Thursday, 21 May 2020

Boarding in a COVID-19 world

The Benefits of Boarding - Harrow Bangkok

We hosted an online forum for boarding parents yesterday to discuss what boarding might look like if/when we're eventually allowed to re-open. 

Boarding parents are rightly concerned about what might happen if there's a second wave of infections, and about how we're going to ensure that the boarding houses are kept safe. 

Our plans so far are as follows:
  1. Be prepared for boarders to come back early at the beginning of the term in order to sit out their quarantine. We'll facilitate this either by laying on our own in-house quarantine (if feasible) or by supporting boarders in state quarantine remotely.
  2. Social distancing all dormitories - we're working on a maximum of two per room at the outset.
  3. Keeping visitors outside a 'cordon sanitaire' around the boarding village.
  4. Supplying hand-sanitisers in multiple locations around the boarding village.
  5. Providing staff and pupils with face-masks.
  6. Social distancing all the tables and chairs in the dining room and staggering meal times such that there is never a large number of pupils all arriving at the same time.
  7. Increasing the cleaning routines in all the boarding areas.
  8. Providing face masks and gloves to all those working in the laundry.
  9. Leaving high-traffic doors open so that hand-surface contact is minimised.
  10. Restricting the number of boarders in the gym and sports hall in the evenings.
  11. Disabling our biometric finger scanners to reduce touch surfaces.
  12. Putting provision in place for remaining open over October half-term in case overseas boarders can't get home.
Advice is changing all the time, so we're also remaining flexible. The old adage: 'Plan early, plan twice' rings true in this case. 

We're confident though that if we're able to re-open we'll be able to do so safely.