Health and Safety

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our students and staff is top priority. Here's what we're doing to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Physical Distancing & Safety Protocols

  • Student desks and seats are separated and facing the same direction allowing for a minimum distance of no less than four feet and no greater than six feet to the extent possible
  • No grouping of desks, no small group tables and no reading group tables
  • All unnecessary items and furniture removed from classrooms and instructional spaces
  • Outdoor spaces utilized whenever possible
  • One-way traffic systems for moving throughout including one-way direction signs and floor markers to improve traffic flow and ensure physical distancing to the extent possible
  • Staggered use of communal spaces and hallways
  • Designated arrival and dismissal procedures
  • Non-essential visitors and classroom volunteers not permitted
  • No assemblies or field trips until further notice

Hygiene Practices

  • Resources shared with staff, students and parents regarding good hygiene practices and handwashing techniques
  • Best practices reinforced by staff and visibly present with CDC recommended signage and to include
    • Washing hands multiple times a day for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Covering coughs or sneezes with your elbow or using a tissue
    • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
    • Encouraging fist and elbow pumps over handshakes and high-fives
    • Not sharing food or drink
    • Staying home if you are sick and for at least 24 hours after a fever
  • Hand sanitizing stations for each classroom
  • Additional hand washing and sanitizing stations added throughout the hallways, stairwells, cafeterias and commonplaces throughout the building
  • Breaks for handwashing and hand sanitizing included in school day
  • Sharing of resources will be limited
  • Water fountains replaced with water bottle filling stations

Cleaning and Sanitizing

  • Daily cleaning and sanitizing increased in all of our buildings and spaces with EPA-approved disinfectants, paying special attention to high-traffic areas including restrooms and hallways, and frequently-touched surfaces such as desks and doorknobs
  • Desks, tables and classroom materials sanitized throughout the day by teachers and students
  • Cleaning and sanitizing increased on our school buses
  • Classroom ventilation increased by encouraging the opening of windows and doors when possible 

Face Masks

Face coverings are required for all staff members and all students at all times while in school and on district transportation. Appropriate face coverings are defined per Pennsylvania Department of Health guidance to include face masks, face shields, face scarfs or any other face covering that will remain in place over a person’s nose and mouth without being held in place. Face shields must extend below the person's chin.

In accordance with the Pennsylvania's face covering mandate, students will only be permitted to remove their mask: 

  • While eating or drinking and at least six feet from another person.
  • During physical activity (i.e. PE, recess) when a six-feet distance can be maintained between others and they have a teacher’s permission to do so.

Students who are immunosuppressed or who cannot wear a face covering during school hours are required to provide medical documentation to the school administrator and a school service plan will be developed to provide an appropriate educational platform for the student. For the health, safety and wellbeing of all, the service plan may include hybrid and virtual instructional plans.

Physical Education & Recess

Physical Education

Physical Education classes are structured in a manner that students will remain at a physical distance of six feet or greater while engaged in activities.

Students may remove face coverings under the direction and supervision of a teacher once they are at a physical distance of at least six feet from another person and only when given permission to do so by the teacher.

Recess

The district will continue to provide daily recess for students in the Hybrid model but will not be provided in the Blended model as students will be dismissed prior to recess.

In Traditional and Hybrid models, recess will be outside on days when weather permitting. Students will be monitored and supervised in all activities to ensure an appropriate physical distance is maintained to the extent possible

Students may remove face coverings under the direction and supervision of a playground monitor once they are at a physical distance of at least six feet from another person and only when given permission to do so by the monitor.


Transportation

  • Students physically distanced to the greatest extent possible
  • No more than two students per seat, 56 students per bus
  • Assigned seats based
  • Siblings will sit together
  • Buses loaded from back to front
  • Masks required at all times
  • Parents/guardians transport students when possible
Monitoring Student/Staff Health

Monitoring students and staff for symptoms and history of exposure is a responsibility shared by all.

At Home

  • Parents/guardians must only send their students to school if they:
    • Are healthy with no fever or symptoms
    • Have not been exposed to COVID-19
  • Students who are exhibiting signs of illness must stay home
    • School nurses have received additional training and professional development and have developed resources to share with families to help guide informed decision making related to school attendance
    • Attendance policy revised for 2020-21 to accommodate additional absences
  • Staff must self-monitor and stay home if ill

At School

  • Staff will undergo COVID-19 symptoms, responses and exposure protocol training and have discussions with students.
  • Should a student or staff member exhibit signs or symptoms of COVID-19 at school, the student or staff member will be quarantined in the health office immediately and additional steps will be taken per guidance of the Allegheny County Health Department and CDC.

Administrators will continuously review and collaborate with school nurses to ensure health and safety procedures are being followed and enforced at all times.

COVID-19 Cases

When a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school and/or school nurse should be contacted immediately. NHSD will contact the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) and follow their guidance regarding school closure, who must quarantine and for how long, and whether the operational model must change. All contact tracing is conducted by the ACHD and the ACHD will issue quarantine notices when necessary.

If there is a known COVID-19 case in a student or staff member’s household, the superintendent's office should be contacted immediately and action by the district will be taken as necessary based on guidance from the Allegheny County Health Department.

All families will be notified of all known COVID-19 cases in the district. Communication will be sent through the district’s normal modes of communication including email, district website, app and social media

If a student is uncomfortable returning to school after a confirmed COVID-19 case, the district will work with the student’s family and move the child to a schedule that best fits their comfort level. This can include a variation of a hybrid model or all-virtual learning model.

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