ISB Weekly - February 20, 2020

ISB Weekly

 

 
Welcome to the ISB Weekly. We hope you and your family are safe and well as the coronavirus outbreak has led to the temporary closure of the campus and a period of eLearning. This email has all the information you need on what is happening at ISB, as we do our best to maintain as many school operations as possible (like the recent ISB alumni reunion in New York, pictured).

Latest on Coronavirus – Re-opening, Spring Break, Travel Survey

You have received and will continue to receive a significant amount of information from ISB as we face a period of eLearning and campus closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. The ISB Weekly will include an update every Thursday. This coronavirus section of Dragons’ Gate also holds an FAQ page for parents, a coronavirus news archive, and more information on this rapidly developing situation. Please check it regularly for updates.
 
Thanks for your engagement and patience during our first three weeks of eLearning. Please remember we are now offering two different times for online support from teachers: 9:00 am to 12:00 noon (Beijing time) and 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Beijing time) Monday through Friday.
 
This is a period of uncertainty, and ISB is in close communication with government leaders as they determine when the ISB campus will reopen and our onsite classes will resume. At this time, there is no date confirmed for the resumption of onsite classes at ISB. Be advised that ISB will provide a notice of the resumption of onsite classes at least 18 days in advance. As a result, there is no need for employees or families outside of Beijing to return to Beijing until ISB has provided this notice. As soon as we receive information about the approved resumption of onsite classes at ISB, it will be shared with the entire community immediately.
 
The school leadership team and Board of Trustees have decided to keep Spring Break as currently published in our calendar (March 30 to April 3 inclusive). Based on feedback from parents, students, and teachers, this decision to retain a break after a lengthy period of eLearning has been made with the social-emotional health and well-being of the entire community in mind.
 
Please be reminded that families should complete this form for any changes/updates to your current location or expected travel to and from Beijing. ISB staff are asked to complete a staff version of the form. The survey has been requested by the Beijing authorities.

Virtual Meeting With Head of School

During the campus closure, parents will have an opportunity every week to interact with Head of School Patrick Hurworth through online video conferencing platform Zoom. You can provide Mr. Hurworth with feedback and ask questions which will help guide how we operate in coming weeks. This week’s virtual meeting will be between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm (Beijing time) today – Thursday, February 20.

The capacity for this Zoom meeting is 100 people and access will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
Please see this document for your Zoom meeting invitation with the details you will need to join today’s meeting, and this document if you need instructions on how to download and use Zoom.

Parent Education and Support

Aware of the impact this period of eLearning has had on parents, we’ve developed resources on Dragons’ Gate to help you support your children. These include Elementary and Middle/High School daily planners, mindfulness activities, blog posts and more. We will continue to add to these resources as we receive feedback from students and parents, and we hope you can visit the Dragons’ Gate pages regularly.

Counselor Support and Tips on eLearning

Our thoughts are with you and your families as disturbing news of the coronavirus continues to circulate and the situation develops rapidly. Please read these tips from the ISB counseling team on how to manage any resulting fears your children have and on how to be successful with eLearning. And please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s counselor at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Maintaining Regular Attendance for ISB Credit

As is school policy, Elementary, Middle, and High School students must maintain regular school attendance in order to earn credit for grade completion. In this time of campus closure, daily student absences from eLearning participation will appear on a student’s attendance record as absences from school. If a student is ill and/or unable to participate in their eLearning program for the day, we ask that parents notify the ES, MS, or HS Offices prior to the start of the student’s school day by filling out this form. Please know that extended absences or lack of completed assigned work may leave a student ineligible for credited grade level completion.

Should you have any questions regarding student eLearning attendance during this time of campus closure, please contact your student’s ES, MS, and/or HS Office(s).

Option to Temporarily Enroll in Another Accredited School

During this time of campus closure, families may choose to discontinue ISB eLearning in favor of temporarily enrolling in another accredited school. Interested families must notify the school by logging into PowerSchool, clicking the “E-learning Temp Withdrawal Form” tab on the left-hand side of the homepage, filling out and submitting the form.
 
An official copy of the student’s certificate of attendance will be required upon the student’s return to campus in order to remove the student’s recorded ISB absences from his/her official attendance record. 
 
Should you have any questions regarding this option to temporarily enroll in another accredited school, please contact the Admissions Office at admission@isb.bj.edu.cn.

