AISZ Re-Entry Guidelines

The AISZ Crisis Response Team is working collaboratively with Croatian public health officials, local government institutions and international schools within the CEESA Region and around the world to develop strategies and protocols to address the ongoing COVID-19 emergency situation. Our priority is the health and safety of our community while remaining true to our Mission of developing skills and character for futures rich with promise. 

The re-entry guidelines provide the AISZ Community with an overview of the 2020-2021 opening procedures. It is an overarching summary of more detailed plans that are under constant review. These guidelines outline the procedures for the first months of school which will be developed further over the summer and into first semester as the situation unfolds. 

AISZ is committed to providing a flexible, engaging educational program that is responsive to the current crisis situation while remaining true to our Mission. 

It is the intent of these recommendations and protocols to minimize the possibility of spreading COVID -19 by respecting the hygiene protocols, maintaining social distancing and mask wearing. Separate cohorts of groups of people will be maintained wherever possible. The smaller the groups of people, the less mixing you have and the more contained any possible outbreak will be.  It is also easier for necessary contact tracing to quickly take place. All AISZ Community need to strive to adhere to these directions at all times.

The reopening of AISZ is guided by the following principles:

  • Protect the health and safety of students and staff
  • Guidelines set out by the Croatia Institute of Public Health
  • Provide students with some familiarity of school routines for social/emotional/academic learning
  • Provide clear expectations for teachers and students during this emergency learning environment 
  • To provide an educational experience in line with our Mission and Vision as much as possible during this emergency. 

Due to the COVID pandemic, AISZ has developed a reopening plan for a new school year 2020/2021. This document is specific to the current COVID-19 situation. These guidelines take precedence over any current rules or procedures which exist in a Student & Family Handbook.

Please note that students, faculty, parents and visitors who have traveled outside of the EU must be in Croatia for a minimum of 14 days before being allowed on campus. 

Based on the current epidemiological situation, we are not planning to offer After School Activities or after school child care. We will reassess the situation by October break. Field trips or sports events will be organized depending on the epidemiological situation in Croatia.

This plans have been ratified by The Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Zagreb in cooperation with the Teaching Institute of Public Health "Dr. Andrija Štampar".

The Civil Protection Headquarters of the City of Zagreb in cooperation with the Teaching Institute of Public Health "Dr. Andrija Štampar" has reviewed Re-opening Plan of American International School of Zagreb and concluded that concerning the guidelines for suppression and control of COVID-19 epidemic, demonstrates the implementation of all currently valid recommendations and protocols of epidemic measures related to preschool and schools, published on the website of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

Uvidom u dokumentaciju koju je poslala Američka međunarodna škola u Zagrebu, a odnosi se na smjernice za postupanje u vrijeme epidemije COVID-19 vidljivo je da su uključene sve trenutno važeće upute i preporuke u RH za sprječavanje i suzbijanje epidemije COVID-19 vezano za rad predškolskih ustanova i škola koje su objavljene na mrežnim stranicama Hrvatskog zavoda za javno zdravstvo.

 

Health Guidelines

Your child should stay at home or will be sent home if they have any of the following:

  • If your child has traveled outside of the EU, they must be in Croatia for a minimum of 14 days before being allowed on campus.
  • If the child was in contact with someone displaying COVID symptoms or was diagnosed with COVID in his household or elsewhere. (School doctor must also be informed). 
  • If the child is displaying any of the following symptoms:
    • Temperature higher than 37.5C (thermoscan thermometer)/37.2C(axillary thermometer)
    • Respiratory symptoms (sore throat, cough, sneezing, runny nose, breathing difficulties)
    • Sore muscles, aches or chills
    • Loss of smell and/or taste
    • Vomiting or diarrhea
    • Skin rash/ Fingers or toes discoloration
  • In the event that the results are positive, you should follow the Croatian Institute of Public Health guidelines regarding quarantine and self-isolation for the family. The student may not return to school earlier than the minimum quarantine requirement even if the student is feeling well. 
  • If the COVID-19 test is not advised, a normal absence process is followed and the child must remain home for a minimum of 48 hours or until symptom-free.
  • Parents must be available to pick their child up within 45 minutes once they have been contacted by the school. Parents / emergency contacts will be expected to collect the child by car in order to avoid possible spread on public transport. While waiting for parents, students will be held in a designated quarantine area and will be required to wear a face mask.
  • If a member of the family receives a positive COVID test result, the family should self-isolate and students must not come to school during this time. The length of quarantine is 14 days from the onset of symptoms. If the symptoms extend longer than 14 days, then you should remain in quarantine until you are 48 hours symptom-free.
  • Skin rash/ Fingers or toes discoloration

