Dear Vlammie Family
COVID-19: SAFETY MEASURES IN THE SCHOOL AREA
With the school likely to reopen soon, it is imperative that certain sustainable measures be put in place to ensure that our community and learners remain safe and that we can complete the school year without any interruptions.
● Stay at home when you are sick.
● Sneezing and coughing into your elbow.
● Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.
● Clean surfaces regularly.
● Avoid any physical contact with other people.
● Wear a mask. Staff and learners will be required to wear specific masks.
SECURITY OF SCHOOL
● The school will regularly enforce the washing of hands, with water and soap or hand sanitizer.
● Staff and learners are responsible for the regular disinfection of their personal space.
● There will be no big events at the school.
● Social distance will be maintained and physical contact or touch (handshakes or hugs) will not be allowed.
● The school will be disinfected on a regular basis, with emphasis on high-risk surfaces such as stairs, door handles and bathrooms.
● There will be a daily cleaning program with the use of specific chemicals and specific processes will be followed.
● One metre distance will be maintained in classes between learners, as well as staff, as far as possible.
● Learners and staff who feel ill MUST stay at home. They must be tested for Covid-19 and also notify the school.
● Stigmatization will be combated through thorough information sessions.
● Staff and learners will be required to wear masks.
● All staff and learners’ temperatures will be monitored at the school gate in the morning and they will have to answer a few questions before they can enter the site.
PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IF SOMEONE IS SICK
● Learners and staff who become ill at school or arrive at school should be sent home as soon as possible.
● Sick learners or staff will be kept separate from healthy learners and staff until they can leave the school premises.
● Remember that schools are not required to identify COVID-19 cases. The majority of respiratory diseases are not COVID-19.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE HOME / COMMUNITY AND THE SCHOOL
● Sick staff and learners must be reported to the school and the Department of Health – this is the law. People who become ill must be able to follow their contact with other individuals to fight the virus as far as possible. Your cooperation in protecting our community is absolutely essential.
● It is the responsibility of parents and staff to answer inquiries as fully as possible.
● Any new information received from the school will be communicated to our community as soon as possible.
● Parents and the community are officially asked by the Mpumalanga Department of Education to use the available platforms such as Moodle e-learning from the school, as well as other resources.
● Parents must do everything to support and assist learners where there is a need.
HEALTH AND HYGIENE TRAINING
● Specific training will be given to all staff, parents and learners on the school’s hygiene program.
● Our mentoring team is available for emotional support in the face of adversities, anxiety and uncertainties.
● There will be specific hygiene training for the different grades and genders.
● A cleaning program for staff and learners.
● Regular garbage disposal.
● Identifying high-risk surfaces such as telephones, door handles, bathrooms, door frames, electronic equipment (keyboards in centers) and furniture (tables and chairs in classrooms).
● Physicians say good ventilation in classrooms is important. In spite of the cold winter, we will ensure that learners do not get cold or get sick, but we will also make sure that our learners have fresh air throughout.
● A support network for staff and learners who are ill will be created. We refer to emotional as well as academic support.
CHECKLIST FOR THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
● Which people are at high risk? This is determined by:
o Where you work.
o The number of people you come into contact with.
o How often you travel.
● Are there people you stay with that have already been tested positive?
● What are the symptoms?
o Cold or flu symptoms, such as fever, runny nose and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported.
Although we request that learners who show any symptoms should stay at home, it is essential that the healthy learners come to school. We have already lost a lot of academic time due to this pandemic. Please do not keep learners at home unnecessarily.
Do not attempt to deal with problems, adversities or illness alone – ask questions and report them. Tell someone if you are sick. Don’t keep it a secret, it’s not a shame.
● Protect yourself and accept responsibility for your own health.
● Set an example for other learners and be a leader.
● No stigmatization of ill learners may occur. It will be handled like ‘bullying’ by the school.
● Socializing on social media should now be inspiring and encouraging.
● It will also be one of the roles of our school’s social media administrator and webmaster.
STRATEGY OF THE SCHOOL WITH REGARDS TO THE OUTCOME OF COVID-19 IN THE SCHOOL
● There will be immediate communication between the school and the home.
● The parties involved must be tested immediately.
● The parties involved will have to go into quarantine for 14 days.
● The parties involved must immediately provide a complete list of people with whom he / she has been in contact with.
● They are to connect with neighbours or the community to inform them.
● The school will make available the emergency numbers of all relevant authorities, hospitals and departments.
● The management of the school does not have the authority to close the school if there is a Covid-19 outbreak. It is the responsibility of the Department of Health.
