Below are a series of requirements, recommendations, and considerations for our schools to re-open their campuses for in-person instruction. These should be read in conjunction with all federal, state, and local regulations, as well as school reopening guidance from the State and federal level.
The requirements in this document are actions that our local school district feels are necessary from the guidance that the Governor and the Flathead County Health Department are requesting schools to follow as they resume in-person instruction. In accordance with Kalispell Public Schools’s Pandemic Operational Phases, only those items labeled “requirements” in this document must be in place at our schools to proceed with in-person instruction.
The recommendations in this document are additional measures that the school can take to protect the health and safety of students, staff and the community. Because of the uniqueness of our schools, not all recommendations can be implemented at all locations. Federal, state or local public health officials' recommendations are also considered and presented in this document.
The guidance in this document reflects the best judgment of Kalispell Public Schools as to the practices that schools should follow and takes into account local conditions and considerations.
1. General Strategies/Behaviors to be Taught to Reduce Spread Requirements
● Teach and reinforce that employees and students who are sick stay home.
● Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among younger students.
● Teach and reinforce if soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used.
● Teach and reinforce to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
● Teach and reinforce that used tissues should be thrown in the trash and hands washed immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
● Teach and reinforce the use of cloth face coverings.
2. Face Coverings - Board Policy 1905
Staff, students, and visitors may wear a face covering, mask, or face shield while present in any school building. The School District strongly recommends that individuals refer to state and federal guidelines related to face coverings, consult with their healthcare provider and make the decision based on personal circumstances and preference. The District does not require the use of masks and will not provide masks except in cases required by this policy or at the discretion of the administration.
Allegations of harassment of any person wearing or not wearing a face covering, mask or face shield shall be promptly investigated in accordance with District policy. A student, staff member, or visitor who, after an investigation, is found to have engaged in behavior that violates District policy is subject to redirection or discipline.
If, after this section is adopted, the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county where the school district is located increases to the point of threatening school closures, the Board of Trustees authorizes the superintendent to implement a requirement for face coverings to be worn in identified District buildings until such time as the Board of Trustees can adopt an applicable District policy. The superintendent shall coordinate with the county health department and Board Chair to determine whether face coverings are a necessary response to a potential or actual COVID-19 outbreak. In the event face coverings are required, the superintendent shall announce the face covering requirement to students, parents, staff, and visitors for the immediate successive school day each day by 3:00 pm. If the superintendent determines masks are required, signs will be installed to inform students, parents, staff, and visitors of mask requirements while present in the identified District buildings.
These requirements are subject to change based on current recommendations from the Governor, CDC, or County Health Department.
For current recommendations, Kalispell Public Schools will not provide a face covering to staff and students who do not have one.
Consider CDC Guidance on Use of Masks to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19
Face covering requirements do not apply to the following:
Children under the age of two.
Any individual who cannot wear a face covering because of a documented medical condition, mental health condition, developmental disability, or if it presents a safety risk.
Anyone unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
While eating and/or drinking.
While engaging in high intensity activities if wearing a face covering causes difficulty breathing.
While seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired.
“Face covering” means a fabric, paper, or disposable face covering that covers the nose and mouth. The term “face covering” includes face shields.
Encourage those wearing face coverings to avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth when putting on or taking off the covering and to wash hands immediately after removing face coverings.
3. Other Hygiene Measures Requirements
● After using proper handwashing technique, avoiding contact with one’s eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes.
● Post signage in high visibility areas to remind students and staff of proper techniques for handwashing and covering of coughs and sneezes and other prevention measures.
● Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, tissues, no-touch trash cans, face coverings and hand sanitizers for staff and students who can safely use hand sanitizer.
● Minimize the sharing of supplies and equipment among staff and students to the extent feasible.
● Minimize staff and student contact with high-touch surfaces. If supervised, entry and exit doors may be propped open during arrival and exit times or when deemed safe during the school day.
● Monitor and model handwashing, particularly for lower grade levels.
● Develop routines to ensure students wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon arrival to campus; after using the restroom; after playing outside and returning to the classroom; before and after eating; and after coughing and sneezing. Proper hand washing is more effective at preventing transmission, but hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative if handwashing is not practicable.
● Suspend or modify use of site resources that necessitate sharing or touching items. For example, consider suspending use of drinking fountains and use hydration stations. Encourage the use of reusable water bottles.
For more information about our plan to reopen schools, view the pandemic operational guidance overview.
If you have additional general questions, please contact us at email@example.com. If you have specific questions for a certain school, please contact the school's principal.