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Head’s Lines: Steadfast in the face of challenges

Fun Day will be held on Saturday, 7th March...Find more about the coronavirus from Dr Peter Guerin’s presentation to our School Community...We have changed our admissions procedures in the light of virus concerns...Thank you for supporting the victims of last week’s fire in Pridi 26...Updates on our involvement in inter-school competitions

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Fun Day

After much consideration and deliberation with the PTG, we have decided to go ahead with our Community Fun Day to be held on Saturday 7th March. This event is one of the highlights of the academic year and is a wonderful time when our school community comes together for a whole school celebration. As it is an exclusive event for our own school families and close friends, this means it will not be open to the general public.

For the first time we shall be holding Community Fun Day at the High School, and there has been much work invested into creating an entirely new layout for the many rides, games, food and drink vendors, as well as the music and dance performances featuring the annual Primary Talent Show. Adding to the carnival-like atmosphere of the event, you can expect to find clowns, jugglers, magicians and much more all around the High School campus. 

Raffle tickets have already gone home across the school, and tickets for admission are already on sale at the Accounts Offices at both Primary and High School.  To avoid the queues on the day of event, it would be best to buy your entrance tickets or wristbands beforehand. However, please note that anyone wishing to buy their tickets either before the day or on the day of the event will have to have present their School ID. This helps to ensure that only STA families and friends can participate during the day.

Moreover, all people entering the school on Fun Day will have their temperatures taken to help instil some additional peace of mind for all those in attendance.

I have no doubts that this year’s Community Fun Day is going to be a truly great day for young and old alike, and I look forward to enjoying the whole range of activities that will be on offer.

Tickets and Admission Prices:                                                                                                                                               

  • Yellow wristband :100 THB

  • Blue wristband: 500 THB

  • Raffle Ticket: 500 THB/ booklet (50 THB / ticket)

Coronavirus Update

Last Friday there was a very interesting and useful talk given by Dr Peter Guerin, M.D. - the Regional Medical Officer for the Embassy of the United States of America in Bangkok. He gave a very thorough explanation as to what viruses are and described how transmission between animals and people could possibly occur. The presentation helped everyone understand more clearly what we face in combating the coronavirus. In addition to describing the transmission process, Dr Peter also outlined what we can all do to reduce the possibility of transmission of any viral illness,  including a discussion on the efficacy of face masks. It was certainly reassuring to hear that all of the things he mentioned, especially in regards to regular cleaning and personal hygiene were all things that are already well established in our school prior to this particular outbreak.

For anyone who missed Dr Peter’s presentation, the PowerPoint file is available this link and the video of the speech can be found below.

Changing admissions procedures to our School

This term has already been very busy with many new families looking to move to our school in August. As in previous years, there are also families seeking to find a school in Thailand during the current school year and especially for the start of Term 3. 

However, with the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have had to put into place new procedures for families wishing to have their children educated at our school. Since the beginning of Term 2, anyone currently in China or associated territories have not been invited to visit the school in person. Instead, these families have been contacted and discussions have taken place with the help of Skype video calls. In order to be permitted to visit the school, they have been instructed to spend at least 14 days outside of their current country of residence beforehand.

As part of our normal admissions process, there would have been meetings with the child and their parents in school and then a full day in school in the year group they would be joining in the future. However, we have decided to no longer conduct assessment days for children unless the family is coming from a country where there are little to no coronavirus cases, or they have been through a sufficient quarantine period. At the moment, any family coming from China or any other high risk areas indicated by Thailand’s Ministry of Education such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, South Korea, Singapore or Japan have to adhere to a strict 14 day quarantine period before coming to the school. 

In addition to these changes to our admission process, all new families will have to complete the following additional steps:

  • All new students must present a medical certificate or clearance from a doctor before starting at our school. 

  • The parents/guardians of new students must sign an attestation form which lists the countries they have visited in the last month, with passports reviewed to confirm actual arrival dates and recent travel.

