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: 22 April, 2022
COVID-19 Response Guide for Parents
There is a lot uncertainty right now in regards to COVID and the various requirements. In writing these guidelines, Dalat has taken into account information given by the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Education (MOE), and other local international schools. These guidelines are to assist parents in determining when to send their children to school and when to keep them at home.
Latest Edition: April 2022
Health, Student, Parent, and Travel Advisory
The most recent update is at the top of this page.
Dear Dalat Parents,
Over the last few weeks, we have seen the number of COVID cases among are student body begin to drop. Additionally, Malaysia is easing some of the SOP’s beginning April 1. Due to both of these reasons, Dalat is changing some of our COVID protocols after the upcoming mid-semester break.
Students may continue to be dropped off beginning at 8 AM. Middle and high school students no longer need to wait in a designated area for school to start. They may wait near their lockers or play outside. Elementary students will continue to go straight to their classrooms when they arrive on campus..
Pick up procedures will remain the same if your students are leaving right after school. If your students are staying on campus until later, please follow the open campus procedures below. Make sure all students are picked up by 5 PM.
We are so happy to begin moving back towards normalcy at Dalat. The Ministry of Education has now approved extra-curricular activities at school, and we can’t wait to start! Beginning on Monday, April 4, Dalat will move back to open campus hours on school days until 5 PM. During this time, a variety of KICS, X Blocks, and sports will be offered to students in grades 1-12. During open campus time, parents are welcome to come to campus and visit with each other outside in small groups while supervising their children.
Students in grades 6 and below are only allowed on campus if they are in a supervised activity or being actively supervised by their parents. Students in grades 7 and above are allowed to be on campus without direct supervision, as long as they follow school rules. If they do not follow the rules, they may lose this privilege. If you are picking up your students later than 3:30, please do so on the main campus in front of the office.
COVID Positive Protocols
We will continue with weekly (Monday) testing of all students before returning to school after a weekend. Please be diligent in submitting your student’s COVID test results before school on Monday.
In our middle school and high school divisions most of our students as well as all of our staff, are fully vaccinated. With this in mind, when there is a COVID positive case (grades 5 and up) the entire grade level will no longer be required to quarantine for three days. Parents of students in that grade will be notified, students in that grade must have a negative COVID test to return to school the next day. We understand this will be short notice for parents and so families should have take-home tests available to use throughout the week for such situations.
Very few students in elementary school are vaccinated, so we need to be more careful with them. When a student in elementary school tests positive, their homeroom class will move to online learning for 2 days. We will not quarantine the entire grade level, only the homeroom class. Students in the quarantined class must have a negative COVID test to return to school.
The pandemic/endemic has been challenging for all of us. We will continue to do our best to protect the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of our students while balancing all of that with their academic needs. I appreciate very much how helpful and supportive parents have been throughout this pandemic.
Download the updated Parents Response Guide for reference. Have a wonderful mid-semester break.
Head of School
Dear Dalat Parents,
Thank you for your cooperation with the COVID testing last weekend. This has been very helpful in limiting the number of COVID-positive students attending school. Therefore, we will continue the COVID testing policy weekly. Each Sunday evening or Monday morning, students and staff will be required to take a home COVID test. Please submit your results on the Google form for your child’s division: High School, Middle School, Elementary School. Every student is required to submit test results, whether negative or positive. Please follow the instructions on the parent response guide for quarantine timelines. Also remember that if one person in your household tests positive, no family members are allowed to come to school. It has been our experience in the past few weeks that COVID quickly spreads to the entire household. Please keep everyone home to prevent the spread to others in our school community. Also, we again ask that you keep all students home who are sick.
We also want to notify you that we had a visit from the Ministry of Education today and have been instructed to stop all sports. Intramurals are postponed effective immediately. Sports activities (volleyball, basketball, soccer, etc) will also not be allowed at recess or lunch time. We will be submitting an appeal letter to MOE, explaining how we are keeping kids safe and healthy while still participating in these activities. However, we must postpone the activities until we receive a response.
We are hopeful that this latest wave of COVID will pass through quickly and that we will be able to begin resuming normal activities. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenging season.
Deputy Head of School
Dear Dalat Parents,
As you are aware, we have had a number of Covid cases this week within our school community. This has created significant disruption for parents, students, and staff with the implementation of quarantines, testing protocols, etc. As we try to balance the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, we are going to take advantage of our upcoming three day long weekend. This weekend creates a natural “time out” for the whole Dalat community with staff and students not being together for three days.
