|Trinity Term 2021
Letter from the Headmistress
B A C K T O S C H O O L
T H E P L A N
As I hope you know by now, we have been told by The President of Kenya that schools may open for the coming term. Therefore, we will open as we had previously hoped this coming Monday 10th May.
Monday 10th May 2021
Lessons will formally begin at 10 am on this morning.
To try and avoid the queuing that may arise around testing please could we suggest that Years 6 & 7 arrange to come to school for 8.30 am. Years 4 & 5 - 9am and Years 1, 2 & 3 - 9.30am.
C o v i d 1 9 P R O T O C O L
Along with our school Council, the Senior Leadership Team has spent a great deal of time trying to use what we have learnt from previous terms, both in terms of the virus and feedback from you as our parent body, to put together a set of guidelines for testing in order to keep the school community as safe as possible.
Our aim is to mitigate risk and keep the school community as safe and healthy as possible
One of the challenges of our situation is that some of our families live a very long way away, many over the national border, and others have moved to live in Gilgil to enjoy the benefits of being closer to where their children go to school. And of course we have all the many families who live between these two extremes. By its very nature Pembroke House attracts families who lead unique lives and no two sets of circumstances are ever the same.
Given that many of our children are so young we do need to take a common sense approach to testing, and we are trying to allow some flexibility whilst at the same time monitoring the health of the school community. Thus much of the onus for families with younger children is on ‘the family’ as a whole.
We would like to find a way forward that will allow families the freedom to see their children, either by visiting the school or by taking their children home.
One important initiative in taking the school forward is managing to give the first vaccination to such a large proportion of our teaching staff (95%) and our support staff (80%). We understand that even one vaccination can reduce the chances of transmission and a more serious illness.
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing
With the availability of rapid, lateral flow testing which is both quick (20 minutes) and relatively affordable and straightforward we feel the following plan gives us all some measure of confidence for the term ahead. Lateral flow tests can on occasion prove slightly unreliable in that they can throw up false positives. Therefore, should a lateral flow test prove to be positive we would then ask you to follow up with a PCR test.
As I am sure you are aware we are all in this together. Each one of us must take responsibility to test as required to ensure that as a community we are as Covid free as possible. We feel this is the best way to monitor the situation as the term plays out over the coming months.
Of course these guidelines may change should matters to do with the virus improve or indeed should the threat posed by the virus increase.
1. Return to School
On Monday 10th May, children in Years 6 and 7 should have had a test within the 48 hour period before their arrival and bring with them evidence confirming this. For children in Years 1 - 5, either the child, a sibling or a parent should have had a test prior to arrival. Both PCR and lateral flow tests are acceptable.
Testing at School
If you cannot find a test in your area then Purity and her team will be on hand to help you with this in the parking area by the games fields prior to entering school.
Rapid lateral flow tests cost 1,500 Ksh if you buy them from school.
Parents will also be asked to review a checklist of symptoms to remind themselves of what to look out for (see below). A self declaration form must then be signed to declare that as a family you have been healthy for the past two weeks and to the best of your knowledge you have not been in contact with anyone who has been ill in any way. Furthermore, this form will ask you to get in touch immediately should you become aware in the future that you may have been in close contact with anyone known to have Covid.
Parents entering school should continue to wear their masks, wash their hands and remain outside and socially distanced throughout their visit. We would like only one parent to enter dorms to help arrange matters and settle your child in. One family at a time may enter the office but Katrina and Purity will be at the main gate and down on the fields so that we can manage matters outside as much as possible.
3. Juniors Going Home
A parent who wishes to take their child out during the course of the week will need to have a lateral flow test each week.
A parent who would like to take their child home for the weekend needs to have a lateral flow test before collecting their child.
If your household has been vaccinated or you have recovered from a confirmed case of Covid and therefore may have higher levels of immunity please contact the Headmistress as some of the measures above may not be required.
6. Random testing
We will continue to test children randomly (with your permission), as well as staff at school, to check if the virus is present amongst us.
7. Travel, Gatherings & Events
Should you as a family wish to travel or attend a gathering or an event with or without your child whilst they are at home then you are asked kindly to get in touch with the Headmistress. The Headmistress will consult with the Covid Task Force and guide you over the necessary precautions that will then need to be taken. It is likely that the school will request isolation for a period of five days and then testing before returning your child to school.
In all of this communication is the key to finding the right way forward to keep us all as safe as possible. Please reach out and get in touch to ask how it might be best to proceed.
These guidelines prioritise the family household and making sure that this unit is Covid free. They also make the assumption that to ‘go home’ is the primary reason for leaving school and your child will remain at home in as safe an environment as possible whilst not at school.
Please do get in touch with Terry to arrange transport for your child. Please make sure that your child has had a test prior to catching the bus or being picked up by a taxi. Your child should also carry the signed self declaration form to hand in to the office upon arrival.
Terry - 0727 267642 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Shuttle Run
Buses will leave St Christopher’s and Peponi Prep School at 6.45 am on Monday morning.
Should you need some help with testing we can recommend this company who will actually come to your home in Nairobi to carry out a rapid lateral flow test:
Becca Laboratory Services TEL: +254-794421112
1st Floor, Jura Business Complex Market Road Ahero, Box 60-40101
Testing at School
Should you need us to provide a test for you at school please be kind enough to let Purity know. Purity and her team will be set up on the games fields adjacent to the parking area to help families with testing.
Purity - 0703 848088 Email email@example.com
Sunday 9th May
Should you live locally and would like our help with testing prior to the start of term please do make an arrangement with Purity to take a test on Sunday. This will help to ease matters for everyone concerned on Monday.
The first weekend of term for Years 2 - 7 ( Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th May) will be a closed weekend.
Optional Exeat for Year 8s
For Year 8s the weekend of 15/16th May will be an optional exeat. For the Year 8s this will be their 3rd weekend and they may well relish a break before the coming weeks and the increasing pressure they may feel with their CE exams around the corner. School will be in full swing for the rest of the school so Year 8s are most welcome to stay ‘in school’ with us all.
We will be able to give you a hard copy of the calendar when you come to school on Monday. However, for now and for those of you many miles away here is a soft copy.
T H E C A L E N D A R
I hope this information helps as you put your plans together for the term ahead.
Nothing is too much trouble and it is so much easier for us all if you get in touch and allow us to try and help.
For now I hope all goes well as you make your arrangements and we look forward to seeing you next week for the Trinity Term 2021.
With very best wishes,