COVID-19 SCHOOL PROTOCOLS FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR 2021-2022
Updated August 2021
Masks: All 1st grade -12th grade students, teachers, staff and visitors will have to wear their masks all day while on campus during the first two weeks of school (September 1st- 14th) , a measure that significantly reduces the virus spread. Nursery and Pre K students wear a mask only for arrival and dismissal. Kindergarten students wear a mask only for arrival, dismissal and transitions. Please, read more about the use of masks in the Hygiene and Safety section below.
Water Bottles: We ask students to bring 2-3 water bottles labeled. The regulations are quite stringent and students may not use water fountains.
Dropping off Lunch Bags or Items at Security: In order to keep our staff and security safe, we ask that families to limit dropping off water bottles, backpacks, and lunch packs with the security guards. Children should bring all of their supplies and snacks in their backpacks.
Reminders for your Children: Children should always wash/sanitize their hands and keep a distance of 1.5 meters with students outside their stable group. There will be hands-free sanitizer stations around the school, but it may also be handy for your child to have their own bottle. Students may not share any food or drinks with others.
Health: Please keep your child at home if he or she has a temperature of 37.5 or greater, has any COVID-19 related symptoms, or if they have been exposed to anybody that had the COVID-19 virus.
Stable groups: There are significant changes regarding stable groups /grades. Please read more about it in the Learning Model and School Movement section.
As per local government guidelines, families must take responsibility for the health of their children and request them to sign a responsible statement at the beginning of the school year. Please fill out the BFIS responsibility statement below if you haven't done so.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION
In the face of uncertainty, what provides both balance and bedrock is our values. As you know BFIS's values are: Be Kind, Be Honest, Be Respectful, Be Responsible
While there are still many unknowns, as a leadership team, our values guide every decision that is taken around how we reopen. Above all else, we believe in:
- The safety, health, and wellbeing of staff, student, and our community
- Maintaining the quality of the learning experience for students.
- Maintaining our BFIS community as a Early Childhood -12th Grade school experience.
- Honest and clear communication with our community.
- The ideals of opportunity, optimism, and flexibility in how we approach educational challenges
Mapping out plans for September requires BFIS to consider certain assumptions based on research and reports from scientists, medical professionals, and government officials. As public and governmental guidelines evolve, the following assumptions will be adjusted accordingly:
- BFIS will open as scheduled in September with a full program for all students.
- Our plan is based on the desire to bring everyone back as near to normal as possible.
- While we wait for our student population to be vaccinated, COVID-19 will continue to impact communities and requires a mitigated response.
- Masks and physical distancing measures will continue to be active. In respect to these measures:
- BFIS will follow the Spanish Ministry of Health regulations and the Generalitat guidelines for schools.
- We fully, of course, go beyond basic requirements as required or recommended by the health and safety authorities to create the safest possible environment for everyone at BFIS.
- Hygiene and handwashing habits will continue to be expectations.
Teachers will teach and share the message that all of us must take care of the people around us and of ourselves.
Teachers will teach and share the message that we must act responsibly to protect the most vulnerable, which is why we must wash our hands frequently and systematically.
There will be an enhanced expectation for students to follow school rules, classroom agreements and cooperate when instructed and directed. We understand that this will be a learning experience for all of our community and we are committed to working with families to make the adjustment to new procedures and routines. However, given the consequences of not following the health and safety guidelines, students who are not able to follow the BFIS Behavior guidelines may be asked to leave school.
Students are expected to adhere to the hygiene and distancing procedures so the school can follow the guidelines for health and safety. Specific steps and consequences will be communicated and shared with the staff and community before the start of school. We will all need to be observant and follow through in cases where students forget to follow instructions and guidelines.
Parents only access the interior of the school grounds when indicated by the staff following all the established protection measures, wearing a mask and always keeping a safe distance.
Visitors will be asked to make an appointment to come on campus after 4 pm. For exceptional cases, we ask that the visitor present that they have been fully vaccinated.
Parent sessions may continue to make use of virtual meeting platforms.
Depending on the level or Phase, it may be necessary to restrict entrance to only students, staff, and essential services.
- Admissions Visits of NON-BFIS families will follow physical distancing and any quarantine measures required at the time. They will also be required to fill out the VISITOR AGREEMENT
This is a work in progress - As we learn more, we will add details and specifics.
We understand how difficult the uncertainty is for all of us. As we all know:
People’s feelings will change as they get used to some of the measures described.
Children will learn about masks and hygiene requirements.
