From The Principal's Desk (at home)

MBS Colleen Margison Website

Navigating Alert 3 and Alert 4

Dear parents and caregivers

We understand that this is a very anxious time for you and your whanau as you prepare for all the organisation needed over the next four weeks at least.

We want to assure you that the learning for your child will continue but also emphasise that this is a great time for you to interact with your children and do other activities.

School holidays are being brought forward so that they are completed within the 4 week period. Holidays will now begin from Monday 30 March to Tuesday 14 April inclusive (a reminder that the Tuesday after Easter Monday is always a closed day for schools).

At the end of the school holidays, schools will be open for distance learning but not physically open for staff to work at the schools.

Please note the instruction to stay home (Alert Level 4) will continue beyond the new school holiday period but schools will be technically open for distance instruction. Teachers will be working offsite.

I'm sure that you will appreciate teachers are organising their families too. Your child's teacher will be preparing learning opportunities for your child over the coming weeks ready for on-line learning on which will commence on Wednesday April 15th. In the meantime you can refer to the home learning grid we sent out on Monday afternoon, which will give you lots of activities to choose from.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1unKxI8Y23jF7Hm8W9X_aqlae9gK8xHdP/view

The Ministry of Education have provided links to learning opportunities for you to access.
https://www.learningfromhome.govt.nz/ and https://www.kauwhatareo.govt.nz/ki-te-ao-marama/

We understand that the amount of work completed will differ from family to family depending on your situation. We think it is important to remember our children are just as scared as we are right now. Our children not only can hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off of school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behaviour issues with your children. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen. You'll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour in the coming weeks. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it's all going to be ok. This might mean that you tear up your daily schedule and have fun with your children. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together, start a book and read together as a family.

Our teachers will pick up your child's learning from where they are, when they return to school.

If we can leave you with one thing, it's this: at the end of all of this, your childs' mental health will be 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 these weeks is gone. So keep that in mind, every single day...

Please take care of each other.
Kia atawhai, kia kaha.

Colleen, Paul, Judy and Hayley.
Mellons Bay School Senior Management

Learning to Navigate our Changing World