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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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

  • 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 rapid or PCR test result.
    • 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.

    • New loss of taste or smell of any duration results in isolation for 10 days, regardless of a negative test result.

    • The school leader must notify their school nurse and Executive Director of Schools (EDOS)immediately if they have a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or beginning isolation. (Department leaders notify nursing leaders and their cabinet representatives.)

      • (EDOS or cabinet representative for departments, will immediately start a text string with the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, other EDOS, the Principal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Personalized Learning Officer, Public Information Officer, and Director of Operations & Maintenance.

      • When there is a confirmed COVID-19 case, DCSD nursing/health services contacts the Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). These officials will help DCSD determine a course of action for the school(s) impacted.

    For those with a positive COVID-19 test, isolate until:
    • Student or staff member has had no fever for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fevers.
    • Other symptoms have improved
    • At least 10 days has passed since symptoms first appeared
    • A negative COVID-19 test is NOT required to return to work or school.

    For those with symptoms and no test result yet, isolate until:
    • Any person with COVID-like symptoms should be encouraged to see a healthcare provider and consider testing. (Free testing sites are listed on the Tri-County Health website.)
    • Student or staff member has had no fever for at least 24 hours without using medicine that reduces fevers.
    • Other symptoms have improved

    • Leaders can consult with their school nurse to verify return to school or work criteria based on alternate diagnosis or explanation of symptoms.

    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 (refer to healthcare provider, Tri-County Health community testing events, or 211 Colorado)

  • Exposure

    Exposure is defined as having close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (confirmed case) or who has COVID-like symptoms without another reasonable explanation (probable case). Contacts should be identified based on the full contagious period, including two days before the positive or symptomatic person showed symptoms or two days before the asymptomatic person was tested.

    A close contact is defined as any individual who:

    • Was within 6 feet of someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes cumulative in one day.

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

    • Had direct physical contact 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.).

  • 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 until:
    • If a person is quarantined due to exposure to someone with symptoms not yet confirmed as COVID-19, the quarantine period may be shorter than 10 days as determined by the School Nurse Consultant.

    • In accordance with the latest CDC guidelines, quarantine may last for 10 days or 7 days based on the following criteria:

      • Quarantine can end after 10 days if individuals have remained asymptomatic for the entire 10 days. No test is needed.

      • If asymptomatic individuals choose to obtain a COVID-19 test on or after day 5 and it is negative, the quarantine may end after day 7.

      • Negative test results must be shown to the Principal or School Nurse Consultant if a quarantine is to end sooner than 10 days.

      • If individuals develop any symptoms or test positive during this quarantine, they must contact their school nurse or Principal, as they will now need to isolate.

      • Individuals MUST self monitor for fever and symptoms for 14 days after the date of exposure, regardless of the length of quarantine.

    Exemptions from quarantine:
    • The following are ways to be exempt from quarantines after exposure:

      • Staff who wear a KN95 or surgical mask with eye protection (defined as protective goggles or a clear face shield), do not need to quarantine unless they were within 6 ft for 15 minutes of the sick person, or 12 feet for 15 minutes if the person was not wearing a mask. Cloth face coverings will not be considered an acceptable face covering to qualify for an exemption from quarantine.

      • If you have had a positive COVID-19 PCR test or antigen test, once isolation is complete you are exempt from quarantine for 90 days from the date of the swab.

      • If you have received both doses of your COVID-19 vaccines, two weeks after the second dose (on day 15), you are exempt from quarantine. Length of exemption period has yet to be determined by the CDC.

    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)

      • One confirmed case AND two or more probable cases of COVID-19 among students/teachers/staff from separate households with onset within 14 days in a single classroom/cohort/activity OR with evidence of transmission in the school setting (including transportation to/from school and affiliated events.

    • 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)
    • 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 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 TCHD. 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.

    • When notified by nursing leadership, DCSD Operations & Maintenance will disinfect areas where people with confirmed cases worked or spent time (more than 15 minutes) with approved disinfectants.   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.

  • Exposure 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.

    • The school nurse consultant will work with health services leadership to determine if standard contact identification or targeted contact identification will be utilized pursuant to CDPHE guidance.

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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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 Ted Knight, Assistant Superintendent, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado,, 303-387-0067. 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.