TASIS - The American School In England TASIS - The American School In England

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Our Plans for a Safe Return Back to School

Ready and Prepared for the Continuity of Learning

We are delighted that we are able to reopen our gates and welcome our students, both day and boarding, back onto campus in August for the start of the 2021-22 academic year. 

In June 2021, the UK Government announced a delay in moving to Step 4 of the lifting of the lockdown restrictions until July 19, 2021. While we await the move to Step 4, we are certain we will be returning to campus in August 2021. As we move away from restrictions, we await UK Government guidance on the reduced extent of the mitigations schools must undertake toward ensuring student, faculty, and staff safety for the new academic year.  We have revised our "Community Expectations" and our information related to "Arrival on Campus." 

To ensure we are ready for the return of our community in August 2021, we will review all our mitigation measures informed by the UK Government guidance for the full reopening of schools. These measures will include:

  • A requirement that people who are ill stay at home;
  • Robust hand and respiratory hygiene;
  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements; and
  • Active engagement in the National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace.

We are confident that these preventative measures will significantly mitigate risk and we are fortunate to enjoy a beautiful and spacious campus, small class sizes, and plenty of scope for outdoor learning. 

School Events:
We aim to continue with as many on campus activities as possible. The updated 2021-22 Calendar can be found on your Parent LMS linked HERE.

Home Testing: 
The UK Government continues to encourage all secondary school students, primary and secondary school teachers and staff, and all those living in their household along with their childcare and support bubbles, to test themselves twice weekly. In addition, the households of primary-age school children (our Lower School households with children aged 5 and over) are also encouraged to test themselves twice weekly. There is no requirement for primary-age school children to participate in these tests.

We recommend that students regularly test on either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday of each week. The School does not need to be informed of your testing schedule but should be advised immediately in the event of a positive test result.

Families can find out more about this free testing and order their own home testing kits HERE.

The Important Role of Families

Families play a vital role in maintaining safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are unwell. We want to work with families to support their child’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home. To support this effort, prior to the return to school, we will provide helpful information and orientation to help transition students to a COVID-safe campus.

We understand that there are families with higher-risk members in their households. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all play our part in adhering to UK Government recommendations and regulations to control transmission and potential future outbreaks. Moreover, there may be times when we ask families to comply with broader safety measures, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard.

We also expect that you will have questions and welcome your feedback and suggestions. We are eager to listen to and help each family navigate any concerns they may have. Please feel free to contact headofschool@tasisengland.org with any questions or concerns.

TASIS THE AMERICAN SCHOOL IN ENGLAND HAS BEEN SHORTLISTED FOR AN AWARD IN OUTSTANDING RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CATEGORY

 

 

 

UK STEP 3 LOCKDOWN LIFT OF RESTRICTIONS - AS OF MAY 17

 

Community Expectations

All members of the TASIS England community have a shared responsibility to play their part in preventing the spread of illness when they are aware or suspect that they have contracted a communicable disease.

To help keep students, staff, and faculty safe it is imperative that all members of our school community remain committed to the safety policies and procedures listed here and in future communications. By enrolling your child at TASIS England, you agree to the following requirements:

  • Travel. We advise our community  to follow government advice. Please adhere to any UK Government quarantine procedures based on your travel. Visit this website for the latest updates on entering the UK from various countries. You will find a list of countries, coded through a traffic light system (green, amber, red) with different conditions for isolating/quarantining upon arrival in the England. 
  • Follow UK Government Guidelines. All families are expected to adhere to the directives of applicable UK Government guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (updated guidelines can be found at this link). 
  • Engage NHS Test and Trace Process when Necessary. If you, your child, or someone in your household displays symptoms related to COVID-19 (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste), follow NHS guidance by staying at home and getting a test as soon as possible. If your child or a household member tests positive for COVID-19, you must notify the Health Center nurse and the Head of School Section for your child as soon as possible.
  • Stay Home if Unwell. If your child is unwell, you are expected to keep them home from school.
  • Stay Home if Exposed. If anyone in your household has been notified by the NHS Test and Trace system or by the School that they were in contact with an individual infected with COVID-19, you are asked to notify the Health Center. Based on the circumstance, you may be asked to keep your child home from school for 10 days. During this time, your child will be able to continue classes via our flexible learning program (please refer to the "Hybrid Learning" section).
  • Temperature Checking. The School will check the temperatures of all Middle and Upper School day students upon arrival at school each day. If your child presents with a temperature that is higher than 37.8ºC/100ºF, your child will be sent home. If a boarding student presents with a temperature at the daily check before breakfast, we will follow our Care, Isolate, Test & Trace protocol for Boarding.
  • Rapid Test Program & Home Testing Kits. We have successfully completed our obligation to operate the COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program for Schools here at TASIS. Currently, our day students and all staff continue to test twice weekly at home. Families can find out more about this free testing and order their own home testing kits HERE.
  • Face Masks. During 2021, the School maintained the use of face masks on campus for all students, faculty and staff.  We will make a decision on whether we will be wearing face masks or not closer to the beginning of the academic year in August 2021. We will communicate our decision well in advance, prior to the start of School. 
  • Students’ Personal Items. Limit the items your child brings onto campus each day and reinforce that supplies and other items should not be shared with other students.
  • Medical Forms. Parents must complete and submit all required student medical forms prior to the first day of school. This information must include at least one emergency contact.
  • Emergency Contacts. Please ensure that your family's contact information is up-to-date and accurate by using the button "Update Family profile" in the LMS. You are required to provide at least three contacts. For day students, at least one of the contacts must be able to pick up your child from the School as soon as possible if your child presents with a temperature or becomes ill during the school day.  

