September 2020 Opening Plan - New School Rome

September 2020 Opening Plan - New School Rome
September 2020 Opening Plan
September 2020 Opening Plan - New School Rome

Letter to parents                     ...1

Declaration                           ...2

The School Day                        ...3

Social Distancing in the classroom    ...5

Social Distancing at School           ...6

Social Distancing & PPE               ...8

PPE & Cleaning                        ...9

School COVID-19 Case Protocols       ...10

Pastoral Provision                   ...10

Government Recommendations           ...11

September 2020 Opening Plan - New School Rome
Dear Parents,

Now that we have secured the three new teaching rooms in Hotel Villa Maria Regina I am pleased to be able
to share with you our plan for the reopening of school in September. We have been working on these plans
for the past two months and although it is never possible to eliminate all risks, we and our Health and Safety
advisor are confident that our plans will create a low risk environment in which we are all able to return to
school safely. As always your collaboration as parents is essential and I ask you to read this document careful-
ly and discuss it with your children.

It is important to note that whilst these procedures have been approved by our Health and Safety advisor they
are subject to change if the Italian government guidance changes. They have already notified schools that they
will update their guidance regarding PPE 2 weeks before the opening of public schools. We have contingency
plans for a range of possible changes including mandatory temperature checks prior to entry and boarding of
school buses which are not currently necessary. We will also continue to review our procedures and policies
as we open and throughout the year with a view to ensuring their effectiveness.

We have amended and staggered our return to school in order to ensure we have adequate time to induct
students into the new Covid Protection routines and to test our protocols. We will open the school on Sep-
tember 7th for primary students only. Senior school students will be welcomed back on Wednesday Septem-
ber 9th. Year 7 and Years 12/13 will be invited to take part in an induction day on Monday September 7th.
Year 12/13 students will also be required to come into school on Wednesday September 2nd to confirm their
subject choices. More information will follow on these events.

Together, as a school community, we face a challenging year ahead. Some aspects of school life will change
and we will need to be innovative in the way in which we teach and learn. However I am confident that with
the dedicated team of professionals we have, and with your support, we will meet these challenges and your
children will continue to thrive. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at school when I say we are excited
about welcoming the children back into the classroom - where they belong.

Please let me know if you have any observations or questions before term begins.

Jonny Massey
AC Chair and Headteacher

Prior to the start of term you will be asked to sign a declaration for each of your children that states that:

    1.    You will not allow your child to come into school if:

              a.   They have been in quarantine or home isolation in the past 14 days:
              b.   They have knowingly been in contact with any people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days
              c.   They are exhibiting any of the following symptoms (or if they have had these symptoms at any point in the
                   previous three days:
                       i. body temperature above 37.5°C;
                       ii. A fever;
                       iii. A dry cough;
                       iv. Tiredness;
                       v. Aches and pains;
                       vi. Sore throat;
                       vii. Diarrhoea;
                       viii. Conjunctivitis;
                       ix. Headache;
                       x. Loss of taste or smell;
                       xi. A rash on the skin or discolouration of the fingers or toes;
                       xii. Flu-like symptoms;

    2.    You will inform the school immediately if your child or a member of your household develops any of the above symptoms

    3.    You will inform the school immediately if your child or a member of your household is diagnosed with COVID-19

The declaration will also ask you to declare whether your child or any of your child’s household may have a medical condition that
may make them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 and to provide any supporting medical information. This will help the
school to advise you so that you are able to make an informed decision about your child’s return to school. Individuals who are
classified as ‘high risk’ include, but is not limited to those with the following conditions or who meet any of the following criteria:

    1.    Asthma;
    2.    Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis;
    3.    Chronic lung disease;
    4.    Diabetes;
    5.    Hemoglo;
    6.    bin Disorders;
    7.    Immunocompromised;
    8.    Liver disease;
    9.    People aged 70 years and older;
    10.   Serious heart conditions;
    11.   Severe obesity;

The School Day
Drop off and Pick up
In order to maintain social distancing during drop off and pick up we have made some adjustments to the school day to enable a
staggered entry and exit from the school grounds and thereby avoiding bottlenecks. Parental access to the school site will also be
restricted where possible in line with Government advice. Detailed procedures for each year group can be found below.

