16 March 2020
By now you will have heard the news of the measures put in place as a result of the announcement by President Ramaphosa relating to Coronavirus, and the SA government’s attempt to contain the spread of the disease. We support these measures completely and, while there will be many families affected by the changes and plans will change, we ask that people work together to try to contain the virus.
As a school, our priority is the safety of our boys and staff and while people may be inconvenienced by the changes below, they have been done with that priority in mind.
At Boys High, the following measures will be in place:
- Classes will continue as normal until this Wednesday 18 March at 11:00. The school will then shut for the boys for the next three and a half weeks until Tuesday 14 April, after the Easter Weekend, when classes will resume. All assemblies and gatherings of more than 100 people have been cancelled until further notice.
- The teaching staff will be remaining at school on Wednesday to discuss how we would tackle distance learning should we be required to do so in future. The President announced that one of the three weeks of the June holidays will be used for teaching so we ask parents not to make fixed plans at this time. We also ask parents to encourage their boys to take responsibility for their learning and to spend time in the next three weeks doing schoolwork. We will not compromise your son’s education this year and if teaching is done via catch-up lessons, online, over weekends or in scheduled holidays, we will do what is needed to help our boys. But they also need to help themselves.
- Sports practices will also continue until Wednesday as long as the numbers are below 100, which they are in all cases anyway. We do not see a risk in outdoor activities of this nature continuing.
- The Café Concert has been postponed until further notice as it is a gathering of over 100 people. People who bought tickets for the event will be refunded through Tixsa. The details of this process will be shared later. We plan to hold the event later in the year but will only make this decision once we have greater clarity on the situation in schools.
- All sports tours during the holidays have been cancelled. The refunding of monies paid for tours will be discussed with the various tour operators and the process shared with parents.
- The Maritzburg College exchange has been cancelled. Refunds for those who have already paid will also be done through Tixsa.
- The Bush School will continue until Sunday 22nd when they would have returned anyway. They are a group of around 50 and are in the outdoors which is probably the best space to be in!
We appeal to all parents for support in these uncertain times. While we know that the virus is unlikely to have an effect on young people, it is clear that not only is it highly contagious and spreading rapidly but it also has a severe effect on the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. We have to work together as a country to try to control and hopefully stop the virus.
I also appeal to parents to educate their families once again on good hygiene practises and on the concept of “social distancing” whereby we make a real effort to keep at least 1m away from other people at all times.
The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has a great website, www.ncid.ac.za with plenty of information. I ask parents to use this resource and the many others out there as a means of educating yourselves and your families. Please bear in mind that the situation can change at any time and we will keep you informed.
Finally, it is my hope that we get through this, as a school and as a country, safely. South Africans are by nature a resilient nation and I have no doubt that we will overcome this in time.
Please be safe and look after yourselves.