Academic programme stays alive

As the country continues to escalate its response to the Coronavirus, there is a lot of uncertainty as to how the preventative measures being put in place will impact the rest of the school year.

Although the decision to close the schools for an extended period of time has led to massive upheaval for our school administration, educators, our learners and their families, the reality of this pandemic is that it cannot be controlled nationwide if schools continue to operate normally or if they respond inconsistently within their local communities.

As it stands, the Union Schools are due to reopen mid-April. Many are anticipating, however, that the closure might still go beyond this.

The Union Schools will be monitoring the situation as it unfolds and we will communicate accordingly.

We are in an unprecedented time. We know that everyone is looking for answers and we are looking to provide guidance for our learners and school community as best we can.

Although there are still a lot of unknowns, we would like to assure our school community that the school’s Management and Governing Body are developing a plan for the months ahead and are addressing the numerous issues, whether financial, managerial or educational, that are arising in this regard as best they can.

Strategy sessions are ongoing and steps are being put in place to ensure that we continue education and can successfully implement a plan of action that will enable us to build a bridge back to some semblance of normalcy towards the latter part of the year.

Having said this, there are a few important issues with regard to the perceptions as to what is expected of the learners during this holiday that need to be addressed.

It is the learners’ first term break and therefore, there is no expectation that they should be doing schoolwork at the moment, even though, this would be an option for those who have perhaps not performed as well as they would have hoped.

Although our learners won’t be on campus at the time when school would have been in session for Term 2 – which would have been Tuesday, 31 March – some form of education will commence in all households at this time.

Many of our educators have already provided their learners with work to do at the start of April.

In the event that school commences later than expected, our educators are hard at work preparing their content for the rest of the school year in new and altered ways so as to allow for the possibility of distance learning to take place through e-learning and other methods – an exciting, creative and innovative prospect!

Teachers, learners and parents will have to work collaboratively at finding what works and how best to implement this new approach to teaching.

It is important for everyone to understand that while school will look different, educators and learners will still be working.

We would like to remind our parents that it is developmentally important for them to encourage their children to think and exercise their minds and bodies during this prolonged time away from the school premises.

It is our duty as a school to educate our learners and while many aspects of the Coronavirus remain uncertain, and are changing daily, we will keep the academic programme alive and well.

We would like to thank the entire Union community for your support of our school and understanding in this regard and we wish you all the best during this period of uncertainty in our country and in the world at large.