Europe, Spain

TEFL Meets COVID-19: 23 Changes in My School

Now that I’ve been settled into my school for three weeks, I’ve have had opportunities for observation, conversation, and reading written policies around COVID-19 and its implications for school. Here are 23 that I selected to highlight.

This should not be taken as any type of formal guidance for education centers. For accurate and up-to-date information, the Spanish Ministry of Education should be consulted.

  1. Students and staff cannot bring items from home. Supplies must be kept at and only used at the educational center. 
  1. Schools must rearrange classrooms to ensure 1.5 meters distance between students. 
  1. In Infantil and the first two years of Primary Education, groups of stable coexistence (with up to 15-20 students) will be put in place. Students in this group can interact with no established social distance. Different groups of coexistence should not socialize. 
  1. Students must have their own box of school supplies with items such as markers, crayons, pencils, pens, rulers, and so forth. Items cannot be shared. 
  1. Board games, card games, and sports games that require multiple people touching the same item are prohibited. 
  1. Any items that are used, such as individual library books or sports equipment, must be disinfected and quarantined immediately after use. 
  1. Classroom desk placements will be provided to the schools based on class size. Wherever possible, only one stable coexistence group should use each classroom. 
  1. Language assistants can only work at one school at a time. 
  1. Arrows and social distancing reminders must be placed on floors and in hallways. 
  1. Hand sanitizer dispensers must be in all classrooms and entryways. 
  1. If students must switch classrooms, they must sanitize their desks and chairs before leaving. 
  1. Entry and exit from the educational center must be staggered. 
  1. Sporting events or celebrations can occur with no public attendance. 
  1. School-offered transportation (e.g. buses) is recommended as a last resort to other modes of transportation to the education center. Students who used buses will have a designated seat for the entire year. 
  1. Students must wash their hands before entering school, before and after playing on the playground, before and after meals, and a minimum of five times per day. 
  1. Students cannot enter a new classroom until it has been ventilated for 5-10 minutes. All rooms must have a recorded ventilation a minimum of five times per day.
  1. The building and common surfaces must be cleaned once per day, and the bathrooms cleaned three times per day. 
  1. Windows must be kept open for a majority of the day for ventilation. Students should not be in one room for more than 50 minutes to allow for better ventilation. 
  1. All teachers, staff, and students above age six and with no contraindications must wear a mask. 
  1. Recess (recreo) and snack times should be staggered and only consist at one time with one stable coexistence group. 
  1. Age-appropriate education around prevention and proper hygiene practices must be provided. 
  1. All schools must have a designated person responsible for all aspects related to COVID-19.
  1. All schools must have a Course Initiation Plan and Contingency Plans to be used if there is a positive case. Additional policies and procedures regarding positive COVID-19 cases vary based on person affected, confirmed or suspected, age, staff or student status, and is dictated by each community. Policies regarding positive or suspected cases of the virus are too detailed to be contained in this post. 

DISCLOSURE: This list of guidelines is based on individual research. Some protocols may be exclusive to the community of Galicia. It should not be taken as formal guidance or an exhaustive list of COVID protocols. In Spain, each autonomous community has authority to set guidelines for their education centers. Both policies from Spain’s Ministerio de Educación and policies set forth by the respective comunidades autónomas, provincias, and concellos should be referenced for the most accurate and up-to-date information. 

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