News in Times of the Corona Pandemic

+++ Update as of 09.04.2021 +++

After the Easter vacations, our school will start face-to-face classes for all grades 1 to 10, including grades 7 to 9. Grades 1 to 9 will be taught in alternating classes (Apples/Bananas). The students of 10a can learn in their normal class community because of the class size.

Why do we allow students in grades 7 through 9 to start school as soon as 12.4.?

  • We do not have Abitur classes: The Berlin Senate has decided that grades 7 to 9 should wait one more week before attending school in the alternating model, since Abitur classes have their last week of attendance at school. This does not apply to our school.
  • It is fair: With the alternating model starting 12.4.21, all learning groups in each grade level have four weeks of instruction in school after the Easter break before grades close. The holidays are then also distributed evenly. This allows for evenly distributed instruction, comparable preparation for tests and class exams, and thus an equitably grading basis for each learning group.
  • It is safe: The additional week of distance learning for grades 7 to 9 would not have any influence on the infection situation at our school, because 1) we have already equipped all students and colleagues with so many rapid tests before the Easter vacations that the first school week from 12-16.4. is completely covered and 2) our entire team has already received the invitations for the first vaccination before the Easter vacations.

How do we organize the implementation of the Covid rapid tests and the taking of the temperature?

We have thought long and hard about how best to implement the requirements of the Berlin Senate and have decided to provide the rapid tests to the families in our school community to take home and test the children twice a week in the morning at home before school. Our reasons:

  • The risk of becoming infected when many children are tested at the same time at school (e.g. through the often violent sneezing after inserting the stick into the nose and, if necessary, subsequent touching of various contact surfaces) is higher than when the rapid test is carried out at home in the morning with the parents before the students come to school.
  • Our colleagues and students have been fully familiarized at school with the correct way to conduct the tests, and we have sent parents all the necessary information materials and links.
  • The protected home setting is also important for our students during rapid testing because it is not comfortable for everyone to perform such a test in the presence of others. Regardless of this, we want to avoid any kind of insecurity and fear if a positive test result becomes known in a class when testing several students at the same time. We also want to avoid possible stigmatization of students who test positive.

This is how we implement the measures in concrete terms:

  • The parents document the result of the rapid test of their child with an entry signed by them in the homework book on the respective day of the week, always on Mondays and Wednesdays in the attendance week. The colleagues check this before the 1st lesson. If the parents’ entry in the homework booklet is missing, a rapid test is carried out at the school on the first occasion and the parents receive information from the school leadership team. The second time, the parents are called and the child is sent home or separated from the class and immediately picked up by the parents.
  • The parents also document the temperature measurement every morning and also enter this with a signature in their child’s homework book. If the entry is missing, the colleagues take the temperature with a contactless thermometer before the first lesson and inform the parents. Children with a temperature of 37.6 degrees Celsius or higher will be separated from the class and immediately picked up by the parents.
  • All colleagues are also required to test themselves at home on Mondays and Wednesdays before work and document this in their calendars. They also take their temperature every day before work.

In our school community, we trust each other. Parents, students and colleagues wish to have a safe classroom environment without the risk of contracting COVID-19. We all implement the guidelines together and responsibly, because this serves to contain the incidence of infection and thus to protect our own health.

The RED level of the model hygiene plan still applies and emergency care will take place as described below.

+++ Update as of 25.03.2021 +++

According to the current decisions of the Berlin Senate, all classes at our school are to return to face-to-face teaching in the alternating model after Easter vacations, subject to cases of infection. Since the number of cases is currently rising again, there will certainly be binding information only in the 2nd week of the vacations. We will inform immediately.

We are very pleased to announce that our entire school team has now received the invitations for prioritized appointments for voluntary vaccination appointments. In addition, 900 rapid tests for the students of our school have arrived and will be distributed before the Easter vacations. For our colleagues, we have been offering rapid tests in our school continuously since January. Before the Easter vacations, we will also hand out tests to everyone for use before returning to school.

As things stand, the RED level of the model hygiene plan will also apply after the Easter vacations.

