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School Reopening

We would like to remind you that during the months of July and August,  BFIS will be updating and uploading more information for the reopening of the school in September 2020. Information such as handbooks, schedules, after-school activities, class rosters, school supplies, and specific school policies among other, will be published during the summer. Please, take a moment to carefully read the essential information for school opening in September 2020 included below. 

Parents must complete the Health Survey below for their child(ren) to be able to return to school on September 1st. The Health Survey will be available late this summer 2020, since the local government is now making changes to the form.

COVID19 Health Form
Available soon

Values

In the face of uncertainty, what provides both balance and bedrock is our values. 

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
Assumptions

Mapping out plans for August 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.
  • 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 private schools.  (1 meter for stable groups and 1.5 meters for non stable groups)
  • We fully intend to 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.
  • Certain travel restrictions will remain in place.
  • Disinfection routines will be necessary.
Model

BFIS’ return to normal operations will be subject to national guidelines determined by the Generalitat. 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.

There are many areas in which specifics will need to be determined.  We will make decisions through July as guidelines are made public by the Ministry of Health and Education.  These will be published and formalized by mid-August.

In September, BFIS will be preparing students, teachers and parents for any scenario that may occur throughout the school year including 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. In the likelihood that there is a spike in cases in Barcelona and the social distancing requirements from the government require us to move to a hybrid model (which means we will have some students on campus and some at home), the classes will be live streamed so students may follow along with the class from home.  

Hygiene and cleaning protocols

Hand washing and other normal hygiene rules (such as coughing protocols, etc.) will be encouraged and facilitated. (See Nurse’s Section) 

For children and adolescents, hand washing 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.

 

  • 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. 
  • In some cases they may involve responsibilities for the older students (for example, wiping down their desk before they leave).
  • 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. 
  • These routines will be shared with staff, parents and students. We will use a variety of methods to introduce and reinforce these routines.


 

  • All staff will be issued masks and will be expected to wear them in accordance to the guidelines and recommendations at the time.
  • Disposable gloves for teachers and staff available as needed/requested.
  • Facial shield masks (one per BFIS staff member) will be provided.
  • Although we will work to limit visits on campus whenever possible, we will require all visitors to wear masks when on campus.
  • 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.   
  • At present, masks are not compulsory for children in the age group of 3-6 years old and it is non compulsory for 1st -12th grades when students remain within their stable groups.  Please note that students will be required to wear masks in grades 1st-12th grade when they are not in their stable groups and/or are unable to keep a distance of 1.5 meters.
  • MSHS students must always wear masks when transitioning to other classrooms, the hallways and/or to the bathroom. 
  • For PE, the use of masks will not be required.

 

  • We have purchased hand-held thermometers so that if necessary we will have the capability to screen people before they come on campus. We may consider adding temperature checks during lunch.
  • 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 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.
  • The recommended temperature guidelines for the use of the air conditioners are as followed: 19-21 in the winter and 24-26 in the summer.
  • 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.
  • Children will bring only the minimal personal items to school. This will differ by division but would include lunch, necessary stationery items and devices in the HS  for example.
  • All students should bring a water bottle labeled 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.  
  • Staff will also be required to check-in online versus through the identification portal system to limit cross contamination.  
Classrooms physical structures
  • Based on the number of students, BFIS will make all attempts to organize stable groups of students with assigned teachers and an assigned class space.
  • In 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 generally occupy the same physical space. Teachers (such as the Specialists and CSCS teachers) and /or educational support staff who are related to more than one stable group will need to wear a mask when they cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 meters with the children.
  • In MSHS, the stable group will stay together for as long as possible and occupy the same physical space whenever possible. 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. 
  • Classrooms will be set up to follow the physical distancing guidelines determined by the Ministry of Health and Generalitad. 
  • 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 are developing room assignments based on projected enrollment and class scheduling.  Flexibility will be important and the administration will do all they can to provide continuity with room assignments. 
  • We understand that in many ways the students in early childhood will experience the greatest difficulty adjusting. We are preparing to increase our staffing focus at these grade levels.
  • We will utilize outdoor spaces to the maximum extent possible to allow for movement for students.

 

Classroom materials and routines
  • 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.  The good news is that schools all over the world are going through the same experience and dealing with 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.
  • The classroom must be ventilated after each class use when used by a non stable group.
  • Teachers will need to reinforce appropriate handwashing 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.
Schoolwide movement
  • 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 may 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.
  • 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 and Recess
  • Lunch schedules may 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.
Bus Information
  • Busing will be modified as necessary to comply with public transportation requirements.  This could mean reduced capacity in buses if this is still a requirement depending on our Phase at the time.
  • Masks will be worn as per requirements at the time.
  • The mask must be used throughout the journey and until they reach the classroom.
  • At each of the school bus stops, when picking up and dropping off children and teenagers, it is very important that families maintain the physical distance and that masks are worn. The accumulation of families in a small space must be avoided.
Visitors on campus
  • Visitors will be asked to make an appointment to come on campus.
  • 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.
  • It is recommended that 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.
Drop off and pick up 
  • Entering and exiting the school may 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 most likely occur for September 2020.
  • We will establish specific entrance and exit areas or gates. 
  • Children must follow the walk flow pattern when entering the campus and in each classroom.
  • 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. 
  • Before or after school care may not be provided.
ASA, sports fields, trips and community events
  • 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 on 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.
Supporting services
  • Library - Books and materials from the library will need to be requested digitally.
  • 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.
  • 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
Student 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 guidelines cannot stay at 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.  However we also must remember that it will take time for parents, staff, and students to understand clearly the expectation and  responsibilities. We will support one another in learning new habits and remaining healthy and safe.
Student and staff health
  • 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 must take responsibility for the state of their children’s health. At the beginning of the year, families will sign a responsible statement through which they acknowledge:
    • The absence of symptoms must be without taking any drug or medication
    • 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 14 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.
    • The staff must ensure not to come to  school in the event that he or she 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 14 days.
    • Staff will need to inform the school nurse immediately so timely measures may be taken.
       
  • Specific guidelines will be in place for staff and students who show any signs of illness. These will include but are not limited to:
    • Not returning until they have been symptom free for a required period of time.
    • Once the students/staff  return, they must first check in with the school nurse and get her clearance prior to returning to class. 
    • Testing for COVID if there are flu-like symptoms
    • Information for contact tracing if required
  • For families that may be traveling from outside of Spain, we will follow the government's guidelines on quarantining guidelines to be able to access the campus. 
  • We realize we will have  students that will not attend due to symptoms etc... We anticipate the need for some form of home learning for them. 
  • For staff who are identified as 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.
Social emotional well being
  • 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 and socialization, albeit, safely.
  • 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.
Next Steps
  • This is a work in progress - As we learn more, we will add details and specifics.  There are some areas where we will be able to give specific answers by the end of July.  Other details will be added in August.
  • We understand how difficult the uncertainty is for all of us.  However, waiting gives us options.  
    • 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

 

Reading over summer vacation may not be a priority for children, but we need to make sure that students keep reading during this time. In June our librarians released their recommended summer lists and the Middle and High School division sent to students their summer reading activities. All this information is also available here below. Please, make sure your kids read as much as possible during the summer

We have just updated the school website with the new programming for After School Activities and Sports for 2020-2021. Please note that there have been important changes to the Team Sports Training Schedule.