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Secondary School COVID Information

11.05.2021

Dear Grade 6 - 10 families,

We anticipate that next Monday, 17 May, the government will announce the implementation of an alternating day model in schools. As of the writing of this email, no official announcement has been made, but we have a strong reason to believe this change will take place.

If you’ve been following the news, the government decided that the alternating day model would go into effect once the 7-day new incident rate fell below 165 cases per 100,000 people for five working days in a row. Again, we expect this change to occur starting 17 May. It is also important to note that the current regulations stipulate that if the incident rate drops bellow 100 for five consecutive working days in a row, we can bring all students back to the building every day. Given that the current COVID numbers are declining each day, please be on the look out for more change in the coming weeks.

In mid-April we communicated the plans for the alternating day model to families via email. A modified copy of that email is below. Once the government has officially announced this change we will confirm with you again via email. For now, please review the model and talk with your children about this anticipated change. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to let me know!

Warm regards,

Will Tragert

_____________________

Dear Families,

I hope you all had a relaxing and rewarding past few weeks. This email includes details about the school reopening plan for students in grades 6 through 10. Please note that the information below is only for students in 6 through 10.

I recognize that this new plan from the government will offer a big change for our students in Grades 6-10. On April 16th I held a Parent Principal Forum to review the changes to our school model and answer questions. You can find a recording of this PPF by clicking here. 

General Notes

  • Grade 10 students will continue to come to school every day as currently organized. They will not be split into two groups.
  • Grade 6-9 students will come to school every other day and are broken into two groups, sorted by last name:
    • The Green Group should come to school every other day starting 17 May.
    • The Blue Group should come to school every other day starting 18 May.
    • Any exceptions to the groupings have been conveyed directly to families by counselors, EAL teachers, or Learning Support teachers.

  • Please enter each day through the Agora or Crest building.
  • Students will come to school every day from 8:20 – 15:30 and follow the normal daily schedule with a 10-minute morning advisory and six 55-minute lessons each day.
  • Students will attend class in their normal classrooms.
  • To accommodate students coming to the building every other day, the two-week schedule has been extended to a four-week schedule. The schedule on the school calendar will be amended and students will be reminded what day it is by using the Dragon’s Den. Specifically, this means that,
    • Monday, 17 May is a Week B, day one (Green)
    • Tuesday, 18 May is also a Week B, day one (Blue)
    • Wednesday, 19 May is a Week B, day two (Green)
    • Thursday, 20 May is also a Week B, day two (Blue)
    • Friday, 21 May is a Week B, day three (Green)
    • Monday, 24 May is a bank holiday. This day is skipped, per normal procedure.
    • Tuesday, 25 May is a Week B, day four. (Green)
    • …and so on.
  • Students will be given activities to complete while learning at home. These activities will be assigned each day and are posted on ManageBac in the “Messages” section of each class.
  • A separate email will be sent to Grade 11 families.

Safety and Hygiene

  • We will follow the same general hygiene rules as before. Specifically,
    • Students will sit in assigned seats in class.
    • Students will not be able to leave during lunch.
    • Students will wear a medical or FFP2 mask while on campus.
  • Students will continue to receive a COVID quick test twice each week, per government mandates. These tests will occur on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday of each week, depending on when your child is in the building.
    • Grade 10 students will all take their test on Monday and Wednesday.

Lunch and Break Time

  • The cafeteria will remain closed. Students should pack a lunch and snack each day they are on campus.
  • Lunch and break time will take place in designated grade level areas. A copy of these areas is attached to this email.
    • Grade 6: grass area near the basketball court.
    • Grade 7: picnic tables between the Waves and Agora
    • Grade 8: south end of the American Club lawn
    • Grade 9: north end of the American Club lawn
    • Grade 10: in the old section of the cafeteria
  • Please note the taped/restricted seats to keep distance between students.
  • Please wear a mask unless you are seated and/or eating.
  • If there is inclement weather, students will stay in their Period 2 class for break or their Period 4 class for lunch.

I am excited for this step back towards normal. Having Grade 6 - 9 students in the building is exciting, even if it is just every other day. I am hopeful that these changes are received well and that they have a positive impact on student learning in the weeks to come.

Of course, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. 

