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School opens tomorrow

|   BLOG Distance Learning

by Leon Liu, father of a Waldorf school in China 

At this moment, I was sitting in the middle of my yard surrounded by green trees, preparing the school supplies for the second-year boy who was studying at local Waldorf School. The spread of the COVID19 during the Chinese New Year has disordered my family regularity. The spring semester should have been opened in the middle of February but extended to the end of April. During this period,  I feel like have experienced a long wait of a century.

My city is located in Sichuan Province in western China. Because of the well-recognized education ( it ranks among the top in Sichuan’s yearly  college entrance examinations), many parents in Sichuan send their children here for study.

Waldorf education can put roots here should also be attributed to the strong learning environment and the atmosphere where parents value education. However, the Waldorf school, which is different from public education, is still relatively minority. The small campus is on the outskirts of the city. There are not many students in the school. So far, the primary school has only about 50 children from grades 1 to 5. Among them, the third grade of primary school was dubbed “Hulu Brothers” (the story of 6 boys in Chinese cartoons) because there were only 6 boys. The kindergarten only has more than 30 children in 3 classes. school of this size is very small and incomplete in China. Because a public primary school usually has 6 grades and 50-60 children in each class,  a grade usually has 10 classes. Since then, it is normal to have more than 3,000 students.

There are still parents who like this kind of small class teaching. In the forest on the outskirts of the city, closer to the nature. What’s more important is the performances of teaching not based on exam results. My wife is such a mother.  This is my son's winter vacation in the second grade here. Because of the outbreak, it seems so long.

The public schools have already started on April 7th with strict corresponding regulations. For example, one of the schools has follows;

1. Healthy 

(1) The student must in good physical condition and has no symptoms such as fever, cough, and fatigue for 14 consecutive days (the fever is 37.3 degrees Celsius and above)

(2) The students and family members have not been in contact with the confirmed, suspected cases  within 14 days. If they return from key epidemic areas, have to been living at home for more than 14 days.

2. Knowledge 

Parents and students are requested to read the “Guidelines for the Prevention” carefully and make preparations.

3. Document 

(1) School Teacher and Student Health Card"

(2) Self reporting

(3) Campus card, ID 

4. Material preparation

(1) Protective materials such as hand sanitizer and mask

(2) Regular medicines

(3) Learning tools and learning materials during online courses

Above measures ensure the public school fully prevented. Even so, as parents of local Waldorf school, they are still very cautious. Part of parents hope that the Waldorf School could open later. Therefore, the school leadership team has adopted an online survey tool to collect opinions from all parents across the school. The results show that 56% of the parents are willing to postponed, 39% of the parents want to open the school on time, and 5% of the parents want to wait and see for a longer time. The results of the survey were publicized transparently through the mobile phone in WeChat group, everyone can easily saw the results. The final determination is that the school opening was scheduled for April 27, which is tomorrow.

Teachers and parent volunteers prepared the school supplies in advance on the weekend. The school leadership team made emergency plans and conducted relevant drills to ensure safety. And I, as a father, experienced the professional and efficient online survey after the open discussions initiated by the school, public and transparent results announcement, and school opening preparation and drills. I am very sure that My family is ready. I have no doubt for tomorrow as no matter what happened,  we all together!