Archived Status Updates

S.T.E.P.

Online
Resources

COMMUNITY
SITE

Archive Page Last Updated: 27 September, 2021

because encouragement is everything...

View the Video

Archived Status Updates

Health, Student, Parent, and Travel Advisory

The following is a list of archived status updates that are/were previously displayed on the main COVID information page.

Jumpa Lagi 2020

Jumpa Lagi! We have named our reopening plan after this common Bahasa phrase because ultimately the purpose of this plan is to make it possible for us to come back together and “see each other again.”

2021

Dear Dalat Parents,

Over the last 18 months we have learned that when new SOP’s and other announcements are made about the MCO’s it takes time for there to be clarification and a full understanding of what exactly the MOE, MOH, and the gov’t are saying. This is no different with the recent announcements related to students returning to face to face classes this semester. There is still some confusion and Dalat is working hard to get clarification but for now we want to update you on what we know and steps we are taking as a school.

  • Next Wednesday we are able to invite students in preschool and kindergarten back to campus for face to face classes. The teachers have been working hard in preparation for that.
  • What about our older students? It is our understanding that our high school students will be able to return to campus for face to face classes when Penang transitions to phase III. Penang has met all but one of the requirements for moving to phase III (ICU load) and so we hope this will happen soon. We don’t expect that it will be before the mid semester break, but when it does happen we will work hard to get our students back as soon as possible.
  • For our other students (ES and MS) it appears that we will not be able to invite them back on campus until we reach phase IV. We are hopeful that the vaccination program and other measures taken will result in us achieving phase four soon.
  • With the possibility that we will need to continue online education past the mid semester break, we are organizing a third pick up day for parents. The current plan is that teachers will place new resources into student lockers prior to the mid semester break and then during the week of break parents will be able to come and get them when it is most convenient. There will be more information about this in the Dalat News in the coming weeks.
  • It is now possible for parents to visit campus to check out books from the library. Information about this was in the Dalat News that was sent out earlier today.
  • The information about the vaccine program for ages 12-17 has been incredibly confusing and there are many rumors circulating.
  • Dalat has provided the names and contact information of students who want to take the vaccine to the MOH. Dalat has told the MOH that we are willing to be a vaccination center for students, but we have not heard anything back in the last week. We will continue passing on information to parents that we get regarding the vaccines, but we know that some of the information is confusing itself.
  • At this point approximately 50 Dalat students (18 and older or those who were overseas) have received at least the first vaccine shot.
  • One of the rumors floating around is that a student will need to be fully vaccinated to attend face to face classes. Please know that we have not received any information from the MOE or MOH stating that as a rule.
  • At this point 92% of our teachers are fully vaccinated and by October 20th all of the Dalat staff will be fully vaccinated.
  • Parents are encouraged to keep checking our Covid 19 web page as we do update it with helpful information and resources for our parents.

I know that this continues to be a challenging time for us as a community, but I am hopeful that we are seeing the progress needed to be together again on campus. Thanks for your understanding and patience as we do our best to meet the needs of our families throughout all the confusion and problems created by this unprecedented pandemic.

Dear Dalat Parents,

Over the weekend the government announced a new set of SOP’s for students to return to face to face classes. Similar to what has happened in the past the announcement creates a lot of questions that then take days and even weeks to get clarification on. Dalat is currently working with the MOE and other international schools to try and fully understand what these new SOP’s mean for our community.

Once there is more clarity we will definitely communicate this to parents through our Covid 19 web page, Dalat News, email, etc. Thanks for your understanding and patience as we try to figure it all out.

Malaysia Day Holiday Thursday, September 16
9월 16일 목요일 말레이시아의 날 휴일
九月十六日 周四 马来西亚日放假

There will be no online school on Thursday, September 16, in celebration of Malaysia Day. We would like to wish our Malaysian family and friends a very happy Malaysia Day!

Malaysia Day is held on September 16 every year to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation on the same date in 1963. It marked the joining together of Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore to form Malaysia. (Source: Wikipedia)

Elementary School Parent-Teacher Conferences (Grades K–4)
초등학교 학부모 교사 상담회의 (유치원-4학년)
小学部(K到四年级)家长会
小学校(幼稚園年長さん-4年生)二者面談

On September 13–15 and 17, parents may meet with their child’s teacher in a virtual conference time, with sign-ups for appointments beginning September 6. Parents must schedule their conference time through the PowerSchool portal. Your scheduled time will be emailed directly to you. (Please note that September 16 is a public holiday, and no conferences will be scheduled on that day.)

Here are a few ways parents can make the most of their conference time:

  • Be on time. Please be considerate of the teacher’s and other parents’ schedules.
  • Honor the time limit. If you need more than your allotted 15 minutes, please reschedule another appointment time.
  • Ask questions. Your child’s teacher is happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Be relaxed and be yourself. Teachers are looking forward to talking with you one on one. They value your partnership and want to get to know you better.
  • Ask for a translator. If you are not comfortable conferencing in English, please arrange for or ask your teacher’s assistance in securing a translator.

Dear Dalat Community,

In about ten days we start our next school year at Dalat. Staff and teachers are working hard in preparation for the start of school on August 4th. Here is some information I would like to pass on to you as we transition from break to having school again.

  • We will be starting school online this year. The MOE has announced that schools will transition to face to face classes starting Sept 1st, so we are hopeful that online learning will be just for the beginning of the semester.
  • The principals and teachers will be sending out informational emails towards the end of next week for students and parents.
  • Want to quickly say welcome to our new families. We are so excited to have you join our community. For our new families we will be having a day of online orientation sessions on Monday, August 2nd. Mrs Yost (Admissions Director) will be emailing our new families with more information about the online orientation plans for new parents and students.
  • On Tuesday, August 3rd, we will be having a “pick up” day to get textbooks and other school resources to our students. We ask that no students come with their parents and that only one parent comes to get their child’s school supplies. There will be more information about this in the principal emails later next week.
  • With the MOE telling us that we will transition to face to face starting on Sept 1st, we ask that any current students who are out of country be back in Malaysia by August 15th to complete the two week quarantine. We ask that families not take chances and put your children in a situation where they miss school because they have not completed the quarantine period in time.
  • We are so blessed to have all of our new staff in country and ready for the start of the year. This week we have been spending time with them in our new staff orientation.
  • Please remember that we have our Covid 19 web page where we keep you updated and provide resources for families to help as we journey through this pandemic.
  • With the start of face to face postponed, there is not the same rush to get uniforms. However during the month of August families can set up an appointment with Claudia (claudia@dalat.org) to come and take care of their uniform needs.
  • Parents are strongly encouraged to get a copy of the book “Pandemic People: Eight Strategies to Help Generation Z Rediscover Hope After Coronavirus” by Tim Elmore. This is a short book full of important ideas and strategies for helping your children deal with the pandemic.
  • Our theme this year is, “It’s GROW Time” with “grow” being an acronym for Grateful, Resilient, Optimistic, Willing. We will introduce it more to the community as we start the school year.

As we begin this next year together we again face the challenge of online education which is not easy but we are confident in both our teachers and our students. We are also optimistic at what this next year holds for our community. We don’t know exactly what will happen over the next year, but we do know that we will get through this together. We are so glad that you are a part of the Dalat community.

All the best.

Karl Steinkamp

Dear Dalat Parents,

This morning we received communication from the MOE informing us that all schools will be closed to face to face learning until at least June 6th. Our last student day was to be June 1st so we will not have any chance to come back for face to face classes this semester. The school leadership team met this afternoon to discuss the impact this has on the end of our school year. The leadership team has decided to modify the end of the semester to the following schedule:

• We will change the last student day from Tuesday June 1st back to Wednesday May 26th.
• We will have a “graduation day” for seniors and their parents on Thursday May 27th. More details to come about that.
• Students in 8th grade through 12th grade will take their final exams Monday May 24th to Wednesday May 26th.
• ES and MS students will have a “goodbye day” on Wednesday, May 26th. More details to come about that.

We will communicate a lot more information about the final events and plans for the school year next week. As the leadership team wrestled with how to finish the semester as best we can, we determined that modifying the schedule would be best for the following reasons:

• Traditionally the last four days of a “normal” semester are half days of school.
• They are filled with end of the year activities for the younger students (field trips, parties, sports day, etc) and for the older students final exams.
• This has been a very difficult and hard year for our students and they are tired emotionally and psychologically.
• With the change back to online school we expect that our students will struggle with motivation these last few weeks especially as we grow closer to the end. That struggle with motivation could have a negative impact on them and their grades.

Thank you for all the ways you have partnered with us this year as we have navigated these challenging times. We will continue to work hard to help your children finish well and to bring the year to a close.

