Updated on March 17, 2021
During the Corona pandemic, it is our highest priority to minimize health threats for students, teachers and other school staff and to ensure that on-site teaching can be conducted as regularly as possible. We want the whole FIS Community to feel safe and school operations to run largely as usual.
This safety and hygiene protocol informs FIS parents, students, teachers and all other employees about the individual measures and routines.
Code of Conduct
- Regular washing of hands (washing with soap for at least 20-30 seconds)
- Maintaining social distance of at least 1.5m in the whole school building, unless this hygiene protocol allows exceptions
- Adhering to cough and sneeze etiquette (cough or sneeze into elbow or a tissue)
- Refraining from physical contact (e. g. touching, embracing, handshaking), as long as the physical contact does not result from pedagogical needs arising during lessons
- Refraining from touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Refraining from sharing items/materials with others
All people on the school premises are obliged to wear a mouth and nose cover – also in classrooms and in offices.
The following applies in detail:
- All adults must wear medical mouth and nose cover (so-called surgical masks).
- Students can, as before, use the so-called community masks. However, the Ministry of Health recommends that they also wear medical masks, which are available in children´s sizes. Please make sure that these masks fit correctly on your child(ren).
- FFP2 masks are recommended for all staff, and students aged 15 and over. The wearing instructions must be observed.
Mask use is not compulsory for:
- Students younger than six years
- Pedagogical procedures – with the teacher’s consent (e. g. experiments)
- Break times – while eating and drinking
- Medical reasons
“Recovery” (no-mask) phases are allowed:
- Outside: with a minimum social distance of 1.5 meters between students
- Inside: in the classrooms for short periods of time when the windows are fully opened
A mask provides adequate coverage if it is either all-round and flush with the skin or if a gap is left between the mouth and nose covering and the skin that is only large enough to allow comfortable breathing.
Visors (face shields) and plastic (transparent) masks which do not flush with the skin are not to be used in the school.
Jurisdiction / Decision Making Responsibility
The school management has an obligation to inform the health authorities about both suspected illness and the occurrence of COVID-19 cases in the school.
Also, depending on the infection rate in the respective district, various measures are planned. Incidence values are for guidance only and no automatism decisions are made.
Rather, the decision on the measures to be ordered is made after a detailed analysis of the infection chains on site by the locally responsible health department in consultation with the school inspectorate.
The local health authorities or a higher-ranking authority are responsible for ordering all measures based on the Infection Protection Act.
Attending School / Staff Employment in Case of Symptoms
From Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the following applies to Early Years students
Attending school is possible with:
- Runny nose or cough due to an allergy,
- Blocked nasal breathing (without fever),
- Occasional cough,
- Throat scratching or clearing throat,
- Brief runny nose (e.g. when changing from outside to inside)
Attending school is also possible for:
- Mild symptoms of illness if a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 is presented.
Re-admission to school after an illness is only possible once:
- The child only had mild symptoms and is now symptom-free, a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 is not necessary;
- The child was sick and is healthy again or has only mild symptoms. A negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 is necessary here.
From Monday, March 15, 2021, the following applies to all students and staff
- Mild, new, non-progressive cold or respiratory symptoms (such as runny nose and cough, but without fever) – only allowed in school if a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 (PCR or POC Antigen rapid test) is presented.
- This does not apply to runny nose or cough of an allergic origin (e.g. hay fever), nasal congestion (without fever), occasional coughing, throat scratching or clearing throat, i.e. allowed in school without a test.
However, students with unclear symptoms should initially stay at home and see a doctor if necessary.
Sick students and staff with a reduced general condition like fever, cough, difficulty with breathing, loss of smell or taste, throat or earache, stuffy nose with fever, body aches, severe belly aches, vomiting or diarrhea may not attend school.
Re-admission to school after an illness is only possible once:
- The person concerned is back to good general condition (except for a slight runny nose and occasional cough). In addition, a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 (PCR or POC Antigen rapid test) must be submitted. The required test can also be carried out during the illness phase. There is no need to wait fort he symptoms oft he disease to subside. The submission of a self-carried out rapid test in not sufficient for proof.
