Newsletter – 6 January 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians

May I start by wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year. Although the year has not started as we had hoped, there is light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a vaccine which will help us to fight the pandemic effectively. My hope is that it arrives in our country sooner rather than later and that we can neutralise this threat as soon as possible.

With the President’s recent announcement of the re-introduction of adjusted Level 3 lockdown restrictions, the school was obliged to reconsider the original plans relating to our re-opening for the new academic year. For the past few days, I have been in discussion with various members of our school community and colleagues who lead other independent schools. After extensive consultation with the Board and Senior Management it has been decided to implement the following arrangements:

  • Support staff have returned on Monday 4 January 2021
  • The front/phase offices will re-open on Thursday 7th January 2021 to deal with any queries or new enrolments.
  • School will resume for all academic staff members on Monday 11th January 2021.
  • School will resume for all pupils on Tuesday 12th January 2021. This includes all pupils from the Pre-School through to Grade 12.
  • At this point we will continue to follow the year calendar as it was published in November last year.
  • The same protocols will apply to pupils, parents and visitors seeking entry to the school as were in force in 2020.
  • The same cleaning and sanitizing regimen which was in place during 2020 will remain active in 2021.
  • Pupils will enter and leave the school through the same gates that were used last year by a particular grade. Should this arrangement change, parents will be informed by the relevant Phase Principal.
  • Staff members must ensure that they follow the protocols for entering the campus and sign in on the registers in the phase offices.

Parents are reminded that pupils are required to return to school in summer uniform and that all dress and hair regulations will apply. Furthermore, only proper masks (medical or cloth) are allowed. Bandanas/buffs and scarves do not meet requirements and must be avoided. Pupils are also encouraged to bring a spare mask to school which can be used in case of an emergency.

Although the current regulations allow for the continuation of non-contact sport, we will consult with our neighbours before making any final decisions regarding the co-curricular programme. Further details will follow. The music and the external swimming programme will, however, resume in the week of the 18th January.

I urge parents to ensure that every effort is made to collect pupils from school punctually at 2:00 pm each day. This minimizes contact and promotes a safe environment. With this in mind, after-care will only resume when restrictions are eased, and we have weathered the worst of the peak. Details will follow.

We have taken every possible measure to ensure the safety of our pupils. We rely on the support of all parents and members of the school community to assist us in the promotion of a safe school environment which promotes effective learning and teaching at this important time in the academic year. Experts warn that we will be dealing with this public health challenge for the remainder of this year at least. Let us do so in a calm and measured fashion which focuses on ensuring that the correct protocols are followed, and that risk is mitigated as far as possible.

Yours faithfully

Mr D.I. Maritz
Head of School