February 3, 2021

Rector’s eNews – 03 February 2021

/ Rector's eNews

This has been one of the most positive weeks we have had in recent months with practically all the
boys returning to us at school (or coming through to the Michaelhouse gates as E Blockers for the first
time) and then hearing a message from the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday in which he lifted
certain restrictions, particularly those which will assist the tourism industry. The declining number of
Covid cases nationwide follows a very difficult period for the country in which several Michaelhouse
families have, sadly, had a bereavement and the message that we need to continue to be vigilant has
been made clear both at a national level and here at school. We do not want to slip back to the more
severe lockdown restrictions as is the case in many other parts of the world just when we have an
opportunity to re-group in a Michaelhouse bubble and to try to return to a more normal school

I want to thank again those parents who have been supportive in having their sons SARS-COV2 PCR
tested prior to their return to school; this was a tremendous help as we had relatively few to health
check on their return and we have been able to continue the academic programme seamlessly.

The big question now is if and when we will return to inter-school sport and other cultural activities
and here we have to operate within the national sporting and other protocols, as well as the laws of the
country. In the meantime, the Heads of similar schools are engaging with each other so that we are
able to move once this is permissible. I think that the date of commencement of such activities will
depend on the nature of each activity/sport and the extent to which physical contact is a feature of each
of them. In the meantime, we can practise and prepare.

Looking ahead a couple of weeks, could I comment that we will not be having our usual prize-giving
on Wednesday 17 February and neither will the E Block Open Day, at which new parents are able to
meet the teachers, take place. E Block parents will, instead, be contacted in due course by Heads of Department and the prizes that would have been awarded on the basis of significant success in last
year’s exams will be spread over a few standard assemblies here at school. I am sure that you will
understand that it is, at this stage, simply not possible to accommodate the prize winners and their
parents in a venue such as the Schlesinger Theatre for such an occasion.

Neither will we be able, for the present, to hold parents’ evenings as have been calenderised for
Durban and Johannesburg until our ability to socialise changes. Naturally, I am sorry to have to abort
such opportunities for interaction with parents but, in the present circumstances, it is simply not

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