DIGITAL TIPS FOR PARENTS | 09 APRIL 2020

1 ENCOURAGE A BALANCED LIFESTYLE
What online activities help your child to have fun, learn, create and socialise online? What would be a good mix of online and offline activities? Ensure they take a regular break from online activities and avoid using screens in the hour before bedtime.

2 KNOW HOW TO REPORT
Have fun with your children online, so that if there is a problem, they will come to you. Talk to them about what will happen if they report an issue to you.

3 BE A DIGITAL ROLE MODEL
How can you model the online behaviour you would like from your child? Would your posts pass the billboard test (if you put your posts on a billboard outside your house)? If you were a child, would you be happy with your parent’s online behaviour? If not, make a change.

4 WRITE A FAMILY AGREEMENT... AND STICK TO IT!
Agree to a set of ground rules for online behaviour. This helps everyone in the family use technology responsibly, respectfully, critically and creatively.

Things you could include:

  • How adults and children can use technology together for fun
  • When, where and for how long technology can be used by every member of the family e.g. can it be used at the dinner table?
  • Which online services are good to use and which are not
  • Which online behaviours are encouraged, and which are not appropriate
  • How parents will monitor children’s online activity
  • What to do if there is an online problem
  • Sanctions for any family member who breaks the rules

Helpful Resources

Previous Updates

How are you all doing? As a community we recognise that stress and anxiety is felt by everyone – child and adult alike.

Here are a few tips for the well-being of us all in times of uncertainty:

Self-Care: It is vital that we continue to engage in self-care activities to promote physical, psychological, personal, emotional, spiritual and professional well-being and help strengthen our ability to be resilient, or bounce back.

  • Take control regarding hygiene practices
  • Ensure that you are making healthy eating choices
  • Create an exercise routine as a family involving stretches and movement (Mr Hepp is posting some ideas on the learning platforms). This can be a lot of fun!
  • Plan fun activities that you can do together e.g. watching a movie or playing a game

Flexible Thinking: Practice flexible thinking, which is thinking about things in a new way. During times of change, we can practice flexible thinking when we think about our routine, for example. During times of change, we can practice cognitive flexibility by realising we might do school or work differently than normal, but we are still learning-we are just going about it in new ways than we typically do.

Supervise media consumption. Make sure information is age appropriate. Sensitive topics such as death can cause extreme worry and confusion. Limit the amount of time and conversation surrounding the Infectious Disease (e.g. COVID-19).

Whilst it is important to take precautions, adults should not dwell on the topic or share information with students that can be frightening and cause unnecessary panic.

Communication: Reference the www.cdc.gov or www.who.int websites for the most accurate information.

Communication regarding GIS will come directly from school administration and will be posted on the COVID-19 page on the school website: https://grace.school/coronavirus/

Be careful not to get caught up in rumours.

If you have specific concerns of queries, please contact the Campus Administrators, and we will be glad to speak with you.

We hope you have been able to have some valuable conversations with your child over the past few days, creating space for open dialogue and questions.

Here are a few more suggestions about how to talk with your child about Infectious Diseases, such as the COVID-19:

  • Be available and present. Take a few minutes every day to have a conversation with your child. Chances are they have heard something about the virus, and if not, it is a good time to set the tone with your child.

  • Stick to the facts and reassure them that everyone is making every reasonable effort to keep people safe.

  • Tell them you are aware of the symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath, per the CDC) and will monitor their health and seek immediate medical attention if you have concerns.

  • Remain calm and reassuring: Children will imitate what is modelled for them, so keep your voice calm, soothing and reassuring as you talk to them. Tell your child your family and the school are taking every precaution to help keep them safe.

  • Do not blame others: At times, we may find ourselves blaming a person or group of people, but it is really important to avoid stereotyping and blaming, especially in an instance when no one has meant to cause any harm. Any negative talk should be stopped.

  • Listen to Concerns to Help Keep them Manageable: Children’s minds can wonder and they can imagine horrible situations. They may be worried about their loved ones becoming sick. Listen to their concerns, stick to the facts, and only share age-appropriate information. You know your child best.

  • Be aware of signs of anxiety in your children. You may notice some behaviours in your child that are a little out of character. For instance, on the mild side, they may hang around you more, seem clingy or want to be with you to help build a sense of security.

    Younger children will have more difficulty expressing their worries than older children so they may not be able to put their thoughts into words, but their behaviours will help you gauge what they are feeling.

    Keep in mind, young children may ask a few questions, play and then come back with more questions. They are unpacking a lot of information and attempting to make sense of it based on their experiences and knowledge. It is important to stick to facts, answer what you are able to and what is age-appropriate, and prevent or limit access to media or talk that will heighten concerns.

Talking with Your Child & Teen About Infectious Diseases (such as the Coronavirus) … Helping to Relieve Anxieties

With all the information out about Infectious Diseases, such as the COVID-19, many people may have concerns and anxieties looming about their own health and the spread of the disease. As parents, we may have questions about how to talk to our children about the disease. With that in mind, we wanted to offer ways to support you from the social-emotional side.

Here are a few tips for your consideration. These guidelines are based on what is age-appropriate for most. However, you know your child best:

Early Primary: Keep the conversation brief, simple and stick to the facts. Assure the child home and school are safe. Let the child know IF someone gets sick, adults will help. Help the child learn ways to stay healthy, such as washing their hands, maintaining a sanitary environment, eating properly, getting enough rest, etc.

Older Primary and Early Secondary: Share facts as above, but keep in mind children at this age are processing information more and may question if they are really safe. Therefore, it is important to separate fact from rumour. Share the ways people at home and school are taking measures to help keep them healthy. Monitor or limit media intake.

