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What is the Boarding House doing in response to COVID-19?

Boarding update 22 May 2020

Here we are, nearly at the end of what has probably been a long week for our girls and you. There have been a few tears and more homesickness than usual, and we acknowledge it is not easy returning to school/boarding, having been home for so long. In saying that, the girls on a whole, have done really well. THANK YOU so much for your support when dropping off your daughter Sunday night. Again, not an easy thing to drop and go, but you helped make things run so smoothly by not entering the buildings and moving along quickly. For those collecting students this Friday, please follow the same procedure, by remaining in your vehicle if possible. Your daughter can be sent a text and can meet you outside. The gates will be open. NB: Boardingware leave must be accurate for our contact tracing please, so your cooperation with this would be appreciated. Staff will check prior to the girls' departure (weekend leave is always due on Wednesday night). On Sunday (when you drop your daughter off), we ask that you do the same thing. We hope we don't have to do this for much longer and appreciate your patience.

A handful of senior students are struggling with the 'new normal'. However, boarding schools in the country are obligated to follow stricter guidelines than in the day schools due to the nature of the living arrangements (i.e. living, eating, showering, and sharing communal spaces with a lot of other students). The safety of our students is most important. Therefore, while in Alert Level 2, we must be vigilant when it comes to:
  • hygiene (washing/drying hands or sanitising regularly)
  • social distancing (staying out of breathe-zone, no touching, limiting numbers in rooms, shared spaces)
  • contact tracing (which for us, affects leave)
  • if sick - girls must go home
We ask for your continued support as we work through these new parameters. We will be relying on the leadership and positive example of the Year 13 students, who have been asked to step up. Ultimately, it's all about the safety and protection of your daughter, whilst being in a shared living space. Having to chase girls up on basic rules, then getting constant resistance, is becoming very draining. We'd rather spend our time helping them with the transition back to boarding/school, rather than being dorm police. We are all in this together and must be willing to follow the guidelines set by the Ministry of Education. Hopefully the PMs announcement on Monday will see some easing of the rules.

Leave Requests

For now, we are happy to approve sports trainings and appointments. Next week, we will also allow runs offsite. I believe the fitness centre will soon be open, so that will help I'm sure. The girls know that all leave requests are to be submitted the night before otherwise it may be declined. We must get things right before we open the floodgates for all leave types, especially when contact tracing is a necessity. Please note, as is always the case, we are happy to look at all other leave requests, and understand that there are some exceptional cases that require some flexibility. These will be looked at on a case by case basis.

Keeping our boarding students and staff safe

We have implemented additional measures in Boarding to ensure that we comply with the recommendations from the Ministry of Health. These measures include the following:
  • Having two dinner sittings to ensure that there are fewer than 100 students in the dining room at all times.
  • Meals are being served to students rather than a self-serve approach, to reduce the handling of serving utensils.
  • Cutlery is being put directly onto tables rather than students collecting their own.
  • ‘Grab and Go’ lunches are available each day to reduce the number of students indoors.
  • Checking of regular washing of hands/sanitising before and after eating.
  • Information about good hygiene practices and Coronavirus is displayed in and around the boarding houses.
  • Sanitisers/antiseptic wipes are made available, where possible.
  • Unwell students are asked to stay home.
  • All Boarding Chapels and events have been cancelled.
  • All temporary boarding placements have been put on hold.
  • Social distancing of 1.5 - 2 metres is implemented (where possible) and encouraged.
  • Regular cleaning of all communal areas.
  • After school leave has been restricted or cancelled to avoid untraceable contact (i.e. Chartwell Mall, city leave)
  • All visitors into the boarding houses are being logged with contact information collected (with those who have travelled or who are sick to remain outside the buildings).

Parents should drop off students to boarding and depart without coming into the boarding house, where possible.

If you have any questions regarding boarding, please contact the Dean of Boarding, Toni Solomon