Hi families! Here is a massive update on how the current situation will be affecting our learning community.
From this Saturday 21 March:
- Parents and children attending class must wash their hands with soap before and after class. The teachers will be doing the same.
- Parents will have to sign in at drop off / before attending classes to make a declaration about their and their child’s health and that they have not been overseas or in close contact with anyone back from overseas in the past 14 days.
Change in classes for next Saturday 28 March and Saturday 4 April (last day of Term 1):
- Classes will be online interactive videos held at the SAME class time on Saturdays, via Zoom. Parents and children attending will be expected to interact on the video with the teacher and with each other. And yes, we expect to be moving (or dancing) in front of the cameras!
- We have provided links below with some additional info on NZ support for accessing affordable internet at home if that is a barrier to your family.
Online learning resources:
- Li Ling has been working on setting up NiHaoCC and shifting audio files and resources to the student engagement app Seesaw. Many NZ schools are using this awesome app!
- We would really appreciate your patience with everything that is happening now, especially as Li Ling is doing this voluntarily in her after-hours, so there is a constraint to what can be done by one person. (There has never been sufficient funding for staff to do much else apart from teaching and some prep – and there is much more happening behind the scenes!)
Saturday 21 March classes
We are fortunate that Ni Hao Children’s Community is lower risk compared to some larger places, as we have a maximum of 10 children in each class and our student population is young! We also have a lot less than a total of 100 people in & out of the classes over the Saturday school day.
However, to be extra careful, health & safety measures have been tightened up for classes and these will be immediately effective from this coming Saturday 21 March:
1.Parents will need to sign in at drop off / arrival to class to declare that to the best of their knowledge,
- the parent and child attending class are well (have no virus symptoms), AND
- the parent and child have not been overseas in the past 14 days, AND
- the parent and child have not had close contact with anyone who has been overseas in the past 14 days.
2. Parents and children attending class MUST wash their hands before attending class, AND wash their hands after the class has finished. The teachers will be doing the same.
Upcoming class changes
The Ministry continues to advise schools and learning environments to remain open (http://www.education.govt.nz/news/covid-19-update-18-march/), unless they need to temporarily close for a day or so due to a student infection. More Ministry information can be found online here: https://www.education.govt.nz/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-3/
We think this is a great idea as school happens much better in person! However, because it is a high risk for NiHaoCC with only two teachers available and no other relievers if they are sick, no cash reserves and heavy reliance on Li Ling volunteering time to keep this going, NiHaoCC will be taking a slightly different and innovative route for the last two weeks of term, and going forward 🙂
Things are changing very fast in New Zealand with the Covid-19 situation, especially as it’s only just starting now, and we want to be proactive about this. So, NiHaoCC will move to a live video format through Zoom from Saturday 28 March! Please download Zoom onto your laptops or devices over this week.
It is expected that students will be interacting and talking online with the teachers and others in class. Some elements of the lessons will change (it will be a little tricky to play “tag” on video) but we will keep to the NiHaoCC philosophy and have all classes as interactive and engaging as possible, doing the best in this current COVID-19 situation!
There are positives about this!
- This will prepare everyone for any possible social distancing, quarantines and lock downs in the future, seeing as things are just starting in NZ now and will be continuing a long / unknown period.
- Even if you or your child is sniffly (which may or may not be a Covid virus!) and are stuck at home, they can still attend class, learn and interact with the others.
- Video conferencing will probably open up classes to families where travel to Mt Cook has been a barrier for them. Others living outside of Wellington could potentially attend as well.
If you have any financial barriers to having internet access at home:
- Spark Foundation offer Spark Jump, which is for families with no home internet connection and have children under the age of 18. You’ll also need to meet the lower income and eligibility criteria. It costs $10 for a pre-paid 30 GB data pack and you get a loan wireless broadband modem; the data-pack expires after 30 days and can then be topped up.
- The Covid-19 situation has also prompted some of the bigger Internet providers (2degrees, Slingshot, Orcon, Flip, Spark, Vodafone) to provide unlimited data to their existing customers until end-June, so look that up too!
Online learning resources
We are in the process of setting up Seesaw for NiHaoCC. This is a great learning engagement app for students and families, and widely used by NZ primary schools. Students are able to record what they do, teachers can assign activities and home learning resources to their classes, and parents can see what’s happening.
The set up is taking a while as we have to set up the 6 different classes / levels, upload resources and also add all the students to Seesaw.
We will be sending out unique QR codes for each child – you will not need to create any login to access Seesaw as will be able to scan the QR code on your device. It would be great preparation if you could download the Seesaw Student App (NOT the families app) from the Google Play or Apple Apple app store onto your device in the meantime.
Thank you for the patience
There is a lot happening and very much to be done by one person in limited after-hours, so we’d greatly appreciate your patience as we move into a different format and get things set up. Please send Li Ling an email if you have questions. Here’s wishing everyone good health – stay safe out there!
Yours in fun & engaged language learning,
the NiHaoCC team, Li Ling, Ay Dih, Yue, Chien-Chi
An after note, 21 March: News article on education going online worldwide! But our focus will always be on the kids and their learning, and tech will be a way of delivering it.