Warm regards,

Will Tragert

11.05.2021: Message from Principal Grade 11

Dear Grade 11 families,

I hope you all had a relaxing and rewarding past few weeks. This email includes details about the school reopening plan for students in Grades 11 and 12. Please note that the information below is only for students in Grade 11. A separate email will be sent to families with students in Grades 6 through 10.

In general, the schooling for students in Grade 11 will look similar to this week with a few minor exceptions (highlighted in yellow below). Please read the details below for more information. A Parent Principal Forum is scheduled on Friday, 16 April from 1700-1800 for all secondary school families. No new information will be provided at this Forum. I will briefly review the information below and be available to answer any questions that parents might have. You can join this session by using this link: https://meet.google.com/efr-ypwi-iou. [NOTE: if you’d like to watch the recording of this PPF, please click here.]

General Notes:

  • This change goes into effect on 19 April.
  • Please enter each day through the Agora or Crest building.
  • Students will come to school every day from 8:20 – 15:30 and follow the normal daily schedule with a 10-minute morning advisory and six 55-minute lessons each day.
  • Students will attend class in their normal classrooms.
  • To accommodate students coming to the building every other day (students in Grades 6 - 10), the two-week schedule has been extended to a four-week schedule. This means that,
    • Monday 19 April is a Week B, day one
    • Tuesday 20 April is also a Week B, day one
    • Wednesday 21 April is a Week B, day two
    • Thursday 22 April is also a Week B, day two
    • …and so on. These changes will be reflected in the school calendar on our website but unfortunately, not in ManageBac.

Safety and Hygiene

  • We will follow the same general hygiene rules as before. Specifically,
    • Students will sit in assigned seats in class.
    • Students will not be able to leave during lunch.
    • Students will wear a medical or FFP2 mask while on campus.
    • Students will continue to receive a COVID quick test twice each week, per government mandates. These tests will occur on Monday and Wednesday of each week.

Lunch and Break time

  • The cafeteria will remain closed. Students should pack a lunch and snack each day they are on campus.
  • Students will not be able to leave campus to purchase lunch.
  • Students in Grade 11 will have their lunch, break, and unsupervised periods in the WAVES Sports Hall
    • Please note the taped/restricted seats to keep distance between students.
    • Please wear a mask unless you are eating or drinking.

I am hopeful that these changes are received well and that they have a positive impact on student learning in the weeks to come.

Of course, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Warm regards,

Will Tragert 

09.04.2021: Message from Principal Grades 6 - 10

09.04.2021

Dear Grade 6 through Grade 10 Families,

I hope you all had a relaxing and rewarding past few weeks. This email includes details about the school reopening plan for students in grades 6 through 10. Please note that the information below is only for students in 6 through 10. A separate email will be sent to families with students in grades 11 and 12. 

I recognize that this new plan from the government will offer a big change for our students in Grades 6-10. Please read the details below for more information. A Parent Principal Forum is scheduled on Friday, 16 April from 1700-1800 for all secondary school families. No new information will be provided at this Forum. I will briefly review the information below and be available to answer any questions that parents might have. You can join this session by using this link: https://meet.google.com/efr-ypwi-iou.

General Notes

  • Students will come to school every other day and are broken into two groups, sorted by last name:
 
    • The Green Group should come to school every other day starting 19 April.
    • The Blue Group should come to school every other day starting 20 April.
    • Any exceptions to the above groupings have been or will be conveyed directly to families by counselors, EAL teachers, or Learning Support teachers.
  • Please enter each day through the Agora or Crest building.
  • Students will come to school every day from 8:20 – 15:30 and follow the normal daily schedule with a 10-minute morning advisory and six 55-minute lessons each day.
  • Students will attend class in their normal classrooms.
  • To accommodate students coming to the building every other day, the two-week schedule has been extended to a four-week schedule. This means that,
    • Monday 19 April is a Week B, day one
    • Tuesday 20 April is also a Week B, day one
    • Wednesday 21 April is a Week B, day two
    • Thursday 22 April is also a Week B, day two
    • …and so on.
  • Students will be given activities to complete while learning at home. These activities will be assigned each day and are posted on ManageBac in the “Messages” section of each class.
 
