13 Nov 2020

Principal’s Message

Dear Students, Parents, Staff and Friends of WIS,

You will have read the difficult news from Renaissance College yesterday. All students met with their tutors during period one today and talked about what we know and given the opportunity to ask questions. There has been comfort and support available and I would encourage you to check in with your child over the weekend, contacting their form tutor or Head of Year if needed. We are balancing the wishes of those directly affected by this incident and our wish as a community to talk about the life events which have impacted on us.

We were shown social media messages being sent between young people that were overwhelmingly supportive, reaching out with advice and sharing thoughtful strategies of ways in which to seek help. We would love you to support WEEZ which is working with Kely Group and MindHK to reduce stigma, provide support strategies and resources to our Hong Kong community. Select the donate button on the website and enter WEEZ project in the remarks section.

Any community can face unique challenges and asking for assistance sometimes low down on your priorities when it feels everybody else is coping. There is always assistance and there is always a way to take the next steps. You are most welcome to connect with us here at school and if you prefer to work in confidence, there are many ways in which you can ask for help by contacting numerous helplines.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that I have asked the EDB earlier this week if we may open the school with lunchtime eating arrangements for everybody from 8.00am – 2.45pm and conduct all our lessons face to face. They have acknowledged receipt of our plan and a best hope would be this can start from 23 November. I am holding back in providing more detail as I am unclear how the URTI outbreak may influence central decision making. Until I get more of a steer from our local EDB office know that we have requested a daily schedule that will include 5×1 hour teaching face to face lessons, two 15 minute breaks and a 40 minute lunch with 2.45pm finish. Apart from the lack of extra-curricular activities which is an absolute red line, this should get us back to near normal if not better. I know how much our upper school students have valued the slightly earlier finish during the previous online period to help them manage independent study and I also know how worried parents feel about the lunch and social times for their children. Hopefully we have been able to account for most of what is needed in the next phase.

We appreciate just how hard the community has worked to come this far.

Kind regards,
Chris Sammons

www.samaritans.org.hk  2896 0000 (English)
www.sps.org.hk              2382 0000 (Cantonese)
www.mhahk.org.hk         Mental Health Association of Hong Kong
contact@kely.org            2521 6890 SOS Kely for Hong Kong Youth