Health and Safety Precautions

health and safety precautions

We are taking every precaution we can to try to keep our students and our staff safe during this COVID-19 pandemic. The specific details might vary a little between buildings, because of differences in things like layouts, schedules and grade levels.

This plan is likely to change as more information becomes available and as we continue to follow the latest guidance of public health officials. We will notify you when we update our plans.

Last update: June 1

Health and Safety Precautions

screening for symptoms

 

 

Screening for Symptoms:
Students and staff must stay home if they are sick, so they should screen for illness before coming to school and work each day: 

  • Fever or chills 
    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a fever is 100.4 F or greater. 
  • Cough 
  • Rash 
  • Sore throat 
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing  
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Fatigue 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle or body aches 
  • Loss of taste or smell 
     
exposure
 

Exposure to Covid-19: 
If students or staff members feel healthy but have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19, they need to stay home and monitor their health until 10 days after their last exposure if they are not fully vaccinated. Families should notify their child's principal, and employees should notify their supervisor of the exposure. 

     
masks
  Masks:
We strongly recommend masks for students and staff, regardless of age or vaccination status. We will no longer enforce the wearing of masks or remind anyone to wear them properly. Gerner will continue to wear masks until June 7.  

Because we will no longer have a mask mandate, we will no longer qualify for the state’s exemption from quarantining people who were masked. Therefore, if someone gets directly exposed to COVID-19, even if they were wearing a mask, we will have to quarantine them for 10 days. Fully vaccinated people and people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three months will not need to quarantine.  

We will continue to monitor the data about COVID-19 cases and exposures, as well as community data. If we see a significant increase, we will reverse this decision about masks and bring back this requirement and other mitigation strategies. 

We are not ready to make a final decision about what our health and safety precautions will look like in the fall, but we will let everyone know as soon as we have that answer. 

     
transportation
 

Transportation:  
Please consider taking your child to school instead of sending them on the bus. We will not be able to provide physical distancing on the buses, but we will take as many precautions as possible: 

  • Buses are considered public transportation, therefore students and drivers are required to wear masks. 
  • Drivers will wear masks when parked at schools and when students are boarding and getting off the bus. 
  • We will provide hand sanitizer. 
  • We will open windows when possible. 
  • First Student will train drivers about health and safety precautions for COVID-19. 
  • First Student will create assigned seats for students riding the bus, with siblings sitting together when possible. The seat behind the driver will remain empty. 
  • When possible, First Student will assign drivers to a single bus and route.  
     
quarantines
  Quarantines:
Because we will no longer have a mask mandate, we will no longer qualify for the state’s exemption from quarantining people who were masked. Therefore, if someone gets directly exposed to COVID-19, even if they were wearing a mask, we will have to quarantine them for 10 days. Fully vaccinated people and people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three months will not need to quarantine. 
     
testing
  Testing: 
We will still provide free, optional antigen testing this summer for students and staff. Families of students who have symptoms should contact their school nurses, who can help them request and schedule a test. Staff members who have symptoms should contact their supervisors and then call the testing site. 

     
physical distance
 

Physical Distancing:
We will take steps to promote physical distancing, although we cannot keep everyone three to six feet apart. This could look different at each school, due to the difference in the spaces, and it could include . . . 

  •  Staggering the use of common spaces, including the cafeteria, playground and other areas
  • Continue to use cohorts and maintain six feet of distance between cohorts when possible
    Rearranging furniture and equipment to move students farther apart 
  •  Modifying passing periods 
  •  Changing arrival and dismissal procedures 
     
handwashing   Handwashing:
Throughout the day, we will encourage hand washing, and we will also supply hand sanitizer in every classroom. Students and staff members must wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after meals and recess. We will also teach proper etiquette for preventing respiratory illness, including covering your cough and not touching your face.
     
cleaning   Cleaning:  
We are cleaning high-touch surfaces and shared objects at least once a day. We will provide wipes and spray bottles with disinfectant in every classroom. 

     
visitors    Visitors: 
During this time, the only visitors we can allow in our schools are people who are there to work, like substitute teachers and repair workers. 

If you need to bring something to the school, you will need to stay in the front office, and we will ask you to follow physical distancing rules. We will also work with families when we need to have meetings for students’ individual education programs (IEPs), 504 plans and individual health plans (IHPs). If you need to drop off medication, please make an appointment with the health room before coming to the school. 

     
outside food   Outside Food: 
If families or teachers would like to purchase birthday treats for their students, please work through our Nutrition Services department.   
     
food service    Food Service:  
The Nutrition Services staff is keeping up with the latest federal, state and local guidelines for preparing and serving meals. They will serve students instead of having several self-serve options. The only things students will serve themselves are packaged foods. 

To create more physical distancing, each school will work to spread students out and provide meal schedules that allow students to wash their hands before and after eating.  

     
sharing supplies   Sharing Supplies:  
We will reduce sharing of school supplies, and we will sanitize the supplies we must share. Each student should have their own school supplies for their own personal use. 

     
facilities   Facilities:  
Our facilities will be open to outside groups to reserve beginning June 1, 2021. 

     
water   Water:  
We are asking students and staff members to please come to school and work with a water bottle, if possible. Our water fountains will be on. 

     
large gatherings
  Large Gatherings:  
We are not hosting assemblies or field trips, but schools can host certain large events outside.

     
special education   Special Education:  
We are including health and safety precautions as we work with each student’s IEP. We also make changes to 504 plans when necessary to meet students’ needs.