Back to school in the time of COVID

Today was the first day back to work for teachers. We haven’t all been on campus together since March 13th. I didn’t have that surreal feeling that so many other teachers have had of returning to my room to find it just the way I left it on a Friday afternoon in spring not knowing that I wouldn’t return on Monday since I’ve been up to campus to do various errands during the summer. It was, however, both wonderful and strange to be back together face-to-face with all of our colleagues. The sentiment throughout the day was how lucky we are to be able to start our school year together on campus with our students. We also celebrated the fact that all of our teachers (both returning and new) were able to make it into Hungary as we know that has not been the case for many schools around the world. We have a few teachers still working from home as they finish up their mandatory quarantine, but all of us will be ready to welcome our students into our classrooms on August 25th.

While we celebrate our good fortune now, we know that this situation may not (probably won’t?) last for the duration of the school year. Without sharing our full plans for our COVID response (which is still being finalized and isn’t ready to share yet), we are currently in a “Phase 2” with Phase 1 being a pre-Covid world and Phase 5 being full distance learning for staff and students. I feel fortunate to be working at a school that has a plan in place that is safe for students and staff and that is flexible in case we need to change things along the way. One of the benefits of working at an international school abroad has always been the independence to do what we think is right for students and our school community without having to get tangled up in district, state, or federal bureaucracy.

Here’s hoping for a great 2020-2021 school year, whatever may come.

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