Homework. Photo: Marja Väänänen

City Board decision enables special arrangements in basic education

The Helsinki City Board decided at their meeting of 10 August 2020 on arrangements to ensure safe use of basic education facilities, allowing schoolwork to be organized with exceptional teaching solutions such as by combining remote teaching and teaching in physical classrooms. According to the hybrid model, some grades can alternate in short-term remote teaching and learning. The right of students for teaching is fulfilled even during possible exceptional teaching arrangements.

According to the Basic Education Act, in the event that teaching cannot be provided safely at schools or at other places of teaching due to a decision made on the basis of Article 58 of the Communicable Diseases Act, teaching can be organized with special arrangements by a decision made by the provider of teaching for no longer than one month at a time, if this is unavoidable to provide teaching.

An amendment to the Basic Education Act is in force on a temporary basis until the end of 2020, and it is meant specifically to enable local decision-making in order that early childhood education and basic education can be organized safely even during the coronavirus epidemic.

The City Board decision is the precondition for the organizer of teaching to decide on a shift to exceptional teaching arrangements as necessary when required by a situation caused by the epidemic. As a result, if exceptional teaching arrangements should be adopted, teaching for grades 4­–6 and 7–10 could be organized in three-week periods with some grades taught remotely for one week and in physical classrooms for two weeks at a time. If permitted by the school facilities, teaching would be organized in physical classrooms for grades 4–5.

However, teaching will always be provided in physical classrooms for grades 1–3, in special needs and preparatory education, and in extended compulsory education.

The school year starts on Thursday 13 August in the Finnish-language preschool education, at the comprehensive schools and at the general upper secondary schools of the City of Helsinki. The school year starts on Tuesday 18 August in Swedish-language schools.

A loan of 750,000 euros granted for the renovation of Deutsche Schule Helsinki 

The City Board granted a 750,000-euro loan to the school association Kouluyhdistys Pestalozzi Schulverein Skolföreningen ry for a renovation and an alteration of the property of Deutsche Schule Helsinki (German School Helsinki).

The school association maintains Deutsche Schule Helsinki, which operates in a property located in Kamppi and owned by the association. The school building was completed in 1933, and it has since been expanded. The school building alteration will give the school more than 140 square metres of new teaching facilities. 

The school now has more than 650 students, and it is the only school that provides German-language teaching and organizes the German Deutsches Internationales Abitur examination in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The school’s operation is based on an agreement between Finland and Germany on cultural cooperation. The German Federal Foreign Office has granted the renovation and alteration project 750,000 euros of financing, which covers one-third of the estimated total cost of the project.

All decisions of the City Board meeting are available on the decisions release page. A decisions release is posted on the page until meeting minutes are published. City Board meeting minutes are available here. (All pages and documents are in Finnish.) 

City Board meetings in the autumn season 2020 

The Helsinki City Board meets on Mondays at 16:00 until 14 December 2020 except on 7 September and 12 October, when no meeting is held. City Board morning meetings: 3 September, 8 October and 26 November 2020. 

Read more: 

School year 2020–2021, important dates