Oakhill News
Letter from our acting Head of College – January 2020

Letter from our acting Head of College – January 2020

Dear College parents and students

Following today’s announcement by the Deputy Minister of Basic Education, delaying the opening of schools until mid-February, we have decided to revert to our online or remote learning model for the rescheduled start of term on Wednesday, 20 January. This will allow us to at least commence with teaching and learning without losing any additional teaching time.

While this is a great frustration and disappointment for us as staff and for our school community, we are eager to make a start to the academic year. It is very unfortunate that we are not able to start the year in the normal manner and we will truly miss the wonderful energy and excitement that accompanies the students as they return to the school campus.

As ISASA continues to engage the Education Department to expedite a return to school, they are mindful of the situation in which our country finds itself in relation to the COVID pandemic and believe that we should be acting for the common good and for the wellbeing of all South Africans.

Last year gave all of us the opportunity to develop our online teaching and learning skills and our staff are confident that we can again offer a quality product. We would like to remind students to regularly check their Oakhill email for communication, especially for Classroom invites between now and 20 January.

The Grade 8 programme will continue on Monday, 18 January, but has been radically reworked. Mrs Victor will be communicating the exact details with each Grade 8 family.

We have been granted a brief window for students to come onto campus on Monday to collect any learning material they might need, to empty lockers, and to briefly make contact with subject teachers and/or mentor teachers if the relevant teachers arranged for this.

To ensure that we manage Covid protocol, we will be employing a staggered approach running on the hour:

  • Grade 9s: 12:00 – 13:00
  • Grade 10s: 13:00 – 14:00
  • Grade 11s: 14:00 – 15:00
  • Grade 12s: 15:00 – 16:00

Please keep in mind that all students coming onto campus will need to be screened in the quad. No congregation will be allowed and we encourage students to leave campus as soon as they have received their learning material and honoured their pre-arranged meetings with the relevant teachers.

The Odyssey meetings for Monday will go ahead as planned. Any necessary communication will be from Mrs Viljoen.

Vital information that would have been dealt with on the first day back at school will be dealt with via the mentor classroom that each child will be invited to join. This includes the timetable which has been set to run on 50-minute lessons. A few minutes will be allowed between log-off from one class and log on to the next. Please pay careful attention to the lesson times. School starts on Wednesday 20 January at 09:00 with an online/assembly meet.

Our exciting PBL programme for Grades 8, 9 and 10 will not be launched just yet. The timetabled lessons will be for homework or to catch up on other tasks until we are able to return to school.
The clothing shop will be open from 8:30 – 16:00 on Monday for anyone needing to collect textbooks or uniform items.

Please ensure that your child wears the mandatory face mask and adheres to all social distancing regulations when coming onto the school campus.

We thank you for your understanding in this regard and regret the inconvenience that this may well cause. Our teachers have been hard at work preparing for the possibility of a shift, once again, to the remote teaching model and we are therefore confident that we can make the most of these unfortunate recent developments.

We realise that there are varying views concerning the management of the pandemic and the consequent balancing act our country finds itself in. We do, however, remain very grateful for the understanding and support of the Oakhill community and look forward to supporting each other as we navigate these challenging and fluid times. Please know that, while Oakhill is forced to abide by certain regulations, we always have the best interest of our students and the community at heart.

You will receive further communication from the various Academic Directors and Phase Heads in due course.

Kind regards
Mrs Sharon Brown
Acting Head of College

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