Last Updated on 14 January 2021
Transition areas including all spaces between a starting and end point (i.e. hallways, corridors, waiting areas, entries/exits, etc.).
Schools shall carry out an inspection of their premises and plan a circulation map of the campus.
Schools shall ensure the following when planning their circulation map:
- One-way circulation is to be privileged and signaled through floor/wall markings. Where one-way circulation is not possible, two-way paths should be clearly marked to minimize crossovers.
- Adopt easy-to-understand signage (i.e. signs, arrows, color signals [red/green for stop/go], etc.).
- Identify bottleneck and waiting areas (staircase, elevator, entry to classroom, entry to bathrooms, entry into narrower hallways, etc.) where crowding is likely and create standing demarcations 1.5 m apart.
- Indicate the maximum number of people who can use elevators simultaneously, and use floor stickers to maintain social distancing during use (1.5m).
Organize timings for breaks to limit crossover between classes and to minimize congestion in hallways and other circulation zones.
Keep classroom doors open when possible (i.e. unless a fire hazard) to increase entry/exit flow and avoid touching of door handle/knob, etc.
Supervise student group transitions and ensure social distances.
Provide clear guidance to Students of Determination, differentiated as appropriate, to ensure the safe movement of themselves and others around the school site. Adaptations to the protocol may be required to meet any specific needs of the individual; however, these should not result in increased risk to themselves or others.
Schools shall set up classrooms according to the following standards:
- A hand-gel dispenser (preferably contactless) should be installed at the entrance to the classroom, and students and teachers should sanitize their hands when entering and leaving the class if handwashing is not possible.
- A teaching area should be set up at the front of the classroom, 1.5m apart from student workstations. A box of sanitizing wipes should be placed on every teacher’s desk (and regularly stocked).
- Workstations should be arranged so that students are positioned 1.5m apart, chair to chair and the same workstation should be used by the same student each day.
- Shared tables must be demarcated so that it is clear where students should be seated.
- All non-essential furniture should be removed to maximize available space and reduce contact area.
- All cupboards/bookshelves holding shared supplies should be clearly marked as off-limits.
- The installation of hooks on the side of each workstation is recommended to hang personal belongings and avoid floor clutter.
- Lockers are not recommended but may be used for older students, under the condition that social distances can be maintained.
- Where possible, indicate recommended circulation paths within the class (privilege one-way directionality).
- Clean and disinfect regularly between student groups.
- If the weather allows and the classroom has windows, ventilate whenever possible.
The maximum number of students per class is 30, with social distancing at 1.5m and mandatory masks for Grade 1 and above. For KG, the maximum number of students per class is 25 as per Policy 44 and 66 of the Private Schools Policy and Guidance Manual 2014-15, with social distancing.
Bubbles for younger students remain at a maximum of 10 students (see section titled Bubbles under Student Grouping for more details).
Any larger converted space (not a regular classroom, i.e. gym, canteen, etc.) may only be used by more than one class/bubble under the following conditions:
- Each group has a separate access point.
- A solid, non-transparent physical barrier of at least 1.2m in height is installed between groups.
- Students are placed at least 2m from the barrier (so there is a space of 4m, chair to chair, between any two students in different groups).
- Spaces may only be shared if an appropriate learning environment can be ensured for each student, free of any noise and/or other disturbance/interference.
It is highly advised that students remain in the classroom, in designated seats throughout the day (except for breaks), and that teachers rotate in and out. However, this may not be feasible if students need to share facilities (i.e. labs, etc.), in which case only one class should be given access to that space at a time, with cleaning and disinfection between groups of students. Larger spaces may hold multiple groups simultaneously but can only do so with strict separation between groups.
Schools are recommended to serve lunch in the classrooms.
In order to accommodate Students of Determination, who may require additional support and guidance to access their learning, schools should consider the space available in classrooms to provide this, compliant with social distancing guidelines. Schools may want to consider how students are grouped and how additional space can be utilized to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines.
Schools shall develop strict rules concerning restroom usage.
A maximum number of students should be authorized at any given time to ensure that social distancing is maintained. This number should be clearly indicated on each restroom door.
Restrooms are congested spaces and thus schools are highly advised to place demarcations indicating where to stand while queuing (preferably outside), circulation paths, available handwashing basins (to maintain social distancing).
