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Coronavirus - COVID-19

COVID Updates 2021 - 2022

Date: Wednesday, 17 November 2021

COVID infection rates in Germany and in Bonn continue to rise and are at their highest level since the pandemic started. In order to keep BIS open, to avoid quarantines and to keep everyone safe, we have adjusted our hygiene measures.

If the infection rate in Bonn is over 100 per 100,000 inhabitants for three consecutive days (which is now the case), the following measures take effect: 

  • Groups of parents/external adults of over 20 are not allowed on to campus.
  • Those who do enter campus have to either be fully vaccinated or have recovered.  
  • Masks must be worn at all times when inside the buildings. 
  • Since students are testing regularly, athletic games and other activities with other schools may take place as long as all the participants test on the morning of the games. Parents will not be allowed to watch indoor games.
  • The feasibility of class trips will be evaluated on an individual basis and depend upon whether we can control contact or not. Overnight trips outside of Germany will not be made.

The general advice is to reduce contact as much as possible. This means that, at the moment, we cannot hold our winter concerts with a live audience. We are looking into the possibility of recording and/or live streaming them. 

 

COVID information resources

 

 

 

Whole School Message COVID Corona Archive 2019-2020

29.04.2020 Message from Director: First grade levels return to school

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you have noticed, the lockdown is slowly becoming less restrictive as more and more public places are being opened. However, life is in no way back to normal. We are also gradually opening the school campus, although we will not be returning to a normal schedule. 

During the first stage of a return to campus, Grade 5 and Grade 10 students will be returning on Tuesday, 5 May and Grade 11 students on Wednesday, 6 May. The starting time is 8:20. Grade 5 students finish at 11:45 and Grades 10 and 11 at 12:50. You do not have to send your child to school if you would rather keep your child at home. Just please let us know. 

Mr Derek and Mr Tragert will be sending you the details of what the day will look like for the respective sections. We are in a challenging situation in that we need to follow strict rules of hygiene to protect everyone. Secondly, we will have a situation where faculty will be with students on campus and at the same time doing distance learning with the classes still at home. Furthermore around 25% of the faculty are not allowed to return to campus because they belong to a "risk" group.  For these reasons, Grades 10 and 11 will continue distance learning with their subject teachers, however they will have the opportunity to discuss their work with each other and some of their teachers on campus.

Please scroll below to the Rules for Students on Campus during the Coronavirus Reopening section to read what we have put in place for students returning to school. We would appreciate it if you could talk to your children about these rules before they return and we will also spend time emphasizing the importance of distance and safety. 

All students and teachers will have to wear a face mask when inside the building. Students should bring their own, otherwise the school will provide them at the entrance. We are extremely grateful to Huawei in Bonn for generously donating 10,000 disposable face masks to BIS. These face masks are certified as meeting the required health and protection standards.

The cafeteria will remain closed, so students must bring their own snacks and drinks to school with them. They should also bring their headphones and ensure that their digital devices are fully charged at the start of the day. 

Unfortunately, parents, guardians and visitors will only be able to enter the campus if they have a prior appointment with someone on campus. I hate to be so restrictive, however, we need to give safety our highest priority. Visitors must wear face masks and must keep a distance of 1.5 metres. 

We hope that this gradual return to campus will be successful and that we can bring further classes back in the near future.

As always, I trust that you and your loved ones are well and in good spirits. 

With my very best wishes,

Pat Baier​

16.04.2020 Message from Director: Schools begin to repoen on 4 May & FlipGrid

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that you had a relaxing break and more importantly that you, your families and loved ones are well. 

You may have heard the announcement yesterday evening that the schools in Germany are closed until 4 May. Some schools in our state of North Rhine Westphalia are allowing classes with pending examinations to return. As our examinations have been cancelled, for safety reasons we will continue with distance learning for all classes for the next two weeks. 

Definite news as to what will happen from 4 May onwards has not yet been published, although there has been talk of allowing grades 5, 10 and 11 to return then to be taught under strict guidelines regarding class sizes and distance. The leadership team is currently working on scheduling and hygiene plans to enable this to happen. We will inform you of all the details once the local government has published them. 

In the Primary School, we have created new plans to further support student learning and to make it more manageable. Mr. Derek will be writing to you separately about these. 

We have found two new platforms that will help our teachers have more personal interaction with students while on distance learning, which are both GDPR-compliant, requiring solely your parental consent: 

FlipGrid is a website that allows teachers to create "grids" to facilitate video discussions. Each grid is like a message board where teachers can pose questions, called "topics," and their students can post video responses that appear in a tiled grid display." This tool has been used in classrooms around the world and will empower our students and teachers to have more individualized asynchronous conversations during the learning process. 

For the purpose of conducting a virtual PYP Exhibition, we would like to introduce Padlet Pro in Grade 5 so that the student workgroups can have their results uploaded by our homeroom teachers to this platform, to which you will receive password-protected access.

You will be receiving an email from CHQ today, asking for your consent to use these platforms. 

It would have been wonderful to have been able to welcome our students back again on Monday, however during these times the health and safety of our community take absolute priority.

With my very best wishes to you all,

 

Pat Baier 

03.04.2020: Message from Director before Spring Break

Friday, 3 April 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It would be wonderful if I could write to say how much we are all looking forward to seeing you back at school on 20 April, however at the moment we do not know if that will be possible. The government will announce a decision on 15 April as to whether schools can open after the spring break. The Ministry of Education keeps us informed on an almost daily basis, so as soon as we know, I will inform you. Please look out for an email during the second week of the break.

The Leadership Team has been meeting regularly to plan for all eventualities. We could be allowed to come back on our normal routine, or to come back with certain restrictions. We may have to continue with distance learning until May, or even until the end of the school year. If we do continue with distance learning, we will bring in some changes to our programme to make it more manageable and sustainable.

You have seen in Wednesday’s Newsflash that the BIS Association’s Annual General Meeting has been moved to Tuesday, 9 June 2020.  We still hope to be able to hold our graduation ceremony and the prom in June.

Although the past four weeks have had many challenges for you as parents and for us as educators, it has above all been a very uncertain and exhausting time for our students, whether in Early Learning or in Senior School. It is difficult to explain to the very young what is happening; it has been frustrating for our 10 and 12 graders to have their examinations canceled; it has been hard finding routines to study successfully at home; and it has been a real hardship for all our students not to be able to meet up with friends. And yet, it has been truly inspiring to see how our school community has dealt with all these challenges. Words cannot express our admiration and appreciation to you as parents for your support and to all our students for their perseverance. On behalf of all my colleagues, THANK YOU SO MUCH to both students and parents. 

Despite the travel and social restrictions, I wish you all a very relaxing and enjoyable spring break. As Mr Derek said in his non-assembly video this morning, “It is time to rest your brain.”  Whatever the scenario is on 20 April, we have proven that together we can meet any challenge with humour, with resilience, and with determination. 

Stay well and take good care of each other.

Pat Baier 

27.03.2020: Message from Director End of Week 3 Distance Learning

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I realise that this third week of distance learning has probably been the hardest, especially as social contact has been so restricted. I hope that supporting your children with their distance learning, as well as doing your own work, has become a little bit more routine as daily structures develop. Feedback from our students has indicated that they would like to see more videos of teachers teaching, so we have put that into our plan for the next week. 

The local Ministry of Education has informed all schools to cancel both local and overnight class trips for the rest of this school year, which we have also done. It’s regrettable as a lot of work and research had gone into these trips.

The IB has now published some guidelines as to how the final grades will be determined in order for our students to receive their diplomas. Please go to this link. Mr Owen and Mr Tragert will send a separate letter to Grade 12 students and parents. Our school has a good reputation with the IB, especially as far as our predicted grades are concerned, which will be an advantage for us. 

The IB has not yet made a decision on whether the Grade 10 eAssessments will take place. 

Despite the increase in the number of infections in Germany and the uncertainty of when this will all end, I personally have been so impressed by the many acts of kindness and solidarity the nation as a whole has shown and by the incredible work being carried out by our health care and public service professionals. I have heard that some of our BIS community members have been tested positive and on behalf of all of us, wish you a speedy recovery. 

Our faculty and staff continue to do a wonderful job and it has been truly inspiring to see so much adaptability and flexibility within our BIS community and to see that we haven’t lost our sense of humour. Thank you for all the great handwashing videos from primary and for sharing your home-made gifts with us.  Here is the link to a video made by some of our secondary faculty for our secondary students, if you haven’t yet seen it: https://youtu.be/qC-a11XcGN0

We will survive!

Have a very relaxing weekend and don’t forget that the clocks go forward one hour on Sunday morning.

Take care,

Pat Baier 

23.03.2020: Message from Director Start of the Week Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Just a brief update from me today. 

