School Reopening Safety Protocols
Fullerton School District
Coronavirus - (Covid-19) School Guidance Information Fall 2020 - 2021
School Reopening Safety Plan In Accordance with California Department of Public Health
Effective Date: August 14, 2020
A Note from the Superintendent Dr Bob Pletka:
The Fullerton School District and its dedicated staff continue to monitor this evolving public health crisis of COVID-19.
In preparing this document, we worked with public health experts, employee groups, child psychologists, and parents throughout the Fullerton School District to create a safe learning environment for your child that we believe will make you feel assured as your student returns this Fall. We ask that you participate in this process by staying informed through monitoring our Blackboard Connect Messages, District Website, and social media postings.
We will continue to respond in a timely and transparent manner to all questions. We strive to make every effort to keep our students, staff, and community safe - if we have missed or failed to recognize a safety concern - please contact Laurie Bruneau at (714) 447-7400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report or request additional information.
It is with great care as a parent myself that I will continue to work daily to ensure your child receives the best education under the best health and safety conditions we can provide.
Thank you for your continued support.
Robert Pletka, Ed.D.
California School Districts are expected to follow a series of public health, education, and state/federal health guidelines to ensure a safe reopening for students and staff.
The Fullerton School District (FSD) will follow the safety and health guidelines set forth by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) published for Schools and School Based Programs on August 3, 2020. The following interpretation of these guidelines is intended to inform Parents, Staff, and Community of FSD’s efforts to ensure a safe return for all.
These safety measures taken by the Fullerton School District have been approved by the Fullerton School District board of Trustees on July 20, 2020. FSD will continue to monitor and adjust this safety plan as new information emerges from our local health care agency.
This document is intended to inform you of those guidelines and to share with you what you can expect for your child at the beginning of the 2020/2021 school year. Every effort is being made to keep your student(s) and our FSD staff safe using the CDPH guidelines.
CDPH Health and Safety Guidelines the Fullerton School District will follow:
1) General Measures
2) Promoting Healthy Hygiene Practices
3) Face Coverings
4) Ensure Teacher and Staff Safety
5) Intensity Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation
6) Implementing Distancing Inside and Outside the Classroom
7) Limited Sharing
8) Training All Staff and Educate Families
9) Check for Signs and Symptoms
10) Planning for When a Staff Member, Child, or Visitor is Sick
11) Maintaining Healthy Operations
12) Considerations for Reopening and Partial or Total Closure
- GENERAL MEASURES FOR PROVIDING A SAFE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
The Fullerton School District will continue to communicate, monitor, and act upon information from state and local healthcare authorities and the Orange County Department of Education. The information described in this guidance document is based on the best available public health data at this time, international best practices, and the practical realities of managing school operations. These practices are subject to change based on the information as it continues to be released and updated. We are committed to working with our partner health and educational agencies to ensure we have the latest information to make health, safety, and instructional decisions in a timely manner.
Fullerton School Districts will:
- Monitor both health and operational data and practices adjusting levels of safety mitigation according to disease levels and healthcare directives.
- Work with external community organizations, businesses, and city partners to ensure they follow these same guidelines while visiting and/or working with any school or department within the Fullerton School District.
- Identify and respond to students or staff who may need additional support through accommodations or additions to individual student health plans.
- Engage in regular dialog with parents, staff, and public health officials.
- Develop timely procedures based on the transmission information from within the District, within the city of Fullerton, and within Orange County, CA.
- PROMOTE HEALTHY HYGIENE PRACTICES
The Fullerton School District will continue to educate and promote consistent use of hygiene practices for our students and staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Schools and departments will display reminders throughout common areas to include classrooms, nurse offices, kitchens, and restrooms. These postings will remind students and staff about the recommended CDC practices for effective hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
Most classrooms are equipped with sinks, soap, and paper towel dispensers to ensure that students have to access hand washing facilities throughout the day. In the absence of sinks, there are portable handwashing stations located throughout the campus.
Students and staff will also find hand sanitizing stations throughout the campus when there is no immediate access to hand washing facilities. Students under the age of 9-years will have supervision while using the hand sanitizer station.
Fullerton School District will:
- Ensure that all schools and departments have adequate supplies to maintain healthy hygiene behaviors. (soap, tissue, face coverings, and hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol).
- Instruct students and staff on proper hand washing practices and respiratory etiquette.
- Model and reinforce handwashing periodically throughout the day especially for lower grade level students.
- Remind students and staff to use tissues to wipe their noses and to cough/sneeze inside a tissue or elbow.
- Encourage students to use face coverings, masks, and/or face shields when physical distancing is not practical.
- Provide information to all staff and families in the school community on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- Strongly recommend that all students and staff be immunized against influenza if possible.
Links used to inform students and staff about safety and healthy hand hygiene:
- FACE COVERING
Fullerton School District will require use of face coverings according to CDPH guidelines for all employees, students, and visitors unless they have been identified as exempt due to medical reason and/or age.
Every effort will be made to ensure consistent use of facial coverings particularly in indoor environments, on school buses, and areas, where physical distancing alone is not sufficient to prevent disease transmission.
In limited situations where a face covering cannot be used for pedagogical or developmental reasons, a face shield will be used instead of a cloth face covering and physical distancing will be required – plexiglass barriers may also be used to add an additional layer of safety.
Fullerton School District will:
- Supply facial coverings for all staff, students, and visitors.
- Provide guidance and training for all staff and FSD community to include; proper use, removal, and washing cloth face coverings.
- Provide a face shield with a drape as an acceptable alternative for students or staff who are unable to wear them properly or due to medical reasons.
- Ensure that students who refuse to wear a face covering are excluded from campus or provided with an alternative arrangement.
Links used to provide guidance for students and staff using face coverings:
- ENSURE TEACHER AND STAFF SAFETY
The Fullerton School District will ensure that all staff are supported by developing safety procedures according to their area of responsibility or likelihood of possible transmission. Staff will be offered daily temperature monitoring, regular COVID-19 testing, safety training, protective equipment, access to personnel hygiene supplies for handwashing, protective barriers/shields, or other devices intended to support their individual job classifications or work environment.
Fullerton School District will:
- Encourage staff to report all safety concerns to their immediate Supervisor for immediate consideration.
- Provide a dedicated email for staff and community to report concerns regarding COVID-19. COVIDresponse@myfsd.org
- Support those staff members who are at higher risk for severe illness.
- Make every effort to support staff’s individual needs to feel safe and supported in their work environment. If this is not possible, the District will make alternative arrangements that may include a workplace accommodation, remote work or a leave of absence.
- Minimize congregation of staff in lounges, meeting rooms, and restrooms.
- Conduct all staff meetings, professional development training education, and other activities involving staff with physical distancing measures in place, or virtually, where physical distancing is a challenge.
- INTENSIFY CLEANING, DISINFECTION, AND VENTILATION
The Fullerton School District is committed to providing a safe learning environment for their students and employees and it begins with school cleanliness, regular disinfecting, and proper ventilation.
In response to COVID-19, FSD has increased our custodial schedules to include daily cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, buses, offices, restrooms, and playground equipment. We will be adding additional staff to support and maintain this cleanliness standard.
With the prolonged FSD shut-down, sinks and water fountains will be purged prior to the reopening of schools to ensure that all water systems are free from Legionnaire disease or any other diseases associated with standing water.
The heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) system will have regular changes of the filters that have a MERV 13 rating. These systems will be turned on two (2) hours prior to students and staff arriving into the room to increase outside air circulating into the classroom. Staff may also open windows and doors providing that if doing so don't pose a safety or health risk for students inside the room.
Student tablets and laptops (devices) will be sanitized periodically by the use of an ultra violet (UV) light cabinet. If a student's device needs to be repaired, a staff member will sanitize these devices prior to reissuing using this approved method.
Links regarding methods and products used to support a clean and safe learning environment within the FSD:
- IMPLEMENTING DISTANCING INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
The Fullerton School District has implemented social distancing practices throughout the District for all students and staff occupying classrooms, buses, restrooms, office spaces, cafeterias, staff lounges, or other areas where school activities are taking place.
Where at all possible, students, staff, and community interactions will be conducted with 6-feet of distance between each individual.
During School Arrival and Department - the Fullerton School District will:
- Attempt to maintain a 6-feet of distance between individuals using staggered arrival and departure times in effort to limit gatherings near school entrances and parking lots.
- Parents will be asked to minimize their contact at school with students, staff, and other families during this time of day.
- Students will be instructed to enter school through designated routes of entry and exit using as many entrances and exits as feasible with the intent to limit direct contact with others as much as practicable.
- Buses will have seating where students will be sitting one per bus bench or with family groups in their own seats wearing face coverings. Open windows may be used to increase air circulation throughout the bus for both students and drivers.
- Front office desks will be equipped with acrylic screens (stands) to ensure there is a protective separation along with social distancing when conducting school business with staff, students, and community.
