We have made it through the first seven days of school including our first full week. The staggered start is over, so our schedule is in full swing. Overall, the students are very happy to be back at school, even the teenagers.
Below are a collection of observations in no particular order.
The Pre-K to grade 2 students have a good situation, even though they leave at 2:00 pm. They have almost as much time with their classroom teachers as previous years and the class sizes are much smaller. So, the teachers and teaching assistants are able to give more one-to-one attention. A number of other schools in the city are only providing three hours per day for their younger students.
Our grade 11 and 12 students will benefit from coming to campus every day. I wonder how they will do on the exams compared to students in other schools who will do only the online learning program.
The dismissal is getting better. The early dismissal at 2:00 had some challenges early on, but it has greatly improved the last two days with the elementary team making some adjustments. Most parents do not come onto campus at 2:00, instead, the children are delivered to their cars.
Our new food service vendor, Ansamble, is getting up and running. They are at the front gate every morning registering students and parents. The lunch menu for September is in today’s JAG Journal and will be posted on our website.
The teachers are growing. Many teachers are learning new techniques to serve their students online. They are also rethinking how they use the time when they have students physically in class.
We are fully staffed, for now. We hired a pre-K teacher to lead the combined pre-K 3 and pre-K 4 class. We are able to bring in five more students who had been on the waitlist.
Overall, enrollment is strong. If we had not reduced the capacity of the Pre-K classes due to physical distancing recommendations, we would have had more students this year than we did last year at this time.
The opening phase of the school is over. Our teachers and students will be settling into our new routines. The online learning program will continue to evolve as we implement our new strategies.
For our new parents, and as a reminder to our returning parents, below is the contact information for ISD staff if you have questions or concerns.
What are the other schools in Africa doing?
Below are the results of a survey of international schools in Africa done by the Office of Overseas Schools, which shows the learning scenarios, all on-site, hybrid, a combination of classes onsite and online, or online only.
The schools that are online only are due to government decrees that they cannot have classes on campus.
Director International School of Dakar