The IB organization announced yesterday afternoon that the IB examinations this year have been cancelled. I know this is only directly relevant to our Grade 12 students and families, however since our community is so close, I felt that all of you should know. The students will still receive an IB Diploma and a High School Diploma with subject grades. The IB will inform us during the course of this week how the subject grades will be calculated, which is why it is important that study continues.  The decision on whether the MYP Grade 10 eAssessments will take place will also be made by the end of the week.

As we enter the third week of distance learning, we have appreciated your feedback and as a result, Mr Tragert announced some adjustments last Friday and Mr Derek and his team are currently working on adjustments to primary. We may continue to make adjustments to our distance learning programme as the situation develops. 

The state of North Rhine Westphalia, as well as the City of Bonn, announced further restrictions on social contact yesterday evening. While there is no general curfew, gatherings of more than two people are not allowed in public, unless they are family members living in the same household. People are still allowed to go to work and to grocery and drug stores. Most other stores, hotels, bars and restaurants have been closed. There will be severe fines for those who do not follow these rules, as they are endangering lives. 

Despite the tough and unusual times we are going through, I continue to wish you and your families good health, good spirits and optimism for the future.

Take care,

Pat Baier  

 

20.03.2020 Message from the Director: Angela Merkel's appeal

Friday, 20 March, 16:57

Dear Parents and Guardians,

This is a plea to your sense of civic responsibility rather than just an update on the situation at BIS. As you are all aware, every day new measures are being implemented in our state of NRW and Germany as a whole in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Here is a link to the English translation of the state of the nation address given by Angela Merkel on Wednesday evening, the first time she has done this in her 14-year tenure. 

Frau Merkel makes a strong appeal to everyone to limit leaving their homes to only the absolute necessary such as grocery shopping, visits to the doctor, going to work and so on. All the play grounds have been closed and we should not congregate in parks and communal areas, nor hold gatherings outside the family at home. These restrictions are hard, especially for young families, however they have been made for the common good and as responsible members of society, we are expected to make sacrifices and follow them. Only in this way can the spread of the Coronavirus be slowed down and the health care system be enabled to cope and thus lives be saved. Only in this way, can we even contemplate returning to school after the spring break.

It is possible that the state or regional governments will impose a general curfew starting this weekend. 

Here is a link to the English version of the local newspaper, giving details of what is happening. There are further links to local information in English on our Coronavirus webpage.

I have had a number of enquiries regarding the IB examinations in May. As of now the exams will be held on the days and times planned. However, the IB will make a decision no later than 27 March as to whether the exams take place as planned or will be postponed. Please click here for information from the IB. 

Finally, my heartfelt thanks go to our unsung heroes - to our students, our faculty and staff and you as parents for embracing this new experience with patience, with resilience and with humour.  "It takes a village".

As always, take care of yourselves and your loved one and have a great weekend,

 

Pat Baier 

16.03.2020 Message from Director: Local Restrictions

Monday, 16 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you all managed to get some time for yourselves and your families over the weekend. Our thoughts go out to those students and teachers still in quarantine, especially now that the weather is getting better.

You may have heard today, that the German government is imposing stricter rules in order to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. Grocery stores, weekly markets, drug stores, banks, post offices, launderettes, gas stations and hairdressers (!) will remain open, however everything else will be closed down. The good news is that some grocery stores will be open on Sundays! 

We spoke to both the heath and school authorities today and were told that we must remain closed until after the spring break. We are forbidden to offer classes at school, so we will not be able to ask the Grade 12 students to come in.  We will continue with our Distance Learning programme and as far as possible keep to the planned curriculum, especially in the exam classes. The Principals will be in contact with you, if there are any significant changes to our plans.

I appreciate that for both the students and you as parents/guardians that another three weeks of distance learning is going to be challenging. In fact, I believe most of us are missing the contact and the routine of normal school life. Social contact is vital for children and young people, as is regular exercise and fresh air. I trust that you are talking to your children about why we need to exercise caution during these times, and also why there is absolutely no need for them to panic or to be afraid. The counsellors will be reaching out to our students individually starting mid-week, just to see how they are doing, but it will of course take a while until they have reached them all. 

We continue to update our Coronavirus page on our website with further information. 

Look after yourselves and your loved ones and stay healthy.

With my thoughts and best wishes,

Pat Baier 

13.03.2020 Message from the Director: increased restrictions on daily life, German Schools close.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

A decision was made by the Ministry of Education this afternoon today to close all the schools in our state, Nord Rhein Westphalia (NRW), until after the spring holidays. (April 20th).

Next week will continue for BIS with distance learning as we have been doing this week. We are currently trying to find out whether BIS has to also close until after the spring holidays. I strongly suspect we will have to. If we do have to remain closed, we will ask whether we can offer lessons to Grade 12 in the two weeks before the break. I hope to be able to update you on Monday once we have reached the school authorities. 

The guidelines from the German authorities are becoming more stringent. All museums, theaters and cinemas are closing. No public events are taking place. People are being advised not to attend parties and not to socialise in larger groups. 

As I wrote yesterday, these guidelines are intended to protect older members of society and those with pre-existing, chronic medical conditions. They are also intended to reduce the quick spread of the virus in order not to over burden the medical system.  There is no real cause for alarm. 

It seems that the link to the Distance Learning Feedback Form I sent yesterday did not work. I hope it now works for you. Here is the link.

Despite all this, I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Take care of yourselves and smile for longer than it takes to wash your hands! 

With thoughts and best wishes,

Pat Baier 

12.03.2020 Message from Director: the virus is now a pandemic

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I just wanted to let you know that we have had no further cases of members of our community testing positive with the Coronavirus. All those who have been quarantined are doing well, according to my latest information.

However, the World Health Organisation has declared this virus as a pandemic as the numbers of cases increase worldwide.  In Germany, more and more public events are being cancelled and some German schools are being shut down. The health minister for Germany advises caution in order to spare the elderly and those already chronically ill, but there is certainly no need for mass panic, as the majority of cases, especially among children and young people are relatively harmless.

I hope that your children have been coping well with their distance learning. The academic leadership team met this afternoon to reflect on what has been going well, and what needs to be improved. We are super happy with the way most students have reacted so positively to this new type of learning. We are aware however, that in some cases we need to reduce the number of platforms being used and need to use Google Chat more discernibly. If you would like to give us your thoughts or suggestions, please do so here. If you have direct questions for your child’s teachers, please feel free to contact them and be mindful that an immediate answer may not be possible.

Again, I thank you for your overwhelming support. I am aware how challenging this situation is for those of you who have to juggle work and full-time child care. I sincerely hope that we will be able to open school as planned on 23 March.

Look after yourselves and your loved ones.  

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier  

09.03.2020 Message from Director: Update before Distance Learning Start

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Just a brief update from me.

I have been in contact with the health office today and they have now contacted everyone they need to contact. The health office will let me know if there are any further members of our community diagnosed with the virus. I will pass this news on to you as well as any other major developments.

Otherwise, most of the communication will now be between the teachers and students when the distance learning starts on Wednesday morning.

Our school campus is now closed and alarmed until Monday, 23 March and so not accessible.  It will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before we return.

I would like to sincerely thank our support staff, teachers, counsellors, librarians, curriculum co-ordinators and principals for working really hard and doing a sterling job over the past few days to ensure that learning continues to take place while the campus is closed.

This is the first time that we have done this and some things may not work as we imagined. We may have to change our plans midway.  We may at times have to improvise. Please rest assured however, that we are here for our students, and their teachers will do their utmost to support them.

Take care and look after yourselves.

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier

 

 

08.03.2020 Message from the Director: Preparation for Distance Learning

Sunday, 8 March

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The school will be open tomorrow, Monday, 9 March, from 10:00 until 17:00 for parents and students to pick up iPads, materials, things from lockers that will be needed over the next two weeks.  Please enter only through the Waves entrance and please do not socialize or hang around in school. We would like everyone to just come in, pick up what they need and then leave.

You will receive emails from the Principals tomorrow outlining the guidelines for distance learning. Distance learning will start on Wednesday, 11 March at 8:20 in the morning.

Mr Tragert, Mr Jacob and Mr Owen will reach out to Secondary students tomorrow as well.

The office hours of our three school counselors can be found under one of the sections below, look for: Student well-being: Counsellor guidelines and resources. This page is where we post most of our non-teaching related information, so please check this out on a daily basis.

We continue to be in contact with the health authorities for further updates. 

I sincerely hope that you are all managing to organize child care and your working lives. I appreciate that this is probably causing you inconvenience and appreciate your support. 

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier 

07.03.2020 Message from the Director: Quarantine update

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We appreciate your support during this time.  Here are a few clarifying points as an update:

  • The diagnosed student is in Grade 7.
  • Health authorities are currently contacting teachers and families who have had direct contact with this student.
  • Those who have been in direct contact with this student have been quarantined, although family members have not been quarantined.
  • The health authorities are extremely busy at this time. If you have not had direct contact with the student, you may not hear from them.

