Health and Safety in Stage Two
Prekindergarten and priority populations are returning to voluntary in-person attendance beginning September 16, 2020.
We are excited to welcome back our first small groups of students, who have been invited and have accepted, for in-person learning on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. As Washington County Public Schools (WCPS) gradually returns students to classrooms, we would like to share more information about our efforts to promote safety and wellness in our schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will require everyone in our learning community - families, students, and staff - to follow and support these health protocols. WCPS has worked closely with the Washington County Health Department, and we have followed national guidance in developing these standards.
Following the Health Department’s guidance, WCPS expects families and staff to conduct daily home screenings before coming to school. This includes monitoring your child’s health for COVID-19 symptoms, including:
- fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your child has a new onset of any two or more of these symptoms, your child and other students in the same household should stay home and seek a professional medical assessment.
Fever Guidelines: if a child has a fever at home and/or at school, he/she is to remain home until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
If a student has traveled or will be traveling for personal reasons,
the parent/guardian should report this information to the student's school principal.
Face coverings are required to be worn by all students and staff throughout the school day. This includes all time in WCPS buildings, on buses, and in vehicles.
- If a student forgets a face covering, a cloth or disposable mask will be provided to them.
- All face coverings should cover the nose, mouth, and chin properly. If the school determines that the face covering is not adequate, a cloth or disposable mask will be provided to the student.
- If a student refuses to wear a mask, this will be addressed by an administrator. Staff will initially approach wearing a face covering as a learning opportunity to help younger students adjust.
- If a student is medically unable to wear a face covering, medical documentation is required for review by the school health staff. School health staff will confer with their manager and the WCPS health coordinator to make a determination of additional safety precautions that may be required. This decision will be communicated to the school/staff and/or family a minimum of 48 hours before the student may attend school in person.
- Students must wear a mask if standing within six feet of others at bus stops, and students must wear masks on the bus.
- No more than 24 students will ride a bus, with one student in each seat. Students in the same household may sit together, and this will still count toward the total.
- Schools will be contacting parents regarding bus routes & pick-up/drop-off times.
- Buses will drop off students in a manner that provides safe physical distancing, and students will go directly to their classrooms or where directed. At the end of the day, students will dismiss in a manner that provides safe physical distancing.
- One-way directional arrows will be displayed where possible to limit cross-traffic.
- Students will not be assigned lockers, based on space and capacity; students will carry their belongings with them throughout the day.
- Food will be served and may be consumed in the cafeteria. Students may remove their masks for lunch, but they will be seated at tables at least six feet apart. Students will remove their masks to eat and put them back on when finished.
- Students who do not bring a lunch will be provided a free meal through the continuation of our meal site program.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Schools are equipped with adequate supplies of hand soap and hand sanitizer. Teachers will make time during the day for students and staff to wash their hands regularly, especially before and after leaving classrooms.
- Classrooms and desks will be cleaned daily.
- Desks will be disinfected between student use.
- Each classroom will have a disinfectant spray bottle with paper towels.
- Each classroom will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day.
- Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected periodically during the instructional day.
- Only one student from each class will be allowed to use the restroom at a time
- In addition to face coverings, students and staff are expected to keep six feet of physical distance between themselves and others.
- Schools may identify outside locations where students can be at least 10 feet apart to take “mask breaks” during the day.
- All classroom seating will be spread out to ensure physical distancing of six feet. The diagram below is an example of a classroom arrangement.
Recess and Outdoor Time
- WCPS will continue recess for elementary students during the school day.
- Staff will sanitize equipment as much as possible, and students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before returning to class.
- Students are expected to wear masks outside.