This morning marks the restricted reopening of secondary schools across the island.

Senior students in grades 11 to 13 are returning to school to engage in refresher courses ahead of the July 13 start date for CSEC and CAPE exams.

They’ve been away from the physical classroom for months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Today they’re returning to their campuses under new protocols, as administrators try their best to keep everyone safe.

Wearing a mask will now essentially form part of their uniform, temperature checks will determine admission to classes and social distancing will be strictly enforced.

Many senior students will today be hearing a bell similar to that one for the first time in over three months.

But, their school days are now designed to keep them safe and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Over in St. Catherine at the Old Harbour High School, Principal Lynton Weir has implemented a particular form of sanitisation that might be unique to his institution.

He was speaking on Nationwide’s COVID-19 and You with Cliff Hughes recently.

At a neighbouring school in that parish, Cumberland High, its Principal Darien Henry says there’ll be an emergency isolation room.

Next door in the west at the Glenmuir High school, Principal, Dr. Marsha Smalling, says they’ve adjusted their timetable to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

Dr. Smalling says their auditorium will be used on the days when all students are at school.

And, in the Corporate Area at the Ardenne High school, Acting Principal Dr. Jacqueline Pinto, says they’ve received two thermometers from the government to carry out temperature checks upon entry.

CXC Reassures Stakeholders

In the meantime, the Caribbean Examination Council, CXC, is seeking to assure students, parents, and school administrators that the sitting of the upcoming regional exams will adhere to strict health protocols.

CXC says the exams are to start July 13 and end August seven.

In a video address, Registrar at CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley, says students can now access their exam timetables on the entity’s website and social media pages.