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Arriving & Leaving Campus

We are absolutely delighted to be able to welcome all of our students back to TASIS in August 2021. 

In addition to our existing “Hands - Face - Space” mitigations which enabled us to successfully keep school open prior to this current lockdown, we now have the reassurance of 3 additional and highly significant factors:

  1. The vaccination program has been successfully delivered to the great majority of adults throughout the UK. 
  2. Access to free Rapid Lateral Flow (RLF) tests for all TASIS England community members, through the NHS website has enabled our families to stay safe; and 
  3. Numbers of hospital admissions and COVID-related fatalities remain extremely low. 

Rapid Test Program & Home Testing Kits

Throughout the Summer, families should continue to conduct twice weekly Rapid Lateral Flow tests at home. Families can find out more about this free testing and order their own home testing kits HERE.

Temperature checks 

All Middle and Upper School students and faculty/staff are temperature checked. The data related to temperature is unique to each measurement and this data is not stored or recorded over time on any individual.

  • We have installed temperature-checking stations across the campus to provide a daily temperature check upon arrival. While this test relates to only one symptom of the COVID-19 virus, by checking temperatures each morning we can ensure that students or faculty/staff with a higher temperature, signaling the beginning of a fever, can safely return home, follow guidance on testing, and rest until the fever has passed.

  • Students and faculty/staff who display a high temperature of 37.8ºC/100ºF or more will receive a secondary check. Results of the secondary check will determine our next steps:
    • If the secondary check displays a temperature below 37.8C/100ºF, the student or faculty/staff member may proceed on to campus and/or the bus;
    • If the secondary check confirms a high temperature:
      • Bus students will not be permitted onto the bus and must remain home; 
      • Day students or faculty/staff members will be asked to return home along with those they traveled in a car with; 
      • Boarding students will be isolated in the Wellness Center. 
  • We will follow UK Government guidance and NHS testing advice for anyone who displays a high temperature:
    • We will request an NHS Coronavirus test to determine if the student has the virus or not. We will organize such tests for our boarding students (once parental consent is in place); 
    • If the test is negative, we will ask students to remain at home or in their boarding house until they are fever/symptom-free; 
    • If the test is positive, we will be in contact with the families of students who have been in close contact with the infected student and work with them to determine testing and a return to school; 
    • In addition, we will be in contact with Public Health England to ensure we follow their procedure for testing, tracking, and tracing. 
  • All visitors, contractors, and parents must access the campus through Security and will receive a mandatory temperature check before being permitted onto the campus.

  • Bus Students: Bus students will have their temperature checked prior to boarding the bus. We will not require a second temperature check once they arrive on campus.
  • Boarding Students: All boarding students will be temperature checked prior to leaving their boarding house each morning.
  • Day Students (not traveling by the school bus service): For all students traveling to school via walking, cycling, and/or car drop-off, temperature checks will occur for Middle, and Upper School students. Lower School students will not be temperature checked upon arrival and can be temperature checked at home by their parents. The temperature checking areas pictured below will be used by Middle and Upper School students. 

For more details about how we are going to manage suspected cases of COVID-19, please see the flowchart here.

