COVID-19 ELEMENTARY School Reentry
Student, Parent and Staff SAFETY WALK THROUGH Checklist
We all want safe schools when our kids return to the classroom.
Students, parents, and education workers should be provided an opportunity to preview the school environment they will participate in resulting from a school relaunch program.
Use this checklist to identify what steps have been taken to assure the health and safety of all school occupants.
These suggestions are meant to generate conversation about school conditions to minimize the transmission of COVID-19, it is not exhaustive. Add your personal questions at the end.
- Are there alternatives to crowded “boot rooms” / coat hooks in elementary schools?
- Common areas (libraries, computer labs, gyms, playgrounds) closed?
- Assemblies, communal gatherings have been addressed?
- Movement through common areas, such as entrance ways and hallways, done on staggered time scales.
- Are recess times staggered;
- no mixing of classes at recess or lunch
- school yards physically isolated (snow fencing or equivalent) to provide separate play areas for each class without mixing between classes?
- Will playground equipment be closed?
- How will school meet physical education needs of students?
- Has the school increased the number of recess supervisors for each of the separated classes?
- Will there be communal items within classrooms (centers, book shelves, carpet/circle time) or use of common tablets, computers, books etc…?
- Will students maintain their own supplies (glue sticks, art supplies, etc…) rather than drawing from a shared pool?
- Has the school ensured enough teachers are employed for these class sizes?
- Does the school maintain its own pool of substitutes on full-time contract to;
- Enable “quick response” substitution if a teacher falls ill mid-day
- Get substitutes on a contract to guarantee availability and provide an incentive to substitutes (which may be in short supply)
- What assurances exist that “Class consolidation” as a solution to a missing teacher won't occur? --- (can’t mix together two or more classes together to compensate for a missing teacher)
- Will the school prevent migration of substitutes between multiple schools, which could add to transmission (not unlike LTC workers who worked at multiple facilities)?
- Has the school authority modeled and planned for absentee rates and prepared staff accordingly; AHS should provide assistance in absentee rate modelling and staff planning?
- Is the school planning on conducting staff meetings remotely; each teacher “zooms” in from their own classroom?
- What options exist for staff who have existing conditions that place them in higher risk to go on long-term disability or work remotely (i.e. supporting distance learning)?
- Will class sizes be minimized to respect social distancing measures?
- 2m between desks?
- Non communicable tables?
- Cohorting of classes (students stay together, in same classroom)?
- Will teachers move between classrooms, so students do not move between classes?
- Ability to choose own schedule and classes limited. Must choose from a much “shorter” menu that selects which cohort you are in.
- Are hallway movements & entrance movements staggered in time?
- What spaces are provided for students to have lunch?
- Will there be a lunchroom?
- Are there sufficient sanitization stations at every entranceway, in hallways, near bathrooms?
- How many doors (bathroom, classroom) are there (frequent touch points) when migrating around the school? Can/should some of those doors be removed?
- What schedule has been developed to assure frequent (every 1-2 hours) cleaning of common-touch surfaces (door handles, bathrooms)?
- Is there enough cleaning staff for frequent cleaning?
- Will classrooms have proper ventilation/ windows that open?
- Is the school planning on conducting parent/teacher interviews and other meetings remotely?
- Will the school continue to provide hands-on group work?
- Which classes will be available? How will they be delivered?
- Chemistry, Physics, Biology - will labs be included?
- Will Drama, music, foods, Phys Ed, Arts still be available courses?
- Will rooms be repurposed to provide more classroom space?
- Are volunteers allowed this academic year?
- Will students write standardized tests like SLA and PAT exams?
- Are field trips and international travel cancelled?
Health & Safety Resources:
- Has the school increased access to mental health support and counselling for staff and students when a staff member, student or family member inevitably falls seriously ill?
- Does the school have a dedicated & separate isolation room & supervision for students who display symptoms while waiting for pick-up. Separate from those sent down to the office for any other reason?
- Is the school able to separate students with flu-like symptoms with those with other injuries?
- Has the school hired a full-time school nurse to monitor school population for symptoms and to monitor and enforce public health policies?
- Is the school prepared for symptom monitoring?
- Readily-available thermometers
- Check each student on arrival to school
- Consider thermal cameras at entrances and hallways of large schools
- Clear criteria (if so what is it?) to identify when an outbreak occurs at a school and what the response is?
- Will the school require face masks for staff and students?
- If implementing PPE, does the school have an abundant PPE (personal protective equipment) to support multiple changes per employee per day?
- Has the school engaged, or have plans to engage, in Covid19 training for staff and students?
- What policies exist for students (of any age) who refuse to wear a mask or flaunt hygiene rules?
- Are schools prepared to address pop culture waves like the “covid challenge” in their school environment?
- Is the school continuing to prepare and improve distance-learning options and support for students who have at-risk co-inhabitants at home, or as a result of a breakout?
- What policy exists for a breakout / second wave?
- How many students/teachers need to be infected to classify as an outbreak?
- Do they need positive test confirmation, or is “probable” enough? What constitutes “probable”?
- What is the response? Immediate school closure for 2 weeks? Closure of just the affected classes? Just sending the sick people home?
- Rapid decision protocol -- it must be clear to all what criteria must be met and the proper authorities to make the decision identified and communication, decision and action for outbreak identification and closure or partial closure can happen within minutes, not hours or days.
- Is this policy “table-top” exercised with all school administrators, districts and AHS? Such a table-top exercise should be prepared and required to be exercised by each school to be re-opened.
- Protocols for reporting sick or potentially sick students to AHS
- Do schools rely on parents for this? Or do they do it independently?
- Protocol for frequent AHS/OH&S inspections of policies and implementation in each school, especially to provide feedback very early
- What modifications and considerations are being made for school pickup and drop offs?
- Still require parents to do in person pickups for younger grades?
- Will physical distancing rules apply to yellow school buses?
Miscellaneous Questions / Personal Additions:
Below is a PDF that you can print and share with the school community!