Kigali, Rwanda- April 2, 2021 - The Earth School in Kigali, Rwanda, has achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council® - GBAC STAR™ accreditation by adopting and successfully implementing the most stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention in its Kigali facility. GBAC STAR is the gold standard in biorisk mitigation followed by major airlines, international airports, major hotel chains across the world and convention centers in cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Houston and Cannes. GBAC STAR™ outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation, helps organizations establish protocols and procedures, offers expert-led training and assesses a facility’s readiness for biorisk situations. The program verified that The Earth School implements best practices to prepare for, respond to, and recover from outbreaks and pandemics. “GBAC STAR accreditation empowers facility owners and managers to assure workers, customers and key stakeholders that they have proven systems in place to maintain clean and healthy environments,” said GBAC Executive Director Patricia Olinger. “By taking this important step to pursue GBAC STAR, The Earth School has received third-party validation that it follows strict protocols for biorisk situations, thereby demonstrating its preparedness and commitment to operating safely.” “We are proud to be the first international school in the world to achieve this strict biosafety accreditation. Social responsibility and care for self and others are key Earth School values and pursuing GBAC STAR™ accreditation is a testimony of how The Earth School leads by example in its daily operations” said Edna de Bonilla, Founder of The Earth School. “Well before the pandemic, our health education program incorporated into our unique academic approach the notions of hygiene, cleanliness, order and self-care as a basis for personal and community well-being. We will continue to build on these strengths to maintain an environment where all members of our education community feel safe to work, learn, and grow.” “Rwanda’s response to the pandemic is exemplary,” said Dr. Juan Carlos Bonilla, also Founder of The Earth School. “It is not by chance that The Earth School, a small school in Rwanda, receives this prestigious international accreditation. It is rather a reflection of our school’s culture and of the social environment of responsibility and self-discipline of the country where we operate. We are proud to be recognized on the global effort to reopen schools in a safe and responsible manner and we believe that great and innovative objectives can be achieved with effort and clear priorities. “ He added: “We are thankful for the effort and proactive collaboration of all members of the school community: the Head of School, Mrs. Lauren Rogers, all families, teachers and support staff, and the support and guidance of Rwanda’s health and education authorities, as everyone’s role is critical in creating a safe environment for our children. Students also actively participate by following the guidelines in place, which is not only a way to stay healthy themselves but also a way to learn to take responsibility for their own well-being and that of others around them.” To achieve GBAC STAR™ accreditation, The Earth School was required to demonstrate compliance with the program’s 20 core elements, which range from standard operating procedures and risk assessment strategies to personal protective equipment and emergency preparedness and response measures. Learn more about GBAC STAR accreditation at www.gbac.org. About The Earth School Founded in 2011 in Kigali, Rwanda, The Earth School is an accredited member of the International Schools Association (ISA) based in Geneva, Switzerland and the US-based International Montessori Council. A school grounded in the values of Montessori philosophy and the principles of international education, the Earth School learning community is composed of students, families and educators from over 25 different nationalities. The Montessori method is built strongly on foundations of peace and internationalism. Learning about the Earth as a whole system, and working daily in an environment of respect for self, for others, and for the environment, helps children understand and value the essential inter-relatedness of all humanity. Learn more about The Earth School at theearthschoolafrica.com. About GBAC, a Division of ISSA Composed of international leaders in the field of microbial-pathogenic threat analysis, mitigation, response and recovery, the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC), a Division of ISSA, provides training, guidance, accreditation, certification, crisis management assistance and leadership to government, commercial and private entities looking to mitigate, quickly address and/or recover from biological threats and real-time crises. The organization’s services include biorisk management program assessment and training, Forensic Restoration® response and remediation, the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation program, training and certification of individuals and consulting for building owners and facility managers. For more information, visit www.gbac.org. About ISSA With more than 9,300 members—including distributors, manufacturers, manufacturer representatives, wholesalers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, residential cleaners and associated service members—ISSA is the world’s leading trade association for the cleaning industry. The association is committed to changing the way the world views cleaning by providing its members with the business tools they need to promote cleaning as an investment in human health, the environment and an improved bottom line. Headquartered in Northbrook, Ill., USA, the association has regional offices in Mainz, Germany; Whitby, Canada; Parramatta, Australia; Seoul, South Korea; and Shanghai, China. For more information about ISSA, visit www.issa.com or call 800-225-4772 (North America) or 847-982-0800.