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.
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.
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