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Guidelines For The Reopening Of Schools (June-August 2020)

PREAMBLE 

PR – Further to consultations conducted by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC), with Permanent Secretaries, Chief Education Officers and Directors of Education, from all CARICOM Member States, and following a presentation made by Dr. Wayne Wesley, at the Sixth Special Emergency Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – Education, on May 8, 2020, the Council decided that the most popular examinations in the CXC suite should take place within the period June 29 to July 17, 2020. 

While Grenada had indicated that this period was not the best time for students and teachers, it was necessary for us to carefully explore all possible ways of facilitating the examinations at the set time. The Ministry of Education, Human Resource Development, Religious Affairs and Information has since reviewed the local situation and, after consultation with key stakeholders, including the staff at central ministry, principals, the Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), the members of the Denominational School Boards, parents and students, the following recommendations have been approved by Cabinet: 

For the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA) 

Based on the feedback from key stakeholders and the fact that the CPEA is not as high- stake an examination as others in the CXC suite, the Ministry of Education recommends that Grade 6 students should not sit the scheduled assessment, but transition to secondary schools based on a COMPOSITE SCORE for each student, to be derived from the following: 

  • Internal CPEA assessment scores from CXC’s Online Registration System (2020) (All schools have already uploaded such scores for their students
  • Grade 5 Minimum Competency Test (MCT) scores (2019) 
  • Grade 4 MCT scores (2018) 

For the Caribbean Certificate of Secondary Level Competence (CCSLC) 

Although this exam is deemed important as a benchmarking examination for all Form 3 students and is of great significance, relative to the CARICOM HRD 2030 Strategy and SDG4, the feedback from key stakeholders points to many challenges that are associated with students having to take that examination this year. Given that the CXC assessment framework allows students to sit the CCSLC, while in higher grades, the Ministry of Education therefore recommends that the sitting of the 2020 CCSLC exams, by students within the State of Grenada, be deferred to 2021. 

For Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations 

Although most feedback from key stakeholders support the sitting of CSEC exams in 2020, some are of the view that CSEC examinations should be deferred to the earliest possible opportunity in 2021.

If the Ministry of Education takes a decision to defer the exams to 2021, it will mean that there will be challenges in terms of the accommodation of students for classes, at all schools, due to limited space and the demand it will place on their teachers are among issues of greatest concern. 

As a result of the foreseen challenges and the feedback from key stakeholders, the Ministry of Education recommends that the CSEC examinations be done in 2020, with deferred arrangements for students with underlying conditions, or special circumstances of merit. The Ministry of Education therefore recommends the following phased approach for the return of staff and students to school, in the current school year. 

PHASES AND PROTOCOL 

This plan has been created to inform key stakeholders of steps to be taken, in support of education, for all students of compulsory school age. The actions are subject to the availability of public transportation, for the commuting of staff and students to and from school each day. 

The Ministry’s places great importance on its commitment to give all possible support to students who are expected to sit CXC Suite examinations in 2020, with due regard for the health and safety of all concerned. 

KEY DATES AS SET BY THE CARIBBEAN EXAMINATION COUNCIL 

  1. July 13 – 30, 2020 (CSEC) Examinations 

PHASE 1 (BEGINNING THE JUNE 1, 2020) – Preparation for the return of Form 5 students to 

their respective schools (Principals will determine if more than 1 week is needed

  1. Caretakers attend a one-day training session, with the Ministry of Health 
  2. Caretakers report to their respective schools to undertake cleaning of the schools 

(Priority must be given to the areas which are to be used by the principal, staff and students

