Dear IICS Parents,
Greetings from the Marmara campus!
As we are just under four weeks until the first day of school, I wanted to send you an initial email with important information as we prepare for another school year, albeit under unique circumstances. In this message, I will provide you with an update regarding the three reopening scenarios presented previously, changes to our operating practice, dates for you to remember, and most importantly a few of the precautionary measures we will be taking to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and school community.
REOPENING SCHOOL SCENARIOS
At the Open Board Meeting held on Jun 9th, we presented three scenarios for opening the school year;
1. Full student attendance
3. Distance Learning 2.0
As the spread of the virus in Turkey and around the world has continued to evolve, and with the Ministry of Health’s recently published guidelines for opening schools, we believe the most likely scenario starting August 24th will either be full attendance or the hybrid/blended model. There is a fourth option that would have the year start with the hybrid/blended model and transition to full attendance around mid-September.
Philosophically, if we can fulfill the Ministry of Health guidelines, I would prefer to provide the opportunity for all of our students to physically attend school every day. I believe it is important for them to have normalcy in their lives, in a time when life itself has been turned upside down. In addition, even though we are confident our hybrid/blended and Distance Learning 2.0 models will provide your children with a high quality education, I believe it is in our students’ best interest academically, socially and emotionally to attend school full time, assuming we can provide a safe and secure environment.
We are in the final stages of determining whether we can open with full student attendance or the hybrid/blended model. I anticipate a final decision being made no later than August 7th. You will receive an email from me at that time informing you of the decision, providing you with several documents that will detail all the health and safety precautionary measures we are taking, and forms you will need to complete in order to be able to send your child to school.
HEALTH & SAFETY PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES
As mentioned in the previous point, a complete list will be sent next week. Here are a few of the more significant measures;
1. All classrooms, offices, buses, cafeteria, gyms, etc. shall maintain at least 1.0 meter social distancing. 2. Students, staff, parents and visitors (if allowed) on campus or the bus shall wear a mask at all times except when eating or drinking. 3. Temperatures will be taken before students or staff get on the bus, before entering the school buildings and at different times during the day. Parents or visitors will have their temperature taken at the school entrance. Anyone with a 38C (100.4F) or higher temperature will not be allowed on the bus or school facilities. Those who develop a fever while on campus or demonstrate other symptoms related to COVID-19 will be evaluated by the school nurse at one of the designated isolation rooms. 4. All buses will be disinfected before and after each use, and high contact areas on campus (e.g. classrooms, furniture, restrooms, etc.) will be disinfected several times throughout the day with at least once a week for deep cleaning. 5. Handsanitizer will be available in classrooms and throughout campus. 6. Natural ventilation, instead of air conditioning, for all indoor spaces including buses will be required. 7. Students will be taught and frequently reminded about proper hygiene and the appropriate way to wash their hands.
TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS & QUARANTINE
In May, I announced that all those traveling abroad during the summer break would need to selfquarantine for 14 days after entering Turkey. This decision was based on the Turkish government’s requirement at the time. Even though the government currently does not require a self-quarantine upon arrival, we still strongly urge our students and parents to quarantine themselves and limit their close interaction with others at least two weeks before the first day of school. In addition, if the government were to change its policy and require a self-quarantine IICS would follow accordingly.
DATES TO REMEMBER
August 20-21 New student/family orientation August 24 First Day of School
I have attached a copy of the approved 2020-2021 school calendar to this email for your reference. In closing, as we enter the Bayram holiday I wish you and your family health and safety wherever you might be. On behalf of the entire IICS staff, we look forward to seeing your children soon and we all hope for a great school year!
Warm regards, Nathan