Tooele County School District

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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for school reopening image
With the COVID-19 health pandemic, returning to school has brought up many questions and concerns. Although we are returning to school on a "normal as possible" schedule that does not mean things will return to the way they were before the health pandemic. There have been multiple precautions and preventative measures put in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus to help protect our students and employees. Please look below to find answers to some of your questions. If you do not find what you are looking for, please reach out to your local school or the district office. Thank you.  
Schools will reopen to students Tuesday, August 25. Online schools may operate on a different schedule. Families can view the TCSD 2020-2021 school year calendar at: https://4.files.edl.io/1994/07/15/20/234310-3966b275-dbad-4437-b0e7-803f9ad3e559.pdf

In accordance with the Utah State Board of Education, Utah Department of Health, and the Center for Disease and Control, we will be operating school buses under the following guidelines:

Student Expectations:

  • Students should NOT show up to the bus stop if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have a fever of 100.4 or higher.
  • Students will wear face masks on the school bus at all times in accordance with the mandate from Governor Herbert's office. In dire circumstances the bus driver will provide a limited-use mask for a student that does not have one, (there is a limited quantity available). All students are encouraged to wear their own mask to the bus or wear the mask provided by the school.
  • Students will be required to apply hand sanitizer during the boarding process. Dispensers have been installed on the bus for their convenience.
  • Seating assignments are already required on school buses and will be adjusted to assign family members to be seated next to each other, as well as provide for as much physical distancing as possible.
  • Please note: The transportation office is not accepting Space Available Requests for ineligible transportation students at this time. This is to keep the student count low and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

School Bus Driver and Attendant Expectations:

  • Transportation staff are encouraged to stay home if they are sick or experiencing any symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, (Transportation Staff can refer to the COVID-19 daily self-checklist for more information).
  • As part of the pre-trip inspection, transportation staff will take their own temperature each day to ensure they do not have a body temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher.
  • District employees will wear face masks or face shields while passengers are on the school bus. Bus drivers must make sure face masks are fitted so they do not cause visual impairment.
  • Employees will use the hand sanitizer provided on the school bus often and regularly.
  • Buses will be disinfected immediately after all students have been dropped off at their destination for each route and will be deep cleaned at the end of each school day.
  • Face masks are required in the drivers lounge, mechanics office, and other office spaces when proper social distancing cannot be met.

Thank you for your support as we evolve and adapt our transportation practices to protect the well-being of our staff and students. If you have any questions, please contact the Transportation Office at 435-833-1916.

TCSD is providing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all employees.

The following has been ordered and we will continue to order what is deemed necessary (as of August 1, 2020)

-disposable gloves for janitorial staff

-20,000 cloth masks

-5,000 Face shields

-1000+ plexiglass barriers. They are being installed at schools over the summer in front offices, libraries, and other areas of the school. Every classroom will receive a plexiglass barrier as well.

Environize Chemical System-  TCSD can create Anylote on site and distribute to all buildings. This will allow us not to have any supply shortages. This is a safe disinfectant that can also be used as a hand sanitizer. 

Anolyte- is commercially available as neutral electrolyzed water. It is a natural disinfectant liquid solution that has been proven more effective than bleach against a broad range of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, mycobacterium, viruses, etc. Poses no threat to humans. (Hypochlorous acid)

Ozone generators- An ozone generator is a device that turns regular are into ozone, which is capable of removing contaminants in the air.

Electrostatic Sprayers- It positively charges chemical particles that are able to aggressively adhere to surfaces and objects

Foggers/Misters- Efficient and effective way to sanitize large areas quickly

Chemicals

EPA registered Quat Disinfectants

EPA registered Sanitizers

Daily cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing will occur at every building in TCSD. Custodians will be using more efficient equipment, EPA registered cleaners, disinfectants, and sanitizers. Restrooms will be sanitized frequently throughout the day. Restrooms will be stocked with adequate soap and paper products for increased hand washing.

