ICS Milan is ready to start this new school year!
We will start welcoming our students, gradually by age groups, from 7th September 2020. As an independent school, with the advantage of having specific spaces to enable social distancing, we are fortunate to be able to offer a return to full school opening.
In doing so, we will guarantee that the school is a safe environment for students, staff and our community, in compliance with the guidelines provided by the Comitato Tecnico Scientifico (CTS) in the Technical Document issued on 28th May 2020 and in the following updates, whilst preserving the highest standards of education for our students.
The calendar for the start of the new academic year has therefore been organised based on age groups. At the end of the first week or at the end of the transition period foreseen for students up to 4 years, all the activities will take place in presence, every day, in an effort to maintain the usual school routine as much as possible.
Below you can find all the measures we have taken to ensure complete safety.
- PREPARATION OF SCHOOL SITE AND STAFF TRAINING
- PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
- HOW WE ALL NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO ENSURE EVERYONE’S SAFETY
- SCHOOL ENTRY AND EXIT PROCEDURE
- LUNCH AND SNACK TIME
- CLEANING AND SANITISATION OF THE SCHOOL PREMISES
- PERSONAL HYGIENE PRECAUTIONS
- PSYCO-PEDAGOGICAL ASPECTS OF REJOINING THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY
- MEASURES TO BE ADOPTED IN CASE AN ADULT OR A CHILD IS SUSPECTED OF HAVING COVID-19
All ICS Schools underwent a deep cleaning with subsequent sanitisation by a certified company before the opening of the summer camp. All the spaces will be deep cleaned again and undergo another sanitisation in late August before the school opening.
The school will be set up with clear signage highlighting new routines and regulations to be implemented.
Alcohol-based hand sanitisers will be available at the school entrance, at the entrance of every school floor and in the outside gardens. Separate entrance and exit walkways will be clearly marked, where necessary.
External spaces will be divided into areas to be used by different groups of children, with separate sets of toys to be carefully cleaned and disinfected after each use.
Teaching Staff, old and new, will return to school at the end of August to set up their classrooms, be trained on the protocols to be implemented and carry out the usual start of the school year preparation activities. Each teacher will be responsible for their specific class and students. Access to school for those teachers coming from countries subject to mandatory quarantine at their arrival in Italy shall be conditional upon fulfilment of such obligation.
Our cleaning staff have been suitably trained on the new protocols of cleansing and subsequent disinfection of spaces and objects and will pay special attention to surfaces and spaces that are more frequently touched.
ICS will provide all students at school with basic information about COVID-19, especially on how to prevent transmission. This will be a reminder at the beginning of every day by members of staff, as long as necessary.
Primary and Secondary School
Social distancing (defined as 1 metre between children’s mouths) continues to be one of the main preventative measures and all spaces at ICS will be organised so as to ensure such distance is guaranteed.
Classrooms will have desks/tables suitably separated with markings clearly outlined on the floor so that they can always be positioned appropriately to premeasured distances.
Pupils will not be subject to social distancing measures, however classroom set up will need to be planned carefully.
While reorganising the school spaces and environment, particular care will be taken to:
- Maintain stable groups of children;
- Guarantee that each class has a classroom equipped with a set of furniture and a set of toys/materials to be used exclusively by that group;
- Remove fabric/soft furnishings as well as all the materials that cannot be easily washed.
The current regulations on the use of personal protective equipment are:
- Adults and children from 6 years of age (from Year 2) will need to wear face masks at school when they are moving or in all those situations, static or dynamic, during which it is not possible to maintain 1 metre distance, with the exception of sports or physical activities.
- Children up to 6 years of age (up to Year 1 included) do not have to wear face masks. The use of personal protective equipment for adults shall not prevent the possibility of being recognised by children and of maintaining a close contact with young children (recommendations include the use of transparent protection visors and, if necessary, nitrile gloves).
Before the school re opens in September, we will consult the latest CTS advise relating to the use of personal protective equipment for students, teachers and staff both in the classrooms, within the school premises and during the journey to and from school.
Current guidelines do not require mandatory temperature check before entering the school building. However, until further notice, we will continue to monitor the body temperature of all the people who need to access the school in order to keep the attention level towards COVID-19 symptomatology high and guarantee our community’s safety. In the case of temperature above 37,5°C access to the school premises will be denied.
