Class Resumption Guide

This guide provides information to parents and families about daily arrangements, requirements and expectations for students attending campus during the Class Resumption period in September 2020. If parents have questions beyond what is written below, please use the form at the bottom to pose these questions. Parents submitting questions will be responded to individually, and if the response is of general relevance an update will be made to the guide.

Last update: 9 September 2020.


Health Declaration and handling of confirmed cases

In order to enter campus, each student’s parents must have completed a Health Declaration via the ESF App (click the Ding! Button under your child’s name and scroll down to access the Health Declaration) . This Health Declaration will be launched on Friday 11 September with a deadline of 5pm on Monday 14 September. Students for whom this Health Declaration is not submitted will not be permitted to enter, and will instead be redirected to College Reception, at which point the College will attempt to make contact with parents to resolve things. 

Any family who misses the response deadline for the Health Declaration should contact office@dc.edu.hk as soon as possible for more details.

In addition, if any of the following criteria from the declaration are met for a particular student, they must refrain from attending campus (and observe any government requirements relevant to their situation) until the criteria in question are no longer met:

  • The student is diagnosed with Covid-19 (until they have fully recovered, been confirmed by doctors as no longer infected, and have completed any quarantine mandated by the Hong Kong SAR Government)
  • The student has been / travelled outside of Hong Kong in the previous 14 days prior to attending campus
  • A person taking care of or living with the student has a confirmed infection of Covid-19 (until the person has fully recovered and the student is diagnosed by doctors as not infected)
  • A person taking care of or living with the student has been classified as a “close contact of an infected person” of Covid-19 (until the person has completed quarantine mandated by the Hong Kong SAR Government)
  • The student has symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulty and/or sore throat

Once completed, if there is any change to the status of the information submitted in the Health Declaration, parents must inform the College immediately via office@dc.edu.hk. In particular, parents must inform the College immediately if their child:

  • is a confirmed case of Covid-19
  • is classified as a “close contact” of an infected person with Covid-19 by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP)

The College may be required to pass on information about the health status of students to the relevant government authorities. In particular, the College must inform the Education Bureau (EDB) if any student:

  • is a confirmed case of Covid-19
  • is classified as a “close contact” of an infected person with Covid-19 by CHP

EDB guidance states:

When a teaching staff or student is identified as a confirmed case or case of
preliminary tested positive of Covid-19… the teaching staff or student concerned will  receive medical treatments and will not return to school. CHP will conduct epidemiological investigation and contact tracing. When action is required by the  school, CHP will inform the school concerned to discuss the suitable arrangements  based on the school’s circumstances, including suspension of face-to-face classes  and activities, cleaning and disinfection of school premises, and arranging students  and teaching staff to conduct Covid-19 testing, etc. Generally speaking, CHP will  advise a school with a confirmed case to suspend on-campus teaching and activities for 14 days. In addition, CHP will conduct tests for students and staff on a need  basis. –
(EDB Health Protection Measures for Schools: September 2020, p. 25)

The definition and identification of “close contacts” and “other contacts” is a matter for CHP. The College’s role in such circumstances would be to comply fully with the requirements and mandated procedures of the CHP and the EDB.

The spread of Covid-19 has serious consequences for the community and the whole of Hong Kong. Therefore, any member of the community feeling unwell / detecting suspected symptoms should seek medical advice immediately.

Temperature Checking / other checks at the College entrance

Parents / Guardians should check their child’s temperature every day, including at weekends. Parents / Guardians should record their child’s temperature before 7.40am each morning, using the ESF App. (click the Ding! Button under your child’s name and scroll down to access the temperature record function).

Any student with a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees celsius should stay at home, be monitored by a responsible adult, and engage in medical treatment where appropriate.

Temperature checks will also be conducted at the College entrance each morning. Any student found to have a temperature above 37.5 degrees celsius as taken by an infrared skin thermometer forehead reading will be taken to the nurse’s office for a further temperature check. An in-ear thermometer will be used to conduct a further, decisive check, using a threshold of 38.0 degrees celsius as per government guidelines. If the in-ear thermometer reading is above this threshold, the child will not be permitted to remain on campus and parents will be contacted to arrange for the child to be taken / sent home safely. If the in-ear thermometer reading is at or below 38.0 degrees celsius, the student will proceed into campus as normal as long as there are no other health concerns. All thermometer readings taken by Discovery College will be to 1 decimal place. 

If, on any day, a student is identified to have a temperature above the relevant threshold, parents are reminded of the general requirement, as per the DC Parent and Student Handbook, for students to remain at home for an additional 48 hours after symptoms subside (p. 31).

In addition to checking the temperature of each student passing through the College entrance, students will be required to use hand sanitiser before proceeding onto campus to begin their day.

Facemasks

Students will be required to wear a facemask at all times while on campus, aside from times where it is absolutely necessary to remove it e.g. for eating and drinking. Additional health measures are being adopted at such times in order to ensure student safety. 

Students must also wear masks while on public transport or when on a school bus.

In PE lessons, during vigorous physical activity government health guidelines permit the removal of face masks. PE teachers will explain to students the parameters around this and will invite students to remove masks where this can be done in accordance with the health guidelines.

Parents are asked to send their child with 2-3 masks each day, so that there are spares to ensure freshness / in case of breakage.

Food and Drink

No onsite catering will be provided during the Class Resumption period. Students must bring their own lunch, and must not share food or utensils.

Water fountains will provide the ‘bottle filling’ function where applicable; the ‘drinking’ function will be switched off. Locations of these fountains can be found here.