Custodians will be using electrostatic sprayers using a powerful EPA registered hypochlorous acid with a kill claim for COVID-19 and other viruses. 

For a more detailed list, please refer to the question: "What additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols will take place to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus?"

COVID- 19 CLEANING AND DISINFECTING GUIDELINES AND PROTOCOLS

Cleaning- Removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Sanitizing- Lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting- Kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Routine cleaning and disinfecting-Clean and disinfect at least daily (or more, depending on use patterns) frequently touched surfaces and objects.

 

Frequently Touched surfaces and objects include: 

  • Door knobs and handles
  • Stair rails
  • Classroom desks and chairs
  • Lunchroom tables and chairs
  • Countertops
  • Handrails
  • Light switches
  • Handles on equipment
  • Athletic equipment
  • Push-buttons on vending machines and elevators
  • Shared toys
  • Shared remote controls
  • Shared telephones
  • Shared desktops
  • Shared computer keyboards and mice
  • Face Shields
  • Other critical touch points

 

*Shared computers should have signs posted instructing proper hand hygiene before and after using them to minimize disease transmission. It is not necessary to routinely apply disinfectants to surfaces that are not high-touch or high-risk

(e.g., floors, bookcases, tops of filing cabinets, etc.).

 

Cleaning cloth face coverings and face shields

  • Cloth face coverings should be laundered as needed and changed if visibly soiled.
  • Face shields should be cleaned following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Carefully wipe the outside of the face shield or goggles using a wipe or clean cloth saturated with EPA-registered hospital disinfectant solution.
  • Wipe the outside of face shield or goggles with clean water or alcohol to remove residue.
  • Fully dry (air dry or use clean absorbent towels).

 

Restrooms

Clean and disinfect at least 4 times (or more, depending on use patterns) all Critical touch points such as:

  • faucets
  • Soap Dispenser
  • Hand Towel Dispenser
  • Toilet Tissue Dispenser
  • Door knobs and handles
  • Toilets
  • Urinals
  • Light Switch
  • Feminine hygiene receptacles
  • Other critical touch points

Check All soap and paper dispensers

There has been demonstrations on new equipment, chemical, and best practice training during the summer and will continue to train custodial staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cleaners will be starting a week before students return to receive additional training on how to clean in a Covid-19 environment.

Yes, Head Custodians will be the building expert on cleaning practices. They will direct the cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing of each building in accordance to the district and health department guidelines and protocols. The Operations Team will also provide continued guidance and support to all buildings.

Yes. TCSD will take extra measures to improve ventilation. Each building will be properly ventilated during the school day. TCSD will increase outside airflow throughout buildings, installing higher efficiency filters in HVAC equipment and running HVAC equipment several hours before and after building occupancy each day. TCSD will increase the frequency of changing filters throughout the school year.

Yes. A mask requirement is a temporary measure while we wait for a vaccine to be developed. On July 17, 2020 the governor's office mandated face masks or face coverings to be required in all school buildings and facilities throughout the state of Utah. This health order applies to all individuals while in any public or private school facility, including K-12 district, charter, and private schools, career and technical education centers, and gyms. The order is effective until December 31, 2020. Statewide health conditions will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis, and as such, this order will be updated and may be extended.
 
Violation or noncompliance with a health order may be punishable as a class B misdemeanor. Under Utah Code §§ 26-1-30(3), (5), and (6), the Department of Health has the power and duty to promote and protect the health and wellness of the people within the state; to control the causes of epidemic, infectious, communicable, and other diseases affecting the public health; and to prevent and control communicable, infectious, acute, chronic, or any other disease or health hazard that the Department considers to be dangerous, important, or likely to affect the public health.
 
