Coronavirus FAQ

Latest update on teaching continuity – as of 14/02

Is the school planning on closing?

No. Not to date. No instructions have been issued to this effect by the Singaporean government.

Health News – The Straits Times

What will the school do if the Singaporean government closes schools?

The school is working on a distance education program in case the government decides to close schools nationwide.

Although there is no plan to close the schools to date, we would like to inform you that the teaching community and all the school staff are ready for this potential eventuality.

The health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities. The health measures that we have taken in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China are detailed below and have been guided by the Singapore Government recommendations (MOE, MOH) we have received to date. Beyond these regulations, we are in close contact with International SOS, the French Embassy in Singapore as well as the other AEFE establishments in the Asia Pacific region. These measures are to ensure we are taking the appropriate steps and guarantee a maximum level of protection for all students and staff while facilitating the continuity of teaching as far as possible.

The situation is continually evolving. Please read this FAQ carefully and remain alert to any new communication sent by the school on this subject.

Thank you for your cooperation. The help and collaboration across our entire community is necessary to manage the coming weeks. These measures guarantee optimal security without causing panic.

Travel form

We sent you by email on 7 February, a link to a document posted on your Eduka portal. This document “Coronavirus Travel Questionnaire” requested by the Singaporean authorities, aims to identify the past or future trips (until 8 March 2020) of our students and our staff. Another form will be sent upon return from vacation.

This document is mandatory — those of you who have not yet responded to us, please do so as soon as possible: LINK TO EDUKA

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Leave of Absence (LOA) Procedure

The Singaporean authorities recommended on 27 January that all international schools adopt a Leave Of Absence procedure for students and staff returning from Mainland China since 14 January 2020.

On 27 January, we asked all parents to complete a questionnaire, allowing us to identify students returning from Mainland China and those students whose household members have returned from Mainland China since 14 January. Instructions were given to these students to stay at home for 14 days from their date of return to Singapore.

Link to the MOE

We also asked IFS staff to complete a questionnaire, allowing us to identify employees returning from Mainland China since 14 January or whose family members who have travelled to Mainland China since 14 January. Instructions were given to these employees to stay at home for 14 days from their date of return to Singapore.

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Does the LOA apply to travellers from Hong Kong or Macao?

No. Not for the moment, the LOA concerns only travellers coming from Mainland China, which excludes Hong Kong and Macao.

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Pedagogical Support During Student LOA

In Elementary, close communication will be maintained by the teachers with the family to ensure the continuity of learning while awaiting the student’s return.

In Secondary school, during the absence of your child, the headteacher will contact him/her (by copying the parents) to establish the methods for catching up on lessons and homework. Classroom checks will be made up upon their return.

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Are special financial conditions granted to students in “Leave of Absence” (LOA)?

These are exceptional measures imposed by the current health situation.

The school does not pro-rate tuition fees, canteen or extra-curricular activities concerned by the LOA. These are exceptional health measures that are essential for everyone, whether for families, the school and for our providers. The expenses incurred by the school and the direct costs remain unchanged.

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Is there a Coronavirus test in Singapore?

Only people with symptoms identical to those of the virus, and at the request of a specialist doctor can be tested. If you are in good health, without fever or respiratory syndromes, an antivirus scan is not necessary.

A negative screening test does not cancel a student’s LOA.

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Cancellation of School Trips

The health and safety of our students outside of school is also a priority. We prefer to eliminate any risk of exposure to the virus, especially in places where many tourists and travellers congregate. We have cancelled, until further notice, all overseas trips and school trips to tourist spots in Singapore.

In addition, we also cancelled a regional tournament that we were supposed to host on our premises.

A training course for our teachers, initially scheduled in Beijing, was also cancelled.

Please find below the list of all the events that have been cancelled or postponed :

Cancelled

  • Exchange Taiwan
  • Prozap Basket in Singapore
  • Football competition in Dubai
  • Exchange UWC
  • Dance Show – 14 February
  • Student CNY Show & Semaine Chinoise
  • Chorasie
  • Carnaval
  • Climbing competition
  • SIMUN
  • Rugby competition in Bangkok
  • Prozap Gym in Singapore
  • Swimming competition in Sydney
  • Volleyball competition in Shanghai
  • Maths en Jeans in Bordeaux
  • “Atelier LIFE” trip to Borneo
  • public events of francophonie

Postponed

  • Walkathon
  • Krabi trip of CM2
  • Zoo trip of CE1


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Postponement of the Walkathon

It was with great regret that the school decided to postpone the Walkathon, scheduled for 15 February. This event has been a highlight in the life of the school for many years. As part of the reinforced protection measures that we have been putting in place in the school since 28 January, it was deemed preferable not to add any further risk of contact with the virus.

The Walkathon brings together more than 2,000 people, students, parents, but also sponsors, service providers and external suppliers.

We hope that we can quickly communicate a postponement date for this popular event.

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Control of Temperature Taking

From Monday, 3 February, in line with the measures taken by all local schools and some international schools, we will set up a temperature control at the entrance of the school for all visitors, staff, students and parents upon arrival.

