Middle School


Updated on 3 June 2020

Over these last ten days, we saw the first of our grade level rotations with in-school attendance high across all three grades.  We have been increasingly able to shift to more face-to-face teaching which has been just fantastic to see - some sense of normality returning.

The rotation continues for the remainder of this week before we move to a full return on Monday 8 June.  We will share some specific details about the learning experiences and opportunities the students will engage with for those last eight and a half days of school before the weekend, but for now, I wanted to describe the design principles we are following as we continue to build the programme.

Homeroom-based Model
To reduce both the movement around our building, which has one communal stairwell and one entrance/exit, alongside our commitment to remaining in clearly defined ‘bubbles’, the students will be staying within their homeroom groups throughout the last two weeks. 

Each grade level team is currently in the process of building a programme that offers both academic and engaging challenges for all students as well as honouring the rituals that would normally take place at this time. We are determined to bring the end to this academic year in the most positive, challenging, and enjoyable way as possible.

Use of the Baarburg building
We have spent time liaising with the Federation of Public Health (BAG/FOPH), Minergie (the environmental organisation whose building standards the Baarburg follows), and the original Baarburg architect regarding the safety of our building in terms of ventilation.  We also met with an independent ventilation specialist last week to gain an independent perspective.  All have approved the use of the building in direct relation to Covid-19 because of the following:

  • Fresh air is continuously brought in and stale air pushed out - it is not recycled air
  • The cubic meterage of air change/flow is well above the recommended level
  • The air is filtered both coming in and going out of rooms

Our independent advisor is currently writing a formal statement confirming this. 

Despite this, we also know that the building can get very warm at this time of year and so for staff and student comfort, we will also utilise outside and larger spaces on and off campus throughout these last two weeks.

Length of the school day
The length of the school day will follow the usual times. Registration will take place at 8:50am with students arriving on campus between 8:30am and 8:50am. In the morning, the basketball court will continue to be a drop off zone only - no parking is available here. Parents are requested not to park in the visitor car park as this is allocated for the families with younger children in Primary School who need to be assisted to the drop off zones. 

Middle School students will not be released before 15:30 in line with the continued Primary School staggered approach. 

Students who decide to travel via public transport are highly recommended to follow Swiss guidance around the use of masks whilst using buses and trains. All students will be asked to wash hands/sanitise as they come into the buildings.

Students unable to come to school
We know there are some families who for medical reasons are unable to come into school. With 95%+ students and staff back in school for face-to-face learning we cannot offer the full online programme we have seen over the past three months.  However, we are building an online programme for those staying at home that will be both challenging and engaging for those students unable to return.  To help us with the planning of this please complete this form if your child will not return for the remainder of this academic year.

If the trends continue to follow the same pattern we are extremely hopeful that we can return to a regular Middle School schedule in August with students mixing across the grades and being supported across their subjects by multiple teachers.  Our shift on June 8 is our next step towards this goal.

We are looking forward to seeing the vast majority of students and staff back on campus next week; this has been a difficult time for all of us and there is something very special about bringing our community back together once more to mark this quite incredible year.