Health & Safety Protocols

  • Requirements

    6-feet of physical distance
    Examples: Classroom configurations, hallways, transportation ( to extent possible)

    Face coverings
    DOH requires everyone in a school building or on a school bus to wear a face covering or face shield, with specific limited exemptions identified in the guidance

    Drop-off/Pick-up plans
    Staggered pick-up and drop-off locations at schools to reduce congestion



    Frequent hand hygiene

    • Students will be directed (and assisted if needed) to sanitize their hands upon entering the building.
    • Teachers will provide times (and instruction/guidance) for students to wash and/or sanitize their hands throughout the school day
    • Portable hand hygiene stations will be available for classrooms outside the main building

    Cleaning regime

    • High touch point areas
    • Frequent deep cleaning
    • Employing electrostatic disinfecting machines to help with efficiency
    • Action plan established in case of positive COVID-19 case in district building(s)


    Daily Screening

    Daily temperature checks for staff and students

    • Scanners for most school buildings and Transportation
    • Thermometers for Child Nutrition Office/M&O

    Parent Attestation

    • Currently working with Skyward and an app developer on a paperless system
    • Paper system for those who prefer

    Self-monitor for symptoms

    • Staff or students exhibiting symptoms will be asked to stay home or if at work, required to leave the building once proper transportation arrangements have been made
    • If the student or staff member are required to wait for transportation, they will be directed to a designated room
    • Staff will be trained on identification of visible symptoms

    All staff must self-certify that they are COVID-19 symptom-free each day utilizing the SBLSD COVID-19 Employee Self-Certification Form


    Planning and Preparation: If a student or staff member is demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms

    Each building will have a designated isolation room to be used if there is a student or staff member suspected of demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms. The room requires high levels of ventilation and must be large enough to allow for appropriate social distancing. If there is confirmation of a COVID-19 case, the room may be closed and secured for 1-3 days. A supply of face coverings should be available for the student or staff member. Appropriate signage will be posted outside the isolation room to inform people that the area is restricted for the purpose of infectious disease control.

    School Health Specialists will have a supply of the following PPEs onsite:

    • Gloves o Medical grade face coverings (N95 or similar)
    • Face shield
    • Disposable gowns
    • Sufficient supply of hand soap, access to water, and access to hand sanitizer

    If a student or staff member is demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms

    • Call the School Health Specialist
    • If a student or staff member is in a common area, on the playground, or office and they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they should ask a fellow student or a staff member to contact the School Health Specialist and ask them to come to the location of the ill student or staff member
    • The student or staff member is to remain in the classroom or the area they are located in for the Health Specialist to provide the person with a face covering and to escort the person to the designated isolation room
    • The Health Specialist will use the proper PPE for possible exposure. The Specialist will take a face covering (medical grade) with them and have the student or staff member replace their face covering with the face covering.
    • Once in the isolation room, the Health Specialist will take the temperature of the individual, and assess (through questioning) the symptoms
    • Once the individual’s temperature has been taken and the Health Specialist has completed the assessment questions, the Health Specialist will share their observations with the building principal, a Tacoma-Pierce County Health representative and the District’s Health Services Manager. School and District staff do not provide a diagnosis (National Association of School Nurses)

     If a school has a case of COVID-19

    • The local health department officials will provide recommendations on communication, with the family of the impacted student or staff member, with the families of students in the classroom, staff, and the school community at large
    • The local health department officials will notify the district and families of needs for quarantining by staff and students. A list of those present in the classroom and/or other areas of a building/site where the impacted staff member or student was present will be provided to the local health department
    • If a case is confirmed, the building principal and the District Health Manager will contact the Assistant Superintendent of Operations (Bill Gaines) and the Director for Maintenance and Operations (David Coutts). Quarantining plans for designated rooms and common areas will be established and executed. Per Health Department guidance, the impacted rooms and common areas will be cleaned, sanitized, disinfected, and then remain closed for the duration of time as recommended by the local health department
    • The Assistant Superintendent of Operations will notify the Superintendent and the Director of Communications. With input from the local Health Department, a communication plan will be developed and executed.
    • The Superintendent will notify members of the SBLSD Board of Directors
    • The School Health Specialist will debrief the case with the District Health Manager, document the incident, and take proper hygiene steps

    If an employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is not in a school building, the employee will notify their supervisor, who will contact the District Health Manager or Assistant Superintendent of Operations for guidance. The employee should not drive themselves off-site until the individual communicates they are physically capable of doing so. The District Health Manager will put on the proper PPE and take the employee’s temperature, ask the established questions for the symptoms of COVID-19, record the responses, and provide the information to the local health department contact. Appropriate support will be provided to the employee, per health department guidance, by the District Health Manager.



