Frequently Asked Questions
Classroom prevention methods
Students spend most of their school day in their classrooms, which is why we take steps to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus in the classroom environment.
Here is what students and families can expect:
- Socially distanced student workstations
Six feet is the objective but may not be possible in many classroom environments.
- Workstation shields
Students in grades three to five have some form of clear plastic shield on their desk. The shields help create a barrier between adjacent students. Also, the shields enable turning desks to provide the barrier and enable small group activity.
- Plastic face shields for the youngest learners
Our youngest learners in grades kindergarten through second grade are not expected to be in a desk all day. They are provided clear plastic face shields to provide a barrier while doing their classroom activities. Reasonable accommodation are made if this solution is not appropriate due to a student’s exceptionality or medical condition.
- Barriers at tables
Many tables in elementary classrooms that are used for small group learning feature plastic barriers between stations.
- Personal protective equipment and sanitizer
Each teacher has access to personal protective equipment such as gloves and hand sanitizer to use as needed. Students are encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands often, including each time the enter or leave the classroom.
Note: Because hallways are not areas where social distancing is feasible, students will be required to wear their face covering in the hallway.
- Socially distanced student workstations
The district has implemented a sanitization plan specific to COVID-19.
The plan includes:
- Sanitizing high touch point areas such as door handles and bathroom fixtures throughout the day.
- Regular change of HVAC filters
- Misting of fabric or carpet with approved sanitizer
- Surface sanitization in evenings after work hours
- Fogging of spaces if required due to a person on campus being diagnosed with COVID-19
Cleaning and sanitization are completed using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Closing a classroom or school community
Closing a classroom (one of the three scenarios below):
- One person confirmed positive and two with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Two people or more confirmed positive and one or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Three people or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Closing a school:
- 20 percent of school reporting exposure to COVID-19. (Exposure is defined as prolonged direct contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.)
Please note that closing thresholds and timeframes are subject to change based on outcome of the contact investigation conducted by Florida Department of Health – Duval.
Entering the school
Health and safety checks are conducted at every school for all staff and students as they enter campus. Specific procedures may vary from school to school, but all will include the following:
1. Temperature check
Temperature screenings will be conducted upon arrival and as needed if a student is showing any signs of illness. If the student’s temperature is 100.4oF or greater, he or she will not be allowed to go to class. Students with a temperature of 100.4oF or greater will be guided to a room and the parent/guardian will be contacted. The parent/guardian is expected to pick the student up within one hour. If a parent/guardian cannot be reached, or has not arrived within one hour, the emergency contact person will be called to pick up that student. This process will be evaluated prior to Labor Day and may change in the future.
2. Healthy environment screening
Students of appropriate age will be asked to verify that they have not had exposure to persons known to have COVID-19 or traveled to an area know to be a high risk area before entering the building.
3. Social distancing while entering the building
Students will be asked to keep six feet of separation while waiting in line for temperature and health checks before entering school.
4. Face coverings
Students are required to wear face coverings while entering the building and in all common areas of the school, except while the student is eating.
5. Handwashing and sanitizing
Handwashing and/or hand sanitizing for all students will be required after students enter their classroom.
Face mask requirements
We require students and staff to wear a face covering on buses, in common areas, and in classrooms with few exceptions.
Additionally, face coverings are required for entering the school.
Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a face covering may also use a clear plastic shield or another reasonable accommodation.
Neck gaiters and masks with vents or valves are proving to be ineffective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the district is discouraging the wearing of these types of face coverings in school and on school buses. Students who wear these types of face coverings are provided with a disposable face covering for the day and will be expected to bring their district-issued or other appropriate face covering on future school days.
Note - The Governor’s action in September moving the state into phase three reopening did not change the district's face covering policy.
If COVID-19 enters a school community
Duval medical representatives worked with the school district and the Florida Department of Health to develop procedures in the event COVID-19 directly impacts a school community.
When a person in the school community tests positive for COVID-19:
- The Department of Health conducts contact tracing. The district supports the department with seating charts and other relevant information.
- Working together, the school and DOH will communicate personally with families whose students need to quarantine as result of the COVID-19 impact.
- Additionally, the school will send out a robo call to parents with a general notification of the COVID-19 impact. Note that no robocall will be made if the positive case does not impact the school. For example, a general robo call will not be made if a student doing online learning through Duval HomeRoom tests positive.
Closing a Classroom: The district is prepared to shift classes to fully online learning through Duval HomeRoom in three situations:
- With one person confirmed positive and two with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- With two people or more confirmed positive and one or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- With three people or more with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
Note: In all situations, those infected or showing symptoms must have a shared linkage such as prolonged direct contact in the classroom or bus within the last 96 hours. If a classroom is shifted for distance learning, the closure period is expected to be 14 days. The class and any related facilities (hallways, bathrooms) would be cleaned and disinfected.
- Closing a school:
- An entire school will be shifted to Duval HomeRoom if 20 percent of the school is reporting exposure to COVID-19. Exposure is defined as prolonged direct contact with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19. Based on the results of a Department of Health contact investigation, the school building closure could last between two and 14 days. The school would be cleaned and disinfected during that time.
Rapid Response Team
The district’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team consist of a group of nurses who work in partnership with the Florida Department of Health - Duval to rapidly respond to identified cases of COVID-19 in the school district.
Their duties include assisting the department with contact tracing and following up with students and employees who test positive for COVID-19.
The team also provides assistance to schools that do not currently have full-time medical staff. A weekly rotation allows them to visit each assigned school approximately 1-2 days per week.
Additional services provided by the COVID-19 Rapid Response Team include:
- Assisting schools with maintaining a tracking log of students and staff who present to the clinic and are sent home due to COVID-19 –like symptoms
- Increasing compliance with immunization requirements by communicating with parents of students who are not up to date on immunizations
- Providing basic first aid and attending to student health needs as indicated in the School Health Services Manual
- Administering prescription and non-prescription medication to students
- Collaborating with community partners to identify programs and resources to meet the physical and mental health needs of children and families during this global pandemic
Testing sites - employees
Rapid testing is available for symptomatic employees at the eight sites below. Note - sites are only for testing employees who are authorized by district staff due to being symptomatic.
- Atlantic Coast High School
- Ed White High School
- Englewood High School
- Fletcher High School
- Frank H. Peterson High School
- Ribault High School
- Terry Parker High School
- Parent Resource Center (Team B)
Testing sites - students
The City of Jacksonville and Duval County Public Schools partnered with Logistics Health to open student express lane at four testing sites. B
The sites are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Lane Wiley Senior Center
- 6710 Wiley Road
- Leroy D. Clemons Senior Center
- 55 N Jackson Avenue
- Mandarin Senior Center.
- 3848 Hartley Road
- Oceanway Senior Center
- 12215 Sago Ave. W.
Each location has the capacity to perform 192 tests per day and normally provide results in two days.
More info is available on the City of Jax website: https://www.coj.net/welcome/news/city-of-jacksonville,-duval-schools-expand-covid-1
- Lane Wiley Senior Center
Tracking COVID-19 cases
To keep families well-informed of COVID-19 impacts to their school communities, the district has created a COVID-19 dashboard: https://c19sitdash.azurewebsites.net/.
The dashboard shows the number of students and staff attending or working in brick-and-mortar schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
It is updated daily by approximately 10 p.m.
Visitors and volunteers
To minimize the risk of COVID-19 entering a school campus, school volunteers and visitors will not be permitted beyond the school's front office.