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Health and Safety Procedures

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COVID-19 - Rules for students and staff

City Schools has developed health and safety procedures to keep both students and staff members at its buildings safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those steps include large purchases of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and creating Standard Operating Procedures (updated 1/15).

These procedures are evolving due to changes in health guidance - check back regularly for updates. Scroll to learn more about efforts to keep students, families, and staff safe.

Special Town Hall Slides: Expanding Small Group In-Person Learning | Health Procedures | Safe Air Quality

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Student and Family Information

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Staff Information

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District COVID Response Data 

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Updates from partner schools - COVID-19 cases

City Schools Health Advisory Committee

Baltimore City Public Schools coordinates with the Baltimore City Health Department and a cadre of health experts when making decisions that impact the health and safety of students, staff, and families. The committee is comprised of the following experts:

  • Dr. Andrea Berry, UMD School of Medicine 
  • Dr. Lorece Edwards, Morgan State 
  • Representatives from the Johns Hopkins Consortium for School Based Health including:
    • Dr. Sara Johns
    • Dr. Megan Collins 
    • Dr. Amanda Neitzel
    • Dr. Kate Connor 
    • Dr. Beth Marshall 
  • Courtney Pate, BCHD School Health
  • Mary Grace White, Director of Acute Communicable Diseases

Frequently Asked Questions

Does City Schools have Health and Safety protocols for In-Person Learning Opportunities?

Yes. City Schools has developed Health Standard Operating Procedures as part of its Draft Reopening Plan.

What are the general health protocols for In-Person Learning Sites?

  • Temperature and health screenings for all staff, students, and visitors – including the screeners - entering buildings must complete the health screening process, including a temperature check and three health screening questions. 
  • Use of personal protective equipment - Masks, desk shields, face shields 
  • Enforcement of social distancing - Students and staff adhere to social distancing requirements.
  • “Classroom pods” - Students and teachers at a school are separated from other groups. If a teacher or student in a classroom pod shows COVID-like symptoms or tests positive, the entire class is kept away from the campus until it is safe to return. 
  • Contact tracing - If an employee tests positive or is in close contact with COVID-like symptoms, we work to determine and notify other impacted individuals.

Does City Schools have enough PPE and cleaning supplies?

To date, City Schools has purchased more than $4 million worth of masks, desk shields, face shields, and cleaning products - (soap, sanitizer, wipes, spray bottles, soap and sanitizer dispensers, gloves, towels, safety glasses, face coverings, masks, face shields, and barrier aprons).

How do temperature screenings work?

All persons entering City Schools campuses must participate in a temperature screening and offer appropriate answers to screening questions before entering. If a student has a temperature outside the normal range or does not pass the screening questions, a parent/guardian should pick them up as soon as possible.

Who conducts the health screenings?

Staff identified by the principal can conduct health screenings. Individuals may follow the accommodation process to request to be excused from symptom screening based on individual health circumstances.

If a student falls in the temperature range but has a runny nose or is coughing, will they be allowed in school?

If a student is sick, we ask that they stay home. Depending on the symptoms they exhibit, we determine if it’s a COVID-19-like symptom and if a negative test is required to return. If a student exhibits illness, we will ask the parent/guardian to pick them up as soon as possible. They can remain in the Wellness Room until the parent arrives.

Will nurses be present at schools?

Nursing staff are back in buildings already. The district is working to focus nursing resources from a nurse/supervised nurse’s aide at those sites providing in-person instructional opportunities. Also, students’ private duty nurses will return when doctors’ orders are in place to support that.

How will City Schools provide safe air quality to avoid spread?

Top-line MERV-13 filters are installed in buildings that can handle them. Air purifiers are installed in classrooms and support spaces not equipped to use MERV-13 filters and health suites and isolation rooms.

What are “learning pods” and how do they keep my student safe?

Students and teachers at a school are kept in learning groups or pods. If a teacher or student in a learning pod shows COVID-like symptoms or tests positive, the entire pod is kept away from the campus until it is safe to return. Notifications are sent to the members of the classroom pods. If a pod is closed, any person in close contact is notified and placed under quarantine (if appropriate). 

What if a student or teacher in a pod exhibits COVID-like symptoms or test positive?

The school will notify the students’ families and staff members, and the pod will operate virtually until the facts are known. The learning area will be cleaned per the district’s health and safety procedures. If a COVID test is negative, the student or staff will be able to return to school.

Are staff members eligible for sick leave related to COVID?

If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, has COVID-19-like symptoms or is a close contact of an individual who has tested positive or has symptoms, the staff member is eligible for two weeks of additional paid sick leave. In these cases, the Human Capital Office’s COVID response team will notify the staff member.

If an employee applies for accommodations, how soon will I know the application’s result?

We notify supervisors as soon as we begin to process a request for accommodations to engage them in the interactive process. We also send them the determination letter to help plan if an employee is granted accommodations. Overall, we work closely with supervisors to ensure that employees can perform their essential functions. 

How will City Schools maintain social distancing when serving meals?

Food Service staff can work with each school to safely deliver meals to the classroom or have student cohorts stagger through the cafeteria where tables are marked for social distancing. The specific setup will depend on the building layout and equipment, staffing, and ability to facilitate food safety and minimize COVID transmission risk.

How can staff (ex. Related Service Providers, ESOL Teachers and Special Educators) who serve students from multiple cohorts provide in-person instruction?

  • Students’ IEP, EL Plan, or 504 Plan mandates the type of support and services they receive. Current progress should be considered before any decisions related to changing mode and type of services are made.  When implemented, staff may be required to work with students from multiple cohorts, or bubbles. It is critical when servicing multiple cohorts, that staff make every effort to avoid establishing close contact with students from multiple cohorts.

Staff

Staff members who believe they are eligible for leave or who would like to request a reasonable accommodation, either because they are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 or under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), should do so as soon as possible. All requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Resources for staff about accomodations and leave>>



Health Screenings

Follow these steps to maintain a healthy working and learning environment.