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Covid-19 FAQ

 

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.

HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES

TraceTogether Application or Token

[Updated to reflect MOE’s Press Release on 4 May 2021]

Implementation of TraceTogether – only Safe Entry

Schools are generally safe with all the existing safe management measures in place. With the nationwide implementation of TT-only SE from 17 May 2021, students should have their TT Token or App with them in school to facilitate accurate contact tracing.

IFS strictly adheres to the regulations of the Singaporean government and therefore, starting 17 May 2021, students will have to present their TraceTogether App or Token, for their SafeEntry check in.

Students will not be denied entry to school should they misplace or forget to bring the Token to school. However, if they are involved in external activities at venues that require TT-only SE, they must have their TT Token/App with them to ensure they are able to participate in these activities.

For students who had missed the deadline to request for a Token via their respective schools, they may still collect it at any of the Community Centres/Clubs (CCs) listed on the TokenGoWhere website. Parents may also collect the Token on their child’s behalf.

Extract from Ministry Of Education – FAQ on COVID-19:

All individuals aged 7 and above will need to use the TT Token or App. The implementation of TT-only SafeEntry will only be enforced when everyone has had a chance to collect a Token at a Community Club/Centre in their respective constituency, or download the App.

While students can download the TT App, they may not have access to their handphones all the time during classes or outdoor activities. As such, when implementation is enforced, students are encouraged to bring the TT Token to school for ease of contact tracing.

Data protection

Similar to the TT App, the TT Token does not capture geo-location data and hence, cannot track movements. As the TT token does not have internet or cellular connectivity, the data on the Token cannot be accessed remotely.

Designed to interoperate with the TT App, the Token works by exchanging short-distance Bluetooth signals with other TraceTogether devices in close proximity. Records of proximity data of close contacts are encrypted and stored locally in the Token for no more than 25 days. The Token will only be collected by the relevant authorities (such as MOH) for data extraction to safeguard public health, and only if a user is confirmed to be a COVID-19 case. Our schools and IHLs will not have access to the data.

All public sector data protection rules will apply to the data held by MOH, including abiding by recommendations of the Public Sector Data Security Review Committee.

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Social distancing measures
Maternelle (Kindergarten)

Additional new rules will be implemented together with the current health, hygiene and traceability measures for students in the context of COVID-19, that have been reinforced since 26 March 2020 in the Maternelle:

  • More cleaning.
  • Temperature and health checks up to three times a day.
  • Children will only be allowed to participate in activities within their own class and in small groups (max 5 pax).
  • A fixed place will now be assigned to each pupil at mealtimes.
  • The number of pupils at recess is 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:

  • Access to the Maternelle is prohibited for parents and adults who do not work there. The two days of the start of the academic year are an exception.
  • The drop off and pick up of students is done via one of the 3 entrances depending on the level of the child (PS-MS-GS).
  • Only one adult per family is allowed to drop off and pick up children at school.
  • Upon arrival from the school bus, the students will be directed directly to the classrooms by the kindergarten assistants.
Élémentaire (Elementary)

As part of the 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 continuing a staggered dismissal of classes.

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

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

The Kensington gate is closed.

The 2900 AMK gate, gate 5 will open at 3:05 pm. Only 1 adult per family is allowed to pick up a child and social distancing must be maintained at all times. We kindly request that you arrive at the time of your child’s designated dismissal time and that you leave the school premises as soon as you have picked up your child.

IMPORTANT

In order to limit the number of adults present in the school at the end of classes, we have opened the possibility for children to leave alone as young as CP. We encourage all of you, regardless of your child’s level, to allow your child to go home alone as much as possible if you feel they are capable of doing so.

Please log on to your Eduka portal to do so. We do need to know the names of the children concerned in order to let them go.

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

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Sports

The following basic rules are to be adopted for sports activities:

  • All participants, including instructors and staff, must be properly masked at all times, including when performing the physical activity;
  • Staggered class start times to allow for a minimum of 15 minutes between classes and/or put in place separate routes if a premise is able to host multiple classes at a time. This is to prevent intermingling and mixing between participants before and after class. Operators will have to ventilate the room after each class ends. Participants must leave the premises immediately once they have completed their classes, or if they have exceeded a two-hour period;
  • Organised programmes and classes are limited to no more than 30 persons or lower (including the instructor), subject to the venue size and safe distancing requirements, and in groups of no more than 5 persons;
  • Physical distancing of 2 metres (2 arms-length) between individuals must be maintained in general while exercising, and 3 metres (3 arms-length) between different groups must be maintained at all times;
  • There must be no provision of common equipment to minimise fomite transmission. Sharing of any equipment should be avoided (e.g. weights, exercise mats). The premises must be wiped down / sanitised frequently to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission;
  • Food and drink should not be supplied or consumed within the activity area, except if the consumption of a drink is necessary to preserve life or prevent injury in an emergency;
  • Ensure that participants, including the instructor, do not talk loudly, sing, or shout while engaging in physical activities to minimise risk of transmission via droplets. Instructor may raise their volume when communicating instructions or in the event of a potential danger.


