Our Head of School reports on preparations and procedures for returning to school, whenever that may be….
I am fully aware that there are lots of rumours that international schools will be opening soon because the COVID-19 numbers are very low in Thailand at present. I am still confident that we may have the opportunity to open school in early June and if we did the school model for reopening would look like this:
As we prepare to reopen, here are some images that will give you an insight into what school will look like:
Here are responses to the most commonly asked questions from the school community.
Will we open or not?
We know the 30,000 Thai schools are scheduled to start their academic year on 1st July. We have a clear plan for restarting school and remain hopeful that international schools may be given a few weeks in June to reopen if the COVID-19 numbers stay very low, which they have been for the last three weeks. We will only open school, even with permission from the government, if we believe the procedures we have put in place can reasonably protect all of our school community. The Senior Leadership Team has spent significant time over the past month working on procedures to ensure this can be the case, including:
- Masks worn at all times even in the classroom setting; children must wear a mask to get onto a school bus or enter the school
- Temperature checks by parents first thing in the morning and by bus monitors before entering school buses
- School buses have maximum seating of five students
- Thermal scanners set up at six entry points into school
- Classroom desks spread out for social distancing requirements
- Students hand sanitise each time they enter a classroom, sanitiser dispensers have been set up in all classrooms
- No Snack Bar available in Primary and only open in Secondary at lunch times
- Canteens have seating arranged 1-metre apart, limited numbers at each time, individually wrapped utensils
- No assemblies or large group gatherings whatsoever
- Designated walk/stairs/seating areas to enable social distancing and separation of Year groups
- Regular deep cleaning of all classrooms
- No adults allowed on campus except for teachers and staff
- A Designated Nurse office in the Sports Hall dealing with COVID symptoms.
- All students will have to complete a signed Code of Conduct.
- All students, staff and parents will have to complete a Health Declaration.
The forms linked in the last two points will need to be completed just prior to school reopening.
Why not just keep the CSL programme going until the end of the year?
Obviously, all things being considered, even though teachers, students and their parents have done a stellar job supporting the CSL programme which I’m incredibly grateful for, nothing beats being in school.
Isn’t it still really risky opening up school anyway?
COVID-19 numbers at present are really low and we are guided by the Government and BMA in terms of ruling on public safety. Until there is a vaccine, there is going to be a level of risk and that is why we are focusing on precautionary measures to minimise the risk as much as possible.
Will there be issues travelling overseas during the summer?
Very, very challenging as the latest information is airports are not opening until at least 1st July so getting flights will be difficult and airports will be incredibly busy. Additionally, you would need to give up 14 days in a state quarantine facility upon your return. You would also need to plan to action the quarantine prior to the school start-up date in Term 1 or risk your children not starting on time.
Celebrating our Community
Even though, as a school community we have had to remain at home in our family bubbles, I wanted to share some very clever out-of-the-box thinking where we have overcome obstacles to celebrate our amazing student talent.
2020 Arts Awards
Year 13 Sports Awards
Breaking 500 Bangkok Patana PE Challenge (Make sure you participate in this challenge from our Secondary PE Faculty.)
Also, if you ordered photos from USmile, they can be picked up from Monday 25th May by adults only from the front reception.
I will, of course, inform you as soon as we hear of any possible changes to the current government decree restrictions relating to school opening. Wishing you a safe and happy weekend.
Head of School