SAS News About the COVID-19
Our sincere thoughts continue to go out to everyone affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus known as COVID–19. In an effort to keep our community safe and informed, we are sharing the very latest information about how COVID–19 is affecting the SAS community.
We thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this challenging time. As the situation progresses, updates will be available here and will be shared via email as well. Should you have specific questions that are not noted below, kindly email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated April 26, 4pm (Shanghai time)
- When are our campuses re-opening?
- What forms are required to have for my child before they enter campus?
- Do I need to submit my child’s temperature every day? How will I do this?
- What will the campuses look like once they’re re-opened this semester?
- What will happen if someone on campus has a fever?
- What will academics look like once campuses re-open this semester?
- Are students, faculty, and staff restricted from traveling outside Shanghai?
- When will the Chinese borders open?
- How do I get the most update to date information about campus re-opening?
We are in the process of gaining approval from the Shanghai Education Commission (SEC) and Minhang and Pudong districts to re-open our campuses as early as May 6. In the interest of safety, students are required to return in stages, rather than all at once. Our proposed plan is:
- May 6: Grades 11 and 12 return
- May 11: Grades 9 and 10 return
- May 18: Grades 7 and 8 return
- May 25: Grades 4, 5 and 6 return
(Please note, this plan changed from information shared on Friday morning due to updated information from government authorities.)
At this time, we have not received permission to invite students in Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3. We do not have a date when permission might be granted.
We will inform parents as early as possible once approval has been granted to re-open campus.
Before entering SAS campuses or buses, there are a number of forms we will need to collect from all students, faculty, and staff. Please stay alert for additional emails regarding further details on the following:
Updated Health and Safety Form – This form is similar to the health and travel survey that was previously issued. The Health and Safety From will be required for all students, faculty, and staff before they are able to enter our campuses or buses. The information to be submitted must be done so no more than three days before returning to campus. The prompt attention of those students returning to campus, will be a must.
Quarantine Completion Form – Proof of quarantine completion will be required. If forms have not been received by your respective neighborhood committee, a self-quarantine completion form will also be acceptable. Self-quarantine completion forms will be available shortly.
Nucleic Acid Test Form – For those who arrived in Shanghai after March 28, this form is required. It should be received by medical professionals during the arrival process in Shanghai.
Parents will be required to take their child’s temperature each morning and report it before the child can enter SAS campuses or buses. Reporting will be conducted using the SAS TMS (Transportation Management System) app. ALL parents will be required to download this app. Downloading and reporting instructions will be shared in the coming week.
In the interest of safety, government authorities have mandated restrictions on campus once our campuses re-open. While conditions continue to evolve, here is what we know thus far:
- Parents are not allowed on campus
- No air conditioning is allowed; fans and open windows are permitted
- Some facilities such as the pools and performing arts centers will be closed and other facilities such as the libraries and cafeterias, will have limited or no use. Further details will be shared before the campuses re-open.
- Entry and Exit access will be restricted. In Puxi, entry will be through Gate 5 only; exit will be through gate 3 only. In Pudong, morning entry will be at Gate 1 (main entrance); afternoon exit will also be through Gate 1 (main entrance). Note that on the Pudong campus there will be no entry permitted during the designated exit times.
The school will be enforcing strict protocols as well:
- Parents will need to take and report their child’s temperature each morning; if their temperature is 37.3˚C or higher, they will not be able to attend school. Details on reporting and protocols will be shared the week of April 27.
- Students, faculty, and staff will need to provide their school ID and green QR Health Code prior to entering campus; temperatures will be taken upon entry and exit.
Any student, faculty, or staff whose temperature is recorded as 37.3˚C or higher during the school day will be isolated and monitored by the school nurse in a designated quarantine area on campus.
Strict protocols will be adhered to in accordance with SEC and CDC regulations. We will share additional details this week.
For students who remain off-campus, Distance Learning @ SAS will continue until the end of the academic year on June 12th.
On campus, high school and middle school students will continue with their core set of subjects according to a similar schedule as prior to campus closure, with needed adjustments to accommodate the constraints put on us by the local government. Each class will be supported and guided by an SAS faculty member – either the regular class teacher or one with reassigned responsibilities. Principals will directly communicate schedule and assignment details with students once re-opening dates are confirmed.
