Areas of Consideration for Back to School

  • Practicing Prevention

    • Teach and reinforce good hygiene measures
    • Provide hand soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and no-touch trash cans in all bathrooms, classrooms, and frequently trafficked areas
    • Post signage on COVID-19 prevention & symptoms, good hygiene, and school/district specific protocols
    • Clean/disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
    • Turn off water fountains and provide bottled water or allow students and staff to bring water from home
    • Conduct deep cleaning before school reopens and on weekends, as needed


    Transporting Students

    • Provide hand sanitizer for students and bus drivers
    • Provide masks/facial coverings to bus drivers
    • Allow and encourage students to wear masks/facial coverings
    • Utilize spaced seating where possible
    • Eliminate field trips
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on the bus daily
    • Establish protocols for bus stops, loading/unloading students to minimize the congregation of children from different households


    Entering School Buildings

    • Post signage on COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, good hygiene, and school/system specific protocols
    • Require parents to check their children’s temperature before sending them to school
      • Require parents to keep sick children home if temperature over 100.4
    • Require school system employees to check their temperature before coming to work
    • Designate entrance and exit flow paths for each building
    • Establish a protocol for visitors (e.g. requesting use of face coverings and restrict non-essential visitors/volunteers)
    • Establish a protocol for student pick up/drop off


    Serving Meals

    • Allow and encourage student hand washing before and after meal service
    • Provide hand sanitizers for students and staff
    • Use disposable plates, utensils, and other similar items
    • Designate entrance and exit flow paths for cafeterias and serving lines
    • Conduct cleaning of cafeterias and high-touch surfaces throughout the day
    • Other possible options (grade-level appropriate):
      • Serving meals in classrooms
      • Pre-packaged/boxed lunches



    • Limit congregating between groups/grade levels
    • Provide additional time for transitions
    • Designate hallway flow paths to minimize/eliminate congregating
    • Stagger class changes


    Conducting Large Group Gatherings

    • Abide by the maximum number of people allowed to congregate as defined by the Governor’s current statewide Executive Order
    • Discourage the congregation of students in parking lots and common areas
    • Stagger the schedule, when possible, for large group gatherings, such as recess and school meals
    • Identify and utilize large spaces for social distancing
    • Follow GHSA guidelines for athletic events and practices


    Supporting Teaching & Learning

    • Use master schedule to balance class sizes
    • Remove unused desks and furniture in classrooms to maximize social distancing
    • Limit physical interaction through partner or group work
    • Establish distance between teacher and student desks/workspaces
    • Identify and utilize large spaces for social distancing


    Protecting Vulnerable Populations

    • Provide virtual learning opportunities for students and staff in vulnerable categories
    • Consider allowing special education students, where possible, to continue in-person instruction as these students often rely on daily routines and social interactions to address their individual learning needs
    • Adhere to state and federal employment law and extended leave allowances, as well as FERPA and HIPPA requirements
    • Consult with local board attorney and HR personnel to offer special accommodations for personnel who are members of vulnerable populations


    When a Child, Staff Member, or Visitor Becomes Sick at School

    • Identify an isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms
    • Establish protocols for safely transporting anyone who is sick home or to a healthcare facility
    • Notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality
    • Close off areas used by sick person and do not begin cleaning and disinfecting procedures for 24 hours, if possible
    • Advise students/staff who came into contact with the individual to stay home and follow appropriate DPH guidance


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