Burlington School District COVID-19 Mitigation Plan 2021-22
The Burlington School District is prioritizing uninterrupted, full-time, in-person learning for the 21-22 school year. BSD strategies used last year were effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the overall health of the students and staff was higher last year as evidenced by absences. To achieve this goal BSD will create a safe environment for students and teachers by implementing a variety of mitigation strategies: strongly encouraging handwashing and frequent hand sanitizing, recommended masking, cohorting by grades K-8 and at BHS as able, classroom seating charts, social distancing in classrooms with spaced desks as much as possible, and encouraging and enforcing sick students to stay home.
BSD will continue student temperature checks as students enter in the morning. Students will be asked to respond to the following.
Are you experiencing any of the following:
CHILLS, COUGHS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, DIFFICULTY BREATHING, LOSS OF TASTE OR SMELL, FATIGUE, MUSCLE ACHES, HEADACHES, SORE THROAT, NAUSEA, VOMITING, DIARRHEA, RUNNY NOSE, OR CONGESTION
Students will continue to enter and exit through multiple doorways in order to reduce congestion. It is strongly suggested that parents continue to monitor symptoms closely each day, especially in children too young or unable to reliably report their symptoms, monitor for symptoms and other age-appropriate signs of disease, including decreased appetite or activity. Symptoms include loss of taste or smell, fever (100.4°F or higher), chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, headache, sore throat, muscle or body aches, congestion or runny nose, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. CDC recommends all symptomatic individuals should seek clinical evaluation, including testing, as soon as possible after symptoms develop.
In accordance with district policy, students sent home with a fever or vomiting cannot attend school until 24 hours have passed without symptoms and without use of fever reducers. If parents are concerned that their child may have COVID, the school district and the county health department have testing available upon request.
BSD will continue the increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures including but not limited to wiping down surfaces between usage of mixed spaces, increased sanitation of classrooms, increased opportunities and monitoring of hand washing, increased usage of hand sanitizer and increased use of the sanitation mist devices. We encourage continuing washing of hands and other preventive measures to slow the spread.
Masking will not be required at BSD, but anyone in the building is encouraged to wear a mask. The board has stated masks will not be required in buildings, unless a mandate has been issued either by the state or local county health department.
The district is fortunate to have new HVAC systems. The systems used at BSD bring in fresh air constantly and limit the mixing of air between systems which provides better ventilation for the students and staff.
Each school in the district will use seating charts or cohorting to monitor exposures. Each school will also use spacing strategies, and outdoor spaces when possible for larger group functions.
Communication regarding confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the building will come in two tiers.
All District parents will be notified of a positive case (s) in their student’s cohort via Infinite Campus using text and email when a new case is identified. (Please see the district dashboard for active cases)
A second communication will be made regarding students and staff who are considered to be exposed to the positive case.
Positive or presumed positive (known exposure with symptoms) - Students and staff will be required to stay at home in isolation for 10 days.
Exposed students are not required to quarantine.
Students may continue in person learning while parents and staff continue to monitor their symptoms. Exposed students will be supported with a remote learning option if their family chooses to quarantine due to exposure. Each school will share their own procedure of providing a remote learning option.
(CDC recommends that exposed people quarantine for 10 days, or for 7 days if they receive a negative COVID-19 test on the 7th day.) Close contact or exposure is being within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.
Exposed Staff can continue to work with a mask. The mask is a requirement not a recommendation for exposed staff. They should heighten their own level of monitoring symptoms and stay home with any symptoms, even if minor. They will also have a rapid COVID test daily during the work week. This applies to all staff members, whether vaccinated or not vaccinated.
Staff with mask waivers that are exposed will not report to work unless willing to wear a mask during the monitoring period.
If a staff member chooses not to wear a mask they will need to stay home for 10 days. They can return to work after 7 days with a negative test following the exposure.
Rapid COVID-19 tests will be available to students and staff in each building. The district nurse can administer the tests for free. Students will not be tested unless parents request testing and sign a request. These tests are meant to be used to provide peace of mind after an exposure.
The plan is to maintain in-person learning as much as possible. The definition of an outbreak is defined as five COVID-19 cases from different families in a given cohort within a 14-day period. In case of an outbreak, the affected cohort will switch to remote for 10 days. The remaining in person cohorts may have increased symptom monitoring, masking, or additional actions as deemed necessary by the administrative team. BSD will act in the best interest of all students and communicate plans and actions as soon as possible.
This plan will be reviewed and updated periodically. The district believes that a nimble plan, one that can address the reality we see in our community, will be much more likely to provide our staff the frameworks they need in order to deliver on our primary mission, which is to keep our students and staff safe and provide them with a quality education.