Safety and Hygiene
 
  • We will follow the same general hygiene rules as before. Specifically,
    • Students will sit in assigned seats in class.
    • Students will not be able to leave during lunch.
    • Students will wear a medical or FFP2 mask while on campus.
  • Students will continue to receive a COVID quick test twice each week, per government mandates. These tests will occur on either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday of each week, depending on when your child is in the building.
 
Lunch and Break Time
 
  • The cafeteria will remain closed. Students should pack a lunch and snack each day they are on campus.
  • Lunch and break time will take place in designated grade level areas. A copy of these areas is attached to this email.
    • Grade 6: grass area near the basketball court.
    • Grade 7: picnic tables between the Waves and Agora
    • Grade 8: south end of the American Club lawn
    • Grade 9: middle section of the American Club lawn
    • Grade 10: north end of the American Club lawn
  • Please note the taped/restricted seats to keep distance between students.
  • Please wear a mask unless you are seated.
  • If there is inclement weather, students will stay in their Period 2 class for break or their Period 4 class for lunch.

I am excited to be able to return to a regular length school day and excited for students to be able to learn in their regular classrooms every other day. I am hopeful that these changes are received well and that they have a positive impact on student learning in the weeks to come.

Of course, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let me know. 

Warm regards,

Will Tragert

09.04.2021: Message from the Secondary Principal

Dear Families,

I hope you have all had a restful and rewarding holiday break. 

Following Ms. Baier’s email, I want to give you details on school plans for next week concerning students in Grades 6 through 12.  

As Ms. Baier mentioned, these plans are a result of a government meeting that was held yesterday. These plans are only in place for next week. We expect yet another set of plans to start 19 April. Those will be shared with you next week. 

General details for the week of Monday, 12 April: 

  • School resumes 12 April. It is a Week A.
  • Grades 6 - 9 will do distance learning.
  • Grades 10 - 12 will learn in person, on campus.
  • We will follow the regular daily schedule
    • 8:20-15:30
    • Advisory and 6 x 55-minute periods
    • Morning break from 10:30-10:55 and lunch from 12:50-13:35
  • The government has mandated that we start offering mandatory COVID tests twice each week for staff and students who are in the building. Instructions will be given to students in advisory as to how this will take place.

Grade 6 - 9 details:

  • These lessons will all be held as live synchronous video calls with the teacher.
  • Assignments will continue to be posted each morning on ManageBac.

Grade 10 - 12 details:

  • The cafeteria will be closed. Students need to bring a lunch and snack each day.
  • Students enter through the Agora or Crest each morning.
  • Students will attend class in the regular classrooms that they used in the first semester.
  • Students should follow the regular safety and hygiene rules. Specifically:
    • Wear a mask (medical or FFP2) while on campus. The exception is during break and lunch while students are seated and eating or drinking.
    • Sitting spaced out during break and lunch. Every other seat should be used to ensure safe distancing.
    • Cleaning of rooms and learning spaces after each lesson.
    • Staying home if any COVID-like symptoms are present or if there is a need to self-quarantine after travel.
  • Grade 10 students will have their break and lunch in the grassy area behind the American Club. If there is inclement weather it will be in the Agora.
  • Grade 11 students will have their unsupervised periods, break and lunch in the new Cafeteria.
  • Grade 12 students will have their unsupervised periods, break and lunch in the Waves Sports Hall.

Such frequent change is certainly not our preference and I am reminded again how thankful I am to work in a community filled with resilient and flexible individuals. Please contact me with any questions and have a pleasant weekend ahead. 


Warm regards, 
Will Tragert

19.02.2021: Message from Principal Grades 10 - 12

Dear Grade 10 to 12 Families,

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing and rejuvenating Karneval holiday.

As you may have heard, the government recently provided a new set of COVID-19 regulations that will have an impact on our school model at BIS. In these regulations, the Ministry of Education announced that schools are allowed to begin gradually reopening for select groups of students starting next week. The first groups of students allowed to return to school are primary aged children and secondary students in testing or examination years. As a result of these regulations, BIS students in grades 10 through 12 will return to BIS in a modified way, starting 23 February.

The government clearly recognized in its latest regulations that the threat of COVID-19 is still very serious and, as a result, imposed a series of rules that will make this next model of school very different from anything you have experienced so far. I thank you in advance for carefully reading through this letter that explains all of the upcoming changes.