Overview of drop off and pick up times

What to do if I am dropping off children with different start times
If you are dropping off siblings with different start times you can of course drop both at the same time. The older child should go
directly to the lunch area where they will be supervised until their official start time.

Early Years and Year 1
Parents and Carers of Early Years and Year 1 children will be able to drive onto the school site and use the traffic loop in order to
drop their children outside the main villa where they will be met by a member of staff. Parents will not be able to enter the school
building and are asked to remain in their vehicles. If parents are dropping off on foot they can still come onto the site and walk
their child to the drop off point.

Pick up will work in a similar way with pupils lined up to wait for their parents or carers to come around the traffic loop between
3:15 and 3:30 to pick them up. The traffic loop will be supervised by members of staff to assist in a smooth departure. Please note
that the school vehicle entrance will be closed between 3:30 to 3:45 to allow for safe exit by pedestrians in years 2 - 7. Early Years
and Year 1 parents and carers picking up between these times will have to do so on foot.

Primary and Years 7 & 8
Primary and Years 7 & 8 will all use the pedestrian gate to enter the school grounds. Parents will not be allowed to pass this point
and we ask that they observe social distancing outside whilst queuing and not to congregate once they have dropped off their
children. A one way system through the garden and oasis will be in place. Students will go directly to their form room where they
will be met by their tutor. The route will be supervised by members of staff to ensure that protective year group bubbles are not

Given the small pavement area outside school and the busy nature of Via Camilluccia, pick up will operate differently. This will
ensure a smooth and safe dismissal. Parents and Carers will be able to enter the school grounds via the pedestrian gate from 3:30
where a member of staff will welcome them. Parents and carers will be required to wear a mask and use the hand sanitizer upon
arrival. They will be directed via the one way system, through the garden and oasis and on to their child’s form class where the tutor
will dismiss their child into the care of their parent or carer. Exit will be via the main vehicle gate (the traffic loop will be closed to
traffic until 3:45) At all times families are asked to maintain social distancing, will not be permitted to congregate on the school
grounds and are encouraged not to do so once outside the school grounds. Staff will be on hand to ensure these instructions are
understood and observed by all.

The School Day

Years 9, 10 & 11
Years 9, 10 & 11 will have their home rooms in the rooms we have hired in Hotel Vila Maria Regina which is adjacent to the school.
Parents and carers will be able to drive onto the hotel site (the entrance is the next gate along Via Camilluccia going down the hill)
and follow the signage which will take vehicles directly to the rooms where students will be met by a member of staff and/or their
form tutors. Again parents and carers are asked to remain in their vehicles when dropping off. There will be a one way system in
use for vehicles to exit the hotel grounds.

Pick up will be via the same one way loop. There is ample room to allow students to wait outside and staff will be on hand to ensure
a smooth dismissal however it is likely that this will take some time initially and parents/carers should expect to queue for up to 15
minutes when picking up by car. Students are advised to bring umbrellas in the event of inclement weather to enable them to wait
outside. Students who are normally allowed to go home unaccompanied will be able to exit via the main vehicle exit just before
traffic begins to flow.

Years 12 & 13
Years 12 and 13 will arrive via the pedestrian gate and go directly to registration in their year group ‘base room’ (year 12 hub will be
in the Performing Arts room and Year 13 hub in the library) via the one way system. Sixth Form students will be dismissed at 3:35
and will leave via the main vehicle gate.

School bus service
The school buses will continue to run. The bus company will follow the government’s directives on public transport including,
halving of the capacity, sanitization, the use of PPE and social distancing. Bus drivers will wear masks and gloves at all times.
Students over the age of 6 will be required to wear masks throughout the journey and observe the instructions of the drivers in
regards to where they can sit.

Drop off and pick up will be in the main school car park. Students will walk through the small garden and to their form rooms
where they will be met by their tutor. Staff will supervise students crossing the traffic loop at the main villa. If buses arrive before
the official drop off time for year groups, students will wait in the lunch area under supervision and socially distanced until it is
time to walk to form rooms.

