The purpose of following information is to outline how ISH will continue to offer a Blended Learning model, which includes both an Asynchronous Learning Environment as well as Synchronous, real-time engagements as a result of temporary school closure. ISH is committed to monitoring and improvement of this plan and the student experience during the time of its implementation.
This Education Continuity Plan will define the following:
- Principles on which the plan is based;
- Types of online learning and teaching that the school will support.
- Distance learning platforms and tools that ISH will use;
- Procedure to conduct school remotely until resumption of normal operations;
- Details the expectations required of both teachers and families for the successful continuation of student learning and family communication.
Principals on which distance learning at ISH is based.
Distance learning in an emergency situation is not the same as distance learning as a long-term, planned pedagogical approach to learning. All ISH teachers and students are asked to do their best to create and participate in distance learning experiences.
- Consistency and simplicity are key. This is not a time to emphasize experimentation. This is a time to fall back on what we know works. We will address learning outcomes, set learning goals, and interact on familiar and secure IT platforms. The current school schedule will remain in place for the initial week or two after a school closure, and it will be adjusted if needed if a closure continues for a longer period.
- Collaboration and interaction are shown to increase the effectiveness of distance learning. We will need to see and hear each other. To be seen. To be heard. Scheduling students in small groups may be more effective for student learning than scheduling large class live streams or in setting work and providing feedback without live interaction. We will try our best to be present, and to see and speak with one another. We will trust each other to work independently, and to give feedback in a timely manner.
- Reflection on progress. ISH teachers will also be learning how to use technology to create effective distance learning experiences for students, and one might only see the benefits of this learning after two weeks of practice and reflection. By then we would hope that any school closure would no longer be necessary. If a school closure persists beyond two weeks’ time, we will adapt our plan to incorporate student and teacher feedback at the start of the third week of distance learning.
- Realistic expectations : just because teachers and students are at home does not mean they have time free to devote to learning at all times. Classes are scheduled as normal, so we ask that students are available as often as they can be during class times.
- Teachers will set learning experiences that are relevant to the class’s curriculum, and students will aim to complete these in the time allotted on the distance learning schedule.
- Teacher and students will communicate about absences, or inability to engage in learning for any reason. Teachers will be present at the start of each lesson, and ensure that students know the structure and expectations of the lesson.
- Effective distance learning is built on engagement within structured periods of time, like classes. Class time in distance learning may not equate directly to class time in a face-to-face class.
- Building Blocks: with realistic expectations, and consistency and simplicity in mind, as ISH Gymnasiet Education Continuity Plan well as reference to the school’s learning support policy, our academic honesty policy, and assessment policy, we aim to provide connected but contained learning experiences and assignments during distance learning. Students should be able to begin and end classes with an understanding that each experience is meaningfully connected to a learning objective in their course. Teachers will make that connection explicit, and by doing so, build students’ knowledge and skills one block at a time.
Types of online learning and teaching.
There are two types of online learning and teaching that ISH will balance based on student needs and circumstances. They will be referred to as synchronous (happening collaboratively and at the same time with a group of online learners and usually a teacher) and asynchronous (happening at any time, not necessarily in a group, but with teacher feedback).
Our goal is not to try to re-create face-to-face (F2F) classrooms, which is impossible to do, especially under diverse circumstances that our students will experience while at home if the school must be closed. We intend to provide online and blended learning opportunities for learners to work more independently, expand their agency, and learn to use tools and strategies that they otherwise might not have. While it is not recommended to experiment in emergency situations, innovation, creativity and resilience are required to make things work.
Learning experiences that are easy to conduct and/or to assess:
- Content production and collaborative writing. We can use Google suite as collaborative writing and production tools.
- Short teacher-created video to begin ‘lessons’ that then lead to collaborative or individual learning engagements. Short student-made videos to show learning.
- Multimedia presentations. Most content production solutions also allow for multimedia presentations, but more complex infographics and interactive presentations are possible. Examples: Beautiful.ai, Slides.com, Piktochart.com.
- Quizzes, polls and surveys. These can be set up online in a few minutes. Examples: Easypolls, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google Forms Quizzes.
- Games and simulations. There are many options for educational games online that can be accessed by anyone and be relevant to curriculum content.
- Video chatting and conferencing to simulate face-to-face classroom or tutoring. Many free or built- in applications are available for individual and group chats. We intend to use Skype and Zoom at ISH. Short videos, or video conferencing proves much more effective than when teachers aim to simulate a classroom environment on a digital platform. Short and sweet is the rule!
