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Friday, 7 August 2020

COVID-19 Update: The way forward

At school we continue to grapple with the challenges posed by the virus, the closure of campus and the associated economic disruptions.

A large scale reopening of our campus is not possible at present but this is our goal as soon as conditions allow and that is the end towards which we are working.

This is how I see the way forward (adapted from my speech to faculty this week):

First, our most important duty is to meet the needs of the students who rely on us. This means giving them the best education we can whether home-based, school-based or in combination.

Second, we all have a role to play. We will only get through this if we support each other. We must all pull together because we are all in it together.

Third, as of now each and every one of you is an ambassador for the school. We will not succeed without the confidence of our community and the ability to attract new families to our school. We must cultivate a positive, can-do culture.

Fourth, rather than a strict dichotomy between closed and open I expect a gradual transition from home-based learning to school-based through a phase composed of both. We will in the next few weeks begin having Year 13 students on campus for selected activities. These will increase in frequency and scope as conditions allow. In due course other year groups will also begin to return to campus.

Fifth, these COVID-19 precautions are here for a while and must be embraced. Masks, handwashing social distancing, and other inconvenient practices must happen because we have to keep people safe and earn the trust of our community ready for the time when we can welcome students back to campus.

Eventually this disease will be brought under control and regular schooling will resume. We need to ensure that our school emerges from this crisis with the capacity to perform that function. If you want a school to go back to you must support us through this crisis: Please pay your school fees.

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