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Speech and Drama, Singing, Music

From 8 May 2021, the new rules are as follows:

Classes involving singing, voice training, speech and drama, and wind and brass instruments may have up to 30 participants in a class (including instructor(s) and accompanists(s)), with only the same group of 10 participants allowed to unmasked throughout;

If singing is conducted during the class, only the same 5 fixed singers may be unmasked and sing throughout. Masked singing by the other participants is not allowed.

  • The total number in the classroom cannot exceed what the room can take with safe distancing. There must be at least 1m safe distance between individuals who are masked. For individuals who are unmasked, they must maintain a 2m safe distance with the next individual.
  • Masks must continue to be worn as a default, unless when unmasking is necessary for the training activity. If possible, face shields should be worn even when unmasked.
  • Instructors may wear face shields instead of masks only if speaking to the group in a classroom setting, where they largely remain at the spot from which they are speaking, and are able to maintain a safe distance away from any other persons.
  • All surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected between classes and workshops.
  • Students should remain in the same class throughout the duration of the term to avoid cross-mixing with other groups. If they switch classes, there should be a two-week break between attending their former class and their new class.
  • Sharing of all other equipment (e.g. props, microphones, mutes, music scores) should be avoided as far as possible. If this cannot be done, the equipment should be thoroughly cleaned and/or disinfected before handled or used by others.
  • Venues should be as well-ventilated as possible.

Additional rules for Music classes:

  • Instructors must continue to wear masks even when singing or humming a passage of music to demonstrate how this should sound when played on the instrument.
  • Liquids from instruments (i.e. condensation and saliva) must be collected and disposed of hygienically.
  • Participants should play on wind instruments which are fully intact, and refrain from training practices involving only parts of the instrument (e.g. mouthpiece buzzing, playing with just the lead pipe) to prevent droplet transmission.
  • There should be no sharing of music instruments or parts thereof (e.g. mouthpieces, reeds).


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Live Performance Indoor Venue

As per the National Arts Council’s (NAC) last update on 5 May 2021, all indoor and outdoor live performances should be deferred.

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Outside trips

As per the MOE’s last update on 4 May 2021, all field trips will have to be suspended until further notice.

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Wearing of masks

The wearing of the mask is no longer mandatory for children under 6 years old.

However, we remind you that the wearing of the mask is a precautionary measure which remains in any case strongly recommended by the authorities and the IFS.

The mask remains compulsory for all other students aged six years or older.

Within school grounds, a face shield is tolerated in place of the mask for primary school children and teaching staff.

Secondary school pupils and non-teaching staff who are unable to wear a mask due to special circumstances must inform the health service.

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Temperature screening

Temperature screening is taken at the entrance of the school for all visitors, staff, secondary students and parents upon arrival. Temperature of students and staff is checked twice a day – on arrival in the morning and at lunchtime, with the exception to students in the Maternelle who will have temperature and health checks up to three times a day.

* 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.

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. We need your help to detect any signs of fever as soon as possible and report it to your doctor.

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Enhanced sanitary measures by transport provider, Woodlands Transport

In phase 2, preventive measures in the school bus are necessary to ensure the situation remains under control. We seek your cooperation to comply to the following:

  • Please check your child’s temperature every morning before boarding the bus. If your child has a fever, or if he/she has difficulty breathing, coughing or a runny nose, please do not send him/her on the bus.
  • Please ensure your child has a face mask/shield on before leaving home. All students are required to put on the face mask/shield before boarding the bus.
    No student is allowed to board the bus if he/she is not wearing a face mask/shield. Bus crews will also comply to wear the face mask/shield.
  • Bus seating arrangements will be assigned to students by the bus attendant. Students will be assigned to be seated separately unless they are siblings.
    Please kindly remind your child to cooperate with the bus attendant and that he/she has to be seated on their assigned seats at all times.
    Students are to minimise talking on board the bus, to prevent the spread of droplets.
  • Bus drivers will comply to routinely sanitise bus seats and interior with disinfectant before each school trip.


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Use of the swimming pools

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.

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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.

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IFS Contractors and Suppliers

All our service providers in direct or indirect contact with our students are questioned daily about their health.

