COVID-19 Updates Archive

Updated: March 27th, 2020

Dear ISH Community,

As we end our second week of school closure for students and our 8th day of continuous learning, we remain very optimistic on the learning front. We are delighted as to how this is working and thank you for the positive feedback to teachers and leadership - everyone is doing their best. We are also aware of how tough it can be for families who are all working from home.

This is really a 'Change Situation' and many of us have taken courses, both in the business and educational spheres on Change Management and once this is over, we will all have our tales to tell. But I think when change occurs, of any nature, there is often a sense of loss. A parent sent this link which she is sharing with all her staff in this time of exponential change to everyone's normal daily life. It is worth a read.

https://hbr-org.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/hbr.org/amp/2020/03/that-discomfort-youre-feeling-is-grief

A few uplifting quotes from parents:

  • Not sure if the kids will go back to regular school as they are enjoying online school too much!
  • I would like to congratulate the ISH team for doing such a wonderful job in these difficult times.
  • The online classes have been excellent and great to see kids studying and on a schedule. The school community is amazing and we are so fortunate to be a part of this.
  • We as parents cannot imagine what it takes to continue to manage the education of children at ISH in such an extreme situation.
  • We are so appreciative of all of the efforts of the teachers and the ISH leadership team.
  • The efforts the school is making towards continued learning with focus & dedication is truly exceptional.
  • The teachers at ISH are our true heroes in this unprecedented time.
  • I have always known our kids are in the best hands but this past week how the school efficiently transformed into an online environment so seamlessly is the true testament to all of you.
  • My deepest gratitude to you, your leadership team & all the teachers who have kept our kids engaged in their learning journey without slightest disruption.

What We Know Today

  • The Government lockdown continues.
  • Today there are now 531,684 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in 171 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE site. 727 cases are in India, and in Telangana, there are 44 cases, of which 36 in Hyderabad.
  • We continue to follow the CDC and WHO links and Indian Government guidelines and be in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, UK High Commission and the ISH Board Chair as well as other international schools in Hyderabad, India and globally.

What ISH is Doing

  • Our Leadership Team continues to be in daily virtual contact with all teachers and have been talking with whole grades over their concerns, especially the exam-taking classes. This situation is unprecedented in both IB and IGCSE history and all schools are grappling with this. I am on an IB Schools in India group on Whatsapp (there are a lot of schools!) and although they too all have many questions, it is great to hear that most of them have managed solid online learning too).
  • Our Operations Team has reached out to every one of our ISH workers and they are all healthy and eager to return to work.
  • We are asking that all teachers take their weekend to relax as the weeks are intense.
  • We continue to emphasize that all students attend classes online as they need to do this in order to complete the school year, however, this may unfold. For grades 9-12, this is a graduation requirement.
  • The Secondary Division has created and shared a survey with students and parents to gather input regarding the continuous learning schedule structure.
  • We are preparing some entertainment for you…but you will have to wait!
  • Please continue to refer to the Continuous Learning Site and this page for the latest updates.

 

Updated: March 25th, 2020

Dear ISH Community,                                                                                                 

This is the ninth formal communication with you regarding the Coronavirus. For the foreseeable future, I will send out three communications a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday).

The Newsletter as we know it will be suspended until the re-opening of school. 

I know you are also receiving specific messages from the divisional principals and classroom teachers. While only a week into continuous learning, our students remain upbeat, focused and most of all resilient in the face of a constantly changing situation. Of course, there are still bumps in the system and we are all doing our best to make learning as meaningful and engaging as possible for all our learners.

Our ISH Board Chair asked me to thank the Senior Leadership and staff for continuing to do an excellent job with online learning. So Thank You!

This is difficult for everyone but we must remain resilient and together as best we can from a distance. As the Director-General of the World Health Organization said recently:

"The days, weeks and months ahead will be a test of our resolve, a test of our trust in science, and a test of solidarity. This amazing spirit of human solidarity must become even more infectious than the virus itself. Although we may have to be physically apart from each other for a while, we can come together in ways we never have before. We're all in this together. And we can only succeed together."           

What We Know Today

·         There is a full lockdown by a Government Directive until April 14. Continuous Learning will be sustained and ongoing in the next three weeks.

