Loreto COVID Reporting Number: 064 0565 568

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WELCOME BACK 

LORETO CONVENT SCHOOL 

From Our Beloved Mr Wolmarans: 

The name of this video is called ‘Little did we know’.

 

I dedicate it to the Loreto Convent family.

 

To the SMT, who are required to be present at school early every morning. Little did we know that these dedicated individuals now have to bravely take on the very dawn of day and the cold dark winter mornings while they tackle each day like a soldier on the frontline during a graveyard shift. To our front office staff and secretaries who have to interact with members of the public in the reception area. Little did we know that they now are forced to consider a phone call over a face to face meeting. To our learners and their parents who may have, in the past, gone looking for any reason to not to attend school just for one day of the year, because their marks and time allowed for this. Little did we know that the majority of our learners now desperately search for public holidays or long weekends to attend extra lessons or setup a zoom meeting to do a prepared speech for marks. To our hard working support staff and the tenacious teachers and their families who were so used to seeing a multitude of faces every morning during line-up. Little did we know that a piece of double-sided cloth wrapped around our ears or our heads would prevent us from seeing those friendly smiles that has the power to brighten up the darkest of days.

 

As a school we used to sing these two songs in the video in close proximity to each other, in unison and in beautiful comforting matching harmonies every Friday before we started our weekends filled with leisure activities and appointments to relax before Monday started again. Little did we know that this would not be happening for some time.

 

This does not mean we should not be singing these songs by ourselves, because if you look at the words of these songs we are reminded that they are prayers. Little did we know that although we do not sing them together the words still possess great power when we say them out loud or by ourselves.

 

Before these drastic changes we used to take so many little things, that carried great importance, for granted, but this sadly is human nature after all. Little did we know that those things taken for granted may have been the very glue that kept our heads held high.

 

We were often aware of individuals that might not prefer human touch. Little did we know that these are the very individuals that now crave a hug even if it is from a stranger.

 

We shared our goals and planned our year according to dates where we could try and get away from everything. Little did we know that there are people unable to get to their families and are trapped across borders where we would go to get away from it all.

 

In these difficult times we must remind ourselves that there is power in prayer and that challenges may threaten to get us down, but as a nation we will survive together and when all this is over, united we shall always stand.

Our Enthusiastic Screening Team Facing the Chilly Mornings!

UPDATE 14/07/2020
Please note that we will accommodate learners in class -for any queries, please contact Ms Alves on mariaa@loreto.co.za 
UPDATE 10/07/2020

Learners Against GBV

Our High School learners took part in a stand against gender based violence last week.

We are so proud of our young ladies for making a positive stand against this horrendous problem that plagues South African society. Loreto says NO to gender based violence!

UPDATE: 02 JULY 2020 - LETTER EMAILED TO PARENTS

Dear Parents,

 

We would like to take this opportunity to explain our screening process and our protocols, so that parents understand exactly what occurs at school , as well as what is expected from our parents.

 

The Department of Education, in their SOP document, gives guidelines as to the process that must be followed. Firstly, relevant screening questions are asked, such as “Do you have a cough?”, ”Do you have a sore throat”, “Do you have difficulty breathing (shortness of breath)” and so forth. Parents will recognise these questions from the learner intake screening forms that your child completed on the first day of their return.

 

Following the screening questions, the learner’s temperature is taken and recorded by a member of the screening team for filing. Full records of the screening process are kept every day and for every station.  If a learner’s temperature is above 37,5 that learner will be re-screened and a second reading taken. Often the heater in the car, or a beanie or very warm clothing, makes the reading higher. Every learner is given a chance to cool down a little and another reading is done.

Once the screening questions have been answered satisfactorily and the temperature has been confirmed (in other words, no fever present), the learner’s hands are sanitised and they move to the various venues where they wait for the school day to begin.

