The EEB4 Administrative Board was held on January 26, 2021 and attended by Kristin Dijkstra and Karim Kettani. As the APEEE had requested an agenda point linked to Covid-related financial support, the Secretary General agreed exceptionally to allow the APEEE Treasurer, Alexandre Grigorescu-Negri to join the meeting. This meeting is held twice a year and is attended by all members of the school community: teachers, administrative staff, students, parents and management. It is presided by the Office of the Secretary General and also representatives from the European Commission and EUROCONTROL. The January meeting is primarily budgetary and administrative and the Sept/October meeting mainly pedagogical. Below are some points of interest:
– Financial support: The APEEE Treasurer made a presentation on the financial consequences of Covid-19, requesting that the school’s unused Covid budget be used to cover some of the extra costs incurred by APEEE services. The APEEE was invited to write a letter addressed to the Commission. The Director expressed support to APEEE and worry about the future, and said the services provided are indispensable for school, would like all stakeholders to consider alternative ways to overcome this situation, called for brave and innovative measures.
– School psychologist: The parent and student representatives strongly supported the school management’s request for an additional full time psychologist post, as well as a ratio defining number of psychologists per student population. The school has had two half-time psychologists since its inception, while the student population has grown to over 3100. In the meantime, the budget has been approved for an additional temporary half-time psychologist and recruitment is underway. The EEB4 CdE produced a very comprehensive document arguing in favour of an additional psychologist post and the Secretary General invited the students to share their work with the OSG.
– Vaccinations for teachers: The Secretary General announced that a European Commission-certified vaccination centre will provide vaccinations for EEB teachers and teaching assistants. Parents asked whether this could be extended to APEEE staff: not possible at the moment but Mr Marcheggiano will discuss with the Commission the possibility of extending vaccinations to other groups within the school.
– Infrastructure: fresh painting and humidity/water leak problems to be addressed this year with agreement of Régie des bâtiments. All outstanding tickets will be centralized by OSGES security officer.
– Overcrowding/Fifth school: optimism following Brussels Task Force meeting with Belgian government. Temporary site in Evere hopefully will be delivered end August 2021. Enrolments are ongoing and Brussels Steering Committee will discuss contingency planning. All Brussels schools are conducting a capacity audit this spring and APEEE representatives are involved. The school once again pointed out the urgent lack of space for sports, examinations and gatherings (such as Bac ceremony, in non-pandemic times). The canteen is also too small for our school population.
– School calendar 2021-22: Concern from teacher representative that Sept 1 starting day will require new locally-hired staff to attend training before their contract begins. Parents expressed concern that ½ day of training for new teachers will be insufficient – school management assured that teacher training will be a priority and that the school is introducing a mentoring programme for new teachers.
– Dutch as L2 (Host Country Language): The school surveyed the Maternelle parents to ascertain the potential level of interest in having Dutch as a possible L2 at EEB4. The discussion at the Admin Board pointed out the effects such a change could have on numbers in the Dutch-speaking and Francophone sections, the potential positive academic impact (particularly in the Bac cycle). The Commission stated that such a decision would have to be discussed among the 4 Brussels schools so that all students have the same opportunities. This will be discussed in the Central Enrolment Authority, the Steering Committee Brussels and may be raised again at the autumn pedagogical Admin Board.
– Teacher absences & replacements: Parents suggest an anonymized follow-up of levels/sections where teachers’ absences or lack of teachers require replacements, allowing to identify the problems and impact on learning as well as staffing. This could be a document submitted to the Admin Board. The Director and Secretary General agreed.