Residential boarding/hostel accommodation in educational facilities
This guidance was developed in consultation with regulatory bodies, members of the Scottish Council of Independent Schools, local authority school residence providers, the Boarding Schools’ Association and other key partners.
Establishments may also find the guidance for residential children’s houses, residential schools and secure care facilities on staffing, social distancing and self-isolation useful. This guidance is updated regularly.
All schools, including residential boarding/hostel accommodation in educational facilities, should have regard to the measures set out in the main school guidance and apply them as appropriate in their specific settings.
This supplementary guidance is intended for school care accommodation services, provided for the purpose of pupils in attendance at a public, independent or grant-aided school, and consisting of the provision of residential accommodation. For clarity, this includes residential, special and secure accommodation.
These include independent boarding school facilities and residence halls provided by local authority secondary schools.
Return of pupils
All children and young people will have full-time, in-school learning after the Easter break.
A common travel area (CTA) exists between the UK (including Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. There are specific considerations for the return of pupils from outside the Common Travel Area (CTA). These pupils are permitted to return to their school, but will need to comply with all existing travel restrictions. Please see the section on ‘International Arrivals’ below. Regular reviews of these arrangements will continue to be undertaken, taking into account the latest evidence about new variants and progress in reducing community transmission levels. Arrangements following reviews will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.
Where children and young people are in school, every setting should undertake and update regularly its own specific risk assessment, considering local circumstances, the domestic arrangements of pupils and staff, travel requirements, pupil wellbeing and public health and hygiene requirements.
The assessment should consider the overall number of pupils, staffing levels, the capacity of each residential hall or house including arrangements for the provision of meals, the mix of shared dormitories and bathrooms/toilets, individual bedroom facilities, and shared communal facilities including cleaning schedules, particularly for kitchens and bathrooms. These preparations will assist in determining whether boarding houses/residence halls can be considered discrete family units.
Risk assessments should also include contingency provision for symptomatic pupils or staff, those with underlying health conditions, and consideration of issues such as catering, external pastoral support, and the use of school and public transport.
Schools should inform the Care Inspectorate of any revisions to term dates, or if young people are required to remain at school over holiday periods, due to risk assessment outcomes.
Residential schools have a responsibility to ensure the overall wellbeing of children and young people, as well as for ensuring adherence to Covid-safe practices. Establishments should therefore make appropriate arrangements for children and young people who are in school to be active, creative and nurtured, much as they would be able to do if they were in a home family setting, whilst adhering to public health guidance and taking account of all other Scottish Government and relevant governing body guidance.
Where pupils require to leave the boarding facility/residential hall (for example for weekend leave or during half term), they can designate a host family to stay with in Scotland. These designated host families, or guardians, are seen to be the extended household for these young people, in the absence of being able to stay with their own family due to travel restrictions, or other barriers.
If schools are looking for alternative opportunities for educational pupil activity, if pupils are unable to leave the school accommodation, but are not self-isolating, they should follow the guidance on school visits that is currently applicable. Short local excursions which promote outdoor learning (such as a short visit to a local park or green space) are permitted for those learners in school, as long as these are appropriately risk assessed, and day visits are expected to be permitted from 10 May. This is subject to confirmation in early May.
Where pupils are permitted to leave the school premises for non-educational/social purposes e.g. during free time or at lunch time, appropriate care should be taken to minimise contact with others and pupils should follow the rules for wider society and rules on group sizes.
For those children and young people in school, boarding facilities should provide appropriate hand hygiene facilities (e.g. hand sanitiser) in common spaces. Bathrooms should be fully supplied for handwashing and drying.
Minimising contact between individuals and groups
In planning for the wider return of boarding pupils, schools should apply the guidance on minimising contact between individuals and groups as set out in the main school guidance. Schools should allocate pupils to residential “bubbles”, as practiced in autumn 2020. These bubbles should be as small as practically possible and would endure through all activities which are not governed by the main guidance. Schools should continue to risk assess these arrangements as per the wider reducing risks in schools guidance, considering for example the arrangements for distancing as set out elsewhere in this guidance, and maintain contact with their local health protection team.
