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DC Update

Posted: April 16, 2022

Dear Parents

Following on from ESF-wide communications earlier this week, below is some further information that will help you and your child prepare for the start of the new term and the return of face-to-face learning on the DC campus.

Half-Day Timetable for 19 – 22 April; Full Days from 25 April

You will be aware that in previous rounds of class resumption DC has received approval for full day on-campus provision on the basis of our capacity to manage lunch arrangements with a high level of safety and distancing. Schools in this situation are once again able to do so, and so DC will be proceeding with full days from Monday 25 April. The Explorer Newsletter, issued on 22 April, will carry further details of learning arrangements for full day schooling.

ESF-wide communications mentioned that some schools may need to revert to half-days at times during Year 13 examinations; please note that DC is fortunately not in this position; our facilities can accommodate our Year 13 exams alongside continuing full day provision for all other students from 25 April onwards, so we intend to remain at full days from this point forward. 

For 19, 20, 21 and 22 April, we will be operating half days in line with all ESF schools to help our community transition smoothly towards face-to-face learning on campus.

Our timetable arrangements for next week will be as per those published before spring break. A summary of timings is below. 

Additional Information for Primary Parents

For Primary yeargroups we will be running a 6-Day rotation of the timetable from Tuesday 19 April. This will allow for a balance of all learning areas across Primary and enable us to cater to any changing circumstances that may result in having some students on campus and some off during Term 3. By running a 6-Day cycle, we safeguard our timetable and schedule enabling us to be as consistent as possible with our approach.

Please find the 6-Day Cycle for the remainder of April here

For Tuesday 19 April, the following classes will have PE:

1.1 (DPT)

1.3 (CCG)

2.1 (KSE)

2.4 (LMR)

4.1 (NON)

4.3 (FMN)

5.2 (AWD)

5.4 (CGK)

For the remote, online Block 5 on Tuesday 19 April, please use your child’s main class zoom link. This has not been changed.

The full schedule with specialists for the 6-Day cycle will be shared by class teachers on Tuesday.

Additional Information related to Secondary Students

…will be sent directly to students via the Student Bulletin covering, among other things, arrangements for recess in the week ahead.

Daily RAT Tests

Daily RATs will help to maintain safe learning environments for all ESF students and will help to facilitate the continuation of face-to-face learning. Please ensure that your child takes a RAT test and you indicate the result on the ESF App before your child comes to Discovery College each morning.

On the ESF App home screen select Ding! VLE:

Select the Daily Temperature & Covid 19 Test Record and select the appropriate option for your child. You will need to do this for each child if you have more than one child enrolled at Discovery College.

ESF is currently procuring Centre for Health Protection (CHP) approved RAT kits for our students and staff. These RAT kits will be distributed to students and staff following their return to school after the spring break. Until then, students and staff returning to school must source their own RATs and ensure that they complete a RAT with a negative result before entering school premises each day.

Procedure in case your child tests positive for Covid-19

If your child tests positive following a RAT you must:

  • Keep your child at home;
  • Notify your child’s school of the positive test result before 9am. This can be done via the ESF App (feature available from Tuesday 19 April 2022). EDB then requires schools to report daily positive test results, sharing information that includes student name, student HKID number and the date of the positive test; and
  • Report the positive result to the Department of Health as soon as possible and at the latest within 24 hours via the “Declaration System for individuals tested positive for COVID-19 using Rapid Antigen Test” through the website

Update your child’s health declaration

If necessary, please also update your child’s health declaration in the same Ding! section on the ESF App before your child returns to Discovery College.

Covid-19 Vaccination

With the confirmation that DC is able to go forward with full day provision at this stage, I know this will be very good news across our community as previously it looked likely that Covid-19 vaccination rates among students would form a prerequisite for this. It is great that we are able to go ahead with full days this term and that the EDB is satisfied with the safety measures that we continue to put in place around this.

However, what is clear from the government’s communications with schools is that vaccination continues to be an important measure to combat the virus. It also remains important for me to request you to keep the ESF App updated with your child’s vaccination status. I want to be clear about the difference that vaccination makes to specific matters of school operation for your child, and for all students, at school:

  • Increased vaccination rates could allow us to adjust our lunch scheduling, leading to greater flexibility and more opportunities for lunchtime activities

As and when student double-dose vaccination is above 90%, we may be able to revise our lunch plans and this may in turn make it more possible for us to run lunchtime activities as students will have greater flexibility over their eating schedule.

  • Only students who are vaccinated will be able to take part in co-curricular activities

As has been made clear by the EDB, across all schools in Hong Kong co-curricular activities can only be made available to vaccinated students. DC intends to resume various forms of co-curricular activity shortly after the start of term, with details to be sent in the coming days.

  • Vaccination means that students who are close contacts of household members can potentially return to school more quickly following home quarantine

People who become close contacts by virtue of a household member testing positive for Covid-19 are, in general, required to isolate at home and therefore students in this situation cannot attend school during such a period. Vaccinated individuals can potentially leave home quarantine after 7 days if they test negative on the specified occasions as per government requirements.

Food and Catering

No onsite catering will be provided during 19 – 22 April. Students should therefore bring with them what they need for the morning, and will depart at lunchtime in order to have their lunch at home.

As a reminder, students should also bring their water bottle. Water fountains are switched off as per CHP guidelines but the ‘bottle refill’ option remains available.

Continued use of facemasks

Students will be required to wear a facemask at all times while on campus, aside from times where it is absolutely necessary to remove it e.g. for eating and drinking. Additional health measures are being adopted at such times in order to ensure student safety. 

Students must also wear masks while on public transport or when on a school bus.

Parents are asked to send their child with 2-3 masks each day, so that there are spares to ensure freshness / in case of breakage.

Parents remain off-campus for the time being

It remains the case across ESF schools that, for reasons of safety, in general parents are not able to access campus at this time. This means that the PTA Shop will remain closed. However, we are all looking forward to the point in the future where we can welcome parents back once again, and will continue to communicate with you about this as any further developments occur.

Students who are not able to return to campus from Tuesday 19 April

As a reminder, before the spring break we asked families whose children were intending to remain overseas beyond Tuesday 19 April, or who would not be able to return to campus for any other reason known in advance, to notify us. If this applies to your child, please use this form to let us know the details including your child’s anticipated return date. Thank you in anticipation for your assistance.

Thank you for bearing with this lengthy and detailed message. We look forward to welcoming your child back to campus next week.

Kind regards,

James Smith