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Health and Safety for Staff and Students

 

GJPS RETURN TO SCHOOL HEALTH AND SAFETY INFORMATION

As we welcome our students and staff back to our buildings, we want to do so in the safest way possible and to provide reassurance about our health and safety practices. We are committed to sharing information and being responsive, while remaining fully in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. 

SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES 

Daily Symptom Checks
Facial Coverings
Hand Hygiene
Social Distancing
Reusable Water Bottles
Transportation
Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

Daily Symptom Checklist Flyer

Daily Symptom Home Checklist (PDF)

Our business operations and facilities teams are delivering on all of the health and safety guidelines recommended by state and local health officials, and we have many precautions in place for the safety of our staff and students.

 

GAHANNA-JEFFERSON PUBLIC SCHOOLS
DISTRICTWIDE HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
 

Personal Protective Equipment
Classroom and Facility Safety Measures
Cleaning and Disinfecting our School Buildings
Breakfast and Lunch
Visitors
Clinic Visits
Covid-19 Case Information


 



Steps to Bus Safety During COVID Video

 


  SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES  


DAILY SYMPTOM CHECKS AT HOME BEFO
RE SCHOOL

An important part of decreasing the spread of the virus in our schools will involve daily symptom checks by our families. School staff will monitor students regularly throughout the school day; however, it is critical that students stay home if they are experiencing symptoms.

It is important to note that students must have all symptoms resolved and be fever free for 24 hours without medication prior to returning to school.

Daily checks should include looking for these symptoms. Students should stay home with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • New or worsened cough
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • New or worsened nasal congestion
  • New or worsened runny nose

Students should stay home with two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • New or worsened fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Families must check each student’s temperature every day and follow these guidelines regarding symptoms, testing and keeping your student home from school. This Daily Symptom Home Checklist can be downloaded and printed to use as a daily reminder.

*As part of licensing requirements, preschool students will have their temperature taken before entering the school building daily.

 Symptom Chart for COVID 19

 

According to Nationwide Children's Hospital and local health departments, staff or students exhibiting the symptoms above should seek a COVID-19 test and should stay home under the following conditions:

IF THE STUDENT/STAFF...  THEN THE STUDENT/STAFF
SHOULD STAY HOME UNTIL...

 AND SIBLINGS/HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS...

Test positive with or without symptoms Stay home until cleared by local public health department Should also stay home for 14 days
Are awaiting pending test results Stay home until results are known Should stay home until results confirmed and, if positive, for 14 days
Test is negative Stay home until fever free for 24+ hours without medication and symptoms have improved Do not need to stay home
Do not get tested Stay home 10 days after the onset of symptoms, fever free for 24+ hours without medication and symptoms have improved Should stay home for 14 days
Are given an alternate diagnosis Stay home until fever free for 24+ hours without medication and symptoms have improved Do not need to stay home

 

Individuals do not need to stay home or complete a 14-day quarantine if they had COVID-19 illness within the previous three months, have recovered and remain without symptoms.

A close contact is anyone who was:

  • Within six feet of an infected person AND
  • For at least 15 CUMULATIVE minutes (with or without a mask) OR
  • Any individual engaging in a contact sport for any amount of time

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR SCHOOL NURSE OR BUILDING ADMINISTRATOR.


FACIAL COVERINGS

All students and staff in grades K-12 are required to wear masks while on the bus and in the school buildings.  Students in Preschool are recommended to wear masks but not required. All students, teachers and staff will be required to wear masks at all times when:

  • In any indoor location, including but not limited to classrooms, gymnasiums, offices, locker rooms, hallways, cafeterias, and/or locker areas
  • Outdoors on school property when unable to consistently maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet from individuals who are not members of their household
  • Waiting for a school bus outdoors when unable to maintain a distance of at least six (6) feet from individuals who are not members of their household
  • Riding a school bus

Students are required to bring their own mask but classrooms will have extras if a student forgets their mask. Per guidance from Franklin County Public Health, gaiters are not permitted as a stand alone face covering. The masks will return home each night for laundering so multiple face masks for your child are recommended.

Students may remove their masks:

  • While seated and eating lunch in their designated location
  • Teachers may give mask breaks not to exceed 10 minutes when students are sitting in the classroom, socially distanced and working independently,

Face coverings should:

  • Fully cover the mouth, nose, and chin
  • Fit snugly against the face so there are no gaps
  • Fit securely or be held securely through either a tie, elastic, etc. to prevent slipping
  • Cloth masks should be cleaned on a regular basis
  • Disposable face mask should only be used for a single use
  • Not include respirators or masks with valves

For more information, you can access our GJPS Face Covering Policy.

We encourage families to begin working with your student to build their mask-wearing stamina to support the transition to in-person days. The following videos will help your child learn more about how to wear a mask correctly.

