• FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    Mask Related Questions

    * Last updated February 28, 2022

    What is the KASD Health and Safety Plan masking policy as of January 3, 2022? *

    KASD Schools

    • Effective January 3, 2022, masks will be a voluntary mitigation effort in grades K-12
    • All students must be respectful of their peers' decisions around masking.
    • We strongly encourage students to consider masking in scenarios when less than 3ft from peers or working in small groups. 
    • Case counts and associated data will be monitored closely. KASD Administration will share an update with the Board on January 18th regarding consideration of any alterations to mitigation strategies.

    Extracurricular Activities

    • Masks will not be required by the District for events or activities occurring outside normal school hours. This will include afterschool programming, sports, musicals, etc. at all grade levels, K-12.

    Transportation

    • Per CDC Order, all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings/masks on school transportation. 
    • Effective February 25, 2022, CDC does not require wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs.

    Will teachers or administration maintain a list of students whose families want them to wear masks?

    No. On occasion, staff will certainly be able to provide feedback to guardians who inquire about their child’s mask wearing, but this will not be a part of regular routines. 

    If a student is uncomfortable sitting in a classroom, with limited ability to distance from a student who chooses not to wear a mask, can they request a seat change?

    All students are expected to respect the choices of their peers. Students may privately request a change of seat or location to their teacher. Teachers will accommodate student requests when feasible. 

    May staff or students choose to maintain distance from individuals who choose to not wear a mask? 

    Students may choose to work 6 ft from classmates as is feasible based on space in the classroom. Staff may choose to work distanced from students or use plastic dividers when possible. 

    Is the District requiring masks for students and staff on District transportation?

    Staff and students will be required to wear a face mask while riding school transportation in alignment with the CDC Order regarding public transportation. If the mask mandate requirement placed on transportation is lifted, we will modify expectations accordingly.

     

    Mitigation Related Questions

    * Last updated January 2, 2022

    What are the mitigation efforts and safety protocols in place to ensure the health and well-being of our students, staff, and families?

    Current CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidance recommends in-person learning and a layered approach to keeping students and staff safe. 

    Monitoring Student and Staff Health

    The most important thing families can do to help limit the spread of COVID-19 is to check their children daily for any symptoms and keep them home from school if they are sick or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19.

    • Students and staff are expected to complete the CDC's daily home screening checklist each morning before leaving for school. Parents are asked to support school health by keeping children home if they are sick or symptomatic. Please refer to your medical provider for guidance and treatment
    • Families and staff are asked to notify the school of a confirmed/presumed positive COVID-19 test result of an individual who was present in our schools/facilities. A screenshot of the positive laboratory results with student identifying information should be emailed to the building nurse.
    • Families/Staff should refer to the KASD Keeping Our Schools Open Document

    Cleaning and Ventilation Protocols

    • KASD’s commitment to maximizing air quality includes 
      • air exchange rates that exceed industry standard
      • needlepoint bipolar ionization (NPBI) devices which benefits include agglomeration of particles, inactivation of viruses and killing bacteria
      • Upgraded HVAC Units that include Merv-13 filters as the standard
      • HVAC systems run continuously to support air flow and exchange even during non-occupied hours. 
    • Occupied areas, such as offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, workrooms, and bathrooms, high-touch surfaces, such as water fountains, door handles, and light switches will be cleaned daily on school days. 
    • Safe cleaning products (ex. soap and water) for use on individual or shared learning spaces and materials will be provided for staff and student use throughout the day.

     Hygiene

    • Students and staff will be encouraged to wash hands frequently, using soap and water. Additional reinforcement and monitoring of hand washing will be provided prior to lunch and upon return from breakfast, snack, and recess. 
    • Classrooms at all levels without sinks will be provided with hand sanitizer bottles. Hand sanitizing products will be readily available in common areas, and students may bring their own sanitizers to school as well.
    • Posters around the school will remind students and staff to avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nose as much as possible, to avoid contact with people who are sick, to cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into their upper sleeve or elbow, and to wash their hands after coughing and sneezing.

    Social Distancing

    • Our goal is to maintain distance to the greatest extent possible.
    • Spacing will be considered when organizing small groups. Working in small groups is a best practice in teaching and learning and will be supported as we work to close learning gaps due to COVID. 
    • Hallways and classroom transitions will be monitored to encourage distancing.
    • Elementary students in grade K-4 will remain cohorted by class for recess to start the calendar year. We will review this practice as the winter illness season concludes
    • All students will be permitted to travel between different classrooms during the school day.

    Transportation

    • Students and staff are required to wear a mask while riding the bus.
    • Buses will be disinfected at the conclusion of the morning, mid-day, afternoon, and extracurricular runs. This includes handrails, bus seats, and other high touch surfaces. 

