Source: Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA)
A page of FAQs addressing some of your COVID-19 concerns on social media. This page will be updated when necessary, so check back often!
What should I do if a student comes to school despite having a family member at home in self-isolation?
Refer the matter to senior staff who should check that the student has been following the Ministry of Health guidelines. The pertinent piece of advice from that link:
“If you are in a home where the others who live with you haven’t travelled, you should minimise close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes. The other household residents do not need to self-isolate provided these precautions are followed.”
Will I get a refund from conference cancellations for registration, accommodation, or travel?
Check the PPTA website for information regarding refunds of costs incurred due to COVID19-related cancellations.
What shall I do if I don’t have internet at home and my school are expecting me to work? What if I don’t have a Google account?
Where practicable, teachers can be asked to support student learning while working from home. However, there are limits on this since not all teachers/schools use tools like Google Classroom, some teachers don’t have capability in teaching online, and some lack the necessary infrastructure at home. In addition, not all students have devices.
If you are not able to work from home in the way your school expects, you will need to talk to them about what you are able to do. The PPTA will be available to support you in this if necessary.
Where can I source online companies offering free support for teachers?
Hapara – free access until the end of June
Education Perfect – free lessons until 1 May
Here’s The Entire List of Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions Due to School Closings
What other learning can/should be encouraged?
Learning that is not reliant on devices, internet, or data can and should be encouraged. Self-isolation does not mean confined to house. Students can be outside exploring, observing, writing, creating near their homes.
What about relief teachers who are expecting work?
We suggest offering specific services to schools – not all teachers will necessarily be able to teach online or supervise virtual learning due to personal circumstances.
How much work should we be preparing?
Have a conversation with your school about what is reasonable for you to prepare in advance and what can be continued with, as things are changing daily.
What would be expected of me if I have young children at home?
Teachers who have additional childcare responsibilities as a result of the quarantine should discuss a plan for reduced workload expectations with their employer.
Should we be meeting up with our students in town?
Teachers should not meet up with students at all to provide learning or teaching.
I have been told I have to use my sick leave.
If a teacher has to stay away from school because they (or a family member) are ill, they have had direct contact with someone who has had the virus, or because of recent travel to a category 1 country, then they should receive sick leave or domestic leave as appropriate in the first instance.
However, because COVID-19 is a notifiable disease, they may be eligible for disregarded sick leave upon their return. This means the leave taken will be restored to their leave balance. Email any request for disregarded sick leave to firstname.lastname@example.org with supporting evidence that confirms the diagnosis (e.g. a letter from the Medical Officer of Health) or documentation to confirm the recent travel.
Do I have to use my own equipment and internet data?
Schools cannot require teachers to use their own computers, and teachers should not communicate with students using personal email accounts. Some teachers may not have internet plans that will allow them to participate in online learning.