January 21, 2021 January Greetings
Throughout this academic year, we have worked according to a staggered by cohort schedule due to the pandemic. After each period, we have made small adjustments to the schedule to improve it.
During the autumn, we noticed that the staggered schedule, that we built because of the pandemic, relieved the pressure in the dining hall and in our limited corridor spaces during breaks and thus created a longed and welcome serene atmosphere.
The upper secondary school's new national curriculum, which will be implemented on 1 August 2021, emphasizes eg. the well-being and self-study ability of students. Espoo's new curriculum, which was approved by Opetus- ja varhaiskasvatuslautakunta and Nämnden Svenska Rum this autumn, addresses the following (free translation): “Upper secondary school students practice the ability to study independently. At the beginning of the studies, this is done through small tasks.” and commands the upper secondary schools to specify in their own local curriculums (free translation): "The upper secondary school describes the opportunities and prerequisites for independent studies in different study units. The upper secondary school describes which studies can be carried out independently and which studies the students are expected to complete independently".
Self-studies have been encouraged even in the previous curricula, but the change that the new curriculum brings is that they are expected of the students.
Therefore, it was proposed to the teachers and student representatives during the teachers' training day 20.11.2020 that for August 2021:
- we improve the staggered schedule system that we "accidentally" invented due to the Covid situation,
- We "rip up" the schedule system as little as possible due to overlapping curricula 2021-2023 and “Covid fatigue”,
- the proposed schedule is tested in period 4 this academic year
What does this mean for you now? Now that period 4 begins, you can see in Wilma that the staggered schedule is built as for periods 2 and 3, ie. that the positions have one self-study lesson on alternating weeks. Note, however, the following changes:
- Since we mainly have only 2 cohorts at school (the DP2s are present only ½ period), we chose for period 4 that the DP1s follow their previous lesson and break times but the Pre-DPs follow the DP2 times, ie. begin at 8.15 and thus end at 14.15.
- As wished by both the student representatives and the staff, the weekly self-study lessons have been placed in the schedule at the very end of the day, ie. at 16.30-17.00. We placed them so late in the day so that it is clear that they do not belong to the regular lesson schedule. You will therefore NOT have a real-time lesson at that time, but the teachers' deadline for the self-study assignment might be placed then. The teachers will provide details concerning the self-study assignments in their courses.
- For two weeks in the middle of the period, each position has a double lesson in the afternoon. This way, we were able to reduce the number of self-study lessons / position during a period from 3 to 2. In addition, the double lesson opens up opportunities for teachers to arrange eg. study visits (when the pandemic allows them), long laboratories or assessment sessions. The new curriculum will contain study units that end in the middle of a period making it important that the schedule allows this.
- A new and probably a thought-provoking change is that the evaluation week has been shortened from 6 days to 4 days. The evaluation week's schedule has all these years meant that the total number of lessons per course is reduced. We wanted to minimize this reduction, especially as less and less "classic" tests/exams are arranged during the evaluation week each year. Many teachers have already chosen to use their long lesson sessions for study visits, project work etc. instead of tests.
We will evaluate this schedule proposal after period 4. During the evaluation, all students and staff members have a chance to express their opinion and give improvement suggestions.
the principals at Mattlidens gymnasium
December 3, 2020 December Greetings
Hello all students, guardians and staff members!
Distance education is ongoing as we speak. We hope that everyone, despite this difficult period, finds the strength to cope with the daily school work but as well time to enjoy the serenity of December and its beautiful holiday lighting.
We have four important matters to bring up with you:
- Mattliden's gymnasium's Independence Day celebration takes place on Friday 4.12 at 10.30. The festivities will be streamed online on Mattliden's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/MattlidensGymnasium
- Pick-up of the weekly lunch packages takes place on Mondays at 16.00-16.30 outside the main entrance. The pick-ups take place therefore on 7.12 and 14.12 (the school days 21.-22.12 are included in the previous week's package). The sign-up for the following week's lunch package also opens on Mondays and the sign-up period ends on Wednesdays at 7.30 in the morning. The sign-up is made separately for each week and by the student when he/she is logged in to his/her eduespoo account. The guardians cannot do the signing-up. The sign-up link is sent via Wilma on Mondays.