We encourage all community members to follow the advice from our webpage on practices to avoid the spread of the virus. If your child has not had direct contact with the diagnosed student, there is no need for you to follow any quarantine. 

Best wishes,

Pat Baier, Director

07.03.2020: Message from the HR Department of Deutsche Telekom to DT Employees

Dear Deutsche Telekom Colleagues,

We have been notified of the school closure of BIS because of a Corona case. We hope that your kids and yourself are and will be fine!

The information of the BIS is stating that you will all be contacted by the local health authorities and then be advised on potential quarantine measures.

Following our DT general guidelines on Corona, we would like to ask you for the following as a matter of caution.

1) Please work from home, until you have been contacted by the local health authorities.

2) After being contacted by the local health authorities, please follow their advice (either returning to work or following quarantine measures)

3) Inform the Konzernlagezentrum on your „status" over the weekend and after any change. The Konzernlagezentrum will send out a message with further advice to the top management group on this during the weekend.

 

Konzernlagezentrum - Hotline

national: 0800 99 000 77

international: 0 0800 0 99 000 77

konzernlagezentrum@telekom.de

06.03.2020 Message from Director: School closed until 22 March 2020

Friday, 6 March 2020 

Dear BIS Community,

We have been informed by the local health authorities (Gesundheitsamt) that one of our Secondary students has tested positive for the Coronavirus. On the recommendation of the health authorities, we are closing the school for two weeks from Monday, 9 March and will open again on Monday, 23 March.

The health authorities will contact all BIS families to find out whether your child has had contact with the student who is infected. I cannot name the student, however, the health office will. They will advise you and your family as to what, if any, quarantine measures need to be taken.

You should have received an email with our distance learning plan for the whole school. This will take effect from Wednesday, 11 March as teachers will need two days to prepare their classes.

The Leadership Team and the IT administrator will be in school on Monday to begin preparing for distance learning. If you need to come in to collect something, please could you contact the Principals (derek.nelson@bonn-is.de, william.tragert@bonn-is.de), the Business Manager (sabine.schattenberg@bonn-is.de) or myself by mail beforehand.

All school events, extra curricular activities and BISSV have also been cancelled until Monday, 23 March including Open House and Creative Waves.

Let us support each other in dealing with this. I am available via email every day. 

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier, Director

COVID Coronavirus 2019-2020 School Year

Please follow guidelines for Distance and Hybrid Learning outlined on the Primary and Secondary School pages.

For archived messages sent from the Director, or messages sent from our Secondary or Primary Principals, please refer to the Green Buttons on the side of your computer, or at the bottom of your mobile phone.

Friday, 8 May 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Germany is slowly coming out of its lockdown and the local ministry of education has informed us of the regulations for bringing more students back to school, effective from next week until the end of the school year. 

We plan to start bringing more classes back on campus under these new regulations on Wednesday, 13 May.  It will not be regular school as we have known it in the past and there will still be a mixture of face to face teaching and distance learning. The regulations issued by the local ministry of education as well as our BIS concept have been designed to give safety and student well-being the highest priority. 

The new regulations for Early Learning are due to come out today. 

As you know, we have had Grades 5, 10 and 11 back for the last week and it has generally gone well and our students have acted responsibly. 

Schools are only allowed to open in the mornings with a limited number of classes on campus at any one time. 

Classes have to be kept as separate learning groups, using the same room and students the same table each day.

In Primary School, Grade 5 will continue to come in every day. Grades 1 – 4 will come back once a week on different days. In Secondary School, Grades 10 and 11 will continue to come back to school every day and two other grades will be able to come back every other day on a rotation, so if your son or daughter is in Grades 6 to 9, he/she will come to school every other day. 

In Secondary we will be creating a new schedule and focusing on the core subjects. 

Our re-integration concept for both Primary and Secondary, including which classes come back on which days, has to be approved by the Works Council before it can be finalized. You will receive final details from the relevant Principals as to which classes will return on which days and what the schedule will look like early next week. 

Mr. Tragert is offering a Parent Principal Forum online for parents from Grades 6 – 9 on Tuesday, 12 May from 17:00-18:00.

Mr. Derek is offering a Parent Principal Forum for parents from Grades 1 – 4 on Tuesday to answer questions you may have: Grades 1-2, 18:00-18:30  &  Grades 3-4, 18:45-19:15

Under German law, students have an obligation to come to school. Exceptions are included in our updated rules for students, which are attached to this mail. We would appreciate it if you could go through these rules with your sons and daughters and emphasise the importance of maintaining social distancing within school and on the way to and back from school. We will of course be going through an orientation with the students on safety expectations when they return. 

I cannot thank you enough for your support over the past weeks as we have dealt with this pandemic, while ensuring that our students continue to learn. 

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Pat Baier​

 
Below we have also gathered resources in both English and German to stay abreast of latest news updates both globally and in the region.
 
Rules for Students on Campus during the Coronavirus Reopening

Hybrid Learning

Rules for Students on Campus during the Coronavirus Reopening (updated 8 May 2020)

Although certain grades are on Campus, this is not considered “normal” school. For the health and safety of all our community, the following rules must be observed.

  • A student with a cold, a temperature, or any sign of illness must not enter the school campus.
  • A student living in the same household as someone with Covid-19 symptoms must not enter the school campus.
  • A student with any of the following must not enter the school campus:
    • Cardiovascular diseases requiring therapy (e.g. coronary heart disease, high blood pressure)
    • Lung diseases (e.g. COPD, bronchial asthma)
    • Chronic liver disease
    • Kidney disease
    • Oncological diseases
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Weakened immune system (e.g. due to a disease that is associated with an immune deficiency or by taking medication that can influence and reduce the immune defence, such as cortisone)

General Rules

  • All students must keep 1.5 metre distance from all other people.
  • Face masks must be worn at all times when walking in public areas. They do not have to be worn in the classroom while sitting at the desk. We encourage students to bring their own face masks to school, but do have face masks available. 
  • Students must not touch other people.
  • Cough and sneezing etiquette must be adhered to, for example into elbows.

Entering and Exiting the Campus

  • Primary Students must only enter and exit through the Waves entrance
  • Grade 11 students must only enter and exit through the main Agora entrance.
  • Grade 10 students enter and exit through the green gate between the Crest and the Agora and enter the building using the Agora entrance opposite the cafeteria.
  • Students are to enter the school individually, keeping 1.5 metre distance.
  • Upon entering the campus each student must use the hand sanitizer.
  • Students must go straight to their designated study area after sanitizing their hands.

In the Building

  • The one-way markings in the hallways and stairways must be followed, each person keeping 1.5 distance.
  • Students are only to use the stairways and hallways in single file.
  • There must be no running along the hallways or on the stairs.
  • Students must only use the designated bathrooms.
  • Only one student at a time is allowed to use the designated bathrooms.
  • Students must wash their hands after using the bathroom.
  • Only one student at a time is allowed to use the elevator.

Classrooms

  • Students must only sit at their designated desk.
  • Students must keep a 1.5 metre distance between each other and their teacher.
  • Students must only use their own laptop/iPad.
  • Students must not share materials.
  • Only one student at a time is allowed to leave the classroom.
  • Students must bring headphones to school with them.
  • All digital devices must be fully charged when students come to school.

Break Times

  • Students must keep the 1.5-metre distance during break times.
  • Students must only use the designated break areas.
  • Students are not to play soccer, basketball or any contact sports during breaks.
  • Playground equipment will not be handed out.
  • The zipline and playground apparatus are not to be used.
  • Hands must be sanitized after break time and before entering the classroom.

Food

  • The cafeteria will not be open. Students must bring their own snacks and drinks from home.
  • These snacks and drinks must not be shared.
  • Snacks must be consumed in the break areas.
  • Water is allowed in the classrooms.

Media Centre

  • The Media Centre will be open from 10:00 to 12:00 from Monday to Friday.
  • No more than 5 students are allowed into the Media Centre at one time.
  • Returned books must be put into the box outside the Media Centre.
  • Grade 12 students will receive instructions on how and when to return school materials.
  • When checking out a book(s), each student must place the book(s) on the designated table with their identity card.
  • Only one student may leave the classroom at a time to go to the Media Centre.

Any student who does not adhere to these rules will be sent home

and only allowed back on campus at the relevant Principal’s discretion.

Hybrid Learning - Campus Rules for Students
(this is the same set of rules in a downloadeable format)

Public Transport Travel Rules and Guidelines

Public Transport Travel Rules and Guidelines

Currently, masks are compulsory when travelling to school using public transport. It is recommended that you wear a community mask, which are simple mouth and nose masks, such as self-sewn masks made of cotton. These have to be procured or produced by each student or family and will not be provided by school.

Please consider whether you really have to use the OPNV/ public transport or whether you can safely travel to school on foot or by bicycle.

