A message from the Norwegian Government
On the 7th of May the Norwegian government came with the following announcement:
Thanks to everyone’s joint efforts since mid-March, we have got the spread of coronavirus under control. This means that we can now gradually lift the strict measures we introduced. Our aim is to allow as many businesses and activities as possible to reopen and start up again before the summer. But to implement these plans we must make sure that we keep the spread of infection under control,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Primary and secondary schools are to open to all grades during week 20. It is assumed that they comply with the requirements for infection control guidance for schools
‘A lot of children and teenagers are waiting impatiently to meet their friends and teachers again. They will finally be able to return to school next week. It won’t be quite what they are used to – they will be spending more time outside, and there will be less physical contact. But we will try to normalise the school day as much as we possibly can,’ said Minister of Education and Integration Guri Melby.
Norway is able to do this because we have met the federal guidelines for reopening, including aggressive testing and tracing, and a downward trajectory of documented cases longer than a 14-day period.
Right now school leaders around the country are meeting to plan for the reopening of schools and they are looking closely at the “infection control guidance for schools”. Some schools are lucky, they have plenty of space. Schools in densely populated areas like mine do not have that luxury. We are encouraged to be creative in how we solve this. Using the outdoors, half days at school, and continuing some homeschooling. It is in this new blended environment we have to find the best solution for our students and at the same time provide a safe environment for our teachers.
What are our priorities now?
Are we starting school because the students are struggling in their learning? Are we starting school because students need to meet their friends? Are we starting school to assess our students before they graduate? These are all relevant questions and need to be addressed when planning to open up our schools next week. At my school, we have decided on a soft start, with smaller groups starting with the senior students.
Guidelines for schools opening-up
- Keep the one-meter distance between teachers/students in all situations
- When possible decide students into smaller groups than usual, reducing the number of people they come in contact with.
- In crowded school use alternate days, meeting times and have some classes outside or find other new locations if possible
Some important precautions for teachers and students:
- Stay home if you feel sick in any way, stay home one day after you are symptom–free..
- Teachers and students who have been tested positive for Covid-19 should stay home in isolation.
- Teachers and students who have been in contact with Covid-19 infected have to isolate.
- If a student gets symptoms while at school, they should immediately be sent home. Parents have to be notified and come and get them. While waiting to go home the student should wear a mask, and preferably wait outside if weather permits. If not possible a designated room can be used while waiting.
Wash your hands
- Before you leave home, when you return home
- When you arrive at school
- When you change classrooms
- When you cough or sneeze
- Before and after meals
- When returning from outdoor activities
- After contact with animals
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers where handwashing with soap and water is not possible.