- A reminder regarding Mattlidens gymnasium's online information evening concerning substance abuse. The evenings are held on Monday, the 7th of December at 18.00-19.00 (in Swedish) and on Tuesday, the 8th of December 18.00-19.00 (in English). Our key note speaker is Maria Thelen, who is a trained expert, parent of an addict and founder of Kondis ry. The event is interactive: participants can ask questions anonymously via a chat function. We hope that all our guardians find time to participate in the webinar together with their children. We are arranging these events both due to the alarming statistics concerning substance abuse in the school's latest Health in School survey and at the request of the family of the student who passed away during this fall. The link to the webinar: https://www.mediaserver.fi/live/mattlidens-gymnasium
- Due to the ongoing pandemic, the city of Espoo is prepared to move, if needed, the Old Dances day (“Vanhojen tanssit”) from 12.2.2021 to a later occasion during the spring. For Mattliden, this means the following:
- The Old Dances course continues in period 3 as planned, ie. as distance education in December and as contact teaching in January, if the situation allows.
- Extra practice sessions will be arranged either in January if the date is not moved or e.g. in period 4 if the date is moved. These details can still be worked on carefully and with the cooperation of the students.
- If the date is moved, we will rebook Opinmäki for at least the evening event.
- The festivities will be streamed in any case ie. no matter which date will hold.
- The final decision on the exact date will be made no later than 15.1.2021 at the capital region level.
Wishing you all productive yet relaxing working days at home,
the principals at Mattlidens gymnasium
October 2, 2020 Letter to all students concerning Period 2
A few very important issues:
1) A memorial service is held on Monday, the 5th of October, at 10.45 in form groups. You begin your position 3 lesson normally in the classroom and at the time it says in Wilma for that particular lesson. Approx. at 10.30-10.35 the subject teacher ends his/her lesson and sends you to the classrooms below (if you are not already there) for the memorial service.
20I: Z 19I: L 18I: R
20K: C 19K: A 18K: H
2) Espoo is in a critical phase regarding Corona. Please follow the new recommendations regarding face masks. Our main goal is to be able to continue with classroom teaching which means it's up to all of us to help out. MAINTAIN GOOD HYGIENE, AVOID CLOSE CONTACT, USE FACE MASKS, STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK, FOLLOW YOUR OWN LUNCH TIMES. Thank you.
3) The schedule should now be accurate in WIlma concerning period 2. We had to be extremely creative to make everything work. Please check your schedule carefully and several times during the week (or even per day!), ie. check the time and classroom, so you are in the right place at the right time. The teachers might still find some errors in the schedule, but we will make sure to fix them during the weekend.
4) During next week, we will participate in the school center's annual mandatory evacuation drill. Follow the instructions given via the central radio when the exercise begins. Safety distances must be kept even during the drill.
Have a wonderful weekend after the evaluation week!
September 24, 2020 Letter to all students in the end of period 1
Well done all of you who have had normal teaching here at school and you who have studied from home! On Friday, the evaluation week begins and period 1 is coming to an end.
We welcome back our 3rd year students on Friday! They have worked diligently from their "home offices" and participated in the matriculation exams. Due to this I would like to remind you all: from Friday and onwards we have a full house again with 600+ students. At the same time, the number of Corona cases have risen sharply in Finland and especially during the past week. Think carefully how you behave:
- Wash your hands more often than usual and use "käsidesi" which is available in every classroom and in the dining hall.
- Eat only during your own lunch break. You are under no circumstances allowed to go and eat before 11.45 as it is the comprehensive school lunch time!
- Avoid large gatherings in your free time.
- Do not come to school with symptoms.
- If you receive a message in Koronavilkku that you have been exposed, follow the health care officials instructions. If needed: notify your form teacher, stay in voluntary quarantine and contact the subject teacher if you need more guidance than what is available in the Classroom, etc.
We hope that this way we can all help out in maintaining our teaching as classroom education. But of course, we cannot completely control how the situation develops in Espoo. Be prepared that during the autumn, tough decisions regarding distance education might become relevant.
Period 2 starts on the 5th of October 10 with our staggered schedule. The schedule will be correct in Wilma towards the end of next week. I will send a separate message when you can completely trust Wilma's schedule.
Many of you probably have questions concerning school events such as the Christmas concert, Penkkarit and Old dances. The school is planning, as we speak, all these events together with the students, but naturally taking into account safety measures and planning alternative ways of carrying out the events. The last thing we want to do is to completely cancel these events. However, the Christmas concert is a trickier issue as it is held so late in the evening, so please, be prepared that Tuesday the 22nd of December might end up being a regular school day, if the Christmas concert can not be arranged the night before due to the pandemic.