Learning experiences that involve physical activities, resources, or spaces . In most circumstances it will be possible to assign activities and discussions so that students seek out the physical experiences they need, then bring back evidence of and reflections on what they have done. During an extended quarantine, this may be essential, especially if the quarantine requires that students are indoors for prolonged periods.
Distance Learning Platforms in the ISH gymnasiet.
The following Online Platforms support both Distance Learning and faculty/student/family collaboration to ensure a quality student learning experience when planning and delivering remotely. Social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram, etc, due to their lack of privacy, are not authorized by the IB for delivery of content or collaboration between students and teachers.
- Communication : Google UTB email is the communication tool used to contact and communicate with ISH students. Families can contact ISH staff at their @helsingborg.se addresses.
- Curriculum, Gradebook, and Calendar : Managebac is the curriculum and assignment tool used to schedule, submit, and receive written feedback on assignments. Additional feedback tools can include Google Docs or subject-specific online feedback tools that are already built in to classroom routines. Some subjects use InThinking online tools. Some subjects may use Google Classroom.
- Faculty and Class Conferencing Tools : Google tools are faculty online collaboration platforms and video conferencing tools for remote instructional planning and synchronous video conferencing. The school will support instruction, video chat, assessed Diploma coursework, and video conferencing using Google Meet.
We encourage faculty, students, and parents to contact ISH IT Services for any tech related question:
Michiel van der Gragt: email@example.com or 073 377 0064
Simon Vickers: firstname.lastname@example.org / 072 217 4069
Procedure to conduct school remotely.
During a closure of two weeks or less, ISH will continue to follow the academic and pastoral schedule found on the school’s scheduling site. For a closure of two weeks or less, the school will run on the current timetable, with perhaps some changes to make shorter the school day for Diploma students. For a closure of more than two weeks, the school will aim to adjust the schedule based on best practice and feedback from students and teachers. Parents, the schedule can be accessed on the ISH App. Students will work on assignments in collaboration with their peers in a synchronous or asynchronous learning engagement, or engage with work set for the course (such as reading, written responses, producing short films, etc) meant to be done without synchronous collaboration with a teacher or peers.
We cannot set a specific format for all Distance Learning engagements, especially during emergency situations. Some classes during school closure will be run using familiar IT platforms, and consists primarily of work assigned, submitted, and feedback given using familiar methods. This may be assuring for students who work better independently. Other classes may ask that students engage with more collaborative IT platforms, but our emphasis will be on consistency and predictability of use.
Assignments and Feedback
On Sundays at 9pm, the Programme Coordinator will email students with the upcoming week’s ‘Distance Learning Schedule’ complete with learning engagements, the platforms for those engagements, and the estimated time that each engagement will require of students. We will consider that the time needed to complete distance learning assignments will be greater than the time allocated in face-to-face learning in the classroom, and adjust expectations as we all learn from experience. Short, building-block type assignments with quick feedback turnaround should be the norm.
Roles and responsibilities of students and families for the successful continuation of student learning and communication with the school community.
Group Roles and Responsibilities
- Dedicate appropriate time to learning, comparable to a school day and/or as guided by your teacher/s.
- Check appropriate online platforms for information on courses, assignments, resources daily.
- Attend any synchronous engagements offered by each of their teacher/s.
- Communicate clearly with teachers and staff about their needs and challenges regarding distance learning.
- Create a study schedule for distance learning outside the schedule of learning engagements provided by the school.
- Identify a comfortable and quiet space to study/learn.
- Engage in all learning posted with academic honesty.
- Submit all assignments in accordance with provided timeline and/or due dates.
- Ensure own social and emotional balance by keeping healthy habits.
Support their child/ren in their learning by:
- Providing an environment conducive to learning (access to technology, safe and quiet space during daytime).
- Engaging in conversations on posted materials, assignments.
- Monitoring time spent engaging in online and offline learning, including variables like that of preferred learning times (morning, afternoon, evening).
- Encouraging attendance, as much as possible, to the regular synchronous engagements offered by each of their child’s teacher/s.
- Support emotional balance by providing ample room and time for
Roles and responsibilities of teachers and school staff for the successful continuation of student learning and communication with the school community.
- Develop programme plans for education continuity/distance learning.
