COVID-19: Returning to Campus
NIS is a campus-based school, and the joy of our school is coming together to learn from each other, each day. However, this is made difficult with the many issues surrounding safety during this coronavirus pandemic. Our challenge during this pandemic has therefore not only been how we can deliver our schooling online, but also answering the key question of when and how we can safely transition back to full campus-based learning?
As families will know, on April 10, when the State of Emergency was originally called for Aichi we took the decision to continue delivering our academic program online through to the end of the school year. This decision allowed our teachers to plan for a continuity of safe learning for all students through to the end of the school year.
However, we also stated that it was our intention to bring students back into school for limited, optional, on-campus engagements (separate to the online curriculum) upon the lifting of the State of Emergency in June. With the current COVID-19 case trajectory in Aichi and Japan showing an improving situation and with the State of Emergency ending in Aichi, this gives the school positive momentum as we enter planning for a safe return to campus.
On the side of caution, however, it was clear from data from recent surveys and in our discussions with parents that anxieties still remain in our community and that safety still is high on everyone’s mind. Equally, particularly for those families who are overseas and/or unable to return to campus, honoring our commitment to ensuring that the curriculum stays available online to all students remains very important in these final three weeks of the school year.
Returning to Campus - June, 2020
Plans for a safe, phased return to campus are below. In addition to our core principles that has guided our decisions, information is also available about the bus service, lunch service, classroom distancing and campus safety protocols, etc., along with the precise rotational schedule for attendance. Parents will have been given a link to sign-up to indicate their child’s attendance plans so that we can safely prepare for the arrival of students and our return to campus learning!
We are excited to be bringing students back to campus-learning at long last! It is our aim that by enjoying time together in these last three weeks and by practicing as a community how to conduct school under the safety protocols required for COVID-19, that we will be able not only to celebrate the achievements of this year, but also to be ready for the next.
Of course, we remain careful to follow governmental guidelines and if a sudden spike in cases hits Aichi Prefecture, if we have a case reported in our immediate community and/or we are placed in a state of emergency then we will be ready to pivot back to full online learning once again. However, in the expectation that this will not be necessary, we are thrilled that from June 1 we will finally fill the corridors with the (masked) smiles of our students once more!