 

Your child should return to school if they are: 

  • Please note that if your child has traveled outside of the EU, they must be in Croatia for a minimum of 14 days before being allowed on campus.
  • Symptom-free, and are FEVER FREE for 48 hours without the use of antipyretic (fever-reducing) medicine (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen, etc.) and are fit enough to participate in all school activities.
  • In the event of suspected COVID-19 testing, the student must not return to school until negative results have been received from the family's doctor. Please note, the School Doctor cannot authorize testing for COVID-19.
  • On return to school following an absence due to an illness or isolation, students must be checked at the health office immediately upon arrival to school, before going to the classroom.
  • Essential: Return to school after a communicable disease must be approved and certified by the Family Doctor / Pediatrician.
  • Absences with medical causes and lasting more than three days should be excused with a doctor's certificate with certified physician's stamp, and turned in to the Principal’s office. 

 

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies can cause similar or the same respiratory symptoms as COVID-19 infection.

Please ensure that your family doctor notes that in AISZ Medical Form.

Parents must inform the school doctor of any allergies or any other medical condition that have been recently diagnosed. 

Parents must ensure that children have received their allergy medication before coming to school in order to avoid any misinterpretation or confusion of their symptoms.

Hygiene procedures
  • All students must bring two masks to school each day.
  • Prior to school opening, a deep cleaning of all classrooms and shared spaces has taken place.
  • All students will receive a demonstration on how to wash their hands and instructions on social distancing rules.
  • When in a shared space (including classrooms) masks will be worn by staff members, visitors and students PreK-12 except during physical activity or by doctor's certification of a pre-existing medical condition that excludes mask-wearing.
  • Posters will be displayed around the school and in restrooms with hand washing instructions. 
  • Additional cleaning measures have been put into place such as daily cleaning of handrails, door handles, bathrooms. These measures will be intensified with additional cleaning personnel during the school day.
  • Disinfection floor mats will be at each entrance in order to sanitize the soles of shoes on entering the building.
  • Students’ personal cellular phones must remain in the students backpack. If students need to make a call, they must go to the reception desk for assistance.
  • Staff members will receive the following cleaning materials:
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Spray bottle of disinfectant
    • Paper roll to wipe down
    • Masks
    • Gloves
  • The school has also purchased these additional supplies:
    • Masks
    • Automatic Hand Sanitizer Dispenser
    • Thermoscan  thermometers
    • Disposable gloves
    • Dedicated bins for masks and gloves
  • In the event of student injury or safety concern, teachers are required to wear a mask and gloves and to minimize the direct student contact to as short a time as possible
Morning Health Check

Prior to leaving home, parents must take their child’s temperature each morning and record it in a designated notebook before arriving at school. (Each family will provide one notebook for each child who is a student at AISZ.) This notebook is brought to school each morning by the student and presented at the entrance to the staff member on duty. School staff members will take the student’s temperature and check the notebook on arrival at the gate.

Arrival & Departure Expectations

Designated Gates

  • Staff: Door B (Main Gate, Left Side) Before 07:40
  • Grade 6 - 12 Door A (Main Gate,  Right side)
  • Grade 2 - 5 Door B (Main Gate, Left Side) 
  • Pre K - Grade 1 Gate C (East Gate)

Arrival

Parent cars cannot enter the campus before 07:40 in the morning for drop-off. If children arrive before 07:40 they will need to wait outside the campus.