We will have to make decisions based on incomplete information. We will have to be willing to learn and adjust as we go.
All of us will need to be flexible and be willing to take on responsibilities and new learning. There is no roadmap for this situation.
Together and from shared experience, diverse perspectives, willingness to ask questions, and holding strong to assuming good intentions, we will create the community we want to be.
BFIS’ return to normal operations will be subject to national guidelines determined by the Generalitat including: At this stage, we understand this to be:
- physical distancing
- Increase personal hygiene
- safety measures and traceability.
Ultimately, our plans are subject to change in compliance with future government requirements and recommendations.
BFIS will continue to monitor Spanish government guidelines and adjust to any scenario that may occur throughout the school year. This may include the possibility of having to move to 11th and 12th grade to online classes.
In Early Childhood, Kindergarten and in the Elementary school, the stable groups will stay together throughout most of the school day, in the classroom. Inside the building, the group will occupy the same physical space.
Shared materials, cloth materials (which includes pillows etc.), classroom rugs, bean bags, couches, and furniture that does not fit with the physical distancing requirements will be removed and stored.
The interpersonal physical safety distance, both indoors and outdoors, is set at 1.5 meters.
In EC and Elementary, where stable groups are established, it is not necessary to require the interpersonal physical safety distance set at 1.5 meters (or the equivalent safety surface of 2.5 m2.)
In EC and Elementary, for CSCS classes, students are required to follow the interpersonal physical safety distance set at 1.5 meters (or the equivalent safety surface of 2.5 m2.)
For MSHS, the stable groups will be organized in stable grades and therefore the interpersonal physical safety distance is set at 1.5 meters (or the equivalent safety surface of 2.5 m2) for all grades. This also means, that if there is a positive Covid case in the stable grade, the whole grade will have to quarantine and move to online learning.
The arrangement of the furniture, either in rows or in small groups around the table, should take this distance into account.
We will utilize outdoor spaces to the maximum extent possible to allow for movement for students.
Ventilation is one of the main measures to prevent infections in interior spaces. Teachers will be asked to ventilate their classrooms at least before the entry and exit of students and 3 more times during the day, for at least 15 minutes each time. A total of 5 times, we ask that the rooms are ventilated. The ES and MS building ventilations system will ventilate throughout the day and teachers are encouraged to ventilate with natural air throughout the day.
The classroom must be ventilated after each class use especially when used by a non stable group.
Teachers will need to reinforce appropriate hand washing and hand sanitizing when students leave and re-enter the classroom.
We ask that only one student at a time be sent to the bathroom. It will be necessary to maintain an interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters and wear a mask when using the restroom.
In the faculty workspaces, we ask teachers to abide by the physical safety distance of 1.5 m, and use a mask.
Timetables, passing times, locker access, and breaks may be modified (extended or staggered for example) to reduce crowding in common areas.
Signs and floor markings will be in place to assist in guiding movement around the buildings.
When possible, we ask teachers to go to students’ classrooms (i.e. CSCS) versus having students move. For Art, Music, and Drama, these classes will take place in Specials designated class space.
Use of the elevator is only for medical conditions provided with doctor’s notes. Its use should be sporadic.
Maximum capacity in the elevator: 1 adult only and 1 adult may accompany only 1 child.
When exiting the elevator, hands must be sanitized.
Staff meetings should generally take place online. If meetings are in person, staff should wear masks, follow the social distancing recommendation of 1.5 meters and the ventilation guidelines.
- Lunch schedules will be modified to avoid crowding and maintain physical distancing in the cafeteria.
- Students must not share any food or drink with others. This means celebrations that include shared food will not happen on campus.
- Students may only eat school lunch or home lunch. No deliveries will be allowed.
- At lunch, students from the same stable group may sit together at the same table. In the event that there are students from more than one group at the same table, it will be required to leave an empty chair, equivalent to 1.5 m, between the students to ensure social distancing mandates.
- Students are allowed to share the water jugs.
- Recess activity and equipment will be modified to meet distancing requirements.
- During patio and break, more than one stable group may play together as long as they wear their masks (1st grade through 12th grade).
- MSHS students will have designated playing spots for recess.
- Social distancing for staff must be of 1.5 meters for lunch.
- Entering and exiting the school procedures aim to reduce crowding and congregation of large groups
- Staggering the time of arrivals and dismissals will occur from September 2021 until the government feels it is no longer necessary.
- Children must follow the walk flow pattern when entering the campus and in each classroom.
- Students will also have to use hand sanitizer before entering their classroom.