The following special considerations may apply:
appropriate risk assessments should be undertaken for any new groupings or households formed within the facility.
groups may include relevant members of residential staff.
it may be necessary to keep boarding pupils in one group residentially and another during the school day. Staff may wish to seek ways to facilitate social contact with other households, whilst maintaining social distancing and appropriate hygiene. However, there should still be regular liaison with the local Health Protection Team to discuss this to ensure the contacts are within current national guidance regarding social contact and gatherings which is reviewed on a regular basis;
each group should observe appropriate physical distancing between adults and children/young people as set out in the main schools guidance. These approaches should also be adopted with any pupil or member of staff outside their household.
where possible, individual rooms with en suite washing and toilet facilities may be provided to reduce interactions.
where pupils are permitted to leave the school premises (e.g. during free time or at lunch time, flexi-boarders, school residence pupils returning home at weekends, etc.) they should follow the rules in place for wider society, for example wearing a face covering when entering a shop and rules on group sizes. Risk assessments should consider procedures for when children and young people leave and return to school premises, including hand hygiene.
Staying vigilant and responding to COVID-19 symptoms
Residential pupils showing symptoms will require to be isolated and tested. If a child in a boarding school/residence hall shows symptoms, they should initially self-isolate in their residential setting household. Most children will benefit from self-isolating in their boarding house so that their usual support can continue. Others will benefit more from self-isolating in their family home if travel can be arranged safely.
Students should not travel to the school if showing symptoms.
Surveillance, testing and outbreak management
Schools should follow the procedures for testing, Test and Protect and outbreak management as set out in the main school guidance.
On surveillance, the overall reporting on incidence amongst school age children and staff will include data from these settings.
It is recommended that the relationship between the residential house/school and the local Health Protection Team is proactive and established as early as possible and regularised. This will enable working relationships to be continuous and possible future scenarios to be rehearsed.
A common travel area (CTA) exists between the UK (including Northern Ireland), Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. This guidance applies to students travelling to attend a boarding school in Scotland who meet the UK entry requirements and have travelled from outwith the CTA, including through a ‘red list’ country in the previous 10 days. These people are referred to as ‘boarding school students’ in this guide.
Arrangements and mitigations are set out below for all pupils, with some specific guidance in relation to those travelling from or through acute risk ‘red-list’ countries. Specific provision is made below regarding formation of support bubbles for isolating pupils. Other pupils must be physically separated more generally.
Boarding school students must isolate within accommodation provided for or arranged by their boarding school. Anyone who is not a British or Irish national, or who does not have the right to reside in the UK, who has travelled from or through an acute risk ‘red b’ country in the previous 10 days, is not permitted to enter the UK and should be told not to travel.
Regular reviews of these arrangements will continue to be undertaken, taking into account the latest evidence about new variants and progress in reducing community transmission levels. Arrangements following reviews will be communicated at the earliest opportunity.
The international travel regulations
International Travel Regulations contain the requirement to check into managed self-isolation for all international travellers (subject to exemptions) from (a) outside the Common Travel Area or (b) from the Republic of Ireland who have departed from or transited through an acute risk country who are travelling by air into Scotland. All such travellers are required to travel directly to managed self-isolation accommodation using designated transport and to remain in that accommodation for a minimum 10 day period. The Regulations also contain provisions requiring all travellers (subject to exemptions), who have been outside the Common Travel Area in the 10 days prior to arrival in Scotland, to book, pay for and undertake two tests for the detection of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 were amended on 27 March 2021 to provide that pupils travelling to boarding schools from outwith the CTA are able to isolate in their boarding accommodation on arrival in Scotland.
Specifically, the Regulations now allow that where a person arrives in Scotland for the purpose of receiving education at a boarding school from outside the CTA, or (ii) elsewhere within the CTA where they have departed from or transited through an amber-list or red-list country within the last 10 days, then that person will not be required to enter managed isolation in accordance with wider Regulations.
Instead, the amended Regulations require that such a person must travel without undue delay to specified premises, which must be the boarding school at which education and accommodation is due to be provided. The definition of a ‘boarding school’ is set out as a school which provides accommodation for its pupils on its own premises, or arranges accommodation for its pupils to be provided elsewhere (other than in connection with a residential trip away from school). ‘School’ has the meaning given by section 135(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.
