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,
In line with ministry directives that students return to school every day following a regular schedule, measures have been put in place to protect the health and safety of the children and adults at school. These directives are valid until 31 August.
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. Adults and students are required to bring face masks to school. The school has a supply available for emergencies.
- Keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres from each other. No physical contact.
- Ensure that contacts can be easily traced.
- Movement around the buildings is with one-way hallways and stairs as with last term. A distance of 1.5 meters must be kept at all times.
- Students may only use the bathrooms one at a time.
- The coughing and sneezing protocol must be adhered to: cough/ sneeze into a tissue or bent elbow.
We recommend that all students and adults with a compatible smartphone download the Corona App developed by the German government. This app facilitates contact tracing should a member of the community become infected. Phones in class should be kept in the pocket on silent. If you do not have a contract with a German App supplier, you will not be able to download the app.
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.
* 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.
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:
- 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.
- Allow students to ask questions - Let student questions guide the information shared.
- Let them know what is a rumor, and dispel rumors.
- Tell them you will give one of three responses:
i. The facts
ii. “I don’t know”
iii. “Talk to your parents”
- Balance the information with reassurance about what is being done to keep them safe.
- 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
- City of Bonn (English): Microsite - Corona Virus Updates
- Robert Koch Institut - Daily updates for Germany and the World in English and German
- World Health Organization (English): Corona Virus information and advice
- German Federal Ministry for Health (English): Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Frequently Asked Questions: Health Ministry Germany (German)
- NRW State Portal: Current COVID-19 Rules, Guidelines, FAQ (German)
- NRW School Ministry: Schulministerium Schul-Mail Archiv 2020 (German)
- General Anzeiger English - Daily News translated into English