The health and safety of students and staff is the district’s number one priority, and returning in-person must be done strategically and in accordance with public health guidance. This section summarizes mitigation measures, PPE and related equipment, cleaning protocols, and other safety considerations.
Overview of Safety Expectations
Enhanced Health and Safety Measures
Cleaning and Disinfecting
PUHSD recognizes that enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, with a focus on high touch common areas, limit the spread of COVID-19. The District meets or exceeds all guidelines developed by the CDC, CDPH, and Cal/OSHA for cleaning, sanitization and disinfection, and all cleaning and disinfectant products align with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved list.
Custodial staff have been trained on procedures for cleaning and disinfecting to ensure:
- Bathrooms are cleaned, disinfected and stocked with soap throughout the day.
- High touch surfaces such as countertops, door handles, knobs, light switches, handrails and benches are cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
- Classrooms and all other areas of the campuses are cleaned and disinfected nightly and include the use of Electrostatic Sprayers.
PUHSD has made disinfectant and disposable towels available in all classrooms for staff who choose to use it on a voluntary basis. Disinfectant wipes are also available.
All classrooms, restrooms, hallways, handrails, common areas and work spaces have been treated with SD Pro Plus, a durable antimicrobial clear coating designed to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, mildew and algae applied through a fogging system.
Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizer
Restrooms will be open and stocked for frequent hand washing. Signage is also posted throughout school campuses to remind students and staff how to properly wash their hands, and to do so frequently. Hand sanitizer is also available in all classrooms and other common areas for students and staff to use throughout the day.
HVAC systems have been serviced and inspected across the district to ensure proper operation and circulation of outside air. Regular cleaning and inspecting of air vents in classrooms and workspaces is included as part of the district’s COVID-19 protocols. CDC guidelines include adjusting HVAC equipment to increase the outdoor/indoor air mixture to pull in more fresh air from the outside. HVAC schedules have been set to run within prescribed hours.
HVAC filters have been inspected and/or upgraded as needed to meet or exceed current requirements. Additionally, all air filters were treated with the same durable antimicrobial coating that was applied to high touch and common areas throughout the district. This was applied with an electrostatic sprayer to further reduce the spread of contaminants. The District follows a regular maintenance schedule for HVAC filter replacement.
Air purifiers have been placed in all classrooms and many common areas. After considerable research and evaluation, the district selected air purifiers with a patented disinfection filtration system technology (DFS) that works in conjunction and to supplement the HVAC ventilation system. Each classroom has 2 compact air purifiers, and large capacity units are provided for larger classrooms and common areas. These air purifiers trap and remove particles as small as 0.007 microns at 99.99% efficiency, which is smaller than the SARS-Cov2 and other enveloped virus particle sizes.
According to CDPH, and as included in their guidance listed above, recent evidence indicates that in-person instruction can occur safely without minimum physical distancing requirements when other mitigation strategies (e.g., masking) are implemented. This is consistent with recent CDC K-12 School Guidance. As a result, all students will be required to wear masks at all times when indoors and on school buses. Staff working in spaces occupied by students will be required to wear masks indoors as well. Masks will be optional outdoors. The district will provide masks to all students and staff if they do not have their own, or if they need a replacement.
The District recognizes that some students have medical conditions or disabilities that prevent them from wearing a face mask or other face covering. A mask exemption form should be used by parents/guardians who are seeking an exemption to this requirement. It is important to note that in order to receive a medical or disability related exemption, the medical condition or disability must prevent the student from wearing a face covering. A medical condition or disability does not automatically exempt a student from wearing a face covering. The student mask exemption form can be found here:
Staff members who are seeking a mask exemption should submit a medical note from a licensed medical practitioner to Human Resources who will facilitate the interactive process to identify any reasonable accommodations.
Can face shields be worn instead of a mask or face covering?
Face shields are not used to replace a mask or face coverings. Although they may have benefits such as eye and splash protection, to date they have not been proven to keep the wearer from infecting others. People exempt from wearing a face covering due to medical, mental, or disability with a medical exemption should wear a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge as long as their condition permits it, and they should maintain six feet of social distance.