Health and Safety Guidance Document for 2020-21
FCPS Guidance on School Health Practices
Health and Safety Guidance Document
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is providing the following guidance to staff regarding school health practices for students. The guidance is consistent with Governor Northam’s phased reopening plan for Virginia schools and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Schools should follow all CDC, Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), and the local health department guidance for reopening schools during all phases.
CDC Indicators for Dynamic School Decision Making
The CDC issued new guidance with core and secondary indicators for the decision-making process regarding reopening for in-person learning.
Mitigating strategies were identified for implementation. These include, but are not limited to:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Inside your home: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If possible, maintain six (6) feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Outside your home: Put six (6) feet of distance between yourself and people who don’t live in your household.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least six (6) feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick
- COVID-19 can be spread to others even if you do not feel sick.
- A face mask is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Everyone should wear a face mask in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household. Masks, along with social distancing, should be practiced in combination with other everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Face masks should not be placed on young children under age two (2), anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- Do NOT use a mask meant for a healthcare worker. Currently, surgical masks and N95 respirators are critical supplies that should be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.
- Continue to keep six (6) feet between yourself and others. A face mask is not a substitute for social distancing
- Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
Instructions for Staff Prior to Reopening of Schools
Prior to the reopening of the school, school administrators must identify, complete, and /or share the following with their staff:
Social Distancing at School
Maintaining social distancing will be implemented to the extent possible. In limited cases, exceptions to this may occur when a student requires support for activities of daily living that may make staff unable to maintain a distance of six feet. In all other cases, six (6) feet of social distancing is required.
- Six (6) foot separation wherever possible; limited mixing among student groups
- Social distancing on buses in accordance with health and safety protocols
- Desks will be separated by up to a six feet distance, facing same direction
- Students will eat meals in classrooms whenever possible (each school will determine their best meal distribution process )
- Student traffic patterns in hallways will be set up to maintain social distancing, including during arrival and dismissal.
- Students transitioning to after school care will also follow traffic patterns in the hallways to maintain social distance.
Cohort students as much as possible:
What is cohorting? Cohorting (sometimes called podding) is a new term for a strategy that schools may use to limit contact between students and staff as part of their efforts to limit transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). These strategies work by keeping groups of students – and sometimes staff – together over the course of a pre-determined period of time. Ideally, the students and staff within a cohort will only have physical proximity with others in the same cohort. This practice may help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by limiting cross-over of students and teachers to the extent possible, thus:
- Decreasing opportunities for exposure or transmission of SARS-CoV-2
- Reducing contact with shared surfaces
- Facilitating more efficient contact tracing in the event of a positive case
- Allowing for targeted testing, quarantine, and/or isolation of a single cohort instead of school-wide measures in the event of a positive case or cluster of cases
Cohorting strategies are common practice in many schools across the United States. Many elementary school students have the same teacher and classmates during the entire school year. Implementation of this strategy varies, depending on setting and resources.
- Schools may keep cohorts together in one classroom, and have teachers rotate between rooms.
- Schools may alternate cohorts by days or weeks, with cohorts assigned to specific days or weeks.
- Schools may adopt a hybrid approach, with some cohorts assigned to in-person learning and others assigned to online learning.
As schools reopen, planning should the following, to the extent possible:
- Identify small groups and keep them together (cohorting or podding)
- Dividing students and teachers into distinct groups that stay together throughout an entire school day during in-school instruction.
- Limit mixing between groups such that there is minimal or no interaction between cohorts.
Care Room Establishment, Requirements, and Staffing:
- The predetermined care room is a designated location and must be separate from the health room. It will be necessary for schools to identify a second care room due to the requirement for social distancing and room capacity.
- A designated staff member must be assigned to supervise students while in the predetermined care room should the need arise. The staff member will be provided with a gown or lab coat, gloves, and a face shield as appropriate. The staff member assigned should complete the trainings on COVID-19 and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- The Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training video is now available to FCPS employees in MyPDE. Employees can access the video in MyPDE by searching for any of the key words in the title (examples: “personal”, “protective”, “PPE”). Employees can also access the video via the direct MyPDE link: Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training.
- Staff will need to be available at various times throughout the day to supervise any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while awaiting pick up by the parent or guardian.
Daily Temperature Checks- Procedure and Staffing Requirements:
Designated staff must be available throughout the day to take temperatures of students upon arrival or during the instructional day, as necessary.
