Belgrade School District #44
COVID-19 Emergency Measures 1905
Student, Staff, and Community Health and Safety
The School District has adopted the protocols outlined in this policy during the term of the declared public health emergency to ensure the safe and healthy delivery of education services provided to students on school property in accordance with Policy 1906, and a safe workplace when staff are present on school property in accordance with Policy 1909, and the safety, health and well-being of parents and community members. The supervising teacher, principal, superintendent or designated personnel are authorized to implement the protocols in coordination with state and local health officials.
Symptoms of Illness
Students and staff who are ill, feeling ill, diagnosed as ill, or otherwise demonstrating symptoms of illness must not come to school or work. Students who have a fever or are exhibiting other signs of illness must be isolated in a designated area until such time as parents or caregiver may arrive at the school to retrieve the ill student. All surfaces and areas should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected once the student has vacated the area by staff utilizing safety measures in accordance with state and/or local health standards as applicable. Students may engage in alternative delivery of education services during the period of illness or be permitted to make up work in accordance with District Policy 1906. Staff members will be provided access to leave in accordance with District Policy 1911 or the applicable Master Contract or Memorandum of Understanding.
Parents, guardians, or caregivers of students who are ill, feeling ill, diagnosed as ill, or otherwise demonstrating symptoms of illness must not be present at the school for any reason including but not limited events or gatherings or to drop off or pick up students excepted as provided by this policy. To avoid exposing others to illness, parents or caregivers who are ill must make arrangements with others to transport students to school or events, if at all practicable. If not practicable, parents, guardians or caregivers must not leave their vehicle during pickup or drop off and must arrange with District staff to supervise students in accordance with physical distancing guidelines in this Policy.
To the extent possible, elementary school courses will be delivered to the same group of students each day, and the same teachers will remain with the same group in the same separate and designated room each day. meal service and courses delivered in a separate area such as the library, gymnasium, and music room, the service or course will be delivered in the designated classroom for each group of students. Recess and use of playgrounds during recess are permitted on an adjusted schedule to maintain appropriate student groupings. Transportation services will be provided in accordance with cleaning and disinfection procedures outlined in this policy.
Secondary school courses will be delivered using a restructured bell system to minimize student interaction in common areas. Upon arriving in a classroom, secondary school students will be provided disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray and disposable paper towel and time to clean their learning area or desk. Meal service for secondary students will be provided through a grab and go lunch that will be eaten in designated areas.
Parent arrival times to drop-off and pick up students riding with parents and caregivers will be staggered in designated intervals by grade level through a schedule set by the supervising teacher or building administrator.
Drop off and pick up of students will be completed in a manner that limits direct contact between parents and staff members and adhere to social distancing recommendations in the exterior of the building.
Visitors to the school authorized by District Policy 1903 will maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and others. This distancing requirement does not apply to individuals who are a part of the visitor’s regular household isolation group when the group is authorized to present at the school facility.
Face Coverings as Personal Protective Equipment
Staff, students, and visitors may wear a face covering, mask, or face shield while present in any school building. The School District does not require the use of masks and will not provide masks except in cases required by this policy or at the discretion of the administration.
Allegations of harassment of any person wearing or not wearing a face covering, mask or face Shield shall be promptly investigated in accordance with District policy. A student, staff member, or visitor who, after an investigation, is found to have engaged in behavior that violates District policy is subject to redirection or discipline.
OPTIONAL: Board Only makes the decision.
If after this section is adopted, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county where the school district is located increases to the point of being considered a “substantial” or “high” rate of transmission as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Board of Trustees may implement a requirement for face coverings to be worn in identified District buildings until such time as the Board of Trustees can adopt an applicable District policy. The superintendent shall coordinate with the county health department and Board Chair to determine whether face coverings are a necessary response to a potential or actual COVID-19 outbreak. The implementation of a face covering requirement in the identified buildings shall not be based on the COVID-19 vaccination status of any person in accordance with state law. The District does not make decisions regarding access to or delivery of school services based on COVID-19 vaccination status in accordance with Policy 3414. In the event face coverings are required by the Board of Trustees, the superintendent shall announce the face covering requirement to students, parents, staff and visitors for the immediate successive school day, each day by 3:00 p.m. If the Board of Trustees determines masks are required, signs will be installed to inform students, parents, staff and visitors of mask requirements while present in the identified District buildings. In the event of a mask requirement, the following shall apply:
Students, staff, volunteers, and visitors are not required to wear a face covering, mask, or face shield under this provision when:
- Consuming food or drink;
- Engaging in strenuous physical activity;
- Giving a speech, lecture, class presentation, course lesson, or performance when separated by at least six feet of distance from the gathering, class, or audience;
- Communication with someone who is hearing impaired;
- Identifying themselves;
- Receiving medical attention; or
- Precluded from safely using a face covering, mask, or face shield due to a medical or developmental condition. The superintendent, building principal, or their designee shall request documentation from a health care provider when considering an exception to this provision for medical or developmental reasons. The School District will comply with all applicable disability and discrimination laws when implementing this provision.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
School district personnel will routinely both clean by removing germs, dirt and impurities and disinfect by using chemicals to kill germs on all surfaces and objects in any school building and on school property that are frequently touched. This process shall include cleaning objects/surfaces not ordinarily cleaned daily.
