With the continuation of COVID-19, IDEA Public Schools has integrated several preventive strategies into our daily operations to ensure the health and safety of our Team & Family. It is expected that all staff will follow this protocol with fidelity when working on campus and making decisions regarding school operations and safety.
This document serves as the foundation for daily operations across all IDEA campuses through the new school year. These strategies have proven effective in keeping students and staff safe throughout the pandemic. As we have since the start of COVID, these procedures were created based on guidance from the CDC and state health departments. We will continue monitoring health authorities for updates and will share additional information when needed.
Below are the strategies used by IDEA staff and students to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to ensure consistency and standards of practice.
Masks are optional at all IDEA campuses and on buses for staff and students. IDEA will provide a limited supply of medical-grade masks at campuses, regional offices, and events for staff and students who choose to wear them.
The CDC updated its mask guidance for communities with low or medium risk of COVID-19. We advise staff and families to use the COVID-19 Community Levels tool to help decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.
IDEA’s Health & Wellness Department will continue scheduling COVID vaccine clinics for staff and students throughout the year. Resources can be found at: https://ideapublicschools.org/health-services.
The availability of COVID testing on campus will vary based on state-provided resources. Testing is optional for students and registration must be completed to test. Parents will be contacted before students are tested. Testing will also be available to students in the clinic through telemedicine, as determined by the provider. We strongly encourage families to register their children for telemedicine services provided on campus.
Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the campus, including at entrances to buildings and classrooms. Handwashing signs will be posted inside staff and student restrooms, and students will be given time to practice hand hygiene throughout the school day.
Student cases need to be reported to campus Health Services staff, who will advise parents on the isolation period and return date. The isolation period length will follow the guidance of state agencies. Quarantine for presumed close contacts is not required.
Notification will be sent to staff and families when there is a positive case reported on campus, including during afterschool or extra-curricular activities. Campuses are to notify of a positive case only specifying classroom, not specifying if it is staff or student, to maintain privacy of the individual. Notification will go to staff and students who were in a shared space (i.e., bus, after-school program, classroom).
Additionally, all COVID cases will also be posted weekly on IDEA’s public website.
If your scholar tests positive, please contact the campus Health Aide or Nurse who will advise on the isolation period and return date. In all states, the isolation period is 5 days. Individuals are strongly encouraged to wear masks on days 6-10. If individuals test positive after Day 5, they will need to complete a full 10-day isolation period and are recommended to wear a mask.
Campus facilities teams will frequently sanitize common spaces. Teachers will be provided approved cleaning products by the facilities team to disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects in their classrooms throughout the school day. The facilities team will complete a daily cleaning and sanitation protocol in each classroom or shared space after school.
MERV 11 and 13 air filters will continue to be used at all campuses to enhance ventilation systems. Filters will be replaced on a routine basis and managed by the facilities team.
Students who are not feeling well shall follow state exclusionary criteria when determining if they should attend school/work. Campus Health Services staff will follow exclusionary criteria and telemedicine visits when determining whether a student needs to be sent home. Staff cannot be treated in the school clinic and should therefore consult with their manager and primary care provider regarding illness and attendance.