As with all independent schools in Scotland, proprietors must ensure that the school they are responsible for does not become objectionable on any of the grounds listed in Section 99(1A) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 which includes the obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people enrolled in the school.
Additionally, the proprietors of independent boarding schools must comply with the relevant legislation around the registration of their School Care Accommodation Service; such as the Health and Social Care Standards and the Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (Requirements for Care Services) Regulations 2011. This includes, but is not limited to, the requirement to maintain an appropriate number of suitably qualified and experienced staff who are properly supervised.
This guidance on managed isolation should be considered alongside these requirements, and the main school guidance. To support these arrangements, the Care Inspectorate will consider carrying out additional short COVID-19 inspections of services who are supervising managed isolation of boarders. These will use a specially developed key question, which has been published in the Quality framework for mainstream boarding schools (p54-67).
Before pupils travel, schools need to have travel plans in place, including arrangements for the collection and transfer of students to the boarding facilities where they will quarantine. These need to be fully explained to students and their parents before they travel, including the infection risks and policies that will be in place, and their consent confirmed.
All boarding pupils who arrive in Scotland from elsewhere in the CTA will be able to isolate in their boarding accommodation whether accompanied or unaccompanied on their flight. Any accompanying adult who is intending to stay in Scotland will be required to enter managed isolation, unless they are exempt. Guidance on international travel restrictions is available at: Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation (quarantine).
Schools should send boarding school students the following:
- a copy of the Scottish Government letter confirming that boarding school students are covered by an exception
- a letter from their school to the boarding school student meeting the requirements as set out in this letter
Boarding school students should be ready to present both of these letters, and either a paper or electronic copy of the PLF (see below), to Border Force officials on arrival.
Before travelling, all boarding school students are encouraged to take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before they travel.
Before travelling, all boarding school students, or persons with responsibility for them should:
- book and pay for a travel test package for pupils aged 11 or over, which will include coronavirus (COVID-19) tests to be taken on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine
- complete a passenger locator form before arrival, with details of where they will quarantine, when they will arrive and the travel test package booking reference number
If a travel test package has not been booked and paid for, or a passenger locator form has not been completed, in relation to a boarding school student prior to the student’s arrival in Scotland it will be the responsibility of the school to arrange the test package, or submit the passenger locator form, on behalf of the student.
Boarding school students should book a travel test package which costs £210. They must take a PCR coronavirus (COVID-19) test on or before day 2 and a test on or after day 8 following their arrival in Scotland.
Boarding school students should use the booking portal to book their travel test package (this is administered by CTM).
Travel to boarding school
A boarding school student must travel directly to the school accommodation without undue delay.
Transport must meet the following conditions:
- it must be a motor vehicle,
- it cannot be public transport and it must be transport that has been pre-arranged by the school at which the student or pupil is due to attend as a student or pupil on their arrival in Scotland
There may be cases where the above requirements related to transportation cannot be met. In such cases, the Scottish Government will need to be contacted well in advance of the student or pupil travelling, in order for bespoke arrangements to be made.
In planning pupils’ journeys to school, these should be kept as simple as possible, minimising transport changes and, if possible, arriving directly into Scotland. The Regulations described above only cover arrivals into Scotland for those due to return to Scottish boarding schools. If pupils are travelling to attend Scottish boarding schools, but wish to go through border controls at an airport elsewhere in the CTA, regulations for that part of the CTA would apply. We are working with the UK Government to seek to facilitate onward travel for Scottish boarding pupils arriving into airports in England from red-list countries.
All boarding school students arriving from outside the CTA should be met at their port of entry by representatives of their boarding school and be transported directly to their boarding facility to isolate. Schools will be expected to take immediate responsibility for boarding pupils on arrival, transferring them straight into a regulated school environment.
The boarding school representative should ensure they are at the port of entry in good time to pick up the arriving boarding school student(s) and carry proof of identity. They should have proof of identification with them. If the representative has issues getting to the port of entry on time they should phone and advise Border Force officials at the relevant airport.
