Woodlake Unified School District | BP 0470 Philosophy, Goals, Objectives and Comprehensive Plans
Covid-19 Mitigation Plan
The following policy establishes actions that will be taken by the district to provide a safe learning and working environment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and shall supersede any conflicting language in existing district policies or administrative regulations until the Governing Board determines that the need for this policy no longer exists. The Board acknowledges that, due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, federal, state, and local orders impacting district operations are subject to change without notice. In the event that any federal, state, or local order may conflict with this policy, the order shall govern.
(cf. 2210 - Administrative Discretion Regarding Board Policy)
(cf. 5141.22 - Infectious Diseases)
(cf. 9310 - Board Policies)
The Board may also adopt resolutions or take other actions as needed to respond to such orders or provide further direction during the pandemic.
The Board recognizes that students and staff have the right to a safe campus that protects their physical and psychological health and well-being. The Board's decision to reopen school campuses for classes, before or after school programs, child care centers, and/or preschool programs shall be made in consultation with state and local health officials. The district shall evaluate its capacity to implement safety precautions and to conduct full or partial school operations, and shall consider student, parent/guardian, and community input.
(cf. 0400 - Comprehensive Plans)
(cf. 0450 - Comprehensive Safety Plan)
(cf. 3516 - Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness Plan)
Prior to the return to on-campus teaching and learning, the Superintendent or designee shall provide to students, parents/guardians, and staff current information about COVID-19, including its symptoms, how it is transmitted, how to prevent transmission, the current recommendations from the state and local departments of public health, and any other information and/or resources to prepare for a safe return to on-campus teaching and learning. The Superintendent or designee shall also provide information on the processes and protocols the district will follow to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19, including, but not limited to, physically separating individuals (social distancing), limits on large gatherings, the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves, and the sanitization of facilities.
(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)
(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)
(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)
(cf. 6020 - Parent Involvement)
The Board recognizes that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, including fear for one's safety, the economic crisis, the loss of school-based relationships, and disruptions in student learning, impact all students but may have a disproportionate effect on the youngest students, students with disabilities, those students most vulnerable to basic needs insecurity or child abuse and neglect, and other at-risk students.
(cf. 0415- Equity)
As school campuses reopen, staff shall provide a caring and nurturing educational environment for students. The district may provide instruction on social-emotional well-being to all students, including information on how to deal with stress and anxiety in healthy ways and the importance of emotional well-being for academic success.
(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)
Staff shall pay careful attention to students' increased mental health concerns. Counseling, other support services, and/or referrals to other agencies shall be available to assist students in dealing with the social and emotional effects of COVID-19, such as stress, anxiety, depression, grief, social isolation, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
(cf. 5141.5 - Mental Health)
(cf. 5141.52 - Suicide Prevention)
(cf. 6164.2 - Guidance/Counseling Services)
(cf. 6164.5 - Student Success Teams)
As needed, the district may provide referrals of students and families to basic needs assistance or social services, and may assess students for eligibility for the free and reduced-price meal program or assistance under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
(cf. 6173 - Education for Homeless Children)
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that staff understand their obligations as mandated reporters to report suspected child abuse or neglect, regardless of whether the student is on campus or participating in distance learning.
(cf. 5141.4 - Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting)
The Superintendent or designee may provide information to staff and parents/guardians regarding how to provide mental health support to students. The Superintendent or designee may also provide counseling to staff who are experiencing emotional difficulties as a result of COVID-19.
The district shall offer a combination of on-campus instruction and distance learning to meet the needs of all students.
(cf. 6157 - Distance Learning)
(cf. 6158 - Independent Study)
The Superintendent or designee shall work with school principals, teachers, other staff, students, and parents/guardians to recommend to the Board a schedule of on-campus instruction for each school. If all students cannot attend on-campus instruction for the entire school day due to space limitations as a result of social distancing requirements, the Superintendent or designee shall consider arrangements for rotating groups of students, such as on a daily or weekly basis, and/or shall provide on-campus instruction to students with the greatest need for in-person supervision.
(cf. 6111 - School Calendar)
(cf. 6112 - School Day)
Priority for on-campus instruction shall be given to the lowest performing students, students with disabilities, elementary level students, students at risk of child abuse and neglect, homeless students, foster youth, and English learners. To the extent practicable, the district shall also consider the needs of essential workers, as designated in the Governor's executive orders, for child care during normal school hours.