Try to avoid crowds when entering and leaving the bus, train or tram and make sure that you keep your distance even at bus, train and tram stops. If separate boarding and alighting is not possible, the following applies: first let the passengers alight with sufficient distance and then board. It there are several students entering at one time please take your seats in an orderly fashion - start at the rear of the vehicle and sit on the window seats all the way to the front.

If possible, always leave at least one seat free between passengers, even if you wear a community mask. Avoid conversations with other people whilst travelling.

When using public transport, do not board when the corona-conditioned maximum capacity has been reached. If it is not possible to sit in a seat without being directly next to another traveller please wait for the next bus, train or tram.

Take your seat before the vehicle departs and do not leave your seat until you have reached your destination to avoid unnecessary contact with handrails and handles.

Wearing gloves can be helpful.

Please follow the instructions of the operating personnel such as the driver or ticket collector.

Only operate the door opening buttons in public transport if the door does not open automatically.

Do not eat or drink anything on public transport.

What are the guidelines for my child and me during Distance Learning?

Instructions for distance learning were sent in an email to all families the evening of Friday, 6 March 2020. You can also access it below:

The above outlines our contingency plans to provide learning to our students during the time of closure. We believe this set of tools will be able to support student learning and communication at home during the time of closure and keep our students in line to resume classroom learning as soon as school resumes. 

Someone in my family feels sick: What do I need to do?

 

* Stay at home if someone in your household has a fever above 37.5C and / or present flu-like or even mild cold-like symptoms.
 Symptoms may include a cough, malaise, sore throat, shortness of breath, sometimes also stuffy nose, vomiting/ diarrhea, according to the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI)

* Advice from the German Ministry of Health focuses on limiting the exposure of sick people to everyone else. If symptoms remain mild, people are advised to stay at home and manage the symptoms.
Members of the household should take all possible measure to avoid the spread of disease.

* If you have concerns, first telephone your family doctor and arrange a telephone appointment.

* Do not just visit a doctor's practice or go to the emergency room.

* There is a hotline for Bonn residents open 8:00 - 20:00 for those concerned or needing advice. This can be reached by calling tel 0228-7175

* People are asked to ONLY dial 110 or 112 in real emergencies outside of business hours.

 

How to talk to my child about the virus

 

Our Counselling Team provided staff with guidance notes. You too may find these helpful in your discussions:

 

A few facts about the virus

  • “Corona” is Latin for crown. When viewed under a microscope, the virus looks like a crown with spikes ending in little blobs.
  • A lot of the symptoms of the virus are similar to the flu, which you might have had before, such as dry itchy cough, fever and hard to breathe.
  • Most people who became sick with this virus have had a mild case.
  • There are not many cases in children and teenagers. If kids do get this virus, it tends to be very mild.
  • People who are much older or who already have health problems are more likely to get sick with Corona virus.
  • If anyone gets sick and feels like they might have Coronavirus, they should immediately call their doctors to get help.
  • Medical professionals are tracking the disease very carefully and doing all that they can to try to make sure it doesn’t spread.
  • If there is anything you might be confused or worried about, don’t be afraid to ask an
  • adult whom you trust, such as your parents, a teacher, the school nurse or a counselor.
  • How to protect yourself and your family

How to protect yourself, your family and your friends from getting sick​

  • Wash your hands often using soap and water. Good hand-washing techniques are:
     >>  Wash for at least 20 seconds (about the length of the “ABC song” or “Happy Birthday” twice)
     >>  Wash after using the bathroom and before eating
     >>  When you wash your hands, rub them well with soap and try to get between your fingers and all the way to your wrist
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow
  • Blow your nose into a tissue, and throw it away immediately. Then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face. Don’t pick your nose. Don’t touch your mouth. Don’t rub your eyes. These are places where germs enter the body.
  • It is very important to remember that this virus can affect anyone. There are cases all over the world. It doesn’t matter where you are from or where your parents come from.
  • Don’t forget there are a lot of helpers out there working to protect you. It is not your job to worry.

When answering questions, please remember:

  1. Provide ONLY verified facts.
    a. Tell the truth (don’t ignore or minimize it).
    b. Use brief and simple explanations for younger children.
    Try to strike an appropriate balance between the need for taking precautions and facts that may be alarming
    This is a serious issue but it’s not something to panic about)
    c. Expect to repeat facts.
    d. Do not give details that students do not ask for.
    e. Avoid sensationalizing or speculating.
    f. Remember that some students may be more worried about this, so please be sensitive to this fact and remind others as well.
  2. Allow students to ask questions - Let student questions guide the information shared.
  3. Let them know what is a rumor, and dispel rumors.
  4. Tell them you will give one of three responses:
    i. The facts
    ii. “I don’t know”
    iii. “Talk to your parents”
  5. Balance the information with reassurance about what is being done to keep them safe.
  6. Remember to contact the Counsellors in case a student needs more support

Notes Adapted from School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREP a RE Model, by S. E. Brock et al., 2009, Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Information about the virus adapted from: NPR.org

Coronavirus resources

 

 

 

COVID-19 Update

News Update 2 December 2021:

All grade levels are in school and on campus. Co-curricular activities and sports, as well as after-school child care, continue to take place with appropriate safety measures.

Our school remains vigilant in implementing Covid hygiene rules and procedures. We revise these as necessary according to rules issued by the state of North Rhine Westphalia's Ministry of Education and the City of Bonn. 

  • All students participate in face-to-face classes. These run on a normal timetable.
  • Each of our classrooms is equipped with an air filter(s) appropriate to its size. In addition, classrooms are aired every 20 minutes and during break times.
  • With the exception of Early Learning students, everyone on campus wears an FFP2 or medical mask in all indoor spaces.
  • Masks are not required on playgrounds or in other outdoor spaces.
  • Students who are not vaccinated are tested three times a week. Our few staff members who are not vaccinated test every morning at school.
  • All staff, even if vaccinated, are encouraged to carry out self-tests three times a week. 
  • Parents, guardians and visitors who enter school campus must provide proof that they are immunized or recovered, as well as a certified negative test that is no older than 24 hours. This applies to all adults 16 years of age and older.

Covid infection rates in Bonn and Germany change quickly and are quite often vary greatly from region to region. To keep an eye on these rates of infection and applicable rules for travel and entering Germany, please consult the following sources:

Information and Campus Visits

At this time, visitors may only enter our school with the 2G+ proof - meaning that a proof of an EU valid vaccination and/or recovery is required, as well as a certified negative test that is no older than 24 hours. This applies to all adults 16 years of age and older. Adults vaccinated with a vaccine not valid in the EU need to obtain a certified PCR test not older than 48 hours.

  • Children attending a school in Germany may visit if they have tested negative within the last 24 hours at their school, or if vaccinated, with a proof of vaccination.
  • Children not attending a school in Germany must either have proof of vaccination or a certified antigen test not older than 24 hours. You may find a qualified testing center in Bonn under this link.
  • Children under the six years of age must be tested by their parents at home.  A negative test result should be photographed and carried as a proof on one's phone.
  • Medical/FFP2 masks should be worn at all times.

To arrange for a visit, contact our Admissions Team Monday - Friday, 8:00 - 16:00, via email or call under (0049) 228 308 54 151 to get in touch with Jana and Rosemary.

 

For more information on our school and community, we invite you to take a look at our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube posts.

Whole School Message Archive

Please find here the Archived messages with reference to COVID-19 rules and guidelines.

Archived Director's Message: 21.08.2020

Please find below links to the emails sent to outline the Start of School 2020-2021: 

Dear BIS Community,

As mentioned in the BIS mailing last week, we expect all students at BIS to return to school all day, every day, as decreed by the Ministry of Education for the state of North Rhine Westphalia (Grades 1 - 12) and Ministry for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration for the state of North Rhine Westphalia (Early Learning). Regulations issued by the ministries are likely to change regularly to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation. We will keep you informed accordingly. 

The decision to return is a good decision for our students, which we fully support. At the same time, we are aware that the infection rate for COVID-19 is rising again in Germany. It is essential that each one of us puts the correct hygiene measures in place and adheres to them, so that we can avoid infection and keep each other safe. 

Please see below the general rules for all community members. Specific rules for each section of the school can be found on the Primary School and Secondary School COVID-19 Update pages. Or in the Start of School Year COVID Guidelines emailed to you on 12.08.2020.

I ask that you read through them carefully and talk to your child/children about the implications of these rules for their school day.  

In addition, each family must complete a statement of health before your child returns to or starts school (one form per family). You will receive an email asking you to respond with Healthy or in Quarantine before Friday, 21 August. If you do not receive this email (please check your junk mail folder) or if you experience any problems clicking the buttons, please contact our Database Manager for assistance.

Information regarding catering, our EC Programme, the Media Centre and Back to School Night will be published at a later date. 

