Health and Safety Guidelines

Home/Health and Safety Guidelines
Health and Safety Guidelines (During times of Covid)

Rationale

The health and safety of students and staff is the top priority at DIPS-G. In order to provide a healthy, safe, and caring environment, all members of staff and all students follow basic Health and Safety rules whilst engaged in school activity on premises. In addition to implementing general school guidelines, specific Health and Safety rules apply to individual departments/divisions. It is the responsibility of Health and Safety Officer and team to ensure that these rules are shared with all relevant staff and students.

A. Entry, Pick up, and School Visit Procedures 

  1. The class teacher is responsible to refer students to the Health and Safety officer/team with COVID-19 symptoms such as cough, body aches, fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhoea and nausea, and headache, the school nurse further screens as per the guidelines by the DHA.
  2. Teachers and students older than 6 years of age are required to wear face masks
  3. Only one family member or a guardian (prior informed to the school authority) is allowed to enter the school facility for drop off/pick up his/her child. People with compromised medical conditions, including the elderly, strictly do NOT come for drop off and pick up.
  4. The school has implemented a staggered entry and exit procedure to eliminate overcrowding and to maintain 1 meter physical distancing in high traffic areas.
  5. Families to drop off and pick up at one designated area and designated timing with NO interaction inside the school. There will be NO ACCESS to the rest of the school facility by family members and visitors. Family members are given maximum time limit of 10 minutes in the designated area to pick up / drop off with no crowding, maintenance of a one meter distancing, and wearing of masks at all times<.
  6. Whenever meetings take place online unless there is a critical need for one-to-one meeting which takes place on an appointment by email basis and to be approved beforehand by the Office of the Superintendent.
  7. Maintenance work or deliveries happen after the school’s opening hours. Proper precautionary measures are applied especially for pick up or drop off items by designating a specific location and following a contactless process.

B. Screening & Contingency/ Emergency Plan 

  1. If a stable case of illness is detected amongst visitors or staff presenting COVID-19 symptoms such as fever (≥37.5˚C), cough, body ache or fatigue, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhoea and nausea, headache, or loss of sense of smell or taste, the school’s H&S officer contacts DHA hotline number 800342.
  2. In cases of emergencies, such as having unstable cases amongst staff, students or visitors, the school immediately contacts 999 or 997.
  3. At DIPS-G, Health and safety officer is assigned to handle any emergency situation, follow up and monitor the implementation of health and safety procedures, and conduct all necessary trainings for students and staff. She is also responsible for the designated isolation room within the school premises.
  4. If a child/teacher/staff begins to show symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, they get isolated instantly, and the parent/ guardian of the child is notified immediately, and the patient is referred to the hospital to take the necessary action. The patient does not return to school until the PCR result is obtained. If the result is negative and there is a clinical assessment of a probable COVID-19 case, the patient completes a 10-day quarantine. If the result is negative and there is no clinical assessment for a probable case, the child resumes school so long as he/she is symptom-free.
  5. In cases of COVID-19 emergency, the school follows the endorsed guidelines for emergencies by school’s qualified nurse/ doctor while wearing adequate personal protection equipment. Also, the health and safety officer in-charge ensures that the child is accompanied by an adult wearing the full PPE when transported to home or to the hospital.

C. Monitoring Attendance and Contact Tracing

  1. If a staff or student/s is confirmed positive according to a COVID-19 PCR test by an accredited facility, they cannot return unless they are granted a clearance certificate by DHA stating that they are discharged from isolation.
  2. The school maintains adequate records of its staff/guests/members/students, including names, telephone numbers and visit dates, to assist if contact tracing becomes necessary. The school maintains accurate work records of its staff for contact tracing purposes.
  3. The school abides by the contact tracing procedures, by providing DHA with all records needed to trace potential contacts of the confirmed COVID-19 cases.
  4. Upon the onset of the academic year, the school collects health and travel declaration forms from all students and staff. The template of the form is developed by the school.
  5. A policy of “staying at home if unwell” for students, teachers or school staff with symptoms is enforced.

