School Nursing

The Relentless School Nurse: This May Be Coming to a School Near You

Planning for school reopening seems insurmountable, yet, those who are involved in the details continue efforts to keep our students and staff safe. It feels like we are writing plans in the sand, with constantly shifting information that changes with the tide. One of the many articles I read about school reopening describes the details for the Springfield, Missouri summer school. These guidelines could be coming to a school near you. Are we really ready?

The following information is retrieved from:  Springfield Public Schools announces guidelines for seated July summer session

The Springfield Public Schools released guidelines for its seated Explore 2020 July session.

The school district is taking action to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It is coordinating with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department. 

*Schools will make reasonable best efforts to minimize risk, however, attending schools in-person will introduce a greater risk of exposure.
*The term “social distancing” or “physical distancing” will refer to no less than 6 feet of separation.
*Class sizes will be limited.
*Assemblies will not be permitted.
*Visitors to the school and to the classroom will not be permitted. Schools will be closed to visitors aside from drop off and pick up, which can only occur via the carline.
*Handwashing and infection prevention instruction will be required and taught to students.
*Student face coverings are recommended but not required.
*Use of water/drinking fountains will only be allowed for those that have a self- dispenser to fill a personal water bottle. Drinking directly out of the fountain is prohibited.

Arrival and Dismissal
*Parents/guardians should use the car line for student drop off and pick up. *In-person parent pick-up is not allowed to avoid parent/patron gatherings in the school lobby or in front of the school.
*Upon arrival at school, students/parents might be screened using the following Screening Protocol.
*Upon arrival to school and during dismissal, students should not congregate in large, open spaces (APR, cafeteria, library). They should pick up a “grab and go” breakfast and report immediately to the classroom, where they will eat.
*Staff will monitor for appropriate social distancing as students enter the designated “Entry” door(s).
*The school nurse/designee will check the temperature of each student as they enter the building.

Breakfast and Lunch
*Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom. Students will pick up breakfast as they enter the school building and then proceed directly to their designated classroom. Lunches will be delivered to the classrooms by Nutrition Services staff.
*Disposable trays and prepackaged utensils will be used.
*Students will be encouraged to maintain distance from each other in the school and taught appropriate hygiene/COVID practices: COVID 19 Do the 5!
*Students should be assigned seats that maintain social/physical distancing standards.
*Teachers should increase the space between desks. Rearrange student desks to maximize the space between students. Turn desks to face in the same direction (rather than facing each other) to reduce transmission caused from virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing).
*Small group instruction will not be permitted.
*Students should not share community supplies of any kind.
*Students will use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the classroom. *Students should be encouraged to wash their hands once every hour.
*Students are encouraged to wear face coverings when they must be in the hallway and social distancing is more difficult.
*If students must leave the classroom, teachers should log students’ names and locations of visits in order to make contact tracing easier should a student/employee become ill.

Specials/Related Arts Classes
*Specialty teachers will rotate to classrooms to minimize student traffic in the halls.
*Should specialty teachers use equipment that might be shared, staff members will disinfect the equipment after each use.
*Physical education classes can be taught in the gym. Teachers will plan activities that require social distancing for students and will sanitize equipment and the space in between class visits.
*Creative time classes should be taught in the regular classroom

*Recess times will be staggered to limit the number of classes on the playground at a time.
*All students must wash their hands (soap or hand sanitizer) before and after recess and before returning to the classroom.
*While at recess, staff will monitor for social/physical distancing.
*Playground equipment will be cleaned/sanitized routinely.
*Student Illness and Health Services
*Symptoms of COVID 19 may include: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, runny nose or congestion, or other flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or *diarrhea.
*The lack of a fever is not a reliable indicator for pre-symptomatic individuals. If other symptoms exist, students will be required to remain out of school as indicated.
*Students who are ill or experiencing COVID- related symptoms should not report to school and should notify the school.
*If students become ill once they arrive at school, students will be isolated from others and sent home immediately.
*Students will be required to remain out of school for at least fourteen (14) days following onset of symptoms, unless tested and symptom free. COVID 19 test results must be confirmed in writing by the medical provider or health department.
*Students or employees who have direct close contact ( < 6 ft distance for over 15 minutes) with a COVID-19 patient, will need to quarantine at home for 14 days.
*Should a symptomatic student’s parent/guardian refuse COVID 19 testing, the student will be excluded from school for 14 days or until the parent/guardian provides written documentation by the medical provider or health department the student is safe to return.
*School nurses will make referrals for testing for COVID-19 based on network through Springfield Greene County Health Department (SGCHD)/possible direct referral to Cox/Mercy/JVCHC.

School Closures (if needed)
*The school district will consider phasing school closures based upon city, county, and state guidelines and will consider the percentage of site population testing positive for COVID-19 relative to the environment of the school building. For example, age-level, make-up of building occupants, likelihood of exposure to employees and students in the building.
*If it is determined that a school should be closed, families will be informed of the timeframe that school will be closed and students will have access to virtual content during that time.

*When possible, students and employees should limit travel outside the region and avoid air travel and cruise ships.
*Domestic non-essential travel is discouraged.
*Students and employees who must travel outside the region or who have family members and/or roommates who travel outside the region should ensure that they practice social distancing while traveling and should avoid high-risk areas.
*Students or employees who have direct close contact ( < 6 ft distance for over 15 minutes) with a COVID-19 patient, will need to quarantine at home for 14 days.

*July transportation screening procedures are here.
*Bus drivers and students riding the bus will be required to wear face coverings while riding the bus when social distancing is not feasible.
*Students will be required to maintain their mask and keep it with them during the school day.
*Students may sit two to a seat. Family members should be seated together while riding the bus.
*Bus drivers are advised to travel with windows down as much as is possible depending upon weather conditions.
*Bus drivers should seat students based on pick up order. Students picked up first should immediately move to the back of the bus.
*Once seating is established, it is advised to have a seating chart and assigned seats whether a child is riding or not.
*Buses will be appropriately cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
*Buses will have hand sanitizer available on each route.
*Bus drivers will be properly trained in COVID safety measures.
*Staff will limit the sharing of devices. When devices must be shared, staff will assign specific students to specific devices. Staff will ensure devices are sanitized between uses.

These items should be sanitized by staff on a regular basis:
*Keyboards and mice
*Any shared devices (iPad, spare Chromebooks. Library computers, PLTW laptops, Mac labs, etc.)

Are we really ready to return? 



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