Please bear in mind that it is only by exercising extreme self-discipline that we can avoid another school closure. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to protect the safety of others. 

With my best wishes to you all for a safe and healthy return to school,

Pat Baier 

 

Archived Director's Message: 06.08.2020

06.08.2020: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope that this communication finds you well and that you have been able to enjoy some relaxing time with your children this summer. I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the 115 new students and their families joining us this August. I do hope that you find your stay at BIS a positive and rewarding experience and that you quickly feel a part of our international school community. 

Orientation Day for new students and their parents will take place in person on Monday, 24 August. New families will receive information regarding times and location in a separate mail.

COVID-19 School Update
This week the Ministry of Education for North Rhine Westphalia published guidelines for the return to school on Tuesday, 25 August. Although there is a rise in the rate of infection in North Rhine Westphalia, the Ministry of Education has decreed that it is in the best interests of students that they return to school all day, every day to follow a regular schedule.

Certain measures have to be put in place to protect the health and safety of the children and adults at school this year. The overriding concept is to make school as normal as possible, while keeping it as safe as possible.
The main measures are:

  • Wear face masks to avoid the spread of infection. 
  • Keep an appropriate distance from each other.
  • Ensure that contacts can be easily traced.

The Leadership Team is currently working on a detailed concept and updating our hygiene plan. As promised, more details on our hygiene concept for each section will be sent to you next week.

Other COVID-related highlights:

  • All of our new staff members have arrived! 
  • School trips are allowed again but only within Germany. 
  • Our Extracurricular Programme, Kidz Klub (see below) and most BISSV activities will take place with safety restrictions. As we will not be able to travel to countries outside of Germany for friendlies and tournaments in the near future, we are working with other international schools within easy travelling distance in Germany to arrange sporting competitions. 

We have engaged a new catering company this year, Aramark, which also serves the Frankfurt and Hamburg International Schools. We are confident that we will see an improvement in the quality and variety of what is on offer. Again, there are strict hygiene conditions related to school cafeterias. Details for BIS will be sent to you as a separate mail in the next 10 days. 

Last but not least, our Parent Handbook was updated and digitalized over the summer break. It is your reference for school operations and practical information about daily life at school. You can find it on our website Community Login under Whole School. 

We are so relieved and extremely happy to be able to welcome your children and our students back to BIS later this month. Until then, stay safe and make sure others around you stay safe as well. 

With my very best wishes to you all,
 
Pat Baier 

COVID Updates

Date: Wednesday, 17 November 2021

COVID infection rates in Germany and in Bonn continue to rise and are at their highest level since the pandemic started. In order to keep BIS open, to avoid quarantines and to keep everyone safe, we have adjusted our hygiene measures.

If the infection rate in Bonn is over 100 per 100,000 inhabitants for three consecutive days (which is now the case), the following measures take effect: 

  • Groups of parents/external adults of over 20 are not allowed on to campus.
  • Those who do enter campus have to either be fully vaccinated or have recovered.  
  • Masks must be worn at all times when inside the buildings. 
  • Since students are testing regularly, athletic games and other activities with other schools may take place as long as all the participants test on the morning of the games. Parents will not be allowed to watch indoor games.
  • The feasibility of class trips will be evaluated on an individual basis and depend upon whether we can control contact or not. Overnight trips outside of Germany will not be made.

The general advice is to reduce contact as much as possible. This means that, at the moment, we cannot hold our winter concerts with a live audience. We are looking into the possibility of recording and/or live streaming them. 

25.05.2021: Message from the Director

25.05.2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Assuming the Covid infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants remains below 100 in Bonn during the course of this week, all students will be allowed to return to school every day from Monday, 31 May. The regular teaching schedule will be resumed, starting with Week B.

Students and adults will have to wear medical masks throughout the day and everyone will have to carry out a self-test two times a week. Classes are allowed to mix again; however we have to document seating for all classes so that contacts to a possible positive case can be tracked easily. We will continue to clean the building thoroughly, to keep doors and windows open and encourage students to go outside during breaks.

Cafeteria

The school cafeteria will resume serving hot meals from Monday, 31 May.

Primary students are asked to pre-order their meals using the online ordering system which can be accessed via the Aramark section on the school website. A menu will be posted on the website and the ordering system opened on Thursday, 27 May.

Secondary students will be able to purchase hot meals in the cafeteria using their ID cards and are not required to pre-order.

The kiosk will be open to students daily from 08:00 - 08:15 but will not be open during the day. Snacks and drinks will however be available for secondary students in the vending machine in the Agora foyer.

EC Programme 

We are hoping to offer a variety of EC and BISSV activities starting from Monday, 31 May. The plan is to run an adapted programme that will offer all students the opportunity to be involved in some fun sporting and non-sporting activities. Details will be sent to parents in a separate email.

Language and Music schools offering classes at BIS will also be starting, although external participants are not allowed on campus.

Kidz Klub

Kidz Klub will restart from Monday, 31 May and be open Monday to Friday from 15:20 - 18:00.

We cater for students from EL3 - G5 and if you would like more information about Kidz Klub or wish to register your children, please do so by going to the Kidz Klub section of the School Website.

Due to the extraordinary situation this year we are aware that peoples’ circumstances may have changed. If you registered your child for regular Kidz Klub attendance at the start of the year but no longer require this in June, please email Jo Junglas on jo.junglas@bonn-is.de  before Friday, 28 May and we will cancel your regular booking.

We are all so much looking forward to regular school, albeit with certain restrictions, before the end of this school year.

With my best wishes,

 
Pat Baier 
Message from the Director: 12.05.2021

Return to School

The 7-day rate of infection per 100, 000 inhabitants in Bonn has been below 165 for 5 consecutive working days. This means that students are allowed to return to school on alternate days from next Monday, 17 May. Following government instructions, classes have been halved, with half the class coming on one day and the other the following day. The relevant Principals have sent you information on which students should come in on which days and we have tried to ensure that students from the same family come in on the same days. 

  • Students in Grades 10, 11 and Early Learning are on campus every day. 

  • All students from Grade 1 upwards will be given a self-test twice a week under the supervision of a teacher. Our school nurse will be in attendance to support the younger students.
  • The so-called Lollipop tests, which the local school authorities are providing to primary schools, have not yet been delivered to BIS. Until they arrive, we will use regular rapid tests. We will, of course, give you further information on the lollipop tests before we start using them. 
  • Please make sure that your child brings a medical mask to school every day.
  • Our cafeteria remains closed for the time being and so your children will need a packed lunch. 

We are so happy to be having our students back on campus and are optimistic that the infection rate will drop below 100 in the near future, so that all our students can return to school every day.

We all still have to be careful and considerate of others, however it seems as if the worse might be behind us. The USA and Canada allow young people from the age of 12 to be vaccinated with BioNTech/Pfizer and we are hoping that this too will be allowed in Europe, so that the vast majority of us will be vaccinated by the start of the next school year. 

 

With my best wishes to you all for a lovely weekend,

Pat Baier  

23.04.2021: Message from Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

A new law was passed in the federal parliaments this week regulating rules during a pandemic.

These laws are based on the infection rates per 100,000 in any particular city or district. 

As far as schools are concerned, if the infection rate is above 165 on three consecutive days, schools are closed, except for the examination classes. Kindergartens can only offer emergency care.

If the infection rate is between 100 and 165, hybrid learning takes place with classes halved and coming on alternate days or weeks, with the exception of examination classes.

If the infection rate is under 100, schools can open as normal.

Today, the City of Bonn reached an infection rate of 199. So apart from Grades 10 and 11, we will continue with distance learning next week. Early Learning will offer emergency care. More information for Early Learning parents will be sent separately.

  • There is also a curfew in Bonn from 22:00 to 5:00. Joggers and walkers may go out alone until 24:00.
  • Stores other than food and pharmacies are closed if the infection rate is 150 and over. Below 150, stores can be visited by appointment and with a negative test result.
  • Hairdressers remain open with an appointment and a negative test result.
  • Persons in a household are only allowed to have visits from 1 person from another household. Children under 14 years do not count.
  • Public places such as restaurants, museums, zoos and so on are all closed.

Again, I appreciate how inconvenient these rules are for us all.  However, we must remain positive that by following these rules, infection rates will again decrease.

With my best wishes to you all for a lovely weekend,

Pat Baier  

18.04.2021: Message from Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Following my mail on Friday afternoon, there has now been a press release announcing that all schools and kindergartens in Bonn will be closed from tomorrow, 19 April, with the exception of Grades 10, 11 and 12.  The City of Bonn has made this decision because of the rapidly increasing infection rates, particularly among the 5 to 14-year-olds.

We will continue the distance learning routine from this past week on a 10-day schedule.

Early Learning will be closed.

We will be offering emergency services for students up to and including Grade 6 from 8:30 until 15:30. If both parents have to go to work and you would like to use this service, please could you contact Jo Junglas at jo.junglas@bonn-is.de as soon as possible.

