Safe and Healthy Schools
COVID-19 impacts each of us on a daily basis and it is important that we follow all recommended health and safety protocols such as vaccination, face coverings, hand washing, and physical distancing. Our students, staff, and community are counting on all of us working together to keep everyone safe and students in school.
Per state mandate, the COVID-19 vaccination is required for all staff and volunteers. For students, the COVID-19 vaccination is not required, but it is encouraged for those who are eligible.
Bus transportation is an important part of ensuring our students are able to get to and from school safely. Durham School Services has a number of layers of protection to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including face coverings for all individuals, increased airflow with windows, hand sanitation, and physical distancing to the extent possible.
The district’s approach is to optimize HVAC system performance at each building. System optimization entails fresh air intake, air handling (mixing fresh with recirculated air), filtration, air changing (number of times per hour that air is changed in a room), and temperature control. Optimizing system performance reduces build-up in the air of smaller particles such as COVID-19, particularly in an aerosolized state.
WHAT ADJUSTMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR COVID-19?
The district has adjusted the HVAC systems to maximize fresh air intake, use higher MERV-rated filters, extend the hours of operation and provide a minimum of two hours of purging before and after normal occupied hours.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided for free to all district students or students may bring lunch from home for the 2021-22 school year. Face coverings will be worn until students are sitting with food and ready to eat. All students and staff must wash hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting cafeteria spaces.
Schools plan to use cafeterias, classrooms, and outside areas to the extent possible to maximize spaces. In all situations, physical distancing of three feet will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
FACE COVERINGS & PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Face coverings are required for all staff, students and visitors while indoors in all school facilities and on school buses. Face coverings are not required outdoors during school-day activities such as recess. In all situations, physical distancing of three feet will be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
Students may not enter a school and/or classroom without a face covering or having an exception or accommodation on file. Schools will provide face coverings for any student who needs one. Face coverings must cover the nose and mouth. If a student isn’t wearing a face covering correctly, school staff will give the student a gentle hand gesture or verbal reminder.
If a student needs to remove the face covering, the student should communicate this to the teacher who will manage this on an as-needed basis. There is no designated time to remove face coverings during class.
If a student is identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, families will be contacted personally by a member of the district’s COVID-19 Response Team. Families will work with the school health nurse to determine any quarantining requirements for their student.
According to the Oregon Health Authority and ODE, close contacts, who do not have symptoms, have been fully immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine and at least 14 days beyond completion of the vaccine series at the time of their exposure are not required to quarantine. Fully immunized close contacts should still monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 during the 14 days after exposure.