COVID-19 Information

Below you find a collection of currently-valid corona-related resources; recent communications sent by the school management, APEEE Services and others; relevant FWB circulaires; and other documents concerning safety and hygiene and pedagogical continuity during COVID-19.

For our archive of previous communications and information on COVID-19, please see: COVID-19 Communication Archive. For updates on APEEE's efforts related to COVID-19, please see: Issues and Positions: COVID-19. You can also read our latest APEEE FactSheet compiled by parent-expert Santiago Calvo-Ramos:

Swiss Cheese Approach

APEEE's EEBI Weekly COVID-19 FactSheet (17 September 2021)

Summary:

  • In the second full week of the 21-22 school year, there have been thirty-two cases in EEBI reported by the school management and P5 in Berkendael has been put on online learning. The situation is therefore extremely delicate and the medical service are working to find as many cases as possible to prevent the spread to other pupils and reduce the numbers of those quarantined.
  • The majority of cases have been reported in the Primary years of Berkendael and in the Secondary years of Uccle. This large increase is likely to be associated with the greater contagiousness of the Delta variant combined with the lower level of mitigation measures compared with the last school year. The fact that there are fewer cases in Secondary suggest that vaccination and the use of masks may be hindering the spread of the virus there. Large increases in cases have also been reported in Belgian and specifically Brussels schools this week.
  • The epidemiological situation in Brussels in the autumn is expected to be very challenging, due to the seasonality of the virus, the Delta variant, reopening of schools and workplaces, lifting of restrictions and low vaccination rates. The authorities are focusing on improving vaccination rates, with the hope that this will prevent hospitals from running out of capacity.
  • In this context, the importance of vaccinating the eligible school population cannot be over emphasised. In Belgium vaccines are available from age 12 upwards. A high vaccination rate of these age-groups, along with school staff and parents, has the potential to make the school year 2021-2022 safer and less disruptive to the activity of the school. Approval of vaccination for the 5-12 age-group is expected later this year in the best case scenario.
  • Mitigation measures in place in EEBI have been scaled down and follow the bare legal minimum demanded by the Belgian authorities. However, the characteristics of EEBI make it particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks due to its size and high level of group mixing (buses, canteens, L2, L2 classes, etc.). In Primary school in particular there are few measures in place to mitigate the likelihood of outbreaks.
  • The APEEE favours the application of a layered approach to mitigation that minimises the health risk to pupils as well as the disruption of their teaching. These measures could include best practice recommendations from the Belgian authorities as well as best practice from other European Schools (better ventilation and exploring the possibility regular rapid testing). This week EEBI has reported that the proportion of pupils vaccinated will be made public soon, as suggested by the APEEE.

Useful Links

For resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic:

Contacts and Information from EEBI:

School Management Communication

Rentrée scolaire 2021-2022 / Start of the 2020-2021 School Year (08 July 2021) - FR / EN
EEB Director Communication Communauté scolaire / Communication to the school community (27 August 2021) - EN/FR
Communication de la direction / Communication from management (27 August 2021) - FR / EN
Mise à jour hebdomadaire de la direction / Weekly Management Update (10 September 2021) - FR/EN
Communication de la direction - règles de quarantaine / Communication from management - quarantine rule (updated version; 16 September 2021) - FR/EN
Mise à jour hebdomadaire de la direction Weekly management update (17 September 2021) - FR/EN

APEEE Service / OIB Garderie Communication

Politique de remboursements de l'APEEE Services pour l'année 2020-2021 / APEEE Services reimbursement policy for the year 2020-2021 (22 June 2021) - FR/EN

Belgian Regulations and Information (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles)

FWB - Circulaire 8212 - Coronavirus Covid-19 : organisation de la vie scolaire en contexte de crise sanitaire à partir de la rentrée de septembre 2021, enseignement fondamental (primaire; 17 August 2021)
FWB - Circulaire 8213 - Coronavirus Covid-19 : organisation de la vie scolaire en contexte de crise sanitaire à partir de la rentrée de la rentrée de septembre 2021, enseignement secondaire (secondaire; 17 August 2021)

Other Documents related to Health and Safety

 INTERPARENTS JTC Proposal: Proposal to extend the definition of vulnerable pupils (2020-09-D-65-en-1; September 2020)
World Health Organisation (WHO): Schooling during COVID-19. Recommendations from the WHO European Region Technical Advisory Group, June 2021
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): COVID-19 in children and the role of school settings in transmission, second update (08 July 2021)

Other Documents related to Pedagogical Continuity

 OSGES: Guidelines for the pedagogical use of mobile devices in the European Schools / Directives pour l'utilisation pédagogique des appareils mobiles aux Ecoles européennes / Leitlinien für den pädagogischen Einsatz mobiler Geräte an den Europäischen Schulen, v.2 (2020-01-D-14; April 2020) - EN / FR / DE
 OSGES: European School Distance Learning Recommendations, v.6 (2020-03-D-11-en-6; September 2020) for management and coordinators
 INTERPARENTS JTC Proposal: Distance Learning for Absent Children (2020-09-D-66-en-1; September 2020)
OSGES: Distance Teaching and Learning Policy / Politique enseignement apprentissage à distance, v.5 (2020-09-D-10; March 2021) - EN / FR

Last update: 31/08/2021