Grouping the School Community
Schools shall organize students and staff by groups/macrobubbles and ensure that measures are in place to limit group interaction to contain the spread of COVID-19 should cases arise within a certain group.
A class is a group of students and staff who meet during a scheduled period of the school day and who practice physical distancing.
Classes shall consist of a maximum of 25 students for KG and 30 for Cycle 1 and above as per Policy 44 and 66 of the Private Schools Policy and Guidance Manual 2014/15.
A classroom may only hold one class whereas multiple classes may be held in large converted spaces, provided they meet the required conditions.
The Bubble Method
As an alternative to a physically-distanced class, schools may choose to use the bubble method for younger students (Grade 2/Year 3 and below) who have difficulty physically distancing.
A bubble is an alternative to a class that is only permitted for younger students where physical distancing is not practiced. Students and staff in bubbles spend the entire school day together and do not interact with other bubbles/groups during this period.
A bubble shall consist of a maximum of 16 students. The bubble shall also include dedicated staff consisting of at least one teacher (in addition to other teachers/assistants if staffing allows).
Bubbles shall remain in the same classroom throughout the day (except for breaks) and toys and other shared resources must not be accessible to other groups without prior cleaning and disinfection.
A classroom may only hold one bubble whereas multiple bubbles may be held in large converted spaces, provided they meet the required conditions.
In the KG section, accessibility to staff who are trained in pediatric first aid and CPR is required.
Staff who provide additional support to Students of Determination should be assigned a bubble.
In addition to classes, schools shall keep track of students and staff according to other groups in the schools with which they interact, i.e. bus groups and private groups (family/sibling, roommates, etc.).
A macrobubble is a group of classes and individuals (students and staff) who are physically isolated from other macrobubbles during the school day.
Schools shall establish and maintain macrobubbles according to the following criteria and guidelines:
- Macrobubbles must be physically separated and have separate entry and exit protocols through staggered timings and/or multiple entry points.
- Mixing of individuals between macrobubbles is NOT allowed (except for staff identified as all-access).
- It is recommended that a school building has a minimum of 3 macrobubbles to contain risk and reduce the impact of COVID-19 closure protocols, as long as the criteria for a macrobubble are met. Dividing a building to 1 or 2 macrobubbles only may lead to shifting the entire building to distance learning faster as per the approved closure protocols.
Schools shall map all students and staff to macrobubbles on eSIS/PASS as per the following categories:
- Academic Macrobubble: Based primarily on groups of classes/grades who share academic facilities and associated teaching and administrative staff, this category includes most teachers, students, and related administrative staff, who shall be assigned to a specific academic macrobubble.
- Administrative Macrobubble: Based primarily on staff who share non-academic facilities such as administrative offices. This category includes administrative staff that do not interact with academic macrobubbles, particularly students.
- All-Access: This category includes specialized teachers, school leadership, and administrative staff (i.e. IT and facilities personnel) who require access across multiple macrobubbles.
The following naming conventions are recommended when registering macrobubbles on eSIS/PASS:
- Buildings to be identified by letters (Building A, Building B)
- Macrobubbles to be identified by building letter and macrobubble number (i.e. Building A-Macrobubble A1, Building A-Macrobubble A2)
- Classes to retain their existing names on eSIS (i.e. Building A- Macrobubble A1-Class 2B, Building A-Macrobubble A1-Class 2C)