6 January 2021
We wish all our learners and parents a happy new year.
We are looking forward to welcoming our “Little People” back from holiday on Monday, 11 January 2021. We are also very excited about the new learners and their families joining our Bizweni family for the first time.
Our learners are returning under the Department of Social development’s guidelines with regards to COVID 19 protocol we have in place.
We are able to accommodate all the learners enrolled for 2021, with the required social distancing in place, according to departmental guidelines.
The following are in place to ensure the safety of our learners and our staff.
Communication to our parents
Communication to our parents is vital, especially during this pandemic.
The teachers will be using what’s app as a platform to communicate with the parents as we will not be making use of the message books for the duration of the COVID 19 protocol at school.
Please ensure that we have all the correct contact details for both parents.
With this letter is a 2021 information sheet, to be completed for each learner.
Please send it back to us via e-mail as soon as you have completed all the details.
Please take special care with regards to contact details of parents and emergency contacts, allergies, as well as the learner’s medical information.
We will be compiling new what’s app groups for communication purposes.
The 2020 what’s app groups will be edited over the following weeks until all the parents contact details have been verified and added to create the 2021 groups.
Very importantly: No parents will be allowed into the school premises according to departmental guidelines. This is for the safety and health of our learners and staff members.
If there are tears when you say goodbye, please allow the teachers to take the learners at the gate and comfort them in the classroom. We are back on level 3 lockdown and cannot risk making any exceptions for parents to go into classrooms. Parents will be able to meet with the principal or with the teachers, but by appointment only.
Personal Protective Equipment
The wearing of masks for children 2 to 5 years is not advised in the Standard Operating Procedures of the Department of Social Development. This is due to the risk
of suffocation and the poor ability of learners this age to comply with the requirements of correct and safe wearing of a face mask.
Learners wear their mask when traveling to school but upon arrival, teachers will assist the learners to correctly take off their masks, and place the mask in a safe place for use when they travel back home after school.
Educators will compile daily activities that reduce closeness between individual children, without compromising the quality of the early learning program. All learners will be accommodated in the classroom and on the playground with a distance of 1 meter apart. Learning spaces have been re-organised to accommodate the principles of physical distancing. Clear plastic screens will be placed on the tables and on the floor where learners sit across from each other. Learners will not go to the bathroom unsupervised.
Learners will be assisted to thoroughly wash hands after using the bathroom.
Outside we have used dots and pictures of bees to help learners determine a safe physical distance. We also stagger the outside playtimes so that less children are on the playground.
For those parents making use of our meals option:
The school provides breakfast at 8:30, lunch at 12:00 and a late afternoon snack at 14:30.
Parents need to pack a light snack for 10:00 well as your child’s juice or water in a non-spill bottle. Please try to avoid bottles that crack when they fall.
The halo water bottles works well as it is made of a rubbery material and doesn’t easily break when it falls. They are also not expensive.
If you pack fruit, ensure that these are cut into bite size portions before putting them in for school.
For those parents providing meals themselves:
Please pack 4 meals that can be served straight from your child’s bag.
- breakfast (perhaps a yogurt with a spoon or some dry cereal to be eaten without milk like oaties)
- a snack for snack time at 10:00,
- lunch for lunch time at 12:00 and
- a snack for aftercare as well as
- their juice or water bottle.
Ensure that these are packed separately to help staff and learners serve the correct meals at the correct times.
ALL 2021 school fees are to be paid by the 7th of each month. Fees are paid over 12 month of the year, January to December.
Statements are sent out on a regular basis showing payments received and outstanding amounts payable.
Please note that:
If fees are not paid by the 7th of every month a R120 penalty will added to the account. Any fees that are 2 months in arrears will be handled as follows:-
The child will be suspended from school until the outstanding fees have been paid.
In the event that fees remain outstanding the child’s position will be given to the next child on the waiting list, and details of outstanding fees will be handed over to our legal advisors.
VERY IMPORTANT: Ensure that you pack a set of spare clothes every day.
Please check every morning that there are spare clothes in your child’s school bag.
Use a CLEAR ZIP LOCK BAG to place the clothes in before you put it into your child’s school bag. All items are to be CLEARLY MARKED WITH THE NAME AND SURNAME OF THE LEARNER.
Dirty clothes will be sent home for parents to wash. Parents to send a new set of clothes to school the next day, if dirty items were sent home. We will be forced to call you at work to bring spare clothes if your child does not have clothes in their bag.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
In the morning, before coming to school:
The COVID daily questionnaire is available on the Bizweni Pre-Primary app.
These questions will be asked to parents, every day when they bring the learners to school. Where learners are experiencing any symptoms as per the questionnaire, it will be recommended that they remain at home until medical advice has been obtained.
Check your child’s temperature before leaving your home.
Where learners are experiencing a temperature of 37,8 °C, or above it will be recommended that they remain at home until medical advice has been obtained.
When coming to school in the morning:
Arrival time for learners will be as normal – between 7:00 and 8:30.
No learner will be allowed to be dropped off. On your first day back, please make use of the little area outside the gate created for you to take a “my fist day at school” photo.