In Malaysia, we are fortunate in that take home tests have been readily available and inexpensive. We will be taking advantage of that and the natural “time out” this weekend by requiring all our staff and students to take a home test to return to school on Monday. We believe this could help us avoid any grade level quarantines for most of next week by keeping those who are positive from coming on campus Monday and creating the subsequent quarantines. The divisional leaders will be sending out an email with instructions on how to submit the test results for your children in each division. Here are some initial points of information for you to know:
- We will ask that you do the take home test on Sunday evening or Monday morning before coming to school.
- If we do not have a submitted test Monday morning, your child will not be able to attend school until we receive it.
- There will be an online test submission form for each division sent out by the principals later today with instructions on how to fill it out. A picture will be required.
- If your child tests negative on Sunday/Monday morning but has Covid/Flu-like symptoms, you should still keep them home. They can return to school when they are symptom-free and have a negative test.
- Throughout the rest of the semester, do not send your child to school when they have Covid/Flu symptoms. Your child’s attendance may result in an unnecessary quarantine. We need to do everything we can to limit the amount of disruption the quarantines are causing for students and parents.
We do understand that the testing is an inconvenience for our families. However, if this strategy can help us limit the number of quarantine days for students, we think it is worth the inconvenience. We will continue to look at and investigate how we could use take home test strategies to help us minimize disruptions. We will evaluate how well this upcoming Monday test strategy works to see how we might look at ways to use testing in the future to help us navigate this season of Omicron.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to do our best in facing the challenges of this ongoing pandemic.
Head of School
As we continue to journey through the pandemic together the landscape is ever changing. We are now going through yet another “wave” and cases have risen over the two weeks. We also have now transitioned into a new reality in which we are having multiple cases within our school community with some of those cases being in our student body.
Our utmost priority is the safety of our students but at the same time we must consider their emotional, physical, and psychological needs. Along with that we must also balance their academic growth and development. With that in mind we have seen the Malaysian gov’t not instituting lockdowns or closing schools at this point.
Dalat has spent the last couple of days trying to determine how best to balance the different needs of our students and the current situation. We have consulted with the MOE. We were involved in a conference call last Friday with head of schools from all over Malaysia. We have also talked extensively with other heads of international schools in Penang to see what they are doing and to discuss best practices for the current situation. With all of that in mind we have adapted our procedures to the following:
- For the older students (7-12) we will discontinue the temperature checks to enter school in the morning. For the younger students (pre school – 6th grade) we will take their temperature each morning in their classrooms.
- When there is a positive student case we will consider the other students within the same grade as a “close contact”. This means we will not close down a whole division when we have positive student case but instead focus on dealing with it at the grade level.
- The students in the same grade will be asked to quarantine (stay away from campus) for three days.
- The positive student and their siblings will be asked to quarantine for five days.
- For any quarantined student to come back for face to face classes they must be symptom free, have a negative take home test, and submit that information to us (instructions on how to submit are in the parent response guide) before returning to school.
I have attached the updated Parent Response Guide (download above) which gives details and more information on what you are to do in specific situations. This will also be posted on our Covid-19 website later today. Please do take time to familiarize yourself with it and to have it available for reference in the future. Please do keep in mind that in the future we may need to change or adjust these procedures based on the ever changing situation we are facing.
Thank you for your understanding and help as we continue to journey through this pandemic together.
Head of School
The Archive Page provides a list of older status updates that were previously displayed on this COVID information page. These cover the years 2020-2021.
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 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 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.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:
- Head of School Karl Steinkamp – email@example.com
- Deputy Head of School Shawna Wood: firstname.lastname@example.org
- High School Principal Tom Penland: email@example.com
- Middle School Principal Tressa White: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Elementary Principal Shantel Seevaratnam: email@example.com
Dalat believes that face to face education is best for our students. Therefore, we will have face to face classes whenever we are allowed by the Ministry of Education. The MOE sets the dates and grade levels that are meeting face to face or learning from home. Dalat will follow the directions of the MOE.
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.
Currently, everyone at school is required to wear face masks and maintain 1 meter distancing. All adults on campus during the school day are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Dalat is follow the SOP’s set by the government, specifically the Ministry of Education.
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.
Yes, all students and adults are required to wear face masks on campus. Face masks may be removed when eating or drinking.
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.
All visitors to the Dalat campus during the school day (8-4) must register with MySejahtera, have a temperature below 37.5 C, and be fully vaccinated against COVID 19. Parents and other visitors are welcome in the main office. Appointments must be made to visit other areas of campus, including the library.
If your family is unable to return to Malaysia, please contact the admissions office (firstname.lastname@example.org). The school will work with each family on what is best for their children. Dalat is not providing online learning options for those outside of the country at this time
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
- AFP Malaysia Fact Checking Website
- Snopes.com Coronavirus Page
- NewsGuard Coronavirus Misinformation Tracker
- Poynter Fact Checking Website
- Hashtag for coronavirus – #CoronaVirusFacts
- MedLine Coronavirus Information Page
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.