10-14 May: K1 Parent-Teacher Conference
25-26 May: School Photo Days
28 May: ESF Wide Transition Day
2 June: Parent Webinar
29 June: Last Day of School
We hope you’ve enjoyed the sunshine this weekend. We have a lot to share this week, please take a few minutes to read through this newsletter.
Following from my message last week, the CHP has provided some new guidelines on the evolving situation in Hong Kong. As you might know, schools had to undergo compulsory testing due to outbreaks of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) or influenza-like illnesses (ILI). The CHP has advised that “since the symptoms of URTI & ILI are similar to those of COVID, for prudence's sake, any school with more than four cases in an individual class or 10% across the school may require further action. This could potentially be suspension of classes for up to five school days and compulsory testing for the entire school.
As you can imagine we want to work with you to ensure that our children and staff remain healthy and safe at school and learning continues in-person undisrupted. We thank you for your cooperation and support in staying vigilant and keeping our community safe.
Audrey and the Hillside Team
On the matter of health and safety, we notice some children (and adults) are getting lots of insect bites out in the playground. At Hillside, we are extremely fortunate to have a large outdoor play area that backs onto a lovely natural green space, however, this does mean mosquitoes and midges will be around. This tends to get worse as the weather gets warmer.
We work with an exterminator year-round and this includes weekly fogging out in the playground, drains, and other common breeding grounds. We also have mosquito-repelling lantern and industrial fans, but we highly recommend that everyone applies insect repellent before heading off to school. Sometimes natural repellents don’t last as long as chemical products, so we must reapply. Roll-on ones are very child-friendly and we noticed children able to manage this independently. You can also apply repellent to clothing rather than directly to the skin. We’ve noticed some bites have penetrated through clothing!
We’ve also reported this to the authorities (FED & EDB) and requested them to increase pest control in our area. It is my understanding that they have set up a gravid trap in the area to monitor the index.
We also have child-safe insect repellent at school to spray the children when they play outside. Some children are more susceptible than others and can develop very itchy red lumps around the bites. For these children, we will apply an ice pack at school to help reduce the swelling.
[Not an advertisement, simply Audrey’s personal experience from surviving the bugs all these years, LOL!] I can get severe reactions from bites, so I’ve tested various brands over the years and found these have kept me safe for the most part. Most products with DEET will work fine, but if you want more organic options: Badger’s Anti- Bug Balm comes in an easy applicator stick and California Baby’s Bug Repellent Spray both options can also soothe existing bites. Those with lemon eucalyptus oil such as this MosquitoSpray which was purchased from Log-on; or with Citriodiol such as this Mosi-Guard roll-on stick also work well to protect against all kinds of bugs.
K2 transition plans are underway. Primary schools will make contact with all K2 parents with a welcome message in the next few days and collaborative conversations across schools have been taking place over these past few weeks. Virtual transition experiences are planned for K2 students (could be a blend of synchronous and asynchronous). For example, this might be a blend of a 'live' welcome zoom call followed by an interactive experience (live, pre-recorded, website etc).
It will be a normal kindergarten school day on 28 May. Any virtual primary school experience should take place at home and take into account the time the K2 student will be in kindergarten, so as not to clash with their AM or PM schedule if possible.
You will have received an email from CEO Belinda Greer inviting you to share your thoughts about ESF education experience in a survey. The online questionnaire was sent to parents, staff, and students in Years 4 to 13 on April 30. All feedback collected will support us as we continue to improve what we do. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete and the deadline is May 14. As always, your time, honest feedback and thoughtful suggestions are very much appreciated.
Date: 2 June, 1-2pm
Title: Resilience in the time of COVID-19: Exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-emotional development of children
Please register in advance - [Web Link]
Since 2020, people around the world have had their lives upended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children and their families have had their daily lives disrupted: closed schools, extended periods of time spent online, substantial limitations on socialization with peers, and even quarantine, hospitalisation, and loss. This talk will shed light on how the pandemic has affected children’s socio-emotional development and provide insight into the resiliency of children. Professor Chen will present an array of research findings relating to this to provide a balanced perspective on these topics. Using this information, this talk also looks to explore ways in which a supportive environment can be created for children and their families.
About Professor Eva E Chen:
Professor Chen received her doctorate in Human Development and Education from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree with Honours and Distinction in Psychology from Stanford. Her research interests center around the social and cognitive developmental processes of young children across different social backgrounds, and she has worked closely with kindergartens in the United States, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. She has also been interviewed by the South China Morning Post and the New York Times and has given talks at research conferences, the SCMP Learning Festival, Hong Kong Children’s Discovery Museum, and the Reach Out and Read Foundation.
Please click on the links below to visit our class sites and learning blogs. You can also access these posts on the class site via the ESF App under the “Home Learning” tile.