- Staff will be provided with a temporal thermometer, appropriate PPE and training in the use of a temporal thermometer. Information on how to use a temporal thermometer can be found at the following link (available to employees on the employee intranet): How To Use a Temporal Thermometer.
- Temperatures will be taken each morning upon arrival for any student who:
- Has not returned the Parental/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form
- Any student who is not wearing a face mask (cloth or disposable). Face masks will be provided for any student who does not have an exemption.
- Temperatures will be taken throughout the day for any student who:
- Arrives late to school.
- Takes off their face mask during the day, after arriving at school, and refuses to put it back on. This requirement does not apply when students are eating and drinking or during exercise, under the supervision of school staff.
- Additional guidance regarding physical activity during Health and Physical Education (HPE), recess, athletics etc. will be provided.
- Additional guidance regarding physical activity during Health and Physical Education (HPE), recess, athletics etc. will be provided.
- For students returning in Cohort 2, FCPS will be doing daily temperature checks as outlined below. Please be aware that these protocols may change based on public health guidance.
- Bus Stop: Student temperature checks will no longer be conducted at the bus stop. Bus attendants have conducted this procedure during Return to School Cohorts. It is critical for bus attendants to return to their assigned special needs bus routes when students return to school.
- School Entry: Temperatures will be taken for all students entering the building. Any student demonstrating a temperature greater than or equal to 100.4° Fahrenheit will be escorted or sent to the predetermined care room for further screening. For any student being sent home, parents/guardians or approved designee are to pick up their student within one hour.
*****If the temperature of the student is greater than or equal to 100.4°Fahrenheit, the student will be escorted or sent to the predetermined care room for further screening. Students will be escorted by an adult who will maintain 6 feet of social distancing. School Health Room staff will then follow the FCHD established protocols for Care of the Sick and Injured.
Parental Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form:
- Parents or guardians who chose an in-school instructional option for their child will be required to complete a Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form as students are phased back into in-person learning. The commitment form is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
- This document indicates the parent or guardian’s agreement and commitment to completing a daily health screening prior to sending the student to school and also to keep ill students at home.
- Parents/guardians who have indicated that their child will attend in-school instruction will receive the commitment form electronically, or via hard copy, in their preferred correspondence language.
- The form will be sent home to families prior to their student resuming in-school instruction.
- Parents/guardians may choose to provide their response electronically or parents/guardians may choose to return a hard copy form with their signature. Staff will be required to manually update the receipt of this information in SIS on the Return to School tab and to file the original commitment form in the student’s health portion of the cumulative file.
- Designated school staff will identify and run a daily report via SIS to identify and monitor those students whose parent/guardian have not submitted the commitment form.
- School staff will contact the parents/guardians of all students who have not returned the Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form (either electronically or via hard copy) to communicate this requirement until all forms have been received.
- Students whose parent/guardian have not returned a signed the Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form will be required to complete a health screening and have their temperature taken daily by school staff until the form is received.
Daily Health Screening:
- A daily health screening, using Covid-19 Health Screening Questions, will be required for all students attending in-school instruction. The health screening tool is available in English, Amharic, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
- As indicated in the Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form, parent/guardians, will complete the health screening each morning, prior to sending the student to school. In order to reduce the spread of communicable disease to student and staff, it is critical that parents/guardians accurately complete this screening daily and keep their student home from school when exhibiting any symptoms. These health screenings will be done on an honor basis and will not be required to be submitted to the school.
- Parents/guardians will be required to make this commitment for all school-aged children in their household.
- Parents/guardians will receive frequent reminders from FCPS via multiple modes of communication, reminding them to complete their daily health screening and to keep sick students at home. These communications will be developed in collaboration with the Office of Communications and Community Relations (OCCR), Office of Professional Learning and Family Engagement (OPLFE) and Language Services.
- Students whose parent or guardian has not returned a signed the Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form will be required to have their temperature taken daily by school staff until the form is received.
- If the temperature of the student is greater than or equal to 100.4° Fahrenheit, the student will be escorted or sent to the predetermined isolation room for further screening. Students will be escorted by an adult who will maintain 6 feet of social distancing. For any student being sent home, parents/guardians or approved designee are to pick up their student within one hour.
Protocols for Student Illness and Contact Tracing:
- FCPS is working collaboratively with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) to develop protocols for students that become ill during the school day. Each case will be handled individually in accordance with the FCHD established communicable disease and contact tracing protocols.
- FCHD protocols for FCPS and principals will be available prior to students being phased into in-person learning.