The Governor's office has stated each LEA (school/district) is required to develop administrator, teacher, and staff education and training on their school’s reopening protocol and action plans, including compliance with the face mask order. Students can be sent home for not wearing a face covering. Existing behavior policies and procedures at all schools should be updated to reflect the circumstances and to support teachers and staff in their response to student behaviors related to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Utah Department of Health recommend the use of face masks or other face coverings to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in addition to physical distancing of a minimum of six feet when possible and regular hand washing. We know that the virus is often spread through droplets that we expel when we breathe, talk, laugh, sing, cough or sneeze. People can have the virus and not know it because they might not feel sick. A mask prevents the accidental spread of the virus by catching droplets.
 
The face mask or covering must follow the school district dress code policy. Face covering means a mask that covers both the nose and mouth. A face covering is secured to the head with ties, straps, or loops over the ears, or is wrapped around the lower face. A face covering can be made of synthetic or natural fabrics. A face mask is still required if a face shield is worn. Information on how to make and properly care for cloth face coverings can be found on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
It is expected that every student and employee in a school facility or on a school bus wear a face covering. Employees and students will be provided masks or face shields, but they are available on a limited basis. Face mask donations will be accepted at schools to distribute to students and employees. We also encourage employees and students to bring a mask or face covering that is most comfortable for them to use throughout the day.
 
A few ways a mask will be provided: The school district has purchased a limited supply of re-useable, cloth face masks for each student and employee to have. Face shields will be provided to special populations and employees as needed. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) procured disposable masks for each school as part of the personal protective equipment (PPE) health supplies in treating symptomatic students. Donations have been made to USBE by Cotopaxi and H.M. Cole to provide cloth masks for students and staff. These will be distributed by USBE. Additionally, Tooele City has donated some of their CARES Act funding to TCSD to help procure additional PPE supplies. 
(An individual may need to provide a medical directive verifying the need for an exemption to a face mask or face covering. Please check with your school if this applies to you or your student)
 
This health order does not apply to:
  • An individual outdoors that maintains a physical distance of at least six feet from another individual
  • An individual who is eating or drinking and while maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from another person
  • Children younger than three years of age
  • A child who cannot have a face mask placed safely on their face
  • An individual with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents the wearing a face covering
  • An individual who is deaf or hard of hearing or communicating with a individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, in which case a face shield or alternative protection should be used
  • An individual who has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 accommodation that would necessitate exempting the individual from wearing a face covering
  • An individual who is receiving or providing a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary (i.e. speech therapy)
  • An individual participating in a school sponsored activity so long as the individual complies with the Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation pertaining to K-12 school activities. Schools may also reference guidelines provided by the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA)
  • Students with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevent them from wearing a face covering, including individuals with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could cause harm or obstruct breathing, or who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance are exempt from this order.
  •  A student who is deaf or hard of hearing, or an employee who is communicating with a student who is deaf or hard of hearing where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication, should utilize a face shield or alternative protection.
  • Individual Healthcare Plans, Individualized Education Program, or Section 504 plans should be updated as needed to decrease their risk for exposure to COVID-19

There will be sanitation stations widely available throughout the buildings. Every classroom that does not have a hand-washing area will have a hand-sanitizer station. Hand-sanitization stations will also be placed at each building’s main entrance, main office, and cafeteria.  We have over 1,000 hand sanitizer dispensers installed and continue to add more each day. Faculty and staff will also have a spray bottle with sanitizing solution on hand to wipe down desks and other items, as needed. Hand sanitizer will contain at least 60% alcohol to meet the CDC recommendation.

Employees and students will wear masks. Desks will be spread out as much as possible in classrooms. All desks will face the front of the room. When tables are used, all chairs/students will face the front of the room. Extra furniture will be removed from the room in order to maximize the space in the classroom. Hand sanitizer will be provided and available in every classroom. High touch point sanitizing and disinfecting will be done frequently.
classroom layout
The primary goal is to preserve the teacher’s autonomy in setting up their classroom to fit their needs. Masks or face coverings in the classrooms are required, especially when 6-feet of social distancing is not possible. Desks will be spread apart as much as possible throughout the classroom. 
 