High Schoolers: Information can be shared more in-depth and more adult-like. Be honest, accurate and factual. Make sure they feel a sense of control in the situation, which comes by engaging in activities that will help keep themselves and others be healthy. Monitor media intake.

Key Talking Points: When you talk with your child, keep the above in mind as well as a few key talking points for your consideration:

  • State that at home and school, adults are taking every effort to keep everyone safe. Not everyone will get the disease/virus.
  • Steps are being made to limit the spread of the disease and care for those who are sick.
  • They can do things to help stay healthy (i.e., wash hands with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid contact with people who are sick, do not touch your mouth, eyes, nose or face, use your elbow to catch your sneeze or cough, clean and disinfect surface areas, etc.)

17 March 2020


Dear Grace Parents and Community,

Yesterday we received the news that all educational institutions in Bangladesh are to be closed from 18th March. As stated in our letter sent only yesterday, GIS will follow the guidance from the Government of Bangladesh.

From Sunday, the 22nd of March, teachers will be launching age appropriate distance learning for your child. Planning has already commenced, thanks to the hard work of the Grace administrators and teachers.

Distance learning is planned for 22 March- 9 April 2020. The decision to extend distance learning through Easter break enables continuity of learning for this period of time. Following the already scheduled Easter break, at this point, Grace plans to resume classes on campus from Sunday 19th April. Should you leave the country during this time, please follow the government recommended self-quarantine procedures.

This will be a time to create a positive learning environment within your home. Please check your email carefully for communication from the school. The school website will include updates on the COVID-19 situation as well as educational information.

We as a board recognise the tremendous strain this situation may put on the lives – both professional and personal – of the community. As our name implies, “Grace” will help guide us through this uncertain time.

Thank you for your understanding and support.

Blessings,

Kent Scott
Chair
The DexServe Board of Directors

16 March 2020


Dear Grace Community,

We are writing to you on behalf of the DexServe Board and Grace School management to keep you updated on our response to the COVID-19 global crisis. As you are aware, some schools have taken the decision to temporarily close physical classes and to exclusively offer online learning. Though those reasons vary, we have also considered this option but have decided that Grace should continue classes as normal for the time being. We have taken this decision based on the following considerations:

  • We believe that the classroom is the optimum learning environment for most children, and Grace would like to maintain classes for as long as it is safe and secure.
  • Grace is keen to follow the recommendations issued by the Government of Bangladesh. If the Government takes the decision to close schools, Grace will act accordingly.
  • Currently, there are very few reported cases in Bangladesh and no reported cases in schools.
  • Grace is taking preventative measures against the spread of germs and to protect the children and their families from the virus.

Grace is making contingency plans to offer online learning and alternative instruction if the situation changes and it is necessary to implement these measures.

Grace will make arrangements for children who have to miss classes, either because of illness or the need to be quarantined, to be supported in their learning at home in accordance with the school's normal policy of support for children during absence from school.

In order to ensure that Grace remains a safe place both for the children and for the wider community, the following measures will be implemented with immediate effect:
  • The temperature of children, teachers, and staff will be taken upon arrival at school each morning. Any child who has a fever or any other flu type symptoms will be immediately sent home. Grace is currently sourcing the equipment to take children’s temperature. Note: It is the responsibility of the parents to take the child’s temperature before going to school.
  • Children, teachers, and staff will continue to have their hands sanitised upon arrival at school and regularly washed throughout the day.
  • If the child or a member of the child's immediate family returns from one of the countries listed below, the child should be kept out of school for 14 calendar days. In accordance with press reports on Government requirements, the list currently includes China, South Korea, Iran, Italy, Thailand and Singapore. As you plan for the upcoming Easter break, please bear in mind that your children will not be able to return to classes at Grace for two weeks if they visit any of the listed countries.

Please continue to monitor your children at home for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath and keep them at home should they exhibit these symptoms.

We ask for you, Grace parents and community, to lend support as we implement these additional guidelines.

The Board and management will continue to regularly monitor the situation, including guidelines set forth by the CDC and WHO. Contingency plans are being put in place to respond quickly as needed to the changing situation.

We will provide regular updates to the Grace community both through email and through the Grace Website (www.grace.school). A copy of this email will also be provided to all parents during parent/teacher conferences this week. For further questions, please contact the head of school for your child’s campus:
GEY: Mr Scott Barnden - sbarnden@grace.school
GPS: Mrs Cheryl Bull - cbull@grace.school
GSS: Mme Delphine Kilih - dkilih@grace.school

Let us continue to stand together as a community, maintaining our faith, hope and good will.

Blessings,

Kent Scott
Chair
The DexServe Board of Directors

11 March 2020


Dear Grace Community,

As you may have heard, Bangladesh has confirmed its first cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Certainly, this has led to a heightened sense of anticipation and concern about the safety of our children at GIS.

At the news of the first discovered cases and in response to next steps, the State Minister for Primary and Mass Education of Bangladesh, Zakir Hossein, has said, “We will undertake all precautionary measures but are not thinking about closing primary schools right now.”

Therefore, the GIS management team, in consultation with the Board of Directors, has determined GIS will continue to take precautionary measures but remain open as usual. As always, the health and well-being of the students, teachers and staff is the top priority. In addition, GIS is mindful of the need to plan ahead should additional actions be required and will continue to monitor news outlets and government recommendations. The Principal will provide updates and any necessary action steps to parents in her weekly newsletter.

In order to obtain the most up to date and accurate information about prevention and updates, we recommend that parents and students be monitoring the following websites:

As a GIS community, let us stand together during this time to help each other cope with difficult circumstances, while maintaining a spirit of faith, hope and good will.

Blessings,

The DexServe Board of Directors

Keeping Yourself Safe