WATCH: Brevard Public Schools’ Mark Mullins Appears on Fox News to Discuss the BPS Reopening Plan
By Space Coast Daily // August 9, 2020
Mullins appeared on Fox News' ‘America’s News HQ’ on Saturday
WATCH: Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Mark Mullins appeared on Fox News’ ‘America’s News HQ’ on Saturday to discuss the BPS reopening health safety COVID-19 plan.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – While the 2020-2021 school year looks far different than years of the past, the Brevard Public Schools team has worked diligently to ensure that it is providing health and safety guidelines that will assist BPS in meeting its organizational priorities of:
■ Maintaining the health, safety and welfare of our students and staff
■ Providing quality learning opportunities and access while sustaining financial stability
■ Providing the community supports and resources necessary to maintain the well-being and academic success of our students
“As a parent, I understand that this decision is likely one of the hardest you will ever have to make,” said Mark Mullins, Brevard Public Schools Superintendent.
“We have worked hard to give you options so that if you are not comfortable sending your child back to school, you can feel confident in knowing that their educational journey can continue from home and be just as robust, challenging and enriching.
“For those families choosing to send their child back to their brick and mortar school, I want you to know that we are taking every precaution to keep them healthy and safe – there is no greater priority — but we will need your help in ensuring they are properly supported and understand the expectations that will be placed on them.
“We are taking every possible precaution as we prepare to reopen our doors and our hearts to your children this August. They will be looking to us for clarity, stability and a safe-haven, and we will be there for them, and for you, every step of the way. We’ve got this, and we will get through this and be stronger and better, together. I am proud to serve this community as your Superintendent,” said Mullins.
The guidelines listed below were created through careful consultation with local and state health officials and guidance from the CDC, AAP and OSHA. The health precautions are designed to promote wellness by limiting exposure and mitigating risk for COVID-19 in every way possible.
“It has never been more important for our families and schools to work together to protect the health and safety of our school communities and each other,” said Mullins.
“We ask our families to commit to keeping their children home when they are not feeling well or exhibit a fever or any other COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have potentially been exposed to this illness. It will take all of us working together to create a safe and healthy learning environment for our children and staff.”
RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS AND LEGAL GUARDIANS
School and parent partnerships are critical to ensuring that all students are properly supported and that staff have the information they need to assist students.
■ All parents and legal guardians should verify that their child’s school has accurate information for parent and emergency contact.
■ Parents and legal guardians are responsible to promptly pick up or properly arrange for the pick-up of a student sent home from the clinic.
■ All parents and legal guardians should carefully select emergency contacts for their child and ensure that the contact information for him/her is accurate.
■ All parents and legal guardians should provide complete and accurate medical information to the school.
■ Any parents or legal guardians leaving their children in the care of someone else for a short-term reason such as work or family emergency should complete a loco-parentis form prior to leaving the child in the care of others.
■ All medications must be brought, in the original container, directly to the clinic by the parent or legal guardian.
When social distancing of six-feet cannot be adhered to, it is required that students and staff wear a face covering. The student dress code applies to face coverings and only the nose and mouth should be covered, not the full face.
■ In certain circumstances, a face covering may be required for a specific lesson or activity such as CTE labs or other vulnerable activities or areas.
■ For the safety of everyone on the bus, it is required that all bus riders wear a face covering while on the bus.
■ School and transportation staff will kindly offer a mask to any student without one.
■ Students who are sent to the clinic and exhibiting symptoms will be provided a mask to wear while awaiting parent pick up.
■ Face shields will be available at each school for faculty members along with a robust supply of disposable masks for students or staff who need one.
■ BPS recognizes that face coverings may not be appropriate for all individuals based on certain medical conditions.
DAILY HOME SCREENING FOR STUDENTS
Parents: Please complete the following short health check each morning:
Symptoms: If your child has any of the following symptoms, this indicates a possible illness that may decrease the student’s ability to learn and also put them at risk for spreading illness to others.
Please check your child for these symptoms:
■ Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth
■ Sore throat
■ New uncontrolled cough that causes difficult breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
■ Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
■ New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
In-School Guidelines – Health Screenings
Parents are the first level of daily health checks. Parents are the most knowledgeable judge of their own child’s health as COVID-19 has an incubation period in which symptoms may not be evident. Schools will have touchless thermometers available at each site for a second screening, when appropriate.
■ Students and staff should take their own temperature before reporting to school each day and stay home if above 100.4 F or if experiencing other symptoms.
■ Teachers will have the option of using a touchless thermometer, following the guidelines established by the District, to screen students prior to entering the classroom.
■ Schools will identify students not equally supported in a self-assessment at home and develop a plan to screen those students upon arrival at school.
■ Students kept home by parents or by school officials for health-related reasons will be considered excused.
■ Students who are home for a designated period, but are otherwise asymptomatic, will be supported to continue learning at home.
■ Students who are ill should prioritize their health – the school will support individual circumstances with an academic plan.
MEDICALLY VULNERABLE STUDENTS
A plan addressing the needs for students with special healthcare considerations that place them at higher risk for medical difficulties related to exposure to COVID-19 has been developed and will be implemented.
■ All teachers and other staff members who may be responsible for implementing a student’s Individual Health Plan will be made aware that the student has a plan and fully comply with it when the school year begins. Teachers must fully implement Individual Health Plans for eligible students.
■ Medically vulnerable students may also have a 504 Plan, an approved chronic health condition, or an IEP.
■ Parents should work closely with the school clinic, school staff, and Department of Health officials to ensure that schools have proper documentation of all medical conditions.
Each child is required to bring a face covering from home each day. If a child attends school without a face covering, they will be provided with one. Face coverings must adhere to the dress code and may not cover the entire face or eyes.
If a child attends school with a face covering with inappropriate graphics or words, the administration will require the student to use a provided face covering which meets our student dress code. Students and staff will be required to wear a face-covering at all times where social distancing of (6 feet) or more cannot be met.
We understand there are some medical and other conditions which may result in students or staff being unable to wear a face covering. In these cases, documentation will be provided to the administration.
Handwashing & Sanitization
■ Each classroom will have hand sanitizer which students will use upon entry and exit.
■ Hand sanitizing stations have been added in several places around our campuses including classrooms, administrative areas, cafeterias and other common areas.
■ Handwashing and sanitization posters are placed in high visibility areas.
■ Students will also use hand sanitizer upon entering a school bus and exiting a school bus.
■ Water fountains will be limited to the filling of personal water bottles
■ Students should never share their water bottles with others
■ Signs will be posted at each water fountain to remind students and staff of this change
ENHANCES CLEANING PROTOCOLS
Custodial staff will increase the amount of cleaning and disinfecting of buildings, focusing on high-frequency touch surfaces. Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting will help remove germ load (i.e., bacteria and viruses; including the Novel Coronavirus) and help prevent the spread of contagion.
Below are some examples of high touch surfaces:
■ Doorknobs/handles/push bars
■ Stair rails
■ Computer keyboard/mouse (shared)
■ Light switches
■ Phones (shared)
■ Water fountains
■ Cafeteria tables/chairs
■ Elevator buttons
■ Dispensers-soap, sanitizer, paper towel, etc.
When cleaning and disinfecting, BPS custodial staff will use an EPA List N recognized emerging pathogen disinfectant approved for use against Coronavirus.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY MEASURES IMPLEMENTED
■ Desks will face the same direction and tables will be placed in a configuration so students will not face one another
■ Hallway traffic patterns will be modified to minimize face-to-face interaction
■ Plexi-glass barriers are in place (where appropriate) in offices and reception areas
■ School schedules have been modified to minimize congregation in communal areas
■ Water fountains will only be used for the filling of water bottles or cups
■ Hand sanitizer, face coverings and additional cleaning products are on-site at each school
■ Bus drivers, cafeteria workers and custodians will be trained in cleaning procedures and new protocols on increased frequency of cleaning
■ HVAC filter changes are in process and cycles have been modified to increase air circulation
■ Transportation routes have been adjusted to limit the number of riders per seat
■ Hand sanitization stations and face coverings are required for bus riders
■ Clinic spaces have been adjusted to allow space for separation of students
■ Addition of a custodial strike team to augment deep cleaning in schools with possible exposure
■ Touchless thermometers are available for each school and district site
■ Face shields are provided to every teacher in addition to coverings
■ Misting fogger for every school and district site for deep cleaning
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A CASE IS CONFIRMED
1) The School Principal or Designee at the site will ask the name of employee/student and worksite/school:
■ Last day employee/student reported to work/school?
■ Document with whom the employee/student was within 6 ft for longer than 10 mins?
■ Are any other sites impacted due to people in their household (spouses, parents, or children)?
■ What areas in the work site/school did the employee/student inhabit prior to concern?
2) The School Principal or Designee will close area for 24-48 hours and communicate with District Liaison.
3) BPS’ Response Team, in coordination with DOH, will meet and coordinate:
■ Notification to students/staff
■ Determination for exclusions and closures
■ Deployment of Custodial Strike Team
4) Continuity of Instruction Plan
■ Continuity of Feeding Plan
■ Technology Plan
Day-to-day decisions for schools to remain open or to close are local decisions made in collaboration with the Department of Health.
■ The Response Team will review each situation to determine the decisions that will be made based upon both health and operational concerns, as well as past practice in mitigating infectious disease.
■ When a school is no longer able to safely function due to employee absence and the inability to fill those positions, a
school may be subject to a temporary school closure.
■ Schools whose enrollments fall below minimum capacity to run efficiently and effectively may be combined to offer students continuity of services.
VOLUNTEERS AND VISITORS
Although BPS recognizes the invaluable role volunteers and parents play in the educational process, student and staff safety require the limitation of non-essential people on campus.
■ Visitors in schools are limited to parents or legal guardians:
• registering students for school
• attending requested school meetings
• checking in or out students
■ Authorized visitors are required to wear face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained, or upon request of the school employees
■ Non-essential visitors and volunteers will not be permitted on school campuses to include walking students to class, eating lunch with students, or attending classroom events or celebrations
■ Parents may not drop off items for student pick up that are not medically or academically required
■ Contracted service providers will be required to complete a self-screening prior to being allowed on campus and they must adhere to all school health guidelines
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