Covid-19 FAQ

Latest update – as of 31/03

Use of the swimming pool

There are no contraindications for using the pool. According to International SOS “Swimming itself is safe as pool water contains chlorine and chlorine is known capable to kill Covid-19 virus”.

Pool lessons therefore continue at IFS with the exception of the kindergarten in order to avoid the sharing of facilities with secondary school students.

Pupils who are exempted from the swimming classes require a doctor’s note/certification.

Update – as of 25/03

Implementation of new precautionary measures

Singaporean schools resume classes on Monday after a week of vacation. Several additional actions taken by the government to strengthen health and security will be implemented within our school in the coming days.

SHN / “Leave of Absence” (LOA) for IFS students and staff returning from abroad

  • From 20 March 11:59 pm, students returning from abroad will be placed in SHN.
  • From 20 March 11:59 pm, students who have travelled abroad, between 14 March and 20 March, will be placed in “Leave of Absence” and should not come to school for 14 days starting on their return date to Singapore. The families concerned will report the absence of their child to the educational secretariats to set up educational support at a distance.

Postponement of Extra-curricular Activities

We will postpone for 15 days the AES and ASS from 23 March to 5 April. If the situation allows, activities will resume on Monday, 6 April. These two weeks of activity shutdown will be postponed to June (6 to 20 June).

Fixed placement in classes – limited trips within the establishment

  • Students are seated in class according to a fixed plan established by the teachers. A further communication will be sent to teachers on this subject.
  • Travel within the school is limited and done in small groups.
  • Access to kindergarten is prohibited for anyone not working for the school.
  • Contact sports are suspended.
Live home-based learning test

For several weeks, IFS has been working on its home-based learning programmes to guarantee educational continuity of lessons if they can no longer be provided face-to-face. To this end, we will conduct a full-scale test this coming week.

From Tuesday, 24 March, we will deploy a test phase in 2 stages:

  • For Kindergarten and Elementary, it will be held on Tuesday, 24 March and Wednesday, 25 March;
  • For College and Lycée, it will be held on Wednesday, 25 and Thursday, 26 March.

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 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.

Social distancing measures
Maternelle (Kindergarten)

In order to further strengthen health, hygiene and traceability measures for pupils in the context of COVID19, new actions will be implemented from 26 March 2020 in the Maternelle:

  • A fixed place will now be assigned to each pupil in the canteen.
  • The number of pupils at recess will be reduced by the use of a new space made available to the kindergarten to better distribute the children.
  • Swimming sessions are cancelled until further notice.

Additional measures concerning the arrival and departure of children will help us to avoid clustering as much as possible and to limit the time parents spend at the Maternelle :

  • Only one adult per family allowed to drop off and pick up children.
  • On arrival from the bus, the pupils will be directed directly to the classrooms by the assistants.
  • The Maternelle doors will be open for students drop off from 8:15 a.m. in order to ease traffic in the corridors. The doors will be open from 3:10 p.m. (12:00 p.m. on Fridays) for pick up.
  • Students will be dropped off at the entrance of the classroom: the adult accompanying them will be asked not to enter the classroom and not to linger in the corridor.
  • People dropping off or picking up children must respect the waiting areas marked out every metre until the Maternelle doors open.
  • The staircase traditionally used to go to the upper levels will be reserved for the exclusive use of the students of Grande Section.
  • The drop-off and pick-up of Moyenne Section (and GMS) pupils will be done via the annex staircase at the end of the corridor of the Petite Section classes; signposts will guide you.
Élémentaire (Elementary)

As part of the new sanitary prevention measures enacted by the Singaporean government, we would like to reduce the number of adults present in Zone R at the end of classes and ensure a smooth departure of students. We are therefore implementing a staggered dismissal of classes. We will test this system on Thursday and Friday, evaluate it and adapt it if necessary for next Monday.

Pupils who do not take the school bus will now be picked up in zone R or Kensington at:

Monday to Thursday Friday
CE1 3:15 pm 12:05 pm
CP 3:20 pm 12:10 pm
CE2, CM1, CM2 3:25 pm 12:15 pm

Gates will open at 3:10 pm. We kindly request that you arrive (only 1 adult per family) just for the time of your child’s pick-up and that you leave the school premises as soon as you have picked up your child.

