Saturday, November 27

Auckland school’s decision generates concern and joy for teachers, students and parents


The government’s decision to allow 200,000 Auckland children to return to school next week for the first time in three months has sparked a mixture of joy, relief and concern.

Examination with student in school uniform doing educational stress test in classroom 16: 9 style

Photo: 123RF

Delight from children in the 0-10 years who cannot wait to return to class, relief from parents exhausted by weeks of learning at home, and a degree of concern from both groups for change.

Meanwhile, teachers and principals in alert level 3 areas now have to find out how they can reopen within the parameters set by the Ministry of Education.

Rules include keeping children in separate, stable groups that do not mix, using physical distancing when practical, and requiring face masks indoors for children Year 4 and up.

The rules apply to all schools in Level 3 regions, which currently include parts of Waikato, and most schools are expected to check-in children at home on some days or allow staggered attendance.

Those details aren’t something that worries kids like 11-year-old Emily Rope, who could barely contain her excitement at the prospect of returning to school next week.

“I really enjoy school and I like it a lot more than the confinement, I really don’t like the confinement. I know the teachers are working hard to get the work done, but it’s not the same, so I’m really excited.” she said.

Emily’s mother Julie said the decision to reopen schools starting Wednesday was a relief.

“There is a lot of jubilation, very happy for them. I think many of them want to say goodbye to each other that they are transitioning from Year 6 or Year 8. There is a bit of apprehension, but we are also tired of being stuck in a bubble at home with each other’s company, “he said.

He said he trusted his school to meet health requirements and keep children safe.

Emma Webster, 13, said it had been 84 days since she had been in school and she was more than ready to go back.

“I’m pretty excited. I like school and I’ve been waiting quite a long time to get back,” she said.

“A lot of my friends wanted to go back, but a lot of their parents later have now said they can’t. Their parents think it’s too early.”

Their father, Simon Webster, said the children should go back to school.

“I’m happy, I think they are really missing the social interaction side of the school particularly. Online has been good, I guess it keeps them with a pattern, it has given them something to complete the days, but I think ‘They miss the social interaction and the other learning they get in school “.

Auckland, father of two, Marcus Reynolds, said his sons were delighted at the prospect of returning to the classroom, but had mixed feelings.

“A mixture of relief and anxiety. I think as a parent I still want a little more information, where when they talk about working part time, what does that look like, what does that mean? When they say it depends on the individual schools Take their own decisions based on their communities that feel like abdicating a little bit of responsibility, ”he said.

Libby Slaughter has three children, one under the age of five and two in elementary school.

“I have a son who is very excited to see his friends and his classroom teacher, but I think he is definitely nervous about going back because it has been so long. And I have a five year old who really does not want to go back, he is used to having to mom at home, “he said.

Slaughter received the announcement from the government as a mother but also as a teacher: She is an assistant principal at Randwick Park School in Manurewa.

She said going back to school next week would be difficult to handle because she would have to go back to work, but Covid-related rules meant her four-year-old daughter’s early learning center couldn’t accept any more children, and so would she. I would have. to balance whatever rosters or attendance your children’s school decides.

Slaughter warned that staggered or rowed attendance would be a logistical nightmare for schools, but also for many families.

“It’s a logistical nightmare, but having said that, it will be great to see the children, it will be great to see the students back in place and for their social and emotional well-being. If they can come back, it will be ‘Great for them. My concern is for the large number of students in our school who will not be able to return and as a parent how am I going to make that work for me by working as well, “he said.

“I don’t know if it will be worth it for many of our families. For some families it will.”

Jean Batten School Principal Nardi Leonard said it was time for the schools to reopen.

“Giving that option of flexibility to be able to open up and allow some form of normalcy, whatever it really is today, is really important to the community,” he said.

“It’s scary though, it’s really scary. I’m not saying it’s going to be a walk in the park, now there is a new challenge: how do we do this so that everyone feels safe.”

Weymouth Primary School Principal Saane Faaofo-Oldehaver said she was excited at the prospect of welcoming the children next week.

“It has been a long time since we saw our children,” he said.

Faaofo-Oldehaver said the first challenge would be figuring out how many students to expect next week.

“I have such a realistic 500 list that I’m not sure how I would do it if all 550 came back, so for us as a school it’s about making sure we can contact our families first and see who actually comes back and then work with my teachers. next week to determine how we do it and mitigate the risks, “he said.


www.rnz.co.nz

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