Masked Heroes (PreK- 2)

How to Wear a Mask at School (Grades 3-5)

How to Wear Your Mask (Middle School)

Know How to Wear Your Mask Correctly (High School)


HAND HYGIENE

Viruses such as COVID-19 are almost exclusively spread by respiratory droplets. As a result, routine and frequent handwashing is critical to limit transmission.

Age appropriate signage will be placed in visible places throughout classrooms and restrooms to remind students to wash their hands frequently. Hand sanitizer with will be in each classroom to supplement hand washing.

What is effective handwashing?

  • Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Wash hands on the front, back, and in-between fingers, thumbs and under fingernails
  • Rinse thoroughly
  • Dry with an individual disposable towel or hand air dryer

Students and staff should cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the bend of your elbow. Throw the used tissue in the trash and wash hands immediately with soap and water for 20 seconds.

The following videos can help your child better understand how to wash their hands thoroughly.

Wash Your Hands (PreK-2)

Hand Washing (Grades 3-5)

Fight Germs, Wash Your Hands (Middle School)

5 Steps of Hand Washing (High School)


SOCIAL DISTANCING

Social distancing is a simple yet effective way to prevent potential infection. Physical distancing will be required in all GJPS schools and buildings with all staff and students remaining six feet apart whenever possible. No-touch greeting instead of handshakes and hugs are encouraged.

To the extent possible, furniture will be arranged to leave a six foot distance between students during instruction time. Plexiglass dividers will be used in offices and small group tables where necessary. Physical distancing signage and floor markers will be installed throughout the schools as a reminder to maintain a safe distance. One way traffic patterns are set up in buildings where possible to avoid congestion in hallways. 

Socially distancing with 6 feet away from others applies to all areas including but not limited to:

  • Classrooms
  • Office space
  • Restrooms
  • Cafeterias
  • Gyms
  • Libraries
  • Arrival and dismissal lines

REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE

Most of the school buildings have been fitted with water bottle filler stations to use instead of shared drinking fountains. Students are asked to bring a reusable water bottle to fill up and use throughout the day. Bottles should be brought home each night for cleaning.

In buildings where water bottle fillers have not yet been installed, bottles of water will be provided for staff and students.


TRANSPORTATION

With health and safety as our ultimate goal, we have a few updated policies and procedures in place to protect our bus drivers and riders.

Based on guidelines from Franklin County Public Health (FCPH), when possible we will assign one student per seat; however, the maximum will be two students per seat.

  • Siblings will sit together
  • Buses drivers will create and maintain an up-to-date seating chart to minimize peer contact/exposure and assist with contract tracing as needed

GJPS Transportation Protocols

  • All bus drivers are required to wear masks while students are on the bus
  • Buses will be cleaned in between each route including wiping handrails, seats and seatbacks.
  • The Transportation Department will deep clean the bus after each morning and afternoon shift
  • Drivers will enforce assigned seating to assist with contract tracing should the need arise

Student Transportation Procedures

  • Students are required to wear masks while waiting for a bus, and at all times while riding on a bus
  • Students are expected to maintain a social distance at bus stops
  • To assist with contact tracing, students will have assigned seats while riding the bus
  • Students are to go directly to their assigned seat on the bus
  • Students are encouraged not to share any items with another student while on the bus

Transportation for students will begin with orientation for kindergarten, sixth and ninth graders on October 7 and 8. Please look for information about orientation from your home school for those grades. All other student transportation will begin on October 13, 2020.

Please check Transfinder for your bus schedule and route.

If you have any questions regarding our updated policies and procedures or concerns about your transportation schedule after consulting Transfinder, please contact the transportation department at (614) 751-7581. 

Student Drop Off and Pick Up by Car
Drivers must stay in their vehicle while dropping off or picking up students before or after school.

In the event you must pick your child up midday, please follow these procedures:

  • Parent or guardian will NOT enter the school during this process
  • Parent or guardian will call the school office when they arrive
  • Parent or guardian will come to the buzzer at the school entrance for verification before a student is released
  • Building secretary will sign students in and out of the building

STUDENT MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING

We know that this is a difficult time for our students socially and emotionally. Paying attention to our students' mental health right now is just as important as monitoring their physical health. Symptoms of a child's mental health being negatively impacted can be much more difficult to recognize than physical symptoms.

Here is an article we put together last year as a resource for parents detailing red flags parents can look for to help determine if their child is struggling emotionally. Remember, you know your child best, if you feel like he or she needs help or you just want to talk through what you are observing at home please do not hesitate to reach out to your School Counselor.

Our team stands ready and willing to help you and your child during this difficult time.

 


  GJPS COMMITMENT TO HEALTH AND SAFETY  

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been fully stocked in all buildings and classroom spaces in the district.

