- Everett Public Schools
- COVID-19 Family Handbook - Translatable
Family COVID-19 School Safety Handbook 2020-21
This handbook was developed to inform families of the many ways we are modifying operational practices as we reopen schools to keep our students and staff safe. It also provides information on what families need to do to help keep their student and others safe.
Below is version you can read on screen by topic which also allows for translation to multiple languages. To translate, click on "Translate Language" at the top right of the webpage and choose from the drop down the language you would like the page translated to. To return to original version, click 'Show original' at the top left of the webpage.
Last updated November 24, 2020
Message from Superintendent
We are excited to begin bringing some students and staff back into the school buildings. Know this was done with very careful and detailed planning, along with consultations with the health department and partnerships with school districts nationwide in learning best practices to keep staff and students safe. Your child’s safety is our priority.
In this handbook, you will find health protocols already in place and actions we all need to take daily to ensure safety for our students and staff. You will also see plans for meals, transportation, cleaning, and procedures on how to report positive cases. There will be specific plans about the location of your school’s CARE Room as well as the pick-up and drop-off locations coming from your school.
I hope you will find this reassuring knowing the care and thought put into our staff and student safety. Also, be prepared for some flexibility as we will continue to modify as needed and follow the latest safety recommendations from our health authorities.
Thank you for your partnership in your student’s education.
Stay safe and be well,
Dr. Ian B. Saltzman
Goals of Reopening School BUILDINGS
The planning for bringing students back into the school buildings was based around the following goals:
- Protect the health and well-being of students, staff and families
- Provide quality educational opportunities and instruction for all students, whether in a school building or at home.
- Maintain and strengthen community engagement and connections with students and families.
The Washington State Department of Health has provided a Decision Tree that helps guide the reopening of schools based on the level of community transmission of COVID-19. We are partnering with the Snohomish Health District to stay up to date on the COVID-19 trends in our county to help inform our decision.
It is recommended our county stay at a consistent level for 3 (three) weeks before the next phase is considered. We will give families a minimum of 2 (two) weeks’ notice before changing the learning model. Families will have the option to stay 100% remote.
The entire district will move back to 100% remote if COVID case counts, test positivity data and other indicators warrant school closure.
Learning Model Status
Everett Public Schools started the 2020-21 school year with a 100% remote learning model and have proposed a staged approach to reopening. Staged reentry to schools will be determined by the impacts of a changing COVID-19 pandemic, available resources, direction from the Snohomish Health District, OSPI and the Governor. Having the flexibility and agility to move to different models will enable us to provide the best education possible in whatever scenario presents itself.
Visit our Learning Model Status page for definitions of the stages and an update on the current stage.
COVID-19 is a virus that spreads through close person-to-person contact. You can become infected by coming into close contact (generally considered to be within 6 (six)-feet) with a person who has COVID-19 through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. You may also get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
Symptoms of COVID-19 are like other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. Common symptoms may include one or more of the following:
- Temperature greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle and body aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Safety Precautions at Home
Self-monitoring is paying attention to your health and identifying any symptoms of illness. The Snohomish Health District recommends everyone self-monitor. If you begin displaying symptoms, you should self-isolate and contact your health provider for directions for testing.
Self-isolation is required if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had close contact with someone who has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. If you are experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. You may be told to self-isolate, which means stay at home until you receive the results of your test. You are also asked to continue to monitor yourself for symptoms, avoid all contact with others, and follow Snohomish Health District advice. If you have COVID-19, you must isolate until you have medical confirmation you are illness-free.
Daily Parent / Guardian Planning for Sick Student
Parents and caregivers should make a daily plan in case their student needs to be picked up early from school due to illness. Please ensure contact information is up to date with your school.
If a Student Becomes Sick
SICK AT HOME
Staying at Home When You are Sick – Video (ENGLISH)
If a student is experiencing cold or flu-like symptoms similar to those listed above, they must NOT attend school. Parents/caregivers should contact their healthcare provider for direction.
If the student is referred for testing, they must remain home and self-isolate until they have received their results and direction from the Snohomish Health District or their healthcare provider.
SICK AT SCHOOL
Any student who begins to exhibit a high fever or any other COVID-19 like symptoms must report to the designated CARE Room at their school, where the building school nurse/designated staff member will be there to help them.
- The student will be escorted and remain in the CARE Room until a parent or guardian picks up the student, or alternative transportation home is arranged.
