Covid-19 Policy

Background:

VISP is due to reopen on 6th September to students following our long holiday. Prior to closure for the holiday VISP had been operating with a mixture of face to face and distance learning as dictated by Ministry of Education in relation to the prevail outbreak conditions.

VISP will continue to adapt its approach this year in line with government regulations and guidelines.

Prior to opening on 6th September:

  • Cleaning staff will return to school prior to re-opening in order to disinfect and clean any areas which have been used by staff since the closure.  
  • An email will be circulated to all parents outlining the VISP action plan for reopening, the parents guidelines to COVID-19 and the students guidelines for COVID-19.
  • The Ministry of Education guidelines published for staff will be circulated to staff.
  • The school produced and put on display a range of age appropriate signage to encourage healthy practice during this time. Signs will include age appropriate advice on hand washing, social distancing etc. These will be on display in the canteen, and in all classrooms and toilets.
  • A separate sickbay has been established for use only by staff or students who we suspect of having COVID-19 symptoms. This room is isolated in a discreet part of the school.
  • School management have adapted our structure for dealing with mental / psychosocial effects. All staff will receive training and advice on dealing with students mental health at this time.
  • Policy was drawn up as to the process for dealing with a student or staff member who we suspect of having COVID-19. This policy is outlined at the end of this document and has been approved by the Public Health office.
  • Parents and staff will be reminded of the protocol for student attendance. Those with a cough, fever, nasal congestion, fatigue, diarrhoea or a headache should not attend school. We will also share with parents the new screening questions which must be reviewed daily by parents.

On the first day back:

  • All students will receive guidance of best practice for handwashing and respiratory etiquette. This will be reinforced regularly.
  • All students will receive age appropriate guidance on social distancing. This will be reinforced and monitored at all times by teaching staff and staff on duty at unstructured times.
  • All staff and students will wash their hands immediately after entering the school site.
  • Parents are encouraged not to enter the school site unless it is necessary to do so. Parents should only enter the site to visit the administration office or if they have a scheduled appointment with a teacher.
  • Site visitors during the school day must have their temperature taken and hands sanitised before entering the school site. A record will be kept of anyone who enters the school site during the day.
  • Parents will be reminded of the urgent need to alert the school if someone in their household is suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Within the first few days of returning to school, all students will have age appropriate education on COVID-19. This will include mental health and wellbeing alongside the obvious health issues.

Daily screening:

  • All secondary staff, students and parents entering the school site have their temperature taken at the entrance to the school. Any temperature above 37.5 Celsius will not be admitted to the school site.
  • Parents will be regularly reminded of the home screening process with details to be sent out before term and at regular intervals after term begins.
  • Students will be asked a series of questions in order to screen for COVID-19 each morning. These questions will be displayed on the school door. Any student reporting signs or symptoms or having had contact with a positive case will not be admitted to school.

Ongoing school policy changes:

  • No assemblies
  • A strict policy of cohorting will be adhered to. This means that students will have little interaction with students outside of their cohort. Four cohorts will exist in school – Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post-Secondary.
  • Classrooms to be arranged to ensure gaps between all desks where possible.
  • Students in upper Primary and Secondary classes will be seated according to a seating plan in order to reduce the risk of spread of infection.
  • Break and lunch times are offset to ensure that students should have no interaction with any students other than those in their cohort.
  • All classrooms will have hand sanitiser which can be dispensed by a teacher.
  • Staff will monitor and ensure that all students wash hands before and after morning snack time and before and after lunch. This will be done using running water and soap.
  • Weekly briefing to staff will include details on both the global and national health situation and changes to take note of. School management will keep updated via reputable news sources on any developments.
  • Parents will be updated regularly via email, WhatsApp and letters home as to any changes in national or school policy. This will happen immediately once any changes occur.
  • School management will monitor attendance of staff and students and relay any concerns to local health authorities.
  • Clubs will run but only within a student’s class group. No late class facility will be provided for siblings of students attending clubs.

Ongoing measures to ensuring a safe environment:

  • Disinfection of all surfaces daily. This will include but not be limited to desks, door handles, sports equipment, IT equipment and teaching resources.
  • Cleaning of school toilets and hand washing facilities 3 times daily.
  • Cleaning of the school dining facilities 3 times daily.
  • All staff, students and parents will need to wash their hands before entering the school site. Students will also be made to wash hands before and after each morning snack and lunch time.
  • All classrooms will have good air circulation either with open windows or air conditioning. Where air conditioning is used, classrooms will be regularly ventilated by opening doors and windows.
  • Daily removal of all refuse.
  • Students will not share equipment where possible.
  • Masks will be worn by staff and students in Year 3 and above at all times. Children in Year 1 and Year 2 will need to bring a mask to school and will be advised by a teacher to wear it at moments in the day where physical distancing is not possible. Students in Reception 1 and Reception 2 should not bring a mask to school.
  • Staff and secondary students will ensure a safe social distance of 1m at all times.
  • No close contact sports.
  • Students are encouraged to bring lunch and snack from home or pre-order snacks and lunches at the canteen on a Monday before school begins. No takeaways deliveries will be accepted at school.

Contingency for future closure:

In the event of a further shutdown, all students will be issued with a paper pack of work, designed to cover 2 weeks of learning within 2 days of the closure. This will help facilitate students without internet access. This will also allow a few days for staff to set up the online platform and upload work.

Policy for dealing with a staff member or student who becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms (approved by Public Health Commissioner):

Any staff or students who are sick are encouraged not to attend school. All rewards and incentives for good attendance will be removed and all will be urged to take a cautious approach. If in doubt, stay at home. Parents should inform the school of any absence and a record taken in order for us to begin to observe any pattern. A robust screening procedure will also be put in place.

Parents will also be notified and regularly reminded of the need to inform us if anyone in their household is suspected of COVID-19. If this happens we will seek advice from local health authorities.

If a student or staff member becomes ill during the day with any COVID symptoms the following steps will be observed:

  • Student or staff member affected will be immediately sent to the isolation sick bay. Whilst in the sick bay, staff can communicate with the students or colleague whilst remaining at a safe distance. No staff member should have physical direct contact with a student or colleague who is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms. They should not go with 2m of them at any time.
  • A family member will be contacted immediately and asked to collect the student or staff member. VISP will remain in contact with the family to ascertain any further developments in the child’s condition.
  • A deep clean and full disinfection of the isolation sick bay will be carried out after departure. All rooms where the student has been will be treated with a UV disinfection light before being used again.