Health and Facilities
This page has the most up to date information relating to COVID-19 and our schools. The situation is constantly changing, and as we have new information updates will be made. Please check this site often. We understand that changes may cause confusion and we ask for your understanding during this time. If you have any questions, please submit them on our Contact Us page and someone will answer as soon as possible. Please see the FAQ tab for more information.
The Health and Facilities Committee is comprised of five school nurses, five buildings and grounds/facility directors, five faculty members, two school administrators and one community member. We have met weekly (sometimes twice) since June 19th. Our committee has been divided into two working sub-committees (Facilities and Health), which has allowed us to tackle reopening plans more efficiently. Additionally, WCUUSD has recently hired a COVID-19 Coordinator who will help to guide us in all decisions that impact the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff.
Covid-19 Coordinator Job Description: The COVID-19 Coordinator will oversee compliance with the infection control requirements throughout the WCUUSD. This position will work in coordination with the Superintendent on practices, procedures and continuation (or modification) of work activities to ensure conformity with the required guidelines.
The COVID-19 Coordinator will serve as the liaison with the Department of Health; be instrumental in the development of procedures for students and staff; participate as a member of the planning team for infection control protocol; regularly update the Central Office Leadership Team with district status and needs; support building based nurses with implementation requirements and daily activities; ensure compliance with implementing infection control district-wide; procure PPE and maintain adequate supplies; oversee daily monitoring and isolation rooms; as well as other duties and tasks as assigned by the Superintendent.
Elizabeth Wirth (former East Montpelier School Nurse) was named our COVID-19 Coordinator. She meets weekly with the building-based school nurses to re-work our health procedures. She has also been meeting with public health officials to discuss local and regional information and to receive reopening guidelines and recommendations.
Base Camp Health Ascend - This is a video of how to log in and enter information online
Last Updated on 8/5/2020
The Health Sub-Committee is continuing to analyze guidance and recommendations from many sources. We have concentrated on determining what kind of personal protection equipment will be needed for staff and students, sourcing those supplies and getting them ordered. Those supplies are wide-ranging and have been recommended by the CDC, AOE and/or VT DOH. They include masks, thermometers, gloves, and health office and isolation room equipment.
Here are some procedures and protocols that will be in place in our schools this fall:
Health screening. This will need to be completed by a parent or guardian (for their student) each morning before school (see FAQ for more information).
Temperature checks upon arrival to school (see FAQ for more information).
Face masks. All students and staff must wear a mask while on school grounds unless if while outside physical distancing can be maintained (see FAQ for more information).
Visitors / Use of School Buildings. There will be no outside visitors allowed into the schools and the buildings will not be open for usage outside of school hours.
Monitoring and exclusion of sick students (students who are sick will be sent home or asked to not attend).
Physical distancing. Physical distancing measures will be used to reduce exposure.
Proper hygiene practices will be taught, modeled and practiced.
All employees will complete a mandatory training on COVID-19 health and safety requirements before the start of school.
We will follow the CDC Guidelines for Daily Home Screening.
COVID-19 Coordination, Planning and Training
WCUUSD is planning for cases of COVID-19 in our community and within our schools. As an entire district and within each our schools, we are developing plans to manage infection prevention, fine tuning communication methods and creating flexible education programs should anyone in our schools test positive for COVID-19. The Health Department is assisting VT schools by actively developing tools to support this planning for when there is a positive case, including communication plans for staff, families and the community.
Click the link above to see 10 things you can do to get your students ready to return to school
Daily Home Screening for Students (updated 8/18)
We are requiring all parents to complete this short health check each morning and report the information to the school before their child leaves for school. This reporting will be done through a web-based application, and instructions and training will be provided within one week of school opening. Information was emailed to parents on August 12 that contained user information and log-in details. Please contact Amy Molina at email@example.com if you have not received log-in credentials.
SECTION 1: Symptoms
If your child has any of the following symptoms, it is an indication of a possible illness that could decrease their ability to learn, as well as put other children at risk. Please check your child for these symptoms every morning:
Temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth
Shortness of breath
Muscle pain or body aches
Loss of taste or smell
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea (diarrhea is defined as frequent loose or watery stools compared to child’s normal pattern)
Students who have COVID-19 exposure, or signs/symptoms of COVID-19 must not come to school.
Healthy students and staff with the following symptoms/conditions are not excluded from in-person school activities:
Allergy symptoms (with no fever) that cause coughing and clear runny nose may stay if they have medically diagnosed allergies and follow medical treatment plans.
Children with documented allergies or well-controlled asthma do NOT require a medical clearance note from a healthcare provider to enter school. However, a child with a new diagnosis of asthma during the school year does require written confirmation from the student’s healthcare provider.
SECTION 2: Close Contact/Potential Exposure
Has your child had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with a person who been confirmed as COVID-19 positive? Exposure is defined as: close contact with a person who has COVID-19 within the last 14 days. Based on our current knowledge, a close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.
Have you or your child traveled to or lived in an area where the local, Tribal, territorial, or state health department is reporting large numbers of COVID-19 cases (as described in the Community Mitigation Framework)?
Return-to-School Policies (updated 8/18)
If student has only one of the following symptoms without a fever (sore throat, nasal congestion, muscle aches, fatigue, or diarrhea), they may return to school when they have been 24 hours without a symptom.
If a student has more than one of the above symptoms and/or fever of 100.4 or greater: Consult with medical provider for assessment and guidance around returning to school. Without a medical consult, student may be required to remain home for 10 days since symptoms first appeared.
If students/parents/caregivers answer YES to any question in Section 1 and YES to any question in Section 2 (potential exposure), they should contact their medical provider for further steps and guidance. Healthcare providers will determine when viral testing for SARS-CoV-2 is appropriate. WCUUSD schools will not require testing results as a part of return to school policies as recommended by the CDC. Students who do get tested and receive a negative test result will be allowed to return to school once their symptoms have otherwise improved.
Students diagnosed with COVID-19 or who answer YES to any question in Section 1 and YES to any question in Section 2 without negative test results should stay home, isolate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their healthcare provider or local health department. The local health department may contact your family to do contact tracing. If contacted, families should notify the contract tracer which school your child(ren) attend.
Students diagnosed with COVID-19 or who answer YES to any component of Section 1 and YES to any component of Section 2 without a negative test results are permitted to return to school after 10 days since the first symptom and are fever free for 24 hrs without fever reducing medication. Refer to “When Can I Be Around Others” for more information. A negative test or doctor’s note is not be required for return. Questions regarding return to school should be jointly decided in consultation with parents or caregivers, school personnel, and the student’s healthcare provider.
The Health Department is currently drafting symptom and testing protocol to support return-to-school determinations for students with COVID-like symptoms. Once finalized, this will be posted on the Health Department website.
Students who are excluded from school will be afforded the opportunity, as soon as they are well enough to participate in classwork, to make up any missed classwork without penalty. We do not want students to experience mental or physical anxiety about missed academic opportunities
Protocol for When Symptoms Begin at School:
Regular screening for symptoms and ongoing self-monitoring throughout the school day can help to quickly identify signs of illness and help reduce exposure. Staff and students will be encouraged to self-monitor symptoms throughout the day.
The Health Offices at all of the schools will be separated into a ‘clean’ health space and a medical isolation room. If a student or staff member develops symptoms at school, the school nurse will be notified immediately and isolate the symptomatic individual in the designated space at school and prepare to send them home. Parents will need to pick up symptomatic children as quickly as possible, ideally within thirty minutes. Families should make arrangements ahead of time if they are unable to get to the school in a timely manner.
The designated isolation space(s) in each building will be distinguished from areas where student health services will be delivered to those who are well and need routine types of care (e.g., medication administration or first aid). The designated space will accommodate social distancing of at least 6 feet for multiple individuals if needed. Symptomatic students who are waiting to be picked up will remain under the visual supervision of a staff member who is at least 6 feet away. Both the symptomatic student and the supervising adults will continue to wear a cloth face covering or a surgical mask.
Cases of COVID-19 in WCUUSD Schools (updated 8/12)
If COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member, schools will work with the Department of Health to determine next steps. Identification of a student or adult with COVID-19 in the school is not an indication to close the entire school. The Department of Health is developing materials and algorithms to use with schools to support response actions and decisions.
If COVID-19 is confirmed in a student or staff member:
The person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be asked to isolate according to guidelines set forth by the Vermont Department of Health.
Staff or students that have been identified as a close contact - through contact tracing - will be asked to quarantine.
Protocols at school:
We will open outside doors and windows and use ventilating fans to increase air circulation in the area.
We will close off areas used by a sick person (e.g. offices, bathrooms, classrooms and common areas) and keep them closed until disinfected according to the following protocol:
When possible, wait 24 hours since the person has been in the space before cleaning.
Focus will be on frequently touched surfaces and shared electronic equipment.
We will ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children.
We will participate in contact tracing as requested by the Health Department.
We will communicate with staff and parents/caregivers with information while maintaining patient confidentiality
Possible School Dismissal Scenarios:
School or Multiple Schools
County-wide dismissal (all schools in Washington County, for example)
Hand Hygiene (updated 8/12)
Our school staff will ensure that all staff and students receive education/training on proper hand hygiene. Staff will also put the following procedures into practice to ensure effective hand hygiene:
All students, staff and contracted service providers should engage in hand hygiene at the following times:
Arrival to the facility
After staff breaks
Before and after preparing food or drinks
Before and after eating, handling food or feeding students
Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
After coming in contact with bodily fluid
Before and after handling facial coverings/face shields
After handling animals or cleaning up animal waste
After playing outdoors o Before and after playing with sand and sensory play
After handling garbage
Before and after cleaning
Prior to switching rooms or locations
Students and staff will wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available. We will monitor for ingestion of hand sanitizer among young children.
After assisting students with handwashing, staff should also wash their hands.
Will will place developmentally appropriate posters describing handwashing steps near sinks.
Click the above link for more travel information.
See the FAQ tab for more information
Update August 5
PPE and cleaning supplies have arrived! Distribution to all the buildings has begun.
All custodial staff will receive training on the proper donning and removal of PPE.
Cleaning expectations for custodial staff are will be delineated and distributed district-wide.
Cleaning expectations for teaching staff, as well as how to use the products, will be delineated and distributed district wide.
Isolation rooms will be ready for the beginning of school.
Plexiglass barriers will be installed and air handling systems will be updated before the beginning of school.
Update July 29
The facilities committee has been working on a number of projects:
Ensuring and reviewing that all schools' air handling systems have been thoroughly cleaned and have maximum filtration in place.
Devising a comprehensive, district-wide cleaning protocol that defines a consistent disinfecting schedule for all buildings.
Ordering and installing multiple hand sanitizer stations as well as ordering an ample supply of hand sanitizer.
Ensuring that all classrooms are set up to allow for social distancing.
Ordering plexiglass for high traffic areas and where social distancing may not be possible.
Custodians will clean and sanitize daily when students are present:
High Touch Areas will be sanitized hourly
Other high touch areas.
Restrooms will be cleaned & sanitized during the day
Sinks, stalls, and toilets will be cleaned, sprayed and wiped down.
Mirrors and all dispensers (soap, paper towels etc.) will be sprayed and wiped down
We will dust mop and wet mop floors
Custodians will clean and sanitize nightly as well:
▶High Touch Areas ▶Restrooms ▶Counters ▶Sinks ▶Chairs
▶Student tables ▶Teacher desk ▶Doors
1. Clean above surfaces.
2. Treat surfaces with disinfectant - disinfectants will be left on surfaces for the recommended 'dwell' time before wiping
3. Electronics - we will use a clean microfiber cloth sprayed with disinfectant to wipe down:
▶ Computers ▶keyboards ▶cameras ▶projectors ▶phones ▶light switches ▶other electronic devices
4. Apply Electrostatic Disinfection Treatment - This will disinfect everything: hard surfaces and items made of cloth/different fibers.
Common Teacher Cleaning Expectations:
Staff are not allowed to bring personal cleaning supplies. The use of cleaning products other than the ones provided by custodial staff can cause toxic fumes.
All classrooms are equipped with hand sanitizer, spray bottles of EPA disinfectant and paper towels.
When teachers will sanitize :
● Before moving to the next teaching room.
● If students move, sanitize desks and seats between groups.
● Throughout the day, sanitize faucets and sink areas (if you have them)
How to sanitize:
● Teachers will spray hard surfaces with provided product and wipe.
● Teachers will clean any electronics used by spraying a paper towel with the provided product
and then wipe down.
● Manipulatives can be sanitized by teachers by filling a small bucket with the provided product,
leave the manipulatives in the solution for 5 minutes, rinse, and air dry.
These are the resources that we have used to guide our work:
VT Agency of Education
A STRONG AND HEALTHY START - Safety and Health Guidance for Reopening Schools, Fall 2020 - rev 8/11/2020
COVID-19 guidance for Vermont Schools: https://education.vermont.gov/covid19
VT Department of Health
COVID-19 guidance: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19
Schools and Childcare Programs: https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/coronavirus-covid-19/schools-and-child-care-programs
Guidance for Childcare Programs, summer programs, and afterschool programs: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID19-Health-Guidance-for-Childcare-Afterschool-Summer-Programs.pdf
Guidance for School Re-entry (American Association for Pediatrics)