Safety Measures

What can families expect when schools reopen

The health and safety of our students, staff and families is of the utmost importance. When the 2020-2021 school year begins, we expect it will look different than in previous years due to new health and safety measures enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Cleaning | Physical Distance | Masks | Hygiene | Self-Screening | COVID Response | Meals | Buses

PLEASE NOTE: The following health and safety guidance has been recommended based on current information and will be updated as the situation changes.  

Cleaning/Healthy Environments

  • Building ventilation systems will be running at optimum capacity before school occupancy and throughout the day. Air is being exchanged once every 12-15 minutes. Window may be open if possible.
  • Signage for physical distancing, mask use, hand washing, etc. will be posted throughout each building
  • Front office and health office desks will be provided a clear barrier.
  • Classrooms with sinks will be supplied with sufficient inventory of soap and paper towels for handwashing.  All classrooms will have hand sanitizer.
  • A sick room separate from the nurse’s office in each building is available for students who are not feeling well to minimize contact with others until they are able to go home.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily following MDH guidance (see below).
  • Intensive cleaning will occur in areas where suspected cases have been reported.  

 

Daily Cleaning Schedules

Every Night

Throughout the Day

  • Custodial teams will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces throughout the building, including classrooms (desks, tables, chairs, sinks) and hallways and common areas
  • Clean and disinfect all public touch points such as drinking fountains, pushplates, doorknobs, handrails, counters, buttons on copy machines and timeclocks, etc.
  • Refill hand soap, paper towels, and wall mounted hand sanitizer dispensers in classrooms and throughout building
  • Restock teacher/staff supply area with disinfectant wipes and portable hand sanitizer
  • Custodial teams will clean high-touch surfaces:
  • Door knobs, handles and handrails
  • Water bottle filling stations
  • Copyrooms and front offices
  • Tables where students are eating
  • Restrooms and locker rooms
  •  Teachers and classroom staff will be provided with safe, disinfecting
  • products to use on classroom desks and surfaces

 

Physical Distance

  • Staff will help students maintain 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible
  • School schedules and/or courses will be modified if social distancing is not feasible or if there is an increased risk of spread; Alternative accommodations and scheduling options will be considered
  • Physical changes will be made in classrooms to create more personal space, such as moving desks and furniture
  • The number of students will be reduced in each classroom 
  • There will be no field trips or large group gatherings (ie. assemblies, etc.)
  • Visitors will be limited. Volunteers will not be scheduled until further notice
  • Staggered lunches, recesses, and other transition times 
  • Elementary schools will create separated outdoor play spaces to keep cohorts of students together
  • Separate entry and exit points will be provided, whenever possible

Schedules will help to limit contact between students:

  • Elementary: Students will stay with their class “cohort” and avoid contact with other student cohorts to limit exposure
  • Middle Schools: Students will begin the year in a “bubble” model and will stay with a class “cohort” for the majority of the day 
  • High School: Students will be limited to contact with 3 class groups per week

 

Masks (see Face Covering Protocols)

  • Per Executive Order 20-81, all students, staff, and other people present in school buildings, district offices or riding on school transportation vehicles are required to wear a face covering
  • Face coverings may be temporarily removed to eat or drink, and during physical education. Care should be taken to maintain as much space as possible between people when masks are off, recognizing it is not always feasible to maintain 6 feet of distance from others
  • Students and staff will be provided with one face covering from the district and each building office will maintain an extra supply of disposable masks for anyone who forgot to bring one
  • Mask exemptions due to disabilities, medical, developmental, mental health, or behavioral needs will be honored. The Mask Exemption Form can be found here.
  • A face shield may be used as an alternative to a face covering among students and staff in a variety of circumstances. 

 

Hygiene

  • Handwashing stations with soap and/or hand sanitizers are located in each classroom
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located in key areas throughout the building (entry ways, etc.)
  • Regular hygiene breaks for students to wash their hands will be scheduled throughout the day
  • Supply sharing will be minimized
  • Students are encouraged to bring water bottles from home and use the bottle filling feature at drinking fountains

 

Self-Screening
Families, students and staff are expected to self screen at home before coming to school. Anyone displaying any of the following symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home: 

  • New onset of cough 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Fever of 100.0 degrees or higher 
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain 
  • Sore throat 
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste 
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea

Students exhibiting these symptoms during the school day will be assessed and will likely be sent home. See MDH Decision Tree: What to do if I have symptoms of COVID-19

Questions? Contact the district's COVID Triage Nurse, Deb Hammergren, at 651-351-8654 or hammergrend@stillwaterschools.org

COVID Response

  • Staff or students who become infected with COVID-19 (whether through the community or within the school) must be isolated at home for 10 days. Close contacts must be quarantined for 14 days. 
  • Parents will be notified if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in their child’s class or in the building; the privacy of the infected individual will be maintained. 
  • Cases within a group or classroom may require quarantine, including the transition of classes or the entire school to distance learning.
  • MDE will be consulted in the event of an outbreak 
  • During the event of a class or building closure, students will have access to distance learning.
  • Re-opening of classes or buildings after an outbreak will be determined in consultation with MDE.

 Questions? Contact the district's COVID Triage Nurse, Deb Hammergren, at 651-351-8654 or hammergrend@stillwaterschools.org

Food Service

  • Breakfast and lunch will be available to students when they are in school on an in-person and hybrid learning schedule.
  • Students will come to the cafeteria in small groups to pick up their meals
  • Signage and floor markings will be posted in cafeterias to promote physical distancing
  • All students and staff will wear masks when in line or on the way to and from the cafeteria (Masks can be removed for eating and drinking)
  • Students will be able to choose their items at lunch and food service staff will serve and plate 
  • Food service staff will enter student PINs or scan a student barcode to limit contact
  • Students will eat meals in small group settings 

 

School Buses

  • Bus capacity will be at 50%, as defined by MDE/MDH
  • Students, drivers and bus aides are required to wear face coverings/masks 
  • Students will be one to a seat and those from the same household may sit together
  • Seats will be assigned
  • Bus pick-up areas at each school will be marked for physical distancing
  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP)-driven accommodations will be reviewed with a commitment to finding solutions for all families of children with special needs
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will take place following each route with special attention to high touch areas
  • Bus and parent drop-off and pick-up zones and loading/unloading times may need to be modified. Specific instruction will come from your child’s school