- To minimize large groups, only one parent should accompany their child(ren) to drop off and pick up. Whenever possible and adhering to safety measures, older siblings should accompany their younger siblings for drop off and pick up.
- We ask parents to honor the 1.5 meter social distancing mandate and not congregate in front of the school entrances and make every effort to arrive at the designated times.
- Before or after school care will not be provided as we cannot maintain the stable group.
BFIS has every intention of offering ASA and Sports, and modifications or restrictions will be studied closely in advance to ensure they are held safely and follow government and BFIS safety measures. The offering of activities will depend on the health situation at any given moment.
- Modifications and restrictions of these school activities will be studied closely to determine if they can be held safely. At a minimum, they will need to follow the same physical distancing requirements.
- Community events will be held ONLY if we can meet the government’s criteria for social distancing at the time of the event.
- It is important to ensure that each person has a minimum surface area of 2.5 m2. Whenever possible, physical activity will be carried out outdoors.
- Hand washing before and after training and when accessing a pavilion, if applicable.
- Technology support will be by appointment only.
- Office visits will be by appointment only.
- The Nurse will be available for the usual cuts, bumps and bruises with a separate area for students and/or staff who present flu-like systems.
Social Emotional Wellbeing
Returning to school is something students, staff, and parents look forward to, but all of us continue to be affected by the pandemic in various ways. We will continue to focus on supporting students' various developmental social and emotional needs during this time. Please contact (counselors, teachers, administrators) if your family needs additional support. We recognize that community members who are at greater risk face additional anxiety and challenge. We will work within the guidelines and requirements of the labor laws and health recommendations.
- Students should have their vaccinations up to date.
- Students and staff who have a temperature of 37.5 will not be allowed to attend school.
- Families are responsible for the state of their children’s health. At the beginning of the year, families will sign a responsible statement through which they acknowledge:
- Symptoms and/or temperature must not be altered by taking any drug or medication (i.e. ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.)
- Temperature must be taken each morning at home and children with a temperature higher than 37.5 must stay home.
- Parents must ensure not to bring their child or adolescent to the school in the event that their child presents symptoms compatible with COVID-19 or has been in the presence of anyone in their household who may have had COVID-19 and quarantined in the last 10 days.
- Parents will need to inform the school nurse immediately so timely measures may be taken.
- In the event that a student has a chronic disease of high complexity that may increase the risk of severity in contracting SARS-CoV2 infection, the school nurse will follow up on the individual plans with the family / guardians and the child’s medical team.
Specific guidelines will be in place for staff and students who show any signs of illness. These will include but are not limited to:
- Any staff member who develops COVID-19 related symptoms will immediately leave campus and inform Nurse Mary.
- Any student who develop symptoms compatible with COVID-19 in the school:
- Must be taken to the nurse’s office and placed in the isolation room. The student and anyone in contact with the child must wear a mask as they transition to the nurse’s office.
- If the child has severe symptoms (i.e difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, confusion, unresponsiveness) the nurse will call 061.
- The school will then carry out the following actions:
- Contact the family to immediately pick up their child from school
- The parents will inform their primary care center and contact their CAP to facilitate traceability of the infection and epidemiologist monitoring.
If there is a positive case in one or more members of a stable group:
- The entire stable group will quarantine for 10 days (counting from the last contact with the positive case) and require a PCR test.
- A negative result does not exempt students from the need to maintain quarantine during 10 days.
- The stable group will move to online learning.
For staff who are *fully vaccinated with both doses who have come in close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, the steps to follow are:
- A PCR test would be administered at the beginning and seven days after the last contact with the confirmed case.
- If the PCR test results are negative, staff and students would not need to quarantine.
- Vaccinated staff will be advised to avoid contact with vulnerable and unvaccinated people, wear masks for all social interactions, avoid mass events and monitor for any COVID-19 compatible symptoms.
- If the PCR test results are positive, staff would need to quarantine for 10 days.
*Fully vaccinated means that both doses of the vaccine have been administered. Approved vaccines are * Pfizer / * BioNTech, Moderna or * AstraZeneca, or one dose of * Janssen.)
For staff who are identified as having a high risk of contracting severe coronavirus disease, they will receive an assessment from the occupational risk prevention services to assess whether they can be in contact with children or at school.
For families that may be traveling from outside of Spain, we will follow the government's guidelines on quarantining to be able to access the campus.
