Thursday 26 November, 2020

Fantastic first day back at school for Grade 6 and Form 5 students

President of the Principals Association, Valerie St Helen-Henry

President of the Principals Association, Valerie St Helen-Henry

For the first time since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of St Lucia's students returned to school physically today, June 3, 2020.

Grade 6 and Form 5 students across the island returned to school as President of the Principals Association, Valerie St Helen-Henry, described the day as a fantastic one.

St Helen-Henry, who is also Principal of the Ave Maria Primary School, spoke about the new context of physical learning, saying that principals and teachers will have to find innovative ways to engage students in activities which require physical movements.

“It’s going to be difficult for the students. You have to constantly remind them to stay a good distance from each other, they want to engage in conversations. We cannot stop that, but kids will be kids, we have to do the constant reminding. In regard to the physical education classes, this is something that has to be really planned and again it depends on the size of the classes.”

As it relates to exams, St Helen-Henry stated that the students are prepared: “From the primary school standpoint, the students go to a secondary school to write the exam… It’s just a matter of reducing the numbers in the classroom. The students are prepared. They are being prepared virtually, given packages, the teachers have gone all out.”

Secondary school students will follow similar protocols and will be given multiple choice exams which will be corrected via machine.

Some of the new protocols which were implemented for the reopening include:

  • Persons entering the school compound, including students and teachers, must wear a mask
  • Persons must sanitize upon entry
  • Students must occupy the same seat
  • Students must line up six feet apart when going to the washroom and washing hands
  • Washing and sanitizing hands regularly
  • Janitors must clean surfaces

Parents are also advised to remain outside of the school compound to prevent contamination and over-crowding. In addition, all students must attend school with their lunch as the sale of food is prohibited at schools.

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