Newsletter – 2nd July 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians

I write to you on day 98 of the national lockdown and confess that I would not have believed that we would have walked the path that we have since that warm day in March when, by Presidential decree, we closed the school for the so-called “hard’ lockdown.

We have come a long way since then. After the half-term the entire school will be back on campus, engaged in on-site teaching on every day of the school week. The exception will be the pupils in Grade 00 and 000 who were also due back on Tuesday 7th July, but who will now not be joining us because the Minister of Education has withdrawn permission for them to return on that date. This happened after approval for their return had initially been granted and all our arrangements had been put in place to welcome them back. We were not furnished with any reasons for the decision and our governing association, ISASA, is engaged in discussions aimed at reversing this last-minute volte-face. I apologise to parents for the inconvenience caused and assure you that all is being done to ensure that these children return as soon as possible.

As part of our return to something which resembles business as usual, we have agreed to allow the Tuckshop to re-open next Tuesday. This will take place under very strict conditions which are aimed at ensuring the highest standards of health and safety. The Tuck Shop has been sanitised and a very limited menu will be on offer. I urge you to follow the guidelines to the letter. If this is not done, the service cannot be provided, and we will be obliged to suspend services until further notice. Your full co-operation in this matter is essential for it to succeed.

The menu on offer is as follows:

  • OPTION A: TOASTED CHEESE, PACKET OF CHIPS, 500ml WATER
  • OPTION B: HOTDOG, PACKET OF CHIPS, 500ml WATER
  • OPTION C: TOASTED MINCE & CHEESE, 500ml WATER
  • OPTION D: CRUMBED CHICKEN BURGER, 500ml WATER
  • OPTION E: RIB BURGER, 500ml WATER

The packs are R30-00 each and orders/payment will be taken in homeroom/registration each morning.

PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY THE EXACT AMOUNT WILL BE ACCEPTED – I.E. NO CHANGE WILL BE GIVEN. We ask parents to ensure that their child has the correct amount. Packs will be delivered to the pupils in time for break.

It has been wonderful to welcome our pupils to school each morning during the course of the past few weeks. I have spent time at each of our entry points and I am always impressed with the friendliness of our pupil body and the overall neatness of their uniforms. It has been heartening to chat to parents and to hear how they are coping in these challenging times. Your concern for your youngsters and your interest in our COVID-19 protocols has been encouraging and has left me with a sense that we have your support and that we are all working diligently to ensure the safety of our pupils. My thanks for your commitment.

On a less positive note, however, I must mention that road safety and traffic rules are not always prioritised by all parents. Please remember that both Piercy and Grace Avenues were designed for suburban traffic and are therefore easily congested. With this in mind, please refrain from double-parking and u-turning in the face of oncoming traffic. Remember to exercise patience and caution when dealing with fellow parents and other motorists. Ultimately, it’s the safety of our pupils which must enjoy the highest priority. I am confident that we can count on your co-operation.

I have had feedback from both our uniform suppliers that they have a full supply of branded face masks in stock. While it is not compulsory for pupils to wear a school mask, I would encourage you to consider the purchase of these masks as they comply in all respects with the regulations as published by the Command Council. Remember that pupils should have at least two masks and that they should be washed at regular intervals. We have also seen an increase in the number of pupils who arrive at school without masks. This is completely unacceptable as it places staff and other pupils at risk. It is our policy to issue a paper mask to a pupil as a temporary measure. This is not ideal as the recipient is anxious and uncertain and does not start the school day on a positive note. I urge you to ensure that your child is mask-compliant on each day when attending school.

In conclusion, I wish all members of our school community a pleasant half-term. Enjoy the family time together. Stay warm and stay safe.

Yours faithfully

Mr D.I. Maritz
Head of School