Health & Safety Protocols

  • The Iowa City Community School District is committed to student and staff health and safety. The District is aware that the COVID-19 pandemic, especially the Delta Variant, remains present in the community. For the 2021 - 2022 school year, the following enhanced health and safety guidelines will be implemented to help protect students, staff, families, and our entire school community. The below guidance supplements the District’s standard policies, procedures, practices, and school rules.  

    The District will continue to monitor COVID-19 rates and make adjustments as needed. Johnson County’s Transmission rate is currently High.


    DISTRICT GUIDELINES

    Layered prevention strategies, including washing hands, social distancing, and staying home when sick are paramount for all in the school community. The District’s policy, procedures, and these enhanced health and safety guidelines apply to all Iowa City Community School District schools and facilities, District activities, programs and events, BASP, mission and community partners, and community use of District facilities.

    Vaccinations: The District strongly encourages all individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. While a vaccine is not required to attend, visit, or work in a District school or building, this recommendation reflects the guidance of the CDC, IDPH, and JCPH. For individuals 12 years of age and older who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, this vaccine locator may be used to find a COVID-19 vaccine provider near you.

    Face Coverings: Per guidance from the CDC, universal masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is required in District buildings and on District campuses.  Face coverings will be available for students, staff, and visitors at each building. For individuals who are eligible for face mask exemption, please complete the Face Mask Exemption Form and return it to your school nurse.

    In compliance with the President’s Executive Order on domestic transportation, students and staff are required to wear a face-covering while on a school bus or while utilizing other District-provided transportation. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in loss of bus riding privileges.

    Contact Tracing: Our District will continue to work with Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) in their contact tracing efforts.  Families will be required to follow JCPH quarantine guidance and should contact their school attendance secretary to report any absence due to quarantine.

    Quarantine/Isolation: Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate at home for 10 days.  For quarantine information, please visit our District's Quarantine Protocols page. 


    ELEMENTARY SCHOOL GUIDELINES

    Universal masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is required in District buildings and on District campuses. Staying aligned to the CDC guidance and the District's mask requirement, students that are outside for PE, recess, or other activities do not need to wear a mask if they remain three feet apart and are only within three feet of each other for brief periods of time.

    School Day: 

    • Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when sick, when COVID-19 symptoms are present, or when determined to be a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.
      • Singleton: Students will join the morning meeting and small group Reading and Math lessons through Zoom. Students with IEPs also need to receive Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). ELL services/assignments should continue either synchronously (Zoom if possible) or asynchronously (activities assigned in Seesaw and/or Canvas). All assignments will be posted to SeeSaw. We will continue to explore other options (i.e. building substitutes, academic support teachers, etc.), but will begin the year as such.
      • Classroom: Students will join morning meetings and be provided synchronous instruction in reading, math, science/social studies, and specials through Zoom.  All assignments will be posted to SeeSaw.  Pull-outs will happen at the same time as regularly scheduled with their onsite teacher (ELL, ELP, SpEd, Title, Academic Support).
    • Buildings are closed to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
      • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
    • The District will work with each school to maximize the distance between individuals. We can not guarantee consistent social distancing of 3 feet in classrooms and buildings.
    • The District will utilize the classroom capacity guidance articulated in Board Policy 606.1. For the 2021 - 2022 school year, levels 1 - 4 will be used for all school buildings and level 5 for ICCSD Online.
    • Individual schools will determine breakfast and lunch procedures. Buildings are encouraged to use spaces beyond the traditional lunchroom to promote social distancing.
    • Students and staff are encouraged to take frequent hand washing breaks throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be available in school buildings.
    • Building and classroom cleaning and disinfecting will take place as regularly scheduled.
    • Classrooms will be kept together throughout the instructional day and will eat lunch in classroom cohorts. For instructional purposes, cross cohorting will be allowed for interventions, ELL, SPED, Title I/Academic Support, ELP, band/orchestra, and single subject acceleration.
      • This exception will be eliminated should the District identify a community spread within a building.
    • As ventilation systems meet CDC requirements, windows must remain closed as opening them negatively impacts ventilation and air circulation.
    • Students are required to wear a face-covering while on the bus or utilizing other District-provided transportation.
    • In-person staff meetings will be allowed.
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, meeting participant capacity will be capped at 50% of the room capacity.
    • Field trips are allowed.
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, field trips will be limited to outdoor destinations. 