SCHOOL SUPPORT NETWORK
● Governing body of Bergvlam High School.
● Our school’s parent community.
● Mpumalanga Department of Education
● National Department of Health (012 395 8000).
● The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) (0800 029 999).
● Mediclinic Nelspruit (013 759 0500).
● Police Station (013 759 1008).
PROCEDURE WHEN A PERSON IS SICK /EARNER IS HEALTHY
According to available preliminary data, the average period from onset to clinical recovery for mild cases is approximately two weeks, while severe cases last three to six weeks.
WHEN CAN LEARNERS RETURN TO SCHOOL?
● Learners must stay at home for 14 days if their symptoms start to show or have been tested positive.
● After 14 days, or if the learner no longer shows symptoms, the learner should be tested again.
● The parents should contact the grade heads and provide the negative test result as medical evidence.
● The learner will then be allowed back to school.
TREATMENT OF VISITORS AT THE SCHOOL (INCLUDING PARENTS)
Everyone entering the site should be subject to the same precautions to protect our entire community. So the following procedure will apply:
● Visitors’ temperature will be monitored at the gate. Our security guards will be trained to handle it.
● Visitors’ hands will be disinfected with a disinfectant at the gate.
● Visitors will be required to wear masks.
● Visitors will be limited.
● Visitors will have to sign the register.
● Visitors must make an appointment before the time or reception informs telephonically if learners have to sign out.
SCHOOL PRACTICES AND COVID-19
● Face masks:
o The school governing body and governing body have a statutory obligation to ensure that our entire school is safe and that all procedures are carefully and responsibly managed. Wearing masks in public is mandatory from 1 May 2020.
● Personal sanitation / hygiene:
o Each learner will be required to have his or her own bottle of hand sanitizer for their own use.
● Specific areas will be allocated to specific grade groups to ensure that there is enough space for each grade group to maintain acceptable social distance.
● School tuckshop:
o The school tuckshop will be open during break. Instead of queuing on the porch in front of the tuckshop, learners will be required to stand next to the building, at least one metre apart, and wait for a turn to buy something. No orders will be placed.
● Bus transport:
o The school will ensure that buses are disinfected before the start of the trip.
o Learners will have to disinfect their hands before getting onto the bus.
o The bus will not be filled to more than 70% capacity.
o Wearing masks on the bus is compulsory.
● High risk learners are characterised by the following criteria:
o Existing medical conditions, such as diabetes.
o Existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
o High blood pressure.
o Heart disease.
o Cancer and other immune-weakening conditions.
It is important that such learners do not come into direct contact with groups of other learners. If your child meets the above criteria, please contact your child’s grade head so that we can make alternative arrangements to continue providing your child with quality education.
DAILY PROCEDURE AT THE SCHOOL GATE
● Lines will be drawn 1.5 meters apart outside the school where the learners must report. They must stand in a row and maintain their distance between each other.
● There will be staff at the gate. They will ask the learners a few questions and monitor their temperatures, before the learners may enter the premises, wearing their standardised masks.
● Please ask your child to wait patiently and in an orderly manner to get to the site.
● Pupils will be dropped off outside the school in the mornings. (Geelhout Street)
● After school, the wetland gate and sports gate will be used. No learners will be allowed on the premises after school. Sanitation for the next day will then be done in the high risk areas.
NB: WE REQUEST THAT YOU FETCH YOUR CHILD IMMEDIATELY AFTER SCHOOL CLOSES FOR THE DAY.
COVID-19 COMMUNICATION AT THE SCHOOL
Posters will be posted at the school to keep our school community informed at all times. Posters will cover topics such as:
● This is how you wash your hands thoroughly.
● Surfaces to avoid.
● Physical contact is to be prevented.
● Maintain a safe social distance.
● Wash your hands regularly.
● Good hygiene practices.
● Cough and sneeze in your elbow.
PHASING IN OF GRADES
Once the final decision is published, each grade will be informed separately how it will be done and what the requirements will be.
Due to the loss of so much contact time, the school will set longer school hours. You will be informed in advance.
SPORT / SOCIAL / CULTURE
No activity will continue or be allowed until the government gives its consent.
School rules must be adhered to at all times. The rules in connection with COVID-19 will be strictly enforced. We ask for your cooperation in this regard.
Each of our staff, parents and learners has a responsibility to protect our community. Not only do you protect your child with your choices, but you also protect every other person who is part of the school community.
Thank you for your caring cooperation and loyalty to the school community.
Sincerely, Vlammie greetings.
DEON VISSER FERDI BIJZET
SCHOOL PRINCIPAL GOVERNING BODY CHAIRPERSON