Coronavirus Updates and Advice

Mandatory TraceTogether SafeEntry from 17 May

https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

The Singapore government will require the mandatory use of the TraceTogether app or token for all residents aged 7 and above for Safe Entry to schools, malls and other important locations from 17 May 2021.

TraceTogether app or token for SafeEntry to schools will be required from 17 May 2021 for students aged 7 and above. GESS families should be prepared and collect a TraceTogether token if your child does not have a handphone.

Please make sure your child has downloaded the TraceTogether app if they have a handphone or collect a token from your local Community Centre. You can find out where and when to collect the token at this government website https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/

You can read the TraceTogether token FAQ for more information on how data is encrypted, secured and used https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/faq

If you are looking for further general parent information, please visit our Help for Parents page.

Page last updated: 17 June 2021 17:19

On-campus and home-based learning schedule for Primary and secondary grades from 14 to 24 June 2021

  • Our preschool will continue to offer on-campus learning, with school bus and canteen services. The Singapore government encourages parents to keep children at home during this period. No home-based learning will be offered for preschool grades.
  • IB, Abitur and Realschule exams - On campus, as planned
Mon 14 June Tue 15 June Wed 16 June Thu 17 June Fri 18 June
Preschool On campus On campus On campus On campus On campus
Grades 01 and Eingangsstufe On campus On campus On campus On campus On campus
European section grades 02-11 Home-based learning On campus On campus Home-based learning Home-based learning
German section grades 02-11 Home-based learning Home-based learning Home-based learning On campus On campus
Mon 21 June Tue 22 June Wed 23 June Thu 24 June Fri 25 June
Preschool On campus On campus On campus On campus Holiday
Grades 01 and Eingangsstufe On campus On campus On campus On campus Holiday
European section grades 02-11 On campus On campus Home-based learning Home-based learning Holiday
German section grades 02-11 Home-based learning Home-based learning On campus On campus Holiday

Programme and service status

CCA: Suspended until further notice for all students. Some activities will be added to online CCA site

LEP: LEP teachers will contact parents about online arrangements

VIP: No on-campus lessons

ENP: Suspended until further notice for all students

Primary and secondary libraries: Closed

School shop: Closed

School bus: Fully operationally

Sports events and matches: Suspended until further notice for all students

Large events: Suspended until further notice

Grade 12 graduation ceremony, we will contact relevant government departments and update parents shortly.

School trips: Suspended

Enrichment trips: Suspended

Student Travel Declaration Form

Please update your child's travel declaration if the child and/or family members are travelling overseas. Need help? Chat with School Services on LiveChat or email school@gess.sg

Please email the GESS Emergency team at covid19@gess.sg, if any member of your household is on a Stay Home Notice (SHN), Quarantine Order (QO) or is a suspected/confirmed case.

Home learning
School Bus Entry and On Campus Regulations
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
News and updates
What should I do if my child is sick?
GESS Emergency Team Information
Advice for Parents and Students

Home learning

There will be a phased approach to students returning on-campus from 31 May. For students in home-based learning grades, important home-based learning information and contact details are below.

Distance Learning Plan

Here you can find the GESS distance learning plan. If you have any questions, please contact your homeroom teacher.

Distance Learning Plan plan version 2021


Primary School

HELP and point of contact

Your child's teacher is your point of contact for any academic questions about home-based learning and lessons. For technical support, please contact IT Servicedesk.

Student iPad agreement

All parents of students in primary school grades must sign the iPad agreement which will be sent via AdobeSign software. If you do not receive the iPad agreement email, please email IT Servicedesk.

Faulty Student iPads

If your child’s GESS-issued iPad is faulty, please contact IT Servicedesk describing the issue. The Tech Team will help you troubleshoot the problem and if needed issue a replacement device.

The Tech Team is only permitted to deliver replacement iPads. No at-home IT support will be offered.


Secondary School

Students will follow their regular school timetable via the Microsoft Teams application. If your child has not been added to a class in Microsoft Teams, they should email the subject teacher or their homeroom teacher.

HELP and point of contact

Your child's homeroom teacher and subject teachers are your point of contact for any academic questions about home-based learning and lessons. For technical support, please contact IT Servicedesk.

