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Safe In-Person Learning
Boy with crayons working at desk in school

Safe In-Person Learning

Salem-Keizer Public Schools is working to develop plans despite rapidly evolving data and shifting circumstances. We understand these plans will impact all of you, and we are committed to a thoughtful approach that is inclusive of students, parents, staff and the community.

COVID-19 Dashboard

Families need to know

Safe & healthy schools

Overview

As we prepare and plan for a safe spring season, some health measures will be updated based on the Ready Schools, Safe Learner Resiliency Framework and the latest School Health Advisory.

Because of high vaccination rates and previous infection due to Omicron, Oregon now has significant population immunity. The Oregon Health Authority estimates that upwards of 82% of individuals are currently immune. The duration of this immunity is unknown but is believed to provide protection from reinfection for at least 90 days.

The guidance in the FAQs on this webpage reflect latest updates as of March 12, 2022.

Safety Monitoring

This spring, district operations will continue to use the established risk matrix. If cases begin to rise again in the community and impact schools, the district, in collaboration with the local public health authorities, will determine the appropriate health and safety measures to mitigate and manage outbreaks. See the COVID-19 dashboard for the most recent information total new cases and on student attendance at schools.

Classrooms and Cafeterias

Classrooms

Desks and student working spaces will maintain 3 feet of distance to the greatest extent possible. Schools may still consider outdoor learning opportunities.

Cafeterias

Will be used to the extent possible. All meals must be served in the cafeteria by a food services provider. Three feet of distancing maintained to the extent possible. All students and staff must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer upon entering and exiting the cafeteria.

Face coverings

Effective March 12, 2022, face coverings will be optional in all district facilities, schools and school buses for students and staff. This includes the school day, before-school and after-school programs and extracurricular activities and athletics.

While face coverings will be optional, it is highly recommended that at-risk adults and students continue to wear KN95 masks.

We know some students and adults will choose to wear face coverings and others will not. It is critical we support these decisions as we work together to build a community that supports each other in the decisions that protect their health or the health of those close to them.

Visitors and volunteers

Visitors

Each school will determine a timeline of when short-term visitors may return to schools. Visitors will follow pre-pandemic policies and procedures. Masks for visitors are optional but highly encouraged. All visitors must check-in, during the check-in and check-out process the visitors will read the illness statement which is standard on all check-in and check-out systems districtwide. Short-term visitors are not required to be vaccinated.

Volunteers

Volunteers may return to schools utilizing the district’s volunteer process.

Isolation and Quarantining

Posted: March 21, 2022

Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result should be excluded for 5 days (5 days after symptom onset, or 5 days after test date if no symptoms).

Isolation may end after 5 full days if the individual is fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.

Ventilation

The district is committed to proper and optimized HVAC systems. In regard to mitigation efforts against COVID-19, the district’s HVAC systems meet or exceed guidance from the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework.

The district’s approach is to optimize HVAC system performance at each building. System optimization entails fresh air intake, air handling (mixing fresh with recirculated air), filtration, air changing (number of times per hour that air is changed in a room) and temperature control. Optimizing system performance reduces build up in the air of smaller particles such as COVID-19, particularly in an aerosolized state. Our systems provide a baseline of three to five air changes per hour (ACH).

What adjustments for COVID-19 have been made?

Our systems have been adjusted to maximize fresh air intake, use higher MERV-rated filters, extend the hours of operation and provide a minimum of two hours of purging before and after normal occupied hours.

Can windows be opened during the operational day?

Yes. Windows may be opened during the day. Air flow will be monitored to maintain adequate internal temperature and safety.

What types of air filters does the district use?

Most of our systems are currently optimized using MERV 8 and MERV 10 filtration.

Does the district provide portable HEPA air filtration units?

We have deployed district approved portable HEPA filtration systems in rooms that required additional mitigation measures such as:

  • Limited ability for staff and/or students to consistently maintain 3 – 6 feet of distance
  • Health and isolation rooms
  • Staff break rooms
  • Areas with a high frequency of visitors or traffic (front offices and reception areas)
  • Other areas as assessed by the district
Athletics

Athletics and Music/Performance safety protocols will follow district protocol of optional masking per Oregon School Activities Association. Athletic and Music events no longer need to adhere to capacity limitations. Physical distancing of 3 feet to the greatest extent possible is recommended.

Music & theater arts

Athletics and Music/Performance safety protocols will follow district protocol of optional masking per Oregon School Activities Association. Athletic and Music events no longer need to adhere to capacity limitations. Physical distancing of 3 feet to the greatest extent possible is recommended.

COVID testing

Test to stay no longer exists, because we are no longer contact tracing. Use of rapid tests (BinaxNow and home tests) may be used at the school site as needed. Schools are encouraged to offer rapid testing to individuals at increased risk of severe illness, e.g., cohorts that include medically fragile individuals.

Vaccinations

Are staff required to be vaccinated?

All school staff must be vaccinated or apply for and receive a medical or religious exception.

Are students required to be vaccinated?

Students are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The CDC recommends vaccination for children ages 12 and up. Vaccination should be done in coordination with a guardian and medical provider.

Continuity Of Services Plan (ESSER)

Staff Quick List

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