Arrival 

We are fortunate to have so many entrances to facilitate student travel to school from their homes or boarding houses. Each morning we will support your child’s arrival by directing them safely from their drop off to their classroom while maintaining social distancing. Our campus will be open from 8 a.m. for drop off and bus arrival.

Lower School Entrance Arrival
Lower School parents should continue to use the Lower School entrance just off Coldharbour Lane. If a Middle or Upper School student is dropped off with a Lower School sibling, once they have been temperature checked (at the Lower School entrance), staff will assist in guiding them on the routes shown below.

 

Bus Arrival
For our students traveling on the school bus service, the following routes will be signposted and staff will be in place to support their arrival as a separate stream apart from car drop-offs. The routes they will take are demonstrated below:

 

Security Lodge Entrance - Main Drop Off for Middle and Upper School
Middle and Upper School families should continue to drop off at the Ten Acre Lane entrance. Staff on duty will support the students in following the routes below and receiving their temperature checks.

Transportation

Whatever form of transportation is used to arrive and depart from TASIS England, all students, faculty, and staff must use sanitizer as they enter and exit school. Sanitizer stations will be placed at entrance and exit points and will be available throughout the campus.

School Bus Service

UK Government guidelines currently state that dedicated school transport is exempt from the social distancing guidelines and capacity restrictions that apply to public transportation provided that a number of measures are in place. The following steps will be taken to ensure that your children are safe on the bus service:

  • We have issued bus drivers with non-contact, infrared forehead thermometers. Any student with a temperature above 37.8ºC/100ºF should remain at home and will not be permitted to ride the bus.
  • All touch points on the bus will be cleaned and disinfected prior to each service.
  • All students and the driver will be required to wear a face mask while on the bus.
  • We will ask the driver to dismount the bus at each stop and have students sanitize their hands before boarding the bus.

The current guidance from the UK Government states that capacity on the school bus service will not need to be restricted. Please note that guidance changes regularly in response to the course of the pandemic. We will monitor this guidance and revise our plans as required.

Public Transportation

  • All students, faculty, and staff who use public transportation must wear a face covering on public transport in England. You will be breaking the law if you fail to do so and could be fined.
  • It is important to wash or sanitize your hands before and after touching your face covering.
  • For a safer journey try to:
    • travel at off-peak times
    • use quieter stations and stops – get off a stop early if it’s less busy
    • keep changes to a minimum, for example, between bus and train
    • walk for more of your journey, for example, the first or last mile
    • book your tickets online in advance or pay by contactless
  • The latest UK Government advice for public transportation can be found here.

Dismissal 

For dismissal, the following will occur:

  • Lower School:
    • Bus students will be escorted to their buses using a separate route from our Middle and Upper School students;
    • The LS gate will open at 3.10 pm.
    • Students enjoying after-school activities will be escorted to an outside area for handover to the Sports and Activities staff;
    • Students waiting to be collected will be supervised by a member of staff at the drop off area;
    • Students being picked up by parents will continue to use the Lower School entrance;
    • For the first quarter, we ask that parents stay in their car for Lower School pick up as the Lower School playground will not be available after school.
  • Middle School:
    • Bus students will be guided to their buses using the same route that they entered on, separate from Lower and Upper School students;
    • Students enjoying after-school activities will be guided to an outside area for handover to the Sports and Activities staff;
    • Students being picked up by parents will be guided to the Ten Acre Lane pick-up area.
    • Staggered times will be used for dismissal to allow students to wash their hands and avoid crowding by locker areas after leaving classes. 
  • Upper School:
    • Bus students will travel to their buses using the same route that they entered on;
    • Students enjoying after-school activities will travel to an outside area to meet the Sports and Activities staff;
    • Students being picked up by parents continue to use the Ten Acre Lane pick-up area;
    • Parents/Tutors are advised to remain in their vehicles at pick-up time;
    • Staff and faculty will be on duty at all of these areas to monitor and ensure social distancing.

 

 

 

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While at School

TASIS England is committed to two important goals: to provide safe, in-person instruction for all students and to keep all of our faculty and staff members safe to the best of our ability. The pursuit of these goals requires the School to make significant financial investment across a broad range of efforts, including: 

Enhanced Health and Safety Measures

With safety as our highest priority, TASIS England has invested significantly in enhanced COVID-19 safety measures. Some of these measures include the following:

Thermal scanners will be used for fever detection, as mentioned previously.