- FCHD protocol will be followed should it become necessary to inform parents/guardians of any communicable disease outbreak.
- FCHD/FCPS COVID Case Reporting, Contact Tracing and Communication Process
School Health Room
Support to students in the health room will continue to be provided by the School Health Aide. FCPS personnel will staff the isolation room.
Students with Individualized Health or Action Plans who require specialized care, medication administration and emergency care will be seen in the health room. Parents will be required to bring in medications needed to support their student during the school day prior to or on the first day of school.
Becoming Ill While at School
Students demonstrating any of the following symptoms will be sent home from school: fever (100.4 or greater), chills, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose/congestion, stomachache, diarrhea, nausea/vomiting, headaches. The parent/guardian will be notified and a Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form will be sent home. The Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese. The top portion of the form will be completed by the School Public Health Nurse or School Health Aide. Parents are expected to pick up their child within one hour of notification. Parents are to check into the front office.
Returning to School After Illness
In order to return to school, the parent/guardian must provide to the school, a completed Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form. The Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, Korean, Spanish, Urdu and Vietnamese. The “Return to School” portion of the form must be completed by a healthcare provider, noting the student’s assessment and the date the student may return to school.
Students who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, may not return until:
- It has been at least ten(10) days since my child first had symptoms AND
- My child has had no fever off anti-fever medicines (ex: Tylenol, Ibuprofen) for 24 hours AND
- My child’s symptoms are getting better
Students who have been exposed to COVID-19:
If someone in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or the student is exposed, the student must remain home for 14 days after their last exposure to the household member.
Response to COVID Case in a Cohort/Classroom
With one confirmed case of COVID, the classroom will transition to 100% virtual learning for up to 14 days from the date of onset. Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) Public Health Nurses (PHNs) and School Health Aides (SHAs), identified as the school health team, will support the contact tracing process in our schools during this time. School staff, students and additional staff, such as transportation staff and related services providers, that are identified by the PHN will be transitioned to distance learning or teleworking as part of this cohort. These individuals will receive notification, as directed by the FCHD. The community will also be notified that a COVID case has occurred in a cohort and the contact tracing process has been initiated.
Upon the conclusion of contact tracing, cleaning and disinfecting, students and staff in the cohort will be notified as to when they will return to in-person learning. The length of time for this process may be shorter than 14 days based on results of contact investigation and tracing by the FCHD. The community will also be notified that the contacting tracing has been completed and of any further recommendations.
Response to Two or More COVID Cases in a School
As related to school closure, FCPS will work closely with the FCHD to make the determination as to whether or not an entire school will be required to transition to distance learning based on contact tracing. Should multiple linked cases occur, the community will receive immediate communication of an outbreak and all students would be transitioned to distance learning for a period of time. A follow up communication will go out to the community when in-person learning may resume, as recommended by the FCHD.
Face Masks (Cloth or Disposable):
- All students who are two years of age and older are required to wear face masks (cloth or disposable) while on school property (including inside FCPS facilities, during FCPS-provided transportation and school sponsored activities).
- FCPS has established procedures for the use of face masks (cloth or disposable) for students, staff, and visitors designed to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and other identified infectious diseases during a health crisis. These requirements are outlined in Regulation 2109 (R2109), Face Coverings to Mitigate the Spread of Infectious Disease.
- The provisions of this regulation are aligned with guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). FCPS has adopted the position that all students, staff and visitors wear face masks while on school property (to include the grounds, the buildings, school buses and other school-provided vehicles) during the school day or during any school-sponsored activity.
- An appropriate mask/face covering will be provided for any student not in possession of an acceptable mask/face covering while at school. These recommendations are outlined in Your Guide to Masks. The following masks are not supported by FCPS:
- Gaiters with a single layer (2 or more layers are acceptable and supported by FCPS)
- Face masks/face coverings with exhalation valves/vents
- Cloth masks/face coverings with a single layer (2 or more layers are acceptable and supported by FCPS)
- Any temporary exception to the requirement of wearing a face mask during the school day, such as while eating, drinking or exercising, will be under the direction and supervision of a school official(s) when it is safe to do so.
- Any student requesting an exemption to wearing a face mask due to a medical condition, will provide a written statement from his or her physician confirming that not wearing a face mask is medically necessary. School staff will maintain this documentation in the health section of the cumulative file and designate the exemption in the SIS on the Return to School tab.
- Refer to the CDC for the most recent information regarding exceptions.
- Any student not wearing a face mask for any reason, upon arrival to school will receive daily temperature check(s).
- Training for students in the appropriate use of face masks is available in the video: How to Put On and Take Off a Face Covering.
- FCPS recognizes that it may be difficult for many students to wear face masks all day during in-school instruction. School staff may consider building in supervised breaks during the instructional day where students may go outdoors and maintain social distance in order to take a break from wearing face masks.
Visitors to FCPS Facilities:
- Visitors to all FCPS facilities will be limited and requests will be reviewed by the principal, or designee, on a case by case basis.
- When possible, appointments should be made in advance by contacting the front office at the school.
- All visitors will be required to complete a health screening questionnaire and must submit to a temperature check prior to entering the building.
- Any visitor responding “yes” to any of the health screening questions or demonstrating a temperature of 100.4° Fahrenheit or greater will not be permitted to enter the building.
- All visitors are required to wear face masks ( cloth or disposable) while on school property and inside FCPS facilities.
- Any student participating in distance learning that must visit the building for any reason will be required to complete the health screening process above and wear a face mask (cloth or disposable) while in the building.
School Supplies and Communal Classroom Items:
- Students will be required to label and maintain their own personal set of required classroom supplies, keep them in their backpack and take them to and from school each day.
- Electronic devices, toys, books, games or learning aids are not to be shared unless they can be cleaned or disinfected.
- Discontinue sharing items between persons, unless items are cleaned and disinfected between each person (with an EPA-approved disinfectant). Avoid using shared items that are difficult to clean.
- Students should bring their own water bottle for use during the day. School staff should develop a plan for refilling water bottles, as necessary. Water fountains should not be used as usual. Water fountains can be used to refill water bottles if practical, but students and staff should not be drinking directly from any water fixtures; individual water bottles should be used instead. Water fountains are not required to be covered. School staff should develop a plan to flush water fountains that are not in use. FCPS has developed signage for water bottle filling stations as part of the “Stop The Spread” campaign.
- Whenever possible, and when developmentally appropriate, supplies/school materials should be placed directly into backpacks by students.
- Some learning materials may need to remain at school. Those materials will be assigned to students and sharing will not be permitted. Each student’s set of materials should be individually bagged and labeled with student names and stored separately to avoid cross contamination. If contamination occurs, materials should be cleaned. Any materials sensitive to cleaning, such as circuit boards and robotics should be quarantined for seven days.
Playground Schedule Considerations/Recommendations:
- Schools are to develop schedules based on phase-in needs. The schedules for playground areas will change as more groups return to school.
- Schedules are to limit the numbers of staff and students on the playground areas and maintain social distancing guidelines.
- While schools may not be able to provide daily access to playground areas, they should work to provide equitable access for grade levels.
- Cohorts/Classes should be scheduled together.
- Divide playground areas into “play zones”. Assign classes/cohorts to zones on a weekly/daily basis (example: field, blacktop etc.). Identify additional playground areas where students can play safely under teacher supervision.
- Consider where to locate hand sanitizer for ease of access in playground areas.
- As you plan, please see Shape America document.
CDC Requirements for Playground Areas:
- Face Masks
- Students and staff are required to wear face masks at all times. Any temporary exception to the requirement of wearing a face mask during the school day, such as while eating, drinking or exercising, will be-under the direction and supervision of a school official(s) when it is safe to do so.
- Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing
- Students are to wash hands before going to playground areas and immediately following with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is to be made easily accessible in playground areas for students and staff.
- Social Distancing
- Social distancing (10 feet of separation) should be maintained in all areas of the playground.
- Limit the numbers of students and staff on the playground at one time to avoid overcrowding and in order to maintain social distancing.
- Schools should have designated entrance and exit doors for the playground. (Handicapped access doors are helpful for entering the building to eliminate the need to touch doors and handles.)
Playground Structures (swings, jungle gym, etc.)-Not Approved for Use:
- Per the Health Department, playground structures (large structural equipment, swings, jungle gym, etc.) are NOT approved for use during Level 2. We will notify schools when this restriction has been lifted by the Health Department and Environmental Services.
- Playground Equipment (balls, hula hoops, jump ropes):
- Each cohorts/class should have their own set of recess equipment. It is helpful for equipment to be easily identifiable by class.
- Prior to using any piece of equipment, schools should determine if it can be effectively disinfected. (Nonporous items such as those made of plastic or rubber are recommended.)
- Schools are to use items, which can be used individually (hula hoops, jump ropes, basketballs, etc.) or in pairs with “foot use” only (soccer balls, playground balls).
- Equipment must be sanitized between and after use.
- Schools (cohorts/classes) should have designated clean (green) & dirty (red) containers for playground equipment. Staff should use Virex II 256 to clean dirty equipment and use in accordance with manufacturer recommendations and guidance.
Playground Tips and Considerations:
- Review teach and practice playground routines in advance.
- Teach games and recess activities that minimize close physical contact and allow for 10 feet of separation/distancing.
Online Resources for Outside Play:
- Shape America
- Playground ball or soccer ball games
- No equipment games
- Hula hoop kick and catch (can be played on blacktop)
Considerations for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) refers to protective clothing, gloves, face shields, goggles, facemasks or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or the spread of infection or illness. When used properly, PPE acts as a barrier between infectious materials such as viral and bacterial contaminants and your skin, mouth, nose, or eyes (mucous membranes). When used properly and with other infection control practices such as handwashing, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and covering coughs and sneezes, it minimizes the spread of infection from one person to another.
- Cloth face masks are not considered PPE and should not be used interchangeably either in terminology or practice.
- To minimize the spread of communicable disease, such as COVID-19, PPE should be used correctly. FCPS students and staff are required to complete training on the use of PPE. The Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training video is now available to FCPS employees in MyPDE. Employees can access the video in MyPDE by searching for any of the key words in the title (examples: “personal”, “protective”, “PPE”). Employees can also access the video via the direct MyPDE link: Personal Protective Equipment - FCPS Staff Training.
- School staff will need to make considerations for the necessary PPE on a case-by-case basis, depending on the activity, physical proximity and level of potential exposure throughout the day.
- Moderate Risk: Tasks include those that require close contact with (i.e., within six feet of) people who are not known or suspected to have COVID-19. These precautions are recommended since some students with the disease may not be showing any symptoms at the time of interaction. Although there is risk with these tasks, not all PPE listed may be needed for all situations. These tasks include, but are not limited to first aid, oral medication administration, vision screening, hearing screening, consultation, blood glucose checks (diabetes care), and inhalers for students with asthma.
- High Risk: Tasks that require close contact (i.e. within six feet of) with students’ bodily fluids or aerosol generating procedures such as suctioning of airways, toileting, feeding, transferring or direct contact with bodily fluids or secretions.
- These tasks should be done in a well-ventilated room isolated from others if possible.
- Specific guidance regarding what types of PPE are required during in-school instruction can be found at: PPE Strategies-Guidelines for Proper Use of PPE.
- The Office of Procurement Services (OPS), the Office of Facilities Management (OFM) and the Office of Safety and Security (OSS) are working together to provide the necessary supplies and infrastructure to schools as preparations for reopening and fall activities begin. Supply allocations will be based on the number of employees, student enrollment and program need. OFM is installing social distancing signage (on walls and floors) and counter shields in schools and administrative offices. This work will continue through the month of July. OSS is working closely with the FCHD and CDC to monitor COVID-19 and provide health and safety information as we prepare to return to work and school.
- Below is a list of all supplies and materials that FCPS sites will receive when returning to work. Additional supplies and materials will be available for purchase from the OPS warehouse once school begins. Working groups are reviewing a phased approach to ensure we capture all program requirements as our return to school models continue to develop.
- Supplies and Materials for Schools:
- Hand sanitizer – automatic dispensing stands for entrances and individual use bottles (500ML) will be provided to all schools and administrative centers. Additionally, 1-gallon pump bottles will be provided for every classroom.
- Face masks – cloth face masks or disposable masks will also be available for students, staff and essential building visitors who do not bring their own. Face masks will be provided for any student who does not have an exemption that prohibits them from wearing a mask.
- Gloves – to be used in custodial cleaning and by staff working in special capacities (For example, special education, Technology Specialists, bus drivers, etc.).
- Face shields– for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff and any other staff upon request.
- Gowns – for use by bus drivers/attendants and special education staff
- Temporal thermometers – for use in school health rooms. OPS has purchased 1 thermometer for every 100 students.
- Cleaning supplies – additional supplies will be provided for custodians to use during routine and enhanced cleaning.
- Spray bottles and paper towels – to be used with Virex cleaning solution during enhanced cleaning by custodians and, possibly, staff cleaning their individual workspaces.
Food and Nutrition Services (FNS):
Under waivers granted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Fairfax County Public Schools’ (FCPS) free breakfast and lunch program for ALL FCPS students has been extended through the end of the school year, ensuring that students have access to nutritious food during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The FCPS Office of Food and Nutrition Services will work with schools to provide meals to students attending in-person learning, while continuing food distribution. Learn more about FNS.
- It is recommended that students remain in the classroom whenever possible to eat lunch. If this is not possible, and it is necessary for students to eat in the cafeteria, the following is recommended:
- If there are several classes to be accommodated, groups should be placed in opposite corners of the cafeteria.
- Students at the table, in their own cohort, will be at least six (6) feet apart from one another.
- If it is necessary to mix cohorts in the cafeteria, they must be at least ten (10) feet from one another.
- Students at the table will be facing the same direction.
This document will be updated with additional information regarding Phase III activities as it becomes available and will be consistent with the Virginia High School League (VHSL). The following information references FCPS’ current athletic protocols.
The FCPS plan for a return to athletic activity during Phase III is focused on expanding opportunities for students to be physically active in a familiar environment supervised by trusted adults. The overall health and safety of our students and coaches is paramount. Beginning Tuesday, September 8, schools may begin to offer out-of-season workouts under the following parameters:
- All workouts MUST be focused on individualized work in a small group setting
- The maximum number of participants per athletic program is 50 students
- Students should be organized into smaller groups (maximum of 10, including the coach) that are consistent from workout to workout
- Workouts CONTINUE to focus on individual skill development, strength, agility and conditioning activities
- Beginning September 8, all students participating in out-of-season workouts MUST have a complete, valid VHSL physical on file with the school
- A limited array of athletic equipment MAY be utilized. Any equipment used MUST be disinfected according to established procedures before, during and after the workout.
- All workouts MUST be conducted outdoors- no use of indoor facilities (locker room, meeting/team room, weight room, gyms, etc.) is permitted
- Each coach supervising a workout during Phase III MUST complete the FCPS training program offered by their local school
- Coaches MUST submit a workout plan to the supervising administrator for review prior to conducting a workout. This plan must address, at minimum:
- Staggered drop-off/pick-up times so that no more than 10 students are arriving/departing at any given time
- Location(s) to be utilized and how social distancing (minimum of 6 feet from another person) will be maintained throughout the activity
- Dedicated periods for disinfecting equipment used during the workout
- Any individual with symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not participate in a workout. Please stay home.
- Vulnerable individuals (students and coaches) may participate in these workouts but should limit participation in situations in which appropriate social distancing may not be practical
- Workout participants will complete a screening process upon arrival, to include a symptom questionnaire and temperature check, before participating in a workout
- Students displaying any symptoms will be directed to return home
- At the conclusion of the workout, students will be directed to return home immediately to shower and change clothes
Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Schools After COVID-19:
Measures will be implemented to ensure that common areas and equipment, and personal workspaces, are regularly cleaned and sanitized. OFM has worked closely with FCPS custodians to adjust their cleaning processes to better address current considerations. FCPS custodians are using effective disinfectant and sanitizing products to clean our facilities every day. Along with these measures, they are taking the following steps to maximize our sanitizing efforts:
- Refreshed Cleaning Methods/Processes- FCPS cleaning personnel will be sanitizing and disinfecting restrooms more frequently. Their cleaning protocol will include thoroughly disinfecting and sanitizing all surfaces, doors, toilets, handles, etc. and ensuring that all supplies are always fully stocked.
- Increased Cleaning to High-Touch Surfaces/Points- FCPS cleaning crews will be sanitizing touch surfaces/points thoroughly (i.e., door handles, glass, elevators buttons, doors, tables, chairs, light switches). Daytime custodians have been instructed to continuously disinfect and sanitize all touch points throughout the day. In addition, we will be increasing daytime custodian coverage where appropriate, depending on building occupancy.
Specific Instructional Program Considerations:
Generally, all instructional programs will adhere to the guidelines communicated above. Specific guidelines are listed below. The Instructional Services Department staff will continue to develop guidelines that are relevant to various instructional programs.
- Face shields or clear masks so children can see the teachers/ instructional assistants (IA) face for relationship development, language development and social emotional development.
- Individual materials (e.g., crayons, makers, scissors etc.) including a calming box
- Gowns must be worn and changed after toileting, feeding or consoling a child
Information from the NFHS/NAfME/VDH Guidelines:
- Students should wash their hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the room.
- Students in elementary schools can utilize the cafeteria, band/strings room, or other dedicated space to store student instruments and to prepare rooms for social distancing instruction.
- Students in secondary schools can utilize their designated instructional rooms and instrument lockers. Lockers should not be shared and a routine of entering and exiting should be established.
- Storage areas should be managed to limit the number of students at a time in the room. Anyone who enters the room should bring a 70% alcohol wipe to wipe all surfaces before and after touching. The wipe should be discarded properly upon leaving the storage area.
- Musical instruments will not be shared, with the exception of percussion equipment, pianos, and keyboards that can be cleaned.
- Percussion equipment should be wiped down after use.
- Social distancing should occur as suggested by the CDC. Currently that distance is a 6x6 foot space around each student with the student sitting in the center for all music classes.
- Trombones should have an additional three feet of distancing, making their space 9x6 feet. The player should be seated three feet in front of the back line, leaving an additional six feet in front of them due to the extended nature of the instrument and slide that can be in extended position.
- Students must stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure.
- Spit valves should not be emptied on the floor but into an absorbent disposable material that can be discarded.
- Bell covers should be attached to woodwind and brass instruments. Fine Arts will purchase these for schools. Flutes players should use face shields as bell covers are not available.
- Students must wear masks unless they have a medical exemption.
- Masks can be removed for the playing of woodwind and brass instruments.
- When possible or needed, establish physical barriers between staff and students. Install cleanable, transparent shields or other barriers such as strip curtains or partitions
- Students should wash their hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the room.
- Students will stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize the potential exposure.
- Students will maintain current 6-foot social distancing guidelines within the classroom.
- A Choral Mask should be worn by the students and teachers. The Fine Arts Office will provide for the schools.
- Masked group singing can occur in increments of 30 minutes to allow for the air in the room to completely cycle between singing sessions.
- Consider limiting other shared items, such as sheet music or classroom supplies.
- Students will wash their hands/use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the room.
- Students must wear masks unless they have a medical exemption.
- Students should maintain current 6-foot social distancing guidelines within the classroom.
- Students will stand/sit all facing the same direction, back to front to minimize potential exposure. (No circles or semi-circles)
- No activities that require students to touch and/or violate social distancing guidelines are permitted.(i.e.: play parties, group dances, interactive body percussion, etc.). These activities could continue to be a part of instruction if movements can be adjusted to avoid violating social distancing guidelines.
- Large group singing/chanting should be avoided. (Humming, whispering or inner voice can be used instead.)
- Classroom size, ventilation, and the cumulative impact of aerosols are factors to consider when determining the duration of any individual or small group singing activities.
- Students should not share instruments with others.
- Teachers must sanitize any individually used instruments after each use.
- The use of recorders is not recommended as PPE is not available for that instrument.
- Hand sanitizer and wipes or disinfectant made available at checkout station and used immediately after checking out books
- Self-checkout only for grades 3 – 12 and adults
- Librarians should print library cards for students with their barcodes to avoid multiple students using the computer keyboard or number pad. Students may keep their library card and bring it with them to the library.
- Checkout at the circulation desk for PreK-2
- Adults shall use masks and sanitize or wash hands between classes.
- Books that are returned require 7 days of isolation out of sight or without access by students and staff. Books do not need to be disinfected.
- The circulation desk requires plexiglass installation where face-to-face checkout takes place.
- Additional guidance to support in person library use and browsing can be found in Library Facility Safety Recommendations.
- Students should wash/sanitize hands when entering and exiting gym/activity space.
- Recommended social distancing during physical activity is 10 feet; capacity of facility limited to 50% or 250, whichever is less.
- Multiple classes in the gym requires use of curtain/divider to separate spaces, and capacity must maintain social distancing requirements in each individual space.
- Additional activity spaces, including auxiliary gym, dance/gymnastics room, weight room, and wrestling room, should have capacity determined based on 10 feet of social distancing with capacity limited to 50 percent.
- Adapted physical education classes need a separate teaching area with space to maintain social distancing.
- During adapted physical education, it often is not possible to maintain social distance. Staff will need appropriate PPE and training.
- Face coverings:
- Must be worn during physical education classes held in indoor spaces except during high intensity activity where they may cause difficulty breathing and 10 feet of social distancing can be maintained.
- May be removed during physical education classes held outdoors when 10 feet of social distancing can be maintained.
