Secondary schools in the region are preparing to create as safe an environment as possible when the classrooms are full again next week.
The secondary schools will open again. This time all students will be entering the premises, all together, at the same time. 1.5 meter distance between students is no longer necessary. However, there must still be enough distance between the teacher and the student. In order to guarantee sufficient safety, school boards are taking various measures.
The health services stress on good ventilation in the school buildings. Therefore, all windows and doors at the Lorentz Lyceum in Eindhoven are opened as much as possible to allow fresh air flow through properly. “We’re in an old building, so we’re not equipped with a modern ventilation system. But there are a lot of windows, so we think we can ventilate the building well,” says rector Jessica Baart.
In schools with a new building, that’s easier. For example, the Stedelijk College and the International School in Eindhoven and the Strabrecht College in Geldrop have an up-to-date ventilation system. “We think that this’ll enable us to make the classrooms corona-proof,” explains director Meine Stoker. “Only at our location on the Henegouwenlaan do we have to work with the available sources. So we’ll keep the windows open there.”
In addition to good ventilation, the schools also are trying to use other means to create a safe environment. Teachers of the Lorentz, for example, can use splash goggles if they need to explain something, sitting closer to the students. Baart: “And if teachers are still worried about their health, they can always teach from home via a video link. The pupils are then at school and the teacher is at home.”
The schools do not want to make face masks compulsory, unlike numerous other schools in the Netherlands. Stoker: “We follow the guidelines of the RIVM. So we assume that face masks aren’t necessary. However, we did order 1500 face masks, just to be sure”. To be on the safe side, Stoker and his team decided to use an areosol meter. “We want to see how well the ventilation works, and if it’s really safe in the classroom.”
Several schools don’t know yet what they’re going to do exactly. Behind the scenes at Eckart College and the Frits Philips Lyceum, for example, there are still discussions going on. The two schools also want to await a national corona advice. On Wednesday, the VO Council and the Outbreak Management Team will present this advice for secondary education.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives ONLINE Inburgering classes.