Classroom Space - the Fullerton School District will:
- Ensure students remain in the same space and in small groups as consistently as practicable. Each student will be assigned a “home-base” or room where they will learn, eat, and play together.
- Minimize the movement of students and teachers or staff as much as practicable. If possible, we will make every attempt to keep students and teachers with the same group of students the entire day.
- Maximize space between seating and desks. We have removed and stored excess classroom furniture allowing for six (6) feet between student’s desks. Each classroom can safely house between 17 and 20 students on average while maintaining this social distancing standard.
- Ensure staff develops instructions for maximizing spacing and ways to minimize movement in both indoor and outdoor space that are easy for students to understand and age appropriate.
- When necessary, staff will redesign classroom play and learning activities allowing for safe separation of students and staff.
Non-Classroom Space - the Fullerton School District will:
- Limit nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups during school hours.
- Limit facility use and communal activities where practicable. If this is not possible, after the event or gathering occurs, the space will be disinfected before students or staff are allowed to return.
- Use non-classroom space for instructions and enrichment activities which may include outdoor spaces if weather permits.
- Minimize congregate movement through hallways as much as possible. Staff will stagger student’s movements through common spaces by attempting to use different entrances and exits minimizing passing or congregating of students.
- Ensure students eat meals inside their “home base” or classroom spaces. If other locations can support social distancing requirements, then staff may permit students to use this space for lunch.
- Stagger the times students are allowed on playgrounds. As of this writing, we will adjust recess schedules, limit the use of equipment/play areas by grade-level, and ensure that proper cleaning has been completed prior to the next group of students using equipment/play areas.
- LIMIT SHARING
Schools and staff will limit sharing of common items to avoid cross contamination between students and staff.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Keep each student's belongings separate within individually labeled storage containers or cubbies. Students will be reminded not to share belongings and may need to clean belongings regularly.
- Ensure that students have their own learning supplies/equipment to minimize sharing of high-touch materials (art supplies, books, games, and electronic devices). If this is not possible, efforts will be made clean in between uses.
- Instruct students to avoid sharing other personal items like toys, clothing, and food.
- Ensure that playground equipment use is limited to small groups of students and then cleaned prior to use by others.
- Allow parents to drop-off lunches at approved locations determined by the school site.
- TRAIN ALL STAFF AND EDUCATION FAMILIES
The Fullerton School District will train staff on safety precautions necessary to reduce the likelihood of contracting COVID-19. Staff will receive training that will include Fullerton School District’s internal procedures on protecting students and staff from illness. Additionally, this Information will be made available to parents and the community.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Offer training based on credible information provided by the CDC. Staff may receive this training via virtual training, staff meetings, internal memorandums, or directly through the information posted on the CDC and/or the Fullerton School District website.
- Share the following Information with staff, parents, and community: enhanced sanitation practices within school/department, social distancing practices, use of face coverings, screening practices, and recognizing signs and symptoms of Covid-19.
Links to access information for training staff and Fullerton School District families.
- CHECK FOR SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The Fullerton School District will make every effort to ensure that students and staff remain safe and healthy throughout the school year. All FSD schools, including the District Office, will use temperature checking as a health screening measure to ensure a safe learning environment and workplace for all. Health screenings will be used as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic until further notice.
***The health screening protocols will be implemented in a consistent and discreet manner to avoid identifying individuals who may or may not have suspected symptoms. In the event a student or staff exhibits symptoms suspected of COVID-19, they will be directed to consult with their personal doctor and the Orange County Public Health Department.” Bullying or disrespectful behavior towards anyone associated with the COVID-19 pandemic will not be tolerated. ***
FSD will work with students, parents, and staff for a safe transport home or to a healthcare facility when a student or staff member exhibits any of the following systems:
Fever greater than 100 degrees or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. For serious injury or illness, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips of face, staff will call 9-1-1 without delay.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Implement screening procedures for all staff and students entering the school or District Office.
- Monitor staff and students throughout the day for signs of illness sending home students and staff with a fever greater than 100.4 degrees or higher or who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
- Not penalize students or staff who miss class or work due to having or quarantining as a result of the COVID-19 virus.
Although it appears that children are not as impacted by the COVID-19 virus, FSD will extend the health screening protocols to our students. Upon arrival to school each morning, students will be screened at the entrance for a temperature. The screening will take place by a trained staff member using a non-touch temperature device. If students appear to be exhibiting symptoms or temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees, they will be asked to enter a separate area discreetly away from others in order to hydrate and receive a secondary temperature screening. This area is called the “Hydration” tent and will be supervised by a trained staff member.
