• Back to School. Options, Answers and Expectations for School in the Pandemic.

Reducing the Spread: Precautions for Health

  • Reducing the risk of spreading the COVID-19 is our priority. From getting to class, to meals and participating in class, the district is taking steps to minimize transmission.

  • The cooperation of our families and employees is most important to reducing the risk for everyone.

    Therefore, we request all students, staff and others adhere to these fundamentals for health:

    • Do not come to school if you are sick or have any of the following symptoms that may be due to COVID-19, such as:
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Sore throat
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
    • Do not come to school if you or a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or is under investigation for COVID-19.
    • If you have had prolonged direct contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or have traveled internationally, by cruise ship, or to an area at high risk for transmission as indicated by state or local government officials, self-quarantine for 14 days.
    • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use hand-sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue (then dispose of the tissue).
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Practice social distancing. Maintain 6 feet of separation from other people when possible or practical.
    • When social distancing is not possible or practical, wear a face covering.
    • Avoid being in large groups in and out of school.

    Entering the school and getting to class

    We will implement a brief health safety check for all student and staff as they enter schools. The specific procedure for each school may be different. Please check with your school at orientation for details about your school’s process, and be patient with schools as they refine their practices through the first weeks of school. Your school’s process will include the following procedures:

    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. If a face covering is not appropriate due to an exceptionality or medical condition, the student will be provided with a clear plastic face shield. Reasonable accommodations will be made for exceptional education and medically fragile students as necessary.

    5. Handwashing and sanitizing
    Handwashing and/or hand sanitizing for all students will be required after students enter their classroom.

     

     

    Classroom prevention measures

    Students will spend most of their school day in their classrooms, and we are taking big steps to help minimize the risk of spreading the virus in the classroom environment. 

    Although classrooms are configured differently, here is what students and families can expect: 

    1. Socially distanced student workstations
      Schools will be moving unneeded furniture and other material out of classrooms to enable maximum student social distancing. Six feet is the objective but may not be possible in many classroom environments.

    2. Workstation shields 
      Students in grades three to five can expect to see some form of clear plastic shield on their desk. The shields will help create a barrier between adjacent students. Also, the shields enable turning desks to provide the barrier and enable small group activity.

    3. Plastic face shields for the youngest learners
      Our youngest learners in grades kindergarten through second grade will not be expected to be in a desk all day. They will be provided clear plastic face shields to provide a barrier while doing their classroom activities. A reasonable accommodation will be made if this solution is not appropriate due to a student’s exceptionality or medical condition.

    4. Barriers at tables
      Many tables in elementary classrooms that are used for small group learning will also feature plastic barriers between stations.

    5. Personal protective equipment and sanitizer
      Each teacher will have access to personal protective equipment such as gloves and hand sanitizer to use as needed. Students will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands often, including each time the enter or leave the classroom.


    Changing classes

    Schools will be taking steps to minimize classroom changes and control the directional flow of students in the hallway. Because hallways are not areas where social distancing is feasible, students will be required to wear their face covering in the hallway.

     

    Meal Service/Cafeteria 

    Maintaining a commitment to safe practices will be important during mealtimes. Schools have different cafeteria layouts and will implement procedures appropriate for their school. Below are general guidelines.

    1. Face coverings
      Face coverings will not be required while students are eating. However, while waiting in line to receive and pay for school meals, face coverings or face shields will be required.

    2. Social distancing
      Students' seating arrangements during meal service will be arranged for social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Students will be required to maintain social distance while in line.

    3. Meals in the classroom
      With the enforcement of social distancing, some cafeterias may not have the capacity to serve all students during normal breakfast and lunch service. 


      In these cases, breakfast or lunch may be served and consumed in the student’s classroom. In addition, meals may be eaten in other areas of the school such as outdoor patios (weather permitting) to enable social distancing. 

    4. Snack and supper service in After-School programs (if offered)

    Snack:

    Snack will be provided in a cooler.  The after-school monitor will pick up the cooler and distribute the snack to participants.

    Supper:

    Supper will be pre-plated in a container and placed in a bag with the milk. One group at a time will come through the line to maintain social distancing.  Students will be required to wear a face covering or face shield while waiting in line to obtain their meal.

     

    Face coverings

    Wearing face covering helps prevent the spread of the virus, helps protect others in the classroom and their loved ones, and is one of the most important things we can do to help get back to normal.   

    We will require students and staff to wear a face covering on buses, in common areas, and in classrooms with few exceptions. 

    We understand young people will occasionally want a short break from the face covering, which is why we are installing desk shields as an additional layer of protection in grades three to five. 

    Students with disabilities or medical conditions that prevent a face covering may also use a clear plastic shield or another reasonable accommodation. Face coverings will not be required in P.E., recess, band, music and other classes in which the facial covering is an obvious impediment to learning activities. 

    Our youngest children, pre-k to grade two, will be provided a facial shield and a face covering.  The face shield will also be appropriate for many children who have health issues that prevent a cloth face covering.

    Wearing the face covering or shield will not be a disciplinary issue unless it is a violation of the dress code because of the message displayed or because it does not meet the requirements we have established for appropriate facial coverings in a school environment.

     

    Medically vulnerable students

    Parents or guardians of medically vulnerable students should consult with their child’s health care provider to develop a safety plan for the student and work with the principal to guide procedures or other modifications necessary for the student.

     

    What will happen if COVID-19 cases impact a campus?

