It is the last day of what is probably the longest school year ever! After the trials of the last 6 months, we are all in need of a well-deserved break, to recharge and get ready for the academic year 2020-21. No one could have predicted the events that have happened, and are still happening in many communities around the world. We have all suffered through and overcome our own challenges, and we have all learned a great deal in the process. I hope that the situation here in China remains under control, and I wish to thank the authorities, the health services and all of the front-line workers here in Chengdu and the rest of the country for their dedication and support for the health of all of us who live here.
It’s been a change to walk around the school for the past three weeks and only see students from early years. I am very proud of the resilience shown by our youngest children. The have adapted to the extra hour each day and the bus monitors tell me there are many tired and sleepy children each evening on the buses home. They have also adapted to missing friends and new classes and in some cases new teachers. This resilience will ultimately be beneficial for the children as they grow in this ever-changing world. I must also mention the resilience shown by our teachers this year. I’d like to thank them for their enormous dedication to our children and young adults. They have been very thorough this year in ensuring not only that the children are learning under challenging circumstances, but also ensuring that our campus meets the highest levels of safety especially regarding prevention of the spread of infection.
On Wednesday we had a small ceremony to mark SK graduation. This was a nice event for our pupils on campus but we haven’t forgotten our students who were unable to return. A digital copy of the graduation certificate will be sent to all pupils not able to be with us. Each class had a class photograph taken. The links to these photographs will be sent to you by Seesaw.
I spoke yesterday with Grace Gao, on behalf of the LFA, as we look to next year. It was a very productive conversation, where Grace, a long-time and well-respected member of our community, and I discussed issues that may affect the way we start the year in August. I have attached the calendar for the year again with this newsletter, we have made no changes to the originally published calendar and we intend not to - we need as much certainty and consistency as possible during these times. We shared our new teacher Ryan’s introduction last week, and we will share Gisela’s (a second new teacher) introduction today (do subscribe to our school’s official WeChat to see these and more). We will continue to inform you of the new members of our community - though as I have mentioned previously, we are very fortunate that most of our teachers want to stay here at Léman and be part of our school. Class allocations will follow once we have a clearer idea of exactly which children and young adults will be here on August 17th when students return. Our Admissions team continue to collect this information and your timely returning of information is appreciated. Grace and I discussed our desire to ensure classes are balanced, and this not only includes factors such as nationality and gender, but also friendships. We put a great deal of care into our class composition, and will do so again once the borders are fully opened and all members of our community have returned (as a reminder, we will have to reorganise classes once this happens, most probably after the winter holiday).
A lot of what we do will have to change for the foreseeable future - how we organise the uniform shop to enable social distancing and ensure all families can order their uniforms for the year, how we arrange new student orientation and meeting the teacher and how we continue to communicate with parents if our campus remains under the same restrictions. We will have to make greater use of online options, much as we have with our series of parent webinars this spring and summer. As we enter August we will have a better idea of what we can and should do, and this will of course be shared with you. I understand that it would be preferable to know now, but as we cannot guarantee our plans will be allowed to happen, it means we must have a number of options on hand. What is guaranteed is that we are ready with a suitable plan and will share it with you in good time.
The support, patience and understanding of our parents and families is what allows us to be successful during these turbulent times. I feel very grateful for the ongoing support of the LFA and indeed all members of our community, and greatly appreciate the offer of assistance from the LFA to help us with the start of the year. Next year promises to be amazing, I am excited with our team and all of our plans to make our learning experiences even better! The success of your children is our focus, allowing them to be their best and to truly flourish as they grow.
I wish you a truly restful and relaxing summer and hope to welcome many of you back in August - or whenever your flight arrives.