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Head's Lines: PTG Annual General Meeting

A huge thank you to everyone who attended the Annual General Meeting of the PTG last week.

Lots of interesting points were raised as to how we can work together to keep our school community healthy and safe, while continuing to hold as many community activities and cultural celebrations during the year as possible. This kind of participation and involvement by so many members of our parent community fills me with optimism and confidence that together we can make this school year a special one.

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Launching Term 1 ECAs

Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs) started today. The afternoon brought plenty of excitement around the school as students headed to all the different locations, both on-campus and off, of the activities they signed up for over the past week. It is great to see so many young people taking part in the offerings across both school campuses. You can read more about the much anticipated launch of our after school programmes in the Sport  and ECAs sections below.

Keeping our School Community Safe and Healthy

The way Thailand has handled the coronavirus pandemic has been exceptional, and we are all glad we are living in a country where the infection rate remains very low. Under these conditions, it is easy for us to become complacent in following precautions to ensure our community’s health and safety.

Therefore, I ask everyone to continue to be vigilant and to continue to wear their masks, especially when you are on campus. Additionally, as part of the on-site strategies, it would be good for parents to note down where they and their children have been each evening. This is particularly important in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1.

At school, during tutor time in High School and the registration slot with class teachers in Y3-6, we will be asking all children to note down all the places they went the evening before as part of a diary. This type of record could provide the vital information we would need for contact tracing should someone close to our school community or someone within the community contracts the coronavirus.

It is important for all of us to continue to keep each other safe by immediately updating the Health and Travel Declaration Form in Moodle for your family should you be travelling around the country. By storing this information and keeping it up to date, we can support each other better should it ever be required in the future.

We have been carefully looking at all of the events that traditionally take place during the school year. Although the number of coronavirus cases in Thailand remains very low with only a small amount of local transmission, there is still the need to be extra careful to preserve this delicate state. Therefore, as we look at each event, we will be adapting the format and manner in which these gatherings are conducted, always acting in such a way to preserve our school community’s safety and health.

Much discussion has also taken place regarding our annual Residentials Trips that occur across the year. Under the present circumstances, we feel that we should not undertake these Year Groups Residentials this year. Doing so will remove the potential difficulties of children becoming ill while they are travelling off site and away from the families.

I know many families and especially our students will be disappointed with this decision, but given the current pandemic state around the world and the uncertainty about how things will progress throughout the year, it seems the right decision to make at this time. We hope that this decision will also help to relieve the financial burden that many of our families may be feeling, since they will not be required to pay for these Residentials on top of this year’s school fees.

If, as we hope, there is no second wave of the virus in Thailand and a vaccine is developed in the near future, we may be able to offer opportunities for voluntary Residentials later in the year.

Primary Parking

Thank you for everyone's patience as we have gradually improved the flow of the cars helping children arrive and depart from school. It has been great to see so many children being dropped off at the Key Stage 2 Drop-off Point, all ready to jump out of the car and fully prepared to head into school with all their things for the day.

As I mentioned in a previous week’s article, It would improve things even further if those families arriving at school with personal drivers would refrain from parking in the Main Car Park. Instead, it would be better if these drivers would exit out of the Car Park and come back later to pick up parents should this be required. This will allow for an even better flow of traffic, and allow parents of our youngest children to be able to find parking spots quickly, escort these tiny tots to the school entrance, and hand them over to our waiting school staff much more smoothly. This has really worked effectively thus far, and increased cooperation is getting better and better each day. Greater numbers of personal drivers not parking in the Main Car Park would lead to even better results for all of us.

At the moment Soi 20 is still being used by some families to drop off their children in the morning. It would be much more helpful if parents or drivers would instead use the Main Car Park entrance through Soi 20/1 to drop off students. The long line of cars in Soi 20 is adversely affecting the operations of the free Shuttle Bus Service the school provides for parents and children going to the High School, Ekkamai BTS (at Gateway Shopping Mall), or MaxValu Sukhumvit 71 - the latter service for parents returning to their parked cars in that lot. Moreover, the residents of this soi, as well as the surrounding sois, have complained about cars from our school community parking inappropriately and blocking egress into their home. It is understandably frustrating for these residents not to be able to leave their own homes in the morning.  A solution would be for our community to refrain from using Soi 20 as a drop off point or a place to park/leave vehicles idling in. The impending risk we face as our school community is that we will be formally asked by the authorities and the Police to close the Soi 20 gate, adversely affecting our community’s access to school, as well as our ability to provide a timely and effective shuttle bus service.

I sincerely ask everyone to consider this problem from the perspective of our entire community and switch to using the Main Car Park Entrance via Soi 20/1 as a drop-off point instead of regularly relying on Soi 20. 

School Calendar 2020/2021

Over a month ago, it was announced that 4th and 7th of September would be compensation holidays to replace those missed during Songkran or the Thai New Year. To make up for these unexpected holidays, the calendar for 2020-2021 has been updated and is available here.

For parents with enquiries about Primary School, please contact officeps@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 381-2387-8.

For parents with enquiries about High School, please contact officehs@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 056-9555.