COVID-19 SCHOOL PROTOCOLS
Updated March 2021
Masks: Please have your child bring two masks and a baggie to place them. For younger children, we ask that parents label the masks with your child’s name.
Masks requirement: should be the surgical masks or masks that have 2-3 layers.
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 limit dropping off water bottles, backpacks, and lunch packs with the security guards. We ask families to ensure that their children bring all the supplies and snacks with them in their backpacks.
Reminders for your Children: Children should always wash/sanitize their hands and keep their distance of 1.5 meters. There will be a lot of hands-free sanitizer stations around the school, but it may also be handy for your child to have their own bottle. That being said, they may not share the bottle.
Health: Please keep your child at home if he or she has a temperature of 37.5 or greater, has any Covid related symptoms, or if they have been exposed to anybody that had the Covid19 virus.
Stable groups: Remind your child that as much as we would love for them to play with children in other stable group(s), they are not permitted to do so. We will be very strict about following this regulation.
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.
- Until a vaccine is widely administered, COVID-19 will continue to impact communities and requires a mitigated response.
- Business will not be as usual for at least part of next year. Several waves of infection may be likely. There may be continued disruption and the need for flexibility.
- 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.
- Physical distancing will necessitate the need to adjust and adapt our movement, practices, routines, activities, and services.
- Hygiene practices must be increased and the use of masks will be an expectation.
- Disinfection routines will be necessary.
- 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 Behaviour guidelines may be asked to leave the school.
- Students are expected to adhere to the new 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 and fill out a form
- 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.
- 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 go to restaurants and travel and get a feel for the new normal so it is not so strange and frightening to us as adults.
- 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. It is new to all of us.
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 early stage, we understand this to be:
- physical distancing (1 meter for stable groups and 1.5 meters for non stable groups)
- Increase personal hygiene
- adapted schedules with stable and non stable groups to ensure safety measures and traceability.
- Increase in cleaning of classrooms and material
- modification of specific activities
Ultimately, our plans are subject to change in compliance with future government requirements and recommendations.
Our aim is to reunite the community while mitigating the risk of possible infection. We cannot eliminate the risk, but we feel it is critical that all members of the BFIS community have sufficient information concerning the measures taken and are aware of their responsibility in reducing the risk of infection.
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 a hybrid model of teaching or a complete closure as we had last year
It is not a viable model to have teachers responsible for both online and the onsite classes concurrently.
- Based on the number of students, BFIS has organized stable groups of students with assigned teachers and an assigned class space with the exception of 11th and 12th grade due to their individualized IB schedules.
- In Early Childhood, Kindergarten and in the Elementary school, the stable groups will stay together throughout most of the school day, both in the classroom and in the yard. Inside the building, the group will occupy the same physical space.
- In MSHS, the stable group will stay together throughout the day and occupy the same physical space. Whenever a group leaves a class space, the cleaning staff or teacher/student will disinfect their individual space.
- Teachers and /or educational support staff who work with more than one stable group will be required to wear a mask when they are unable to maintain a distance of 1.5 meters with students.
- 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.
- We have looked at the layout of student desks in each classroom for both 2 meters, 1.5 meters physical distancing and 1 meter for stable groups. 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.
- Physical distancing will impact many classroom routines and procedures. Teachers will need to consider how group work, conferencing, and sharing will take place in our new normal classrooms. Schools all over the world are going through the same restrictions and challenges. We will learn and share with our partner schools.
- The use of shared materials will likely be restricted. Classroom libraries and other shared resources will need to be used on a check out system managed by the teacher/s.
- Making up student kits of necessary materials such as math manipulatives, art supplies, or robotics parts rather than having common bins will be necessary. Similarly rotating shared materials such as iPads or soccer balls so that a class uses them for a period of time and then they go to the next class may be a solution.
- 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 10 minutes each time. A total of 5 times, we ask that the rooms are ventilated. The ES building ventilation system will ventilate throughout the day and teachers are encouraged to ventilate throughout the day.
- The classroom must be ventilated after each class use 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 of a mask when these distances are not able to be met.
- We ask teachers/staff to disinfect their individual work space of common work areas.
- 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.
- Teachers will be required to go to students classrooms (i.e. Spanish & specialists) versus having students move.
- Use of the elevator is only for medical conditions provided with doctor’s notes.
- Anyone using the elevator must sanitize hands before entering the elevator.
- In MSHS classrooms, staff and students must enter and exit through the exterior doors for the following classrooms: 6002, 6003, 6004, 6101 and 6102. This will decrease congestion inside the building.