  • Teacher workstation,These items may include a desk, chair, computer, printer, document camera, and any other technology needs.
  • Student, desks/tables and chairs.
  • For elementary classrooms, a student intervention area; should only include furniture with hard surfaces that can be wiped down. All “soft” surface furniture and materials that do not facilitate easy cleaning should be removed from the classroom. These include items such as couches, beanbag chairs, pillows, etc.
  • Hard Surface Furniture, Bookshelves, crates, easels, filing cabinets, student computers on tables, and any other hard-surfaced instructional materials that need to be stored should line the walls around the perimeter to not take up floor space. The “perimeter” is defined by the distance from the widest single item touching the wall.
    • We recognize that there will be classroom specific items that may have to be included on this list, for example in Art, a CTE class, or Special Education classrooms. Any other additional items above and beyond this basic list must have prior Principal approval before being included back into the classroom.
As per the state guideline, every school will have a designated “quarantine area” for students that are sick and show symptoms. Students will remain in the area, supervised by an employee, until a parent can pick them up. We are requesting that parents/caregivers pick up the student or make arrangements to have the student picked-up within one-hour of being notified. 

We are limiting large gatherings of students until further notice. This includes events such as assemblies, recitals, dances, etc. For the approved events, patrons will be required to wear face covering when physical distancing is not possible.

Our contingency plans allow for learning to continue through distance education.  As such, we do not anticipate the lengthening of the school year.   

  • What is expected of teachers if a school/class needs to close? Our plan is to provide professional development supports in instructional planning and blended learning so that if a school closes, a teacher and their students are fully comfortable in moving instruction online using either Google Classroom or Canvas in a remote setting. 
  • What are student expectations if a school/class needs to close? We expect students to engage with the teacher to ensure that they are a part of the learning process and that they complete their assignments and respond to teacher feedback in the same fashion as they did when the school was open, only electronically. 
At this time, all unnecessary travel will be evaluated and most likely canceled, this includes field trips. Overnight travel will also be limited or eliminated. School teams who qualify for UHSAA State tournaments will be allowed to stay overnight if a daily journey to the tournament site is not feasible. 
TCSD has provided two options for families to choose from as they plan on what best option is best for them.
 
1.  FACE-TO-FACE
Students can return to school on a 5-day schedule, 4 days are face-to-face in the classroom and 1 day is distance learning at home.
For the Necessarily Existing Small Schools, students are on a 4-day schedule, they will have 3 days face-to-face in the classroom, and 1 day of distance learning at home. 
5 day back to school schedule4 day back to school schedule
2.  ONLINE
There is also two Kindergarten-12th grade online schools available through the school district. The first is Blue Peak Online, and the second is through our partner, My Tech High. More information about online schools can be found at: http://www.tooeleschools.org/apps/pages/onlineoptions
Parents of students eligible for special education services have the option to choose the in-person learning model, or the online learning model. Families are encouraged to set up a conference with their special education teacher in response to either selection to discuss the most appropriate services and supports, benefits and challenges and harmful/helpful effects of both models.
Yes. That plan is public and available on the TCSD website. It can be seen by going to http://www.tooeleschools.org/apps/pages/2020schoolrequirements
Students enrolled in a TCSD online school will still have access to receive school meals, (they must be enrolled through Blue Peak Online or My Tech High to receive these services). They will need to go to a designated school to pick-up the grab and go meals—more details to come.
Students and staff who may be exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be screened by a nurse or staff member. Proper protocols will be followed in the event of positive cases in schools or administrative buildings. Each TCSD building will include a designated Quarantine room. 
We recognize the importance of providing students and staff with extra social and emotional support as they return to school this year. Our counselors and school psychologists will be ready to assist students and staff in need of support. We will also have a list of resources that can be used by going to the Social and Emotional Learning task force webpage: https://www.tooeleschools.org/apps/pages/SELtaskforce.