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.
Back to Buildings Plan: Our Health and Safety Protocols
As our students return to buildings, our top priority for hybrid learning is ensuring the health and safety of our educators, staff and students.
What protocols are we following?
- Department of Health guidelines (PDF)
- Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools (PDF).
How do we know our buildings are ready?
- Checklist is completed. To prepare for expanded in-person services for K-2 students, teams conducted building walkthroughs through all elementary schools to ensure all components for the BEA/BSD agreed upon in-person checklist (PDF) are in place. Each team consists of representation from building team members, verification lead, central office staff and BEA members.
- Staff safety lead at each school. Each school has staff designated as leads to promote the health and safety of students. Leads will be responsible for overall coordination of health and safety, health screenings, infection control, isolation (if necessary), health check follow-up, family contact, and monitoring student engagement data.
How have we prepared for a COVID-19 positive case in our buildings?
How we are keeping:
Keeping Our Educators, Staff and Students Safe
We start with our arrival and dismissal procedures, which are staggered to minimize crowding. Parents/guardians who drive students to school have a designated drop off/pick up area and should remain in their cars. Designated entry and exit points will be used to ensure physical distancing.
There is a health screening for all staff and students, every day. Students and staff must complete a health check each morning to attest they have no symptoms of COVID-19 or contacts with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 (paper copies are available if needed; the Health Check website is available in multiple languages). Staff will also perform a visual check to look for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. If a student or staff members exhibits any COVID-19-like symptoms, they will be asked to stay home. Teachers will take the temperature of students at the classroom door.
A wellness room (isolation space) will be available for students who experience symptoms at school while they await pick up.
All staff and students are expected to wear masks or 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 build in time for safe breaks.
Hand washing will be frequent. Students and staff will be required to wash or sanitize hands upon entering the building and will be asked to wash and/or sanitize hands frequently throughout the day.
We are limited the number of visitors in our schools. Visitors are limited to those deemed critical. Parents and guardians are not permitted on campus during in-person learning. Drop-off of items is limited to critical items only, such as medication. Drop-off of items deemed non-critical are prohibited (instruments, homework, projects, etc.).
Keeping our Buildings and Classrooms Safe
We know that our buildings and classrooms play a role in making sure we keep the people in them safe. Desks are spaced six feet apart, there are arrows directing staff and students one direction in our schools. We are limited the use of shared material and redesign instruction to minimize interactions within the 6-feet zone. Students will not be using lockers for the remainder of this school year.
Staff will wipe down high touch areas during transitions and between use of shared materials using Purell Surface Sanitization Wipes.
We have improved ventilation in our buildings. The flow of fresh air will be maximized throughout every building. In our older buildings, ventilation systems have been replaced and upgraded.
Cleaning and sanitation of our classrooms and buildings: We have implemented enhanced daily sanitization of high touch areas such as door handles, faucets, and railings. We are providing hand sanitizer stations throughout the school.
In the events of an active COVID-19 case in one of our buildings, we will use electrostatic sprayers for deeper cleaning. (Electrostatic spray uses a solution that is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. The pray contains positively charged particles that are able to aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects).
We have new COVID-19 signage in our buildings. Hallways and stairways are marked with one-way arrows to control flow of foot traffic and bell times have been staggered to limit the number of students in hallways at any given time. Posters have been hung to reinforce hand washing, physical distancing, and face coverings. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed throughout buildings. Drinking fountains have been covered and disabled.
Keeping Our Buses Safe
Students are required to wear masks or face coverings on our buses, and we are limited the number of riders.
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 opened when possible. Face coverings must be worn, and hand sanitizer will be available as students board the bus. Drivers will sanitize high touch areas with approved wipes and foggers.
If There Is a Positive Case, We Have 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. If a child is identified as being exposed to a positive COVID-19 case during the infectious period, they must quarantine at home for 14 days.
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, trained staff will lead contact tracing. All close contacts of the individual 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.