Dear Dalat Parents,

The administration met today to do our best to adapt to the implementing of an MCO starting tomorrow. Here is some important information for you to be aware of today:

Tomorrow will be an independent learning school day that is announced and communicated to the students through SeeSaw and DIScourse. MS and HS students are expected to sign on tomorrow morning (9:00am) to see what teachers are asking them to do. MS and HS teachers have been asked to post the learning activities/assignments by 9:00am.
Tuesday and Wednesday will follow a similar online class schedule to what we had at the beginning of the semester and will involve Zoom classes that students are to attend. This will be communicated to students and parents by your principals.
Parents will be able to come on campus to pick up personal items from lockers and to get student resources needed for online classes after 2:00pm tomorrow. Your principal and teachers will be letting their students know if there are resources they will need for their classes.
• The AP exams will go forward as scheduled on campus. Students taking these exams can/will get a travel letter from the school.
• There will not be any changes to the upcoming four day weekend this week. Thursday and Friday will not involve online classes (AP tests schedule those days are still happening).
• The Dalat leadership team will be meeting early this week to try to develop the best plan possible as we juggle both an MCO and the ending our semester in the coming weeks.
• You will be receiving an email from your principal(s) later today with more information about how we will be doing school this week.

I know that this turn of events is hard for everyone. We will do our best to help our students journey as best they can through the final weeks of the semester. Thanks for your understanding and patience with us as we try to handle all the implications this MCO has for you and Dalat.

All the best.

Dear Dalat Parents,

Over the last couple of days, we have been trying to get clarification on the decision by the MOE to have all national schools in Malaysia go online for two weeks following the Hari Raya holiday (May 17th – May 28th). At this point, from phone calls to MOE and in talking with other heads of schools, this is our understanding of the situation:

• International schools are not required to follow the mandatory SOP to be online following the Hari Raya holiday.
• With Dalat ending its school year the first week of June, going online for those two weeks would be very disruptive to our students’ education.
• Dalat is currently planning to continue with face-to-face classes those two weeks and until the end of the semester on June 1st.
• If the MOE does change the SOP and we are required to go online, we will follow the directive and communicate with parents how we will transition to online.

Another aspect of Covid right now is that in the last few weeks there have been cases of Covid at schools around Malaysia and a few of them have been at international schools. The current SOP, as we understand it, is that when this happens the school is closed for two days for a thorough cleaning and disinfecting the campus. The MOH may then allow the school to go back to face-to-face or, depending on the situation, extend the closing. IF there is a confirmed Covid case, Dalat will communicate the closing to parents once we have been notified by the MOH. For many reasons, to transition to a full Zoom schedule for just two days would be quite difficult for teachers, students, and parents. Therefore, the two days of learning would be directed through DIScourse and SeeSaw. If the MOH were to extend our closing, then we would shift to online Zoom classes.

We will continue to update you if there are new developments, but for now we want families to know what our current plans are. Thanks for your continued understanding and support during all of the chaos of Covid.

Dear Dalat Parents,

I wanted to do a quick update now that we are a week or so into being back to face to face. I am not sure how each of you are feeling, but I love having our kids back on campus. There is just so much that happens educationally, relationally, and communally when we can be together.

Here are a few things to be aware of as we continue.

Thank you: I wanted to say thank you for your patience with our pick-up and drop-off procedures. The way in which we need to do it does create some backups and problems that can be a little bit frustrating. Thanks for having patience with us and with each other when coming to drop off and pick up your children.

The Galley: Our new cafeteria and multipurpose space is open and is awesome. I am really excited to show it to parents when we can. Ask your kids what they think about our newest addition. Some day down the road we will be together in The Galley as a community.

Casual Contact Notice: A few parents and some Dalat staff have received what is referred to as a “casual contact notice” through the MySejahtera app. After checking further, this means that they were in a location (Tesco, restaurant, etc) where another individual was who later tested positive for Covid. This is still low risk and is why the person is asked by the MoH to watch their symptoms but no drastic steps are taken (no Covid testing, quarantine, etc). We have worked with the MOE and confirmed that they do not require a student or staff person to quarantine or stay away from school if they receive this casual contact notice. However, in order to protect our community as much as possible, we do ask that you inform us and that the student remain home for two days. This gives the MoH time to further confirm or take steps if there were more serious concerns related to the contact.

Parent Access: With the new more stringent SOP’s one of the steps we have had to take is to be much more restrictive with parent access to campus (preschool parents are still able to pick up and drop off). We do ask that you not come into the school area of the campus. If there is a need to come into the area we ask that you first check with your principal to make sure that this will be okay.

The steps that the community and the school are taking are not easy. Wearing a mask all day is definitely not fun, but these steps help us limit the spread and make it possible for us to be back together. I am optimistic at the progress Malaysia and the world has made in the last couple of months and believe that we will continue to improve throughout the coming year.

Dear Dalat Parents,

As we continue to prepare for the return of students to our campus next week, here is some important information about the drop off and pick up procedures. Please keep in mind that with the new SOP’s we have to be more restrictive in regards to parent access to the campus.

Here are some important reminders and information about the procedures.

Morning Drop-Off:

• Parents may drive through all drop off lanes as usual.

• Preschool parents only may park and walk your child to class; you will need to have your temperatures checked and check in using the My Sejahtera app.

• Other parents may park and walk their children to the temperature check station. Parents are not allowed to enter campus beyond the temperature check stations at this time.

• Students may not be dropped off before 8:00 AM.

• After students are dropped off, they should go to the following locations until school starts.

• ES – classrooms
• MS – outdoor court
• HS – locker area

Afternoon Pick-up:

Please display the number placard in your window. Drive to the assigned pick-up point to meet your child.

• All children in a family should be picked up at the assigned point for the youngest child.

• K-2: Main campus, ES drop-off area
• 3-7: Upper field
• 8-12: Main campus, in front of main office

• When we see your number, Dalat staff will notify your child that you are here to pick them up. Students will be waiting in the assigned areas.

• Parents of HS students, please let them know (through phones) when you arrive, as they will not all be waiting in a centralized area.

• If your child is not there to meet you, you will need to drive around the loop again or park while waiting for your child.

• If you do park your car, please walk to the temperature check station and meet your children there as we do not want students walking through the parking lots.

Please be patient with each other and Dalat as we do expect some delays and problems the first few days as we all learn again how to get 700 students on and off the campus in a short amount of time. We will get good at it again but there might be a few bumps along the way.

SOPs for Face-to-Face Classes next Monday

Parents, please note the following SOPs that will be in effect at Dalat as we return to in-person classes:

  • Parent access to campus will become more limited. Parents may walk their children to the temperature stations in the morning, but only preschool parents may walk them to classrooms. Parents may come to the main office during the school day, but no other places on campus. Parents bringing lunch for their students must bring it to the main office.
  • The same drop-off and pick-up procedures from last semester will be used. Please display your family number in the windshield when picking students up in the afternoon:
    • Grades K–2 will be picked up in front of the elementary building on campus.
    • Grades 3–7 use the upper field lot  for pick-up.
    • Grades 8–12 are picked up in front of the Harbor
  • Face masks are now required to be worn on campus for everyone throughout the day at school. The only exceptions are while eating or drinking and during strenuous physical activity. Only elementary students have the option to bring a face shield to wear while seated at their desks, but they must also have a mask at school to be used anytime they are away from their desks.
  • Only healthy people are allowed on campus. If one person in a household has COVID symptoms, the whole family must stay away from school and self-isolate. Please download the “Parent Response Guide” on this web page to learn about when your children should stay home from school in order to protect their classmates.
  • Physical distancing of at least one meter is required at all times by everyone.
  • Playgrounds will remain closed. Students will have structured outdoor play times, including PE.
  • Temperature and contract tracing are still required for everyone upon entry to campus.
  • Dalat will limit interaction between groups of students and teachers as much as possible. In elementary, this means enforcing the class bubbles. In middle and high school, we will keep the contact circles as small as possible.
  • When more than one group of students uses the same classroom (changing classes), the room will be sanitized between groups. This includes desks, doorknobs, and anything else likely to be touched. Rooms will have disinfectants available.
  • If one member of our school community is diagnosed with COVID-19, a health officer from the MOH will be assigned to us. The officer will review all contract tracing to determine which classes and/or divisions must close and for how long. They have a lot of discretion based on the details of the case.
  • We will continue to use the cafeteria and the gym until we receive approval to use the new Galley. Students taking school lunch are allowed to eat in the cafeteria with social distancing. Elementary students who bring lunch from home will continue to eat in their classrooms. We will revisit this plan when the new cafeteria opens providing additional space.

Download our Response Guide for Parents:

Email to Parents (26 Feb, 2021 6:46AM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

We are greatly looking forward to having students back on campus for face-face learning on March 8. We know that the transition will be a wonderful change for some but for others could be a difficult one. We want you to know that we are committed to keeping your kids safe and healthy at school. We expect students to come to school unless there are extenuating circumstances in your family.

