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The fourth of our series on Returning to Normal in COVID times at international schools.

At international school opportunities for international trips is a key component of the experience offered.  Whether class trips, sporting events or other competitions, the opportunity to travel has been a normal, expected and important offering.  COVID-19 has halted this opportunity for students.  Going forward, it is expected these opportunities will resume, however with new challenges.

Our webinar today will interview Ben Cooper of World Travel Protection who will explore implications and share insights that schools can consider as they endeavour to offer international experiences to their students, whether hosting events on campus or sending students abroad.  

📅 Please Register Here for This Webinar

Ben Cooper - International Travel Risk Management Expert - World Travel Protection EMEA

World Travel Protection’s Ben Cooper’s responds when asked what he does for a living is “I work with an amazing company that gets people home when they are ill, injured or unsafe overseas.” 

Ben was drawn to work in travel risk management by his fascination with geopolitics, which plays an important part in assessing travel risks. The majority of Ben’s career has been spent supporting organisations with projects in remote, high risk or logistically challenging environments, from offshore wind farms and oil rigs to onshore remote research projects and mine sites.

As Head of Sales & Commercial across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Ben works closely with clients from the company’s UK base. According to Ben, WTP’s clients come from a diverse range of businesses, including universities, security firms, travel management agencies, business continuity advisors and human resources consultants. 

Working closely with clients means Ben is always managing unusual and exciting projects, often with complex logistical arrangements. Whether a film crew in a COVID-19 environment or university students travelling to high-risk locations; various layers of support and risk mitigation are involved, for travel and at the locations.
 
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Returning to Normal in COVID times – Staff Recruitment, Mobility and Travel Implications at International Schools
The second of a 4 webinars addressing Returning Schools to Normal During COVID Times. COVID-19 will impact international schools including its impact on staffing – recruitment, mobility and travel is significant.
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It’s hard for students to learn if they don’t feel known and protected. Security is equally about emotional as much as physical safety.

In these days of school insecurity, we need to address the needs of the whole child. This includes balancing the curriculum with both academic and social-emotional learning to teach students to recognize and control their emotions as well as to feel empathy for others.
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Considerations and Strategies to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 at International Schools
Introduction

COVID-19 will be with us for the foreseeable future and its impact on international schools will continue. The virus itself is evolving, the science related to the virus, to vaccines, and to testing is also evolving. The evolution of is global, however mitigation needs to be done at a local level. 

A current understanding of the situation with the virus will enable schools to implement up to date mitigation strategies. These strategies should incorporate vaccinations, screening, process and procedures as well as communications. 

See the considerations and insights shared by our panel.
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Emerging trends in Education Since COVID19
Has COVID-19 caused schools, inadvertently, to take a step away from the structures of yesterday and make a giant leap forward for our future education? Emerging indicative trends for 2021 include:

• Flexibility in school models and online delivery
• Microlearning
• Wellbeing of staff and students
• Bridging the Gap
• Twilight Insets Professional Development

Read our full article (link)
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Webinar - Returning to Normal - COVID-19 Mitigation at International Schools
As schools endeavour to provide as near normal educational experience for children as possible, moving forward and out of the global pandemic it remains uncertain how long this will take and if or when COVID-19 will cease to be an issue.  With that in mind, providing as normal and unrestricted schooling experience as possible is vital for the educational, mental and physical development of children.

Science and technology have made significant advancements during the pandemic that can contribute to providing a normal, positive educational experience. Included in this are vaccines, tests, equipment and processes that when combined can serve to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 significantly. Our panel will address the tools and procedures that schools can consider as part of their own mitigation efforts.  Specifically, we will address:

Vaccines – limitations and considerations for an effective policy in your school

Screening – types of testing that we can expect, other tools that can be used how to implement as part of your schools’ procedures

Procedures and Processes – insights as to supporting processes / procedures and related technology schools might consider

The importance of effective communication and documentation to create understanding, buy-in, and confidence within your community 

Panelists:

Dr David Teo – Regional Medical Director Asia, International SOS
Colin Brown – Founder Nex.D, COO Skoolbo, Edtech investor
Peter Slater – Vice President, Operations and Health, Safety and Environment – GEMS Education
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Round Table Discussion - Preparedness at Schools – Planning avoids Future Disruption.
The Pandemic caught everyone unprepared and has highlighted the importance to have an emergency plan. As we return students to classrooms around the world let us be prepared for any kind of emergency or crisis that schools may face. In order to be properly prepared, a school should follow the 7 steps in Emergency Planning Management. <br style="background-color:#ffffff;color:#3b4043;font-size:13px;">Prepare Alert Communicate Respond Recover Assess Mitigate  Join our discussion with the former federal law enforcement agent and CEO of Clearpath EPM Mike Johnson. He will guide all participants through these steps to be prepared for the future and help schools avoid possible disruption. 

As this is a Round Table session we will limit attendance to a maximum of 8 schools. 

Please RSVP if you intend to join.