Each classroom has the following items that will be replenished as needed throughout the year.

  • Hand sanitizer (students are welcome to bring their own)
  • Disinfectant surface spray
  • Aerosol disinfectant spray
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Gloves

Additional PPE available in every building:

  • Masks (available for staff and students as needed)
  • Face shields
  • Goggles
  • Gowns

In addition, plexiglass dividers are available for small group tables, office spaces and on student tables as needed.

Hand Sanitizers
Every classroom is supplied with hand sanitizer bottles.

  • All staff and students should sanitize their hands every time they enter and exit the classroom
  • When possible, hand washing is preferred, however, sanitizer is effective as well.

CLASSROOM AND FACILITY SAFETY MEASURES

During our hybrid learning plan, GJPS will maximize social distancing to the greatest extent possible in all areas of the school building by maintaining at least six feet between individuals.

Classroom Safety Measures

  • Whenever possible, desks are spaced six feet apart
  • Extra furniture and material not necessary for hybrid learning have been removed from classrooms to create space and allow for social distancing
  • Classroom rugs used for group gatherings have been rolled up and stored by the district
  • Plexiglass dividers are available for shared tablespace
  • Students will use the same desk/table/chair each day while in the classroom
  • Routines will be created to eliminate shared learning resources and materials to the greatest extent possible

Building Safety Measures

  • All buildings will work to develop building entry/exit plans that utilize multiple controlled entry/exit points to decrease large group gatherings
  • Doors will be propped open (while monitored) at the beginning and end of the day to limit touching of door surfaces
  • Students will not be permitted to arrive at school early or congregate outside/in the lobby prior to the first bell
    • Bus drivers will keep students on the bus until a staff member retrieves the students
      Preschool: 8:25 and 12:25
      Elementary: 7:50
      Middle School: 8:30
      High School: 7:15
  • Staff will work to limit movement throughout the buildings as much as possible
  • With the exception of the YWCA kids’ program, outside organizations will not be permitted to use building space

    YWCA will follow safety guidelines outlined specifically for after school use and will inform the building principal and school nurse of any confirmed cases at their building site

  • Signage will be utilized throughout the building to outline and remind students of safety guidelines and expectations
  • Floor decals will be applied to support social distancing while students are waiting in line
  • Student lockers will not be used

CLEANING AND DISINFECTING OUR SCHOOL BUILDINGS

All district cleaning products are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectants and meet Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Additional cleaning products will be available to staff upon request.

High Traffic Areas will be cleaned by custodians a minimum of two times throughout the school day including, but not limited to:

  • door knobs
  • handrails
  • bathrooms
  • office spaces, etc.

Each night, custodians will conduct a deep clean and will disinfect each building.

  • Cleaning will occur from the top down
  • Chairs, desks, sinks, countertops, doorknobs, light switches will be cleaned with disinfectant
  • Floors will be swept and mopped.

In classrooms where student desks/tables/chairs are used by different groups of students, surfaces will be cleaned in between class periods.

  • Spray disinfectant and paper towels will be provided in each classroom
  • Seating charts should be maintained and students should use the same desk/table/chair each day
  • Students in grades 3-12 can be included in this cleaning process
    • During the final minutes of class, the teacher will spray the desk/table/chair surfaces and students will wipe their area and dispose of the paper towel

Cafeteria cleaning process: During the school day tables will be cleaned after each lunch group with soap and water. After school, chairs and tables will be cleaned with a disinfectant and floors will be swept and mopped.

Additional Information

  • Each room will be supplied with disinfectant wipes and disinfectant spray
  • Hand sanitizer will be available in strategic locations throughout the school

BREAKFAST AND LUNCH

The GJPS Child Nutrition Department will continue to provide Grab & Go Meals for our distance learners and hybrid learners while they are learning remotely on their at-home days. More information will be available about pickup procedures.

Breakfast
Each building will share with families the procedure used for breakfast.

Lunch
The school cafeterias will be used for K-12 lunch periods in all buildings. Open lunch is discontinued, and all high school students will eat lunch on campus.

In some buildings, additional table space will be set up in alternate locations to help accommodate space needs (ex. gymnasiums, hallways, library, etc.). Assigned seats will be utilized in cafeteria spaces to help with contract tracing and may be adjusted periodically by the administration.

Lunch periods will be adjusted to allow for a single group/grade level to start and complete their lunch before another group comes in and traffic patterns will be created to reduce the likelihood of large groups of students congregating in one area.

Disposable trays will be used for lunch and all utensils and condiments will be distributed in individual packages. No common, self-serve utensils or condiment stations will be available.

Masks
Students will:

  • Wear masks while transitioning into the cafeteria and standing in line to purchase food
  • Remove their mask while eating
  • Place their mask back on immediately after they are done eating

Payment for Meals
Online, prepayment for meals is encouraged on MyPaymentPlus. CASH WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Students will not enter their PIN into the keypad.

