Health and Safety Mitigation Measures

Health and Safety Mitigation Measures


The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. DCSD worked in collaboration with our Restart and Recovery Task Force to create a restart plan which will guide us in welcoming students back to school, while taking necessary precautionary measures to keep students safe. Our plan will focus on the following main health and safety guidelines.

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Physical Distancing Icon
Physical Distancing

  • Six (6) feet of social distancing should be maintained between all individuals when possible (per CDE guidelines, 3-foot distancing still provides substantial benefits and is acceptable when a variety of mitigation protocols are in place).
  • Seating charts will be created and students will be in assigned seats throughout the day as possible.
  • Potential one way hallways will be set up in schools where possible.
  • Specific building entry/exits will be designated.
  • Elementary schools will implement staggered recess times.
  • Middle and high schools will limit or discontinue use of lockers; time will be limited in-between classes.
  • There will be no assemblies, performances or other all-school gatherings.


Face CoveringsFace Coverings Icon

  • Staff - REQUIRED
    Face coverings over the nose and mouth are required indoors including during in-person instruction and while with other adults (including faculty lounges) unless a staff member cannot medically tolerate a face covering. Face coverings are available upon request, and in appropriate circumstances, face shields will be made available.
  • Students (all ages) - REQUIRED
    Cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth are required for all students except during outdoor recess and exercise activities where appropriate distancing can be maintained, and while eating meals, unless the student has a documented and approved health or education reason for not wearing a face covering. DCSD will provide face coverings upon request.

    Face coverings should be removed during nap times and when younger children cannot be directly observed. Face coverings should be designed so students can remove them without assistance. DCSD will provide face coverings and/or face shields upon request.
  • On Buses: All students are required to wear face coverings while on DCSD school buses. Face coverings or face shields are required, unless proper physical distancing can be maintained, or mitigating circumstances preclude use.
  • DCSD will provide face coverings to students or staff who need them.




Daily Symptom ChecksDaily Symptom Checks Icon

  • Staff and students will be required to complete a daily symptom check at home before arriving at work or school. Each day they are at a DCSD building, staff and students will enter their current temperature and answer a few symptom questions (such as cough, sore throat, etc.) into a form each day. Those with a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher will be asked to stay home or return home.

    View the CDC's guidance on Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19
  • Should a student or staff member begin to feel ill during the school day, they will be asked to return home.



Handwashing and SanitizingHandwashing and Sanitizing Icon

  • Students and staff will be encouraged and reminded to wash hands regularly; use hand sanitizer; avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth; and properly cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Classroom teachers, school nurses and school counselors will continue to educate students on the importance of handwashing to prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Students will have dedicated time to wash their hands before eating and when returning inside from recess.
  • Bathroom soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers will be checked frequently and refilled as needed.
  • Posters will be displayed in and around bathrooms and wash areas reminding students and staff of the importance of handwashing.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located in a variety of areas around each school and will be checked frequently and refilled as needed.



Cleaning, Disinfecting, and VentilationCleaning and Disinfecting Icon

  • Touch points (i.e. door knobs, light switches, etc.) will be disinfected throughout all buildings on a daily basis.
  • School buses will be disinfected twice daily.
  • Teachers and staff will have disinfectant supplies, including disinfecting spray, available to them to clean high touch areas regularly.
  • Staff will limit sharing of student and staff supplies, utensils, devices, toys, learning aids, etc.
  • The circulation of outdoor air within district buildings, via mechanical systems, will be increased.



Protocols for Isolation, Quarantine, and Outbreak

  • If a student or staff member shows symptoms of, or tests positive for COVID-19, DCSD has clear protocols in place to minimize exposure, including isolation and quarantine protocols. 
  • Do not come to school or work if:
    • If a student or staff member feels ill.

    • If a student or staff member has a fever above 100.0.

  • Isolation is for those who have symptoms, who are sick, or who have tested positive and separates those who are infected from those who are not:

    Isolate when:
    • A student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19 with a positive test result.
      or
    • Has symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. COVID-like symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, fever, loss of taste/smell, fatigue, headache, sore throat, muscle or body aches, congestion/runny nose, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea. School nurses can help determine if symptoms are or are not COVID-like.
      or
    • A student or staff member feels ill and believes they may have COVID-19.

    • The school leader must notify their school nurse and Executive Director of Schools immediately if they have a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or beginning isolation.
      • Executive Director of Schools will immediately start a text string with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, themselves, the Principal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Personalized Learning Officer, Public Information Officer, and Director of Operations & Maintenance

      • Nursing/health services contacts the Tri-County Health Department. These officials will help DCSD determine a course of action for the school(s) impacted.

    Isolate until:
    • Student or staff member has had no fever for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fevers.
      and
    • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved).
      and
    • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

    If isolation begins during the school day:
    • Isolate the student or staff member in a designated sick area in their building until they can safely return home.

    • The designated sick area will be separated from routine care/medication administration to the best degree possible.

    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be available for staff monitoring a sick student or staff member. Staff monitoring should wear a mask and face shield (both) and gloves. Parents will be contacted and asked to pick up their sick student. Schools will ask parents to have a list of people available to pick up a sick child if needed.

