Health and Safety
Questions regarding Health and Safety Measures:
Some questions may be combined when the topic is the same.
Has the district considered the suggestion that schools are not greatly amplifying the spread of the virus while creating their plans?
Yes, we are taking those into account along with the other guidance. While this does not provide regulatory guidance, we are aware and are taking it into account.
Can we get our students back to school full time while following the guidelines established by the Department of Education and Department of Public Health?
Our primary goal is for students to return to school in the fall. It is incumbent upon us to plan thoroughly in case that is not possible, due to the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak this fall. However, unless the state or federal government changes their current guidance, our plan is to return to school on August 24.
Can face shields be provided instead?
It is not known if face shields provide any benefit as source control to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. CDC does not recommend use of face shields for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for cloth face coverings. Some people may choose to use a face shield when sustained close contact with other people is expected. If face shields are used without a mask, they should wrap around the sides of the wearer’s face and extend to below the chin. Disposable face shields should only be worn for a single use. Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. Plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended.
Are extra air purifiers or ventilation systems being added in buildings?
Due to COVID-19 concerns, fresh air intake into the schools is going to be increased. This will have the following effects: Humidity increases in spaces during warmer weather and fog/rain. More fresh air brings in more outside humidity. Large open areas are impacted the most. Personal/portable plug-in dehumidifiers have no effect on indoor humidity in offices, classrooms, gyms. Fresh outside air is constantly being introduced and existing building air is being expelled. The air you dehumidify is constantly being exchanged. For hallways without A/C, they also have little to no effect due to classrooms doors being opened during the day and outside doors being opened. Turning room temperatures down makes the air feel more humid. Cold air holds less moisture then warm air. The relative humidity will go up as the space temperature goes down, making it feel more clammy. Possible drier air indoors during the winter. Cold air usually dries out warmer, interior air when introduced. With large occupied buildings this usually isn’t an issue. Easier loss of temperature control during outside temperature extremes. More fresh air means more air being brought in at outside temperatures. It’s more difficult for the systems to keep up.
What will be the protocol when someone in school tests positive?
When an individual tests positive, we first call the Polk County Department of Public Health, as we do during the influenza season, and they provide us with guidance for our response.
How was the decision made to require Ankeny Schools students to wear masks in school?
We are following the guidance of federal and state authorities in developing our plans. We will continuously monitor this guidance as it evolves. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Iowa Department of Public Health masks provide a safety measure where social distancing is not possible. Our goal and desire is to be able to return to school in the fall for learning. In order to do this, we need to develop these plans and provide for the safety of our students and staff, at the guidance of regulatory bodies.
Some sources state that kid-to-kid transmission and kid to adult transmission are uncommon, therefore, why would we consider not having kids present in buildings?
Our number one concern is the health and safety of everyone in our school community. This includes both children and the adults who work for us. We will follow the guidance of federal and state authorities in developing our plans. We will continuously monitor this guidance as it evolves. Ankeny Schools’ intent and desire is to return to school in full this fall.
If masks are required how can we ensure that the mask is clean and not over used?
We acknowledge that students will need to be taught the proper use of masks, similar to how we teach students to use tissues and wash their hands appropriately.
Will masks be provided for all students if they are to be required?
Students will be asked to provide masks as a school supply. As with all other school supplies, we will work to ensure students have the resources they need to participate in the learning environment. Disposable masks will be encouraged.
Why is wearing a mask being considered as a mandatory requirement if kids have been going to public places and have not been required to wear a mask?
Our number one concern is the health and safety of everyone in our school community. This includes both children and the adults who work for us. We will follow the guidance of federal and state authorities in developing our plans. We will continuously monitor this guidance as it evolves. Part of this plan will be specific guidance on how mask breaks will be planned during the school day, areas that will not require masks, etc. We acknowledge that students will need to be taught the proper use of masks, similar to how we teach students to use tissues and wash their hands at appropriate times.
How will you make sure that families feel comfortable with whomever their students are spending time with either online or in person?
Social-emotional learning (student health, well-being, behaviors) and connecting to school is addressed in the planning process.
How will staff and students handle the learning and implementation of new protocol and procedures in a traditional school setting?
The draft Hybrid plan would allow for a transition to Traditional On-Site learning without the need to teach new protocols and procedures. The students will be in the same classroom with the same teacher for both plans.
In a hybrid or distance plan, what implications might be present if we think about students on supplanted curriculum attending on site? Transportation?
The IEP teams will work with our Director of Special Programs to determine services that provide FAPE.
Is there a list of companies that would provide deep cleaning services following a possible outbreak or will it be handled internally?
The district has a plan to deep clean with current staff.
What items may be delayed due to procurement/supply problems?
We are closely monitoring the supply chain for PPE, specifically face shields and thermometers, and for cleaning products, specifically the electrostatic disinfectant.