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Next September?


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Hi, appreciate no one really knows, but what do we think the chances are of schools opening normally in September?

I'm also concerned about paying for accommodation up front.

 

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That’s the million dollar question. 
 

My feelings are they will probably open to some extent but school staff must be having a logistical nightmare just thinking about it all. 
 

Will they have the same number boarding? Most children share bedrooms and other facilities. A number of students come from overseas, how will they manage them if they need to self isolate after travelling as per today’s news. 
 

How will they move the children around the school if there are still social distancing measures in place? 
 

Spacing in studios and academic classrooms will be an issue. 
 

Teachers having to put hands on children to help with correct placements. What will the do about PDD and other dances where the students touch each other?  
 

I know that doesn’t answer any of your questions but I know universities are working hard to see how much they can open come the new term, not knowing what the social measures will be but expecting there will be some in place and trying to preempt any guidance. 
 

@paulc where are you looking at accommodation? Is it in short supply or can you hold off making any decisions until we are further through this crisis and have a better feel to how things might pan out? 
 

 

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I work in a college and the general feeling is that it will be business as usual in September. Of course, what happens before that is unknown. There is a rumour that support staff will be back in early June, although who and what we are going to support is a good question. Our job basically requires the students and staff to be there. Late June is when we think students will be back. The year 13s would normally be on exam study leave, but with no exams, they will just be on leave. The year 12s will be in and as they represent half of the college, we can spread them out more. Of course, this is all complete speculation. The students who have contacted me have all said they want to be back; distance learning is difficult. One problem will be getting to college. Most students travel on the bus and trains. With the trains running on a 1/2 timetable, I and those who catch the train at my local station, cannot get there on time.

 

My mother is a teacher in Australia. Schools reopened two weeks ago, with the option of parents not sending their "little angels" to school. Her school had a 90% attendance rate on the first day, and now it is at largely full strength. Clearly most parents are glad to see the back end of their brats, after 4 weeks of having them at home, and fob them off on the long suffering teachers. It might be the same here. Her school is a suburban primary; 80% of Australians live in the cities. At 86, mother is probably one of the oldest working teachers anywhere.

 

PS. Enjoy a bit of fun Penguin Classics Cover Generator

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I assumed (rightly or wrongly) that the original poster was asking after a vocational dance school. Assuming they are then the school will be dealing with students from various locations both nationally and internationally that will be in boarding houses or shared accommodation. And consequently will have to plan for various scenarios much as universities are, desperate to get back to normal but the welfare of staff and students has to be considered. 
 
I imagine most parents and students want to be back in full time education but the reality is it should only happen when it is safe to do so. Australia might be ready to send their children or brats as you so eloquently put it back to school but haven’t they had around 100 deaths? 

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Yes, I was referring to dance schools. Dd has a place at NBS. I've since found the accommodation is run by Unite, who seem fairly flexible on dates, although I haven't read the small print yet.

 

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1 minute ago, paulc said:

Yes, I was referring to dance schools. Dd has a place at NBS. I've since found the accommodation is run by Unite, who seem fairly flexible on dates, although I haven't read the small print yet.

 

My dd is starting at NBS in September, I have managed to speak to them about accommodation if you'd like to pm me 🙂

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone currently at a vocational ballet boarding school, heard whether it’s likely to be reopen and running boarding in September yet?

DD on waiting list for upper school and I’ve been told lots of families have still not confirmed places yet, thanks for any feedback from anyone x

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55 minutes ago, Princess dreams said:

Has anyone currently at a vocational ballet boarding school, heard whether it’s likely to be reopen and running boarding in September yet?

DD on waiting list for upper school and I’ve been told lots of families have still not confirmed places yet, thanks for any feedback from anyone x


I think the audition process and therefore the acceptance of places etc is very drawn out this year, due to the need for video submissions etc. We’ve not been told anything about September as yet, I think they’re waiting on more guidance. 

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My daughter is due to go into her graduate year in September.  We paid and booked  her accommodation for next year in halls of residence back in February.  She doesn't have to pay anything until August but we intend to keep the place regardless of whether she is back in September or not. I don't think anyone, even the management of the schools and colleges know what will be happening in September.  They are planning for several different scenarios.  