The curriculum will follow the same schedule and goals as Distance Learning so we may synchronize progress of students both on and off campus. Students on campus will continue to have access to resources and assignments posted online.
Elementary school students who we are able to invite back will have either their own classroom teacher or another qualified SAS elementary classroom teacher to support them. Elementary school principals will share the new schedule with families once the re-opening date is confirmed.
Special attention will also be paid to the social-emotional learning needs of all students during this time.
For all on-campus students, there will be staggered start and end times for the day. Details will be shared once our proposal is approved.
According to the SEC, students, faculty, and staff who leave Shanghai must repeat a 14-day self-quarantine period before being able to enter campus – even if the travel is within China. (If arriving from Wuhan, Hubei after April 8, confirmation of a successful nucleic acid test will also be required.) While we have been given no specific details for family members, we strongly recommend you refrain from travel outside Shanghai in the coming weeks – particularly for those with students in grades we’re proposing to return to campus in May – grades 4-12.
We do not know when the Chinese borders will open, allowing expat faculty and families to come to Shanghai. We are optimistic it will happen over the summer, in time for us to start the 2020-21 school year on schedule with our faculty and families back in Shanghai.
The Chinese government have confirmed they’re already looking to re-open their borders to foreigners, likely through Singapore and South Korea initially, which only adds to our optimism.
- What will SAS do to ensure safe campuses upon our return?
- Will there be graduation and other senior traditions?
- Will ASAs and sport practices happen when our campuses re-open?
- Can students be outside during their lunch break?
- Will the library be open to parents once campuses are open?
The campuses of SAS have undergone a deep cleaning which followed our cleaning partners’ infectious disease protocol. This cleaning was completed on January 21 and 22. In preparation of our campuses re-opening, the campuses will be cleaned again prior to re-opening using the same enhanced cleaning process.
SAS buses have also undergone a deep cleaning using the same cleaning solution that was used on our campuses. Our busses will be cleaned again before our campuses’ anticipated re-opening. Once our campuses have re-opened, we will continue this level of cleaning daily.
Further details will be shared prior to our campuses re-opening.
Due to government restrictions on group gatherings as well as campus access, the school is unable to host traditional SAS senior events such as graduation, or Senior Walk.
However, in dialogue with seniors and their parents, we are creating a series of gestures to celebrate and unite our seniors in their final weeks, including an event online for seniors and their families; details are forthcoming. Additionally, while not having an in-person graduation is disappointing, we are exploring an on-campus tribute that will reflect and remind future Eagles of the challenges faced by the unique Class of ’20.
- Are the tuition deposit and fee deadlines going to be further adjusted?
- Will there be a tuition discount?
In an acknowledgement of this unpredictable time, the school has previously moved the due date of the tuition deposit to May 1, which is later than our normal fee schedule. Unfortunately, we cannot move the deadlines back further, as it would negatively affect our ability to properly plan for the coming school year. With these payments, your commitment secures your child’s place as we look to invite new families to SAS. We ask for your commitment to ensure we can plan for and deliver the best SAS experience possible and plan for the future.
Please note, while tuition deposit is non-refundable, all other tuition fees are fully refundable until August 1.
SAS has previously announced financial discounts that recognize the situation:
- Bus fees that have gone unused during the 2019-20 school year and trip fees will all be refunded
- 2020-21 tuition fees for returning families have been frozen to 2019-20 fees, an average savings of 4.9% due to next year’s tuition increase
- Pre-K and Kindergarten parents were given the choice of refunds; it’s worth noting that the majority chose to remain in the Distance Learning program.
While other international schools may be offering discounts, many are already charging 13-14% more than SAS. It is also worth noting that at SAS, all revenue that comes into the school goes towards making the school even better – which is unique in Shanghai.
Please also note, while tuition deposit is non-refundable, all other tuition fees are fully refundable until August 1.
- Will the current school year be extended beyond June 12?
- Will Distance Learning continue to evolve in the final weeks of the school year?
- Will my child move up to the next grade?
