The impact of COVID-19 on the University Application process

Belgium underwent severe restrictions due to the impact of COVID-19 on the country as a whole in 2020. St. John’s International School was required to physically close from 16 March until the end of the academic year. Our students were taught online for the duration of this period. Teachers and students followed the St. John’s Remote Learning Plan, which used our Managebac Learning Management System as the central reference point, supplemented by Teams meetings and other online tools as appropriate.


There were no changes to our grading scales; however, we have also implemented a Hybrid Learning Plan since re-opening, allowing students who have been quarantined to access classes via a Hybrid model.

Our graduating cohort from 2020 was unable to have a traditional Face to Face graduation as the School was in lockdown. We held an online-graduation. There were no changes made to the graduation requirement, including a concluding examination for relevant subjects in Grades 9 – 12.

On 16 March, we started teaching remotely online. Thanks to our IT environment, we delivered lessons on a full-time virtual basis i.e. students attended lessons following the day timetable with teachers offering live classes online, as explained above. Therefore, the students did not miss any lessons.

We continue to offer the same number of courses in the current academic year. The IB recently published adaptations to the assessment components of each IB course for the 21 May session due to the disruption caused by the global pandemic. Our small class sizes have allowed us to use the “bubble” system to keep different student groups apart. We are also following the Belgian government’s instructions to maintain safe distance protocols, mask use, and social distancing. This also includes hygiene measures.

For the majority of our students, SAT opportunities were canceled, and the TOEFL/IELTS language testing was only available in September and October.

Due to COVID restrictions in spring, sports needed to be canceled. Fall sports teams were able to practice, and some local games were possible until recently. Fall sports are, for the moment, canceled. Many field trips that would usually be part of our inquiry-based learning model at St. John’s have also been canceled. The academic calendar has otherwise been mostly followed, with some changes in submission dates for Grade 12 Internal Assessment in particular.