Written by: Madinah Begum, Sumathi d/o Krishna Kumar

Welcome Back to Class at the DAS

From 29th June, students will be coming back to DAS learning centres progressively to attend face-to-face classes. Safe management measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of all our students and staff.

Preparing for the ‘new normal’ at the DAS

sanitiser

 

Classroom Setups

Most of the existing trapezium tables furniture have been discarded and school-type square tables have been purchased to meet the requirement and maintain safe distancing of at least 1 metre at all times. Tabletop acrylic shields have also been purchased for bigger tables to further ensure protection. These measures have been taken in our classroom environments to minimize physical interactions amongst students and Educational Therapists (EdTs).

To ensure safe distancing inside and outside DAS Learning Centres

Visual cues, signage and floor markings act as reminders for students and visitors to practice safe distancing.

Class Timings

We have adopted a staged approach in allocating 30 minutes gap between physical classes. We are working closely with parents on this before their children return to the learning centres.

New Practice to adhere to safety measures

Paper towels and disinfectant sprays have been purchased and prepared for each classroom so that during the 30-minute break between classes, EdTs and students will be able to:

  • wipe down the tables and chairs
  • wipe down the door and cupboard handles
  • wipe down the light switch
  • wipe down the air-con remote control


Purchase of face shields for EdTs

EdTs are required to always use a mask together with a face shield for the period when EdTs first meet the students until the students leave the centre.

Safe management measures for staff on a daily basis

Adhering to the safe management measures, it is mandatory for staff to scan two QR codes.

The DAS Staff Health & Declaration Form

This is required by the Government. It is also mandatory for all staff to take their temperature twice a day at DAS centres. This information will be reflected in a Google form for easy inspection by the Government if it is required.

Safe Entry QR code

This is a system which is introduced by the Government and is commonly used island-wide to collect relevant information from students and DAS employees which will be helpful in case there is a need for contact tracing.

Letters have been given to parents to inform them of what their children should be bringing with them when attending physical classes such as:

  • parents have to complete the Student Health and Declaration Form before attending the first physical classes at DAS
  • students are to bring their student EZ link card to scan for safe entry protocol
  • students are to always wear their masks/shields
  • students are to bring their own stationery and face shield for hygiene purposes
  • students are not to loiter around the DAS premises before and after class
  • students are to rest at home if they are unwell


Parents & Visitors

  • Visitors have to make an appointment before visiting centres.
  • Appointments are necessary for making payments and submission of supporting documents requested by DAS staff.
  • It is mandatory for visitors to wear a mask and/or face shield.
  • It is mandatory for all visitors, including parents to complete the Safe-Entry & Visitor Health Declaration before entering the premises.


A unique but safe learning experience 

classroom

Safe entry

Adhering to the safe management measures, it is mandatory for students to scan a QR code to indicate safe entry. They also have to ensure these requirements are followed at all times:

  • Students to bring their Student EZLINK card to scan for safe entry protocol.
  • Students to have their temperature taken before entering the classrooms.
  • Students have to arrive 5 minutes before their class begins and leave immediately after their class ends.
  • Students to look out for visual cues, signage and floor markings to ensure safe distancing inside and outside the DAS Learning Centres.


Class timings

Arrival and dismissal timings will be staggered to reduce congestion. Parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up children promptly to avoid students lingering in waiting areas.

Contactless teaching

A new teaching approach has been adopted to reduce contact between teachers and students. These are some expectations which EdTs have to note:

classroom chairs

  • Designated seating with safe distancing measures is in place in the classroom.
  • All materials that are going to be used during lessons have to be wiped down before and after the lesson.
  • EdTs are to wear face masks and shields throughout the lesson – face masks can be removed temporarily if articulation work is needed.
  • Classroom games will only be carried out if social distancing is maintained or they will be played via apps.
  • All worksheets to be prepared for students and placed on students’ tables before they pupils come into the classroom.
  • EdTs are to allow students to do their work on paper but to show it to the teacher by taking photos and sending them to the teacher via email / Whatsapp.
  • Group activities are limited to the students' allocated individual space.
  • Movement activities are to be limited to students’ seating areas.
  • Manipulatives will not be shared.
  • Students’ files to be disinfected and placed on students’ tables before the lesson and to be wiped down after the lesson.
  • Use of hand sanitiser to be stepped up: before class, during break time and before dismissal. 


EdTech tools

Educational technology will be infused into lessons to minimize contact with students.

  • All components of the lessons will be done from a 1-metre distance, teachers will use an i-pad or laptop projected to the projector.
  • Learning and Teaching Apps (e.g, Kahoot, Kami, Padlet etc..) will be used to facilitate learning.


Education’s "New Normal"

The COVID-19 pandemic means education may never be the same again. Education's 'New Normal' has arrived at an intense pace and the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and families remain the top priority. Adapting to these changes and adopting a growth mindset, we will continue to find strength through the DAS community and supporting one another through these changes. We know now more than ever, together, we must stay connected with one another and keep vigilant for those of us who are most vulnerable. Stay safe and stay strong in these unprecedented times.