Are You Ready for the New School Year?
At Creative Secondary School, we welcome all students starting or continuing their learning journey with us after the 2020 summer vacation. We are most ready to provide you high quality, diverse IB & HKDSE curricula delivered through innovative learning modes in a 100% safe and secure atmosphere.
Arrangements for the Coming School Year
In view of the developments in the COVID-19 epidemic, the Education Bureau has instructed schools in Hong Kong to provide all classes online and so our classes will commence on 19 August 2020 as planned. High standards of safety and hygiene measures have been implemented across the school to ensure the well-being of students, staff and visitors should they need to come back on campus. We will continuously keep you updated with both the virtual and physical class arrangements according to the health guidelines recommended by the Centre for Health Protection. Please refer to our school website for the latest information and updates.
Planning The Way Ahead
The Executive Leadership Team continues to meet to discuss and plan for the resumption of school and to plan for various scenarios up to the end of first term (16 October 2020). Three principles coming from this meeting which informed our discussions were:
· a need to enhance support for staff and students;
· to ensure an easy transition between online learning and the eventual resumption of face-to-face classes:
· to offer the broadest range of lesson types and activities to instill a sense of normalcy and high-quality schooling.
Ms. Cooper, Mr. O’Leary, Mr. Yu and Mr. Poon will be reaching out to you over the next 10 days to discuss issues related to their areas and to ensure you are made aware of arrangements for our new term. Please ensure that you check your emails regularly for updates as well as the school website.
Connections with Parents and Students
Our connection with parents is one of our top priorities as we see this as an essential way to provide your child with the best quality education possible. We will use socially distant practices and online communication as we resume classes and beyond. Your safety and well-being are at the core of everything we do but we will not allow the epidemic to disrupt our communication with parents and students.
Strengthening our Digital Infrastructure
The school has ordered (and hopes to receive on time ) additional MacBooks to ensure all staff have the digital tools they need to deliver their lessons online. The IT Support Team has relocated to Room 4B03 to better support students and staff both when they are on campus and at home. All school owned as well as student owned iOS and OS devices will have JAMF (a Mobile Device Management System) so that passcodes for access to the wifi network as well as software can be pushed to devices, anywhere, anytime.
The Wifi network has been reviewed and improved with work continuing to further improve it. We are now preparing to better facilitate practical lessons via online classes by preparing video streaming equipment in targeted spaces around the school such as in labs, creative arts and technology spaces. More information on these will be given to students during year level assemblies which will be streamed to you all between 19-21 August 2020 according to our first week schedule which will be uploaded to the school website on 18 August 2020 at 4pm.
Returning to a New Normal
Our return to School on August 19 will resemble more a school day than has been previously possible. We have listened to your feedback and that of students and staff. Our new school day will begin with tutor time starting at 8:20am with tutors online from 8:15am onwards. Students who are not present in tutor time by 8:25am will be marked LATE if they come online during tutor time after 8:25am and will be marked ABSENT from 8:35am onwards. Online lessons will begin promptly according to the timetable and students' engagement will continue to be monitored as it was last year with teachers also recording in-class absences.
Learning and Teaching will be conducted in-person when it is safe for both students and staff, and we expect to offer a significant amount of in-person teaching over the academic year. However, at the moment, in-person education – particularly in the earlier part of the year – will be combined through engaging online lessons and activities that draw on the rich resources available through our online classrooms, library and library data bases and resource banks.
Supporting Our Students, Supporting Our Staff
We will continue to provide needs-assessed professional development for staff and support for students and staff via both online and socially distant, campus-based support mechanisms to endeavour to constantly improve the quality of learning and teaching possible.
Our PGP and House Tutor work will resume. Support services such as counselling, SEN support as well as Gifted Education programmes will also recommence. Certain CCAs will be proposed and run subject to numerous restrictions. We must use all our strength to find a new normal in all of this uncertainty and to allow all to thrive in new and exciting situations.
The Way Forward
Engaging alternatives to larger group teaching and lessons will be offered mostly online at least for the first term until 16 October 2020. We are currently exploring the format of examinations and assessments for the remainder of the year, and it is likely that there will be a mixture of online and in-person examinations. As always, you will be kept informed of the latest developments.
We thank you for entrusting your child’s education with us and hope to build on our excellent learning partnerships with you and your child.
Dr. Anthony Adames