Skip to content

Questions regarding Health and Safety Measures:

Some questions may be combined when the topic is the same.

Building Closures

The Return to Learn Plan says that following a confirmed case there could be a potential 2-5 dismissal, why is this so long?
See Decision Making Process for Positive Cases on page 26. It is anticipated that when a positive case is found in a building, the building may be closed temporarily (overnight to 2-5 days) to allow for additional cleaning and the completion of the health department to complete their investigation of that case. Local Health officials (Polk County Health Department) will determine the scope of the impact (single building, multiple schools, entire district) and duration of school dismissals on a case by case basis, using the most up-to-date information of COVID-19 information. Schools are not expected to independently make decisions about dismissal and cancellation of related school activities/extracurricular/large events/etc. but are encouraged to follow Polk County Health Department recommendations with these decisions.

Cleaning Practices

How will the desks at high schools be cleaned as students might move from class to class?
See Transmission and Mitigation Cleaning Procedures on page 6. High touch surfaces such as student desks and chairs should be cleaned and disinfected before each use. In Elementary Schools: Teachers will clean and disinfect student desks and chairs during the school day before use by each unique student. In Secondary Schools: Disinfecting wipes will be available for students to wipe down desks and chairs before each use by a unique student. Custodial cleaning practices will be focused on cleaning for health, which includes an emphasis on disinfecting surfaces where bacteria or viruses are most likely to be transmitted.

How will playground equipment cleaning be handled?
See Transmission Mitigation and Cleaning Procedures on page 6. Outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools and parks generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection. The CDC recommends against the use of disinfectant on outdoor playgrounds- it is not an efficient use of supplies and is not proven to reduce risk of COVID-19 to the public.

What measures are being put in place to make bathrooms safe?
See Transmission Mitigation and Cleaning Procedures on page 6. Bathrooms will be cleaned following the CDC’s Custodial Cleaning practices. Staff are assigned to each restroom to monitor capacity. 

Are the chemicals being used to disinfect safe to be used in a school setting?
See Transmission Mitigation and Cleaning Procedures on page 6. The cleaning practices utilized are recommended by the CDC for use. Our custodians undergo training to appropriately use cleaning materials to ensure safety. 

Face Masks

With face masks being required is there going to be an effort to keep indoor temperatures lower?
As part of our mitigation efforts, fresh air intake into the schools is going to be increased.  

Can the children and teachers have the masks off during learning if they are so many feet apart?
See Face Covering Do’s and Don’ts on Page 24 of the Return to Learn Plan. Here are some instances in which mask breaks could be possible: When in space alone, when eating, at recess when 6 feet apart. Masks breaks will happen at designated times of day.

Are face masks required? Will face shields be allowed in lieu of masks?
Please see Page 24 for the Face Covering Recommendations Do’s and Don’ts. Masks protect others, face shields protect the user. 

How will mask exemptions be handled?
Wearing a mask in an expectation. Like all expectations, we will teach and reteach the expectation. Religious and medical exemptions may be discussed with building administrators.

Positive Cases

What happens when there is a COVID-19 positive case?

When there is a COVID case in a school ACSD will:

  1. Have an established isolation room (outside of the nurse’s office) for symptomatic staff and students until they can safely leave the building.
  2. Coordinate with Polk County Public Health and families regarding suspected and confirmed cases.
  3. Polk County Public Health will assist ACSD leadership team to determine a course of action for their school on a case-by-case basis.
  4. This may include the dismissal of students and most staff for a short-term period.

When there is a COVID case in a school ASCD will not:

  1. Provide personally identifiable information of an infected person (name, grade level, or class info).
  2. Immediately close schools for one positive case.


If a child gets sick who was in school, will they be able to do virtual learning while they're in quarantine?
Sick days will be treated as they have in the past, where a child would need to touch base with their teacher to determine what work can be sent to them to stay on track in school. Students will be able to access the asynchronous materials along with the rest of their class, even while home sick or quarantined.

If I receive the form email from the district stating that my child has had contact with a confirmed case and needs to quarantine, how will I know which child, as I have multiple children in the same school?
Any questions regarding close contact notifications can be directed to your building nurse.

Will a teacher be required to work if they test positive and are asymptomatic?
Currently, employees who test positive are expected to self-isolate regardless of whether they are symptomatic, per guidance from the Polk County Health Department.

Social Distancing

Why can’t groups of students interact as normal when in the hybrid model there will only be 12-13 students per classroom?
We are following CDC guidance that indicate the importance of social distancing, hand washing, and wearing face coverings.

How will students stay six feet away from other students during passing periods?
We will not be able to ensure students stay 6 ft apart in passing periods, which is why face coverings will be required.

How will teachers enforce social distancing?
Each year, teachers work with students to teach them how to behave at school. Social distancing will be taught in the same methods that things like walking in a line, raising your hand to speak, and requesting hallway passes are taught.

Why aren't all students 6 feet apart in the classroom in the hybrid model?
We are not able to space our desks at 6 feet apart due to the 50 percent requirement from the State of Iowa. The only hybrid model that allowed us to socially distance within the classroom was the 25 percent hybrid model that we will not be able to utilize.

How is social distancing possible during lunch when students will be eating with their masks off?
Social distancing will not be possible during lunch when students masks are off in a traditional onsite model. However, each building will work to provide for as much social distancing as possible given the parameters of the space.


Will there be temperature checks every morning?
See Building Traffic Guidelines and Symptom Screening on page 4. Parents are asked to screen student temperature each day before sending the student to school. A student with a temperature above 100.4 degrees should NOT attend school. Students who have symptoms described by the CDC should NOT attend school.

Will staff and substitute teachers be engaging in additional safety training?
The district knows employees need information and training to carry out new and changing responsibilities. Human Resources will work with Operations, AST, and building-level Health Response Teams to ensure relevant staff have access to the training they need to successfully and safely complete their work. This training began with the requirement that all employees working in district facilities this summer complete a coronavirus prevention course in SafeSchools. As we Return to Learn, all staff who have not yet completed this course will be required to do so. 
Will middle school and high school students be moving from class to class?
Students will follow their schedule.
If I have a concern about someone I feel is putting my student’s life or someone else’s in jeopardy, how do I report it?
You can do any of the following:

What will the effects be of children spending so much time in a sterile environment? Will they still build immunity for other diseases?
Questions about your individual student’s health should be directed to a school nurse or your family physician.
How much psychological harm will be done, and time spent, making children repeatedly wash their hands in school?
Students are taught and expected to wash their hands every school year.
Will there be shields around the children's desks in elementary?
Not at this time, unless an individual situation warrants it.