The MOE sent us updated SOP’s just before Chinese New Year and we want to share some of the highlights with you. It is important to know that the SOP’s for local and private schools are very different. Some of this may be different than you’ve heard from other schools.

  • Parent access to campus will now be limited. Only preschool parents may enter campus for drop-off and pick-up. Other parents must meet their students in the parking lots. Parents may come to the main office during the school day, but not to other parts of campus. There will be a table in front of the office for parents to drop off student lunches during the day.
  • The drop-off and pick-up procedures from last semester will be used. Please display your family number in the windshield when picking students up. Students in grades K-2 will be picked up in front of the elementary building, grades 3-7 in the upper field lot, and 8-12 in front of the main office. You may drive through or park and want your children to the temperature scanning stations.
  • Face masks are required throughout the day at school. The only exceptions are while eating or drinking and during strenuous physical activity. Elementary students may bring a face shield in addition to a face mask. While seated at their own desks, they may switch the mask for a shield.
  • Only healthy people are allowed on campus. If someone in the household has COVID symptoms, the whole family should stay away from school and self-isolate. please see the “Parent Response Guide” attachment for information about when your children should stay home from school in order to protect their classmates.
  • Physical distancing of at least one meter is required at all times.
  • Playgrounds will remain closed. Kids will have structured outdoor play times, including PE.
  • Temperature and health screening are still required upon entry to campus.
  • We want to limit interaction between different groups of students as much as possible. In elementary, this means enforcing our class bubbles. In middle and high school, we also want to keep the contact circles as small as possible.
  • If a member of the school community is diagnosed with COVID-19, a health officer will be assigned to us. They will follow up on who the person had contact with. This person, from the MOH, will do all contract tracing and tell us which classes/divisions have to close and for how long. They have a lot of discretion based on the details of the case.
  • Students are allowed to eat in the cafeteria with social distancing. We will continue to use the cafeteria and gym until we receive final approval to use the Galley. Elementary students who bring lunch from home will continue to eat in their classrooms while those with school lunch eat in the cafeteria. We will revisit this once the Galley is open.
  • When more than one group of students uses the same classroom (changing classes), the room will be sanitized between groups of students. This would include desks, doorknobs, and anything else likely to be touched.
  • Parents of boarding students may only come on campus to visit their children with permission from Brian and Val.

Thanks so much for your cooperation as we adjust again to new SOPs. We are really looking forward to having all of the students back on campus and being together again.

Dear Dalat Parents,

At 5:00pm this afternoon the MOE held a press conference related to schools in Malaysia returning to face to face classes. It appears that international schools will be able to have all our students return by March 8th.

This is very encouraging news. We will wait to get more clarification from the MOE on what all of this means. We will connect with you more next week as we prepare for our students to return to campus.

Email to Parents (15 Feb, 2021 6:32PM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

We received a lengthy new SOP last week from the MOE (ministry of education) in regards to face to face classes. We are optimistic that this could be an indicator that we will soon be allowed to have all our students return to campus for school.

Along with all of you we do not know when they will make the announcement regarding the MCO and what their decision will be related to schools. This uncertainty brings many challenges for our teachers and our students. To teach a lesson online or face to face is very different in many ways and takes time and planning. Our teachers need to know soon whether or not school this Friday is online or face to face. There are also some scheduling issues created when only having one day face to face this week. With that in mind we will continue online education this Friday no matter when or what the announcement is from the government. Our hope is that we will hear good news and that next week we will be back face to face.

We will communicate much more once we have a better understanding of what the government is planning to do in regards to the MCO.

Thanks for your understanding and patience. We are hopeful and optimistic that soon we will be back together physically as a school and a community.

Email to Parents (3 Feb, 2021 11:22AM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

As you know, MCO has been extended to February 18th. This is not the news we were hoping for but we still remain optimistic that the next announcement will be one that allows schools to go back to face to face classes. Until then we are committed to working hard to provide the best online education we can for our amazing students. Here is some information to be aware of.

With the extension of the MCO some teachers may need parents to come to school and pick up resources and packets for their students. We do have our littlest students (preschool and kindergarten) attending school in the morning, so the pickup of these resources will be planned for Thursday and Friday afternoons this week (12:30 – 4:30pm). For the parents needing to come for the packets/resources, they will receive further instructions from the principal and/or their teachers. Please understand that only parents are to come for the pick-up. Your children are not to come to campus with you. Thanks for your understanding of this expectation.

The library will be open during the pick-up time on Thursday and Friday afternoon. Parents can come to drop off and pick up books. Once again parents are not allowed to bring their children with them. Only parents are allowed to come to the library.

• As we continue to journey through online education with you it is important for us to hear from you. Principals will be asking for feedback in their next email out to you. Parents should also know that they can at any time connect directly with a principal or me if they have a question or important feedback. You will find on our website and specifically on the Covid-19 web page email/contact information for the administrators. Do not hesitate to connect with us as we want to know how we can help and support you and your children.

Along with all of you, our hope is that the steps being taken by our government will begin to make an impact and will result in our being able to go back to face to face class.

Email to Parents (25 Jan, 2021 1:26PM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

Just a quick update from Dalat as we head into a new week. Here is some important information for you to be aware of:

  • As I am sure you are all aware the MCO was extended in Penang until Feb 4th. We are still optimistic that we will return to face to face classes in the near future. Until then we will continue to “do school” via our online programs.
  • This Wednesday some of our preschool and kindergarten students will be returning for face to face classes. Under the SOP’s from MoH and MoE preschool and kindergarten students may continue to attend school on campus during the MCO. With the extension of the MCO Dalat has offered to parents of these students the option of face to face or online. Unfortunately this is not an option for the other grades at this time.
  • With all the uncertainty of the virus and the gov’ts actions parents are strongly encouraged not to plan travel outside of the country during this semester for their children. For a number of reasons Dalat is not able to offer the STEP program this semester. If you are not able to return to Malaysia because of gov’t restrictions you unfortunately will need to find other schooling options for the remainder of the semester. I know the travel restrictions have been difficult for families but if at all possible it is best to stay in Malaysia during the semester.
  • Student leaders from 11th grade decided they wanted to encourage the high school students so along with other student leaders from other grades they have put together a fun video. It’s got some cool “dance” moves by students and even a couple staff members. Check it out at the following link – https://youtu.be/KSkxTvSPI0U
  • Remember that we have lots of resources and information on our Covid 19 web page. The page is updated often so do not hesitate to come back to it frequently.

This pandemic is hard on all of us for so many reasons. We miss having your children here on campus. We believe we will soon be back together. Until then hold on and stay safe.

Email to Parents (11 Jan, 2021 10:22PM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

As most of you know Malaysia has decided to return to an MCO for at least the next two weeks in specific states and Penang is one of them. Our teachers and staff were working today in preparation for this possibility. Please read through the important information below in regards to the start of school this week.

  • We will start school on Wednesday and it will be online.
  • You will be receiving an email directly from the divisional principals regarding online school and starting on Wednesday. Please read through them carefully.
  • The school will be open from 2:00 – 5:00pm tomorrow for those parents who need to come and pick up resources provided by teachers.
  • The side parking lot will be open as we do expect that the front parking lot could be quite full.
  • If you come on campus please wear a mask, get your temperature checked, and follow social distancing expectations.
  • The library will be open in the afternoon for books to be checked out.
  • We are discouraging students (but not banning) to come on campus as we are trying to limit the number of people who are here.

I know for most the announcement from the PM was discouraging news. As we have throughout the past year we will continue to journey together as a community and do our best to get through the coming weeks and the new restrictions placed on us. We will do our best and along with you hope that very soon our students will be back on campus and together for school.

Email to Parents (6 Jan, 2021 2:11PM):

Dear Dalat Parents,

Happy new year to the Dalat community. A week from today students at Dalat will be returning to face to face classes here on campus. We are confident of this as the MOE has decided to allow schools to be open even when and if they are red zone areas. Many international schools in KL are opening up this week and returning to face to face classes. Here are a few announcements for our community as we prepare to start our second semester together:

  • Please do not send your children to school if they have any flu like symptoms. Yes there are other flu’s circulating so having the symptoms does not mean you have Covid but at this time we would ask that you not send them to school if they have any symptoms at all (cough, sore throat, fever, aches, etc).
  • Please do not come on campus (parents) if you yourself have any symptoms. You may drop off your child for school but please do not come physically on campus.
  • Please do not have your children or yourself come on campus if you might have been exposed to someone with Covid recently. Please connect with the administration if you have had some sort of contact or possible exposure.
  • At this time the MOE is not allowing after school activities to resume. Our hope is that sometime soon we will be able to start up our activities again. We will keep you updated on that.
  • Unfortunately we ran into some bureaucratic red tape at the end of the year and we will not be able to obtain the CCC certification for the new cafeteria (The Galley) before the first day of school. Our hope is that within a few weeks we will obtain the necessary permissions and paperwork to start using our newest building. We will keep you updated.
  • We are pleased to announce that we have already hired 14 of the 16 open staff positions for next year. This will be really helpful as we navigate the visa and travel process for our staff this coming year.
  • We are hopeful this semester will see us begin to exit the impact and effects of the pandemic and returning to a more “normal” school life.
  • Remember that we post updates and helpful information on our Covid 19 website.