FSD realizes there is a natural temperature variation between individuals, so providing a secondary screening, including providing hydration (water), will provide another level of screening to rule out any false readings.
*** FSD requests that in the event you are not certain whether your child is ill or has a temperature that exceeds 100.4 degrees. - please do not give them fever-reducing medication and allow them to go to school. This request is not new to FSD, but we need a more strict adherence to this to protect the health of ALL students and staff during the COVID-19 Pandemic. If you are uncertain and need support as to what your options maybe - please contact your school office to speak with the school nurse. Parents should consider taking their child’s temperature every morning at home prior to bringing their child to school to ensure that they do not have a fever. ***
Health screening and monitoring efforts for FSD staff:
- PLAN FOR WHEN A STAFF MEMBER, CHILD, OR VISITOR BECOMES SICK
The Fullerton School District will be providing an area, separate from other students and staff, for students and staff who are experiencing a temperature or other systems that may be related to COVID-19. If this occurs at a school site, the individual will be asked to wear a mask and be separated but supervised into an area away from others until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility. In the event Fullerton School District is notified of a confirmed positive, the California Department of Health (CDPH) requires FSD to notify the Orange County Healthcare Agency.
FSD will advise any staff, student or family not to return to school until they have met the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation or quarantine. The District may require staff or students to remain home for a total of 14 days depending on when the initial symptoms started or if they have been exposed to someone who had a confirmed positive result. Each case will be determined individually but handled according to the CDC guidelines. Exposure is defined as coming in contact with someone where it was not possible to maintain a six (6) foot distance for 15 minutes or longer.
Additionally, FSD will confidentially notify all staff and families that may have been in contact with this individual. The confidential notification and/or reporting will be initiated through the Fullerton District Office and will be in accordance with the Student Privacy and FERPA laws.
FSD will close all areas (office, classroom, or bathroom) where this individual may have been in contact prior to their illness confirmation. When possible, FSD will wait 24-hours before cleaning and disinfecting the area. Staff will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting these areas including wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment to ensure their safety and that of others.
Students and staff may be asked to provide a medical note indicating that all medical conditions have been resolved.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Document and track incidents of possible exposure and notify local heal offices, staff, and families immediately if there is an exposure to a positive case of COVID-19.
- Encourage students and staff to stay home if they are exhibiting symptoms that may or may not be related to COVID-19. Additionally, if a student or staff member has recently been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 - they may be asked to stay home as well. As these situations arise, the Fullerton School District will make every effort to support families by directing them to medical professionals and county health agencies to assist during this potential health-related situation.
- Offer leave policies that staff can use in the event they or their family members are impacted by COVID-19. Staff are encouraged to use these benefits without fear of reprisal. These benefits are posted on the FSD website and included in the training on COVID-19.
- Engage by providing students, teachers and staff with accommodations opportunities such as telework, virtual learning, independent study, and other options as feasible to lower transmission to others.
Links to access information on what to do in the event of a confirmed illness and FSD health screening protocols.
- MAINTAIN HEALTHY OPERATIONS:
The Fullerton School District will strive to ensure healthy operations are maintained for both staff and students. FSD will work with the Orange County HealthCare Agency and other agency partners to ensure that we are continuing to monitor and respond to any developments that may impact our students and/or staff. We will meet regularly as a management team to ensure that all protective measures are being implemented and all the necessary resources are being utilized.
The District will ensure that students, including students with disabilities, have access to instruction when out of class, as required by federal and state law. We will offer distance learning based on the unique circumstance of each of our students.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Monitor the types of illnesses and symptoms among our students and staff to help isolate them promptly.
- Attempt to establish a roster of trained staff who will support staff if necessary (backups).
- Conduct routine COVID-19 testing (PCR swab testing) for all staff in consultation with our local health department.
- Encourage families and staff to self-report symptoms so that FSD can support with prompt notification of others, contact tracing, and potential school closure.
- Designate a staff liaison(s) to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns.
- Support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness or who cannot safely distance.
- CONSIDERATIONS FOR REOPENING AND PARTIAL OR TOTAL CLOSURES
Fullerton School District will continue to consult with Orange County HealthCare Agency in the event of the need to close a school or office as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Fullerton School District will:
- Check state and local health departments daily about transmission information and whether closures or adjusting operations may be necessary.
- Implement communication plans for school closure to include outreach to students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community.
- Implement COVID-19 guidelines recommended by the California Department of Public Health to ensure that we limit.
Links to information on how FSD will work within a framework of local agencies in the event of a possible school closure or to open in-person learning.