eEducation for Everett » Safety Guidance

Safety Guidance

A Shared Responsibility

Respect is one of our foundational values, and we ask that every student, teacher, and staff member consistently display the utmost respect for the health and safety measures we have implemented for the 2020-2021 school year.

The foundation of the EPS Health and Safety Plan is built on the three practices universally recommended by the medical community: We must wear face coverings, we must practice six feet of social distancing, and we must regularly wash our hands and practice good hygiene. No one habit is more important than the other; they only work when they are continuously practiced in concert with one another.

The EPS is committed to guaranteeing that our students and staff are able to follow this guidance each and every time they enter one of our buildings. We cannot lower the risk of COVID-19 to zero percent. But we can encourage and facilitate 100 -percent participation in proven practices that greatly minimize the spread of the virus.

Our health is a shared responsibility. Your health depends on others. The health of others is dependent on you.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

Arrival: When possible, separate entrances will be used to facilitate social distancing. Staff will be on duty to maintain a line of sight in hallways and distancing of hallway cohorts. Students will go straight to the designated areas set by each school. Parents will not be allowed to enter the school building.

Dismissal: Schools and eLearning Centers will designate staggered dismissal groups to help manage student movement in the building and decrease the risk of potential crowding outside at dismissal time. Separate exits will be utilized when possible. Early dismissal is discouraged; however, parents picking up students during the day should call ahead so that students can be sent or accompanied to parent vehicles upon arrival.

Walkers

  • It is recommended that walkers keep social distance and use a face mask while walking to and from school.
  • As much as possible, students will be asked to avoid large groups or gatherings with other students on the campus before or after school.
  • Students will be asked to immediately leave the school grounds and begin walking home at the end of the day.
  • Parents are encouraged to talk with their child about the health benefits of social distancing.
  • Parents should follow EPS guidance on how to pick up their child.
  • Parents are asked to not congregate in large groups with other parents as they wait for their child to be dismissed from campus.
  • Assigned staff will:
      • supervise student arrival and dismissal,
      • ensure that students are wearing masks,
      • direct students to waiting areas and
      • encourage that students maintain desired social distance between students.
      • discourage large groups from congregating.

Car Drop-off

  • As students exit their car, they will be expected to keep social distance when walking toward the building entry. Students will not congregate with other students when walking into school.
  • Students, staff or volunteers will not be allowed to open doors or assist with carpool arrival.
  • Students will remain at a social distance while waiting to be picked up by car.
  • Students will not congregate in large groups with other students when dismissed from school at the end of the day.
  • Parents should follow pick up protocols regarding how to pick up their child.
  • Parents are asked to not congregate in large groups with other parents as they wait for their child to be dismissed from campus.
  • Assigned staff supervises student arrival, ensures that students are wearing masks, directs students to waiting areas and encourages that students maintain desired social distance between students.
  • Assigned staff supervises student dismissal, directs students to waiting areas and encourages that students maintain desired social distance between students.

Bike Racks (if available)

  • Students will use every other space in the bike rack to keep distance when arriving at school.
  • Students will immediately leave campus and begin riding their bike home at the end of the school day.
  • Students are not to congregate in large groups with other students on the campus when dismissed from school at the end of the day.
  • It is recommended that students keep social distance while riding their bike home.
  • Parents are encouraged to talk with their child about the health benefits of social distancing.

General Building Arrival

Students

  • Students must wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival.
  • Schools/ eLearning centers will plan for entry, exit, and transition procedures that reduce large group gatherings (of students and/or adults) in close proximity.
  • Students will be assigned to report to a specific area and will be expected to adhere to schedules for morning arrival.
  • It is required that students and staff wear masks when entering the building and waiting in the designated waiting area.
  • Students can utilize the bathroom, but students must observe social distancing while in the bathroom.
  • Students must wash hands after using the restroom. If the bathroom door is not propped, students are encouraged to use paper towels when opening a door.

Parents

  • Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the health benefits of social distancing and mask-wearing at school, as well as the health benefits of washing their hands, and/or using hand sanitizer.
  • Parents will not be allowed to walk students into the building or into classrooms.