We look forward to having our students back on campus and to be together again as a community.

2020

Email to Parents (5 Dec, 2020 7:00PM):

We have confirmed with the MOE that we will be able to go back to face to face classes in Penang. As planned we will stay with online classes on Monday and then have students return to school on Tuesday. We need Monday to get the campus ready and teachers will need some time to transition their curriculum back to face to face.

We are so excited to have our students coming back to school. See you on Tuesday.

Email to Parents (3 Dec, 2020 3:49PM):

We are anticipating an announcement tomorrow regarding the CMCO. For the decision to be communicated this late puts schools in a difficult situation in trying to plan for next week. Unfortunately we also need to be ready for the possibility that we will not have a clear decision until later in the weekend because it is a secondary decision by the state government that will be the final determination for schools like Dalat.

In light of this the senior leadership team of Dalat has put the following criteria in place to help us navigate the CMCO decision:

• If the announcement tomorrow is clear that the CMCO is being lifted in Penang we will resume face to face classes on Monday.
• If there is no announcement tomorrow or if the announcement is unclear until the weekend (Saturday/Sunday) we will continue online school on Monday and resume face to face on Tuesday.
• If the announcement is that the CMCO is being extended we will continue online and communicate with parents how we will plan to bring the semester to a close (final exams, etc).

Our deepest hope is that we will be together again on campus next week. Thanks for all the ways you have supported your children, each other, and Dalat through this CMCO time.

Dalat is still planning to hold the December 5 SAT session unless we are notified otherwise by the MOE. All students/parents have been emailed about this. (HS Guidance)

Email to Parents (9 Nov, 2020 9:29AM):

Good morning. As we start the first day of this new CMCO order there is some important information for parents:

  • Thankyou: I just first want to say thank you for how gracious and supportive parents were during the pick-up process yesterday (Sunday). It went smoothly and that was partly because of how helpful and understanding our families were.
  • Why No School Today: There are no online classes today for Dalat students. To start online education well our teachers and principal’s need time to work on the details of transitioning to it. A lesson plan for a face to face class may need to be fully modified, our teachers need to meet and collaborate, our plans need to be finalized, etc. We think it is better to take extra time to start well than to rush into it too quickly and do a poor job of launching back into online education.
  • Grace and Patience: No matter how much we plan and work on it there will be some glitches and problems as we move into online education again. This can be on our end or your end (tech problems, etc). We will have some bumps in the road but know that we are committed to working them out as quickly as possible.
  • Please Read Your Emails: There will be numerous emails from the school, principals, and teachers this week as we transition back to online education. It is very important that parents AND students read the emails and other forms of communication sent to them carefully. Our online education for this CMCO will look a little different than it did last year as we have made changes and improvements. Please take time to read the emails carefully and make sure your children are doing the same with the information being sent to them by their teachers and principals.
  • Online Educational Philosophy: I communicated this last semester but think it is important to do it again. Through our research of best practices for online education, collaborating with other schools, getting input from experts, etc, we do not think it is best to simply try to replace the face to face classrooms with cameras and online videos. Some schools are choosing to keep the exact same daily schedule and just shift it all to online and video classes all day. For many reasons we do not feel this is best for our students. Learning is not just about the textbooks, tests, worksheets but the whole student and being on a computer all day staring at a screen is not emotionally or physically good for anyone.
  • We are Committed to you: I wanted to let you know that the staff at Dalat are so committed to you and your children. Within 2 hours of the CMCO announcement on Saturday afternoon the senior leadership team convened on campus and met through the night to plan for the transition. When I came out of the meeting at 9:30pm that night I saw at least a half a dozen classroom lights on and teachers working diligently in them. On Sunday morning when admin arrived to start preparing for the day there were at least a dozen teachers on campus already working and preparing for the new normal.
  • Covid 19 Web Page:  An important part of our communication strategy is our Covid 19 Web page. You will find up to date information, resources, helpful links, etc, etc. We are redesigning it today to make it as effective as possible for this new CMCO. Later today make sure to visit the updated web page and then come back often throughout the CMCO.

We have said this many times before but it is even more true now, we are in this together, and I am confident that the Dalat community will continue navigate this pandemic as best we can.

Karl Steinkamp
Head of School
Dalat International School

Email to Parents (8 Nov, 2020 1:32PM):

Later this afternoon (Sunday) from 2:00 – 5:00pm the campus will be open for you and or your student to come on campus and get their school books, resources, personal belongings, etc. Just a few things to be aware of for this pickup time:

  • The school is open for three hours so do not feel rushed or that you must all come at 2:00pm. It will be much better if actually some of you plan to come later in the day.
  • We will be taking temperature checks just like we do during a normal school day (at tables on campus).
  • The front parking lot will be opened first and if it fills up we will open up the upper field parking lot as well.
  • For our ES students educational packets will be placed in your child’s locker for you to pick up.
  • If your child has a band instrument at school the band room will be open for you to go and get it.
  • Your child can come with you to help you get their stuff but we ask that they stay with you while on campus and that they do not play on the playgrounds.

We will have staff on campus to help with the pickup time but teachers will not necessarily be there or available to answer questions directly. Principals and teachers will be communicating with you and your children in the next two days to prepare for online school starting on Tuesday.

More questions will come up as the week progresses so do not hesitate to contact your teacher, principals, etc and we will do our best to answer them in a timely manner.

Karl Steinkamp
Head of School
Dalat International School

Email to Parents (7 Nov, 2020 10:10PM):

The school leadership team met together this evening to try and work through how to best help our community transition to online learning. The following is information you should be aware of in regards to that transition:

  • Tomorrow Dalat campus will be open from 2:00 to 5:00pm for students and parents to come and pick up their textbooks, instruments, personal belongings, etc. We ask that all families come pick up the supplies that students will need for the next four weeks.
  • The ES students will have educational packets that have been prepared by the ES teachers in their lockers that parents can pick up tomorrow from 2:00 to 5:00pm.
  • The library will be open from 2:00 to 5:00 tomorrow as well. You may check out books for your kids to read during the CMCO.
  • There will not be online school on Monday. This gives our teachers a day to collaborate together and work to prepare and make sure that the first day goes as best it can.
  • Please make sure that you are technologically prepared for online school to begin on Tuesday.
  • You will be receiving emails and information from your principal’s in regards to online school so please be watching for those and read them carefully.
  • You are encouraged to prepare your home in a way that creates an educational environment for your children to do their online work during the day.
  • We will be communicating via emails and updating our Covid 19 web page with information and resources.

Transitioning to online learning will be challenging much like it was last semester and there will be some glitches and bumps along the way. We will work hard to work them out as quickly as possible and to make the online learning as valuable as possible for our students. We will continue to offer information and resources through our Covid 19 web page so check it from time to time.

Karl Steinkamp
Head of School
Dalat International School

Email to Parents:

Along with you I just received the news a few minutes ago that the Malaysian government has decided to return to a CMCO for much of West Malaysia starting this Monday. This is unfortunate for schools as this creates problems in trying to help families move from face to face to online without having a day with our students before it starts. We will need to figure out a way for our families to get the textbooks and resources our students need to continue their education and will communicate that to you as soon as possible.

The administration team will be meeting later tonight to try and work through a plan for our community in regards to transitioning to online. We will send out more information to you via email and on our Covid 19 web page soon as we can.

Thanks for your understanding as we work through all the details this decision now creates for Dalat and you our families.

Karl Steinkamp
Head of School
Dalat International School

(From: Dalat News – 6 November, 2020)

Dalat students and staff are so blessed to be able to learn and teach face to face! However, now that three international schools in Penang have needed to return to online learning due to the targeted CMCO, it is important for Dalat to also prepare for this possibility.

At school, we are working on plans to resume online learning if necessary. If we are required to close, we will take a day or two to implement our online learning systems before beginning. There are also a few things we need you as parents to do in preparation:

  • Update contact information (address and phone number) in PowerSchool;
  • Make sure you have enough devices for synchronous learning (when the class meets together as a group) for all of your children;
  • Ensure that you have fast, reliable internet service and plenty of bandwidth;
  • Prepare a space at home that is conducive to online learning.

Our hope is that we can continue to teach and learn at school, but it makes good sense for us all to be ready in case we must stay at home. Thank you for your partnership in education, however it is delivered!

