Head of School Update, July 16: School Year Start, August 10 – Planning for All Scenarios

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    Dear SSIS Parents,

    I hope that this email finds you and your families in good health and good spirits despite all the challenges that we are facing in the world today, and particularly here in HCMC at this time.

    Whether you are in a lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City, spending your time outside the city, or perhaps even outside the country, I hope you will find today’s update helpful. As the 2021-2022 school year approaches, you can expect weekly updates on the start-up of the school year and other important matters.

    New Faculty

    We are excited to have added new faculty to our list, whom you can acquaint yourself with at the bottom of this updated eNews post. Despite the lockdown, the majority of the teachers coming from abroad have arrived safely in Vietnam and are well into their quarantine requirements. A few teachers are delayed due to lockdown restrictions around the world and will provide in-class support for those teachers who will not yet be on campus when school starts.

    Faculty & Staff Vaccinations

    You may wonder if our faculty and staff have had the opportunity to get vaccinated this summer. Over 75% of our faculty and staff received their first vaccine dose this summer, thanks to the support and generosity of the Vietnamese government. We are awaiting confirmation of the scheduling of the second dose.

    Very strict health and safety measures will be in place when we are allowed to return to physical school, in consideration of students’ health and unvaccinated adults, and in light of the virulence of the Delta and other future variants.

    School Year Start, August 10: Planning for All Scenarios

    As we look towards the beginning of the school year, we are preparing for a remote and online orientation. At this stage, it is too early to know what the situation will be on August 10, when students are due to start. However, it is important that we start preparing ourselves for a potential Virtual School start to the school year. Our Senior Leadership team is continuing to monitor the situation and look at possible scenarios.

    At this time, I will answer a few of the questions I have received from you, and you can expect lots of further communication about the start-up of the school year from your divisional principals and from me.

    Q: Will school start virtually? At this time, we know that we will conduct faculty and new student orientation virtually. However, we do not yet know if school will start virtually or physically on August 10.

    Based on the current COVID outbreak in HCMC, we must be prepared for starting virtually, and we are prepared. We will make sure that you have all the information and support you need to ensure that your children also are ready.

    Q: My child will not be back on time for a physical August 10 start-up, will there be virtual support for my child? Yes, there will be support for all students, whether physically in Vietnam or overseas. A Remote Learning Support Teacher will be assigned to each division at the start of the year to support students who are still making their way back to Vietnam. This teacher’s responsibilities will be to ensure that the students learning remotely stay connected to the school, understand what they have to do, and monitor that the students are completing their work. If you suspect or know that your child will be delayed getting back to HCMC, please complete this form, and we will be in direct communication with you.

    If you have any concerns about your child and the start of the school year, do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s principal. As a community, we have worked very successfully and collaboratively through these past 18 months of COVID-related challenges, and we will continue to support you and your children to the best of our ability through this difficult time. Do not hesitate to reach out to us.

    All good wishes,

    Dr. Catriona Moran
    Head of School