As the COVID-19 landscape continues to evolve and to pose an ever-greater threat in Europe and Austria, it is incumbent upon Schools and Organisations to play their social role in safeguarding communities, to establish cooperative and supportive relations, and to educate stakeholders.
AMADEUS International School Vienna is currently open for business with zero suspected or confirmed cases, and we are taking all measures to remain this way.
Our emergency response team worked closely together to establish a response model based on international best practice, and to offer leadership to others facing such challenges here and abroad. The team was joined by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Dr Goh (a licensed healthcare professional who was very involved in policy formulation in Singapore since 2003 during SARS, and as recent as on the COVID-19).
Guiding our strategy are the principles of:
- Proactive policies to safeguard and protect our community.
- Zero disruption or minimal disruption to education processes.
- Creating education opportunities for our community.
At the heart of this strategy, and to enable the realization of the guiding principles, is regular temperature logging. To our knowledge, we are the first school to introduce such a measure of early detection which can enable efficient contact tracing in the worst-case scenario.
All students will have their temperature taken and logged at the beginning of the school day by their homeroom teachers. The temperature taking is a non-invasive process taking just a few seconds. The temperature is read by light contact to the side of the head.
Students who have fever are asked to return home until symptoms subside or to contact the hotline. Fever combined with a travel history to moderate of high-risk destinations, or contact to confirmed cases results in report and quarantine measures.
Teachers and Music instructors are also subject to temperature logging as well as travel and health disclosures.
Visitors will be limited to essential business only and those arriving must complete temperature logging as well as travel and health disclosures.
Additional measures include:
- Hygiene education sessions within every homeroom
- Automatic self-monitoring quarantine of 14 days for those who have traveled to a high-risk area or been in contact with a confirmed case within the last 14 days
- Cancellation or postponement of school trips, business travel, boarding leave, and events, in crowded public places, and areas of high or moderate risk
- Development of additional handwashing and disinfecting stations throughout the school.
- Additional antibacterial surface cleaning on common communal surfaces.
- Cancellation or postponement of Inter-school sports fixtures, and group visits.
- Cancellation or postponement of offsite school events in circumstances whereby rigorous temperature checking is not viable.
- Full alignment with guidance of the Austrian Authorities on reporting suspected and confirmed cases.
These measures enable us to continue to offer our high-quality academic instruction, music lessons, and afterschool programs in the confidence that our staff and students are protected and safe.
In the meantime, we continue to prepare emergency action scenarios for the worst cases (suspected case, confirmed case, multiple cases, or severe spike in the incidence of COVID-19 in Vienna) which can lead to school closure. In such a case AMADEUS Vienna will be fully operational with distance learning for the continuation of education.
For now, we reinforce our message of prudent, evidence-informed actions, executed quickly and efficiently, and remind parents we do not recommend that students attend school in face mask, or that students are withdrawn prematurely.
To borrow some words from Karl Jung, the most intense challenges “if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed”. We work toward this as our clear and aligned mission.