WHAT FAMILIES CAN EXPECT WHEN SCHOOLS REOPEN: SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND OPERATIONAL CHANGES
In any of the school-based options, increased disinfecting and hygiene protocols will be in place to reduce the likelihood of infection. Some, but not all, of these measures are listed below.
If the answer to any of the above questions is “Yes”, it is imperative that the student remains home for the day and be reassessed the next day.
When and How to Wash Your Hands: Guidance from CDC
All students and staff K-12 will be required to wear a clean mask daily, unless there is a documented and approved medical or developmental exception. We will work with families who have questions individually to review all concerns and considerations in an effort to maximize the safety and health of all involved. For example, in some cases, wearing a face shield instead of a mask or other face covering may be a reasonable and acceptable alternative. However, exceptions will be limited, since face masks/coverings are proven more effective in reducing the spread of the virus and are preferred.
We know that the wearing of face coverings is a very polarizing issue and that it is challenging for many, especially our youngest students, and especially when wearing face coverings over extended periods of time. Therefore, we are committed to take a very nurturing, age-appropriate and educational approach to helping our families and children become comfortable with wearing face coverings. We will provide relief times and areas where individuals can go (both students and staff) to take brief breaks throughout each day at safe distances from others.
Supporting evidence and considerations:
“Children 2 years and older should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth when in public settings where it’s difficult to practice social distancing,” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020).
“CDC reviewed the latest science and affirms that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others,” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, July 14).
CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
“A cloth mask is intended to trap droplets that are released when the wearer talks, coughs or sneezes. Asking everyone to wear cloth masks can help reduce the spread of the virus by people who have COVID-19 but don’t realize it. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus when they are widely used by people in public settings. And countries that required face masks, testing, isolation and social distancing early in the pandemic have successfully slowed the spread of the virus,” (Mayo Clinic, 2020).
COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, July 16).
Face coverings, including cloth masks, can slow and stop the spread of the virus, especially when widely used in a community setting. A cloth mask traps the wearer’s droplets that are released during talking, coughing, or sneezing helping to prevent the spread of the virus to others, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, July 14, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, July 21, Mayo Clinic, 2020).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, July 16). Considerations for wearing cloth face coverings: Help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, July 21). Stop the spread in children: Tips to protect children during a COVID-19 outbreak.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, July 14). CDC calls on America to wear masks to prevent COVI-19 spread: JAMA editorial reviews latest science, while case study shows masks prevented COVID spread.
Mayo Clinic. (2020). COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?
Protocol for forgotten/refusal to wear face covering
Students forgetting to bring a face covering will be initially provided one by the Main Office staff. Building staff will work with families and students to develop practices to minimize (and hopefully, eliminate) these incidents.
Our focus and emphasis will be more educational than disciplinary. However, we are going to require the face coverings be worn. We know that our youngest children will have the greatest difficulty maintaining the face coverings. We will all do our best. We will work with the students (and their parents) who may have difficulty maintaining the practice. In cases where students are being oppositional, parents will be called in an effort to remediate the situation and help the student back to class with the face covering in place. Should there be repeat offenses or refusal to wear the face coverings, the parent will be called and the student will be sent home for the day. Other than documented cases of developmental or medical reasons for not wearing a face covering, families who do not believe their children can or should have to wear face coverings should consider our Remote Learning Option.
Staying at least 3 feet away from people along with other measures such as face coverings provides you with a lower risk of getting infection. Maintaining at least 3 feet helps to prevent breathing in others’ droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain the virus. (World Health Organization, 2020; Medical Express, 2020).
Medical Express. (2020, June 2). 6 feet of social distancing best, but even 3 feet should help: study.
World Health Organization. (2020, June). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public.
To help avoid situations in which large groups of students are gathered in one place, we will adjust the way students move between classrooms and other spaces in our schools.
We recommend that all students bring refillable water bottles to school so that they can refill them at the no-touch bottle fillers that are available in all our buildings. Students should not share water bottles with others or use the drinking fountain.
“Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through objects and surfaces, like doorknobs, countertops, keyboards, toys, etc. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.”
Our custodial staff will significantly increase the wiping down and disinfecting of public spaces and high-touch surfaces across our buildings and throughout the school day. We will also provide greater access to cleaning materials for our teachers and staff so that they can clean and disinfect spaces, as needed.
Each evening, our custodial team will conduct a thorough cleaning of our spaces, again disinfecting high-touch surfaces like sinks, drinking fountains, door handles, tables, and desks.
School Clinics/Isolation Areas
We will utilize space available near our school clinics for students if they become ill or have a fever while they are waiting for a parent to pick up.
Fairview Park City Schools will follow the guidance of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) in the event of an exposure or suspected exposure of a staff member, student, or household member of a staff member or student.
The CCBH has provided the following guidance on this topic:
There will be very limited access for visitors. Anyone entering the building must wear a face mask. Designated drop-off boxes and areas for student materials, mail, packages, etc. will be available outside the main offices.
At this time, no field trips that include large gatherings of individuals will be permitted. Limited external programming will be planned (guest speakers, programs, etc.)
We will provide our students with the Fairview Advantage, a framework for student success, by delivering exceptional services and academic programs that challenge the mind and instill the joy of learning and responsible citizenship.
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