COVID-19: THE APEEE SERVICES SUSPENDS ITS ACTIVITIES FOLLOWING THE CLOSURE OF THE SCHOOL

(12/03/2020-29/05/2020)

Dear EEBI Parents,

We hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health. Due to the closure of the School, the Services are currently not in operation. As further information on the APEEE Services provision for this particular end of the school year, please note that the extracurricular classes (including swimming) and the Friday afternoon daycare are cancelled until the end of the school year, regardless of when EEB1 reopens.

It goes without saying that a refund will be granted to parents who have paid their subscriptions, for all services. However, at this stage, we are not yet able to confirm the amount that will be refunded for any of our services (including canteen and transport where applicable) until we receive:

  1. a definitive confirmation as to the number of days of closure (which will of course impact the number of days not served to be taken into account)
  2. the final calculation of the contributions granted by the Belgian state during the unemployment period COVID-19 for companies and self-employed persons.

Once we have these data, it will be possible to make a correct calculation of the amounts to be reimbursed, also taking into account the fixed costs, the solidarity contributions towards our employees and contractors in temporary unemployment and any losses that remain to be covered, so as to not endanger the survival of APEEE Services (the non-profit association for the children and parents of Uccle and Berkendael) and its employees.

In parallel, we are also making every effort to organise the start of the next school year and you will soon receive information and instructions for the re-inscriptions for the academic year 2020/2021. In case of particular requests to the Services’ Staff, for the time being you can contact them ONLY by e-mail. Please find the contact information for the different services listed in the box below.

Thank you for your continued collaboration, understanding and support. Take care of yourselves and stay healthy.

Zoltán Krasznai
President of the APEEE Services

APEEE Secretariat Info:

The APEEE Secretariat will continue to conduct daily business, albeit in a limited capacity, and the APEEE Board will continue to hold essential meetings, as is possible within the given the constraints.

In case of need, the Secretariat will be available during normal office hours: Monday-Thursday, 8.30 – 12.30. Due to remote work, we advise you to contact us by email, using the address below. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

For additional information and the latest updates, see Communication on COVID below.

Kathryn Máthé
President of the APEEE

E-mail addresses of the various APEEE Services:

General Coordination - coordination@apeee-bxl1-services.be

Extracurricular Activities Uccle (Césame) - cesame@apeee-bxl1-services.be
Extracurricular Activities Berkendael – periscolaire.berkendael@uccleparents.org
Garderie - garderie@apeee-bxl1-services.be
Lockers - casiers@apeee-bxl1-services.be
Swimming - natation@uccleparents.org
Canteen - cantine@apeee-bxl1-services.be
Transport - transport@apeee-bxl-services.be

E-mail address of the APEEE Secretariat: info@uccleparents.org

COMMUNICATION FROM THE APEEE AND APEEE SERVICES ON THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK

(18/05/2020)

Dear EEBI Parents,

As we know, the school will undertake a partial reopening in June. More specifically,

The European Schools in Brussels will continue with the distance learning programme up to the 3rd of July, 2020. However, as from the 2nd of June, 2020 each of the four schools will organise a programme of educational activities to target certain year groups with specific aims and objectives. Each school knows its own priorities and will organise the programmes in accordance with their needs.

(Note: you can find the full letter from the Direction as well as all official communications from the School and Central Office stored in your SMS/myschoolmanagement account for reference.) The option chosen by the school direction will allow parents to send their children back to the school sites on a voluntary basis for a few days and some activities before summer. Distance schooling will remain the norm for most, if not all pedagogical content. In the coming weeks, the APEEE will concentrate on assisting the school management in detailing their programme for June and perhaps more importantly in preparing for the return to school after summer.

In the meantime, many parents still have pending concerns regarding measures taken (or not yet taken) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and the disruption in the school programme. Here below, see the status of issues of common concern to EEBI parents:

Cancelled S7 Programme and Trips:

  • The direction has informed us that the school is in negotiations with travel providers. They have asked for patience from families as they would like to sort out all trips with providers before dispersing reimbursement payments.
  • The plans for the S7 end-of-school programmes and Bacc ceremony are still pending, but there are ongoing discussions between the direction and S7 students to see how such programmes can be rescheduled in light of the current circumstances.

Prospects for Student Mobility, Work Experience and Trips:

  • The status of the Autumn 2020 Mobility Programme for S5 students is unclear. Recently, several key schools, e.g. Alicante, Varese, Bergen, Munich, Karlsruhe and LuxII, have cancelled their participation, which suggests that families planning to take part should remain cautious. We have asked the Direction to confirm.
  • The APEEE has raised the question of postponement of S5 and S6 Work Experience placements originally scheduled for the April Project Week. It may be possible to amend current contracts to allow placements to take place at a later date, but we can only see how this might work in practice after school reopens.
  • The APEEE has requested that the school allow S4 students who missed travel programmes in the 2020 April Project Week the opportunity to take part in 2021 Project Week programmes. There is some possibility that other special programmes might be rescheduled as well, but future plans are currently pending.

S4-S6 B Marks: After the publication of the Board of Governors’ decision on 2020 end-of-year evaluation of European School students, S4-S6 families raised concerns about the duplication of first semester B marks in the second semester reports and the potential impact on student motivation and university admissions.

  • Families have been assured that the section of article 59.5 of the General Rules that has not been derogated will allow teachers to take the full account of each student’s performance throughout the year. The school has committed to officially reminding teachers that they should use their full discretion in determining how much weight to assign A and B marks in the final mark. Teachers' marks are also reviewed by the class councils.
  • There was additional concern that the presence of the duplicated B marks on S6 transcripts could potentially disadvantage European School students in the university admission process—independently of the final marks assigned. In response, INTERPARENTS, the APEEE and section representatives have asked either that transcripts not include A/B marks or that the source of these marks be explained in an annotation. The direction has agreed to address the issue of the transcripts.