- The student will be allowed to return to school according to the most current guidance from the health district:
- If they have a positive COVID-19 test
- At least 24 hours have passed since recovery- defined as no fever without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory signs like cough and shortness of breath; AND at least 10 days have passed since signs first showed up.
- If they have a negative COVID-19 test
- Until 24 hours after fever resolves and symptoms are improving.
- If they do not get tested for COVID-19
- At least 10 days after symptom onset AND at least 24 hours after fever has resolved and symptoms improved.
- The affected rooms will be closed for 24 hours and then the cleaning and disinfecting protocol will be implemented.
- If the student tested positive there will be follow up to support contact tracing and appropriate closures and communications will follow.
- If they have a positive COVID-19 test
If a Staff Member Becomes Sick AT SCHOOL
If a staff member develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, they must inform their supervisor, who will attempt to have the staff member’s duties covered if/as needed. Once the staff member has notified their supervisor, they should immediately leave the school and seek medical attention. The appropriate school cleaning and disinfection protocol will be initiated.
If YOUR Student Tests Positive for COVID-19
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please inform your school principal, who will be able to get education support for your student as well as start the school cleaning and disinfecting protocol. The Snohomish Health District will also notify the school district, but you may be able to do it faster which will help us implement precautionary measures more quickly.
Your principal will alert the COVID-19 communications lead who will ensure the proper protocol is taken. You may be asked to fill out a “close contact list” to help the health district with contact tracing.
If There is a COVID-19 Case at School
The Snohomish Health District (or you) will notify the school district if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 linked to a school. To protect patient privacy (HIPAA), Everett Public Schools will not be sharing names or health information of students and staff. Instead the school and school district will work with public health officials on communication and the next steps, which may include self-isolation, self-monitoring, contact tracing, and testing.
Following a positive case, cleaning and disinfecting of the affected areas will be conducted. If this cleaning disrupts normal school operations, families will be notified about any scheduling changes.
Students and staff members should self-monitor to ensure they are not developing symptoms. If the individual had close contact with any students or staff members who may need testing, those individuals will be contacted by public health officials.
The most significant aspect of maintaining the health and safety of students and staff at school is to educate our greater Everett Public Schools’ community about the importance of staying home if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Any student, staff member, or visitor who enters our schools or who utilizes district transportation must attest they have no symptoms of COVID-19 and/or they have not been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed or suspected positive with COVID-19 in the last 14 days (health care providers, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) workers, and educational staff associate who wore proper personal protective equipment (PPE) are OK to attend).
The regular expectation will be for each staff member and student to complete a health screening PRIOR to coming to school each day.
This is called an “attestation,” and it will be accomplished at home through a daily email that will be sent with a link to the Health Screening Questionnaire to each staff member and student’s EPS address as well as to every student’s primary parent/guardian/caregiver. A free app will also be available for download to have a message sent to a smart phone.
The Health Screening Questionnaire will include two parts – 1) a symptom check and 2) a COVID-19 exposure check.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, those who have any of the following symptoms should not come to school/work:
- Temperature greater than 100.4 Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle and body aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose (unrelated to seasonal allergies)
- Nausea or vomiting
CLOSE CONTACT/POTENTIAL EXPOSURE
- Within the past 14 days, have you been in close physical contact (6 feet or closer for at least 15 minutes) with a person who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
- Within the past 14 days, have you been in close physical contact (6 feet or closer for at least 15 minutes) with anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
* If you answer yes to any of the questions in Sections 1 or 2, you must NOT come to school today.
Again, the regular expectation will be for each staff member and student to complete a health screening PRIOR to coming to school each day. If the student/family does not have access to the Health Screening email for a particular day, the questionnaire can be completed by clicking the “Health Screening” link on the school’s homepage under Quicklinks or by using a smartphone to scan the QR code posted at the entry door of the school.
Student attestations will be confirmed by each classroom teacher whenever a new group of students (or an individual student) arrives. In the rare event that a student arrives at school without completing the Health Screening Questionnaire, they will be screened by the School Nurse, Health Room Assistant, or trained designee at the location determined by the school for this purpose. This will include a temperature check with a non-contact thermometer. The location and the site-specific layout of the screening station for students will be determined by each school and will maintain the District’s physical distancing protocols.
