QSI Skopje: The Scoop

Special School Opening Edition August 15, 2021

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Mark Your Calendars

August
  • 16th-18th: Teacher Professional Development
  • 18th: Back to School Open House 3:30-5:00
  • 19th: First Day of School (Early Dismissal at 12:15)
  • 20th: Full Day of School (8:00-2:30 3YOC-11YOC and 8:00-3:15 12YOC-Secondary)


September

  • 1st: New Student/Parent Orientation 5:00
  • 6th: After School Activities (ASA's) Begin for 5YOC-11YOC 2:30-3:15
  • 6th: Middle School/Secondary Clubs and Activities Begin (12YOC-Secondary 4) 3:15-4:15
  • 7th: Community Chat 5:00
  • 8th: Macedonian Independence Day - No School
  • 13th-30th: NWEA MAP Testing (Reading, Language Usage, Math)
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Welcome Back!

Dear QSI Skopje Community,


I hope everyone enjoyed soaking in the last bit of their summer holiday this week! We are excited to welcome back all returning and new QSI Skopje students and families on August 18th for the Back to School Open House and the first day of school on August 19th.


Our summer staff has been very busy completing summer projects to update our school building and prepare for a safe learning environment. Teachers return on Monday, August 16th for professional development and to prepare for the return of students. As a community, we want to start the year off strong as we reflect on what living during a pandemic has taught us. Our goal this year is to take what we have learned and move forward together as a community better than we were before! #ForwardTogether #FromSurvivingToThriving


In this edition of The Scoop, you will find information about our COVID Mitigation and Response Plan, the hot lunch program, bus program, and important information for the start of the school year. There is a lot of information for the start of the year, so please take some time to read through all content before school begins on August 19th.


As a member of the QSI Skopje community, it is my goal to collaborate with parents, teachers, and students to continually enhance the overall learning experience. I strive to cultivate an environment where all teachers and students are celebrated, uplifted, and encouraged to succeed. It is my pleasure to be among a great team of educators who are committed to developing lifelong learners. I am excited to be part of this wonderful community and carry on the great tradition that QSI Skopje has of providing an excellent learning environment for all students!


Please do not hesitate to reach out anytime with questions or concerns. I am here to support our entire community and want to hear from you!


Thanks,

Heather


heather-sherwood@qsi.org

WhatsApp and Viber: 071310100

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2021-22 COVID Mitigation Plan

The COVID Mitigation Plan below outlines the ways that QSI Skopje will maintain a safe learning environment for the QSI community. As you all know, government regulations are ever-changing. Any changes mandated by the government will be added to this plan and communicated to our community as soon as we learn about them.


We are happy to be welcoming all students on campus for the opening of the school year. The health and safety of our school community are of utmost importance to a successful opening during this pandemic. To ensure everyone's wellbeing, we will be adhering to a strict set of guidelines, which are outlined in the COVID Mitigation Plan. We will be reviewing these guidelines and procedures frequently throughout the year adjusting as needed. As an extra layer of precaution to ensure the safest opening possible, all QSI Skopje staff will take a COVID PCR test on Monday, August 16th.


Download the PDF version of the plan below.

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2021-22 COVID Response Plan

The number of positive cases in Skopje and around the world is on the rise. Even with all the precautions that we take at school and that we take at home, there is a chance that someone in our community will get sick. For this reason, we have written a guide for how to handle the situation if someone in the community has COVID 19. Please see the COVID Response Plan below.


The most important thing is trust! We must be able to trust each other and take care of each other. Please be vigilant about checking your child's health before sending them to school. If your child is showing any signs of illness, keep him/her home. Your child's mental wellbeing is just as important. Are they excited or anxious about returning to campus? If your child is showing any signs of anxiety or distress, please let us know. We are here to ensure a safe transition!


Download the PDF version of the plan below.

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QSI Skopje's Continuation of Education Plan

We are in the process of developing a clear plan for continuing education for all students in the event that we are unable to attend school on campus and have to switch to online learning. I will be working with the teachers this week to finalize this plan. The full plan will be shared with the community when it is complete.


Important Information Regarding the Continuation of Education:


1. All classes will be on campus beginning August 19th following a full-day normal schedule.

2. Online learning will ONLY be provided as a learning option when:

  • A class has to quarantine due to a positive case.
  • The entire school must close due to a government mandate (beyond the special permission received to remain open) or QSI Skopje deems being at school to be unsafe.
  • A student is sick with COVID or has a family member that is sick and quarantine is required. If students are out sick with a non-COVID illness, it will be a sick day and teachers will NOT provide online learning for these situations.

Bus Program and Registration

Buses are available for student pick-up and drop-off at school. This is a door-to-door service provided at an additional cost. The school buses are also used for other school-related field trips and special activities.


Information about the bus program can be found below. Please use the link below to register for services.

The Hot Lunch Program Returns for 2021-22

Due to COVID, the hot lunch program was suspended last year. We are unable to safely fit students into the cafeteria to resume the traditional hot lunch program. Instead, students will eat lunch in their classrooms where they can safely distance mask-free. Preschool and 5/6 YOC will eat in the cafeteria.


We met with the catering company that provides our hot lunch program and are excited to announce that we will offer a packaged hot lunch to our students this year! We are finalizing the menu and will send a separate newsletter with this information and the link to register early next week.

