Thank you for your continued support as we work together to ensure the health and safety of our community. We are very grateful for the health of our school community and broader Singapore community, and our thoughts and prayers go out to communities who are hard-hit by the spread of the COVID-19.
Like many of you, we are constantly monitoring the spread of the virus. Last night, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong outlined some of the plans the country will explore in the weeks to come. You can read his entire remarks here.
We are committed to keeping our school open as long as we believe it is safe for students and staff. We are grateful that we have been able to stay open thus far, continuing to provide our students with high-quality education and, equally important, providing them with a warm, supportive community. Our attendance continues to be very strong, at 95 percent or more on most days. In talking with families and educators in places where schools have been closed for many weeks, by contrast, they speak of a real sense of loss—a loss of opportunity and of community.
We do recognize the uncertain course of the virus and the potential risks ahead. We are certainly prepared to go to distance learning if health and safety require it. Our students and teachers have been practicing already, and we will be doing additional distance learning preparation activities with our students in the coming days. Here is the link to our distance learning website if you would like further information about our preparations.
Nevertheless, while we can safely stay open, we are committed to doing so. We should also note that our decisions will be made based on the facts of each situation. For example, if a student, teacher or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, we will immediately move to contact tracing and ask all those who have had close contact with that individual to stay home for 14 days. Depending on the number of close contacts, we may move to close a particular classroom, grade level, or school level or even the entire school if we are seeing multiple cases and evidence/heightened risk of spread within the school. Thankfully in the cases so far in Singapore with school-aged children who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, there has been no evidence to date of further spread within those school communities. We will inform you immediately of any situation that develops and our next steps.
In the meanwhile, we continue to take the following actions to protect the health and safety of our school community:
- Additional nursing staff and health checks
- Additional cleaning staff and stepped-up cleaning/disinfection of door handles, desks and other high-touch spots
- Daily temperature checks of students/staff and temperature checks of all visitors
- Student lessons about handwashing and hygiene
- Incorporating information about COVID-19 into lesson plans to increase student knowledge and lessen fear
- Ensuring that those with respiratory symptoms go home and stay home until medically cleared
- Travel declarations and a reminder to please update that form should your travel plans change (add link)
- Staggered recess and lunches and avoidance of large group activities
- No inter-school sports events or student travel
- Daily safety team meetings to evaluate the latest information
- Distance learning training and simulations
- Enforcement of government-issued Quarantine Orders or Stay at Home Notices as well as doctor issued leaves of absence
Small measures like hand washing and social distancing make a massive difference. We each play an important part in the health and safety of our community. If you have a fever or if you have symptoms (runny nose, cough, etc) please stay home and visit a doctor.
Finally, we know that spring break is coming up quickly. As this situation continues to evolve we encourage you to check the status of your destination country. You can use the Ministry of Public Affairs as a good reference for up to date information. We ask that you not travel to any country that is subject to Singapore Government travel restrictions and remind you to follow any mandatory Stay-Home Notice or Quarantine Order. If you receive either of these orders, please immediately contact Kim Criens (firstname.lastname@example.org.) so we can respond appropriately.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated as we learn more. Thank you for your continued support.