• School Health Protocols

    • Health Screening Protocols: See this one-pager for an overview of school health protocols. Everyone entering a DPS building, including students and staff, must engage in a daily health screen. Complete details on the health screening process are available here. 

    • Health Office Regulations:  Each school must have a health office with 1 cot per 400 students, a dedicated bathroom within 50ft for health office use only, a sink with running hot and cold water, easily cleanable surfaces, and an isolated area for sick students to be separated from well students. Schools should also designate additional areas for isolating students, should there not be enough capacity in the health office. Due to the scale of effort required, some of the 200+ schools are not fully complete. In these instances, principals will be notified with expected completion dates and related contingency plans.

    • Immunizations: Through in-school immunization programs and collaboration with healthcare systems, we will continue to provide access to current vaccines (influenza, measles (MMR), and pertussis (DTaP).

  • COVID Mitigation & Response Protocols

    • School-Based COVID site coordinators: All schools must designate a COVID site coordinator. See complete details, including how to identify your COVID site coordinator in this guidance

    • COVID Response Team: We are currently working on designating a dedicated team that will respond to COVID cases in the district once schools reopen; this team will work closely with and support school-based COVID site coordinators.

    • Protocols for positive cases in a cohort: 

      • Symptomatic Students: Symptomatic students on school grounds should be isolated until they can return home safely.

      • Definition of close contact: A “close contact” is defined by the CDC as an individual who spent time in a classroom/indoors for at least 15 minutes with the person who had symptoms or tested positive and has not yet met the criteria for returning to school.

      • Definition of infectious: An individual is considered “infectious” three days before onset of symptoms to 10 days after onset of symptoms.

      • Definition of cohort: A cohort is defined as a group of students grouped by a class or other activity participation indoors. The goal is to minimize the number of cohorts any one student participates in during the day when under DPS supervision. For complete details on cohorting guidance, please see the Scheduling and Cohorts page.

      • Student/staff test positive: If a student or staff tests positive, the cohort will move to remote for 14 days. 

      • Student/staff has been in close and/or prolonged contact with someone who has tested positive: Student/staff who has been in close must be quarantined for 14 days, even if they test negative and have no symptoms. If the student/staff tests positive and was in the cohort while infectious, the cohort will be quarantined for 24 hours to disinfect. After 24 hours the cohort can return to school, as long as no other students in the cohort develop symptoms or test positive. 

      • For more detail on quarantine requirements based on specific scenarios, see this document

    • Contact Tracing: Our district works closely with the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and has a strong process in place for reporting infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. We will continue to work with those in the health department so that they can contact trace as needed to help ensure the health and safety of our staff and students. 

    • District Sponsored COVID-Testing (Updated 7/16): We are currently developing a partnership with the Gary Community Investments to implement district-sponsored testing to school-based staff. This will include testing prior to the start of school and ongoing testing every 2-4 weeks (on a rotation by individuals). COVID-testing will be at no cost to employees. We are still working through key details including frequency of testing and protocols for administration of COVID testing. We are working with local health officials and other partners on guidance and procedures for testing symptomatic students. Additional information will be provided later in July.

  • Classroom Health Standards

    • Outdoor classrooms: Schools are encouraged to consider outdoor classes when possible. 

    • Cohorts: For complete details on cohorting guidance, please see the Scheduling and Cohorts page.

    • Seating: Classroom seating should be revised to maximize distancing between students as much as possible. Desks will be rearranged so that students are all facing the same direction and community desks will be removed. See the Building Readiness page for more details.

    • Signage: Signs will be posted in buildings promoting social distancing and hygiene protocols. Templates for signs are available here

    • Singing & Wind Instruments: Singing and wind instruments are not allowed and schools should make adjustments to music and other courses accordingly.

  • Building/Campus Health Standards

    • Physical Distancing: Physical distancing will be maintained wherever possible. This includes maintaining 6 feet distance in indoor and outdoor settings if possible.  When 6 feet of distance is not possible, face covering (except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health), hand hygiene, disinfection, cohorting, and daily symptom checks are REQUIRED.

    • Hallway Traffic Control: To avoid mixing of cohorts and maximize social distancing, schools should stagger/coordinate start/end time times as well as passing periods. Schools should clearly mark one way hallways and in-building spacing for bathroom lines, pick up and dismissal locations, bus loading, etc. Signage templates can be found here.

    • Closed Campus: High schools campuses will be closed. Students will not be able to leave to pick up food offsite. Please see the Food Services page for more details on how food capacity needs will be met. 

    • Arrival and Departures: Arrivals and departures should be designed to conduct arrival symptom screening, maintain physical distance, ensure all are wearing masks or face shields on school property, and ensure no visitors or family enter school buildings past the front office. To accomplish this schools should consider staggered arrival and departure schedules,as well as dedicated health screeners. 

    • Recess/Physical Education: Recess and PE is encouraged to take place outside and students will be kept in their classroom cohorts. Recess and PE will be staggered to avoid mixing of cohorts. Students are allowed to use and share playground/gym equipment with their cohorts. Students must wear masks if recess/PE is held indoors; students may have recess/PE without masks only if held outside AND students are maintaining 6ft or more from one another.  Only one cohort can be in an area at a time, though students from different cohorts can be outside at the same time if they are in separate areas (e.g. field and playground). Additionally, students from cohorts that are part of the same exposure group during the day can be mixed for Recess/Physical Education. If Recess/PE does need to take place inside, schools should work with their Facilities team for cleaning protocols; inside Recess/PE may not be possible in certain buildings if the gym has been repurposed for storage to accommodate social distancing in classrooms. 