Bus Transportation

  • Students should practice social distancing as they approach, board and exit the bus.
  • Students should NOT share food, drinks or personal devices.
  • Social distancing will occur as possible on the bus. Masks must be worn at all times.
  • School bus drivers, bus assistants and staff will follow disinfecting protocols for all vans and buses.
  • When possible, bus windows will be open to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.

Standard Procedures for Classrooms and eLearning Centers

In-person protocols and procedures will include expectations regarding not sharing school supplies, social distancing, plans for safe collaboration practices and hand washing or sanitizing, etc. Teachers and monitors will ensure high-touch areas in the utilized spaces are wiped in between classes and regularly throughout the day. Each classroom and eLearning center will be outfitted with the following:

  • Visual reminders of distancing requirements will be in all classrooms marking off areas for common spaces and distancing best practices.
  • Refillable alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations.
  • Access to disinfecting wipes to sanitize working surfaces.
  • Whenever possible, students and staff will maintain consistent groupings of people to minimize the spread of the virus.
  • Technology will be utilized when students are involved in collaborative work.
  • Group or pair work can be implemented while maintaining physical distancing.
  • In all spaces, student desks will be placed at a minimum of six feet apart.
  • The use of outdoor space for learning will be considered, when possible. Classroom groups working outside will maintain at least 12 feet of social distancing from other classroom groups.

Classroom Training

  • Students should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering each classroom or eLearning center. Washing or sanitizing should occur often throughout the day.
  • Students will participate in training specific to newly adopted health and safety protocols.
  • Parents are asked to read all school communication regarding health and safety protocols.
  • Parents should talk to their students about COVID-19 symptoms and prevention strategies.
  • Parents are asked to check their child for temperature and COVID-19 symptoms prior to sending them to school each day. If a child is displaying symptoms, please do not send the child to school. Notify the EPS COVID Response Team at 617-544-6806.
  • Teachers/staff should be stationed outside their door to provide adequate supervision of their classroom and hallway.
  • Teachers will receive training to deliver classroom lessons on health protocols.
  • While in the classroom or eLearning Center, brain breaks and “mask breaks” will be implemented throughout the day, as needed, at the discretion of the monitor/teacher.
  • Classroom Setup
  • Students will be expected to adhere to class and school-wide protocols that are consistent with CDC guidelines.
  • Student desks will be spaced six feet apart.
  • Students will avoid sharing school supplies.
  • Teachers will post signs with clear class protocols that are consistent with CDC guidelines. Teachers will limit student movement within the classroom such as turning in assignments, materials being passed out, etc.
  • Teachers will create assigned seating arrangements to ensure social distancing when possible. Consistent with CDC guidance, all student desks should face the same direction.
  • Classroom Arrival
  • After washing hands or using hand sanitizer, students are asked to immediately sit down in their assigned seat.
  • Students should avoid touching high-touch areas if possible, except to clean them between use
  • Teachers should prop doors open to allow for additional ventilation during class and in between classes so students don't touch doors or handles.
  • Windows should remain open whenever possible.
  • Water Fountains

In an effort to mitigate the use of water fountains, EPS will be providing disposable bottles of water, as needed, to maintain hydration.

Technology (for Remote Learning)

  • All students will have access to an EPS issued Chromebook to access remote learning via Google Classroom or Canvas.
  • Students who are unfamiliar with these platforms will be emailed a tutorial regarding how to use it and time will be built in to support students’ technology needs and challenges. 
  • Zoom will be used as our video conferencing platform. However, we will utilize another video conferencing platform if necessary.
  • The EPS remote learning plan has students accessing their Zoom classes each period throughout the school day.
  • Assistive technology will be provided and used by the students per their IEP or for any student if needed to help access the curriculum.
  • EPS staff will be available to support students and families with all online applications and make suggestions as needed.
  • Similarly, IT support will also be available to support families and students with hardware issues as needed.

Employee Health Protocols

All staff are required to complete a daily self-screening for symptoms prior to arriving to work.
Staff who are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 fahrenheit, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea,nausea or vomiting, should do the following:


Protocol: Staff Experiencing Symptoms at Home


1. Staff member should not go to work. They should follow their building’s protocol for calling out and call the EPS COVID Response Hotline at 617-544-6806.

2. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested.

3. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead isolate for 14 days and until asymptomatic.
 
The staff member should get tested at one of Massachusetts’ test sites.
 
a. A list of MA testing sites can be found HERE.

b.
Isolate at home until test results are returned.

 

Proceed as follows according to test results:

a. IF NEGATIVE: If the staff member does not have COVID-19, they may return to school based upon guidance from their clinician and necessary management of another diagnosis. Staff member stay home until asymptomatic for 24 hours.

 

b. IF POSITIVE: Staff member should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.

  • All staff must practice appropriate hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette and social distancing.
  • All staff are required to wear a facial covering while in classrooms, common spaces, and when social distancing cannot occur.
  • All staff are expected to clean and sanitize shared work spaces before and after use, using disinfecting wipes.
  • In general, congregation of staff will be discouraged. EPS will continue to limit meetings and conduct meetings virtually as much as possible. If in-person meetings are necessary, they will be conducted in a manner consistent with social distancing requirements. Federal, state, and local orders regarding group gatherings will be considered at all times.
  • All staff are encouraged to avoid hand shaking, hugs, back slaps and other forms of physical contact and instead employ hand waves or other such gestures that signal positivity without touching each other. Employees must limit travel between offices, classrooms, floors, and between buildings.
  • All staff are encouraged to hold each other accountable to safety protocols.

Staff members who feel ill during the school day, should do the following:


Protocol: Staff Experiencing Symptoms at Work
 

  1. Staff should not come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  1. If a staff member has any symptoms during the day, they should contact the principal’s office and request coverage and see the school nurse to be evaluated for symptoms.
  2. IF ANY SYMPTOM:
  3. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead isolate for 10 days and until asymptomatic.
  4. The staff member should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites.
  • A list of MA testing sites can be found HERE.


iii. Isolate at home until test results are returned.

  1. Proceed as follows according to test results:
  2. IF NEGATIVE: Staff member stays home until asymptomatic for 24 hours.
  3. IF POSITIVE: Staff member should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.


Quarantine Due to Travel

The District discourages staff from traveling during this time. If a staff member travels to an area that requires quarantine upon return to the school, they must quarantine for 14 days.  The EPS will not accept a test in lieu of this requirement, as it can take several days for the test to show positive.

Face Coverings


The Everett Public Schools are committed to providing a safe environment as schools reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to public health experts, one of the best ways to stop the spread of coronavirus and to keep members of our school community safe is the use of face masks or face coverings.  Therefore, in accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the following requirements are in place until further notice.

  • All students, with the exception of those students in grades kindergarten and grade one, are required to wear a mask/face covering at all times. Students in grades K and 1 should wear face coverings, whenever possible.
  • Students are permitted to remove their mask during mask breaks and when physical distancing is possible and for snack and lunch periods. 
  • Masks should be a cloth covering for the nose and mouth. 
  • Bandanas, scarves, and other articles of clothing are not acceptable substitutes for cloth masks designed to cover the nose and mouth. 
  • Face shields cannot be used instead of a mask, though they can be worn in addition to masks.
  • These masks/face coverings are to be provided by the student/family.  All EPS eLearning sites will have disposable masks available.
  • Reusable masks/face coverings provided by families should be washed by families daily.
  • Students will be explicitly instructed in proper mask use during orientation and reviewed regularly during in-person, cohort learning.

 

Individuals may be excused from the requirement for the following list of reasons, per CDC guidance:

The individual:

  • has trouble breathing;
  • is unconscious;
  • in incapacitated;
  • cannot remove the mask or face covering without assistance.

In addition, masks or face coverings will not be required for anyone who has a medical, behavioral or other challenge making it unsafe to wear a face mask or face covering.  A written note from a physician is required for a requested exemption.  Parents may not excuse their child from the face mask requirement by signing a waiver.

 

Exceptions to this policy under certain circumstances, such as for students with medical, behavioral or other challenges who are unable to wear masks, must be approved by the building principal in consultation with the school nurse or local Board of Health.  Face shields or physical barriers may provide an alternative in some instances.