Students on campus in emergency care and in Grades 10 – 12 will be tested twice a week.

I appreciate how inconvenient this late news will be for many of you, however as always, we are obliged to follow the instructions issued by the school authorities, which in turn have to react to the infection rates.

With my best wishes to you all,

 Pat Baier

16.04.2021: Message from Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We have just received a mail from the City of Bonn. Because of the steep increase in the infection rate in Bonn, the City has applied to the State authorities to close schools and kindergartens from next Wednesday, 21 April onwards and go on distance learning. Only emergency child care services for children up to and including Grade 6, in families where both parents have system relevant jobs are allowed to stay open. A list of these jobs will be sent to us next week.  I’m not sure if the examination classes will be allowed into school. It is also uncertain that the State of NRW will accept the application made by the City. 

Until you hear from us otherwise, the plan sent out by Will Tragert is still in effect. 

I thought it best to inform you so that you can be prepared. 

Despite this awful and constant uncertainty, I wish you all a good weekend. 

Pat 

12.04.2021: Self Testing Update

Dear Families,

As many of you will have heard it is now mandatory for all students to take two weekly self-tests on site.

Before the holidays you were sent a form and given the opportunity to opt out of the self-tests for your child. Please note however that due to changes in the official regulations set out by the Government of Nordrhein Westfalia, this option is no longer available and the forms submitted are no longer valid.

The Ministry of Schools and Education in coordination with the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs and the Unfallkasse NRW have determined that a particularly important measure to combat the pandemic, along with the implementation of hygiene measures and vaccination, is the testing of schoolchildren.

During the week of the 12 April we will begin implementing self-testing for students and teachers at BIS and all students in G10, 11 and 12 will be administering self-tests during advisory on Tuesday, 13 and Thursday, 15 April.

BIS will be using PoC rapid tests which can provide information, within 15 to 30 minutes, as to whether a person is infectious at the time of testing. The process that we will be using for tests is outlined below and is based directly on the requirements set out by the Ministry of Education. Please see the following link for an explanation of how the tests are administered: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxTTWtncrEg

If you choose to not allow your child to be tested at school they must provide proof of a negative test result from a recognized test centre at the start of each testing day. This certification must be is no older than 24 hours. It is a stipulation of the official guidelines that students who do not take the test or do not have valid proof of a negative result have to be sent home.

As from Monday, 19 April testing will take place twice every week for all grade levels from G1- G12 and parents will be informed of the exact days in advance. All tests will be done in your child’s homeroom or Advisory period and overseen by the homeroom or advisory teacher. In Grade 1 the tests will be administered by the school nurse and the school nurse will also be present to support and assist the students in G2 and G3.

At the start of the first testing period all students will be shown a short explanatory video. The teacher will walk the students through the testing procedure.

Tests will be distributed to half of the class ensuring that social distancing is fully maintained when students have to remove their masks to administer the self-tests.
(Masks must be worn again as soon as the required nasal swab has been taken.)

If a result is indicated as positive the school nurse will be informed by the teacher via email and a cc sent to the section Principal. The nurse will come to the classroom to collect the student and accompany them to the isolation room. It is important to remember that a positive result of a self-test is not indicative positive finding of Covid 19 disease, but does represent a reasonable suspicion.

If the self-test indicates a positive result the nurse will notify you as guardians and you will be required to pick your child up and take them to get an official test for verification and complete any necessary documentation.

If the positive test is confirmed by their GP or an official testing centre, this will be communicated to the Health Department and they will take all necessary action including notifying ‘first line contacts’ and informing you of any necessary treatment or quarantine requirements. Parents are obliged to share this information as soon as possible with the school nurse on nurse@bonn-is.de.

If a student arrives late to school on a testing day, s/he will be asked to go to the nurse and complete a self-test before being allowed to attend class.

Due to the limited interest shown and due to the fact that we are now obliged to carry out selftesting for every child twice a week during school time we are no longer planning to offer community testing once a week after school and parents are requested to use one of the may quick testing facilities that are available throughout the city.

If you have any questions or concerns about testing, please contact our school nurse Uta Crisimer, Jo Junglas our Head of Student Services and Operations jo.junglas@bonn-is.de, or your section Principal.

With thanks,

Jo Junglas

Head of Student Services

09.04.2021: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

You may have heard from the news that the Ministry of Education for our state of North Rhine Westphalia decided yesterday evening that schools will be on distance learning next week. The exceptions are Grades 10, 11 and 12. These classes are allowed on to campus for full school days as they prepare for their external examinations. They will be provided with self-tests during next week. 

Early Learning children are allowed on campus and we will be open from 8:15 until 12:15.

We will be offering emergency services for students up to and including Grade 6 from 8:30 until 15:30. If both parents have to go to work, please could you contact Jo Junglas at jo.junglas@bonn-is.de by Sunday, 11 April. During emergency care, students will be provided with a quiet area where they can carry out their distance learning.   

Students in Grades 1 - 9 will follow their regular schedule while doing distance learning and their teachers will be available for them during the times that they are scheduled to teach. The Principals will be in contact with further details. 

This arrangement is only planned for the coming week. We are all hoping that students can return to school on Monday, 19 April. We will then be carrying out self-tests with all students twice a week, as this has now become mandatory.  

We have also arranged for a company to come in to school in the afternoon once a week (day to be decided) to administer free PCR tests for anyone who wants one, including parents. More details as to the procedures for all testing will be published next week.

This change of plans is not what we wanted; however, we have become flexible and agile in adapting to the requirements, while giving student learning and safety the highest priority.

Despite the continuing Corona restrictions, I really hope you had a relaxing Spring Break and wish you as always, my very best wishes,

Pat Baier  

25.03.2021: COVID Self Testing Implementation

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we start taking small steps towards more normality at school we must continue, as always, to take into account the incidence of infections and implement accompanying preventativemeasures where appropriate. The Ministry of Schools and Education in coordination with the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs and the Unfallkasse NRW have determined that a particularly important measure to combat the pandemic, along with the implementation of hygiene measures and vaccination, is the testing of schoolchildren. Regular testing is now being implemented at schools throughout North Rhine-Westphalia and in line with this BIS will be implementing a schedule of Self Testing for students and staff beginning after the Spring  Break.

During the week of 12 April we will begin implementing self testing’ for students and teachers at BIS. BIS will be using PoC rapid tests which can provide information, within 15 to 30 minutes, as to whether a person is infectious at the time of testing.

The process that we will be using for tests once a week is outlined below and is based directly on the recommendations set out by the Ministry of Education.

If you choose to not allow your child to be tested please complete the attached form and either scan it to the school nurse nurse@bonn-is.de or hand it in to Security in Waves or Ms Becker in the Agora by Monday, 12 April at the latest.

Parents and students will be informed in advance of the date of testing and test will be done in your child’s homeroom or Advisory period. In Grades 4-12 the testing will be overseen by the homeroom or advisory teacher. In Grades 1-3 the school nurse will also be present to support and assist the students.

At the start of the testing period all students will be shown a short explanatory video and the teacher will walk the students through the testing procedure.

Tests will be distributed to half of the class ensuring that social distancing is fully maintained when students have to remove their masks to administer the self tests. (Masks must be worn again as soon as the required nasal swab has been taken.)

If a result is indicated as positive, the school nurse will be informed by the teacher via email and a cc sent to the section Principal. The nurse will come to the classroom to collect the student and accompany them to the isolation room. It is important to remember that a positive result of a self-test is not indicative positive finding of Covid-19 disease, but does represent a reasonable suspicion.

If the self test indicates a positive result the nurse will notify you and you will be required to pick your child up and take them to get an official test for verification and complete any necessary documentation.

If the positive test is confirmed by their GP or an official testing centre, this will be communicated to the Health Department and they will take all necessary action including notifying ‘ first line contacts’ and informing you of any necessary treatment or quarantine requirements. Parents Families are obliged to share this information as soon as possible with the school nurse on nurse@bonn-is.de

We are hoping to employ an external testing company to come and administer a second optional test on site on a weekly basis. As of Thursday, 22 April all staff, students AND PARENTS will be invited to sign up weekly to come and take a test on Thursday evenings between 15:30 and 19:00 in the Agora Lounge. We will be strongly encouraging all community members to take advantage of this second weekly testing opportunity. It will be free to participants and will provide you with official certification that is valid everywhere that proof of a negative result is required such as when travelling, making appointments or participating in after school events.

If you have any questions or concerns about testing please contact our school nurse Uta Crisimer, our Head of Student Services and Operations Jo Junglas (jo.junglas@bonn-is.de), or our section Principal.


With thanks
Jo Junglas
Head of Student Services and Operations

05.03.2021: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

New Corona lockdown regulations were published by the state of North Rhine Westphalia yesterday, which will take effect from Monday, 8 March.  Please see below. They are a bit complicated and depend on the infection incidence rates in a particular area.

