Aloha College Marbella opened its doors on August 31st. After a few months of forced closure and after the summer holidays, we were the first school to return to face-to-face classes on the Costa del Sol.
Back to school has gone smoothly thanks to our exhaustive planning that includes measures such as:
Classroom groups: We aim to create, where possible, more stable coexistence groups so that we minimise the interaction between different groups. This will help reduce the risk of infection and enable contacts to be traced more easily if there were a confirmed case.
All furnitures have been arranged to ensure social distancing where required; hand sanitisers have been placed throughout the school; the use of learning resources and materials have been managed to avoid sharing where possible; there have been limited, controlled movements to learning spaces for special activities; additional encouragement of handwashing throughout the day, etc.
Staggered arrival and departure times: we have regulated school arrival and departure times by age to avoid crowds, maintain social distancing and pay the greatest attention to our little ones.
Essential services: We have continued to provide essential services like the morning and afternoon bus routes to Fuengirola and Estepona, and our catering service for all children daily.
Regarding Sports: We have continued to ensure that we can provide safe physical education by focusing on sports that can be played safely without physical contact, by modifying our usage of facilities or establishing protocols for use and cleaning of sports equipment.
On the other hand, the Co-Curricular Activities have been put on hold to minimise the interaction between different groups: It has been agreed amongst all international schools along the coast that there will be no inter-school matches, nor residential trips. But please note that this will be kept under review.
As you can see, we have followed the guidelines provided by the Junta de Andalucia and the Spanish Health Authorities. Although we have researched “best practice” models for international schools, in the end we have undertaken our own risk assessments to adapt the guidelines to our own environment. In fact, other schools and many families have come to us for advice to face this milestone of returning to school successfully.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
We are very grateful to parents for supporting us and helping us with reinforcing the same messages and protocols at home that we are enforcing at school. They have been helping children to come to terms with a new normal, which in some cases involved a curtailment of some of the freedoms they have previously enjoyed in recent months.
Parents have been very respectful with the boundaries we needed to impose regarding parental access to our campus. We can say that we have worked very well together, building up a team to deliver the best learning environment for our children.
We must all willingly comply with the policies and procedures we have designed, exactly how we have been doing so far, to help keep everyone safe and healthy. We need to understand that others within our community may be members of at-risk groups and that we should adjust our behaviour out of respect and kindness, even when this may be difficult or inconvenient.
We are an Aloha College family. So please, rest assured that we will overcome this eventuality together.