This includes if there is a change in the school representative responsible for the student’s pick up and transport after the school has issued its letter to the student. When they have arrived at the port of entry and are ready to pick up the pupil, they should go to the ‘Managed Quarantine’ collection point in the arrivals hall and once their identity has been confirmed the individual will be bought through to meet them.
The boarding school travel representative who is responsible for transport should ensure:
- appropriate physical distancing (at least 2 metres) is maintained at all times
- children should wear face coverings (unless aged under 5 or otherwise exempt), with appropriate arrangements for disposal of temporary face coverings or storage of reusable face coverings and handwashing.
- good hand hygiene is maintained by ensuring a plentiful supply of alcohol hand gel
- if more than one child is travelling and they are not part of the same family or other grouping, ensure the transport is of a size that will allow physical distancing, one person per row with mask on, with no-one immediately in front or behind, and ensure there is a seating plan with allocated seating.
- in coaches, three rows of seats must be allowed between students and the driver
- good ventilation within the vehicle through open windows or effective air conditioning
- that transport does not stop at any services (including at request of passenger), unless in an emergency such as fire
- where a long journey necessitates toilet breaks, these stops should be pre-arranged with facilities that should be exclusively for the use of the travelling boarding school student(s) for the duration of the stop and can be cleaned afterwards before being used again (schools may want to make arrangements with other schools to use facilities if needed on route)
- the destination school is notified around 20 minutes prior to arrival so they can prepare for the arrival
- children disembark in a physically distanced manner and are transferred to the care of school staff
- if more than one child has travelled pass the seating plan to the school for test and trace purposes
- ensure an appropriate cleaning regime for the school transport, for example, as provided in Coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools
On arrival at the school, a one-way system should be established along paths that take boarding school students to the household areas where they will quarantine. School staff facilitating arrival should wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times. A clear system should handle the arrival of multiple boarding school students at once and ensure strict physical distancing. Support bubble arrangements, if applicable, should already have been designated and students that are not in the same support bubble should be kept separate from other isolating students, and both groups should be kept separate from other students at all times.
Isolation in school boarding facilities
Boarding school students arriving from outside the CTA, or from elsewhere within the CTA where they have departed from or transited through an amber-list or red-list country within the last 10 days, must isolate for at least 10 days on arrival in Scotland (this requirement may be extended under circumstances set out below). This isolation for boarding school pupils may take place in accommodation that comprises of residential facilities organised by the boarding school in Scotland that the pupil is due to attend as a pupil or student on their arrival in Scotland. The accommodation must constitute separate accommodation meaning it must be accommodation that is physically self-contained.
In the interests of pupil wellbeing, pupils that are isolating should, where possible, be allocated to a support bubble. Parents and pupils should fully understand the arrangements that are proposed and understand the infection risk inherent in any bubble arrangement.
Support bubbles should be kept small and of no more than 5 pupils at most, to limit transmission risk, should this occur.
Irrespective of a support bubble arrangement, isolation should, where possible, be undertaken in single rooms with private bathroom facilities. It is permissible, if necessary, for pupils in the same bubble to share a room or bathroom facilities, though single rooms are preferable.
Care should be taken in constructing bubbles, to ensure that areas of origin are drawn as narrowly as possible, for example a bubble of 5 may be formed where pupils have travelled from the same area. Any bubbles should look to be of similar age-range as far as possible, although an exception would be appropriate for siblings.
The support bubble (of a maximum of 5 pupils) should have access to limited common area(s) for social contact. Care should be taken to promote appropriate mitigations and hygiene within the bubble, for example, maintaining 2m distancing, as much as is practical. Each bubble should occupy part of the school site which is separated from the parts of the site used by other bubbles for isolation purposes and areas used by other staff and students. For example, bubbles may occupy separate buildings or parts of buildings.
In designating pupils to a support bubble, schools should consider:
- the importance to wellbeing of pupils having in-person support from another pupil(s), and take into account such factors as pupil age and gender;
- limiting transmission risk by:
- keeping support bubbles to no more than 5 pupils;
- grouping together pupils who have already mixed, for example siblings or those who have travelled together; and
- grouping together pupils who have travelled from or through the same area.
Residential facilities used for quarantine
Schools should have regard to Section 3 of the COVID-19: guidance for non-healthcare settings for appropriate infection prevention and control.
