COVID-19 SAFETY

Guiding Principles for School Operations

  1. Prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, staff, and community

  2. Comply with the guidelines set by the Greek Ministries of Health and Education

  3. Provide access to learning and social-emotional support to all students

  4. Communicate clearly and frequently with parents for a strong partnership

Prior to the Start of School

  • 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 form. The submission of this form will be required prior to your children’s 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 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.

 

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.

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. 

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

  • All movement within the building and outside will adhere to a 1.5 meter distance between people
  • Students will enter and exit the building from assigned locations
  • Students, faculty and staff must sanitize hands when entering 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
  • If a member of the household has symptoms of COVID-19, do NOT send your child to school
  • Students who show signs of illness or have a temperature of 37C or higher will be sent home from school. A member of administration or the nurse will phone a parent to arrange immediate pick up of a sick child.
  • 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, but they will be required to use the hand sanitizer throughout the school each time they enter a classroom.
  • All faculty and staff also will adhere to the same health and safety guidelines
  • Take your child’s temperature each morning
  • Pack a snack, lunch and water bottle (the canteen and catering are not permitted to operate and microwaves and water fountains will not be in use)
  • Send a mask with your child as it is highly recommended that all people wear a mask
  • One reusable mask will be provided to each student – please write name in masks
  • Reusable masks will also be provided to all faculty and staff
  • Your child should bring a backpack to carry all school and personal items throughout the day. Locker use will not be permitted.
  • Students must bring a laptop and charger to school every day
  • All bus routes are in operation and following guidelines for distancing
  • 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 Main front door (Grades 1-2). Parents are not permitted in the building without a prior appointment. See below for staggered drop off times.
  • Students enter and exit the school through assigned doors (information to be given to students on first day)
  • Everyone will use a 1.5 meters distance when entering and exiting the building 
  • After school activities are suspended. Thus, all students must leave the school either by school bus or parent pick up at the staggered pick up times below.

Early Years

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

 Elementary

    • Drop off between 8:30-8:40
    • Pick up between 15:00-15:10

Secondary

    • Drop off between 8:20-8:30
    • Pick up between 15:10-15:20
  • Maximum of 15 students per classroom
  • Desks must face forward
  • Desks have been set up with a distance of 1.5 meters between them in Grades 1-12. In Early Years, which do not require a 1.5 meters distancing for desks, are mindfully arranged in the room.
  • Students and teachers will sanitize hands when entering classroom each time
  • Hand sanitizers have been installed on the wall of every classroom. The gel used is 70% alcohol
  • Students will use classrooms on the ground floor and upper floor. Only basement rooms with direct access to outside air will be used
  • No lockers may be used – students will keep backpacks in their rooms
  • Classrooms should be aired naturally
  • AC may be used but the windows must remain open. Filters in all air conditioners have been cleaned during the week before school opened.
  • School hours remain the same (8:30 – 15:10)
  • Students have classes every day (Monday through Friday)
  • During the passing periods between period 1 & 2, 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 – only the teachers move. 
  • Students stay in their assigned room (except for elective classes)
  • 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
  • The last day of school is Thursday, June 18. This is an early dismissal day. All students are dismissed at 12:00.
  • Teachers dismiss from rooms 2 students at a time waiting 30 seconds between
  • Rooms 1-7 use front stairwell
  • Rooms 8-12 use back stairwell
  • Room 13 & Conference room use front door
  • Rooms 14 & 15 use back door
  • Extra 5 minutes for dismissal at the end of the day
  • All students will go outside (weather-permitting) -11th & 12th grades only are permitted in the mini gym
  • When students are in the mini gym the outside door remains open
  • Students should maintain a 1.5 meter distance at all times
  • The tables and chairs in the mini-gym will be spread out for groups of 10 or less
  • Designated areas for 7th & 8th, 9th & 10th and 11 during break/lunch will be assigned
  • Restrict use of waiting areas (hallways, lobby, etc.)
  • No basement classrooms will be used
  • Windows in classrooms must be open during break/lunch
  • On rainy days, 11th grade is in the mini gym during break/lunch
  • On rainy days, 7th and 8th grades are on the elementary floor during break/lunch
  • On rainy days, 9th and 10th grades are on the secondary floor during break/lunch
  • Students will be given health and safety instruction on the first day back to school
  • Students will have all core classes in the same classroom to minimize movement
  • Teachers will move from classroom to classroom to teach their students
  • Students must bring their laptop to school every day
  • Students must bring all books and necessary materials every day in a backpack. Sharing of equipment will be limited.
  • Students will follow their regular schedule, with modified times between classes and during breaks and lunch.
  • A few teachers are not able to return due to school. These teachers will teach their classes via Zoom or GoogleMeet at the regular times in the students’ schedules.
  • Final exams will not be administered this year. 
  • Students who are not able to return to school for the remainder of the school year will have the opportunity to complete their school year from home. They will not be penalized for their inability to return to campus.
  • To do so, teachers will attempt to live steam their lessons according to the Ministry of Education’s regulations so that students can access lessons in real time for all students in Grades 3-12
  • All assignments will be posted on Brightspace by each teacher in Grades 6-12
  • All summative assessments must be completed as per the instructions of each teacher
  • 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
  • Advisory periods for Grades 6-12 will be used as study hall for students to work on assignments
  • Advisors may meet with each student individually to see where they are academically and set a plan for moving forward as needed
  • Advisors will meet with students who are still online to support them as well
  • Supervision is heightened in order to maintain social distancing during all movement
  • We will have hall monitors in place all day to monitor halls & bathrooms and other common areas
  • Students may leave class to use the bathroom and wash hands
  • No more than 2 students in the bathroom at any given time
  • No more than one student in the common area of the bathroom at any given time
  • Hall/bathroom monitors will be positioned on each floor all day 
  • Liquid soap and hand towels are for use for the bathrooms
  • 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.
  • No one except the nurse can touch the door to open it. 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
  • 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
  • One room will be assigned for study hall – limit 15 students
  • Students will be permitted to use the mini gym and be outside during study hall as well
  • 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 students
  • 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. 
  • 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 will be at least 70% alcohol
  • There will be antiseptic in every classroom 
  • Liquid soap and hand towels will be 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 on an accelerated cadence.
  • We have installed fresh air flow systems in several classrooms 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.