D. Hygiene 

  1. Anyone entering the premises is checked for wearing mask and is asked to use the hand sanitizer available at the entrance.
  2. Frequently used electronic devices are disinfected after each use (i.e. Tablets, computers, etc.).
  3. Awareness/educational posters are placed all over school premises describing handwashing steps near sinks. Additional guiding hygiene communication material is shared with parents prior to opening of school and is placed across the premises (i.e. respiratory hygiene, distancing, etc.)
  4. Measures are taken to ensure that students with certain disabilities or learning difficulties receive adequate supervision and support when needed.
  5. All spaces are well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units.
  6. The school ensures that the cleaning services are punctual and thorough (i.e. bins are emptied frequently, etc.)
  7. The school ensures that all staff and children frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
  8. The school ensures that all staff and children clean their hands upon arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing, and students are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes, and nose.

E. Restrictions 

  1. All staff, visitors, and students over the age of 6 are mandated to wear masks at all times inside the school from entry. Non-compliance leads to denial of entry to the school facility.
  2. Children over the age of 6 (all students in Grade 1 and above) wear masks at all times. Students and staff with medical conditions are exempted from wearing a mask with a medical certificate only.
  3. Masks to be taken off during eating or during high intensity physical activities.
  4. Staff who are in direct contact with children are to wear transparent masks / face shields to enable lip reading, and facial expression.
  5. School cleaners wear gloves and masks while cleaning the facility.
  6. Sufficient stocks of masks, gloves and sanitizers are available as well as special designated bins to throw used items (as recommended by governmental authorities).
  7. Registration is to happen online. If truly needed, parents/ guardians visit for registration, based on prior appointment system. It’s NOT allowed to happen during drop-off, pick-up, and break time to avoid having the visits during children crowding time.

F.  Set-up / Physical Distancing Arrangements 

  1. The school ensures 1 meter distancing measure is maintained in all common areas, service desks, etc. where different groups of students, staff and visitors are mixing.
  2. Classroom area supports sufficient room for groups to maintain physical distancing of at least 1 meter per child in each classroom provided everyone wears a mask.
  3. The school ensures that toilets do not become crowded by limiting the number of students who use the toilet facilities at one time.
  4. The school administration has dedicated an isolation room (separate from the nurse room) and set procedures to handle COVID-19 suspected/confirmed cases as well as the disinfection procedures as per Dubai Municipality guidelines.
  5. The school has created visible markers on the floor to indicate appropriate spacing.
  6. The school encourages contactless payments, yet cash payments are allowed.
  7. Vending machines, pantries and pre-packed food and beverages are allowed, in the condition that they follow necessary guidelines for the sector [only disposable containers, frequent sanitization of machines, and pantries items, maintaining 1 meter between the tables]

G. Educational Provision 

  1. Student ratios vary depending on the size of the classroom. The school has the liberty to decide on the number of students per class as long as a safe distance of at least 1meter per child or person is maintained.
  2. Provision for students in Kindergarten and Elementary School requires “stable” groups of 15 or fewer children. “Stable” means the same 15 or fewer children are in the same group each day. This group of 15 children must be cared for in a space that cannot be accessed by children outside the stable group.
  3. The school keeps cohorts together where possible
  4. The school ensures that children and young people are in the same small learning groups at all times each day, and different groups are not mixed during the day, or on subsequent days
  5. The school ensures that the same teacher(s) and other staff are assigned to each learning group and, as far as possible, these stay the same during the day and on subsequent days, recognizing for secondary settings there will be some subject specific rotation.
  6. Class rotations are not permitted. For curriculums featuring class rotations, students should remain in a designated classroom, while teachers rotate instead.
  7. Students should be designated a chair and table and no swapping among students is allowed.
  8. At least one staff member holding a current certification in paediatric first aid and CPR needs to be available at all times.
  9. Students or staff with high-risk conditions (specific illnesses or immunocompromised) should be offered alternative education means (i.e. online provision), until further notice.
  10. The school must ensure academic provision for all the students who are unable to attend their classes physically (due to health condition, isolated, quarantines, etc.)