School Bus Entry and On Campus Regulations

SCHOOL BUS ENTRY

Temperature reading - Parents must take their child's temperature in the morning and write the temperature on a sticky label or piece of paper. Students without a temperature reading will not be allowed on the school bus.

Wait until your child has entered the bus - School bus staff will check students have a temperature reading and also check if a student looks visibly unwell. Students will not be allowed on the bus if they do not have a temperature reading or look unwell. An adult must wait until the student has entered the bus.

Fixed seating - Your child will be assigned a seat and must sit in the same seat each day

No talking or interaction - Students must sit silently during the bus journey (see FAQ)


ON CAMPUS REGULATIONS
Preschool
  • All Preschool children are required to be documented on the Government TraceTogether app. Preschool staff will organise this each day
  • Children will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Children will be able to play with the friends from their class
  • All classes will continue to have an allocated outdoor playground time
  • Specialists classes can continue as we currently run them
  • Sports classes for the children will continue, however, children will engage in low-intensity activities (not strenuous exercise) and wear masks during the class
  • Staff will no longer wear face shields, all staff will wear masks instead
  • Children will not access other areas of the school (forum, school canteen, rooftop garden), children will stay in the Preschool throughout the school day
  • Children must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Children must maintain 1 metre distance at all times

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Primary and Secondary School
  • Students will need to register via TraceTogether upon entering and leaving the campus
  • Students will go directly to the homeroom classroom on arrival
  • Students must wear a face mask or shield at all times
  • Students must maintain 1 metre distance at all times

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

• Campus opening questions

• Temperature Screening, health and entry procedure questions

• Leave of Absence questions

• School activities and programmes questions

• Other questions


Campus opening questions

Does my child have to wear a mask all day at school?

Yes, the government rules are very clear. All students must wear a mask whilst at school. As an alternative students aged under 13 may wear a face shield.

Please refer to the Ministry of Health FAQ for more information regarding face masks and shield.

Will there be any on campus events during 2020/21?

Events are restricted during phase 2 of the Singapore government's reopening plan. Please check the school calendar for the latest updates.

Can parents enter the campus?

No parents will be allowed on campus after 15 August 2020. Where vehicle drop off / pick up points are open, parents must not get out of their vehicle.

Why do children have to be quiet on the bus or public transport?

The Singapore government has advised that all passengers on public transport or buses must refrain from talking or talk quietly if essential. This is part of the safety measures to minimise contamination risk. Please refer to the Ministry of Education FAQ for more information.


Temperature Screening, Health and entry procedure questions

[NEW] Who will need to use Trace Together app or token?

All GESS students in Primary and Secondary grades 1-12 and Eingangsstufe, aged 7 and above. This will start from 17 May 2021 onwards.

Preschool students under 7 years old do not need a token, however, accompanying parents will need to use the TraceTogether app or token to enter our campus.

[NEW] Does my child have to carry the Trace Together token all day?

If your child is 7 years old and above, they will need to check in and check out of the campus using the TraceTogether token or app on their handphone. Once your child has completed SafeEntry, they can put the token in their bag until they leave the campus. Students will only need to check in and out each time they enter or exit the campus.

[NEW] Can my child attend school if they forget to bring their token or handphone?

Yes, your child can enter the campus, however, GESS reserves the right to send a student home if they repeatedly forget. For the first two occasions, we will send you a reminder if your child arrives at school without their token or handphone. On the third occasion, we will send your child home or you will be required to pick up your child.

[NEW] What happens if my child loses their token?

You will need to visit the nearest token distribution centre to get a replacement token. Please see https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/ for your nearest distribution centre.

[NEW] MY CHILD IS IN PRIMARY GRADE 01 OR EINGANGSSTUFE BUT IS NOT 7 YEARS OLD YET.

Presently, only residents aged 7 years above are allowed to collect a TraceTogether token. If your child is in grade 01 and is under 7 years old, please make sure your child brings the printed barcode for SafeEntry scanning.

[NEW] Where can I find out more information about TraceTogether?

You can read the TraceTogether token FAQ for more information on how data is encrypted, secured and used https://token.gowhere.gov.sg/faq

Who is being screened?