·         As of midnight last night the Government has announced that the operations of domestic schedule commercial airlines shall cease including cancellations of all international flights. Train services, inter-state bus services, metro services, and all other public transport services also remain cancelled. 

·         Today there are now confirmed 422,652 cases of COVID-19, in 170 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE site. 536 cases are in India, and in Telangana, there are and 25 confirmed Indian nationals, and 10 confirmed foreign nationals undergoing treatment in Telangana

·         The IB and IGCSE have cancelled the May examination session. Our Coordinators and Leadership are working with the relevant groups to ensure we all understand and find the best solution for the learners.

·         We continue to follow the CDC and WHO links and Indian Government guidelines and be in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, UK High Commission and the ISH Board Chair as well as other international schools in Hyderabad, India and globally.

·         Friday, 10 April will still be a holiday for everyone at ISH.

 What ISH is Doing

·         Faculty are continuing to teach from their homes.

·         It is important that all students attend classes online as they need to do this in order to complete the school year. For grades 9-12, this is a graduation requirement.

·         All events are postponed until further notice.

·         Please continue to refer to the Continuous Learning Site and COVID-19 information for the latest updates.

Finally, for now and I am sure most of you have seen it but this poem seems very relevant for our times. Read it together as a family.

Kathleen (Kitty) O'Meara's poem, 'And People Stayed Home'


And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and stopped
and listened deeper
someone meditated
someone prayed
someone danced
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.

I look forward to ‘speaking’ with you again on Friday. For all of us, it is important to keep the lines of communication open. No question is too trivial. Please feel to reach out.

For those of you who celebrate, here’s wishing you a Happy Ugadi, albeit under very different circumstances.

With kind regards,

Dr. Oli Tooher-Hancock - Head of School 

International School of Hyderabad, India

 

Updated: March 23rd, 2020

ISH, following the directives of ICRISAT and the Telangana Government, will be under complete lockdown and no one from outside the campus will be allowed in through March 31st, for now. Continuous learning will take place now from the homes of all teachers and we intend for this to go ahead, uninterrupted. If you have any questions, please contact your child(ren)’s teacher, divisional principal or Sunita at s.verghese@ishyd.org.  We know it will be challenging, but we will all do our very best in unprecedented circumstances. Any division-specific updates will come from the principals.

Updated: March 20th, 2020

Dear ISH Community,
                                                                                                                
This is the seventh formal communication to you regarding the Coronavirus. Firstly, a huge thank you on behalf of all the educators at ISH for your positive feedback about ISH’s approach to continuous learning this week. It has been a great morale boost for all of us as we continue to enter into unchartered territories and do our very best to continue quality learning. Our aim is for everyone to complete the school year successfully, and online if needs be. We realize that as the situation continues to be more and more fluid, we will need to be flexible and we are clear that ‘one size does not fit all’. Equally, we are proud of our ISH learners who have been amazing in how they have adapted to their new way of learning with confidence. Go ISH Learners!!!!
 
What We Know Today

  • Today there are now confirmed 214,894 cases of COVID-19, in 168 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE site. 191 cases are in India, and 15 current, confirmed cases, undergoing treatment in Telangana State COVID-19 India Dashboard.
  • Schools around the world continue to close and many examination boards are canceling exams. As of now, IGCSE is continuing as normal and IB will have a statement ready on March 27.
  • We continue to follow the CDC and WHO links and Indian Government guidelines, and be in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, UK High Commission and the ISH Board Chair as well as other international schools in Hyderabad, India and globally.
  • All International travel will cease after Sunday. If any of you are considering leaving Hyderabad, please inform Sunita Verghese on s.verghese@ishy.org. Online learning can continue from any location.

What ISH is Doing

  • For now, faculty are coming into school to conduct continuous learning from their classroom. This remains the best location as they continue to familiarize themselves with continuous online teaching. They are having their temperature checked upon arrival. Any unwell teacher is staying at home.
  • We are further reducing the number of non-teachers on campus.
  • All events are postponed until further notice. For example, there will be no 3 Way Conferences next week – the two days will now be normal learning days in lieu of Monday and Tuesday last week. The elementary production will not take place on April 9. As of now, no further decision has been reached.
  • Please continue to refer Continuous Learning Site and COVID-19 information for the latest updates.

