Status report from school
In the first two weeks of our new start at school things have been going well. The pupils are highly disciplined – they are studying with enthusiasm and sticking to the hygiene rules and, although our faces are all hidden behind masks for much of the time, there is still plenty of laughter to be heard. In the name of our entire team I would like to thank all our pupils for their positive atitude.
Friday – lessons begin for Group B
As has already been stated, the coming Friday will not be, as originally planned, a holiday but rather a normal school day with the usual timetabled lessons. Group B will thus have their first attendance day this Friday. We are looking forward to seeing everyone!
As of this week there will be a small change to how we are working with LMS. The assignments will be given over a two week period, so that pupils from both groups have an equal amount of time to complete their online homework. Additionally there may be occasional homework for each group during their attendance phase.
- LMS Assignment from 21.05. (8:00am) – 03.06. (10:00pm)
- LMS Assignment from 04.06. (8:00am) – 17.06. (10:00pm)
- LMS Assignment from 18.06. (8:00am) – 01.07. (10:00pm)
Due to the special circumstances and precautions in place at the moment, we kindly ask you to conduct any necessary dialogues with our teachers by telephone or mail. Should you require a return call, please do not hesitate to ask the relevant teacher via email. The timetabled consultation hours shown on our website cannot take place for the remainder of this school year.
School opening time from 18.05.2020
We kindly ask you to remind your children to avoid forming groups when arriving at school and waiting to enter the building. The school will be open from 7:30am (not, as stated in the information letter, from 7:20am).
A new daily routine at school
We will soon be back at school and while everyone is looking forward to it, we do have to keep in mind that it will not be the way it was before the crisis and that the hygiene precautions will play a major role in our daily routine. This pdf document (in German) goes into detail about this new routine at the BJHS.
Should you have any questions regarding these matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Autonomous free school days
Dear Parents and Guardians,
After the rather unfortunate public discussion concerning the autonomous free school days, the teachers themselves have been instructed to decide whether their schools will be open on those days. The teachers of the BJHS have decided that supervision/lessons will take place on both 22.05. and 12.06.
PET Exam 2020 cancelled
As feared, there will be no PET exam this year, but not just for us – worldwide all Cambridge Certificate exams have been cancelled. Mr Shepherd will inform you next week about receiving your refunds.
We have now received the first information on how school will be starting again. As Minister Faßmann stated in his press conference, as of 18.05.2020 a limited number of pupils will be able to return to school. Each class will be divided into two groups. While one group has normal timetabled lessons, the other group – as far as possible – will be working from home. On Thursdays the groups will swap. A detailed explanation of this system can be found in the parents’ letter, which you can read by clicking the “Infos zum Wiedereinstieg” button on the front page and which you will also be receiving via email from your class’s teacher. Despite the seemingly complicated system, we are looking forward to finally seeing the pupils again. The strict hygiene rules we will be following may take some getting used to, but it is nevertheless a keenly anticipated first step in the direction of some form of normality. Of course, should you have any questions, we are here for you and will do our best to answer them.
Today’s live press conference from the Federal Chancellery was awaited with great interest. Based on Education Minister Heinz Faßmann’s comments, it seems that the BLHS will be returning to a more normal state from 15th May 2020. However, before we can make any definite statements, we must wait for the official decree from the Lower Austrian Education Board. Once we have this information, we will inform you of how, and with what restrictions and hygienic measures, the remainder of the school year 2019/2020 is to take place.
As the exhibition of our artworks on the walls in the corridors at school cannot this year be properly viewed, there is now a button on the front page of the website. With this SCHOOL@HOME GALLERY button you can view some of the various work done for by our pupils for Art during their time at home. Take a look!
In light of the current situation and the continuation of the ban on events in Wr. Neustadt until at least the end of June, there will be no Bilingual Presentations this school year. The performances the pupils have practised and prepared up to now will be shown in the coming school year, as will the exhibition of this years fantastic projects.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Hardly a day goes by without new regulations or step-by-step de-escalation of existing measures. In the field of education everything is at present based on the current infection statistics. Despite the currently sinking numbers of new infections, a return to normality at school does not yet appear to be a viable proposition. The timetable for the reopening of schools, to be presented by the Education Minister at the end of April, is keenly awaited.
