COVID-19 Health and Safety
When students, educators, and staff return to school during Hybrid learning, the health and safety our learning community is at the center.
January Reopening: Risk Mitigation Practices
Our top priority for hybrid is getting our health protocols right. We have modeled our extensive preparations after Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools (PDF). Teams of district and building leaders have worked with teachers and parents to develop these plans.
Arrival/dismissal: Schools will communicate school-specific information to families and staff about arrival and dismissal procedures. Arrival times for students who walk, take the bus or arrive by car will be staggered to minimize crowding. Parents/guardians who drive students to school will have a designated drop off/pick up area and will remain in their cars. Designated entry and exit points will be used to ensure physical distancing.
Bus Transportation: Students will ride one student per seat (siblings can sit together) to every extent possible. Buses will load from back to front and unload from front to back to limit crowding. Vents and windows will be open when possible. Masks or face coverings must be worn, and hand sanitizer will be available as students boards the bus. Drivers will sanitize high touch areas with approved wipes and foggers.
Classrooms: Classrooms have been reconfigured to facilitate six feet of physical distancing. The majority of BSD classrooms are ~995 square-feet and can accommodate sixteen desks with six feet of separation. The use of shared materials will be limited, and many of you have been incredibly innovative redesigning instruction to minimize interactions within the six-feet zone. Staff will wipe down high touch areas during transitions and between use of shared materials using Purell Surface Sanitization Wipes.
Closure Protocols: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, trained staff will lead contact tracing. All close contacts will be sent home to quarantine for 14 days. At the elementary level, if two people in a class group test positive for COVID-19 within a two-week period, the group will quarantine at home and return to remote instruction for two weeks. We will consult Public Health to determine if an entire school needs to be closed for 14 days.
Contact Tracing: Contact tracing involves finding out who was within 6 feet of the person who has COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. School nurses and other district staff have been trained in contact tracing.
Hallways and Stairways: Hallways and stairways have been marked with one-way arrows to control flow of foot traffic. Bell times have been staggered to limit the number of students in hallways at any given time. Posters in English, Spanish, and Mandarin have been hung to reinforce hand washing, physical distancing, and mask-wearing. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout buildings. Drinking fountains have been covered and disabled.
Hand washing: Students and staff are required to wash or sanitize hands upon entering buildings and will be asked to wash and/or sanitize hands frequently throughout the day.
Health screening: Every student and staff member must complete a health check every morning using our phone-based app or website to attest they have no symptoms before arriving at school. Paper copies are available if needed, and phone calls or written notes will also be accepted as an alternative. If a student or staff member exhibits any COVID-19 like symptom, they will be asked to stay home. Classroom teachers will take the temperature of students one final time prior to the student entering the classroom. A wellness room (isolation space) will be available for students who experience symptoms at school while they wait to be picked up.
Lockers: Locker use will be suspended for the 2020 – 2021 school year.
Masks/Face Coverings: By order of the state of Washington, face coverings are required in all public indoor spaces and outdoors when people cannot remain 6 feet apart. Educators will be supported in creating time for safe mask breaks.
Sanitization: We have implemented enhanced daily sanitization of high touch areas such as door handles, faucets, and railings. In the event of a COVID-19 case, we will utilize electrostatic sprayers for deeper cleaning. (Electrostatic spray uses a solution that is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. The spray contains positively charged particles that aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects.)
Staff Leads & Response Teams: Each school has designated staff leads to promote health and safety. Thank you to those occupying these roles and for your dedicated work coordinating health screenings, infection control, isolation (if necessary), health check follow-up, and family contact, and monitoring student engagement data.
Ventilation: The flow of fresh air will be maximized throughout every building. In our older buildings, ventilation systems have been replaced and upgraded.
Visitors: Visitors are limited to those deemed critical. Parents and guardians are not permitted on campus during in-person learning. Drop-off of items are limited to critical items only, such as medication. Drop-off of items deemed non-critical are prohibited (instruments, homework, projects, etc.).