(From: Dalat News – 30 October, 2020)

As you have probably heard, some regions of Malaysia have had a CMCO reinstated. Several schools throughout the country are currently closed. We have no indication from the government that this will happen in Penang, but we want to let you know that we are prepared just in case. If we are required to close school, we will let you know the details for online learning. Dalat will also take a day or two to prepare the online lessons before beginning an online schedule.

We learned quite a bit during the online learning phase last semester and will make several changes. One that you need to be aware of is that more synchronous learning will be required. That means there will be required scheduled online classes for at least some of the day. In the event that schools close, we would advise you to stay in this time zone to make online learning work better for your students.

In the last two days we have received information that has resulted in Dalat making changes to its schedule, procedures, and expectations.

The first bit of information we received was in the form of a circular from the MOE (KL) late yesterday that requires schools to limit or cancel a number of activities and programs. We spent today clarifying what the circular is communicating and we are making the following changes:

• We have cancelled our intramural sports program as well some other extra-curricular activities.
• We have cancelled or modified the following events planned for the near future: senior class lock-in, spiritual life retreat, junior class Servathon, SEW.
• The ES, MS, and HS divisions will be making changes to the recess and lunch break protocols for students.
• The ES, MS and HS divisions will be modifying and making changes to the PE program.
• The ES will reinstate the class level “bubbles” as part of their school day.

A second piece of information was sent to us this afternoon. Earlier today, Tejani Clinic sent out a notification that it was closed for cleaning as they had a patient who visited there last week (Oct. 14th) who tested positive for Covid yesterday (at a different location on the island). They are working with the government and following their protocols and will be allowed to reopen tomorrow after thorough cleaning. I understand that this will increase the level of concern for many of you but strongly encourage you not to be involved in spreading unverified information and rumors that will create fear in our community.

We are committed to you and your family as we journey through these uncertain times. I am grateful for the many different ways the Dalat community has supported each other and the school. We are grateful for such a strong community.

The Dalat campus is full of activity as the staff and teachers work hard to prepare for our first day of school next week. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to resume face to face classes here in Malaysia. The MOE visited our school on Tuesday to review the policies and procedures and inspect our campus. They were very complimentary of Dalat throughout the inspection while giving us a few suggestions of changes we could make. Those suggested changes are being made this week and will be implemented before school starts.

With the new policies and procedures our school day will be different than what our families have experienced in the past. Our community will need to learn new procedures and requirements that enable us to have school while ensuring a safe environment.

To do this we need to have a meeting with parents to communicate important information regarding the start of school (pick up and drop off procedures, face mask policies, etc). These meetings will take place on Tuesday (August 4th) and we are asking that only one parent come to the meetings to keep the number of people attending as low as possible and to create appropriate social distancing. We will be having the meetings according to divisions, however a parent with students in multiple divisions need only come to one of the meetings. The meetings will be held at the following times on Tuesday:

  • 09:00am         New Parent Orientation
  • 01:00pm         Elementary Division
  • 02:30pm         Middle School Division (*5th grade parent orientation to follow this meeting)
  • 04:00pm         High School Division

The meetings will be held in Harbor Hall. Upon arrival parents will have a temperature check and be asked to check in with the App MySejahtera.

We expect that the front parking lot will fill up during the day so some parents will need to park at the upper field parking lot. If a guard is not available at the side gate for screening please come down to the front gate to enter the campus.

We look forward to starting our new school year and are excited to welcome our students back to campus.

See you next week.

MOE Announcement: The Ministry of Education for Malaysia announced today that students will begin returning to face to face classes on the 15th of July with all students in attendance by July 22nd. Schools will need to follow the SOP’s (standard operating procedures) established by the MOE which requires schools to implement social distancing and other hygiene measures to keep students safe and healthy. Dalat is currently working on and developing its procedures so that all of its students will be able to return to campus on August 5th for our first day of school.

Dalat is working over the summer to make sure that we are as ready as possible for the first day of school next year:

  • An email was sent out to all Dalat parents with the Jumpa Lagi 2020 handbook. It is available for download on this Covid-19 webpage.
  • A deep clean is being done over the break with specific classrooms being treated with an ozone machine.
  • Equipment is being purchased for the upcoming school year (temperature guns, electro static disinfectant sprayers, etc).
  • Classrooms are being redesigned and reconfigured to accommodate social distancing.
  • STEP (Short Term Education Program); a program for students unable to return to Penang by August 5th was launched today with parents being able to enroll their children by going to the following link. The STEP enrollment deadline is scheduled for July 14th.

Email to Parents:

  • Preparation Work: This last Monday a majority of our teachers came back to campus to plan and prepare for the start of the next school year. There are many questions that must be answered as we work to develop a safe school environment that provides a high quality education and meets with the requirements given by the MOE.
  • Jumpa Lagi 2020 Plan: Dalat is putting together a comprehensive reopening plan called “Jumpa Lagi 2020” and will be communicating that with parents in the next few weeks.
  • STEP: Dalat is developing something that we will be calling the “Short Term Education Program” (STEP). This program will be for those students who are not able to attend school on campus at the beginning of the school year because they are not able to get back in country or other extenuating circumstances. Information about the program will be sent out with the Jumpa Lagi 2020 plan.
  • Out of Country Students: We understand that some of our students are currently out of the country or will need to leave the country during the break. It is important for us to know who those students are as we develop “STEP” and so that we can help with immigration requirements. If your children are out of the country currently or will be out of the country during the break could you please email Claudia (claudia@dalat.org)  and provide your children’s names and grades. We will be sending out an online form to get more information specifically from those in this situation.
  • New Teachers & Staff: Some parents are wondering about our new staff for the next year. Fortunately five of them are already in Malaysia. For the rest we are working hard to try and get them in country during the break but with current immigration and travel restrictions are anticipating that some will not be available for the start of school. Dalat however has already put together plans so that we can cover any missing staff until they are able to get in country.
  • MOE SOP’s: As schools around the nation begin to reopen next week for older students we expect that the requirements and expectations on how to have face to face classes will be clarified, adapted, and even modified. We will continue to work with AIMS (Association of International Malaysian Schools) and the other international schools in Penang to fully understand the SOP’s that are being developed for face to face education.
  • Pre – Kindergarten SOP: Announced earlier this week, it appears that preschools and kindergartens will be allowed to reopen on July 1st. This is good news as it appears that the government is working on how our youngest students can attend school while being kept safe.
  • Immigration Update: Attached to this email is an update that was circulated earlier this week regarding immigration procedures. It appears that there is consideration for those with valid student passes and that they are working on procedures to start allowing them to enter the country. Unfortunately there is little information about how or when this will happen and we are trying to find out more from immigration. Please know that right now there are more questions than answers and information is often not reliable at this point. We will continue to do all we can to help our families with all the uncertainties the pandemic is creating.

Email to Parents: We want to continue to update and communicate with you as we come to the end of our semester and begin to prepare for the next school year. Here is some important information to be aware of:

  • MOE SOP: This morning we received from the  Ministry of Education (MOE) their standard operating procedures (SOP) for schools to reopen.
    • There is still no start date for students. They will start with form 5 and 6 and then continue to open up to more grades after that. Our hope is that the return schedule will fit in with our start date in early August but if not we will be prepared to provide online education until the MOE allows all students to return.
    • As we look through the stated requirements we are confident that for those who are allowed to return we will be able to offer face to face classes in a traditional daily schedule and not have to develop some sort of hybrid or staggered scheduling plan.
    • There is some initial information about student travel that families who are possibly out of the country this break will want to look through.
    • There are rumors floating around that the MOE is also creating an SOP specifically for international schools. For now we will work with the SOP we have received but if we receive something more specific for us we will adapt to it and communicate that to parents as well.
    • There will be some initial confusion and needed clarifications from the MOE. It will take some time for the MOE and schools to fully work out all of the procedures.
    • As we work on our plans we will communicate with you throughout the school break.
  • Jumpa Lagi Task Force: In April we formed a task force to begin planning for the reopening of our campus.  We are calling our reopening the “Jumpa Lagi Project.” We have researched, studied, and connected with numerous international schools around the world who have already opened up or are opening up soon. Dalat is using this research to help us develop our plans for the start of the next school year. Any future references to the “Jumpa Lagi Project” will be about our coming back together on campus for school in August.
  • Family Checkout: Today (Friday June 5th) is the last day of scheduled checkouts for families. A big thank you to parents for your help in making this process run so smoothly. The front office will be open next week (not on Monday because of the holiday) if there are any other lingering check out issues families are facing. If you need to come back to school please do make an appointment with the front desk first.
  • Library on Break: Normally our library is open during the summer break for families to come in and visit. Unfortunately students will not be able to come on campus but the library will still be open for parents to check out books. Parents will need to make an appointment and that can be done by sending an email to librarian@dalat.org. Students and parents can see what books are available as well as other great library information by going to the following website (https://dalatinternational.library.site/)
  • Financial Aid: Last week I sent out a video that talked about our school’s philosophy towards financially supporting our families. I would encourage you to watch it if you have not done so already. A decision by the school has been to not give a small rebate or discount to all families because it is then impossible for us to give significant financial support to those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. We recognize that not all our community will agree with this philosophy but hope that there is an understanding of our desire to significantly help those who are most in need financially. You can find out more about our Covid Financial Aid Program on our Covid-19 web page.
  • Virtual Graduation: Tonight is the graduation ceremony for the class of 2020. We are so proud of our seniors and will be celebrating with them and their parents starting at 7:00pm. You can watch the ceremony at this link.
  • Emails from Dalat: Because of the uncertainty and unknowns caused by the pandemic Dalat will need to communicate often throughout the school break. We ask that families be diligent in reading all emails from the school as they will include very important information that parents will need to know.
  • Covid-19 Page: We will continue to use our Covid-19 web page to communicate information and provide resources for parents during the pandemic.