Each school will have a designated CARE Room for students who show symptoms similar to COVID-19 during the day. This area will be staffed by the school nurse, Health Room Assistant, or trained designee equipped with appropriate PPE. Parents/guardians/caregivers will be notified to pick up their student from school as soon as practical.
Students who are excluded from school will be afforded the opportunity to make up any missed classwork without penalty.
Proper hand hygiene is a key element to reducing the spread of illness. Students will be taught and expected to follow proper hand hygiene. This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and the frequent use of hand sanitizer. Visual instructions for proper hand washing will be displayed beside every sink.
Hand sanitizer will be available in all schools for students and staff at main entrances, in offices, in every classroom and at other locations as necessary. Individual hand sanitizer pump bottles are provided to individual classrooms and offices. Sanitizer products contain 70% ethanol alcohol.
There will be numerous prompts to wash hands or use hand sanitizer throughout the day, such as when first entering the building, entering the classroom or immediately before and after recess.
Plexiglass hygiene shields are located in the schools’ public areas and office spaces where there is close contact with other people.
All employees, students, and building visitors (if any) shall properly wear a mask that covers the chin, mouth, and nose, while at any district facility or in any district vehicles or attending any district event. For staff, masks must be worn AT ALL TIMES by every individual not working alone. Someone is considered to be working alone when they're isolated from interaction with other people and have little or no expectation of in-person interruption. How often an employee is able to work alone throughout the day may vary.
Per the WA Dept. of Labor & Industries, examples of working alone include:
- A lone employee inside a vehicle.
- A person by themselves inside an office or classroom with 4 walls and a door.
- A lone employee inside of a cubicle with 4 walls (one with an opening for an entryway) that are high enough to block the breathing zone of anyone walking by (generally understood to be at least 6 feet high), and whose work activity will not require anyone to come inside of the cubicle.
Even if an employee is in an area listed above, they must put on a mask and maintain social distancing of 6 feet if another person enters that area at the same time. Also, when an employee leaves their office, classroom, or cubicle, they need to put on their mask. This includes when walking in hallways or within other common areas as libraries, gyms, cafeterias, and staff lounges (other than when eating or drinking).
There are specific exceptions based on age, development, or disability. Exceptions are for those who can document in writing any of the following:
- Those with a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing a face covering.
- Those with certain respiratory conditions or trouble breathing.
- Those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who provide instruction to such people, and use facial and mouth movements as part of communication.
- Those advised by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional that wearing a face covering may pose a risk to that person.
In circumstances when a cloth face covering cannot be worn, students and staff may use a face shield that includes a cloth extension attached to the entire edge of the shield.
Younger students must be supervised when wearing a face covering or face shield. These students may need help with their masks and getting used to wearing them.
Students may remove face coverings to eat and drink and when they can be physically distanced outside. If students need a “mask break” they will be taken outside or to a large, well ventilated room where there is sufficient space to ensure more than six feet of physical distance between people.
The school district is responsible for providing appropriate PPE for staff who provide assistance to students who have special needs. Employees working with students who cannot wear a mask for the reasons described above shall be provided all appropriate PPE, including but not limited to medical grade respirator masks, eye protection/face shields, gloves and clothing, as described by the applicable local, state or federal standards (whichever is most strict).
For employees or students who cannot or should not wear masks consistent with DOH exemption criteria, the District will provide additional safeguards to address the additional risk, such as:
- The employee will continue providing the service remotely or student will continue to receive the service(s) remotely (except for students with developmental disabilities).
- If a student with developmental disabilities cannot wear a face mask, we will work with them to see if they can tolerate a face shield.
- The use of face shields and other protective equipment combined with additional measures that limit the risk that individuals will not come into contact closer than 6 feet, or
- Implementing other specific procedures and/or accommodations that mitigate the added COVID-19 risks due to the lack of a cloth face covering.
The regular expectation is for students and staff to bring their own face coverings each day. However, schools will provide face coverings for staff and students who don’t have them.
The following are links to the most current resources that are influential in the development of the EPS Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) protocols for employees, students, and visitors.
The State of Washington and the Department of Health advise schools to provide appropriate physical distancing standards whenever possible. This is a six (6)-foot space between every person and will be followed in our schools. This standard does not apply to school busses, although precautions will still be in place.
To facilitate physical distancing, conference/meeting/staff rooms will have reduced capacities, signage will be posted, and chair/table configurations will be rearranged. Some open office seating areas will have reduced capacities as well. Installation of plexiglass screens are provided for certain locations requiring close interactions.
