Back to school in the Next Normal: important rules to keep everyone safe

08 September 2020

Students of Heritage International School have started their school year joyfully and, most important, safely, following all the necessary measures, and even keeping the safe physical distance at the Opening Ceremony. Teachers and members of staff, alongside the students, have accessorized their outfits and school uniforms with facemasks, and even so, you could clearly see the happiness in their eyes. Will this year be any different?

The 2020-2021 school year started with some extraordinary measures for the community. When entering the building, children have their temperature taken by a designated person, while everyone is wearing a face mask and, of course, frequently sanitizing their hands.

Pre-schoolers and 1st grade students are welcomed by the teachers and escorted to their classrooms. Parents need to book an appointment to enter the school during hours (the school operates by the normal schedule: 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM). Other than that, Parent-Teacher Conferences will take place online.

Rob Ford, Director of Heritage International School: “We have always been ready for a physical return to school in any circumstances. The most fundamental reason is that students need to be physically present, to learn in this environment. The 2020s generation needs hope more than ever and we owe them this hope. I actually believe children will manage better than most adults with the new measures and model to all how we all need to behave to fight COVID-19.”

Friendships stand the test of distance, as no hugs and no handshakes are allowed between children. In classrooms, students have their own stationary and seat (not to be shared) and the desks are arranged in such a way as to ensure social distance. The good news is that the number of outdoor activities will increase, and PE lessons will be conducted outdoors if the weather allows it. Mask are to be worn at all times, except when eating, sitting at the desk in the classroom, and outside. It can also be personalized with the child’s name.

Each classroom is being aired during the breaks, PE equipment and door handles are disinfected frequently. At the same time, students are encouraged to wash their hands, also before entering the cafeteria, where the tables are arranged in such a way as to encourage learners to practice social distancing. Children are monitored by adults in classrooms, common spaces and the library. Clubs are provided at school, but this year the Oak
Centre will be opened for staff members only or as a meeting room.

In case a student shows any symptoms, he/she will be taken into a special isolation room, while parents will be notified immediately by phone and they will pick-up the child during the next hour. Even so, such students will continue their learning through the DLP. Transportation and the uniform shop will also operate under rules: entering with face masks, one family at a time, only by appointment. 

The entire Heritage Community is hopeful that these critical times too shall pass, and we will have a safe, inspiring and successful school year!

See more photos in the gallery

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