Handwashing and Sanitization Protocol and Supervision
All schools shall set up handwashing or hand sanitization stations in key locations around the school, such as at access points, playgrounds, entrances of all school buildings and classrooms, at the entrance of the cafeteria, in the school kitchen/canteen, etc.
Each handwashing station must be equipped with liquid soap, sanitizing wipes, disposable paper towels, and posters with effective handwashing and drying instructions.
Air dryers should be not be used (unplug or mark off-limits) due to their ability to circulate air in a concentrated space and spread germs.
Schools shall clearly instruct students and staff to dry their hands properly after handwashing as moist hands may breed germs.
Each hand sanitization station must be equipped with 60%-80% alcohol-based hand sanitization gel.
Handwashing stations (e.g. in bathrooms, etc.) must have markings on the floor to implement a 1.5m distance between each student/staff member who is using the facility.
Schools shall encourage students to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap:
- When hands are visibly soiled
- Before eating
- After using the toilet
- After touching high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, etc.
- After coughing or sneezing
If handwashing is not possible, students may sanitize their hands using hand gels (for 20 seconds) and wash their hands as soon as they have access to a handwashing facility.
Young children (KG and early Cycle 1) must be supervised when washing hands and also when using hand gels.
Students should use a tissue or paper towel when coughing and sneezing, and promptly dispose of it in a covered bin and wash their hands immediately with soap and water for 20 seconds (or sanitize their hands with gel if a washing station is not nearby).
If a tissue or paper towel is not available, students should sneeze or cough into their elbows, and sanitize their hands if possible.
Students of Determination should be provided with appropriate guidance on hygiene management and supervised to ensure compliance with any guidance. Where the needs of the child prevent them from achieving this independently, appropriate support may be given provided the risk to the student and member of staff is mitigated. Personal protective measures for members of staff supporting the hygiene management of Students of Determination must be considered.
Personal Belongings and Shared Supplies
To reduce the risk of contamination and carrying viruses, staff and students’ personal belongings must be reduced to a minimum.
School supplies may be used when the possibility of sharing is low (i.e. scissors, glue, rulers, lab equipment), given that they are sanitized after individual use.
For classrooms of younger students, a receptable (with lid or small opening to prevent access by students) should be set up for any items that have been exposed to/come into contact with biological fluids (saliva, mucous secretions) for cleaning and sanitization after class and prior to reuse.
Non-essential furniture, equipment, and resources should be removed or demarcated as off-limits, and those that are made available should be easy to clean and disinfect (ie. non-fabric materials and surfaces).
Each student should be provided with a designated stationery kit or should be asked to bring their own stationery kit that they will keep at school if storage is possible (pens, pencils, markers, scissors, etc.). Otherwise, these should be brought daily. Stationery kits are for exclusive use and should not be shared.
Efforts should be made to reduce, where possible, the transfer of paper from home and to home by assigning class work using worksheets or assigning work online.
In case Students of Determination have special equipment and/or emotional support material, it must be adequately cleaned and disinfected, and never be shared with other children.
For older students who are allowed personal digital devices as per the school’s rules, ensure cleaning with sanitizing wipes regularly, and prohibit sharing with other students.
The installation of small hooks on all workstations is recommended to hang personal belongings and avoid having encumbrances on the floor.
Guidance regarding the personal belongings of staff should be considered for those working with Students of Determination and evaluated in the Risk Assessment process.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Masks are obligatory for anyone entering the school premises. Exceptions include:
- Students in KG.
- For teachers of younger students as well as Students of Determination that have hearing impairments, transparent masks are recommended.
- For all other students and staff, masks may only be removed during lunch, provided strict social distancing is maintained. Masks must be worn at all other times.
- Face shields should be worn by students and staff with medical conditions for which mask-wearing is not recommended (supported by a medical certificate).
Any further exceptions to the above list will be announced at a later time in conjunction with relevant authorities.
A home-made cloth mask or medical mask may be used.
Students and staff are required to bring two masks per day: one for use in the morning, and a new one to be used after lunch. Masks must be disposed of (one person at a time) in bins designated for medical waste. In the case of cloth masks, precaution must be taken to ensure that the used mask is stored properly in student bags and cleaned on a daily basis.
Schools shall maintain a supply of masks for students who may not have them or have misplaced or damaged their masks. These should be readily available at the entrances and exits of the school, and in classrooms if needed.
Due to the increased proximity of some staff working with Students of Determination, it is the school’s responsibility to ensure staff working with Students of Determination are provided with the appropriate PPE as per the Risk Assessment conducted.
Schools shall ensure that students are wearing masks correctly. Schools shall also provide training to students on proper hand hygiene and mask-wearing.
Gloves are not recommended but may be worn. Staff and students should be made aware that gloves do not prevent infection and that frequent handwashing is preferable.
Students should be encouraged to always carry a sanitizer with 60%-80% alcohol in their pockets/bags to sanitize their hands frequently.
In some cases, additional personal protective equipment is required to be worn by staff (face masks, face shields, gloves, and/or single-use full sleeved aprons). These include:
- Staff responsible for temperature screening.
- The school nurse/other trained medical professional.
- Cafeteria and kitchen staff.
- Janitorial staff responsible for sanitization and disinfection.
All students and staff must maintain a distance of 1.5m from each other at all times.
For younger students who may have difficulty in following social distancing instructions, schools may consider minimizing exposure and contact by grouping students into “bubbles” (see section for Bubbles under Student Grouping) and following proper hand hygiene. Staff may need to be in closer proximity to them as they work (i.e. if a student is hurt, needs assistance tying shoelaces, etc.).
For Students of Determination who require physical contact or support, the carer must ensure that their hands are sanitized before they come into contact with the student to support their needs.
Where a school decides it has the capacity to allow the return of a Student of Determination who requires a high level of support, and it is in the child’s best interests, it must ensure that this does not increase the risk for the child or other members of the school community.
Where a student requires physical contact to enable access to the school, for example due to a physical need or mobility issue, a comprehensive Risk Assessment must demonstrate how the needs of the child are to be managed. A highly personalised IEP should be developed and this, along with the Risk Assessment, should be reviewed on a daily/weekly basis as appropriate.
Care must be exercised in all other activities that may bring students in close contact with each other.