18th February 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope this letter continues to find your family safe and well. We write today, to ensure we maintain good communication with you in regard to any regulatory changes affecting the school during the Coronavirus outbreak and any subsequent changes to our response plans.

We would like to thank those parents who are contacting us to give us feedback on the E-learning that is currently taking place. All responses are read by myself, and issues or questions that they raise are shared by me with our school curriculum managers and with the School Board, as appropriate. If questions or concerns can be immediately resolved, then we are aiming to do that. If questions or concerns are dependent on the future evolving situation in Shanghai, then they may be more challenging for us to have immediate answers, which I am sure parents will respect.

We are though able to update you on some key new aspects to our response plan:

  • Self-Quarantine for returning students, parents and staff

There is still no regulatory requirement for students and parents to be self-quarantined at home after their arrival in Shanghai from overseas or elsewhere in China, unless they have been exposed to key infection areas in China. As previously communicated, some local communities are though applying additional self-quarantine regulations for their residents, of which parents need to be aware.

With new regulations released late last week, staff working in some business environments, such as schools, do though need to undergo 14 days self-quarantine before being allowed back to work. This will therefore apply to any teachers needing to return to Shanghai for the re-opening of the school.

To enable all parents and teachers to have adequate notice of the need to return to Shanghai, and to manage a self-quarantining period, we have decided, along with some other international schools in the city, to now commit to a minimum three-week notice period of the school reopening. The most we can therefore say at this moment in time, is that we will not currently re-open on 2nd March.

  • Remote E-Learning

Last Monday, we started our provision of E-learning for your children. All registered students have received a variety of daily activities in which to participate. Activities that will be received by students this week, have been adjusted to reflect feedback parents and students have given us, so that we can maximise effective learning. Your continued feedback is appreciated. We remain aware of the new challenges that E-Learning may provide for students and their parents, which we appreciate are the same for all students across Asia who are having their normal lessons in school affected. We believe that this challenge is something that both parents, students and teachers have to co-operatively manage together, through good and regular communication.

  • Future changes in learning after a return to school

The school is continually looking at how learning may need to be adjusted after a return to school, to ensure that the annual learning objectives for your children are still met.

Parents of examination class students, should also be aware that examination boards are also considering steps that they may need to take in terms of dates of examinations, as a result of any disruption to normal teaching happening in schools in Asia.

Decisions that change the future nature of your child’s education, will be very dependent on the future development of the Coronavirus situation, and at the moment are too early to decide until we understand the full impact and timescale of this current challenge.

  • Refund of Bus and Canteen fees

Parents are only ever expected to pay for bus and canteen services that their child receives. It is already our policy that at the end of the year, or when a student leaves, any refund that is due is calculated and refunded to the parent or their company.

Our contractual arrangement with parents regarding the payment of school fees remains in that all parents are required to give the school six weeks notice of a student withdrawal, or a move to another school in their home country, or elsewhere, to receive a refund of fees.

  • Moving Forward

The school will continue to adapt its response plans to any changing situation in Shanghai, and keep all parents informed of any changes.

We continue to send our best wishes to all our Britannica community.

David Goodwin