    Student Start to the School Day

    Appropriate face coverings are to be worn at all times by all students, per OSPI guidelines and per DOH exemptions, and IEP accommodations with consideration for mitigating measures using additional safeguards as mentioned above.  This includes entering and exiting buildings and walking in common areas, hallways, and walkways, including bathrooms. The district will supply students with disposable face coverings if needed. Teachers will provide students with mini lessons at the beginning of the school year on the importance of face covering wearing, including how to properly wear a face covering and keep them safe and clean. Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be provided with resources and are encouraged to work with their child on face covering prior to the start of school.

    Students will be directed (and assisted if needed) to sanitize their hands upon entering the building. Teachers will provide times (and instruction/guidance) for students to wash and/or sanitize their hands throughout the school day. Please refer to the CDC’s guidance to stop the spread of germs for further information.

    Signage will be posted in multiple places at a site reminding about things such as proper hygiene, how to properly clean and disinfect, staying home when sick, how to safely cough and sneeze, etc.


    Safety: Hybrid Learning Model (Stages 3-5)


    Facilities and Custodial

    In the hybrid model (stages 3-5). Custodians will continue to clean high touch areas and bathrooms during the day and maintain ample supplies as needed by staff. High touch points will be cleaned and sanitized throughout the day. Classrooms, common areas, offices, and other used facilities will be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis.   Additionally, high touch points will be sanitized throughout the day. 

    All offices, bathrooms, and other areas utilized by staff during the day will be deep cleaned daily. Deep cleaning of other areas used less often will occur on a rotating basis. Bathrooms will be deep cleaned twice daily.  Bathroom supplies (soap, paper towels, etc.) will be checked throughout the day.

    Any unnecessary furniture (communal supply carts, etc.) and other items currently in classrooms will be removed and stored. Rugs/carpets will not be used. Any personal furniture staff may  have left in classrooms will need to be taken home (for example, a couch). Please speak directly to your principal about removing items.

    Desks and tables will be arranged to allow for a 6-foot distance in all directions, facing the same direction when possible. Students will sit only on one side of tables.

    Assigned seating will be used. Students will remain seated as much as possible to limit movement inside the classroom. Mechanical systems will be scheduled to take in more outside air, weather permitting.

    Floor markings and directional arrows will be used to guide foot traffic to minimize contact between students. Signage and markings will be posted throughout all buildings in English and Spanish. Transition times for classes will be scheduled to minimize the number of students in common areas at one time.

    For all grades, bathroom visits will be scheduled by the classroom teacher to ensure that a limited number of students enter the bathroom at one time. Water fountains will be turned on and bottle fillers will be available. Bottled water will be provided for all students on days with high temperatures, for those who do not bring one from home.

    Students will be provided with a safe space to store essential items brought to school. Personal items (stuffed animals, etc.) will not be allowed in school. At the secondary level, lockers will not be issued or used until the local Health Department recommends the safe congregation of individuals.  No classroom supplies will be shared. Signage displaying correct sneezing/coughing methods and handwashing protocols will be displayed in all bathrooms, hallways and classrooms in English and Spanish. Portable hand sanitizer stations will be placed in the school buildings.

    All staff and students will be required to check their temperatures at home every day before coming to school. Paper or online signoff will be utilized by all to certify that they are healthy enough to be in the building that day.

    If a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19, their family should notify the school. The local health authority will advise the district on next steps, and it is possible that many of the other students or staff who were in close contact with the infected individual may need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    The building principal will inform the District’s Health Services Manager and the Director of Facilities and Operations, Dave Coutts. According to OSPI Reopening Guidance, the areas of the school used by a sick person will be closed. These areas will not be used until after proper cleaning and disinfection procedures have been completed. We will wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting, additional ventilation will be directed to these areas; and if 24 hours are not possible, we will wait as long as it is possible or per the guidance of the Health Department. Sanitizing will include the use of electrostatic disinfectant sprayers. Principals will relocate classes during this time period. The area will be opened for use once it has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.

    Each school will stagger arrivals/dismissals as appropriate for the school, given the size of the student population and the building configuration. Where possible, multiple entrance and exit points will be utilized. Designated spots for bus pick-up and drop-off will also be assigned.

    Outdoor play areas will be maintained per CDC and local Health Department recommendations as will all in-building common areas. 


    Food Service

    If schools are operating in a Hybrid model, in-building instruction combined with distance-learning instruction, meals will be provided for all days, free of cost or at a reduced cost, depending on the student’s program qualification. Meals for the distance learning days will be in multiple day packaging.

    In the Hybrid model, all students will have the option of purchasing their meals on their in-building instructional days.



    In a hybrid instructional model, face coverings are required.  If there are siblings on the bus, we will assign a seat with a sibling. Parents are required to check students’ temperatures at home before they board the bus. Drivers will wear PPE and perform regular hand hygiene. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily between routes.

    To increase ventilation, windows on the buses will be lowered as much as weather will allow (OSPI). 

    Physical distancing will be honored as much as possible. Bus loading processes will be used to establish physical distancing between students. Students may be seated closer than 6 feet (OSPI).

    Schedule changes and riding additional routes outside what is assigned will not be permitted. Route time will be minimized by combining pickup and dropoff locations.