- Communicate with faculty/staff and parents.
- Support faculty/staff and parents during distance learning.
- Ensure effective implementation of education continuity plan and accountability to student learning.
Subject Teachers & Mentors
- Collaborate with colleagues to design Distance Learning experiences for students in accordance with Programme requirements.
- Abide by the principles of distance learning in setting work and giving feedback, as well as being present when possible.
- Develop effective student learning experiences.
- Communicate with and provide timely feedback to students.
- Communicate with parents, as necessary.
Learning Support Teachers
- Partner with classroom teachers to accommodate the online learning curriculum they are providing to the learning support students.
- Communicate with all parents of students with learning support needs the first week regarding the online learning plan and how they will co-plan with the teachers for the students to access the content of the distance learning lessons.
- Recommend to parents and teachers other online learning platforms learning support students might be able to access at this time.
- Remain in contact with the IBO.
- Communicate information from the IBO to teachers, parents and students, as it becomes available.
- Coordinate the Distance Learning Schedule for each year group.
Counsellors and Nurse
- Create developmentally appropriate videos regarding selfregulation, anxiety and/or wellness strategies that students can practice during this time of Distance Learning.
- Create counseling lessons that students could complete “at home” based on the current curriculum.
- Provide developmentally appropriate “blog-type” statement/s that include resources regarding anxiety, isolation, health and wellbeing particular to grade level(s).
- Respond to counseling needs of students, as needed.
College Counsellor (SYV)
- Ensure continuity of the processing of student files for college applications.
- Support school advocacy with colleges, IB and other external bodies to ensure campus closure and its effects are understood.
- Curate resources for teachers to support the development of high-quality online learning experiences for students.
- Support teachers in the development of Distance Learning Experiences using library resources.
- Provide timely response to student, family, and faculty requests regarding technology issues.
- Curate or create screencasts, videos, podcasts or other how-to resources for teachers, as needed.
072-974 78 12, message or call me, please leave a message if I do not answer.
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We are aware that some of us find the current situation unfamiliar and do not know how to handle thoughts or emotions that might occur. We want to emphasize that this is a very normal way to feel and think when we are in a situation that might scare us or that we are not accustomed to.
Below you can find some guidelines on what to do to handle your emotions and thoughts during a time like this.
When you are studying from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is important to use some time for assessing your workspace and setting up an ergonomic home office to keep you happy and healthy.
Having general knowledge about home office ergonomics can help you design the right studying space for maximum efficiency. Even more, it can help you decrease the risk of developing repetitive strain injuries or any unwanted body pain.
Ergonomics is the study of people’s interaction with their working environment. To create an effective ergonomic office, there are some specific knowledge you can take part of.
Film on Posture: https://youtu.be/OyK0oE5rwFY
Film on Exercises: https://youtu.be/bt6JL6IuuTs
One of the most important things you can do while studying from home is to make time for exercise. It helps decrease aches and pains that occur from performing desk work every day. It also helps you maintain focus and concentration.
Thirty to sixty minutes of exercise each day can also help elevate your mood and promote feelings of well-being, something that may be important during these uncertain times. Exercises that you can be doing include: going for a solitary walk or jog, ride a bike, stretches etc.
Common Office-Related Pain
Conditions that may arise from studying in a bad position may include: back pain, sciatica/ischias, neck pain, headaches, eye strain, shoulder pain, knee pain.
If you are studying from home and start to develop any pain, adjust your position and workspace. Make sure you get all the physical activity that you need on a daily basis. Take small breaks and move your body. If you continue having problems, you may benefit from contacting a physical therapist to help you move better and feel better.
Choosing a Space at Home
Everyone’s living situation is different. Wherever you set up your home office, try to find a space that offers: Privacy, comfort, adequate lighting and easy access to power and internet
If you are setting up your home office in a bedroom, use a table or desk near outlets with an adjustable office chair for good postural support. While it may be tempting to study while sitting up in bed, you should avoid doing this. It may place your back and neck in a forward-bent position, leading to excessive stress and strain.
A typical kitchen or dining room table might work for you.
If you have a higher cafe-style kitchen table, you need to use a chair that allows you to sit higher while studying. In that case, you may also need a small box or stack of books to place your feet upon to keep your hips and knees in an optimum position while working.
If you live in a small studio apartment, you may have to get a bit creative when setting up your home office. Find an area of your apartment that is free from clutter and is close to electrical outlets.