  • On Monday, 22 February many of our teachers will be busy to help prepare the school for your return. On this day, most (if not all) classes will be taught asynchronously. Students should check Managebac in the morning to see what lessons are scheduled and what activities they have been assigned.
  • Students in Grades 10 through 12 will no longer have morning advisory.
  • Starting 23 February, the school day for students in Grades 10 through 12 will be from 8:35 until 15:45. Students will be on campus from 8:35 until 12:55. A copy of the new schedule is below:

820-830      Advisory for Grades 6-9 only. Arrival time for Grades 10-12.

835-910      Period 1

920-955      Period 2

1005-1040  Period 3

1050-1125  Period 4

1135-1210  Period 5

1220-1255  Period 6

1255-1400  Lunch / Break

1400-1545  Work and meeting time for students and teachers.

  • We will continue to follow the same two-week class rotation schedule.
  • Classroom locations: The government requires that we keep grade levels in self-contained bubbles. As such, each grade level will stay in a designated part of the school throughout the day:

Grade 12 will have all of their classes in the Waves science labs.

Grade 11 will have all of their classes in the Crest math classrooms.Grade 10 will have all of their classes on the top floor of the Agora and in the Sports Hall.

ManageBac will be updated to not only reflect the new timetable but also the new classrooms. Please check this carefully before returning to school on Tuesday.

  • Entering and leaving campus: Grade 12 students should enter and leave campus using the gate between the Waves and Crest. Grade 11 students should only use the gate between the Crest and Agora. Grade 10 students should only use the main Agora entrance.
  • Safety and hygiene considerations: All hygiene rules are still in place with some important changes:

Students need to keep their mask on until they have completely left the BIS campus (including while in the parking lot).

Eating and drinking in class is not permitted. If students need a snack or water break, they are to use a designated area between classes:

Grade 12 should have their snack in the outdoor fenced area between the Crest and Waves building.

Grade 11 should have their snack in the Agora car park outside the Crest building.

Grade 10 should have their snack in the Agora car park outside the Agora building.

  • “Free” Periods:

Students in Grade 11 and 12 are asked to go to a designated location for their free period. Students must keep their distance and leave their masks on during this time. The designated rooms are:

C303 for Grade11

Cafeteria for Grade 12.

  • Students who do not have class either first or last periods do not need to be on campus. For example, if you have period 5 and 6 free, you are asked to go home after period 4.
  • Tutor Period:

For tutor period, students should stay in their classroom from the previous lesson. For example, if a student was in C302 for science class during period 1 and then is supposed to have Tutor during period 2, they should stay in C302.

To help you with these many changes and understand the rationale behind them, I invite you to watch this video. Additionally, I will be holding a special Parent Principal Forum for Grade 10-12 families on Monday, 22 February from 19:15-20:00 to review our new plan and answer any questions that you might have. You can join this PPF by using the following Google Meet link: https://meet.google.com/xzm-zhbf-fkt. Lastly, please review the attached letter from our Director, Pat Baier, that summarizes the key hygiene rules that are guiding our reentry.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we make this new collection of changes to our school model. I am thankful for the dedication and commitment you have all demonstrated throughout this pandemic and am fully confident that we will continue to thrive as a community, despite this new collection of regulations.

I wish you all a pleasant weekend ahead and look forward to hopefully seeing you at the PPF next week.

Warm regards,

Will Tragert and the Secondary School Team

19.02.2021: Message from Secondary Principal Grades 6 - 9

Dear Grade 6 to 9 Families,

I hope you are enjoying a relaxing and rejuvenating Karneval holiday.

As you may have heard, the government recently provided a new set of COVID-19 regulations that will have an impact on our school model at BIS. In these regulations, the Ministry of Education announced that schools are allowed to begin gradually reopening for select groups of students starting next week. The first groups of students allowed to return to school are primary aged children and secondary students in testing or examination years. As a result of these regulations, BIS students in Grades 6 through 9 will continue with distance learning for the coming weeks.

While I had initially hoped to welcome all students back into our building on the 22nd, I am hopeful that this new set of regulations is short-lived and that distance learning will soon be over for us all. For now, I encourage our students in Grades 6 through 9 to stay motivated, stay optimistic, and work diligently each day to learn as much as they possibly can.

