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First day back at school

Small numbers of students returning to school for their first day back after moving to Level 3 restrictions was the case for most schools in Waimakariri on Tuesday.

Woodend School Principal Adrienne Simpson reported eleven students with the likelihood of an increase to 20 next week as more employment opens up.

Any staff members with children were able to work from home and six bubbles, including an office bubble and a staff one, allowed for the continuation of the online learning students have been used to over the past month.

Rangiora Borough School saw 30 students organised in six bubbles with around one third of the teachers on site.

Principal Alan Sutton, is certain that all students have been catered for with a team dropping hard packs to students at home and around 70 devices loaned to those who need them.

Social isolation conditions still apply in the bubbles and according to Sutton, the older students seem to enjoy the restrictions but it was harder for the younger ones.

Kaiapoi Borough School’s Murray Overton praised their school community who had been very supportive and responsive at such a challenging time.

His sentiment was echoed by Trish McKendry of St Patricks School Kaiapoi.

“I have been so impressed with our community at St Patrick’s - they have embraced the Home Learning options and have also kept their children’s happiness and wellbeing to the fore. Many families have offered help to others and set up innovative ways of keeping in touch.”

Most of the St Patrick’s staff are on site this week with 14 children in two bubbles.

Southbrook School saw 19 students in three bubbles, out of a possible 23 who are planning to return to school at this level.

Kaiapoi North School principal Jason Miles also expressed thanks to his staff for their enthusiasm and flexibility in learning about ways to provide online learning.

Around 5% of their school roll turned up to be supervised at school in bubbles comprised of up to 10 students.

The changes to education brought about by the Covid-19 response have only been possible as a result of the huge effort from the teachers who in many cases have been at home teaching their own children as well as organising home learning for their classes.

Trish McKendry spoke for all schools with her comment, ”Our staff have demonstrated incredible flexibility, resilience and a sense of humour.”

Thanks to all the teachers out there for all your hard work at this difficult time.

To find out more about the schools in our district visit our inApp Education directory

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