Dear parents and caregivers of Campbells Bay School,

Firstly, a massive thank you for your ongoing support. This is not the term four we had in mind. We are hopeful for a return to school soon, as long as it is safe to do so. It feels like we are on the right track, however it has been a long path! Naively, I never anticipated not returning to school for term four when we went into lockdown in August.

Reopening

Today, Minister Hipkins shared parts of the Ministry of Education’s plan to reopen schools, with some secondary school students heading back to school next week. The primary education sector awaits a further announcement, expected next Tuesday. Until then, school remains closed with our current level three organisation in place. Closer to the time of reopening, I will share with you our revised reopening procedures.

Vaccinations

At this time the school is developing procedures to implement the latest Public Health Orders around vaccinations. As a staff we have a very high uptake of vaccinations. All staff will be fully vaccinated by 1 January. If they are not fully vaccinated by the time school reopens, staff will provide a negative Covid-19 test result each week.

This vaccination health order also includes all visitors to the school site who work with students. This will impact parents. A procedure will be put in place when we have further details from the health order. For now, it is worthy of note that should you wish to participate or volunteer in school events, trips and camps you will be required to be fully vaccinated.

Long Weekend and Teacher Only Day

A reminder that this weekend is a long one. Monday is Labour Day for everyone and Tuesday is a Teachers Only Day. There is no bubble school operating on this day. School, including distance learning is closed for students but staff are still required to work.

I want to give just a little background about these scheduled days. During the latest Collective Agreement bargaining for teachers, eight days were provided to schools for teachers by the Ministry of Education. These Accord Teacher Only Days are for development, professional learning, curriculum and reporting. They form part of our teachers’ contracts and must be used by June 2022. Like many of you, we also felt uneasy about having this day continue as planned next week given the current lockdown. However, we have made the tough decision of keeping it in place. Because if we cancel it, we would need to squeeze it into next year’s calendar. We already have four scheduled for next year due to the postponement of two previous days due to lockdowns. We would prefer to have as many contact days as possible and less closures next year as we hope we have returned to normal.

Distance Learning

We want students back at school just as much as you. Distance learning is not sustainable and is a moving pendulum between what is ideal for each family and their different circumstances. Our teachers are constantly trying to do what is best for the students in their class; juggling what is attainable and realistic to do from home, and what is in the best interest for students to keep learning and progressing. Where we have received feedback from parents, we have taken this into serious consideration and reviewed how our programme could be better. You may notice small tweaks to your child’s programme as we try and seek opportunities to refine the delivery of the learning each week.

The programmes are slightly different for each team in response to the age and stage of students. The teachers work collaboratively together to design the programme. Do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s teacher should you wish to discuss the programme, or the Associate Principal of the team.

Year 0-2 Christie Birkhead [email protected]
Year 3-4 Patricia Meder [email protected]
Year 5-6 Nathan Janes [email protected]

You will hear from me once we have more information about primary schools reopening. We miss you all and cannot wait to have you back on site soon! Until then, let’s take it week by week.

Best wishes,

Rachael Taylor