As of today, Bonn has an incidence rate of 51 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Currently two households of not more than 5 people can meet. Children under 14 don’t count.

No mention has been made of schools. However, I have heard that the Ministry of Education hopes to allow all Secondary students back sometime in March but with only half classes each day. I will let you know when I know more.

Our Early Learning faculty and staff are now able to make appointments to have a vaccination. We will probably hear next week when the rest of the faculty and staff will receive vaccine appointments.

Although we all still need to be very careful, I feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

With my very best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Pat Baier

Step 1

This started on 1 March with the opening of hairdressers and the partial opening of schools.

Step 2

From 8 March. Bookshops, flower and garden markets are open with restrictions on the number of customers per square meter.  Body related services such as nail salons (some demand a negative test). Driving and flight schools, also with a negative test. 

Step 3

From 8 March. If the incidence rate is under 50.

  • Shops with restrictions on the number of customers. Museums, galleries, zoos. 
  • Sports outside with a maximum of 10 people. 

If the incidence rate is from 50 – 100.

  • Appointments have to be made for sh0ps (other than the ones already open). Museums, galleries, zoos. 
  • Sports outside with a maximum of 5 people from two households or a maximum of 20 children. 

Step 4

Two weeks later. From 22 March at the earliest. If the incidence rate is under 50.

  • Outside restaurants, theatres, and movie theatres, concert and opera houses. 
  • Non-contact sports can be played indoors and contact sports outdoors. 

If the incidence rate is from 50 – 100.

  • All of the above but a negative quick test or a home test has to be produced beforehand.

Step 5

14 days later but 4. April at the earliest. If the incidence rate is under 50.

  • Social events outside with a maximum of 50 people. Contact sports inside.

If the incidence rate is from 50 – 100.

  • All shops are open with restrictions on the number of customers. 
  • Contact free sports inside and contact sports outside without a test. 

A decision will be made on 22 March regarding hotels, travel, and further opening of restaurants and cultural events, depending on the rate of infection, vaccinations, and testing. 

12.02.2021: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We have now received official news from the Ministry of Education. From Monday, 22 February Primary students are allowed to return to school with a mixture of on-site and distance learning. Classes with exams during this year and those preparing for exams can also return to school for a mixture of on site and distance learning, which in our case means Grades 10, 11 and 12.

All the Early Years groups can return to campus.

We will be starting this hybrid schedule on Tuesday, 23 February to allow teachers to plan and prepare the classrooms together.  Tasks will be set for students in Secondary to do at home on Monday, 22 February.

Early Learning and Primary students will come to school every day, however only for two thirds of the day. There will be a staggered start from 8:00 to 8:25 and a staggered finish from 12:00 to 12:25. Mr. Derek will be sending you further details next week.

We will continue to provide emergency care in the afternoons for Early Learning and Primary students in families where both parents need to work away from home. Please contact Ms. Jo Junglas at Jo.Junglas@bonn-is.de if you require this service.

Grades 10, 11 and 12 will also come to campus every day until lunch. The schedule will be sent to you by Mr. Tragert next week.

Grades 6 to 9 will continue to be taught via distance learning.

We will continue with our strict hygiene and cleaning plans.

The safety of our community must have absolute priority. Apart from Early Learning children, all students will need to wear a medical mask while on campus. Please make sure that your children bring at least one to school each day.

Students must not come to school if they have any COVID type symptoms. This must be reported to the school nurse. Students will only be allowed to return to school with a negative test or a doctor’s clearance.

The government is meeting on 3 March to discuss what will happen regarding schools from 8 March onwards.

We are really looking forward to seeing at least some students back on campus and wish you all a very relaxing and healthy Carnival break.

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier 

22.01.2021: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We have now heard officially from the Ministry of Education in NRW and the Ministry for Families, which is in charge of kindergartens.

Although the COVID infection rate is slowly going down, the situation is still very critical. Home office, wherever it is possible is being strongly encouraged, travel is strongly discouraged and schools will be closed until 14 February. We will continue to provide distance learning and ensure that our curriculum is being covered. If a student needs to collect something from school, they should let the relevant principal know and we can arrange this. 

We continue to offer emergency child care and will be opening a further group to offer supervision and support specifically for our Early Learning Students. Mr Derek will be communicating more details to you today. 

From 25 January, medical masks (not cloth masks) have to be worn on public transport, in stores, doctors’ surgeries, and during religious services. Children under 14 for whom a medical mask might not fit, are allowed to wear a regular face mask.

Regular face masks, not necessarily medical face asks, must be worn on main shopping streets, in car parks, on play grounds, in schools and in kindergartens. 

As mentioned in the Newsflash, contact is only allowed with one person at a time who is not a member of your household. Parties and social gatherings are forbidden. 

We appreciate that this is a very tough and challenging time for us all, especially parents of young children.  I am personally convinced that if we all pull together on this and follow the rules, the quicker we can open up the schools again. 

With my best wishes for a relaxing weekend,

Pat Baier 

06.01.2021: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you all had a restful winter break with your loved ones and that your start to 2021 was a positive one, despite the less than optimal circumstances.

We extend a very warm welcome to the 18 new students and their families, who started at BIS this week. It would have been wonderful to have welcomed you in person and given you some idea of the warmth and kindness of our school community. It is not easy for students to start a new school via distance learning, so please reach out to myself or the Principals if we can help in any way.

Lockdown

We were informed by the Ministry of Education for North Rhine Westphalia today that all schools are to remain closed until the end of January. This means that we will continue with distance learning until then. All BISSV and EC activities, including private music and language lessons have also been cancelled. The Principals will be giving detailed information in their relevant Primary School and Secondary School sections as to what the school day will look like, however we will largely be keeping to the regular schedule. We are still waiting for an official statement from the Ministry responsible for Early Learning. The message at the moment is that parents are strongly urged to keep their children at home.

If both parents are working in socially relevant professions and cannot work from home, we do have emergency child care running from 08:00 to 15:30.
Please notify jo.junglas@bonn-is.de if you need this service.

Other measures announced by the government pertaining to the lockdown are that only one other person may have contact to another household. This includes children of all ages. In areas that have an incident rate of over 200 cases per 100,000 people, residents are restricted from traveling more than 15 kilometers beyond their city borders unless they have a valid reason. Currently Bonn has an incident rate of 125. 

If you wish to read more about

The situation is serious and we are all being strongly encouraged to avoid social contact. 

With my very best wishes to you all and with hope that you remain safe and well,

Pat Baier

14.12.2020: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

You may have heard on the news that Germany is going into a general lockdown from Wednesday, 16 December until Sunday, 10 January. This includes the closure of all schools and kindergartens. 

On Monday, 4, January teachers will need time to plan together with their year level teams and subject departments so that distance learning will start on Tuesday, 5 January. The exact details will be sent to you by the Principals nearer the time. 

We can provide an emergency child care group for children up to and including Grade 5, but only if both parents are working in socially relevant professions and cannot work from home. If you need this service, please contact Jo Junglas at jo.junglas@bonn-is.de by Wednesday, 30 December. 

  • If you are traveling abroad, I strongly advise you not to use this time to extend your stay as it is likely that strict quarantine periods will apply to those returning from high-risk countries. 
  • The general rules are that during the lockdown, no more than 5 persons from two different households can meet either at home or in public spaces. This number does not include children of 14 and younger.
  • An exception is made from 24 - 26 December, when more than 5 people can meet, not including children 14 or under, as long as these people are close family members.
  • All shops will be closed apart from food stores and drug stores. 
  • The lockdown may be extended until after the 9 January, in which case we will keep you informed.

Despite the lockdown and the continued rise in infection rates, we wish you a relaxing and peaceful break. 

Take care and stay well,

Pat Baier 

09.12.2020: Message from the Director

Dear BIS Community,

As COVID infection rates continue to increase and knowing that many members of our school community will travel over the vacation, we will be taking a harder line with our hygiene rules during the two weeks after the holidays.

From Monday, 4 January until Saturday, 17 January:

  • All after-school activities will be stopped, including music lessons and mother tongue classes.
  • The start of the Winter Sports Programme will be postponed until further notice.  
  • Grades 10 – 12 will still not be allowed out at lunch time.
  • Students in Grades 1 – 5 will have to wear face masks all day.

We do not enjoy imposing these measures; however, we have a duty to prevent further infection and to keep our school open. Again, I appeal to you to be careful and responsible over the break.

With kind regards,

Pat Baier

29.10.2020: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Unfortunately, the rate of COVIDinfections in North Rhine Westphalia and Germany as a whole continues to increase at a rapid rate and yesterday the government announced a partial lockdown from 2November until the end of the month. 

Thankfully, Schools and kindergartens are allowed to remain open. We will continue with our current hygiene measures and again ask parents to wear face masks at pick up and drop off.  

