Students return to campus at Shanghai No 3 Girls' Middle School on Monday, as those of grades 11 and 12 are allowed back for face-to-face teaching starting on the day. (Photo by GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY)
Around 100,000 grade 11 and 12 students from over 250 high schools in Shanghai returned to school on Monday after about three months away from campus because of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The returning Grade 12 students will prepare for the national college entrance exam, which has been postponed to early July.
Due to epidemic prevention and control requirements, students are not allowed to take public transportation to school. As such, schools have been providing private bus services. Students can also choose the weekday boarding option offered by their schools.
"I'm both excited and nervous," said Jiang Xinyi, a Grade 12 student at Shanghai No 3 Girls' Middle School. "The college entrance examination is imminent. But I will have one more month to prepare for it."
Gao Ruoyun, a Grade 11 student at Shanghai Xiangming High School, said, "We are going to have the proficiency test in mid-June, an important milestone in my high school journey."
Yuan Zheng'an, a member of the city's epidemic prevention and control leading group, said on Sunday that parents and students should cooperate with the epidemic prevention measures and regulations and carry out daily self-health monitoring.
Besides washing hands regularly, Yuan suggested students wear masks, maintain social distance and exercise regularly to stay healthy.
All schools are required to set up nucleic acid testing stations on campus and prepare a supply of epidemic prevention materials that can last at least a month, Yang Zhenfeng, deputy director of Shanghai's education commission, said in an earlier news briefing.
Authorities have required students to take an antigen test before going to school as well as a nucleic acid test before leaving school on a daily basis. Students will also need to have their body temperature measured twice a day at school.
Grid management has been implemented on campuses, which means dividing different grades, classes and school function areas into grids to minimize the risk of infection, according to Yang.
Grade 9 students can also return to school on June 13 to prepare for their senior high school entrance exam that has been postponed to July 11 and 12.
In-person classes are optional, and students can continue preparing for the exams at home.
Students in other grades at middle and primary schools will continue with online classes until the end of this semester, according to Yang.
Shanghai Gezhi High School carried out a nucleic acid testing rehearsal on Saturday, establishing six more testing points in the playground to ensure ventilation. An epidemic prevention gift kit was presented to students returning to school by Shanghai Luwan Senior High School with prevention supplies such as masks, alcohol spray, hand sanitizer and customized surprise gift boxes.
Shanghai has reported 16 new infections outside quarantine and controlled areas since June 1 when the city started to fully bring production and daily life back to normal. The city currently has 13 medium-risk zones in six districts, the Shanghai health commission said on Monday.