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Madrid, Spain.ESTHER AZÓN, Revista Adventista.

The Adventist magazine wanted to take the pulse of our schools in the first days of the 2020-2021 academic year. A different start by implementing the numerous security measures necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the moment, thank God, there are no cases of this virus among the teachers or students of CAS, in Sagunto; nor at Rigel, in Zaragoza; nor at Timón in Madrid; nor at Urgell, in Barcelona.

We have spoken to the heads of each school and this is what they have told us:


How was the start of the course?

D.B. Very well, better than expected. We had doubts about how the protocol would work and we are grateful to the staff, the children and the parents, because the return to the classrooms has been ordered and safe. Also, in theology, we have started the course in a face-to-face way and implementing all the security measures, and in ESDES (Escuela Superiror de Español en Sagunto), we are waiting for the arrival of the few students who have registered to come.

E.A. What special measures have you taken?

D.B. We have implemented entry and exit protocols; social distancing; frequent hand washing; [and] a thermometer in each primary classroom and one also in the secondary building. We have also bought disinfection mats; we have implemented the work of the cleaning staff, who disinfect the classrooms constantly, cleaning the door knobs every single time, etc. We are also carrying out a special protocol in the dining room and, of course, we are following all the recommendations of the Generalitat, such as the creation of groups of stable coexistence, etc. On the other hand, we have knocked down some walls to join two classrooms and make them bigger, in order to keep the safety distance between students; we have set up the library, the music room, etc. Of course, in addition to all this, we have implemented the mandatory masks.

As far as the dining room is concerned, in addition to the above, we are developing a project to extend the terrace to increase the capacity so that the safety distance between diners can be better respected. We would like to thank all those who wish to collaborate, so that this project can become a reality as soon as possible. All the information is available at:

Finally, we have set up several outdoor corners with wooden logs, so that classes can take place outside. Thank God, ours is an open campus, in nature, and this allows us this kind of privilege.

E.A. How have parents responded to this special beginning of the school year?

D.B. At first there was a certain suspicion, a certain fear and insecurity, but as the days have gone by these feelings have been transformed into tranquility and confidence in the measures taken.

E.A. And how have the pupils responded?

D.B. It is difficult to control the pupils during the breaks and, in the case of the youngest pupils, it is difficult to keep a safe distance. But, in general, the pupils are adapting very well to the protocols and are making a great effort to comply with them. For the moment, thank God, there are no cases of children or teachers on campus being infected.


How was the start of the course?

A.F. Very well, with a lot of enthusiasm, although very different. The truth is that we are astounded, because the children are responding phenomenally.

E.A. What special measures have you taken? 

We have conditioned the whole centre with all the measures that have come to us from the territory’s directives regarding the children, the bathrooms, the dining room, the classrooms, etc. We have also made the separation of tables according to the protocol of phase 2 in which eucneutra Zaragoza. And we have given each child a "COVID kit" to carry in their rucksack, which is obligatory, with a spare mask, cover and hydrogel with the school logo. On the other hand, the teachers are equipped with screens and FFP2 masks, as well as hygienic gowns.

E.A. How have parents responded to this special start of the school year? 

They have responded well. Our ratio is small, and parents are very involved. Moreover, the parents, like the children, already knew the rules that we sent them by video before the beginning of the course. The parents know that if a child has a fever he or she must stay at home, etc.

E.A. And how have the students responded?

Well, although it has been a little difficult for us to adapt the entry and exit strips. We continue to adapt everything to the new reality. The pupils are quite punctual and are adapting very well. Thank God, there are no children or teachers with COVID in Rigel.


How was the start of the course?

Light, staggered, and good. We have had to locate and relocate classes but, with the children and families, everything is perfect.

E.A. What special measures have you taken? 

All the measures set out in the Community of Madrid's protocol. We have signposted roads and implemented the use of masks; we have put hydroalcoholic gel on all classes and paper. We have also incorporated cleaning personnel for the cleaning and disinfection of handrails, knobs, etc. The protocol is posted on the centre's website for all parents to consult.

We have adapted schedules, implemented protocol, greatly increased the cleanliness of the bathrooms, as well as hand washing, etc. Students are required to sanitize their hands 5 times a day. In the dining room we have increased the separation as well. Ah! and we have a Covid coordinator to attend to children who have any symptoms. He is the one who takes care of the child, the parents, talks to public health, etc. Finally we have bought disinfectant mats, we measure the temperature, etc.

E.A. How have parents responded to this special start of the school year?

Well, they have responded well. The truth is that most of them are working and were keen to get their children into school, with all the safety measures in place. The children themselves were looking forward to returning to the classroom. Parents and students are aware that the school has done its homework as far as safety is concerned. I think we are all aware that it is important to look after the physical health of our pupils, but also their mental health and their emotions. In any case, there is inevitably some uncertainty because of what we hear from some schools and others, but in the end the important thing is to do our best every day.  As Matthew 6:34 says, "Let your own anxiety be sufficient for you to endure for a day.

E.A. And how have the students responded?

They were delighted, they already felt like it. It is surprising to see them so small, keeping their distance, disciplined, with their masks, etc. As far as contagion is concerned, so far so good. We have only had one baby with a temperature. We have also had some cases of children who have not come yet because they are in quarantine.


How was the start of the course?

We started on the 14th, a little later than others, and so we are still adjusting. Against all odds we are having a lot of attendance. The school is full. We thought that the students would not come because of transport difficulties and fear, but we are full despite the circumstances. We are working hard to make sure that everything goes well, and the mothers and fathers are being very understanding. We have as much normality as possible, although the logistics are very different. We are adapting schedules, etc.

E.A. What special measures have you taken?

All the measures sent to us by the Generalitat, although it's been a bit complicated to follow the changes they are applying on a daily basis. We have applications to control even absenteeism, which in our case is very low. Anyway there are a few parents who have been afraid and will send their children in the next two weeks. We are also carrying out mass PCR protocols, and we follow all the recommendations.

We have extra spaces, we have separated students, bought gels, implemented signage, etc. We do our best to facilitate the protocols, although sometimes it is complicated. This course the students have to bring their own water from home, we cannot open the fountains. If they run out and are thirsty we need to bring bottles. We also follow the protocol regarding temperature, etc. And as a novelty, this course we have the Hygiene Project: during 10 minutes before and after midday, the students must wash their hands with water and soap. In short... we are in a process of adaptation.

E.A. How have parents responded to this special start of the course?

Well, many understand and are aware of the difficulties and effort. We are also adapting to the digital change in communication with parents and this is costing a little. We are all a little afraid, but we have to live. We encourage security and positive thinking.

E.A. And how have the students responded? 

Very well. They are adapting to everything. They are very aware of what is happening. They know it's an extraordinary situation, but they need to get back to "normal". They need to socialize, with all the measures, but the emotional issue is basic. Maximum normality within this new reality. For the moment, thank God, we have neither teachers nor students who are infected.

 The original article was published on this web site.