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Coronavirus updates

School is closed. We plan to reopen on Monday, 20 April.

Distance Learning continues. Please follow guidelines 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, 27 March 2020

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 

 
Below we have also gathered resources in both English and German to stay abreast of latest news updates both globally and in the region.
 
Now that school is closed, how can my child keep up with school work?

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. 

My family seems healthy: What can and should I do?

By closing the school, we are working to minimize the threat of the Coronavirus spreading within our community and to the general population.

As such, we ask you to show discretion in your actions and exercise common sense:

  • Avoid large groups of people where transmission may take place. This may include canceling parties or other get-togethers.
  • Take good care of yourself and loved ones, get out in the fresh air, eat well, exercise. Air your house regularly.
  • Continue to adhere to health and safety guidelines for washing hands, sneezing into elbows/tissues, and blowing your nose.
  • Follow your child’s Distance Learning Plan to remain up-to-date on what is expected during the closure and how technology enables meaningful distance learning to take place.
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 also then keep quarantine to avoid the spread of disease.

* If you have concerns, you must first telephone your paediatrician or general practitioner 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.

 

Please know that Coronavirus testing kits are in limited supply. As such, only known first contact people are being tested. People who are not likely to have been exposed to a high risk individual are asked to focus on symptom management in connection with their family doctor.

Planned events, school trips, tournaments

As of 20 March 2020:

CANCELLED:

All school events, extracurricular activities and BISSV have been cancelled until Monday, 20 April.

  • BISSV Spring Break Camps.
  • Secondary School Parent-Teacher Conferences
  • NECIS Spring Tournaments
  • IVC Choir Gala

DELAYED:

  • Date TBC - Diploma Visual Arts Exhibition

 

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