 

If students are in violation of this policy, the building principal will consult with the parent/guardians to determine whether an exception is appropriate, or the student may be removed from the school building for in-person learning until such time as they can comply with the requirement or the requirement is lifted.

 

Violations of this policy by staff will be handled in the same manner as other violations of School Committee policy.

 

Visitors in violation of this policy will be denied entry to the school/district facility.

 

This policy will remain in place until rescinded by the School Committee.

 

Legal Reference

 

Other References

Center for Disease Control and Prevention — Considerations for Wearing Masks

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education — Reopening Guidelines

Commonwealth of Massachusetts — Mask Up Ma!

 

Health Pre-Screening for Staff and Students

Parents/Guardians of students and staff will be required to self-screen daily before arriving at school. Anyone with a fever of 100.0 or higher should not come to school or an Everett Public School (EPS) facility.

Students and staff should also prescreen themselves for any of the following symptoms prior to coming to school:

  • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 Fahrenheit
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Significant muscle pain or ache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you suspect that your child may have symptoms of COVID-19, please make sure the child sees a health care provider immediately.
For a full list of MA COVID-19 testing sites, please visit HERE. If you have an emergency, go to the emergency room or call 911. Follow the school/eLearning Center’s guidance for reporting that the child is not feeling well.
 
  • Any student who presents or reports to staff to have any of the above listed symptoms, must enter the isolation protocols and be sent home.
  • Students and staff may be subject to temperature checks for verification, especially if they are feeling ill or suspected of having a fever during the school day.
  • All staff will monitor students and refer them to the nurse if symptoms are present. According to the assessment of the nursing staff, a treatment plan will be determined. Parents will be contacted to pick up students who are unable to remain at school, and the return to school protocol must be followed. Students should be picked up within 30 minutes and no later than 1 hour from the time the school contacted the student’s parent/guardian.
  • Students’ parents/guardians and staff will be required to report to the EPS COVID Response Team through the reporting hotline (617-544-6806) if a) they have come into close contact with an individual who is lab-confirmed with COVID-19; b) they themselves have COVID-19 symptoms; or c) they have received a positive, lab-confirmed COVID-19 test result. Further guidance will be provided to families and staff who report this information.
  • EPS requires all outsourced vendors (i.e. food service, transportation, custodial, etc.) to pre-screen and check the temperatures of all contracted workers and essential volunteers before they are allowed entrance to a school building.

    Quarantine Due to Travel
The District discourages travel during this time. If a student travels to an area that requires quarantine upon return to the school, they must quarantine for 14 days.  The EPS will not accept a test in lieu of this requirement, as it can take several days for the test to show positive.
  

Isolation/Symptomatic Students and Staff


Isolation/Symptomatic Student or Staff Protocols

  • If an individual who has been in a school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school must notify its local health department, in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Schools must close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected, unless more than three days have passed since that person was on campus.
  • The school community (staff and parents) will be notified of any new lab-confirmed COVID-cases at the end of each day following a three tiered system.

COVID-19 Related Isolation Space

 

  • There is a designated isolation room located in each building for students who display COVID-19 symptoms.  Throughout the following protocols, remember that when the guidance states that a student will isolate and get dismissed, that student will be monitored by an EPS staff member and will be in this dedicated isolation space.
  • Isolation rooms will be disinfected between each use and at the end of each day.
  • If a student is sent home from school with COVID-19 symptoms, a letter will be given to the parent(s) explaining when the student may return to school.
  • All positive cases will be reported to the Everett Health Department’s Public Health Nurse by the EPS COVID Response Team.
  • Nurse’s offices with two entrances will designate an entrance for “sick” visits and an entrance for “well visits” (students coming for medications, treatments, etc.). These entrances will be designated by proper signage for students and staff to follow. This will protect healthy students and staff from potential infectious students/staff.

Isolation Protocols
 
  • If students display symptoms while at home, or tests positive in a lab-confirmed test, we ask that parents notify the COVID response team.
  • If students display symptoms of COVID-19 or are feeling feverish, the school nurse will provide a clinical assessment to determine if and when a student needs to be sent home.
  • Students who are ill will be separated from their peers and should be picked up within 30 minutes from the time the school has contacted the parent/guardian.