Students will be allowed into the school building beginning at 07:45 a.m.

  • Students must use their designated grade level entrance only, even if they have a sibling who enters through a different entrance.
  • At each designated grade level entrance, a school staff member will take the student’s temperature and check the notebook. The temperature check facility will remain open until 08:15 a.m. After 8:15am, the security will check temperature at Door B.
  • Students showing a temperature above 37.5C (thermoscan thermometer)/37.2C (axillary thermometer)  will not be permitted to enter school. Students will wait in the designated area outside the building for pickup by parents. Students will wait in the designated area outside the building for pickup by parents.
  • Once students have passed the screening they will be allowed entry. Students should then proceed to their homeroom or advisory classrooms. 

Students must be in class by 08:00.

Departure

Parent cars cannot enter the campus until 15:00 in the afternoon for pick-up.

  • All students will be ready for pick up by 15:15 outside of their designated entrance/exit.
  • All students must be picked up by 15:30.
    • Teachers on duty, homeroom teachers and EAs will supervise pick-up.

Public Transport

Students are advised to wear face masks or coverings when travelling to and from school using public transport.

Parents on Campus for Dropoff/Pickup

  • All parents who drive to campus must remain inside their cars until children are on board and then must depart. 
  • Parents on foot can enter the campus prior to these times but must remain outside the building maintaining social distance.
  • When arriving on campus, parents are to do drop-offs / pick-ups only. 
  • A child is always accompanied by only one, and if possible, the same adult to the school (or two adults should take turns accompanying the child).
  • The adults accompanying the child should be from the same household.
Parents & Visitors on Campus
  • Please note that students, faculty, parents and visitors who have traveled outside of the EU must be in Croatia for a minimum of 14 days before being allowed on campus.
  • All visitors must complete the COVID-19 questionnaire within 24 hours of arrival and send to the school prior to arriving.
  • Parents and visitors are not allowed to enter the school building except for emergencies or by previous appointment.
  • Visitors and Parents should bring their own face mask for moving around campus.
Movement of Students and Staff within the Buildings

A one-way system will be in operation in most of the common areas of the school where possible, especially corridors and hallways. These will be clearly marked. This has been put in place in order to minimize the crossing of students with one another.

Groundfloor movement

1st floor movement

Lunch and Snack Procedures
  • The cafeteria will not be operating as usual.
  • A two-week menu will be published. By Friday 9 a.m., lunches must be ordered for the following week. Lower school parents will be responsible for ordering for their children and Upper school students will order during their Homeroom class.  
  • No lunches may be reserved or purchased on a day-by-day basis.
  • Advance payment by wire transfer or cash in an envelope. There will be no payment at the point of the lunch service. 
  • Students will be assigned to eat either in the cafeteria and/or their homeroom classrooms.
  • Students may bring lunch from home. 
  • The students will not have access to the microwave oven.
  • Students are recommended to bring their food in environmentally friendly packaging, like a reusable box. Any lunch boxes or reusable containers used should be clearly named, and taken home for cleaning each day.
  • Students will not be allowed to share their lunch with others.
Learning Environment

General

  • Classrooms have been organized to allow for 1,5 m distancing. 
  • For each class change, teachers will disinfect the desk and chairs. Departing students will wipe the desk and chair prior to leaving the class. 
  • Movement may be restricted to teachers changing classes as opposed to students for certain classes. 
  • The water fountains will be closed. Students must bring a full water bottle, clearly marked with their name. Students cannot share water bottles. They will fill their water bottles using the sinks in their classrooms.
  • All other devices or materials used during the school day will be cleaned between uses or stored away from students until the object can be cleaned effectively. 

