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Guidance for school teachers and leaders

Alert level advice for the Auckland region and the rest of New Zealand

The Auckland region moved to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Sunday 30 August 2020.

The rest of New Zealand stayed at Alert Level 2.

Alert Level 2 - Unite against COVID-19 website

  • At Alert Level 2 it is safe for all students, children and staff to attend school and early learning. There will be appropriate precautions in place.
  • Children and staff who are at higher-risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.
  • Please be alert to illness and ask anyone who is presenting as unwell to go home, or ask parents and caregivers to come and pick the child up.
  • Messaging about good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette to be reinforced.
  • Face coverings (masks) are not required at schools and early learning services at Alert levels.
  • Soap and water is very appropriate for washing hands, particularly if hand sanitiser stocks are low.
  • For schools, children, young people and staff should be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable and reasonable 1 metre can be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • In early learning there does not need to be a measurable physical distance between children/ tamariki or children/tamariki and staff.  However adults should where practicable use 1 metre as a guide between themselves and other adults.
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres is recommended for parents and caregivers, from people they don’t know (to align with public health measures outside the school grounds).
  • School hostels will continue to operate for those boarders who are unable to safely return home. See the Alert Level 2 guidance for hostels as a reminder of what is required.
  • Support your community by displaying the QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App.

More information and guidance is available on the Ministry of Education's website

At Alert Level 2, Auckland schools will be open for learning. As we prepare to welcome our learners back to a physical school environment, we need to ensure that this transition is carefully managed. 

People will have different emotions and responses when they return to school, return to previous routines, and discover the resulting short and long term changes of the post-COVID-19 world. Students may react differently over time and some responses could be triggered by seemingly unrelated events. A well-constructed plan will help ease this transition back to school.

Further information about Alert Level 2 and welcoming students back

Resources to support transition to Alert Level 2

We know that many of you will be working with your colleagues and community to ensure that the  return to school or kura is as smooth as possible for everyone concerned. 

The following resources are available to help you as you plan to do this. These are intended as starting points to assist with your thinking and are by no means exhaustive. The documents are editable so that you can adapt to suit your own school’s or kura’s needs.

Supporting staff and students unable to return to school

While most students and staff are likely to be returning to school following lockdown, some teachers and learners will still be learning and working from home. There may be a small number of learners who cannot return to school at Alert Level 2.  How schools manage this will depend on the age of the student, the subject or learning area and how many learners are affected.

Schools and kura could develop their own ‘hard-packs’ based on learner’s needs and their local curriculum. Maintaining connections with and providing opportunities for learning for students who are not returning to school is important, and there are a range of ways schools and kura can do this.

Home Learning | Papa Kāinga TV will continue to be available from TV OnDemand.

Home Learning TV - TVNZ OnDemand website

Advice for school leaders - what's important

Advice for school leaders on the return to school

Transition back to school

A model for planning the transition and to link with school planning and self-review cycle

Distance Learning Support - using Tapasā

Maintaining a connection with Pacific learners is important as with all learners, as relationships can become strained during times of change and upheaval.

These relationships need to be your first port of call. Contacting your students’ needs to be a priority, to find out what is happening for each of them. While we know the limitations of internet, devices, space, and basic needs, most students will be able to be contacted.

Start with a wellness check before you launch into any learning conversations, and let the learner guide where they are at and what they are able to do.

Supporting Pacific learners, parents, families and communities using Tapasā