A quick note about our newsletter
On the homepage of our newsletter you will see a small sample of the stories under a particular category – such as Academic, Arts and Culture, Community, and Sports. Click on the heading of each category to see all the latest stories bundled in that group.
Parent Teacher interviews
Due to the current situation, our Parent Teacher interviews scheduled for 2 and 7 April have been postponed. Your daughter will still receive her Interim Report next Friday afternoon, 27 March, at 4pm. This will be available through the Parent Portal.
No cash fares on buses from Monday
From Monday 23 March 2020, Auckland Transport will be suspending cash fares on all buses, including school buses. They are doing this to minimise physical contact between customers, Auckland Transport staff and people who work on buses during Covid-19. Students will be expected to pay their fare using AT HOP cards only. Auckland Transport has stipulated that under no circumstances will school students be refused travel. If they have not got a HOP card, they will be provided with an information leaflet as they board. To get a HOP card, visit https://at.gove.nz/buyahop or visit a Customer Service Centre.
Covid-19 communication to parents
As new information becomes available to us from the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, we will update our parent community via email. Should the need arrive for an urgent communication, we will also send a notification via our App and put something under “Notices” on our website. As of today (Friday 20 March) our stance on students with a parent who has recently returned from overseas is this (based on guidance from the Ministry of Education): If the parent who has travelled is well, the student themselves hasn’t travelled, and the Ministry of Health has not directed the student to stay at home, then she is welcome to be at school. If the whole family decides to isolate, she can stay at home and extensions for NCEA assessments will be arranged on a case-by-case basis. Please communicate with your daughter’s House Deans if this is your situation.
Preparing for remote learning (should it be needed)
By Julie Saikkonen
Should the Ministry of Health direct schools to close please be assured that Westlake Girls is well prepared for online learning. You might be interested to know that we had to instigate remote learning in 2009 when all of Year 12 were sent home during the swine flu epidemic. Our online learning platform is even more robust now than it was then and, as such, we do not need to practise this with teacher only days as some schools are doing. In class learning time is valuable and we need to maximise this and keep routines as settled as possible.
Our teachers are well-prepared should we be forced to close. Distance or online learning looks different from the face to face learning environment. Students will be expected to work through their Google Classrooms where teachers already post work, resources and messages. In some cases teachers may post videos of lessons but this will not be the norm. Students would not be expected to sign into a timetabled lesson for period 1, 2 or 3 etc, but they would be expected to complete and submit work as outlined by their teachers. If a student wishes to email her teacher directly then we expect her to use her school XYZABC@my.westlakegirls.school.nz account to the teacher’s school email account, however, most communication can be done through their respective Google classrooms. Where internet usage in your home is under pressure there is an option to work offline after updating. We will post the “How to work offline” process on our school website.
This week your daughter will have received an online survey to determine her ability to work remotely should the school close (lap top and data/internet capability). We would appreciate you having a conversation with her to determine if she has completed the survey.
We still have some lockers available for hire in 2020 if your daughter doesn’t have one yet. She can go to the Payments Office with $60 to secure a locker for the year. Please note that a locker near her Form Class may not be the best option if her classes are mostly in another part of the school. Staff in the Payments Office will be able to assign her the most appropriate locker choice based on her timetable. She should place a lock on her locker as soon as practicable.
Our 2020 School Diary has been a hit! We have a handful of copies still available from the Payments Office for $10.
If your daughter hasn’t collected her ID card, she can collect it from the School Office for $6. Her ID card allows access to the school library and printers and is a means of identification for students travelling on buses.
If you want to keep up-to-date with daily events at WGHS, you can check the Daily Notices which are available through the Parent Portal on our website (it’s the last red icon on the right side of our homepage) or via our App.
International Happiness Day
With everything that is happening around the world, it’s nice to note that today is International Happiness Day. The theme this year is Happiness for All, Forever. We hope there is happiness in your day today!