Toppenish School District COVID-19 Response Team
The Toppenish School District is collaboratively working with the Yakima Health District (YHD), Education Service District 105 (ESD105) and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in continuing with on site teaching and learning. The Toppenish School District has established a COVID-19 Response Team to manage COVID-19 within schools to help reduce transmission and keep students, staff, and families healthy and safe. The COVID-19 Response Team will continually evaluate and update safety plans according to the most recent guidelines from Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington Department of Health (WA DOH).
Arrival and Departure
Face Coverings & Social Distancing
Every school will develop and implement age appropriate behavior expectations and enforcement mechanisms to facilitate COVID-19 behavioral safety measures. Schools will inform parents/guardians of these safety expectations prior to reopening day. Expectations will include face covering, and social distancing expectations and the consequences of violating these expectations. All schools will develop and implement an educational program to ensure all students understand proper use of face coverings and social distancing practices beginning on the first day of reopening. Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a safe space between yourself and other people who are not from your household.
--To practice social or physical distancing, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
- Practice physical distancing of six feet or more between groups or classrooms as much as possible
- Create space between students and reduce the amount of time they are close with each other
- Your ability to do this will depend on students’ age and developmental and physical abilities.
- Select strategies to increase physical distancing that will work for your school and the space available.
- Maintaining six feet of distance is most important when students or staff will be engaged in something for more than a few minutes, like during class, reading or quiet time, or eating lunch.
- There may be brief moments, such as passing by others in the hallway or moving around the classroom when students are less than six feet apart from each other.
- Not all strategies will be feasible for all schools.--
Cloth face masks covering the nose and mouth are the primary option for protection against COVID-19. All staff members, students, visitors, and parents will be required to wear appropriate face coverings while on campus. All staff and students on campus will be required to practice social distancing. Student violations will be addressed by school administration. Each building has designated a building administrator to the role of School COVID-19 Coordinator; tasked with enforcing the COVID-19 job site safety plan. Staff violations will be addressed by the building administration.
School Set Up
Hallways will be clearly marked with direction markers and visual reminders to maintain social distancing and direct the flow of traffic. Exits and Entrances will be marked to direct traffic in and out of buildings. Tape, paint, or cones will mark to signal six feet distance in areas where students and staff may be waiting in line.
Exterior walkways will be marked using paint, tape, or cones to direct traffic. Reminders for social distancing, hand washing, will be clearly visible throughout the school. Staff will be strategically assigned during transitions to monitor student’s behavior and ensure a steady flow of student traffic and eliminate students congregating in groups. Tables, benches, and workstations will be placed at least six feet apart and may not be available during transition times. Water fountains will not be available; touch less water bottle fillers will be installed. Each building will keep attendance, seating charts on file for at least 30 days.
Students and staff must practice social distancing at all times. If individuals need to wait in a line, they must maintain a minimal distance of six feet from the person in front of you as well as behind you. When walking down the hallway or on the sidewalk individuals must maintain to the right of the center line and keep a steady pace to ensure social distancing. Individuals should not be allowed to congregate in groups.
Classroom set up will maximize the available square footage. Students will be facing the same direction when possible. Barriers will be provided as needed. Assigned seating charts will be implemented in each classroom. Doors leading to an interior hallway will remain open and windows will be adjusted to facilitate ventilation. Soap, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting agent will be available at all times. Students will have designated seating/work areas spaced out as much as possible with a minimum of three feet between students in the classroom settting. They will maintain six feet of distance when masks are off (i.e. when eating).
- Students will bring their Chromebooks to class every day and will bring their own materials.
- Material/tools must not be shared between students without properly disinfecting first.
- Prior to reopening day, the school will send a list of materials the students are expected to have on a daily basis.
- Students will be allowed to remove their mask for the purposes of eating breakfast and lunch.
- Mask breaks will be allowed as a structured activity.
- Students must follow the directions of the classroom teacher in carrying out these tasks.
Classroom furniture including desks and teacher workstations will be rearranged to maximize the square footage of every classroom across the school district. Students desks and teacher workstations will be strategically placed to provide a minimum of six feet of distance between students and staff. In order to reduce transmission caused from virus-contaminated droplets, desks will be turned to face in the same direction and barriers will be provided in instances when desks are facing each other.
Students will have restrooms available to them while on campus. Students will be allowed to use the restroom during arrival, classroom transitions, and departure. Students will follow the directions of the staff member at each restroom for restroom use.
- If a student needs to use the restroom during class, the teacher will grant the request.
- Students must use the closest restroom to the classroom from which they are leaving.
- Students must wash hands before exiting the restroom and use hand sanitizer when returning to class.
At this time, meals are served in the cafeteria. Masks will be worn when not eating, social distancing is implemented within the cafeteria.
Students will have access to recess. School staff will encourage maintain six feet of distance. At this time, due to COVID numbers increasing large gatherings and field trips will be evaluted on an individual basis.
Visitors on Campus
Visitor expectations need to be clearly posted at the building entrance. Visitors will be required to wear appropriate face covering and will follow social distancing guidelines. Visitors will only be permitted to enter the main office building. Access past the main office will be limited to a case by case basis and will be directed by the onsite School COVID-19 Coordinator.