Persons who have been infected with the coronavirus or who show respective symptoms, or are in touch with an infected person, or who have had contact with an infected person less than 14 days ago, or are under any other quarantine measure, must not enter the school.
The responsible health authority decides if students and employees must undergo quarantine on an individual basis.
Procedure for a Confirmed COVID-19 Case in School
From now on, for contact person (CP) classification in the school environment, a risk assessment performed by the responsible health authority. Based on the recommendations of Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on contact person management, the health authority classifies students as well as teachers, and if necessary, other school staff in categories contact person 1 (CP 1) or 2 (CP 2).
People classified as CP 1 must immediately isolate themselves at home for at least 14 days (quarantine); the possibility of shortening the quarantine through a negative SARS-CoV-2 test from day 10 is no longer possible. In addition, the quarantine obligations also apply to people who have already been vaccinated.
If an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is detected in students by means of PCR, then all students in the particular class, course or study group are to be categorized as category 1 contacts 1 (CP 1). Individual risk assessment is carried out for teachers and other school staff. In the case of proven infections of the teaching and supervisory staff, all groups of students (classes, courses) with relevant exposure classify as CP 1.
Students and teachers classified as CP 1 must immediately isolate themselves at home for at least 14 days (quarantine).
For people classified as CP 2, contact reduction is recommended for 14 days after the last contact with the source case, especially for people belonging to a risk group. However, it is still possible to attend school. If symptoms that could indicate COVID-19 occur, the person concerned should isolate themselves, contact the health authorities and have a test carried out for SARS-CoV-2.
Procedure in Graduating Classes During the Examination Phase
If during the examination phase (not during regular assessments) a confirmed case of COVID-19 disease occurs in a graduating class including teachers involved, all CP 1 s will be tested for SARS-CoV-2 as a priority. All CP 1, even without a SARS-CoV-2 test result, are allowed to interrupt the quarantine to participate in the final exams, subject to strict compliance with the hygiene concept and extended distance regulations (safety distance of > 2m).
Attending School with Chronic Diseases, Pre-existing Conditions
Early Years: Students with chronic diseases for which the cause of the symptoms is clear (e. g. hay fever, asthma), may attend school. A doctor’s certificate is not necessary.
Elementary and Secondary School: Due to the diversity of possible conditions with different characteristics, the individual risk assessment can always only be carried out by a doctor, who determines whether attending school on site is possible. If legal guardians or students who are of age ask for a release from on-site lessons, this can only be granted with a respective doctor’s certificate. The doctor’s certificate is valid for a maximum of three months. For a further release from on-site lessons, a renewed assessment by the doctor is necessary, together with the submission of a new doctor’s certificate, which is again valid for a maximum of three months.
Also for students whose pre-existing condition may be known to the school, the release from on-site lessons will only be approved on request of the affected person and after providing a respective doctor’s certificate.
It is also necessary to provide a respective doctor’s certificate if persons with pre-existing conditions live in one household with the student.
Due to the current number of infections, there are generally no limitations regarding the school’s whole staff employment. On principle, it is possible to protect oneself in every situation by adhering to the above-mentioned infection protection and hygiene measures, as well as by keeping social distance to students and other persons. For persons with risk factors that may result in a particularly heavy course of disease if infected with COVID-19, schools have received separate information.
For all pregnant employees, an employment ban is currently in place for the time being. It can be considered on an individual basis whether it is possible to create work conditions in a way which avoids dangers for the pregnant woman or her child to a maximum extent and excludes any irresponsible dangers.
Visitors will be asked to complete a questionnaire before they may move around the school facilities. Wearing a medical mouth and nose cover (so-called surgical masks) is compulsory. Children under 6 years are exempted from this. Builders and Cleaning Staff, who are operating during the official FIS opening hours, are obliged to wear a mask when in a room with other people.
The tracking of contact persons has to be ensured by the school (who had contact with whom and when?), including visitors like parents, technicians, etc.
Wherever possible, tables will be placed with a 1.5m distance, however it is not compulsory. The tables must be placed in rows with every student at their own desk.
If classes are mixed (e. g. language lessons), students from one class should be included in one group and sit with a distance of at least 1.5m to the next group.
Partner and group work is possible.
