PORTALES (KSMX)- The Portales Municipal School District has released the guideline that schools will use as a base for reentry for the 2020-2021 school year. The New Mexico Public Education Department requires each school district to comply with eight minimum requirements.
Every district in the state of New Mexico must adhere to COVID-Safe practice such as face coverings and restrictions pertaining to mass gatherings. This document is intended to serve as a basic reentry guide for families, students and staff.
The NM Public Education Department’s eight minimum requirements for reentry:
- To begin, all districts and schools across the state will be able to operate strictly according to hybrid guidelines. The Department of Health and Medical Advisory Team will regularly assess rates of the spread of COVID-19. Districts and schools will then follow the appropriate guidelines based on the designated safe reentry category.
- Schools must participate in surveillance and rapid response testing program for all staff.
- Schools must adhere to the social distancing requirements of their designated category.
- Schools should avoid large group gatherings.
- Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or. face shield.
- All staff must be screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check and review of potential. symptoms. All sites must work with state and local health officials to have a plan for contact tracing. While not required, this is also recommended for students.
- For transportation, all staff and students must wear face shields or masks. In addition: A maximum of two students may sit together on a bus seat. Schools in the yellow category should take all reasonable steps to limit bus seats to one student to the best of their ability.
- Meals must be provided to students during in-person instruction and remote learning.
Before leaving home:
- Parents must check the child for symptoms, in the event of a temperature of 100 or more, keep the child home until symptoms subside for 48 hours; contact the school office to report the absence. Have your child wash their hands just prior to leaving home
- Please send your child to school with a full bottle of water and face covering
- Check their materials and confirm they have the items needed for the day; homework and supplies. This will avoid multiple trips to the campus throughout the day.
Riding the Bus:
- To avoid grouping of students, stay in the car, or stand at least 6’ apart while waiting for bus arrival to minimize grouping of children from different households.
- Hand sanitizer will be used as students enter the bus and leave the bus.
- Buses will establish loading and unloading practices to limit the direct person to person contact; students sit in assigned seating; No more than 2 students per seat
- Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters or face shields) are required for all students and staff while riding the bus, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
- Buses will be disinfected between routes and at the end of the day
Entering the School Building:
- School buildings will be open at 7:45 am
- Face coverings (masks, neck gaiters or face shields) are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising (including recess), with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield.
- Temperature checks are required of staff as they enter the building. Any temperature of 100 or higher will be isolated and sent home. (confidentiality will be maintained)
- Screen all students to the extent practical. In the event, the child displays symptoms, including a temperature of 100 or higher. Students will be isolated until they can return home.
- Consider safety and privacy concerns (confidentiality should be maintained).
- Follow signage to enter the building and designated entrance and exit flow paths
- Essential visitors must call the school office before entering; screening and face-covering will be required
- Large group gatherings will be avoided
- Restrictions for nonessential visitors and volunteers
- Students or staff who fell ill after coming to school will be isolated until they can return home
Transitioning & Gatherings:
- Hallways will have lanes as flow paths to keep students separated
- The same groups of students will stay with the same staff as much as practical.
- Large group gatherings will be avoided and discouraged (especially in parking lots, common areas)
- Recess will be staggered to reduce the numbers of students together at a given time
- Classrooms will follow the 6’ distancing or 50% capacity
- Extracurricular activities will follow the NMAA guidelines.
- Every school will have signage as reminders of proper hygiene information and possible symptoms.
- Meals will be provided for every student every day (even when learning from home).
- Disposable plates, utensils, etc. will be used
- Cafeteria and serving lines will be marked with designated entrance and exit flow paths.
- Cafeterias will be cleaned after each serving and throughout the day.
- Social distancing will be maintained in the cafeteria.
- Remote learners will be able to pick up their lunches on off days at a designated location and time. Breakfast will be given out with lunch.
- Good hygiene measures will be taught and reinforced (handwashing, covering coughs, face coverings)
- Hand soap and hand sanitizer will be provided. Hand sanitizer will be applied as students arrive for the day; frequent washing of hands will be a priority.
- Classrooms will be equipped with disinfectant kits – a spray bottle, disposable towels, gloves and disposable masks to be used throughout the day.
- Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned/disinfected at least daily.
- Students may bring their own water bottles from home. Water fountains will not be used by students.
- Schools will all be deep cleaned before the opening date. Schools will be deep cleaned every Monday thereafter and on Wednesday afternoons at PJHS and PHS.
Temporary School Closure:
- Instruction will continue using the remote learning model.
- Close off school building if used by a COVID-19 positive sick person and do not use before cleaning and disinfection.
- If possible, wait 24 hours and then clean and disinfect the campus. If it is not possible to wait. 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants and keep disinfectant products away from children.
- Advise sick staff members and children not to return until they have met NMDOH criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and follow NMDOH guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms, follow appropriate NMDOH guidance for home quarantine.
- If the school is closed due to a positive COVID-19 test, the campus will be closed and disinfected prior to reopening.
- If the school is closed and students go to a full remote learning model the turnaround time is at least 48 hours
- If the school is closed and students go to a full remote learning model, Edgenuity will continue as normal.