While scientific evidence is promising regarding the very low risk of transmission in school settings, the health and safety of our students, families, teachers, and staff will always be our highest priority. To this end, we will be instituting a number of health and safety measures for the return to school that are in alignment with the recommendations of our health agency partners.
Guidance from our county and state health agencies currently states that emerging scientific evidence of COVID-19 transmission among children is very low compared to other illnesses such as influenza. The Metro Denver Partnership for Health shared “recently published contact tracing data from several other countries indicate that children with COVID-19 illness transmitted infection to very few other individuals in school settings: 0/122 other children in France, 0/924 children and 0/101 adults in Ireland, and 2/735 children and 0/128 adults in Australia. These observations are supported by assessments of outbreaks in household settings where children rarely appear to be the primary source of illness in other family members.”
- Social distancing will be maintained as much as possible, including one-directional hallways and staggered recess and movement times through the building.
- In order to minimize close contact with other students, there will be directional arrows in our hallways to help guide students. As much as possible, students will use the directional arrows to keep traffic flowing.
- Students will be seated spaced apart to the fullest distance possible in classrooms. In cases where 6 feet of spacing is not feasible, the American Academy of Pediatrics shared that “evidence suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space, particularly if students are wearing face coverings and are asymptomatic.”
- All students, teachers, and staff will wear face coverings while at school. We know that wearing a face covering all day can be difficult, especially for younger students. We will work to schedule appropriate socially-distanced breaks and provide exceptions for certain documented medical conditions.
- For elementary students, please ensure that your student has at least two face coverings for the start of the school year. One will be kept at the school in a ziploc bag marked with their name in the event they forget their face covering. The other will be worn each day during school hours.
- For all students, if for any reason you have any difficulty finding a face covering for your student, please contact your school principal for assistance.
- Our operations team has been working this summer to continue to ensure that our HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) are operating at their highest capacity to support quality airflow and ventilation in classrooms and buildings, and are in full compliance with ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) guidelines.
- Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering the building.
- Classrooms have been equipped with additional supplies of hand sanitizer.
- Families are asked to take temperatures prior to sending students to school and keep students home if they have a temperature of 100.4ºF or higher.
- Students are encouraged to bring a water bottle from home to use during the school day. Some school drinking fountains have been outfitted with bottle filling nozzles and can only be used to refill water bottles. Traditional drinking fountains are presently inactive to prevent use.
- For lunch, students will wear face coverings until they sit down at the cafeteria table with their meal.
- St. Vrain Valley Schools has increased building cleaning protocols and has hired additional custodial staff to support schools in additional sanitizing of high-touch surface areas.
- School buses will be thoroughly sanitized between routes.
- School cafeteria tables and lunch lines will be disinfected between each meal service.
- Schools have been equipped with infrared thermometers to use as necessary.
- Students and staff will be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms.
Additionally, the Denver Metro Partnership for Health has shared that the combination of our comprehensive safety measures that include face coverings, cohorting, hand washing, symptom checks, and increased cleaning will ensure a comparably safe environment for students and staff.
In the event that we become aware of a case of COVID-19 in a classroom or a school environment, Boulder County Public Health has assigned an epidemiologist and several contact tracers to St. Vrain who will work closely with our district nurses and leadership in determining and guiding the appropriate next steps. Toward this end, our system is well-prepared to support a robust online, synchronous learning environment in the event students need to quarantine or remain home for a period of time. If we need to temporarily return to a fully online learning environment, we will work closely with our county and state health agency partners on recommended actions and closely adhere to their guidance and directions.
Safe with 7: What families can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
St. Vrain will promote health and safety standards through our Safe with 7 initiative.
- Take temperature at home prior to coming to school
- Stay home when you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms
- Stay hydrated and use a refillable water bottle
- Wash hands regularly or use sanitizer
- Use face coverings appropriately and avoid touching your face
- Social distance appropriately
- Engage in enjoyable activities
It will be very important for families to screen their students at home before sending them to school. Please click here to download our attached home-screen checklist to use as a guide to screen your child on their in-person learning days.