Kia ora school community
It has been a very hectic and busy term break, but the school and its staff are ready for learning starting Monday - albeit the learning environment is different and new. This newsletter will explain what has been happening and what will happen from Monday for Y12 and Y13 students. I have included this link that sets out the actual style of term two teaching and learning, our expectations, and the support we have put in place to ensure senior students are not negatively impacted by this new way 'doing school'. At all times, the health and safety of students and staff have been our highest priority.
As you all are aware, we limped to the end of Term 2 using the hall and library as temporary accommodation for the students and staff after some rooms in C-Block were isolated following the discovery of mould. Since that time, the Ministry of Education has been working closely with us to ascertain the extent of the weather tightness issues at the school. We have assessed the entire school. To date, laboratory testing has identified elevated mould levels in several additional areas of the school, science labs A1 and B8, the dance room, one drama room, the main gym, and the student centre (our temporary Technology block). The science labs, gym and student centre, were given a deep clean over the holidays and all areas of concern isolated. The student centre and gym will be available for use at the beginning of Term 2, and science labs phased into service during the first two weeks of term.
From Monday 3rd May
Y13s will be in school Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings until the end of the interval. Interval will be their mentor time. For the remainder of the week, they will learn remotely from home, at a satellite hub or in a study group at a location organised by the group.
Y12s will be in school Wednesday afternoons from spell 3, Thursdays and Fridays. For the first half of the week, they will learn remotely from home, at a satellite hub or in a study group at a location organised by the group.
Y9, Y10, Y11 will be at school operating on their full timetable as per usual.
Short-term, our focus has been securing viable alternative, off-site accommodation to enable teaching and learning to continue with minimal disruption while ensuring all students receive the levels of support they need. The Ministry of Education has secured locations close to the school so that students can still use school facilities, attend their sporting activities, and continue usual school transport options. The sites are going to be 19 Market Grove, level one and the Long Aide Memoire Room at the Hutt Recreation Ground. Both spaces can accommodate at least 80 -100 students. Our preference is to use Market Grove first and The Long Room if this space fills up. Both spaces will have large tables and chairs and decent wifi. Students will need to bring their own devices.
The Ministry will be able to confirm on Friday 30th April which of these sites is ready for occupation. The Ministry team is working on all the necessary consents today. An App notification will be sent about this.
Karen Balshaw, an experienced dean and Maths teacher; Alana Charlton, an experienced Social sciences teacher and Lauren Fox, an experienced teacher familiar with the students of our community, are the staff who will oversee the hubs. Students will be provided with specific details about how the hubs will operate via Google classroom. (link to Satellite Hub info for students and families information)
Students may choose to complete their online work at home, at a hub, or at a friend’s house as a study group. Students using the Market Grove and Long Room hub will need to wear school uniform as a security and safety measure.
Students rostered home will continue to study and learn as per their usual timetable while online. Staff will teach their lesson remotely and be available for the entire spell. Students are expected to log on to Google Classroom and Google Meet every lesson. Formal attendance will be recorded once students have logged on and participated in the lesson. Students must check their school emails at the beginning of each day and follow their Google Classroom. The Ministry has provided Chromebooks, art packs and DVCO packs for those who require them. They will need to respond to staff emails regarding the collection of these. Additionally, subject-specific information will be shared with students.
Senior staff have been given release time by the Ministry, which will be used to track senior students' progress and intervene and offer support as quickly as possible to any student who is struggling. NZQA has been notified about our situation and the school is in discussion about the support that can be provided. If you are concerned about your student's learning, please alert the year level dean at the earliest opportunity.
The Hutt City Council has offered the Little Theatre for our displaced drama and dance classes which is terrific. Some practical subjects (Technology and Dance & Drama) have rearranged their timetables, resulting in double-time spells meaning students do not miss on-site learning opportunities. Students have been individually notified of this change. There will be alternative arrangements for students unable to take advantage of this offer.
In the medium term, the Ministry has sourced 16 Portacom units to be placed onto the school site, so as many students as possible can be based at school. The timeline for this is August, with a phased rollout.
The portacoms are large, warm and fully insulated. The 16 classrooms will be connected by covered decking and have 12 bathrooms. These will be a temporary measure while we progress the replacement of C Block .
(visual from a Brooklyn school)
Our long term plan is to develop the wider Hutt Valley High School site, including identifying the most suitable location for C Block’s replacement. We are working very closely with the Ministry to plan for the future. To clarify, the school's land and buildings are owned by the Ministry and decisions about our future are made collectively. The Ministry is funding this work, and it will not financially impact the school's other refurbishment plans.
There is an update from the Ministry on the school website and linked here.
This has been a difficult time for staff, students and our community. A considerable amount of work by school staff and the Ministry of Education has prepared the school for this term. We are confident that students will be well cared for and that their learning will not be compromised.
We are extremely pleased that we will all be back on-site learning together sometime in Term 3.
Nga mihi nui