The past two years have been difficult for schools in NZ as in the rest of the world as they’ve faced periods of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As NZ moves from an elimination strategy to a containment strategy schools are now looking forward to a year ahead where they can be open for business, with students attending in-person classes again.
While the prospect of ‘returning to normal’ appeals to our sense of ‘stable state’ thinking, the reality is that we’re likely to see the disruption continue into 2022 as COVID spreads into the community across all parts of the country. While it’s unlikely to mean we’ll see more school closures, it is very likely to mean that we’ll see numbers of students and staff who are required to self-isolate for periods of time due to their exposure to the virus.
Thinking ahead to what this means for schools is important, as the implications of these absences, particularly if they grow in number, will have significant impact on a schools ability to operate in the manner it has done previously.
I’ve been working with some schools and school leaders in the past month or so to understand what the implications might be of this happening, and have spent some time developing a framework that I believe may be helpful to school leaders as they look ahead to 2022 and the uncertainty it may bring. You can access the full document as a PDF download from the Thought Pieces page on the FutureMakers website. I’d be keen to hear your thoughts and experiences, and stories of what you’re doing in your school as you prepare for the year ahead.