Simple signage and posters should be posted to remind users of hygiene protocols.
Use of restrooms must be appropriately supervised for younger students.
Students shall take regular supervised breaks (preferably outdoors) but break times should be staggered to avoid mixing of different classes (especially age groups).
If a recreation space is large enough to host multiple groups, this may be done under the strict supervised separation of these groups.
Playground equipment (i.e. slides, swings, etc.) are to remain off-limits until further notice
While break is a time for independent and self-directed play, KG and early Cycle 1 students looking for guidance may be encouraged to play physical games that promote distancing (i.e. “Simon Says,” jump rope, hula hoops, etc.). However, social distancing should not be excessively enforced to the point of being emotionally harmful to the younger students. Light interaction outdoors while playing is permitted for short periods, and handwashing before and after break is mandatory.
Hand sanitizing gel dispensers (preferably contactless) and sanitizing wipes should be made available in the vicinity.
Students of Determination must be appropriately monitored and supervised to ensure appropriate physical distancing whilst outside to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Adaptations to the agreed protocol for other students may be implemented to reduce risks to themselves and others and if appropriate, to the resources are available. Students of Determination should have equitable access to play areas.
Schools are recommended to close libraries and make library resources available online where possible. If a library is to remain closed, its conversion into an additional classroom space is recommended, where possible.
Schools shall ensure the following if they choose to keep the library open:
- Hand gel dispensers (preferably contactless) should be made available throughout the library premises and their use encouraged before and after handling a resource.
- Library staff should wear gloves in addition to masks and sanitize their hands (over gloves) regularly before and after handling a resource.
- Sanitizing wipes should be available for student use with clear directions on appropriate usage (i.e. to wipe down surfaces but not books, etc.).
- Libraries may remain open as long as access is controlled and supervised. Access may be given to one class at a time (with cleaning and disinfection in between) and supervised by the teacher/teaching assistant assigned to that class.
- Books made of fabric or other hard-to-clean materials should be removed from circulation, and where possible, covers laminated for easy cleaning and disinfection.
- A clearly marked receptable (with a cover or with a small opening to discourage reuse) for used library resources should be made available. A separate drop-ff box for used resources can also be installed at the entrance of the library.
- Library books and other resources should be disinfected following use before being made available for circulation again.
- A log should be maintained to keep track of library access (entry/exit of all persons).
All students are highly encouraged to participate in sports to maintain their health and wellbeing. However, the regular physical education program at school is currently suspended until further notice and physical education teachers should provide distance learning options for students to stay fit.
Schools may hold light organized athletic activities outdoors during times usually allotted for physical education, ensuring that masks are worn (Grade 1 and above) and social distancing (1.5m) is practiced.
Sports facilities may be converted as extra classroom space, if appropriate.
All students are highly encouraged to participate in cultural activities to channel their creativity and maintain their wellbeing.
Cultural activities that are part of the curriculum such as the arts may also take place under the condition that social distancing is implemented, and shared material is minimized and/or disinfected before and after use (i.e. paintbrushes, pottery wheels, etc.).
Musical instruments that can be easily disinfected after use may be used (ie. percussion, strings). However, wind and brass instruments may not be shared, so students can bring their own or one must be assigned exclusively to that student after proper disinfection (see National Association for Music Education recommendations: https://nafme.org/covid-19-instrument-cleaning-guidelines/).
Shared Areas for Staff
Staff shall maintain the following social distances at all times:
- 1.5m with students
- 2m with other teachers/staff
In shared staff-only spaces and workstations, demarcations can be placed at 2 m intervals, and use of the spaces should be staggered to minimize interaction
It is recommended that staff workstations be fitted with transparent desk partitions to allow for added security when masks are removed for lunch.
Staff meetings and trainings should be held online whenever possible.
Coffee machines and water dispensers may be used in staff rooms as long as disposable or personal cups are used and all precautionary measures have been followed (2m social distancing, washing/disinfecting hands before and after using the machine). A hand sanitizer should be made available near the machine/dispenser as well as a poster reminding users of the precautionary measures.
Prayer rooms shall remain closed until further notice. Staff may use their own personal prayer mats in any area within the school to pray. Sharing of prayer mats is not allowed.