“May we live in interesting times” is very apt for the times we are managing our schools. Grade 7s and Grade 12s were welcomed with nervous reception, back to our premises. Some schools were better prepared than others but we forged ahead. We were certainly not prepared for the mental / psychological warfare we would find ourselves in.
• Dealing with anxious parents
• Dealing with anxious learners
• Dealing with anxious staff
• Dealing with paperwork
• Dealing with finances and job insecurities
All this whilst trying to manage one’s own anxieties.
As school leaders, we have all the responsibility but very little control over many variables that will come our way. We do all this whilst not being able to get together, share our experiences, learn from each other and give each other motivation to carry on.
SAPA KZN wishes to thank you for all that you do to make it happen in your schools, sometimes under very trying times.
The school I am linked to has had its first confirmed Covid-19 case. Armed with Department of Education Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and our own tailor-made SOPs we navigated yet another unchartered territory. Below please find the learned experience from our Principal, Mrs Pet. I thank her for giving permission to share these “crib notes”. This by no means replaces the DBE SOPs or your own school’s SOPs but I hope will act as a shared guide of the next step to take in the event you have to deal with a confirmed case at your institution. What is not captured in this shared experience are the psychological or mental anxieties that a school leader manages once a confirmed case comes your way. My best advice is, don’t go at it alone.
Learned experience 1. Engage with person /parent etc. who is positive. This can be done remotely.
2. Inform and reassure staff. Open communication is key while respecting the right to privacy / confidentiality.
3. Do risk assessment - see details below - submit to relevant people
4. Inform health department
5. Inform KZNDOE
6. Inform School Governing Body
7. Health Department visit site
8. Sanitise venues- as per recommendation by the Health Department – if it is insisted that it should be done, the Department of Education must be involved.
9. Inform school community – Open Communication is key.
10. Start again.
Risk Assessment report
• Details of the case
o who – contact details
o when found positive
o when ID
o when last on premises
• ID others that could be at risk
o people who had contact with the person but did not maintain social distance
o people who had contact without masks for longer than 15mins
• To identify at risk people – we checked timetable and ID the following
o morning screeners
o teachers that engaged with the student
o venues where the student was taught – we have a seating plan for every venue
for every subject
o who the students friends are and if they engaged with the student before, school,
at break or after school.
• If they are confirmed high risk (see criteria above) – referred to the nurses who visit the
site and on medical recommendation they may need to isolate for 14 days.
• Person who is positive can only return to site once they have a clearance certificate
Your individual circumstance may find you deviating from the above and perhaps adding more insights
Consultation with the Minister of Basic Education, Mrs A Motshekga, MP
SAPA KZN continues to be part of the consultative meetings with the Minister. We have submitted as part of SAPA NATIONAL, two communications, on 24 and 29 June 2020, to the Minister of reported school cases where challenges are faced with phasing in of grades. If challenges are reported with DISTRICT, SCHOOL NAME and CONCERN from a SAPA KZN school, we would forward it to the Minister for her attention.
SAPA KZN CARES
Look after yourself and stay safe.
Linda Shezi (Mr)
SAPA KZN President
SAPA KZN Business
Dear SAPA KZN Members,
We thank our members who have continued supporting our association as paid up members. We remind you that our membership fees are still payable. Membership for the year is R600
Our account details are;
ACCOUNT NAME: SAPA KZN ACCOUNT
BANK: STANDARD BANK
BRANCH CODE: 043626
Please email proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our strength when engaging with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) depends on the number of members we represent.