Open Letter to Faculty and Staff
Dear Faculty and Staff:
This week should have been the first week of school after the winter holiday. We should have been hearing sounds of students’ reading or playing, yet the campus remains quiet and closed.
This winter holiday felt like an eternity due to the unexpected coronavirus outbreak. When Wuhan first reported a novel coronavirus incident, perhaps we did not realize the virus would impact us in Chengdu; when the virus was confirmed to spread through human contact, perhaps we still felt the epicenter was far from us; at present when the novel coronavirus is affecting everyone’s daily lives, perhaps we begin to realize that no one person can withstand this epidemic alone. We are a community unified by a shared event.
Whole Nation Mobilized to Fight Against the Epidemic
Medical professionals from across the nation rushed to Hubei province to provide medical support. Countless ordinary people volunteered to the front line in Wuhan, without regard to their own personal safety. Other citizens answer to the call from the government - “stay home and avoid crowds.” At this time, our lives are interconnected. By managing and protecting ourselves, we are also protecting others. We all are making contribution in this fight against the epidemic.
The faculty and staff of CMIS are also making valiant efforts to combat this epidemic. Among them, the academic leaders and teachers surveyed the community to identify potential instances of infection; operations team and security guards who remained on campus to safeguard this community; our homeroom teachers who are in frequent communication with our parents and students; the cleaning team who carefully clean and disinfect the campus regularly. Lastly, everyone has been diligently updating health condition daily. We are all doing our part to safeguard this community and this campus.
Distance Learning and Preparation for the Start of School
Everyone’s daily life is impacted by this novel coronavirus situation. The CMIS Board of Director is closely abiding by the requirements from the government, and has requested numerous prevention and control practices of our faculty and staff. At the same time, we continue to make efforts to support our teachers and staff during this difficult time. I am often reminded that we are guardians to more than 2200 students and their families, and as educators we must bear in mind our mission to teach and educate our learners. I am very appreciative of the many faculty and staff who are overcoming travel difficulties to return to Chengdu and observe the 14-day self-quarantine. The school is also providing financial support to help our teachers and staff to return to Chengdu. During this extraordinary time, we appreciate your support and understanding for any inconvenience caused.
Distance learning is another new challenge. Teachers are tasked with experimenting with online learning, while others are learning how to conduct their work remotely. Despite these challenges, I applaud you for selecting appropriate content and exploring new teaching methods. I hope all faculty and staff observe good safety practices at home, and continue to guide our students to study at home.
This novel coronavirus situation has changed our way of life. As intellectuals and as educators, I trust you have your own profound thoughts and reflections. Learning and education occur all around us, and I encourage you to share your perspective about this extraordinary time with our students, and ask our students to learn and reflect from multiple perspectives. Please also convey the mission of an IB education, which is to “create a better world through education” and intertwine with the real stories of ordinary people in the front line of the epidemic. Allow our students to appreciate that there are many people who put their lives on the line to protect ours. Hope our students can reflect on this time and make the best of their lives’ opportunities, and reaffirm our belief – that which does not defeat us, make us stronger.
The Future of CMIS Remains Bright Because of You
This year marks the 18th birthday for CMIS, and I believe this incident has made this school stronger and even more connected. I am also more confident than ever in the school’s future because of the dedication and support from all our faculty and staff. This winter season will surely pass. I hope this epidemic will come to an end soon, so we can all enjoy the beautiful campus during the spring season. By then, we can once again run under the trees, bathe under the bright sunshine and embrace a new spring.
Best wishes, stay safe and see you in the Spring!
Board of Directors – Chengdu Meishi International School
2020, February 19