Dubai English Speaking College
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FAQ

What are the COVID-19 Symptoms?

If you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), get a
test as soon as possible. Stay at home until you get the result.

POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS:

Individuals with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms,
ranging from mild to severe symptoms. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after
exposure to the virus. Individuals with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or
    difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss or taste or smell
  • Sore throat 
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*Most people with COVID-19 have at least one of these symptoms.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 strains are spread from person to person through contaminated droplets, that would travel from a infected person through coughing, sneezing or through touching an infected surface then touching eyes, nose and/or mouth.

How long do symptoms take to present?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1 to 14 days, and most commonly, the first symptoms start to appear around five days from the date of infection.

How can I protect myself from catching COVID-19?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus.

The recommended preventive actions include:

  • Regularly and thoroughly washing the hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or sanitizing them with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Maintaining a minimum 2-meter distance with anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then ensure immediate disposal of the used tissue.
  • Ensure proper use of personal protective equipment’s (i.e. masks and gloves)
  • Keep in general good health, in terms of good nutrition, exercise and adequate sleep.
  • Monitor yourself regularly for any symptoms or fever.

What to do if I show symptoms?

If you display any of the main symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  • Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
  • Anyone residing with you, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result (A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from 1 other household).
  • Inform the school of all your children.

What happens after I have been tested for COVID-19 due to showing symptoms in line with Dubai Health Authority?

In line with Dubai Health Authority

If the result of your test is negative, the quarantine 14-day period starts while following one of two tracks:

  •  If no symptoms after 14 days, resume work normal
  •  If symptoms develop during the 14-day quarantine, the test must be repeat

If the result of your test is positive, the 14-day isolation period starts. The following steps will be followed:

  • Your case will be assessed. If stable you will either be isolated at home or shifted to an isolation facility. If unstable, you will be isolated at the  hospital.
  • The test will be repeated on day 10 and day 12 counted from the day of the first test. The test will be repeated every 24 hours till two negative consecutive tests appear.
  • The isolation period ends at 14 days, with no symptoms, and after two confirmed consecutive negative tests.

How to reduce the spread in your home, school or office?

Do:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Dispose of used tissues immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products
  • Wearing a face covering when in shared spaces
  • Keep windows open in the room you’re staying in and shared spaces as much as possible

Don’t:

  • Do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels
  • If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus

It’s especially important to try to avoid spreading the infection to anyone who’s at higher risk from COVID-19 (such as people who are 70 or over, pregnant or have a weakened immune system). If you live with someone at higher risk, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family while you’re self-isolating. If you have to stay at home together, try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other. If possible, try not to share a bed.

Can physical distance between students in a classroom be less than 2 meters?

n general, the closer, longer, and more frequent the interaction between students, teachers and staff, the higher the risk of respiratory droplets being passed between people. Therefore, it is recommended keeping a distance of at least 2 meters from other people, in addition to practicing other behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 such as; wearing cloth face coverings, washing hands often with soap and water, and staying home when sick. Additionally, it is important to ensure ventilation systems operate properly to increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible.

When maintaining 2 meter of distance is not feasible, try keeping as close to 2 meters apart as possible, recognizing that the closer you are, the more likely it is for respiratory droplets to be passed between people. In situations where maintaining physical distance is difficult, it is especially important to wear cloth face coverings.

If someone in your support bubble is sick or had contact with someone who has COVID-19

Stay at home for 14 days.

If you’re told you’ve been in contact with a person who has COVID-19:

  • Stay at home (self-isolate) for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person ( it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear)
  • Do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
  • Try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • People you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • People in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
  • If you live with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family for 14 days.
  • If you have to stay in the same home together, read about how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults?

No, the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems.

Can my child mingle with their friends?

The key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 is to practice social distancing. While school is out, children should not have in-person playdates with children from other households. If children are playing outside their own homes, it is essential that they remain 6 feet from anyone who is not in their own household. Some children with certain underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Make sure children practice everyday preventive behaviours, such as washing their hands often with soap and water. Remember, if children meet outside of school in groups, it can put everyone at risk.

What is contract tracing?

Contact tracing has been used for decades by state and local health departments to slow or stop the spread of infectious diseases.

Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
  • Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested
  • Asking people to self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 

Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?

For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

Am I considered close contact if I was wearing a mask?

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is recommended that you get tested. Get tested for COVID-19 as soon as you know that you have been in contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.

While you are waiting for your COVID-19 test result, stay home away from others (self-quarantine) and monitor your health for symptoms of COVID-19 to protect your friends, family, and others from possibly contracting the virus.

If you test positive, you should continue to stay home and self-isolate away from others and monitor your health. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 and they worsen or become severe, you should seek emergency medical care. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you have spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others.

If your test is negative and you don’t have symptoms you should continue to stay home and self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after your last exposure to COVID-19 and follow all recommendations from the health department. This is important because symptoms can appear up to 14 days after you’ve been exposed and are infected. A negative result before the end of your quarantine period does not rule out possible infection. Additionally, you do not need a repeat test unless you develop symptoms, or if you require a test to return to work.

If your test is negative and you have symptoms you should continue to self-quarantine away from others and follow all recommendations from the health department. A second test and additional medical consultation may be needed if your symptoms do not improve.

I was recently round someone who was positive, but I feel fine. Should I stay at home?

