Covid-19 School Safety Protocols Everest Language School
General Information on Covid-19
Covid-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus. For up-to-date information about the illness, please visit the Irish Health Service website.
In order to control risk of the spread of the virus Everest has implemented a number of recommended protocols. In our aim to mitigate the spread, we must first highlight how the virus is transmitted:
- Covid-19 is mainly spread through close contact and droplets that come from your nose and mouth. For example, from someone who is talking loudly, singing, shouting, coughing or sneezing.
- This happens when people are within 1 to 2 metres of each other.
- That's why maintaining “social distance” is an important way of reducing the spread of Covid-19.
- Airborne transmission is the spread of a virus in very tiny water particles, known as aerosols. This can happen over a longer distance, such as across a room.
- Covid-19 can spread easily in crowded or poorly ventilated areas.
- To protect against airborne transmission, proper indoor ventilation is essential; we must keep indoor spaces aired out (ventilated) by opening windows and doors when possible. In order to ensure adequate circulation of air, and to reduce the level of pathogens in the air, windows should be opened regularly throughout the day, and remain open where possible, to allow cross-ventilation.
- You can also get the virus from infected surfaces. For example, when someone who has the virus sneezes or coughs, droplets with the virus can fall onto surfaces around them.
- If you touch that surface and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth, you could become infected too.
- Getting Covid-19 from surfaces is not as common as getting it through close contact with someone who has the virus. But it's still important to wash your hands properly and often.
- Disinfectant wipes and sprays are available for staff to use to clean surfaces throughout the building and all surfaces will be professionally cleaned every day.
What we are doing to keep Everest safe
Everest has implemented these protocols in line with those offered by the HSE, HSA, and ELE Sector. All of these protocols are subject to change and will be updated in line with the most up-to-date advice available.
While the risk of infection can never be completely eliminated, the objective of these protocols is to mitigate these risks wherever possible.
Students and staff need to understand that a risk of transmission will still exist even if these guidelines are rigorously followed and implemented.
- Posters are displayed prominently throughout the school to remind everyone of the importance of social distancing and hygiene.
- Contract tracing will be facilitated by daily attendance of students and staff being carefully recorded.
- While government restrictions remain in place there is a no hand-shaking / hugging policy.
- Speaking test and progress assessments, induction and graduation may be done online where social distancing cannot be facilitated.
- Students arriving to Ireland from overseas will follow all government advice and restrictions. If students do not follow this advice, they will not be admitted to the school building.
- Everest has the right of refusal of entry into the premises if students or staff are visibly unwell or with any Covid-19 symptoms or if students fail to comply with school protocols.
- There are hand sanitiser dispensers throughout the building. All students should regularly sanitise and wash their hands with soap and water throughout the day.
- There are markings throughout the building to encourage social distancing, and we ask all staff and students to avoid congregating and to give space to fellow students and staff who use the building.
- Students and staff are required to properly wear face masks at all times on school property. If you have a medical reason not to wear a mask, you must provide evidence of this prior to entering the building, otherwise we will exercise our right of refusal of entry into the premises.
- Vigorous and regular cleaning regimes are in place to make our school as safe as possible for all students and staff. Covid-19 specific cleaning and disinfection regimens are documented.
- All students and staff are encouraged to bring their own drinking water.
- Before starting/returning to the school, all students and staff must complete the online Covid-19 Declaration Form with their contact information. Providing misleading information will constitute cause for disciplinary measures.
- Everest will keep the contact details of all people accessing the premises for at least 28 days.
- If students or staff are leaving and returning to Ireland (eg. holidays) they must inform the school of their travel plans and flight details. Depending on the destination, a quarantine period of 14 days may be required upon return to Ireland during which entry to the school building will be denied. There is no online component to make up for these classes. Before returning to school after holidays students and staff must re-submit the Covid-19 Declaration Form.
- If students or staff are absent for a full week or more, they must re-submit the Covid-19 Declaration Form before returning to school.
- There is a minimal personal belongings policy for students and staff to only bring necessary items to the school to avoid the risk of contamination.
