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COVID-19 Protocols For Reopening Schools

Before School Reopens 

  1. The school compound MUST be sanitized, according to guidelines approved by the Ministry of Health.
  1. The Ministry of Education will contract additional cleaners and security officers and all personnel will be oriented to perform routine cleaning and sanitizing (in accordance with approved protocols). 
  2. The Ministry of Education will provide a copy of the protocols to all principals, who will share with their staff.
  1. The Ministry of Education will ensure that an adequate number of toilets and handwashing facilities, on the school’s compound, are functional.

Responsibilities of Parents 

  1. All students will be required to wear a mask provided by their parents. Where masks are not available, a scarf or other appropriate face covering should be used.
  1. Parents are encouraged to provide their children with hand sanitizers and any other supplies, which can help to keep them protected.
  1. Parents/guardians are encouraged to notify principals, through a printed or electronic medium, if children have pre-existing conditions, which would make it impossible for them to be at school, at this time. 
  2. Parents are encouraged to provide packed meals and snacks for their children. More specifically, pre-packaged boxes, or bags of food, should be utilised instead of food on platters, or plates.
  1. Parents are to remind their children that they should adhere to the social distancing protocol. (Children should stay at least 6ft away from classmates and avoid touching or physical contact)

Responsibilities of School Administrators 

  1. Principals should present teachers and students with safety information and hold a Health and Safety briefings, detailing the individual and collective responsibilities. 
  2. All Health and Safety briefings should include information regarding conduct and carrying out day-today activities, in common areas/spaces.
  1. All persons present on the school compound MUST wear a mask. Where masks are not available, a scarf or other appropriate face covering should be used
  1. Principals will notify the Ministry of Education about students with asthmatic conditions who do not have the appropriate masks to facilitate normal breathing. 
  2. Principals should ensure that Health and Safety reminders are given periodically, during each school day, via the school’s public address public address (PA) system, or at the class level in the absence of a PA system. 
  3. Principals should ensure that classrooms and other areas of the school compound are cleaned daily, with disinfectant solutions, and the cleaning of surfaces such as handrails, should be repeated throughout the day, as necessary. Additionally: 

− a cleaner should be stationed at the entrance of each washroom facility which is designated for use by students; 

− the number of persons using washrooms must be managed, to allow for physical distancing within the environment, particularly at the sinks; 

− toilets must be sanitised after each use; 

− there will be liquid soap in all washrooms, for the washing of hands; 

− shared desks and chairs should be sanitized, before being used by another student; 

  1. Principals should ensure (as much as possible) that consideration is given to physical distancing, enhanced ventilation, open, doors, and washroom facilities, which allow for optimal health and safety practices. More specifically: 

− desks in shared spaces should be placed 6ft apart, all must face in the same direction; 

− there should be guide marks on sidewalks, walls and one-way routes in hallways, to ensure that students understand where they must stand, or walk, to remain 6ft 8. Principals will create a timetable to reflect staggered arrival and departure times for students, to reduce chances of crowding. More specifically: 

− students are to arrive at school in accordance with the established schedule, and depart promptly from the compound once classes are dismissed; 

− students should be reminded daily, that there is to be no loitering in public spaces; 

  1. At the start of each school day, the hands of students and other staff members will be sanitized upon entry onto the school’s compound.
  1. Principals should ensure (as much as possible) that arrangements are made for students to eat in open spaces, giving due consideration to social distancing of no less than 12ft. 
  2. Principals should see to it that there are no field trips, whole school assemblies. Furthermore, volunteers and visitors should be avoided.
  1. Wherever a tuck shop is to function on the school’s compound, this must be done in 

accordance with Covid-19 protocols for the preparation and/or distribution of food. Ensure that detailed information on all visitors is recorded in a visitors’ book (Name, address and phone numbers). 

Responsibilities of Teachers 

  1. There will be hand sanitizers (of 70% alcohol or more) in the staff room and every classroom to be managed by the teacher(s).
  1. Form and subject registers should be maintained by the respective teacher(s) daily, so that contact tracing can be facilitated if the need arises.
  1. The Form teacher should update the Class Register to reflect any changes in Contact Information and address
  1. Teachers should ensure that there is no sharing of items (books, stationery, masks, personal electronic devices, toys, games, learning aids and other personal supplies).
  1. All personal belongings in the staff rooms and classrooms should be stored in an appropriate place.
  1. There should be no loitering in shared spaces on the school compound –dining areas, playgrounds and washrooms. Where the use of these spaces become necessary, the 6ft- 

distancing protocol must be established

  1. Teachers should remind students to eat in designated areas and they should be monitored while they eat, to ensure physical distancing.

Poor Health or Illness 

  1. Guided by the Education Act or Labour Code, principals, teachers and other members of staff with pre-existing conditions should not report to work.
  1. Each school must have a room, or space, to accommodate any student or teacher who may be displaying any symptoms COVID-19 while on the school compound. The principal must ensure that a call is placed to the COVID-19 Hotline; 45VIRUS/53VIRUS (458-4787 or 538-4787) for further instructions. (AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
  2. A family member must be contacted immediately (where possible). 
  3. Where a child shows COVID- 19 symptoms after returning from school, the parent(s) MUST call the COVID-19 Hotline and also notify the principal. 
  1. The Ministry of Health will conduct random rapid testing of personnel in various schools as needed.

Amendment 

These protocols may be amended if requirements change, or if new guidelines are presented, by the Ministry of Health.

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