March 17, Updated Singapore government travel advisories and ICS event cancellations
March 17, Updated Singapore government travel advisories and ICS event cancellations

Dear ICS Community,

This update contains important information regarding updated travel advisories, our online learning plan, and cancellation of upcoming events. Please read the email through to the end. We would also ask that you continue to monitor your email over the break as government agencies continue to provide us with new information.

Updated Travel Advisories
We know that spring break is a time of rest and relaxation as students prepare for the final push to the end of the school year, and students' excitement for a week off of school for spring break was palpable last week. Many of our families have indicated a decision to not travel over the break. However, for families who are traveling, please continue to update your travel declaration form as plans change.

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We are continuing to monitor the evolving global situation involving COVID-19. No students have declared travel to mainland China, the Republic of Korea, Iran, or northern Italy over the coming break. However, please be aware that as of 15 March 2020, 2359 p.m., all of Italy, France, Germany, and Spain were added to the current list of countries where returnees to Singapore will be required to serve a 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN). As of 16 March 2020, 2359 p.m., all ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia (by air), Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom were also added to the list of countries where returnees to Singapore would be required to serve a 14-day SHN. Please note the SHN policy has been updated to include persons transiting in identified affected areas.

Additionally, please know that travelers entering Singapore and exhibiting fever and/or other symptoms of respiratory illness are required to undergo a COVID-19 swab test at the checkpoint, regardless of travel history. With immediate effect, all such travelers will also be issued a 14-day SHN, which they will have to serve in full even if the result of the swab test is negative. Those who meet the clinical suspect case definition will be conveyed to the hospital for follow-up.

If a student or a member of the household the student lives in is issued an SHN, you are required to notify ICS immediately. As a gentle reminder, if a student is living in a home with someone who is issued an SHN from now until 31 July 2020, the student's parent or guardian must notify ICS immediately. ICS is requiring the student to be on a Leave of Absence (LOA) for the 14 days the individual in the home is serving the SHN. When the SHN is lifted, the ICS student may return to school.

Online Learning Plans
As a part of our preparations should we need to close school for any reason, we will be holding online learning for high school students on 6-7 April. High school students will not be coming to school for these two days and will be participating in classes remotely via Schoology. This practice of online classes allows students and teachers the opportunity to ensure that all systems for online learning are working and that expectations for online learning are clear should we have to move to online learning. We realize this is a change to our already published calendar; however, we also want to ensure that, should ICS have to close for any reason, students' learning is interrupted as little as possible.

Please note on 6-7 April that students in elementary school and middle school will still have class on campus as usual. Should we have to close, we will need two days to prepare the iPads and Chromebooks to send home with elementary and middle school students.

Event Cancellations
Recently, the government put out an advisory suggesting gatherings involving students should be limited to a maximum of 60 students. With this information in mind, we are canceling Spring Fest, the elementary school dance, the middle school dance, the high school banquet, and the April bake sale. Our principals will also be working with our teachers to discuss how to modify remaining events this school year to ensure we have no more than 60 students gathered together at a time.

We are currently addressing the MOH and MOE guidelines regarding social distancing. We will be modifying chapel to ensure there are no more than 60 students per session. We have adjusted lunch, which is in an open air canteen, to provide additional distance between students. During the week of March 30th, we will hold our middle school FaithWorks service projects on campus; these projects will also be adjusted to meet the new government guidelines.

While COVID-19 has certainly changed many of our plans, we must be reminded that none of this is surprising to God. It was a joy to hear from our students last week about how meaningful it was to serve here on campus. To find out more about what our students did for WWW, please check out our service learning page. We will also be publishing daily updates on the middle school FaithWorks program. We look forward to continuing to hear stories of how God has worked in the lives of our students during SEW and WWW.

The leadership team would like to thank everyone for their continued support in helping us keep our ICS family safe. We know this has been an extraordinary start to our second semester. We are grateful for the resilience our community has shown during this difficult time. Our prayer for our community over this break is that God would provide rest and refreshment for our community.

Wishing you a wonderful spring break,

Dr. J.P. Rader