Languages Other Than English (LOE) Registration

At QSI Skopje, we believe that learning a language supports academic achievement, cognitive development, and prepares students to be citizens in a global world. Students in 5YOC-Secondary attend an LOE class once per day to study one of the 4 languages offered at QSI.


Parents for students in 5YOC-Secondary can register their child for an LOE class using the registration link below.


Note: Students in Intensive English will not attend LOE in order to focus on their development of the English language.

First Day of School Information

We are excited to welcome students back to QSI International School of Skopje on Thursday, August 19th for the first day of the 2021-22 school year!


Important Information for the First Day:


  • All QSI schools around the globe have an early dismissal on the first day of school. Students will be dismissed at 12:15.


Preschool through 9YOC:

  • Please send a snack for the morning recess break.
  • Lunch and recess are scheduled from 11:35-12:15. Please send a lunch from home.
  • Students should bring a labeled water bottle from home.


10YOC-Secondary 4:

  • There will NOT be a lunch break for 10YOC-Secondary 4. The lunch break begins at 12:15 on a normal school day.
  • Please send two snacks from home. Students will have a morning snack break and an additional snack break before dismissal.
  • Students should bring a labeled water bottle from home.


Although QSI Skopje will provide stationery to students as is our normal practice, parents may choose to and are encouraged to provide their students with their own set of pencils and other stationery to help reduce the sharing of these items.

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QSI Skopje Dress Code Policy

With all of the changes in the last year and a half, it is important to update policies and procedures as we work towards continuous improvement.


The student and parent handbook for QSI Skopje contains school policies and needs to be updated. A committee of stakeholders will be created to discuss and update policies. If you are interested in serving as a parent representative for this committee please sign up when registration is sent in the near future.


One important piece of information usually communicated in the handbook is the dress code policy. It is important that the expectations for dress code are communicated before the start of the year so students are set up for success.


Summary of the QSI Skopje Dress Code:


QSI schools do not have uniforms in order to encourage and respect individuality. Students should wear clothing appropriate for school that does not distract from learning and that reflects consideration for others with different values or from different cultures.


Dress Code Guidelines


• No drug or alcohol-related images may be worn.

• Foul or vulgar language on clothing may not be worn.

• Wear shoes.

• No see-through tops or bottoms.

• No visible underwear/undergarments. Spaghetti strap shirts should not be worn.

• Wear clothing that is not offensive or immodest.

• No midriff-baring shirts or low-cut tops. Shirts should properly cover the trunk of the body.

• No short skirts or shorts that can easily expose undergarments.


If a student’s attire is deemed inappropriate for a school setting, then the student may be asked to go home and change clothing, cover with a jacket, or change at school if clothes are available.


Students and staff should be dressed for success to represent who we are at QSI Skopje.

Stay Informed with Updates and Information from QSI Skopje

Communication between home and school is vital to the success of all students. To improve communication between school and home, QSI Skopje now has an optional WhatsApp and Viber group for parents.


Important Information:


1. The WhatsApp and Viber groups will have the same information, so you do not need to join both.

2. The group is designed to be used as a one-way communication tool. Only QSI admin can send messages in the group. This will prevent people from receiving too many messages in their chats. Please email or message Heather if you have questions or need clarification about any information shared in the group.

3. Updates, reminders, important information, and the weekly parent newsletter (The Scoop) will be sent in both groups to keep all parents informed.


Please click the link below to join the new QSI Skope Parent Group.

2021-22 School Calendar

Two versions of the school calendar are available below. The calendar includes holidays, term and quintile dates, and parent-teacher conferences.


After the Health and Safety Team assesses our ability to hold events safely, an events calendar will be published and shared with the community.

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Back to School Open House Wednesday, August 18th

As we move forward, it is important to bring back opportunities and community events that enrich our students' lives. This year, we will work towards incorporating all of the essential elements that have been lost over the last 17 months due to COVID in the safest way possible.


Allowing students and parents to meet the teachers and visit classrooms is an important part of preparing students for the start of school. We will open the campus to our families on August 18th to allow students and parents to drop in for a meet and greet. Safety measures will be in place to ensure the safety of our community. Please see the flyer below for safety measures that need to be followed by all families when visiting campus.

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NEW Administrative Assistant

Our Business Manager, Lence, will take a year off to be with her new baby at home. Sabina will remain in the Business Manager role for the 2021-22 school year.


We want to welcome our newest staff member, Elena Negrievska, who will join our team as the new Administrative Assistant. Please give her a warm welcome when you see her!


Elena's Bio:


Elena is an experienced and dedicated Human Resources and Administration Manager, with in-depth knowledge of administrative processes and managing successful relationships with employees. She has experience in many aspects of office administration ensuring that all duties are completed and delivered with high quality and in a timely manner. This position is an excellent chance for her to showcase her unique skillset at QSI Skopje.

Help Spread the Word!

We are excited to welcome all new families to the QSI Skopje community! We had many students enroll over the last couple of months and are continuing to accept applications.


Please tell your friends about the amazing international school community you are part of by sharing the flyer below. You can download the attached file and send it to anyone you know who is looking for an amazing educational experience for their children. Thank you for being an ambassador for QSI Skopje!

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