2020 will begin ALL VIRTUAL. In-person Learning Labs will be available for students Mon-Thurs.

Visit our Returning to Learning Hub  Return to District Homepage

Building Safety Protocols

The content on this page was approved by the Ferndale Schools Board of Education on August 6th, 2020 and meets the necessary requirements of the Michigan Safe Start Plan and Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-142.

Oakland County Health Department Guidelines

Response Flowcharts
 


Daily Health Assessment

ALL students will be temperature checked before entering a Ferndale School.

ALL staff must complete the health screener, which includes a temperature check, each day prior to entering a Ferndale School.

The District will follow the Oakland County Health Department comprehensive screening and response plan in the event a student or staff member exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. You can view the complete Oakland County Health Department Guide below.


Face Coverings

Ferndale Schools will follow guidance from the Oakland County Health Division with regards to face coverings.

  • The expectations for the wearing of face coverings and how to obtain clean face coverings will be included in all district to parent communications, all handbooks, all student orientations, and all staff orientations.
  • Students and parents will be required to watch a safety video on the wearing of and expectations for maintenance of face coverings.  Students and parents will sign-off on their awareness of these policies before the students are permitted to enter the classroom on the first day of school.
  • Building, grounds, and transportation signage will be prominent throughout all school facilities and clearly identify who is required to wear face coverings in each designated area of the building, grounds, or bus.
  • Disposable face coverings are provided to every student and staff member on a daily basis if they forget their own mask. These will be placed on busses and in the classrooms every evening by the custodial and transportation staff.
  • Fabric and clear face coverings are provided to preK-5 teachers and/or ancillary staff with the requirement to wear the mask during Learning Support Labs instruction.  Any other teacher at any grade level may also request a clear face covering if they so choose in order to teach virtually from their classroom.  Clear masks are subject to availability due to supply chain concerns .
  • Individuals (staff or students) who claim medical exemption will need to meet with the district Health Safety Team/Principal/School Nurse to provide rationale and documentation.
    • Exempted individuals will be recorded in a master database and issued a sticker to display on their student or staff ID indicating this exemption.

Elementary
 

  • Once they are situated in the classroom/Learning Support Lab, PreK-5 students will not be required to wear a face covering, unless the classroom activity places them in close (2 feet or less) proximity to other students.
  • Fabric and clear face coverings are provided to preK-5 teachers and/or ancillary staff with the requirement to wear the mask during Learning Support Labs instruction.  Any other teacher at any grade level may also request a clear face covering if they so choose in order to teach virtually from their classroom. Clear masks are subject to availability due to supply chain concerns.

Secondary
 

  • All 6-12 students will be required to wear face masks unless they are eating.

Enforcement & Disciplinary Procedure
 

  • Students who are capable of wearing a face covering and refuse to do so in an area where a face covering is required will be issued a face covering by a school official (teacher, paraprofessional, administrator, school safety staff, playground aid, etc.) and asked to put the face covering on.  Administrators will use restorative practices as a first line of behavior modification, and additional disciplinary measures only if needed. The instance will be documented as a log entry in MiStar.
  • For students electing to attend the on-site learning labs, should students show patterns of non-compliance, they will be placed in alternative locations and parents will be notified. Continued non-compliance may result in loss of Learning Lab access.
  • Staff who are capable of wearing a face covering and refuse to do so will be addressed by the school administrator and could face progressive disciplinary measures up to and including termination.
  • In instances of uncertainty about individuals not wearing face coverings, these matters will be relayed to the building administration for review and decisive action.

Exceptions
 

  • Students with a disability are not required to wear a face mask/ face covering at school and/or on the bus if they are not able to tolerate one due to a medical or disability-related reason, and/or if they are not able to remove the mask independently. For students not able to medically tolerate a face mask/ covering, the district will require evidence of this, for example, doctor’s note or medical information supplied by parents. 
  • When a student with a disability is not able to tolerate a face mask/ covering, the 504 or special education team will consider Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports to teach and reinforce wearing a mask as part of classroom and school routines and/or work with parents and families to explore solutions and/or alternative educational options as part of the IEP or IEP Amendment process. Whether a student with a disability who is not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 or another communicable disease can safely attend school is an IEP team decision.
  • Students with a disability may not be disciplined for not wearing a mask due to the reasons listed above.
  • Individuals (staff or students) who claim medical exemption will need to meet with the district Health Safety Team/Principal/School Nurse to provide rationale and documentation.
  • Exempted individuals will be recorded in a master database and issued a sticker to display on their student or staff ID indicating this exemption.

Guests & Visitors
 

  • Guests to the school building (presenters, substitute teachers, etc) will be issued a disposable face covering upon signing in at the main office and will be instructed to wear the face covering at all times.  Instances of non-compliance will result in the guest being escorted from the building by the school safety officer or building administrator.

Hygiene
 

  • Every classroom/Learning Lab will be supplied with hand sanitizer.
  • Supplies (paper towels, soap, hand sanitizer, tissues, trash receptacles) will be checked daily and restocked in the classroom.  
  • Teachers/staff will contact the office immediately if supplies run out during the school day.
  • Each classroom/Learning Support Lab will have a hygiene protocol with timelines that are posted and communicated via newsletters, web pages, bulletin boards, and the like. It will include
    • Hand-washing schedule
    • Room and materials cleaning schedule
  • Teacher/staff or school nurse will teach students the following, as part of teaching daily classroom routines, in a developmentally appropriate manner:
    • The use of PPE and other mitigating strategies such as social distancing
    • the reasons why
    • Proper handwashing on the first day of school and reinforce weekly or more often if needed
  • If a student coughs or sneezes into their masks, they will be provided with a new, disposable mask. 
  • Proper mitigation strategies including hand washing and materials cleaning will be communicated to families via all possible avenues. Parents and caregivers will be asked to review and reinforce with their students.
  • Signage is posted related to cleaning and hygiene strategies in each room, restroom, throughout the hallways
  • Hygiene supplies are monitored and refilled as needed three times daily
  • Hand sanitizing stations are distributed throught the building as deemed appropriate by the school-specific Learning Support Lab plans.
  • Sharing school supplies will be limited, and each student will have their own supply box for materials.
  • A list of these supplies is available on the Building Info page of the Returning to Learning hub.