(cf. 6173.1 - Education for Foster Youth)
(cf. 6174 - Education for English Learners)
On-campus instruction may be prioritized for subjects that are difficult to deliver through distance learning, such as laboratory science, art, or career technical education.
For distance learning, lessons may be delivered through live video sessions, pre-recorded lectures, or other technology-based distance learning platforms and/or the district may supplement on-campus instruction with home assignments. As much as possible, distance learning shall be provided through small-group synchronous learning.
Appropriate training shall be provided to teachers and other instructional staff involved in distance learning, including training on how to use any technology or platform approved for distance learning by the school and opportunities for the sharing of best practices among instructional staff. Available training resources may also be provided to students and parents/guardians when necessary.
Evaluation of Academic Progress Following Campus Closure
Upon return to on-campus instruction following an extended campus closure, the Superintendent or designee shall evaluate the impact of the campus closure on students' academic progress. Such evaluation may:
1. Address student-specific needs arising from the transition back into on-campus instruction
2. Consider whether or not a student has experienced a regression of skills and/or lack of progress
3. If regression and/or a lack of progress is present, identify opportunities for recovery, including supplemental educational services and/or new or different support services
(cf. 6179 - Supplemental Instruction)
For students with disabilities, the evaluation of academic progress shall also be used to determine whether an additional or revised individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan is needed for the student to be academically successful when returning to on-campus instruction. The Superintendent or designee may prioritize urgent student need in scheduling initial and triennial assessments and annual IEP meetings. The Superintendent or designee shall ensure district compliance with all procedural timelines for IEPs and Section 504 plans as required, unless amended by executive order.
(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)
(cf. 6159.1 - Procedural Safeguards and Complaints for Special Education)
(cf. 6164.6 - Identification and Education Under Section 504)
For each grading period, student progress shall be reported in accordance with BP/AR 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement. However, in the event that school campuses are closed for an extended period of time during any grading period, the Board may, upon recommendation by the Superintendent or designee, adopt one or more alternative grading policies which may vary by grade level or type of course. Options for such grading include, but are not limited to:
1. Assignment of final grades based on the student's grades when the campus shutdown occurred, with opportunities to increase the final grade based on progress through distance learning or other assignments and assessments
2. Assignment of pass/no pass grades for all courses
3. Grading based on students' understanding of applicable course content through assessments, projects, portfolios, or other appropriate means
(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)
Health Screening of Students
To the extent feasible, students shall be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before boarding a school bus and/or upon arrival at school each day. The Superintendent or designee shall work with local health officials to determine the appropriate means of screening, which may include temperature checks with a no-touch thermometer.
If the screening indicates a fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, or if the student exhibits symptoms at any time during the school day, the student shall be placed in a supervised isolation area until the student's parent/guardian is contacted and the student can be transported home or to a health care facility. School staff may provide the parent/guardian with referrals to school or community health centers for further testing.
(cf. 5141 - Health Care and Emergencies)
(cf. 5141.3 - Health Examinations)
(cf. 5141.6 - School Health Services)
Student Absence and Attendance
The Board recognizes that COVID-19 will continue to impact the attendance of students following the reopening of school campuses. The Superintendent or designee shall notify students and parents/guardians of expectations regarding school attendance. Such notification shall direct any student who contracts the virus or lives with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home in accordance with state and local health directives so as to curtail the spread of the disease.
Students who are infected with COVID-19 shall be excluded from on-campus instruction until a medical provider states in writing that the student is no longer contagious. (Education Code 49451; Health and Safety Code 120230; 5 CCR 202)
Students who are identified as being in a high-risk population for serious complications from COVID-19 because of a medical condition may request assessment and accommodations under Section 504 and/or an alternative instructional method that allows the student to continue receiving instruction off campus.
When a student is absent, the student's parent/guardian shall notify the school of the reason for the absence. A physician's verification of a student's illness or quarantine may be submitted, but is not required.
(cf. 5113 - Absences and Excuses)
If a student would otherwise be required to attend on-campus instruction but is kept home by the parents/guardians due to concerns for the welfare of their child, the principal or designee shall work with the student and parent/guardian to find alternative means of instruction, which may include distance or blended learning, independent study, printed class assignments, or other reasonable means.
(cf. 6154 - Homework/Makeup Work)
The Superintendent or designee shall maintain enrollment and student attendance data, including the participation of students in distance learning, and shall report data in accordance with state requirements.