Use of “choke points” and “high-risk areas” such as restrooms, elevators, stairways, entryways and hallways will be in conformance with physical distancing requirements.
The following guidelines will help maintain social distancing during the school day:
- Arrival and dismissal procedures will minimize the opportunity for groups of students to interact (see “Pick-up and Drop-off at School” below).
- Students will not congregate in the lunchroom, commons area, gymnasium, hallways or other areas during arrival and dismissal.
- Signage will be in place to help students gauge appropriate spacing and to direct traffic patterns in hallways.
- Markings on the floors of restrooms and locker rooms will be provided to indicate proper social distancing.
- For classrooms with two doors, one door shall be used for entrance into the classroom and the other door for exit.
- Recess schedules will limit the number of students on the playground or within a specific area of the playground.
- Assemblies and other large student gatherings will not be held.
Signage reminding staff, students and visitors that all are required to wear an approved face covering is posted at the front entrance of each facility. Interior signage is placed in the foyers and hallways to remind people about the six (6)-foot distancing requirement, the wearing of a face covering and directional signs where needed for traffic flow. Classrooms will also have signage indicating the maximum COVID-19 capacity and floor markings to indicate the required spacing necessary between students.
Where appropriate, signage will be provided in multiple languages. When signage must be in English only, universal images will be used to communicate the directions/expectations in those areas.
At each school, every classroom, student space and common area (including library, gym, staff lounge, conference room) have been evaluated to determine the regular student and staff capacity to maintain 6-foot social distancing requirements. At each of these spaces, placards will be posted to clearly indicate the regular COVID social distance capacity.
PROCESS: The dimensions of each space take into account cabinetry, counters, and permanent bookcases. To ensure an additional margin of separation, each student space is bounded by a 1-foot “bubble” for social distancing calculations. Rather than point-to-point, the 6-foot distances were measured from the edge of one student’s bubble to the edge of the next student’s bubble. After gross number of student spaces are calculated, subtraction factors (sinks, doorways, protrusions, teacher desk areas, etc.) are incorporated based on the classroom or common area layout to reduce the total to a practical net maximum capacity.
PLACARDS: Each classroom and common area will have a placard posted on the inside and outside of the space. The placard will indicate the COVID capacity, the room number or location, and the name of the school. Typical classroom placards will indicate the “COVID Social Distance Capacity.” This number will include the total number of students and adults who can occupy the area on a regular basis to allow for a physical separation of at least 6 feet. This is not meant to exclude temporary visitors (see “Visitors to the Classroom” below).
VISITORS TO THE CLASSROOM: The social distancing capacities of each classroom assume that a student desk will not be placed, for example, in the area immediately next to a sink or doorway. Based on the arrangement of the classroom, other areas may also provide adequate social distancing for a visitor to be positioned on a temporary basis (i.e. administrators for a walk-thru or evaluative observation).
Every classroom and space in our school buildings have been assessed to indicate the number of students and adults who can be in the room on a regular basis while still following physical distancing guidelines. Those maximums will be followed to every extent possible. These capacities were calculated to include a buffer in most cases to allow options for desk/table arrangements as well space for safe classroom egress. It should be noted that:
- Unnecessary furniture may possibly need to be moved to an unused portion of the classroom or marked “do not use.”
- When possible, desks or tables will be arranged to allow students to face the same direction (rather than facing each other).
- Area rugs, stuffed animals and soft furnishings that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will be removed.
It will be important to maintain exit egress widths to maintain a minimum of 36” clear pathways into classrooms and to all major accessible components of the room including the teaching wall, adjacent spacess accessed from the room, sink areas, and high traffic areas (up to 6 feet where possible).
To the extent possible, student groups will remain consistent in elementary schools to limit the number of student interactions during the school day. In elementary schools, these groups will be the student’s classroom. Middle and high school students will follow a rotating on-campus schedule to limit student interactions. This grouping will also limit the number of students teachers interact with during the school day. These practices will also assist public health officials in their efforts to trace contacts if an outbreak occurs.
Activities and Interactions
Staff members will be encouraging students to limit physical contact and will be modeling new ways to interact using games that include basic principles such as ‘two-arm lengths apart’ and avoiding close greetings like hugs or handshakes. Physically distant greetings such as air-fives and waves will be encouraged.