    • Food Distribution: Students (and adults) may not share food. All meals will be eaten in the classroom. Meals can be served either in the classroom or in the cafeteria. If served in cafeterias, students will get the food at a designated time with their cohort and take it back to the classroom. Students will need to wash hands before and after eating.

    • Libraries: Libraries will be closed though librarians can bring books to students and/or students can access books in their classroom. Books will need to be disinfected (wiped down) after use. 

    • Field Trips/Overnights: Not allowed for the time being.

    • Materials: All papers, pencils, markers, chromebooks should be for one individual student and not shared. When possible, assign classroom books to individual students.  If shared, books must be disinfected (wiped down) after each use.

    • Lockers: Lockers will not be used; students should bring items to their classroom. Lockers may be used in limited circumstances based on needs related to IEP and 504 Plans. 

    • Fans: Fans that are movable, including swamp cooler type, shall not be used.

    • Faculty/Teacher Lounges and Communal Kitchens: These may be used but access to these should be limited so that 6ft distance can be maintained at all times and staff must wear face masks. 

  • Transportation Health Standards

    • Seating: Only one student per seat with a maximum of 24 students per bus. Exceptions will be made for siblings who may share one seat. 

    • Health Screening:  A guardian, parent, or caring adult of elementary aged students will be required to remain at the bus stop to ensure the student has completed the health screening before boarding bus.

    • Masks: Bus drivers and students will wear a mask on the bus for the duration of the ride.

  • Adult and Staff Health Standards

    • Staff Movement: Staff are able to move between cohorts as outlined in the cohort guidance but should maintain 6 ft distance from students and wear masks, with exceptions only for health or IEP requirements.  When 6 feet of distance is not possible, mandatory face covering (except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health) and all guidelines around hand hygiene, disinfection, cohorting, and daily symptom checks will be followed.  Staff must track the times and locations of the classes they are in.   

    • Itinerant and Other Central Support Staff:  Itinerant teachers and traveling coaches or other central staff should avoid visiting more than one school in a given day. The number of schools in their caseload during a 14 day period should be limited, in addition to limiting their total exposure pool. Staff must wear masks and keep 6 ft apart. Staff must wash hands or use hand sanitizer when they enter each building and each time they move in and out of classrooms. 

    • Visitors: Visitors, including parents, are not allowed past the front office and must complete a temperature and health screen prior to entering the building. 

    • Accommodations for vulnerable staff: DPS will provide accommodations in alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and/or under the Governor’s current order regarding “Vulnerable Individuals.” Visit the COVID-19 Accommodations page for more information

    • District Provided Professional Learning: All district provided professional learning will continue to be virtual until further notice. 

    • Adult Gatherings & Meetings: Planning meetings, team meetings, professional development etc. must be conducted virtually to minimize the potential for COVID-19 to spread across school staff. Any informal gatherings of adults must follow public health guidelines that will be regularly updated here.

  • Disinfecting Protocols

    • Cleaning: Clean frequently touched surfaces in schools and on buses at least daily and between use as much as possible. Remove toys or classroom items that cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized (plush toys).  See the Building Readiness page for complete details on sanitization protocols. 

    • Playground equipment: Due to staffing limitations, outdoor playground equipment will not be disinfected. Students and staff should ensure hands are washed frequently after use of any playground equipment.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) & Hygiene Protocols

    • Masks: All adults and students are required to wear masks or face shields when on school grounds, with the exception of time for eating or other designated “mask break” that would take place outside, and except where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, in which case reasonable accommodations will be made to maintain safety and health. All persons should follow the CDC guidelines for facial coverings. We are currently awaiting further direction from public health experts about mask wearing for our youngest learners. 

    • Gloves: Teachers and other staff will not be asked to wear gloves. Cleaning and kitchen staff, as well as others such as health care providers, OT/PTs, must wear gloves based on health guidelines.

    • Face Shields: Schools will receive face shields and can determine how to use those with their staff and/or students based on need. Consider first using face shields for individuals who for health reasons cannot wear masks, teachers and students in early years classrooms or for English Language Development or special education.

    • Handwashing: All individuals will be asked to wash hands upon arrival and at least once every two hours and/or be given hand sanitizer. 

    • Health hygiene education: Staff will reinforce safe and healthy hygiene protocols (e.g. covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or elbows) with students, staff and families. Signage will also be posted in schools reinforcing the importance of hygiene protocols. Schools can access templates for signs here, should they choose to add additional signs than those already provided. . 

    • Delivery of PPE to Schools: Strategic Sourcing has purchased masks, face shields, thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray to help maintain a safe environment and prepare the return to school.  A model has been developed to guide allocation and distribution of PPE, taking into account the number of schools, number of teaching stations, enrollment and other measurements. PPE will be delivered to the schools by the end of July via the Enterprise Management team; similar to the spring deliveries. Strategic Sourcing will continue to monitor throughout the year to ensure schools have what they need to maintain a safe environment. We are still awaiting several deliveries so the following figures are not confirmed but we hope to deliver:

      • 1 thermometer for every 40 students

      • 2 cloth masks per student (to allow for in-between washings)

      • Face shields

      • Hand sanitizer

Questions?