The AFNORTH International School would like to share the following information with you following the announcement of the Dutch Government latest COVID-19 Restrictions on Tuesday 23 February 2021.
We have been delighted to welcome back our elementary students this week. We want to thank our parents for helping our children to return safely and confidently to the school environment. Following the Government’s announcement of a gradual lifting of four restrictions, we are pleased that AIS can move forward with the plans to return our older students to face to face learning from the week beginning Monday 1 March.
The Board of Governors has met to discuss how the Government’s announcement applies to AIS. The Board of Governors – Letter to Parent can be found at this link. AIS will open for all students on 1 March 2021.
The Dutch Government’s announcement on Tuesday emphasised the importance of everyone maintaining personal behaviours that adhere to the necessary health and safety measures in place. This action is crucial if we are to prevent having to go back to more stringent measures collectively.
The Netherlands has extended the curfew until at least 15 March, and the risks and uncertainties regarding the new variants’ increasing prevalence point to a third wave. The testing and vaccination programme is continuing, but the message remains to work from home if possible and central to Host Nation is guidance to keep socially distanced from others outside the family group. In returning to school, parents have been warned to maintain social distancing and limit their contacts with other parents by not waiting unnecessarily at the school gates and bus stops.
Travel restrictions remain in place, and travel outside the Netherlands is on an emergency basis only. If you or your child are travelling outside of the Netherlands, a negative test result needs to be provided, and you will need to quarantine for ten days before your child can return to school.
We ask that you keep your national section informed if any student develops a COVID infection. Such information remains anonymous and is only used for monitoring prevalence within our specific school community.
Protocols and Procedures Update
All parents, staff, and students must continue to follow the AIS COVID procedures and protocols. Unfortunately, this is not a time to become complacent about the measures we have followed since August. The prime concern remains the safety of the children and staff in these times of uncertainty.
- We require all our parents and staff to do the health pre-screen check before setting out from home. Students/staff will need to remain at home if they show any sign of symptoms of feeling unwell or the temperature is 38 degrees centigrade (100.4 F) or above.
- We will continue to minimise the number of contacts that a student has during the school day. Students need to remain in their class bubble/group and not mix with other class groups. Students may be required to follow a modified programme. National sections will provide further information if this applies to your child.
A new requirement – also see flowchart
- When tested in the Netherlands, the Dutch Health Authorities will inform the school.
- GGD will undertake the contact tracing and coordinate the testing of individuals who are considered close contacts. Parents are requested to keep their national office informed of any relevant information. This information sharing is critical if we are to keep our school open and our students and staff safe.
- The Dutch Health Authorities advise testing on or after the fifth day.
- If the test result is positive, the quarantine will continue for five additional days.
- If the test result is negative and the close contact is symptom-free for 24 hours without medication, the individual can return to school.
- Written confirmation of a negative test or symptom-free for 24 hours without medication is required to be submitted to the national section before a return to face-to-face schooling.
- If the ‘close contact’ is not tested, the quarantine will continue for five additional days.
- In all cases, individuals need to be symptom-free for 24 hours, without medication, before returning to face-to-face schooling.
How can parents help?
- We ask that you maintain the vigilance in the pre-checks you conduct at home daily and that you keep your child/children/family at home if they (or you) are showing any signs of feeling unwell.
- If your child is showing COVID-19 symptoms, they are considered a SUSPECT case and can be tested. Any unwell student will need to be 24 -hour symptom-free, without medication, before they return to school. The national section requires written confirmation to confirm that the test is negative/outcome of medical advice before returning to AIS. All information is held sensitively and protected and destroyed once confirmation is received.
- All people in the household of any SUSPECT case are CONTACT cases automatically until the symptomatic person’s situation has been cleared.
- We ask that you keep national sections informed of any situation that arises where your child/family is a suspect/contact case for COVID-19 as it is critical information for contact tracing and tracking.
- Ensure your child wears a mask on school transportation, on the school site, and when moving around in and outside the buildings. Follow national guidelines in classroom environments.
- Remind your child to wash/sanitise hands frequently.
- See Annex A, D and F on the Parent Portal on the AIS website.
If you require the parent portal password, it can be obtained through the National sections.
Keep reminding your child:
- To keep a social distance of 1.5 m and wear a mask when entering and moving around in a public space on the school campus.
- Wear a mask on transportation. Inside the national class/bubble, national requirements may differ – Annex B and Annex D.
- Wash hands frequently
- Help your child understand the importance of their actions for the safety of themselves and their teachers and family at home.
- Students will continue to use the designated ‘zoned’ areas and routes for students to enter and exit school building – Annex C.
- Bus Transportation will operate as usual – Annex B.
- School Lunches will be available to purchase with a hot meal available – Annex E.
- The AIS protocols can be found on the Parent Portal
- Travel restrictions remain in place – Annex D
- Your national section will keep you informed of further details.
General Host Nation Update
What are the four areas of gradual lifting of restrictions?
- Secondary Schools can open from 1 March, offering a minimum of one day per week of face to face education. Social distancing 1.5 meter needs to be applied rigorously. To prevent having to close schools again, the Government want to move forward cautiously, and measures will remain until 15 March.
- Outdoor sports will now be possible for all under the age of 27, commencing Wednesday, 3 March. Such activities are for teams within the club situation. No competition allowed or sports between groups outside the club/team bubble.
- Shopping is possible but only on appointment, with a maximum of two customers per store and per time allocation.
- Contact professions (e.g. hairdressers, beauticians, driving school owners) are allowed to open again but only on appointment.
The next press conference will be on Monday, 8 March, to determine the way forward.
- Limit social contacts and adhere to social distance restrictions
- Stay at home as much as possible.
- Do not travel when not necessary; this also includes within the NL. Travelling in from outside the EU one needs to have and present proof of a negative test. No unnecessary trips abroad at least until Mid-March 2021.
- Strict advice to work from home when possible.
Testing: In case you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you should make an appointment to be tested via the number available: GGD 0800-1202.
The following links provide the most up to date information available from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM):
Common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Cold symptoms such as a nasal cold, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat
- Shortness of breath
- Elevated temperature or a fever
- Sudden loss of taste and smell (without nasal congestion).
Keep well and safe,