As of Wednesday, 12 February, the temperature of students and staff is checked twice a day. On arrival in the morning and at lunchtime.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and possible delays that the implementation of this measure may cause. However, we need your support and cooperation to ensure that the impacts are minimal.

IMPORTANT

We ask that you take your child’s temperature each morning before sending him or her to school. In the case of a temperature equal to or above 37.5 ° c, please keep your child at home.

Designated IFS staff will take temperatures via an infrared thermometer at the campus entrances and in the Bus Bay.

In the case of a temperature equal to or higher than the limit set by our Health Service*:

  • If it is a student, a mask will be given and then he/she will be taken to the infirmary. The nurses will retake his/her temperature. Depending on the results the student will be returned to class or the nurses will contact each parent so that they can arrange the students return home. In the meantime, the student will be kept in the infirmary, under the supervision of the nurses.
  • If it is an adult, (visitor or parent), they will be requested not to enter the campus.
  • If it is an employee, a mask will be given and he/she will be taken to the infirmary. The nurses will retake his/her temperature. depending on his/her temperature results, he/she will be allowed to work or will be sent back home.

This measure starts on 3 February and applies until further notice.

The other measures previously communicated continue to apply:
Leave of Absence, strict control of entries, reinforced hygiene measures, cancellation of trips and school trips to tourist areas.

* Currently, the limit is set at 38 °, in order to take into account the fact that a significant number of students travel to school by bicycle or on foot.

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Wearing a Mask

We provide masks to our reception staff, who are in regular contact with people from the outside, as well as our health staff, who are in contact with sick children.

Masks will be provided to students who manifest symptoms during their visit to the infirmary. We leave it to families to provide a prevention mask for each child, if you deem it necessary.

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Hydroalcoholic Gels

Antibacterial gels should not replace hand washing.

When the level of hygiene should be at its maximum, as it is today, we allow children to bring it to school. Normally, IFS does not want children to have hydroalcoholic gels on them to avoid ingestion.

Each elementary class has a hydroalcoholic solution at its disposal. They are also available in common areas such as entrances and canteens.

In the maternelle (Kindergarten), the teachers, assistants and the nurse have raised daily awareness on the basic rules of hygiene among the children. Hand washing with soap and water is reinforced before and after recess, meals, visits to the toilet, as well as after every “dirty” activity (painting, cooking, etc.) or motor activities. The maternelle does not wish to provide children with hydroalcoholic gels to avoid the risk of ingestion and not to divert the children’s attention from the need for meticulous and regular handwashing.

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Reinforcement of campus cleaning and disinfection measures

We have greatly increased the frequency of school cleaning and disinfection operations. Emphasizing the heavily frequented areas: reception, infirmaries, corridors, school buses, recreational spaces and canteen areas. Our providers are applying the same rule.
As part of this reinforcement, we are planning a locker cleaning operation in the Secondary campus. This operation starts this weekend, (Saturday, 15 February and Sunday, 16 February) and will continue over the following weeks. We ask Secondary students to empty their lockers on Friday, 14 February when they leave school. We will also ask them to empty it before going on vacation on 21 February.

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IFS Contractors and Suppliers

All of our service providers in direct or indirect contact with our students were asked about their recent trips. In the event that they, or a relative, have been in China recently, the “Leave Of Absence” procedure applies.

Our catering service provider has implemented, in addition to these measures, special measures such as taking temperatures, providing masks for their employees posted at IFS.

Our transport provider applied a policy of thorough cleaning and disinfection of their buses in addition to ensuring the general cleanliness of their coaches.

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School Visitors

A questionnaire issued by the Singaporean authorities has been made available to the guard posts at each entrance receiving visitors. The guards ask each visitor to fill it out. If the person declares to have returned from China after 14/01, the Health and Safety department must be contacted, and the visitor is not admitted on the premises of the school.

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Recommendations for Protecting Yourself or Others

We have placed posters at the school entrances as a reminder of the recommended hygiene practices : link

The following measures apply to IFS: Leave of Absence, strict control of entries with temperature measurement, reinforced hygiene measures, cancellation of trips and school excursions to tourist areas.

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An Evolving Situation

The measures in place today are subject to change. We thank you in advance for staying alert to all school communications on this subject.

We understand that the current situation is creating stress and worry. All IFS teams are mobilised to apply a strict policy in order to control the risks and limit the impact on the school’s activities, without giving in to panic. We thank all members of the community for their cooperation during these difficult times. The health and safety of our students continues to be at the heart of our priorities and guides all of our actions

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To keep up to date on the latest news visit these useful links:

https://sg.ambafrance.org/
https://sg.ambafrance.org/Info-sante-Infection-pulmonaire-Nouveau-coronavirus-nCoV
https://www.moh.gov.sg/
https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
https://pandemic.internationalsos.com/2019-ncov/ncov-faqs#
https://www.moh.gov.sg/2019-ncov-wuhan/faqs
https://go.gov.sg/whatsapp

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Level of alert as of 07/02 17h45 – ORANGE