International schools prepare for new challenge
The summer holidays are over, and it is back to school for all of Shanghai’s international students. Last school year’s disruption due to the pandemic was an unexpected setback to student learning. The year ahead promises to be just as tough, challenging and frustrating, but there will be rewards at the end of term. So do not fear, school is here.
Schools prepare for new challenge
The start of a new school year brings with it a range of feelings. Whether it is a parent dropping off their child for the first day of preschool, a former middle schooler entering high school as a freshman, or a teacher eager to engage a new class of students in the learning process, emotions run the gamut from anxiety to excitement. This year, school communities are faced with many changes and new challenges brought about by a global pandemic, adding yet another layer to this bevy of emotions.
At Concordia Shanghai, we are looking to the 2020-21 school year with excitement rather than nervousness. We are more hopeful than anxious because we recognize that now, more than ever, is a time for our school community to come together to keep things as safe and as close to “normal” as possible.
We had a glimpse of what school life would be like as our campus reopened during the spring semester, things looked and felt very different from what we were used to. It is important to keep in mind, however, that different doesn’t mean worse, it just means altered in some ways.
This year on campus we will continue to follow all necessary protocols and procedures set up to assure the highest levels of virus prevention. Precautions, such as daily health checks, temperature screenings and hand-washing stations, are necessary for making the campus safer. As we do our part, individually undergoing health checks, wearing our masks and exercising other precautionary measures as needed, we should be reassured that these actions are important.
No doubt life on campus will be different in many ways this year, but our most significant attributes, those that are fundamentally Concordia, have not changed. Our students will continue to be taught and cared for by our qualified faculty, parental involvement in the community will still be encouraged, and teachers will be empowered to innovate learning just as they always have been.
Change is constant, and as a school community we should be ready to embrace this notion, no matter how different the experience is. When we lean into new challenges, we not only learn how to persevere but how to thrive in an inconstant world full of dynamic change.
(This article is contributed by Dr Doug Grove Interim, head of school at Concordia International School Shanghai.)
Health and safety priority
The entire Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong staff is excited to welcome students back for the start of the 2020-21 school year on September 1. It is fantastic to see families and Dulwich staff returning from overseas back to Shanghai. With so much global uncertainty, it has never been more important to bring together the diverse, inclusive community that Dulwich Pudong has become known for.
The college’s top priority is to prepare for a great start to the school year. Much attention has been given to establishing protocols and procedures to ensure a healthy and safe environment for our students’ year of learning. We cannot be complacent, so we will continue to regularly monitor the global and local situation as well as updates to regulations.
Excellent progress has been made to bring back overseas teachers. The college has successfully secured letters of invitation enabling teachers to apply for the special M visa and subsequently book flights back to Shanghai. Two teachers have already completed this process, one is in quarantine with her family and four will be flying in this week. A further 58 staff and family members have booked flights and will return to China in the near future.
Each DUCKS and junior school class will be led face to face by experienced, caring teachers in Shanghai. Classes in the senior school will be led by highly qualified, experienced teachers, approximately 90 percent of whom will start the school year in Shanghai. The college continues to work with families whose students are still located abroad, to ensure they receive a Dulwich education online, even if they cannot be on campus.
Since 2003, Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong has been a leading international school. We look forward to the 2020-21 year, providing all students quality academics with high expectations and standards.
(This article is contributed by Caroline Taylor, head of college at Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong.)