I am quite sure that all teachers, directors and pupils are meanwhile looking forward to returning to the everyday routine of normal school life. However, we should not lose sight of the reason why we are in this unusual situation. The health of our pupils, their families, the teachers and all other necessary staff must remain our first priority. Let us all therefore continue to master School@Home as best we can, while we wait a gradual return to our wonderful school.
Many thanks for the feedback concerning your technical infrastructure at home. We are doing our best to ensure that all our pupils are able to complete their home-schooling assignments.
It is perhaps important for me to mention that while the Education Minister is responsible for the fields of education, science and research in Austria and is required to make decisions affecting all Austrian schools, the BJHS, as a compulsory school, is under the direct control of the Wiener Neustadt Council. The Council works very closely with the Lower Austrian Regional Government (Education Board) and the Ministry of Education in this respect.
As soon as we have received concrete information from the Lower Austrian Education Board concerning the provision of technical equipment for pupils in need or the reimbursement of cancellation fees for langauge trips, we will inform you here.
The entire BJHS Team wishes you, pupils and parents alike, a wonderful Easter week. Stay healthy and enjoy the time together!
We will, of course, keep you notified of any updates and remain available at all times.
No parents or guardians have stated that they need to have their children looked after at school during the Easter holidays. Therefore there will be no teachers present at school during this time. However, I would like to reiterate that I can be reached via email and that you should not hesitate to contact me should you have any problems or questions. Even in the unlikely event that someone should need daycare at short notice, we will find a suitable solution. We, the BJHS team, are there for our pupils!
The first aid course for the 4th-year classes (which would have taken place directly after the Easter holidays) has been cancelled.
Based on today’s press conference with the Education Minister, we can safely say that School@Home will continue after Easter – for an as yet undefined period. With the measures we have already taken, the BJHS is well prepared for the upcoming weeks.
Free Office365 for all BJHS pupils
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Both our first impressions of working with LMS and the first feedback from you are highly positive. Many pupils are working very diligently, some of them even more so than usual – excellent! Most pupils have had very few technical problems. However, some problems are inevitable and most of the ones that have come up so far were able to be solved by our support team. Some pupils are working with older operating systems and have had difficulty opening some file formats. To solve this problem as well, the BJHS is making Microsoft Office365 (the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) available to EVERY child who attends our school. Each pupil will receive a letter this week through the post with their personal login data. Should you wish to make use of this option, there are several easy-to-follow YouTube tutorials covering how to go about it. If you can already open all the files in LMS, this is not necessary.
LMS starts tomorrow
Everything is ready. An unusual time is slowly becoming routine, though I have to say that you all, dear parents and pupils alike, have already played a big role in getting School @Home up and running. Nearly every pupil completed the test assignment. This means that you will now be familiar with the basics that you will need for the coming weeks. Many thanks also to my IT team, who have moved mountains to get the technological and logistical sides up to where we need them. Last but not least, thanks also to all the teachers, who have adapted so quickly to these changes and are now continuing their pedagogical work from home – something that just a few months ago none of us ever thought we would have to do.
Once more, here are the main points.
From Monday there will be assignments in every subject. Generally each assignment must be completed within one week.
These assignments are compulsory and count towards your participation. In view of the fact that we do not know how long School@Home will continue, this is going to be an important part of your final grade in each subject. Please take this seriously – it is a good chance to ensure that your grade stays good or improves!
Make sure you hand in each assignment on time!
During the Easter holidays there will be no extra exercises. This means you will have plenty of time for reading, playing, sports@home, etc. Make good use of your time!
The second set of assignments will be online from Wednesday 15th April until Monday 20th April – assuming there are no changes to the current situation.
Should we be allowed to go back to school after the Easter holidays, which we all sincerely hope, we will be all the happier!
Should you have any difficulties or questions, please get in touch with your teachers. We will do our best to solve any problems that might arise and to arrange individual solutions, should they be necessary.
LMS starts on Monday!
Dear Pupils, Dear Parents and Guardians,
The preparations for the setting of assignments via LMS are complete. The following is a list of points that should help you with orientation:
Starting on Monday, weekly assignments for all graded subjects will be set online. These will be activated on Monday morning at 6:00am and must be completed by the end of the following weekend.
The following Monday there will be a new assignment, independent of the previous one, which must once again be handed in by the end of the weekend.
Every assignment counts towards class participation and thus forms part of the final yearly grade in the relevant subject. And to put an early end to any rumours: School@Home and the associated assignments are compulsory!
