Auckland School Principals Are Concerned, but Prepared for Reopening of High Schools

Auckland School Principals Are Concerned, but Prepared for Reopening of High Schools

High school principals in Auckland are ready to reopen their schools to senior secondary students after a couple of weeks of Covid-19 quarantine restrictions and virtual learning at home.

Last week, Education and Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hipkins, announced that grade 11 and grade 13 students are allowed to resume in-person schooling on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, in preparation for their NCEA exams. These exams are going to take place soon.

Manurewa’s James Cook High School, located in the southern part of Auckland, is home to over 600 students who are qualified to resume attendance of in-person classes on Tuesday. High school principal, Grant McMillan, looks forward to in-person classes taking place in an increment of stages. McMillan expects that in-person learning shall begin with partially few students, then, progressively have the learners increase as days pass by.

McMillan understands that there are some students who have families that don’t think it’s safe for the students to resume in-person learning soon. Other high school students, though, are also responsible for completing other full-time activities, such as working or taking care of small siblings.

McMillan adds that high school students who resume in-person learning should comply with the face mask and social distancing rules and policies. McMillan surmises the next thing that will happen is some of the said students will be found loitering in adjacent classrooms and hallways.

But, the plan of timetable for high schools’ reopening, if it does happen, is unknown. Thus, there will be no need to implement a routine for a plan associated with the reopening of schools. The reopening of in-person classes for Hobsonville Point Secondary School will take place slowly, too. Hobsonville high school principal, Maurie Abraham, has approved all Grade 11 students to continue to pursue virtual learning. Teachers, in turn, can concentrate on implementing exams that students in Grades 12 and 13 can take.

During the initial five days, the school will implement an exceptional plan to have one day spent on one teacher teaching one subject, and avoid mixing teachers, classes, and students. Abraham is worried, though, that the reopening of her school a few weeks prior to the exams taking place before November ends is not going to benefit students.

In other places, schools shall remain closed even after Hipkins has made the announcement that they will reopen. Haley Milne, Kia Aroha College’s principal in Otara, is concerned her school is not going to be able to comply with the restrictions the government implements if it does reopen.