Every visitor, staff and student including but not limited to: contractors, canteen staff, bus drivers, vendors and instructors are being screened each time they enter the GESS campus. This will continue until further notice. We realise this may cause delays, however, the safety of our students and community is our priority.

Do I have to pick up my child if their temperature is 37.5°C or above or they have a fever, sore throat, cough or runny nose?

Yes, it is a mandatory school procedure. Please cooperate with the First Aid team and pick up your child as soon as possible. Your child will be kept in an isolation room with a member of the First Aid team.

[New] if a parent or household member is sick, can the child still come to school?

Students who have household members with flu-like symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough and are required to take a COVID-19 swab test, are required to stay away from school until the negative swab test result has been received. You must send the test result to covid19@gess.sg

How often are the buses disinfected?

Bus drivers and the Bus team disinfect buses twice on a daily basis using the same cleaning products as GESS. Hand sanitising is far more important in preventing the spread of germs, however, during these challenging times, we have added extra cleaning measures for buses.

Why does my child have to be temperature screened every time I come to GESS?

We are currently operating an enhanced screening procedure for each and every visitor to the GESS campus including staff and students. This is precautionary and to try and reduce the risk of infection within the campus. There will be additional temperature checks carried out throughout the day.

What time does the campus open?

The campus is open at 07:30 for students. Do not arrive earlier than this.


Leave of absence questions

What is the difference between loa, shn and qo?

Stay Home Notice (SHN) is a Singapore government notice given by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA). Click here for more information.

Quarantine Order (QO) is a Singapore government order given by the Ministry of Health (MOH). Click here for more information.

Leave of Absence (LOA) is a GESS precautionary measure given by our school. Please note this is different to the previous Singapore government Leave of Absence (LOA) arrangement which has been replaced by Stay Home Notice (SHN).

Companies and organisations may issue orders to stay at home, this is different to a Stay Home Notice (SHN) issued by the Immigration Checkpoint Authority (ICA)

I HEARD THAT A PERSON IN THE CONDOMINIUM WHERE WE LIVE IS A CONFIRMED CASE. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Firstly, always follow Ministry of Health instructions.

If you have not had close contact with the person, 15-30 minutes in the same room, then the chance of the virus spreading is minimal. If you have had close contact, it is likely you will be contacted by the Ministry of Health as part of their tracing activities. In this instance, stay at home and inform the Ministry of Health (telp: 1800 333 9999).

Continue to wash / sanitise your family's hands regularly and take all of your household's temperature twice daily.

If in doubt or if any member of your household feels unwell, go to a doctor immediately.

A member of my family / household is on Quarantine Order or stay home notice. can my children come to school?

No, children must stay at home and follow the Quarantine Order / Stay Home Notice period. You must inform the school by emailing covid19@gess.sg

Application for leave

We respect that each family has the right to decide whether to send their children to school during this difficult period. If you wish to keep your children at home, please make sure you fill in the application for leave form and inform the School Bus team (bus@gess.sg) if appropriate. Completing the form is compulsory.

Absences will be marked as authorised absence and there will no effect on Student’s pass attendance requirements.


School activities and programmes questions

Is my child's CCA / music lesson (VIP) or Language class (LEP) cancelled?

Please check the Coronavirus update page in Parent Portal for the latest information on which programmes are operating.

ARE ALL break times and outdoor play cancelled?

All visitors including students are screened at entry to the GESS campus. Break times and outdoor playtime will be restricted and students must follow safe physical distancing rules.

Are all school trips cancelled?

All school trips are currently cancelled.

[NEW] Why are there no CCAs for Preschool?

We are currently not permitted to have after-school activities in Preschool due to Early Childhood Development Agency and CPE regulations. Therefore CCAs for Preschool will continue to be suspended in semester two.

[NEW] Are masks compulsory for students engaged in physical activities during PE / CCAs?

The default is for students to wear masks during indoor sports lessons and CCAs. Exceptions are made for outdoor activities. For further information, please read the Sports SG advisory.

If you have any concerns for your child’s well-being during PE lessons or CCAs, please contact your child's PE teacher or the CCA office.


Other questions

DOES GESS HAVE SURGICAL MASKS?

