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Health & Safety Protocols

Last Updated: 9/11/2020 5:10 PM

Multi Layerd Approach Graphic A multi-layered approach utilizes many different recommended safety strategies to prevent infection from a virus. Each strategy or layer on its own will not necessarily stop the virus from spreading, but by using each layer in conjunction with one another, the chance of being exposed is much reduced.

MCHD COVID-19 Protocols
The Medina County Health Department released its return to school COVID-19 guidance and protocols on August 20, 2020. The Highland Schools has prepared a list of frequently asked questions for your review.  FAQ on Health Protocols

Please note: To return to school after testing positive, a student must be transported to school by a parent and must be confirmed fever-free by the school nurse before eligible for school and transportation.

Health Check ImageHealth Screening Protocols / Clinics
Every day before leaving home all students and staff are required to check for the following symptoms as part of a health screening. If individuals present any of these symptoms, they are required to stay home: 

  • Take temperature (100.0 or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Muscle Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion
  • Runny nose

Each of our school buildings will have divided health clinic locations.

  • One clinic or location will be designated for student medication distribution, chronic health condition services and injuries
  • A second clinic or location will be designated for students displaying COVID symptoms (cough, fever, etc.)
  • Additional nursing services will be contracted through PSI

Download Flyer: Helpful Checklist For Parents

Facemasks (Cloth Covering)
Mounting scientific evidence shows that facemasks play an important role in reducing COVID-19 virus transmission by preventing an infected person from emitting infectious virus particles. Wearing a mask may also offer an additional barrier of protection for those not infected or asymptomatic and ultimately impedes virus movement. Our goal must be to take steps that are protective of each other while reducing risk of infection to the extent possible within our school setting. Face coverings will help protect the vulnerable and may help to keep our schools open.

Therefore, the Highland Schools will require facemasks for students and staff.

  • Masks will be worn on buses, entering and exiting the buildings, in hallways and classrooms
  • Mask breaks will be scheduled throughout the day
  • Masks will not be worn during lunch or outdoor recess
  • Exceptions regarding facemasks for medical reasons will be reviewed by the Office of Pupil Services

Cloth face coverings/masks should:

  • Fully cover the mouth, nose and chin;
  • Fit snugly against the side of the face so there are no gaps;
  • Be held securely through either a tie or elastic ear loops to prevent slipping.

Full or partial face shields, gaiters, open-chin triangle bandanas, mesh material, masks with valves and masks designed to be worn for costume purposes are not acceptable.

AAP GraphicPhysical Distancing
The Ohio Department of Health’s guidance to schools is to provide 6 feet of distance when possible and encourage added layers of protection, such as facemasks, when 6 feet is not possible. This is the standard all schools are being held to within Medina County and the same requirement of businesses.

Additionally, the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, suggests that spacing as close as 3 feet may approach the benefits of 6 feet of space, particularly if students are wearing face coverings and are asymptomatic. Highland can accommodate 3 feet physical distancing in classrooms and will follow the 6 feet recommendation outside of the classroom to the extent possible.

  • Student desks will be separated in classrooms
    • A minimum of 3 feet physical distancing, to the extent possible
    • All desks facing same direction

Additional District Protocols

  • Increased hand washing and sanitizing
    • Additional portable hand washing stations have been ordered for each school to assist with more frequent hand washing
    • Hand sanitizer stations at all entrances, hallways throughout buildings and each classroom
  • Enhanced disinfecting of schools and high touch surfaces throughout the day (Classrooms, common areas, restrooms)
  • Sharing of classroom materials will be minimized
  • Installation of water bottle filling stations in lieu of water fountains
  • Physical distancing reminder signage in all buildings
  • Specific school entrances/exits may be assigned
  • One-way hallways/stairwells where possible
  • Cafeteria “zoning” and staggered arrival to lunch
    • Students consistently assigned to a particular area to assist with contact tracing, if necessary
    • Use of gyms, auxiliary spaces and outdoor spaces to provide additional spacing at lunchtime
    • Staggered times help to avoid standing in long lines
    • Lunches designed and available as “grab and go”
  • Use of lockers restricted/unavailable
  • Visitors restricted to the main office area; facemasks required
  • No indoor assemblies/large group gatherings until further notice
  • Increased use of outdoor learning spaces (weather permitting)
  • No extended or overnight trips until further notice
  • Latchkey programs will operate following all building health and safety protocols during in-person and hybrid learning
  • Athletic participation and contests held in accordance with OHSAA guidelines

Transportation Safety

  • Facemasks required for students and staff
  • Two students per seat on buses, when possible (3 family members may be assigned together)
  • Use of assigned seats will assist with contact tracing, if necessary
  • Students will load from back to front and exit front to back
  • Open windows (weather permitting) to increase ventilation
  • Buses will be disinfected daily
  • Parents who are willing to drive their students to school will assist in lowering the overall number of student riders, thereby increasing physical distancing