What You Can Do

  • Continue to support your children.
  • Ensure your children are attending their continuous learning. This is crucial in order for them to complete their school year.
  • In the event you have decided to leave the country, please inform Sunita as soon as you have made that decision.
  •  If you are not in the same time zone, online learning will still continue and you will need to coordinate with your child (ren) and/or teacher about the logistics of this. Each age group may be different.

As events move fluidly, we will continue to monitor the Indian government's directives and travel advisories closely, and other developments in Hyderabad, and we will inform you as quickly as possible of any changes to our plans. Making informed decisions in the very short term is difficult for everyone. We all need empathy for one another.
 
Thank you for your continued support. I wish you a very pleasant weekend and that you take this opportunity to have some quality family time, appreciating how privileged we all are.

 


Updated: March 18th, 2020

 

This is the sixth formal communication to you regarding the Coronavirus. As you know the situation with COVID- 19 continues its dynamism, with constant, ever-changing new directives from organizations, local authorities, and governments.

I could not be prouder of how the ISH faculty has risen to the challenge of online learning. The professional development they have all received in the last two days has been phenomenal and teachers are now approaching online learning with poise and confidence. It has been ‘Leading our own Learning’ at its best and now our learners are embarking upon their new way of learning for at least the next couple of weeks. There was, without doubt, a little trepidation in the air this morning as we all met (albeit at a distance from each other), but there was a real sense of ‘we’re ready and we’re optimistic’. Once the learning began, it was wonderful to witness the excitement and engagement of our ISH learners, on the computer screens.

We are all in this global situation and each of us and our families are affected differently. We all have a moral, shared responsibility, which is to not spread the virus and to protect those who are at risk of contracting the virus. Together, we can flatten the curve.  To date, the entire ISH and extended community have been incredibly supportive, patient and calm. Thank you all for that.

What We Know Today

·       Today there are now 198,006 confirmed cases of COVID-19, in 154 countries, according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE site. 142 cases are in India, and 4 current, confirmed cases, undergoing treatment in Telangana State COVID-19 India Dashboard.

·       According to UNESCO, 102 countries have closed schools and educational institutions nationwide, impacting over 849.4 million children and youth. That is unprecedented in world history. We are most fortunate that our learners still have access to best-practice learning, as not every child is so fortunate.

·       We continue to follow the CDC and WHO links and Indian Government guidelines and are in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, UK High Commission and the ISH Board Chair as well as other international schools in Hyderabad, India and globally. Their help has simply been invaluable.

What ISH is Doing

·       Following the closure of the campus to students since Monday, the faculty have had two very intense days preparing for online learning  which began in earnest this morning at 8.30 am. We realize there may be a few bumps along the way but we are confident this will be an excellent learning experience.

·       For now, the Telangana Government have stated that faculty should attend schools as usual.

·       To further reduce the number of people on campus, our ancillary workers are working on a rotational basis.

 

·       We have created a Continuous Learning Site which is constantly being updated.

·       Please continue to refer to our COVID-19 information on the ISH website. You can find resources, all our messages including the latest updates, and other important information and links there. 

What You Can Do

·       Provide structure, routine and predictability at home.

·       Ensure your child is participating in all their learning, as attendance is being taken every day and will be recorded.

·       Focus on schoolwork in reasonable chunks, and make time and opportunity for movement every hour or so.

·       Limit your anxiety, to help limit your own child’s anxiety.

·       Let your children blow off steam. Give them some space and time alone too.

·       Ask your children to step up to their new responsibilities, with this new learning environment.

·       We ask that you do not encourage play dates in the next two weeks.

Your point person for learning in elementary is the classroom teacher and the subject teacher in secondary. For general inquiries, Sunita Verghese remains the point person s.verghese@ishyd.org.

Again, thank you for your support and encouragement in the facilitation of this entire process. One parent wrote this morning: "Fantastic preparation ... Kids are excited about online learning”. Great to hear!! The next update will be in the Newsletter this Friday.

 

Updated: March 15th, 2020

As you are all probably aware, the Telangana Government has decreed that all schools must close for the next two weeks. This morning, the Senior Leadership Team met with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, UK High Commission and the ISH Board Chair.