To make sure no pupil has more work than he/she can handle, each weekly assignment for each subject should be achievable within 60 to 90 minutes.
Crafts is excluded from this rule. Some projects for this subject may stretch over several weeks.
Should there be a reason why your son or daughter cannot do an assignment, please contact the relevant teachers.
Religion will be held as one Interreligious Studies course. This means that the assignments will be designed so that they are suitable for pupils from every religion. Pupils who have no religion or are signed out of Religion for this year will not have to do these assignments.
The Natives course is the only one that does not correspond to a definite subject. It is a compulsory extra course focussing on using English, in line with our language emphasis at the BJHS.
Assignments should be uploaded in the form of a Word document, unless otherwise specified by the teacher. In exceptional cases a photographed hand-written sheet may be set by email. If individual solutions are needed, please contact the relevant teachers.
Any previous assignments that were handed out at school and possibly not yet completed will be replaced by the LMS assignments.
At the end of each weekly assignment period the teachers will check your assignments and provide feedback. This feedback will generally come during the following week.
The aim of this structured system of assignments is to ensure that the pupils not only maintain their competence in the relevant subjects, but also have the opportunity to improve. Not only this, but continuous recording of pupils’ participation provides us with an objective basis for awarding suitable grades at the end of the school year. Should there be any confusion regarding this system, our teachers remain available to answer any questions you may have.
Test task in LMS
In order to test how the system is working, we would like as many of you as possible to go to the “1 Test Kurs” during the next three days and upload a file. At the moment we are not worried about how nice your file looks or anything like that – we are only checking to see if everyone can upload something successfully.
The start of the second week of school@home
The school remains almost completely empty. Only the caretaker, one duty teacher and the headmaster are present. The remaining teachers are working from home, answering questions and keeping in contact with the pupils – currently via whatever means are possible. In order to make everyone’s life easier and to ensure that we have a structured system, we are currently working on the promised distance-learning courses.
This means that we are developing tasks for each subject that will be put on LMS for the pupils on Monday (30.03.2020). Thus, every Monday you will be able to see all the tasks that the pupils have to do during that week. Detailed instructions for both parents and pupils will follow in the course of this week. Until then, pupils should carry on with the tasks that they have already been given and make use of the OTP practice area within LMS.
We help each other!
Irrespective of whether or not you need day care during the holidays, I would like to encourage you to contact me should you have any queries or fears. I cannot, of course, guarantee to have a solution for everything, but I can assure you that I will do whatever I can to help.
Supervision during the Easter holidays
As you have no doubt already heard from the media, the current situation of schools being open for the children of those who are needed at work and cannot be look after any other way will be extended to include the Easter holidays. Should you need supervision for your child for this reason, please contact us via email before 9:00am on Thursday 1st April 2020.
#bjhsstayshome: we are very happy to see how many of the BJHS family have been sharing their everyday situations with us. If you’d like to join in, send your picture to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear BJHS Family,
You may have noticed that there is a new button on the front page of our website that takes you to a photo portfolio page. You can now send #BJHSSTAYSHOME photos to the address email@example.com and we will post them in the gallery. By sending photos to us at this address you agree to us showing them on our website.
Use your creative photos to let us know how you are pending your time in the C-break. We are looking forward to seeing your cool pictures!
The third day without pupils at the BJHS is coming to a close and I would like to thank all the mothers and fathers who have had to cope with the seemingly impossible problems associated with “School@Home”. Overloaded learning platforms, uncertainty as to how long all this will continue, fear that grading will not be transparent, children that are bored one minute and overburdened the next, empty printer cartridges, back problems from sitting in front of the computer for too long – believe me, all of these problems are buzzing round in our heads too. But we are doing our best to find an effective, clear solution for these new challenges – and we are getting there.
However, until we are ready to take the next step, which will certainly be in the next few days, we ask you to be patient. Please do not despair if LMS doesn’t work – instead get some fresh air with your son or daughter. Perhaps it will be working when you come back.
One way that you can help us in the meantime is to ensure that a correct email address is entered in your child’s LMS account. The address can be your own – you do not need to create an extra one for your child. To do this click on the name at the top right of the page. This will take you to “Meine Einstellungen”, where you can edit personal information in the “Mein Account” section. Please DO NOT reregister! This results in pupils being in the system twice and makes things very complicated. Just use the “Bearbeiten” button if you need to change anything. Many thanks in advance.