Classroom activities will be planned avoiding physical contact or the close gathering of students. Activities requiring clustering around an item or small area will avoided.
Limiting Shared Materials
All students will be responsible for their own school supplies. Sharing of student personal items such as electronic devices, writing instruments, supplies, and food will not be allowed.
Learning materials that are shared amongst students during classroom lessons will be reduced and sanitized. Items that cannot be easily cleaned and disinfected will not be used. No stuffed toys or porous items will be permitted.
- Each school will develop a plan for restroom use to try to limit the number of students in a restroom at one time.
- Where possible, restrooms will be assigned to groups or classes of students.
- Increased cleaning and disinfection will be scheduled
- Visual instruction for proper handwashing will be displayed in every restroom.
Drinking fountains present a high risk of transmitting viruses like COVID-19 and will be off limits for students. Water will be available to students to fill water bottles through such means as classroom faucets, water bottle filling stations or water dispensing stations. Re-usable water bottles will be provided to students and staff.
The district has developed a water quality plan, which includes weekly purging water lines in our schools and buildings to reduce the risk of legionella, testing for proper chlorine levels and flushing hot water tanks that are kept at 120 Fahrenheit/48.9 degrees Celsius.
Daycare and Preschool
The district will be working with preschools and childcare providers to help support operations while following health and safety guidelines.
Our cafeterias do not have adequate space and enough lunch tables to accommodate social distancing requirements for the 50% student capacity required in a hybrid instructional model. Also, there is not enough time between the several lunch periods to disinfect tables and surfaces.
A community advisory committee has recommended where possible students should eat in their classrooms to limit interaction with others. The “free meals for all” federal waiver is in place through December 31, 2020. Accordingly, all students are eligible for free lunch. Elementary breakfasts will be provided to students when they enter the building and coordinated with the morning health check process. Lunch orders will be recorded in the morning and meals will be brought to each classroom and distributed to students. Students will clear their own desks and throw away garbage in the provided waste receptacle. This is not a new practice in the district and has worked well during construction projects. Many school districts throughout the state have meals in classrooms as a standard approach. Secondary schools are more complex, and the meal program will be modified to adapt the design of student groupings. They will likely require a combination of in-classroom and in-cafeteria meals.
Best practices staff and families can support include:
- Students will be required to wash/sanitize hands before every meal and to the extent this habit can be developed and reinforced will be helpful.
- Students must only remove their mask while eating and then put it back on immediately after.
- Students should be aware of a safe place to put their mask while eating to prevent it from falling on the floor.
- Students must not share meals (purchased or brought from home) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but also to protect many who have food allergies.
For high school students, campuses will remain closed for off-site meals to minimize opportunities for exposure until deemed unnecessary by local COVID-19 transmission rates.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and districts have been studying best practices across the nation and it is clear that social distancing is very challenging. Unlike classroom time, which can be in excess of 6 (six)-hours a day in some schedules, bus rides are typically short in duration and are often essential for students to access their basic education. However, multiple additional health mitigation strategies such as health screening, face coverings, hand hygiene, frequent cleaning, and maximum air circulation are necessary when riders cannot follow the 6(six)-foot social distancing rule on buses. We are implementing practices to promote social distancing while riding buses.
Before each student leaves for school each morning, the following are daily expectations:
- Parents/guardians/families are required to check students for COVID-19 symptoms (including taking their temperature), and they are further required to attest students are symptom free as required by Department of Health protocols. Parents/guardians/families are encouraged to teach students about social distancing at bus stops and, if possible, to coordinate with other parents and adults at the stop to supervise good social distancing practices.
- Students should dress warm during the winter months as bus windows will be partially open.
- Each student is expected to bring and wear a properly fitted mask at all times (if they do not have a mask, one will be provided when they get on the bus).
- If possible, students should carry a spare mask in case the primary mask becomes dirty.
- Students’ belongings should be secured in a backpack, and they are encouraged to not access things such as snacks or their cell phones while riding the bus.
- Students should be reminded to maintain social distancing at the bus stop.
- PTA/PTSA’s and other parent groups will be solicited by the school’s leadership for volunteers to have an adult present until the bus arrives.
Our transportation team has been creating best practices for students while on the bus especially when 6 (six)-foot social distancing is not possible. While all efforts to maintain clean buses are made, we recognize students touch the bus door, railings and each seat as they move onto the bus. Those surfaces will be cleaned between runs with deeper cleaning at midday and overnight. The most significant safeguard for students and the driver is to keep masks on at all times.
