COVID Mitigation Strategies

banner photo collage including boy on laptop, crest, and kids walking off of school bus

UPDATED AUGUST 13, 2020

The District is committed to providing a safe, healthy learning environment for all our students and staff.  While we acknowledge that we can not completely eliminate the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses, we have taken extensive precautions and measures to greatly reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission, based on specific mitigation guidance from the CDC and both state and county Health Departments.  

Intensified Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • As always, CVSD custodial and facilities staff utilize CDC and OSHA approved cleaning and disinfecting products and guidelines to ensure the physical spaces, equipment, and materials with which students and staff come into contact remain safe.
  • Prior to reopening, schools will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, in accordance with all necessary safety precautions.
  • Custodians and facilities staff have been trained on CDC cleaning and sanitizing measures.
  • All District staff will be trained on methods for reducing contamination and transmission.
  • Frequent sanitizing will be implemented for high-touch areas, multiple times per day.
  • Restrooms will be monitored and cleaned more frequently throughout the day and again each evening.
  • Water fountains will not be utilized, except those with water bottle filling options. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles, particularly on gym days.

     

Face Coverings

  • Per the July 1, 2020 order from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, face coverings must be worn by students or staff while at the bus stop, on the bus, and in all school buildings.
  • The Department of Education (PDE) has provided guidance for school leaders regarding this order. The District supports the use of face coverings to reduce the risk of transmission within our schools. Per the CDC, face coverings help prevent the spread of germs, especially within dynamic social environments like schools.
  • Face coverings include any cloth mask or plastic shield that covers the nose and mouth and can be secured to the head with ties, straps or loops.
  • Students and staff are responsible for providing their own face coverings.
  • In accordance with PDE guidelines, children two years and older are required to wear a face covering unless they have a medical or mental health condition or disability, documented in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA, that precludes the wearing of a face covering in school. Accommodations for such students should be made in partnership with the student’s health care provider, school nurse, and IEP/504 team prior to the first day of school.
  • Students without a valid medical excuse who demonstrates continued noncompliance with this requirement will be subject to disciplinary procedures per the Code of Conduct.
  • Disposable masks will be available if a student loses or forgets to bring their mask.
     

Hand Hygiene

  • Routine healthy hygiene practices are a foundational measure to protect against COVID-19 and other illnesses.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on every school bus/van. Students should enter the bus with free hands, ready to apply sanitizer.
  • Signs will be displayed throughout all buildings to demonstrate proper hand washing techniques.
  • Elementary: Hand sanitizing stations are available in all primary and intermediate classrooms, cafeterias, and other high-traffic areas throughout the school. Students will sanitize hands upon entering the classroom, before lunch, when returning from recess, and any time they move to a new classroom.
  • Secondary: Hand sanitizing stations are available in all of the houses and strategically placed throughout the buildings.
     

Health Checks, Quarantine, & Travel

  • CVSD will regularly monitor developments with local health department authorities regarding cases, exposures, hospitalizations, and any other relevant metrics that may require a change in school operations. In the event of an elevated number of cases in local health data or in the event of presumed or confirmed cases directly impacting schools or central offices, CVSD will collaborate with Allegheny County Health Department authorities to implement all necessary health and safety protocols. This could include short-term closure of one or more CVSD facilities until health officials deem it safe to reopen. 
  • All staff members will commit to a daily self-health check.
  • Families will check students' health daily before school. Various symptom checker mobile apps can be helpful for this.
  • Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or above, or any other symptom(s) of COVID-19, must stay home and contact their physician.
  • If identified as having been in close contact (within six feet for 15+ minutes) with someone who is diagnosed with COVID-19, stay at home.
  • Individuals will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the date of contact, consult a physician, and inform the school nurse. When absent, students will have access to virtual instruction. Individuals traveling to a location deemed a "hot spot" by the county or state health department will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving back to Pittsburgh. While absent, students will have access to virtual instruction.
     