GESS has surgical masks for First Aid use only. Families should purchase surgical masks from supermarkets or pharmacies, if they wish to. Please remember regular hand washing and sanitising is key. Dr Leong has good advice on how to stay safe https://www.facebook.com/onefm913/videos/2916759611719451/

I have received different information from a whatsapp group or internet site

All official GESS communication, procedures and advice is published in Parent Portal. This is the only official source of GESS information about the Coronavirus.

There have been several false rumours published on the internet and in WhatsApp groups. Please only follow official Ministry of Health and government advice.

I HAVE feedback for gess

Thank you; as a community school we welcome feedback. During these challenging times, we ask that feedback is NOT communicated via the main communication channels: phone lines, school@gess.sg, firstaid@gess.sg and operational staff.

It is vital that we keep these communication channels free for urgent and operational needs. You are welcome to submit feedback via this form and we will get back to you when possible.

Why isn't the information in German or why is the translation a little bit different

We are trying to simultaneously translate all information into German as part of our commitment to the community. This is a challenging task and we hope you understand that sometimes it will not be possible to have all the information translated into German or that there are some small differences in the translation. We will focus on making sure that the English text is always up-to-date with German translation updates happening as soon as possible. We will also work on translating key messages into other languages where appropriate to further support our diverse community.

If you see any errors or corrections, please submit a general feedback form.

News and updates

Singapore Updates

Please note that there have been a number of false rumours and news published on the internet. Only follow official advice and updates from trusted sources. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section of this page before contacting GESS.

GESS Updates

GESS will publish updates and action plans in Parent Portal and send updates via email. Below is an archive of GESS communications related to the Coronavirus:

What should I do if my child is sick?

MORNING ROUTINE

Take all family members’ temperature every morning. If your child has a fever or is displaying Coronavirus symptoms, please get medical advice immediately. You should also contact the GESS COVID-19 team at covid19@gess.sg

With which symptoms should I keep my child at home?

Under phase 3 according to the Singapore government every child who has temperature (above 37.5) or respiratory symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough) is strongly advised to see a doctor. Therefore, GESS requires parents to see a doctor with the child, because only a doctor will be able to tell if the symptoms are COVID related. After your visit, please send the medical certificate to covid19@gess.sg and the COVID-19 team will get in touch with you and will inform the homeroom teacher accordingly.

Please be informed that according to the Singapore government every child who has temperature above 37.5c or respiratory symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough) must see a doctor.

How long DOES my child have to stay at home?

This will depend on the medical certificate, the COVID Team will get in touch with you after you have sent the medical certificate.

If he/she has served the given MC period and still has respiratory symptoms, please see the same doctor again before sending your child back to school and send a copy of the doctor's letter to covid19@gess.sg

How about siblings?

As a temporary measure, GESS will restart the application of the sibling rule as followed:

  • All household members are required to stay at home if any household member is unwell with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose
  • Should a student become unwell with symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose during school hours, all siblings will be sent home
  • Please send the medical certificate to the GESS COVID team covid19@gess.sg
  • If any household member is on a Stay Home Notice (SHN) at home or Quarantine Order (QO), all household members including siblings are not allowed on campus
  • If you come back from overseas and are exempted from a Stay Home Notice (SHN), please get in touch with the GESS COVID team covid19@gess.sg for further advice

GESS Emergency Team Information

What should I do if my child is sick?

If your child is unwell, please inform school@gess.sg and the homeroom teacher.

Morning routine

Take all family members’ temperature every morning. If your child has a fever or is displaying Coronavirus symptoms, please get medical advice immediately. You should also contact the GESS Emergency team at covid19@gess.sg

How to wear a mask

For further information on how to safely wear and remove a mask, please click here.

GESS EMERGENCY TEAM

Please inform the GESS Emergency Team if a member of your household is placed on a Stay Home Notice (SHN) or Quarantine Order (QO). You must also inform the GESS Emergency Team if a member of your household becomes a suspected or confirmed case. Please email covid19@gess.sg

Advice for Parents and Students

Dear Parents and Students,

This is a difficult time for children and, of course, you as parents and adults. The uncertainty of what is to come completely turns everyday life upside down and our feelings can be on a mixed up roller coaster ride. There are moments when you feel that you cannot endure the current difficult situation, followed by the hope of being able to master it together.