+++ Update as of 17.03.2021 +++

In its meeting yesterday, the Berlin Senate decided to suspend further relaxations of public life for the time being, due to the current incidence of infection. In light of this, Years 7, 8 and 9 will not come to school before the Easter vacation. The Senate members have agreed, subject to the infection rates, to offer alternate classes for all grades after the Easter vacation.

In addition, only emergency care, but no holiday program, will take place during the Easter break.

All regulations and measures of the model hygiene plan from 15.03.2021 are still in effect.

+++ Update as of 12.03.2021 +++

The gradual return of Years 7 to 9 in divided classes before the Easter vacation has already been decided. We expect further information from the Berlin Senate Administration on Tuesday, 16.03. on the exact procedure.

As of March 15th, a modified mask obligation in our school comes into action. This has been in effect for our entire team since January, but as of Monday it also applies to all students and visitors to the school. Only medical masks may be worn (surgical masks, KN95 or FFP2 standard). Cloth masks or scarves are no longer allowed.

We are pleased to announce that we will be able to offer rapid tests to our students at school, probably before the Easter vacation, but at the latest after that. During the same period, we anticipate vaccination appointments on a voluntary basis for our entire team. These offers are for additional protection against infections at school.

All measures from the 05.03.21 update are still in place. You can find the current model hygiene plan in the download area.

+++ Update as of 05.03.2021 +++

On March 9, 2021, grades 4-6 will return to school with split classes, “Apples” groups in A weeks and “Bananas” groups in B weeks. For all students in our graduating class 10a, face-to-face lessons will begin on 3/15/2021. For students in school, the normal schedule will apply, students at home will receive homework and will have face-to-face communication with their class leadership team via a check-in call 3 times a week.

For Years 7 to 9, we do not yet have information from the Berlin Senate as to when and how face-to-face classes will continue.

The model hygiene plan RED dated 11/01/2021 is in effect; please refer to the download section. All students and colleagues are required to wear masks throughout the entire school building and the schoolyard has again been divided into different zones. Of course, we continue to offer emergency care for children whose parents work in system-relevant professions. This will take place in the school gym in order to comply with the spacing rules.

Students are not required to attend the face-to-face classes. Students who do not attend school follow the “Apples” or “Bananas” home- schedule, including the 3 check-in calls.

We have set up a permanent testing center in the early/late care room of our school, where all colleagues have the opportunity to be tested for a possible Covid 19 disease with rapid tests and antibody tests.

+++ Update as of 15.02.2021 +++

On February 22, 2021, students in Years 1 through 3 will return to school with split classes, “Apples” groups in A-weeks and “Bananas” groups in B-weeks. The attendance classes for the respective students at school take place according to their normal schedule, but without early or late supervision. The respective groups at home receive a new check-in schedule, the assignments for the week are explained in advance at school, posted in simple form in MS Teams, and discussed at school the following week.

For Years 4 through 9, we do not yet have information from the Berlin Senate as to when and how face-to-face classes will continue.

Since the remote learning in our graduating class 10 is going very well, we have involved the families in the decision about returning to face-to-face learning. The majority of students, parents, and teachers have voted to continue learning at home through MS Teams under the current circumstances until 12/03 and not return to face-to-face lessons for the time being.

The model hygiene plan RED dated 11/01/2021 is in effect; please refer to the download section. All students and colleagues are required to wear masks throughout the entire school building and the schoolyard has again been divided into different zones. Of course, we continue to offer emergency care for children whose parents work in system-relevant professions.

Students are not required to attend the face-to-face class starting Feb. 22.

+++ Update as of 19.01.2021 +++

Today the German Chancellor and the Heads of State decided to extend the lockdown until February 14, 2021. Schools will remain closed, and face-to-face classes will continue to be suspended. We study, communicate and work via distance learning.

All students still have the option of borrowing an MS Surface from us if they do not have a private device available to them, or to study at school if they do not have their own workplace at home. We provide emergency childcare during the lockdown and also during winter holidays for all children whose parents work in system-related jobs.

We continuously equip our team with FFP2 medical masks and allow all colleagues to be tested free of charge using Covid 19 rapid tests and antibody tests in our institutions.