Transportation

  • This year, families are encouraged to provide transportation for their child(ren) in an effort to minimize the number of students on a bus.
  • To further reduce capacity, CVSD was able to re-route bus routes.
  • Face coverings are required while waiting at bus stops and while riding on school buses. Students will not be permitted on District transportation without a mask. Drivers and attendants are also required to wear face coverings.
  • Weather permitting, roof hatches and windows will be opened to provide fresh air circulation.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available on every school bus/van. Students should enter the bus with free hands, ready to apply sanitizer.
  • Drivers and custodians will clean the interior of the bus between bus routes while no students are on board, and again on Fridays when students are remote.
  • Requests to ride different buses will not be permitted, unless an emergency situation is approved by building administration.
  • Seating will be assigned, and families will be required to sit together.
  • Transportation for private/parochial schools will not be offered on Fridays.
     

Arrival and Dismissal

  • Building-specific arrival and dismissal procedures have been implemented to prevent groups of students from congregating in common areas.
    • Primary School:
      • Upon arrival, buses will be unloaded one at a time at Door 1, from 8:30 - 8:45 am.
      • Parent drop-off will take place at Door 15 from 8:45 - 9:00 am, unloading 3 cars at a time.
      • Students should wear face coverings and maintain appropriate social distance while entering the building.
      • For dismissal, one bus will be dismissed at a time from door 1 and 5, beginning at 3:35 pm.
      • Parent pick-up will begin at 3:25 pm in the gym and gym lobby area with physical distance markings/signage for both parents and students. Students should be picked up no later than 3:45 pm.
    • Intermediate School:
      • Upon arrival, buses will be unloaded five at a time at Door 7, from 8:30 - 8:45 am.
      • Parent drop-off will take place at door 2 from 8:30 - 8:45 am, unloading 3 cars at a time.
      • Students should wear face coverings and maintain appropriate social distance while entering the building. Students wishing to eat breakfast at school should go directly to the cafeteria upon arrival to pick up a grab-and-go breakfast bag and take it to their homeroom to eat.
      • For dismissal, one bus will be dismissed at a time beginning at 3:35 pm.
      • Parent pick-up will begin at 3:25 pm in the gym and gym lobby area with physical distance markings/signage for both parents and students. Students should be picked up no later than 3:45 pm.
    • Middle School:
      • Buses will unload two at a time to minimize the number of students entering through Door 3.
      • Parent drop-off will take place at Door 3 from 7:30 - 7:45 am (no earlier!).
      • Students wishing to eat breakfast will go to the cafeteria where they will sit at an appropriate social distance (see cafeteria guidelines). Other students will go to the gymnasium where they will sit in the bleachers, spaced appropriately.
      • Students will be dismissed to their homerooms using assigned 1-5 ID numbers.
      • Dismissals will be staggered based on order of buses, and each grade level will be assigned a designated exit.
    • High School
      • Buses will unload one at a time beginning at 7:15 am and will be split between two entrances.
      • Parent drop-off will take place at Door 32 beginning at 7:15 am. Students should maintain appropriate social distance.
      • Students will go directly to homeroom upon arrival.
      • Dismissal will be staggered to minimize hallway traffic.
      • Parent pick-up will begin at Door 32 at 2:34 pm.
  • Late arrival stations will be set up outside the main entrances of each elementary building from 9:00 - 9:30 am. Secondary students should enter through the main entrance and check-in with the attendance secretary.
  • For early dismissals, parents/guardians should ring the doorbell at the main entrance and speak to a staff member through the intercom.
     

Classrooms and Hallways

  • The District will maintain physical distance among students and staff throughout the day to the maximum extent feasible.
  • Non-essential furniture will be removed from classrooms to create the ability for increased space in classrooms and to accommodate the need for physical distancing.
  • Outdoor spaces will be utilized for learning and discussion when possible.
  • Students will have assigned seats.
  • Elementary students will remain in their classrooms for most of the day. In secondary classrooms, when possible, student desks will not be used in consecutive class periods.
  • If students move to a new classroom, they will wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival and return to the home classroom.
  • Floor markings and directional signage will be posted in hallways, stairwells, and doorways indicating one-way traffic. Elementary students will be led by teachers to walk single file at "arms length" from others.
  • Middle School students will be assigned a number (1-5) which will be utilized to stagger locker access, class transitions, cafeteria arrival/dismissal, and lunch lines.
  • Multiple entrances and exits to the building will be utilized, specific to each building.
  • Additional measures have been taken in certain areas, such as physical barriers.
  • Deep cleaning of classrooms and other spaces throughout the building will be deep cleaned and sanitized regularly.
     

