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Guidance for School Bus Operations during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Transport Canada has recently released guidelines and recommendations for the safe operation of School Busses during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  This document shares some interesting insights that International Schools who are operating a School Bus Service may want to consider.  The document addresses things to consider before, during and after a trip.

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Safe School Bus Operations - A Round Table Discussion
By invitation - A Round Table Discussion for International Schools offering transportation services who want to learn from other schools around the world as to best practices for operating a safe and efficient transportation service during Covid-19.
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The Change Management journey of reopening the Taipei European School
The Taipei European School closed for the Chinese New Year (January 24th-29th) but did not reopen until February 25th due to COVID-19. The school closed again March 23rd due to concerns about the Coronavirus and reopened again April 20th. Since then the school has remained opened. The one certainty this virus has brought is the need for ongoing change. This can be one of the most difficult challenges schools have ever faced. 

Kerry Nockolds, Director of Admissions and Marketing at Taipei European School, and Greg Varner, Director of Together School, provided insights on how to successfully navigate through change.

See Post for details.
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Dealing with Anxiety
Due to the many new processes and procedures schools are implementing, those that are returning to the school may feel anxious or uncomfortable. Lessons learned from some schools that have reopened include experiences from students and staff as well as approaches to support. See Post for full details.
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Budget Challenges and Suggestions to Manage
Schools that are reopening have provided some insights to manage rising costs. Fixed budgets are now stressed due to the many changes schools must implement such as Room to Zoom implementation, social distancing and health and hygiene requirements. Lessons learned from these schools include the key cost challenges and suggestions on how to mitigate rising costs. See post for full details.
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Recommendations for Access Control
Recommendations for Access Control during the COVID-19 Pandemic were outlined by Mike Johnson, CEO of Clearpath Alerts and Kevin Lloyd, Director of Together School addressing three primary areas for Access Control: Strategy and Policies, Arrivals and Dismissals, Movement on Campus.

As schools reopen, access control has become one of the most important factors enabling schools to reopen, stay open and protect the health and safety of students and staff. Access controls should be implemented based on policies and together facilitate approved access to a school or parts of the school.

See post for more information
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Ongoing Academic Delivery during COVID-19
As schools reopen, they need to adapt learning to meet new requirements resulting from the ongoing pandemic. Effectively implemented Blended Learning has become a necessity, combining online and classroom learning together with a wide number of parameters to consider. Blended Learning is not going away, and it is not clearly defined, not easily managed and not for everyone. The challenges faced with Blended Learning are from an instructional design, organization, and technical perspective. See this post for further insights from Dr. Matt Harris
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Communicating to Parents
Communicating to Parents

Schools that are in the process of reopening have shared some insights. Change is not always welcomed but, in this situation, everyone understands that change is necessary. Lessons learned from these schools include insights on how to structure and deliver communication. See post for full details.
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Effective Communications Poll

Has your school prepared to effectively communicate during the pandemic?
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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” is a quote from Arthur Ashe that the Director of the Copenhagen International School, Sandy Mackenzie, uses as inspiration for the school during this challenging time. The Copenhagen International School reopened its primary school on the 15th April with approximately 350 students and recently opened its doors on 18th May to the rest of the students.

Principal Sabrina Manhart shares her insights and reflections on creating a successful reopening of the primary school at the Copenhagen International School (more details can be found on https://www.copenhageninternational.school/c19/) :

Involve key staff – work collaboratively with leadership group and expand to include operational group including union representative and work environment person

Create guiding principles – protect the safety and health of students and staff in line with governmental guidelines and regulations, provide students with some familiarity of school routines for social/emotional/academic learning and provide clear expectations for teachers and students during this emergency learning environment

Build on the known – keep it simple and be willing to adapt and change

Hold a planning day for staff on campus – ensure a flexible approach to solve issues and involve key staff and partners (e.g. cleaning company) to detail solutions

Communicate regularly with staff and parents – start early, before reopening communicate with parents daily and offer a virtual town hall and then after reopening continue weekly updates  

Sabrina summarized that the reopening was viewed as a success for the entire community. She stressed that no one has done this before; therefore, it is important to work collaboratively with staff, communicate with staff and parents, and embrace the approach “do the best you can with what you have”.


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Room to Zoom Learning

 A few schools that are in the process of reopening have provided some insights. The phased returning of students to schools is being done at different speeds and is often controlled by the government; however, all are facing a similar challenge of how to manage blended learning.