To maximize social distancing and for contact tracing purposes, students will be assigned seats on buses, and a record of the seating plan will be kept. Students who live in the same household may be seated together in closer proximity.
- Bus windows and roof vents will be partially open (3 clicks) based upon weather conditions to maximize air flow.
- Buses will have a 16oz bottle of hand sanitizer.
- A box of masks on each bus will be available for students who arrive with no mask (students who did not arrive with masks will be reported to the school for family follow-up).
- Commonly touched areas will be wiped down with disinfectant between route segments.
- When the bus returns to the yard each day they will be disinfected thoroughly with electrostatic sprayers.
Pick-up and Drop-off at School
Each individual school will be creating a plan to ensure efficient and safe pick-up and drop-off at the school. This plan will be communicated to the respective families and posted for easy access on the school’s website homepage.
Parents and caregivers are asked to transport their own children when possible. Picking up and dropping off students outside of the building is encouraged unless there is a need for the parent or caregiver to enter the school. Elementary schools will facilitate arrival and departure by having designated gathering points for staggered entry/exit. This will be evaluated throughout the fall.
If parents or guardians must enter the school, they will be required to fill out a health questionnaire before entering the building. The form can be filled out by clicking the “Health Screening” link on the school’s homepage under Quicklinks or by using a smartphone to scan the QR code posted at the entry door of the school. Paper copies will be made available as needed. These forms will be used if a contact tracing investigation is necessary.
Parents and caregivers must put on a mask and use hand sanitizer immediately upon entering the school. In the school, parents and caregivers should maintain physical distance from staff and other students and should practice diligent hand hygiene.
Current start and end times will be retained per each school’s bell schedule. Families should drop off children as close to bell times as possible, but no earlier than 15 minutes before the start of school.
For families dropping off students at an extended day program or childcare in the school, please confirm pick up and drop off requirements with the program.
Assemblies and gatherings will be limited to class groups. Large assemblies/meetings will occur virtually to limit interactions among students. If gatherings (meetings) occur, they will access large open spaces (i.e. gyms) to allow for physical distancing.
Recess / Outdoor Spaces / Playgrounds
Schools will develop plans to promote student groups staying together and physical distancing during non-instructional time. This may include staggering of break times and assigned outdoor spaces for groups of students.
- Equipment used by multiple students will be reduced. Other activities that do not involve the sharing of equipment will be encouraged.
- Schools will develop site-specific plans to promote physical distancing and reduce the risk of infection.
- Use of fields and blacktop spaces will be determined for the school and community. They may be used for staging areas for morning arrival.
- Each elementary school will determine its schedules for use of play structures.
At the start/end of recess breaks each day, all available school doors will be utilized to support social distancing measures. Once students are in class, doors other than the main entrance may be locked for security purposes.
Visitors on School Grounds
At this time, it is important to keep the number of visitors to the school at a strict minimum. Whenever possible, virtual options are strongly encouraged. Outside guest speakers will not be scheduled for in-person presentations. Contractors attending the school for facilities work will be limited where possible.
To promote health, safety and social distancing, visits to schools by parents and other adults who are not Everett Public Schools staff members should be scheduled in advance whenever reasonably possible. These scheduled visits may be initiated by visitors by contacting the school’s main office, or they may be initiated directly by a staff member. In addition:
- Visitors must sign-in at the main office with phone number/email (log is shredded after 30 days).
- COVID-19 waiver must be signed by non-student visitors 18 years or older.
- Visitors must be clear of symptoms similar to COVID-19 (a non-contact thermometer will be available for their use.)
- Visitors must wear a mask and maintain social distancing expectations
- Visitors must use hand sanitizer upon entering the school.
- In general, delivery personnel don’t apply (less than 15 minutes in the school).
- A minimum 6 (six)-foot separation will be facilitated by physical barriers and/or floor markings.
All visitors to the school will be required to fill out a health questionnaire. The form can be filled out by clicking the “Health Screening” link that will be available on the school’s homepage under Quicklinks or by using a smartphone to scan the QR code posted at the entry door of the school. Paper copies will be made available as needed.
In addition to the visitor protocols listed above, there are two very important situations to avoid:
Do not catch someone by surprise with unannounced visitors
- The office should contact the staff member to ensure they are on-site and to let them know a visitor is requesting to meet with them.
