May 12, 2021

Rector’s eNews – 12 May 2021

/ Rector's eNews

First up, may I welcome all parents of our 2022 intake of boys; they are receiving the eNews for the first time this Wednesday so that they are in touch with what is happening at Michaelhouse and can begin to feel part of the school. Welcome, Grade 7 parents!

Following my email to current parents on Friday, I am updating you in this eNews on the incidence of Covid-19 at Michaelhouse: as you know, on Friday one member of staff and one senior boy tested positive and, on Monday, a D Block boy from a different House tested positive. A significant number of boys who were in close contact with each of those boys in their Houses and in other activities were tested in the follow up and were negative. There are, therefore, just two boys out of over 600 who are currently convalescing at home, along with one member of staff out of some 80 teachers. We do not know the provenance of these cases of Covid – there is no obvious answer.

As you would expect, we have tightened up on protocols at school and, we have slightly amended our programme in certain ways: for example, we are holding assemblies wherever possible outdoors in the Amphitheatre, rather than inside in the Schlesinger Theatre. At the same time, we are, at this stage, proceeding with the “business of the school”- with lessons and with cultural and sporting interactions with other schools. Such events ensure that our school has a certain momentum which is necessary for the development of boys and the fulfilment of their aspirations, but we do liaise with such schools prior to engagement with them about whether they have pupils who are Covid positive.

Our boys have been told to be thoughtful about their contact with others and to be careful in situations where they could be vulnerable, as well as to report any Covid-19 symptoms that they may experience directly to the San. However, Michaelhouse is also their “home from home” and a place in which to relax and enjoy themselves. There is a fine balance to be maintained in this matter.

With the background of rising Covid numbers across the country, the real danger to the renewal of a Michaelhouse “bubble” after half-term will probably lie in the boys’ interaction with others over this time, especially in the areas where there is a surge of the pandemic. I have already asked parents to guide their sons with regard to avoiding events which may turn out to be “super spreaders” over half-term and senior boys have been asked to use their influence amongst their peers and juniors to ensure that this academic year is not affected as was the case in 2020.

the same vein, I have already sent a letter to the Durban parents to indicate that the social event planned for Monday 17 May has had to be postponed and we have decided that the D Block Open Day should be online rather than in person. This is regrettable because of the obvious benefit of the contact between parents and staff; however, it seems appropriate and sensible at this stage to have it online and I trust parents will understand. Teachers will liaise with D Block parents with regard to mutually convenient times at which they might interact. A link to the presentations that were due to take place at the D Block Open Day will be sent to the D Block parents by Thursday next week. These presentations include information about the D Block Hike to Pondoland which takes place in the last week of the third quarter, the process and some advice around subject choices for your sons as well as some information on the cultural subjects that your sons may choose to study from C Block onwards and, should you have any queries, please contact Wendy Kelly, the Academic Administrator, on or 033 234 1122. Boys will still be able to leave with their own parents on the afternoon of Wednesday, 19 May from 2pm should they not have any matches to play, or when they have finished their games against Glenwood.

Read the full Rector’s eNews here

Copyright © 2023 Michaelhouse. All rights reserved.