 

I don't want her to miss out on training time that she will never be able to get back again, but on the other hand she will not return to face to face classes until we feel it is safe to do so.

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I work in a university, and we are currently working on ways to have students back in September. In my department this poses specific problems around social distancing in the studio, which we're starting to think through. We are reliant on government advice (ha!) and policy (double ha!), particularly around testing. I'm thinking about how I run my physical sessions (dance for actors sort of stuff) without too much aerobic activity, and no touch. It can be done, but it will be different.

 

We are also, however, having to think about mixed modes of teaching: both in person (which we ALL really want to be able to do) and online, both synchronously (ie everyone on line live at the same time) and asynchronous (pre-recorded lectures or "slow seminars" - a bit like a MB!, or blogs etc etc).

 

Personally, I have quite a few concerns about getting into an enclosed space with a bunch of 18-22 year olds, when research on social attitudes re C-19 suggests that is the group least concerned about the virus (I stress this is broad research, not a dig at any individual young person). I would ideally like to be sure that anyone I interact with face to face is virus free, but until we have a coherent policy about Test, Track, Trace, this means I have to make an individual calculated risk about my own health. And I am on the edge of high risk categories in terms of age & underlying conditions. It's a gamble - we're all having to make these personal decisions, I know. But every year "Fresher's Flu" has me in bed for about a week, and bronchitic for up to 2 weeks after that ... So staff at higher ed institutions of all sorts have this to face as well as managing the whole influx of students from all over the country, bringing all those different germs!

 

We are also talking about pay cuts to keep our jobs, inevitable redundancies, cancellation of research time (my publisher will love that one), ban on international travel, and teaching 4 terms across the year. My university refunded students rents for summer term, and the weeks of the Spring term affected by lockdown. We wonder how many higher education institutions will actually survive, particularly given the expected loss of considerable proportion of overseas students, whose fees subsidise those of our home students. 

 

It feelss like a slow-motion dystopian sci-fi  film some days ...

 

 

 

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Oh, and one of the things we're talking about re students & their accommodation is that we'll keep those groups of students working together as much as possible, as they'll form households for C-19 /social distancing purposes. That they'll all go into a kind of self-isolation at first, then after 2 weeks with no symptoms, will work together with social distancing. Although at a reasonably large university such as mine, not all students ive with others doing the same subjects, so the study/work group idea is only one of the many we're thinking about.

 

I think ALL of us are going to have to think differently about our interactions with others:

no more "soldiering on" if you have symptoms of any kind of cough/cold virus, for example.

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So so much to consider for the future. My Son just completed year one at university, well amongst strikes and covid seemed like only a few months, logistic nightmare to get university , boarding schools  back,  will be interesting to see how the next 12months goes for everyone. Agree, health takes priority, keep safe everyone x

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Well, we're still teaching! Just not in person.

 

I am desperate to get back to in-person teaching - it's where the excitement happens (and online teaching is exhausting and frustrating) . But yes, health must be prioritised.

 

We're trying to go step by step.

 

I should say, though, that we are working on the assumption that students will be coming back to the campus in September.

Edited by Kate_N
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I was just coming to post the same link as Jane. It seems a bit extreme to be effectively ruling out face to face lectures for a year already. Its a terribly difficult situation for all concerned though - I have no idea what the correct answer is. But given we don't know what is happening from one week to the next at the moment I wouldn't think anyone can really predict what the state of play will be next year. Presumably Cambridge plus other large and well established Universities are going to be better placed to weather the storm than smaller institutions, and are also confident that they will still get students without face to face tuition, but that won't be the case everywhere. And how on earth can subjects with a large practical component be taught remotely long term? It really is a nightmare.

My middle child is currently in year 12 and I am at a loss to know what the best thing for him is. He only has a vague idea what he wants to do after A levels and with no chance to visit Universities prior to applying its even harder to decide. If significant numbers of institutions close down there may not even be places for everyone. He's a maths/science geek so I suppose his chances of finding a course are better than some, but there are certainly no guarantees.And goodness knows what the impact might be on fees, funding etc. Its so hard to know what to do for the best.