Lower School

  • When LS students enter school, they go directly to their classrooms. The homeroom teachers will allow time at the beginning of the day for students to go to their lockers in a staggered fashion using color-coding of lockers. 
  • There will be no sharing of belongings or materials with other students.
  • Lower School Students will be given a Learning Pack of all school supplies/materials for individual use including personal headphones with a microphone. This Learning Pack will not be able to be taken home.
  • Students must not bring personal items (stuffed animals, toys, etc.) to school.
  • All soft toys and pillows/cushions/blankets/carpets are removed from classrooms. 
  • Students will take home reading materials and books for the week each Monday and return them on Friday. These are the only school materials that should go home with Lower School students.
  • Given the expected enrollment in the Lower School for August 2020, we will be able to accommodate all students from PreKindergarten to Grade 5 attending school every day while maintaining the prescribed social distance. If enrollment increases and the school no longer has adequate space for social distancing, contingency plans might include splitting grade-level cohorts into smaller groups or rotating cohorts of students between on-campus and virtual learning.

Upper School

  • The student body will be split into 2 cohorts/groupings for MS and HS that will run in sessions to be determined according to most current health guidelines. When a cohort is not in session at school, the expectation is that they will work virtually. 
  • Students are expected to be in school when their cohort is in session. Students that need to stay at home for health reasons will adhere to assignments posted on the academic platforms. 
  • The hallway lockers will not be in use. Students bring their belongings into the classroom with them. 
  • The only student materials that should be brought back and forth to school each day are one’s charged laptop, assigned learning materials/tools for class, and a snack. These items should be stored in one bag that can be zipped or closed effectively. 
  • Computers need to be fully charged at home for the following day. Chargers may not be made available during the day by IT. Students must bring their own personal charger if there is a need for power during the day. 
  • There will be no sharing of belongings or materials with other students. 
  • All school supplies are cleaned regularly. If they cannot be washed they should be stored until they can be washed. 
  • Any personal items that a student brings to school must stay on their person or in their bag. 
  • Upper School students must bring their own headphones.
Flexible Program Delivery

The AISZ Crisis Response Team is planning for an August opening keeping aware that the situation will remain very dynamic all through the first semester if not longer. As such, we have planned three different options to meet the needs of such an unknown situation. 

Option 1

On-Campus Learning

AISZ is preparing for on-campus learning commencing in August 2020. Strict public health guidelines and protocols which are in line with best international practice will be followed. At this critical time it is essential that parents, students and staff work in partnership with AISZ to share joint responsibility for the health and safety of our community. We expect to open the campus gradually to safely learn our new procedures and practices and to limit risk. 

Features:

    • Reopening times will orient our community to the social distancing practices
    • Entrance through different doors and temperature screening will take place on entry
    • Physical distancing measures according to public health recommendations will be in place in all indoor spaces
    • All indoor spaces will have occupancy limitations based on physical distance recommendations
    • Decisions about athletics and after school activities will be made after school has started and reflect the current epidemiological situation. If the situation is conducive to after school activities these will commence as usual
    • Self monitoring of temperature at home prior to arrival at school will be expected and all students are to present the health diary to staff members on arrival
    • Campus access will be limited to parents, vendors and visitors. A Health Self Declaration must be completed before a prearranged scheduled visit to the school. 

 

Option 2

Hybrid On-Campus Learning

The campus is open with some students learning from home and some come to campus. School leadership decisions or government policies regarding group size and physical distancing may limit how many students may be on campus at any one time. Students who are not on campus will continue their learning online synchronously and / or asynchronously 

Features:

  • Synchronous Learning:
      • Teachers and Students are online together at the same time
  • Asynchronous Learning:
      • Learning activities and recorded lessons are accessed by students in their own time frame and schedule. Students have flexibility to attend to these as their personal schedules dictate.

The Crisis Response Team is evaluating and considering examples of hybrid programs from other schools around the world such as:

  • Students work in cohorts. Some cohorts are on campus one week and at home for one week;
  • Middle School Students are on campus for two days and then online at home for two days while High School is in session on campus;
  • Some students are at school in the morning and others in the afternoon.