+++ Update as of 15.12.2020 +++

As Corona infection numbers continue to rise, the federal and state governments on Sunday agreed to a hard lockdown that will go into effect tomorrow. One aspect of the lockdown is the renewed closure of all schools from December 16 to 18, 2020 and after Christmas vacations from January 4 to 8, 2021.

We have prepared our distance learning very well in recent weeks and offer all students of our school age-appropriate varied and educational learning content, tasks and offerings with the following elements: VAW (video-led-instructions), IW (independent work), CONS (online-consultations) as well as daily check-in calls for personal contact with the class leadership teams/class teachers.

+++ Update as of 27.11.2020 +++

After updating the Berlin model hygiene plans, the following changes come into effect for our students:

– in grades 5 and 6, students are required to wear masks during compulsory elective classes, during co-curricular enrichment program, and in all situations where they encounter students from other grades in the school building.
– in grades 7 to 10, masks are compulsory in the entire school building, during lessons and co-curricular enrichment program, but not in the schoolyard if they keep a distance of more than 1.5m from other people
– for classes 7 to 10, a separate area has been set up in the schoolyard to prevent mixing with other classes that are in the schoolyard at the same time
– breakfast, lunch and snack breaks have been organized in such a way that students in grades 7-10 always have a distance of 1.5m from the next child while eating
– from now on, the physical education classes of grades 7-10 will only take place outside in warm sportswear

+++ Update as of 26.10.2020 +++

Today the school starts without any further restrictions for our students. Everything remains the same as before the autumn holidays, see update from 10.8.2020.

The Berlin Senate has proclaimed the level “yellow” as a preventive measure for all Berlin schools in the Corona Step Plan from 26.10.20. This does not change anything for students in Years 1-10. From now on, our staff must wear the mouth and nose protection in the staff common rooms.

From this week on, every Thursday, all schools will receive individual information from the Berlin Senate Administration about the next stage and measures to be taken from the following Monday. The decision for each individual school will be made by the district health authority in cooperation with the regional school supervisory authority on the basis of the actual incidence of infection at the individual schools as well as the general incidence of infection in the respective districts and in the state of Berlin as a whole.

We inform our school community every Friday in our newsletter by e-mail and publish important information and current measures or changes here.

In the downloads area you will find all important documents and overviews of the Berlin Senate or you can look directly at the website of the Berlin Senate for up-to-date information.

+++ Update as of 10.8.2020 +++

Lessons at PLATANUS SCHULE BERLIN start on 10.8. for all students according to our timetable. The full-day programme takes place between 6am and 6pm for all children according to their EföB voucher. We are especially pleased that we will be able to hold the enrolment celebrations for our new 1st classes as planned and in accordance with the hygiene rules on August 15th. This school year, the clubs will start at the end of August/beginning of September.

Access to the school building is only possible with a mouth-and-nose covering, which is worn by everyone in the corridors, staircases, toilets and canteen. Students and teaching staff can take off the mask when seated in the classroom, Ganztag room or subject room. If the teachers are unable to maintain the distance rules in class, for example, because they are going to individual students, explaining or discussing something, they will wear the mask. When arriving and leaving school, all students and staff have to wear a mask.

Parents and visitors have to wear the mask in the entire school building and in the schoolyard.

Furthermore, we comply with all regulations of the model hygiene plan of the Senate Administration of 4.8.2020. Under downloads you will find all important documents and imformation of the Berlin Senate.

+++ Update as of 6.7.2020 +++

As things stand at present, school will start on August 10th for all students in Years 2 to 10 and children in Year 1 who are in the holiday care program, and on August 17th for all Year 1 students, subject to the observance of hygiene rules, but without distance rules (see last update). We are very pleased that our Starting School Celebration for our “Firsties” in two new classes can take place due to a staggered schedule, changes in the program and limits on the number of participants. Now we wish you nice holidays and will get back to you before the beginning of the school year with current information.

+++ Update as of 11.6.2020 +++

By staggering the timetable and well-organised room planning, we can make it possible to issue report cards to the students together in their classes while observing all distance and hygiene rules. This gives our children and teenagers the chance to see each other again in their class communities and to say goodbye before the summer holidays.