    Elementary Events and Community Use of District Spaces:

    • Elementary-age students do not currently have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to this, indoor events and large student gatherings in elementary buildings will be prohibited to protect the health and safety of our students. 
    • Community use of District buildings and grounds is allowed
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, community use will be limited to outside space use only

    JUNIOR HIGH AND HIGH SCHOOL GUIDELINES

    Students 12 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible individuals who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine may use this vaccine locator to find a provider. Universal masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is required in District buildings and on District campuses. Staying aligned to the CDC guidance and the District's mask requirement, students that are outside for PE, recess, or other activities do not need to wear a mask if they remain three feet apart and are only within three feet of each other for brief periods of time.

    School Day: 

    • Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when sick, when COVID-19 symptoms are present, or when determined to be a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.
      • Singleton: Students should be able to access teacher instruction. This should occur in the following ways:
        • Students may have the opportunity to “Zoom In” to their scheduled class period.
        • Teachers could record instruction from a class period and post it on Canvas.
        • Teachers may create a screencast or video with the instruction to post on Canvas.
        • Access to instruction must be provided in addition to the normal classroom assignments and asynchronous activities.
      • Classroom: For the situation where the entire classroom is on Quarantine, students will have the opportunity to “Zoom In” to their scheduled class period.
    • Buildings are closed to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
      • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
    • The District will work with each school to maximize the distance between individuals. We can not guarantee consistent social distancing of 3 feet in classrooms and buildings.
    • The District will utilize the classroom capacity guidance articulated in Board Policy 606.1. 
    • Individual schools will determine breakfast and lunch procedures. Buildings are encouraged to use spaces beyond the traditional lunchroom to promote social distancing. 
    • Students and staff are encouraged to take frequent hand washing breaks throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be available in school buildings.
    • Building and classroom cleaning and disinfecting will take place as regularly scheduled.
    • As ventilation systems meet CDC requirements, windows must remain closed as opening them negatively impacts ventilation and air circulation.
    • Students are required to wear a face-covering while on the bus or utilizing other District-provided transportation.
    • In-person staff meetings will be allowed.
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, meeting participant capacity will be capped at 50% of the room capacity.
    • Field trips and community experiences are allowed.
    • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, indoor student gatherings will be limited to 50% of the space capacity to protect the health and safety of our students. 

    Secondary Events and Community Use of District Space:

    • All school-sponsored events may be conducted as usual, both indoors and outdoors.
      • Universal masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is required in District buildings and on District campuses.
      • Athletics/activities will be conducted according to State association/IDPH guidelines.
      • Travel out of the district is allowed.
      • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, spectator capacity at indoor programs and events will be capped at 50%.
    • Community use of District buildings and grounds is allowed.
      • When the County transmission rate is Substantial or High, community use will be limited to outside space use only 

    COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND GUIDELINE REVIEW 

    School Sponsored experiences outside the school setting - In addition to the District’s guidance, students and staff must comply with local, state, and federal regulations in effect in the location the students and/or staff are traveling to outside District property. The District strongly encourages any program that is planning travel outside the District to obtain travel insurance as travel guidance could change based on JCPH, IDPH, CDC guidance, and/or County transmission rates. The District will not reimburse families for trips canceled due to changes in the District’s health and safety guidelines or changes made by other jurisdictions/organizations. 

    COVID-19 Dashboard: The District will maintain a COVID Dashboard that publishes the number of positive COVID-19 students and staff reported to the District. The dashboard will be updated daily (Monday through Friday).

    Johnson County COVID-19 Level of Transmission: Based on the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Johnson County’s community transmission level is High.  If this level of transmission changes to High, these guidelines will be reviewed to determine if additional mitigation strategies should be employed. If this level of transmission changes to Moderate, these guidelines will be reviewed to determine if mitigation strategies should be relaxed.