 
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Transportation Interview with Operations Manager from an International School in China
Interview with Carlos Guerrero

Carlos outlines the challenges of normal or Pre-Covid operations called for busses to run with full rider capacity and have the most optimal routes (fewer routes). Now that model has been turned upside down and the school is often required to operate at half capacity or less and manage the difficulty in balancing fluctuations in ridership. How he responded to manage and eventually succeed in this changing environment was to embrace technology. There are three areas Carlos highlighted where technology has helped: Safety, Efficiency and Communications. .
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Transportation Round Table Technology to Improve Safety, Efficiency and Communications
COVID-19 has strained resources at schools due to changing regulations, schedules impacting routes and requirements for the health and safety of staff and students. Technology has been the enabler for schools to deliver a quality transportation service despite these disruptors. A command-and-control centre providing an overview of the bus operations combined with an app has allowed schools to respond effectively. 
 
Join our discussion with Carlos Guerrero, International School Transportation and Operational Risk expert in program development, policy writing, and crisis response planning related to student travel, campus safety, child protection, and medical response. He will share insights on how technology can help to: 

•    improve safety through documenting and sharing
•    create efficiency through cost saving tools including route planning 
•    support engagement by communicating relevant information such as schedule and procedural changes. 
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Preparing your School
Schools around the world are looking to get back to a pre-COVID operating environment. No one is sure how that environment may look, but one thing is for certain, schools will once again face the same kinds of threats and hazards they have always encountered. To overcome these threats, hazards and other disruptions, schools will need to be prepared with an emergency action plan, or better yet, a robust Emergency Planning Management (emergency preparedness) program.
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Operating School Transport During COVID - Round Table Discussion Summary
The International School Recovery Forum recently held a Round Table Discussion with International Schools from around the world to discuss the lessons learned and challenges faced in operating a school bus transportation service during COVID-19.  This post shares the insights from the schools and guidance from transportation consultants.
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Round Table Discussion - Preparedness at Schools – Planning avoids Future Disruption.
The Pandemic caught everyone unprepared and has highlighted the importance to have an emergency plan. As we return students to classrooms around the world let us be prepared for any kind of emergency or crisis that schools may face. In order to be properly prepared, a school should follow the 7 steps in Emergency Planning Management. 

Prepare


Alert


Communicate


Respond


Recover


Assess


Mitigate 


Join our discussion with the former federal law enforcement agent and CEO of Clearpath EPM Mike Johnson. He will guide all participants through these steps to be prepared for the future and help schools avoid possible disruption.

As this is a Round Table session we will limit attendance to a maximum of 8 schools.  Please RSVP if you intend to join.
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Round Table Discussion - School Transportation – Technology to improve Safety, Efficiency and Communications.
COVID-19 has strained resources at schools due to changing regulations, schedules impacting routes and requirements for the health and safety of staff and students. Technology has been the enabler for schools to deliver a quality transportation service despite these disruptors. A command-and-control centre providing an overview of the bus operations combined with an app has allowed schools to respond effectively. 
 
Join our discussion with Carlos Guerrero, International School Transportation and Operational Risk expert in program development, policy writing, and crisis response planning related to student travel, campus safety, child protection, and medical response. He will share insights on how technology can help to: 

•    improve safety through documenting and sharing
•    create efficiency through cost saving tools including route planning 
•    support engagement by communicating relevant information such as schedule and procedural changes. 

As this is a Round Table session we will limit attendance to a maximum of 6 schools.  Please RSVP if you intend to join.
 
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Welcoming Meredith Herold to the International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19
The International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19 is pleased to announce that Meredith Herold has joined the ISRF as a volunteer consultant and subject matter expert. Meredith brings her extensive experience in both the private and public sector including Hospitals, community and in particular international school setting. She is a registered nurse specialised in paediatrics, midwife and maternal and child health nurse. In addition, she has qualifications in Health and Safety.
Meredith has worked in Australia, and across Asia. She has developed process and strategies to support schools in ensuring staff are competent and students are safe. In addition, provided onsite competency reviews, audits, mentoring and training to assist moving schools forward in a competitive international market.

We welcome Meredith to the team and thank her for volunteering her time in support of this effort to return children around the world to a normal learning experience.

A non-profit, volunteer led initiative, the International School Recovery Forum (www.sep-forum.com ) is a free, moderated resource for International and Independent Schools to share best practice, ask questions and learn from experts as schools continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Please join the International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19 where you will find an extensive range of content from International Schools around the world as they navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic.  
 
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Lessons learned: Operating School Transport during a pandemic
By Linda Howard - School Transport Management Limited

Safely operating school transport services during the Covid-19 Pandemic has presented new challenges. Seven or more months later, where are we now and how is the industry coping? 

Please read Linda's post to learn more.
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Welcome Georgie McIntyre - International Education Consultant
Welcoming Georgie McIntyre to the International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19

The International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19 is pleased to announce that Georgie McIntyre has joined the ISRF as a volunteer consultant and moderator leveraging her extensive experience in International Education. 

