Newsletter 23 March 2013

Dear reader!

Winter just won't let go and in protest, many students had a duvet day this week and kept their duvets on all day. It looks a little mysterious, but makes good teen sense now that the calendar says spring has started.

This week we have been focusing on the book subjects, preparing for the Cambridge English oral exams and in the profile subjects the students have been braving the cold and being active outside. In most profile subjects, planning for the final profile trip is being put in place and information will be sent out to parents over the coming days.

Last Sunday we held a well-attended Nepal lecture afternoon, where students from this year's Nepal trips talked and showed films and pictures from their many experiences. Teachers also gave information about the teaching process and the evaluation. Three new projects at the Friendship School were also presented. These are the establishment of a computer class, a dental care project and the exchange of a Nepalese student to Ranum Efterskole. Interested parties are welcome to read more on the website and support through the Friendship Association.

Wednesday evening we had a visit from Femmøller afterschool. They put on a great performance in the banquet hall, and impressed with great talent on stage.

On Thursday, a busload of students went to Nordkraft in Aalborg to see the dramatisation of Jacob Ejersbo's book Exil. It was a total and moving theatre experience, which for 10th grade RIC underpinned their reading of the novel.

On Friday afternoon we ended the week with contact group meetings and a terrific performance. Today, Saturday, the performance students are in Hobro to perform at the annual DGI gymnastics show, and tomorrow, Sunday, the team will perform in Løgstør halls in the afternoon. See the many pictures on FB.

Educational: On Sunday evening we held a dialogue meeting with about 15 parents and some pupils present. The meeting showed that there was general support for the school's policy that we do not accept pupils being affected at any time. But the meeting also showed a generational difference in views on the use and abuse of cannabis. Parents had different views on how we can prevent pupils being under the influence and there were suggestions to test all pupils or at random. At the same time, there was a lot of uncertainty about how big a problem it really is among students. All agreed that the way to a solution lies in cooperation with the pupils, as well as very clear communication about the school rules.
That is why we have focused on the issues surrounding narcotic drugs in this week's sessions, including conducting an anonymous survey among students about their attitudes and experiences with cannabis, among other things. The survey showed that approximately 35 % have been introduced to cannabis, 15 % have been affected while attending afterschool. This is in a way alarming, but at the same time it shows that the student group overall reflects the average in society. The main finding of the survey was that the students understand and accept the school rules. And the schism for us lies in the fact that 60% of students distinguish between use and abuse of cannabis. Indirectly, it is expressed that school rules should not apply in leisure time. In a way this is quite understandable and at the same time it presents us with a dilemma that both pupils, parents and the school have to live with. We will continue to test if we suspect that a pupil is under the influence and draw the consequences regardless of whether the abuse has occurred at home or at school. A significant statement from the majority of students is that now they have heard enough and spent enough energy on this case!

In the coming week in addition to Cambridge oral exams, there is a focus on academic lessons, as well as preparation for a possible lockout, where the majority of teachers are dismissed and the school is run by the remaining staff. We have of course been keeping parents and pupils informed on an ongoing basis and below is the latest briefing letter. The Easter break starts on Wednesday at 2.30pm and coffee is available for all parents in the canteen until 4pm. Please remember that pupils will need to have a usable bike at school after the holidays.

Best regards and have a great weekend!
Olav Storm Johannsen

Information about a possible lockout at our school  
( see also previous information on the Newsletter from week 11)

The National Union of Local Authorities has announced a lockout of primary school teachers, effective from 1 April 2013. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance has announced a lockout of teachers at independent schools, including after-school teachers, effective 1 April 2013.
It is not yet clear whether the lockout will come to anything, but we want to use this letter to give you information about the announced conflict and what impact it may have on your child's afterschool year.

Who is covered?
The Ministry of Finance has announced a lockout at the vast majority of schools, including our school. It is not the decision of the individual afterschool to lock out the teachers, but a competence of the Ministry of Finance, as it is the Ministry of Finance that has concluded the collective agreement with the Central Organisation of Teachers (including the Frie Skoles Teachers' Union).

The lockout will affect all teachers who are members of the Free Schools Teachers' Union. These teachers will not be allowed to work at our after-school as long as they are locked out.

Who is not covered?
School management, secretaries, caretakers and kitchen staff, as well as teachers who are not members of the Free Schools Teachers' Union, will not be locked out and can continue to work at the school.

When will it happen?

1. April 1 is the earliest a conflict can enter into force. The Conciliation Body has the possibility to postpone the conflict so that it enters into force at a later date than 1 April. The conciliation institution can postpone the announced conflict for 2 times 2 weeks.

2. If the dispute is postponed in the conciliation institution for up to 2 weeks, the dispute shall be initiated on the 5th day after the conciliator declares the negotiations concluded without result, i.e. by 19 April at the latest.

3. If both postponement options are used, a conflict will start on 3 May at the latest.

4. If the conciliator considers that there are grounds for making conciliation proposals, the dispute will be suspended until a vote is taken.

What does it mean for our school?
At Ranum Efterskole, most/all teachers are members of the teachers' union, and these will be locked out if the conflict comes. This will of course affect school life, but we will have enough staff back at the school to provide proper supervision, and we will also arrange some exciting activities and initiatives for the students, as well as teach to the extent that it is possible. The school will not close immediately, even though there is a lockout and even though other schools may be closed.

What does it mean for Ranum Efterskole's travel in week 16:

1. If the conflict starts on 1 April and takes place while a journey is due to begin, that journey may be cancelled. BUT: Trips where, in the judgement of management, there is sufficient unorganised manpower to adequately supervise students will be carried out according to an adapted activity plan - We hope, of course, that a settlement will be reached before departures.

2. If the conflict starts on 19 April, then all journeys have started and many are being completed. Travel will continue and be completed only to the extent that students and teachers can return home early.

3-4. If the conflict is postponed until after 3 May, all students and staff will be back home 😉
Economics of cancelled trips:
Ranum Efterskole is not responsible for the lockout and conflict. BUT we will try all possible ways to compensate for the loss of co-payment in case of cancellation.

What about the final exams?
Students' final exams may be affected by the conflict. If tests are affected by conflict, parents and young people will be informed as tests approach.

We realise that the time we spend together can be uncertain for you as parents and your child, but we promise to keep you informed of the current situation via the Newsletter (registration on the website) and the website, as well as emails.

Yours sincerely

Olav Storm Johannsen Ib Christensen
Headmaster Vice Headmaster
Ranum Efterskole Ranum Efterskole