Layers of Protection
It is important to remember that one strategy alone is not effective against the mitigation of illness. Salida School District will utilize many strategies to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These layers of protection make assumptions that asymptomatic cases are among us. Salida School District is using a system of overlapping strategies to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These strategies include facility improvements, daily health screening, facemasks, hand hygiene, increased social distancing and cohorting. These overlapping layers of protection are put in place so that where one may fail the other precautions will remain strong. If conditions in our community are challenged, there are strategies in place to make these layers of protection even more rigid. Also, we have broadened our partnerships with local medical experts to ensure fast response time for students in our district.
The first and most important layer of protection begins before school! Keep your students home when they are sick. Please do not give fever reducing medications before school. Everyday we are asking parents to administer this home screening checklist to determine if their student is able to attend classes.
- New HVAC equipment has been installed to increase air exchange (complete air exchange and filtration is now done in every room every 15 minutes).
- Upgraded Hepa filters have been installed in all HVAC systems which filter 95% of all viruses including COVID-19.
- The district’s custodial staff will continue disinfecting all facilities with electrostatic wands.
- Our custodial team will be increasing cleaning, particularly of high touch surfaces.
Daily Health Screenings
- PARENTS SHOULD FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDED SCREENING OF THEIR OWN CHILDREN BEFORE THEY LEAVE FOR SCHOOL EACH MORNING. (See above)
- Buses and Schools have both been fitted with infrared temperature stations at all entrances, which will act as indicators to initiate further screenings of students who may be exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.
- Staff will again take temperatures and inquire students about potential symptoms during the first hour of class. Any students exhibiting potential symptoms will be checked by one of our nurses on staff. If a student needs to be sent home due to potential COVID-19 symptoms they will need to have a physician fill out this form in order to return to school.
- The district has hired an additional staff member for our nursing team to help increase our ability to effectively monitor screening and efficiently administer our illness response protocol.
- All of the facilities are developing protocols to ensure that students wash hands frequently including in times of transition or high traffic areas.
- In addition, our custodial staff has designed multiple extra physical hand washing stations for the facilities.
- Per Governor Polis’s current mandate, all staff will be required to wear face coverings. Students in 5-12 grades will also be required to wear face coverings.
- Article from Children’s Hospital – Facemasks for Children
Social Distancing and Cohorting strategies are the two layers of protection that can be most effectively altered, should the community experience a change in any of the metrics used to determine which phase of the Reopening Plan the school district needs to adapt to throughout the school year. These are the two precautions that may need to be controlled the most thus requiring the community to support in more remote learning.
- Classrooms are going to look different this year. Teachers have already been removing furniture and other items to maximize distance between students.
- Some measure of physical distancing will be implemented into hallways and other activities wherever feasible including signage in traffic areas to display the needed flow of students to promote the most social distancing.
- The strategy of cohorts is to limit the amount of people interacting with one another, thus groups of students will be kept together wherever possible.
- Family units will not be seperated through cohorting measures.
- Should the community be challenged with increased COVID-19 infections, even stronger cohorting strategies will be implemented.
Illness Response is the district’s plan for how to handle students who exhibit signs of, or are tested positive for, COVID-19.
- If a student presents symptoms of an illness, the nurses will isolate the student in a separate room designated for this purpose until the parents can immediately come and pick up their student. In order to return the student will need clearance from a medical professional which will likely involve a COVID-19 test as well.
- If a positive case is verified, then the school and possibly the district, will shut down for disinfectant protocols and trace contacting. The district will post a community message of a verified positive case in one of the schools, identifying the school as soon as possible. Should standard dismissal procedures need to change in this case please make yourself familiar with the potential reunification plans between parents and students. For a more in depth look at the response to a positive case or the use of quarantine measures by the district, review this document.
- The district will not publish student or staff names that may be presenting symptoms or tested positive.
- The district, in conjunction with public health, will directly notify any families of close contact exposure.
- We do have the ability to reduce cohort interactions and exposure as community conditions change. We will not break up family units if cohorts must separate.
- We are also committed to constantly updating our precautions as new information is available, sometimes daily.