Cleaning
 

  • District Level Administrators and Building Operations will meet monthly (additional meetings as needed) to review all guidance related to cleaning and disinfecting of buildings and to review the Building Operations in the MI Safe Schools: Michigan's 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap.
  • All Learning Support Labs have been provided spray bottles with EPA-approved disinfectant, paper towels, face shield, and gloves in order to address new cleaning protocols. Staff must wear gloves, a mask, and face shield when cleaning.
  • Each building custodial team and administrator has toured their building and identified areas of frequent usage throughout the building. A map has been created and is kept secure in the head custodian room and office to ensure compliance when custodial substitutes are in the building.
  • Custodial staff will walk the building wiping all high frequency usage areas frequently and following any evening activities in the building. Staff will note the time and date and initials on a chart that is kept daily.
  • All school related activities (pop-up events) will have EPA-approved cleaning supplies stored in the activity area away from students. 
  • Staff will wipe down the student desks/sitting areas with EPA-approved disinfectant every time students exit the Learning Support Lab areas.
  • Playground equipment will be cleaned routinely using an EPA-approved disinfectant.
  • A training on cleaning materials and protocols has been provided to the staff in conjunction with annual safety training. This training shows the use of PPE when cleaning, protocols for the learning areas, and storage of cleaning materials.
  • Personal student equipment such as wheelchairs and/or AAC devices will be disinfected by program staff at least every four hours.

Transportation

Rider Expectations
 

  • Face masks must be worn at all times on the bus. Face masks will be available at the entrance of the bus in the event that a student does not come to the bus equipped with the necessary item.
  • Hands must be sanitized when entering and leaving the bus. Sanitizer stations have been installed on all busses for this purpose.
  • All windows will remail open unless directed by the driver. (weather permitting).

The sign below has been posted in the front and back of every bus.

Safety Protocols
 

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been mounted at the stepwell of each bus.  
  • Bus drivers, weather permitting, will keep windows open on the bus both in route and when stopped. 
  • Signage has been added to each bus to address the use of face masking of all students and drivers, use of hand sanitizers and cleaning protocols. (see above image.)
  • Busses will be properly cleaned after the departure of the last child from each run once the bus has returned to the transportation garage.  Bus sanitization logs will be maintained for a period of 90 days.
  • Additional health and safety protocols will be implemented, to the extent feasible, for special transportation when one or more students are not able to wear a face covering /mask. This may include spacing of students in seats, assigned seating, keeping bus windows open, etc. to minimize risk. 
    • On those buses with specialized transportation and equipment needs, bus aides or drivers will wipe down the equipment upon entrance to the bus.  This will be noted in the cleaning log.
  • If a student becomes sick during the day, they will not use group transportation to return home and must follow protocols outlined for screening and containment below. If a driver becomes sick during the day, they must follow protocols for sick staff outlined for screening and containment below and must not return to drive students.

Screening & Containment
 

  • Each school building has identified a remote and secluded room, no smaller than 100 square feet to serve as an isolation area.  This room is outfitted with appropriate PPE including gowns, face shields, N95 Masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes, portable two-way radios, an internet-connected computer, log sheets, and video surveillance (where possible).
  • Each building has an identified and trained staff person to serve as the “quarantine officer”.  These duties will take precedence over any other responsibilities and therefore this individual must have the flexibility to leave their regular assignment at a moment’s notice.
  • From the time of identification of potential infection, the student will not be left unattended by the quarantine officer and a log sheet of activity will be maintained at 5-minute intervals until the student or staff member is safely removed from the building.
  • Parent communication will be made immediately with clear and concise directions on where and how to pick up the student and where to report for testing.  
  • A designated person (office staff) will contact the student/family each day after removal until test results are provided and verified before the student can return to school.
  • During the time of quarantine, the student will be asked to self identify the location and individuals they came into contact with for the past 48 hours to the best of their recollection. Priority will be placed on those individuals that they were in contact with for a sustained 15 minutes of more without a face mask.
  • The health department will be contacted after parents have been contacted to assist in contact tracing and notification of vulnerable individuals.
  • All school staff will be required to conduct a health safety self assessment prior to coming to work and verifying through a Google form that they are safe to work.  This will include taking their temperature and reporting this daily on the Google form. A poster with a QR code for easy access to the form will be posted at the main entry of each building.
  • Staff who are unable to work due to displaying COVID-19 systems will be required to report this to the school through the Google form as well as through Absence Management (formerly AESOP).  The school health official or Human Resources will monitor this form daily and follow up with any symptomatic person to direct where, when, and how to get tested and to report those results back to the school as soon as available.
  • Positive tests for staff members will result in a required quarantine away from school for 14 days. Days of quarantine for COVID-19 positive results will be paid up to 80 hours of paid leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA).

COVID-19 Testing
 

  • Ferndale Schools will follow all guidance from Oakland County Health regarding testing protocols and utilize our Nursing staff to conduct, monitor, train, and enforce this process.