 The concept of Room to Zoom is rapidly becoming part of the new normal for many schools. Lessons learned from these schools include the following key challenges and ways of working:


Agility: flexibility is important to respond – if it is not working it is important to adapt and try something different

Room to Zoom schedule: driven by social distancing, schools are taking different approaches with student rotations including Day 1 / Day 2 or Week 1 / Week 2 or Morning / Afternoon (benefit is no lunch required and time for deep cleaning) and other variations. The considerations include room availability, teacher availability, student class size and governmental requirements. One recommendation is to limit the number of rooms or buildings that students need to move between.

Teachers: Teaching in Room (onsite) or Zoom (online) requires a very different approach from teachers. A recommendation is to have teachers focus on either Room or Zoom. In some countries. teachers with existing conditions or older than a certain age will not be required or allowed to return onsite. This could be an opportunity to use the teachers at home to provide Zoom classes.

Reopening a primary school campus
Reopening a primary school campus – Copenhagen International School share their strategies, challenges and opportunities


21st May 2020, 3pm - 4pm BST

Copenhagen International School is happy to share its reopening story with those who are interested. As requested by the Danish government, the Primary School campus was reopened on April 15 following the guidelines provided by the Danish government. The campus is now in its sixth week with increased cleaning, social distancing and smaller class sizes in place with grades 6-10 joining us on campus this week. Please join us if you are interested in hearing more about how we arrived at this point.


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Good morning as school start reopeining around Europe here sharing some of the dynamics and logistics of the International School of Luxembourg 

Parent FAQ



Video explanation



We will be opewning our Lower School May 25th 2020


John Mikton

Head of Education and Media Technology
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Tips for Cleaning School Buses in the Age of Coronavirus
Some International School children spend as much as 3 hours riding school buses daily. To help protect the health of children, teachers, and staff because of Coronavirus schools must address their cleaning protocols and ensure they are taking every step possible to clean for health.

One of the first areas of focus should be the school buses that transport children every day. They also transport countless amounts of germs. This means a student can contaminate an area as soon as they touch the seat or handrail.

School buses are prone to the spread of infectious diseases such as colds and the flu. The students directly, as well as surfaces such as the seat backs and handrails can also contribute to the further spread of germs. Keeping these areas clean can help prevent germs and the spread of disease.

Other areas of school buses that can become contaminated, and do so regularly, are stability poles and bars in the bus as well as windows and window ledges. Students often put their hands on these areas.

Studies of Coronavirus indicate that the virus can be spread by inhaling germs and touching contaminated surfaces. So, what steps should school administrators and school bus companies now take to help ensure the buses their students ride in are as hygienically clean as possible?

1.   Conduct a high-touch audit. Some high-touch areas in buses

2.   Clean floors first. 

3.   Vacuum floors. 

4.   Avoid mops. 

5.   Consider floor-cleaning alternatives. 
6.   Practice two-step cleaning.

7.   Always use microfiber towels. 

8.   Be aware: Activated cleaning may be needed. 

From Robert Kravitz a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry.
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Hi Mike,  Kevin,

We have purchased a machine, like they are using at the airports, where the students are screened by a camera type machine whereby if they are over 37.5 they will be asked to step aside and arrangements will be made with parents for the child to be collected. We have an isolation room, separate form the medical office, specifically for children that record a temperature and need to be taken home. There are some schools here in Taiwan that have the isolation as a tent in an outside location, however we have set this up in the administrative building, not the teaching areas. For the Primary school we also do class by class temperature checks 2 times a day, conducted by a learning assistant. We record the classes visited and if any child has a temperature they will be isolated and parents informed to pick them up. 

If you take a look on our FB page we have posts showing all the measures we have introduced, as parents aren't able to come on campus we try to give them information through regular posts on FB. https://www.facebook.com/taipeieuropeanschool/


I will certainly take a look at the International School of Basel on their restrictions.

We are fortunate that in Taiwan the COVID19 has had limited grip, so we are able to be in school, but stringent efforts are implemented until such time as the situation around the world improves.

Insightful demonstration which has raised concerns from school leaders.  This Japanese study says that any airflow, at least 1x per hour lowers the risk of infection.  https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-microdroplets-talking-breathing-spread-covid-19/

Impact of a cough indoor
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