COVID-19 SAFETY

Guiding Principles for School Operations

Prior to the Start of School

As the pandemic remains uncertain around the world, it is our responsibility as a school to ensure that we remain fully prepared to adapt teaching and learning to situations.

The Pinewood Continuity of Learning Plan, developed for our community, articulates possible learning scenarios at Pinewood in low, medium, and high risk environments that may be encountered in the new academic year.

These scenarios will require us to adapt our approaches, including the make-up of our schedule, how we implement our curriculum, and adjustments in teaching routines. Given the continued uncertainty around the pandemic, it is possible we may need to transition between these various scenarios at different points in the school year. New information and guidance from health officials will also impact our planning and additional scenarios may emerge as a result.

It is our responsibility as a school to mitigate the risk of contagion of the coronavirus for our students, faculty, and staff. We have taken careful steps to establish health and safety guidelines that follow government requirements for schools and Covid-19 recommendations in general.

To this end, all Pinewood faculty and staff are required to complete a Mandatory Verification of Travel & Contact form.  The submission of this form will be required prior to faculty and staff reentry to school in the 2020-2021 year.

  • It is our responsibility as a school to mitigate the risk of contagion of the coronavirus for our students, faculty, and staff. We have taken careful steps to establish health and safety guidelines that follow government requirements for schools and Covid-19 recommendations in general.

    To this end, all Pinewood families are required to complete a Mandatory Verification of Travel & Contact formThe submission of this form will be required prior to your children’s reentry to school in the 2020-2021 year.

Supporting Each Other​

We are all eagerly awaiting the day when we can safely move beyond this pandemic and our lives return to what is normal and known. In the meantime, our commitment is to protect the health and wellbeing of our campus community.

While we are doing our best, our ability to have our campus open for face to face instruction as much as possible will depend greatly on the actions of our entire community—colleagues, students and parents alike. We all have a personal responsibility to do our part to try to stay healthy and help others stay healthy. If we all commit to do what is required, at home and at school, that will greatly increase the likelihood that our students can spend more time at campus as opposed to distance learning.

  • Practice proper social distancing each and every day.
  • Wear masks when in public.
  •  Stay home if feeling unwell.
  • Quarantine if there has been exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Report any confirmed case to our Nurse
  • Maintain proper handwashing and other hygiene measures (see below).
  •  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.

Coronavirus is not specific to any ethnicity or race. Pinewood is committed to ensuring no one in our community is ostracized, bullied or mistreated as a result of ignorance or misinformation around this virus.

The Pinewood community will maintain confidentiality of all suspected cases and information that we might receive. In case of confirmed cases, or in case someone reports positive COVID-19 test, then it is the individual’s responsibility to inform EODY. EODY, consequently, will start the tracking process, which means that the individual’s name and surname might be disclosed by EODY, in order to track people who have been in contact with this person. The school will not be involved in this procedure, unless requested to facilitate the tracking. There is updated information on the tracking process and the actions to be taken in case of a confirmed case in schools.

The same philosophy and approach of non-discrimination and confidentality is requested by parents and students, to promote a safe, secure and confidential environment for everyone. We focus on the steps we can take to reduce the spread of the virus and hinder further and unfounded harm of taking place. All people deserve to be treated with fairness, respect and dignity and any suspicion of COVID-19 symptoms, should be dealt with in a discrete way.

We also recognize the significant strain the news of the outbreak has placed on our teachers and families and wish to extend our sympathies, especially to those with friends and family affected. If any member of our community believes they have experienced harassment or discrimination from within the Pinewood community, we encourage them to report concerns to the appropriate Division Principal (Ms. Mills or Mr. Doumitt). Thank you for continuing to support one another and being vigilant in combating discrimination or intolerance of any kind.

Pinewood will strive to communicate clearly and effectively all news related to the school, your children's experiences, and the coronavirus pandemic. The typical communication avenues include email, Brightspace, SMS, and phone. Please ensure that the school has your most up-to-date contact information on file.