Students and teachers who show any sign of illness may not come to school
Please do not come to school if:
- the child/teacher is isolated because he/she has tested positive for COVID19
- the child/teacher is waiting for the results a COVID-19 test
- the child/teacher lives with a person diagnosed with COVID-19
- the child/teacher is in quarantine because he/she is a close contact of a person diagnosed with COVID-19
- the child/teacher exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19
- fever (+37.5 ºC) any time during the last 24 hours
- difficulty breathing
- *sore throat
- *nasal congestion
- fatigue, muscular pains and/or headache
- stomach ache with vomits or diarrhea
- lost of taste and smell
* Sore throat and nasal congestion are usual symptoms in children. They are only considered potential COVID-19 symptoms if they are associated to other symptoms from the list above.
Any staff member who develops symptoms will immediately leave campus.
When a child exhibits symptoms associated with COVID-19 at school:
- The nurse will take the temperature and evaluate the student.
- If symptoms of COVID-19 are found, the nurse will escort the student to the quarantine room.
- The Nurse will inform the Head of School and the child's family.
- The Nurse monitors student in quarantine room until the parents pick up the child.
- Family should contact their local CAP within 24 hours.
- Gloves and a FPP2 mask are to be worn by the nurse at all times when a student is present and until the room is sanitized. The student should wear a surgical mask.
- If the situation is serious, we will call 061.
- Standard precautions and physical distancing will be maintained and followed.
- School Nurse will meet the parent at the exterior door of the Nurse’s Station and bring the student to the parent.
- The personal objects of students with symptoms would be handed over to the parents in a fabric or plastic bag.
Any staff member who develops symptoms associated with COVID-19 will immediately leave campus, after informing the Head of School and the Nurse.
We request all families to inform the school as soon as possible to proceed with health and safety protocols. We would appreciate if in you communications can include :
When the school is informed about a student who tested positive for Covid19, we will follow the governmental protocols established for schools and the families involved will be contacted via SMS and email and informed about next steps to be taken.
Students who are *fully vaccinated and have direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case - shall follow the steps below.
- Have an antigen test administered within 72 hours of last contact. If the test is not completed within 72 hours, vaccinated students will need to quarantine.
- If the antigen test result is negative and there are no COVID-19 compatible symptoms, students will not need to quarantine. They may return to a regular school schedule.
- If the antigen test result is positive, the student will need to quarantine for 10 days. Live streaming will be available for students who may need to quarantine.
- Vaccinated staff and students are advised to avoid contact with vulnerable and unvaccinated people, wear masks for all social interactions, avoid mass events and monitor for any COVID-19 compatible symptoms.
*Fully vaccinated includes both doses of approved vaccines or alternate options. Approved vaccines include: Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, one dose of Janssen, had COVID-19 and 1 approved dose within a recommended time period.
Unvaccinated students who have direct contact with a positive COVID-19 case shall quarantine for 10 days and will need a PCR test administered within the 4th and 6th day from the diagnosis of the case. A negative result does not exempt these students from the need to complete the quarantine period of 10 days
- If the student/teacher tested negative for Covid19 and they were not requested to quarantine, or there was no need to perform the test, and they are symptom-free and fever-free for 24 hours they can return to school.
- If the student/teacher tested positive for Covid19 they may return to school after 10 days of quarantine. Please, send the test results to nurse Mary at email@example.com. There is no need for another test before returning to school.
- When your child returns to school, he/she must be fit enough to participate in all activities. The exception to the rule:If there is a restriction from some activity (recess or PE), a doctor's note must be provided explaining the condition and for how long the child will need to be excused.
All 1st grade - 12th grade students, teachers, staff and visitors will have to wear their masks all day while on campus during the first two weeks of school, a measure that significantly reduces the virus spread. Nursery and Pre K students wear a mask only for arrival and dismissal. Kindergarten students wear a mask only for arrival, dismissal and transitions.
BFIS has taken this measure to protect our entire community. We recognize that we have different community members that are returning from a variety of places and Spain as a country and BFIS as a school is unable fully to monitor the travels and contact people have made. By wearing masks for two weeks, we provide our entire community two weeks (14 days) where all members are protected via the masks. After the two weeks, we will follow the Catalan Health guidelines.
Early Childhood students may arrive on campus without masks and will be exempt from wearing masks during the school day.
Kindergarten students will continue to wear a mask only for arrival, dismissal and transitions.
Students ages 6 and up shall continue to wear masks in class.
During patio time, students that are playing with one or more stable groups will need to wear a mask.
ES students do not need to wear a mask at patio if they are playing only with their stable group.