The announcement of these new regulations created a series of issues that needed to be addressed and, as a result, some aspects of our distance learning model will have to change. These changes are detailed below:

  • In order to prepare the building for students to return, many of our teachers will use 22 February as a work day to arrange classrooms and organize lessons. As a result, most teachers will set asynchronous learning tasks for students to complete. Please note:

Students should check ManageBac to see what work is assigned for the day and complete it on their own schedule. Some teachers might still opt to hold a live lesson – please be sure to look at the work for each class to make sure you don’t miss anything important!

There will be no advisory meeting on the morning of the 22nd. Advisory will resume on the 23rd.

  • We will still follow the same two-week class rotation schedule but the daily bell schedule will change slightly. Starting 22 February, we will be using a new time table that has shorter breaks and slightly longer class periods. This will allow students to finish their lessons by 12:55 each day.

820-830      Advisory (Grade 6-9 only)

835-910      Period 1

920-955      Period 2

1005-1040  Period 3

1050-1125  Period 4

1135-1210  Period 5

1220-1255  Period 6

1255-1400  Lunch / Break

1400-1545  Work time for students and teachers.

With the longer lessons, teachers will adjust their approach to homework. Students will receive little (or no) homework that should be completed in the afternoon work time.

  • Teachers will begin offering more assignments that can be done without the use of technology to help our students remain balanced during distance learning. To assist with this, regular material pickup sessions will be scheduled so that students can get the necessary materials to effectively learn at home. These pickup sessions are scheduled as follows:

Monday, 22 February from 14:15-15:45

Tuesday, 23 February from 14:15-15:45

Every other Friday during A week from 8:00-12:00, starting 5 March.

Students or parents should only come pick up materials if their teacher specifically asked them to.

To pick up materials, please enter the main Agora entrance with a mask on and proceed to the Agora lobby.

To help you with these many changes and understand the rationale behind them, I invite you to watch this video. Additionally, I will be holding a special Parent Principal Forum for Grade 6 to 9 families on Monday, 22 February from 18:30-19:15 to review our new plan and answer any questions that you might have. You can join this PPF by using the following Google Meet link: https://meet.google.com/pzf-haxm-yea.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we make this new collection of changes to our school model. I am thankful for the dedication and commitment you have all demonstrated throughout this pandemic and am fully confident that we will continue to thrive as a community, despite this new collection of regulations.

I wish you all a pleasant weekend ahead and look forward to hopefully seeing you at the PPF next week.

Warm regards,

Will Tragert and the Secondary School Team

06.02.2021: Message from the Secondary Principal

Dear Community,

The Ministry of Education in NRW has moved all school classes to distance learning as we wait for the cases of COVID-19 in the region to decline. As discussed in my email last Friday, this means that the Secondary School at BIS will engage in full distance learning starting Monday, 11 January

This decision brings a few important changes to the way in which your child will spend their school day:

The schedule each day will be slightly different, giving 30 minutes for each class to have a lesson. These lessons will be a mix of synchronous and asynchronous activities, depending on what is being covered each day. As discussed last week, reporting dates have been moved back one week. This will not change again. A copy of the schedule is below:

We will continue to use ManageBac, email, and Google Suite for distance learning.

  • ManageBac is the place where all teachers will post assignments, meeting times, important reminders, and set assignments. Students should check the “Messages” section of ManageBac each morning for information about the classes that are meeting that day.
  • Google Chat is for quick information school-related communication. Students can use Google Chat to ask teachers general questions, or collaborate with their classmates.
  • Google Meet is for video conferencing. Students are encouraged to turn their video on, if they feel comfortable, when in class so that the teacher can effectively communicate with each child.
  • Google Classroom is used by some teachers. This won’t change, but it is important that students still check ManageBac for assignments, even for classes that use Google Classroom.
  • Email is used for personal school-related communication.

We will do a materials pick-up on Friday, 8 January in the Agora. If students need to pick up any learning materials for distance learning, they will be notified via ManageBac from their teacher. If you are not notified, then you should not come to school on Friday. The schedule for materials pickup is below. If a family has students in more than one grade, they only need to come at one time and can pickup materials for all students during that time. Please come to the Agora main entrance at the appropriate time, wearing a mask, and with no more than two people in your group (for example a parent, and the student). Students will not be allowed to go anywhere other than the Agora to pick up materials.

