2020.02.14407

Head of School's Column | Working together to deal with the Coronavirus Outbreak

The sudden outbreak of the Coronavirus is a huge challenge for us, but it is also our collective opportunity. When facing the challenges, our common and wise choice is to allow SIBS to develop a brand-new educational ability from this "crisis" and help SIBS students to train and cultivate the ability to study and survive in the future.

Dear parents,


The sudden outbreak of the Coronavirus is a huge challenge for us, but it is also our collective opportunity. When facing the challenges, our common and wise choice is to allow SIBS to develop a brand-new educational ability from this "crisis" and help SIBS students to train and cultivate the ability to study and survive in the future.   

                                         

To deal with the epidemic, the first thing we think of is safety. Even if the epidemic area and the peak of the epidemic situation in Beijing have already passed, and there is not enough safety factor, we still have to insist on virtual school for a few weeks. Secondly, we need to think about how not to lose the precious time of the children.


Since February 3rd, according to the Education Commission's "one school, one policy" guidance, our school has launched online learning with parents’ help. Teachers overcome difficulties such as lack of tools and new platforms and made every effort to provide online guidance to ensure the continuity of students' learning. According to the daily feedback questionnaire, the satisfaction of students and parents is between 3.8-4.2 points (out of 5 points). Such achievement can be attributed first to the professionalism of SIBS teachers, which can be adapted to local conditions in a short period and can professionally output content and provide interactive Q & A opportunities. Secondly, thanks to the parents for their responsibility and assistance. Online teaching is a wise choice we make together.


It is urgent to prevent and control the epidemic. SIBS senior administrations and teachers ended their winter vacation ahead of time and devoted themselves to “fight” with the epidemic. SIBS senior administrations compiled the "virtual school" guide as quickly as possible. Both Chinese and foreign teachers helped to import data into the online platform ManageBac. Teachers spontaneously started training during their holidays. Taking advantage of the epidemic situation, the timetable of the online teaching platform in the 21st century of SIBS has been promoted 2-3 months in advance. All those come from the "data-driven teaching" concept advocated by SIBS, the preparation of the teaching management and IT departments since the last semester. The Office365 platform that SIBS purchased in this school year has also become the first choice of the other international schools, which has greatly improved the collaboration and combat effectiveness of teachers' distance education. This is our second wise choice.


Only with the concerted efforts of the parents and the school can help with online teaching for the students. From this perspective, SIBS' parents did an excellent job! The epidemic may have disrupted the rhythm of parents, and parents are forced to “end” their vacations in advance to assist teachers at home to help with the learning. At the beginning of the online study, parents with more than one child may face challenges inevitably. I want to say sorry and thanks to those parents: Thank you for your hard work! The unexpected benefit of the epidemic is to let parents participate in their children's studies and experience the usual difficulties and professionalism of the teachers. The third wise understanding that both the parents and the school can learn from each other is to be good partners so that the children can also gain something at home.


There is also good news during this epidemic. A few days ago, I received a message from a student studying in the United States. He was pleased to tell me that he was able to study his master degree of Biomedical Engineering at Yale University and appreciated my guidance of his thesis four years ago, allowing him to enter the top 40 universities -  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutes in the United States with a not too high SAT score. He left a deep impression on me in my education career, not because he attended the rattan school, but because of his polite and courteous attitude. He is still able to meet the needs of the teacher and the school after his graduation. It is this kind of student that would allow teachers to sacrifice personal time to devote their talents to the students.


The true meaning of education is to open our hearts. Only by treating each other with sincerity can we let the teachers provide great enthusiasm to stimulate the students' full motivation. At the moment, SIBS is already considering various options, such as adding extra budgets, to ensure that the teaching plan for this semester will be completed. The epidemic brought economic losses to the whole society, but the children's learning is irreparable. Therefore, SIBS has the responsibility to minimize the impact of delaying students' returning to school, and hope parents could understand.


This epidemic that sweeps across China is bound to be the memory of SIBS young generations, and we hope it will be a positive mark. Dealing with the "black swan" incident storm is a life skill that a new generation of students need to understand and master because the "black swan" is a mark of the highly connected global era. The epidemic we are facing together is a powerful virus. SIBS community needs to be more powerful, united, and work together to protect the most precious thing — the future of our children. We need to understand and support each other and work together so as not to delay children's learning. This is the wisest choice we have together.

 


Dr. Xiaomin Chen

Head of School

Springboard International Bilingual School

February 13rd, 2020