A non-profit, volunteer led initiative, the International School Recovery Forum is a free, moderated resource for International and Independent Schools to share best practice, ask questions and learn from experts as schools continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 

Georgie brings her extensive experience in International Education most recently as the Chief Learning Officer and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at the ECIS (Educational Collaborative for International Schools). Georgie’s experience leading the professional learning strategy for the international school sector at ECIS and her future career collaborations will be a valuable addition to our efforts at the International School Recovery Forum as we work to support schools during this challenging time.

We welcome Georgie to the team and thank her for volunteering her time in support of this effort to return children around the world to a normal learning experience.

Please join the International School Recovery Forum for COVID-19 where you will find an extensive range of content from International Schools around the world as they navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Our next event – December 1st is a Round Table Discussion “Preparing Schools for 2021 and Beyond”.  You may register here: https://www.sep-forum.com/calendar/2-webinar-series/events/2020/12/
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All schools, regardless of their size, grade configuration or location should have an Emergency Operations Plan (some schools may use the term Emergency Action Plan or Crisis Management Plan) that provides a structure to document the school’s emergency planning, training, and support activities.

While a written plan is often required for accreditation or regulatory purposes, the process is more important than writing the plan as the traditional written plan usually sits in a binder or folder and would never be pulled out in the middle of an imminent threat response.

https://clearpathepm.com/blog/how-should-a-schools-emergency-operations-plan-change-during-a-pandemic/
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Safety and Security During the Pandemic at International Schools
Mike Johnson of Clearpath Alerts and Richard Gaskell CEO of International Education Solutions discuss safety and security solutions that can be useful during the pandemic on a recent episode of TALK-IES.
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Recommendations for Access Control
Recommendations for Access Control during the COVID-19 Pandemic were outlined by Mike Johnson, CEO of Clearpath Alerts and Kevin Lloyd, Director of Together School addressing three primary areas for Access Control: Strategy and Policies, Arrivals and Dismissals, Movement on Campus.

As schools reopen, access control has become one of the most important factors enabling schools to reopen, stay open and protect the health and safety of students and staff. Access controls should be implemented based on policies and together facilitate approved access to a school or parts of the school.

See post for more information
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Recommendations for Physical Education during COVID-19
The International School Recovery Forum recently sat together with seven International Schools Physical Education leaders. The purpose was to discuss how to continue Physical Education with the restrictions coming from the COVID-19 Pandemic. The discussion covered available space, time limitations, learning criteria, teacher availability, adapting and communications.  This is a summary of their recommendations on how to manage the challenges.

Participating schools included:

Anglo American School Moscow


International School Düsseldorf


American School of London


Copenhagen International School


Sreenidhi International School & Sreenidhi Sports Academy


Zurich International School


American School of Barcelona


Physical Education Round Table Insights - June 9 2020.pdf
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School Transport Operating under Covid-19 Survey
As Schools are returning to classrooms around the world, one key component for many schools - especially in the International School community is the school's transportation service.  Please complete the attached survey to help us provide insights to schools as they seek to safely transport children between home and school!

https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OAVPXB/
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Communication is always important; however, during times of change or crisis, communication is critical. To ensure the right engagement within the community is created schools need to leverage people, processes, and tools.
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Round Table Discussion - Access Controls in COVID-19
Access Controls

Traditionally, access control refers to the practice of restricting entrance to a property, a building, or a room to authorized persons. Physical access controls can be achieved by a human (a guard or receptionist), through mechanical means such as locks and keys, or through technological means such as access control systems like smart card readers. 

Access controls are usually implemented based on policies and together facilitate approved access to a facility. Prior to COVID-19 schools would deploy a robust access control system to mitigate threats – criminal activity, child protection, child custody issues, etc. Now schools will need to deploy more robust access control to mitigate against new threats such as pandemics.

Awareness of who is on campus, controls on where will they are allowed to go on campus and tracing when were they on campus will require new considerations such as pre-screening, checking attendance of students, signing in and signing out visitors, and documenting all relevant information. These considerations need to be addressed for anyone within the school community – students, parents, staff, suppliers, and partners. Our discussions with schools indicated that many lack the needed policies, procedures, and tools to manage access control when it comes to COVID-19.

The International School Recovery Forum recently hosted International Schools from Russia, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Luxembourg, and Argentina to a round table discussion on Access Controls and discussed the following areas:

Access Policy / Strategy


Managing Arrival / Departure


Managing Movement / Access on Campus


Community Communication


Insights, Challenges and Learnings from these schools are presented below: 
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Recovery Plan Assessment
The challenge of reopening and being prepared for recovery from the Pandemic is a daunting task. There are no experts that have been through something like this. However, tackling recovery through a systematic approach can help schools ensure that their plans are complete. Having qualified and experienced professionals reviewing and providing suggestions can give that assurance and peace of mind that your school’s plan is comprehensive and complete.
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How School Will Look in 20/21 - The Munich International School
The Munich International School is prepared for the future with the systems in place for a successful start to school in August 2020 and has presented this great video detailing how things will look.
This is an excellent tool to increase confidence in the school community and to new prospective families. With spacious teaching spaces in six separate buildings, MIS has easily adapted to government regulations for hygiene and the highest standards of safety.

 

 
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