If you do not have a desk, you may consider purchasing a small one. Use an adjustable chair while working at your desk, if it is possible.
Refrain from sitting on your bed while working. If you use a couch as your seat, you may want to use pillows to help recreate the kind of support an office chair would provide.
If you already have an office in your home, simply check that your keyboard, screen/monitor, and desk are the proper height and you are able to reach all the things you need while working. Remove any excess paper and clutter so you don’t get distracted.
Ideally, you should use a desktop computer. On their own, laptops and tablets do not allow you to separate the keyboard from the monitor, forcing you to look down at the screen while working. This may place excessive strain on your neck while working.
If you must use a laptop, it is good if you have a separate keyboard and mouse, allowing you greater flexibility.
When seated at the computer, your elbows should be bent about 90 degrees and your forearms should be directly in front of you. Your computer keyboard should be directly in front of you and in line with your arms and wrists.
Place your computer monitor directly in front of you. When looking at your monitor, the top third of the screen should be at eye level.
You may need to get creative when adjusting the monitor height. Sometimes a small stack of books can be used to ensure the monitor is at the proper level when working.
The optimum office chair seat height is dependent upon your height and the height of your desk.
If it is possible:
- The chair height should be adjustable. When seated, your feet should be flat on the floor and your knees should be at a 90-degree angle. If your feet are dangling, you should use a small box, step stool, or stack of books to rest your feet on.
- The backrest should provide adequate lumbar support.
- The armrests on your chair should be adjustable too and should gently support your forearms when your elbows are bent about 90 degrees.
- When your back is against the chair’s backrest, there should be 2 or 3 inches of space between the back of your knees and the seat.
When sitting or standing, be mindful of maintaining an upright posture while you work:
- Your low back should have a slight forward curve
- Your ears should remain directly over your shoulders
- Your shoulders should remain over your hips
It may be helpful to set an alarm to ring every hour to remind you to sit up properly while working and to move around and stretching your body.
I hope you have found some new, interesting facts that can help you feel well and stay focused on your distance learning. This information is also good to keep in mind when you are in school.
Kind regards, School Nurse Madeleine Kisthinios- Conradi
When your normal day to day situation changes like it has now it is very important to uphold (as much as possible) your normal routines. Go to bed when you usually do and get up in the morning, eat on your normal hours and exercise as you usually would but maybe in a different way. A yoga session in the morning, a walk outside or a physical work out during lunch could be a good thing to start with (and here, Youtube is your friend). Maintaining normal routines favours an easier way to get through a tough situation in your everyday life no matter if it is distance learning or if you are going through a difficult time in your private life.
Mental training and breathing
To be able to wind down you can take some time and do some mental training that can take your mind off of things and focus on yourself and how you can make sure that you feel better (again Youtube is your friend). If the situation comes to the extremes and you feel very worried or anxious, remember to breathe properly, take five deep breaths and/or drink two glasses of water.
Talk to someone, preferably an adult
If you feel in need to talk to someone about your worries, it is good that you try to find an adult to talk to. Sometimes we do not feel like talking and that is ok as well, then the other recommendations as mentioned may suit you more. You can always contact the counsellors at ISH to get help, support and strategies in this trying time. See more below.
Keep distracted (busy)
Do things you normally love to do and are possible at this time, it might be a different way of doing it right now, but many things are possible at home. Time flies when we keep ourselves busy. Art, music, read a book, watch movies, sort things you never have time to do, slow down…
There are many ways of socialization. As your situation allows – spend time with your family, a few close friends as long as you are still well. But we can now be more than thankful for the digital support we have – phone and video chats! You can still see the one you are talking to. Even if they are in another country or do not feel well.
Keep yourself updated - using more reliable sources than social media
Follow the national and international news, authorities and ISH newsletters.
Help outside of school anonymously:
- BRIS, up to 18 yrs https://www.bris.se/languages/ possibility to chat, call or email
- YOUMO, 13-25 yrs. Download APP “UM Skåne Online”. You need a Bank ID, (but it does not have to be yours if you do not have one yet) Drop-in digitally between 09:00-16:30. (English is an option) https://se.visibacare.com/region-skane/
All other information and updates for parents and students at the International School of Helsingborg can be found on our ISH app. The ISH app is our primary channel of communication for all school news and important information. The app is available for download on iOS and Android devices (search for ISH Helsingborg)