9 June 2017
Dear Oakhill Parents,
This is a follow-up letter to keep you updated on arrangements at school, going forward.
Assessing immediate need
We have assembled a committee of parents and staff to assess and verify the information on families in immediate need, especially in terms of housing. We have compiled a list of around 30 families and they are being phoned to get accurate information so that we can link them with other families able to help. The aim of the committee is to connect families and to then leave it up to them to make further arrangements.
What we now need are more offers of longer term housing (1 month +), either free or as rentals. If you can offer such accommodation, please contact Karine Trollip (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jacqueline Lamprecht (email@example.com)
Drop-off at Oakhill
Thank you to all those who dropped off supplies at Oakhill and to those who came to help clean classes (pupils, parents and staff). We will be able to accept supplies (especially school supplies and uniforms) between 09:00 and 12:00 tomorrow (Saturday) and then again from Monday at 07:00. The drop-off point is at the College entrance. We can use hands at the drop-off venue and will organise shifts for those offering help. The maintenance shed was one of the buildings that burnt down and with it a lot of gardening and maintenance equipment. If you are wondering what to contribute, please consider gardening and other tools for our grounds staff.
Clean-up work party Saturday morning
We will appreciate hands to help us clean and tidy up the school grounds and classrooms. Those interested to help, please report to Heather outside the School Shop at 09:00 tomorrow morning (Saturday). Please note that this work party will take place from 09:00 to 12:00. We would prefer help from parents and College pupils only, please. We will arrange for cleaning detergents but will appreciate helpers to bring equipment such as brooms, dusters, cloths, garden tools etc.
Counselling at school
Although we are keen to continue with the school programme as normally as possible, we do realise that offering counselling to pupils is a priority. We have therefore assembled a group of counsellors to tend to this need next week. Teachers will be briefed by a trauma counsellor on Monday morning before school starts and counsellors will be available thereafter to those individuals and groups who need them. Please let your child’s class teacher know if your child needs counselling.
College exams have been postponed for a week and communication has been sent out to pupils. College pupils are on study leave at home, as they would have been during exam time. However, we will make venues available at school where College pupils in need of these can come to study, from Monday.
Counselling for College pupils
College pupils in need of counselling are invited to come to school on Monday, or any day thereafter, so that they can be assisted. We will be sending out a Trauma Awareness letter to all College pupils and their families with practical advice from our counselling team.
S-tests for Prep pupils have been postponed until further notice.
Inter-House Hockey and Winter Sports and Class Photos
While extra murals will start on Monday, the Inter-House Hockey has been postponed until further notice. Normal practice will continue as per the schedule.
The Winter Sports and Class photos have been postponed and will take place next term.
The Dads’ Soccer event is postponed until further notice.
The Dads’ Breakfast is postponed until further notice.
It is hard not to be overwhelmed with emotion, as I observe the incredible generosity, care and love of our community, poured out to those in need; not only within the Oakhill family, but also wider. Thank you to all those who are stepping to the plate during this tragic crisis. Strength to those who have suffered loss. The road back to normality is going to be unbelievably hard and very long but it brings comfort to know that we are not walking alone!
With much love and compassion
Jannie de Villiers
HEAD of SCHOOL