23 March 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers
When I began this letter this morning, little did I know how the situation would escalate? You would have heard by now that New Zealand is now in Level 3 and will go into Level 4 at midnight on Wednesday. This means our school will be closed for students tomorrow, Tuesday 24th. Please keep your children at home. Learning packs/information were sent home on Friday. If your child was away, you can contact your child’s teacher through their email address: first name and initial of surname @stjosephs.co.nz. For example firstname.lastname@example.org
We understand that the school holidays will be brought forward and will let you know our return date when that is decided, however, we do know we will be closed for at least four weeks.
Even though we provided distance learning packs/information, we do not expect or want you to be creating hourly schedules for your children. We know you will support us in continuing your child’s learning, which can include online activities, paper-based tasks, and other activities. You may plan to limit technology until all home learning is done!.
But please remember… we are all very concerned right now, and we will be dealing with overly anxious children. They hear everything that is going on around them, their daily routine and structure is going to be very different and they feel the tension and anxiety around them. They, like us, have never experienced anything like this before. Just now, the idea of being off school for weeks sounds amazing. They are probably picturing fun times like during the summer holidays, not the possible reality of having to stay at home and not seeing their friends.
You may, over the coming weeks, see an increase in behaviour issues with your children. Whether it’s anxiety or anger or protests because they can’t do things normally. It may be meltdowns, tantrums or oppositional behaviour. This will happen but it is normal and expected in these circumstances.
Arguing with your children over home learning is not what anyone needs right now. What they need is to feel comforted and loved and to feel like it is all going to be ok. So cuddle up together and read, take turns reading and talk about the story. Bake cakes or cook together – kitchen science. Paint pictures or make creation from playdough or do some junk modelling. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual tours of museums or watch animal cameras from the zoo. Do a puzzle. Build a den in the living room and camp out. Get out the lego and let your imagination run wild! Look at old photographs and share memories. Sometimes just snuggle up together under a blanket and do nothing.
Please don’t worry about them regressing at school. Every child is in the same position and they will all be okay. When we are back, we will work with the children wherever they are. This is our job, we know what we are doing.
So use the home learning packs, create your own activities, just do what you can. Don’t argue or stress over learning activities, try to have fun and spend time together as your child’s mental health is more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone.
Your child can communicate with their teacher through their SeeSaw account or Google Classroom to share their learning or tell their stories. Please remember to check your emails, Skool Loop or our school website for updates around the school’s closure.
In the meantime, remember your prayers in this troubling time, and this special time of Lent/Easter. Take care of yourselves as well as your children.
Stay well and God bless
Coronavirus Outbreak 2020
Novel coronavirus 2020
In January 2020, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified in Hubei province, China. It causes respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms including fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Although the virus has spread to a number of countries, the risk of an outbreak in New Zealand is low-moderate.
The Ministry of Health is closely monitoring the situation and following guidance from the World Health Organization.
Our school is following the advice of the Ministry of Education including checking their website for the latest information and implementing heightened hygiene practices.
For more information click on any of the links below :
These sites are reviewed and updated regularly.