their child has joined – the ‘invite guardian’ button can be activated by the child and the parent’s email entered, so that parents can view updates.

 

Our goal is, as always, to have all of our students engaged in learning and achieving to the best of their ability. To do this we need your help more than ever. Parents and caregivers can support student learning in the following ways:

  • Ensure your child has a digital device and an internet connection. If they don’t, contact their Dean.
  • Ensure they have a work space
  • Help them to set a routine, we are not expecting students to follow their normal timetable at the same time as usual. Set a work routine that suits your household.
  • Get help if needed.  The Deans are available to help the same as usual

 

You have probably seen the recent announcements from the Government about extra resources that are being made available. We haven’t seen them yet, so I don’t know how they will fit in with the material your child’s teachers are preparing. However, I am sure they will be of some use and will supplement the work from teachers.

Additional Support
Our Guidance Counsellors are available. To make an appointment students can email guidance@pakuranga.school.nz or follow the link on your child’s Tutor Google Classroom.

Careers Department staff are also available. Email WRD@pakuranga.school.nz to make an appointment.

On-line Safety
Keep an eye on what your child is doing. If they won’t let you see their screen, then it’s time to talk.

Both of these sites have lots of solid advice and resources to help support parents who are concerned about online safety:
https://www.netsafe.org.nz/online-safety-for-parents/
http://www.kathleenamorris.com/2019/05/16/internet-safety-parents/

There is also a really good online Toolkit for Parents from Netsafe available HERE.

The Ministry of Education and N4L have also released an easy to install filter that you can add to the security settings on your child’s device HERE. It’s free and easy to do, and will provide some level of safety in terms of what sites students can access.

Having Trouble with a Subject?
Email the class teacher.  All email addresses are the  staff member’s 3 letter teacher code followed by @pakuranga.school.nz
Teacher codes can be found on student timetables, or HERE on our website.
Don’t push too hard – it is a stressful time for all and we need to acknowledge that.

We’re Here to Help!
If you have any problems, let us know and we will do everything we can to help sort the problem or get the support you need.

Thank You to our Neighbours
Our school is an open campus and, as we can only monitor the school site through our security cameras, we’d like to say a big thank you to the locals who are keeping an eye on things for us when they go for their daily walks. Together we will all get through this challenging time.

Community Support
Alcohol and Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797
Family Violence Info Line: 0800 456 450
Healthline: 0800 611 116
Lifeline Aotearoa Nationwide: 0800 534 354
Warmline (Mental Health Peer Support): 0800 200 207
Victim Support: 0800 842 846
Outline: LGBTIQ affirming support line and face-to-face counselling: 0800 688 5463
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865
Anxious/deprressed: Text 1737 to talk to a trained counsellor 24/7
Central Auckland Foodbank: 022 045 8184 / foodbank.co.nz

The Prime Minister has said that the Easter Bunny is an essential service. I have interpreted that to mean that she expects us all to enjoy a few (lots of) Easter eggs. I think we all deserve it!

Have a safe and happy Easter.

Kind regards,

Michael Williams
Principal



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