The past year has been one of the most disruptive times in recent history, with daily life dramatically altered around the world. Education has not been spared, and even though Vietnam has managed the COVID-19 pandemic remarkably well, schools in the country have still had to close for extended periods.

ISHCMC has responded to this new reality in line with ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its students by creating a Transition to Campus (TTC) Learning Programme. TTC is a short-term learning opportunity designed for students who are temporarily unable to access the campus due to quarantine regulations, a medical condition, or travel restrictions. It is a programme that can be deployed in a number of contexts.

This is part of ISHCMC’s effort to allow ISHCMC provides Continuous Learning: supporting new familIes moving to Vietnam every student to access continuous learning, even if they cannot be in the classroom. It is facilitated through online instruction, digital material, and gives learners the opportunity to work independently, the ability to self-direct, and the time to use tools and strategies to deeply develop skills in different subjects.

As part of the TTC programme, teachers will employ both synchronous and asynchronous teaching strategies. The former will happen ‘live’ and, when time zones allow it, include a group of learners and the teacher. The latter, meanwhile, happens at any time and revolves around individual learners and teacher feedback.

During a student’s time in TTC they are already establishing social connections that will be cemented when they arrive on campus, and ISHCMC teachers are available to offer support and answer questions during the school day at Vietnam time, while learning is completed independently, with regular check-in sessions held to monitor progress.

The exact structure, learning process and methods of social and emotional support within TTC are different based on a student’s ability and International Baccalaureate (IB) programme, namely the Primary Years Programme, Middle Years Programme, and Diploma Programme.

However, the goal for every learner is the same: to ensure a smooth, stable transition period of ISHCMC’s quality education for students and their families as they prepare to learn on-campus. As soon as a student is able to attend in-person on campus, the TTC programme will no longer be needed.

Thus far, over 100 students have enrolled in the TTC programme and have subsequently transitioned to on-campus learning. It has been well-received by members of the international community, especially among families and businesses relocating people to Ho Chi Minh City who must undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

ISHCMC also infuses TTC with their emphasis on wellbeing, as the school is in constant communication with families and sends a ‘welcome pack’ to their particular quarantine hotel.

Meanwhile, the programme has received global attention as well. It has been nominated for the Think Relocate Awards 2021 under the ‘International School Providing Outstanding Relocation Support’ category. This is all part of ISHCMC’s approach to learning which ensures that every child, every day is energized, engaged and empowered at any time, anywhere and anyplace.

While nobody can predict how the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to evolve through 2021, the TTC Learning Programme will ensure that ISHCMC continues to recognize individual learners, creative and inquiring thinkers, learning beyond the classroom, and collaboration and connectivity. In the context of a global health crisis and its impact on international families, TTC will provide comfort and stability. [C]

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Tim Burrill
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