The district employee designated as the attendance supervisor pursuant to Education Code 48240 shall track patterns of student absence throughout the district and regularly report such information to the Superintendent. When a student who is participating in distance learning repeatedly fails to check in with the teacher when required, the teacher and/or attendance supervisor shall attempt to contact the student or parent/guardian to resolve the issues leading to the absence.
(cf. 5113.1 - Chronic Absence and Truancy)
(cf. 5113.11 - Attendance Supervision)
In order to maintain a campus environment that allows for social distancing, the district shall assess the capacity of school facilities, including classrooms, cafeterias, multi-purpose rooms, gyms, and outdoor areas, and determine the means by which the facilities can best be utilized considering space and time alternatives. To the extent reasonably possible, the district may:
1. Within classrooms, space desks at least six feet apart and position them in a way that limits students facing each other
2. Stagger students in areas of high traffic, such as when students are using lockers, lining up for class, or passing between classes
3. Mark six-foot boundaries within classrooms, common areas, outdoor spaces, and places where students are likely to gather so that students and staff are more readily aware of and can more easily abide by social distancing requirements
4. Utilize restroom stalls and sinks in a manner that allows for social distancing, such as limiting the number of students and/or staff who may use the restroom at a time, blocking off every other stall or sink from use, and/or marking six-foot boundaries
5. Minimize the mixing of students from different classrooms in common spaces, such as in cafeterias and libraries
6. Conduct recess and physical education classes in a manner that allows for social distancing and minimizes the use of physical education equipment
7. Assess the capacity of school buses and develop a plan for bus routes and bus seating consistent with social distancing objectives
(cf. 3540 - Transportation)
(cf. 3543 - Transportation Safety and Emergencies)
8. Encourage students to walk, bicycle, or travel by private vehicle to reduce the number of students traveling on school buses. Schools may provide designated areas with proper distancing for bicycles to be stored during the school day, and may mark spaces for private vehicle drop-off and pick-up zones.
(cf. 5142.2 - Safe Routes to School Program)
Large gatherings, such as assemblies, rallies, field trips, extracurricular activities, and athletic events, shall be suspended until the Board determines, consistent with guidance from state and local health officials, that it is safe to resume such activities. The Superintendent or designee may grant an exception if an activity can be arranged to take place in phases or per class, or modified in a manner that would keep participants from violating social distancing recommendations. When deciding whether an activity may resume, the Superintendent or designee may consider the size of the group that participates, the extent to which the students and other attendees have physical contact, whether the activity can be modified to avoid physical contact, if shared equipment is required for the activity, and if social distancing can be maintained.
(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)
(cf. 6145.2 - Athletic Competition)
(cf. 6153 - School-Sponsored Trips)
Personal Protective Equipment and Hygiene Practices
The Board encourages students, staff, and visitors to wear PPE while on school campuses or school buses, especially in high-traffic areas and/or when social distancing is not possible. If the use of PPE in schools is required by state or local health officials, the district shall provide sufficient PPE to students and staff who do not bring their own personal PPE. Students and staff shall be provided instruction in the proper use, removal, disposal, and cleaning of PPE.
Face coverings shall not be required for children younger than two years, or for anyone who has trouble breathing or is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance. Reasonable accommodations shall be made for anyone who is unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons.
The Board also encourages students and staff to practice good hygiene, such as appropriate covering of coughs and sneezes and regular hand washing of at least 20 seconds, including before eating and after blowing one's nose, coughing, or sneezing. The district shall provide adequate time and opportunity for students to wash hands, and shall make hand sanitizer available in areas where handwashing is less accessible. Signage regarding healthy hygiene practices and how to stop the spread of COVID-19 may be posted in and around school facilities.
Sanitization of Facilities and Equipment
School facilities, school buses, and shared equipment such as desks, tables, sports/playground equipment, computers, door handles, light switches, and other frequently used equipment and supplies shall be cleaned and disinfected daily with appropriate cleaning agents. Disinfectants and cleaning agents shall be stored properly and in a manner not accessible to students.
(cf. 3510 - Green School Operations)
(cf. 3514.1 - Hazardous Substances)
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that ventilation systems are operating properly and that air flow and ventilation within district facilities is increased, to the extent possible, by opening windows and doors and using fans and air conditioning. Garbage shall be removed daily and disposed of safely.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that students have access to clean drinking water other than through a drinking fountain, and food which is procured, stored, and served in a manner that reduces the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission and follows state and national guidelines for nutrition.
