Kia ora SAE students

As we come to the end of Week 2 of online teaching, I wanted to reach out to say congratulations. It’s been astonishing watching how quickly you have adapted to the online environment. I’m so very impressed with how you are all handling this challenging situation. And we are grateful for all your words of thanks, as well as the support you are showing each other. Our creative community has never been stronger. 

The hard work and dedication of our teaching staff is fully on display right now. You are watching this team at their best – creating engaging material and ensuring your studies keep on track, albeit from their respective bubbles. We are fortunate to have such a capable teaching team. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the important work of our Student Support Officers. Lani and Alex hold an open zoom room daily from 11am-1pm (details in Slack for those who wish to join) and it’s been great to see how many of you jump in for a chat. These catch ups are as important as your classes – they are a way of keeping us connected while we are physically apart.  

How much longer we will be physically apart is a question many of us are now asking as the 4 week lockdown period draws to an end. You may have seen Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement yesterday on what Alert Level 3 looks like. Right now we are still in Alert Level 4, however next Monday 20 April the Prime Minister will be announcing whether the lockdown will be extended, or if/when we might move to Alert Level 3. 

At SAE Auckland, we have commenced planning in how we might operate at Alert Level 3. My focus throughout this pandemic has been, and will always be, the safety of staff and students. Under Alert Level 3, it is clear that online teaching will be maintained. However I appreciate that gaining access to our studios and equipment, albeit under very strict protocols, would be helpful. I’ve therefore asked Head Studio Supervisor, Alex Ferrier, and Operations Manager, Leyland Bottomley, to lead a project investigating how SAE Auckland might work at Alert Level 3 and we’ll share that with you in due course. 

In the meantime, a reminder that we are still in lockdown at Alert Level 4. Please stay home and stay safe. Continue to engage with the online teaching as you have been – classes continue again from next Monday. And keep being creative from within your bubble. 

He waka eke noa – We are all in this together.

Ngā mihi nui,