  1. Debriefing sessions for all staff (Key elements will be organized by Officers of the Ministry of Education
  1. At least three additional Cleaners to be contracted by the Ministry of Education, and oriented to do routine sanitizing of washrooms, railings and other general areas, while students are on site. (See Back-to-School protocols
  1. Additional Security personnel will be hired by the Ministry of Education for deployment to schools, where necessary
  1. Ministry of Education to complete Phase 1 of the COVID-19 Supplies Distribution activity.
  1. Inspection and repair of faucets and toilets (District maintenance Supervisor and team
  1. Schools undertake routine procurement of supplies, as necessary 
  2. Ministry of Education continues the distribution of COVID-19 information posters 
  3. Ministry of Education provides additional products for the sanitizing of hands and general cleaning, OR an increase in subvention to purchase items which the Ministry is unable to source
  1. Ministry of Education publishes tips to guide parents’ preparation of their children, for return to the classroom
  1. Resources disseminated/distributed to enhance the psychosocial support for teachers and students on-site ( MOE- Student Support Services Unit
  1. Principals ensure that COVID-19 information posters and products for the sanitizing of hands are placed in strategic locations, on the school’s compound
  1. Principals make arrangements to support students during break and lunchtime, as applicable (For treating with meals, see Back-to school Protocol
  1. Principals should work with members of staff to develop a flexible timetable, to allow for the following:

The staggered school day to be facilitated between 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., to inform adherence to social distancing protocols (COVID-19 Regulations and Guidelines

A special First Day Orientation to include: 

  • An orientation to the protocols for movement and interaction on the schools’ compound (onsite routines
  • Specially crafted activities for psychosocial support (Stress relievers and morale boosters spearheaded by school counsellor/counselling assistant) 
  • Guidelines for daily movement to and from school 

Special psychosocial activities for small group and individual interaction with counsellors and counselling assistants daily, during the first two weeks 

(activities to be supported by Officers of the Student Support Services Department

Adequate time for students to complete SBAs and Projects, with practical components. (Special consideration for TVET subjects) 

The accommodation of batches of students, where space does not allow for the engagement of students as a single class 

Guided by principals, teachers will continue to provide support to online students (where possible) 

A staggered break time for each class or classes by batch, with an allocation of time for post-break sanitization (to align with students scheduled arrival time to commence classes

A staggered lunchtime for each class or classes by batch, with an allocation of time for post-lunch sanitization (to align with students scheduled arrival time to commence classes

PHASE 2 (BEGINNING JUNE 8, 2020) – Return of students in CXC Examination classes and their teachers, to on-site classes, with school in operation from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (staggered arrival and departure times for classes or batches of students

  1. Specially contracted cleaners will undertake cleaning activities throughout the day. (See COVID-19 Back-to-School Protocol)
  1. Established cleaners will perform their routine cleaning in the afternoon (Covid-19 Back-to-school protocols are to be observed) 
  1. Review Guidelines and Protocols (Subject to prevailing conditions) 

PHASE 3 (BEGINNING JUNE 15, 2020) – Return of all teachers to school KEY ACTIVITIES 

  1. Preparation of end-of-year reports for students 
  2. Week beginning June 22, 2020 – Preparation of rooms for CXC Examinations in accordance with Back-to-School Protocol for seating
  1. Week beginning June 29, 2020 – Collection of reports by parents/guardians(by appointment
  1. Online Registration of new students: 
  • E-flyers and public notices with Registration guidelines to be disseminated by Ministry of Education /principals/ teachers-in-charge (As applicable
  • Phone number published for making appointment to visit school for registration (This facility would be for persons who are unable to apply 

online

  • Forms for registration to be left at specific locations within communities, if schools are not accessible
  • Ministry of Education to assist with publicizing registration schedules for those who prefer face-to-face registration
  1. Review Guidelines and Protocols (Subject to prevailing conditions
  2. July 3 – End of Trinity Term 

PHASE 4 (BEGINNING 6TH JULY 2020) 

  1. Finalising of logistical arrangements for Summer School 
  2. July 6 – 17, 2020 – Two weeks of Professional Development activities commence 

(Selected teachers will be required to participate in activities for a maximum of four hours per day

  1. Review Guidelines and Protocols (Subject to prevailing conditions
  2. July 13, 2020 – CSEC Examinations begin 

PHASE 5 (BEGINNING JULY 20, 2020) 

  1. July 20 – August 28, 2020: Teachers’ vacation 
  2. July 30: Last day of CSEC Examinations 
  3. Review Guidelines and Protocols (Subject to prevailing conditions

PHASE 6 (BEGINNING AUGUST 31, 2020) 

  1. All Teachers report for duty 
  2. August 31, 2020 Official Planning Week activities commence 
  3. Review Guidelines and Protocols (Subject to prevailing conditions

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