2020 Baccalaureate: The final formula for the Baccalaureate was not determined by the Board of Governors (BoG) during their 15-17 April meeting but is currently the subject of a written procedure to that body. The key issues at stake are the ponderance of A and B semester marks in the final mark for each course and the relative weighting of courses in the final mark. The APEEE will inform you of the results when these are known, sometime after 24 May.
For students who are not happy with the marks obtained using the formula above, two options remain:
(1) They can request to sit an extraordinary session of the Baccalaureate Examination--both written and oral parts--in Autumn; the extraordinary Baccalaureate must be taken in full and marks will automatically replace those received from the formula above.
(2) Alternatively, they can request to repeat the S7 year.
Requests for either of these measures must be emailed to the director of the school by the candidate (or a legal guardian) within 10 calendar days of receiving the results.

Remote Learning Quality: In closing, given that the status quo will continue at least through June, the APEEE has committed to supporting families that still have concerns about the quality of the EEBI distance education regime.

If you have concerns, and for whatever reason the school's complaints procedure (see 18 March message below) does not meet your needs, we urge you to be in touch with your class and section representatives--or, for Berkendael families, with the Berkendael Working Group--as well as with APEEE's Remote Learning Feedback Group.

Remote Learning Feedback Group:

We will also continue to urge the school to ensure that distance teaching meets a minimum standard for all courses.

As always please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions:

APEEE - info@uccleparents.org
APEEE Services - coordination@apeee-bxl1-services.be

We wish you and your family healthy and peaceful end of year.

Kathryn Máthé
President of the APEEE

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(18/03/2020)

Dear EEBI Parents,

As noted in the message above, the APEEE Services will be closed without children in the school to care for, but they will be available by email through the contact address of each Service. They will treat all problems related to the unforeseen disruption after the return to school.

The APEEE will try to carry on as we can in a reduced capacity, carrying out much of our work via email or phone and holding mandatory meetings remotely if needed. Like the School, the APEEE has been quite overwhelmed by the deluge of communication over the last weeks. We have tried to respond as best we could to all concerns and to direct people to the right place. We have also greatly appreciated the School Management’s continuous communication and assurances given to families over this difficult period as well as a willingness to take parent feedback into account in their evolving response.

Over the recent period, concerns have related primarily to:

  • The cancellation of trips: as far as we know this has not yet caused any financial repercussions for parents at our school—please let us know if problems occur.
  • The impact of quarantine and school closure on the S7 students and the Bac: a conversation on this has been initiated with the Central Office through INTERPARENTS.
  • The introduction of remote learning in the primary and secondary cycles:
    • We are monitoring the programme put in place at our school and also tracking developments and best practices throughout the system to the best of our ability.
    • We are also working with INTERPARENTS to raise questions about remote learning with the Central Office.

PLEASE NOTE: if parents have any concerns—either technical or pedagogical—about the remote learning being implemented in their classes, we ask them to turn to the school first. We are hoping that the school is providing any needed technical support for teachers, parents and students. If there are pedagogical problems or concerns about the programme of a particular teacher, the school suggests that parents should go through the regular reporting structure—raise problems with teacher, escalate to advisor/deputy director…and so on. If parents cannot find answers to their problem using the normal channels, then the APEEE is of course happy to step in and support.

Related to this, the APEEE will be collecting feedback, both positive and negative, from parents of primary and secondary on their experiences with remote learning. We will share and analyse this feedback with the other three Brussels APEEEs and INTERPARENTS as part of a larger effort to learn and improve as we go. We ask parents to provide feedback through their class and section representatives (or, for Berkendael families, via the Berkendael Working Group), who can collate this and forward to the APEEE’s four-members Remote Learning Feedback Group.

As always please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions:

APEEE- info@uccleparents.org
APEEE Services - coordination@apeee-bxl1-services.be

Kathryn Máthé
President of the APEEE

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(09/03/2020)

Dear EEBI Parents,

We hereby wish to inform you about what the APEEE and APEEE Services have done and plan to do in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

First and foremost, we hope that you have all read by now the several communications sent by the School and Central Office of the European Schools. You can find these at: https://www.eursc.eu/en/Office/news or http://www.eeb1.com/en/communication-from-the-office-of-the-secretary-general-regarding-the-outbreak-of-covid-19-disease/ (and in your SMS accounts). It is important that parents keep apprised of the latest warnings given by the school and Central Office and particularly any changes in the red zones as they might affect their families.

The APEEE and APEEE Services have been working from our side, each in our own capacity, to address the situation.

APEEE Services' managers have made sure to vet their staff and suppliers/contractors according to the latest recommendations of the Central Office. They will continue to monitor the situation and keep close communication with suppliers/contractors and staff in the canteen, transport, extracurricular activities and back office to make sure they remain in full compliance with recommendations as these evolve.

For our part, the APEEE is also monitoring our team, but perhaps more importantly, we have done our best to compile and collate parent concerns as they are sent to us and to forward these to the school, Central Office and INTERPARENTS. We also continue to work closely with the school management, INTERPARENTS and the other Brussels schools to make sure that we are kept apprised of all the latest developments. Finally, we will work to make sure that parents’ concerns continue to be raised and addressed as the situation evolves.

From your side, we ask that parents remain patient with school management. As they remain focused on day-to-day developments and circulation of the latest information to the school community at large, individual letters and requests may not be answered immediately.

The APEEE will refrain from sending communications on COVID-19 directly to all parents as we feel that this might create confusion. But please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions:

APEEE: info@uccleparents.org
APEEE Services: coordination@apeee-bxl1-services.be

Kathryn Máthé
President of the APEEE

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