The prevailing epidemiological situation will be a factor in determining the best practice for AISZ if the Hybrid On Campus Model was to be implemented

 

Option 3

AISZ Virtual Learning Program

Due to external factors AISZ is unable to open the campus and all learning must be online. The AISZ Online Virtual Learning Program will be a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. We have learned a great deal about this during Semester 2 2020, and the AISZ Online Learning will offer an engaging and flexible learning program in line with our Mission. We will continue to provide a Culture of Care even if we are not able to be on Campus together.

Features:

  • Synchronous Learning is where teachers and students are online together at the same time.
  • Asynchronous Learning is where learning activities and recorded lessons are accessed by students in their own time frame and schedule. Students have flexibility to attend to these as their personal schedules dictate.

 

A Blend of Programs is Also Possible;

The situation could arise that across the school, a blend of programs could be in place. An example of this would be if due to physical distancing requirements, one division of the school could be completely on Campus and the other running a Hybrid On-Campus Program. For example the Lower School may be able to meet the physical distancing requirements and therefore operate entirely an On-Campus Program, but due to us not being able to meet the same requirements in Upper School, Middle and High School students could be engaged in a Hybrid On-Campus Program. Any variation of the programs, or the decisions to implement such programs, will depend on the epidemiological situation in Croatia and Zagreb.

Learning and Support for Students
  • Due to the necessary health requirements, our approach to teaching and learning cannot be what is normally experienced by students at AISZ. The school will look and feel different from usual. At least for the first few days, this may generate some disorientation for students. Our counselling team is on call to help and can be contacted via email: counselor@aisz.hr or phone: 01 7999 303 in the usual way. Our teachers are also sensitive to the impact the altered environment and practices may have on students and are there to help. 
Students of Concern

Teachers and staff will monitor the emotional wellbeing of students in the new learning environment. Due to the nature of Safety Learning, the school’s capacity to manage disruptive learning behaviors is limited. As such, it is important that students follow school rules with a high degree of independence. Students who cannot meet these new expectations will not be permitted to stay on campus for safety reasons. Parents are also asked to share any concerns with their child’s homeroom teacher or counselor. 

In particular, the following situations will require certain actions:

Reluctant students

  • Students who are not agreeable to coming to school, have difficulty separating from parents, who refuse to enter the building, or who make excuses and do not follow new guidelines will be sent home. 
  • Teachers and staff will make reasonable efforts to encourage students to enter the building and the learning spaces and stay in school. Students not able to cooperate easily and quickly will be sent home. 

Social-Emotional Concerns

  • In line with the established procedures, teachers will report social/emotional concerns to school counselors. If response time allows, students are referred for discussion at Support Services level. Support will be provided as much as possible.
  • In line with the established procedures, academic concerns and successes, are reported by the homeroom or subject specialist teacher via the Student Services VLP concern and commendation form

Disruptive Behaviors

  • There is an enhanced expectation that students follow school rules, classroom agreements, and cooperate with peers and adults as expected. Students not able to meet the new expectations cannot stay with the class. In defiance of these procedures, teachers will contact leadership or counselors immediately and the students will be removed from the situation. Next steps will be determined on a case-by-case basis. 

General Academic Concerns

  • Any Academic Concerns will be reported to the Student Support Team using established procedures. Support is considered and provided based on current plans and a case-by-case basis. 

Child-Protection Concerns

  • The same child protection procedures are in place. Teachers and staff should inform a child protection officer or leadership immediately with any concerns using established procedures.
Outdoor Activities
  • Students are expected to adhere to all new procedures so the school can follow the guidelines for health and safety
  • Outdoor play is allowed but students will not be able to play any games that involve contact or close proximity with each other. Staff will be on duty to support and enforce this.
  • Recesses will be staggered in order to support social distancing effectively.
  • Students who struggle to meet the new expectations will not be permitted on the playground
  • Students must maintain a 1.5 meter distance when playing
  • Children will be able to play on the playground equipment and use sports equipment
Other useful information
School Library

UPPER SCHOOL LIBRARY

Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrances to the library, as well as next to shelves, and students will be instructed to use it again before touching the books, and after they are done.