All families and their children at St Andrews are expected to adhere to our Well-Child Policy, and these guidelines will be shared with new families during the admissions process. This policy has now expanded to include notifying the School Office if any of their family members travel to China and Hong Kong. Should this occur, children will be required to be kept at home for a further two weeks after their return to Thailand. 

In order to reduce the risk of illness within our School Community, it is essential that we are all vigilant about the health of our children. Students should not be sent to school if they are showing signs and symptoms of illness. Children should never be medicated in such a way where their symptoms are masked to enable them to come to school.

Community Support

In case you did not have a chance to read last Thursday’s email, Last Tuesday, a large fire on Soi Pridi 26 destroyed 19 small houses in a small community located very near to the school, the aftermath of which has left 24 families homeless. Approximately 200 people have been affected, including 30 children between 3 and 13 years old. As you can imagine, this small community has been devastated by this disaster. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt, but they have, sadly, lost everything. Six of our school bus monitors, who have worked for our school for over 5 years, have been directly affected by the loss of their family homes and all of their belongings. The school is already helping these families.

The local district has provided a small donation to each family, and they are mainly being supported by the local Islamic community, which has immediately rallied together to provide a large amount of food, clothes and basic living essentials. We have talked to the Imam of the local Mosque on Sukhumvit 71- Masjid Hidayatil Islam Sam-In - as well as the community leader for those directly affected by the fire. They have highlighted the desperate need to rebuild these homes on their land. The Imam has suggested a good way forward would be for our school to support the redevelopment of this community through donations that could facilitate the purchase of building materials. 

Many people from our school community have already been asking how they can help. Therefore, we have set up a donation payment channel on Moodle (link) and parents can pay directly into this. Alternatively, cash donations can be handed into the accounts offices on either campus. The school will then transfer the money raised directly into the relief group’s bank account so the necessary materials can be bought and the rebuilding work can begin.

Thank you to everyone who has already made a donation to the Community Fire Fund we have set up through our Moodle. We have already been able to share the wonderful news to the Imam and the local community leader that our school community’s donation will be in their hands soon so they can commence the very large task of rebuilding the housing that was lost in the fire. Many people have offered help in many different ways, and once the community has had time to review and assess their specific needs, I will share more specific areas where assistance can be provided.

I am sure you can appreciate how this crisis has adversely affected these 24 families in our local community and how much our assistance can help them begin to put their lives back together.

Thank you in advance for your generous help and support it will make a huge difference for the families of this community.

Local inter-School events

At the start of the Coronavirus outbreak, the majority of international schools in Bangkok decided to cancel all inter school competitive and cultural events in order to give everyone time to assess the situation and prevent early transmission of any illness into our school communities. There has been a lot of discussion both within and between international schools on the best way forward as we do not want the richness of the local sporting and cultural events to be completely lost this term. Therefore,  the international schools represented in BISAC have come up with some strict protocols that all schools must follow to ensure that all students, staff and parents attending events remain healthy. This will consist of temperature checks of all individuals attending an event before they leave their home school and then a further temperature checks upon entry to the event. Therefore our school shall resume participating in BISAC events given these new guidelines and precautions. If any parents feel that they do not want their child to be involved, please let the teachers or coaches who are organising these events know as soon as possible.

The TISAC organisation has 15 international schools involved in it, many of which are smaller primary schools. They host a wider range of events than the BISAC organisation, and there has been much discussion about what this organisation should do in regards to resuming its activities. Therefore it has been decided that for this term all TISAC activities will be suspended. This is such a great shame, but the decision came about after much careful discussion. It is hoped that many of the day festivals, especially music, will be rescheduled into Term 3 when everyone will hopefully be happier about all schools fully participating.

Obviously, as this term progresses, we will continually assess the latest information about the coronavirus and make appropriate changes as necessary.

School Calendar 2019/2020

The updated school calendars for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 are available here.

For parents with enquiries about Primary School, please contact officeps@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 381-2387-8.

For parents with enquiries about High School, please contact officehs@standrews.ac.th or Tel: +66 2 056-9555.