PE/Sports provision
We will continue to provide PE and Sports through Juvenia. We have met with Juvenia and gone through their Covid 19 prevention
plans. When students use their facilities they will remain in their year group bubbles both for changing and sporting activities. We
will transport students using the school buses which will adhere to the department of transport’s directives including the halving of
capacity, sterilisation and insistence on the wearing of face masks when in transit. Juvenia will provide separate changing rooms for
bubbled groups which are further divided by gender.

After school clubs
Our top priority is to safely open the school to all students for the normal school day. Until we have the final Central Government
directives and we have had an opportunity to embed our regular school protocols we will not run any after school clubs for the first
half term. We will review this position in September and communicate with families in good time in regards to the opening of any
clubs in October.

Social Distancing in the classroom
A detailed review and space audit of all classroom spaces has been conducted since March and the capacity of each room with the
requisite social distancing measures in place established. It was clear that we did not have enough large rooms to accommodate all
students to return safely and made the decision to hire three large rooms from Hotel Villa Maria Regina which is situated next to
the school.

We are now in a position to welcome back all students in classrooms that meet and go beyond the social distancing requirements
as set out by the central government. In order to maximise social distancing and reduce the risk of virus transmission the following
actions have also been taken or will be carried out in the summer months prior to the start of term:

    1.   All non-essential furniture will be removed from classroom spaces and placed in storage to increase the usable space;
    2.   The layout of classrooms will be altered to allow for social distancing;
    3.   Pupils will be seated at individual allocated desks except in Early Years and Year 1
    4.   All students will be allocated a dedicated classroom or ‘home room’ where the majority of their lessons will take place;
    5.   Specialist teachers in Years 7 - 11 will move to ‘home rooms’ to teach classes except for the Sciences, PE, computer science
         and Art which will be taught in specialist rooms. This will significantly reduce movement of students around the school
         and help to achieve social distancing in communal spaces and corridors. In term this reduces the risk of transmission of
         the virus;
    6.   Layouts in specialist rooms have been changed and where necessary plexiglass screens will be installed in order to allow
         full classes to learn together and maintain social distancing or barrier controls;
    7.   Tactile displays which may increase the risk of virus transmission will be removed and placed in storage.
    8.   All windows and doors will be kept open during lessons (weather permitting) in order to increase ventilation.

Frequently used shared resources including stationary will be removed from classrooms. As a result all students will need to bring a
well stocked pencil case which includes all of the items in the table below.

Social Distancing

Social Distancing in Early Years and Year 1
We recognise, along with the Central Government, that social distancing and the wearing of PPE within the Early Years and Year
1 will be exceptionally difficult to achieve and goes against much of the ethos of Early Years teaching. In order to ensure that these
pupils can return to school safely, classes will, if it is consistent with the terms of the reopening decree, be operating a bubbling
policy at this age.

The principle of a bubbling policy is that young children are kept within a small group of other children with whom they interact.
Interactions with children and adults from outside their bubble are actively limited. As a school we firmly believe that this approach
better reflects the way that children of this age learn as it provides them with freedom of movement and facilitates close adult
attention which is vital to their learning.

Around the world where schools have already been able to return, this system has been adopted and shown to be effective allowing
for rapid track and trace within these year groups in the case of a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

In practise this means Early Years and Year 1 students will see little change in the nature of their school day although their teachers
will be wearing appropriate PPE in the form of a visor throughout the day which is something that we would like you to talk
about with your children before they return in September. Of course they will also be required to follow a more stringent hygiene
protocol including the sanitisation of hands on arrival, departure and before and after break and lunch under the supervision of
their teachers.

Social Distancing in indoor communal areas
A full site audit has been carried out and a number of measures will be in place to ensure social distancing can be maximised.
Please note that the use of the lunch area has a dedicated section in this document.

