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Encourage Safe Physical Distancing During Activities and Limit Sharing

Overview

In general, it is important to reinforce both social distancing (encouraging space between students) and cohort limiting (ensuring that the same group of students remain together). Both of these practices are important steps to take to further reduce the spread of COVID-19. The information below focuses on frequently accessed areas of a school campus by students, educators, and families. This guidance may change over time as the epidemiological data changes. Please check back for updates.

We acknowledge that all of these guidelines may not be met with 100% consistency at all times. We encourage schools and districts to follow these guidelines to the best of their abilities and whenever feasible.



Bus and Suburban Transportation

For students who get to school on a bus or through other district provided transportation, processes and protocols need to be established to ensure the health and safety through this portion of a student's day:

If screening is part of a school's disease control strategy (as is recommended here (PDF)), using the Continuum of Screening graphic above, buses should provide clearly visible signage to communicate the symptoms students should not have if travelling on a bus.

  • Screening at bus stops is not recommended for several reasons. Notably, this will extend the bus stop time, thus causing issues with other vehicles, which may lead to increased number of stop arm violations and the associated safety concerns. Additionally, if a child is screened and found to have symptoms, there may not be a safe course of action available at a bus stop. The child cannot be effectively isolated from other students on the bus. If the child’s parent is not present at the bus stop, the child cannot safely be sent home. Instead screening at home is recommended, and students unable to complete screening prior to arrival at school will undergo screening at the school site.
Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.
  • Executive Order D 2020 110- shall expire thirty (30) days from June 20, 2020, unless extended further by Executive Order.
  • Drivers (staff) wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual's health.
Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Given the extraordinary circumstances associated with the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC has recommended that buses provide clearly visible signage to communicate the symptoms students should not have if traveling on a bus.  These are recommendations, not requirements.  If indeed a school district, charter school, or service provider determines that they wish to provide this signage 1 CCR 301-25 (PDF), rule 26.08 outlines the requirements that must be met.  Additionally, CDE has issued guidance with pre-approval for COVID-related signage as long as it is in the specified locations and meets all other requirements of the rule to this rule. This guidance is located at: http://www.cde.state.co.us/safeschools/policyguidancefromcde#transportation
  • PRE-APPROVAL OF COVID-19 SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION SIGNAGE
  • Assign seating to help track virus spread if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.
  •  If it is not feasible to physically distance on a bus, all students must wear cloth face coverings, unless the student has a health reason for not wearing a mask or if a child is unable to wear a mask safely without supervision.
  • If physical distancing is feasible, encourage cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth for students up to age 10 years, and require cloth face coverings over the nose and mouth for students age 11 years and older, unless the student has a health reason for not wearing a face covering.
  • Additional bus transit operator protections.
  • Executive Order D 2020-067 I. - Drivers (staff) wear a mask/face covering.
  • Request passengers avoid sitting within 6 feet of the bus driver.
  • Consider assigned seating to help track virus spread if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Load the bus from the back forward to allow the greatest distance from the driver for the longest period of time.
  • Avoid touching surfaces often touched by bus passengers.
  • Use gloves if required to touch surfaces contaminated by body fluids.
  • Practice routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces, including surfaces in the driver cockpit commonly touched by the operator.
  • Proper hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Key times to clean hands in general include:
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • After using the toilet
    • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Additional times to clean hands on the job include:
    • Before and after work shifts
    • Before and after work breaks
    • After touching frequently touched surfaces, such as fareboxes and handrails
    • After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • As feasible, increase ventilation and times between groups.
  • Checklist to clean rails, seats, windows, seat belts, and mop floor after every route. The CDC recommends that school buses be cleaned and disinfected according to their guidance for other bus and transit operators.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Plan for additional routes, or divide up existing routes into smaller/shorter routes.
  • Consider a communication plan to students and families that includes physical distancing while at bus stops.
  • CDPHE is in the process of finalizing bus screening protocols, including parent/guardians certifying that their children are not exhibiting signs of COVID-19.
  • Consider increased frequency of cleaning for buses with medically fragile or high needs special education children and their seating equipment.

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Cafeteria/Food Service Areas

With many students in and out of the lunch room throughout the day, and students historically sitting very close to each other eating and talking, adjustments will need to be made.

Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.
  • Per 6 CCR 1010-2, sanitize cookware, plates, cups, cutlery and food preparation, service regularly and plan for distribution that minimizes handling.
Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Limit unnecessary staff and visitors in food service areas.
  • Sanitize cookware, plates, cups, cutlery and food preparation, service regularly and plan for distribution that minimizes handling.
  • Sanitize table surfaces between eating shifts.
  • Grid off sections for common spaces and lunch areas to help students separate.
  • Remove self-service, including salad bars, buffet lines, and family style service.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider using disposable/compostable plates, cups, cutlery, condiment packets, etc.
  • Consider closing cafeterias, if possible; otherwise stagger use and disinfect in between use.
  • Consider providing lunch inside classrooms instead of the cafeteria.

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Classrooms

Students are in classrooms for extended periods of time with each other, sharing the same air and smaller spaces. To minimize the spread of illness, the following adjustments may be helpful.

Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.
  • Public Health Order 20-28 Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors (8th amendment) (effective June 30, 2020, and expires 30 days from June 30, 2020)- K-12 public school and private schools for the purpose of providing meals, housing, facilitating or providing materials for distance learning, and providing other essential services to students, provided that Social Distancing Requirements are observed. Maintain 6 feet of distance between students and staff, to the extent possible. Maintain 6 feet of distance between students, to the extent possible.
Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Limit the number of people in a classroom at a time as well as the number of people in and out of the space during the day.
  • Increase airflow in the classroom as much as possible.
  • Keep each child's belongings separated from others' and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, or areas.
  • Provide adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (art supplies, equipment, etc) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use.
  • Use signage and markings to establish safe distancing.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • "Normal" classroom routines, such as morning meetings, small groups or pair work may need to be adjusted to ensure physical distancing between students, as feasible.
  • Consider assigned seating to help track virus spread if a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Consider arranging desks to face the same direction, or sit students on one side of the table, spaced apart.
  • Consider adding temporary hand washing stations to classrooms or areas where sinks are not available.
  • Remind students not to pass phones to each other, as this is a way to spread illness, and make sure they frequently disinfect their phones.

Temporary handsink set up. Fresh water in a jug on a table with a bucket underneath for grey water. Paper towels and hand soap next to the water on the table. A waste basket under the table for waste.

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Drop Off/Pick Up, Late Drop-Off

Arrival and departure are times when traditionally a large number of students and their caregivers are gathered in close proximity to each other. During this time, different protocols need to be put into place to diminish the risks of spreading illness and screen for any potentially contagious individuals.

Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Stagger arrival and drop-off times or locations or put in place other protocols to safely distance parents as much as possible and diminish the number of students trying to enter a building at the same time.

  • Students unable to complete screening prior to arrival will undergo screening on site. Maximize privacy and minimize exposure to others during onsite screenings.

  • Consider establishing drop off lines in relation to screening stations.
    • Station 1 - remain in car for symptom screening
    • Station 2 - remain in car for temperature screening
  • Consider separate screener stations for students on buses,walkers/bikers and staff.
  • Use signage and markings to establish safe distancing.

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Emergency Drills

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Extracurricular Activities and Athletics

Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.
  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is developing athletic guidance, and will be located here when completed.
  • However, Summer Camp guidance within the PHO 20-28 Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors (8th Amendment) (effective June 30, 2020 and expires 30 days from June 30th) provides guidance to allow for summer camps in as safe a manner as reasonably possible. Outdoor day camps may be held with up to 25 campers per group. Indoor day camps remain at 10 campers per room which includes four walls and a door. Groups of campers must remain with the same group and not mix with other groups during structured time or free time. Campers both indoors and outdoors must be spaced 6 feet apart, to the greatest extent possible.

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Hallways

At times, during the school day, and especially in secondary schools, hallways may be very crowded with lots of students very close together. This is a prime environment for the spread of illness.

Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider establishing one-way hallways to reduce contact with others.
  • Consider physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signs on walls, to ensure that staff and children remain at least six feet apart in lines and at other times (i.e., guides for creating “one way routes” in hallways).
  • Consider keeping students in class and rotating teachers instead.
  • Consider staggering passing periods by cohorts in grade level or by class if students must move to classes.

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Identified Isolated Health Room/Area

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Identify an isolated health room/area for students and staff exhibiting COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
  • Contact parents/guardians using your district/school parent/guardian contact procedures.

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Libraries

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • CDPHE does not require or recommend disinfecting books in school libraries or other settings, although good hand hygiene is recommended. If possible consider keeping books within cohorts.
  • A 72 hour period between book use, may be the best option and practice for school settings.

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Lockers

Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider not allowing the use of lockers. Instead allow students to bring belongings to the classroom and place in a personal cubby or container.
  • If locker use is needed, create processes for fewer students to access their locker at the same time, and ensure that students are at least 6 feet apart when accessing their lockers.

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Open Periods

Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider scheduling students to eliminate any open periods, or assign students to a designated safe area during open periods.

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Performing Arts (Dance, Music/Band, Theater)

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
 
  • Information coming.

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Recess, Playgrounds, Gyms

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Recess may occur outside. Playground equipment may be used by small groups of students as long as they wash their hands upon returning into the school.
  • Indoor gym equipment may be used, if the equipment is disinfected after each group of students' use. Consider staggering recess times for each class/cohort.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider designating separate areas in open spaces; use floor marking in teaching spaces (student sections/workstations).

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Restrooms

Required: An entity is legally bound to do, as required by federal or state law, executive orders, state/local public health orders, state board rule, or in the case of waivers, expectations that the state board requires in exchange for waiving a state law or rule. Executive orders and public health orders could change over the next months as we learn more about COVID-19 and receive updated epidemiological data.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • If students are cohorted by the same hallway/floor, designate a restroom for the cohort.
  • Display signage in the restrooms illustrating proper hand washing and hygiene. Ensure adequate soap is available.
  • Consider systems to reduce simultaneous, multiple users and thus contact with others.
  • Consider increasing cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas, such as door handles, faucets, and paper towel dispensers.

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Visitors

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
  • Restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups in order to minimize interaction with additional individuals.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Consider health protocols for community members that use building space.

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Visual Arts

Guidance provides recommendations for “how to” implement a statute or rule. These recommendations in this toolkit are based on best practice and provide direction for how to operationalize the requirements set forth in various executive orders and public health orders. All efforts should be made to follow the recommendations when feasible.
Consideration: Ideas to think about as you make your own decisions.
  • Develop art exhibition alternatives or substitutes that meet ‘Presenting' state standards, following national guidelines.

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