Schools partially reopening today

Schools reopen today, but just for children of essential workers, and only for children up to year 10. It is expected that most children will keep working from home under Covid Level 3, with less than 10% predicted to go back to school and some schools expect no pupils.

It’s a tricky time for principals and teachers, but at least they all have jobs and full pay.

Stuff: Reopening schools as safe as ever, health experts say

Otago University associate professor Tony Walls, a paediatrician and infectious diseases researcher, said it was “really unusual” for a child to spread the virus.

“Generally children, if they do get the infection, have very mild infection and generally don’t spread it about,” he said.

“Kids going to school are probably as healthy as they’ve been, in terms of respiratory viruses.”

But most parents are playing it safe, or don’t need to send their children to school.

ODT: Few pupils expected to return to schools today

Fewer than 10% of pupils are expected to return to school today, an informal survey of Otago and Southland schools shows.

Otago Primary Principals’ Association president and Tainui School principal Shelley Wilde said some Otago primary schools would not have any pupils today, but most would have 6% to 7% of their pupils returning.

However, Otago Secondary Principals’ Association president Linda Miller said significantly fewer — between zero and 15 pupils up to year 10 — would be returning to secondary schools.

The numbers appear to be similar in Southland as New Zealand schools reopen under Level 3 restrictions.

Only about four of the 1077 pupils at Southland Girls’ High School were expected to return today, and Riverton Primary School principal Tim Page said just two of the 150 pupils at his school were returning.

NZ Herald: Schools reopen after lockdown – but one in six don’t expect any students

Principals’ Federation president Perry Rush says parents have got the message that they should keep children at home in alert level 3 if they possibly can, and many are still worried about the health risks of sending them to school.

Some small schools have also decided not to open because teachers are unavailable due to health concerns or, in one case, not having up-to-date first aid certificates.

A Principals’ Federation survey with responses from 620 schools found an average of only 6 per cent of students expected back at school this week, with 16 per cent of schools not expecting any students to turn up.

It looks like returning to school will be a gradual process.

Newshub: Principal urges teachers to ‘be positive and get on with it’ as schools set to reopen

Iain Taylor, principal of Manurewa Intermediate School, says although personally he would have preferred to wait until level 2 until reopening schools, he says teachers now need to get on with the job.

“I would much rather be opening under level 2 because level 2 is less complex, it’s less complicated, but this is the way it is,” Taylor told The AM Show on Tuesday.

He said his school was expecting around 70 of the school’s 900 children to return, and despite the fact teachers were “literally babysitters” the children coming to classes “clearly need to be there”.


The principal of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s former high school Morrinsville College condemned the Government’s decision, saying it was “surprising” and could end in “potential disaster“.

In a three-page newsletter, principal John Inger said he was “surprised” and concerned by the rules and warned students returning so soon could end in a “potential disaster”.

“As things currently stand, it seems to me that Government wants to pass on to teachers all around the country the responsibility of child-minding, in our case Years 9 and 10 students, so that more parents can go back to their workplaces,” he said in the email obtained by The Herald.

“This ignores the potential disaster that this could result in, with our schools possibly becoming incubators for the virus.

Not surprising to see mixed feelings and views on reopening.

Education information at Alert level 3

Under Alert Level 3 it will be safe for Early Learning/Education Centres and schools to open for children up to and including year 10, with appropriate public health measures in place. All young people in years 11–13 will continue to learn at home.

Where possible, students should remain at home and continue distance learning. Where parents or caregivers need to, they can send their children to school. Schools will be a safe place for children to go to learn if their parents need to return to work, or the children cannot learn at a distance.

Play centres and playgroups will be closed.

Schools will look different under Alert Level 3. There will be far fewer students on the grounds, and they will stay within their small groups. The small groups will help to maintain physical distancing.

Some teachers will be teaching students at school, while others will support distance learning. For those small number of children attending school, the learning experience will be different to “normal” school.

Can my child go to school at Alert level 3?

At Alert level 3, all children and young people who can stay at home, should stay at home. This will support physical distancing and reduce the number of people in close proximity in schools.

Schools will be open for children and young people in years 1-10, who are not able to stay at home. All children and young people will still have access to distance learning from home.

