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17 April 2020

posted 16 Apr 2020, 17:48 by Carolyn Brett   [ updated 16 Apr 2020, 18:10 by Stephanie Williams ]

I took this photo during our first full staff meeting for the term, Wednesday morning. Scott clearly was rather animated! As you would've witnessed from the team's communications and learning plans, our heads and hearts are right there with you. In fact, we have really never been as 'close' in many ways. We talk of the home/school connection and now we find that homes are also 'schools' and 'schools' are also homes..... of a kind! The lines are fuzzy and there is opportunity aplenty in this fuzziness.

As I said in the earlier email this week before school started again - we totally 'get' that you will be in quite different places as to how much 'school' is going on and how much support you can give your child/ren on a regular day....... so please don't be too hard on yourselves. Please focus on what is working and going right for you. Barbara Fredrickson's Broaden and Build theory has been on my mind a lot recently and it's one I keep coming back to with staff:

Broaden and Build

The substance of this theory lies in the notion that positive emotions play an essential role in our survival. Positive emotions, like love, joy, and gratitude, promote new and creative actions, ideas, and social bonds. When people experience positive emotions, their minds broaden and they open up to new possibilities and ideas. At the same time, positive emotions help people build their personal well-being resources, ranging from physical resources, to intellectual resources, and social resources (Fredrickson 2009). The building part of this theory is tied into the findings that these resources are durable and can be drawn upon in later moments, in different emotional states, to maintain well-being. The theory also suggests that negative emotions serve the opposite function of positive ones. When threatened with negative emotions like anxiety, fear, frustration, or anger, the mind constricts and focuses in on the imposing threat (real or imagined), thus limiting one’s ability to be open to new ideas and build resources and relationships. Fredrickson draws on the imagery of the water lily to beautifully illustrate her theory: “Just as water lilies retract when sunlight fades, so do our minds when positivity fades” (Fredrickson 2009, p. 55). (https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/barb-fredrickson/)

The staff team has enjoyed plenty of positive emotion together over this unusual time, maybe we even appreciate each other more......... let's hope that continues when we see each other 'for real'!

Some of you have already had your 3 way conversations with Base Group teachers, we witness lots of great examples of all types of learning happening at your place and we thank you for inviting us into your homes, Likewise, I thank the teachers for connecting with you in this way too. (Don't know about you but I've found myself doing some incredibly quick clearing the floor and throwing it in the wardrobe before another online meeting!)

COVID-19 Update - 16 April

Please find below the information from the Secretary of Education, Iona Holsted, that schools received following the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday. As you can see from Iona's message, we will know more after Cabinet has made a decision on Monday. The Ministry of Education will then support us to figure out what Level 3 means for our Worser Bay School children who are not able to stay home to continue learning remotely.  

Kia ora koutou

You will have heard the Prime Minister outline the high level descriptions of COVID-19 alert levels, with a focus on alert level 3.
We are still at alert level 4.
There is a lot of detail to work through to operationalise the re-opening of schools and early learning services when that decision is taken.
The Government’s announcement has been made taking full account of Public Health advice.
We have organised meetings with peak bodies in the next couple of days and will work with more of you starting next week. 
We will work through the practical issues that need to be addressed and provide the support you need to do the very best we can.  We will give you time to do this.
These are difficult and unprecedented times.  I have really appreciated your leadership, professionalism and agility.  Thank you.
I look forward to working with you.
Ngā mihi
Further general information
There is also additional general information announced by the Prime Minister this afternoon on the Beehive website.

Online Safety
N4L and Netsafe have launched www.switchonsafety.co.nz.

Netsafe has new and updated resources for parents, whānau and students at https://www.netsafe.org.nz/advice/staying-safe/.
Plenty to think about and, when I know more, please expect an email update.