This year back to school for many kids and teachers will look very different. As we move into socially distanced classrooms and the possibility of having to wear masks in all classes, students, parents and faculty will have different reactions and expectations. With international schools looking to open within the next few weeks, parents and students are wondering what this 2020 back to school term will actually look like.
With all schools both public and private being closed for months on end and students migrating across to online learning and the virtual classroom, exactly how will they adjust to being back in school? And how will schools adjust their standard learning day around the measures that the MOE (Ministry of education) has put in place?
With many students saying they are not necessarily concerned about catching the virus, it’s more the anxiety about being back in large groups after self isolating and strict social distancing for so long. There are also concerns about unclear communication and claustrophobic feelings associated with wearing a mask all day. We have asked some of the top international schools in Bangkok how they will address parents and students concerns. This week, we hear from full IB world school KIS International Bangkok.
KIS International School looks forward to welcoming students back on August 13th. Throughout the summer the school has worked hard to prepare for various scenarios of school, including a return to campus, a hybrid model, and remote learning.
The new school year will start with all students on campus. However, for students who are “stuck” overseas or in quarantine, we will offer remote learning.
Our return to the campus comes with many measures, some old and many new, to keep our community as safe as possible. All of these measures are explained in detail in a very elaborate Pandemic Handbook. The handbook includes information how to reduce the chance of being exposed to the virus and how to deal with (possible) exposure to the virus. It covers measures that are taken by the school as well as directions for students and parents.
Sanitizing. This is supported by regular and deep cleaning, disinfecting, hand sanitizers, additional hand washing stations, shoe disinfectant mats, ventilation, air purifiers, limiting indoor time, and reduce sharing of resources.
Temperature checking at home and before entering campus through the thermal scanners.
Mask wearing by all community members while on campus, except when eating.
Screening before school starts and daily screening, including collecting information to allow contact tracing.
Physical distancing. This includes fewer students per class, seats further apart, acrylic screens and partitions, one way foot traffic, fewer students on the school bus, limiting visitors and parents on campus (and live streaming parent events), no large school events and staggered times for lunch,
playground, arrival and dismissal. The daily schedules have also been adjusted to allow physical distancing.
Regular communication. This ensures all community members are aware of the measures and stay informed about developments at school and includes letters home as well as a back to school video.
Our Primary School students will all have a staggered first week of school so that they can get used to the new measures.
All community members will be educated on how to keep KIS as safe as possible.
Editors note: The above measures are all subject to change at anytime in accordance with updated regulations from the Thailand MOE. Kindly check with each individual school for their specific adjustments.
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