Coronavirus outbreak: the latest information for parents and students
Updated: Tuesday 31 March 2020
Schools remain closed until after the May Holidays
Today the Dutch government announced that the measures to control the coronavirus outbreak are going to be extended until 28 April 2020. All schools and daycare centres will remain closed for students until this date. For ISD, this means that the school, until further notice, will open after the May Holidays on 11 May.
Our distance learning programme is designed to support the continuity of education of our students.
While we can no longer instruct our students face-to-face, we have learned that our existing focus on technology tools and independent learning allows us now to continue to provide our students with an effective alternative learning environment.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation and support in this process. Please continue to ensure your children’s readiness and attendance for their online work and that all etiquette requirements are followed properly. Please be assured that we are all here to answer questions and to provide assistance.
How to talk to your kids about Covid-19?
In this weird and crazy time, parents are not the only ones who have questions. Children often have lots of questions now that their daily life has also been turned upside-down. While some questions might be simpler to answer (why can’t I go to school?) others might be more difficult (why is this virus so dangerous?). So how do you answer these questions? Do you share everything? The answer to this depends on your child and should be adapted accordingly. However, we can give some general tips that might help:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about it with your kids. They feel things are different and it’s good to have an open conversation about it. If we don’t, we are sending the message that it’s something to fear and ignore. If they want to talk about it, then have a conversation. If you are experiencing anxiety of the current situation, then it’s important to be aware of this. It’s best to remain calm and reassuring to your child, and expressing you have some concerns or don’t know all the answers is also very healthy.
- Adapt the information you give to your child and their needs. It’s not always necessary to give all the information, just be open and honest. Use words that your child knows and understands and stick to accurate information.
- If you would like, you can support the information you give with some visual tools or activities. For example, Twinkl has a few great free resources about the virus, washing your hands and how germs work. Doing little activities is also a nice way of going through the information. For example, here is a great video about an experiment to visualize with soap and pepper how germs work when you wash your hands.
- Stick to a routine. Now that school is closed it’s important to create a routine at home. Print out a visual schedule for them to follow during the day. Try and be available during designated times of the day to talk to them.
And most of all: don’t set the bar too high. Managing a normal routine during these days can be very challenging! Keep it relaxed and stay healthy.
There are also lots of organisations that are opening their (digital) doors to families for extra resources. For example, Embracing Horizons is running several support groups for parents and kids to help them through this time.
If you have any questions regarding the above information, then please get in touch with Elize Burgess (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Reception of Students / Childcare – updated 16 March 2020
Schools have the responsibility to offer childcare for parents who both work in a vital sector. The socially vital sectors are broader than just care and emergency services. These vital services also include energy, water companies, and food supply. On the website: https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/coronavirus-covid-19/cruciale-beroepsgroepen, you will find an overview of the crucial occupational groups during the COVID-19 outbreak. If both parents have a profession in a vital sector, please report this directly to the leadership team of the school (Sander Raaphorst: email@example.com or Jaap Mos firstname.lastname@example.org )
Of course, children, parents and/or staff with mild complaints should stay at home, even if they work in a vital sector.
Information on the Novel Coronavirus
The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) may be stressful for people and we understand the current situation may be extra difficult for families living in a foreign country. The RIVM serves as an excellent resource where you can find all the latest information, insights and most frequently asked questions and answers: https://www.rivm.nl/en/novel-coronavirus-covid-19
- The RIVM can also be contacted by telephone:
Questions about the novel coronavirus? Please contact 0800-1351 or
+31 (0)20 205 1351 (this number can be reached from abroad)
Available daily from 8:00 a.m. until 20:00 p.m.