As we prepare to reopen schools for the new academic year effective September 7, 2020, we are aware that the operational tasks must be strategically managed to ensure the safety of all stakeholders. With this in mind, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has reviewed research, international best practices and has consulted with local and international partners/stakeholders to inform the decisions taken concerning the successful reopening of our schools.
Consequently, the Ministry has taken the decision to approve a phased resumption plan for the new school year accordingly:
- September 7, 2020 to September 11, 2020 – This period will be referred to as “Simulation Week”. All schools should have a day for each year group of students to attend school to simulate or to be orientated to the acceptable practices and safety guidelines to be observed on a daily basis. This will allow for a full test of the systems in place to manage the spread of the Coronavirus and for changes to be implemented accordingly. This exercise is very important for students and staff to become accustomed to the new normal especially in light of their health and safety. Depending on school type and size, two different year groups of students may be accommodated on the same day.
- September 14, 2020 to 25, 2020 – Only the upper school students should report to school, that is, Grades 4-6 for the primary schools and Grades 9- 11 for the secondary schools.
- September 28, 2020 – Grades 1-3 and 7-8 should resume school.
- Grades 12-13 should report to face to face classes October 26, 2020. The CXC results will be released by September 22, 2020 and this will be utilized to determine the Sixth Form Pathway that each student will pursue. The Sixth Form Pathways under the Career Advancement Programme and the Tertiary Credit on High School Campus programme will be implemented in partnership with our tertiary institutions. The tertiary institutions may commence their blended learning programmes prior to October 26, 2020 informed by their level of readiness.
During the above phased activities, the teaching and learning activiites should be guided by the approved curriculum implementation guides and models, as well as, the diagnostic assessment tools to be provided by the Ministry. Please see bulletins number 135 /2020 and 132/2020 for further details.
As per usual, the Ministry stands ready to provide the technical support and guidance needed by all stakeholders. School Administrators are asked to make contact with the Regional Office for any further clarification.