Policy Details Page
In light of the continued statewide State of Emergency caused by the COVID- 19 pandemic, the Board of Directors for the Tacoma School District hereby adopts this policy implementing temporary modifications to school procedures for the 2020-2021 school year.
New regulations imposed by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), which have been incorporated into guidance published by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), will impact operations in all school districts in Washington State for 2020-2021 school year. As new regulations and new guidance become available, this policy will be updated to reflect the additional modifications to district policies and regulations which may be necessary.
The Board hereby adopts the following measures for the 2020-2021 school year:
Consistent with DOH and Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) mandates, all schools will implement a daily health screening and/or attestation procedure before students, staff members, volunteers, and others may enter a school. The District’s daily health screening process will comply with the applicable DOH and CDC guidelines.
Students and staff should not come to school if they have a fever (defined as a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above) or have displayed other symptoms of COVID-19. If a student or staff member is found to have a fever while at school, they will be referred to the health aide, school nurse or other appropriate designee for evaluation and may be sent home.
On June 24, 2020 Washington’s Secretary of Health issued a statewide order requiring persons to wear a face covering in indoor public settings, including public schools. The face covering requirement also applies during the time students and staff would be on the school bus. The limited exceptions to this general requirement include students and adults with a bona fide medical condition.
For TPS staff, face coverings must be worn by every individual not working alone at their location (such as alone in an office or another location where six feet physical distancing can be regularly maintained). Staff who believe they meet a medical exception are encouraged to contact the District’s ADA Coordinator to discuss accommodations. Face coverings worn by staff must comply with expectations around professional attire.
Students may use face shields as an alternative to a cloth face covering, and younger students may be assisted when help is needed putting on a face covering or face shield. Even when cloth face coverings are worn, students and staff should practice physical distancing to the degree possible and practical. Students are expected to bring and wear their own face covering to school, including when riding on the bus. Cloth face coverings must still comply with school dress code rules, including restrictions on obscene or vulgar material. Schools may be able to provide face coverings for students who forget to bring one to school.
For students who are not exempt from the face covering requirement, schools should take steps to educate the student on safety compliance, implement positive behavior interventions, recommend alternative face coverings (such as a face shield instead of a mask, which can feel
more comfortable), and, when appropriate, consult with the student’s parent or guardian. As a last resort, schools may exclude a non-exempt student for refusing to wear a face covering. If a student is excluded, the school must provide the student with an opportunity to receive educational services during the exclusion and then return the student to their regular educational setting when the exclusion ends.
Full-time remote learning:
Parents will be able to choose full-time remote learning as an option during the 2020-2021 school year if they do not feel safe sending their child to school or if they do not want their child to wear a face covering. This election may be taken for a single semester, trimester, or for the 2020-2021 school year. The District will establish and communicate an enrollment process for students/families to make this full-time remote learning election.
Temporary closures during the 2020-2021 school year:
The local or state health authority, the Governor, or the District Superintendent may temporarily close one or more schools or classrooms to prevent COVID-19 spread. Students affected by such a closure may be required to transition to a full-time remote learning schedule, depending on the length and nature of the closure.
AII measures outlined in this policy are temporary for the 2020-2021 school year and are subject to further review and change based on information received from local, state, and federal officials. The Superintendent or designee(s) will continue to monitor available data and trends over time.
Adoption Date: 7/23/2020
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