This has been a challenging year for everyone. Thanks for all of the support we have had from our community. We are very excited to start planning for the return of students on campus next year and look forward to the day that our school comes alive with activity again.

Email to Parents: An email was sent out to parents on May 22nd with a video message from Mr. Steinkamp. In that video he talked about the following items:

  • Family Survey: As Dalat tries to determine how to provide a high quality education for next year we need to get an understanding of how Covid is impacting our families. Please do take the time to fill out this survey as it will truly help Dalat begin to plan for next year. If you need the link to the survey please email admin assistant (claudia@dalat.org).
  • End of the Year Checkout: Unfortunately it appears that the MOE will not be opening up schools prior to the end of our semester and so we are developing procedures for families to complete their “checkout” with the school. This will involve the returning of school resources as well as picking up items from the school. Families will be receiving emails from their principal’s regarding the checkout procedure in the next day or two. Please watch for and read those emails carefully.
  • Covid-19 Financial Aid Program: Dalat has announced to its community the development of a financial aid program to help those who are struggling financially because of the pandemic. You will find more information about the program on our Covid-19 web page.
  • Senior Tribute Pages: The development team along with the senior sponsors, tech team, and the junior class have put together a web page for each graduating senior. The pages look great. Each day more seniors are pages are revealed so come back to the web site often.

Email to Parents: We continue to do our best to provide a positive educational experience throughout all of the shifting issues being created by the pandemic and movement control orders. Please remember that our Covid-19 web page is updated frequently with important information and resources. Here is some important information for parents to be aware of:

  • End of the Year: Over the last couple of weeks we had hoped that with the positive situation regarding cases in Penang the MOE would start to allow students to come back to school. At this point though all we are being told is that they will give us a two week notice but no indication of when that might happen. This semester we are now down to three weeks of school so the administration at Dalat regretfully has decided that we will complete the semester through online education. If the MOE were to announce something that would allow students back to school our last week we would create opportunities for students to be on campus but this would be more about community and relationship building not school work.
  • End of Semester Checkout: We are currently developing end of the semester checkout procedures for students in all divisions to be able to return school resources (textbooks, etc) as well as to pick up personal belongings left on campus. We will communicate how we will do this and the dates for it as soon as possible.
  • Community Web Page: Dalat has created a Community web page (https://sites.google.com/dalat.org/community/) to share what our students, staff, and families have been doing during the pandemic. You are encouraged to drop by the web page often as they will be updated with new videos frequently.
  • First Day of School (Next Year): As we begin to make preparations for next year a quick reminder that the first day of school is August 5th. We anticipate that the Malaysian gov’t may still require a two week quarantine of people coming into the country at that point. We do ask that families consider this when deciding to travel outside of Malaysia. In planning for going back to your home country we ask that you schedule flights in such a way that you can meet requirements and begin attending on August 5th.
  • Our Commitment To You: There is so much uncertainty in regards to the next few months. We are committed to our students and will do our best to meet the educational needs of all our families during this pandemic. In the situation in which your return to Malaysia is delayed by visa or travel restrictions Dalat is committed to meeting your educational needs and will work with you in how we can do this. As mentioned above, we do ask though that you plan accordingly to be back for the first day of school and not use our commitment to extend your time away in your home country.
  • Visiting Campus: According to our understanding of the CMCO it is now possible for a parent to come to campus to conduct school business or to meet with a staff person. To do so however you will need to set up an appointment (from 9:00am – 4:00pm). This can be done by calling the front desk at 04-375-2100.
  • Senior Tribute Web Pages: Over the next two weeks we will be launching our tribute pages for our seniors. These pages will be filled with pictures, a junior tribute, a staff reflection, as well as other fun information about each senior. We encourage our community to visit these pages and to share them with friends and family around the world. You will be able to access them from our school’s main page starting on Monday.

Email to Parents: Yesterday the PM announced that the CMCO would be extended to June 9th. What does that mean for the Dalat community?

  • We are trying to get confirmation and clarity of what this means for schools. Will schools definitely be closed through June 9 or can the MOE can still give a two week notice at any time during the CMCO?
  • It is our understanding that the MOE is planning to make an announcement later this week which will hopefully clarify the position of schools during the CMCO and also begin to communicate the expectations for schools when they are open again.
  • Our strategy throughout the MCO and CMCO is to plan for online education to continue indefinitely but to be optimistic and also be ready to transition back to face to face as quickly as possible. We are holding out hope that at least our senior students will be able to return in such a way that we can bring closure to the year for them.
  • Once we have clear communication from the MOE, we will inform parents and plan according to the MOE’s requirements.
  • Please note that May 18th (next Monday) is a Dalat “holiday.” The calendar committee works hard to make sure that we give our students and staff needed breaks throughout the school year and one way this is done is to schedule a holiday just for the school. In the past May has been incredibly busy for students and staff and so we have placed a break right before the final 2-3 weeks. For many of our students this is a needed break. We will observe the holiday and will adjust the week’s online education schedule accordingly.
  • If the MOE does not allow students to return before the end of the semester, we will need to plan for the return of school materials and resources (band instruments, textbooks, etc). We will communicate this process to our parents towards the end of the semester once we have a full understanding of what is allowed during the CMCO.

Thank you for your support throughout this difficult situation. We will continue to update our Covid-19 page with resources and information. We have tech support available as well as counseling which can be accessed through the Covid page. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have.

Email to Parents: As we head into our fourth week of online education at Dalat, I want to take some time to connect with you and communicate some important information:

  • School in May: With the latest MCO announcement, a big question many parents have is will we be able to come back to having face-to-face classes before the end of the current school year. We are hopeful that there might still be a chance for us to get back together, even if limited, before we close out the school year. We will wait until the next MCO announcement (which will be sometime next week) to learn what the government plans to do in regards to restarting Malaysia. At that point, we will be able to make a final decision related to how we will finish the school year. If you are facing issues as a family regarding the end of the school year please do not hesitate to connect with your principal to talk with them about it.
  • Task Force: As we look at possibly coming back together this semester, and/or start planning for the next school year in August, we have set up a “task force” to research best practices for social distancing and hygiene at schools. We are looking at how schools in other countries are reopening so that they can have face-to-face classes but ensure students are safe. When the Malaysian government begins to open schools again, we will follow their directives but also take our own steps to make sure the campus is as safe as possible. We will communicate all of this to parents and students when the time comes. We are very excited to have our students back on campus, but until the world can eradicate the threat caused by this virus, we may have to do school a little bit differently for a while.
  • Cafeteria Fees: We have had a few parents email and ask about being refunded for a portion of the cafeteria fees. Yes, we plan to provide parents a refund but are waiting on decisions that determine if there might be anymore face-to-face classes. Once we have been able to determine what the refund is for families, we will then communicate to parents how we will go about making sure this money is returned to you. Any other auxiliary fees that are not used by the school will be refunded to parents as well.
  • Fee Reduction Requests: At a number of the other schools there are strong demands from parents that the school’s give refunds for this semester or reduce fees for the upcoming terms. As much as we would like to help, Dalat is not in a position to give tuition refunds or reductions. We are a not-for-profit school where any surpluses we have had are put right back into improving the school. Though there is some slight savings on a few things such as electricity, water, etc, the overwhelming majority of our expenses are fixed. We are also seeing that some of our costs will grow exponentially related to this pandemic. Dalat has always taken the responsibility of using the funds we receive from you seriously and with integrity and work hard to make sure that we are as efficient as possible with them. We care about our families and will do our best to work with those facing financial difficulties in the coming months.
  • Admissions and Enrollment Update: We moved the deadline for informing the school if you’re leaving to May 1st. We know that this pandemic may have created a situation in which you were planning to stay for next year but now may need to leave. Some of you are simply uncertain right now because you do not know what will happen with this pandemic. We understand that and want to help. Please do let us know if there is any possibility you might not be returning and we will work with you as you try to determine what the future holds for you and your family.
  • We Can Help: If you or your child are struggling with the online education in any way, please let us know. We will do our best to help. If it is a technology problem, we have our technology help desk. If your child is struggling emotionally or socially, our counseling dept has also created ways to help. We want to help, but until you let us know, we aren’t able to. Please do not hesitate to reach out for help and we will do our best to support you and your children.
  • Thank You: I just want to thank our parent community. Dalat is a special community and I appreciate so much the supportive nature of our families. As I hear about situations other heads of school are facing, with disruptive and critical parents creating dissension and frustration, I am grateful for how supportive and united our community is through this crisis. Thank you!
  • Committed to You: Please know that the faculty and staff at Dalat are working harder than ever and are committed to doing all we can to help you and your family during these unprecedented times.  
  • Covid-19 Web Page: Our Covid-19 web page is updated often as well as the other school web pages that have been created for our community (ES Treasure Trove, etc.). Come back and check out these pages as new information and resources are posted their periodically.
  • School Holiday: Please be aware that this Friday is a school holiday. Malaysia will be celebrating Labor Day and Dalat will be observing the holiday with no online education expectations for our students that day.

