1. What will be the COVID-19 testing protocols for students, staff, visitors, etc.? Schools will not be responsible for testing for COVID-19. Students and staff suspected of COVID-19 will be referred to their regular doctor/ADPH or local testing center.
2. If someone in the school community tests positive, what will be the next required steps? Will schools need to be closed for deep cleaning? Who does that cleaning? What will be the requirements for contact tracing and testing? How long will staff or students need to be quarantined, if at all? Once someone in the school community test positive for COVID-19 the parents and other contacts will be notified of the occurrence. The Alabama Department of Public Health will be notified for guidance and recommendations depending on the student’s grade level and where the student may have been in the school. The areas that the student has been in will need to be cleaned by the janitorial services using CDC guidelines and the student will be required to quarantine for no less than 14 days and can return to school with a doctor’s note. Contact tracing and testing will be the responsibility of the ADPH.
3. If school has a positive case, how long will a closure be to ensure there's no super-spread to a community? The Marengo County Schools will follow the recommendations of the ADPH and the CDC for schools at the time of the occurrence.
4. What are the specifications for the isolation rooms? Isolation rooms located inside the schools will be separate from the regular nurse’s office. Each isolation room will have separate divided areas for student to stay while waiting on their parent/guardian to pick them up.
5. Will there be standardized screening protocols for staff and students entering buildings? If so, who will do that? What forms will be used, etc. (can attach to appendix in our plan) There will be no standardized screening protocol for staff and student’s. We will rely on staff and parents to self report any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or risk factors. This may change as the recommendations from the ADPH and CDC change.
6. Should we require a test for any student or staff exhibiting symptoms? Yes, if a student or staff member is exhibiting symptoms, they must see a doctor for further evaluation and recommendations and may return to school with a doctor’s clearance.
7. Will we need to limit the number of students in health offices at one time? Will we need separate areas for first aid? If so who will cover that and with what certificate? Yes, we will limit the number of student’s in the health office and require them to enter one at a time. This will be done by using the door bell and locking the door and only allowing entrance when unlocked by the nurse. First Aid situations will be taken care of in the classroom by the teacher(if minor) or by the nurse if the teacher feels that the nurse needs to assess the situation.
8. What do you recommend that break look like? Break can be held outside when feasible and can proceed as usual while encouraging social distancing.
9. As fall brings illnesses such as the flu, respiratory infections, and whooping cough, will modifications be required to medical exclusion policies? ???????
10. Will there be standard return to school policies and procedures for students and staff who are presumed positive or diagnosed with Covid-19? Students and staff must bring a clearance note from their healthcare provider stating that they have met all of their medical requirements and are clear to return to school.
11. How will we provide for mental health supports that may be needed for both students and staff that have experienced trauma due to the loss of family members, isolation, suicidal ideations, food insecurity, loss of income, loss of housing, etc? Marengo County School System will utilize our school counselors, school nurses and mental health services provided by West Alabama Mental Health services for our county.
The State Department of Education has purchased SchoolsPLP for the Virtual Curriculum. This was just done last week. Central Office is currently undergoing training on this platform. From what we can tell (and this is not definite as much of the program has still not been shown to us), classes will be online and instructional videos will be accessed from the same platform or website.
This will not be local teachers conducting the instructional videos. These will be teachers from within the SchoolsPLP framework. As far as the times, as this will probably be self-paced, there may not be a specific time. However, we will know more about this next week.
UPDATE: After training, we found out more information. Local teachers WILL still be in charge of the instruction. As far as class times, this will be decided very soon. We will repost the answers here!
· Student temperatures will be taken periodically.
· In the case that a child has a fever, or any COVID-19 symptoms, he/she will be placed in an isolated room, and will need to be picked up by
his/her legal guardian or emergency contact within an hour.
· Teachers will handle minor issues in the classroom according to guidelines provided by the school nurse.
· Only essential employees will be allowed on campus until further notice.
· Parents will not be permitted beyond the office area until further notice.
· Masks are strongly encouraged,
but will not be required and will not be provided to students. UPDATE: Students WILL receive masks from the
school if they so choose to wear them.
· Masks will be provided to employees.
· All individuals will be required to hand sanitize upon entry to buildings.
· All individuals will be required to wash hands after using the restroom (sanitizer is not a substitute for soap and water).
· Six feet social distancing will be strongly encouraged.
· Students need to bring clear water bottles for use during the day. Water bottle fillers will be available to all students and staff.
· School nurses will not test for COVID-19.
· In the case of a student or staff member who tests positive, FERPA and HIPPA laws will be closely followed.
· In the case of a student or staff member who tests positive, schools will provide general information as a precaution, however, contact tracing
will be the responsibility of the Alabama Department of Public Health.
· Classroom teachers will use the sanitizing system provided by the district to spray and disinfect classrooms appropriately two-three times a day.
· Classroom teachers will utilize the district—provided UV lamps to disinfect the rooms at least once each day.
· Custodians will use the disinfecting machines to clean common areas, hallways, restrooms, gyms, faculty lounges, and office areas daily.
The Alabama State Department of Education continues to work with state leaders to secure funding and additional opportunities for expansion of broadband infrastructure.
Congressional action last week included the introduction of the following legislation:
- The House passed the Moving America Forward Act (H.R. 2) that would provide $80 billion to deploy broadband in underserved areas. More directly, the bill would provide $5 billion to expand the Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program to fund more home broadband connections (both wired and wireless), laptops and tablets for rural students, and mobile hotspot-lending for schools and libraries. To further help students with long travel times to school, the legislation would require the FCC to make Wi-Fi access on school buses eligible for E-rate funding.
- The Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D‑MN), a companion to a House bill introduced the previous week by House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC), would invest $100 billion into broadband infrastructure.
- The Library Stabilization Fund Act, introduced by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Representative Andy Levin (D-MI), would provide $2 billion of emergency support for libraries including support for digital literacy training and resources for remote learning.
- The Emergency Educational Connections Act, filed as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and others, would provide $4 billion for elementary and secondary schools and libraries to provide Wi-Fi equipment, devices, and Internet services to students, staff, and patrons tied to guidelines of the E-rate program.