 

In terms of the various screening questions, the Department’s SOP then goes on to clearly state that if “…any one of the questions are answered “Yes”, the learner/employee will become a “person under investigation” (PUI) and must be isolated and referred for testing.” This means that any learner who informs screening staff that they have a cough, a sore throat, flu-like symptoms, body ache, shortness of breath, must be isolated and sent home so that parents can be afforded an opportunity to take the learner to a doctor, who will make a diagnosis and advise further. Any other illness, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, chicken pox, rashes, and other illnesses common amongst our learners on occasion, must also be attended to by a doctor, and thus these learners will also be sent home.

 

Again, the instructions from the Department of Education are as follows:

 

”Action to be taken when a child or learner appears ill or displays symptoms associated with COVID-19:

 

When a child/learner appears to be sick or displays symptoms of COVID-19, such as dry cough, high fever, respiratory distress or shortness of breath, or report a sore throat, the procedure below must be followed:

 

a) Isolate the learner and keep them separate from other learners and staff until they can be assessed by a health professional.

b) Provide the learner with a face mask if they don’t already have one on.

c) The parents or guardians of the child/learner must be informed immediately. “

 

Screeners are not medical professionals, and therefore cannot make any diagnosis or decision regarding illness or possible COVID-19 infection. This is why learners must be sent home with their parents to receive the required medical attention and have a diagnosis made.

 

Parents will note that the agreement signed and returned to school, also states clearly that parents agree that they will ensure that their children do not have any flu-like symptoms or fever before bringing them to school. This parental screening process avoids the inconvenience of having to come back to school to collect a learner who is complaining of any symptoms. It is very important that parents and learners communicate daily with each other about their health and any possible symptoms they may be experiencing before coming to school in the morning.

 

Another scenario for which the Department of Education has issued instruction, is where a learner may have been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19.  This typically occurs where a member of a shared household has tested positive. All close contacts of a confirmed COVID-19 case are required to quarantine in their homes for 14 days while being monitored for symptoms. They may not attend school. Correct isolation of the person who has tested positive, as well as the precautions taken by the rest of the household are vital to prevent further members of the household from becoming ill. The Department of Health will guide this process and make the necessary recommendations.

 

Learners who are isolated, are done so in a very private manner, so as to avoid any embarrassment or distress. Our psychologist and social worker deal directly with every learner in isolation to prevent as much anxiety and distress as is possible and to reassure learners. All screening information is kept strictly confidential and files are kept under lock and key so that all privacy is maintained. The school is also very aware of possible stigmatisation and has a policy in place to assist and inform all staff and learners in this regard. Our social worker and psychologist are approachable by any learner to offer support, guidance and assist wherever possible. Learners are welcome at any time to make appointments to see them and this extends to any type of emotional support that learners may need at this time. We know that returning to school is stressful for some learners, and we are available daily to help wherever we can. Please encourage your children to make use of this facility if the need arises.

 

We certainly find ourselves in trying and difficult times, and the school is doing everything in its power to ensure that learners are kept safe at school. This extends to our greater school body. Any learner who is not well, although perhaps not with COVID-19, has a lowered immune system and may be more susceptible to becoming more sick, contracting COVID-19 or even infecting other learners and teachers with their illness. This puts a strain on the progression of teaching and learning, and therefore the school is being extremely cautious in their screening process. We ask that parents understand that as a school, we have to make very difficult decisions on a daily basis. We are learning as we go, and we ask for patience and understanding as well as support from our learners and parents. We would certainly rather err on the side of caution in order to keep our doors open and continue teaching whenever possible.

 

We are very encouraged by the number of positive calls and emails and support that we have received from parents, and we will continue to do our best to make this difficult time as bearable as possible. We thank parents for their support and we look forward to working as a team to make sure that our staff and learners remain safe and healthy.

 

We are receiving feedback on a daily basis from schools in and around our area, and a common thread that seems to be woven throughout the stories of positive cases, is that of parties and social events. Many learners are getting infected with COVID-19 when they attend social events with friends or even family members over weekends. We would like to reiterate the importance of NOT allowing your child to socialise, hang out with friends in shopping malls or even visiting family or neighbours. The rate of infections in Gauteng is increasing alarmingly, and although we may be on Level 3 lockdown, the danger is most certainly not over yet. In fact, we are yet to reach our peak. This is the time to be cautious and to please limit the movement of ourselves and our children, whilst at all times adhering to strict rules of handwashing, social distancing and wearing masks. Please talk to your child about the importance of maintaining their distance when walking to and from classes, break times and when interacting at schools. Many of our learners are struggling to maintain safety protocols and do not understand the importance of looking after themselves in order to stay safe. Your assistance with this will certainly help us here at school. We will continue to supervise, advise, correct and maintain all safety measures here at school, and your support and assistance in this will be greatly appreciated.