Personnel will clean with the cleaners typically used and will use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. Personnel will disinfect with common EPA-registered household disinfectants. A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available from the supervising teacher or administrator. Personnel will follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
The District will provide EPA-registered disposable wipes to teachers, staff, and secondary students so that commonly used surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, remote controls) can be wiped down before use. Supervising teacher or administrators are required to ensure adequate supplies to support cleaning and disinfection practices.
Hand hygiene stations will be available at the entrance of any school building, so that children can clean their hands before they enter. If a sink with soap and water is not available, the School District will provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer will be kept out of elementary students’ reach and student use will be supervised by staff.
A District employee will greet children outside the school as they arrive to ensure orderly compliance with the provisions of this policy.
Designated School District staff are authorized to test the temperature of students with an approved non-contact or touchless temperature reader. Students who have a fever or are exhibiting other signs of illness must be isolated in a designated area until such time as parents or caregiver may arrive at the school to retrieve the ill student. All surfaces and areas should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected once the student has vacated the area.
When administering a temperature check on a possibly ill student, designated staff members will utilize available physical barriers and personal protective equipment to eliminate or minimize exposures due to close contact to a child who has symptoms during screening.
Healthy Hand Hygiene Behavior
All students, staff, and others present in the any school building will engage in hand hygiene at the following times, which include but are not limited to:
- Arrival to the facility and after breaks
- Before and after preparing, eating, or handling food or drinks
- Before and after administering medication or screening temperature
- After coming in contact with bodily fluid
- After recess
- After handling garbage
- After assisting students with handwashing
- After use of the restroom
Hand hygiene includes but is not limited to washing 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.
Staff members will supervise children when they use hand sanitizer and soap to prevent ingestion.
Staff members will place grade level appropriate posters describing handwashing steps near sinks.
Vulnerable individuals (defined by the Centers for Disease Control at the time of this policy’s adoption as those age 65 or older or those with serious underlying health conditions, including high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, and those whose immune system is compromised such as by chemotherapy for cancer and other conditions requiring such therapy) are authorized to talk to their healthcare provider to assess their risk and to determine if they should telework during the period of declared public health emergency.
Employees who have documented high risk designation from a medical provider are entitled to reasonable accommodation within the meaning of that term in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 as outlined in District Policy 5002. These accommodations may include but are not limited to teleworking in accordance with a work plan developed in coordination with and authorized by the supervising teacher, administrator or other designated supervisor. Such employees may also be eligible for available leave in accordance with the applicable policy or master agreement provision.
Food Preparation and Meal Service
Facilities must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and guidance related to safe preparation of food.
Sinks used for food preparation must not be used for any other purposes.
Staff and students will wash their hands in accordance with this policy.
The Board of Trustees authorizes the transportation of eligible transportees to and from the school facility in a manner consistent with the protocols established in this policy. The transportation director and school bus drivers will clean and disinfect each seat on each bus after each use.
The School District will communicate with parents, citizens, and other necessary stakeholders about the protocols established in this policy and the steps taken to implement the protocols through all available and reasonable means.
This policy in no way limits or adjusts the School District’s obligations to honor staff and student privacy rights. All applicable district policies and handbook provision governing confidentiality of student and staff medical information remain in full effect.
Transfer of Funds for Safety Purposes
The Board of Trustees may transfer state or local revenue from any budgeted or non-budgeted fund, other than the debt service fund or retirement fund, to its building reserve fund in an amount not to exceed the school district's estimated costs of improvements to school and student safety and security to implement this policy in accordance with District Policy 1006FE.
Legal Reference Governor’s Directive Implementing Executive Order 2-2021 – February 12, 2021
Correspondence clarifying Governor’s Directive – February 11, 2021
Article X, section 8 Montana Constitution
Section 20-3-324, MCA Powers and Duties
Section 20-9-806, MCA School Closure by Declaration of Emergency
10.55.701(2)(d)(s) Board of Trustees
State, ex rel., Bartmess v. Helena Board of Trustees, 726 P.2d 801
Cross Reference: Policy 1901 – School District Policy and Procedures
Policy 1903 – School District Events and Meetings
Policy 1903F- School Events Notice
Policy 1906 - Student Services and Instructional Delivery
Policy 1907 – Transportation Services
Policy 1006FE – Transfer of Funds for Safety Purposes
Policy 3410 – Student examination and screenings
Policy 3226 – Bullying and Harassment
Policy 3417 – Communicable Diseases
Policy 3431 – Emergency Treatment
Policy 5015 – Bullying and Harassment
Policy 1911 - Personnel Use of Leave
Policy 1910 – Human Resources and Personnel
Policy 4120 - Public Relations
Policy 5002 – Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities
Policy 5130 – Staff Health
Policy 5230 - Prevention of Disease Transmission
Policy 6110 – Superintendent Authority
Policy 6122 - Delegation of Authority
Adopted on: 08-20-2020