St. Michael’s International School, in partnership with JCIS, supports and endorses the use of approved COVID-19 vaccines as a safe and effective way of protecting student health, wider community health and continued access to on-campus learning.
Maintaining a low risk environment
Operating our regular school campus is guided by the following principles:
- Maintain the school’s mission of growing, working, learning together.
- Prioritise student and faculty health, safety and well-being.
- Promote protocols and practices which reduce the transmission of the virus and support our ability to be responsive when facing challenging circumstances.
Parent support is essential to help us to maintain a safe and healthy school environment. We need your support to minimise the risk of school closure.
- Long hair must be tied back using a simple band – no fancy hairbands that children may be tempted to play with during the day.
- Early Years parents dropping off and Year 1 and Year 2 parents collecting from the playground must wear a mask
- Complete the temperature log daily for their child and monitor your own temperature before coming to school
- Provide a named, sealable plastic or vinyl bag for your child to keep their face mask in at break time and lunchtime. (This needs to be easy to wipe clean.)
- Send your child with an easy to eat home lunch/bento that they can eat independently. Please avoid sending packets or tightly closed vacuum flasks that your child can not open by themselves. Children should bring their own chopsticks/cutlery etc…
- If you wish your child to go home for lunch please telephone the office in the morning.
- Do not come into school unless it is for a pre-arranged appointment – please telephone or email the office with general enquiries.
- Telephone the School Office by 14:20 of any change regarding who will collect your child or any change in emergency contact details.
- Keep your child at home if they have a temperature of 37.5 degrees or show any signs or symptoms of ill health, however mild.
- Recently a common source of infection has been within home rather than school itself. Therefore, if a member of the family is unwell with a temperature of 37.5 degrees or show any signs or symptoms of ill health, however mild, keep your child at home. Home and school partnership is the key to keeping COVID-19 out of school.
- Inform the School Nurse of any health issues, however mild.
- Inform the School Nurse of a COVID-19 diagnosis in yourself or anyone in your household.
- If a member of your household returns to Japan from overseas maintain strict quarantine arrangements for all members of the household including your children and inform the School Nurse.
- Be prepared to collect your child at short notice if the School Nurse is concerned about their health.
Encouraging Physical Distancing in Classrooms
By their nature, schools are high density, social environments where childhood illnesses such as colds and influenza spread quickly. Whilst COVID-19 has not been found to spread as quickly in children, we are aware that we need to do what we can to encourage children to maintain as much physical distance as possible as experts promote physical distancing as an essential strategy in the containment of COVID-19. However, our classrooms can not accommodate current class sizes across all year groups while maintaining physical distance.
Therefore, whilst no longer insisting on a minimum 1m distance between tables, we continue to maintain all other protocols that encourage physical distance. Whilst we have implemented a range of measures to encourage physical distancing, we can not guarantee it happening 100% of the time.
- Classrooms will be organized to accommodate as much space between tables as possible; however with the return to regular class sizes, we will not be able to provide 1m distance between students’ desks
- Each class has physical distancing signposted in the classroom e.g. name labels, no sitting signs, coloured tape on the floor, lining up guidelines etc…
- Children will stay in their designated seats (i.e. no carpet time)
- Children have their own personalized stationery bag and the use of shared resources will be kept to a minimum
- Children have their own assigned chrome book or IPad and will not share keyboards and screens
- Staff will avoid using classroom shortcuts to minimize classroom density when classes are in session
Teaching & Learning
In order to maintain a low risk school environment there will be some adjusted routines and modifications to the school day.
- Movement around the classroom will be limited as much as possible, there will be no carpet time or swapping seats.
- Teachers will continue to use familiar teaching and learning strategies and learners will be encouraged to be independent.
- Children will wear a mask to the library and must use hand sanitiser on entering and when exiting.
- PE is planned to take place on the roof whenever possible. Children can remove their mask when participating in PE outdoors to reduce the risk of overheating.
- High risk sports such as wrestling, sumo and tackle sports will be avoided and replaced by low risk activities such as dance, individual athletics activities, swimming and keep fit.
- Medium risk PE is considered to be those sports that involve shared equipment such as hockey, tennis, touch rugby, football, gymnastics, net games. In this case children are expected to wash and sanitize their hands before and after use.
- Children must have suitable footwear for PE and leave them in their locker. This can be a pair of sport trainers (new or well-cleaned) or a pair of traditional white pumps. The regular PE kit should go home each week for washing.
- Music lessons will not include singing or the use of wind instruments therefore, recorder and pianica lessons are suspended until further notice.
- Choir is suspended until further notice
Weekly assemblies will be split into two sessions to allow for smaller numbers in the school hall 14:10 Class and special assemblies will be live streamed or shared electronically via the Learning Zone – parents will not be invited to events on the school campus until further notice.
Hygiene Procedures in Classrooms
- Children and staff will wear masks in the classroom
- The use of hand sanitiser on entry to all rooms is mandatory for faculty and students
- Each room will have a classroom sanitation pack for cleaning shared resources
- Teachers and TAs will maintain a system of sanitizing shared materials and resources at the end of each day
- Tables will be cleaned at lunchtime and again at the end of the day. Tables should be kept tidy and clear to make this a time efficient task
- Classrooms must be well ventilated with doors and at least one window open to create airflow. We have increased mosquito repellent in classrooms and installed fly screens in every classroom for safe window opening.
- Children should not bring anything to school other than their book bag, water bottle and lunch.
- Children can fill up their own bottle at the water fountains but should avoid drinking directly from the fountain. Children should not share water bottles.
- Children should not bring toys or things from home; there will be no ‘Show and Tell’ type activities.
- Classrooms and toilets will be cleaned at lunchtime as well as at the end of the school day.
- Shared surfaces across school such as door handles, handrails, water fountain buttons etc… are cleaned twice daily by the caretaker
To maintain a low risk environment we will limit the number of children together in one space to a maximum of three classes at any one time. To limit the risk of overheating, children will be allowed to take their mask off when they are outside. Each child should bring a sealable, plastic bag to keep their mask in when not wearing it. It should have their name clearly displayed on it. This can be a simple ziploc bag.