The current situation is a huge challenge for all families with children, that have had to adapt to the health emergency and its requirements. Now we can all pull together to turn this challenge into an opportunity to look after ourselves and learn together.
Back to school
Back to school
Measures for the 2020-2021 school year
The measures set out below are provided for in the School Action Plan for the 2020-2021 school year in the context of the pandemic and approved by the Catalan Civil Protection Territorial Plan (Procicat) this July.
The following basic preventive measures must continue: maintaining social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks, as well as reducing social interactions.
Requirements for accessing schools
Schools can be accessed by people
- who have no symptoms compatible with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough, breathing difficulties, discomfort, diarrhoea, etc.,) or any other infectious conditions,
- and who do not live with or have close contact with anyone who has tested positive for or has had symptoms compatible with the virus within the last 14 days.
Symptom monitoring is based on the responsibility of families and students aged 18 or over to carry out a self-evaluation of their state of health. That means undertaking not to bring any child or teenager to school who presents symptoms compatible with COVID-19 infection, or who has presented such symptoms within the last 14 days, and to immediately inform the school of this so those in charge can adopt the appropriate measures.
Cleaning, disinfecting and ventilating
Cleaning, disinfection and ventilation guidelines are being established so that each school can make its own plans. Ventilation is one of the main measures for preventing the spread of infections in interior spaces. Interior facilities need to be ventilated at least once before students enter or leave their school and a further three times during the day, for a least 10 minutes each time.
Waste-management guidelines are being established. The recommendation is for single-use tissues and paper hand towels used for drying hands or respiratory hygiene to be thrown away in containers with bags, preferably with pedal-opening lids. Personal hygiene items, such as masks, gloves and other personal hygiene waste, are classed as undifferentiated waste, so they need to be thrown away in refuse (grey) containers.
In communal environments such as schools, early detection of cases and isolation of individuals and their close contacts are one of the most important measures for keeping environments safe and ensuring the achievement of educational goals as much as possible. An action protocol has therefore been drafted for dealing with the detection of a suspected case and ensuring rapid coordination between the regional-educational and public-health services.
Supplementary measures to those provided for in the Catalan Government Action Plan for the 2020-2021 school year
In accordance with the Spanish State’s forecasts for the pandemic over the coming weeks throughout
Catalonia, the proposal is for the following measures to be implemented:
- Bubbles and ratios consisting of no more than 20 students
Stable student groups will be established to make it easier to trace possible cases occurring at schools.
As regards ratios:
- Second-cycle infant- and primary-education: the ratio must not be in excess of 20 students in general.
- Compulsory secondary education (ESO): student numbers will be reduced wherever possible.
If, as an exception, group numbers cannot be reduced, under each school’s own plan, other preventive and safety measures will be applied.
Use of masks
- Primary education: masks will be mandatory for students aged 6 and over whenever required by the region during the pandemic.
Masks will be mandatory for students aged 12 and over in
- compulsory secondary education (ESO)
- Baccalaureate classes
- vocational training at an adult education centre
Schools are advised to carry out a daily monitoring of students’ temperatures.
PCR tests on half a million people
The Catalan government will be screening 500,000 people with PCR tests from 15 September to 15 November. The tests will be carried out on students, teachers and members of administrative and service staff, under epidemiological criteria.
Barcelona City Council is putting outside facilities and spaces at the disposal of schools
To ensure ratio-reduction compliance, Barcelona is putting spaces in 74 facilities and 159 outdoor spaces in gardens, squares and locations on the public highway at the disposal of schools, so they can be allocated for educational uses as from September.
Office for Coordinating Neighbourhood Spaces for Schools
The Office for Coordinating Neighbourhood Spaces for Schools has been created to arrange and manage the transfer and priority uses of public space and facilities.
Adapting school grounds
The City Council and the Barcelona Education Consortium have been working together to ensure school grounds are adapted to health and education authority requirements regarding the following aspects:
- Signposting playgrounds and premises to ensure bubble groups.
- Plan for extra school facility cleaning and disinfection to boost daily use and prevention.
Schools and Health Coordination Office
Creation of the city’s Schools and Health Coordination Office with the Public Health Agency, the Health Consortium, the Education Consortium and the Barcelona Municipal Education Institute which will oversee to the following issues:
- The implementation of preventive measures.
- COVID-19 tests on students and teachers.
- It will also monitor and assess the educational community in general and each school in particular, as well as intervene whenever there are cases of COVID-19.
Municipal nursery schools
The Municipal Institute of Education (IMEB) aims to start the new school year with a continuity and quality service for all families and enrolled children, while rigorously complying with the preventive, hygiene and health and safety regulations and instructions established by the health and educational authorities against COVID-19, for the first-year students at infants school. Hence the extraordinary nursery-school service it aims to offer:
- Extra support educators for compliance with COVID-19 health regulations and instructions, both in the child-minding service and during regular school hours, and for ensuring hands, toys and materials are frequently washed and that materials for individual use are never mixed and dummies, sheets and bibs are put away separately as well as orderly entries and exits of children and their families.
- Hygiene, health and safety and disease-prevention materials, which include surgical masks, automatic hydro-alcoholic dispensers, social-distancing ground tape and face masks.
- Extra cleaning staff to carry out the frequent disinfection tasks established under health regulations and instructions.
- Material and furniture for separating out common spaces and playgrounds, and preventing children in various “bubble” groups from mixing. Such physical separations require the acquisition of various materials, which vary considerably according to school, such as fences, cloths, canvas, detachable toy materials.
- Acquisition of computer and telephone materials for schools, to facilitate communication with families and the IMEB’s central services and, where necessary, to enable some of the managerial activities to be carried out from home.
