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COVID-19 Schools Reopening Induction Guide & Templates

The closure of many primary and secondary schools in many countries globally was accelerated by the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 through preventive strategies based around self isolation and social distancing. UNESCO recommended schools implement distance learning programs that can be used by teachers to limit the disruption of education through remote classroom learning. But gradually, as conditions improve, some schools are starting to re-open and students are returning to learning at the school facility. As schools re-open, there are a number of areas to look at as part of a safe re-opening.

Tools to help with preparing and managing reopening schools

All staff including the students and parents should consider undertaking and completing Covid-19 induction training before getting back to the school buildings. The purpose of a Covid-19 school induction is to make sure that all the school staff, parents and students have a clear understanding of the spread of the virus, its symptoms, the latest guidance and advice on public health, COVID-19 response plan, and what should be done if a student or any other staff member develops signs and symptoms of covid19 at the school setting. In preventing the spread of the virus, staff can be inducted on the established control measures and their specific duties and responsibilities. Induction training should be in place and completed in advance of staff, parents and students arriving back on the school grounds.

School Covid-19 Induction Checklists

There are many concerns about the readiness of schools to re-open during the pandemic. When are schools reopening? How many students should be fitted in a classroom? Are there enough sanitizers in place? Is the latest guidance available and is everyone aware of it in the classroom? How safe is it for parents?

Ensuring that staff are inducted on school safety protocols is a critical part of the re-opening process. As part of that, a school Covid-19 checklist might consist of (optimised to the regions relevant health authority advice):

School Social Distancing Plan Checklist
- Instructions around prohibiting any gathering of large groups that don't observe social distancing
- Relevant controls around entry into the school buildings by any non-school staff
- If the health authorities advise, instructions around half-full classrooms, spacing desks 2 meters apart
- Guidelines for all the visitors who come into the school
- Cancel all extracurricular activities based on region specific advice

School Cleaning Checklist - Cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces (door handles, playground equipment)
- Providing disinfection products such as hand sanitizers
- Inducting staff, students, and parents on proper hygiene practices and sanitation practices to be observed
- Instructions around prompting students to thoroughly wash their hands frequently during the day
- Instructions around cleaning personal workspace tools

Policies and procedures to follow - Implement daily routine checks such as temperature, status of health kits based on local region health advice
- If the local health advice suggests, instructions around limitation of certain school activities such as sports

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