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Two private schools move pupils to remote learning, another bar closes

Somersfield Academy: middle years pupils moved to remote learning (File photograph)

Pupils from two private schools moved to remote learning yesterday as the latest coronavirus outbreak impacted more staff and students.

Parents of children in years one to 13 at Bermuda High School and middle years one to five at Somersfield Academy were told about the changes last night.

Linda Parker, the BHS head of school, wrote: “Due to the concerning increase in community transmission island-wide and the effects that it has had on our staffing and student body, we are no longer able to operate a full on-campus experience.”

She said that the decision to return to remote learning was made “reluctantly”.

Ms Parker added that the early years programme would continue to run until 3pm each day.

She wrote: “I cannot state when we will be able to return to the campus, but every effort is being made to ensure that we return to in-person learning as quickly and safely as possible.”

Ms Parker added: “We are dealing with a very fluid situation and appreciate your understanding and support as we shift accordingly.”

Charlie Judd, the head of Somersfield Academy’s secondary division, told parents: “While we continue to strive to protect in-person learning, the leadership team has made the difficult decision to transition MYP [Middle Years Programme] to remote learning, effective Thursday, September 16.

“All MYP students (M1-M5) will be learning off campus from tomorrow, and, although we can’t be sure how long this remote period will last, our intention is to return to in-person learning as soon as possible.”

Mr Judd, who apologised for the late notice, said that the decision was made after two positive cases of Covid-19 in middle years one and five.

He added: “The Department of Health completed a risk assessment of the M1 situation this evening and, as a result, has placed a number of students and staff in quarantine as a safeguarding measure.

“This makes delivering in-person learning extremely difficult.

“Also, we are also receiving regular notifications of students in close contact with positive cases outside of school.

“Our sense is that the Department of Health is overwhelmed at the moment due to the large volume of reported positives across the island, and we feel it is in the best interest of our community to take this precautionary measure until we receive further guidance and when more of our staff are able to return to campus.

“On behalf of the leadership team, we thank you for your continued flexibility and support.

“We find ourselves on a difficult road and we will continue to walk it together.”

Meanwhile, another Hamilton bar has closed temporarily after staff members tested positive for the virus.

Chris Garland, the general manager of Harbourside Holdings, which includes Flanagan’s Irish Pub on Front Street and Divots in Warwick, said that the city venue had shut earlier this week.

He added that the “couple” of coronavirus cases created “a multiple close-contact scenario”.

Mr Garland said: “We believe it’s just an abundance of caution to close down for a week and get everybody retested and get the place sanitised.”

He hoped the bar and restaurant could reopen next Thursday.

Divots, at Belmont Hills, closed on September 8.

A post on its Facebook page last week said: “To our amazing guests. Divots Bar and Grill will be closed for a period due to one of our chefs testing positive for Covid.

“In order to be aggressive and transparent we will undergo deep cleaning, sanitising and allow for thorough testing of all our staff.

“We apologise for all inconvenience caused. We will reopen as soon as it is clearly safe to do so.”

Mr Garland said it was scheduled to reopen on Monday.

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Published September 17, 2021 at 7:51 am (Updated September 17, 2021 at 7:51 am)

Two private schools move pupils to remote learning, another bar closes

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