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South Dartmoor
Community College

School Closure-Friday 7th September 2018

School Closure-Friday 7th September 2018

Dear Parent/Carer,

It is with great sadness that I am contacting you prior to our return in September but I wanted to inform you that over the holidays our wonderfully talented teacher Lucy Howarth tragically lost her battle with cancer and peacefully passed away with her family and loved ones by her side.  I had intended on sharing this news with you upon our return but Lucy’s family have informed us that her funeral will take place on the first Friday back after the summer holidays (7th September).

Lucy’s popularity and respect is reflected in the fact that the vast number of staff will wish to attend the funeral and show their support for her family and fellow colleagues.  However by staff attending we will not have the staff capacity to remain open and in conjunction with the Directors we have made the decision to close the school on this day.  Please be reassured I have not taken this decision lightly and over the past week we have extensively explored all of the logistical and emotional implications of remaining open for either a half or full day, but when everything is taken into consideration the correct decision is to close the school to students for the entire day under these exceptional circumstances.  I also appreciate the possible implications on families of our new and younger students in arranging alternative supervision arrangements and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.  It is also the reason I am contacting you before we return to give as much time as possible to make any necessary arrangements.

We are aware that many of Lucy’s students will want to use this day to also grieve however we will also ensure there is work available, for families who require it through Show My Homework (Year 7 students will receive a hard copy of with their learning activities through their tutor on Thursday since they will not yet be familiar with using this online home learning platform).

We will inform students of our loss face-to-face on Tuesday 4th September and two of our counsellors, plus the chaplaincy team, will be in school to support students and staff.  Looking ahead and as we come to terms with our loss, we will be celebrating and providing opportunities to remember Lucy’s life and the difference she made to so many.

As difficult as it will be for everyone please enjoy the remainder of your holidays and remember all the good times so many of us shared with Lucy.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Collins