Guidelines and Procedures

  • Students will enter and exit the building from assigned locations.
  • Students, faculty and staff must sanitize hands when entering the building and each time they enter a new classroom (hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed on the wall of each classroom).
  • Students who show any signs of illness may not attend school
  • Please do NOT send your child to school if he or she is showing any symptoms of illness which could be passed on to another student or adult.
  • Students who show signs of illness or have a temperature may be sent home from school as determined by the school nurse. A member of administration or the nurse will phone a parent to arrange immediate pick up in such cases.
  • If a member of the household has symptoms of COVID-19 or has a positive COVID-19 test result, do NOT send your child to school.
  • Students, faculty and staff are not to be at school if they show symptoms of illness and must be symptom-free for 48 hours before returning.
  • Students will be reminded to wash their hands as frequently as possible.
  • All faculty and staff will adhere to the same health and safety guidelines.
  • Masks must be worn upon entry into any of the school buildings
  • Masks are required for all faculty & staff
  • Masks are required for students from age 4 while indoors
  • Masks are required on the bus
  • Masks are not required when outside and during PE classes
  • Masks are optional for 3-year old students
  • Pinewood will distribute reusable masks to all students on the first day of school
  • Take your child’s temperature each morning
  • The canteen will provide a limited selection of food for snack and lunch that must be pre-ordered each day. All pre-ordered food will be delivered to classrooms.
  • Given the limitations of the canteen menu and distribution of food, it is recommended that families send a packed snack, lunch and water bottle each day for their child.  
  • Send a mask with your child as it is required that all people (age 4 and up) wear a mask. Students will not be permitted in the building without a mask.
  • Your child should bring a backpack to carry all school and personal items throughout the day. 
  • Locker use will not be permitted (Secondary students).
  • Students must bring a laptop, charger, and headphones to school every day (Grades 3 and up)
  • All bus routes are in operation and following government guidelines for operations
  • All buses will be disinfected daily
  • All buses will be use only for our routes and no others
  • Parents driving their children to school should remain in the car. There is an exception for Early Years and Grades 1-2 parents, who may walk their children to the gate (Early Years) or to the assigned door per grade level (see below). 
    • Front Door Entry: Grades 3, 4, 6, 9, 10
    • Side Door Entry: Grades 1, 2, 5, 7, 8
    • Basement Entry: Grades 11, 12
  • Signs will be placed at entrances to help direct students
  • Parents / visitors are not permitted in the building. 
  • Students should strive to maintain physical distancing when entering and exiting buildings and when walking in hallways.
  • After school activities will take place with all students / teachers wearing masks. Under no circumstances will students be permitted to roam the campus unattended.
  • See Drop off and Pick up times below

 - Early Years (PreK1 and PreK2 only)

    • Drop off between 8:45-9:00
    • Pick up between 14:45-15:00

 - Elementary (K - Grade 5)

    • Drop off between 8:15 - 8:30
    • Pick up beginning at 15:10 

 - Secondary (Grade 6-12)

    • Drop off between 8:15 - 8:30
    • Pick up beginning at 15:10

Schools will open at regular capacity for all children. Children are exempted from returning to school only if they have Covid-19, if they are living in a household where someone has Covid-19 and for those children who fall within one of the government-defined risk groups.

Live streaming is not permitted by Greek law when schools are operating at regular capacity. Live streaming may be used only when schools are required to operate with limited capacity (as was the case last May-June).

  • PreK1 - Grade 8

Students will remain with their grade level throughout the day (8:30 - 15:10). Teachers will move from classroom to classroom to deliver their lessons to grade level groups. The only exception is for PE lessons, which will be held in the gym or outdoors. 

  • Grades 9-12

We will make scheduling arrangements to minimize movement on campus during the day.