  • Elementary students will be entered into the system "By Classroom" during lunch periods (to be completed by the cashier).
    Students will be entered "By Name" at breakfast.
  • Middle and high school students will use BarCode scanners using the MyPaymentsPlus app on their phones or student ID card.

Sanitization and Cleaning

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at all doors of cafeteria spaces and should be used any time staff or students enter/exit the cafeteria.
  • Tables/chairs will be disinfected between lunch periods and a deep clean including cafeteria chairs will occur every evening.

VISITORS

Buildings will limit all non-essential visitors, volunteers and activities involving other groups (e.g. parents, mentors, vendors, family visits for breakfast & lunch with students, etc.).

All essential visitors to the buildings are required to wear a face covering and maintain a six foot social distance.

Student Drop Off and Pick Up 
Drivers must stay in their vehicle while dropping off or picking up students before or after school.

In the event you must pick your child up midday, please follow these procedures:

  • Parent or guardian will NOT enter the school during this process
  • Parent or guardian will call the school office when they arrive
  • Parent or guardian will come to the buzzer at the school entrance for verification before a student is released
  • Building secretary will sign students in and out of the building

CLINIC VISITS

In order to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, schools will have a clinic isolation room available for students displaying COVID-19 symptoms while at school. In the event a student has a temperature or exhibits the following COVID-19 symptoms, that student will be isolated from others and a guardian will be called to pick up the student immediately. Students will NOT be allowed to ride the bus home.

Students will be isolated and sent home with ONE or more of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • New or worsened cough
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • New or worsened nasal congestion
  • New or worsened runny nose

Students will be isolated and sent home with TWO or more of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • New or worsened fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

 


COVID-19 CASE INFORMATION

The district has identified a COVID-19 Coordinator who will monitor and support all COVID related screening, documentation and reporting in collaboration with each building school nurse.

Parents/staff should notify the school office/nurse AND Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) within 24 hours if someone in their family has tested positive or received a clinical diagnosis for COVID-19.

Within 24 hours of receiving notification of a confirmed case, the district will notify building parents/guardians in writing with information about the positive case (no protected health information will be shared). The District will also provide notification and reported data on confirmed COVID-19 cases within the district on a weekly basis which can be found on our website under Health Services and on our Return to Learn page.

FCPH will work with the district to notify and implement quarantine protocols as appropriate.

  • All parents in a classroom/building will be notified if a staff member/student tests positive.
  • A 14-day quarantine will be implemented for any individuals who had close contact with an infected individual up to 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms.
  • A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 cumulative minutes (with or without a mask) or any individual engaging in a contact sport for any amount of time.
  • A contact must be quarantined for 14 days after the last/most recent contact with the case when the case was infectious. Test results, whether negative viral test or positive antibody test, cannot shorten the 14 days.

    Further, any closure of a classroom or building due to positive COVID-19 cases will be evaluated by the district on a case-by-case basis in collaboration with Franklin County Public Health.


 

GJPS News and Updates

View All District News

GJPS Moving Forward

GJPS Moving Forward

Date: 10/18/2020

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools Moving Forward: News + Information

Tentative Agreement Reached

Tentative Agreement Reached

Date: 10/17/2020

Tentative Agreement Reached Between GJPS and GJEA

GJPS to Continue Distance Learning

GJPS to Continue Distance Learning

Date: 10/11/2020

GJPS to Continue Distance Learning through Friday, October 16, 2020.

GJPS Negotiations Update

GJPS Negotiations Update

Date: 10/9/2020

Update on Negotiations with GJEA (10-9-20)

GJPS Return to Learn School Health and Safety Plan

GJPS Return to Learn School Health and Safety Plan

Date: 10/8/2020

Information about the return to our school buildings.

Latest Information for Families About Potential Strike

Latest Information for Families About Potential Strike

Date: 10/4/2020

We hope many of your questions about the potential of a teacher strike can be answered in this letter from Superintendent Barrett.

Response to Potential Teacher Strike

Response to Potential Teacher Strike

Date: 10/2/2020

Please read this letter from Superintendent Barrett.

GJPS Commitment to Students and Teachers

GJPS Commitment to Students and Teachers

Date: 9/30/2020

Information about the GJPS commitment to the hybrid and distance learning plans.

COVID-19 Dashboard

COVID-19 Dashboard

Date: 9/22/2020

Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools is committed to the safety and health of our students and staff. In the interest of full transparency, and in an effort to prevent and minimize the spread of COVID-19, we will be publishing our weekly COVID data every Friday as directed by Laura Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

Statement from Superintendent Barrett

Statement from Superintendent Barrett

Date: 9/21/2020

Superintendent Barrett provides insight into hybrid learning plan considerations.