    1.   Only year 12/13 lessons will take place up stairs in the main villa reducing movement considerably. All students and staff
         will walk on the right and be required to wear masks when in these narrow corridors;
    2.   Students and staff will be required to walk in single file in the corridors;
    3.   Pupil entrance, dismissal, lunchtimes, breaks and re-entry into the building will be staggered to prevent bottlenecks;
    4.   Assemblies and other large gatherings will not be conducted.
    5.   Indoor social gatherings between pupils during break, lunch and before and after school will be prohibited;
    6.   The Library will continue to operate with students able to borrow and return books but not with whole class groups and
         an overall limit will be placed on numbers in the library at any one time. Hand sanitisation will be required on entry and
         exit. Books that have been returned will be sanitised using a UV sanitisation unit before being put back on shelves or left
         untouched for 72 hours before being re-shelved.

Social Distancing

Social Distancing outside
The New School has beautiful grounds with plenty of space for our students to enjoy. Transmission rates for COVID-19 are
believed to be far lower outside than they are indoors. Social distancing in outdoor spaces will be encouraged and maximised by:

    1.   Clear drop-off, collection, post-arrival and pre-departure arrangements that are built around social distancing;
    2.   Staggering lunch and break times;
    3.   Dividing the grounds into play zones which will be allocated to year groups/protective bubbles on a rota system in order to
         protect bubbles but ensure fair access to all spaces;
    4.   Requiring hand sanitisation before and after pupils enter outside social spaces;
    5.   Not allowing group or contact sports during break and lunchtimes but organising fun and exciting games and activities
         that allow for the requisite social distancing;
    6.   Staggering access to outdoor spaces and pupils’ return into the building;
    7.   Signage on communal seating to block off alternate spaces;
    8.   Increasing supervision of outdoor spaces and activities to ensure social distancing is observed.

Social Distancing in the Lunch Area
Despite the small size of our lunch area we have managed to stagger lunch breaks to ensure that all students can use the facility
for lunch every day. This will be the same catering service as last year. To make this possible we will use plexiglass to put a central
divide down the middle of the tables. Whilst this isn’t ideal we feel it is vital to continue to offer a comprehensive lunch service for
all year groups.

Unfortunately we will not be able to run a break time snack service as this would require too much footfall through the lunch area,
the formation of a very long socially distanced queue which our catering providers would not be able to serve in the time we will
have and the handling of money which presents a virus transmission risk. If your child would like a break time snack we advise that
they bring this from home. They will not be able to consume this in the lunch area.

In order to make this possible the following measures have been taken:

    1.  Staggered lunch times;
    2.  Staggered sitting within the lunch times;
    3.  Social distancing at tables - seats will be clearly marked and plexiglass dividers used on larger tables;
    4.  Removal of communal water jugs and beakers. Please note all students will need to bring their own water bottles to school
        and to bring these to the lunch area;
    5. Small group staggered and supervised entry to and exit from the lunch area ensuring social distancing;
    6. All catering staff will be trained in anti-COVID-19 practices;
    7. All students to sanitise hands on entry and exit from the lunch area;
    8. Clear signage inside and next to the lunch area;
    9. Repeated and systematic cleaning and sanitisation of lunch tables and chairs between sittings;
    10. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for all catering staff including gloves and masks;

Social Distancing & PPE
Social Distancing for Staff
A number of measures will be introduced to ensure that social distancing and good virus control practices can be maximised by
members of staff. These include, but are not limited to:

    1.   Providing personal protective equipment for staff;
    2.   Reviewing office arrangements and spacing;
    3.   Relocation of the headteacher/chairperson’s office to allow for meetings with parents and staff with social distancing in
    4.   Staff room to be moved to the former Sixth Form common room;
    5.   Altering layouts, capacities and routines in communal staff spaces;
    6.   Larger meetings will take place remotely to avoid large gatherings;

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for children
In line with Central Government directives all students over the age of six will be
required to wear face masks when the risk of transmission necessitates doing so. On the 1st of September the government will
provide definitive guidance on the use of PPE. In the interim students above the age of 6 should be prepared to wear masks at all
times except in the following situations:

    1.   When outside and maintaining a social distance of 2 meters
    2.   When sitting and consuming a meal in the lunch area

The Government has already announced in its general guidance that children under the age of 6 and those children with specific
respiratory conditions or disabilities are not required to wear face masks.

