Looking Forward Plan

Looking Forward Back to School 2021-2022

Looking Forward Plan

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  1. Face Coverings Recommended but Not Required (updated effective 12/8/2021)

  2. Screening, Isolation and Quarantine

  3. Notification of a COVID Exposure

  4. Vaccinations

  5. Physical Distancing

  6. Hand Hygiene

  7. Disinfection

  8. Ventilation

  9. Visitors

  10. Field Trips

  11. Athletics and Activities

  12. Foreign Exchange Students

  13. Facility Rentals

  14. Meals

  15. Transportation

 
We believe that what our students need most right now is a return to school with as much consistency and normalcy as possible within a safe environment. And that is a big reason we developed layered COVID protocols for the 2021-2022 school year.

We ask for the continued partnership, patience and flexibility of our families, students and staff as we do our very best to balance a return to a more normal schedule with keeping our students and employees healthy and in school.  

In addition to the protocols listed below, DCSD continues to encourage families to keep students at home when showing symptoms of illness.

 

A. Face Coverings (recommended but not required)

Effective December 8, 2021, DCSD’s mask requirement is no longer in effect. DCSD will honor personal and parent choice with regard to mask-wearing at school. There are, however, a couple of exceptions:

  • Consistent with a federal public health order, students and staff are still required to wear face masks on school buses.

  • As recognized in the Board of Education’s resolution and by the Douglas County Board of Health, masking may be required in individualized circumstances as an accommodation under the ADA, Section 504, or the IDEA. Students, staff, and volunteers should continue to bring masks to school in the event they may be needed. In the case that masks are needed in certain situations to protect an individual with an accommodation under the ADA, Section 504, or the IDEA, it will be done in a manner that impacts the fewest number of individuals as possible and will additionally respect students and staff who for medical reasons cannot tolerate a mask.

Families needing accommodations related to ADA, 504 or IDEA should work with their school principal on determining potential plans and next steps. DCSD staff may submit accommodation requests via this form.


Face Coverings Required on School Buses

  • Face coverings must be worn by all staff and students (regardless of vaccination status) on DCSD school buses in alignment with a federal CDC mandate which is currently still in place. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), anyone utilizing public transportation must wear a face covering at all times. This includes school buses.

 

B. Screening, Isolation and Quarantine

Screening

DCSD continues to encourage families to keep students at home when showing symptoms of illness.

COVID Symptom Screen Return To Learn Guidance


Testing

Routine testing is currently not available in our schools, however, DCSD continues to explore the possibility of additional testing options in partnership with the Douglas County Health Department and Jogan Health Solutions. Currently, there are a variety of free testing options in our community. In addition, the state offers families and staff access to free, at-home rapid testing kits.


Isolation

Isolation separates those who are infected from those who are not.

Generally, if an individual has tested positive for COVID, or is demonstrating symptoms commonly associated with COVID they will be asked to isolate in alignment with guidance from the CDC, CDPHE and Douglas County Health Department. Recently updated guidance from the CDC reduces the recommended time in isolation for those in the general population with COVID-19 from 10 to 5 days. Assuming the individual is asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours) they may end isolation after the 5-day period but should wear a mask when around others for an additional five days. Per the CDC, this change is based on data showing that the majority of COVID-19 transmission occurs early in the course of illness.

Learning During Isolation
Isolated students will be provided with learning opportunities until they are able to return to the classroom.

  • Schools should adhere to current procedures and policies in regards to student absences and make-up work.

  • Consistency in practice is encouraged based on school procedures.

  • Students will not be penalized for missing class because of a required isolation.

Quarantine

Quarantine keeps someone potentially exposed to those with the virus away from others.

Quarantines will continue to happen only in cases of outbreaks. In the case of an outbreak at a school, in a classroom, etc. (to be determined in consultation with the Douglas County Department of Health and Jogan Health) students and staff who are determined to be a close contact of an individual who is positive for COVID may be required to quarantine. In that situation, quarantine would only occur if an unvaccinated (or not fully vaccinated) person was determined to be a close contact of someone who tested positive and was not willing to test on day 5. Exposed and unvaccinated individuals would have an option to test for COVID on day five following exposure, and then remain in school if the test is negative. A fully vaccinated individual* who is asymptomatic would not need to quarantine or take a COVID test to attend school. However, if a fully vaccinated individual was showing symptoms commonly associated with COVID, they would need to stay home until they are fever free, and symptoms have subsided.

*Per CDPHE and CDC: For those who have been exposed to COVID-19, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by mask use for an additional five days for people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second Pfizer or Moderna dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and have not yet received a third dose (or second dose if receiving J&J). Alternatively, for those persons for whom a five days quarantine is not feasible, wearing a well-fitting mask around others for ten days is acceptable. People who have recently completed their primary vaccination series (within six months of their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna, or within two months of their J&J dose) or who have received their third dose (or second dose if receiving J&J) do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure. Regardless of vaccination status, CDC recommends testing on day 5 after exposure or immediately if symptoms develop.