Obviously huge numbers are affected by this crisis in different ways but my heart bleeds for the many bright and talented young people who have had the rug pulled from under them. I still follow my DD's old dance school on social media and was recently reading about the planned destinations of a number of their current pupils. If it isn't hard enough to get offered places and secure funding at the best of times, now they don't know whether they will actually be able to go, or even if all the colleges will survive. Longer term, job prospects look bleaker than ever, with talk of theatres closing and I cannot imagine the cruise industry recovering quickly. It really is like something out of a disaster movie. I keep hoping I am going to wake up and find its all a bad dream.😥

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I completely agree with you.  The future is so unknown. I also have my middle daughter in year 12, she is facing no university open days etc...  which is then difficult to select your choices. My eldest son, in first year university, he’s at a top University, but sadly no teaching since just after lockdown, difficult keeping him motivated as he is used to being challenged. My younger DD year 11 and still on reserve list with no confirmed other sixth form for September and my husband works overseas and has been away since before lockdown, very challenging times. But still feel we can’t complain as lots of people worse off. DD just had a complete meltdown due to everything, managed to calm her down and put things into perspective, well done to all the amazing parents out there keeping our families happy and positive at this very unstable time-  keep safe and most of all, happy x

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I think we are all becoming too familiar with the word ‘meltdown’....if it’s not the the kids it’s me in my household 🤪

To be serious though....this is just such an impossible to predict situation & I wish all well navigating the challenging times ahead xx

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I saw this post and started panicking!!!! My dd starts Elmhurst in September and with a furloughed husband I cant justify paying full fees when she might be learning virtually. I'm hoping for the fact that theres only 200 students means they get to go back!

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Oh I think you are entitled to complain @Princess dreams That sounds a really stressful situation to be in. I know what you mean though. When you hear about some of the tragedies that have befallen people it does feel bad to get stressed over things like exams and college places, but these things are still very real worries.

If you were in hospital with a broken leg the fact that the person in the next bed had 2 broken legs might well make you feel grateful that you weren't more badly injured, but it wouldn't make your pain unimportant. With 3 children at crucial stages of their education and your husband in another country you have a huge amount on your plate. You are doing fantastically well to maintain a positive attitude. I hope you get some good news soon, especially regarding the reserve lists. If it helps at all, there are lots of us here who can relate to at least some of what you are going through - you are not alone.

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7 hours ago, sunrise81 said:

I saw this post and started panicking!!!! My dd starts Elmhurst in September and with a furloughed husband I cant justify paying full fees when she might be learning virtually. I'm hoping for the fact that theres only 200 students means they get to go back!

We are keeping everything crossed that they are able to return in September. In the meantime, though, the online provision is fantastic. DD is making progress in dance and academics with daily live lessons for both and we have no concerns about either. She just really misses her friends and actually being there!

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10 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

It seems a bit extreme to be effectively ruling out face to face lectures for a year already.

 

This is for LARGE lecture groups. None of us (I hope) would want 100/200/300 students packed into a lecture theatre, generally with poor air circulation (very rarely do universities have air-conditioned rooms - mine is pretty big & well off, and I think we have only one large lecture theatre with proper air circulation via air-conditioning). 

 

Small group teaching is still being discussed. At my place we are looking at ways of being able to do this. We REALLY want to teach in person, believe me. It's likely going to be mixed-modes, so that where we can teach with appropriate social distancing we will really try to do that online.

 

We all need to recognise that there are likely to be quite a few staff who are in vulnerable categories; there will be some students also.

 

This blog is really interesting & informative about calculating the risks. You can see how sitting in a lecture theatre for 50 minutes with several (maybe asymptomatic) carriers might be quite a high risk activity. Put that together with the fact that undergrads are still learning how to be adults about making choices and wearing the consequences ...

 

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

 

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10 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

It really is like something out of a disaster movie. I keep hoping I am going to wake up and find its all a bad dream.

 

Yes, yes, this. 

I am coping by taking it a day at a time, a decision at a time. There are things I would like to sort out & decisions I would like to make, but I can't make some decisions because they are reliant on other people/institutions making decisions.

