Keeping You in Touch with ‘Return to School’ MOE updates as at Friday 10 April 2020
Dear Parents & Caregivers
Although things could change over the next 2 weeks, below is the proposed process/timeline that schools across NZ are likely to follow for a return to school, issued to schools by the Ministry of Education on Friday 10 April 2020. We strongly advise that until an actual return date is confirmed, that you do not discuss these dates with your children, as any changes may cause unnecessary anxiety.
Jan Otene, Principal
Planning for Changing COVID-19 Alert Levels
This afternoon, the Prime Minister set out the timelines for some key decisions that will affect us all.
It is the Government’s intention that on the 20th of April, two days before the current period of Alert Level 4 is due to finish, Cabinet will make a decision on whether or not the Alert Level will change. They will use the most up to date data they have to make that decision.
Level 4 has come with some heavy restrictions and next week, the Government will give some guidance on what life at Level 3 looks like. We will ensure we provide you with some information for you to begin early planning on ahead of the detailed guidance we will give you when a final decision is made.
In Select Committee today, Minister Hipkins also spoke to the change of alert levels and the implications for education providers and their communities. The Minister noted it would be wrong to assume that all schools and early learning services will reopen at Level 3.
We are looking at various scenarios and they will be based on health considerations and requirements under Level 3, particularly managing physical distancing. A hybrid model of both distance learning and on-site learning is very likely at least in the early stages of Level 3. The Public Health requirements will affect each school differently.
We want to reassure you that following any announcement, you will have some time to prepare for physically re-opening your school or early learning service to welcome back onsite your staff and some, but not all, of your children/students.
Assuming the alert level does change, current planning assumptions are that you will have Thursday 23 and Friday 24 April to fully access your site and undertake a property inspection and necessary maintenance and cleaning. Monday 27 April is a public holiday (ANZAC Day observed) and Tuesday 28 April will be a staff-only day. We therefore anticipate Wednesday 29 April would be your first day with some of your students/children able to attend in person. Early Learning Centres might not need all of this time.
The Prime Minister reiterated that we will not be moving out of Level 4 early so our intention is to help you to be ready when the time comes.