From the Principal’s Desk at home.
Nga mihi nui kia koutou katoa. Welcome to the the Westland High School April newsletter.
E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa. Warm greetings to you all.
Welcome back to school albeit by distance and online. There will be challenges for some students and we understand not everyone at the start of this process will have complete confidence to navigate learning in a new environment.
This first week back we are looking to focus particularly on rebuilding/re-establishing relationships and getting the online learning up and running, and also the need for us to be mindful of the stress on teachers as well as students and families. We are all in this together. Please be patient and please be kind.
Congratulations and well done to staff and students who have risen to the occasion under somewhat difficult and challenging conditions.
Lockdown level 4 to level 3
The Prime Minister today started the conversation on what level 3 might look like. We will have a clearer picture in regards to education on Monday next week. Once we have firm information to share, we will let you know as soon as it becomes available.
Hard materials - Paper Packs
Westland High School has informed the Ministry of Education of students who need to have an educational paper pack sent to their homes, these are students predominantly who do not have reliable access to the internet. As you can imagine there are thousands of students that require packs and it may take a few days for these to arrive at your home. There are 9 students affected and who will be receiving packs either late this week or early next week.
The school has issued a number of Chromebooks to students who have reported a faulty device, these were couriered to students homes on Tuesday. If a device (Chromebook) ceases to work, email the school office on email@example.com, and provide the details. i.e students name, device problem and your preferred contact phone number. Someone will contact you, and where required arrange for a replacement device to be sent out. In some instances, the school’s IT provider may be able to connect remotely to the device and correct the problem.
School is back, although in a different form to what we are used to. It is very important all students genuinely engage with the online learning environment. We have had some students indicate they have been asked to work part-time during the day by their employer and can’t attend their online lessons. This is unlawful under the education act and both the employer and parents of the students can be prosecuted if this is found to be the case. Where we are made aware of this situation and students continue to work for an employer when they are supposed to be attending school (albeit online) we will contact both the employer and the parents to remind them of their obligations. The Ministry of Education has made it very clear students must be “attending” and not working for an employer, see Ministry advisory to school below.
Ministry of Education Advisory
With the start of Term 2, it is very timely to acknowledge the contributions students have been making to the essential workforce during the school holidays, including working hard in many of your local supermarkets.
The start of term 2 does, however, signal that students’ work hours must return to being outside of school hours only. If you are aware of any employer putting pressure on your students to work during school hours, you may wish to advise them that it is unlawful, as Section 30 of the Education Act does not allow this - even during the lockdown period.
On occasion parents and whanau may need to contact the school. The following contact are listed below:
Academic and Pastoral Care Leaders
- Adrienne Reeves: Year 11-13 Students firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sarah Bateup: Year 9-10 Students email@example.com
- Monica Hulme: Year 7-8 Students firstname.lastname@example.org
- General inquiries email@example.com
Handwashing to prevent the spread
Keep it simple and wash your hands well.
Washing hands with soap and water before and after eating as well as after attending the toilet
Covering coughs and sneezes with clean tissues or with an elbow
Putting used tissues in the bin
You will be aware that advice from the Ministry of Health asks everyone to wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly. Singing Tutira mai or Happy Birthday twice, slowly should take about 20 seconds. To assist with this messaging, there are a couple of useful videos from the National Health Service (UK) that might help teach good hand washing techniques:
Teaches hand washing technique (UK NHS):
Hand washing happy birthday (UK NHS): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGJNspLRdrc
Linda Hutt has advised that as a result of the restructure of her role, she will not be returning to school and has made the decision to undertake retraining for the remainder of 2020. The Board of Trustees thanks Linda for her contribution to our school and wishes her all the very best for the future.
Fiona Lauder our School guidance counsellor is available to talk with students during normal school hours. To make an appointment to talk with Fiona email her on firstname.lastname@example.org, Fiona will get back to you with a time to talk.
All conversations with Fiona are held in the strictest confidence.
Ngā mihi nui