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How Grades Will Be Phased In After The School Break

There has been much confusion since the President announced a break for public schools but a government gazette has now been released. It gives a weekly breakdown running from 27 July to 31 August. It shows the weekly return of grades and the tasks that principals and school management teams will have as more learners continue to be phased in.

 

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Although schools are on a break, all officials are expected to report for duty at the request of principals or school management teams. School principals and officials will have the task of making sure that schools are ready for the weekly phasing in of learners.

This is a breakdown of how the phased return of learners will work:

Week 1 (27 – 31 July 2020)

  • Schools must use this time to prepare for the return of learners.
  • The principal and school management team must check and make sure that all staff follow health, safety and social distancing requirements. 
  • All staff must help with giving out learning material and help roll out the daily school feeding programme for all qualifying learners.

Week 2 (3 – 7 August 2020)

  • Grade 12 and Schools of Skill: Year 4 learners and teachers (and teacher support staff) will return to school on 3 August 2020.
  • The principal and school management teams will also be present to welcome the return of learners
  • Officials will return to school on 3 August 2020, to make sure that schools are following the health, safety and social distancing requirements. These officials will also help roll out the school feeding programme. 

Week 3 (11–14 August 2020)

  • Grade 7 learners and officials (and teacher support staff) will return to school on 11 August 2020

Week 4 (17– 21 August 2020)

  • All officials will report for duty on 17 August 2020 to prepare for the return of learners in the remaining grades.
  • Learners in grades 7 and 12 will already be at school

Week 5 (24 August 2020)

The following grades will return:

  • Primary school: Grade R; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; Grade 4; and Grade 6
  • High school: Grade 9; Grade 10; and Grade 11
  • Schools of Skill: Year 1; Year 2; and Year 3
  • Schools with Learners with Severe and Profound Intellectual Disabilities (“LSPID”): Year 1; Year 2; and Year 3
  • Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (“SID”): Grade R; Grade 1; Grade 2; Grade 3; and final year (Occupational)
  • Schools with autistic learners: Junior group (below 13 years); Senior Group (13 years and above); and final year (18 years and above).

Week 6 (31 August 2020)

Learners in the following grades will return:

  • Grade 5 and Grade 8
  • Schools for Learners with Severe Intellectual Disabilities (“SID”): Grade 4 and Grade 5.

Schools are expected to follow the social distancing guidelines while learners are being phased in. 

Parents are allowed to choose to not send their children to school if:

  • The learner has a medical condition (including comorbidities)
  • Learners or parents have anxiety or fear about Covid-19. This could be linked to fear for family members over 60 or family members with comorbidities
  • Parents prefer to let their children learn online
  • Parents have applied for home education or they have deregistered a learner

Parents who do not wish to send their children to school for any of the reasons listed above must apply, through the school that the learner attends for the full or partial exemption from compulsory school attendance.

This exemption will apply for the duration of the national state of disaster.

 

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