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
Hygiene – regular and frequent hand-washing or sanitizing (for adults, or under adult supervision) will be encouraged. 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. Classrooms will be aired regularly. 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.
Distancing – the limited number of students taught and supervised together at any one time will enable greater distancing at all times. The students will be instructed on the need for social distancing to prevent infection, which includes staying at arm’s length or more, and not sharing stationery, personal effects and snacks. Interaction between year groups will be minimised and close contact activities avoided. Adults are expected to keep a distance of 2 metres between themselves and the children, as well as between colleagues. Signs will be posted in various areas to remind everyone of these limitations.
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.
Masks – the wearing of masks is not an official recommendation and will therefore not feature in Haut-Lac regulations. Masks will be worn systematically by dining room staff, bus drivers and the cleaning and maintenance teams, and be available for other members of the community if necessary. Anyone wishing to wear a mask may do so.
Illness/Self-exclusion/Quarantine – students and adults who fall ill with respiratory disease symptoms during school time will be removed from the classroom and arrangements made for them to return home immediately. If they are subsequently confirmed to have Covid-19, or have been in contact with confirmed Covid-19 patients, they must undergo a quarantine period of 14 days. Such circumstances must be communicated to the school nurse and the family doctor. We count on the strict cooperation of parents and staff on this matter to ensure the protection of the community, and encourage them to err on the side of caution if in doubt. Anyone who stays at home due to illness must not return to school until they have been medication and symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
Daily temperature and wellness check – parents are asked to take their child’s temperature before leaving home in the morning. If the reading is at or above 37.5o C, the child should be kept at home until their temperature drops below that figure. Similarly, anyone displaying any of the main indicators (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fever, achiness, sudden loss of taste/smell), or with symptoms less commonly related to Covid-19 (diarrhea, vomiting, headache, conjunctivitis and head cold), should remain at home as a precaution.
If students or staff live with a vulnerable person in their house, advice should be sought from their family doctor on whether or not a return to school is advisable for the time being.
Frontaliers/Travel: Staff and students who are resident in France and have to cross the border to come to school should request an attendance certificate from Haut-Lac which can be printed out and shown at customs. Although personal travel beyond the immediate region of domicile is currently strongly discouraged, there may be circumstances which necessitate this. If it is unavoidable for a staff member or a student to travel abroad during this time, they will be expected complete a short questionnaire on their return before being cleared to come back to school. The same will apply to anyone newly joining the school community.
GENERAL RULES AND LOGISTICS
Attendance - in principle, all students who are currently well and not considered vulnerable will be expected to attend. Parents who for medical or other significant reasons are concerned about sending their children back to school should complete the online Absence Request Form, and subsequently submit a medical certificate and/or complete the canton Vaud’s official form.
Access to the campus – accompanying adults are requested not to enter the school premises, only students and staff may enter the buildings. Suitable precautions will be taken for other necessary visits, which will occur only by appointment.
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 essential, an appointment will be made.
School hours – in the absence of the usual extra-curricular offers, school hours will be determined by the lesson timetable. An adapted drop-off and pick-up schedule, including staggered arrival and departure times, can be found in the detailed school section instructions. Parents should wait in the designated areas, and not gather in groups on or near the school grounds.
After-school supervision – this will be available with limited capacity for E1 to MYP2 students on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only. Families in which both parents are obliged to work outside the home and are unable to organise alternative care may sign up for places.
Meals – the 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 should not share food or drink.
Transport – school buses will run 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 10 are advised to wear a mask. Bus drivers will wear a mask at all times.
Clubs and out-of-hours care, trips and activities – More information to follow based on how the situation progresses.
Events – Social events, meetings, assemblies, shows, competitions and similar gatherings will resume depending on how the situation progresses. More information to follow.
Home schooling – students whose situation requires them to stay at home (e.g. for medical reasons due to underlying health issues) will be provided with work and activities to allow them to progress with their class, and their class teachers and tutors will keep in contact with them to monitor their progress.
Obligation for children to return to school from 25 May 2020 - Under what conditions can parents keep children at home and continue distance education?
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.