Safety Protocols and Precautions

  • safety guidelines

    School Safety Guidelines

    The priority in School Distict 7 is keeping all students and staff safe. To that end, the district has guidelines for use in the 2021-2022 school year.  These guidelines are based on current information and guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and South Carolina Department of Education.   

    The district is committed to continuing the following procedures in the 2021-2022 school year, in order to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and entire District Seven community:

    • With regard to COVID-19, Spartanburg District Seven will continue to work alongside local and state health officials, while also following guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), and South Carolina Department of Education. County, State, and Federal guidelines regarding COVID-19 vaccinations and safety protocols will continue to be shared with our educators, parents, and administrators as the recommendations change.
    • Spartanburg District Seven school buildings and facilities will be maintained to the highest standard, which includes routine cleaning throughout the day and evening. Hand washing and sanitizing stations will be properly stocked and signage encouraging physical distancing and general safety practices will remain in place.
    • Spartanburg District Seven staff, to include custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, and nurses will follow all cleaning protocols according to CDC and DHEC guidelines.
    • In coordination with DHEC, Spartanburg District Seven will continue its contact tracing process, monitor infection rates and any potential spread of COVID-19 in our schools or facilities, and adjust procedures and practices as necessary. District 7 will follow CDC and DHEC guidelines for quarantines and exclusions.

    Policies or Practices Regarding CDC Recommendations


    Universal and correct wearing of masks

    In compliance with the executive order by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and guidance from the South Carolina Department of Education that masks are not to be required in South Carolina schools, masks will be optional for students, staff, and visitors to Spartanburg District Seven for the 2021-2022 school year.  The district will continue to monitor this practice, along with infection rates, and will adjust as necessary.

    Modifying facilities to allow for physical distancing (e.g., use of cohorts/podding)

    Spartanburg District Seven Schools will continue to follow physical distancing guidance from DHEC and the CDC to the extent feasible for the 2021-2022 school year. The district will encourage teachers and staff to distance students when appropriate, but will not require the use of cohorts or "family classrooms" in the classroom. Based on the latest CDC guidance removing recommendations for plexiglass as a prevention tool, all plexiglass has also been removed from classrooms and our schools will not utilize this tool. District Seven's plan will include the following:

    • Post signs on building entrances to encourage physical distancing and general safety practices
    • Continue use of floor markers to remind students to social distance
    • Separate desks as much as possible within classrooms
    • Allow parent and community volunteers on campus during the school day in a reduced capacity
    • Seek to return to normal lunch schedules (with final decision to be made in early August)

    Physical distancing practices to the extent feasible are a personal responsibility of each individual attending school or coming to a District Seven facility.

    Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

    In accordance with guidance from the CDC and DHEC, Spartanburg District Seven will continue to promote proper hand washing and respiratory etiquette on our campuses to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and visitors. In addition, the following procedures will remain in effect:

    • Continue hand washing protocols established in the 2020-2021 school year
    • Continue to encourage physical distancing for students and adults to the extent feasible
    • Provide hand sanitizer stations throughout schools
    • Provide hand sanitizer as needed in regular classrooms, front office areas, and regularly used spaces

    District 7 is monitoring the toxic hand sanitizer list and making sure that all of our products - hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays, cleaning solutions, and soaps - are safe.

    Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation

    In Spartanburg District Seven, the maintenance of clean, healthy facilities is a top priority, as we always aim to protect our students and staff. To ensure we continue to maintain our facilities to the highest standard, while also taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and/or other illnesses, the district commits to the following procedures:

    • Install bi-polar ionization units, which help reduce airborne pathogens, on HVAC units in all schools
    • Continue to provide additional hand sanitizer for student and teacher use in classrooms
    • Continue to provide disinfectant spray or wipes for use as appropriate in classrooms during the school day
    • Continue routine cleaning protocols throughout the day and evening as implemented in the 2020-2021 school year
    • Continue to follow federal guidelines for school bus cleaning

    District Seven custodial employees have been trained on COVID-19 safety protocols.

    Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine

    In the 2021-2022 school year, Spartanburg School District Seven will continue to follow DHEC and CDC guidance in regard to contact tracing, the reporting of COVID-19 cases, isolation and quarantine procedures for students and staff members. In addition, the district will closely monitor infection rates and any trends in respect to specific schools or buildings.

    Diagnostic and screening testing

    Given the readily available testing in our community, Spartanburg School District Seven does not directly administer COVID-19 testing.

    Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible

    Spartanburg School District Seven will continue to provide educational resources to staff and families about the COVID-19 vaccine.  As much as possible, the district will continue to coordinate with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System (SRHS), and other local providers, to help District Seven community members who wish to be vaccinated to receive the vaccine.

    Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies and practices

    In the 2021-2022 school year, students with disabilities will continue to have their needs met, as indicated by their individual education plans (IEPs) or section 504 plan.  Any additional accommodations required will be discussed between parents and District Seven Special Services staff and implemented accordingly. The district's multi-tiered systems of support will provide high quality intervention tailored to each student's specific academic needs. 