In consultation with them, the following has been decided:

  • From tomorrow, the school campus will be closed to all students. We are in the process of rolling out continuous online learning. In order to facilitate this, the faculty will need two days to fully prepare. A more defined structure will be rolled out on Wednesday. Tomorrow, divisional principals will be in touch regarding the plan that pertains to your children.
  • If your child(ren) has left anything they need on campus, only parents may come to collect it. Please contact Sunita beforehand on s.verghese@ishyd.org. To reiterate, students may not be on the ISH campus. 
  • Any events on the school calendar for the next two weeks is postponed. More details will follow.
  • We remind you to continue to practice healthy behaviors at home and to follow the directives of the Telangana Government.

We continue to live in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) times that are increasingly dynamic. We thank you all for your understanding and ability to adapt and be flexible. This is a learning for everybody.

 

 

Updated: March 13th, 2020

Dear ISH Community,

The COVID-19 situation continues to be dynamic and as you are aware, changing daily, globally. There are no new cases of the virus in Hyderabad at the time of writing, and the one reported case has made a full recovery. However, we remain on high alert in the event of the need for a closure. This week, teachers have been preparing for online learning and have been testing the use of technology to execute continuous learning. More details about this are going out from our Director of Teaching and Learning and Divisional Principals.

Recent developments

The Government of India has issued an advisory restricting entry of foreigners to India until April 15, 2020. While anybody holding a diplomatic passport or an employment visa is not impacted by this advisory, those holding a dependent visa or an OCI card will not be allowed to re-enter the country until April 15, should they leave India. The US and other governments are announcing travel restrictions as well, although we do not know all the details at this time. 

Yesterday the Delhi Government announced the closure of all schools and colleges in the National Capital Region where exams are not being held as a preventative measure (there are six cases of COVID-19 in Delhi). 

Along with daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, other Heads in India and Hyderabad, we are also in close contact with the UK High Commission.

Last night I attended a virtual meeting with the Association for the Advancement of International Education, (AAIE) global community via zoom. 50 Heads of School were online, sharing their stories and all asking advice. Some of the schools in China have been closed for six weeks and although it was impressive to see their resilience, they have all had an extremely difficult time. Online learning en masse is new for all schools and particularly all ages and it seems more difficult for the youngest of learners. ISH continues to prepare for this potential eventuality.

Here are the learnings from these International School Heads

  • Heads said online learning was new territory for most teachers. Many schools are using zoom and google classroom
  • They advised clear expectations for teachers, parents and students so that everyone understands the complexity of the situation
  • Heightened awareness of child protection and online learning
  • All schools think they will eventually close
  • There was a strong sense that the situation is not going to end any time soon and that this was an important message for all school communities

What is ISH doing in addition to the information that went out on Wednesday?

  • All visitors (this includes parents) are screened for temperature and fill out a Self-Declaration Health Form and use sanitizer upon entering the school.
  • All maids and drivers who are dropping off students will do so at the entrance of the school and not the classrooms. This is helping our students become more independent. Once drivers and maids have completed their drop off, they must leave the campus. If there is a need for an exception to this, please contact Sunita Verghese: s.verghese@ishyd.org
  • Divisions are gathering information from parents around carer/supervisor details during school hours, should the school close. It is important for all to respond to this request.

“Let hope be the antidote to fear.  Let solidarity be the antidote to blame. Let our shared humanity be the antidote to our shared threat."  - WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom

Thank you for your  continued trust and patience in these very challenging times.

WHO: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public 

Updated: March 11th, 2020

We continue to monitor the situation of COVID-19 in Hyderabad, in India and globally. At the time of writing, there have been no new cases of the virus in Hyderabad and one confirmed from last week, with no evidence of community transmission in India.  We remain at Level 2. However, the situation is developing significantly in other countries, so under the leadership of Mr. Bellew, our Director of Teaching and Learning, we are preparing for online continuous-learning in the event of closure.  

We are now in daily contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, AAIE and our like international schools in India, allowing for ISH to make informed decisions as we implement increased measures for on-campus safety. We are also in contact with other schools in Hyderabad to ensure we are all speaking with ‘one voice’ to the Hyderabad community and following government requirements if needs be.

