“The trust from staff, students and parents to the school leadership team and to the IB organization was a vital factor to maintain safety during the exam”.
Almost a year after the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, health experts are still working to fully understand how the virus operates and how to prevent its spread. Despite the disruptions to education worldwide, the heroic efforts of educators, students and parents enabled students in some regions to prepare and sit the examinations in November.
For the Tokyo Metropolitan Kokusai High School, Japan, the priority during exams for their school community was the safety and health of school staff, students and invigilators. With that in mind, the school designed and implemented a strategy to ensure that all Covid-19 protocols were applied, including the preparation of a second examination venue and back-up invigilators.
The school held several meetings with parents and students in September and October. DP coordinator, Kazumasa Aoki tells us how they actively discussed and informed the community about the plan the school had put in place and to prepare them for the examinations: “Firstly, we held parent and student meetings and emphasized that their safety was prioritized and that the students shouldn’t hesitate to be absent from the exam if they had any symptoms of COVID-19”. Most importantly, Kazumasa Aoki notes, “The trust from staff, students and parents to the school leadership team and to the IB organization was a vital factor to maintain safety during the exam”.
“My advice for other schools is firstly, to keep communicating any information or changes and secondly, to cooperate with other IB World Schools in the same country”.
Open communication and flexibility were the key factors for the school’s success enabling them not only to smoothly conduct the November 2020 examinations, but also to gain the trust of the school community. Anxiety was replaced with cooperation empowering students to trust the school’s leadership and to feel confident to sit the exams. “During the pandemic, teachers, students and parents trusted the school leadership, since we honestly shared what we or the IB organization were discussing”, added Kazumasa Aoki.
The school is immensely proud of this accomplishment as they embraced all the challenges that came their way and managed to conduct the examinations effectively. Kazumasa Aoki sees the future with optimism: “My advice for other schools is firstly, to keep communicating any information or changes and secondly, to cooperate with other IB World Schools in the same country. Sharing problems and challenges we faced along with successful strategies is vital for the school’s leadership team to gain the trust of the school community”.
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