Our hope for you is that this will be a good week and that soon this will began to end.

All the best.

Email to Parents: As many of you have already heard the PM of Malaysia extended the current MCO for another two weeks – until April 28th. We are not sure exactly what the details are yet in regards to the MCO and its restrictions but expect that this means schools will remain closed until that date.

Although this is not great news it is encouraging to see that in Malaysia the number of cases is not climbing and seems to be plateauing. Specifically in Penang we have only had 108 cases so far, with only 23 currently in the hospital and no new cases yesterday. When we see what is happening in other countries around the world these numbers are definitely encouraging.

At this point we do not think it is wise to guess what might happen following this third MCO extension. We do not want to make premature decisions regarding the rest of the semester without having a clearer picture of what the possibilities might be. As a school we do remain optimistic that we will be able to return to face to face classes at the end of April / beginning of May. We will continue to work towards and plan with that in mind but be ready to adjust and flex if we see that the situation might not make that possible.

For now we will continue with the online education systems we have created for our students during this school closure. We will continue to evaluate how it is going for students, parents, and teachers and adjust and adapt along the way. We appreciate the positive feedback we have been getting from parents and students so far. Our Covid-19 Web Page is frequently updated and is a resource for you in regards to technology help, counseling help, contact information, links to important resources, updates, etc, etc. Please let us know if there are ways we can help and support you and your children as we journey together through this unprecedented event together.

Wishing you all the best and a blessed Easter weekend.

Email to Parents:

Video Message from Mr. Steinkamp

Summary of Video Message from Mr. Steinkamp

  1. Welcome back to school. Tomorrow we will be starting back to school but online. Please be patient with us, yourself, and your children as we head into something that is new for all of us.
  2. Read through the emails sent to you by your principals about the start of school tomorrow and take time to read through the parent tips for setting up online education in your home. A key factor in how successful the online education can be for your children is in the advice and tips provided. You can also find those tips below on the Covid-19 page.
  3. Covid-19 Web Page and Help Desks. We have created a technology help desk to try and help you with technology problems you may face. The counseling department has also developed resources and a “help desk” as well and you can find all of that on this page.
  4. Philosophy of Online Education. Trying to duplicate the face to face classroom education in an online environment is not good online education. We are using best practices from our experience and research. We will continue to evaluate our online education throughout the MCO and school closings. To help us do that we will seek to get your feedback periodically.
  5. Easter Break. This Friday we will not have “school” (online education) and will consider it a “day off”. This school holiday was decided by the calendar committee last year and its purpose is to allow those of the Christian faith to have Good Friday as a time to engage in their faith and acknowledge this important day. It will also give our students and teachers a chance to step away from online education and get a breather before we head into possibly another week of online education.
  6. MCO and Positive Results. Dalat supports the MCO state and national government and encourages our community to stay home. We understand that it is creating hardships for many but are encouraged by the positive results we see happening in Malaysia and specifically Penang.
  7. Pray for our leaders and for each other. Our leaders need wisdom in the coming weeks and months and we should be praying for them as well as praying for each other.

Our hope for you is that this is will be a good week for you and your children and that you and your extended family will be safe.

Email to Parents: Earlier today the PM announced that the MCO will be extended through to April 14th. Although disappointing this does not come as a huge surprise. Prior to our mid-semester break our teachers were preparing for such a scenario and we are ready to start up on Monday, April 6th with school through our online education portals. Towards the end of next week parents and students will receive emails with more information in preparation for school to start back up after the mid semester break.

Although this is not what we wanted we support the decision by the government to take the steps needed to protect those most vulnerable to this virus. We will do our best to provide a high quality educational experience online and hope that very soon we will again have our students back together on campus.

Email to Parents:

Today is the first day of online education for Dalat students. As we launch it in all three divisions (ES, MS, and HS) we expect that there will be a number of glitches and hiccups. Some of these might be on your end with your computer or devices while some of them will be on our end. We will do our best to solve them as quickly as possible.

  • Please be patient with us, yourself, and your child as we work through the bugs and glitches these first few days.
  • To help parents with their tech problems we have created a “help desk” email address (helpdesk@dalat.org). The link can also be found through the Dalat Covid-19 (online education section). We expect a lot of traffic today and tomorrow so please be patient if we are not able to respond immediately to your need. You can also connect directly with a teacher if you are having problems as they may be able to help you solve the problem as well.
  • Continue to check out our Covid-19 web page as we are constantly updating it with new information and resources for the community.
  • During the mid-semester break if you have elementary or even younger middle school children you might want to check out the ES Treasure Trove website (found on the Covid-19 web page) as it is full of information, websites, and ideas for parents to entertain and engage their children at home.
  • We will communicate with parents as soon as we hear from the MOE regarding whether or not the school closings will continue past April 1st. Dalat does not come back from our break until April 5th so our hope is that we will be able to start back up face to face classes on that first Monday. If not we will communicate with parents and students on how to start back up through our online education.

I know these are uncertain and challenging times for us and the world. We simply have not experienced this before and so there are so many unknowns and questions. Please know that Dalat and its staff are working hard to help your children through these uncertain times. Our hope is that these drastic steps the country is taking will make a difference (flatten the curve) and that we will begin to move back towards a more “normal” life very soon.

All the best to you and your family,

Karl Steinkamp
Head of School
Dalat International School

Email to Parents: We are having school this morning and you are encouraged to have your children join us for the last day of school this week. Starting tomorrow and for the remainder of the week we will not be in session. The following two weeks (March 21st to April 5th) was our originally scheduled break which will help us navigate the “Movement Control Order” that Malaysia has enacted until April 1st. If there is a need for Malaysia to extend the school closings past our mid semester break we will communicate with you and your family in regards to continuing your children’s education online.

As previously planned, tomorrow we will not have any online education expectations for our students. This will give our staff time to prepare and plan. We will communicate both to you and your children in regards to the transition to online education for the last couple of days this week. Continue to go to our Covid-19 page as it is updated often with information and helpful resources.

I saw the statement below on a social media post and thought I would share it. It truly helped me have a paradigm shift regarding the “movement control order” and gave me a new perspective for today.

Email 3 to Parents: There might be some confusion based on the PM’s speech tonight and also a press conference video that is being shared around the internet (it looks like it is actually from a press conference in Sarawak).

According to the PM’s address this evening schools will be closed starting on Wednesday. Along with SCIPS, POWIIS, Tenby, Uplands and other international schools in Penang, Dalat is planning to have school tomorrow. As always if you are concerned and would rather keep your child at home that is up to you and your decision.

We will continue to communicate timely updates through email and on our Covid-19 webpage throughout this week and the mid semester break.



Email 2 to Parents
: With the directive from MOE (Ministry of Education) to curtail extra events we have made the following changes for this coming week:

  • The NHS and NJHS ceremonies this week are postponed.
  • The sports practices and open gyms for this week have been cancelled.
  • The class registration meetings for 9th grade and 8th grade will be done electronically (please look for communication from the HS principal and counselor).
  • MS X-blocks and D League (practice and games) are cancelled for this week.
  • The U13 boys vs varsity girls soccer game has been cancelled.
  • Parents and students are encouraged to head home when school is finished at the end of each day if they do not need to be on campus.
  • Battle of the Books will still take place in the ES on Wednesday. However this will not be open to spectators only those directly involved in the event.
  • The Boy Scouts meeting on Tuesday night has been cancelled.
  • The Student led worship on Tuesday night has been cancelled.
  • End of season celebration game/event for girls soccer and varsity basketball will take place but will be internal and on campus.
  • HS X-blocks will be at the teachers discretion this week.
  • Friday night open campus will be cancelled and campus closed for mid semester break after school.
  • There might be other cancellations later in the week to other events planned and will be communicated at the divisional level.
  • Parents might also receive information directly from their divisional principals regarding changes for this week.


