The Government has recently announced it will be expanding its programme to provide a free, healthy, daily school lunch to around 200,000 schools across the country. All the Milton Schools have been invited to be part of the programme and we’re getting ready to take part in the Free and Healthy School Lunch Programme from next year.
The lunches will be available for all our students and will cater to the diet, health and cultural needs of our students. Right now, we are working with the Ministry of Education on the best way to meet our school’s needs.
If you’re a local business interested in becoming a pre-approved supplier of school lunches, you’ll need to sign-up for the Government Electronic Tender Service (GETS) at https://www.gets.govt.nz/. All suppliers need to be able to meet New Zealand food safety standards and Ministry of Health nutritional guidelines.
As with all schools at the moment, Tokoiti School will be open for distance learning but not physically open for staff or Trekkers at the beginning of Term 2 on Wednesday, April 15th.
We are experiencing an international health crisis of a magnitude unheralded in our lifetimes. It has the potential to change the way we live forever. To teach as we have in the past (although being online) would be to miss understanding the emotional and psychological impact of this crisis on our Trekkers and whānau.
Some whānau are experiencing loss of employment; we are experiencing the stress of the whole family being underfoot day after day as well as struggling with the challenge of a changed world-of isolation and uncertainty.
We wish to infuse our home learning plans with our TREKKERS values, putting Kinship and Kindness at the very heart of what we are doing. The number one goal of schooling currently is to nurture wellbeing. Just as we know the value of strong relationships for successful learning and teaching, we want to use this opportunity to help whānau nurture productive and supportive relationships in the home. We also wish to keep a sense of routine for our Trekkers to help them connect not only educationally with the staff, but socially with their peers.
In order to do this, we are looking at having six learning slots each school day, with reading writing and maths delivered online, and with other tasks being set for the rest of the day.
We are asking for you to choose 2 sessions on this form that your Trekkers will be working at the computer doing their reading, maths and writing tasks that will be set for them. Please fill out the form once for each of your Trekkers We also are conscious of the time that the Trekkers are potentially going to be in front of their computers and we want to ensure that we have some time away from the screen. In choosing the time that you feel will best suit your Trekker(s) please leave at least one session break for them. We will have a video meeting going for each session where the Trekkers for that session can come back to in order to seek assistance from the teaching staff. The teaching staff will be meeting each day at 10am and will be out of contact during this time. At all times we are very aware that multiple stresses are impacting on whānau as well as our staff, please let us know if situations arise that may impact on your Trekkers ability to access their learning. I am available via cellphone, WhatsApp email, the group chat, or Google hangouts.
Finally, this is an event that we have not faced in our lifetimes and we need to continue to work together as a community to support each other, be kind and get through this.
We have been alerted nationally to concerns that school playgrounds are being used, now that council playground facilities have been closed. Please put signs up in your playgrounds to say that your playgrounds are closed.
Children and families are not allowed to use school playgrounds at all after midnight 25 March 2020. This is part of the whole community response to ‘unite against COVD-19’ and keep our children and whanau safe.
Tokoiti School is open for instruction tomorrow 24 March and we are continuing to take advice from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education to best manage our pandemic response.
Due to the National Alert Level being raised to Level 2:Reduce, we have taken a number of actions in order to reduce the chance of the virus being transmitted through our community.
I will be working from home in Roxburgh, teaching remotely using a variety of tools including video conferencing. We have been preparing at school to move to online learning in case the Government directed the school to close and we will start that process now. We have a number of other staff that are not able to work on-site and as such, this will change the way we operate.
We ask that you limit your time on our site, most areas of the school will be out of bounds for everyone except staff and our Trekkers. The office and my office are available to use if you need to speak with a staff member face to face, although we would like to limit these to those that are absolutely necessary. The school phone is placed in the office with speed dial buttons to be able to directly call me or Leanne if you need to speak to us.
I have set up a Facebook messenger group and tried to add as many of you to it as I can find. I would like this group to be limited to just the caregivers of our Trekkers, but if you can’t see the request to be part of the group in your other messenger inbox let me know and I can add you.
Due to the staffing reduction on-site, swimming has been canceled and our limiting of visitors to our site will mean that Kapa Haka and Bible in Schools are also canceled.
Extra cleaning of the school is going on with a particular focus on the high touch areas of the school. I know that a number of our Trekkers and their whānau may also fall into the group that has been directed to stay at home. If you are keeping your Trekker at home, please let me know and we will arrange for their Chromebook to be placed in the office where it can be collected and I can work with them from home.
It is very important that you keep your Trekker at home if they are feeling sick. We have limited staff to look after sick Trekkers while we wait for whānau to pick them up and if too many of our staff get sick then I will have no choice but to shut the school.
Finally, this is an event that we have not faced in our lifetimes and we need to come together as a community to support each other, be kind and get through this.
New Zealand has five confirmed cases of COVID-19. See our latest media release for a summary of the current status. With continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak is expected to remain low. People coming into New Zealand should check our information for travellers arriving to New Zealand as they may be subject to border controls or asked to self-isolate.