 

Kind regards,

 

Loreto Convent School Team

We love your enthusiasm and support! Thank you!

We have attached the amended School Calendar for 2020. Please note that our dates are only tentative and might change depending on current circumstances. We will keep parents informed of any changes that may occur as and when they do. 

UPDATE 18/06/2020
It is with great thankfulness that we can confirm that our application for deviation from the DBE's proposed phasing in of learners has been approved. 
 
Grade RR to 1 learners as well as Grade 11 learners will therefore be returning as from Monday, 22 June 2020.  The remainder of our grades will phase in on Monday, 29 June 2020 as per the timetable attached in the document below. We have structured the plan so that we do not have more than 50% capacity at any time, and therefore learners will take turns in being at school. Please take careful note of the days that your child must be at school. 
Learners are also permitted to attend school in warm, appropriate civvies, or full winter uniform, or the school tracksuit until further notice. 
We would also like to urge parents to print the learner screening form for their children and that learners fill in and sign the form before they attend school for the first time. Parents can also print and sign the indemnity and information forms (below) and send it to school with their children on the first morning. They can bring the completed forms with to the screening station to hand in. This saves a lot of time during the screening process, which is limited by time as you may understand. 
We would also appeal to parents that they are aware of their children's movements and that they understand that learners should be at school or at home. Please refrain from allowing your children to visit friends or have friends over at your house, attend parties or cluster and hang about in shopping malls. We are still under a period of lockdown and keeping your children at home after school and over weekends is still one of the best ways to keep them safe from possible infection. We are also asking that the school be made aware immediately of any positive COVID-19 test results in your close circle - work, neighbours, friends or family that you are in contact with.
UPDATE 08/06/2020
Our Grade 7 and 12 learners returned to School today and we are very proud of every learner and staff member that worked so hard to make the day a success. We are very positive about the road ahead and we thank every parent who has placed their trust in us. Thank you to everyone. 
We do just want to remind parents that learners are allowed to wear the school tracksuit to school. It is very cold outside in the mornings and the tracksuit may be a little warmer than their winter uniform. We are expecting very cold weather later this week, so please do ensure that your child is warmly dressed. 

UPDATE 02/06/2020

Two parents on the Board of Governors, and the deputy chairperson, visited the school today to see what preparations have been made for the return of learners to the School and to set our larger parent body's minds at ease. Unfortunately, it is not possible to allow all parents access to the premises as we may have liked, as this would render our sanitising and preparations useless. The Department has also wisely communicated to schools that no parents are to visit school premises unless it is absolutely an emergency, due to the increased risk visitors pose to the learners and staff. There was meaningful engagement and discussion, and all parties have left feeling confident that the School has done everything it needs to in order to comply with regulations and to provide a safe space for learners and staff upon the resuming of teaching and learning. 

Below, we have attached the learner screening intake form that will be used on the first day to ensure that every learner is correctly screened before entering the premises and where learners are also able to indicate their willingness to co-operate with the protocols and procedures that are put into place to keep everyone safe. 

Parents will also receive an information and agreement form, as well as an indemnity form to sign and this will need to be returned to the school asap to ensure continued attendance by the learner. (also attached below)

As stated by the Minister, parents who do not wish to send their children back to School, are most welcome to do so and teach them at home, provided that they register as a home-school and abide by the legislative requirements. We want to reiterate that we are ready to receive learners and that the School is doing everything in its power to ensure the health and safety of our school community. This will be a process of continuous re-evaluation and adaptation, and is by no means a static process. 

 

We do hope that this sets parents' hearts a little more at ease - we are in direct contact with Mrs Hilda Kekana, our District Director at the DBE on a regular basis, and we have included the District in every step of our process. 