Primary and intermediate schools will be open. Secondary schools will be open for years 9 and 10 only. All young people in years 11-13 will continue their learning at home, and will not be able to go to a school site.

Public health control measures will be put in place in schools including children and young people staying home if they are sick, physical distancing (1m inside and on school transport, and 2m outside), contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.

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  1. Gezza

     /  29th April 2020

    The principal of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s former high school Morrinsville College condemned the Government’s decision, saying it was “surprising” and could end in “potential disaster“.

    What would he know? This is the school that let Jacinda leave with god-awful diction (only The ear-grating Bridges’ is worse), with her clearly not knowing that sumpthink, anythink and nuthink are not actual English words, & with her being orally incapable of differnsheeayding between t’s & d’s.

    • Criticisms over pronunciation are mostly proxies for snobbery and class one-upmanship.

      Really, we need to get over ourselves. Language, first and foremost, is about communication. If we are understood then everything else is gravy (as the Americans say)…

      • Gezza

         /  29th April 2020

        Yeah, but I don’t have a plummy accent; I speak with a very typical Taranaki kiwi accent. I just happen, like most Kiwis of my generation (& even most of those who followed), to have had a good, basic education where clear pronunciation & good reading skills meant childish mispronunciations were gently done away with early on.

        So I was capable of hearing poorly understood or spoken English & not falling into the trap of talking the same way, unless I deliberately chose to.

        I suppose it’s possible it’s sumpthink Jacinda does delibritly to appeal to the segment of the population with poor elocution?

        And the other reason I sometimes mention it is just have some fun watching for the plonkers who go apeshit at me.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  29th April 2020

          Good to see you and Trumpy have that last in common, G.

          • Gezza

             /  29th April 2020

            Well, not exactly. I think it’s funny. He gets his toolkit in a tangle. Usually when other aides tell him he’s fked up again.

      • Gezza

         /  29th April 2020

        It’s funny. I’ve got three girl cuzzies from the same area in the Wykaddo. One of them is an ICU nurse AND a farmer in Taranaki. Moved there after she married a young Taranaki farmer. She speaks English well, with good, clear diction, albeit with a Kiwi accent, like me.

        The other two, her older & younger sisters, stayed on the farm in the Wykaddo. They speak like Jacinda. Maybe people who like & aporeciate the richness of the English language or who end up working in occupations where they need to make sure they don’t get misinterpreted just gravitate towards good diction ?

    • Duker

       /  29th April 2020

      Yet she got a degree in communication and you havent …just a public service short course. Maybe they didnt have have time to cover authenticity in your course and you most likely sat at the front of class and corrected everyone else.

      • Gezza

         /  29th April 2020

        Like this one, Ishmael.

        Wasn’t a short public service course. Wrong again.

        You shouldn’t make assumptions like that; you end up just looking nasty.

        • Duker

           /  29th April 2020

          short course paid for by public service then…. a high flyer indeed.
          You did well on the part about ‘plausible denial’ then , I caught that.

          • Gezza

             /  29th April 2020

            Gotta go. Projects call. Lawn repairs, some tailoring of camo pants, & might get started on de-rusting the old metal burglar alarm box. Unsightly.

            Have fun. Maybe look in the mirror some more.

            • Duker

               /  29th April 2020

              Dirtbag Bird of the year

            • Gezza

               /  29th April 2020

              Yes, they hunt. I have been able to dissuade some of them when I have seen them stalking, but not Bluey.

              But that is nature, in the raw. It’s not for me to try & make tame pets of them.

              They don’t knowingly seek to inflict physical or psychological pain or wounds on other birds for pleasure or to satiate their ever hungry ego. Unlike some human apes do to their kind.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  29th April 2020

    My Aussie mate who wears the same cheap and reliable Casio watches I do but can’t adjust the time turned up this morning late for his six monthly daylight saving time adjustment. No need to hurry time in these parts.

    And my resolve to sort the rubbish today was weakened by passing an unheard of queue down the road waiting to get into the transfer/tip station on the way back from dog walking. Plus it’s grey and cold. Cheese and herb scones are successful though.


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