GREENE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
AUGUST 2020 SCHOOL YEAR OPENING
2020-21 COMMON AGREEMENTS
PREFACE: In March of 2020, the Governor and the Director of Ohio Department of Health directed all Ohio schools to close their buildings to students for three weeks, and then in April, for the remainder of the school calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By mid-June 2020, Ohio had not yet been given clear guidance on reopening schools for the 2020-21 school year. Due to the need to have plans in place for the start of the 2020-21 school year, school district superintendents from each public school district in Greene County, along with the Greene County Educational Service Center and Greene County Career Center, came together throughout spring/summer 2020 to identify common practices for schools to use during the 2020-21 school year. These plans will be implemented with the understanding that schools will follow the guidance and requirements set forth by Greene County Public Health (GCPH). The following information represents commonalities agreed to amongst the public school districts and school agencies in Greene County. These districts and agencies may determine, as they deem appropriate, more prescriptive and restrictive plans for their specific districts and school programs.
These general principles and commonalities will guide Greene County public schools as they move forward with their specific plans for opening schools throughout the county:
1. Each school district will implement recommended health and safety protocols to the highest degree possible;
2. Each school district will work closely with the Greene County Public Health to promote health safety in each school building;
3. Each school district will be transparent with all stakeholders that some level of risk will always be present when children and school district employees occupy school district facilities.
4. Each school district recognizes the need for consistency in areas of operations while recognizing that individual differences in classroom sizes, school facilities, and building operations may lead to some district customization.
5. Each school district and agency, at this time, is planning to maintain their previously approved start dates for their school calendars with some possible minor adjustments for the student start date to allow for employee professional development.
- Parents of students should monitor their child’s temperatures and overall health on a daily basis before allowing a student to come to school.
- Regular washing of hands will be encouraged throughout school day for both students and staff.
- Greene County School Districts may establish locally developed protocols for daily monitoring of students and staff in conjunction with GCPH.
- A student with a fever of 100.4 F or over should stay home without exception.
- A student who has the COVID-19 symptoms described below should stay home from school and should see doctor/primary care provider to be assessed for COVID-19:
- Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing
- Two of the following symptoms: fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, gastro-intestinal issues (nausea/vomiting or diarrhea)
- Any of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, fever (measured or subjective), chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, GI Issues (nausea and vomiting or diarrhea) AND an epidemiological link to a case of COVID-19
Returning to School after Illness
If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19, the student must meet the following criteria in order to return to school. (These protocols may change as determined by GCPH.)
- Students who have only a fever and no other symptoms and have not had any contact with an individual who has COVID-19 may return to school after being fever-free for 24 hours without using any fever-reducing medications.
- Any other illness should be handled in the routine manner as prescribed in district policies
Communication Protocol: Student/staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 Communication protocol will be developed by Greene County Public Health-- not the school district. A common template will be developed by the GCPH to include the following:
- Specify to parents which classroom/bus/school/other area the confirmed case was in.
- More generalized statement to building staff as needed.
- School will cooperate with GCPH in contact tracing to identify close contacts of COVID-19 case.
- A quarantine period may be required for any student/staff member who is determined to have close contact with the COVID-19 case as determined by GCPH.
- GCPH will write a letter for school district usage. The letter will explain/define what is considered close contact to a COVID-19 case that will result in quarantine.
Sanitizing/Disinfecting School Environment
Each school district will follow guidelines as provided by GCPH. Schools will frequently clean high-touch areas, objects, equipment and surfaces such as water fountains and restrooms using cleaning products effective against coronavirus.
All districts will offer food service. Logistics for this service will be determined by each district in compliance with GCPH.
Each school/district will determine where/when staff and students will wear face coverings. This will be situational and will be determined by each school’s unique circumstances. Face coverings are recommended for all students and staff particularly if they are within six feet of another person.
Districts will inform parents that safety protocols are in place but that any person who reports to the school campus will encounter some level of risk. Districts will decrease the likelihood of infection with hygiene practices, cleaning, and safety procedures. Again, being in a public place has a certain level of risk that cannot be eliminated.
- Classroom occupancy will be determined based on individual circumstances with the maximum amount of safety considerations possible.
- Safety protocols such as taking temperatures may be implemented for all visitors.
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are generally discouraged from being in school district facilities.
- Masks may be required of visitors.
In-School Learning OR Remote Learning
School districts will offer remote learning option(s) for parents who do not wish to send their child to school. (This may or may not include GCESC/GCCC programs as it will depend on the specific program/service.)
Parents/guardians may choose from two options:
- Send their child to school in the building (assume some level of risk), OR
- Agree to remote learning from home for child for one semester at a time. Students will not be permitted to come in and out of remote learning within each semester.
There are different levels/types of school visitors, and each district will make decisions for each situation.
- Greene County schools may allow multiple students per seat depending on the situation.
- Districts will attempt to seat siblings together.
- Seating charts are recommended to assist with contact tracing if that is needed.
- Face masks may be required for drivers and may be required for students. If a district requires students to wear a mask on the bus, the district may refuse to transport a student who refuses to do so.
- In the event State policies require school districts to use alternative schedules, districts may adopt minimum requirements for transportation to reduce the number of students who are eligible for school district transportation.
- School districts will make every effort to maintain consistency with other safety procedures.
- This may mean that districts limit student access to certain pieces of playground equipment and restrict activities that are “high touch” and difficult to clean or maintain social distancing.
- Students must sanitize their hands after recess.
- Schools may develop specific plans around field trips, assemblies that are unique to their specific situations.