Here is a tip for daily life that I have also taken to heart: develop a daily routine for yourself and your children fo the next few weeks. Organising your daily tasks so that they take place around the same time every day provides stability and security that can help us through this seemingly fragile situation. Go outside and enjoy the fresh air, either alone or with your family – several times a day, if possible. Take plenty of breaks – there needs to be enough time for the seemingly trivial things too. Perhaps at the moment it is a little less important to get everything done yesterday – take the time and slow down a little.
For your information: the BJHS staff are currently working at home preparing materials that we will place on LMS as soon as the platform is stable enough. In the meantime the pupils have enough tasks to keep them occupied – even without the online tool.
Our IT staff are conferring via Skype, WhatsApp or the good old telephone several times a day and are doing their best to find ways to provide the pupils with more concrete tasks and possibilities to work. We will need some time, however, and kindly ask for your understanding.
LMS Offline/sufficient practice material
The learning platform we are using has frequently been completely overloaded over the last few days – so many schools are trying to use it, for the simple reason that it is really very good. We kindly ask all our pupils and parents to be patient. LMS are working hard to increase their capacity and thus improve the stability of the platform. A tip for our pupils: try using it in the evening (or if you are very keen, early in the morning 😉), as you might find it a bit more stable.
All pupils have received extra materials and tasks from their teachers. If your child was absent at the end of last week, please get in touch with classmates online to find out what these materials are.
Dear Parents, Guardians and Pupils,
The often-praised solidarity within the BJHS has been proven once again today. The responsibility to avoid, wherever possible, contact with people outside the immediate family has been taken seriously on this first day. Today, Monday, all of our pupils stayed at home. Just a few came to collect things, while some contacted us via telephone or mail for more information. Many thanks for this help in the current situation!
Nevertheless, the school remains open and available for information. Therefore please do not hesitate should you have questions of any kind. From now on there will be a skeleton staff on the premises every day – three people will be here between the hours of 8:00am and 2:00pm every weekday. The headmaster’s office, the teacher’s room and the caretaker’s office will be manned. Here is a reminder of the relevant telephone numbers:
BJHS Headmaster’s Office: 0676/88 373 2377; Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
BJHS Teacher’s Room: 0676/88 373 5377; all the teachers can be contacted via email (see Our Team)
BJHS Building Personnel: 0676/88 373 3378
Information for all parents of first-year pupils at the BJHS:
INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LANGUAGE/PROJECT WEEK IN FÜRSTENFELD
Dear Parents of the 1st Year Classes,
As announced in our last letter, the Language/Project Week has been cancelled due to the current situation.
We are happy to inform you that the entire package has been rebooked for the next year (17th-21st May 2021). None of the involved parties (JUFA, Geldner, Easy Camp) will be charging cancellation fees. The only price increase will be a small one with the organisers, Easy Camp. This is a general increase that was in any case planned for autumn 2020.
The 1st Year Project Team
The Ministry of Education has released more information – the following is an extract:
Due to the measures decided upon in parliament today, from Monday 16.3. all primary schools and lower-secondary schools will only be open to those pupils whose parents have to work away away from home and who cannot be cared for any other way.
Therefore, once again, we appeal to you – if possible, keep your children at home and let them make use of the e-learning platform!
We kindly ask parents whose children have not yet been registered for LMS (i.e. those who were absent from school on Thursday/Friday) to contact our support team (Mr King and Mr Fuchs) from Monday onwards via email for advice on registering. Likewise, should any pupils not be able to log onto LMS due to lost passwords or other causes, please contact us via email for support.
As you can read in the previous post, attendance at school is no longer compulsory from Monday onwards. We therefore request you, if possible, not to send your children to school! Avoiding large congregations of people is urgently advised during the next weeks and we can assure you that absence from school will have no negative consequences for you children’s grades. The tests that were originally planned for Monday and Tuesday have been postponed until further notice. So, once again, our appeal to you is: Do not send your children to school!
The Ministry of Education has released the following information:
Due to the large number of enquiries made to the Ministry of Education, children attending primary and lower-secondary schools will not have to attend school on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th March. However, regular school lessons will take place on both Monday and Tuesday to allow the distribution of practice materials and to give parents and guardians time to organise child care at home.
Any pupils who do not attend school on Monday and Tuesday are therefore to be registered as being excused from lessons.