Access to the Al Fresco cafe will not be possible until further notice.

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IFS COVID-19 Rules
Family situation IFS Response
A member of the household returning to Singapore from the UK, US or an ASEAN country after 14 March 2020
  • Student will be placed on LOA for a period of 14 days. The LOA starts on the day after the resident of the home arrives in Singapore. The day the resident arrives counts as day 0.
  • Students access to home-based learning
A member of the household returning from abroad to Singapore from 25 March 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Student will be placed in LOA for a period of 14 days.
  • Students access to home-based learning
Student and Staff on LOA –  effect from 20 March
  • MOE additional precautionary measures – 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) for students and staff, who have returned from overseas on or after 14 March
  • Students access to home-based learning
  • Family follows guidelines from the Ministry of Health on what to do when a family member is on LOA. 
Parent, brother, sister, helpers and other members living in the household on SHN/QO
  • Student/Staff on QIFS (quarantine by IFS as an additional precautionary measure) for 14 days; 
  • Students access to home-based learning
  • Family follows guidelines from the Ministry of Health on what to do when a family member is on SHN/QO. 
  • If the person in SHN/QO is a dependant of the IFS employee, 1] pre-approval of the MOM is required before coming back to Singapore, 2] joined obligations of the employee/IFS regarding the SHN/QO 
Parent on QO (but not a confirmed case)
  • Student stays at home for the duration of the parent QO; home-based learning
  • Family follows guidelines from the Ministry of Health on what to do when a family member is on QO
Student or staff member on SHN/QO
  • Student or staff member stays at home; student access to home-based learning. 
  • Joined obligation of student/employee/IFS to ensure the proper functioning of SHN/QO
  • Family members of student or staff follow guidelines from the Ministry of Health on what to do when a family member is on SHN/QO
Student or staff member on QO (but not a confirmed case)
  • Student or staff member stays at home: home-based learning
  • Family members follow guidelines from MoH
  • School follows any additional guidelines from MoH regarding any additional measures
Parent in our community is a confirmed COVID-19 case (has not recently been on campus)
  • Class/department is informed while protecting personal data & respecting medical confidentiality. 
  • Child stays at home; home-based learning
  • Additional cleaning of all relevant spaces
  • MoH liaises with school on specific measures to be taken
Student, staff member, or parent who has recently been on campus, is a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • Class/department is informed while protecting personal data & respecting medical confidentiality. 
  • Child or staff member stays at home; student home-based learning
  • Deep cleaning of all relevant spaces
  • MoH liaises with the school on specific measures to be taken and controls our response

For more information, visit:
https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/faqs

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Stay-Home Notice (SHN)

Not sure how to count the LOA/SHN period? Use the MOM LOA/SHN calculator to find out.

Had recent travel history to On SHN if arrive in Singapore
Mainland China (excluding Hubei province) After 18 February 2020, 2359 hours
Daegu city and Cheongdo county (South Korea) After 26 February 2020, 2359 hours
Iran, northern Italy1 or South Korea After 4 March 2020, 2359 hours
France, Italy, Spain and Germany After 15 March 2020, 2359 hours
ASEAN countries2, Japan, Switzerland and the United Kingdom After 16 March 2020, 2359 hours
All other countries After 20 March 2020, 2359 hours

1 Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige / Südtirol.

2 Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam.

For more information, visit :
https://www.mom.gov.sg/covid-19/advisory-for-employers-and-employees-travelling-to-and-from-affected-areas

https://sg.ambafrance.org/Coronavirus-Covid-19-Situation-a-Singapour-13-mars-2020

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Quarantine Order

If your child has been the subject of a Quarantine Order by the Singaporean authorities, you must contact the educational secretariats to inform them.

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What you should do when on Stay-Home-Notice (SHN)?

  1. You must remain in your place of residence at all times throughout the entire 14-day period of the SHN. Do not leave your residence, even if it is to purchase food and essentials. If necessary, you may opt for home delivery services or enlist the assistance of others for your daily necessities.
  2. You should not have visitors at your residence, and you should minimise contact with others. You should maintain a record of persons you come into close contact with during this period.
  3. The Singapore Government agencies (MOE, ECDA, MOM and Immigration & Checkpoints Authority) may contact you via phone.
  4. Foreign employees issued with a work pass must download the WhatsApp app on their mobile phone. This is to enable video calls. You must respond within 1 hour when contacted by phone calls, WhatsApp or Short Message Service (SMS).


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Pedagogical Support During Student SHN / 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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Continuity of Learning

The statement made by the Minister of Education last week remains valid today. The closing of schools is not on the agenda.

The Council for Private Education (CPE) also asks us to be ready to activate a distance learning plan. This week, educational teams have been trained for this purpose. If this becomes the case, we will do so according to the principles of a daily work program using digital collaboration tools already in use within the school.

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Elementary educational support

This principle is applied when students are absent while the school operates according to the usual timetables for face-to-face teaching.

It allows absent pupils to be informed of what is done in class during the day, to be able to carry out certain activities and to be aware of the homework given.

Teachers use the classroom site or parent emails to do this.

  • Digital tools: the class site and Gmail suite.


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Elementary home-based learning

This principle is applied when face-to-face lessons cannot be provided.

Teachers provide a weekly work plan with mandatory and other optional activities. The teacher addresses his students each morning through a video clip. The teacher is available at specific times by email or Elementary Zoom meeting.

The student reads the lessons, documents and performs the requested work. He sends his work according to the modality specified by the teacher.

A weekly videoconference contact session between teacher and class is set up.

The objective of this session is school mediation while maintaining a link between the students and the teacher.

  • Digital tools: classroom site, Zoom meeting and Gmail suite.


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Educational support in Kindergarten

This principle is applied when the students are absent while the school operates according to the usual timetables for face-to-face teaching.

The teachers communicate by email with the parents to inform them of the main activities of the class during the day and suggest that they carry them out at home.

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Home-based learning in Kindergarten

This principle is applied when face-to-face lessons cannot be provided.

Teachers provide a weekly work plan with mandatory and other optional activities. The teacher addresses his students each morning through a video clip. The teacher is available at specific times by email.

The family reads the information and documents, and supports the child in carrying out the proposed activities.

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Are special financial conditions granted to students in “Stay-Home Notice” (SHN)/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 SHN. 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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Travel Form

A reminder for those who have not yet done so; please complete the “Coronavirus Travel Questionnaire” in your Eduka profile as soon as possible.

This document, requested by the Singaporean authorities, aims to identify the past or future trips of our students and our staff through 31 July 2020. You can edit the information entered in this form once a day.

If your child returns from one of these countries after 15 March at 11:59 pm, please also contact the educational secretariat of the school on which he or she depends.

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

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Travel to China – Obligatory Travel Declaration

The Singaporean government announced on 19 February the establishment of a new protocol, the “Stay Home Notice” (SHN). This protocol aims to strengthen the precautionary and containment measures for people having to travel to China in the coming months (until 31 July 2020).

We kindly ask you to complete the mandatory questionnaire, “Travel in China – Questionnaire” available on your Eduka. It will take you 2 minutes.
This questionnaire concerns the travel plans of your children. It must be completed whether your child is travelling to China or not.

Please fill in before midnight Monday 24 February with the travel information you have to date. You can update it later, if a trip to China should take place before 31 July.

We are aware that we have already asked you several times to provide information on your trips and we thank you for your responsiveness and understanding.

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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 SHN.

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What happens if an IFS staff member is infected with COVID-19?

If an IFS employee is infected with COVID-19, the MOH will immediately contact the management of IFS so that all necessary security measures are implemented. The IFS is prepared for this eventuality, you will find in the link below more specific information on the planned measures.

MOM advisory

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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
  • Football Dubai
  • Exchange UWC
  • Dance Show – 14 February
  • Student CNY Show & Semaine Chinoise
  • Chorasie
  • Carnaval
  • Climbing competition
  • SIMUN
  • Rugby competition in Bangkok
  • Prozap Gym Singapore
  • Swimming competition in Sydney
  • Volleyball competition in Shanghai
  • “Maths en Jeans” in Bordeaux
  • “Atelier LIFE” trip in Borneo
  • Francophonie Festival (“Journées de la presse et de la Francophonies”)

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

The temperature checking measures put in place before the school holidays are still in effect. Please note, however from 9 March 2020, the teachers will take the twice-daily temperature readings for Primary school at the start of class in the morning and lunchtime. In secondary, the procedure remains the same.

From Monday, 3 March, 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