Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning


School Reopening Models

Last update: 24 August 2020

Updated section: 

- Phased Return

Full, Partial, and Distance-Learning Models

In light of new social distancing requirements (1.5m between students, and students and staff; 2 m between staff), schools shall complete an analysis of their physical capacity to determine whether they are be able to reopen fully or partially.

Schools may choose to reopen fully if they can accommodate all students onsite at any given moment.

Schools may choose to reopen partially if they can only accommodate a portion of students onsite at any given moment.

Schools are not authorized to implement a full distance learning model. However, schools may decide to combine models to cater for the needs of different student groups. Schools who are considering a model other than the ones proposed must contact ADEK.

When selecting the reopening model for the school, schools shall take into consideration the results of the ADEK Parent Survey. ADEK recommends that the model that allows for the maximum amount of contact hours per student be considered but determination of the most appropriate reopening model for a school must also weigh safety, student learning, teacher workload, priority groups, parent needs, and the school’s logistical feasibility in implementing whichever model is chosen.

Social distancing and safe operation measures, continued distance learning (for students and staff staying home), and readiness to revert to full distance learning underpin every model presented.

Students of Determination should have all aspects of their educational provision met in an equitable manner to their peers. Support to access learning and enable progress should be provided in line with guidance given in these sections:

Students of Determination should be supported with appropriate differentiated materials to enable them to access remote learning from home. This should be an extension of the work completed in school to ensure continuation of learning. Schools shall also plan and deliver intervention sessions to maximize impact on learning.

Full Return Model

Schools may choose to resume full school operations where all students return to school for face-to-face learning.

Schools shall consider the following when choosing a full return model:

  • Full return implies as close to full operations as is possible, considering that shortened hours may be necessary to accommodate transition times (staggered arrivals and departures, breaks, additional handwashing sessions, etc.)
  • Where possible, non-classroom spaces may be converted for classroom use.
  • Distance learning continues to be required for students and staff who are home.

If capacity allows, a full return model is preferred to allow all students to return to school with as close to a regular schedule as possible.

Partial Return Model

Schools may choose to resume partial school operations where students return to school at a lower capacity using a blended learning approach (face-to-face and distance learning).

Schools may choose one of the partial return model options in Table 1 below:.

Model Definition Considerations
Half-Day Model Partial return model where all students are grouped into 2 half-day shifts (attend either morning or afternoon), with distance learning [DL] for the non-FTF group.
  • Reduced contact hours, but most regular Face to Face (FTF) learning
  • Logistically demanding (2 daily bus and cleaning shifts)
  • Higher risk of mixing groups
Alternating Day Model Partial return model where all students are grouped into 2 alternate-day shifts (attend FTF a minimum of 2 days per week), with DL for the non-FTF group.
  • Reduced contact hours
  • Somewhat regular FTF learning (without long breaks)
  • Logistically manageable (daily bus and cleaning shifts)
  • Somewhat easy to trace and isolate in case of an incident
Alternating Week Model Partial return model where all students are grouped into 2 alternate-week shifts (attend FTF 1 week fully, 1-week rest, 1 week fully, etc.), with DL for the non-FTF group.
  • Stability and full contact hours
  • Long irregular breaks between each week
  • Logistically the most feasible
  • Easiest to trace and isolate in case of an incident
Hybrid Model Hybrid of alternating-day and alternating-week model where a 5-day week is stretched out over two weeks, so group A would attend FTF 2 days in Week 1, then 3 days in Week 2. DL for the non-FTF group.
  • Full contact hours
  • Somewhat regular FTF learning (without long breaks)
  • Logistically manageable
  • Somewhat easy to trace and isolate in case of an incident

Phased Return

Reopening will be universally phased – only KG1/Year 1 to Grade 5/Year 6 may resume face-to-face classes for the first 4 weeks starting Aug. 30 (and upon obtaining an NOC from ADEK). Depending on the health situation, approval for the rest of the grades will be announced.

Students in Grade 6/Year 7 and above will begin the term with distance learning only.

While not recommended, schools may opt to test the reopening process by phasing the grades coming into school as a pilot.

Schools will have a maximum of two weeks to carry out their pilot, after which they must welcome all eligible students back for as much equal face-to-face learning as is possible. 

Mandatory Distance Learning Provision

Whether reopening fully or partially, all schools shall provide distance learning to cater for students and staff who cannot physically be present on campus. This includes

  • Exempt students.
  • Students and staff who are home for health reasons (from feeling unwell to isolating) and should stay home until cleared to return.
  • Staff who need to stay home for childcare or other personal reasons.
  • Students of Determination whose needs cannot be safely met in accordance with the Risk Assessment conducted and in discussion with parents.

Distance learning modes can include live streaming, recorded live classes for playback, pre-recorded classes, independent work packages, group/partner sessions, offline project-based work, etc.

Schools shall inform parents of what distance learning entails and the different modes by which it is delivered. This is important to manage parent expectation that distance learning is not just live sessions with teachers.

Teacher Workload

Distance learning does not imply double teaching (double workload or double contact hours). Teacher workload can be effectively managed by diversifying distance learning modes.

To simplify scheduling, schools may want to consider assigning teachers who are working at home (either regularly or on an ad hoc basis) to teach the distance learning courses of the day.

Readiness to Resort to Full Distance Learning

To prepare for the possibility of reclosure, all schools must be ready to resort to full distance-learning mode at any time.