It is said in a Chinese poem that “the clouds won’t always cover the sun, and there will be the blossom of spring after a cold winter.” Because of the unexpected outbreak of the novel coronavirus, we have had to stay at home for an extended period of time. It has been over two months since we last said goodbye to each other in school. Now the cold winter has gone, the epidemic in China is under control and spring is here again; with it comes the date of the physical reopening of the College.
Click here to watch the video of our preparations in action
Recently, the inspection team led by the Tianjin Municipal Education Commission and the Hongqiao Education Bureau visited the College to review our preparations for the school’s reopening. During the review, they evaluated the work completed since January by the school Emergency Lead Team. The College’s preparation was recognised and praised by the inspection team during the visit. We have finalized the preparation work for the storing of essential cleaning resources, the facility plan – including a clear contingency plan – and advanced procedures and drills. This week will see the completion of the final training sessions for the staff before we reopen the campus to students.
We understand that the parents would like to know more about the following questions. What exactly did we do to prepare for the school reopening? How will we keep our pupils safe and healthy after the school reopens? What will we do if anything happens?
Here are the answers to these and other questions in more detail.
What exactly did the school do to prepare for reopening?
From the contingency plan to the actual drills; from updating the facilities to stocking up necessary supplies; from arrangement of regular disinfection and ventilation to setting up the isolation rooms, including adjusting the plan of outdoor activities and indoor teaching – we have taken every detail seriously. The staff have been working together to make sure our pupils are safe on campus. We have stockpiled over 23,000 supplies to meet the needs of the school for the next 1-2 months, including materials for facility management, catering service and school buses.
What requirements do the pupils have to meet to enter the campus?
- All the pupils must provide the Green Code or proof of quarantine to exchange for their “I am Fine” card
- Pupils cannot have had any close contact with a suspected/confirmed COVID-19 case in the last 14 days
- They do not have any of the symptoms listed below
· Dry cough
· Sore throat
· Stuffy/Running nose
· Shortness of breath
How do pupils take the school bus?
- Pupils must provide the Green Code or proof of quarantine to the bus monitor to take the school bus.
- Pupils who take the school bus must wear a mask at all times and keep a seat empty between each other.
- All school buses will be cleaned, disinfected and ventilated thoroughly twice every day after the pupils disembark.
- After school, all pupils are required to take the school bus from the East Gate. All pupils must have their temperatures taken again before they board the bus.
What do parents have to pay attention to when bringing pupils to school?
In the morning
- Pupils from the Junior School (once we have permission for these Year levels) and Senior School can enter the campus from the North or East Gate by themselves. Parents cannot enter the campus.
- The garage will be closed. Yide Road from Nanyunhenan Road to North Gate will be temporarily closed.
- Parents can park along Nanyunhenan Road. The College will cooperate with the police to help with the traffic flow.
(once we have permission for these Year levels)
- Parents can enter the sports’ field with the parent badge. Parents then follow the signage to their child’s assigned year group in order to pick up their child. Parents and pupils all leave the campus from East Gate.
- Parents must provide their Green Code or proof of quarantine. They can then scan and complete the visitor’s questionnaire and, as long as they can demonstrate they have a normal temperature, they may enter the campus after cleaning their hands.
- Parents should leave the campus as soon as possible after picking up the children.
* Parents are not allowed to enter the campus without the parent badge or if they have missed the time of pick up for their child. A designated teacher will wait with the pupil in the Junior School Dining Hall. After contacting the security guard, the teacher will bring the pupil to the security house where the parents can pick up the pupil.
- All Senior School pupils will leave the campus from East Gate by themselves.
How can the school ensure the safety of students during the school day?
Regular ventilation and strict disinfection
The class teacher is responsible for the daily disinfection of all computer equipment and regular window ventilation of the classroom 3 times each day. The disinfection of the facilities and furniture will be completed by the property management company. All disinfection supplies are arranged in accordance with the property management company standards.
When the exterior air quality is normal, the windows will be open throughout the day with a minimum ventilation of 3 times a day. Parents can provide more clothes for their child while in class. When the exterior air quality is poor, we will turn on the air conditioning filter to ensure that the indoor pm 2.5 index is at a normal level. The air conditioning in each classroom can be turned on, as it is not a VRV centralised air conditioning system which means there is no chance of cross infection due to air circulation. The school has renewed all the air conditioning filters during the break.
The Hongqiao District CDC has conducted an overall aerosol disinfection of the school already.
Lunch in batches to reduce overcrowding
The lunch and snacks for each class will be in the classroom. The class teacher will supervise the hand washing routine for the class before and after the meals.
Lunch will be delivered to each class by the catering company in an environmentally friendly disposable lunch box.
Senior School students and staff will be allowed to eat at the two dining rooms in the main building, although in scheduled batches. The dining room will be converted into a one-way system. All diners are required to prepare their own lunch boxes. All cold meals, the salad bar, sandwiches and the noodle bar have been suspended in accordance with government demands regarding school catering.
The school lunch will be prepared with an asian food line and a western food line. Junior School pupils need to select food one week in advance, whilst Senior School pupils can select food from the canteen at lunchtime.
In addition, the school has suspended the opening of the swimming pool, gym, theatre, lifts and libraries (there is a lending service only) in order to reduce overcrowding. The interior fresh air system has been suspended temporarily.
Responding to problems immediately
When entering the school, if the temperature test is above 37.2, a child will enter the temperature re-test area. After the re-test, if the pupil is still above this temperature limit, the school will notify the parents and arrange for the child to wait in the school’s newly established isolation room. The school doctor will carry out a corresponding emergency treatment check according to the requirements of the CDC.
When taking the school bus, if the temperature test fails, the school bus administrator will notify the parents to take the student back directly and report to the school medical department for follow-up tracking.
Does the school have special arrangements for boarders and Nest pupils?
Boarders have a housemaster who is in charge of their management. Temperature checks and reports are done 3 times a day with one single room per boarder to reduce the concentration. The school’s catering company will provide 3 meals a day, using the environmentally friendly disposable boxes for meals.
School has also made the plans and preparations for the resumption of classes in the Nest. As the opening date of the Nest is to be determined, the school will provide further information on the resumption process of the Nest nearer the time.
From the beginning of the epidemic, the staff of the school’s prevention and control emergency team uphold the sense of responsibility and mission that life and health will always be the first. The work of fighting the epidemic has never stopped. We can see a beautifully protected campus now we are about to resume classes. At the same time, the safety work of the school is also inseparable from the parents’ support and understanding as always, your support is the guarantee of our campus safety and children’s health. In this special period, let us continue to work together to build a safe and orderly campus environment.