The primary schools are opening again on February 8. For the schools, it is a lot of work.
“We have four entrances in our school. Separate groups are handling each entry point,” says principal Alexander Fransen, of the Wilakkers primary school, as they prepare for a reopening.
“In addition, teachers will wear a face-mask outside the classroom; we’re asking the students in grades 7 and 8 to wear a face mask,” the principal says. “In addition, teachers must keep their distance from each other. For example, they must go to the coffee machine one at a time.”
There will be small, separate breaks for different groups. “We want to keep everyone as much as possible apart. But it needs to be feasible. For example, groups 5 and 6 have breaks together, but separated from the other groups,” Fransen said.
The students are allowed to just play together during the break. “Playtime is short and takes place in the open air. Moreover, we cannot stop children playing together,” said the director. “We are happy that it is still possible.”
It involves a comprehensive package of measures that elementary school must take. Measures can vary from school to school. “It depends on what the conditions in the building are. We must also keep in mind if there are infected colleagues or students,” says Ingrid Sluiter, director of SKPO, to which Wilakkers also belongs. “In addition, it affects whether there are colleagues on the team who belong to the risk group.”
To keep everything on track, in some cases intermediate steps have to be taken. “Then, for example, we start with half days and half attendance in the classes. Everything to keep the risk of infection in check and to keep the measures feasible at the same time,” says Sluiter.
At Wilakkers, whole classes are coming to school, Fransen reveals. “With the intermediate forms, you have to teach simultaneously both in classrooms and via the video link. On top of that, if a child turns out to have corona in one part of the class, the teacher has to go home. That makes it very complex to organize,” he said.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives online INBURGERING classes.