Dear Parents,

I hope you had a restful break! We are excited to welcome your children back to campus on Monday.

Our current plan continues to be to start in person on Monday, January 17. As a reminder, our safe management measures in place before winter break will resume when we return to campus. Given the current spread of the new Omicron variant, it is essential that we follow these safe management measures closely. For students who have spent the last several weeks under looser restrictions overseas, please remind them that they will now be back to Singapore’s rules both in school and out. 

Outlined below are several items to note:

  • All individuals on campus must wear masks at all times both inside and outside (except when eating/drinking).

  • We will continue to implement current group limitations and safe distancing guidelines with students. 

  • If your child is sick, please do not send them to school. If they have Covid-19 symptoms specifically, please follow the guidance shared by the Ministry of Health for individuals who are unwell. Please note that if your child is sent home from school, you will need to take your child to a doctor and follow our return-to-school process.

  • If your child tests positive on an ART or PCR test at any time, please email covidreporting@sas.edu.sg as soon as possible. This includes if they are delayed in arriving back on campus due to a positive test during the winter break.

Some of you have asked whether we could start school online given the number of students and teachers who will not be present in person because of stay-home notices or travel restrictions.  We have been tracking these numbers closely, and ask that families use the standard absence form to let us know if their child will not be returning to school on Monday. Currently, about 6-8% of our teachers have reported that they will not be able to teach in person on Monday because of positive tests or travel restrictions, and it is quite possible that number may grow in the next few days. 

Even with these absences, we continue to believe strongly that in-person school provides significantly better education opportunities for our students than distance learning. Resuming school in-person is particularly important to help students get back into the flow of school after the winter break. Our current information is that the vast majority of our teachers and students will be able to attend in person beginning Monday. We have a quality pool of substitute teachers to cover teacher absences, and we will collaborate closely with teachers who are on stay-home notice or travel restriction but not ill. Teachers and counselors will continue to work with students who are not able to be present in-person to keep them up to speed on class assignments.  

We also recognize the concern that some parents have expressed with regard to the potential transmission of the virus within the school. We note that, although this has not proven to date to be a significant risk in Singapore, we cannot eliminate this risk as the pandemic continues. We do believe that Singapore’s safe management measures, including masking, safe distancing, and its tight restrictions on vaccination, testing, and reporting for all travelers entering Singapore, help mitigate some of the risk of in-school transmission.  

Should these circumstances change such that we believe that we cannot operate in-person school safely or effectively, we would shift to distance learning. We will monitor the situation closely in the coming days. 

If your child is still overseas or on stay home notice on Monday, January 17, or any day beyond, please report them absent by using the absence form found on the SAS website portal and via covidreporting@sas.edu.sg if they test positive. Learning during your child’s absence will be supported in each division in the following ways:

  • Elementary School 

    • Direct communication with your child’s classroom teacher for missed work and support as needed. 

  • Middle School

    • Students will access Google Classroom for assignments and classroom support materials. Classroom teachers will be available via email if questions arise. Your child’s counselor and advisor are also available for other questions or needs that may arise. 

  • High School

    • Students may access Schoology for assignments and classroom resources. Classroom teachers will be available via email if questions arise. Your child’s counselor and advisor are also available for any questions or needs that may arise. 

We know that for high school students, absences can be a cause of anxiety. For high school students who will be unable to be on campus for the start of the second semester due to Covid-19 related circumstances, please note that verified absences during this period will not count against their absence limit. They will be expected to stay current on their schoolwork and their teachers are there to help them do so.  

In order to ensure a safe start to the semester, we ask that all students of all ages complete an ART on Sunday, January 16 before they come back to campus on Monday, January 17. All educators will also test on Sunday. 

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Best,

Tom Boasberg
Superintendent