Physical distancing, stay home measurements and quarantine can be very stressful for all of us. Which strategies can help us to cope with the current situation? How can we also cope well with moments that are too demanding and stressful?


Below are some resources and help available for our GESS families. We have also prepared helpful tips for returning to on-campus learning. Please click here to read the guide.


Warm regards,
The GESS Counselling Team


Helplines

If you need help, or know someone who does, do not hesitate to use the following helplines or resources! Sometimes sharing your problem can help you to see things more clearly & cope better during difficult times.

Counselling centres in Singapore with German speaking counsellors

Helplines in Singapore for children

Helplines in Singapore for adults

Helplines in Germany

International helplines

Adults can:

1 Focus on your own stress level.

If you are feeling nervous about the virus, seek relevant and reliable resources. Here in Singapore, you can check the Ministry of Health website for the most updated information https://www.moh.gov.sg/ or the Health Promotion Board https://www.hpb.gov.sg/. Find healthy coping mechanisms that help you manage your stress.

2 Model calm and control

Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Avoid appearing anxious or frightened.

3 Reinforce safety

Point out factors such as the morning temperature screening at school that helps to insure their immediate safety and that of their family and community. Children also need to feel a sense of control to minimise worry. Remind them of what they can do to protect themselves. The Ministry of Health website has some great infographics that are easy for children to understand the proper way to wash their hands and also was COVID-19 means.

4 Let children know it is okay to feel upset

Let children talk about their feelings and help put them into perspective.The more they share their thoughts, the easier it will be for you to help them navigate their worries.

5 Observe children’s emotional state 

Many children do not express their concerns verbally. Changes in behaviour, appetite, and sleep patterns can indicate a childs level of grief, anxiety, or discomfort. There is no right or wrong way to feel or express grief.

6 Read more

Here are a few articles written for parents related to the COVID-19 that might help your conversations with your children.

1. https://psychcentral.com/blog/coronavirus-anxiety-4-ways-to-cope-with-fear/

2. http://www.restorativecommunityconcepts.com/blog/understanding-the-mental-health-social-impact-of-the-coronavirus-finding-the-middle-path

3. https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/

4. Advice on talking to your children about the Coronavirus from GESS

5. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51734855

6. https://maudsleycharity.org/familiesunderpressure/

7. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fprepare%2Fmanaging-stress-anxiety.html

8. How to Talk to Children and Teens About Uncertainty (gottman.com)

9. Familien unter Druck

10. COVID Fatigue - How to help children's mental health, especially teens (expatliving.sg)

11. Eltern • Corona und Du – Für Eltern (corona-und-du.info)

12. https://created.crayola.com/at-home-learning-home/homelearning

7 Speak to the GESS Counselling Team

If you need any additional help, please contact Dr Hana Adams (hana.adams@gess.sg) or Jennifer Maerz (jennifer.maerz@gess.sg)

In order to be able to cope with this new situation a little better, you will now find Jennifer Maerz's “Digital Counseling Office" here (in German) and Dr Hana Adams "Secondary Well-Being Resources for Students" here (in English), where we regularly provide videos, pictures, links and tips on how the “school at home for a limited time" can work well.

Resources for children

Willi Virus: Aus dem Leben eines Schnupfenvirus

Author: Heidi Trpak

ISBN: 978-3702234867

Details: Das Buch ist aus der Perspektive des Rhinovirus Willi erzählt und wird durch zahlreiche zusätzliche Sachinformationen ergänzt. - Alter 5-9


Something Bad Happened: A Kid’s Guide to Coping with events in the News

Author: Dawn Huebner

ISBN: 978-1787750746

Details: How to process different world events. - Ages 6-12


Gefühle - So geht es mir!

Author: Felicity Brooks, Frankie Allen

ISBN: 978-1789411386

Details: Eine gute Möglichkeit, mit kleinen Kindern über Emotionen zu sprechen - Alter 4-6


What to Do When You Worry Too Much

Author: Dawn Huebner

ISBN: 978-1591473145

Details: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety - Ages 7-12