Hygiene and Cleaning

  • We will ensure that all students, regardless of age and grade level, clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms, and before and after eating. Regular and thorough hand cleaning will be necessary for the foreseeable future and will be achieved by:
    • The use of strategically placed hand sanitizer stations throughout the campus and provision of sanitizer in all classrooms and offices.
    • The addition of almost 18 touchless handwashing stations to those already available throughout the campus.
  • Touchless water bottle filling stations – all water fountains have been converted to water bottle refilling stations with push-pedal operation to mitigate against contamination.

  • Amplified cleaning practices – all work spaces, shared facilities (toilets, dining halls, boarding house common rooms, etc.), playground equipment, and frequently touched surfaces will receive additional cleaning throughout each day and evening.

  • Anti-bacterial cleansing wipes will be provided in each classroom and office to ensure the frequent cleaning of hard surfaces and touch points and all equipment used in PE, Science, Art, Music, etc. will be cleaned prior to the next use. 

  • Tissues will be provided in each classroom – the "Catch it! Bin It! Kill it!" approach continues to be very important, so we will ensure that we have enough tissues and bins available to support students, faculty, and staff as they follow this routine.

  • A stock of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is available for our nurses, in each classroom for those who will support our boarding quarantine solutions, if a boarding student tests positive for COVID-19.

Ventilation

  • We aim to ensure good cross-ventilation in all classrooms and shared spaces. 
  • In specific rooms with limited airflow, DFS filters will be provided to ensure adequate air circulation and eliminate viral and bacterial particles that may exist in the air. 

Face Masks

Prior to the beginning of School in August 2021 and based on infection rates and UK Government Guidance, we will determine if face masks will be required.

Lunch

We anticipate the return of our regular lunch service in both the Lower School dining hall and the Thorpe Place dining hall.

School Schedule

We anticipate the return to our regular daily schedule, starting at 8.10 am and ending at 3.20 pm. Your child's schedule will be shared with you prior to the start of School. 

More information related to the schedule and how we have planned it will be forthcoming from our Heads of Section. 

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Hybrid Learning

In anticipation of the ongoing and evolving challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for the foreseeable future, TASIS England developed a hybrid, flexible learning program that enables both in-classroom and online learning. This hybrid learning program, as outlined in the diagram below, is designed to ensure that we can achieve our School Mission and our desire for continuity of learning through a seamless transition between on-campus and virtual learning.

Our Hybrid Learning Program is designed to provide access to learning for those students and families who face emergency situations beyond their control. Many of these emergency situations will be related to the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus. To access this program, parents and/or students must request permission in advance (whenever possible) from the School office so that we can assist and ensure clear and timely communication with our teachers who will be offering this flexibility. Requests for Hybrid Learning will be considered by the School administration under the following conditions:

  • COVID-related matters (isolation, illness, travel disruption, etc.)
  • Visa delays
  • Relocation to the UK
  • Extended long-term illness prohibiting the student from being on campus, supported by a medical certificate

Requests for Hybrid Learning will not be considered for short-term illness, sick days, medical appointments, or holidays outside of term time.  For these non-emergency situations, a student can complete tasks and catch up with classwork through materials left on Google classroom.

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Sports & Activities

The Sports & Activities department continues to monitor UK Government Covid-19 guidance for schools in addition to the recommendations from individual sport governing bodies and the Association for Physical Education (AfPE).  These trusted sources of guidance will help TASIS to establish which co-curricular sports and activities will be on offer at the start of the 2021/22 school year. Our main aim remains the same, which is to endeavour to offer all TASIS students the most Covid-safe sports and activities program we possibly can. The latest information regarding the 2021/22 sports and activities schedule is located in the co-curricular sports and activities section of the TASIS England website. Members of the TASIS England community can also view the latest proposed team sport schedule/fixtures for 2021/22 by accessing the Athletics Calendar via the LMS.

Sports & Activities

We recognize that the sports and activities program is vitally important, not only from a physical fitness perspective, but also because of the social and psychological benefits that sports, and activity participation provides students. However, it is important to note that COVID-19 guidelines in relation to social distancing, indoor sports, and social restrictions are revised on a daily basis. Therefore, we may adapt or, indeed, change or cancel some offerings depending on what we feel can be safely offered through the most up to date guidance available at any given time. Particularly indoor sports and/or activities that will need to be adapted to better suit the use of indoor areas and the additional COVID-19 restrictions/social distancing measures that may be required.

