Safety and Operational Guidance

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Safety and Operational Guidance

The following guidelines are a result of the collaboration between staff, principals, and district administrators during summer 2020 and have 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.

Health and Safety

  • Social Distancing
    • Instructional plans are designed to reduce student-to-student contact and maintain appropriate social distancing (6 feet) to the greatest extent possible.
    • When social distancing is not possible, such as when students require support from staff (prompting, cueing, guiding, toileting, and physical safety management), additional PPE is available for staff for use in these situations. 
    • Students typically sit in assigned seats that are arranged 6 feet apart within the classroom. 
  • 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 occurs at various times throughout the day.
    • Proper handwashing signage is posted.
    • Proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use is explicitly taught and/or supervised.
    • 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. Face coverings do not need to be worn outside if social distance is maintained.”
      • Gaiters are not allowed. 
      • Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn.
    • The District 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.
    • 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.
  • Symptom Screenings
    • Staff will self-certify by entering the school building and following district protocols.  
    • Parents/guardians will certify their child(ren) and indicate that they are symptom free by responding on a daily basis to emailed prescreening questions.  Individuals 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.
    • Staff and students will have their temperature taken upon arrival to school using the temperature scanners. Staff are expected to monitor their own temperatures. 
      • If a temperature is above 100 degrees, students will report to the quarantine room. 
      • If a staff member’s temperature is above 100 degrees, they will report to the quarantine room during school hours. If prior to school hours, staff return to their vehicle and call the nurse for further directions once the nurse arrives. 
  • Drinking Fountains
    • Students and staff are discouraged from using drinking fountains and encouraged to bring refillable water bottles for use at school.
  • Illness and Diagnoses Monitoring  (See Parent Covid Frequently Asked Questions)
  • Mental Health
    • Students
      • Daily community-building activities are 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
    • Deep cleaning occurs each night, including disinfecting of floors, desks, tables, etc.
    • Disinfecting fog is 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.
  • 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 Westbrook, Fairview and Lions Park. This unit will reduce chemical odors, air pollutants, smoke, mold bacteria and viruses.
  • 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 discouraged.
    • Students are discouraged from bringing their own items from home for use at school.
    • Soft materials that require laundering should not be used. 
    • Staff members are encouraged to have materials for each student to use.
    • If students must share objects/materials, these materials are sanitized or will not be used for a specific amount of time.  

Movement within the Building

  • Hallways
    • Students and staff travel in small groups to allow for social distancing.
    • Markers are placed on the floors in the hallways to indicate social distancing (6 feet).
    • Due to students remaining in their cohorts, there are limited people in the hallways. 
  • Lockers/Cubbies
    • Lockers are not used at Lincoln.
    • Cubbies are used with sanitizing between use, in particular when the cubby is shared by multiple students. 
  • Restrooms
    • Breaks are scheduled to limit congregating in the restroom.
    • Young children are encouraged to encourage social distancing.

Administrative Office and Staff Workspaces/Lounge

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

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. 

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. 
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on the buses.
  • Buses will be emptied one at a time to avoid congregating.
  • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
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