Rooms should have individual ventilation systems (e.g. room or window fan coil units that do not recirculate to other parts of the building) or windows that open (safely) and ideally en suite.
Care should be taken to ensure that private rooms and common areas have appropriate ventilation that is not introducing risk into or out of the quarantining area. Opening windows at regular intervals is ideal.
The school should risk assess and put in place appropriate arrangements to bring meals and other essential commodities, such as toiletries, to the area where quarantine is occurring.
The school should risk assess and put in place appropriate arrangements for cleaning rooms, changing bedding, handling laundry and disposing of waste. Laundry belonging to the pupils should be handled and managed separately from laundry belonging to all other pupils.
Where there are no en-suite facilities, designate toilet and showering facilities to those within the 10 day isolation period and increased cleaning frequency within these. Ensure a system is in place to make sure isolation pupils are not crossing over with other pupils. If any shared facilities are used by different bubbles, enhanced cleaning will be required.
If pupil rooms do not have en-suite facilities or a hand wash sink in rooms then ensure alcohol based hand rub provided for pupils to use before and after meals etc., and before or after leaving their room for any reason.
All boarding school students should have their own individual towels, both for drying after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.
Supervising and supporting boarding school students during quarantin.
Supervising and supporting boarding school students during quarantine
Schools should ensure that pupils isolating are in a regulated school environment and under full time supervision by staff. Schools should provide appropriate information to boarding school students about how they need to behave while in quarantine and how they will access services and can contact staff when help is required.
• ensure boarding school students follow the guidance on how to quarantine when they arrive in Scotland
• ensure boarding school students are supervised such that there is no opportunity to leave their accommodation, except where carefully supervised to ensure no contact with other individuals, apart from others isolating as part of the same bubble and staff responsible for their supervision and care
• put in place arrangements for the oversight of boarding school students in isolation that protect the safety and welfare of all students and staff, minimising the school staff who interact with the boarding school students within reason and using COVID precautions (2m distancing, face coverings)
• provide boarding school students with clear rules (based on this guidance) as to what is expected and acceptable during their isolation period including a clear statement of the area that the boarding school students are allowed to occupy (e.g. an area including their room and toilet/bathroom facilities that are for their use only)
• provide boarding school students with as much information as will be helpful for them to understand the practicalities of being in isolation such as arrangements for meals, room cleaning, disposing of rubbish, laundry, process for requesting and enjoying outdoor exercise and emergency procedures. Rules and information should be provided verbally and in writing
• alcohol-based hand rub for each boarding school student, with advice on how to use these and the risk of ingestion and flammability
• have procedures in place, agreed in advance with parents, setting out what it will do in the case of an emergency
The school should also put in place appropriate arrangements for the collection and treatment of laundry and waste from each quarantining household. This should prevent unnecessary contact between staff and members of the household.
• staff should wear appropriate PPE (face coverings, aprons and gloves etc.) when handling laundry from quarantining boarding school students. Laundry should be treated as infectious and double bagged, should be tagged with the care area and date, and stored in a designated, safe lockable area while awaiting laundering. Hot wash at 60˚C.
• unless the pupil becomes positive for COVID-19, all consumable waste items that have been in contact with quarantining boarding school students, including used tissues, can be disposed of according to normal arrangements.
If a pupil is positive for COVID-19, all waste items should be put in a plastic rubbish bag, double bagged and tied. This should be disposed of with normal household rubbish after a wait of 24 hours.
Staff need not wear any PPE unless they are providing care for a symptomatic or confirmed positive COVID-19 student. At all other times, a face covering should be worn and physical distancing applied. If caring for a symptomatic student (within 2 metres), staff should wear a fluid resistant surgical mask, eye protection, apron and gloves. These items are single use and must be disposed of after the care task being provided is complete. Staff must never go between students in PPE or wear PPE moving around the school setting. Donning and doffing training/instruction should be provided to staff.
Exercise and fresh air
All isolating boarding school students may leave the place in which they are isolating for exercise only under staff supervision. This must be within the school grounds. Regular opportunities for exercise and fresh air are recommended, and pupils in a support bubble can access this together. School staff should ensure that boarding school students remain in close proximity of their accommodation and do not come into contact with any individuals from outside the boarding school students’ bubble (if applicable) or staff supervising and providing their care. Students should wear face coverings.