- I will not go to school if anybody in my family has flu, a cold or a persistent cough;
- If I am in Year 2 or above, I will wear a face mask at school while I am moving or in any static or dynamic situation in which I cannot maintain 1 metre distance, except when I am undertaking physical and sports activities;
- I will undergo a compulsory temperature check before entering the school building (temperature check point at the main entrance). If I have a temperature over 37,5°C, I will need to go home with my parents/accompanying adult that will contact our family doctor to check my health conditions;
- I will follow the seating arrangement on the buses, in the classrooms and lunch areas;
- I will disinfect my hands before entering the school building and before going home. I will wash my hands frequently, always after using the bathroom, before and after eating, after any outdoor activity. I will use running water and soap and, if not available, the sanitising gel made available at school;
- I will cover my mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. I will dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash/disinfect my hands;
- I will drink from my water bottle, filled at home (I will not fill it from the water dispensers at school), or I will use the disposable cups made available next to the water dispensers;
- I will not share any glasses, cutlery or food with my classmates;
- I will follow the signs when moving around the school;
- I will not walk in a group;
- I will avoid close contact activities and greetings like handshakes, hi-fives and hugs;
- I will keep to the 1 metre distancing rule and 2 metres for physical/sports activities (from Year 2);
- I will not be exchanging school material with my classmates and will limit to the bare minimum the transfer of objects or equipment between home and school;
- I will not bring any toys to school. If I am under 6, I can bring one single toy from home, not bigger than my hand, and keep it in my locker. If I need my doudou to sleep, I’ll take it to school at the beginning of the week, leave it at school and bring it home every Friday to be washed together with my sleeping bag/blanket.
- I will check the temperature of my child daily before taking him/her to school. I will keep him/her at home in case of temperature over 37,5° C, a cold or a persistent cough and contact my family doctor;
- I will follow the entry / exit procedure and schedule for the various age groups very strictly. In case of delay, I will stand in line and wait for my child’s turn to enter the school premises;
- I will not enter the school premises except in exceptional circumstances or upon appointment for one-to-one meetings with school staff, when required or allowed in order to support my child during the transition period (up to 5 years of age = Reception);
- I will maintain non-physical contact communication with the school, through email or phone calls and make fee payment online, whenever possible;
- I will join online class meetings and online events;
- If I am authorised to enter the school premises, I will undergo a temperature check before entering, wear a face mask to move inside the building and in case of a one-to-one meeting with a member of the staff, I will keep social distancing;
- I will make sure to leave at school only foldable strollers or scooters (no bikes) that will be taken to a dedicated area so as to keep the hallway at the entrance clear because it will be used for the triage (temperature check and hand sanitising);
- I will cooperate with the school staff to help students learn and apply the new rules and routines.
- I will check my temperature daily before going to school. I will stay at home and contact my family doctor in case of temperature over 37,5° C, a cold or persistent cough or in case anybody in my family has any of those symptoms;
- I will wear a face mask at school while I am moving or in any static or dynamic situation in which I cannot maintain social distancing;
- I will undergo a mandatory temperature check before entering the school building;
- I will not congregate in groups with my colleagues and contain myself to my work area and office;
- I will keep social distancing from students (from Year 2) and from colleagues in the staff room or in the common areas;
- I will support students and monitor that they keep social distancing (from Year 2);
- I will practise good hygiene and all precautionary measures such as washing and sanitizing my hands regularly;
- I will disinfect high contact areas such my desktop, desk and stationery regularly;
- I will frequently ventilate classrooms and offices;
- I will follow the entry / exit procedure protocol very strictly.
In order to guarantee students’ safety and wellbeing, we will stagger the beginning of the school year from 7th to 9th September so that all safety protocols and routines can be implemented correctly. All new students up to 4 years will follow a special transition programme that will be communicated to each family after the one-to-one meetings with the academic staff.
Staggered entry and exit times will continue to be in force until otherwise specified. From Friday 11th September and/or, at the end of the transition period, siblings may enter and exit school at the same time, in compliance with the start time of lessons for their specific age group: Early Years: 9:15 (Year 1: 9:00); Primary and Secondary: 8:30.
