As we prepare to open in just one week from now the mood around campus is one of excitement, tempered tangibly with a sense of nervousness. We now live in a world that has been shaken to the core by the global pandemic. The obvious health concerns are accompanied by the potential for COVID-19 discussions to become divisive and to break the fabric of our community.
I must reassure the whole community that our decision to open on August 17th has not compromised our commitment to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students. The start of the school year has been delayed one week in order to allow our international students to arrive on campus and undergo a period of quarantine. Students who arrive during next week will be asked to observe appropriate social distancing until their period of quarantine is complete.
We ask that ALL parents and visitors to the campus wear face masks at all times until they leave campus. We also stress that congregations of adults in class doorways at drop-off time should not happen. I am the first to acknowledge that this is not typical of our school. For years we have built up a wonderful family community and ‘stopping for a chat’ has been part and parcel of the school day. However, for now, let us do everything we can to minimise the risk to our students and teachers.
Our wonderful housekeeping staff will be ensuring that door handles and work surfaces will be wiped down with disinfectant every few hours throughout the day. Handwashing will be a ritual for all students. In Primary classrooms, handwashing will take place in their own classrooms before and after each activity.
We are looking at ways to make our canteen area safe too. The timings of lunch have been adjusted to enable Primary students to eat and finiish their lunch before Secondary students arrive for their meals a full hour later.
A committee has been formed to evaluate our efforts to minimise the threat of COVID-19 at our school. This is made up of parents, teachers, administration and medical experts. We aim to meet at least twice a week to discuss how things are going. If you have any concerns or contributions that you would like to us to consider, please feel free to email me firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp me +255682911353
In the meantime, I look forward to welcoming you to a new look Arusha Campus next week!