The EDB confirmed that they would accept revised plans from PS and having had to update/revise a lot of our plan, we were in a position to submit the plan yesterday (Thursday).
Hopefully we get a response from the EDB early next week. We are expecting to have to make some changes as we are hearing from other schools, since our submission, that these schools need to change some of the lunch eating procedures before the EDB will look at the plan any further. We have submitted similar lunch eating procedures so we anticipate that the EDB will come back to us with some required, but manageable, changes.
One concern at the moment is the level of URTI cases in Hong Kong which, is obviously bad enough to force the closure of Kindergartens for two weeks, but hopefully this does not affect their decision to allow us to extend the school day to 3pm.
I know it has been frustrating for some parents regarding EDB’s stance re allowing us to have snack in the classrooms but then not allowing us to have lunch in the classrooms. I get asked “what is the difference?” I cannot speak on behalf of the EDB so my job has been to focus on, and understand, what we can and cannot do and then work out ways to work around these. Which, I believe, we are close to doing.
They have been very clear that they will not allow children to eat lunch in the class so we plan to turn the hall and the art room into “cafeterias” so that our children will eat in these areas during their lunch time. This means the hall and art room cannot be used for anything else but this is something we can manage. Chairs will be 1.5m apart to ensure safe social distancing. This is all subject to approval.
I mentioned last week we are likely to need your help if the EDB approve the plan. This is because we have 4 x 25 minute rotations to manage from 12.00pm – 1.55pm. This is so the children get 20 minutes to eat and 25 minutes on the playground. If our application is approved we will be asking parents, that are in a position to help, to come to Peak School to help supervise the children eating and/or supervise them play for a period during the lunch rotations. You will always be with a teacher but with your support we are able to supervise all the areas necessary. Please look out for an email next week, as if the EDB approve our application, I will be sending out an email requesting help.
I need to stress there is still a chance that the EDB will come back and reject our application or worse still, insist on conditions we cannot meet. Whilst confident we can meet the requirements, I cannot guarantee their response will be a positive one regarding extending the school day but I know you appreciate and understand this.