Plans for School Reopening after the Lockdown

To all our parents, students and staff

I hope my message finds you all safe and healthy.

We are now in an increasingly challenging time, a time of great disruption in our lives and the lives of many of our loved ones all around the world.

School

We finished our third full week of distance learning last week. A fellow Head of School has written that it really should be called emergency distance learning because this situation is unprecedented and has demanded from us all a new level of creativity, resilience and mutual understanding. The learning curve for the students and us alike has been significant and we, as educators, understand that without parents help this would not have been possible.

The state of emergency in Romania is subject to a 30-day extension after the current period ends next week and the peak of the outbreak is expected in Romania to be reached around the beginning of May. Some European countries like Austria and Denmark are already planning their exit in the next few weeks. Romania is expected by many to exit the lockdown by Friday 15th May.

There are of course significant uncertainties and anxieties. However, observing the possible movements by the government based on various inputs, the schools governing board has decided to plan ahead, whilst learning from the decisions made by the European Countries that are experiencing the lockdown ahead of Romania, and plan for reopening the school and the restarting of the learning process on our Campus.

We intend to teach our Term 3 face to face on campus. We would also do this with a view to allowing our parents to return fully to work when they are allowed to, to support their businesses and the re-booting of the Romanian economy.

This would entail an elongation of the current ‘break’ without the restart of a full online learning programme, alongside an accompanying change to the calendar dates for the remainder of this academic year.

As a result, we have decided to draft several scenarios for the continuation of the academic year 2019-2020 on-campus and start of the new year 2020-2021. (Since we do not know for sure when it will be possible to restart schooling on campus).

The three scenarios that we anticipate at this point are as follows:

  • Summer Term: Monday, May 18th to Friday, July 17th - Term 1 start: Wednesday, September 2nd (as previously planned
  • Summer Term: Monday, June 1st to Friday, July 31st - Term 1 start: Wednesday, September 9th (with subsequent adjustment to other 2020-2021 calendar dates)
  • Summer Term: Monday 15th June to Friday 14th August - Term 1 start: Monday, September 21st (with subsequent adjustment to other 2020-2021 calendar dates)

Community support during the lockdown and the extended Easter Holidays

We are very aware of the mental strain that this extended period is having and will have on parents, students and staff. We hope that you are joining some of the events that are set up at this point. Meanwhile, we intend to offer some further support for families that we hope will help our community during the lockdown. This will involve recommendations and suggestions for continued studies where appropriate, online community events and organised sessions for our children to engage and socialize with one another. Please bear with us whilst we seek to establish a viable schedule for all children dedicated to the necessities of this period.

The ensured continuation of educational excellence in the future is our foremost priority and we always seek the best possible solutions in which we may ensure the highest quality education and support for all our children. For this reason, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure a continuation and support through this period as needed but also amending our term dates to ensure continued educational security.

Examinations

For examination students, the collation of predicted grades and rankings from teachers will need to be with the examination boards towards the middle of June at the latest.

We will, of course, be working on how we can move forward with your grades and secure you the very best GCSE and A-level results that are possible.

In the meantime I would urge all students in those exam year groups to use some of the additional time that you may have to continue to devise a revision plan for any assessments that may be set within the first few weeks upon a return to school whilst also reading broadly around the subjects that you are taking or will be taking, watching relevant documentaries or programmes. Your teachers will have advice and Mr Porter will, of course, be in contact to give guidance depending on the scenarios as they take shape to assure your continued success. You can certainly use this time though to get ahead or secure knowledge for the next year, whether that is in the sixth form or at university.

We will announce the confirmation of the start of the term as soon as the authorities declare the lockdown lifted or come back to you if there are further delays. We will be preparing the school grounds, so that we can start at any given time after May 4th.

We should all take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return; we will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again; we will meet again. We are and will continue to be here for you.

Please do contact us with any questions, worries, or if you need any sort of support. We encourage open dialogue so please do get in touch

But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to everyone. All of us at BSB wish you an unusual but a happy Easter. I look forward to seeing you all soon in the best of health.

Thank you,

Philip Walters

Headmaster