If there is a delay, students will have to stand the line and wait for their turn to enter.
Obviously, we will accommodate any children using ICS bus service who may arrive outside scheduled times.
Parents will not be allowed to enter the school building during students’ entry and exit times.
Click here to download the timetables for Early Years, Primary School and Secondary School of all campuses.
- Early Years (up to Reception)
Children can be accompanied to their classroom by one adult (1 adult per child) who may stay for a few minutes in order to help the child settle in;
- Year 1
Children will be encouraged to access the school premises independently. Parents will enter the school building only if strictly necessary;
- From Year 2
Students access the school building independently.
- Early Years (up to Reception)
One parent/designated adult per child can go to the classroom and pick up his/her child.*
- All the other children will be accompanied to the school gates at the scheduled exit times. Their parents or designated adult will wait for them outside the school building, keeping the required social distance. Please assist us by ensuring that children are collected punctually.
*Please note that this does not apply to ICS Fontanili and ICS Orti sites, where also children in Early Years will be accompanied to the school gates at the scheduled exit times.
We are revising the food management protocol that we are currently adopting for the summer school and which plans for meals to be served in pre-packed disposable portions prepared by our external catering. Our aim is to maintain the safety and social needs of the children while ensure we still provide tasty and healthy meals.
We are reorganising our spaces and logistics so as to be able to offer multi-portion food to be distributed in the lunch rooms (wherever possible) and/or in the classrooms (properly aired and cleaned before and after lunch). Students from Year 2 will have their lunch break organised in a way to make sure that the necessary social distancing is guaranteed: there will be sittings and pupils will be provided with disposable trays with spaces for the various dishes so as to make sure that students move as little as possible during lunch time.
Until further notice, as a preventive measure, school internal kitchens (where available) will not be used. Meals will be prepared daily at an external cooking centre managed by our external catering.
For the time being we will not be able to accept any birthday cakes or any other external food onto the school site until the authorities allow us to do so.
Cleaning and disinfection of all the school premises are the main actions that, together with social distancing, can help to prevent the spread of the virus.
ICS cleaning and disinfection protocol has been reinforced in consideration of the enhanced need for prevention and our cleaning staff has been assigned a specific job description that takes into account situations and places at higher risk, more specifically:
- High-touch points like door handles, knobs, switches, telephones, keyboards, handrails, desks and chairs
- Meeting rooms
- Single work desks
- Break and lunch areas
- Air conditioners, fan-heaters and air replacement systems
- Indoor ventilation
The premises are ventilated frequently. Classrooms and other rooms occupied during the day are aired in the morning before students arrive, during each break, during lunch, at the end of the day and during room cleaning.
Classrooms should have windows open whenever possible and doors wedged open.
ICS will take care of disinfection:
- In compliance with the Circular nr. 5443 issued on 22nd February 2020 by the Ministry of Health and clearly mentioned in the Protocol shared on 14th March 2020, when a person who has been diagnosed COVID19 has been in the school building;
- Periodically and frequently in classrooms, lunch rooms, labs, offices, gyms and meeting rooms.
Thorough personal hygiene is a key contributor to reducing the spread of the virus. Posters illustrating the handwashing and hand-cleaning procedure will be put in all the bathrooms and common areas, on the understanding that washing hands with running water and soap, whenever possible, automatically excludes the need for hand sanitising gel. Hand sanitising gel dispensers will be placed in the school areas far from the bathrooms and where hand washing with water and soap is not possible. Frequent cleaning and maintenance of the dispensers will be assured.
At ICS we firmly believe that each student’s wellbeing is vital to their success at school, and this remains central to our approach despite the current situation.
As well as ensuring that the children can return to school safely, and in an environment that supports staying healthy, one of our top priorities is also the emotional wellbeing of the children. We recognise that this has been a very unsettling time for them all and we understand that there will be a range of emotions and reactions from children and families upon returning to school.
Our aim is to work with families to ensure that we are able to support the emotional needs of all of our students and to provide them with an environment where they feel comfortable, safe and happy so that they can readjust and begin to move forward with their learning journey.
