I’m certain you and your families have been anxious to know how the rest of the school year will unfold. We are delighted that the prospect of school reopening is now a reality and we can adopt a clear and concise approach to all future learning.
Following the Minister of Basic Education’s address last evening, 19 May 2020, we are pleased to confirm that our school will comply with strict conditions relevant COVID-19 regulations and we will commence with lessons on Monday, 1 June 2020 for the Grade 7’s. Furthermore, all staff will be on-site on Monday, 25 May 2020 (not only those who teach Grade 7).
We now have an idea of a way forward and as a School Management Team, we have been implementing all prescribed regulations that need to be in place to ensure our school is sanitised and safe when our staff and Grade 7’s return. We require parental support and parents will be required to be cognisant of the following before sending your child to school each day:
a. Adhere to all Regulations and Guidelines provided by the School and Government;
b. Be aware of the symptoms of COVOID 19 and acknowledge in writing they will report any suspicious COVID 19 symptoms immediately and to alert school to allow for contact tracing, and to follow national guidance for self-isolation;
c. If child or caregiver has been in contact with an individual with suspected of confirmed COVID-19 infection, to inform school and to follow national guidance for self-quarantine;
d. Enforce good hygiene practices such as washing and sanitising of hands, coughing or sneezing into a tissue paper or bent elbow, and ensuring that their children’s face masks are washed daily;
e. Transport your child/children to school where possible or arrange transportation where children will be transported in smaller groups according to Regulations;
f. Discourage your children from playing or forming groupings at home and provide a lunch pack where applicable to avoid children buying food from vendors. (Our tuckshop will take pre-orders and deliver food to the classes.);
g. Ensure that your child leaves home wearing a face mask;
h. Do a ‘physical check-in’ on your children daily before school to assess for any symptoms of any illness – do not send your child to school if ill with any symptoms. Take your child’s temperature before they leave home for school. Collect child/children immediately after school or ensure that your child is transported home immediately.
There is no Aftercare or Pick-up Zone facilities. When class is dismissed, learners must go home. We urge parents to work with us on this matter. Staff will leave school immediately after the lessons.
Regarding measures taking place at school before and after the Grade 7’s arrive:
a) A Covid-19 Policy has been adapted. The School will actively encourage authentic information and communication regularly regarding COVID-19.
i. The School will discourage all stigma and discrimination regarding COVID-19.
ii. The School will promote health promotion and consider peer-to-peer health promotion activities.
iii. The COVID-19 policy will be available on our website.
b) The school has been deep cleaned and disinfected.
c) Temperature Test scanners are available, and measures are in place to do daily temperature testing. The aim is to screen every child, staff member and parent that enters the school each day. (We will also be extremely strict on allowing visitors to the school.)
d) We will also include a daily health questionnaire in unison with temperature checks.
e) We will enforce the sanitisation of hands at the gate for teachers, learners and visitors entering the school premises.
f) The wearing of masks or protective visors by all people on the school grounds will be enforced.
g) We have placed bottles of sanitisers in all strategic areas around the school for regular hand sanitising.
h) Cleaning staff will ensure that a reasonable level of cleaning of the school will be done on an ongoing basis.
i) Grade 7’s have been divided into groups of 10 learners per class to implement social distancing requirements. We will ensure that all desks are appropriately spaced and that all other measures are taken to define spaces.
j) We will promote physical distancing for all learners and staff in the school to avoid close contact (no hugging or shaking hands).
k) Each Grade 7 group will have a separate break time based on the timetable. The school times will be 7h30 - 13h30. We will only have one break during the day to control social distancing.
l) Teachers will move to Grade 7 classes to limit unnecessary movement.
m) There is a process in place to sanitise isolation areas after occupation by learner/staff with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. This separate space in the school has been allocated should there be any doubt and the need for someone presenting as ill to then be quarantined while awaiting transportation from the school.
All events have been postponed until further notice. This includes Aftercare, the revue, and the Spelling Bee.
In respect of pupil numbers and school readiness, Minister Motshekga did mention that there may be scope for independent schools to interpret the regulations in keeping with their circumstances, in, for example, how we conduct the phasing-in of pupils. In this light we may wish to bring our Grade 1’s back sooner than the date suggested once we are confident, we can accommodate our learners.
Please be advised that the safety and well-being of our learners is always a priority. Children not attending school will each receive workbooks for their Grade. These workbooks will be photocopied and cover two weeks’ worth of work so children can continue working during this period. Parents will be advised on when these can be collected from school. We are relying on our parents, tutors and guardians to monitor children and assist them in completing all the tasks sent home. We are hoping that after the two-week period parents will return the completed work and then the next work pack will be sent home. Teachers will mark the work and send feedback.
The Microsoft Teams lessons will continue and communication via WhatsApp for Grade RR-6. These contingency plans will ensure that there is minimal disruption to the learning programme. We will send regular communication via our groups and our teachers will still be available on the WhatsApp groups to assist.
I trust that we will continue to walk the journey together, until then stay safe, stay healthy and stay informed.
Mrs S Reynolds