Meals

  • Students will wash or sanitize hands upon entering and exiting the cafeteria.
  • Hand sanitizer will be readily available in all cafeterias.
  • Students will wear masks in the cafeteria, except while eating.
  • Tables will be disinfected between lunch periods.
  • Floor markings will indicate where to stand in order to maintain social distance while waiting in cafeteria lines.
  • Cash will not be accepted in cafeterias. Families should use SchoolCafe to add money to student accounts, or send a check or cash in a labeled envelope to be processed outside of the cafeteria where food is not being served.
  • Elementary: Primary and Intermediate students will sit every other seat, and diagonally (students will not sit face-to-face), grouped with their homeroom in assigned seats. Students will be dismissed in small groups. Social distancing will be encouraged and redirected by lunch monitors.
  • Middle School: Students will be seated every other seat on one side of the tables facing the same direction and grouped with their houses. Monitors will coordinate dismissal in small groups.
  • High School: Students will be seated on spaced, marked chairs and encouraged to choose the same seat daily.
  • All students (whether Hybrid or CV Cyber) are eligible for breakfast and lunch every day, including remote learning days. Students will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch daily on remote learning days or order in advance and pick up meals on in-person days (hybrid). Additional information will be sent from the Nutrition Group.
     

Physical Education and Music

  • Physical education classes will be held outdoors or dispersed between multiple gym spaces when possible.
  • Equipment will be cleaned and sanitized after use using CDC approved products.
  • Students will sanitize hands upon entering the gym, and masks are required except during game/activity.
  • In elementary gyms, floor markings will be utilized to indicate where students can stand during physical education activities in order to maintain social distance.
  • Secondary students will not be required to change into gym clothes but are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing on physical education days.
  • Music classes will be held outdoors as often as possible.
  • Students will record themselves playing music at home and submit videos to teachers. Students will practice signing with masks on or humming, and instruments will not be used for general music.
  • Listening activities and conceptual lessons will be utilized.
  • Use of shared materials will be limited and disinfected between uses.

     

Recess and Colt Time (formerly MS Reset)

  • Elementary students will participate in adult-led structured play activities during which students are encouraged to maintain appropriate social distance. Indoor and outdoor playgrounds and equipment (i.e. playhouses, basketball hoops) will not be utilized. Recess will be held outside whenever possible. If necessary, indoor recess will be held with smaller groups of students.
  • Middle School Colt Time (formerly Reset) will have students follow a three-location schedule that will rotate weekly. Groups will be rostered by homeroom, and activities will be structured to allow students to keep appropriate social distance.
     

Visitors and Item Drop-Offs

  • The District will limit visitors to only those attending scheduled essential meetings. These visitors will be required to wear masks, answer screening questions, and have their temperature taken, upon entering the building.
  • Virtual/remote options for parent meetings will be offered through Google Meet.
  • Tables will be set up in the vestibules or just outside the main entrances of each building for parents/guardians wishing to drop off items (i.e. forgotten lunchbox, backpack).
  • Those dropping off materials should ring the bell and speak through the intercom to a school staff member. The staff member will retrieve the item(s) shortly after the parent/guardian leaves.
     

Athletics, Clubs & Assemblies

  • For athletics and activities, the District will follow the recommendation of the PIAA and safety procedures detailed in the District's return-to-play plan.
  • Until further notice, all assemblies and club meetings are prohibited. Virtual/remote club meetings are encouraged. 

     

More information and details can be found in the
District's Revised Reopening of Schools Plan (8/11/2020 update).


IMPORTANT: As new data, guidance, and directives are provided to CVSD information provided in the reopening plan may change, upon School Board approval.