To reopen schools that have been shuttered since March, districts across Pennsylvania are required to craft COVID-19 health and safety plans. Plans must be approved by school boards and the state Department of Education before classes can resume for the 2020-21 school year.
The Gov. Mifflin School District approved its plan Monday. It includes procedures for how the district will operate in each of the state's three reopening phases: green, yellow and red. All of Pennsylvania is in the green phase.
Here's what Gov. Mifflin's plan looks like for the green phase:
First day of classes:
• Aug. 31.
Type of reopening:
• Full reopening.
• In-person classes will be held five days a week.
• An enhanced online option will be available for families who wish to continue remote learning.
Cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation plan:
• Hand sanitizer dispensers will be installed throughout buildings in high-occupancy areas.
• Restrooms will be closed on a rotating schedule to allow for thorough cleaning.
• All technology devices will be disinfected prior to being distributed.
• All staff and students will avoid sharing supplies. Any items that cannot be designated for individual use will be frequently disinfected.
• Point-of-sale touch keypads in cafeterias will be replaced by scanners.
• Food service staff will frequently disinfect areas of the food service line, including tray runners, sneeze guards and point-of-sale areas.
• All food items will be individually wrapped and placed on trays by staff.
• Custodial staff will complete enhanced training.
• Custodial staff will work from daily task lists that include routine and enhanced cleaning procedures.
• Teachers, aides and paraprofessionals will receive supplies and training on proper disinfection practices for each classroom and physical education space.
• Cafeteria lunch aides will be trained on disinfecting and sanitizing practices to help clean lunch line areas and cafeteria tables and seats, if students are eating in the cafeteria.
• One additional custodian will be assigned to each school daily to disinfect restrooms and high-traffic areas.
• The director of operations and custodial services manager will complete a detailed inspection of all buildings before the reopening of school.
• Building custodial supervisors will complete ongoing daily inspections.
• Over the summer months, adjustments have been made to all building ventilation systems following the recommendations of The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). These adjustments were made to significantly increase the amount of fresh, outdoor air that is circulated through building ventilation systems and to minimize the amount of recirculated air.
• Staff should also open windows when possible and appropriate.
• If a student or staff member is identified as symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19 an emergency cleaning and disinfecting plan will be used.
• The emergency cleaning and disinfecting plan may cause a building to be temporarily closed or a bus to be removed from service for one to three days.
• The emergency cleaning and disinfecting plan may use disinfectant sprayers.
Social distancing and other protocols plan:
• All students will be required to wear a mask when indoors or when outdoors and social distancing is not feasible.
• Students don’t have to wear a mask when seated at a desk and spaced at least six feet apart, when eating and spaced six feet apart or when engaging in other activities that allow for proper distancing.
• Daily building schedules will be developed to reduce the amount of student movement through the building.
• A block schedule will be used at the high school to limit the number of classes students have each day and decrease hallway traffic.
• Students in prekindergarten through eighth grade will be kept in cohorts to limit exposure to large numbers of students.
• Staggered schedules will limit hallway crowding.
• Buildings may designate stairways and hallways as one way to decrease foot traffic.
• Student desks will all face the front of the class and be spaced as much as possible.
• Classroom carpets, designated story time spaces, floor seating spaces, soft surfaces and unnecessary furniture will be removed from classrooms to provide more room to space desks.
• Only one student at a time will be allowed to leave the classroom, when possible.
• Instructors will wear a face shield or mask.
• Water fountains will not be used. Touchless water filling stations will be used.
• Playground equipment will be considered for use during recess, when feasible, and equipment will be regularly cleaned.
• Playground equipment can be shared among students in a classroom.
• There will be limited sharing of school supplies, with hands and supplies being washed or sanitized after each use.
• When library books are returned, there will be a 24-hour wait time after books are wiped down until they are returned to the shelves.
• Cafeterias will be for student dining, with tables spaced as much as possible and, when possible, students sitting in every other seat.
• Additional areas like courtyards, classrooms, large-group instruction rooms, libraries and others may be used for student dining.
• Elementary schools will start at 9:15 a.m., 30 minutes later than normal, to allow for staggered arrival of students.
• All buildings will limit the number of buses that can disembark at one time.
• Dismissal procedures will change to avoid large groups of students waiting to board buses or leaving the building.
• All drivers, staff and students will be required to wear approved masks at all times on the bus.
• Bus seats will be cleaned with approved disinfectants between every secondary and elementary run each day and after the last run of the day.
• Seating assignments will be made to allow as much social distancing as possible, with the understanding that social distancing may not be possible on a school bus.
• All contracted drivers and employees will be trained on social distancing and cleaning and sanitizing practices.
• Students and drivers will be encouraged to open bus windows to maximize ventilation, when appropriate.
• Bus seats, handrails and other high-touch surfaces will be disinfected at least once per day.
• Hand sanitizer, face masks, wastebaskets and tissues will be supplied for buses.
• All staff and students should conduct daily health screening before arriving at school.
• Temperature screenings will not be conducted upon entrance to buildings.
• Each building will identify an isolation area for any student or staff member who may have symptoms of COVID-19.
• Any area used to treat a positive or potentially positive COVID-19 patient will be isolated and disinfected before reuse.
• Parents and guardians should report any out-of-state or international travel before students return to school.
• Staff should limit inter- or intrastate or international travel and should report upcoming travel plans to an administrator or the human resources department.
• Students or staff may be asked to self-quarantine after travel, based upon current travel restrictions and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
• In the event that a student or staff member tests positive or is suspected of having COVID-19, families and staff will be notified while maintaining proper confidentiality.
• Nurses and principals will maintain a central list of students who self report, exhibit symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
• The human resources department will maintain a central list of staff members who self report, exhibit symptoms or test positive for COVID-19.
• All students and staff in the same classroom or who have come in close contact (defined as greater than 10 minutes of interaction less than 6 feet away) with a symptomatic individual should quarantine at home for 14 days. Anyone who develops symptoms during that time should contact their health care provider and follow guidance for monitoring illness and staying home.
• Staff members who test positive for COVID-19 or who are awaiting testing may not return to campus until a medical release is received and they are asymptomatic for more than three days following a minimum of 14 days absence.
• If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, or if they are symptomatic but have not been tested, they should not return to school for 10 days from symptom onset and at least 24 hours after fever resolution and improved respiratory symptoms.
• Personnel will need to be deemed essential in order to enter the school. All visitors will need to wear a face mask or shield, report to the front office and provide proper identification, as per current standard operating procedures.
• All parent meetings will be held virtually during the 2020-21 school year to minimize contact. Staff members will work to accommodate parent needs as much as possible.
• Volunteers are and will continue to be an important part of our organization. However, schools will not be able to invite or use volunteers to participate in or help with activities to help minimize exposure among students, staff and community members. This will be in effect until further notice.