For your information, all of you (students, guardians and staff) will soon receive a link to a survey regarding working days and holidays 2021-2022, ie. NEXT academic year. A separate Wilma message will be sent later with only that as its content.
Good luck with your upcoming tests!
September 11, 2020
The annual flu season is ongoing as we speak, which has led to almost half of the students in some teaching groups being forced to stay home with sniffles / a cough.
Some general advice for all these students:
- To find out what you are missing out on, please check FIRST the digital platform(s) that the teacher uses, in most cases Google Classroom. And IF you are - after doing that -STILL unsure of what to do, contact the subject teacher via Wilma.
- remember that absences are reported to the form supervisor, not the subject teacher.
So far, we do not have any confirmed Corona cases here in Mattliden and thus no large numbers of exposed students. The situation can change overnight, but here's keeping our fingers crossed!
If you are wondering about any possible distance learning periods, I would like to say the following:
- if we get a Corona case and thus a large number of exposed students is quarantined, some form of distance study period for the cohort(s) concerned will certainly be discussed. We will naturally inform everyone.
- if the number of Corona cases increases sharply in Espoo so that a massive distance learning decision has to be made in all Espoo high schools, this is discussed thoroughly at the city level and eventual decisions are made only after these discussions. We at Mattliden will not on our own proactively decide on these matters ourselves.
- if the corona situation remains at the current level (the situation in Espoo has actually slightly improved lately), we will continue with classroom education with all cohorts. We welcome our 3rd year students back to school when the evaluation week begins on 25.9, but recommend that those who still have matriculation exams 28-29.9 or 1.10 decide for themselves whether it would be a good idea that they stay at home until the matriculation exams are over.
- regardless of the scenarios above, we will continue in period 2 with the cohort-wise staggered schedule. We will, however, adjust it so that the self-study lessons will be distributed evenly over all 8 positions instad of them being concentrated on 4 positions. The schedule will be visible in Wilma but only after the students have clicked their course choices for period 2, ie. first towards the end of September.
Hang in there! Have a nice weekend!
August 21, 2020
Hello all students!
PHEW, what a week! We congratulate you for surviving endlessly changing Wilma schedules and peculiar lesson and recess times! There were, as expected, some minor mistakes in the schedule as late as yesterday, but luckily our teachers had their eyes open and these mistakes have been fixed. But check your schedule at regular intervals so that you always know when and where to attend your lessons. The daily routines will probably get going next week when both the students and the teachers are familiar with the classrooms in the school center and have come up with working methods that also provide time for breaks and rest.
Major decisions have been made this week regarding distance teaching and the graduation festivities, but remember: until 1.9, we have the whole high school here in the school center in classroom teaching. The 3rd year students (both national and IB) have understandably began to worry about the upcoming distance period. We assure you that
- the teachers will take excellent care of you even then and will be available as if the lessons were in the classroom
- the IB2s will not have distance learning throughout the fall semester. If after 24.9 we need to continue to have one or two cohorts in distance teaching, we will rotate the cohorts. This way the situation will be equal between all students in Mattlidens gymnasium and all students will learn to handle distance studies, which is important for future university studies. So everyone will "take the heat" and help out in dealing with the corona epidemic. The IB2s is the cohort we begin with with due to the very vulnerable matriculation exams that are approaching. Even though our IB2s do not participate in these exams, many of their friends do. The students' social activities extend beyond study lines. It was just on the news last night that an entire high school in Helsinki is now in distance teaching due to corona cases among 3rd year students. And all IB students know by now of the chaos regarding the cancelled May 2020 IB Finals. We have your safety in mind in these kind of decisions, even if it now might feel unfair.
- Due to the long period of distance teaching in the spring and the special arrangements now in the fall, we will offer more support than usual in the form of support lessons ("tukiopetus"). Support lessons can be arranged at school or via distance and either during skips or after school at 3 pm. The teacher agrees with his/her students how the extra support measures take place. The extra support can also be arranged so that the teachers, during some lessons, divide their teaching groups into two and have therefore 2 teachers present during the lesson. We strongly encourage our teachers to begin with these support measures as early as next week.
But what matters now is to inhale and exhale. It's all good! We will survive this and you're not alone!
Saana and Sussie