By Carolina Barsakov
Believe it or not, the American School of Warsaw is currently the only open school in Poland, offering not only virtual classes, but also on-campus attendance. Other private and mostly international schools also offered extra safety precautions against the coronavirus before all schools went through a shut down at the beginning of November due to the government’s orders.
Well, almost all schools. Considering the country-wide school lockdown, how have other international schools in Warsaw adapted?
According to Year 12 student at Akademeia High School, Łukasz S., the school has been in hybrid learning since the beginning of October, due to a few identified positive COVID cases in the High School. After almost two months of virtual school and using the communication platform Microsoft Teams, the school does not know whether they will be opening again soon and, like most, are waiting for government orders.
“Before we went fully hybrid, masks were necessary everywhere and hand sanitizers were provided around school,” said Łukasz. “Social distancing was fully enforced with only 2 people allowed per table in class and although after school activities/clubs and sports were still held, all sports tournaments were cancelled ahead of time.”
Łukasz also notes that “Every student still gets mandatory COVID tests every week, provided at school, like we did when school was open. Our schedule for online school is the same as when we were in school.”
According to a year 12 student at The British School, Alexia V., the school has been in virtual school since the end of September, when their first positive test was identified. TBS will have undergone 3 months of hybrid learning before launching into Christmas Break. Since the beginning of the school year, however, the school has been in a rotation between online and on-campus school days.
Like at ASW, Akademeia and other schools enforced safety protocols, social distancing, mandatory mask wearing, and frequent hand washing on campus. “Our school enforced something called toilet bubbles, which meant that every grade had their own bathrooms assigned to them and no mixing was allowed” said the grade 12 student at TBS. “Now, in virtual school, we are granted more liberty in terms of organization. Multiple free periods were granted to us at home. Besides that, our schedules remain the same.”
The British School reopening is also dependent on an update from the government. Currently, daily new cases average above 10,000, and the national total has passed 991,000.