All Physical Education classes will resume without masks.
Masks Type- should be either the surgical masks or masks that have 2-3 layers. Remember to send a set of two.
Hand washing and other normal hygiene rules (such as coughing protocols, etc.) will be taught, encouraged and facilitated. (See Nurse’s Section)
Hand washing is preferred over hand sanitizing. However, when hand washing is unavailable we ask for staff and students to use hand sanitizer.
For children and adolescents, hand washing or use of hand sanitizer will be required:
- On arrival and departure from the school.
- Before and after meals.
- Before and after going to the restroom.
- Before and after any transitional activities (including after the students return from recess.)
For staff hand washing will be required:
- Upon arrival at BFIS, before meeting with children
- Before and after coming into contact with food, children's meals and/or their own.
- Before and after accompanying a child to the restroom.
- Before and after going to the restroom.
- Before and after wiping a child (with disposable wipes).
- At least once every 2 hours.
Additionally, it is important to note that:
- Hand sanitiser will be located in all classrooms, offices, cafeteria and at the entrances of each building and school
- Children and staff will be regularly reminded of normal hygiene rules (eg coughing protocols, tissue use, handwashing, etc...)
- Given the hand sanitizing and handwashing frequency, using a moisturizing cream will be important.
Respiratory Etiquette and Expectations
Students are required to:
- cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, through the use of tissues or the crook of their elbow.
- use single-use tissues
- immediately discard used tissues in the trash can
- avoid touching their mouth or eyes
Cleaning routines will be established during the day and overnight for all classrooms.
Whenever a space is used by a different student or adult the learning area must be cleaned. During the school day it will be done by the teacher and/or student and at the end of the day by the cleaning staff.
We ask teachers and students to wipe down spaces where there are changes in use of desks, seats and materials by different members of the community.
These routines will be shared with staff, parents and students. We will use a variety of methods to introduce and reinforce these routines.
- The air conditioners in the Elementary Building and on the 3rd floor of MS-HS have been updated with external F9 filters. This improvement helps to clean the air according to new COVID-19 related regulations. In these spaces, the system works 24 hours to ensure continuous air renovation. In spaces where we do not have this system, we will ventilate the spaces a minimum of 3 times a day.
- Learning new behaviors is difficult and takes time and reinforcement. It will be our collective responsibility to model the behavior and to positively
- redirect students who will need reminders.
- All students should bring two water bottles labelled with their name. Drinking fountains will not be used and will be covered. Water jugs and coffee dispensers require a single use cup to limit cross contamination and are for teacher use only.
- Ventilation is one of the main measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in indoor spaces. Therefore, it is necessary to ventilate 15 minutes at the beginning and at the end of the day, during recess, and whenever possible between classes.
- Visits to the nurse office are really only for sick children or staff who truly need help.
- Only 3 students will be allowed in the nurse office at any given time (one on the bed and 2 on the chair 1,5 – 2 meters apart).
- Teachers will wait outside with a 1.5-2m distance if their presence is not absolutely necessary.
- The nurse will send a daily list to the administrative assistants in EC/ES and MSHS to inform them of any students that must first get a medical clearance before returning to school.
Your child must be 12 years old.
The Catalonian government has opened these satellites and will remain open until mid September. You may drop in.
- Fira de Barcelona, avinguda Rius i Taulet, 12: Monday to Sunday, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
- La Maquinista, Carrer del Pont de Potosí, 2, Floor 0: Monday to Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Hospital San Pau, Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret 169: Monday to Friday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m
For students that have been vaccinated in Spain, the Health Authorities will share the vaccination certificates with schools through their online platform, Tracacovid.
How will you know that my child is vaccinated?
Parent Action Required
For students that have been vaccinated in Spain, the Health Authorities will share the vaccination certificates with schools through their online platform, Tracacovid.
For families who are not registered with the CAP and/or who have vaccinated their child abroad, please email the vaccination certificate/card to: BFISvaxcertificate@bfischool.org
We ask families to please submit their vaccination certificate/card.
For people that are residing in Catalonia without an individual health card (TSI) or an identification document for public health coverage can go to the primary care center (CAP) to get vaccinated.
Go to your local CAP and ask about having your vaccination card verified and uploaded into the system.
Please note that fully vaccinated includes both doses of approved vaccines or alternate options. Approved vaccines include: Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, one dose of Janssen, or that you previously had COVID-19 and 1 approved dose within a recommended time period.
At this time, other vaccinations are not approved or recognized by the Spanish Ministry.