Protocol: Student is Symptomatic at School

  • Although families are the most important first line of defense for monitoring symptoms, teachers will play an important role in referring possible symptomatic students to the school nurse. Teachers and staff will receive training on referring possible symptomatic students to the school nurse.
  • Teachers/ eLearning Center monitors will direct the student to wear a mask that fully covers nose and mouth at all times.
  • 3.A teacher/ eLearning Center monitor who believes a student has symptoms of COVID-19 will call the nurse to inform them that they have a possible case. The student will be escorted to the nurse’s office for an assessment.
  • The nurse will evaluate the student for symptoms.
  • IF ANY SYMPTOM:
  • The nurse will place the student in the designated isolation waiting room. Students in the COVID-19 waiting room will be as far apart as possible , and no less than 6 feet. Strict mask wearing covering the nose and mouth at all times for every person in the room will be enforced.
  • The isolation room monitor will contact the parent/caregiver for pick-up.

The student waits to be picked up in the medical isolation waiting room, and may use the designated bathroom as needed, but not allowed to travel elsewhere in the building. Parents/Caregivers will pick up through a designated entrance, will show identification, and must wear a mask/face covering when picking up their student. Students may not ride the school bus to get home. Caregivers and students should wash their hands upon arriving at home and change their clothes as a precaution.

iii. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested should, instead, isolate for 10 days and until asymptomatic.

  1. Student should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. A list of MA testing sites can be found HERE.
  2. Isolate at home until test results are returned.
  3. Proceed as follows according to test results:
  4. IF NEGATIVE: If the student does not have COVID-19, the student may return to school based upon guidance from their clinician and necessary management of another diagnosis.

Student stays home until asymptomatic and fever free without the use of fever reducing medications for 24 hours.

  1. IF POSITIVE: Student should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.
  2. IF NO SYMPTOMS:
  3. If the evaluation shows the student does not haveCOVID-19 symptoms, the student will be sent back to class/ eLearning Center.

Protocol: Student is Symptomatic at Home

  1. Families should monitor students at home each morning for the most common symptoms of COVID-19.
  2. IF NO SYMPTOMS:
  3. Send student to school.
  4. IF ANY SYMPTOM:
  5. Do not send the student to school.
  6. Call the COVID Response hotline (617-544-6806) and report that the student is staying home due to symptoms.

iii. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead isolate for 10 days and until asymptomatic.

  1. The student should get tested at one of Massachusetts’s test sites. A list of MA testing sites can be found HERE.
  2. Isolate at home until test results are returned.
  3. Proceed as follows according to test results:
  4. IF NEGATIVE: Student stays home until asymptomatic for 24 hours.
  5. IF POSITIVE: Student should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.

 

Notification of a Lab-Confirmed Case

Consistent with school notification requirements for other communicable diseases, and consistent with legal confidentiality requirements, EPS will notify all teachers, staff, and families of all students in a school if a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case is identified among students, teachers or staff who participate in any in-school activities. EPS will have a 3-tiered notification process as outlined below:

  • Tier 1 - Upon confirmation of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case, communication will be sent out to all teachers, staff, and families of students who are assigned to, or attended, that specific school. This includes all families using remote learning and those receiving school-based instruction in addition to those who are attending eLearning Centers. A copy of the Tier 1 notification letter can be found below.
  • Tier 2 - Upon confirmation of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case, communication will be sent out to all teachers, staff, and families of students, who are enrolled in any class, center or activity with the individual who has the lab-confirmed COVID-19 case. Teachers, staff and students sharing a room with the lab-confirmed may meet the definition of having close contact with the case. Those receiving this letter will be required to monitor themselves and if they begin to have any COVID-19 symptoms, they will need to quarantine and contact their school. A copy of the Tier II notification letter can be found below.
  • Tier 3 - Upon confirmation of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 case, the school EPS COVID Response Team, along with the school nurse will begin an investigation. If the results of this investigation provide that close contact was confirmed with any teachers, staff, or students, those specific individuals will receive communication requiring them to quarantine. A copy of the Tier III notification letter can be found below.