As our break is not until the end of April, we will leave any discussion of travel until later in the month or early April, depending on how the situation unfolds. Obviously, all ISH community members need to follow travel advisories  New Information Regarding Travel Advisories.

What We Know: 

·         As of today, worldwide there have been 113,700+ confirmed cases and 4,012 deaths (including 872 outside of China). Source - WHO

·         According to the Indian Press Information Bureau, as of March 9, there have been 44 total cases in India, one of which is in Hyderabad. All cases were travelers or had direct contact with travelers.

·         There have been no deaths in India that are confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

·         There are now 52 laboratories identified by the Indian Council of Medical Research for testing of COVID-19. All airports now have health check stations and thermal screening. 941,717 international passengers from 8,827 flights have been screened (as on March 9).

·         At the end of this message are added resources.

What Is ISH Doing? 

·         We continue to do regular deep cleaning of the school and the buses, using Dettol. Over the weekend, we serviced all ACs and the filters were cleaned. We fumigated all buildings, including the cafeteria and the buses.

·         We are looking into a thermal screening at the main entrance. For now, we have 5 handheld, non-contact temperature guns, which we will be using for all visitors and will consider the needs for all students in the next few days.

·         Any visitor on campus will have their temperature checked and will fill out a self-declaration health form. 

·         The US Consulate is keeping us up to date with information regarding health alerts, travel advisories, and any impending closures. 

·         We are reviewing all upcoming events and will make decisions on a case by case basis.

·         As our swim season continues, ICRISAT is checking the PH levels and general hygiene of the pool every four hours.

As per our Prevention and Response Protocol, we continue to: 

·         Maintain accurate records of absences and the health status of our students and faculty.

·         Provide local staff with information and training in English and Hindi about appropriate steps to prevent the spread of disease.

·         Remind students and personnel to wash their hands regularly.  

·         Hand sanitizer is available at many locations on campus and wherever food is served.

·         Frequently clean and sanitize all classrooms, common areas and buses with Dettol solution.

·         Ask all visitors (including parents) to cleanse their hands with hand sanitizer upon arrival, encourage others to do as well. 

·         All visitors will have their temperature checked and fill in a Self - declaration form.

·         All our community will observe anyone for any flu-like symptoms and alert the health office immediately.

What can you do to Help?

·         Any family members, living in Hyderabad, who have traveled to a Level 3 country in the past 14 days, the family must refrain from coming onto campus. This includes Italy, Korea, China, Japan and Iran. Please call our Health Office for more information. 

·         Observe abundant caution when considering travel.

·         Practicing healthy cough, sneeze and hand hygiene will help everyone in the community to stay healthy.

·         Should your child be sick, please keep him/her at home until fever/symptom-free for a full 24 hours.

·         Continue to stay focused on the facts and what we can do to remain healthy. 

·         Speak with your children about how to keep healthy, but do not panic them.

·         A reminder of the importance not to single out groups based on the geography of the spread of COVID-19. The World Health Organization reports that stigmatizing suggests that when people negatively associate a virus with a specific population of people it could actually increase the likelihood of spreading the disease.

·         Sunita Verghese continues to be the ISH point person.

Note: There is only one main entrance to our campus, so this is the only one to be used.

Social media continues to spread fear and anxiety at this stressful time. It is clear that fear of the coronavirus is spreading farther and faster than the virus itselfSocial media is a primary reason for the fast spread of anxiety and fear. Research tells us that if news frightens or angers people, they are more likely to re-post it, without checking for accuracy. Thank you to the ISH community for not embarking upon this behavior as other schools are dealing with this on top of the dynamic situation. If you have any questions, please reach out to Sunita Verghese on: s.verghese@ishyd.org.

COVID-19 Resources:

 

India Self Declaration Form for Travelers

CBC/Radio-Canada Video: Get the Facts on the Coronavirus

World Health Organization (WHO) – COVID-19 Situation Reports

India Press Information Bureau

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Home

European Centre for Disease Control

Johns-Hopkins CSSE Map

New Information Regarding Travel Advisories

WHO Director-General Briefing on 2 March

WHO Video: When to Wear a Mask

Siemens Coronavirus Safety Comic

UNICEF Coronavirus Info and Precautions Video

ArcGIS map

Updated: March 6th, 2020

For Your Reassurance
One of the very important reassurances for families is about the evidence medical authorities have gathered from across the globe. This data suggests that there is limited transmissibility to children, which is very important for families and parents. 