Our catering service provider has implemented, in addition to these measures, special measures such as taking temperatures, and 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

The new COVID measures prevent us from welcoming parents and visitors to the school.

School visitors are not permitted to enter IFS until further notice.

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LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA), STAY-HOME NOTICE (SHN) AND QUARANTINE ORDER (QO)

IFS COVID-19 Rules
The student or staff member is: IFS Response
a confirmed case of COVID-19 infection

under Quarantine Order (QO)

under Stay Home Notice (SHN)

on Leave of Absence (LOA), due to close contact with a COVID-19 confirmed case(s) or as a result of staying in the same household with individuals on Home Quarantine Order (HQO)

  • Parent of the student or staff member has to report it to IFS (Eduka declaration);
  • Student or staff member will not be allowed at school;
  • The household members should follow guidelines by Ministry Of Health.
staying in the same household with adults (aged 18 and above) who have flu-like symptoms
  • The staff member is required not to work at school or the student is placed on Approved Absence (AA) for the duration of the unwell individual’s medical leave or until the adult is informed of a negative COVID-19 swab result.
is having flu-like symptoms
  • The student or staff member has to seek medical advice from a doctor. Resuming school or work is allowed after the duration of the unwell individual’s medical leave or until a negative COVID-19 swab result.
is sick but does not have acute respiratory infection (ARI)
  • The student or staff member should rest at home and return school when feeling better. Seeking medical advice is recommended.

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

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Quarantine Order, Stay-Home Notice or Leave of Absence

If your child has been the subject of a QO, SHN, or LOA by the Singaporean authorities, you must update the EDUKA profile of your child and contact the educational secretariats with them.

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What is the difference between being issued a Quarantine Order (QO), being under a Leave of Absence (LOA) and being under a Stay-Home Notice (SHN)?

A Quarantine Order (QO) is a legal order issued to individuals under the Infectious Diseases Act and thus has legal force with severe penalties for non-compliance. A QO is issued to quarantine or isolate an individual who is, or is suspected to be, a carrier of an infectious disease or a contact of a person confirmed to have an infectious disease. This is with the aim of limiting the spread of the virus in the community. Quarantine usually occurs in the home but can also be served in dedicated Government Quarantine Facilities (GQFs) or hospitals, should the individual not have suitable accommodation in Singapore.

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a precautionary measure. We urge those who are on LOA to be socially responsible and comply with the LOA, to prevent possible transmission of infections. Persons on LOA should remain in their residences as much as possible, minimise having visitors and maintain good records of persons with whom they come into close contact. Persons on LOA may leave their residences for daily necessities or to attend important matters, but they must minimise time spent in public spaces and contact with others.

A Stay-Home Notice (SHN) is stricter than the LOA regime. Those placed on SHN will have to remain in their place of residence at all times, and should not invite visitors to their residence.

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What you should do when on Stay-Home-Notice (SHN)?
  1. You must remain in your place of residence or the hotel at all times throughout the entire 21-day period of the SHN. Do not leave your residence or the hotel, 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 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 call, WhatsApp or Short Message Service (SMS).


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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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What happened if a student, staff member, or parent who has recently been on campus, is a confirmed COVID-19 case?

The MOH will immediately contact the management of IFS so that all necessary safety measures are implemented. IFS will ensure student or staff member stays at home and deep cleaning of all relevant spaces are carry out. Class/department of the confirmed COVID-19 case will be informed while protecting personal data and respecting medical confidentiality.

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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RESOURCES

Links to useful IFS sites for elementary school students [NEW]

School life office (vie scolaire): https://sites.google.com/ifs.edu.sg/sitedessurveillants/accueil
Library: https://sites.google.com/ifs.edu.sg/bcdifs/
Sports: https://sites.google.com/ifs.edu.sg/elementarypedepartment/
Music: https://sites.google.com/ifs.edu.sg/musique-ifs/accueil
Mandarin: https://sites.google.com/ifs.edu.sg/mandarin-ifs/accueil

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How to support your child(ren) through the COVID-19 outbreak

The COVID-19 epidemic is now a reality and a part of the imagination of children and adolescents as well as those of parents. There is no doubt that this unprecedented time and the uncertainties associated with it can threaten our sense of security and control. It is normal that our level of concern has increased.

Click here to find out how can we best support our children and adolescents through this period. How to find the right words without dramatizing or minimizing and what pitfalls should we avoid not to be overwhelmed emotionally and psychically.

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

Embassy of French in Singapore
Embassy of French in Singapore Advisory (in French only)
Ministry of Health (Singapore)
Ministry of Health (Singapore) COVID-19 FAQ
World Health Organization (WHO)
International SOS
Gov.sg WhatsApp Subscription

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