Letter from the principal 8 june 2020

BY Mrs K. Stear

Dear Parents and Learners
Today we started a long-anticipated, nerve-wracking, history-making week with the return to school of the Grades 7 and 12! I would like to congratulate the girls on following the procedures we have put into place for the start of school. They were so co-operative and well mannered. Thank you, girls, you made us all so proud. As the principal, I felt immensely proud of the girls and staff, who all seemed nervous yet determined!
All the Grade 7 and 12 learners who attended school today received PPE as well as various documents to orientate them on the protocol to follow to stop the spread of Covid-19. They were also given our GUIDE TO PARENTS, which we put out on our social media platforms a little while ago so that our parents can read a hard copy of the school’s procedures, rules and regulations and advice. The learners also received an orientation lesson from the register class teachers and English teachers to once again orientate them on the protocol to follow here at school in these very unusual times. Miss Nerine Loock, our partnering psychologist, kindly came in to also speak to all the girls to offer them advice on maintaining emotional wellbeing. I remind parents and girls that Miss Loock is available to counsel girls who feel that they are in need of it, especially since the start of lockdown to now has been a period of transition and anxiety.
We now look forward to getting down to hard work and catching up on lost time in terms of the syllabus and studies. Our teachers and learners need to waste no time in working together to complete the syllabus. This is a time where partnerships are important and the girls and staff have never had a time when this was more important than now.
The one negative that arose today was that at the start of the day when the matrics were arriving and were outside the school grounds, they appeared to have forgotten all about social distancing. Please, matrics, this is not a rule that we impose on you lightly. It is for your good and to enable you to successfully complete your matric year. If just one of you tests positive for Covid-19, it could have disastrous consequences for the entire grade and the entire school. I truly do not want that to happen. Some parents were driving past at this time and were very unhappy about the disregard of social distancing and hugging shown by the matrics upon first seeing each other. Riebeek is proud of its academic record and we have every intention of maintaining that achievement. Social distancing in the classroom venues, corridors, in the grounds and outside the school is imperative. Please do not be blasé about this. If a teacher tells you to maintain the social distance because you may have momentarily forgotten, please don’t ignore them. On a positive note, this was one isolated incident in a day full of new ways of doing things. Our staff met after school and reviewed the day meticulously and devised further strategies to ensure that the girls do remember the importance of social distancing. We call on every learner to be a good friend by repeatedly reminding friends to distance themselves.
I wish to again stress the importance of being on time should you be collecting hard copies of work for your daughter this week. The Minister of Basic Education again emphasized in her speech of 7 June the importance of limiting visitors to the school premises. It is therefore vital that parents stick to the times allocated or make alternative arrangements for another family member to collect on their behalf in the time frames allocated.
The School Shop will be open from 10 am to 12 on a Tuesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, girls may not try the clothing on so please check the size you have at the moment before you come into the shop to buy. It will be open at break. Social distancing must be practiced and masks must be worn at all times.
I would like to express our gratitude to every parent who has educated their child about the correct protocols at school. I also want to thank our Grade 7s and 12s for their bravery, resilience and compliance with Covid-19 regulations today.
We look forward to now moving forward and doing what we at Riebeek are meant to do: educate and nurture.
Kind Regards
Mrs K Stear

 June 08, 2020
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