Please see below the questions that our community has been asking about the reopening of school in September. We have provided answers in as much detail as possible at this time and we wish to share the answers with you. If you have questions which are not answered in these FAQ’s, please let us know and we will continue to update you as best as possible. Kindly note that in this everchanging time, these responses may also change and an up-to date version will be on our website as we evolve.

1. Does my child have to attend school?

At this time, we will be opening school in the anticipation of 100% face-to-face learning. If we have to adjust due to Government directives and the safety of our children, either a hybrid learning approach or full distance learning approach will occur. The Prep and High School are prepared for and ready to act in all scenarios.

The health, safety, and well-being of students, teachers, staff, and their families are the most important consideration in determining whether schools should reopen for face-to-face learning.

All children are encouraged to attend unless self-isolating or shielding i.e. living in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable . No one with any flu- like symptoms or having a temperature of over 37.4 degrees Celsius is to attend school for any reason. Students will not be penalized for non-attendance at this time.

2. I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is, should I send them back to school?

Students and staff who have chronic illnesses, including but not limited to asthma, sickle cell disease, lupus or other collagen vascular diseases, cancer, hypertension, and diabetes should discuss with their health care provider re their return to school.

Persons who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and they are able to understand and follow those instructions.

3. What's the protocol for back to school for students/ staff with recent travel history?

Any student/ staff who has travelled out of the country (regardless of country) MUST NOT attend school for a period of no less than 14 days after returning to Jamaica. Our School Nurse must be advised of their travel and they must be cleared by a Health Professional before returning to school.

4. Will students/ staff be asked to quarantine when a member of the same household travels?

Yes, any member of the household that has travelled must quarantine for 14 days after returning to Jamaica as stipulated by the Government of Jamaica. If the person is not able to fully isolate within their household, the student/ staff MUST NOT attend school for a period of no less than 14 days. Our School Nurse must be informed if any member of the household is traveling outside of Jamaica.

5. Are students and staff required to wear masks at school?

Yes, students and staff must wear masks/ face shields while at school. Masks must cover the nose and mouth.

6. Given the mask requirement, which can be difficult to be worn for extended periods, is there any thought to reducing the length of the school day?

Younger students will wear masks when they are not in the classroom and will wear face shields when inside of the classroom. At this time, the school day will not be shortened.

7. How many students will be in each class?

Kindergarten 1 will have a maximum of 15 students. All tables and desks in classrooms will be a minimum of 3 ft apart. Other classes can have up to 26 students per class. Due to the size of our classrooms, social distancing requirements will be met.

Interaction between cohorts/ groups will be as minimal as possible. Cohorts will stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure for students, teachers, and staff across the school environment.

8. How will social distancing be maintained in the classrooms with an average of 20 students in each class?

We will do our best to support social distancing, but parents/ guardians must understand that in returning to school there is a very real likelihood that children will come into close contact with each other. We will minimize the risks as best as possible and parents must understand what we are able to do and use this to inform their decision making. We will continue to remind and reinforce social distancing practises through age appropriate signage and constant communication. Each classroom has been measured and the appropriate number of desks will be placed in them based on the number of students in the class while adhering to the social distancing requirement of 3 ft apart as mandated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. If the distance requirements increase, we will then have to reduce the class sizes and adjust our learning style appropriately.

9. How do I explain social distancing to my child?

Be open and honest, using language they will understand. Explain that they are helping others by their actions. Use drawings if needed and use a positive tone. Try to make the children feel safe.

10. My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare him/her?

You will need to prepare your child by talking about what school was like and what it will be like now. It will be different. We will help you to prepare for this by putting pictures on our social media platforms to show what you and your child can expect.

Sharing social stories can be really helpful for young children and help to express the situation in a clear factual way, reducing emotional responses. It will be important to encourage your child to talk about their experiences in ‘lockdown’ and that this period will soon end. Continued conversation will be conducted in life skills classes to ensure that they can feel secure in the space.

11. Will children be confined to the same classroom environment for most of the day?

Scientific evidence shows that the outdoor environment is much more manageable in terms of virus transmission. As a way to keep our health and safety protocols we will be using our outdoor spaces where possible to conduct some of our teaching and learning sessions. The beauty about our school environment is that we do have the capacity to accommodate students using this approach to learning.

12. How will social distancing be maintained during lunchtime?

In the Prep School, all students will be required to carry a packed lunch until further advised and will have lunch in their classrooms. Students will go for their lunch in their lunch bags in small groups and return to their desk.

High School students will be allowed to go to the Cafeteria. Social Distancing markers and stickers will be placed on the floor and walls of the cafeteria to guide students as to where they should stand. Teachers will be on duty at this time to monitor students. High School students will eat on the benches or in their classroom. Additional outdoor seating will be provided throughout the campus so that students have more space and can eat in small groups to ensure they meet the social distance requirements.

13. How will playtime be structured?

We will be having supervised structured/ staggered play time for our Prep School students each day. Our PE Department will be very active in this initiative while ensuring that all social distance protocols are followed.

14. How many students will take PE at any given time (will there be team sports where grades are combined?)

There will be no team sport activities for September. PE will be with only one grade at a time. Classes will not be combined for PE. PE Coaches will ensure that students adhere to social distancing during PE sessions.

15. Will there be co-curricular activities?

Co-curricular activities will not commence in September 2020. More details will be provided when the school year commences.

16. Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?

Students will bring their own supplies to school. The Prep School students will keep their supplies at school once brought in. There should be no shared supplies.

17. Will there be changes for drop off and pick-up of students from school?

The schools will organize staggered drop off and collection times for students. This will be communicated to parents soon.

18. Will the school have assembly?

Each grade will have an opportunity for reflection within their daily session, but there will be no mass gatherings until further notice.

19. If a child has symptoms and is sent home, does she/he have to take a Covid test?

What does the entire class do until the results are out? If positive, will the entire class have to go in quarantine?

Any student or staff with any flu-like symptoms or contact with a known Covid positive patient MUST stay home until cleared for re-entry by a healthcare provider. If it is a suspected case of Covid-19, the entire class will have to go into quarantine until we are advised by Health officials that it is safe for them to return.

20. What will happen if a student or staff falls ill at school with Covid related symptoms?

If a student or staff member becomes ill at school, they MUST go to the Wellness Centre immediately for assessment. They MUST keep on their mask while in our Wellness Centre. Parents are to be informed as soon as possible and should collect their child(ren) immediately. Staff must leave the premises immediately. Students/ staff will only be allowed to return to school with a medical clearance note from their healthcare provider

21. What is the sanitization protocol for shared spaces?

All shared spaces will be sanitized at least twice per day. Bathrooms will continue to be sanitized throughout the day.

22. Will all students/ staff be required to wash/ sanitize their hands before entering the school?

Yes, all students/ staff/ visitors will be required to have temperature checks and sanitize their hands before entering. There will be temperature checks, hand washing and sanitizing stations at the schools entrances.

Handwashing stations will be installed throughout the campus.

23. Will the K1 parents who will be allowed to enter school be required to wash/sanitize their hands?

Yes, K1 parents will be required to have temperature checks and sanitize/ wash their hands before entering the school.

24. Will there be a forum where parents will be able to meet with the administration before the start of school to discuss the reopening plans and discuss concerns?

Yes, year group meetings will be held with each year group prior to the commencement of school. At this time, the schools plans will be shared and parents/ guardians will be given an opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns.