Operations COVID-19 Related Guidance (10-15-20)
The health and wellness of students and staff remains a top priority of the DeKalb County School District.
- Everyone must wear a face covering in our buildings.
- CDC recommends a reusable or disposable face covering to prevent spreading germs or virus to another person
- Parents are asked to supply their child with their own masks/face coverings; however, if a mask/face covering is needed, the school will provide a mask/face covering as appropriate
- Face coverings must comply with the dress code (must not contain Inappropriate language or symbols)
- All students and staff should practice distancing whenever possible and avoid prolonged close contact
- Students and staff must also monitor their health daily. This includes monitoring temperature, watching for COVID – 19 symptoms, and following CDC and Department of Health recommendations if symptoms develop
- Students and staff should stay home when sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19
- Schools should contact Business Services to order additional face coverings or other COVID-19 related supplies
- For more information on COVID-19 and how to protect your health visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
- For more information on the use of face coverings visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
Hand washing is one of the best ways to protect yourself from getting sick.
Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water
Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not readily available or convenient
The DeKalb County School District will provide schools with Signage to promote Health and Safety Practices.
District-approved signage (i.e., banners, posters, signs, stickers, etc.) should be posted in highly visible locations to promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of COVID-19
Signage locations include:
- Common entry doors
- Ends of hallways
- Administrative offices
- Cafeteria, front office, lobby, library and other high traffic areas
- Exterior of elevator
- Top and bottom of stairwells
Signage templates can be obtained from the Communications Department and additional District provided signs can be ordered through the Business Services Department Print Shop
Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting is important to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus in schools and facilities. While our custodians are responsible for the daily routine of cleaning and disinfecting our buildings, they cannot be expected to do this alone. We all have a responsibility to do our part and keep the work areas and schools clean and safe.
- Custodial staff will enhance their cleaning practices to include a focus on frequent disinfecting of high touch areas
- Staff will be provided with cleaning supplies to clean their workspaces and classrooms after their use
- High touch areas are the priority and must be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. These high touch areas include areas such as doors, door handles, counter tops, light switches, desks, water fountains, sinks, toilets, etc.
- Day custodians conduct high touch common area wipe downs throughout the day.
- Night custodians will do a full facility wipe down and cleaning. On the non-Face to Face day, custodians will do a deep clean of the facility.
- Day Custodians will check common areas and group restrooms throughout the day to ensure supplies are replenished, conduct touch-point cleaning (faucets, toilets, doorknobs, light switches, etc.) and do thorough cleaning/disinfecting once students leave for the day
- District guidance will be provided to appropriate school custodial staff identifying appropriate chemical products, disinfecting practices and techniques, and cleaning schedules to adequately clean surfaces in schools and facilities
- Additional cleaning supplies may be requested through the Business Services Department ordering system
To reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, DCSD will increase outdoor air flow rates to dilute contaminates. We will do this while maintaining indoor temperature and humidity design criteria for our systems.
- Increased fresh air introduced in accordance with CDC and industry recommendations to the extent possible with our current systems
- The facilities and maintenance department will implement quarterly filter changes for HVAC units
- We will use a higher level of MERV rated filters targeting MERV 11 and MERV-13 if the filter level does not adversely impact system operation
- Quarterly preventative maintenance schedules for all HVAC systems which includes system cleaning, filter changes and mechanical inspection and service
- HVAC corrective maintenance will be a priority with the Facilities and Maintenance Department
Buildings that have been unoccupied could have stagnant water, and water systems should be flushed to remove potential contaminants.
- School staff will flush the water systems in the school regularly. This includes sinks, water fountains, toilets and other water fixtures
- Other equipment, such as ice machines, will receive additional cleaning in addition to flushing, including discarding old ice
- Staff will also clean and disinfect all water fixtures, such as water fountains and sinks
In an effort to create a path forward for the DCSD, District encourages safe distancing where practical to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
- Provide frequent reminders to staff and students to maintain a maximum distance apart, recommended 6 feet, when feasible
- Schools will be provided Plexiglass dividers for public facing and high traffic areas such as reception desks and media center checkout counters
- Schools will limit visitors and activities involving external groups or organizations
- Schools are asked to use a staggered arrival/dismissal of students
- Staff should monitor arrival/dismissal to discourage congregating and ensure that students go straight from vehicle/buses to classrooms or appropriate waiting areas
- Hybrid schedules will allow schools to limit the number of students per classroom
- Classrooms should be limited to 12-16 students as feasible
- Classrooms should be arranged so desks or seating are as physically distanced as possible
- Students should be arranged to face in the same direction where feasible
- Students should be given assigned seats and alternated on hybrid days
- Custodians will check common areas and group restrooms frequently through the day to ensure supplies are replenished, conduct touch-point cleaning (faucets, toilets, doorknobs, light switches, etc.) and do thorough cleaning/disinfecting once students leave for the day.
- Limit the number of individuals allowed in a restroom at one time based on the number of stalls or urinals.
- School staff should monitor social distancing protocols in the building. Provide physical guides as necessary, such as tape on doors or signs on walls, to ensure that staff and students maintain the maximum distance possible, recommended 6 feet, from others in lines and at other times.
- Schools should post directional reminders on the floor and/or walls to manage traffic flow during transitions
- Corridor traffic flow should mimic traffic flow on our streets while driving
- It will be necessary for school staff to monitor the corridors and enforce correct flow patterns
- Schools should identify specific entry and exit points to school buildings
- Schools should stagger class periods by cohorts, when practical, to limit the number of students in the hallway when traveling in the hallways
- Schools should stagger playground use rather than allowing multiple classes to play together to the extent possible
- If multiple classes are on the play space at the same time, require students to stay in an assigned areas and not mingle with other classes
- Schools should consider limiting the use of playground equipment unless they are able to maintain cleanliness
- Schools should limit any activities where multiple classes interact
- Hand washing will be required before and after using playground
- Have staff monitor arrival/dismissal to discourage congregating and ensure that students go straight from vehicles/ buses to classrooms or waiting areas.
- Staff should monitor entry points, remind students, staff and visitors of safe distancing practices
- Strategically place district-approved signage to reinforce health and safety protocols
- Students are required to wear masks/face coverings during arrival and dismissal
- Parents and nonessential visitors will not be allowed to enter the school past the main office to limit exposure to students, staff and teachers
- Dismissal for all students should be staggered to help with distancing
- Encourage parents to perform temperature checks on students prior to school arrival.
- Scheduled handwashing or sanitizing regularly and upon arrival and departure.
- Staff will control entry points, oversee physical distancing and routinely reinforce proper hygiene etiquette.
- Strategically place district-approved signage to reinforce health and safety protocols.
Students are required to wear masks/face coverings during arrival and dismissal, unless medically exempt.
- Parents and nonessential visitors will not be allowed to enter the school past the main office to limit exposure to students, staff and teachers.
- During parent pick-up, parents are not to exit vehicles unless it is medically necessary to assist his or her child.
- Stagger entry of bus riders, car riders and walkers.
- Students should be dismissed in an orderly pattern while maintaining proper physical distance.
- Consider staggering classroom release, when feasible.
- Students must maintain social distance while waiting for parents.
- Ensure a plan is in place to supervise student physical distancing before and after school.
Identify areas that students can physically distance while under supervision before and after school.
- Georgia schools are required to conduct emergency drills to ensure students and staff know how to safely and expeditiously react to the threat of an active assailant, fire or severe weather.
- Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, school staff must enforce additional COVID-19 health and safety measures during emergency drills.
- Public use of buildings and facilities use agreements are limited until schools are fully open
- Updating Facilities Use Agreement with safety and cleaning protocols (once opened to use)