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 (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com).
- 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:
Summary of Video Message from Mr. Steinkamp
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Resources for Parents / Children
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 email@example.com.
- 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:
Dalat will reopen on August 5, 2020. Dalat will continue to follow the guidance of the Malaysian government on reopening procedure.
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
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:
- Look to see if you can find out where the information is coming from and is it a reliable source? Do not believe it until you can verify it in some way.
- Use fact-checking sites to see if they have information about what you have heard/read. There is a list of them below specifically related to the Coronavirus.
- Take a key word from the story and then add the words “fake news” and do a search on Google to see if you get any hits.
- Fact Checking Websites
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.