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An important part of our communication strategy during this latest CMCO is this Covid-19 Web page. Here you will find up to date information, resources, helpful links, etc. So make sure to visit this page often throughout the CMCO.

Resources, helps, timetables, best practices etc for each division can be found here.

Page Last Updated: 12 January, 2021

Current Status

Health, Student, Parent, and Travel Advisory

The most recent update is at the top of this page.

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.

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.

The Archive Page provides a list of older status updates that were previously displayed on this COVID information page. These cover the first half of 2020 (January - July).

Counseling Help Desk

Parents, we recognize there are joys and challenges with online learning. We hope this time with your children will be precious and special. We also understand you will have difficulties to contend with and we offer you our support during this time. This Help Desk is designed to provide you with links to help you encourage your children emotionally. We have included links to communicate with the counselors regarding specific needs you have.

(Please note: If you have questions regarding technology and the use of online learning resources, please contact the Tech Help Desk.)

Elementary School

Elementary Counselor / Specialist – Please click on this link to communicate with a counselor or online learning specialist.

Imagine Neighborhood – The Imagine Neighborhood is a series of podcasts to help your children talk with you about their feelings.

Sesame Street – Sesame Street offers videos, online books, coloring pages, and downloadable PDF’s to help your children process their feelings.

Middle School

Middle School Counselor / Specialist – Please click on this link to communicate with a counselor or online learning specialist.

Committee for Children – Committee for Children provides resources to help students and families navigate online education and other Covid-19 challenges.

Common Sense Media – Common Sense Media offers expert reviews, objective advice, and helpful tools for families in a digital world.

High School

High School Counselor / Specialist – Please click on this link to communicate with a counselor or online learning specialist.

Axis Parent Guide to COVID-19 – Advice for parents to support their teens during this time. Further resources from AXIS related to anxiety are found on the Dalat website’s AXIS parent resource page.

Habitudes Resources for COVID-19 – Ideas and conversation starters for home support of teens.

WHO DO I CONTACT

  • If you have any medical concerns, please get medical advice immediately.
  • For general medical questions only, please contact the nurse’s office at nurse@dalat.org.
  • If you have any questions about returning to Malaysia from international travel, please contact any of the school administrators.
  • School Administrator emails are as follows:

FAQ

Yes, all schools in peninsula Malaysia have been required to close for the four weeks of the CMCO.

There is some confusion about this as there has been some communication from the MOE that national schools will not be returning to school this year. We are trying to get clarification from them if that same expectation will be put on the international schools. For now we are optimistic that we will come back to school after the CMCO has been completed.

Dalat plans to follow the published school calendar. The school will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic and keep parents informed of any changes.

Many changes will be implemented at Dalat to keep students healthy and also follow the instructions of the Ministry of Education. Please refer to the Jumap Lagi plan for more details.

During the break, the classrooms were deep-cleaned and sanitized. All classrooms and common surfaces are being disinfected twice per day. Students are encourage to wash and/or sanitize their hands each time they enter a classroom. Everyone entering campus is required to undergo temperature screening; anyone with a temperature above 37.5 C is not allowed to enter the camps.

The MOE does not currently require face masks for school attendance, since social distancing measures will be enforced. At times when social distancing is hard to maintain, students, staff, and parents will be expected to wear face masks. This includes drop-off and pick-up times and changing from one classroom to another. In the classroom students may take off their mask when at their desk. A teacher may ask students to put on the mask if involved in group work. If your child has a weak immune system, he or she is encouraged to wear a face mask.

If you would like your child to wear a face mask at all times while at school, that is acceptable. In this case for elementary children, please communicate your expectations with your child’s teacher. The teacher will help to encourage the children to follow the instructions of the parents.

Dalat expects parents to take reasonable precautions to keep all students healthy. This includes keeping your children home when they are sick. Parents should also encourage healthy practices, including hand washing, healthy eating, and plenty of sleep.

Everyone entering the Dalat campus will be subject to temperature screening and must register with the My Sejahtera app. Parents may come to campus for any needed business. Visitors much schedule an appointment and have a valid reason for entering campus

Dalat has a Short-Term Education Program (STEP) available to families until they are able to return. Learning will be in an online format. For more details, refer to page 13 of the Jumpa Lagi handbook or email Shawna Wood (swood@dalat.org).

FAKE NEWS?

Tips for Fact Checking Coronavirus “News”:

Don’t Get it From Social Media:

Do not get your information about the Coronavirus from social media. The majority of the news about the Coronavirus in social media is fake or false in some way. There are claims that possibly up to 80% of coronavirus news on social media is either fake or has false information in it.

Do Not Spread It:

Any coronavirus news that you got from social media or from word of mouth should not be spread until you have checked it out first. Do not become part of the problem of fake news.

Check it Out First:

If someone starts a sentence with the phrase “I heard. . . . . .” regarding the coronavirus do not believe it completely until you have checked it out first. Do not under any circumstances spread that information on to others until you have first checked it out.

Clarify With Friends:

You can talk about the coronavirus with friends and family but only do so if what you are saying is confirmed first by reputable organizations or letting them know what you are saying came from social media and is therefore suspect.

Take the Steps:

When you hear or read something about the coronavirus and you want to know if it is true do some fact checking first. Here is the steps to being a fact checker:

COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program

Dalat understands that many families are facing unexpected financial difficulties due to COVID-19. In an effort to support those in need, we have created the Covid-19 Financial Assistance Program that builds upon our strong sense of community here at Dalat. For families with significant financial challenges, this program enables them to apply for financial assistance in the form of a tuition discount that can range from 5-25%.

Dalat strives to be good stewards of its resources and therefore families should request only the amount they truly need at this time. Through the application process Dalat will strive to assess needs in such a way that the school can provide assistance to the greatest number of families.

To apply for possible financial assistance, please complete this application form and submit it to the finance office. Families will also need to include financial documents supporting their needs, as listed in the application. The application and information provided will be kept strictly confidential. Along with the application families may choose to explain any other extenuating circumstances to the financial assistance committee by writing a letter or scheduling an appointment to meet with a committee member. Families can begin submitting the form and financial documents starting on June 15th and Dalat will accept applications through to August 7th.

Once all documents have been received, the financial assistance committee will review them. The committee will begin reviewing applications in mid-July and will notify families of the decision via email. Notifications will begin on July 20. If, because of extenuating circumstances a family needs a response sooner they can let the finance office know when applying.

The intention of this program is to provide help and support to families during these difficult and challenging times. To truly be a caring community it is important that we support each other in many different ways and this program has been created for that reason.

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