Eliminate the potential for a visitor to wander within the building
- Provide an escort with the visitor to and from the staff member’s location (when possible, the staff member will come to the office to meet and escort their visitor).
Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities
The district will clearly communicate all COVID-19 related cleaning and disinfection protocols to staff and families. Cleaning and disinfection protocols for a probable case of COVID-19 will comply with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Access to areas visited by a probable case of COVID-19 will be restricted until cleaning and disinfection is completed.
All classrooms are provided with disinfecting spray bottles, towels and hand sanitizer that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for effectiveness and low toxicity. Additional disinfecting spray bottles and hand sanitizer will be made available in key administrative areas.
HVAC Systems and Air Quality
Highly functioning Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are critical in maintaining healthy school and work environments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has developed guidance for the operation and maintenance of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning systems to reduce the risk of COVID-19. During the summer months, the district has worked closely with HVAC engineers and consultants who are very familiar with our multitude of systems to analyze each system and make specific recommendations with an emphasis on COVID-19 and preventative maintenance. We are following the ASHRAE guidelines listed below:
- Continued monitoring, inspection and maintenance of all HVAC systems
- Pre- and post-occupancy purge cycles to flush our buildings with clean air
- Filter changes 3 times per year (use of Merv-13 rated filters where appropriate)
Ventilation will be set to maximize outside airflow continuously. Most of the HVAC systems in our district are single zone and bring in 100% outside air in, also, most buildings have operable windows. Building flushes have been added two (2) hours before occupancy each day and two (2) hours after occupancy during the day.
District-wide health and safety protocols will be designed to comply with the guidance of all applicable public health agencies. Strict compliance with all relevant District safety and health rules will be an essential function of each employee’s job.
Prior to staff returning to District work sites, and prior to the implementation of each stage in which students will be returning to District school sites, all employees will be provided with training regarding the key District and school safety protocols and procedures addressed in our staff safety handbook.
WHO: Training will be designed specifically for the following groups:
- Leadership teams (administrators, office managers, lead custodians)
- Employees designated in the high-risk category or above regarding PPE
- Teachers, paraeducators, and support staff
- Parents and students
WHEN: Training will be provided to each respective group as far in advance as practical but no later than one week in advance of students returning for in-person instruction. Staff members will be provided time for training during the workday whenever possible.
The fall schedules for early-start and late-start elementary, middle and high school students during remote learning are posted on our web page. As students return to the school buildings there will be new schedules posted.
Student Support Services
As important as physical safety is during the COVID-19 pandemic, emotional safety and mental health are critical components to the learning and wellbeing of our students! At each of our schools, we have counseling staff who are eager to support students in need. Every school has a counseling webpage with helpful contact information. Even in this remote environment, students can access their counselor by calling the school or emailing their counselor directly. Appointments can be made for phone or Zoom meetings as well.
As a district, we have Family Support Advocates who can help provide access to school supplies and physical needs and services. Our Drug & Alcohol Intervention Specialists are also here with resources and listening ears. Mental health supports are available at most sites in our district as well. Please reach out to your school counselor for more information about how we can best support you with your specific needs, and visit our Student Support Services webpage for additional resources.
And no matter what problems you may be dealing with, if you need someone to lean on for emotional support, there are people who want to help. If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24-hours a day, seven (7) days a week across the United States. People call to talk about lots of things: substance abuse, economic worries, relationships, sexual identity, getting over abuse, depression, mental and physical illness, and loneliness, to name a few.
- Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
- Text HOME to 741-741
- Visit CrisisChat.org
Communication between the schools and parents is always vital, but even more so as traditional school models are changing to remote and there are important health and safety issues to communicate. When you have questions, most often your school website will have the information you are looking for. If not, then you can connect with your teacher or your principal, all of whom have contact information listed on the school web page.
If you want up-to-date information on COVID-19 related items like remote learning stages, schedules, or want to look at a communication sent from the superintendent, those can all be found on the district website at everettsd.org/Covid-19.
If there is a COVID-19 case at your school that may have affected your student, you will receive a communication letting you know about the case and any impacts it may have on school schedules. The school will not release the name of the positive student or staff member in compliance with HIPAA privacy laws. If you or your child is considered exposed, you will receive a call from the Snohomish Health District Contract Tracing Team and they will give you further guidance.