(cf. 3550 - Food Service/Child Nutrition Program)
For meals that are consumed on school grounds, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that students will be able to maintain proper social distancing while eating. In order to do so, the Superintendent or designee may consider the consumption of meals in classrooms, gyms, the outdoors, and/or other district grounds.
Meal service shall also be available to students participating in distance learning, which may include and/or entirely consist of a "grab and go" service or delivery.
Due to the changing financial circumstances of many families as a result of COVID-19, the Superintendent or designee shall regularly provide information to students and parents/guardians regarding the free and reduced-price meal program, eligibility, and how to apply for the program.
(cf. 3553 - Free and Reduced Price Meals)
Prior to reopening campuses, the Superintendent or designee shall review staff assignments and, upon request, may reassign employees to reduce exposure to the virus, especially for high-risk staff. When feasible for the position, employees may be granted a remote work assignment.
(cf. 4030 - Nondiscrimination in Employment)
(cf. 4113 - Assignment)
Any employee who contracts the virus, shows symptoms of possible infection, or is caring for someone who has been diagnosed with the virus shall self-quarantine for the period of time recommended by health authorities in order to prevent the spread of the disease to students or other staff.
An employee may use personal illness and injury leave and/or family care and medical leave, as applicable, if the employee is unable to work or telework because the employee is ill or needs to take care of a spouse, parent/guardian, or child with COVID-19 or other serious health condition. (Education Code 44978, 45191; Government Code 12945.1-12945.2; Labor Code 245-249; 29 USC 2601-2654)
(cf. 4161.8/4261.8/4361.8 - Family Care and Medical Leave)
(cf. 4261.1 - Personal Illness/Injury Leave)
Until December 31, 2020, an eligible employee may take paid sick leave for up to 80 hours, or the number of hours that a part-time employee works on average over a two-week period, if the employee is unable to work because the employee is: (29 USC 2601)
1. Subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19
2. Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19
3 Experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis
4. Caring for an individual who is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine
5. Caring for the employee's child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19
6. Experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Employees shall be paid their regular rate of pay for leave taken pursuant to items #1-3 above, or two-thirds their regular rate of pay for leave taken pursuant to items #4-6 above, within the limits specified in law. (29 USC 2601)
For the purpose specified in item #5 above, eligible employees who have been employed by the district for at least 30 calendar days shall be granted extended leave for up to 12 work weeks upon request. The first 10 days of such leave shall be unpaid unless the employee uses accrued vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave, or paid sick leave granted pursuant to 29 USC 2601. After the first 10 days, the district shall pay not less than two-thirds of the employee's regular pay for the number of hours per week the employee normally works, with a maximum of $200 per day and $10,000 for the total period. Eligibility for extended leave for this purpose is subject to the employee's eligibility for leave pursuant to the Family and Medical Leave Act. (29 USC 2601, 2620)
The district shall post, in conspicuous places where employee notices are customarily posted, a notice prepared by the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the requirements of 29 USC 2601 and 2620. (29 USC 2601)
Follow-Up with Infected Persons/Contact Tracing
The Superintendent or designee shall work with county health officials to track confirmed cases of students and staff with COVID-19, including, but not limited to, following up with students, their parents/guardians, and staff who exhibit symptoms while at school and those who report an absence or miss work due to illness. The Superintendent or designee shall report confirmed cases to local health authorities.
If a student, family member of a student, or staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, the district shall assist local health officials in conducting contact-tracing to identify potentially exposed individuals and ask them to self-quarantine, which may include not participating in on-campus instruction. While maintaining the privacy of the infected person, the district shall inform other students and staff with whom the infected person may have had contact in school.
The Board prohibits discrimination based on actual or perceived medical condition or disability status. (Government Code 11135)
(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)
Individual students and staff shall not be identified as being COVID-positive, nor shall students be shamed, treated differently, or denied access to a free and appropriate public education because of their COVID-19 status or medical condition. Staff shall not disclose confidential or privileged information, including the medical history or health information of students and staff. (Education Code 49450)
The Superintendent or designee shall investigate any reports of harassment, intimidation, and bullying targeted at any student based on COVID status, exposure, or high-risk status.
(cf. 1312.3 - Uniform Complaint Procedures)
(cf. 5131.2 - Bullying)
(cf. 5145.3 - Nondiscrimination/Harassment)
The Superintendent or designee shall use a variety of methods to regularly communicate with students, parents/guardians, and the community regarding district operations, school schedules, and steps the district is taking to promote the health and safety of students. In addition, the members of the Board have a responsibility as community leaders to communicate matters of public interest in a manner that is consistent with Board policies and bylaws regarding public statements.