    Coordination with state and local health officials

    Spartanburg School District Seven has a longstanding cooperative relationship with local and state health officials, including Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and SCDHEC, to ensure the district continues to follow the best health and safety practices for our students and staff. In regard to COVID-19, District Seven will continue working with SCDHEC during the 2021-2022 school year to conduct contact tracing. As was done in the 2020-2021 school year, District Seven will continue to report positive COVID-19 cases, and close contacts who need to be quarantined, to DHEC.

     

    Please know District 7 schools will continue to ensure that the physical, emotional, and mental safety of all students and staff remains a priority.  We are continually working to ensure we have exhausted all possible safety precautions that may need to be taken.

     

     

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    Health Pre-Screening for Staff & Students

    Parents/Guardians of students and staff will be required to self-screen daily before arriving at school. Anyone with a fever of 100 or higher should not come to school or a D7 facility.

    District 7 will also administer temperature checks at all schools. Students with a temperature of 100 or higher will not be permited on campus or will need to be picked up from school. Parents will be contacted to pick up students who are unable to remain at school.  Students should be picked up within an hour from the time the campus contacted the student’s parent/guardian. *See detailed SCDHEC criteria for students below. 

    Bus Transportation Protocols

    Are masks required on school buses?
    The South Carolina Department of Education no longer requires face masks to be worn on school buses. The SDE said districts are prohibited from requiring students and employees to wear face masks while at any educational facilities for the upcoming 2021-22 school year following Proviso 1.108 (SDE: Mask Mandate Prohibition).

    D7 will follow the guidance but still encourages staff and students to wear masks while on buses. The current CDC’s order from January 2021 that required the use of face coverings by people on public transportation, includes school buses.

    We believe the wearing of face coverings on our District’s school buses to be in the best interests of public health so we will continue to recommend them on our school buses.  

    The Department of Education’s COVID-19 Handbook provides additional guidance concerning transportaion safety.  
    • Bus drivers have been trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • Bus riders will be encouraged to sit apart from one another and will be required to sit facing the front of the bus and keep their hands to themselves. 
    • When possible, bus windows will be opened to allow outside air to circulate in the bus.
    • Hand sanitizer will be available on all buses and are to be used by students when exiting the bus.
    • We still believe the wearing of face coverings on our District’s school buses to be in the best interests of public health so we will continue to recommend that our students and staff wear them on our school buses. 

    Lunchroom Safety

    • School Distict 7 seeks to return to normal lunch schedules (with final decision to be made in early August) NOTE: No parents/visitors will be allowed during lunch.
    • Cafeteria staff have been trained in COVID-19 safety protocols.
    • Classes will go to lunch on a staggered schedule to minimize the number of students in the cafeteria each period. 
    • All cafeteria staff will be wearing masks and gloves while serving students. (?) 
    • Seats, tables, door handles, and high-touch areas will be disinfected between lunch periods/use.

    Water Fountains 

    • Public drinking water supplies are safe to drink, however, the surfaces around drinking fountains, including the spout, button/lever and nozzles, could pose a risk for the transmission of COVID-19 and other germs. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises drinking fountains can be used if cleaned regularly, in order to provide a safe environment and reduce the workload on our limited custodial staff, all drinking fountains in our schools will be turned off until further notice.
    • D7 is installing touchless water bottle fill stations that will remain active; however, the availability of stations will still be limited. All students should bring a FULL water bottle to school with them each day. 

    Handwashing & Hand Sanitizers

    • All students will be expected to wash their hands for 20 seconds at least two times each day, in addition all students will be encouraged to wash hands after using the restroom, before eating and when visibly soiled. 
    • Handwashing stations are available in restrooms and some classrooms.
    • Hand sanitizer stations have been added in each elementary classroom and commons areas.
    • Hand sanitizer stations have been added in all common areas throughout all middle schools and high schools.
    • District 7 is following the toxic hand sanitizer list and making sure that all of our products - hand sanitizer, disinfectant sprays, cleaning solutions, and soaps -  are safe. 

    Social Distancing Protocols  

    • Staff have been trained in proper social distancing rules. 
    • Signage is provided to help assist students and staff with social distancing in common spaces and hallways.
    • Social Distance processes are a personal responsibility of each individual attending school or coming to a D7 facility. 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Who in my child's class/school/team has tested positive? We are unable to release individual health information. Per privacy guidelines, no additional information can be shared regarding the COVID-19-positive individual. If you have healthcare concerns, please contact your family’s healthcare provider.  

    How do I know if I / my child is impacted? Unless you have been otherwise notified, your child has NOT been identified as a close contact and does NOT need to quarantine at home or to be tested. A “close contact” is someone who was within 6 feet of the individual for at least 15 minutes beginning two days before the individual tested positive or began showing symptoms.

    What if my child begins to feel ill? Parents should continue to monitor their students each day for symptoms of COVID-19 which could include fever, loss of taste or smell, headache, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, body aches and/or nausea. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your child’s healthcare provider as soon as possible. Please contact the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

    What happens if my child's teacher is quarantined or isolated? This information will be shared with parents in effected classes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Individuals in quarantine may not always be COVID-19-positive. Until your child's teacher returns, a qualified substitute teacher will continue to support the class and monitor the students’ progress. We will also work with the teacher and district staff to ensure instruction continues.  

