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Increasing Infection Numbers and Birralee’s Priorities

Increasing Infection Rates

Infection infection rates in Trondheim and Norway are rising and the authorities have clearly indicated that we need to prepare ourselves for some difficult weeks ahead.

Even though the risk of serious illness for children and vaccinated people is low, there is a risk of important services in society collapsing if too many people fall ill at the same time (bus drivers, nurses, doctors, teachers etc.).

At Birralee, we are currently also dealing with a high number of staff absences due to Covid-19 in addition to the regular absences that we usually have. This creates challenges for the way we run the school.

Birralee’s Priorities

The school’s main priority over the coming weeks is to remain physically open. This is in line with the government’s priority to keep all students in school for their psychosocial well-being and is based on the experiences of children during the last lockdown.

With the increasing infection rates amongst staff, staying open will be a challenge.

We will do everything we can to keep the school open whilst maintaining a good and safe learning environment for everybody. If it becomes necessary to close parts of the school, we will try to prioritise keeping the school open for our youngest classes and for Years 9 and 10 (exams).

The current situation, with 25% of our staff ill with Covid-19 at the same time, already has consequences for the way the school day is organised. We have postponed activities that require a lot of staffing (like swimming and school trips) until after Winter Break.

If staff illness keeps increasing, offers such as Homework Club and ASP might also be temporarily affected.

The School Leadership will meet with the Parents Committee every week during this period to discuss any possible changes to the students’ school life. We will keep all Birralee families updated about the latest developments through posts on our website.

What support will students who are at home receive?

The school has a Digital Home Learning Plan in place which was used during the lock down in the spring of 2020. It has since been updated based on the experiences of our students, staff and parents. This Digital Home Learning Plan will be used if the school needs to physically close down for a period of time

At the moment, the school’s main priority, in line with national and local guidelines, is to remain open. We therefore need all teachers/staff who are not unwell to cover colleagues who are absent in the different classes. With 25% of our teachers/staff currently unwell this is a challenge and leaves little room to vigorously follow up students who are temporarily at home (but not unwell) due to Covid-19.

Our staff will do their best to support students who are at home. The support these students will receive will vary from class to class and from period to period. It will depend on staffing in the different year groups. Please note that even though all teachers in a certain age group might be at school, they might not all be working in that age group as they could be temporarily reassigned to a different age group to cover a need there.

If a child is away from school the following provision is in place:

  1. In Years 1-5 the students will be able to see the homework grid and the topics that are being covered that week

  2. In Years 6-10 the teachers will post work on Google Classroom and they will also have access to the homework plans

Students are always welcome to contact their teachers at any time and our teachers will do their best to get back to them. This might vary depending on the availability of teachers. They might be teaching in the classroom or they might be unwell at home themselves.

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