Due to the environmental impact of disposable masks we recommend that pupils use pleated multi-layer cloth masks with elastic
that can be washed and reused. Your child should bring three cloth face masks into school each day so they can change them
during the school day if required. These should be stored in a clean plastic container or bag.

All adults in the school will help reinforce the following advice on wearing cloth face masks:

    1.   Hands should be washed before putting a face mask on;
    2.   Face masks should securely cover the nose and mouth stretching from ear to ear;
    3.   Care should be taken to avoid touching your face when wearing a face mask;
    4.   Hand should be washed after taking a face mask off;
    5.   Cloth face masks should be washed after each and every use.

Please have a conversation with your child regarding masks and the importance of wearing them and why they are being asked to
do so. It is normal for some children to be scared of masks or of others who are wearing them. Here is a website with some fantastic
advice on how to help your child become used to wearing masks if this is the case.

In the following lessons students will be required to wear disposable gloves (provided by the school) as they may be using some
shared equipment:

    1.   Science laboratories during practical experiments;
    2.   Computer Science;
    3.   Art where shared resources such as paintbrushes may be used;

PPE & Cleaning

PPE for staff
All staff will be provided with appropriate PPE including face masks and/or face coverings and disposable gloves where required.

Hygiene equipment and routines.
Touch-free hand sanitisation stations will be installed around the school premises including at all points of entry to buildings, play
areas, classrooms and the lunch area. All individuals entering the site will be required to use hand sanitiser on entry.

A timetable of hand washing/hand sanitising will be in place including on entry and exit from classrooms, play areas, the lunch
area and at the beginning and end of the school day. Every classroom will also have a supply of hand sanitiser in the event that
students or staff require it during lesson time.

We will establish and enforce socially distanced use of bathrooms and we will continue to educate students about best hygiene and
virus control routines reinforced with clear signage.

Cleaning practices will follow or exceed Ministry of Health policies. Only cleaning products that have been approved by the
Ministry of Health as safe to use will be used. The school will be deep cleaned prior to the return of pupils as is done each year.
Cleaning during the school day will increase in frequency and cleaning between the school day will be enhanced.
The following measures have or will be taken to achieve this:

    1.   Employment of additional cleaning staff to allow for a continuous cycle of clearing of high frequency areas such as door
         handles, banisters and communal seating throughout the day and enhanced cleaning between the school day;
    2.   Each classroom will be provided with a cleaning kit to enable desks and chairs to be wiped down if necessary during the
         school day;
    3.   Cleaning kits will be provided for communal staff areas such as offices;
    4.   Cleaning kits will be available to clean and sanitise essential shared resources which are frequently touched
    5.   UV lights will be used to further sanitise shared resources such as library books and Early years and Year 1 learning

COVID-19 Case Protocols & Pastoral Care

What will happen if a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 occurs?
At time of writing there are no current guidelines for schools in Italy on the management of a suspected or confirmed case of
COVID-19. It is likely, however, that these will be published prior to the reopening mandate and, if this is the case, the school will
be legally obliged to follow them. In the interim and following consultation with Dr Frigeri our Health and Safety advisor we have
written a provisional protocol which is outlined below.

    1.   The individual, in case of a child, will be escorted to the isolation room, situated in the main Villa by a member of staff
         where an initial assessment will be made by a first aider; in case of an adult, he/she will be invited to go to home and call
         his/her family doctor; in case the first aider think that the adult isn’t able to go home safely (or the individual feels so) the
         first aider call the Medical Emergency (118).
    2.   The child will remain isolated until they are collected by a parent or guardian and taken off site.
    3.   Instructions will be given for the individual to remain at home and immediately contact their GP/paediatrician (or call
    4.   The GP/paediatrician, if the case, will activate the specific procedure for medical care and isolation, informing Public
         Health Authorities (PHA); in case of suspected or frank COVID 19, PHA will contact the School and give the proper indi-
         cations which the School will be obliged to respect.
    5.   If the GP/Pediatrician doesn’t activate the above procedure, he/she will be allowed to return to school after three days
         without any symptom, with a medical certificate;

