Our School's Response to Developments in the Current Pandemic
Haut-Lac's priority is the safety and well-being of its students and staff.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Regular and frequent handwashing or sanitizing (for adults, or under adult supervision) is obligatory.
- Work surfaces and touch points will be cleaned with appropriate products during the day, and a thorough cleaning plan implemented at the end of each day.
- Doors will be kept open wherever possible and lights left on to limit contact with door handles and light switches.
- Classroom windows will be kept open as much as possible and all rooms aired frequently.
- Reminders will be posted regarding sneezing and coughing into the crook of the elbow, and disposing of tissues after first use in the containers provided.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at all entrances for adults entering the school.
- Students aged 3-10 will be encouraged to stay at an arm’s length from others.
- Students aged 12 and over are expected to keep a distance of 1.5m between them.
- All adults, including parents, are expected to keep a distance of 1.5m between themselves and the children, as well as between colleagues at all times.
- In the case of an emergency (e.g. sudden illness or accident) or an evacuation or lockdown of the school building, social distancing rules will be relaxed in order to provide an appropriate level of care, support and physical assistance to those who need it.
- All students from MYP1 upwards must wear their own masks at school each day
- All teaching, administrative and operational staff must wear masks in all areas of the school, even where and if a distance of 1.5m can be maintained.
- Masks will be worn systematically by members of the administration staff, dining room staff, bus drivers and the cleaning and maintenance teams.
- Parents and other visitors must wear their own masks, use hand sanitizer and adhere to distancing regulations at all times when inside and outside on campus, including on the pavements outside the school.
- All visitors must sign in on arrival to ensure traceability.
- As the new coronavirus variants from GB and South Africa have been detected in Vaud, the canton has extended quarantine measures to a second circle of "close and intimate" contacts. People living under the same roof as an infected person or having been within 1.5m of them for over 15min without adequate protection have to now quarantine for 10 days.
- Students and adults who fall ill with Covid-19 symptoms should get tested and/or stay home until they have been symptom-free for a full two days. If symptoms develop during school time, they will be asked to leave the classroom and arrangements will be made for them to return home immediately.
- If a member of the same household (parent or sibling) is advised to test, their whole family should stay at home until they receive the official test result (and associated advice, if any).
- If a member of the same household (parent or sibling) tests positive, the whole family should stay at home for at least 10 days quarantine while the infected person remains in isolation.
- If a child tests positive, he/she should be kept in isolation and any brothers or sisters should be kept at home in quarantine for the duration of the infected patient’s isolation period.
- If a child tests negative following contact with a positive case in the household (prolonged contact), they and any siblings must stay at home for at least 10 days’ quarantine.
- If a child tests negative following contact with a positive case outside the home (limited contact), they may return to school once they have been symptom-free for two days and the family doctor’s advice has been sought.
- If a quarantined student needs to collect school equipment from their locker, their parents should arrange with the school how to go about it.
- Staff are prepared to start distance learning at short notice for groups of or all students should such the need arise.
- If you go abroad at the weekend or during the holidays, please check and follow the Swiss quarantine guidelines, and inform the school if a precautionary absence is necessary.
- Although the authorities’ stated policy is to keep schools fully open, Haut-Lac is ready to to quickly and efficiently close down the school if told to so by the authorities, and start distance learning for all classes at short notice.
- Whilst every effort is being made to ensure the students’ time in school passes in the best possible conditions, we also count on our parents and staff to maintain sensible precautions outside of school hours, thus avoiding unnecessary risk factors that might compromise friends and colleagues.
GENERAL RULES AND LOGISTICS
Access to the campus
- Adults who are not directly involved in school activities, such as parents dropping or picking up their children, should avoid areas in the vicinity of the school building whether alone or in groups, as stated in the cantonal directives.
Communicating with school
- Parents should continue to use the usual channels (online platforms, email, telephone) to communicate with school staff. If a face-to-face meeting is preferable, an appointment may be made.
- The school will publish a Weekly Covid-19 Update in the Friday news to keep parents updated on the situation.