    Our school district works closely with the Florida Department of Health – Duval in managing all cases of infectious disease that impact a campus. We will follow that same protocol with COVID-19.

    Students and staff have a right to privacy with respect to any medical condition they might be encountering, including COVID-19. 

    General announcements about infected individuals will not be made. However, if instances of COVID-19 impact campus operations in any way, we will make appropriate announcements through the school.

    Medical professionals from the Department of Health determine who needs to know about specific COVID-19 infections. In collaboration with the Department of Health, we will specifically communicate with staff and with families of students based on direction from the Department of Health.  

     

    How will it be handled if an individual student needs to quarantine due to COVID-19?

    Each case will be handled individually, depending on the circumstances.  If the student is too ill to participate, he or she would be absent.  If the student will need to remain out of school for an extended period, he or she may qualify for Hospital/Homebound services.  If it is a matter of quarantine due to exposure but the student is otherwise healthy, the student could switch to Duval HomeRoom or some other option might be viable. Students and families should work with their school administration to develop the appropriate plan for each circumstance.  

     

    The following table outlines our decision matrix for shifting a class, school, or the district to temporary online instruction. 

     

    Procedural Matrix for COVID-19 Closures based on CDC Recommendations

    Classroom Closure

    Closure Threshold

     

    Student(s) or teacher(s) tested positive for COVID-19

     

     

    Reopening Threshold

     

    As recommended by DOH

     

     

    Closure Timeframe

     

    Approximately 14 days

     

     

    Disinfecting Procedures

     

    Close off and disinfect all areas used by the infected person per CDC guidelines using EPA-registered disinfectants

     

     

    Interim Instructional Delivery

    Duval HomeRoom

     

     

     

    School Closure

    Closure Threshold

     

    Due to school wide outbreak

     

     

    Reopening Threshold

     

    As indicated by the Surgeon General

     

     

    Closure Timeframe

     

    As indicated by the Surgeon General

     

     

    Disinfecting Procedures

     

    Close off and disinfect all areas used by the infected person per CDC guidelines using EPA-registered disinfectants

     

     

    Interim Instructional Delivery

     

    Duval HomeRoom

     

     

     

     

    Districtwide Closure

    Closure Threshold

     

    Substantial community transmission as indicated by city/government officials

     

     

    Reopening Threshold

     

    As indicated by city/government officials

     

     

    Closure Timeframe

     

    As indicated by city/government officials

     

     

     

    Disinfecting Procedures

     

    Close off and disinfect all areas used by the infected person per CDC guidelines using EPA-registered disinfectants

     

     

    Interim Instructional Delivery

     

    Duval HomeRoom

     

     

     

     

    Cleaning our schools

    We are implementing a sanitization plan specific to COVID-19. Cleaning and sanitization will be completed using products approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    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

     

    School Cleaning Protocols

    Daily      
    Common Areas Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization  of common touch points.  Examples include doors, handrails, guest seating, restroom touch points.
    Offices Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Following cleaning, the topical sanitization  of common touch points.  Examples include doors, handrails, guest seating, reception desks tops, light switches
    Classrooms Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day
    Media Center Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day
    Cafeteria Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day, and following meals Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points throughout the day; Following cleaning after breakfast and lunch, surface sanitization of tables, seating, handrails, etc.
    Gym and Field Houses Touch point Sanitization Daily as needed (if spaces are used) Topical sanitization of door handles and touch points as the spaces are used
    Restrooms Touch point Sanitization Daily, throughout school day Cleaning as required, then topical sanitization of door handles, toilet handles, faucets, sinks, light switches, soap dispensers, towel holders, etc.
           
    Nightly      
    Common Areas Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Topical sanitization of surfaces such as common seating, handrails, 
    Offices Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, common eating areas 
    Classrooms Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks, restrooms 
    Classrooms Misting of fabric or carpet Nightly, as needed Fine misting with approved sanitizer of carpeted areas, rugs, cloth seating, curtains, as needed.
    Media Center Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks, restrooms 
    Cafeteria Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of tables, seating, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks.  Mop hard surface floors with disinfectant 
    Gym and Field Houses Surface sanitization Nightly, as needed (If spaces are used) Following cleaning, the topical sanitization  of common touch points.  Examples include doors, handrails, bench seating, walls, light switches
    Restrooms Surface sanitization Nightly, after work/school hours Cleaning as required, then topical sanitization of door handles, toilet handles, faucets, sinks, light switches, soap dispensers, towel holders, etc.  Mop floors with disinfectant
           
    Weekly       
    Cafeteria Wash and sanitize walls Weekly, during deep cleaning or more frequently as needed Wash walls, then sanitize.
    Cafeteria Clean inside trash cans Weekly, during deep cleaning or more frequently as needed Wash out trash cans and sanitize
    All Areas Surface sanitization Weekly, when school is available during rotational schedules Following cleaning, the topical sanitization of desks, chairs, bookcases, tables, seating, plexiglass dividers (per manufacturer's instructions), trash cans, sinks.  Mop hard surface floors with disinfectant 
    School Extended Breaks    
    All Areas Deep Cleaning During Winter and Spring Breaks Deep cleaning of classrooms and common areas to include refreshing of floor wax as needed, dusting all areas, cleaning walls, doors, desks, tables, etc.
    All Areas Surface sanitization During Winter and Spring Breaks Following deep cleaning, topical sanitization of all areas