- Any time 10 feet of social distancing is not possible during physical education (indoors or outdoors) face coverings must be worn.
- Students should be advised to have a second face covering to wear if the original becomes sweaty.
- Sharing of equipment should be minimized. Whenever possible, students should have their own equipment which will be cleaned between classes.
- Weight machines and free weights must be cleaned by the teacher between each student and between classes.
- Weight lifting should be limited to lifts that do not require a spotter.
- Equipment and mats must be cleaned between classes.
- Physical education equipment, mats, and weights will be cleaned by the teacher using Virex II 256.
- Locker rooms will remain closed and students will need to come to school dressed for activity.
- Students will need their own water bottle.
- Use markings such as floor tape, cones, or poly spots to indicate student space that maintains social distancing.
- Teachers should not use whistles.
- If possible and weather permitting, consider outside spaces for dance instruction, activities, and events.
- Wash and sanitize hands when entering and exiting dance spaces.
- Create a procedure for locker or changing rooms to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
- Student’s belongings should be kept in a separate, safe, and clean space or designated area.
- Maintain social distance guidelines for instructional activities. Teachers may consider taping the floor into 6 x 6 feet (or 10 x 10 depending on activities) personal squares with a clear ‘path’ from the doorway to each square.
- Storage areas should be managed to limit the number of students at a time in the room.
- Students, teachers, and staff must wear masks during all activities unless they have a medical exemption.
- As face coverings may become sweaty during theatre activities, advise students to have a second mask to wear following class. Students should place the used mask in a plastic zip lock bag or a closed paper bag.
- Only wear dance shoes in the classroom. No street shoes or outside shoes should be permitted on the dance floor.
- Avoid partnering activities that involve direct physical contact.
- Across the floor movement may occur, but dancers should remain in accordance with social distance guidelines.
- Mark spots at dance barres to adhere to social distancing guidelines in all directions.
- Sanitize dance barres before and after each use with approved disinfectants.
- Shared props and materials should be cleaned after each use.
- Sound equipment must be cleaned after each use and on a regular basis.
- It is not recommended for the dance classroom to be utilized for other purposes to ensure protection and cleanliness of flooring.
- If possible and weather permitting, consider outside spaces for theatre instruction, activities, and events.
- Wash and sanitize hands when entering and exiting theatre spaces.
- Maintain social distancing for instructional activities. Teachers may use spike tape on the floor to maintain social distance guidelines during theatre activities and performances.
- Students, teachers, and staff must wear masks during all activities unless they have a medical exemption.
- As face coverings may become sweaty during theatre activities, advise students to have a second mask to wear following class[TL1] . Students should place the used mask in a plastic zip lock bag or a closed paper bag.
- Provide individual scripts, librettos, and dramatic texts for students or digital copies (copyright permitting).
- Storage areas should be managed to limit the number of students at a time in the room.
- Any shared props, materials, and equipment should be cleaned after each use.
- All technical tools, materials, and equipment should be cleaned after each use and on a regular basis.
- Students must use individual makeup kits and supplies. Temporary makeup tools should be discarded after single use.
- Costumes should be used by individual students, not shared, and washed and cleaned regularly.
- Props and wigs should be used by individual students, not shared, and washed or cleaned regularly.
- If a microphone is used during a theatre event or performance, it must be properly wiped down after each use and stored in a clear location. Consult your building supervisor to obtain proper cleaning materials approved by Facilities.
- Recommend teacher use face shield or clear mask rather than cloth face covering to support instruction.
- Where it is allowable and practical, assessments are being shifted to an online at-home format to reduce dependency on in-person safety protocols. However, certain standardized tests continue to require in-person assessment at an FCPS site. Specific guidance on testing expectations and delivery options for state and division-mandated assessments is communicated to school staff ahead of each assessment window. Caregivers may access a summary of general health and safety protocols for assessments.
Forms - Health and Safety Guidance Document
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Amharic
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Arabic
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Chinese
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Farsi
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Korean
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Spanish
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Vietnamese
- Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment Form - Urdu
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Amharic
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Arabic
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Chinese
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Farsi
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Korean
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Spanish
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Vietnamese
- COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire - Urdu
- Health and Safety Guidance Document
Form - Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form
- Sick Student Notification & Permission to Return to School Forms
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Arabic
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Chinese
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Farsi
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Korean
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Spanish
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Urdu
- Sick Student Notification and Return to School Form - Vietnamese