- Parents are asked to notify school of potential and confirmed Covid-19 cases, as well as the end of isolation or quarantine periods via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- An adapted drop-off and pick-up schedule, including staggered arrival and departure times, can be found in the detailed school section instructions.
- Students should arrive at school in their sports kit on days when they have sport as changing rooms will not be open until further notice.
Collecting children during the school day
- Parents should go to the main reception to meet their child. It is important that, whenever possible, we know about this in advance so we can arrange for your child to be there to meet you. Infant parents may find it easier to make an arrangement directly with the class teacher, if possible.
- At this time, and for the foreseeable future, we ask that parents do not to send cakes, other edible treats or gift bags for birthdays, as we are still not permitted to share things amongst the children which may cause cross-contamination between households.
- The BG catering service will serve school meals according to strict sanitary regulations. Mealtimes will be staggered, seating spaced out, and surfaces cleaned between sittings. There will be no self-service food or open containers for cutlery. The use of microwaves will not be permitted, so picnic meals should be designed to be eaten cold or sent in a heat-retaining container. Children will not be allowed to share food or drink.
- School buses will run as normal for families opting to use this service. Hygiene measures will be respected stringently, but it will not be possible to keep students of different ages separate, or to respect the social distancing rules during the journeys. Students above the age of 12 are advised to wear a mask. Bus drivers will wear a mask at all times.
Clubs and out-of-hours care, trips and activities
- Breakfast club, after-school clubs, late supervision and Wednesday afternoon supervision and activities will all take place as usual. School trips and outings will go ahead where possible and within the constraints of the regulations at the time.
- Social events, meetings, assemblies, shows, competitions and similar gatherings will resume depending on how the situation progresses. More information to follow.
How does Haut-Lac keep staff and parents informed of Covid-19 matters in the community?
When notified of a confirmed case in school, Haut-Lac will inform the class or group that has been in closest contact with the person whom the authorities have asked to isolate. We have only need to do so on very few occasions since the start of the year.
No communication is issued about absences due to precautionary quarantine directives imposed by the cantonal medical officer following contact with a suspected or confirmed case outside of school and/or in the family.
Should follow-up be required in either situation, Haut-Lac will proceed accordingly and as instructed by the authorities.
Obligation for children to return to school from 25 May 2020 - Under what conditions can parents keep children at home and continue distance learning?
According to the Vaud Department of Education (DGEO), the option of keeping children of obligatory school age at home without a valid medical reason is no longer possible. An exemption from compulsory attendance at both public and private schools is limited to vulnerable children or those living with vulnerable persons, including pregnant women. In principle, a doctor's certificate is required, without mentioning the nature of the medical problem, for reasons of confidentiality.
What does ‘close contact’ mean?
Close contact is defined as coming within 1.5 metres of an infected person without any form of protection (e.g. separated by a partition or both individuals wearing face masks) for 15 minutes or more. The longer the time spent in close contact with an infected person, the higher the chance of becoming infected.
The cantonal authorities and the infected person determine together who can be said to be a ‘close contact’.
What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
Are you feeling sick or experiencing symptoms of Covid-19? Symptoms of the new coronavirus are varied, but the most common are:
- Respiratory illness symptoms (sore throat, cough (usually dry), shortness of breath, chest pain)
- High temperature
- Sudden loss of smell and/or taste
Other symptoms may include:
- General weakness, feeling unwell
- Aching muscles
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ache)
- Head cold
- Skin rash
Symptoms can vary in severity and may even be mild. Contact your doctor if you have any symptoms about which you are concerned.
What do I do whilst waiting for test results?
As recommended by the OFSP, the person concerned should stay at home and avoid contact with others.
In the event of a positive result, the isolation guidelines should be followed for the length of time communicated by the cantonal authorities. As a general rule, this extends to at least 48 hours after the disappearance of Covid-19 symptoms.
If the test is negative and the person has symptoms, he/she should remain in self-isolation until 24 hours after their disappearance.
Online coronavirus risk checks
These online questionnaires do not replace your doctor’s advice if you are unsure about your personal situation, but they do give some indication as to how much risk you might be in and whether you should get tested: