30th March 2020
End of Term 2 of 2019/2020 Academic Year and Matters Arising
Date: 30th March, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management, I would like to thank the entire ICS Family for your understanding and support throughout what has been a very unusual latter part of term 2.
Report for term 2 will be available on the web portal, Ed-Admin and the mobile portal, Edana Parent Portal by close of today.
We are still planning to begin term 3 on 14th April, 2020 as scheduled. Given the current Covid-19 pandemic, it is very likely that face to face classes may not be possible by reopening day and therefore we are putting measures in place so we can start the term online and switch to face to face learning when possible.
During the next few days, you will be receiving calls from ICS staff on the structure of online learning for term 3, what you will need to do and how your children will be supported for online learning.
Preparing for Online Learning
We understand the challenges that come with online learning, especially for families with multiple children who may have to connect to their classrooms at the same time. However, the current situation calls for this investment. You may be required to buy tablets which are relatively cheaper for our learners by reopening date so they do not miss out on lessons.
Term 3 Fees
We don’t know yet the fees for term 3 given the uncertainty over how the term will roll out. We are still monitoring the Covid-19 situation and will update you once we know more.
We are still waiting on Cambridge Assessment International Education for further information on how students will be assessed and graded. We shall keep you informed about the next steps once they get back to us.
Online Communication With School
Parents must download the Edana Parent Portal App onto their phones from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store so they can keep up with their ward’s progress as well as information from the school.
Please contact the IT Team (0264 20 99 68 / 0542 29 42 99/ 0501 69 68 68) and the School Administrators (0209 39 13 33 – Accra / 0244 57 99 64-Kumasi) if you are not on the school’s management system, Ed-Admin.
These are challenging times and we hope we can continue to count on your support in the coming days. We encourage everyone in the ICS family to take some time during the break to relax, focus on their well-being and continue to pray for “Covid-19 free” world. Take care and don’t forget to remind everyone to continue to observe the necessary health and safety protocols.
We shall contact you with additional information soon.
If you have any concerns not addressed in this letter, please reach out to our Communication office on +233 541 94 48 02.
Ms. Lucy Ayodo
Update from Cambridge International on May/June 2020 Exams
Date: 24th March, 2020
Cambridge International Education has decided to cancel the May/June 2020 examinations which includes IGCSE and A’ Level examinations.
They have indicated that students will be graded and issued with certificates to enable them gain university admission this year.
We are waiting on them to provide further information about how this will be done.
You may read full details of their announcement through this link below.
Date: 19th March, 2020
Our online learning set-up has been successfully tested, making it possible for us to offer remote support to candidates.
We are therefore wrapping up face to face support to candidates after school tomorrow.
This means students will need access to tablets, laptops or PCs with reliable internet to be able to join in the classes from Monday.
This arrangement is for candidates only at the moment. Current Google Classroom support for non-candidates will continue until we can have live lessons for all other students.
We are most grateful for your support and understanding during this period.
Coronavirus Restrictions across the Globe
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- United States
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
Australia and New Zealand
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Czech Republic
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
School Closure and the Next Steps
Date: 16th March, 2020
Parents should please be informed that their non-candidate wards in the boarding house can be pickd up today and tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
Security staff are on hand to assist students to bring their luggage out to the cars. Parents are therefore advised to wait in their cars at the car park and not go into the boarding blocks as a precaution.
A bus has been arranged for students from Accra at the Pakyi campus to be safely transported home on Tuesday.
As indicated by the President, there must be arrangements for candidates preparing for exams to commute to school safely every day.
In the interest of our candidates, we recommend that all IG2 and Upper 6 become residential to ensure proper monitoring whilst we continue to enforce our disease prevention protocols.
Parents of the non-residential IG2 and Upper 6 are advised to make immediate plans for them to report to the boarding house. We have enough space available at our boarding facilities to avoid crowding.
Visitation during this period will be limited and we ask parents to please bear with us.
Parents who have reservations or concerns about these arrangements are encouraged to call the school directly on 0541 944 802.
Year 6 and 9 who are in boarding will also stay on till the end of term 2 (March 27). Non-residential candidates in Year 6 and 9 are to report to school daily within the same period.
For all other students, we shall provide learning support online. Parents must ensure their wards have internet connectivity to enable them participate in online lessons.
Teachers used today to review the system and will communicate to parents how online learning will be coordinated remotely.
As a precaution, we are limiting the number of staff on campus to only essential staff. These staff are required to strictly adhere to our disease prevention protocols and to report their movements as per the system put in in place for prevention.
We hope this arrangement is satisfactory for all involved.
We urge all to remain calm and not panic over the current situation. We assure parents that we will continue to reinforce all preventive protocols to ensure no one within our community is put at risk of infection.
Remember to call us directly about any concerns you may have on 0541 944 802
We count on your understanding and support.
Coronavirus Threat: ICS Travel Advice
Date: 14th March, 2020
In addition to closely monitoring the news and information about the Coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Ghana, following recommendations by the Ghana Health Service, World Health Organization, and other reputable health institutions, we will continously review our contagious disease response plan to ensure safety of everyone in the ICS Family.
