RESPONDING TO THE CORONAVIRUS
revised School Protocol
10 Practical Steps for Schools
We recognize the important role schools play within the community. Please help in our efforts to share accurate information, promote actions that can keep us all healthy and safe, and counter misinformation or stigma regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus).
As new information emerges, please remember that the risk of novel coronavirus is not at all connected with race, ethnicity or nationality. Stigma will not help to fight the illness. Do not make determinations of risk based on race or country of origin. Be sure to maintain confidentiality of people with confirmed coronavirus infection.
Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading.
Our churches, schools, and ministries are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for worship, learning, service and fellowship.
- Actively encourage sick students, staff and school families to stay home in a self-quarantine.
- Monitor student, staff, and school family health by checking temperatures (the first sign of illness). Encourage the school family to call their medical provider with concerning symptoms and exposures. See: What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus
- Encourage good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette for students, staff and school family. See: Handwashing to Prevent Illness at School
- Follow standard environmental cleaning procedures and protocols and specific recommendations from your local health department for cleaning and sanitizing desks, chairs, handles, knobs, learning aids, toys, and common surfaces. (Snohomish County Department of Health, for example, recommends surfaces need to be wet for 20 minutes with a cleaning sanitation solution and allowed to air dry). See also: Classroom Cleaning Tips for Teachers and OSHA Disinfecting Environmental Surfaces for further instructions
Based on the risk factors of your local community, consider postponing school days for cleaning, school family gatherings and/or holding virtual board meetings. In case of extended school closure, e-days can be arranged (see also items 7 and 8).
- For any community meetings, actively encourage sick people to stay home, encourage hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, limit physical touch such as handshakes, practice social distancing (6 feet), and perform routine environmental cleaning.
- If a school closure is needed, students do not need to make up academic hours at this time. The state requires 1,000 hours of instruction. Our Adventist schools typically schedule additional hours over the requirement; check your local records.
- Student management: Students who are quarantined at home by choice or circumstance will receive an excused absence, can make up any school work, and do not require a doctor’s note.
- Keep track of latest updates from CDC, Washington State Department of Health, and your local health department. See: What You Should Know About the Coronavirus
- Pray for God’s health, healing and wholeness. God is bigger than illnesses. This is a time to trust God, use common sense, and practice good hygiene to boost immunity.
Originally published March 3, 2020