 

 

UPDATE 29/05/2020

Parents, please download and read our very important Standard Operating Procedure Document that has been prepared for the opening of our School and for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. This document will give you an idea of what to expect, what procedures will be followed by everyone at Loreto Convent School, and what measures have been put into place. 

Please note that the return of learners to the School will be a staggered process, guided by the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

ONLY GRADE 7 AND 12 LEARNERS WILL RETURN TO THE SCHOOL ON MONDAY, 08 JUNE 2020.

 

We will advise on the return of other Grades as the DBE makes these regulations available. 

Our SOP may also be updated and changed as the need arises, and parents will have access to any new information on this forum, as we make any changes. 

We will be posting more information specific to our returning Grade 7 and 12 learners here on the website during the course of today and tomorrow, so please do look out for that too. 

We are looking forward to the return of our first group of learners and we can't wait to see our Grade 7 and 12 learners on Monday! 

GRADE 7 AND 12 PARENTS:

The following info is contained in the above SOP but we would just like to mention again: 

  • Access to the school premises for learners at the small Nana Sita Street gate will open at 06h30 in the morning

  • Once learners enter the premises, they are to line up on the indicated yellow dots in preparation for screening

  • Screening of learners will commence at 07h00 

  • No parent may drive into the school premises or exit their vehicle when dropping or collecting learners

  • The Cathedral gate on Bosman Street will be opened to function as a drive through drop off from 07h00 to 07h30 (exit is on Nana Sita Street)

  • Once screened, Grade 7 learners will proceed to the music room and Grade 12 learners to the hall where they will be seated

  • Lockers will not be used at all until further notice

  • The tuckshop will be opened for learners, however will NOT be selling any prepared meals or hot food (in other words, only packaged goods such as those that are sold in shops like coldrinks, chips, etc will be sold)

  • Learners may wear either their school tracksuit or full winter uniform, taking care to wash all items of uniform daily, to prevent the spread of COVID-19

  • On Monday, 01 June, each learner will be asked to fill in an initial screening form. A second document for parents will be sent home and needs to be signed and filled out by the parents please. The completed form must accompany the learner to school on Tuesday 02 June. No learner will be admitted to the school premises if they do not have the signed and completed form to hand in. 

LORETO CONVENT SCHOOL IS READY TO WELCOME OUR GRADE 7 AND 12 LEARNERS!

UPDATE 26/05/2020

Please see below the latest information from our uniform shop. 

UPDATE 07/05/2020

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE 06/05/2020

UPDATE 15/04/2020

Below, please find the letter and Google Classroom Codes for the High School. Please note that some teachers will continue using Whatsapp groups as they have been up to now (Mr Agyepong, Mrs Matebesi, Mrs Buys, Mr Wolmarans and Ms Hermann) and some will be posting work to the website. We will sms parents when we post anything to the website to alert them. Learners will have to work independently on Google Classroom and make sure that they regularly check the various classrooms to keep up with their work as it is posted by their teachers. 

If you have any queries, please send an email to Ms Alves on madsa.pinto@gmail.com and she will assist you. 

UPDATE 14/04/2020

Good evening High School parents. We trust that you all had a blessed Easter weekend, despite the challenges we are facing during this lock down period. We have created a Homework page for our High School learners where we have re-posted the holiday work (as below) and have added more work for our learners to commence with this week. (see the tab "HS Homework above) We will be adding more material as time progresses, so do keep checking in to follow our progress. We will also send an sms to parents whenever we upload new content. 

There are links to download PowerPoint shows for learners - if you do use a phone to open these, just make sure that you open the document with PowerPoint so that it displays correctly. If you have any queries or challenges, please send an email to Ms Alves on madsa.pinto@gmail.com and she will be most happy to assist you. Please note that we will add Google Classroom information asap and that some teachers are also using WhatsApp to send work to learners. 