Board of Trustees Election

For the 2020-2021 school year, there will be three Elected Trustee vacancies. Eligible parents who have the time, energy, and interest to work on behalf of ISB are welcome to place their names in nomination. The nomination period for candidates will open on Thursday, February 27. Full information on the election process, including on candidate eligibility, will be found on the Board Election page of Dragons’ Gate in due course. Please see other key dates below:
  • Interested parents are required to attend one of two mandatory candidate workshops: Saturday, March 7 at 9:00 am (Beijing time, venue to be confirmed); Monday, March 9 at 6:00 pm (Beijing time, venue to be confirmed)
  • Nominations close: Wednesday, March 18 at 12:00 noon (Beijing time)

Five-Star Sports Online Exercise Course

The campus including Fitness and Tennis Center may be temporarily closed, but ISB coaches are still sweating to keep students active and entertained. Our partner Five-Star Sports is offering a daily online exercise course centred around basketball and fitness. All the videos are available on Tencent and YouTube. They are delivered in English with Chinese and English subtitles.

ISB’s 40th Anniversary – Tell Us Your Stories, Design the Logo

Looking for ways to stay busy and connect with ISB in this period of campus closure? For the school’s 40th anniversary next year, our entire community can participate in a series of activities and events to celebrate this monumental occasion. Check out the Celebrating 40 web page for more details. Our first celebratory activity is the collection of your fondest ISB memories, stories, and photos. We are now accepting submissions through our web page. Selected photos will be featured in an anniversary photo exhibition and memory book.
 
You are also invited to join the 40th Anniversary Logo Design Competition. Designs must be on the theme of the anniversary or ISB’s refreshed Vision statement, “Empowered with Purpose and Compassion.” Submit designs digitally via this form or by email to Celebrating40@isb.bj.edu.cn, or in hard-copy format to the Advancement Office (Room 2221) by the deadline of February 29.
 
Entries will be judged in three categories: ISB students (Please tell us grade as of August 2020); ISB parents and staff; and ISB alumni including former staff and parents (Tell us graduation class or years at ISB). The winner of each category will get a prize and their design will be featured in ISB social media. The overall winner be chosen from the three category winners.
 
Information correct at time of publication. Check the Calendar
for updates and to see what else is coming up at ISB.
 
 

Calendar Re-shuffle for eLearning

Tomorrow – Friday, February 21 is a Staff Professional Development Day, and there will be no new work assigned for students on this day. Teachers will meet virtually and spend the day sharing best practice in eLearning, in order to reinforce our delivery of the curriculum at this unprecedented time of campus closure. Friday, February 28, originally a calendared School Holiday, will be an eLearning day.
 
Because of these changes, the school day rotation has been affected. We will shift the “days” in Elementary School to reflect this change. New days next week as follows. The normal calendared days will resume following February 28.
 
Monday, February 24:  E day
Tuesday, February 25: F day
Wednesday, February 26: A day
Thursday, February 27: B day
Friday, February 28: C day

Second Parent eLearning Survey

We are continuing to collect feedback from teachers, students, and parents regarding the quality and effectiveness of our eLearning program. The second parent survey seeking your feedback can be found here. We have already made adjustments to our program based on the feedback that we have collected, and we will continue to do so.

Grade 5-6 Transition Event

It’s the time to be thinking about next school year, certainly for students moving from Elementary to Middle School. We will hold a special session at 9:00 am (Beijing time) on Tuesday, February 25 through online video conferencing platform Zoom for current Grade 5 parents. Parents will be told what to expect in the coming months in preparation for Middle School, and we will discuss the course choices for students in Grade 6. We hope Grade 5 parents can attend by following this link at 9:00 am on Tuesday and bring your questions. We will record the session for those who cannot attend. Please see this document [link to PDF saved in folder on my Mac, hosted in Mailchimp] if you need instructions on how to download and use Zoom.

ES Parent Coffee Recording

As advertised in the Weekly last Thursday, the Elementary School’s information session scheduled to take place as a coffee morning this week was instead held via online video conference. For anyone who missed it, you can find a recording of the conference and slides from the presentation on Dragons’ Gate.

ES Production Update

Due to time constraints, we will not be able to perform our Elementary School musical, Conundrum!, as originally planned. We will strive to arrange an alternative performance opportunity on our scheduled dates. However, given the fluidity of our current situation, it may be necessary to cancel the performance altogether. We will communicate to families once more information becomes available.

eLearning – Seesaw Instructions

Please remember to check Seesaw daily for your child’s eLearning activities.
 
We have added to Dragons’ Gate comprehensive instructions for parents to follow that include the difference between Seesaw Family and Seesaw Class, a link to download Seesaw Class for Chinese Android users, and the different ways to log in to Clever depending on device (iOS, Android, computer).
 