     

Protocols for COVID-19 Symptoms, Positive Cases, Close Contacts & Quarantines

  • District 7 will ensure schools operate as safely as possible while adhering to the SCDHEC guidance for schools. 

    If your child or anyone who lives in your home tests positve for COVID-19, or is experiencing symptoms, or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive outside of school, please contact your school nurse here immediately. 


    Symptom Protocols


    If your child has any one of the following symptoms, he/she may not attend school (please inform your school nurse here immediately):

    • Temperature equal to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher; OR
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their breathing from baseline); OR
    • Loss of taste or smell; OR
    • New or worsening cough (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change from baseline)

    If your child has a combination of the following symptoms, he/she may not attend school (please inform your school nurse here immediately):

    • Sore throat 
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Chills
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Diarrhea
    • Nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain

    If your child develops the above symptoms while at school, he/she will be assisted to the designated isolation room and be monitored by the school designee until pick up. In this case:

    • Students will be instructed to wear a mask if able to safely do so
    • The parent/guardian will be contacted immediately upon student isolation for student pickup.
    • The parent/guardian will receive an information packet outlining next steps for testing, quarantine, and returning to school.
    • The parent/guardian will receive a follow-up call from their School Nurse to obtain updates.

    Student Pick-up

    In order to keep all staff and students healthy, it is expected that students will be dismissed within one hour of parent/guardian contact.

    Return to School for Those Experiencing Symptoms (for those who have tested positive, see Positive Case Protocols below)

    Return Criteria for Students and Staff Excluded Due to Symptoms:

    • A negative PCR (mouth or nose swab) COVID-19 test must be submitted to the school nurse, or
    • A medical evaluation determines that symptoms are more likely due to another cause (e.g. sore throat due to strep throat), or
    • 10 days of quarantine have been completed, and
      • 24 hours fever free without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
      • An overall improvement of symptoms

    Positive Case Protocols


    Those with a positive COVID-19 test result must complete the following quarantine criteria before returning to school:

    • 10 days have passed since symptoms started – AND
    • 24 hours have passed since fever ended without taking medicine to reduce fever – AND
    • Overall improvement in symptoms

    Those who test positive but do not have symptoms will be required to stay out of school until:

    • 10 days after the test was administered

    Close Contacts & Quarantine Protocols


    A close contact is defined as someone who has been within six feet (even with a mask) of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. DHEC guidance on close contacts allows mask wearing while seated behind an approved plexiglass divider at 3 feet or greater distance and allows those meeting this guideline not to be considered close contacts.

    District 7 nursing team will determine the appropriate quarantine protocols during interviews with close contacts. Updated CDC guidance (as of December 2020) offers the following quarantine time options:

    • Day 10: Discontinuing after day 10 may be considered if the contact has no symptoms reported throughout the quarantine period. The post-quarantine transmission risk after completing 10 days of quarantine is estimated to be between1% - 10%.
    • Those returning to school after day 10 are required to wear a mask at all times through day 14, maintain physical distancing, and continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 (and to immediately report any symptoms).
    • The 10 day quarantine period begins the day following the LAST close contact with the person who is COVID-19 positive.

    Every District 7 school has a registered nurse on staff who is happy to answer any questions you may have. 

     


    Frequently Asked Questions


    Who in my child's class/school/team has tested positive? We are unable to release individual health information. Per privacy guidelines, no additional information can be shared regarding the COVID-19-positive individual. If you have healthcare concerns, please contact your family’s healthcare provider.  

    How do I know if I / my child is impacted? Unless you have been otherwise notified, your child has NOT been identified as a close contact and does NOT need to quarantine at home or to be tested. A “close contact” is someone who was within 6 feet of the individual for at least 15 minutes beginning two days before the individual tested positive or began showing symptoms.

    What if my child begins to feel ill? Parents should continue to monitor their students each day for symptoms of COVID-19 which could include fever, loss of taste or smell, headache, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, body aches and/or nausea. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your child’s healthcare provider as soon as possible. Please contact the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

    What happens if my child's teacher is quarantined or isolated? This information will be shared with parents in effected classes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Individuals in quarantine may not always be COVID-19-positive. Until your child's teacher returns, a qualified substitute teacher will continue to support the class and monitor the students’ progress. We will also work with the teacher and district staff to ensure instruction continues.  

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in D7 Schools

  • In this section, District 7 is sharing information about confirmed COVID-19 cases for individuals within our schools. DHEC, in conjunction with District 7, conducts contact tracing and provides specific guidance to those students and staff who are determined to have been in close contact with those who test positive. According to DHEC, a close contact is someone who has been within six feet of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (note that updated guidance allows mask wearing in combination with an approved plexiglass divider to be used at 3 feet or greater). It is important to note that students (via their parents/guardians) and staff who are determined to be close contacts according to DHEC guidelines will receive written notification. Unless you receive notification, your child is not considered a close contact.

    If your child or anyone who lives in your home tests positve for COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive outside of school, please contact your school nurse here immediately. 

    As always, thank you for your continued support as we all work together to keep our school community safe.