Dear Students, Parents and Guardians,
Hopefully the letter from ESF yesterday about their “Triple Assistance Package” for financial support was welcome news for our families. For your convenience we have posted below the relevant ESF communications. There are three options available for families depending on their financial circumstances. With regard to the 45% fee reduction for June please be aware of the May 7th deadline. Please check your Gateway enotice for details of this option. ESF Centre has a team on hand to answer any questions parents may have. Please contact them at covid19relief@esfcentre.
As you will be aware we had intended to hold our CAS Week 2020 in November. Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the global pandemic from both a public health and an economic perspective we have decided to cancel the international component of next academic year’s CAS Week. While this is regrettable we feel it is necessary. It is unclear when international travel and the associated free movement of travellers will be possible. Equally there are too many financial risks associated with the payment of deposits to travel, tour and airline companies at the moment. For now we will keep CAS Week on our calendar for Nov 2020. We will review the health situation when we return in August and may decide then to run a Hong Kong specific CAS Week for students in November. We are aware that next year’s Year 12 students will therefore miss out on their final CAS Week experience. If CAS Week 2021 returns as normal we would prioritise those Year 13 students for international trips if they are interested.
Going forward please note the following:
1) As you will be aware Zoom attracted a lot of media attention over the Easter holiday in regard to security. You will have received a letter from ESF Director Charles Caldwell highlighting what ESF has done to address these issues and ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. The STC ICT team has implemented all of those recommendations and all teachers interacting with students via Zoom are using the licensed version only and using ‘waiting room’ function to manage online classes. Along with our ESF colleagues we will continue to monitor this situation.
2) Nine of our Year 9 students were due to join the six week ESF Limitless programme in Australia starting Mid-May. Regrettably ESF Limitless has had to be cancelled for this academic year.
3) We wrote to our Year 12 families last week to let them know that the Year 12 formal May examinations would not be held this year. In-class timed assignments will continue as needed and teachers have lots of assessment data to provide students with a Year 12 working grade at the end of the academic year. University Predicted Grades will be completed as normal in Sept/Oct 2020. This has been well-received by students in recognition of their time out of school and the need to prioritise face-to-face instruction once we return to regular classes.
4) We also sent a lengthy communication to Year 11 parents/guardians last week detailing how I/GCSE examination boards will award final grades. While Year 11 students have now finished their I/GCSE courses, teachers have not yet completed work required by the I/GCSE examination boards. Currently teachers are working very hard reviewing the very large amount of assessment data gathered over the past two years of the course and then meeting in subject teams to discuss the rank order of 168 students according to each grade category. We intend to give our teachers sufficient time and space to do this important work well. When complete we look forward to engaging with our Year 11 students in Term 3. Mrs. Parry and Ms. Fagan also hosted a Zoom Q&A session this morning for Year 11 students about their I/GCSE final grade award which allowed us to address some specific student concerns.
5) The Term 3 programme for Year 11 students will be focused on preparing students for Year 12 IB study. The programme will be introduced on Monday May 4th and students will be given pre-reading in advance of a May 11th start to lessons with teachers. There will be both a subject-specific focus to sessions as well as more holistic sessions offered to students over the course of May and June. We would recommend all Year 11 students participate in this programme.
6) I/GCSE parents/guardians should ensure they settle the Year 11 I/GCSE examination fee with our Finance Office. We are hoping there may be some refund to fees by the I/GCSE examination boards and the IB but the degree of the reduction is unclear. Once we know more we will be making refunds to Years 13 & 11 parents/guardians on any unspent examination fees. This is likely to come in June.
7) Mrs Parry is putting together a Term 3 programme for our Year 13 students. The focus of this will be on life after IB and will focus on enabling the students to stay connected to us and to each other. We have also reached out to alumni to offer career advice and support to our graduating class. If any parent would like to offer a session to our Year 13 students please contact Mrs Parry (firstname.lastname@example.org).
8) Mrs Parry has also written to all students inviting them to attend our Term 3 ASA programme. As part of this we are also moving ahead with Glee. This is one of our signature events of the year and House Leaders are currently encouraging students to participate.
9) Work is also ongoing for our Year 6 to Year 7 transition programme. A Zoom Q&A session with Year 6 parents will be hosted by the PTSA. If any parent would like to get involved please get in touch with our PTSA.
10) The Sha Tin College Student Council continues to be very active and will be writing to you soon in regard to a fundraising initiative for refugee families in Hong Kong. Our staff are so proud of our students with this initiative. Look out for a letter from them in the near future.
As you will be noticing in the media there are now moves being made towards a return to school for students. Further details will come in due course but I know I speak for all staff who look forward to having school life return to some semblance of normal in the near future.
In the meantime thank you for your continued support of the College.
Keep safe and well and have a wonderful holiday weekend!
More Information on the Triple Assistance Package