This week we have received feedback from many families surrounding a variety of topics. We are so grateful to our community for the transparent communication that occurs. As a school, we strongly value our partnership
with our families as they offer multiple perspectives and directly benefit our MYIS community. The partnerships between home and school provide the foundation to support students’ learning, growth, health and well-being.
Studies show that when we feel psychologically safe we are able to achieve more success. “The degree to which individuals feel comfortable taking positive interpersonal risks (such as trying something new) is known as psychological safety. When individuals feel psychologically safe, they can exercise their agency to engage in experiences and interactions throughout life.”
As a school whose mission is to “provide a challenging program that balances the body, mind, and soul” we place emphasis on ensuring all of our students feel safe and happy at school. After eight months working from home during a time that many students were isolated from their peers, we wanted to ensure that we focused on how we could support our students and build a sense of belonging and psychological safety in their return to the classroom. After two complete weeks on campus it is wonderful to see the students beginning to feel comfortable in their classroom environments and to hear teachers sharing about the increased level of engagement and positive interactions.
The article “5 Ways to Support Social–Emotional Development in Early Childhood” provides some strong examples of strategies that can be tried at home and in the classroom. We encourage you to read this article and welcome any questions or comments you may have.
School hygiene and cleanliness is an area of priority and focus for us. Currently, the cleaning procedures include:
- Thai Staff clean floors and surfaces both before and after class
- The cleaning staff are trained on all of the increased protocols, including frequency, identifying high touch surfaces, cleaning schedule and the correct composition of the cleaning liquid.
- Cleaning and disinfection measures have been established
- Areas of “high-touch” have been identified and a form highlights these areas to be cleaned and ticked off, following the departure of each bubble.
- Roles and responsibilities are very clearly defined so that each area of the school is allocated to one member of the Thai operations team for cleaning. This reduces the contact between people and increases the strength of our “bubble and seal” protocols.
However, we agree that more attention should be given to the cleaning of the classrooms and learning environments. On Thursday, Ms Khanum met with the staff management team and revisited the increased cleaning protocols that started when we returned to campus. This information has been shared with our cleaning staff and teachers. All classrooms and shared learning environments will be deep cleaned this weekend, including the air conditioners filtration system.
We are so proud of our MYIS community for the commitment shown to wearing their masks. It is an important step towards protecting ourselves from infection. When we look at the guidelines for mask-wearing, we refer to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They recommend “indoor masking for all individuals age 2 years and older, including students, teachers, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status”.
Currently, our teachers give the students the choice of whether they wear their masks outside or not. Following recent discussions as a school we will be:
- encouraging students to have “mask-free” breaks throughout the day when they are both eating and playing outside.
- Changing masks upon their return to the classroom after lunch.
As with the masks, we are extremely proud of the parent community for how vigilant they are being in ensuring students stay home if they show any cold and flu symptoms. This week we had a number of students who were kept at home due to a “runny nose” and for this we are extremely grateful. It highlights the importance of taking strict preventative measures in keeping our campus safe and healthy.
In the past, at MYIS we have been happy to be able to supply our students with lunch and snack free of charge. However, over time inflation has meant that the cost involved in doing this is a luxury that is no longer sustainable. With the school tuition fees not increasing in the last several years, it was decided by the board to begin charging a minimal fee for snack and lunch. In these discussions, the important role that school meal times play in our students’ development was highlighted. With a “family style” meal environment, students are taught about hygiene, table manners, self-management, communication and social skills. For this reason it is important that all students are involved in the school lunch program.
We hope you all enjoyed your conference this week, celebrating the successes of your child. Please continue to reach out with any questions you may have.
Have a safe and healthy weekend.
Mel, Tahireh and Khanum