Frequent Asked Questions

Our school year will not be extended for the Secondary School. Pinewood’s last day of school is Thursday, June 18. This is an early dismissal day and all students are dismissed at 12:00. When the decision is made for the Elementary School, we will let you know if we must extend the year for Elementary students only. Regardless, Pinewood will offer a Bonus Week on June 22-26 for all children who want to remain in school.

We are scheduled to start our year on the 7th of September. Please find our annual calendar here. We are awaiting further instruction on this and you will be notified. Is there any chance for the government to force us to open earlier?

Live streaming will be available for all students in Grades 3-12 who are not able to return to campus due to health issues or an inability to return to GreeceIn such cases, students will be provided with a schedule containing links for their classes.

No, students need either to be on a bus at 3:10 or leave school with parents. There is no bus after that time and no one can stay in school after 3:15

As per the Ministry of Education, absences will not be registered as counting this year. Thus, there is no danger of exceeding the maximum number of absences this year. If students can not return to school, parents need to send the declaration to [email protected]

Yes, students must bring their own snack, food and water each day. The canteen and catering are not permitted to operate. We also advise students not to share their food. Please note that the use of microwaves is not permitted.

Students may not use the hydration stations. They have "DO NOT USE" signs on them to remind students. The 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 daily.

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.

We will utilize several class periods on the first two days to explain the new health and safety procedures to our students and answer students’ questions in order to promote a safe learning environment for all. 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.

Managing Potential and Confirmed Covid-19 Cases at School​

The School nurse will wear personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, and face shields while providing care to students. When a student comes into the office with COVID-19 related symptoms, the student will be provided with a surgical mask and immediately placed in an isolation area. The student will be assessed and if the nurses suspect a potential COVID-19 case, the family will be notified immediately. The student must be picked up immediately and the family should contact a medical provider for additional care. If any student presents with emergency COVID-19 symptoms which include trouble breathing, chest pain, etc., the nurse will contact emergency medical services and then inform the family.

There will be a small isolation room at school for students who are symptomatic. The room will be immediately cleaned and disinfected after each usage and cannot be used again for two hours.

Upon confirmation of a positive case of COVID-19 at school, we will trace all contacts on campus who were deemed to be in close contact with the infected individual. Close contacts are defined as follows:

  • Teachers/students in an enclosed space (i.e., the same classroom or working group in the case of facilities or staff) with the infected individual for more than 30 minutes.
  • Individuals who were within 1.5 meters or in face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes.
Notification

We will notify the state Greek Ministry of Health, which has oversight responsibilities for schools when we have a confirmed case of COVID-19. We also will notify the “close contact” individuals that they may be at risk and request that they self-quarantine for 14 days and/or get tested no sooner than four days following exposure. Family members of “close contacts” will be encouraged to monitor for symptoms and consider getting tested. We will not disclose the identity of the infected person.

Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 may only return to school after:

  • Two consecutive negative PCR tests administered with a 24 hours elapsed time between tests [preferred]
  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications for 72 hours
  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath,etc.)
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

Individuals who have been in close contact with an infected individual may return after they have completed the 14-day quarantine period and are not exhibiting any typical symptoms.