(cf. 1100 - Communication with the Public)
(cf. 1112 - Media Relations)
(cf. 9010 - Public Statements)
The district shall continue to collaborate with local health officials and agencies, community organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure that district operations reflect current recommendations and best practices for keeping students, staff, and visitors safe during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The Superintendent or designee shall keep informed about resources and services available in the community to assist students and families in need.
(cf. 1400 - Relations Between Other Governmental Agencies and the Schools)
(cf. 1700 - Relations Between Private Industry and the Schools)
While the Board recognizes the rights of parents/guardians to participate in the education of their children and the critical importance of parental involvement in the educational process, all visitors and volunteers are encouraged to respect guidelines regarding social distancing and large gatherings. School visitors and volunteers shall be limited in number and expected to observe all district protocols for COVID-19. The Superintendent or designee may place signage around the school advising that visitors and volunteers may be required to use PPE while on school sites and interacting with school personnel, and may keep a supply of such equipment available for their use.
(cf. 1240 - Volunteer Assistance)
(cf. 1250 - Visitors/Outsiders)
Use of school facilities by persons or organizations for community purposes involving large gatherings shall be suspended until the Board determines, consistent with guidance from state and local health officials, that it is safe to resume such activities. The Superintendent or designee may only grant an exception if the number of participants in the activity will be limited and the person or organization follows the processes and protocols established by the district to minimize the health risks associated with COVID-19.
(cf. 1330 - Use of School Facilities)
Potential Reclosure of Campus
The district shall monitor student and staff absences and data provided by local health officials to determine if there is a risk of resurgence of COVID-19 and a need to reclose school campuses for the protection of students, staff, and the community. The Superintendent or designee shall develop plans and procedures for alternative methods of operations to the extent possible in the event that reclosure becomes necessary.
If any person diagnosed with COVID-19 is known to have been in district building(s), the Superintendent or designee shall immediately notify local health officials to determine a course of action. The building should be closed until cleaning and disinfecting of the building can be completed and the district can consult with local health officials to determine, based on up-to-date information about the specific cases in the community, whether an extended closure is needed to stop or slow further spread of COVID-19.
If local health officials report that there has been no community transmission of COVID-19, or minimal to moderate transmission in the community, school campuses may not necessarily be closed, but the district shall continue to take all preventative measures described in this policy.
If local health officials report substantial community transmission of COVID-19, campus closures of more than two weeks may be necessary, and the Superintendent or designee shall cancel group activities and events during that period. Campuses shall not reopen until recommended by local health officials.
44978 Sick leave for certificated employees
45191 Leave of absence for illness and injury, classified employees
48205 Excused absences
48213 Prior parent notification of exclusion; exemption
48240 Supervisors of attendance
49451 Exemption from physical exam; exclusion from attendance
11135 Nondiscrimination in programs or activities funded by state
HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE
120230 Exclusion from attendance
CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 2
CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5
202 Exclusion from attendance
306 Explanation of absence
UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 29
2601 Paid sick leave
2620 Public health emergency leave
UNITED STATES CODE, TITLE 42
1760 Note National School Lunch program waivers addressing COVID-19
CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 29
Sample School Board Resolution on Grading During Emergency School Closures
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS
FAQs for 2019 Novel Coronavirus
FAQs on Grading and Graduation Requirements
CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLICATIONS
CDPH Guidance for the Prevention of COVID-19 Transmission for Gathering, March 16, 2020
School Guidance on Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19, March 7, 2020
CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION PUBLICATIONS
Considerations for Schools, rev. May 19, 2020
Interim Guidance for Schools and Day Camps, May 2020
Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), March 25, 2020
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR PUBLICATIONS
Executive Order N-30-20, March 17, 2020
Executive Order N-26-20, March 13, 2020
OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET PUBLICATIONS
Administrative Relief for Recipients and Applicants of Federal Financial Assistance Directly Impacted by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Due to Loss of Operations, Memorandum M-20-17, March 19, 2020
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR POSTERS
Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
California Department of Education: http://www.cde.ca.gov
California Department of Public Health: https://www.cdph.ca.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov
Office of the Governor: https://www.gov.ca.gov
Office of Management and Budget: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb
U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int
Policy WOODLAKE UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
adopted: September 9, 2020 Woodlake, California