From a sports team perspective, we continue to work with the other London School Sports Association (LSSA) schools and Independent Schools Association (ISA) members to identify solutions to the current issues surrounding travel, indoor sports, swimming pools, contact sports, and the sharing of equipment. At this time, we are optimistic that TASIS teams will be able to at least partially resume some if not all competitive fixtures for the 2021/22 school year.

Students and parents will receive direct email communication and weekly updates in the TASIS Times from the sports/activities department that provide updated information about the co-curricular options for each area of school (LS, MS & US).

Sports Team International Travel 

Unfortunately, international travel for sports teams will not take place until February 2022 at the earliest. Therefore, any International Schools Athletic Association (ISAA) tournaments scheduled for the remainder of 2021 have been canceled and will no longer take place. This decision is mirrored by the majority of schools and sports organizations throughout the world. We are currently working with other UK-based schools to identify if we are in a position to create localized bespoke tournaments which will look to provide TASIS students with the best possible opportunity to take part in end-of-year competitions.

TASIS Weekend Sports Clubs 

We are optimistic that we will be able to offer a variety of weekend sports and activities throughout the year ahead. Weekend clubs are provided by a mixture of TASIS coaching staff and external providers. 

Summer Sports Camp & Upper School Fall Sports Team Pre-season

TASIS will be offering sports coaching sessions for the weeks of 9-12 and 16-19 August (Monday-Thursday) for Lower and Middle School students. Information on how to book these sessions can be found on the link provided below.

In addition, we will be offering pre-season options for Upper School students. These sessions are designed for those students who are preparing to participate in US team sports for the fall.

PAYMENT FOR SESSIONS WILL BE REQUIRED AT REGISTRATION ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE CAMPS. THE DEADLINE TO SIGN UP IS FRIDAY, 30 JULY. REGISTER HERE.

Please note there will be no changing room facilities on offer at this time. Students should come dressed appropriately for their sport including the required personal protection equipment (PPE) such as shin guards and soccer cleats/Astroturf footwear for soccer.

Due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19 and the continued focus on safety, students MUST bring their own snack and water bottle (facilities are available to refill water bottles. There will be no water bottles or food/snacks provided.

Online Sports & Activities Information

You can find some useful online sports and activity resources for TASIS families to enjoy during the summer months through the LMS. These include some helpful sports skills tutorials by TASIS sports coaches, and some fun family activity ideas on our LS Royals Cubs webpage on the LMS.

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Mental Health & Well-being

Access to counseling for students

  • Day School: Students will have regular access to counselors during the academic day for group and 1:1 sessions.
  • Boarding School: In addition to school-day access to counselors, boarding students will have access to a school counselor during the evening from Monday to Thursday for group and 1:1 sessions.

Wellness programs for students

  • Start-of-year orientations focused on pastoral support, relationships, and well-being.
  • Learning opportunities: The PSHEE program started the school year by looking at how students can maintain their mental health and well-being. 
  • We are looking into the option of offering mindfulness courses/opportunities throughout the School.
  • We may also offer a mental health first-aid course to eleventh and twelfth grade students in the second semester.

Wellness programs for students during lockdown

During times of lockdown, all students will have regular video-linked contact and communication with their teachers, homeroom teachers, and advisors. Sectional safeguarding teams and school counselors are available to support all of our students, irrespective of time difference and location.

Mental health and well-being advice and guidance is provided to students and parents and PSHEE classes will continue as normal.

Wellness programs for staff/faculty

  • Careful consideration is given in planning how we can help all of our faculty and staff stay physically active and socially connected within the guidelines set by the UK Government.
  • Experiential learning opportunities include mindfulness and meditation courses and team fitness courses with external partners.
  • Support Services include access to confidential counseling services through the faculty benefits package.

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Health Center

The Health Center is committed to the health and well-being of each student. The center provides a medical service for all students and is staffed full-time, with fully qualified nurses who can be contacted at any time in an emergency. The center has four en-suite bedrooms in case any of the boarding students are unwell (with an illness other than COVID-19) and cannot attend lessons during the school day. 

  • If your child presents during the day with a temperature that is higher than 37.8ºC/100ºF, your child will be sent home. For any boarding student presenting with a high temperature, we will follow our Care, Isolate, Test & Trace protocol for Boarding. 
  • We have equipped a dedicated space for quarantine coverage with assigned nursing and medical best practices in our Wellness Center. 
  • Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): We have sufficient supplies of face shields, masks, gloves, aprons or coveralls, storage containers, etc. available and in stock.
  • Medication distribution: Rotas for nurses are already in place. 

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