This Dragons’ Gate page also has instructions for how parents and students can modify their Seesaw notifications settings, depending on if they feel they are getting too many or not enough notifications.
 

Calendar Re-shuffle for eLearning

Tomorrow – Friday, February 21 is a Staff Professional Development Day, and there will be no new work assigned for students on this day. Teachers will meet virtually and spend the day sharing best practice in eLearning, in order to reinforce our delivery of the curriculum at this unprecedented time of campus closure. Friday, February 28, originally a calendared School Holiday, will be an eLearning day.
 
Because of these changes, the school day rotation has been affected. We will shift the “days” in Middle School to reflect this change. New days next week are as follows. The normal calendared days will resume following February 28.
 
Monday, February 24: Day 3​
Tuesday, February 25: Day 4​
Wednesday, February 26: Day 5​
Thursday, February 27: Day 6​
Friday, February 28: Day 7​

Second Parent eLearning Survey

We are continuing to collect feedback from teachers, students, and parents regarding the quality and effectiveness of our eLearning program. The second parent survey seeking your feedback can be found here. We have already made adjustments to our program based on the feedback that we have collected, and we will continue to do so.

eLearning – A Note From MS Principal Jon Hill

Students in the Middle School have engaged well with eLearning this week. We have conducted student surveys for the last two weeks and teachers are making adjustments to better serve the needs of students and families as we continue. We’re extremely thankful for our parent community, who have supported eLearning at home by providing quiet workspaces, access to the internet, and guidance for students on setting a schedule that ensures eLearning tasks can be done on time. For the majority of our students, eLearning is working very well! If you or your child is still finding eLearning difficult, please contact your child’s teachers or counselor.

MS Parent Coffee Recording

As advertised in the Weekly last Thursday, the Middle School’s information session scheduled to take place as a coffee morning this week was instead held via online video conference. For anyone who missed it, you can find a recording of the conference and slides from the presentation on Dragons’ Gate.

 

 

eLearning – Special Support for Grade 12

We thank you for your understanding as we work through these extraordinary circumstances. We are fully aware that you may be anxious about your daughter or son finishing the year and being supported in their learning. We will maintain eLearning for as long as we have students enrolled in a course who cannot attend face-to-face classes. Please know we will continue to support all Grade 12 students, whether they are IB Diploma or non-Diploma students, to complete all their classes so they will graduate on time and ensure they are not disadvantaged.
 
We will be reaching out to universities and colleges to let them know about our circumstances and to ask them to take this into consideration when evaluating our students. The admissions officers we’ve already been in touch with have been very understanding of what our students are facing.
 
ISB would recommend at this stage that students in Grade 12 remain enrolled with us, as we could be back in session in a number of weeks (best-case scenario). This will allow them to complete needed credits and finish up course work. Please be aware that we have been in communication with the IBO and we are meeting all internal assessment dates; we have tentative plans for rescheduling any internal exams that are still pending, and we plan on running IB exams in May as scheduled.
 
If you choose to transfer, it may be a challenge to find a matching schedule at a new school. We can meet students’ needs online and if a student is unable to return to Beijing or we have not re-opened by the time exams are approaching, we can guide you through the steps to get your daughter or son registered with a school in another country. At the same time, we respect your decision and we will support your transition if you choose to transfer to another school.
 
For full details of how we are supporting students, including those in Grade 12, please click here.

Calendar Re-shuffle for eLearning

Tomorrow – Friday, February 21 is a Staff Professional Development Day, and there will be no new work assigned for students on this day. Teachers will meet virtually and spend the day sharing best practice in eLearning, in order to reinforce our delivery of the curriculum at this unprecedented time of campus closure. Friday, February 28, originally a calendared School Holiday, will be an eLearning day.
 
Because of these changes, the school day rotation has been affected. We will shift the “days” in High School to reflect this change. New days next week are as follows. The normal calendared days will resume following February 28.
 
Monday, February 24: Day 3​
Tuesday, February 25: Day 4​
Wednesday, February 26: Day 5​
Thursday, February 27: Day 6​
Friday, February 28: Day 7​

Second Parent eLearning Survey

We are continuing to collect feedback from teachers, students, and parents regarding the quality and effectiveness of our eLearning program. The second parent survey seeking your feedback can be found here. We have already made adjustments to our program based on the feedback that we have collected, and we will continue to do so.

eLearning – DX Reminder

Please continue to encourage your daughters and sons to keep up with DX classes online assignments as their engagement is how we can keep attendance during this time.

 

Information correct at time of publication. Check the Calendar 
for updates and to see what else is coming up at ISB.

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