Greetings Ram Nation,
You may be wondering what has been happening behind the scenes as we prepare to reopen the Science Park campus. Whether you will be joining us on campus on April 27th or not, below is some helpful information about what to expect when on-campus learning resumes. While the information below is largely specific to the 80 or so students from Grade 8 and 12 joining us on Monday, faculty, staff and families who’ll be on campus from May 11th can take comfort knowing that everything is in place for a safe return to school!
The Guangzhou Education Bureau has provided a comprehensive document for all international schools outlining the health, safety, training and virus mitigation strategy. Our School Reopening Task Force has been working around the clock to ensure we are 100% compliant with every requirement of the Guangzhou Municipal Education Bureau. With that being said, let’s take a look at what health and safety measures AISG has implemented to ensure a safe return to campus for our students, faculty and staff.
All students, faculty and staff will have their temperature taken twice: once at the beginning of Block 1 and once near the end of Block 2. Temperature checks will also be performed upon entry to the Science Park campus via an infrared thermometer. If a student, faculty or staff member registers a fever during school, the School is required to notify the health authorities and isolate the student immediately. Before departing for school, please take your child’s temperature every morning. If they have a fever or are exhibiting other symptoms such as dry cough, sneezing, difficulty breathing, etc., it is critical that your child stay home or see a doctor for medical attention. Please do not send your child to school.
All AISG faculty, staff, and students will be required to undergo testing for COVID-19 prior to students returning to campus. Faculty, staff, and students who will be on campus from April 27th have already undergone nucleic acid testing. While you may already have a negative test certificate, the Guangzhou Education Bureau will require you to produce a more current certificate (dated within 7 days of returning to school). Faculty, staff and students must have proof of a negative COVID 19 test result before they can return to campus.
Faculty and staff scheduled to resume on April 27th, as well as outsourced vendors (including Sodexo staff, cleaning staff, security guards etc.) have undergone rigorous training and practice drills regarding the prevention and control of novel coronavirus. Students returning to campus on April 27th will receive training on safety and hygiene procedures during the first days of school, in addition to attending their regular classes.
Unfortunately, regulations do not allow us to permit parents or other visitors on campus for the time being. We can always be reached by phone or email though! Students will not be able to enter campus before 7:30 am and must go directly to their Period 1 class. Students will need to leave the campus at 3:00 pm as there are no after-school activities and the campus will be closed from 3:30 pm onwards.
Campus Cleaning and Disinfection
All our cleaning and disinfection schedules and protocols are in line with the official recommendations and requirements. Our School Services team has performed a deep clean of the entire campus and, in particular, has a strict schedule of cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, desks, and tables, public teaching tools, door handles, canteens, accommodation areas, toilets, garbage rooms, elevators, isolation areas. Central air conditioning ventilation systems will not be in use and classrooms and other rooms will be well ventilated.
Sodexo has been approved for operation under a COVID-19 context. All Sodexo staff have performed the required training to be able to provide their service safely and hygienically and have all tested negative for the novel coronavirus. Specialized social distancing seating has also been arranged for the cafeteria with no more than two students per table along with floor markers to ensure safe social distancing when queueing.
The cafe is closed. However, the cafeteria will be open, but options will be limited. To avoid cross-contamination of plates, silverware, cups etc., pre-packaged lunch options will be available to pre-order. Sodexo will be providing a QR code later next week for faculty, staff and Grade 8 and Grade 12 students to pre-order online. Although there will be a few extra lunches prepared for students who forget to pre-order, we are encouraging families to place their orders in advance. Payment can be made via WeChat through the Student ID card as before. When we have more students on campus, Sodexo will gradually return to their normal lunch service.
Social distancing of 1 meter minimum must be maintained at all times throughout the day. Our classrooms, cafeteria and common spaces will be closely monitored to ensure that we are adhering to governmental rules and regulations for social distancing. As an additional precautionary measure, students will be seated facing the same direction in the classroom and cafeteria.
There is currently no bus service, but it will resume at a date in the near future. However, we are working with the PTA to arrange shared transportation solutions for returning students via a WeChat group. Please check with your Divisional PTA Representative for more information. In the meantime, we are working with the transportation company to ensure their COVID compliance approval in preparation for when transportation services become available again.
Masks, Hand Sanitizers, and other Supplies
We recommend students change their mask every four hours. Therefore, students should bring two(2) masks and his/her own hand sanitizer every day. Masks will need to be worn at all times except when eating or drinking. AISG has a backup supply if masks are damaged or lost and we’ll also have plenty of hand sanitizer stationed around the campus for when you may need it!
If someone is found to have a high temperature, the school will automatically enact a very clear emergency protocol to ensure that person is isolated and medically cleared before they are permitted to return to campus.
Health Card System
For the school’s own records, we have implemented a health card system designed to monitor the health and travel information. Students resuming school will need to bring their completed health card form in order to be permitted access to campus.
At this stage, as per previous government notification, the next wave of staggered starts will likely begin May 11th and aimed at the remaining Secondary School grade levels, although we don’t have any specifics on which grades will resume next. When we receive guidance on the next wave of staggered starts, we’ll be sure to contact families immediately with more information. Families of elementary school students will receive more information on what measures are being implemented on Er Sha campus for younger children once a resumption date for elementary aged students is announced.
Finally, if we’ve learned anything over the past three months, it is that flexibility is key! While we are working incredibly hard to ensure everything runs to plan for a smooth return to campus, we do expect some changes to occur as we continue to refine and troubleshoot unexpected issues as they arise. Amidst all the craziness of our current situation, don’t forget to breathe.
As we enter this new phase of blended learning, I have no doubt that this will be a challenge for many. However, I know we are a resilient community and will work through these remaining weeks together as a community. Not many schools can withstand the incredible challenges we’ve faced together over the past 12 weeks and for that, I am eternally grateful. Be proud of how far we’ve come so far along this journey, Ram Nation. While we still have a little way to go, I know we can band together and support each other through this final stretch of the school year.
Jiáyôu, Ram Nation.
American International School of Guangzhou
Ram Nation 大家好，