Expectations of students

A set of expectations for students has been created that articulates some of the main things they need to keep in mind and adhere to each day, in order to ensure they are taking responsibility for themselves and each other. This document is available here for parents’ reference. Students will be briefed on these expectations on the day their class first returns to campus. We ask for parents’ help in reinforcing them.

During the class resumption period, students will also wear PE uniform all day on days where they are scheduled to have PE classes, as changing rooms will not be available. Activities in PE are being modified to accommodate the current circumstances and the health requirements that are in place.

Cleaning procedures

The College is adopting an extensive regimen for the cleaning of all of its spaces, in line with government guidelines. 

To support our efforts to ensure the campus is maintained in an exceptionally high standard of cleanliness, we ask for parents’ support in ensuring that any items students bring with them onto campus are in a good, clean state. In particular we would ask parents / guardians to ensure that:

  • high frequency equipment items such as laptops are cleaned nightly. Apple recommends a safe way to clean a digital device and keyboard is to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Do not use aerosol cleaning sprays or wipes that contain bleach. 
  • student bags are regularly unpacked and repacked to ensure nothing remains in them over time that compromises cleanliness or hygiene
  • any items coming into contact with food or drink are thoroughly cleaned prior to each use
  • uniform items are washed between uses

Schedules for recess, lunch, and departure

For Primary students, the timetable is being amended to provide two recess sessions:

For Secondary students, recess is being shifted to the afternoon (14.00 – 14.20) so that Primary and Secondary students have recess at completely different times, maximising the space available and ensuring greater manageability of distancing and separation. This involves Secondary students eating lunch earlier than with our regular timetable (details below).

We have arranged a split lunch process to minimise the number of students eating lunch at any one point. Students will be seated and enjoy their own provided lunch. They will then be allowed to have a break in the other break time areas.

 

Floors and tables will be cleaned and disinfected between sittings.

At the end of each school day, students in Years 1 and 2 will be escorted from their learning areas by their teacher and safely placed on their school bus or to their parent / guardian for pick up, at the foreshore gate. Specific details will be provided to parents of students in these yeargroups. Other students will proceed through the main school gate under supervision and with clear expectations that they maintain behaviour that ensures adequate social distancing. No parents / guardians will be allowed into the atrium, minimising the numbers of people present in this large space. Students will undergo a staggered exit per year group, according to the following schedule, to minimise student-to-student contact during the departure process:

Parent / Guardian access to campus

Parents / Guardians will not be able to enter the Discovery College campus during the class resumption period, apart from for a specified purpose for which an appointment has been made in advance with one or more staff members / the PTA shop (see below, ‘PTA Shop’).

In such circumstances, parents / guardians will be asked to sign in as visitors. This process will involve:

  • a temperature check – anyone with a forehead skin temperature above 37.5 degrees celsius will not be permitted to enter campus
  • A series of declarations to confirm the following:
    • You have not been / travelled outside of Hong Kong in the previous 14 days prior to attending campus
    • No person in your household has a confirmed infection of Covid-19 (unless the person has fully recovered and you have been diagnosed by doctors as not infected)
    • No person in your household has been classified as a “close contact of an infected person” of Covid-19 (unless the person has completed quarantine mandated by the Hong Kong SAR Government)
    • You do not have symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulty and/or sore throat
    • You have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 (unless you have fully recovered, been declared by doctors as no longer infected, and have completed any quarantine mandated by the Hong Kong SAR Government)

Parents / guardians due to visit campus to attend an appointment are therefore asked to take their temperatures before arrival and ensure they will be able to make the necessary declarations as above.

All visitors are required to wear a self-supplied facemask and adhere to appropriate hygiene and social distancing measures, including the use of hand sanitiser upon entry.

PTA Shop

The PTA Shop will be operating from Wednesday 23 September onwards. Parents wishing to make purchases at the shop must make an appointment to attend, and will be required to follow the protocol outlined above for attendance on campus as a visitor (see above, ‘Parent / Guardian access to campus’). Appointment bookings can be made here. UPDATE LINK

The DC Clearance Site is now live on our uniform store so now is a great time to purchase PTA-sourced uniform stock at discounted prices. Items purchased in this way will need to be picked up from school campus via a booking as per above.

Please note the following:

  • to maintain social distancing, the PTA shop will be adopting a ‘one household in, one out’ policy. Members of the same household (e.g. parent and child) can therefore attend together, but not at the same time as people from different households.
  • no fittings can take place during the class resumption period. Sizes will need to be judged by parents through measurement and visual estimation.
  • returns will not be allowed. Once the social distancing measures applied by the Hong Kong SAR Government have been lifted, you will be able to exchange an item for the exact same item of a different size while stocks last.

Co-curricular / Extra-curricular Activities

Extra-curricular and co-curricular activities will remain cancelled until at least October half term. This includes on-site music tuition provided through our peripatetic music programme.

General Hygiene advice for parents and families

Students should observe effective hygiene measures at all times and should avoid going to crowded places where possible. The following information is provided for parents’ reference by the CHP:

 

CHP Guidance on Proper Hand Hygiene: https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/460/19728.html

CHP Guidance on Proper Use of Masks:
https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/460/19731.html

CHP Booklet: “Fight the Virus: How you can help and protect yourself

More information is available from the CHP website, here.

Questions

After reading the information in this guide, do you still have questions about daily arrangements, requirements and expectations from a parent perspective? If so, please use this form to pose your question. To submit more than one question, please click the link after submitting your first question.

Additional Resources

For additional information, the EDB has shared the following link:

https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/resources/346/index.html