The screening area
The area between the fist gate and the second gate (the area in front of the office) will be known as the screening area. Anyone who enters the premises to be screened upon arrival.
1 parent can enter the screening area with a learner. Recordings of screenings will be entered on a template provided. There will be 3 stations in the screening area.
The 3 stations at the gate will be as follows:
- Station 1 – temperature check
- Station 2 – sanitising station
- Station 3 – questions regarding COVD 19 signs and symptoms
At the first station each learner’s temperature will be taken.
We will be using a non-contact digital thermometer pointed at the forehead.
For learners to be able to enter the second gate, they will have to have a temperature below 37,8 °C.
After the temperature have been checked and if there is no fever present, the learner and the parent will move to the second station where their hands will be sprayed with hand sanitizer.
At the third station, parents will report on the questionnaire answered at home on behalf of their children. Should a learner display any of the listed symptoms, the learner will not be permitted to enter the school. Such a learner will have to be taken home by the parent.
It is advised that medical advice be obtained to ensure the health of such a learner prior to them returning to school.
We ask parents to please understand that we cannot make any exceptions, even if parents explain that symptoms are not covid related, we simply can not take any chances at this stage. No learner with any of the symptoms will be allowed to attend school until those symptoms are no longer present.
Learners arriving via public transport
If a learner arriving via public transport (or any other method other than by the parent), shows any of the symptoms as listed on the questionnaire or should they have a temperature above 37,8 °C, the school will contact the parent.
Such a learner will remain in the quarantine area until a parent or another adult assigned by the parent, fetches the learner.
COVID 19 Signs and symptoms
Parents are advised not to send any learners to school should they be ill (COVID -19 or any other illness). Should a learner be absent from school parents should notify the office and a reason should be provided for us to enter on our attendance register.
There will be a designated isolation class at Bizweni Pre-Primary.
Should, during the school day, a learner have a temperature above 37,8 °C or should a learner start displaying any signs or symptoms as per the questionnaire provided, the learner will be taken to the isolation class immediately where they will remain until a parent or another adult assigned by the parent, fetches the learner. The class assistant will stay with the learner in the isolation class where the learner’s temperature and symptoms will be monitored and recorded.
What if a learner/staff member tests positive for COVID 19?
The Learner/staff member will have to go into self- isolation until they have been tested and declared fit to go back to school.
All parents of learners at the school and all staff members of the school need to be notified in writing as soon as possible.
Should such event happen the school will ensure that the school is sterilized and sanitized immediately.
The Department of health and Department of Education’s circuit manager will be notified immediately.
A medical certificate is needed to ensure the learner/staff member is fit to resume schooling.
As for the rest of the staff members and learners that was in close contact with the learner/staff member, they should go into self-isolation for 10 days and get tested should they show any symptoms.
Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting
Extreme measures have been put in place to ensure that all staff members follow strict protocol as far as cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting is concerned. Teachers and learners will only use toys and equipment that can be cleaned and sanitised. Each learner will be allocated a container with toys specifically set out for him or her. The items used by each learner, will be sanitised and placed in the container assigned to that learner. Items will be rotated after they have been washed and disinfected.
We have adjusted the aftercare routine for the Gr RR learners.
The normal aftercare routine for Gr RR learners will be amended to not include the nap
time as normally scheduled from 13:00 until 14:30.
Instead of having a nap they will be doing quiet activities, supervised, and led by the aftercare staff members.
Our younger learners will still have nap time from 12:30 until 14:00. The space in the classroom will be organised so that children are 1 m apart. We will make use of plastic screens to separate learners while sleeping.
Each learner will have their own duvet, mattress, and mattress cover. Duvets, mattress covers, and mattresses will be cleaned and sanitised on a regular basis.
Collecting of learners from school
Bizweni Pre-Primary will be open as normal for half day learners until 13:00 and for full day learners until 17:30. In the afternoon upon collection learners shall be collected at the gate of the school. NO PARENTS WILL BE ALLOWED TO ENTER INTO THE SCHOOL AREA TO COLLECT THEIR CHILD. Parents will be received at the gate. They will sign the learner out, and the learner will be brought to the parent at the gate.
The following Themes will form the framework around which we build the daily routine during Term 1 of 2021.
11-15 January: My Holiday
18-24 January: God Creates Life
25-29 January: Keeping myself safe (Coronavirus measures)
1- 5 February: Who am I?
8-12 February: My Body
15-19February: Keeping my body clean
22-26February: My Senses
1- 5 March: Colours and Shapes (1)
8-12 March: Colours and Shapes (2)
15-19March: I feel safe
23-26March: My family
29-31March: How I treat other people
We want to assure parents that the Bizweni Pre-Primary team is ready to care for and love the learners.
2020 has been a difficult year for all our learners and parents.
We hope that with all the challenges that we are facing in 2021, we can provide some normality in a world that has changed in so many ways.
We also want to assure our parents that we are only a phone call away and ready to answer any questions, listen to any concerns our parents might have and available to assist wherever we can to make the new normal for our learners as comfortable as possible.
Lizette Williams and the Bizweni Pre-Primary team