Head of School Update, January 28: Coronavirus and School Start Wednesday, January 29

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Dear SSIS Community Members,

I know many of you have questions and concerns about what precautions we are taking to keep our community safe in regards to the coronavirus.

We take the health and safety of our students very seriously, and our duty of care is our top priority. Thus, the following measures and protocols, which were developed in close collaboration with International SOS, will be in effect when school starts, tomorrow, Wednesday, January 29. I urge you to read it carefully, to understand whether or not your child should return to school tomorrow.

Precautionary Measures

The measures we are taking follow guidelines and expert advice from International SOS, one of the leading international travel and health advisory firms.  Please read the following information to understand whether your child should return to school tomorrow, Wednesday January 29, or wait until a later date.

  1. Travel:
    1. All students who have traveled to mainland China anytime after January 13 must remain at home for a 14 calendar day leave of absence. The 14 calendar days begin on the day after the student returned from mainland China. Parents of students should inform the divisional office (esoffice@ssis.edu.vn; msoffice@ssis.edu.vn; hsoffice@ssis.edu.vn).
    2. In addition, all students who have family members living in their home who have traveled specifically to or from Hubei Province, China, anytime after January 13 must remain at home for at least 14 calendar days after that family member arrived in Vietnam.

  2. Fever:
    1. The temperature of every student and adult entering campus will be taken by school staff. I know that there will be inconveniences and delays as we check temperatures in the mornings, and I greatly appreciate your patience and understanding.
    2. A child with a temperature at or above 37.8° will be taken to the nurse’s office.  After a second temperature check, if a fever exists, the child will be sent home immediately and must see a doctor.
    3. Once sent home, a child may return to school after being fever free/symptom-free for 48 hours – without the use of fever-reducing medication and medical clearance from a doctor before returning to school.  If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s health, please seek advice from your family doctor.
    4. An adult with a temperature at or above 37.8 will be asked to leave campus immediately and needs to receive medical treatment before returning back to school and be fever/symptom-free for 48 hours.
  1. Symptoms of respiratory illness:
  1. All students who exhibit any symptoms of a respiratory illness (e.g., cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever, difficulty breathing) should be kept home.  If students come to school with these symptoms, they will be sent home and must be free of symptoms for 48 hours and medical clearance from a doctor before returning to school.

Note that these precautions will apply to all adults, including educators, staff, parents, and visitors.

Continuation of Learning

For students who need to be away from the classroom for any length of time, we ask you to contact your divisional principal. We know that it is difficult to be away from school and we will work hard to support you during this interval away from school. We will do our best to minimize educational gaps for any student by providing alternative learning materials online.  These will likely be posted utilizing our standard online learning platforms (SeeSaw for elementary school, and PowerSchool Learning for middle school and high school.)

Additional Safety Measures

  • Masks: SISS will provide masks to our health workers and any sick children who exhibit symptoms while they are waiting to be collected by parents.
  • Posters: You will see posters around the school encouraging healthy practices. Teachers will remind students of correct hand-washing and personal hygiene.
  • Hand cleaning: You will also see additional hand sanitizers and/or hand soap in every classroom and around campus to encourage frequent hand-washing as per guidelines posted around the school. Here is a short video to watch with your children on how to stay healthy during the flu season.
  • Gatherings: We will avoid large assemblies of adults, including faculty and parents, (e.g. parent coffees, faculty meetings) for the foreseeable future.  We also recommend that our students and community members stay away from large group gatherings outside school within enclosed spaces.

I greatly appreciate the questions, comments, and recommendations we have already received from many members of the community. I want you all to be assured that as we receive updates about Coronavirus, we will notify you. All decisions will be made with our utmost consideration, and with the close consultation of from International SOS and other health officials, and at the direction of the Ministry of Education in Vietnam. We will provide regular updates by email and eNews so please read every notice.

This is a warm, caring and supportive community. I have every confidence we will all play our part in a kind and respectful manner to ensure the safety of the young people in our care. Please do not hesitate to contact me (hos@ssis.edu.vn) or Deputy Head of School, WaiMun Fong (wfong@ssis.edu.vn) if you have any questions or concerns. We will confer with International SOS every day and we will adjust our procedures when necessary.

All good wishes,

Dr. Catriona Moran
Head of School

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For further information about the Coronavirus please visit the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control.

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