Yesterday, the Berlin Senate announced the abolition of the distance rules and the return to normal after the summer holidays. As things stand today, we will be able to resume our usual daily routine in the new school year with lessons, all-day activities and school events, possibly with adjustments in the areas of sports, swimming, music and theatre. More detailed information will be provided before the start of the school year.

If the incidence of infection increases again significantly at the beginning or during the course of the 2020/21 school year, and if stricter hygiene and distance rules are once again imposed in schools by the Berlin Senate, a return to the present model of classroom instruction and school-led learning at home is possible.

+++ Update as of 11.5.2020 +++

We are very happy to welcome back our first and fourth graders on 18.5. as well as the students of classes 2 and 3 on 25.5. as a last boost. In order to enable all children and teenagers to attend school again, we have made some adjustments. All classes 1 to 6 and class 8a will be divided into 2 learning groups – “Apples” and “Bananas” – and taught alternately on a weekly basis. Classes 7, 9 and 10 do not have to be divided due to the size of the classes. We have succeeded in maintaining the usual timetable for all school classes. Thanks to a special route plan in the school building, the division of the schoolyard into different areas, staggered times for the beginning and end of the school day, and a new seating plan in classrooms/cafeteria, we adhere to the rules of distance and hygiene, thus enabling all children and young people to return to school and attend classes in all classes.

Students who belong to a risk group or who live together with people from a risk group are offered further support in learning at home.

Until further notice, only lessons will take place. Study groups, early and late supervision, extra-curricular activities or events are still suspended.

+++ Update as of 6.5.2020 +++

On Monday, 11.5.2020 classes 7a and 8a will be able to attend our school again. All information about the reopening and lessons in the school from the last update are still valid.

+++ Update as of 17.4.2020 +++

The gradual reopening of the Berlin schools will begin shortly. In accordance with the specifications of the Berlin Senate, our graduating class 10a will be the first class in school again from Monday, 27.4.2020. Classes 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b and 9a will follow on Monday, 4.5.2020.
Until further notice, only teaching lessons will be held. Clubs, early/late care, extra-curricular activities or events are still suspended. We will ensure that all distance and hygiene rules are observed. For all other classes, home schooling will continue to be organized.

+++ Important announcement on the closure of the Berlin schools – 13.3.2020 +++

In order to contain the spread of the Corona Virus, the Berlin Senate has decided to close all schools until 17.04.2020, at the end of the Easter holidays. Therefore, we are currently reorganizing the learning and working at our school.
In the school office, one staff member is available Monday to Friday, from 10am to 2pm to answer your questions and deal with organizational matters. During this time, we are available for you personally or by telephone. You are also welcome to send us an email at any time to ed.eluhcs-sunatalp@ofni.

Our team have set up emergency care for children whose parents work in systemically important professions (e.g. medical staff, employees in supermarkets or heads of task forces and crisis teams).

Of course, we largely minimize personal contact. Whenever unavoidable, e.g. in emergency care or personal contacts in the school office, we always ensure that the necessary physical distance is maintained and that hygiene rules are observed to prevent infection. All premises used are thoroughly cleaned daily (emergency care) or every two days (school office and staff rooms).

We have put together a comprehensive homework and online learning package for all students every week and are in constant contact with both the students and their parents via email. All students have an MS365 account, their own Platanus email address, and each class has its own email distribution list for students and parents.

In the home office and at school, we are also working hard on the development of our e-learning offer to make distance learning at home even more interactive, creative, and challenging. With Years 5-10, we want to start using Microsoft Teams and OneNote as an online classroom shortly, and with Years 1-4, the online classroom Seesaw. These platforms are now available to the entire Platanus team. The school leadership and pedagogical team as well as the students will encourage and support each other in the two weeks before the Easter holidays to get to know these online classrooms and use them intensively and meaningfully for distance learning.

Hopefully we will soon be able to learn and work together again, in this case but also if the school remains closed after the Easter holidays – Microsoft Teams, OneNote, and Seesaw will always be important parts of our lessons in the future.