THE SCHOOLS MAY BE (PARTLY) CLOSED, BUT NEW2NL IS STILL OPEN!
Maybe you have seen it; last Wednesday evening, our Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport, Hugo de Jonge, gave another press conference. They presented the new timeframe for when things can be re-opened again in times of the coronavirus.
Good news, but this will all only work if we all keep our distance (1.5 meters), regularly wash our hands and stay home if we have any symptoms of the coronavirus.
You can read the English summary of the press conference on the NOS in English page on Facebook. There have been some important updates since.
Schools have already re-opened in Denmark (AFP)
There wasn’t much news about education this time. Most things we already knew from the previous press conference:
Primary schools will partly re-open on May 11th; this Monday. Only half of the children may be present at the time. The government recommends that the children go to school full days for 2-3 days per week, so it will reduce the traffic to and from school, and makes it easier to coordinate for the after-school care organizations. The schools have the final say. A bit over 20% of the schools have chosen for half-days of school. Some of them feel it is better for the children to be in school every day, and for the teachers to keep better track of their students. Not all parents are completely happy with this solution, though.
The schools have to implement a lot of other rules as well, for example, the tables of the students are at least 1.5 meters apart, they only attend class, play and have breaks within the same bubble (half of the class), everyone has to wash their hands very frequently and the classroom will often get disinfected, there is a designated walking route through the school, each group starts and finishes school at different times, and parents are not allowed in school. The teachers have to keep 1.5 meters distance as much as possible, and they can get tested when they show any symptoms. Whoever has a cold (teachers or students), has to stay home, and when someone has e fever or breathing problems, the whole household stays home.
Children may go to the after-school care (BSO) on the same days as they are going to school – even if they don’t have a contract for those days, and children whose parents have an essential job, may go to school and BSO every day (like what is happening now already). On the days that the children don’t go to school, they’ll get homework and other assignments. In most cases, the online teaching will stop.
I sincerely hope it will all work out well.
Schools for special needs education, as well as daycare centres will open at the same schedule as before the coronavirus hit. Of course they also needed to implement all safety and hygienic measures.
The schools for secondary education are scheduled to open on June 2nd. They still have to design the new structure, which is a bit more challenging.
Higher education will most likely stay closed for the rest of the school year. It looks like an exception will be made for students of MBO schools who have to take their vocational exams.
The timing of the summer vacation will be unchanged; in the Amsterdam-Haarlem and above region (North) from July 4th until August 16. The week after it is the turn of the Southern region, followed by the Middle region on July 18th. You can find all other dates here.
NEW: New2NL School Communication Support
Do you want to know how exactly your school has planned their re-opening on May 11th?
The New2NL School Communication Support is there to ensure you understand everything you receive from the school!
You could also use this service when you have to fill out a form you don’t understand. Or maybe your child has received a school report, and you want to know what it says, so you can prepare for the meeting with the teacher? Or does your child need help understanding homework assignments?
Our service is immeasurably better than Google Translate: apart from giving you an accurate translation, we also capture the true meaning of the message, thanks to our expertise in education.
Join our webinar about the Dutch education system and coronavirus updates on Saturday, 16 May at 4pm CEST/10am EST.
I’ll explain how the Dutch education system works, what your options are for Dutch and international education (both primary and secondary), and other things you’ll need to be aware of as an international parent.
Of course we’ll also give you an update about the coronavirus regulations related to education. And we’ll evaluate the first week of the schools being open again.
We’ll conclude with a Q&A-session, where you can ask your questions. We’ll also record this webinar, so you’ll be able to watch it at a later point if you missed it live, or rewatch it.
Can’t attend the live webinar? No problem! Go ahead and sign up. We’ll send the recording to everyone who registers for the event.