Post Quarantine Period

Friday, 22. January 2021

We’re all celebrating here at the Ecole because we’ve completed our post-arrival quarantine! We had a chat with Karuna Richard Vinhateiro, Assistant Dean of Students, and one of the Family Heads of Shanti House to get a closer perspective on what the experience of quarantine was like for the students at the Ecole.

As Karuna pointed out, the attention of our Covid-19 Safety Concept was, first and foremost, to keep our community safe and healthy, and we all worked together to make this happen.

This period was certainly a challenge for our students: they missed hanging out with friends from other families; they missed seeing their teachers face-to-face and interacting in the classroom; and of course, they missed getting out on the ski hill after several huge! dumps of snow.

Karuna highlighted how family heads offered support to their students during this unique time. She mentioned that it was important for family heads to guide their students in finding a positive balance between academic responsibilities, screen time, and outdoor time.

Our family heads encouraged students to get out for walks and enjoy the dramatic weather patterns on the mountain. There was also opportunity for one-on-one walks with family heads and students to help young people work through worries and difficulties.

The kids were able to build snow sculptures, go sledding, and of course, hold the occasional snowball fight. One of the most beautiful moments during this time for Karuna was hiking up the House Piste at sunset with a student, and riding down the hill, under a blazing red sky.

Our students faced this challenge with remarkable resilience, and showed so much commitment to the Ecole Safety Concept. Karuna observed, “I”m always so impressed with the students, and how positive and willing they are to accept these new circumstances and just go with it.” She mentioned how students took on new responsibilities of food pickup, mail delivery, and even cleaning. Students were “conscious of the responsibility that they needed to carry to make it all work.”

There were even many unexpected benefits from our quiet start to the new term. In Shanti family, the students got to practice cooking their own breakfast. They reported a huge uptick in their reading time (yay!) They enjoyed playing board games, and just being together as a group. And of course, spending this intense time together presented many opportunities for our students to learn to express their needs, become aware of the needs of their housemates, and find creative ways to solve problems.

There was a lot of learning happening even beyond academics.

Still, we are certainly delighted to be back to a more “normal” rhythm at the Ecole, and excited to be getting out to the ski hill finally!