C. Notification of a COVID Exposure

DCSD will notify the Douglas County Health Department and Jogan Health Solutions of all positive cases and exposures and the Douglas County Health Department will notify DCSD of all positive test results.

Families and staff in a school or program where a COVID exposure occurred will be notified by their school or program via email so they may monitor their children for symptoms and access a COVID test, if desired. There is also a DCSD COVID tracker available on our DCSD website where positive cases at the individual school level can be viewed. This data is updated frequently.

D. COVID Vaccinations

COVID vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to avoid becoming ill with COVID and missing valuable learning time. We will continue to provide our families with information about upcoming vaccination clinics and testing sites in our community. COVID vaccination information is available on our school district website. However, there is no vaccination mandate in place for DCSD students or staff. 

E. Physical Distancing

  • DCSD schools will continue to maximize our indoor learning spaces to the best of our ability in order to maintain physical distance between students, and where possible will make available additional space for those who want/need more distance while learning.

  • Schools will work to take advantage of the warmer-weather days to include outdoor spaces as learning locations.

  • During lunch times, students will be distanced to the greatest extent possible within the lunchroom.

  • Persons should stay home when experiencing any other acute illness and refer to their healthcare provider for medical care as needed.

F. Hand Hygiene

  • DCSD will continue to encourage good hand hygiene, such as reminding students to wash hands after using the restroom, before meals, etc., and provide access to hand sanitizer stations.


G. Disinfection

  • Touch points (i.e. door knobs, light switches, etc.) will continue to be disinfected throughout all buildings on a daily basis.

  • School buses will continue to be disinfected twice daily.

  • Teachers and staff will continue to have access to disinfectant supplies, including disinfecting spray, available to them to clean high touch areas regularly if desired.


H. Ventilation

  • The circulation of outdoor air within district buildings, via mechanical systems, will continue to be increased.

  • Every classroom in DCSD neighborhood, magnet, alternative and special education schools have air purifiers. The air purifiers provided by DCSD are designed to filter the air in a 1,400 square foot classroom every hour. As a result, with the typical DCSD classroom of 700 - 900 square foot, the air is being filtered approximately every half hour.

    Filters will be regularly cleaned and replaced per the manufacturer’s recommendations. School Building Engineers will perform these duties. The manufacturer recommends changing the filters annually, which DCSD will abide by. Each unit came with an additional filter therefore we have filters to cover a two year period to start.

    All Alen Air Purifiers use medical-grade True HEPA (H13) filters, which exceed standard by capturing 99.99% of airborne particles down to 0.1 microns, including allergens, dust, mold, bacteria, aerosolized viruses, and more.

    HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are proven to be the most effective air purifying technology available today. HEPA air filters were actually designed by the U.S. Military in the 1940s. Today's HEPA filters are used in high-tech clean rooms and hospitals, and they are recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as means of removing harmful airborne particles. Typical HEPA filtration systems can trap 99.97% of particles larger than 0.3 microns.


I. Visitors

  • In the 2021-2022 school year, visitors are permitted in schools. 

  • Regardless of vaccination status, anyone who is feeling ill, has tested positive for COVID, or experiencing symptoms commonly associated COVID should refrain from visiting any DCSD school buildings in alignment with isolation guidance listed earlier in this document (Section B).


J. Field Trips

  • Field trips, including out of state trips resumed in 2021-2022.


K. Athletics and Activities

  • Athletics and activities resumed normal processes in 2021-2022 and will coordinate with CHSAA and governing bodies on COVID protocols.


L. Foreign Exchange Students Permitted

  • Foreign exchange programs resumed in 2021-2022.



M. Facilities Rentals

  • Facilities rentals resumed as normal in 2021-2022.



N. Meals

  • Universal Free Meals continue throughout the 2021-2022 school year! This means that for all schools where DCSD Nutrition Services operates, the USDA has extended meals at no cost through June 30, 2022.

  • Families are still encouraged to complete a Meal Benefits application online at www.myschoolapps.com. Those approved for this program become eligible for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program benefits, and waived school fees and transportation fees.

  • More information about all of this can be found on our website.



O. Bus Transportation

  • Face coverings must be worn by all staff and students (regardless of vaccination status) on DCSD school buses in alignment with a federal CDC mandate which is currently still in place.

  • Transportation will generally be provided to students who attend their assigned home school and live further than approximately one mile for elementary students and approximately two miles for middle and high school students.

  • Students who have a SMARTag bus pass from last year do not need to re-enroll or request a new card. Please remember not to punch holes in the cards as this will make them inactive.

  • Students who will be getting their first bus pass this year will get those passes from the bus drivers. Students can ride at the start of the school year until all passes have been issued.

  • To find your bus route and transportation information, please visit the Transportation page on the district website.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.

NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to [email protected]