The second half of the school year proved to be much smoother than initially feared. When we closed in December, the world was reacting very nervously to the emergence of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19, and we could not be sure how things would evolve in the New Year. In fact, just a couple of months later, the Swiss government actually ended most Covid restrictions. Students were able to enjoy more opportunities to do things in their free time. For six weeks in March and April and for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, they were able to take day trips out of Leysin and to eat in restaurants, and this period of ‘freedom’ ended with Swiss Cultural Trips, the first such trips since October 2019.
After that, regrettably, we had to reintroduce restrictions for students once again as part of our plan to best ensure that students could receive negative PCR test results in order to return to Japan. Despite this, students did not miss out on any of the main end-of-year events, such as the music club concert and Midnight Kumon, which were rescheduled for earlier in the month.
At this time two years ago, we had been closed for two months, and students were all at home with their families. This time last year, our graduation ceremony was limited to an event with fewer than 50 people, and it could not include parents, who were still unable to enter Switzerland. This year, we have been able to take another step towards normality, albeit with masks, by welcoming parents and relatives in the largest such group to visit us since the parental tour of September 2019.
All this bodes very well for the next academic year. Based on current trends and predictions, and without the emergence of a more worrying variant, we believe next year will include more of the things that we have not been able to do, such as trips, travel, and sports.
Lastly, I would like to thank all parents for your support this year, and I wish 10th and 11th grade students and parents a relaxing and enjoyable summer break. And to the 12th grade students and parents, on behalf of all the staff, I wish you all the very best for the future.