Kyrene Safety Measures
Kyrene School District has prepared a comprehensive plan to mitigate risk of exposure to COVID-19 in our schools. This page contains detailed information about Kyrene's safety protocols for the 2020-21 school year. For areas where the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided specific guidance for schools, that guidance is included as a reference, for your convenience, so that you may see how Kyrene's plans are aligned with CDC recommendations. Kyrene Mitigation Plan.
Flowchart for Possible COVID-19 Exposed or Sick Student (Enlarged PDF)
To jump to any area, please follow the links below.
Bus Safety • Containment/Cohorts • Events/Field Trips • Face Coverings • Food Services • Hand Washing • Health Screenings • Intensify Cleaning & Disinfection • Playground Protocols • Reported Cases • Shared Belongings • Signs & Messages • Social/Physical Distancing • Training Employees • Ventilation Systems • Volunteers/Visitors
- Clean and disinfect frequently.
- Maintain 6ft of physical distancing if possible.
- Social distancing on a school bus greatly decreases the number of students who can ride a bus, and reduces the District’s ability to provide transportation services to students
- In order to provide transportation without social distancing masks will be required of all students riding a school bus
- All bus drivers will be required to wear a mask
- Where possible load bus back to front and unload front to back
- Require siblings to sit together
- All buses will have clearly visible signage communicating to parents that students should not enter the school bus with any of the identified symptoms (Visible symptoms include runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, or vomiting.)
- All bus drivers and monitors will be required to wear a mask
- Students with special needs are strongly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings with limited exceptions:
- Students with sensory challenges
- Students with medical concerns that make wearing a face covering unsafe
- Windows may be open for increased air circulation during seasonal times of year
- Hand sanitizer will be available for use by staff and students
- All transportation vehicles will be cleaned once per day
- Additionally a disinfection will occur twice daily on high touchpoint areas with a Virex II 256 disinfectant: Bus seats, Handrails, Door handles, Windows, Driver area
- Communication will be sent to parents emphasizing expectations concerning 6’ social distancing while gathering at the bus stop
- If possible students should wait in parent vehicle until bus arrival at the bus stop
- Students are asked to have masks available and ready to wear prior to getting on the bus
- Ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of children stay with the same staff (all day for young children, and as much as possible for older children).
- Limit mixing between groups if possible.
- Class assignments will be clustered into cohorts
- Students will report directly to classrooms when they arrive at school
- To limit exposure to other students and staff, cohorts will stay together throughout the day, including for breakfast, lunch and recess and dismissal
- Class sizes may be reduced due to participation in online models
Middle School Cohorts
- Classes assigned to grade level cohorts
- Students will report directly to classrooms when they arrive at school
- To limit exposure to other students and staff, cohorts will stay together throughout the day, including for breakfast, lunch, breaks and dismissal
- Class sizes may be reduced due to participation in online models
- Middle School design teams are working on a cohort/containment model that is safe while also offering some flexibility for fine arts, language, gifted and other specials areas.
- Pursue virtual group events, gatherings, or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least 6 feet between people if events are held. Limit group size to the extent possible.
- Pursue virtual activities and events in lieu of field trips, student assemblies, special performances, school-wide parent meetings, and spirit nights, as possible.
- Field trips, events and large gatherings canceled until Kyrene School District is in the "No to Minimal" spread category, as determined by Maricopa County.
- Teachers will use virtual learning opportunities (such as virtual tours of museums) to enhance students’ educational experiences.
- School-wide assemblies will not be held with students assembled in the same physical location. As an alternative, Kyrene schools will hold school-wide assemblies virtually, with student groups remaining in their classrooms.
- Large-scale school events such as “Meet the Teacher Night” may be held virtually or reconfigured in order to maintain social distancing. Small-scale activities like parent-teacher conferences may take place over the phone or other electronic means. Other extracurricular activities will be cancelled unless the activity can be conducted in compliance with social distancing protocols.
- Use of simple cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.
- Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment.
- Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings.
- Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear.
- Face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) as feasible
- Students will be required to wear cloth face coverings while on campus and at school-related activities, both indoors and outdoors, subject to the health condition exception stated below*
- Students will not be required to wear cloth face coverings while actively drinking or eating
- Employees will be required to wear cloth face coverings while on campus, at school-related activities, both indoors and outdoors, except while actively eating or drinking, subject to the health condition exception stated below*
- Face masks with valves and gaiter-style masks are not considered acceptable forms of cloth face coverings (MCH)
- Current guidance from Maricopa County advises that plastic face shields are not an adequate alternative to cloth face coverings
*Any student who has difficulty breathing or who is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own will not wear cloth face coverings, and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff. Additionally, students that have a reason pursuant to a 504 Plan or IEP to not wear face coverings will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine whether there are additional accommodations that may be made to provide them with the greatest possible protection.
- Have children bring their own meals as feasible, or serve individually plated meals in classrooms instead of in a communal dining hall or cafeteria, while ensuring the safety of children with food allergies.