Protocol for Nurse Visits

  • Parents should administer medications at home (if practicable) to limit possible exposure.
  • Parents will send "as needed" medication to be used at school only if absolutely necessary. (i.e. inhalers, epi pens, Benadryl, etc.)
  • Non-essential visits to the school nurse will be minimized or eliminated to decrease the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. All teachers/ eLearning Center monitors will call the nurse with concerns, prior to sending a student to the nurse’s office.
  • Students will be escorted to the nurse’s office by a staff member maintaining social distance.
  • Students will wait outside the office, standing in designated spaces, six feet apart, while wearing masks, for the nurse to perform an assessment.
  • There will be a separate space for students who are ill and those who are visiting for chronic conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, or an injury.
  • Students displaying possible COVID-19 symptoms will be escorted to the isolation room and the Isolation Protocol will be followed. Note: A student who reports or displays any of the following symptoms (Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 fahrenheit, loss of taste or smell, cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fatigue, headache, chills, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, shaking or exaggerated shivering, significant muscle pain or ache, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting) must, according to MA DESE Guidelines, be sent home for 14 days or until a negative COVID-19 test is provided to the EPS.
  • Nurses will wear scrubs along with having full PPE available, including N95 masks with a face shield, disposable gowns and gloves.
  • Nurses will be provided with disinfecting wipes to clean commonly touched areas in the nurse’s office throughout the day. The office will be thoroughly disinfected if there is a suspected COVID case and every night.

Protocol: Close Contact Notification

 

  1. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that all close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should also be tested.
  1. For COVID-19, a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

OR

having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

  1. The student or staff member who was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified by the EPS COVID Response Team and should be tested at one of Massachusetts’ test sites. An individual who does not wish to be tested should instead quarantine for 10 days and until asymptomatic.
  1. Close contacts must isolate at home prior to testing and while awaiting test results. 

  2. IF POSITIVE TEST: The student or staff member should remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from the local board of health or Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative. Most people who have relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 14 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms.

Recess and Lunch Procedures

Recess

  • Recess breaks will be provided to support the physical and emotional health of students.
  • Staff will be trained on guidelines and procedures associated with outdoor play and student activities.
  • Hand washing facilities or hand sanitizer needs to be used upon leaving and returning to the school building.
  • Staff will designate outdoor spaces to separate cohorts and support physical distancing, while still providing recess opportunities.
  • When students are outdoors, they must continue to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet.
  • Playgrounds/ playground equipment may not be used during recess time.
  • Staggered schedules and consistent cohorts will be utilized.
  • In eLearning Centers with one location for recess, cones will be placed to divide the groups that are out at the same time, and proctors will be assigned to specific spots near the cones to remind students to stay apart and maintain 6 feet of space.
  • Older students will be allowed to use their phones during recess. If space is available, students will be assigned to a separate space where social distancing will be implemented.
  • Students will only be allowed to use their Chromebooks to play computer games or to Zoom a classmate during recess, while keeping in mind social distancing.
  • Staff will monitor students to ensure safety guidelines are followed.

Meals

  • Meals will be prepared following USDA, state, and DESE guidelines. 
  • Meals will be delivered to and eaten in the eLearning Centers or cohort classrooms. 
  • Daily meal options will include individually packaged and to-go style breakfasts and lunches to reduce points of contact.
  • No self-service items or lunch line service will be available
  • Students will wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating.
  • Masks may be removed to consume meals, as students will be six feet apart
  • Because all cohorts will be eating together, no peanuts or tree nuts will be allowed on campus to ensure the safety of students and staff.
  • Students may not bring food from home.
  • In order to minimize student movement, staff will be responsible for cleaning up after meals.

Safety Protocols for Hand Washing,
Disinfecting and PPE

Frequent disinfection and hand sanitization will ensure health and wellness of students and staff.

 

Hand Hygiene: Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizing

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the main entry to each school, in eLearning Centers and classrooms, and in common areas throughout each building.
  • Handwashing removes pathogens from the surface of the hands.
  • While handwashing with soap and water is the best option, alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be utilized when hand washing is not available. 
  • Students and staff are required to exercise hand hygiene (hand washing or sanitizing) upon arrival to school, before and after eating, before putting on and taking off masks, and before dismissal. 
  • When hand washing, students should use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with an individual disposable towel.
  • Hand sanitizer should be applied to all surfaces of the hands and in sufficient quantity as it takes 20 seconds of rubbing hands together for the sanitizer to dry.
  • Hand washing and hand sanitizing instructions will be posted near sinks and hand sanitizer stations.
  • Students will be explicitly instructed in proper hand hygiene during orientation and revisited regularly during in-person, cohort learning.
  • Soap, via touchless dispensers, and disposable paper towels will be stocked in all rooms with sinks.
  • Staff and students will be expected to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.