Testing boarding school students
Boarding school students arrive on day zero and testing must take place on day 2 and 8.
School staff should ensure test kits are stored appropriately (ensuring storage is at an appropriate temperature: 5°C to 22°C). Schools should have a plan setting out which boarding school student will receive test kits on which day.
When required, school staff should collect test kits from storage and deliver them to boarding school students within their household accommodation. After boarding school students have completed the test, school staff should collect the test kit and put it into a box which should be closed and sealed for transport. They should not handle the test kit further before collection when they should be passed to the courier.
Boarding school students should normally complete the test themselves, following the instructions. School staff should familiarise themselves with test-kit instructions so that they can provide appropriate support for boarding school students where necessary.
Results will need to be collected by supporting staff and any positive results discussed with the local Health Protection Team who will undertake contact tracing.
Visitors to boarding school students in quarantine
Boarding school students in isolation should not receive visitors, except in exceptional circumstances. If it is necessary for social workers, other children’s social care staff, medical staff or other professionals to engage with a child, they should consider in the first instance if this can be done so remotely.
Leaving isolation under exceptional circumstances
Boarding school students in isolation should not receive visitors, except in exceptional circumstances. If it is necessary for social workers, other children’s social care staff, medical staff or other professionals to engage with a child, they should consider in the first instance if this can be done so remotely.
Any members of a bubble that have isolated together should remain in isolation until all members have served 10 days quarantine.
If any member of a bubble tests positive during that time, the boarding school student’s whole bubble will be required to isolate for a further ten days (with the day after the test was taken counting as day 1 of the additional quarantine).
If the result of a boarding school student’s day 8 test is inconclusive, the bubble must stay in quarantine until they take an additional test and receive a negative result, or 14 days have elapsed with no symptoms in any members of the bubble. The local Health Protection Team can help interpret what to do when non-standard results are received.
Once isolation is over, boarding school students are no longer required to meet the restrictions set out in this guidance. However, schools should continue to manage all boarding school students in line with the Coronavirus (Covid-19): guidance on reducing the risks in schools.
Schools will need to undertake their own risk assessments about how to quarantine boarding school students safely. Schools should have regard to guidance on isolation for those showing symptoms of coronavirus in planning for the quarantine of arriving boarding school students. For example, fire safety risk assessments should be updated to consider the need for physical distancing on drill evacuations but this must not affect fire safety guidance, and risk assessments in completing emergency repairs and maintenance should consider the need for physical distancing. Schools are encouraged to make contact with their local public health teams in this regard.
Where possible, residential settings should operate a consistent staff rota to minimise the risk of transmission. The rota should avoid individual staff having contact with multiple isolating bubbles, for example, it is advised that as an additional mitigation, consideration should be given to separate groups of staff supervising pupils from red list countries.
Staff, whether non-resident, visiting or partially or fully resident at the school, should follow careful infection control measures during and after visits, in the same way as any self-isolating household would if they had unavoidable visitors. As always, they will need to pay particular attention to careful infection prevention and control, including physical distancing, hand and respiratory hygiene.
Schools should follow the procedures for staff testing, test and protect, and outbreak management as set out in this guide. Any staff member who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), tests positive for Covid-19 through an asymptomatic test or has someone in their household who has developed symptoms, should cease working immediately, self-isolate and book a PCR test.
You should refer to the Scottish COVID-19 Community Health and Care Settings Infection Prevention and Control Addendum for guidance in relation to all engagement with students in quarantine. This includes arrangements where a child or young person showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) requires staff contact for personal care.
Should 2 or more linked cases of COVID-19 arise within 14 days, an outbreak may be declared, led by the local Health Protection Team. This will support any risk assessment of contacts and the setting, and help manage risk of onward transmission. In order to address this early, a single case should be reported to the HPT when received. The Test and Protect system will make contact with the case usually within 24-48hours of the positive result to inform this risk assessment.
Where schools wish to commence the education of any isolating students, this may only be done where it would be consistent with the student maintaining their isolation (i.e. through remote learning).