COVID-19 Update: Year 12 Online Distance Learning

Mar 6, 2022

Year 12 Students to Learn from Home from Wednesday 9 March 2022

Kia ora Waimea College whānau,

COVID-19 positive cases and household contacts within our school community are rising. Currently Waimea College has 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 140 students are isolating as household contacts. 

18 staff are away today with COVID related absences. With a growing number of staff absences and a depleted relief pool, we have reached the point where any further staff absences will push us beyond the point where we can staff our usual timetable with all five year levels at school.

We have robust School Continuity Planning in place for this scenario and we will now begin to put these plans into place. 

From Wednesday 9 March: Year 12 Learning From Home 

In consultation with the our Board Chair Nathan Davis, we have decided to roster home Year 12 from Wednesday 9 March for Online Distance Learning. 

Year 12 are likely to be learning from home for a week from Wednesday 9 March to Wednesday 16 March, however this decision will be reviewed on Friday 11 March.

Trades Academy will continue to operate this Friday. 

Year 12 are the most significantly COVID-19 impacted year group by a considerable margin with nearly double the numbers of the next most impacted year level and approximately 8% of the year-level isolating. This, along with Year 12’s previous experience in online learning identified them as being strong suitable candidates for learning from home at this time.  

Online Distance Learning

Now is a great time to review the Online Distance Learning page on our school website. Online Distance Learning will look different from previous, fully locked-down learning as staff are still managing their in person classes, and may themselves be isolating or ill. From Wednesday 9 March, Year 12 students are asked to manage their learning remotely, while other students are still attending their normal, everyday timetabled classes. 

Our online distance learning programme will involve a combination of online learning, working from physical resources, and practical tasks as appropriate.

Waimea College uses Office 365, and particularly Microsoft Teams as the main tools to enable online learning. A range of other platforms may also be used by our staff, and they will advise their classes about these.

Online Learning FAQ’s:

To be ready for Online Learning:

Students have been well-prepared for this. The primary tools used will be students’ school email and Microsoft Teams accounts. These are the platforms that teaching staff will communicate with and support their learning from. A Chromebook, Laptop or Desktop device with a modern, up-to-date browser and internet connection will be able to do this. 

Your teen should also collect any subject workbooks before the working from home begins so they are available if needed throughout this time.

What will Online Learning Look like for Year 12’s?

All Year 12’s learning from home will be considered to be “attending” and learning from home unless parents advise us otherwise (i.e. they are sick). In the same way, we wouldn’t expect your teen to complete schoolwork normally while they are sick, we wouldn’t expect them to engage in distance learning either. Of course, they should still be prepared to catch up and review missed work once their health improves.

Check your school email account and class Teams once a day if possible and respond to any messages from teachers.

We do not expect that our students are engaged in distance learning for a full five hours of each day. However, we do recommend that you develop a timetable of study to implement healthy routines. Work will be set for each timetabled subject and teachers will provide learning materials and set tasks on a regular basis. This work may be different to the work being completed in class and might happen on a day-by-day basis, or less frequently as blocks of work.

Senior students can expect approximately 3 hours per subject per week.

There are also a range of additional resources and web sites available to support your teen’s learning at whatever level they are studying at. Links are on the college website under online distance learning: Online Distance Learning.

Access to a Device:

Where your teen does not have access to a laptop or similar device at home, we have a limited number of devices which may be borrowed for the period of learning from home. It is important that these devices are only supplied to students who have no other access to a device as our supply is very limited. 

If your teen needs access to a device for distance learning, please get in touch with us at and we will do our best to help. 

If your Teen or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19

Please continue to inform us immediately if your student tests positive for COVID-19. Contact can be made via email to or by phoning 544 6099.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or lives with a positive case must self-isolate from others for 10 days to help stop the spread of the virus.

Start counting your 10 days from Day 0. Day 0 is the day that your symptoms started or the day that you were tested if you do not have any symptoms. See HERE for more information.

Image by: Scott Haines

Thanks for your support and understanding during these interesting times. 

As always, if you have any questions or need support, please reach out to us at We’re here to help. 

Stay safe,

Ngā mihi nui,

Scott Haines


By Scott Haines