- How can I support my child emotionally during this time?
- What’s the latest information on the ACT and SAT?
As previously shared, the school year will end on June 12. Our students have been engaged in distance learning throughout this period of campus closure. Once campuses re-open, students will complete the year by engaging in distance learning or on-campus learning, depending on their personal circumstances.
Our students’ Distance Learning experience continues to evolve even in these final months of school. Most recently, divisions introduced additional synchronous sessions, bolstered student accountability measures, clarified assessment practices, and presented enhancements in each division.
In the upcoming weeks, our community can continue to expect additional instructional opportunities that blend synchronous and asynchronous learning. As always, we continue to encourage our community to refer to our weekly Chief Academic Officer update and Sunday Principal Messages for further details and future opportunities.
SAS is a community that supports our students and families both academically and emotionally, particularly during this time of Distance Learning @ SAS. We know this global health situation poses many challenges for families. Below are some resources that our Student Support Services team has compiled. We hope this information will be helpful during this time.
Articles with suggestions and tips about talking with your children during this time:
Resources in Mandarin:
Resources in Korean:
• Helping Your Family Cope During Uncertain Times (in Korean):
Non-school, non-screen related activities your child can do with their extra time:
• https://yourteenmag.com/family-life/communication/100-things-teenagers-can-do-without-screens (includes some activities that can only be done living in areas not majorly impacted by virus.)
Shanghai based resources:
Online community resources:
Olivia's Place Online Psychology Service Programs
If your need to talk to someone right away:
• In Shanghai, Lifeline is open for calls from 10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. at 400-821-1215 (https://www.lifeline-shanghai.com/)
• The United States has a 24-hour number at
1-800-273 8255 (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/)
Community Online Health Talks
United Family Healthcare
The school is in the process of designing a summer program for families who remain in Shanghai.
Should we be able to do so, we would offer a summer program that serves all three divisions and reflects the interests of our community, as we received from our parent survey conducted earlier in April.
It is our commitment to financially support this experience to the furthest extent possible. The degree of financial support, however, is dependent on our final design.
Please note that government restrictions may greatly limit or prevent our offering a summer program this year. We look forward to informing our parents on the approvals and financial support in the coming weeks.
- Will we open on time next year?
- Is there a contingency plan for next year?
- Will Distance Learning continue into next year?
- What is the status of next year’s enrollment and faculty recruiting?
While the future impact of the virus cannot be predicted, we are optimistic that the safety protocols in place in China will continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and that we will begin the year as scheduled on August 12, 2020, with our full team of faculty and leadership in place here in Shanghai. The Chinese government have confirmed they’re already looking to re-open their borders to foreigners, likely through Singapore and South Korea initially, which only adds to our optimism.
We are preparing a contingency schedule for the 2020-21 school year that would start the school year a few weeks later. It is being developed to maximize the probability of our faculty and families being able to return to Shanghai, should the Chinese borders be slow to open. The contingency schedule will feature a full academic year.
While our faculty and students are now well-versed in effective distance learning, we do not intend to continue distance learning in the fall unless we are mandated to do so if, for example, our campuses are closed again due to the spread of COVID-19. Should we be mandated, we would move to our Distance Learning model, and give families in early childhood and kindergarten the power to choose whether to continue participating in the distance learning program as we have done this year.
For enrollment, over 78% of SAS families have indicated they will return to SAS. It is a remarkable show of loyalty to the school during these unpredictable times, and for that, we are grateful.
For faculty recruitment, we have completed our search for overseas faculty for the 2020-21 school year, and are preparing to welcome new faculty members to SAS over the summer. It is worth noting that SAS faculty members remain at SAS an average of 5.9 years – three times longer than their original contracts – in spite of being recruited by other top tier international schools. It is, again, a much-appreciated display of loyalty.
The following safety guidelines have been shared by the International SOS:
• Wash your hands frequently. Carry hand sanitizer for use when soap and water are not readily available.
• Maintain good personal hygiene.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Keep some distance from people who are obviously sick.
• Ensure food, including eggs, is thoroughly cooked.
• Seek medical attention if you develop symptoms, especially fever or shortness of breath.