It was lovely to see so many people at the Welcome Picnic yesterday and hopefully there will be many more opportunities over the coming school year to come together as a school community for events.
We are just wrapping up the final preparations for the new school year and I just wanted to share a few final updates and reminders before term begins on Tuesday.
Public Exam Results Update
Congratulations to all our students receiving their A/AS Level and IGCSE results this summer! This was our first year with a full set of IGCSE, AS and A Level exams and we are so proud of the students' hard work and dedication over the past two years and pleased that this was reflected in so many excellent results.
Our first ever BIS-NY graduate is off to study Mathematics, Marketing & Finance at King's College, London and we wish Katharine continued success and happiness for the future.
All the students completing their IGCSEs this summer successfully secured the Cambridge International Certificate of Education- 4 with Distinction and 4 with Merit. Over half of all the results this summer were at one of the top two grades for A/AS Level or IGCSE, and most importantly the students have put themselves in a good position to embark on the next stage of their educational journey. It was particularly pleasing in a year when there has been much discussion in the press of a fall in the proportion of top grades that our candidates actually registered a 15% increase in the rate of A*/A grades at IGCSE.
These outcomes are also testament to the commitment and support of the teachers who have helped support and guide the students to enable them to overcome all the additional challenges of the past two years. Thanks and well done to all the students and staff involved.
Vaccination: This remains the best way to protect against and reduce the threat posed by covid 19, and we encourage all families to ensure that their child(ren) are fully vaccinated. All staff at the school are required to be fully vaccinated.
Testing: All students should take a rapid at home test using one of the widely available test kits in the 24 hours prior to the return to school to help us ensure a smooth and safe start to term for everyone. Please note this correction from the earlier message which asked for a rapid PCR- this is not necessary as one of the at home test kit results is sufficient.
The school will provide each family with test kits in the first week of term, which can then be used to assist with ongoing monitoring and home testing. If a child is exhibiting potential symptoms of covid, they should remain home until feeling better, and test negative before returning to class.
Isolation: Any student or member of staff who tests positive for covid should remain at home for 5 days and may return to school on day 6 as long as they either have no symptoms or symptoms are improving. Students returning after a positive test result must wear a mask until day 10 after their positive test result or onset of symptoms. Please inform the School Nurse if your child(ren) tests positive for covid 19.
Masks: The wearing of masks in school is optional. For those who have had a possible exposure to covid, we strongly encourage the wearing of a mask in the 5 days after that exposure. These individuals should also take a rapid test 24 hours apart on days 4 and 5 after exposure to help monitor for possible spread.
Daily screening: Schools are no longer required to do a formal daily screen for students to attend, so we are going to pause the daily Ruvna health screen for now. If there is an increase in cases in the community or the advice changes, we may re-introduce this, but we are hoping that it will be another indicator of a return to a more normal and less covid constrained year to pause the daily screen for now. Having said that, it clearly remains crucial that everyone does check each day for symptoms and stays home if feeling unwell or showing symptoms as this helps to keep everyone safe.
Remote learning: Another aspect of the 'return to normal' we are planning for this year is suspending the remote learning option for a student absent from school because of possible covid exposure. The new guidelines are that students need only be absent if they test positive (see details above), and so one of the ways we are seeking to reduce the additional pressure teachers had taken on during the covid pandemic is by suspending this blended live/ remote teaching. The staff have been brilliant in making this work over the past two years, but it does involve extra pressures and so I trust you will understand the reasons for suspending this approach for now.
We will continue to monitor the broader covid situation and follow the guidelines from the Department of Health and, as always, greatly appreciate the support and diligence of everyone in the BIS-NY community in helping us to navigate these times.
First day of term
Arrivals on the first day of term will be between 8:15 and 9:00am to give a little more leeway for that first morning.
All students in the Primary Years from the Bumble Bees to Year 6 should use the main entrance on this day.
The Honey Bees should use the Lower Playground for drop off and collection at the end of the day.
MYP and Upper students should go to the Plaza to access their classes directly.
We will have additional staff available on Tuesday morning to help escort students to their class or mentor base.
After school clubs update
The deadline to sign up for clubs is Thursday 8th September.
Late Club will begin for PYP students on Monday 12th September and all other clubs and after school activities start in the week beginning Monday 19th September (unless otherwise indicated).
One other date I want to flag in advance is Curriculum Evening which will take place on Thursday 22nd September from 5:30 to 7pm. This is an important opportunity to find out more about what your child(ren) will be learning in school this year as well as to hear about the pastoral program and wider opportunities for each year level, and I hope that you will be able to attend. Further details about the evening will be shared next week.
Have a great Labor Day weekend and see everyone on Tuesday.