  • Grade 6 Pickup: 9:00-9:45
  • Grade 7 Pickup: 9:45-10:30
  • Grade 8 Pickup: 10:30-11:15
  • Grade 9 Pickup: 11:15-12:00
  • Grade 10 Pickup: 12:30-13:15
  • Grade 11 Pickup: 13:15-14:00
  • Grade 12 Pickup: 14:00-14:45

I can appreciate that this is a lot of information to digest. I’ll be holding a Parent Principal Forum - Distance Learning tonight, Wednesday, 6 January at 19:00 using Google Chat to review these changes and answer any questions that you might have.
This PPF will be recorded and shared on the Secondary School > Meetings and Document Archive for all of you who cannot attend.

Thank you for your support and involvement in the education of your child during this challenging time. Hang in there, stay healthy, and go Dragons!

Will and the Secondary School Team

02.01.2021: Message from Secondary Principal

Dear Families,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones doing well!

As you may have heard from local news and seen in recent communication from Ms. Baier, the government has issued new regulations in response to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the region. These new regulations will have an impact on how we function each day in the Secondary School. This email details those changes.

The government has officially said that they will make a ruling about more changes to schooling in NRW on or around 5 January. While BIS has committed to distance learning for the week of 4 January, the government’s announcement could mean that on 11 January, we return to in-person schooling, go to a hybrid part-time model, or continue distance learning. The plan below tries to accommodate for all of those potential outcomes. Once the government has made an official decision about schooling from 11 January onwards, I will communicate again with more details.

The information below is a summary for you to begin planning for the return to school:

Reporting Deadlines: Reporting deadlines have been moved back one week to accommodate distance learning. This allows for the opportunity for students to potentially still have two weeks of in-persons lessons before the end of the term.

  • End of term: moved from 15 January to 22 January
  • Start of semester 2: moved from 18 January to 25 January
  • Report card distribution: moved from 5 February to 11 February

Week of 4 January: This week of schooling will be held virtually. Students were originally scheduled to return to school on 4 January. Students are now expected to start on 5 January so that our teachers can have one day after the holiday to prepare.

  • This week will follow a modified distance learning plan with a focus on completing and preparing for end-of-term assessments.
  • On the morning of 5 January, each teacher will post an assignment for the week in the Messages section of ManageBac. These assignments will be geared towards helping students finish the semester and their current unit of study.
  • Advisory will be held each morning on Google Meet from 9-9:30 so that students have a consistent place to check in, ask questions, and start their day.
  • Attendance is expected for all students.
  • All teachers will have office hours daily from 10:00-12:00 and 1:00-3:00. This is the time where students can expect to be able to reach their teacher via Google Chat or email. Teachers might call group or class meetings during this time but no formal lessons are going to be held.
  • Students should expect to work for 4-5 hours each day on their school work.

Why are we doing it this way?

  • With the government not expected to announce any changes to school structure before 5 January, we opted for an easy-to-implement model of schooling that will allow teachers and students to gradually and successfully transition back to school while still giving us the flexibility to move towards full distance learning, part-time hybrid learning, or resume in-person learning on 11 January.
  • With a focus on end-of-term completion, students will get the benefit of extra review/work time and still have two weeks of lessons from 11 January onwards to complete their work in collaboration with their peers and their teacher.

Week of 11 January Onwards:

  • Once the government makes a decision on or around 5 January about schooling, we will most likely implement one of three models: in-person schooling, part-time hybrid learning-or distance learning. Here is a brief summary of what each of those three models will look like:
  • In-person schooling: this will look similar to the type of schooling that we had before winter holiday. Each child in grades 6-12 will come to school every day and practice increased safety/hygiene precautions.
  • Part-time hybrid learning: Each grade will be divided into two groups (alphabetically). Groups will come to school on alternating days, thus limiting the number of students in the building by 50%. When students are in the building they will have a ‘regular’ school day. When students are at home, they will be given a more robust set of homework assignments to complete and will be expected to still be active in their learning. In this model, Grade 12 students will still come to school every day to support them in their upcoming IB exam preparation.
  • Distance learning: in this model, every student will learn virtually. We willrun a modified daily schedule where students attend 30 minute classes each day and have longer blocks of time to work on assignments, conference with teachers, or complete other tasks.
  • Again, once the government makes a determination on how to proceed we will communicate specific details of whichever of the above plans goes into effect on 11 January.