  • Students and teachers will sanitize hands when entering the classroom each time.
  • Hand sanitizers have been installed on the wall of every classroom. The gel used is 70% alcohol.
  • Ventilation systems have been upgraded to allow fresh air flow in basement classrooms
  • No lockers may be used except for Grades 11-12. Students in Grades 1-10 will keep backpacks in their rooms. Early Years will use their classroom cubbies.
  • Classrooms should be aired naturally via windows or fresh-air ventilation
  • AC may be used with windows open

The Pinewood Library will be in full function and the use of a mask is mandatory by everyone entering the library space (students, teachers, staff). The 1.5 m distance must be kept because of the blending of different groups in this space.

  • School hours remain the same (8:30 – 15:10)
  • Students have classes every day (Monday through Friday)
  • Times for breaks and lunches are staggered for different grade levels
  • Overall, the schedule is designed to limit the movement and contact of students and faculty throughout the campus

Teachers dismiss from rooms 2 students at a time waiting 30 seconds between

Elementary School

    • Grade 1, 2 enter and exit from side door
    • Grades 3, 4, 5 enter and exit from front door

Secondary School

      • Rooms 1-7 use front stairwell
      • Rooms 8-12 use side stairwell
      • Room 13 & Conference room use front door
      • Rooms 14 & 15 use side door
  • A special schedule for staggered breaks / lunch will be followed and separate outdoor areas, by grade level, will be assigned for all grade levels in the school. 
  • Students are not required to wear masks outside during break and lunch.
  • Students eat lunch in their classrooms.
  • On bad weather days, students will remain in their classrooms for break / lunch recess.
  • Students will be given health and safety instruction on the first day back to school
  • Teachers will move from classroom to classroom to teach their students in order to limit student movement
  • Students must bring their laptop & charger to school every day (Grades 3-12)
  • Students must bring all books and necessary materials every day in a backpack. Sharing of equipment will be limited.
  • P.E. classes will be held outside as much as weather permits. 
  • No group or team games
  • No shared equipment
  • Equipment used individually will be thoroughly cleaned after its use
  • Masks are not required during P.E. class

Supervision is increased in order to maintain a safe environment

  • Students may leave class to use the bathroom and wash hands
  • No more than 2 students in the bathroom at any given time
  • Liquid soap and hand towels are for use in all bathrooms
  • A school nurse is on campus every day from 8:30 - 16:30
  • Only students who are exhibiting symptoms may visit the nurse.
  • When visiting nurse, enter from back side gymnasium door
  • Students go with a hall monitor to the nurse’s office
  • Only one student in the nurse’s office at a time.
  • Students will form a queue in the gym if necessary while waiting to see the nurse.
  • Students will knock and the nurse will open the door.
  • The gym doors need to be open at all times.
  • For minor medical issues – students see the receptionist (as usual)
  • Nurse must use full protective equipment when close to students exhibiting symptoms
  • The boys and girls locker rooms are designated for quarantine of possible cases
  • Our school’s occupational physician is a valuable medical consultant for us throughout this period
  •  No visitors are permitted on campus.
  • Parents may enter the school only with a prior appointment. However, parents are encouraged to meet with teachers/principal via Zoom/GoogleMeet
  • Shadow teachers will use masks when close to student
  • Parents wanting to make payments will be prompted to make payments online if possible. If this is not possible, an appointment will be arranged.
  • Attendance: Attendance will be recorded each class period as usual. However, students will not be penalized for absences this year
  • Social/Emotional Issues: Students exhibiting social/emotional concerns will be referred to our Student Services department for support. 
  • Behavior/Disciplinary Issues: There is an enhanced expectation for students to follow school rules and cooperate when instructed and directed. Students are also expected to adhere to the new hygiene and distancing procedures so the school can follow the guidelines for health and safety. Students who do not meet the new expectations will not be permitted to be at school. In the event of a behavioral issue that puts others at risk, parents will be notified by administration for next steps on a case-by-case basis. 
  • The school has hired an additional daytime cleaner to disinfect high contact areas all day. The school will create a schedule to continually disinfect throughout the day.
  • Cleaning staff must wear a disposable mask, disposable gloves, work clothes and a disposable plastic apron. 
  • Two cleaning personnel will be at school every day. The above equipment will be provided to them. 
  • Emphasis will be given throughout the day on the areas/items used most frequently (door handles, light switches, desk, chair, etc.)
  • Computer equipment should be cleaned frequently throughout the day
  • Carpets must be cleaned with vacuum cleaners that have HEPA filter
  • Antiseptics is at least 70% alcohol
  • There is antiseptic in every classroom 
  • Liquid soap and hand towels are in all bathrooms
  • Chlorine solution will be used for cleaning
  • Full supply of disposable face masks will be available in case they are needed
  • Disposable gloves for cleaning and emergency situations will be available as needed
  • Whole school cleaning will be done every day after school by our outsourced cleaning company by following all government guidelines for cleaning schools
  • We will increase the frequency of cleaning the heating, ventilation and air conditioning units and will inspect and replace all filters at an accelerated pace.
  • We have installed fresh air flow systems in learning spaces downstairs in order for fresh air to move in and out of these classrooms.
  • Weather permitting, we plan to leave windows ajar to increase fresh air inflow and circulation.

Every time your child is absent from school with COVID-like symptoms (fever, dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, fatigue, etc.), a doctor's note is required before your child may return to school.

Procedure
1. The child must be examined by a doctor.
2. If the child's symptoms are characterized as suspect for COVID-19 by the doctor, then a molecular diagnostic test (COVID-19 test) will be prescribed by the doctor.
3. In order to return to school, a doctor's note with a diagnosis that allows the child to return to school is required and your child must be without symptoms, including fever, for at least 24 hours, without medication.
4. In the case where a COVID-19 test has been taken, the results must be shared with the school before the student returns to school.

Frequently Asked Questions

The first day of school is September 7. Please find our annual calendar HERE.

Schools will open at regular capacity for all children. Children are exempted from returning to school only if they have Covid-19, if they are living in a household where someone has Covid-19 and for those children who fall within one of the government-defined risk groups.

Live streaming is not permitted by Greek law when schools are operating at regular capacity. Live streaming may be used only when schools are required to operate with limited capacity (as was the case last May-June).

Only students who are in after school activities may stay until 16:30.

Yes, absences are recorded regularly this year. Please refer to the Pinewood absence policy for details regarding absences.

Yes, the canteen is open and following government regulations for operating in schools.

Students may not use the hydration stations. They have "DO NOT USE" signs on them to remind students. Hall monitors will fill water bottles for all students as needed. They will ensure that there is no contact between the water bottle and the water tap when refilling water bottles.

Yes, it is very important to bring your laptop, charger and headphones to school every day. They will be used regularly.

Students will have the majority of their classes in the same classroom each day. Thus, they may leave their backpacks in that room next to their desk. If you still have concerns, our  recommendation is to bring a backpack with wheels or a small carry-on suitcase to use as a backpack.

We await information from the government regarding requirements for school buses. Students, bus monitors, and bus drivers are required to wear masks on the bus.

The school will utilize class periods to explain all new health and safety procedures to our students and answer students’ questions in order to promote a safe learning environment. You can find the Ministerial proposal about informative sessions here.

If you are currently outside Greece and you want to return you are advised to contact the Greek embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding re-entering Greece. The school will follow all required self-quarantine guidelines as stipulated by the Greek government for each country.

All members of the family must remain at home until the results are received. This means that the students in the household may not attend school until negative test results are received.

Managing Potential and Confirmed Covid-19 Cases at School​

  • Ms. Katerina Karagkiaouri, the School Nurse, is assigned to be in charge of suspected COVID-19 cases management. The Deputy is Ms. Cathy van der Ha.
  • The persons in charge (above) informs the staff about the recognition/management of a suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Roxanne Giampapa, Head of School, collaborates with both for all protocols, procedures, and decision-making.