COVID-19 Update 5 - School closure/online learning – 20th March 2020

It is truly a lovely afternoon as I write this message, from our Yemalur campus, with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze. We miss our children here as do the leadership in campuses.

Important updates:

1. Neev Academy (Academy) and Neev Early Years (EY) will not physically open for any students or the teachers on Monday (March 23rd). This closure now includes the Diploma students (G11&12) as well

2. Online learning starts from Tuesday 24th March for 2 weeks. For:

  1. Neev Early Years (PreK - 2 hrs/day, and K1/K2 - 3-4 hrs/day, all asynchronous learning for now. Toddler parents will get Veracross updates with daily plans and ideas).
  2. Neev Academy (Grades 1-5 : 4 hrs of learning asynchronously, Grades 6-12 : 6 hrs of learning synchronously, with 20 min breaks between sessions)

Information sharing on the online sessions for Early Years and Grades 1-4, students will be with parents and for grades 5 - 12 directly on student emails. We are sure there will be glitches. Please be patient. Everyone is learning!

3. Online learning is expected to be taxing on learners, especially without the active human relationships of peers and teachers. We will plan all sessions recognising this. Doing more, with less, keeping objectives in focus, and making ourselves available during school hours to students. It would be great if families can also use this time for having some fun together. You may also want to consider small group activities for children, like book clubs, cooking sessions, or games while closely supervising to maintain safety, hygiene, and COVID restrictions. We discourage families from travelling. Another way to handle will be sharing books; many of our students will receive curated books from school that integrate with their ongoing units, as online learning creates the need for deeper exploration of themes while raising the opportunity of longer reading sessions at home. We have ordered many books this week, but suppliers are already warning us on possible delays because of import and freight restrictions. We will also share more book titles as the learning begins, you could also try and source some other titles in local book stores.

4. EXAMS/ EVENTS Updates from the education department (state and center) and boards require us to also postpone any exams/practicals scheduled in March. This immediately impacts some of our older students, specifically Grade 8 ICSE (term exams which likely only start with other term-end exams in the latter part of April), Grade 10 MYP (Art exhibition, Personal project completion, the start of IDU expected in early April) and Grade 12 (DP second language orals). The impacted students/families will receive communication from the heads of their programmes soon. The IB has emailed us that they will share decisions for implementation of Grade 10 & Grade 12 board exams by end-March; please expect a further update from us in early April. Most of the Grade 10 &12 externally assessed tasks were completed already, and some work that is due is being monitored by teachers. Eureka, our middle school science exhibition, is on hold for now. North campus's Neevotsav as well as Neev Jatre for our Queens Road and Koramangla branches that were cancelled in the week before spring break, will also be on hold for now. Please let all students continue to work hard, meet deadlines, and use their time fruitfully.

Self-declaration protocols for all visitors on campus/es are a requirement, and children under 16 years (below Grade 10) coming to school for any reason, must be accompanied by parents for signing the self-declaration. In addition to earlier routines, we are now beginning temperature checks at the gates as an added precaution.

Yesterday we had a call from a Grade 7 Academy student, to say that she was bored and wanted to come to school. I am sad to say that will not happen for a while, at least for kids. Let's keep our children's and our hopes and spirits up. As a wise man said 'no one can whistle a symphony, but together an orchestra can play it' - if we all move forward together, then success will take care of itself for our kids.

The Prime Minister in his address to the nation last night urged Sayyam (Discipline) and Sankalp (Determination). He also urged that essential services must continue. Since we have the privilege of living in a digital world, let's ensure we help our children take learning forward, equipping them with Discipline and Determination!


Best Regards,

Kavita Gupta Sabharwal

HOS Neev Academy