Disinfecting, Cleaning and PPE Expectations

Disinfecting/Cleaning

Although it is not the main way the virus spreads, it may be possible for an individual to get COVID-19 by touching an object that is contaminated and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly eyes. To minimize the possibility of this, the maintenance staff at each learning site will clean each floor in the building and areas that are constantly touched.  Maintenance staff will be wearing appropriate protection, such as gloves and masks, and will be frequently washing hands, following instructions on all cleaning products, and handling waste following state guidelines.  Signage and equipment have been established to enable effective health and safety procedures, as defined in the Commonwealth’s guidance on required safety supplies for reopening schools.  At the end of each day, the entire school will be spray-cleaned with products that meet the standards of DESE and CDC guidelines.

 

EPS Cleaning Schedule

EPS has an intensified general cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting routine. The schools will utilize cleaning and disinfecting supplies and materials, such as:

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfecting solution, meeting CDC guidelines
  • Hard surface sanitizing spray
  • Disinfecting cleaner (EPA approved)

Cleaning will be scheduled to ensure all areas, materials, furniture, and equipment used by students and staff are properly cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected.

  • Staff will have access to disinfecting wipes to sanitize high-touch working surfaces and frequently shared objects.
  • Staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible.
  • Student responsibilities will be established to clean personal areas and materials/supplies.

PPE Supplies

EPS has a supply of PPE available for staff and student use, including the following:

  • Masks (Surgical masks and N95 masks for nurses)
  • Non-latex Gloves
  • Disposable gowns for nurses
  • Face Shields
  • Hand Sanitizer: Distributed throughout cohorts
  • Disinfecting wipes

Considerations for Students with Disabilities

 
Some Students With Disabilities require specialized transportation as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, RPS will work collaboratively with parents of students who are eligible for specialized transportation to determine their ability to transport their child(ren) to and from school.

Parents of students for whom special transportation is provided for in their IEPs and who transport their students are eligible for reimbursement, according to 603 CMR 28.07(6).

In these cases, the student maintains the right to access transportation for a disability-related need at a future date.

RPS will not amend the IEP to reflect the temporary change in transportation arrangements, but the family will be notified in writing of this temporary change, if they agree to transport their student.

In cases where special transportation is provided for in the student’s IEP and the family is unable to transport their student, school districts must coordinate and provide transportation for those students, including students in out-of-district placements.
Staff should assist children with washing or sanitizing hands upon arrival after exiting the bus, van, or vehicle and prior to departure before boarding the bus, van, or vehicle.
 

Protocols for School Visitors

EPS staff should consider utilizing virtual meeting options to limit school visitors.

Non-essential visitors will not be allowed to enter campus. 

Visitor Screening/PPE Requirements

  • All individuals entering an EPS building will be required to wear a face covering.
  • All individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms, or are lab confirmed with COVID-19, must remain out of school until they meet the criteria for re-entry.
  • Essential visitors will stand behind the shield guard installed at reception desks. They may be subject to COVID-19 symptom screening.
  • All essential visitors must be directly related to the social-emotional or academic growth of students. As health and safety forecasts improve, we will open up schools to a wider variety of volunteers and visitors.
  • Parents will be allowed on campus by appointment only.
  • Outside deliveries of food, school supplies, etc. by parents will not be permitted. Only essential deliveries (i.e. necessary student medication) will be allowed.
  • Volunteers and other visitors are not allowed to visit campuses at this time (including mentors, college representatives, guest speakers, etc.).
  • Virtual tools will be used to conduct meetings such as PTO meetings, IEP meetings, suspension meetings, etc.
  • Any individuals permitted to proceed beyond the reception area must follow all school safety protocols.