Following the introduction of new COVID-19 measures in Luxembourg, the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth has announced new regulations aimed at reducing social contact in secondary schools.
These new regulations will apply from Monday 30 November 2020 until the Christmas holidays and concern the (re)introduction of alternating classes, new measures in school canteens and the cancellation of school trips.
Alternating system for upper secondary school classes
In line with the new law and to significantly reduce the number of students present at one time in secondary schools, the following upper classes will operate according to a system alternating between face-to-face teaching and distance learning: 4th, 3rd and 2nd years of both classical and general secondary education and 4TP, 3TP, 2TP, DP1 and DP2 vocational training classes. Final year classes will continue to be held face-to-face.
Secondary schools are free to choose the alternation model to implement themselves, either by dividing the students of each class into two groups (A and B) or by alternating face-to-face and distance learning phases for the whole class. Alternation can be daily or weekly. Student participation is compulsory both in face-to-face and distance courses. In vocational training, face-to-face workshop and laboratory courses are preferred, with distance learning recommended for theoretical courses. Company training is not affected by the new measures.
As a reminder, the 2020-21 school year is split into semesters rather than trimesters for all secondary school classes. The first semester runs from 15 September 2020 to 12 February 2021; the second will run from 22 February to 15 July 2021.
In secondary education, school canteens and cafeterias will remain open, in compliance with the health measures in force. Tables are limited to four people.
The distribution of “Frupstuten” (hot meals) has been extended. Due to the limited capacity of school canteens, students can have their meals in classrooms designated for this purpose by the secondary schools' management. A maximum of ten students are permitted to eat their meals in the same classroom.
School excursions and educational visits
School visits, trips and excursions (in Luxembourg and abroad) are cancelled for both primary and secondary education. Educational outings in the forest remain permitted for primary school classes, although a maximum of two classes can go on such outings together.
Existing measures also remain in place, namely regarding masks and physical education. Primary school pupils and children over the age of six in childcare facilities must wear masks when not seated. Masks should also be worn in playgrounds. Physical education and swimming lessons remain authorised, subject to the regulations currently in force (i.e. outdoor activities, groups of max. four students for team sports). Staff meetings are now held by video conference, whilst individual parent-teacher meetings are to be held in person at the school, in compliance with the required sanitary measures and barrier gestures.