 

UPDATE 11/04/2020

Email from Mrs Truter sent out this morning: 

A Blessed Easter period to you all, including those who are not able to be with you due Covid-19

In this very challenging uncertain time which we find ourselves, the school has attempted to contact parents to establish internet and data accessibility. Only about a third of parents have replied, where the majority has indicated that internet and data would be available.
We have sent work home for the holiday period, but that was for the original lock down to be done at home and it was mainly for revision purposes. The school has since put work for Primary school on the website for different grades. It is extremely important that parents assist their children with these tasks wherever they can. Try to have some fun time in between work sessions as well as getting some form of physical exercise in this time at home.

Some teachers are also busy preparing to go online with the platform Google Classroom, which is hopefully going to be accessible soon. Even with all of the Google Classroom structure or any other platform in place , there is, unfortunately, no guarantee that material is being worked through on a daily basis by your child. This is where the combination of self-discipline and parental supervision, will come into play. It may be preferable to work on one or two subjects per day (perhaps a long morning and afternoon session) rather than attempting to do short periods on every subject on each day. Work will be available on a weekly schedule. Some teachers prefer to work on Whats app groups, either way, please monitor your child’s activity at home. (Once Google Classroom is available, you will be informed. Our teachers are however committed to do everything possible to reach each child. All children will have to be disciplined in this time to make sure that we are able to complete this year’s academic challenges.)

All work which we attempt this way, will have to be revised once we are back in school. It is certainly not the school’s intention to have you as parents take over the teacher’s role. Also, we are aware of those who possibly might not have access to these mentioned platforms.
At this stage, it is not clear when school can recommence and in what form that will be. There was initial talk that mid-year and September holidays would be amended or indeed scrapped in order to catch up on time lost. We are awaiting directions from DBE as to what the future will hold as far as assessment and exams are concerned. Either way, we are convinced that the time lost will be made up in some form – be it through shortened holidays or extending the school academic day. Your child should thus benefit from the full year’s educational experience and while time may be lost now, we are sure it will be recovered later. We will concentrate on the academic part of the school day and all extra-curricular activities will for the time being not continue. As soon as there are clear regulations and directions set up and communicated, the school will communicate these to parents. The Minister of Education has briefed the media last night and there are a number of possibilities which will be considered. At this stage we do not want to speculate. It is best to wait until there is clarity regarding the re-opening of schools. We will do our utmost to continue as soon as we are allowed to.

We are acutely aware of the tough economic times many families are facing at the moment and that there may be difficulty with meeting school fee commitments. As the school will be operating for the full year, albeit in a delayed or different form, we still need to honour our commitments re salaries, contracts and other services. We assure you that we are looking actively at ways of reducing costs and will continue doing so. We ask that you keep honouring your fee payments. We are praying that the academic year will be completed, even if it is in a very different format.

Loreto regards
Mrs S Truter Prof D Kourie
Principal Chairman of the Board of Governors

 

HIGH SCHOOL REVISION FOR HOLIDAYS:

UPDATE 09/04/2020

Hello Senior Primary parents! We have now built a homework page just for you too! You will find it above on the "SP Homework" tab. I will inform you of anything we may add by sms. Do what you can with your child - we realise that it is Easter weekend and we do not wish to put extra pressure on you if you have any challenges that might prevent you from completing this work with your child. Our teachers have worked very hard to put the material together for your children and we hope that everything will be of great use. Grade 6 and 7 English learners will be using the Google Classroom app and we have included her instructions on the page for parents and learners. If you experience any problems with Google Classroom, please email Ms Dvuba on sdvuba@gmail.com and she will be able to assist you. If you have any other questions or challenges, please send an email to Ms Hill at home on hillmichelle529@gmail.com so that she can assist you. Grade 5 Maths is a PowerPoint show that will download when you click the button - take note that there are voice clips embedded into the PowerPoint and you will need to click on the white "volume" button that appears on the various slides. Please note that if you are opening the file on a phone, you must open it with PowerPoint for the voice clips to work properly. We hope that you are all keeping healthy and safe and we really miss you all!