The evidence around the world is that when children are infected, they are mildly affected, in fact so mild that they almost don’t have symptoms. Medical authorities are not entirely sure the extent to which children get the virus, but they know that symptomatic significant disease is not a feature and there has been very little evidence of a significant problem in children, and that is quite different from flu where we often have some quite sick children. So that is a good positive message.
 
Level 2
Again as stated in Wednesday’s email we have an Infectious Disease Preparation and Response Rubric of four levels and have now identified us as a Level 2 status (the first case confirmed in the city). We continue to re-evaluate our status regularly and will inform you immediately if we do change our status. 
 
Whatsapp Groups and Social Media
May I request that all members of our community deal with facts, especially when communicating on social media (including Whatsapp groups). Rumors and scaremongering, albeit unintended, can create panic and may make the situation more difficult to control calmly. Two of the cases this week in Hyderabad turned out to be false. It is important to remain calm.
 
Lastly, this educational and engaging comic explains COVID-19 in clear and educational terms for kids. It reminds us of the importance of staying close to the facts, avoiding over-reacting, and avoiding rumor-spreading. We have shared this information with students this week in homerooms. If you wish to discuss the information as a family, that is also appropriate.
 
Thank you for your continued partnership and trust in ISH in these very ambiguous, volatile and uncertain times.

Patrick Dempsey

COVID-19: ISH’s Updates 

Following our school break and the continued developments of the COVID-19, this serves as an update to the actions ISH is taking, as we continue to receive and respond to news and information about COVID-19. We certainly have a dynamic situation.

As we look ahead, we also need to remember that each community member must share in the responsibility in helping to assure the collective wellbeing of our students.

As the situation continues to unfold, I am sharing new updates from the school on travel and health and safety expectations. Please read and begin to plan ahead. 

ISH is in regular contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and like international schools in India have formed a group to ensure we are all doing and saying the same thing.

Information Regarding Travel Advisories

The Center for Disease Control has issued Warning Level 3 advisories for China and South Korea: Avoid all non-essential travel to mainland China and South Korea.

  • After careful consideration, ISH strongly recommends that you cancel any travel plans to Warning Level 3 countries. Should you or any member of your family elect to travel to those countries, upon your return to India, you will be required to stay out of school (home quarantine) for at least 14 days before returning to campus.

 

  • If you have a guest coming to visit from South Korea or China, they, along with your family members will also be required to stay out of school for at least 14 days. We recognize this is an inconvenience. We also believe that this is an appropriate and safe measure necessary to safeguard our community of learners in Hyderabad. 

  • If the Warning Level 3 list of countries grows to include other countries, the same expectation for all countries on the Level 3 list will remain as outlined above.

  • Alert Level 2 has been issued for travelers to Iran, Italy, and Japan. Practice enhanced precautions.

  • Relating to COVID-19, no other official advisories of travel to other countries have been issued.

  • Travelers arriving in India from the following countries will be thermally screened: mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam. 

  • Travelers arriving from China must be home quarantined. Travelers arriving from South Korea, Iran or Italy since February 10th may be quarantined for 14 days.

 

We ask that ISH community members stay informed and be intentional about decisions regarding travel of all kinds. Given the changing circumstances, travel restrictions or advisories could come into effect at airports with little notice. 

The learning team of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme worked with technical experts to develop and publish online training as a weapon to fight the new coronavirus. The introductory video to the course on is available on YouTube.

 

Updated: March 4th, 2020

This announcement serves as an update on COVID-19 and what steps ISH is taking, following the information out last Friday and the news that there was a reported case in Hyderabad and other parts of India. It is crucial for all members of our community to read this and be prepared to follow-through and support our plans going forward. We are all doing our best in this very dynamic situation.

As in all organizations, we hope for the best but indeed have to plan for the worst-case scenario, with the safety of our learners being the #1 priority. We are looking at the short, medium and long term scenarios.

ISH is in regular contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) and like international schools in India have formed a group to ensure we are all doing and saying the same thing.

The BIG Reminder: It is vital that groups of people NOT be singled out based on the emergent geography of the spread of COVID-19. The World Health Organization reports that stigmatizing suggests that when people negatively associate a virus – for example – with a specific population of people it could actually increase the likelihood of spread. 

Updates: Short term

  • As Holi is on a Tuesday, we are assuming students will be in for a regular school day on Monday. If, for any reason, you are planning to travel over that time and take a long weekend, please let the school know of your destination and we will provide you with further information regarding protocol. Please contact Sunita Verghese: s.verghese@ishyd.org
  • Indeed any travel plans ahead of the April break will need to be communicated to school, as above. Please observe abundant caution when considering travel.
  • Everyone should continue to practice healthy hygiene habits as communicated by us previously.
  • Should your child be sick, please keep him/her at home until fever/symptom-free for a full 24 hours
  • ISH has created a COVID-19 information link on our website. Information will be updated regularly.

School Events

  • ISACI Girls Volleyball has been canceled in Pune
  • ISH has canceled the ISACI Boys Cricket
  • Stonehills International School, Bangalore has canceled the ISACI Swim Meet in late April. ISH will continue with Swim Team practices for now.
  • ISH is not traveling to the MUN in Pune
  • F1 in Bangalore is not supported by ISH
  • Local upcoming field trips outside of ICRISAT are postponed for the foreseeable future
  • fISH event at OTM on this Saturday is canceled
  • IGCSE/IB Recital will take place on Friday evening (a letter has gone out to the parents of the relevant students).
  • As of now, all school events such as Synergy, Three-Way Conferences and the Community Coffee will go-ahead as planned.

Medium-term

  • April Break - As our break is seven weeks away, depending on how the virus develops, we will be in touch with protocols nearer the time regarding travel and any further transmission and contamination from COVID-19.

 Medium/Long term

  • Faculty are preparing plans for off-campus learning in the event of school closure.

I am requesting your support and compliance with the following Health and Safety Protocols. I apologize in advance for any inconvenience or discomfort our protocols might cause, but what we are doing is in the best interest of the safety, security, and well-being of our community. 

This is what ISH is doing:

  • We have an Infectious Disease Preparation and Response Rubric of four levels and have now identified a Level 2 status (one case confirmed in the city).
  • We ask that if your child is showing any flu-like symptoms to please keep them at home and monitor their temperature.  Any ISH child or adult with a temperature of 37.8C/100F or above, should not come to school. If a high temperature or flu-like symptoms are detected in school, you will be contacted immediately to come and collect your child from school.
  • Active surveillance for individuals with flu symptoms are being undertaken by the school nurses.
  • If you are sent home with flu symptoms, upon return to school, please inform the Health Office and Homeroom teachers of the nature of the absence. The student must report to the school nurse to determine the suitability to be back in school.
  • Our Campus Resilience Team is meeting regularly and continue to monitor the ‘Risk Level updates’ on the WHO website.
  • We continue to be in regular contact with ICRISAT, the US Consulate, AAIE, like international schools in India and other international schools in Hyderabad.
  • We have increased the regular cleaning protocols and are disinfecting our hard surfaces and the interior of our buses daily.
  • We continue to emphasize the need for personal hygiene protocol with all our community: in the Daily Bulletin, classrooms, assemblies, meetings, etc.
  • If you intend to visit the school, please inform the person you wish to meet within advance and/or the front office.
  • At this time, our communication will be twice weekly, a communique mid-week via e-mail and in the Newsletter on Friday unless the situation changes. Updates will also occur on the website. Please ensure that you are checking your email regularly and reading the weekly Newsletter.
  • If there is a shorter URGENT message, we will post it on SMS and be in contact with fISH to help get the message out as quickly as possible to the entire ISH Community.
  • Most importantly, the protocols outlined above (and for that matter, any such protocols) are only as effective as the members of a community allow them to be by abiding by them with discipline and integrity. We would expect nothing less from our ISH Community. 

Finally, any parent who has additional information and/or resources, please share with Sunita at s.verghese@ishyd.org as we are only as strong as our weakest link and in partnership, want to ensure our school remains safe.

Oli Tooher-Hancock
Head of School

COVID-19 Resources: