Safety and Operational Guidance

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Safety and Operational Guidance

The following guidelines are a result of collaboration between staff, principals, and district administrators throughout the course of the 2020-21 school year and has been updated with any additional guidance or as new circumstances arise. Aspects of discussion and joint effort were produced as a result of feedback from students, families, staff, and administrators, in the form of surveys, focus groups, review of remote learning research and practices, and guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. We uphold the statement from ISBE that, “Underpinning these recommendations is the need for resilience, critical and creative thinking, thoughtful responsiveness, and empathy to help ensure that students continue to grow personally, academically, and linguistically.” The focus of Operational Planning is on the health and safety of students and staff.

Revised - March 29, 2021

Health and Safety

  • Social Distancing
    • Instructional plans should be designed to reduce student-to-student contact and maintain appropriate social distancing, which is most recently defined by IDPH as 3-6 feet, with 6 feet being the safest and 3 feet being the minimum while masked. When social distancing is not possible, such as when students require support from staff (prompting, cueing, guiding, toileting, and physical safety management), additional PPE will be available for staff for use in these situations. 
    • Students will sit in assigned seats that are arranged in a manner that allows for a minimum of 3 feet of social distancing between students.  If possible, the desks should be arranged to be facing in the same direction.  
  • Hand Hygiene
    • Students and staff regularly wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Where handwashing cannot occur, students and staff should use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. 
    • Handwashing or sanitizing should occur at various times throughout the day.
    • Proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use is explicitly taught.
    • Limited individuals touch door handles to avoid contamination.
  • Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment
    • In accordance with the Part 3 Guidance issued by ISBE/IDPH: “Face coverings must be worn at all times in school buildings even when social distancing is maintained.” The district advises students and staff to keep their face coverings on at all times, with the exception of eating lunch. 
      • Gaiters are not allowed. 
      • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn.
    • Parents will be asked to provide masks for their child. District 57 will supply students and staff with face masks if unable to supply their own.  
    • Students and staff who obtain a medical exemption from a doctor are not required to wear a face mask.
      • If a medical exemption is obtained, the District will supply face shields.
      • Students with a mask exemption must be seated 6 feet away from other students at all times. 
    • For staff who must have close contact with students to address student needs, face shields and other PPE will be supplied by the District.
    • Staff will problem solve with families when students are resistant to wearing face masks, but do not have a medical exemption, by developing social stories and pre-teaching the expectation. 
  • Symptom Screenings
    • Staff will self-certify by following district protocols. 
    • Parents/guardians will certify their child(ren) that they are symptom-free and fever-free by responding on a daily basis to prescreening questions on Raptor.   
    • Individuals (both staff and students) who exhibit symptoms or who have been in contact with an individual with symptoms will be referred to a medical provider for evaluation and/or treatment, and will be provided with information about when they can return to school.
    • Per IDPH guidance, students will no longer receive a temperature check upon arrival to school. 
  • Drinking Fountains
    • Students and staff will not be allowed to drink from drinking fountains. They will be allowed to refill their water bottles at the drinking fountains. 
  • Illness and Diagnoses Monitoring 
    • (See Parent Covid Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Mental Health
    • Students
      • Daily community-building activities will be conducted to support students.
      • Social Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction and support pertaining specifically to the pandemic may be needed and determined by teachers.
      • Additional supports and services will be available if families and staff determine a student has significant needs.
 

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Schoolwide
    • A deep cleaning will occur each night, including disinfecting of floors, desks, tables, etc.
    • Disinfecting fog will be sprayed on high touch surfaces (door handles, handrails, etc.) each night.
    • Facility Supervisors and day custodians will use electrostatic sprayers to disinfect all of the desks in the classrooms in between the am and pm shift for Circle of Friends and Kindergarten, which are half-day programs.
    • Students may sanitize surfaces with a disinfecting wipe if appropriate
  • Ventilation
    • The frequency of filter changes will be increased.
    • Staff may open windows to increase airflow. 
    • Staff members are encouraged to leave classroom doors open while occupied to increase airflow and limit door handle touching, including when staff members are not in the room. 
    • A photohydroionization component is installed in air handling units at all schools. This unit reduces chemical odors, air pollutants, smoke, mold bacteria and viruses.
    • Air purifiers/fans will be provided for windowless spaces or spaces with poor ventilation
  • Classrooms
    • If a student is suspected of COVID-19, once the student has been removed from the classroom, the area will be immediately disinfected. 
    • Hand sanitizer will be available outside every one to two classrooms. 
    • Staff will be provided with hand sanitizer, wipes, and classroom cleaning/disinfecting supplies in each classroom. 
  • Shared Objects/Materials
    • Students sharing objects or materials is generally discouraged.
    • Soft materials that require laundering should not be used, as they are less easily sanitized. 
    • Staff members are encouraged to have materials for each student to use, whenever possible. 
    • If students must share objects/materials, they will be sanitized, wiped down with disinfecting wipes, or will not be reused for a specific period of time.  

Movement within the Building

  • Hallways
    • Students and staff should maintain social distancing when traveling within the school.
    • Lincoln Middle School will implement a staggered bell schedule to allow for only one grade level transitioning in the hallways at one time. 
  • Lockers/Cubbies
    • Lockers will not be used at Lincoln.
    • If cubbies are used, sanitization will occur in between cohort use. 
  • Restrooms
    • Procedures are in place to limit congregation in restrooms. 
  • Shared spaces (gym, specials, lunchroom, related services, specialists/therapists, etc.)
    • Seating charts will be strictly enforced in all shared spaces to document where individuals are seated to enable accurate contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. 
    • Social distancing will be maintained at a minimum of 3 feet.
  • Push-In Services
    • Predictable schedules of push-in services should be provided to the health office and building administration

Administrative Office and Staff Workspaces/Lounge

  • Administrative Office
    • Plexiglass will be placed between office staff and between office staff and visitors.
    • Visitors will be limited within the school building. 
    • When a child is dropped off or picked up, parents will not enter the building.

Recess

Elementary
  • Students and staff will sanitize hands before and after recess.
  • Masks will be required. 
  • Social distancing will be implemented. 
  • Students will have designated spaces to play at recess in order to limit cohort-mixing. 
  • If there is a positive COVID-19 case, the entire class may need to quarantine, due to the nature of recess and challenge in documentation of exposure. 
  • Playground equipment will be available by a rotating class schedule.
  • Playground equipment will be sanitized daily.
 
Lincoln
  • Students and staff will sanitize hands before and after recess.
  • Masks will be required. 
  • Social distancing will be implemented. 
  • If there is a positive COVID-19 case, the entire class may need to quarantine, due to the nature of recess and challenge in documentation of exposure. 
  • Playground equipment will be sanitized daily.

Playground

  • Staff may take students outside for face masks breaks.
  • Students and staff should maintain social distancing (6 feet) while outside with face masks off. 
  • Face masks must be worn until the student is outside and stored in a paper bag labeled with the student’s name. 
    • Before removing the face mask, the student will use hand sanitizer. 
    • Before entering the building, the student will use hand sanitizer prior to putting on their face mask. 
  • If using playground equipment, students should wash hands before and after use. 
  • Playground equipment will be sanitized daily. 

Music, Chorus and Band

 
  • 6 feet distance between students, masked, students may sing
  • If the students are outside and there is 6 feet of distance between students, students may remove their masks

Transportation

  • Buses will be limited to 50 people, including the bus driver. 
  • Students will be assigned seats on the bus for everyday use.
  • Face masks will be available if a student loses or forgets their mask. 
  • Buses will be emptied one at a time to avoid congregating.
  • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Snacks

  • No snacks except for students with specific health needs, in collaboration with the building nurse. 

Lunchroom

  • Students will be seated 6 feet away from one another. 
  • Students will be assigned seats, facing in the same direction.
  • Students with food allergies may be seated separately.
  • Extra sanitizing stations will be provided in areas where the students are eating.
  • Students may go home for lunch.
  • Students will pick up a partition for their eating area and wipe it down prior to returning it. 
  • Students can assist with wiping down surfaces.  However, students can not use spray bottles at any time. 
  • Milk will not be distributed to most students.  Students who are eligible for lunch assistance will receive milk as a part of their lunch.

Physical Education

  • Outdoor activities are highly encouraged. 
  • Students will use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the PE rooms/areas.
  • Locker rooms will not be used.
  • Students will wear face masks while participating in activities.
  • Equipment will be sanitized between sessions/student use.
  • Students will participate in the activities in pods, or specified groups as much as possible, with as much consistency as possible in order to provide for contact tracing.
  • Social distancing of 3 feet will be maintained as much as possible.

Sports

  • See guidelines above.
  • Refer to Restore Illinois All Sports Policy.
  • Parents should stay in their cars during drop-off and pick-up.
  • No snacks
  • Students will be socially distanced during locker room times.

After-School Activities/Clubs

  • Students will be socialially distanced.
  • Masks will be worn at all times.
  • Volunteers will be limited and have safety training
  • Parents should stay in their cars during drop-off and pick-up.
  • Organizers will work with building administration to determine what events can be safely held in Spring 2021.

PTO Sponsored Activities

  • PTOs will work with building administration to determine what events can be safely held in Spring 2021.
  • Students will be socialially distanced.
  • Masks will be worn at all times.
  • Volunteers will be limited and have safety training
  • Parents should stay in their cars during drop-off and pick-up.

School-Sponsored Special Events

  • Students will be socialially distanced.
  • Masks will be worn at all times.
  • Volunteers will be limited and have safety training
  • Parents should stay in their cars during drop-off and pick-up.
  • Organizers will work with building administration to determine what events can be safely held in Spring 2021.
 
 
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