COVID-19 Protocols

Last update: 12/2/21

Masking

  • Since our youngest learners are not yet eligible for vaccination, masks will be required for students in Pre-K through 6th grade while indoors, except while eating. 
  • Masks will be required for staff working with students in Pre-K through 6th grade when social distancing of 6 feet is not possible.
  • Masks will be required for all students on school buses, regardless of age or vaccination status. (This is the result of a federal order that mandates face coverings on public transit, which includes school buses. The order cannot be waived by state or local authorities.)
  • Masks are strongly encouraged for adults and students in 7th-12th grades when indoors while the level of community spread is high.
  • Masks are optional for all students and staff while outdoors.
  • Visitors to schools will be required to wear masks.


Social Distancing

  • Buildings will work to maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet whenever possible.
  • Students will be provided assigned seats in all situations where close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) may occur, including on the bus and in all instructional areas.
  • Breakfast will continue to be eaten in classrooms.
  • Students will have assigned seats during lunch.
  • Social distancing measures are to be done in an equitable manner that does not perpetuate academic, racial, or other tracking (e.g., separating people into fully vaccinated and non-fully vaccinated cohorts.).


Contact Tracing and Notification

  • FHSD will continue to work with SCCDPH, providing contact-tracing information for cases and exposure that takes place at school.
  • Parents will be notified by FHSD when their child has been in close contact with a positive case.
  • FHSD will maintain a dashboard showing positive cases and quarantines. The dashboard will be updated weekly on Fridays, with the first update of the school year expected on Friday, August 27.

 

Quarantine

  • Fully vaccinated individuals will not have to quarantine if exposed to a positive case as long as the individual does not develop any symptoms. 
  • When an individual is identified as a close contact, the individual will be sent home. If the individual reports being fully vaccinated that information will be reported to SCCDPH. Once confirmed, the individual will be allowed to return to school/work.
  • Individuals who have been vaccinated may share that documentation with the school nurse who will record it in the student information system. This will allow the student to remain at school if they have been a close contact.
  •  In November 2021, the St. Charles County Department of Public Health announced modified-restricted quarantine for K-12 schools.
  • Modified-restricted quarantine replaces all previous quarantine options available to schools, and applies to both staff and students. It allows close contacts to continue attending school regardless of mask usage at the time of exposure. To be eligible for modified-restricted quarantine, the close contact would need to wear a mask at school for 14 days following exposure and remain asymptomatic. If the close contact experiences any COVID-19 symptoms, they would stay home for the duration of the 14 days. Students are not allowed to participate in sports or other high-risk activities under the modified-restricted quarantine. Participation in sports or high-risk activities may resume per the Sports and Activities Guidelines. Students may continue to attend Vacation Station under modified-restricted quarantine.


ELEMENTARY

Arrival/Dismissal
Bus and parent drop off will be in separate locations and students will enter through separate doors when possible to cut down on congestion. Dismissal will be staggered to allow smaller groups of students to move out of the building as quickly as possible. Parents picking up students must remain in their vehicles at dismissal. Parent pick-up/drop-off times may be extended as we are expecting an increase in utilization.

Cohorts
A cohort is defined as a group of students who participate in a class or other activity, and may extend beyond one class of students (for example, a grade level). Our goal is to minimize the number of cohorts any one student participates in during the school day. Currently, public health guidance directs us to keep the same group of teachers and students together each day. Most elementary students will stay with the same cohort throughout the day. Some students might be a part of a second cohort if they receive pull-out supports for Special Education and/or English Language Development.

Meals
FHSD will stress the importance for students to wash their hands with soap and water and use sanitizer prior to entering any food service areas. Breakfast will be grab-n-go in nature and eaten in the classrooms. Elementary students will eat lunch in the cafeteria in assigned seats with space between tables. Students will enter, sit and exit the cafeteria by class.

Sharing Supplies
Each student should have their own school supplies for their personal use. When shared supplies are necessary, such as equipment in PE class, proper handwashing and sanitation protocols will be in place.

Specials
Students will still participate in art, music, physical education, and library, following health and safety guidelines. They will travel to all special classes and in some cases, bring their individual supplies. PE will be held outside as much as possible. 

 

SECONDARY

Arrival/Dismissal
Students will not be allowed at school more than 30 minutes before the start of the school day, unless scheduled for a supervised activity. Students are expected to proceed directly to classrooms upon arrival and should avoid congregating in hallways and common areas. No unsupervised students should remain at school more than 30 minutes after the school day, unless scheduled for a supervised activity. If possible, dismissal times will be staggered.

Meals
FHSD will stress the importance for students to wash their hands with soap and water and use sanitizer prior to entering any food service areas. Breakfast will be grab-n-go in nature and eaten in homeroom or first hour classrooms. Secondary students may be allowed to eat in other areas, allowing for more physical distancing during lunch - given that they eat with the class determining their lunch schedule. 

Students traveling to other buildings
Students taking classes at other FHSD schools will be allowed to continue (elementary to middle school; middle school to high school).

Lewis and Clark/CAPS/Early College/Work Program
Students should follow the guidelines established by these programs.

Locker Rooms / PE
Dressing out is optional for PE, but proper footwear is recommended. 

Lockers / Backpacks
Unless otherwise indicated by the school, lockers will be assigned by request only for grades 7-12. Sixth graders will automatically be assigned a locker. Lockers will be spaced out when possible and backpacks will be allowed.

Passing Periods / Restroom Breaks

Traffic will be one-way in hallways and stairwells where possible. Congregating in the hallways will not be allowed. Passing periods may be extended to allow for handwashing and restroom use. Students will also be allowed more opportunities to use the restroom during classes.  

Extracurricular Activities, Athletics and Clubs
FHSD will continue offering extra-curricular activities, including athletics and clubs, taking as many safety precautions as possible. We will follow guidelines from MSHSAA. Travel for co-curricular competitions is currently allowed unless otherwise directed by the District.

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