10 Mar 2021

Resumption of Face-to-Face Classes

Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Staff,

As you are aware from communications last week, ESF undertook for all staff to participate in COVID 19 testing in response to the EDB invitation to resume face-to-face classes for 100% of students for a half day.

1) I am delighted to be able to report that all staff undertook COVID 19 testing on Monday morning. I was informed yesterday evening that all tests returned a negative result.  As such I have applied to EDB this morning to request approval for school to resume on Monday March 15th for all year levels for a half day. This request has been approved.

2) While we are operating a half day schedule in line with EDB guidelines, adjustments we have made to the daily schedule mean all students will be taught all classes face-to-face. The Years 10-13 daily schedule remains unchanged. While these students find the schedule physically demanding they are able to regulate and manage their physical and emotional needs.

The Years 7-9 daily schedule has been adjusted so that students are leaving campus at 1.30. I recognise this is a very intense day for this age of child and their ability to manage their physical and emotional needs when they are tired and perhaps hungry, is challenging for them.  As such we have scheduled two breaks of 20 and 15 minutes to enable them to snack and move about. There will be no online period 5 class as this lesson will take place face-to-face.

We are open to feedback from parents of all year levels about the timings of the day. Please see below for the daily schedule.

3) I know some families will be concerned about our health and safety procedures. These are now well-rehearsed and rigorous at Sha Tin College and include regular classroom disinfection, mandatory mask wearing, temperature checking, access to sanitiser or hand washing. There are reminders throughout the campus about the measures students and staff need to maintain to protect themselves. Middle and Senior School students are on different breaktimes to minimise numbers of students out of class.  A reminder, that student temperature should be submitted via the App prior to coming to school each day.

4) EDB guidelines are clear that students cannot have lunch on campus. The removal of face masks to eat increases virus transmission risk.  As such the canteen will be closed and students will not have access to the hall during break times. Students are encouraged to move about in the open air and take the opportunity for a comfort break. Students will be allowed to eat small, easy-to-manage, bite-sized snacks. Containers of food or sandwiches that are difficult to eat are not allowed. Please ensure your child has enough healthy snacks with them so they do not get hungry.

5)  The school buses are aware of the daily schedule and will operate as normal.

As I am sure you will appreciate, it has been a monumental effort to implement testing and get approved to open at full capacity.  I know our families will join me in thanking our staff for their huge commitment once again, to their students and to the school.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back on campus bright and early on Monday morning!

Kind regards.

Carol Larkin