    • Provide the parent of the student or staff member information on how to access COVID-19 testing.

  • Exposure

    Exposure is defined as having close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (referred to as a confirmed case) or who has COVID-like symptoms without another reasonable explanation (referred to as a probable case). For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who:

    • Was within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes total.

    • Provided care for someone who is sick with COVID-19.

    • Had direct physical contact with someone with someone who is sick with COVID-19.

    • Shared eating or drinking utensils with someone who is sick with COVID-19.

    • Got respiratory droplets from someone who is sick with COVID-19 on them (through sneezing, coughing, shouting, etc.).

    • Was in the same class/cohort as a person diagnosed with COVID-19

  • Quarantine is for those who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 and keeps someone potentially exposed to those with the virus, away from others:

    Quarantine when:
    • A person should quarantine when a household member or other close contact of the student or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

    • If a person in quarantine develops symptoms of COVID-19 they begin the isolation protocol (above).

    • Siblings of a person at home for quarantine because they were exposed to COVID-19 do not need to stay at home unless the person in quarantine develops symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19.

    • DCSD Operations & Maintenance will disinfect areas deemed impacted by the exposure/contact tracing process with approved disinfectants. The area will be quarantined off to limit access only to DCSD special cleaning team members for up to 48 hours.

    • The school leader must notify their school nurse and Executive Director of Schools immediately if they have a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or beginning isolation.
      • Executive Director of Schools will immediately start a text string with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, themselves, the Principal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Personalized Learning Officer, Public Information Officer, and Director of Operations & Maintenance.

    Quarantine until:

    • A student or staff member should stay at home or stay put in the same location (do not come to school or work) for 14 days so they don’t spread the disease to healthy people. If a person in quarantine develops symptoms of COVID-19 they begin the isolation protocol (above).

    • A negative COVID-19 test or antibody test does not dismiss the 14 day quarantine for exposure.
 

    Outbreak

    If one or more criteria below are met, there is a confirmed outbreak.

    • Classroom/cohort outbreak: two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among students/teachers/staff from separate households, with onset within 14 days in a single classroom or cohort (includes students, teachers and other staff).
      or
    • In schools not practicing cohorting, two or more confirmed COVID-19 cases from separate households with onset within 14 days in the same school (includes, students, teachers and other staff).
      or
    • 5% or more unrelated students/teachers/staff are diagnosed with COVID-19 within a 14 day period (minimum of 10 unrelated students/staff).

    In the case of a confirmed outbreak:

    • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) or Tri-County Health Department (TCHD) will notify DCSD when there is a confirmed case or cases. If DCSD becomes aware of a case before it is contacted by the CDPHE or TCHD, school personnel will immediately notify the School Nurse Consultant for that building. Nursing/health services contacts the Tri-County Health Department. These officials will help DCSD determine a course of action for the school(s) impacted.

    • It is possible a cohort group, classroom or school may need to close for 2-14 days, pending official guidance from TCHD.

    • DCSD Operations & Maintenance will disinfect areas where people with confirmed cases worked or spent time (more than 15 minutes) with approved disinfectants. The area will be quarantined off to limit access only to DCSD special cleaning team members for up to 48 hours. If a classroom is unavailable for an in-person class, the teacher(s) and principal will work together to identify where those classes will meet.

    • School leaders will work with DCSD Public Information Officer to communicate as appropriate and to appropriate parties regarding exposure and/or outbreak.

  • Outbreak Communication Guidelines per the CDPHE:

    • Scenario: 1 student/staff with COVID-19 in a class/cohort
      Send communications to: Parents of all students in the class/cohort

    • Scenario: Outbreak of COVID-19 in a class/cohort
      Send communications to: Parents of all students in the class/cohort

    • Scenario: 1 (or more) student/staff with COVID-19 in multiple classes/cohorts
      Send communications to: Parents of all students who are determined to be close contacts of a case of COVID-19 in the school

    • Scenario: School outbreak
      Send communications to: Parents of all students who are determined to be close contacts of a case of COVID-19 in the school and parents of all students who are determined to be close contacts of a case of COVID-19 in the school

  • Contact Tracing
    • DCSD will work with the Tri-County Health Department to identify exposed students and staff (those considered close contacts), while maintaining confidentiality to the best degree possible.




Regular Testing for Teachers and Staff

  • Douglas County Government is working with STRIDE community health center to offer several testing sites throughout Douglas County that will be regularly available to DCSD employees from September 1 through December 31, 2020. Click here for current COVID-19 testing information.

  • DCSD is working to establish additional partnerships with organizations to provide regular access to COVID-19 testing for teachers and staff.

  • COVID-19 testing is also available for DCSD employees through their DCSD medical insurance plans and at many community testing locations at no cost to the employee.



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Douglas County School District Nondiscrimination Notice: The Douglas County School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, age, marital status, genetic information, or physical characteristics, disability or need for special education services in admissions, access to, treatment of, or employment in educational programs or activities. The School District’s Compliance Officer is Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, complianceofficer@dcsdk12.org, 303-387-0067. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees and members of the public.