As you are aware, we have about two weeks to the close of term 2 after which we will have 2 weeks’ break before returning on April 14 for term 3, all things being equal.
We understand that families may have already made plans for international travel during the Easter break. The school advises that parents limit such travels to only that which is essential.
It is advised that arrangement is made for students, especially candidates who live abroad to spend the two-week break within the country. Parents who need assistance in arranging for their wards to stay with a school friend or finding alternative accomodation should contact the school.
However, for families that need to travel, especially to affected countries, the school also recommends the following:
- To be notified of such travels
- Families must take the test for Covid-19 upon their return
- Show evidence of clearance before their children will be re-admitted
Students will only be re-admitted after 14 days upon return, taking the test and getting clearance. The school reserves the right to refuse entry to any family who travel to any country where the Coronavirus infection is at its peak.
For parents or family members who may have travelled to or come into close contact with anyone who may have travelled to any of the high-risk countries within the past 4 weeks, we advise that you take the test and refrain from visiting the school for a minium of 14 days upon return or contact.
We ask that students who exhibit fever or flu-like symptoms be kept away from school until at least, 24 hours after they are symptom-free.
Students/Families who may have recently come into contact with anyone diagnosed with Covid-19 should immediately seek medical attention, inform the school and not return to school for the rest of term 2.
As a precaution, from Monday, March 16, visitors to the school must fill out a form, letting us know if they have recently travelled to a high-risk area or been exposed to anyone with the virus.
We all have the responsibility to adhere to preventive measures as advised by health officials and ask that parents continue to go through the measures with their wards and remind them that it is critical that they comply.
We will continue to educate and remind our students and staff to observe proper hygiene etiquette in order to minimize risk to themselves and others.
It is natural to be concerned, and International Community School is committed to share more information with families and staff as it becomes available. For updates, call 0541 944 802
ICS Coronavirus Threat Response Plan
Date: 13th March, 2020
There’s nothing more important than the safety of our students, families and staff. Hence the previous communication on precautions needed to be taken in the face of the global threat of the coronavirus.
Whiles the World Health Organization and various health experts have indicated that children are low risk in terms of infection, there is still an urgent need for us to take measures to ensure the ICS family is safe and not put at risk of infection.
On thursday, the Minister of Health announced two cases of coronavirus in Ghana.
At this point, we do not see the need to close down the school since we do not have an epidemic situation in Ghana as at now. We will continue to monitor and take guidance from the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health.
International Community School has a Contagious Disease Preparedness Planning Committee that is coordinating our response to support students, families, staff and schools.
At all 4 of our campuses this morning, there was an assembly of management, students and staff to discuss and reiterate measures put in place to address the threat of COVID-19 in our school community.
Some of the actions we are taking include:
- increasing cleaning and sanitization at all campuses, especially in high-traffic areas (reception, auditorium, sports arena, classrooms, ICT and Science Laboratories, cafetaria, buses, washrooms etc.)
- deploying hand sanitizers, soap and tissues at points of entry and in washrooms
- designating staff members as health and safety officers to check within 30 minutes intervals that there are water, soap and tissues available in all washrooms and also to ensure compliance across all levels
- sanitizing school buses before picking up and after dropping off students
- asking visitors coming into the school to sanitize themselves at the point of entry
- asking campuses to limit large gatherings, limit bringing multiple classes together and creating more physical space between students where possible
- no shaking hands or hugging
- closely monitoring attendance among staff and students
- continued education and reinforcement of best health practices in our schools
DROP OFFS, PICKUPS AND WEEKEND VISITS
- Parents dropping off their children at school in the morning should ensure they use the sanitizing products available at the points of entry or take them to the reception for that purpose
- Parents visiting their wards at the boarding should observe our sanitization protocols and avoid hugging or shaking hands
Cambridge International Examinations has not postponed or cancelled the upcoming examinations. We assure parents of candidates that their preparations for exams will not be affected.
Should there be a need to close down school, the IT Department will deploy systems in place to ensure that candidates will receive teaching and learning support online.
WHAT WE EXPECT YOU TO DO
We all have a role to play in protecting the health of our students and staff. We encourage families and staff to make sure contact information is up to date so we can reach you quickly, if needed. Families who haven’t already done so should sign up for Ed-Admin and the Edana Mobile App, our school’s message system that can email and text you when there is a major incident concerning your child at school.
To protect yourself and others, students, families and staff are encouraged to be calm and take the following measures:
- stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill
- use good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing
- cover coughs and sneezes into you into your elbow or a tissue, dispose of tissues immediately and wash your hands
- avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- don’t share items such as drinking glasses and water bottles
- contact your primary health provider if you have questions or concerns about your health
- call the Ghana Health Service hotlines: 055 2222 004, 055 2222 005, 050 9497 700, 055 8439 868 if you suspect or notice any symptoms
WORD OF EXHORTATION
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promise are your armor and protection. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.