- Students will continue to receive meals through Nutrition Services or they may bring meals from home
- Students will eat in their classrooms, cafeteria or patio, physically distanced, depending on the weather and the school
- We will follow the CDC's "No Sharing" guidelines with all food, drinks, devices, personal belongings, etc. until different guidance is issued
- If a classroom has a student with food allergies, a 504 team will discuss appropriate accommodations.
- Require all students to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at the following times:
- upon arrival at school (use hand sanitizer if there is no sink in the classroom),
- after being outside for physical activity,
- before and after breakfast and lunch,
- prior to leaving school for home, and
- after sneezing, coughing, or blowing nose.
School Health Screenings
- If feasible, conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature screening and/or or symptom checking) of staff and students.
- Health checks should be conducted safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations.
- A staff member will observe each student upon arrival for any signs/symptoms suggestive of COVID-19-like illness: Fever (Temperature of 100.4° F) or higher, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
- Any student with the above symptoms will be taken to the health office, where parents will be contacted for pick up. The student will be excluded from school per MCDPH guidelines (sick or exposed to COVID-19) with the following exceptions:
- Symptoms are confirmed by a doctor’s note to be part of a known chronic non-infectious condition (e.g., allergies, asthma).
- Diagnosed with an alternate laboratory-confirmed illness by a doctor’s note (e.g., Strep throat, influenza)
Intensify Cleaning & Disinfection
- Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Warmer temperatures and exposure to sunlight will reduce the time the virus survives on surfaces and objects.
- Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection.
- Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection. EPA-approved disinfectants are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- As part of daily cleaning regimen, EPA approved Virucide used on all touchpoint surfaces
- Classroom touchpoint areas will be disinfected daily
- Bathroom touchpoint areas will be disinfected twice daily
- Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on sidewalks and in parks is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proved to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.
- No more than one class at a time will be allowed on playground equipment
- Classes will be assigned a specific time slot, with time slots to be scheduled such that there is sufficient time between classroom use that playground equipment can be disinfected before the next group uses it
- Virex II 256 disinfectant will be used multiple times per day on playground equipment
- High touchpoint areas include
- Climbing structures
- Sliding structures
- Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting
- Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products, including storing products securely away from children.
- In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, school administrators should notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
- Kyrene regularly consults CDC, Arizona and Maricopa County guidelines for protocols regarding reported cases.
- If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the Employee COVID Report Team and Emergency Management Team leadership will follow State and County health protocols in place at that time. This page will be continuously updated with the most current protocols from Maricopa County health.
- Reported cases will be addressed on an individual basis, in consultation with the County.
- Maricopa County has advised that schools should not be closed as a result of a COVID-19 case in the household of a student or staff member. If a school reaches a point at which we cannot adequately supervise and ensure the safety of students, the District will consider school closures
- Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect.
- Keep each child’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
- Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies, equipment) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
- Avoid sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids.
- For younger grades and where possible, student belongings to be kept in individual bins or cubbies labeled with each student’s name.
- When feasible, sharing of school supplies among students to be restricted. If a school supply or piece of equipment must be shared by students (for instance, a pencil sharpener or blocks/toys), staff should wipe down the item with disinfectant after each use.
Signs and Messages
- Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering).
- Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on PA systems.
- Include messages about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 when communicating with staff and families (such as on school websites, in emails, and on school social media accounts.)
- Custom floor stickers for every school and District Office, to promote social distancing
- Handwashing signs in all school bathrooms, to promote proper handwashing by students
- Custom posters for every school and District Office, to promote health and safety protocols
- The CDC “encourages” but does not mandate social/physical distancing.
- Have students remain static with the same groupings and the same staff throughout the day and limit mixing between groups as much as possible (Cohorting)
- Reduce class sizes, when feasible to allow for 6 ft between students
- Organize classroom layout to allow for social distancing as much as possible
- Social distancing protocols will be used outside of the classroom along with limited use of common areas, when feasible
- For employees, social distancing protocols will be used outside of the classroom along with limited use of common areas, when feasible
- If an emergency situation arises that requires a staff member to touch a student or another staff member, resume social distancing as soon as safely possible, wash hands, and disinfect any surfaces touched
Develop online training modules regarding the health and safety protocols
- Report to Work Checklist
- Hand Washing
- Social Distancing
- Face Covering
Require staff take the online modules during the mandatory talent management training window at the start of year
- Training modules be available on July 13
- Must be completed by August 28
- Ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors.
- Do not open windows and doors if they pose a safety or health risk to children using the facility (e.g. allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms).
- Kyrene has purchased individual Portable HEPA Filtration systems for all Kyrene classrooms and health offices.
- Entire classroom's air refreshed every 35 minutes.
- 99.97% of particles .3 microns or smaller captured.
- Currently cleaning interval HVAC system components to reduce trapped dust which may harbor germs.
- Classrooms have standalone air handlers that provide cool or heated air to the room. There is a standard filter on each unit that is changed out quarterly by custodial staff.
- Each air handler has a “fresh air damper” that opens to the outside and lets fresh air into the classroom.
- The air handler recirculates only the air in the classroom and doesn’t mix air with other classrooms. Isolated air recirculation for an isolated cohort.
- Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).
- Limited visitors will be permitted on school campuses. Volunteers on campus will be postponed until further notice.