UPDATE 14 januari 2021
Dear Parents and Students,
It is time for another letter after the government press conference last Tuesday.
It is now clear that it will take at least a few more weeks before school reopens. For (pre) exam students and our reception classes, they still receive lessons at school “where possible and feasible”, whereby from now on students must also keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other.
The choice to keep the schools closed is understandable. The numbers of infections in the Netherlands are still high and the new variant of the corona virus is rapidly spreading in England and Ireland. That could just happen in the Netherlands if things go wrong.
Fortunately, the number of infected students and colleagues at our school has been very low for weeks (counting on one hand) and we would very much like to keep it that way.
New compared to last week is that students must also keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. That is understandable, but to be honest it is also a major setback. With a distance of 1.5 meters, on average fewer students fit in a classroom. For many classes, this means that school has to be split up.
Although it is quieter in our building, we would like to remind you again that wearing a mouth mask is still mandatory. The same applies to hygiene measures, such as regularly disinfecting your hands.
The team leaders will mail all students again instructions for the organization in the coming weeks. Read that email very carefully.
We see that the students have mastered working online a bit better than in the first lockdown. We are very happy with that and proud of you!
The students are really all on time, dressed, with the camera on, expected in front of the laptop screen, so always prepare well.
We still think it is a real shame that we are not allowed to see many students at school so much. Getting all lessons at school is what we all ultimately want and that also leads to better preparation for the exam.
Nevertheless, we are convinced that we have agreed on this at the moment the best way to ensure that students have to run up as little arrears as possible.
Hold on everyone! The more we stick to the guidelines, the sooner we can see each other again.
Good luck for the coming weeks.
Kind regards, on behalf of all employees,
Update 2 oktober 2020
As I indicated in my previous e-mail, the developments surrounding the corona pandemic are unfolding at a rapid pace. In addition to the urgent advice of the Amsterdam mayor, the councillor for Education, and from the cabinet to use mouth covering in public areas, there is also an appeal from the secondary school council to wear mouth coverings in schools as a necessary measure (outside of the classroom, during travel and during breaks). In the classroom itself, the mouth covering can be removed).
The school management also received a call from the Amsterdamse Samenwerkingverband at the end of the afternoon to join other Amsterdam schools to work together collectively for this cause; after all, working together on this issue gives clarity for students, parents and staff at the school.
This action has also been initiated based on the belief that working together contributes to the effectiveness of reducing the spread and impact of the corona virus.
As Montessori Lyceum Oostpoort, we have decided to comply with this advice, in the knowledge that there are many different views among students, parents and colleagues about how useful it is to wear the mouth covering.
At the Oostpoort, therefore, also based on the advice of the school council, an urgent recommendation goes into effect from Monday, 5th. October, that everybody wears a mouth covering in the hallways, corridors and square within the school. At the Red Plein the mouth covering can be removed while eating and drinking, but as soon as you walk about it has to be put on.
In the practical lessons, the students and (non)teaching staff should wear mouth coverings if they cannot maintain sufficient distance.
We count on everyone’s cooperation to make the above regulation a success. These are tough and exciting times for everyone, but we are convinced that we shall overcome.
UPDATE 19 augustus
Dear students, dear parents / guardians,
We have made two adjustments to our protocol based on the latest RIVM guidelines (for all corona agreements, see my previous e-mail and our website www.oostpoort.nl);
• The quarantine obligation has been adjusted for everyone from 14 to 10 days.
• The practical subjects already had their own agreements according to the national protocol because keeping a distance of 1.5 meters is not realistic there.
We let the teacher and the student of the practical subject put on a face mask at times when the teacher is giving instructions where the distance of 1.5 meters cannot be kept properly.
Mouth masks for these students are provided by the practical teacher if the student does not have his own mask.
This letter is a follow-up to the letter we emailed and published on our website before the weekend. The arrangements about our reopening from Wednesday 19 August are now known.
Over the past few days, we have worked hard on our own school protocol(regarding COVID-19 pandemic), in which the guidelines from the RIVM and the VO-Council have been our guiding principle. You can refer to the framework with the national guidelines for secondary schools here:
Opening scholen na de zomervakantie – VO-raad
The most important thing is to ensure that the spreading of coronavirus remains as low as possible. The preventive measures we have taken are:
* Do you (or a family member) have mild complaints, such as a cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, mild cough or a body temperature of 38 degrees celsius? And/Or do you have a sudden loss of smell or taste? Get tested and stay at home until the results of the test are known. An appointment for a corona test can be made via tel. 0800-1202.
* If you have a fever and/or shortness of breath, everyone in the household must stay at home.
* Practise good hygiene (wash your hands often with soap and water, cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow, use paper tissues to blow your nose and then throw them away).
* Anyone who has been on vacation in an ‘orange’ or ‘red’ area is not allowed to come to our school until they have been quarantined at home for two weeks. If this is the case, you can report this to the school. (This is not considered as unauthorised absence or truancy)
* Triage (4 questions about health, see appendix) follows before parents/guardians and other adult guests enter the school.
How does Montessori Lyceum Oostpoort look from Wednesday, 19 August?
* Students keep 1,5 metres away from (teaching) staff as well as their mates. (Teaching)Staff do the same, by keeping 1,5 metres away from each other. In accordance with RIVM guidelines, an exception may be made for practical or vocational subjects, like sewing or cooking. If it is really necessary, a mouth mask must be worn and afterwards, hand washing is of extra importance.
* There are separate walking routes for students and staff so that they do not have to ‘touch’ each other. Staff use the staircase.
* The quadrangle is reserved for staff. There is also an additional staff entrance and exit. There is a temporary extra teachers’ room next to the media or library (between the 7th. and 8th. floor).
* Teachers who fall into the vulnerable target group can teach their lessons remotely, or online, at the time of the normal class schedule. Another colleague is present in the classroom with the class pupils, and that colleague supports the online lesson of the remote teacher.
Fresh air and ventilation are important, perhaps more important than we ever realise.
Our school building meets the requirements of the Building regulation and our mechanical ventilation was checked and found to be in order last week. We turn this mechanical ventilation on permanently and at full power.
In addition, we open the windows as often as possible and ‘air-clean’ the squares, corridors and rooms regularly. We do not use air conditions and mobile fans.
Again, we are preparing for the cooler period, when it will be less easy to open the windows frequently.
I realise that it will be exciting for you to start again, but we are doing everything we can to organise everything as safely as possible for everyone. If you have any questions, you are more than welcome to send them to my mail: email@example.com. I shall contact you so that we can discuss them.
Finally, I wish everyone a very successful start of the new academic year and we are going to make it a good year despite the limitations COVID-19 has caused.