Due to the new regulations, we have had to cancel all BISSV and Extracurricular Activities for the next month.

EC Sports

Fall Sports: The Fall Season will not resume and has officially ended. More specific information about uniform collection and any fees due will be communicated in a separate email to all parents and team members in the next few weeks.

Winter Sports: Sign Up for Winter Sports will happen as scheduled from 11 - 20 November and, as always, done on-line via the school website. Currently there is no official date for the season to begin.  More specific information about the season and adjustments to practices, games and travel due to Corona will be sent to parents and students after sign-ups. 

BISSV

All BISSV sports practices and games have been cancelled until the end of November. This includes swimming with coaching that was scheduled to restart on Sunday, 1 November, 2020.

 

After school Mother Tongue classes will still take place. 

Kidz Club will still be open as scheduled. 

Individual private music classes can still take place at school.  

Grades 10, 11 and 12 will not be allowed to leave school at lunch time during this partial lockdown. 

 

The general regulations for NRW are:

  • Bars, theaters, museums, cinemas, swimming pools and sports facilities will all be closed until the end of November. All sports, apart from single sports such as jogging, have been prohibited.  Restaurants are only allowed to do take aways and deliveries.
  • Hotels are only open for business travelers. 
  • Shops and firms will remain open, however only a certain number of people will be allowed in at the same time, depending on the size of the shop.
  • Religious services are allowed under strict hygiene regulations. 
  • Only groups of up to 10 people, from no more than two different households are allowed to meet in public.
  • Private parties are not allowed and social contact beyond the immediate family should be avoided. 
  • Unnecessary travel to different cities within Germany, as well as abroad, should be avoided.

These are hard restrictions, which will impact our social lives, our school community activities and anything beyond the regular classroom for our students. However, they are important to follow in order to protect the vulnerable and to help reduce the rapid increase in the infection rate.

With my best wishes,

Pat 

18.10.2020: Message from the Director

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Covid-19 rate of infection has continued to increase alarmingly since I wrote on 9 October. I therefore appeal to your sense of responsibility and a common desire to keep all sections of our school open in following the instructions below.

If you travelled to a high risk country, as defined by the Robert-Koch-Institute , during the break, your child will have to remain away from school for 14 days after your return. Alternatively, you have to take a Corona test four days after your return from the high-risk country and if the test is negative, your child may return to school. It is also possible to have taken a negative test 48 hours before leaving the high-risk country and a further negative test two days after your return to Germany.

Bonn has also become a high risk area and the city has issued new guidelines. The City of Bonn updates daily its dedicated Coronavirus page in English, which is here.  Please note that face masks have to be worn in all major shopping and pedestrian streets. No more than 5 people from different households are allowed to meet in public, which will have an impact on your children socialising.

We of course will continue with the hygiene plan at BIS and ensure the wearing of masks throughout campus and encouraging hand sanitising and distance. It would be helpful if you could remind your children that these measures must be practiced on the way to and from school as well. We also ask you to wear your face mask during pick up and drop off.

Unfortunately, there will also be a public transport strike in Bonn tomorrow and Tuesday and there won’t be any buses or trams running.

Despite the fragile situation, I really hope you had a relaxing break and that your family and loved ones are safe and well.

With my best wishes,

Pat Baier 

General Hygiene Regulations (updated 19.02.2021)

Essentially, the same rules apply as before the winter holidays. The overriding concept is to make school as normal as possible, while keeping it as safe as possible.

  • Students, teachers and staff must not come to school if they have any COVID type symptoms.
  • Any symptoms must be reported immediately to the School Nurse.
  • A student showing symptoms must be sent to the school nurse immediately. The student will be isolated until picked up by their parents.
  • Staff and students with COVID like symptoms must provide a doctor’s clearance to the School Nurse before returning to school.
  • If we hear of someone who has been tested positive, all persons who have had contact with that person will be contacted and informed.
  • There must be a fixed seating plan for each class, which has to be documented and kept on file for four weeks.
  • All classrooms must be aired every 20 minutes for 5 minutes and during the breaks between lessons.
  • Classroom doors should be kept open.
  • Cleaning materials will be provided for wiping desk surfaces when a student or teacher leaves a room.
  • The published directions in hallways and staircases must be adhered to.

In addition:

  • All students will be kept in grade level bubbles and must not mix with other grade levels.
  • Teachers will be provided with 2 FFP2 masks each working day. These can be changed with a medical mask, which are also provided by the school. Both these types of masks are disposable and should not be worn more than once. 
  • All faculty and staff must sign in and out of the building when they arrive and leave the building and include the times of arrival and leaving.
  • Teachers do not have to be at school when they are not teaching or doing cover/break duty.
  • All meetings will be held on-line.
  • Medical masks must be worn by all students at all times, with the exception of early years and students doing PE classes outside.
  • Students will only be allowed to eat and drink during the breaks. They must keep a distance of 1.5 metres from each other when their mask is removed for eating and drinking.
  • Only one person at a time may use the kitchens.
  • A distance of 1.5 metres must be kept between adults and students at all times.
  • Parents are not allowed on campus, unless by prior appointment.
  • The cafeteria will remain closed.
  • Field trips and EC activities have been cancelled until further notice.
Public Transport Travel Rules and Guidelines

Public Transport Travel Rules and Guidelines

Currently, masks are compulsory when travelling via public transport. 

Please consider whether you really have to use the OPNV/ public transport or whether you can safely travel to school on foot or by bicycle.

Try to avoid crowds when entering and leaving the bus, train or tram and make sure that you keep your distance even at bus, train and tram stops. If separate boarding and alighting is not possible, the following applies: first let the passengers alight with sufficient distance and then board. It there are several students entering at one time please take your seats in an orderly fashion - start at the rear of the vehicle and sit on the window seats all the way to the front.

  • If possible, leave at least one seat free between passengers.
  • When using public transport, do not board when the maximum capacity has been reached. If it is not possible to sit in a seat without being directly next to another traveller, please wait for the next bus, train or tram.
  • Take your seat before the vehicle departs and do not leave your seat until you have reached your destination to avoid unnecessary contact with handrails and handles.
  • Please follow the instructions of the operating personnel such as the driver or ticket collector.
  • Do not eat or drink anything on public transport.

Someone in my family feels sick: What do I need to do?

 

* Stay at home if someone in your household has a fever above 37.5C and / or present flu-like or even mild cold-like symptoms.
 Symptoms may include a cough, malaise, sore throat, shortness of breath, sometimes also stuffy nose, vomiting/ diarrhea, according to the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI)

* Advice from the German Ministry of Health focuses on limiting the exposure of sick people to everyone else.

* If you have concerns, first telephone your family doctor and arrange an appointment to be tested.

* Do not just visit a doctor's practice or go to the emergency room.

* There is a hotline for Bonn residents open 8:00 - 20:00 for those concerned or needing advice. This can be reached by calling tel 0228-7175

* People are asked to ONLY dial 110 or 112 in real emergencies outside of business hours.

 

How to talk to my child about the virus

 

Our Counselling Team provided staff with guidance notes. You too may find these helpful in your discussions:

 

How to protect yourself, your family and your friends from getting sick​

  • Wash your hands often using soap and water. Good hand-washing techniques are:
     >>  Wash for at least 20 seconds (about the length of the “ABC song” or “Happy Birthday” twice)
     >>  Wash after using the bathroom and before eating
     >>  When you wash your hands, rub them well with soap and try to get between your fingers and all the way to your wrist
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow.
  • Blow your nose into a tissue, and throw it away immediately. Then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face. Don’t pick your nose. Don’t touch your mouth. Don’t rub your eyes. These are places where germs enter the body.
  • It is very important to remember that this virus can affect anyone at any age.
  • Don’t forget there are a lot of helpers out there working to protect you. It is not your job to worry.

When answering questions, please remember:

  1. Provide ONLY verified facts.
    a. Tell the truth (don’t ignore or minimize it).
    b. Use brief and simple explanations for younger children.
    Try to strike an appropriate balance between the need for taking precautions and facts that may be alarming
    This is a serious issue but it’s not something to panic about)
    c. Expect to repeat facts.
    d. Do not give details that students do not ask for.
    e. Avoid sensationalizing or speculating.
    f. Remember that some students may be more worried about this, so please be sensitive to this fact and remind others as well.
  2. Allow students to ask questions - Let student questions guide the information shared.
  3. Let them know what is a rumor, and dispel rumors.
  4. Tell them you will give one of three responses:
    i. The facts
    ii. “I don’t know”
    iii. “Talk to your parents”
  5. Balance the information with reassurance about what is being done to keep them safe.
  6. Remember to contact the Counsellors in case a student needs more support

Notes Adapted from School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREP a RE Model, by S. E. Brock et al., 2009, Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.

Information about the virus adapted from: NPR.org

Coronavirus resources