Throughout July we have run summer school in 3 of our campuses which has given us the chance to see how well the children adjust to the new measures and to understand how best to organise the classroom environments in a way that supports emotional wellbeing, enquiry based learning and social interaction whilst still maintaining the recommended distance.
At ICS one of our underlying principles is positive relationships. Young children must feel safe, celebrated and supported within the learning environment in order to be able to thrive. We will be adding additional measures to our school induction, including live video calls, recorded messages, stories and songs, and the chance to come and meet the teacher and visit the classroom before school re-opens.
Parents will also have the chance to attend a virtual class meeting during the first few weeks of school in order to learn about routines and ask any questions or voice any concerns that they may have.
We understand that all children will have had their own unique experience in these months and that they will also have their unique needs when returning to school. We understand that some children may need a little more time and we will work closely with families to ensure that these needs are met.
Teachers will ensure that they communicate closely with parents using mediums such as Tapestry, Seesaw and class newsletters. Partnership with parents is vital to ensuring that we provide the best care for children and we will do our best to make sure that there is always open and honest communication.
New students will start their transition from 7th to 14th September, based on the individual transition plan that has already been shared with each new family during the one-to-one meetings with the didactic staff; transition dates and times have been defined according to the age and needs of each child. Only one parent/accompanying adult will be allowed to access the school building.
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL
Our focus will be on allowing the students time to reacclimatise themselves to being back at school and in the physical classroom.
At home we encourage discussions about the imminent return to school and some of the differences that the pupils, both old and new, might expect to see in September.
Time will be dedicated to sharing experiences of lockdown and distance learning, acknowledging the challenges that the children all faced.
PSHE (Personal Social Health Emotional) is already an intrinsic element of our programme but will have particular significance in September. Our main aim will be on ensuring the wellbeing of each individual student during the first few weeks of school.
Teachers will communicate with families through Seesaw to provide daily updates from the classrooms. If the school has particular concerns about individual children those parents will be contacted immediately.
During the first few days of school, time will be devoted to explaining the safety protocols and answering any questions the students may have. Regular reminders of safety protocols and discussions about the need for these regulations will continue throughout the first few weeks and as long as necessary.
Week before the start of term:
- New students are invited to a Welcome morning at school on Friday 4th September (from 9.30 to 11. 00 for Primary students; from 9 to 10:30 for Secondary students) to meet their new teachers and get to know each other.
- “Old” students who will be attending classes from Year 2 to Year 9 will have a scheduled call on Teams with their teachers on 4th September in preparation for their return to school (the scheduling will be shared at the end of August before the beginning of the academic year).
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, continuous dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhoea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but only have very mild symptoms.
If an adult has any of the symptoms above, they should self-isolate at home in line with Italian Governmental guidelines.
If any child develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms whilst at ICS they must be taken to the designated infirmary room with a closed door while waiting to be collected. The school secretary will call the parents to inform them and to request that their child is collected immediately. The room should be cleaned and disinfected (standard cleaning and disinfection by cleaners) before being used by anyone else.
Parents need to contact their family doctor, ask for guidance and notify the school.
The actions to be undertaken with confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 will be defined by the local Prevention Department that will outline any quarantine measures as well as the process for readmission to school based on the latest regulations. The confirmation of a COVID-19 positive case will require close monitoring by the school that will have to work closely with the local Prevention Department so as to identify as early as possible the occurrence of any further cases that might lead to an epidemic outbreak. Should that be the case, the relevant public health authority will evaluate all the necessary measures to be implemented.
This is an initial plan to which additions will certainly be made on the basis of any further Governmental guidelines that might be issued in the next few months.
We are awaiting further Governmental guidelines on the following and will send out details of any updates as we receive them and no later than 31st August 2020:
- Extra-curricular activities in the school building and if and how these may be carried out;
- After school service: if and how it will be offered;
- Actions to be undertaken in case of a confirmed COVID-19 positive case to be defined by the local Prevention Department;
- Rules for students’ readmission to school after isolation from the community due to symptomatology attributable to COVID-19.
REGULATORY SOURCES AND FURTHER INFORMATION
This document has been written following the publication of the “Piano Scuola 20/21” on 26th June 2020 by the Italian Ministry of Education and of the minutes nr. 94 of 7th July published by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.