In the warm season, lessons should be taught with the windows open, if possible. Otherwise, the classrooms must be ventilated at least every 45 minutes, and unless the CO2 limit value is checked with CO2 traffic lights, once during the lesson for at least five minutes with the windows completely open. The doors have to be opened as well to ensure the air exchange. Tilting windows is not sufficient!
Food brought from home must not be shared.
Keyboards in IT Labs and IPads have to be cleaned after every use.
Social distancing has to be adhered to and masks have to be worn, but there is no obligation to wear a mask while working at a desk and no other person is present in the room. The rooms have to be aired every hour out with the windows completely open. The doors have to be opened as well to ensure the air exchange. Tilting windows is not sufficient!
Conferences, Meetings and Assemblies
For the time being, conferences, meetings and assemblies are to be held as video conferences if possible or, if necessary, in separated small groups and have to be carried out while adhering to the hygiene protocol and infection control regulations.
Until June 6th, 2021, field trips that take multiple days are not allowed. One-day trips have been approved if they are absolutely necessary. All official regulations have to be adhered to, e. g. when visiting museums or theaters.
Every person on the bus must wear a mask except children under 6.
The toilets/bathrooms should only be used by one person at a time. If it cannot be avoided, masks must be worn and/or social distance must be kept.
Lockers may only be used by Secondary School students before school, during break, beginning/end of lunch, and after school while adhering to the respective Safety and Hygienic Guidelines.
The kitchen has its own hygiene protocol, which can be viewed there.
Cafeteria and Kiosk
Social distance of 1.5m has to be kept while eating in the Cafeteria. Mask may be taken off at the table during in order to eat and drink, but have to be worn when moving around the Cafeteria. Cutlery will be given out only by the kitchen staff, who wear gloves. A second portion will be given out on a new plate. The kitchen staff wears mask during lunch distribution.
EY students do not have to keep social distance during lunch.
Outdoor areas should be used more extensively. The teacher on duty will encourage students to keep social distance. Masks have to also be worn outside, except when one is eating or drinking.
The security protocols can be viewed at the laboratory. Every student remains at their allocated seat. Materials will not be shared or have to be disinfected. The protective gowns will be washed after every use. Regular airing out of rooms will be carried out according to the regulations.
PHE classes can generally take place in compliance with the governmental requirments and hygiene rules.
The gym will be used according to the regulations in place. Currently it is sufficient to restrict the time of exercising to two lessons.
Should it not be possible to clean the hands after every student exchange when mutually using sports equipment for organizational reasons, every person must wash their hands thoroughly at the start and end of the PHE lesson.
A short song can be sung for teaching and pedagogical reasons, provided a minimum distance of 2.5 meters is maintained and a mouth and nose cover is worn.
In the open air lessons, wind instrument and singing can take place at a distance of 2.5 meters in class (if the distance is observed, even without a mask).
Instruments provided by the school must be cleaned appropriately after each use.
Accumulated condensate in wind instruments may only be drained without air being blown through and must be collected with disposable towels, which are then disposed of in closed containers. A short-term rental or exchange or use by several people is excluded.
Ventilation after lessons in wind instruments or singing – the following principle applies: 10 minutes of ventilation after every 20 minutes of lesson.
Procedure in the case of a positive self-test
If a self-test is positive, the person concerned should isolate themselves immediately.
The health authority and school management should be informed.
The health authority immediately orders a PCR test and informs about how to proceed.
Changing rooms in enclosed facilities may be used while keeping social distance of 1.5m.
First Aid Room
Masks have to be worn if social distance cannot be kept. The room has to be aired out regularly. Materials and equipment has to be disinfected after use. No more than four patients may be in the room at the same time.
Cleaning and Disinfection
The routinely disinfection of surfaces (floors, furniture, sanitary areas) is not necessary. Cleaning with a customary cleaner is sufficient. In specific sensitive areas (e. g. kitchen, first aid room) it may be necessary to use disinfectants and treatments.
It is always necessary to use disinfectants after contamination with possibly infectious material (vomit, feces, urine and blood). The used disinfectant has to be classified as “limited virucidal”, “limited virucidal plus” or “virucidal”.
Cleaners and disinfectants have to be stored safely.