Update 12/03/2020 – The Directors of the European Schools have decided on Thursday 12 March to close the European Schools in Belgium starting from next Monday, the 16th of March 2020 and up to Sunday, the 29th of March 2020.
We would like to give you an update on our APEEE Services and the plans currently in place given the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe. The APEEE is in regular contact with the school management to coordinate actions and is following the policies adopted by the school. For more information, please see the school’s latest message dated 05/03/2020 on school trips and other measures now in place.
The Office of the Secretary General is in turn coordinating across all of the schools to ensure as consistent an approach as possible to the highly evolving Covid-19 situation. For more information, please see the OSGES’ message dated 08/03/2020 on the latest precautionary measures, rules, and procedures now in place as well as recent school closures due to Covid-19.
Please note that it is vital that all parents comply with the latest precautionary measures and do not bring their children to school, if they have visited one of the high-risk areas, since the virus is spread primarily through family clusters and other close contacts. Not only does this keep the whole community safer, but if families are known to have visited these areas and bring their children to school, it undermines trust amongst other parents and children on the safety of the school environment. And the importance of maintaining trust, both in the authorities and in each other, is critical in managing emerging illnesses. We are all in this together!
Measures taken by the APEEE thus far:
Please know that the APEEE will continue to operate all of its services as normally as possible according to the latest school and OSGES guidelines. We have however introduced a range of measures to reduce risk. They are as follows:
- During the Carnival vacation, the APEEE exhorted all of its internal and external staff to remain at home after the vacation if they had been in China, Hong Kong, Macau, or a so-called “red-area” as classified by the Italian authorities within the past 14 days. All staff were also asked to remain at home if they had had any contact with a person infected with the Coronavirus. In such case, they were asked to return to work only after 14 days had passed since their return date AND on the condition that their families and very close contacts remained asymptomatic.
- During the Carnival vacation, a Periscolaire staff member and their ski group + monitors were in regular contact with the APEEE regarding the health situation at the school’s ski location (F73 Savoie)
- All APEEE internal and external staff have been informed of the key hygiene protocols of washing hands regularly, sneezing into a tissue or elbow, avoiding touching the face, and staying home if they have a cough and fever/are sick
- The APEEE office remains vigilant and in regular communication with all Transport, Canteen and Periscolaire staff in order to be able to alert the school’s Infirmary of potential Covid-19 cases at the school
- Soap and hand sanitisers have been placed in the Canteen and Transport offices (monitors) as well as the Periscolaire facilities (soap only at the moment—hand sanitisers to be delivered soon)
- Posters on “How to Hand Wash” and “Best Practices” have been placed in the cafeterias, canteen and in APEEE office building S
- We have given instructions for buses to be cleaned with disinfectant each night
- The APEEE Transport staff cleans all office surfaces and objects used by monitors every morning and before each departure
- Bus monitors have been instructed to follow the hygiene protocols and use hand gel in the Transport office
- Hand sanitiser dispensers are now available for all students and staff in the Canteen and cafeterias
- Starting today, 10 March, instructions on hygiene protocol will be published on the TV screens in the canteen and cafeterias
- All after-school activities monitors will be repeating the key hygiene protocols to pupils at the beginning of every activity to drive the message home that hygiene is our best defence against the spread of this and other viruses
- The APEEE is updating its business continuity plan, should there be an outbreak of the virus, so that we are able to maintain services despite staff absences
- Updated information on APEEE measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the EEB4 community will be published on our website.
These are very challenging times, and many parents are understandably worried. Decisions need to be made quickly, which may sometimes result in confusion or misunderstanding. Everyone at our school and in the APEEE is nevertheless working hard to manage the situation—to minimise the risk of infection for our school community and to ensure that we are able to carry on as normally as possible.
If you have any specific comments or questions concerning the APEEE services, please send an email to our Secretariat at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We may not be able to answer all questions promptly, but we will read all emails and try whenever possible to act on your suggestions and comments.
Finally, you can help as well! First, by repeating the hygiene protocols to your children regularly and ensuring that they follow them. And second, by letting us know if your children experience any issues such as shortages of soap or hand sanitiser or lack of proper hygiene approaches in any of the APEEE services. This will allow us to intervene and correct the situation more quickly.
We really appreciate your collaboration!