UPDATE 06/04/2020

Hello Foundation Phase parents! We have built a page on our website just for you, where we will be posting work for you to do with your little ones. We will be sure to sms parents whenever we add more, as the situation progresses. You will find the worksheets and planning on our tab "FP Homework". Please ignore the dates on the planning, as this was originally prepared for our return to school now. If you have any questions, please Email Ms Hill on her home Email - hillmichelle529@gmail.com - and she will be happy to be of assistance wherever possible. Do what you can – we do not want to add pressure if there are any challenges you are facing, that prevent you from completing the work with your children. We have not posted any Setswana work as that will be covered by the teacher in class as and when we return to school. Best wishes and we hope you are all keeping safe and healthy! Loreto Team

We will possibly be adding a page for our Senior Phase learners soon to supplement any online teaching that we may implement in response to the lock down situation, but will also keep parents informed by sms, if and when that happens. 

Grade 4 to 7 parents are reminded of the free online lessons at Worksheetcloud as per our previous communication. It is a good idea to sign up for their mailing list, as they send out the schedules per Email which makes planning a little easier. 

 

UPDATE 31/03/2020

Thank you too all parents who have already submitted their response on our online education survey. We are currently working on a solution using Google Classroom in the event that learners are unable to return to school on the expected dates and will keep parents updated as to the progress of this. We do understand that some learners are staying with grandparents and that access may be an issue. Our survey seeks to alert us of this. 

Below are more resources for learners to use that may be helpful at the moment.

*Free Departmental Resources:*

DBE: GET & FET Resources: http://dbecontent.bhelela.com 

Examination Papers: http://www.ecexams.co.za/ExaminationPapers.htm

 

*Free during this time when schools are closed:*

Audio Books streamed by Amazon to any device: https://stories.audible.com/start-listen 

Mozabook Gr 1 – 12 content until 20 May 2020: Download at https://bit.ly/Mozabook and use the following activation key which is valid until 20 May 2020: MOZ-ML-MTEK-ZOBZ-QIXQ-DYEN-0BEN-288888

 

 Radio lessons for grade 12 will commence on the 1st to 30 April on Motsweding FM from 19.30 to 20.00 Mondays to Thursday 

The revision materials are on the departmental website accessed at Northwest Department of Education

 

The following could add to revision:

1.http:/dbecontent.bhelela.com

2.Www.siyavula.com

3.SABC mindset channel

4.Vodacom e- school

DBE has promised to communicate times for SABC 1&2 lesson broadcasts which will be shared with you if and when we receive it.

Any developments regarding the use of local stations for lower grades will also be shared as we receive it.

UPDATE 19/03/2020

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE MATRIC DANCE HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

16/03/2020

Dear Parents,

 

Following the President’s address regarding preventative measures for the COVID-19 pandemic, the School will be implementing the following decisions:

 

SCHOOL CLOSES ON TUESDAY AT 14h00 (DAYCARE AS NORMAL)

SCHOOL RE-OPENS ON TUESDAY 14 APRIL

TERM 2 WILL TENTATIVELY CLOSE ON 19 JUNE TO ALLOW FOR AN EXTRA WEEK TO CATCH UP WORK MISSED IN THIS TERM

 

  • Netball trials for our Primary School learners will not take place on Monday & Tuesday 16 & 17 March

  • The Poetry Festival that was scheduled for today has been postponed until further notice

  • Foundation Phase Parents evening will not take place on 17 March as previously arranged

  • There will be normal school on Tuesday, 17 March, (Gr 7 retreat and normal day-care hours) but school closes at 14h00

  • Netball and hockey camps have been cancelled and will not take place

  • Matric dance WILL take place on Thursday 19 March as was planned.

 

All books and textbooks should be taken home and learners should be encouraged to use the additional time to prepare for the upcoming exams in term 2. The school will communicate with the Loreto community should any further announcements be made by the president. Parents are encouraged to keep children at home, and not allow them to gather in groups in shopping centres, at the movies, or other forms of entertainment where they will be exposed to large numbers of people, as the purpose of this closure is to minimise the spread of the virus amongst our children and the public at large.

 

We are certainly facing extra-ordinary times at present, and it will take communication and teamwork from our entire Loreto community to manage this pandemic as best we can.

We will continue to inform parents via sms, email and via this forum, as the situation develops.