Parents/Guardians picking up a student from the observation room will be directed to remain in their vehicle. Parents/Guardians will remain in their vehicle while they call the main office which will arrange for their student to be escorted to the vehicle for check out and follow up instructions.
At the elementary level the students will be in cohorts by class. Students will not mix. All activities will be conducted in small groups with a dedicated staff member that remain together over the course of the school day. Instead of having students move about the campus, the students will remain in their class and the specialist will come to them.
Special Education students across the district are also in small cohorts of students with minimal paraprofessional and teacher movement between students.
Students with severe disabilities have been assigned to a cohort group. The cohorts consist of a small group of students, paraprofessionals, and teachers. There is no mixing of students or staff.
At the middle school level students will be placed in grade level pods. The pods will remain together and transition to classes together to minimize student interaction with other students.
Virtual Learning Options
Students will also have the option of CATS Remote as an option for Virtual Learning. CATS Remote will allow students to work entirely online. CATS Remote staff will be available to support students via phone, text, email or online meets. Students will work with their online curriculum at their own pace at any time of the day or weekend.
Physical Education classes will focus on individual skills or activities and will be held outside weather permitting. Indoor Physical Education classes will maintain 6 feet of distance between students and avoid strenuous activities to ensure students can wear their face coverings. Locker room use will be limited to avoid crowding and have staggered entry while also remaining in their cohorts.
The use of face coverings will be mandatory for all students and staff while riding on the bus for the entire duration of their bus ride to and from home. Bus transportation will be offered to students to and from school. Longer bus routes will seat less students as an extra precautionary measure. Additional buses will be assigned as needed. The direct pick up and drop off at each school will also reduce the amount of time students are on the bus. Hand sanitizer will be available to students as they board the bus. Students will have assigned seats. Students of the same household will be allowed to sit together in the same seat. Parents and caregivers will be encouraged to drop off and pick up students in efforts to reduce the number of student bus riders. Buses will strategically open windows and available hatches to increase ventilation. Additional time has been added to the bus route schedules for cleaning and disinfecting.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The custodians will add additional cleaning and sanitizing cycles to their regular schedule to account for disinfecting high traffic and common areas. Custodial cleaning schedules will be flexible to account for changing facility use patterns. If needed, additional staff will be allocated to meet the cleaning and disinfecting needs of each school building.
EPA registered products that are safe for staff and students to use without PPE will be made available at every building.
Every school building will have a COVID-19 Infection Control Lead that will:
- Prepares COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting plans and regularly updates plans with new or revised CDC and WA DOH guidance.
- Facilitates initiation of cleaning and disinfecting protocols of all affected areas.
- Notifies custodial staff that affected area(s) must be cleaned and disinfected in accordance with CDC COVID-19 cleaning/disinfection protocols.
- Assures that affected areas are not used until cleaning is complete (i.e.. close off area, post sign).
- Assures that COVID-19 isolation area is disinfected daily.
- Confirms that custodial staff has completed cleaning and disinfecting all affected areas.
- Maintains and updates cleaning and disinfecting protocols and procedures.
The ventilation systems at every school have been modified to increase airflow and filtration. In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case the ventilation system has been set up to isolate the room/zone to allow for deep cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, the outside dampeners will be opened at 100% to expel the air out of the room/zone.
All cleaning solutions will be prepared by the maintenance department to ensure proper concentrations and effectiveness of clearing and disinfecting agents.
“Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period.”
Confirmed Case Response
A District COVID-19 Response Team has been established to better prepare, plan, and respond to COVID-19 related issues. The following roles have been established to account for different COVID-19 related needs:
District COVID-19 Coordinator (Director)
School COVID-19 Coordinators per school (Principals & Nurses)
COVID-19 Screening Leads per school (Health Aids)
COVID-19 Isolation Supervisor per school (Health Aids)
COVID-19 Infection Control Lead per school (Vice Principals or Deans of Students)
- The Initial Interview of the confirmed COVID-19 case is conducted by members of the Health District Team which is composed of the District COVID-19 Coordinator and Nurse Directors. Staff cases are conducted by the Nurses or the District Coordinator and students are conducted by the Nurses.
- The interview establishes the time period of contagion which is then shared with the building Principal (School COVID-19 Coordinator).
- The building Principal conducts a contact tracing investigation and provides the District COVID-19 Coordinator or Nurse with the potential close contacts.
- The Principal contacts all potential close contact staff/students and instructs them to go home and informs them of next steps.
- The District COVID-19 Coordinator or Nurse provides the staff member or parents/guardians with a letter describing what a potential close contact means and provides information on next steps.
- The District COVID-19 Coordinator or Nurse contacts the Yakima Health Districts and informs them of the confirmed case and provides the list of the potential close contacts.
- The building Principal communicates with the staff and student/guardians of the non close contact to inform them of the situation and a letter is provided to the parents/guardians. An email is sent to staff informing them of a confirmed case on campus.
- The District Coordinator or Nurse follows up with the confirmed case and the potential close contact individuals to begin the process of establishing a return to work or school date.
Testing & Vaccine
Testing Site Information: https://www.yakimacounty.us/2401/Yakima-County-COVID-19-Testing-Sites
K-12 COVID-19 Requirements for Summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 School Year: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/1600/coronavirus/820-105-K12Schools2021-2022.pdf