- Accompaniment and training activities for educational teams and families to deal with an known situation, speak about the distress arising from the unforeseen circumstances and difficulties that may appear throughout the school year, and to provide the information and tools to sort them out with.
Further information (CA)
Last updated: 02/09/2020
Barcelona's 102 municipal nursery schools have been made ready for the new school year with all the safety and prevention measures against Covid-19. In addition, teaching staff and families and the 8,508 children enrolled - who account for 64% of overall demand (8% more than in 2019) - have received specific support.
Each nursery school has put in place different entry and exit points for families to ensure that social distancing is observed and to avoid overcrowding.
Each group is completely separate and will have no contact with any other groups in the nursery school while the current healthcare situation continues. All shared spaces - both indoors and outdoors have been divided and will be used in turns.
There is also more emphasis on outdoor activities, as they entail a lower risk of transmission.
At lunchtime, each group will eat in its own area, in an exclusive space that ensures compliance with the preventive measures.
Support for early arrival in the mornings
In order to ensure work-life balance, municipal nursery schools offer a free early arrival service from 8 to 9 am. This service has been boosted with educational support staff in order to keep the groups separate and avoid any contact between them.
More support staff during the day
The working hours of the educational support staff have also been increased by 25% to meet all the requirements and ensure compliance with safety measures, such as frequent hand washing, the cleaning of toys and materials and the restriction on the number of contacts in each group.
Ventilation, cleaning and disinfection tasks are carried out in each nursery school in accordance with the characteristics of each area. Cleaning time has been increased by 20% in order to include this additional cleaning and disinfection work.
A Schools and Covid City Committee
A city committee called Schools and Covid has been set up, made up of the education and health authorities, teachers, families and children, with the aim of monitoring, sharing information and evaluating, in order to improve responses to the situation of schools in the current healthcare context.
Further information (CA)
Last updated: 15/09/2020
Barcelona’s five municipal music schools will start the academic year 2020-2021 on 21 September, with 3,000 students enrolled in both their long-term courses and their music workshops for babies and their families.
The year will start in person, although it is expected that some activities will be held online or in blended format if so required by the health situation.
The music schools have also invested in technical resources (digital whiteboards, tablets, computers and video cameras) to facilitate online classes if necessary. In addition, the furniture has been fitted out to help observe the recommended distances.
Last updated 07/09/2020
Questions frequently asked by children
We’re a group of experts in different fields, and we want to help to clear up any doubts you might have about the current situation! And that means any questions or doubts – about the coronavirus, how you’re feeling, your ideas and suggestions... in fact, about anything you’d like!
We want to know how you’re all dealing with the coronavirus situation. It’s something that has taken everyone by surprise, isn’t it? Not even the most brilliant screenwriter could ever have imagined this actually happening here in the real world.
There are lots of things we don’t know yet, about the disease itself and about a vaccine that could protect us from it. But bit by bit, we are making progress against coronavirus. And as we learn more, lockdown measures will change.
There have been big changes in our lives because of coronavirus, so you’re bound to have lots of questions, and you’ll want answers to all of them. That’s why this space is just for you, to help you cope with all these changes in your daily lives.
Children, are you thinking that you’re not really sure exactly what’s happening? Keep on reading!
For mums and dads
- Even though they aren’t going to school, try to keep to daily routine and timetable.
- Limit the time they spend in front of screens. A maximum of one and a half hours a day is recommended. And when they do so, they should look away for 5 or 10 minutes every hour.
- Where possible, encourage active play: hide-and-seek, dancing, exercises, etc. If you have a garden or a courtyard, get them to play a ball game or do some laps on their bike.
- Another good option is educational play: building blocks, brain teasers, manual work, calculation activities, and so on.
- If they can read, children’s stories, comics and novels are a good way to pass some time.
- This is also a good time for involving children in the household chores: helping to prepare the meals, laying and clearing the table, tidying up their room, and so on.
- Try to tell them why they have to stay at home, so that their confinement is not a negative experience.
- It’s also a good time to encourage good hygiene habits, teaching them how to wash their hands properly and doing it with them.
- It’s really important to find a balance between study time, play time and screen time.
- And remember to keep a positive attitude.
The changes in routines and new circumstances we are currently experiences may affect children, especially those in the 0 to 6 age group who have developmental difficulties.
Where children show signs of being very nervous, anxious or disorganised, child-development and early-care centres (CDIAP) provide families with advice or guidelines specifically designed for each child and for the particular circumstances of each nuclear family.
You are also recommended to:
- Control the amount of surrounding sounds and materials to foster calmness, and limit the use of screens and games with lights, especially before bedtime.
- Speak with a calm, relaxed voice.
- Encourage contact with soft materials such as cushions, mattresses and fabrics.
- Prepare hot baths to help relax their muscle tone and body and give them a massage, stroking and pressing on various points of the body that help them to relax.
- Create container spaces where children can feel comfortable and protected, with sheets, blankets or other materials you may have at home.
Latest update 02/09/2020
“Coronavirus et farem petit!” is a series of five videos produced by Barcelona City Council and the NGO Pallassos Sense Fronteres to make young children aware of the importance of protection measures against Covid-19.
The videos will be distributed to families through the two municipal Child Development and Early Care Centres (CDIAP).
“Coronavirus et farem petit!” offers a light-hearted approach, designed to help families empower young children between the ages of 3 and 6, equipping them with resources for the situation generated by Covid-19 and enabling them to work on emotions and awareness through positive messages on the need to adopt protection measures.
You can see the videos using the following links: