Paloma Elementary School District (PESD) will implement prevention strategies wherever possible and continue to monitor and follow CDC recommended protocols in the instance of a positive COVID-19 case.
At the district level, the public information officer (PIO), Brittany Mendoza, will coordinate all messages to students, parents, staff, and the community regarding COVID-19-related information. The PIO will ensure that each site has posters with messaging on hand-washing and covering of coughs and sneezes located throughout, along with posters at site entrances reminding individuals not to enter if sick.
Distant or Hybrid Learning Option:
Parents and students will not have the option to choose distance or hybrid learning opportunities. Any family wishing to keep their child at home will need to withdraw from PESD and seek another institution that offers on-line instruction. In person instruction will be offered for the 2021/2022 school year. If the school requires a student to stay home for any reason, the student will be able to complete work at home and the school will monitor attendance via completed work during the required “at-home” period. The choice to stay home and complete work at home for full attendance and credit will be at the sole discretion of PESD.
Face coverings are recommended, not required on school campus. No child, staff member, or visitor will be required to wear face masks on campus. Face coverings are required on district transportation.
Social distancing will be followed in classrooms and in other locations that allow for social distancing. If the location or activity does not allow for social distancing, it will not be enforced.
Vaccinations Against COVID-19:
Vaccines against COVID-10 will be optional. No student, staff member, or visitor will be required to have a COVID-19 or show proof of vaccination. Information about vaccinations can be found at www.vaccines.gov.
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette:
Students and staff will be taught to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at the following times:
upon arrival at school (use hand sanitizer if there is no sink in the classroom),
after being outside for physical activity,
before and after lunch,
prior to leaving school for home, and
after sneezing, coughing, or blowing nose.
Staff will monitor and reinforce appropriate handwashing behavior. Handwashing and sanitation supplies will be made available throughout the school.
Respiratory etiquette such as covering coughs and sneezes will be taught, encouraged, and monitored.
Prior to students returning to campus, all staff will be trained on implementation of these protocols. Training will include proper use of PPE and supplies; cleaning and disinfecting; and other measures. Teachers will be asked to train students on proper handwashing.
Cleaning and Disinfecting:
Routine cleaning is essential to keeping staff and students safe. Cleaning protocols will be put into place and followed.
Cleaning routines implemented during 2020/2021 will continue to be followed during the 2021/2022 school year.
Every staff member will be in charge of keeping their area disinfected throughout the day.
Bathrooms will be routinely cleaned and disinfected.
Cafeteria tables will be properly cleaned between groups.
Disinfectant will be available in every classroom and other areas around campus.
Sports, Field Trips, Activities, and Assemblies:
School sports, field trips, and activities will resume. Masks will not be required, but will be recommended during times of non-physical activity and when indoors. Social distancing will be followed when space and activities allow for social distancing, but not required if space or activity does not allow for social distancing.
Visitors to School Campus:
Visitors will be limited to essential activities. Any visitor who is displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be allowed on campus.
Daily Health Screenings:
We ask that parents and school staff monitor children for signs of illness prior to sending them to school and while on school grounds. Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they show signs of infectious illness. If your child or an employee shows signs of illness or fever, we will ask that you keep them at home until 24 hours have passed without a fever. Please screen for the following symptoms:
Fever greater than 100.4
Shortness of Breath
Runny Nose Congestion
Vomiting, Diarrhea, Nausea
Muscle or Body Aches
New Loss of Taste or Smell
If a student has a chronic condition such as allergies or asthma, parents should inform the school of that condition. If the school has been informed, students should be permitted to ride the bus and attend school. This pertains to employees as well.
Positive COVID-19 Test of COVID-19 Symptoms Reported:
All household members of someone confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 should not physically attend school. If a student, teacher, or PESD staff member or household member becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms or reports a positive COVID-19 test, the most current AZDHS and CDC guidance and protocols will be followed in conjunction with guidance from Maricopa County Health Department (MCHD). Employee and student close contact exposure will be reviewed and quarantine dates will be determined on a case-by-case basis dependent upon a thorough investigation. PESD will work with MCHD to determine a safe release from quarantine to return to school/work. CDC and AZDHS protocols are subject to update and change regularly.
Class Quarantines or School Closures:
PESD will follow recommendations from AZDHS based on their safe return to in-person instruction guidelines. Similar to determining when to reopen school buildings, the decision to quarantine a class, close a portion of the school, or close the school entirely will be made in close coordination with our local health department. Both the context of local spread as well as the school’s mitigation practices will be considered.
COVID Diagnostic Antigen Test Availability:
Students and staff have access to the BinaxNow COVID-19 AG Card for rapid testing.
Students and staff will also have access to Concentrix COVID Pool testing run by LabCore to monitor spread in schools.