Use of the Library can only be used with Library Staff approval only if studying by themselves and in a group of maximum 3 respecting social distancing.

LIBRARY LAYOUT

  • Students can only sit in designated places.
  • Community puzzles will not be used
  • Students will be instructed not to leave any of their belongings in the library.

CIRCULATION

  • Books will be returned in the book drop, not to the librarians directly. Books will be checked in, wiped and kept quarantined for 48 hours before let back  in circulation. 
  • The library circulation desk will have plexiglass placed between librarian and students.
  • Students will check out books, but they cannot return the books they were looking at back directly to the shelves.
  • Students will be encouraged to search the online catalog / reading lists, instead of browsing the shelves. Library staff will locate the books for students
  • 1.5 m distance markers will be set up on the floor in front of circulation desk to ensure social distancing.

CLASSES/ FREE BLOCKS

  • Students can use the library during free blocks but need to respect social distancing and sanitize their hands before arriving to and leaving the library.

 



LOWER SCHOOL LIBRARY

CIRCULATION

  • Books will be returned in the book drop, not to the librarians directly. Books will be checked in, wiped and kept quarantined for 48 hours before let back  in circulation.  
  • Students will check out books, but they cannot return the books they were looking at back directly to the shelves. All the books the students were using during class will be put in quarantine for 48 hours. 
  • Popular titles will be laid out to prevent clusters around shelves.
  • No library cards handled by students. Librarians will manage the library cards.
  • Students will be encouraged to search the online catalog / reading lists, instead of browsing the shelves. Library staff will locate the books for students.
  • The library circulation desk will have plexiglass placed between librarian and students.
  • 1.5 m distance markers will be set up on the floor in front of the circulation desk to ensure social distancing.

CLASSES

  • Designated seating spaces will be marked on the floor.
  • Have all the mats, surfaces, shelf place markers, and Ipads cleaned after each class (schedule needs to allow that)
  • Students will check out books, but they cannot return the books they were looking at back directly to the shelves. All the books the students were using during class will be put in quarantine for 48 hours. 
Health Rec. Comparison CIPH & AISZ
Other Directions for Staff

It is the intent of these recommendations and protocols to minimize the possibility of spreading COVID -19 by respecting the hygiene protocols, maintaining social distancing and mask wearing. Separate cohorts of groups of people will be maintained wherever possible. The smaller the groups of people, the less mixing you have and the more contained any possible outbreak will be.  It is also easier for necessary contact tracing to quickly take place. All AISZ Community need to strive to adhere to these directions at all times.

Wash hands and comply with recommended hygiene procedures. Avoid touching your face as much as possible. 

When in a shared space (including classrooms) masks will be worn by staff members, visitors and students PreK-12 except during physical activity or by doctor's certification of a pre-existing medical condition that excludes mask-wearing.      

Using Technology and Machines

Disinfection of cellphones. It is mandatory for all employees to disinfect their own cell phones immediately upon arrival to the school.

Please don't share your IT equipment or cell phone with others. If this is absolutely necessary, the device should be wiped down. 

Disinfect or wash your hands before and after use of a photocopier.

The elevator should only be used if necessary. One person, adult or student at a time can use the elevator. Students only have access to the elevator for health/incapacitation reasons with medical approval.  

Meetings, Offices and Meeting Rooms

Use Google Meet or Zoom as much as possible for meetings.

When working in the same room, adhere to the 1.5 meter distance guidelines, spread out in meeting rooms and wash hands before entering the room and after leaving the room. Masks should be worn in these instances. 

If you are working alone in a meeting room or office or classroom, you may remove your mask. 

Use of staff rooms is allowed only if adults wash / sanitize hands when entering and exiting the staff room and apply social distancing expectations.

Duty

Each teacher will be provided a DUTY GO-BAG that contains masks, gloves sanitizer, etc. Each teacher will be responsible for maintaining that the items in the bag are appropriately renewed through the health office. In the event of student injury or safety concern, teachers are required to wear a mask and gloves and to minimize the direct student contact to as short a time as possible.

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