 

In a departmental meeting, we started to discuss how we would teach in person, and our Departmental health & safety guru basically said: "We have to be guided by the government guidance." 

(There are things I could say about that, but I'd be banned for life from Ballet.Co!)

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18 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

It seems a bit extreme to be effectively ruling out face to face lectures for a year already.

 

I think the difference for Cambridge is that the main teaching is done in one-to-one or small group tutorials, which are lower risk and they seem to expect these to resume in the autumn. Doing the large-scale lectures online will not make such a big difference to their students - particularly humanities/language students.  It also means all their planning effort can go into making other parts of the courses workable.

Edited by Horsellian
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2 hours ago, Horsellian said:

 

I think the difference for Cambridge is that the main teaching is done in one-to-one or small group tutorials, which are lower risk and they seem to expect these to resume in the autumn. Doing the large-scale lectures online will not make such a big difference to their students - particularly humanities/language students.  It also means all their planning effort can go into making other parts of the courses workable.

Exactly this, was going to write the same but wasn't sure if it was still the same as back in my day. Those 1-1s were inspiring but also quite terrifying sometimes 😅

 

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11 hours ago, Kate_N said:

In a departmental meeting, we started to discuss how we would teach in person, and our Departmental health & safety guru basically said: "We have to be guided by the government guidance." 

 

It is always interesting to read some many informed opinions here.

As an exercise, my DD was today just beginning to develop the outline of a policy document for a risk assessment in a dance studio context , using documentation from a clinical situation and guidelines according to a foreign governments perspective.So we werejust discussing a global overview that may cover regional, national or international variations , and thus will likely encompass far more strigent requirements than your department guru might be suggesting, given the track record to date of UK government advice. 

I do believe we have to look at the science, as and when it is published, but from responsible and various international  and independent sources, adapting as time marches on. So we have to abide by local rules, but could extend further precautions , as each of us has a duty to apply these to the particular circumstances under which we work.There are no hard and fast rules that cover all work/ study environments, Many things are similar but not identical. The Health and Safety aspects of a factory are different from a school , a shop, a hairdresser, a dental surgery or a dance studio. So until department staff start talking and planning through timetables, use of physical spaces and resources, personnel and public flow  and distancing, and alterring the same for safe social distancing and hygiene, no progress will be made. Waiting on the government to decide will leave it too late, I suspect. It will require internal teamwork to cover all the bases, see every angle, and then a willingness of all to oblige the new policies. 

 

My DD is applying heself to her year 12 academic work and dance teacher's qualifications . Her vocational plans are all suspended and quite fluid now, but she is philosophical about it. My musical D on the other hand is seriously concerned for ensemble playing for next year. All recitals and orchestral concerts were cancelled of course.The staff have been wonderful and teaching has continued regularly online, one a one-to one or small group classes, but with international students spread out acroos timezones, and varying internet speeds, joint work is tricky. Quarantine rules and infrequent flights to and fro will be an added complication for international students in the UK.

 

Strange and challenging times. Keep positive everyone.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Lusodancer said:

thus will likely encompass far more strigent requirements than your department guru might be suggesting, given the track record to date of UK government advice

 

Indeed. If I said what I think about UK government competence re COVID-19, I'd be booted off this message board! My university's legal people are already considering what we'll need to do to keep people safe, despite UK government advice.

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Like Lusodancer's daughter, my musical DD has concerns about her musical degree.  She is seriously considering, with my support, intermitting for a year.  If one-to-one lessons are via skype, and there are limited or no ensemble activities, she may as well pay privately and have her skype lessons from home and get a local job and earn some money.  It will also enable her to travel and take lessons internationally, quarantines permitting, something she was keen to do but couldn't afford on her student loan.  

 

It's a horrible situation for young people.  Personally, I was born to isolate and am having a very productive period, albeit with the luxury of my family around me.

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My DD dance college has big concerns for a proper return in September! Large class sizes, Changing rooms, studio waiting areas, physical dance contact, studio hygiene ( barres, floor ) non effective air con plus the Issues around maintaining 2M distance as dancers can’t even remain in the same air space! It’s one big nightmare and boarding students bring even more issues! Then as a parent I worry about job opportunities going forward! 😳

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