People with COVID-19 can still spread the virus even if they don’t have any symptoms. If you were around someone who had COVID-19, it is critical that you stay home and away from others for 14 days from the last day that you were around that person. Staying home and away from others at all times helps your health department in the fight against COVID-19 and helps protect you, your family, and your community.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning with soap and water removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Should outdoor areas be cleaned and disinfected to prevent COVID-19?

Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas. If practical, high touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars and railings, should be cleaned routinely. Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (e.g., play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (e.g., mulch, sand) is not recommended.

Drop off/pick up

Students that are dropped off by car will enter via the Auditorium where screening will take place. Sixth Form students dropped off by car will enter via the entrance at the front of J Block, whereas those arriving by bus will join the other students being screened in the Auditorium.

Parents will be encouraged to drop their children off between 7.00am and 7.30am. Where possible, we ask you to aim to arrive in accordance with the following timings, by surname:

  • A-E: by 7.15am
  • F-J: 7.15am – 7.20am
  • K-O: 7.20am – 7.25am
  • P-T: 7.25am – 7.30am
  • U-Z: 7.30am – 7.35am

Whilst we hope to have all students on site by 7.35am we understand that flexibility is required and any student arriving after this time will not be deemed ‘late’. Period one will begin at 8.00am. At the end of the day, to prevent large gatherings of students, we will stagger the release of students from classrooms as follows, by surnames:

Sunday to Wednesday:

  • A-E: will be dismissed at 2.56pm and expected to be in the Car Park by 3.00pm
  • F-J: dismissed at 3.00pm and depart by 3.04pm
  • K-O: dismissed at 3.04pm and depart by 3.08pm
  • P-T: dismissed at 3.08pm and depart by 3.12pm
  • U-Z: dismissed at 3.12pm and depart by 3.16pm

Thursdays:

  • A-E: will be dismissed at 1.26pm and expected to be in the Car Park by 1.30pm
  • F-J: dismissed at 1.30pm and depart by 1.34pm
  • K-O: dismissed at 1.34pm and depart by 1.38pm
  • P-T: dismissed at 1.38pm and depart by 1.42pm
  • U-Z: dismissed at 1.42pm and depart by 1.46pm

Students on buses will also be staggered on dismissal, but we expect buses to depart by 3.20pm.

Buses

Bus are running as normal. All information on buses can be accessed by contacting Mrs Sarah Wilson at descbuscoordinator@dessc.sch.ae

Access to the College site

All students should remain on site for the day to reduce risk of contamination from external sources. Students and staff will not be readmitted to the school site once they have left unless they have had a full change of clothing and sanitised their belongings before re-entering.

Parents can access the College site by appointment only.

Meetings with staff can be arranged online via House Parent Liaisons:

  • Desert – Melanie Doy
  • Earth – Aisling Creaney
  • Sky – Ayesha Virmani
  • Coast – Julie Arnup
  • Sixth Form – Christine Dunne

Visitors can access the site by appointment only.

Distance Learning

Can we switch between distance learning an in person learning?

Please be aware that, at any stage, you can transfer your child back to on-campus learning or to Remote Learning.  However, we ask that you inform us of that decision prior to sending your child back to College / keeping them home. For planning purposes, it will not be possible to make multiple switches between the two provisions.

If a student is sick can they switch to distance learning?

If a child is sick and absent from in person learning then they should recover and rest at home. No distance learning provision will be available.

Extra Curricular Activities (ECAs)

Presently we are not running our ECA programme.

Will PE lessons continue?

Yes, PE lessons will continue as per the normal timetable. As students are not allowed to use our changing facilities, they will need to come to College in PE kit for the day, ensuring they have sufficient water.

A largely paperless approach

Students will still have exercise books; the submission of work to teachers will be done electronically, using CamScanner and Microsoft Teams. Resources will be made available to students through Microsoft Teams. We have been asked to provide some Distance Learning provision for all students and this will be done through work set for home learning and extra-curricular activities. 

College and lesson timings

We will start the academic year by following the College timings as they always have been. The need to lengthen breaks and lunchtimes was being driven by distancing and capacity of the canteen and other food service areas. There will be no on-campus food provision from the start of the academic year for an as yet undetermined period. Therefore, a requirement to lengthen breaks, or stagger entry into the canteen, is not necessary at the moment.  

Please note that all students must bring their own food and drink. 

Teaching and learning groupings

A core element of our re-opening plan had to include measures that restrict the movement of students around the College as much as possible. For KS3 (Years 7, 8 & 9), this means that they will be taught largely in just a few teaching sets. Students will spend most of their time, in the same set, being taught in the same room at the same desk. Subject teachers will move to them.  

 Groups in Year 7 will be largely mixed-ability and based on their House Tutor groups.  

In Years 8 and 9, we will use the mean SAS CAT4 data to group students. These groups will become the students ‘new’ tutor groups whilst we are operating under restrictions. The use of CAT4 data will ensure students are grouped in classes with students of a similar average ability.  We are unable to set in subjects. 

 For KS4 and KS5 students, we will ‘zone’ the students in areas to restrict their movement around the College. However, they will still move around for their Option subjects. 

 In specialist subjects (Art, Music, Drama, DT, Food, ICT, PE) students will be taught in their specialist areas, where possible.