- The maximum capacity of rooms and bathrooms is displayed at the entrance to each room and must be respected.
- All students and staff are strongly encouraged to download and use the official COVID Tracker App.
- We have designated an isolation room which is available for any student or staff feeling unwell during the day until they can leave the school.
Reception & Office
- A minimum physical distance of 1m between persons should be kept at all times and unessential physical contact of any nature should be avoided.
- Any staff member or student exhibiting signs or symptoms of Covid-19 will be refused entry.
- Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, reception desks are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
- Direct contact with the staff at reception should be avoided. We encourage students to contact us by email or other channels of communication. Protective screen barriers are fitted to the reception desks to protect staff and students. Please avoid approaching staff members through the gaps between barriers.
- Visible signage regarding cough etiquette, maintaining an adequate physical distance and appropriate handwashing techniques are posted in common areas for everyone to see.
- Students have access to virtual office hours and meetings are by appointment only, limited to one student at a time.
- Class times are staggered, in order to avoid crowding of students on arrival and departure.
- Students need to maintain a minimum distance of 1m whilst sitting in their chair.
- Windows throughout the building will be open for ventilation, we recommend all students prepare for this by wearing warmer clothes.
- Students should all face in the same direction and not face each other.
- During the lessons it is very important that there is no unnecessary contact between students or between students and staff.
- Timing and scheduling of lessons are staggered so the same group of students have lessons and break together with no mixing or shuffling between groups. Students should not arrive more than 15 minutes before or after the scheduled start of their class as they are not allowed to enter the building.
- No shared resources are available in classrooms.
- Students are required to bring their own writing materials and notebooks.
- Students are asked to sit at the same desk each day.
- Use of the coffee and tea dock and microwave is limited. Students can eat lunch in their classroom ‘bubble’ to minimise contact with other classes. Class breaks are staggered
- We recommend students bring food and water for break time
- Our shared student computers are temporarily not available for use, so we recommend students bring their own mobile or other electronic devices for personal use, if needed.
- Access to the student break area will be limited
- Social distancing measures are in place for the use of any bathroom facilities.
- The school is cleaned regularly with specific attention to door handles, drawers, windows, keyboards, handrails, light switches, tables, phones, buttons, reception desk and grip areas with approved sanitising products.
- All precautions are taken to ensure that water systems are safe to prevent the risk of infections derived from water.
- Toilets are cleaned frequently.
- Hand sanitisers, paper and antibacterial sprays are stationed throughout the school for use by staff and students.
Everest Dublin Students arriving into Ireland from overseas
- Everest Language School reserves the right to deny students access to the school building if students are found not to have followed the restrictions.
Protocol for dealing with a suspected case of Covid-19
- Any staff member or a student should not attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19, and should contact the office urgently if they test positive.
- If a student or staff member arrives at Everest and is displaying or feeling any symptoms of Covid-19, the student or staff member will be refused entry to the premises and asked to return home.
If displaying any Covid-19 symptoms, then they are strongly advised to contact the HSE or their GP (doctor) and follow their instructions. The staff member or student shall remain at home until it is safe for them to return to the school
- If any student or staff member develops fever or other Covid-19 symptoms during the time they are in Everest, the student or staff member will need to isolate in the designated room and leave the premises as quickly as possible. They are advised to call their GP or the HSE and follow the instructions. In case of a potential case of Covid-19, the school will inform the health authorities and follow subsequent advice.
Protocol for dealing with a confirmed case of Covid-19
- Any student or staff member is not allowed to attend school if displaying any symptoms of Covid-19.
- If a student or teacher tests positive, the student/teacher needs to self-isolate in line with HSE advice
- Any close contacts in the class will need to follow current HSE advice
- For students who cannot attend, materials will be provided online for home study
- In the event that the school needs to close due to government public health requirements, course continuation will be provided online. Online classes will be taught by fully-qualified teachers around the same times of the face-to-face classes and for the same length. Attendance will be monitored in line with ILEP rules.
It is recommended that all students coming to Ireland have a device on which they can access Zoom and Google Classroom.