Protocols for a confirmed COVID-19 case within the school community
    •    A confirmed case requires testing and, therefore, applies to someone who is not currently in school.
    •    If a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing the local health authorities will initiate epidemiological
         investigations to:
              • Search for the source of the infection;
              • Identify and test all close contacts.
    •    The authorities will contact the school to determine a list of all close contacts.
    •    All close contacts will be included in a specific surveillance plan which includes a 14 day quarantine and testing of anyone
         who becomes symptomatic.
    •    Appropriate communication will be shared with the rest of the community to inform them of the situation.
    •    All the areas in which the infected person has been within the school will be treated according to the guidelines issued by
         the Department of Health
    •    All other areas of the school will be sanitized according to normal anti-COVID-19 procedures following Ministry of
         Health guidelines.

Pastoral provision
We recognise the potential impact of Covid-19 on the well being of all members of our school community. For this reason staff
induction prior to the arrival of students will include training in their own resilience and personal well-being as well as training
to support students to develop their resilience and self-care. We will focus on understanding and responding to emotions that
may have arisen in recent months or that may arise on return to school. We will also continue to offer our counselling service as
advertised to you at the end of last term.

What has the goverment recommended?
The government mandate on school reopening echoes the guidance contained within the advisory board paper to the Ministry of
Education. The main points and recommendations that are included are summarised below. Please note that the government has
given notice that they will release an update regarding the wearing of PPE 2 weeks prior to the reopening of public schools. These
will be in response to the epidemiological conditions in the country and region at that time.

    1.    A signed agreement could be asked for from all parents stating that:
                a. Their child does not have respiratory symptoms or a body temperature above 37.5°C and has not exhibited these
                    symptoms for the three previous days;
                b. Their child has not been in quarantine or home isolation in the past 14 days;
                c. Their child has not been in contact with those who are known to be COVID-19 positive within the last 14 days.
    2.    It is a parent’s responsibility to ensure that if any of the above conditions are met that a child does not come into school.
    3.    Schools need to consider the staggered arrival of pupils if they can’t ensure a single arrival time can be safely administered.
    4.    Temperature checks are not mandatory for pupils and staff
    5.    Schools should only allow parents on site if strictly necessary (e.g. only where safeguarding necessitates this).
    6.    Layout of classrooms should be altered to allow 1m between each individual.
    7.    Schools are able to define their own adaptations, shifts and organisation proportionate to the age of pupils and the
          educational context.
    8.    Secondary School pupils may use a partial mix of on-site and distance learning.
    9.    Outside the classrooms 1m social distance must be in operation.
    10.   Outdoor space should be used for learning where possible.
    11.   Group and team sports should be replaced by individual sports.
    12.   It is essential to provide a lunch service - where possible this should allow for 1m between pupils, where not a lunch box
          may be provided.
    13.   All classrooms must have windows which should be opened to allow sufficient air flow.
    14.   All schools should be deep cleaned prior to the arrival of pupils.
    15.   Additional cleaning must be carried out daily.
    16.   Windows in toilets (where they exist) must remain open.
    17.   Pupils (above the age of six) must wear face masks at all times.
    18.   Staff must wear face masks at all times and these must be provided by the school.
    19.   No additional protective equipment is required for pupils. (however we will insist on the use of gloves where shared
          equipment may be used)
    20.   A suitable procedure for the isolation of symptomatic pupils must be identified and necessary advice and assistance must
          be sought from the local health authority.
    21.   Disabled pupils may be exempt from wearing face masks and should be given priority for face-to-face teaching.
    22.   Pupils below the age of six are not required to wear face masks.
    23.   Staff working with pupils below the age of six should be using Personal Protective Equipment (going beyond the usual
          surgical mask).
    24.   Signage must be installed.
    25.   Training for children must be given and this should be extended to families.
    26.   It is suggested that five rules are communicated:
                a. If you have symptoms talk to your parents immediately and do not come to school;
                b. When in school wear a mask to protect your nose and mouth;
                c. Follow the instructions of the teachers and respect the signs;
                d. Always keep a distance of 1m;
                e. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and mask.

You can also read