The Algarve International School has a four step contingency plan for Covid 19. A plan to ensure AIS responds effectively to any future event or case of the Coronavirus.
*AIS has used information released by the WHO and UNICEF in the formation of this policy. We will continue to ensure that this policy and, consequently, our actions are informed by the best and most reliable advice available to us at any time.
**Please be aware that this policy is a work in progress. It will continue to be updated as more information is released about the virus or as infection numbers increase or decrease.
In March 2020, on government advice, AIS took the decision to close the school and to implement an online teaching timetable as part of a larger, whole-country response to the global pandemic Covid-19.
This policy is designed to properly prepare the school for the new academic year, beginning September 2020 and will include contingency plans for the various possible levels of threat. It will also contain commitments for actions that will be taken by the school and its individual staff members, as well as advice on parental responsibilities in their interaction with the school.
Covid-19 Response Plan
Algarve International School’s Covid-19 response plan divides our response into 4 stages. We will use information provided by the Portuguese government (via https://covid19.min-saude.pt/ponto-de-situacao-atual-em-portugal/), as well as advice being given to state schools in the Algarve, to decide on which level is most appropriate to be enacted. We will base our response on the R rate (where R = reproduction); the R rate details how many people are being infected by each person who contracts the disease.
▪ Stage 1: R = 0 - 0.3. ▪ Stage 2: R = 0.4 - 0.8. ▪ Stage 3: R = 0.9 - 1.2. ▪ Stage 4: R = 1.2 or higher.
Before September, AIS will:
o install handwashing stations with soap and paper towels;o place age-appropriate posters in these areas to show the procedure for effective handwashing and advice about when to wash hands;o ensure that there are hand sanitisers in every classroom, at all entrances/exits, toilets and areas where food is consumed;o ensure that all members of staff have read and understood this policy;o ensure contact lists for parents are up to date and accurate and that there are a number of different points of contact available;o ensure that the school collects and confidentially holds accurate medical information on all pupils and staff members;o provide a room for the isolation of any pupils (and siblings) complaining of symptoms consistent with Covid 19;o ensure adequate coverage is available if teachers are forced to quarantine because of coming into contact with Covid 19;o employ cleaners who will thoroughly clean and disinfect all areas of the school once a day, with special attention paid to-• bathrooms, • railings, • door and window handles• any toys or equipment used by pupils;o ensure that preparations are made for the smooth implementation of all stages as set out in this policy, including identifying a suitable platform for online learning should the school need to close again (see stage 4).
Before September, parents should:
o ensure that the school has more than one accurate contact number suitable to receive both texts and calls;o teach and model good hygiene practices for your children:• emphasise the importance of washing hands correctly and frequently,• warn against sharing food, drinking bottles, hairbrushes etc with their school friends• model coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow and avoid touching the face, eyes, mouth, nose;o read this policy in its entirety and make sure theyunderstand it;o notify the school of any pupils with particular vulnerabilities e.g. heart disease, diabetes or other pre-existing medical conditions. This can be done on the form requesting medical information which is collected by the school at the beginning of the year.
At Stage 1, while the threat of Covid 19 remains fairly low, AIS will continue to implement good hygiene practises. Pupils will be asked to wash their hands at regular intervals and to sanitise their hands on entering the school and on entering each room in the school. Teachers will use disinfectant wipes on door and window handles and on table surfaces between lessons. As per WHO advice, open windows or air-con will be used to increase air flow inside classrooms. Break and lunch times will be staggered to reduce the number of children mixing with each other at any one time. During the first few days at school child-friendly information will be shared under the PSHE curriculum promoting ways to stay hygienic and keep well. (see Appendix 1)
In addition, AIS will:
- isolate any pupil (and siblings) complaining of symptoms consistent with Covid 19 and contact parents to take their child and any siblings home;
*** Following the removal of any pupil under these conditions, a negative test for Covid 19 is required before that pupil can return to school. ***
- facilitate tracking and tracing of any pupils complaining of symptoms consistent with Covid 19 so that parents of pupils who have come into contact with said student sent home with these symptoms can also be notified;o provide work for pupils in quarantine to complete at home, if they are well enough to do so;o notify ALL parents if any pupil or member of staff tests positive for Covid 19, at which point the school will immediately implement stage 4 of this policy;o immediately notify parents of any change in stage under this policy.
- keep any child complaining of illness at home and notify the school immediately. If the symptoms correspond to anysymptoms of Covid 19 you must get your child tested;o notify the school immediately of any exposure to confirmed cases of Covid 19 by anyone in your household.
***In this case, your whole household should quarantine for 14 days following the exposure. This is the case even if you have tested negative for the disease.***
If the rate of infection increases AIS will move to Stage 2. All ofthe instructions for teachers and parents listed under stage 1 will still, of course, be used for stage 2. PSHE lessons will be used to model creating space and the importance of social distancing in a child-friendly way.
In addition, AIS will :
- stagger school starting and finishing times to avoid too much mingling between year groups;o reconfigure rooms and rearrange furniture to ensure 1 metre distance between each child within the classroom;o require pupils to wear visors when inside;
(AIS can provide these visors at a cost price, or parents can buy visors if preferred.)
- check pupils’ temperatures as they arrive at school;
- ensure their children come to school with their visors every day. Pupils without visors when the school is at stage 2 will not be allowed to remain in school.
**If parents wish their child to use visors at stage 1, this can, of course, be accommodated.**
If the rate of infection continues to climb, the school will move to stage 3 of this contingency plan.
- ask any pupils who a particularly vulnerable to stay at home full time;o allow any parents who prefer to keep their children out of school to do so;o provide work via our chosen online platform (see stage 4) for pupils to do at home;o alter the timetable so that there is only half of any class in school at any one time.
Pupils will be in either morning or afternoons only, or else every other day (tbc), with work being provided via the online platform to be completed whilst at home.
If any pupil or staff member tests positive for Covid 19, or if the infection rate climbs again to the levels seen in March, AIS will close the school.
- investigate and put in place an online learning platform suitable for video calls, text chats, uploading and downloading/marking work and has access for working offlineo hold training sessions for students and for parents of younger pupils to familiarise them with the tools needed for working at home
Some ideas of what might be included in PSHE lessons in September
Preschool & Year 1/2
- focus on coughing/sneezing into elbows and using tissues and then throwing them awayo stickers for washing handso practise washing hands for 20 secondso talk about what pupils should do if they feel illo moving around the room with ‘flapping wings’ to practise keeping a safe distance from other children
- give space to pupils to express their feelings and to ask questions (which are then answered honestly)o understand how germs travel - • put black pepper (germs) in water and notice how it sticks to unwashed hands and is repelled by soapy hands• put coloured water in a spray dispenser to model how far an unstopped sneeze can travel• cover hands with eco-friendly glitter and see how much time and effort is needed to wash it all offo use drama to model risky behaviours, e.g. a teacher sneezes into their hand and then opens the door, and ask how behaviour should change
- use PSHE/current affairs lessons to talk about how the government or other countries are tackling the virus, give pupils time to talk and make sense of the things that they have read/heard/seen about Covid 19, encourage older pupils to help younger pupils and to model good hygieneo Biology lessons can be used to learn about viruses, bacteria, antibiotics, vaccinations and disease transmission, look at how Covid 19 affects the body’s processeso history lessons can be used to study previous pandemics and compare responses then and now