By Nick Yates, ISB Communications
This week, we were delighted to welcome many of our Grade 12 students back to campus, and we are looking forward to Grade 8 students taking up our invitation to return from May 11. We hope the return of Grades 12 and 8 brings some joy after such a long period of difficulty and uncertainty since coronavirus first struck.
The decision to re-open campus to select grades was taken upon instruction from the authorities to whom we are accountable, and our risk mitigation plan for this moment was developed by the ISB Leadership Team in conjunction with the Board of Trustees and in very close collaboration with these authorities.
We have been meticulous in our preparation putting measures in place to provide for community safety as campus re-opens. All students in Grades 12 and 8 and their parents have received detailed “return to school” communications to make clear the many practical requirements of this situation. The two-week return-to-school protocol for Grade 12 students and staff who have now returned to campus included training, mandatory Zoom meetings with information briefings and instructions, and – most importantly – daily temperature checks twice a day for 14 days, to ensure none were showing any fever-related symptoms.
Here are some the safety measures in place, including preparations made before students’ return and things that will be ongoing now that students are back on campus:
All faculty and staff who were authorized to return to campus to welcome our Grade 12 and 8 students have undergone training and practice drills regarding the prevention and control of Covid-19.
Attendance; identifying and isolating possible sources of infection
ISB is providing a mandatory daily attendance record of employees and students to the government, which has requested information on employees and students who are ill and need to be monitored.
Students and staff are required to check their body temperature every day before coming to school and complete a daily temperature update form. The form helps to automate entry to the school building as it is linked directly to the ISB community ID card system and allows for smooth access each morning.
ISB will run a limited bus service from May 11 according to demand. Students and all staff must wear masks to ride the bus, as well as at all times while on campus. Buses will be disinfected and cleaned after every route. During the journey to and from school, fresh air will be maximized.
The bus driver and bus monitor(s), students, and staff will have their body temperature taken and recorded before boarding and will not board should it register 37.3 degrees Celsius or above.
Campus access and entry procedures
To return to campus, students and employees must first have completed 14 days of self-quarantine and checked their temperatures twice daily for 14 days. These body temperatures are recorded on an electronic form and submitted to school. Once given the all clear to return, this status is recorded on students’ and employees’ ISB community ID cards.
Our entrances to campus are equipped with body temperature scanners and hand-held thermometers as back-up.
No access for parents, drivers, or ayis
No parents, drivers, or ayis are allowed onto campus at this time. This measure, required of us by the authorities, is necessary to ensure safety.
All people must wear face masks at all times while on campus, except when alone in a room. Students are asked to arrive at school with their own mask and we recommend bringing at least two masks so they can be changed during the day. We will provide instructions on how to dispose of masks correctly in the clearly marked bins.
Guidelines for actions and interactions
We have strict guidelines in place to limit physical proximity and contact with other people. People must remain at least one meter apart at all times. Handshakes and hugs should be avoided. We have limited indoor gathering sizes, including those in classrooms, to 25 people.
We have reorganized our classrooms and gathering spaces so that seating arrangements provide at least one meter of personal space for every student. Planned and structured breaks, trips to the restroom, and passing periods will be scheduled to minimize any gathering of students in the hallways or restrooms.
Classrooms, offices, and common areas are being cleaned and disinfected daily. Restrooms are being cleaned and disinfected four times daily. Handrails, elevator buttons, and door handles are being cleaned and disinfected every two hours.
ISB’s state-of-the-art air filtration system provides fresh air to indoor spaces (complete refresh every two hours), ensuring excellent indoor AQI. We also have UV light systems which disinfect the air.
In cases of confirmed infectious diseases among ISB students or staff, further sanitation and disinfection on campus will be undertaken according to government regulations.
Medical assistance and diagnosis on campus
ISB’s comprehensive nursing team has systems in place to care for all students and isolate those with suspected cases of infectious disease. The medical facilities have been organized to feature a separate Initial Assessment Room (IAR) and Fever Observation Room (FOR). This will keep students feeling sick separate and apart from those with other medical needs. The FOR is well ventilated and has multiple openings directly to the outdoors.