- Maximum capacity in the elevator: 1 adult only and 1 adult may accompany only 1 child at a When exiting the elevator, hands must be sanitized.
- 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.
- Recess activity and equipment will be modified to meet distancing requirements.
- The recess equipment will need to be disinfected between each patio.
- There will be no self-service in the cafeteria and menus will be modified to follow hygiene requirements (for example, pre-packed items)
- Social distancing for staff must be of 1.5 meters for lunch.
- Entering and exiting the school will be modified to reduce crowding (for example creating a designated entrance and exit to the campus by using different locations).
- Staggering the time of arrivals or dismissals will occur for September 2020 until the government feels it is no longer necessary.
- Children must follow the walk flow pattern when entering the campus and in each classroom.
- All students will be required to wear masks when arriving and leaving the school campus until the students enter the classroom of their stable group.
- Students will also have to use hand sanitizer before entering their classroom.
- We will need to modify student routines before and after school.
- We ask parents to honor the 1.5 meter social distancing 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.
- Students should have their vaccinations up to date
- 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 and not 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.
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.
There will be a temperature check of all individuals before entering the school premises, those with 37.5ºC or above will not be allowed in.
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.
- If there is a positive case in one or more members of a stable group the entire stable group may be quarantined for 10 days after the last contact with the case, while monitoring for new cases. This stable group will move to online learning. All students and teachers of the stable group will need to contact their local CAP and get a PCR test after 4 or 5 days of the last contact. A negative result does not exempt students or teachers from the need to maintain quarantine during 10 days since last day of contact.
- 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 teachers, staff and visitors will have to wear their masks all day while on campus.
- For students arriving late during the year, they have to wear masks during the first 14 days of school, even if their class is nor required to.
- We will require students to bring masks to school each day in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and the most current recommendations.
- Students in EC and KG must arrive and leave school with a mask and must wear them as they transition in the buildings. Their masks can be taken off when they are with their stable group and with their homeroom. teacher, in PE and at Patio. Obviously, for EC children, they will be removed as well as they sleep. Parents may ALSO choose to have them keep them on throughout the day as is the case now. Just let your teacher know your choice.Teachers in Early Childhood may not wear them if doing so is an obstacle for the pedagogic objective of the education program.
- Students in Grade 1-5 must continue wearing their masks at arrival and dismissal, in classrooms and throughout transitions. They may take off their masks while eating, during PE and Patio if they are social distanced.
- Students in Grade 6-12 must continue wearing their masks at arrival and dismissal, in classrooms and throughout transitions. They may take off their masks while eating, for PE and if they are playing sports on the patio and are socially distanced.
- All staff will be issued masks and will be expected to wear them in accordance to the guidelines and recommendations at the time, which are the moment are to wear them all day at school.
- The Generalitat recommends to use hygiene mask with UNE specification. As a school we ask that staff and students use either surgical masks or 2-3 layers masks.
- All staff will be issued facial shield masks (one per BFIS staff member).
Hand washing and other normal hygiene rules (such as coughing protocols, etc.) will be taught, encouraged and facilitated.
Hand washing or use hand sanitizer will be required:
- On arrival and departure from the school.
- Before and after meals.
- Before and after going to the restroom.
- After coughing, sneezing or wiping the nose
- Before and after any transitional activities (including after the students return from recess).
- 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 wiping a child (with disposable wipes).
- At least once every 2 hours.
Additionally, it is important to note that:
- Hand sanitizer 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, hand washing, etc...).
- Given the hand sanitizing and hand washing 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 with special attention given to shared spaces and materials.
These will likely involve extra cleaning staff during the day and the use of specific products to disinfect.
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.
When and where students change classes there will be specific cleaning routines such as wiping off desktops with disposable wipe etc…
Teachers and students may be required to wipe down spaces where there are changes in use of desks, seats and materials by different members of the community.
Staff members will receive the following from the school nurse: masks, hand sanitizers, protective face shields, disinfectant wipes, gloves, boxes of single use tissue
These routines will be shared with staff, parents and students. We will use a variety of methods to introduce and reinforce these routines.
Returning to school will be something staff and students have looked forward to, but it will be very different. One of our biggest challenges will be to support students during this time. Not only for the developmental needs in each division but also for different age groups within divisions, students will need different supports and accommodations; for example - finding the right balance of social distancing, protection and "normality" for the early childhood years.
In order to lower the psychological, social-emotional impact as much as possible for the early childhood students, and all students, we need to consider and adjust to compensate for their need for sharing, play, socialization, and safety
We recognize that staff 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.
- 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.