Email 1 to Parents:
New developments with Covid-19 and we wanted to update you on how it is impacting our community this week. Over the weekend the number of cases of the virus in the country jumped up by 190. This is obviously a concern, but it does appear that this took place mainly in KL. We have seen the number in Penang go from 2 to 7 but not the dramatic rise we see elsewhere in the country. That said we do not know what will happen this week in regards to cases so need to do our best to be prepared.

Here are some important understandings to be aware of this week:

  • As mentioned in the Dalat News last week the school has determined that we will close based on two situations. One is that we have been asked to close by the MOE or MOH and the other is that we have a confirmed case with a student, staff member, or parent who has been on campus recently. This continues to be our philosophy for the coming week.
  • Every morning and throughout the day we are in constant communication with the other international schools on the island. The heads of school met last week and will do so again this week to keep the lines of communication open.
  • We understand that families have different levels of concern related to the virus and want to support that. As mentioned at the beginning of this situation, if a parent feels concern regarding their children being at school they can choose to keep them home. We also understand that in this situation that our normal absence policy needs to be much more flexible. No student should come to school with any flu like symptoms because of “grades” or our absence expectations.
  • If anyone in your family shows any flu like symptoms we ask that you self-quarantine your family from school for the safety of the community. Please make us aware so that we know why your child is not in school and keep us updated on your family’s situation.
  • Over the weekend the MOE did ask schools to cancel or modify the extra-curricular activity to lessen the amount of events where large people are gathering. We are getting more clarification from them this morning but you can expect that there will be changes and cancellations this week.
  • If Dalat does close this week the first day following the closing will be a professional development day for the teachers to transition over to online education and there will not be any educational expectations for our students that first day.

Please continue to check our Covid-19 web page as it is being updated constantly with more information, updates, and resources. We will continue to update you as new developments take place.

Online Posting: Here is a resource recently created by the Malaysiakini.com to help track the Corona Virus specifically in Malaysia. It also has a lot of resources and information about the virus that could be helpful.

Due to COVID-19, Malaysia has issued an incoming travel ban for Iran, Italy, and South Korea effective Friday (March 13). Dalat parents should be aware of this in respect to any immediate travel plans to these nations—especially for the upcoming Spring Break.

All Iranian, Italian and South Korean nationals will be barred from entering Malaysia in those respective countries and other foreigners who have visited these three countries will also be prohibited from coming in. Malaysians returning from these countries after the said date would also be quarantined for 14 days.

Source: The Star

Dalat is hosting the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) on campus this coming Saturday, 14 March. Students from other countries will be traveling to Malaysia for this college entrance exam. Dalat will admit foreign students who have been allowed entrance into Malaysia. We will screen those visitors for temperature, and offer hand sanitizer to all participants.

The Malaysian Ministry of Education has banned all school trips for local schools outside of the country.

Island Hospital, General Hospital and three other local hospitals are now conducting testing at their facilities.

Dalat News Article: We are continuing to closely monitor the changing conditions related to COVID-19. Our first priority is the health and safety of our families, and have added a few policies this week to promote that.

We have also seen several countries in Asia close schools for a significant amount of time as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus. At this time, the government in Malaysia has not mandated any school closings. However, Dalat is already taking steps to prepare for this possibility. Each division, elementary, middle and high school, is planning for online learning options in the event that school has to be closed for a period of time.

Here is a summary of the most recent changes in school procedures.

  • Temperature screening for all visitors to campus.
  • International student trips cancelled for the remainder of the school year.
  • X blocks and KICS will be cancelled on Tuesday, March 10, only. This is to allow time for teachers to plan online learning options.
  • Elementary parent meeting on Thursday, March 12, 2:00-3:00 in Harbor Hall. This will be a time to train elementary parents in the online learning systems Dalat will use if school is closed due to the virus.

To stay updated on current policies, procedures, and information related to COVID-19, please visit the dedicated portion of the Dalat website.

Email to Parents: Based on the rapidly changing situation, the potential impact on students and families, and the uncertainties involved, Dalat has decided to cancel all student trips outside of Malaysia for the remainder of this school year. School trips within Malaysia will continue as scheduled.

Email to Parents: We are continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 throughout the world. We want to be prudent and wise in our actions, careful to not let fear drive our responses. Some countries have set or expanded travel bans on visitors from certain countries or with certain passports.  

The Malaysian ministry of health has recently recommended that Malaysians not travel to affected areas, including South Korea, Japan, Italy, Iran, and China. Thailand is also imposing some restriction on travelers from Malaysia. At this time, we are recommending that Dalat families postpone travel to these countries over the upcoming mid-semester break, as travel for some has already resulted in mandatory two week quarantines upon return. 

The situation changes daily, so please stay informed and use discernment to make the best decisions for your family.

Email to Parents: Dalat is asking the help and cooperation of all families and staff as we navigate through this challenging time of uncertainty. Please read, follow and understand the following information, and also share this with your students.

  • If your child is sick, keep him/her at home. especially with any kind of fever.
  • Elementary teachers are doing temperature screening of students each morning. If a student does have a temperature they should be sent to nurse Jan. There is a possibility that we may need to do temp screening in all divisions later if the situation in Malaysia worsens.
  • Please do not spread rumors and salacious stories about the virus. Trust but verify when people tell you stories about the virus. individuals.
  • Teachers have hand sanitizers and ask their students to use it. Please encourage your child to use it throughout the day (lunch, etc).
  • We are asking families who recently travelled to infected areas to self-quarantine.
  • Students will be allowed to wear masks at school.

S.T.E.P.

STEP (Short-Term Educational Program)

STEP is designed for students who are unable to return to face to face instruction with their peers. This may be due to being stranded outside of the country or to a weak immune system. STEP will be designed to keep students on pace with the rest of the class as much as possible.

The format will be online, but different from the full online-learning of last semester. Dalat will provide STEP through the first quarter of the 20-21 school year. Students must be currently enrolled at Dalat and intending to return to Malaysia as soon as possible in order to be eligible for STEP.

To enroll in STEP, follow this link. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Shawna Wood (swood@dalat.org).

Tech Requirements

In order for your child to be successful in STEP, he or she must have access to a tablet, iPad, or computer and high-speed internet access for educational purposes. A computer is preferred for middle and high school students, while a touch screen device is preferred for elementary students. A phone will not be sufficient. Each student will need a separate device to work on. Sharing devices between children is cumbersome and takes too much time for a family.

Parent Commitment

As parents experienced online learning in the last quarter, there is a learning curve for how to do it well. It is evident that the child’s success in the online/distance learning environment is very dependent on the involvement and commitment of the parents. To provide a quality education parents must be engaged in the students learning. They need to establish healthy schedules and study patterns. They need to create a positive work environment that removes distraction and supports learning. They need to communicate with their child’s teachers often. All of this puts a lot of extra responsibility on the parents.

Dalat will do its best to support parents as they take on this extra responsibility to help their students succeed. Depending on the age of your child, a different amount of support will be needed. Elementary-aged children will need a great deal of help, while middle school students will need parents to set a schedule and require completion of assignments. High school students also need parents to monitor that they are keeping up with their classes.

Enrollment

Parents desiring to enroll their children in Dalat’s STEP should complete the application by July 14. This will give the school time to organize the alternative learning format for students. The goal is to keep the students up to speed with the rest of the class so that they will be able to rejoin as easily and as soon as possible.

High School

Students should expect to spend as much time on schoolwork virtually as they do in person, including both classroom and homework time. Students will work on all of their scheduled classes each day, although the expectations for synchronous attendance or watching video recordings of classroom activities will vary from class to class and day to day. These expectations will be communicated by each teacher in advance of the class meeting time. In some cases, students may participate in separate sections of a class with only their online peers. In other cases students will engage with the regular class from a distance.

Middle School

At the middle school level, students will continue with five core classes: math, language arts, science, social studies, and Bible. The non-core specials classes will not be available online, as it is difficult for the students to manage more than five courses in a virtual format. The learning will be primarily asynchronous with recorded video lectures and assignments posted daily in DISCourse (Grades 6-8) or SeeSaw (Grade 5), meaning that parents will need to set their own time schedule with their students to ensure the proper amount of time is given to each class each day. There will be set times for check-in calls with the facilitators and/or teachers of each class.

Elementary

At the elementary school level, students will continue instruction in math, language arts, and science. The biggest portion of the school day is normally spent on language arts, as learning to read and write are foundational for all future learning. This will continue in the virtual format. Students will be working through the SeeSaw platform for online learning in conjunction with Zoom learning sessions. Because elementary-aged students are not yet independent learners, this format requires a great commitment from the parents.