22.11.20: Letter from the principal

Dear parents of the kindergarten and the school, dear students of grades 5 to 12,

12 weeks have passed since the start of the school year, three months – that is a long time. Many hours have been spent in front of the screen, too few with playmates, friends, classmates. We staff members also lack togetherness and it is nice to come into the teachers’ room and actually meet colleagues.

As you all know, we would have liked to get more pupils into the school in October. There was no lack of effort, but as there are hardly any exams in the German school system, which was the decisive criterion, our applications were rejected. All arguments and explanations about the German school system and existing transition classes were unsuccessful. This is even more annoying as we observe that apparently different rules apply to other international schools.

Now there are three weeks left until the Christmas holidays, the final sprint in our marathon. The finish line is the holidays and the New Year. In the New Year, according to last week’s announcement, all learners of the international schools (including the kindergarten) will be allowed to return to face-to-face classes. In the meantime I have become cautious about these announcements. Our plans are once again based on what has been said.

When the schools open in January, you will have been absent from school for nine months. That is a long time and the school will not be the one you left in March. The virus will also still be around in January, a vaccine will probably not be available yet and we all have to do everything possible to keep the risk of infection as low as possible. We want you and us to stay healthy. This is our top priority, which is why we have decided to phase out the return. For four weeks
there will be a transition, as we had planned for October. About half of the pupils will be present, the other half will study at home, the so-called hybrid model. Grades 10-12 and the new scholarship students will be at school throughout. So after the holidays, group A will come to the school, then group B, and the whole thing will be repeated.

During this time, all participants must become familiar with the local conditions, make sure they comply with the regulations, get to know their break areas, take the posted tables at lunch, observe the bus rules. Unfortunately this
is not as easy as it sounds. Not everyone will agree with this decision – some will say we go too fast, they have fears and, others will say we do not go fast enough.

Together we have a lot of responsibility for the health of our community and the education of our children. It is and will remain a balancing act and an unknown territory for which there is no map to explore, a terrain in which we must find our way.

In the first week of December you will again receive from us all the details and documents for the start of school in January, which can also be found on the homepage. Shortly before the start of school, we will send you a reminder or even decisions based on new developments.

Dear students, I wish you much energy for the next three weeks, which experience has shown to be exhausting. I wish you, dear parents, strength and patience in supporting your children. We are all aware that everyone is doing a great deal. Let us finish the marathon together and prepare for
the next challenge.

With the very best regards,
Sibylle Seite

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