In addition to emailing you details of our school plan, I have tentatively scheduled a Parent Principal Forum for Wednesday, 6 January at 19:00 to help explain any changes. Please mark your calendars! This event will be finalized and a meeting url link will be sent out after the government makes their announcement.

I thank you for your support through these stressful and trying times. I encourage you to watch this video if you would like more information about the above plan. Of course, I am always available for any questions or concerns that you may have.

I wish you all the best and truly can’t wait to get back to school with you all next week!

Go Dragons,

Will and the Secondary School Team

02.12.2020: Rules during Break Time

The following rules are in effect during break time, in alignment with guidance provided by the State of NRW. Secondary students have been informed of these rules.

  • Masks must be worn at all times unless eating or drinking.
  • Students must keep the 1.5-metre distance during break times.
  • Students must only use the designated break areas and stay in their grade-level areas.
  • Students are not to play soccer, basketball, volleyball or any contact sports during breaks.
  • Playground equipment will not be handed out.
  • Hands must be sanitized after break time and before entering the classroom.
09.10.2020: Update on Physical Health and Education 

From Monday, October 2020, PHE lessons are allowed to be inside the Agora Sports Hall. This offers a variety of different learning experiences and opportunities for students. All of the previous rules still apply within PHE classes to ensure that COVID-19 guidelines are being followed and that the students are learning in a safe environment. 

Key Rule Summary:

  • All teachers and students must disinfect hands prior to and directly after the lesson. 
  • All equipment must be disinfected after use.
  • Masks are to be worn during activities at all times. 
  • The changing room facilities remain closed. Students are encouraged, on the days they are scheduled to have PHE, to wear appropriate clothing for a physically active class. 

The PHE Team wishes you a wonderful holiday. 

20.08.2020: Message from the Principal Start of School

Dear Secondary School Parents and Students,

On behalf of our faculty and staff, I would like to express how excited we all are to start the school year and see you back at BIS next week! In the Secondary School, we have worked hard to prepare for what will most certainly be an unforgettable year!

As you can imagine, the ongoing global pandemic has brought along many challenges that we must collectively work through as a community. Despite these challenges, I am confident that this school year will be a safe, rewarding, and worthwhile for all students involved.

By now you have heard from various people at BIS about our new hygiene regulations, our whole-school approach towards reopening school, and some of the many changes we will experience this year. If you have not already done so, please review these important pieces of communication before school resumes on Tuesday, 25 August.

The purpose of this email is to provide Secondary School specific  information that you and your child will need to know before the first day. With all of the emails and incredible amount of information that has been shared with you over the past two weeks, I can imagine that you might have some questions. In order to help with this, I will host a virtual Parent Principal Forum (PPF) on Friday, 21 August from 17:00-18:00. You can join our PPF by using this link: meet.google.com/nxj-jrie-kbe. Please feel free to email me any questions you have in advance that you would like answered during this time.

Here are some key details for the start of classes in the Secondary School:

  • I’ve made a short video that captures the points below. You can watch it here.
  • The first day of school is Tuesday, 25 August.
  • School starts at 8:35 each day. Students are welcome to come into the building at 8:20 and should proceed directly to first period
    • We will no longer have morning Advisory from 8:20-8:35. This will reduce the amount of class transitions each day and limit the exposure each student has with their peers. Advisory will occur every other Friday.
    • On the first day of school however, we will run a special schedule. In order to greet students and introduce them to the new year, students should visit their Advisory to start the day at 8:35. This will be the only day where students go to Advisory first.
    • The cafeteria kiosk will be open in the mornings for students who need to purchase a snack or breakfast until 8:30. Secondary students can stop here before going to first block.
  • Students should enter through the Agora or Crest each morning and refrain from going through the Waves building. Late students should sign in at the Agora reception.
  • Please login to ManageBac this weekend to see your child’s schedule and learn who their advisor is for this year.
  • Lessons and homework will be posted by each teacher on ManageBac in the morning. This can be found in the “Messages” tab within the class page. This is to support our learners who are still working from home and prepare our students in case of another school closure.
  • Morning break will still take place after period two but will be outside. The cafeteria and buildings will be off-limits. Students should bring a snack or purchase something from the kiosk in the morning for this time. In the event of inclement weather during break, students will stay in their second period classroom.
  • The Media Center will be only available to students who reserve a book online in advance. Students can pickup their reserved book the following day before first period.
  • All hallways and all stairwells are one-way traffic only to limit congestion.
  • No lockers will be assigned at the start of the year for safety and hygiene reasons. Students should bring their necessary learning materials to school each day.
  • Lunch will take place in the cafeteria. Students will sit in their grade level and have assigned seats of their choosing.
    • Lunch must be purchased in advance.
    • Grade 10 students will start the year by not going off-campus for lunch. Grade 11 and 12 students can go off-campus starting on the first day of school, provided they have parent permission.
    • Grades 6, 7, and 8 will eat lunch in the Cafeteria. Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12 will eat lunch in the Waves Sports Hall, which has been converted into a cafeteria seating area.
    • Lunch will start at 12:50 and students will have the opportunity to go outside (weather permitting) at 13:10.
  • DP Study Periods: DP students must either be in their class (if they are in an SL/HL combined class) or in the Waves Sports Hall at their assigned seat (if they are in an SL class) during their Study/SL Free periods. They may not use any lounge space or the silent study rooms.
  • DP students should arrive on time each morning at 8:35, even if they have an unscheduled Study/SLfree period. If Grade 11/12students have last period free, they can sign out in the Agora and leave early.
  • Masks must be worn at all times, unless given permission to remove it by the teacher.
  • Some teachers will work from home because they fall into an ‘at-risk’ category and are unable to come into the building. They will teach their lessons virtually and have a support teacher in the classroom each day to assist them.
    • Please bring headphones each day in case you have a teacher who is working virtually and make sure your learning device is properly charged.
    • Students may not share supplies. Each student should bring their own learning materials each day.
    • If your teacher is working virtually, you should still report to that teacher’s classroom at the appropriate time.
  • Grade 6 parents and students will soon receive an additional email from me with specific information regarding the start of your school year.

I know that is a long list, but I’m sure I’m forgetting something! If you have any questions or lingering concerns, please join me tomorrow evening for our Secondary PPF or email me any time.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, support, and commitment to ensuring BIS is a safe place for students to learn each day. I am SO excited to see all of our students next week and can’t wait to talk with you again soon!

All the Best,
Will Tragert

12.08.2020: Start of School Year COVID Guidelines

Adults and students are to wear face masks in the classrooms, school buildings and outside.

Secondary students will wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival, after break and before and after lunch. All surfaces will be sanitized thoroughly every day. Classrooms will be thoroughly aired on a regular basis.

Entering and exiting school:

  • Secondary students enter and exit via the Agora entrance or Agora gate.
  • If students are not involved in an EC activity immediately after school, we expect them to leave school directly after their last class.
  • If a student has an EC activity later in the date, they must leave school grounds and then return for that activity due to safety and supervision rules.
  • Students in Grade 10 will not be allowed to leave the building during lunch time.
  • Students in Grades 11 and 12 may leave the campus during lunch. However, this privilege will be forfeited if students do not comply with behavioural expectations. 

In the classroom:

  • Secondary students will have designated seats in each of the classrooms they use.
  • This seating plan must be documented by each teacher and filed for 4 weeks.
  • Attendance will be taken at the start of each class.
  • When students leave a class to go to another room, they will sanitize the desk and chair surfaces with wipes provided in the classroom.

Further impacts:

  • A very few of our teachers are in the risk group and will not be returning to campus. These teachers will teach live via video, while a supervisor is in the classroom.
  • Students may not share laptops or iPads, school supplies or food and drink.  
  • Students should bring their own school supplies for their sole use.
  • Students will not be assigned lockers. They should bring the things they need for each day to school.
  • PE classes will be held outside until the October break; contact sports will be avoided. Changing rooms are closed so students should wear their appropriate sports clothing on the days they have PE.
  • Singing and use of wind and brass instruments is not permitted until the October break. Students may only use their personal instruments or personal school-provided instruments.
Reading and Online Research Resources

Sora App

Welcome to the Sora app, a tool for reading online eBooks.

Some teachers will expect our students to use this tool, while others might recommend it for pleasure reading. 

Help your student navigate this tool with our Quick-Start guide:

Visit our Media Centre pages on this website for more information and other learning resources!