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 Twin Valley 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 Twin Valley's plan looks like for the green phase:
First day of classes
• Aug. 27
Type of reopening
• Students will have the option of five-day-a-week in-person classes or to live-stream lesson from home.
• A district-run cyberschool option is also available.
Cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation plan
• Frequently touched surfaces inside schools will be cleaned and disinfected frequently. That includes desktops, chairs, electronic devices, door handles and sink handles.
• Students will be provided with wipes to clean desks.
• Ventilation systems will operate with circulation of outdoor air of at least 10%.
• Water fountains will be disconnected and touchless water bottle filling stations will be installed. Students are encouraged to bring water bottles from home.
• Frequent hand washing will be encouraged. Classrooms with sinks will be supplied with soap and paper towels.
• Sanitizing wipes will be available in all classrooms and cafeterias.
Social distancing and other protocols plan
• Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings in compliance with the state Department of Health’s order.
• Parents will be responsible for providing their child with a face covering.
• All nonessential furniture will be removed from classrooms, including carpets in elementary school classrooms. Small group gathering spaces will be minimized to allow for maximum separation of desks.
• Students desks will face forward and be physically distanced to the maximum extent possible.
• In classrooms with tables, students will be physically distanced to the maximum extent possible.
• In cafeterias and other congregate settings, students will be physically distanced to the maximum extent possible.
• Students will be expected to wash their hands after using the bathroom, before and after eating and after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing.
• Hands-free sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout buildings.
• Equipment will be sanitized between classes, to the maximum extent possible.
• Elementary students will have their own pencil boxes filled with writing utensils and other supplies.
• Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria using social distancing.
• To the extent feasible, hallway traffic will be minimized. Some hallways will be designated as one-way, and classroom dismissals will be staggered.
• Students will not be allowed to congregate or loiter in hallways or common areas.
• There will be no class assemblies.
• The use of restrooms will only be permitted during class periods, to the extent feasible.
• Staff meetings will be conducted in small groups or virtually.
• Plexiglass shields will be installed in main office welcome areas, at office counters, at cafeteria checkout areas, in nurses offices and any other area where appropriate.
• Students will wear face coverings on buses.
• Plans will be developed to support physical distancing on buses to the maximum extent possible.
• The district’s bus contractor will deep clean and sanitize all buses prior to students using them.
• District staff will deep clean and sanitize all district-owned vehicles.
• High-touch areas such as bus seats and handrails will be sanitized daily between morning and afternoon bus runs.
• Maximum ventilation will be used on buses, to the extent possible.
• After arrival, students will report directly to class.
• Bus staff will self-certify and monitor their health status, reporting any COVID-19 exposure to their supervisor.
• An isolation area will be created for use by sick individuals.
• Staff and students are expected to self-monitor for symptoms at home.
• The district will investigate taking temperatures of everyone entering buildings.
• Anyone with symptoms should not report to school.
• Students who develop symptoms will be picked up by their parents.
• Any student or staff member sent home with symptoms may not return without a note from a doctor.
• State and federal quarantine protocols will be followed.
• Staff and students’ families should notify the district if an absence is due to COVID-19 or influenza.
• Nonessential visitors and volunteers will not be allowed to enter schools.
• Visitors must make an appointment, report to the main office and practice physical distancing.
• Visitors will be required to wear face coverings.