    Athletics and Student Activities

    • In addition to following the hygiene and safety protocols established by the District for the school setting, advisors and coaches will ensure equipment is properly cleaned and wiped down at the conclusion of the activity. 
    • Athletes and coaches are encouraged to bring their own water to practices and games, and water bottles should not be shared. Hydration stations will be available as provided by the Athletic Trainer.

    BCTC Students

    • BCTC Students will need to continue to follow any additional guidelines of protocols in place at BCTC for continued attendance in their programs.

     

    What will influence the District's decisions regarding delivery models, closures, or additional mitigation efforts?

    • Local context (number of school-related cases, number of COVID-19 related absences, most recent trend for community spread, number of hospitalizations, etc.)
    • Input from local healthcare providers
    • Experience of other local, regional, and national schools 
    • Updated guidance and recommendations
    • Decisions will be made in the safest and least disruptive manner in an effort to impact the least number of individuals, groups, teams, programs, classrooms, buildings, etc. 

     

    COVID-19 Related Questions

    * Last updated January 2, 2022

    What if someone is sick at school? 

    Families are strongly encouraged to monitor their children daily for symptoms and to contact their primary care provider when children are symptomatic. Families should also consider getting a COVID test when symptoms indicate possible infection. If a student or staff member is ill during the school day, they will be sent to the nurse’s office.

    KASD nursing staff will communicate with families of ill students and advise them based on the combination of and severity of symptoms of illness. 

    What if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

    It is important that families and staff communicate with school officials. Any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or who shows signs or symptoms of illness should stay home and contact their health care provider for further guidance. 

    Following the CDC's and PA Department of Health guidance on what to do if a student becomes sick or reports a new COVID-19 diagnosis at school, ill students or staff can return to school and end isolation once the following are met: 

    • If the person with COVID-19 either has no symptoms or has resolved or improving symptoms (including without fever reducing medication i.e. Tylenol or Ibuprofen) after Day 5 of isolation, the person with COVID-19 may leave their house provided they wear a well-fitting mask when around other people. 
    • All persons who test positive for COVID-19 are recommended to wear a mask while around other people during Days 6 through 10. 
    • Day 0 is defined as either the date of symptom onset, or the date the test specimen was collected if the patient is asymptomatic. 
    • If someone develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19, testing is recommended regardless of vaccination or prior infection status.

    Currently KASD reports the aggregate number of cases per week per building to PA DoH. In the event of building percentages exceeding 3%, we will consult with PA DoH.  Additionally, we will closely review any materials, equipment or areas of the building that may require additional cleaning or disinfecting prior to the next school day.

    Will the District conduct contact tracing? When will a student need to quarantine/isolate? *

    Effective January 3, 2022, school setting close contacts will not be required to quarantine, unless they are symptomatic, regardless of mask status. 

    • A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet for 15 or more consecutive minutes, within 48 hours of the onset of illness onset.
    • If a staff member or student is deemed a close contact, as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms, they will not be required to quarantine; however, they shall  wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days and should get tested on the 5th day after exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
    • If a fully vaccinated staff member or student is deemed a close contact, as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms, they will not be required to quarantine; however, they shall also wear a mask indoors in public for 10 days and should get tested on the 5th day after exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms.
    • Staff and students testing positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, will be expected to isolate for 5 days after the onset of symptoms.

    Household Close Contacts - Based on our experience, household close contacts have a much higher probability to contract COVID-19 than school close contacts. 

    • Household close contacts will be required to isolate and quarantine per PA DoH guideline. Currently that includes 5 days of isolation (from the date of first symptoms or date of positive, whichever is first) while the household contact is contagious, plus 5 days for quarantine. 
    • Contacts may return on the 11th day of quarantine (5 isolation +5 Days of quarantine) if they received a negative test after 5 days of isolation and remain asymptomatic through day 10.
    • Contacts returning on day 11, should mask through day 15. 

    COVID Procedure KASD Keeping Our Schools Open flowchart

    Click here to view the District's flowchart developed to assist families and staff in determining the proper procedures should they test positive for COVID, report they are living with a COVID positive individual, or be identified as a close contact. 

    Will the District utilize a COVID Tracker this school year?

    We will provide a weekly summary of student and staff reported active cases and quarantine numbers for each school. Click here to view the tracker, which will be updated at the end of the day Friday. Note* On occasion, numbers will change for the previous week depending on when results are received.  

    Will parents receive notification when a COVID-19 case is reported at their child's school?

    We will notify staff and families of children who have been determined to be a close contact. After January 1, 2022, KASD will transition to ConnectEd calls to notify families of their status as a close contact.

    Will the school district conduct COVID-19 testing in the schools for students and staff who have been exposed?

    PDE/DOH have made resources and programs available to school districts to conduct COVID testing. The administration does not have a current plan to provide COVID testing services in the district, but we are considering options to provide optional testing of ill students for family convenience.