Plan for Safe Return
Lexington Public Schools
UPDATED: August 10, 2021
This plan has been updated for the start of the 2021-2022 school year, but will be continuously reviewed and revised as necessary. There is currently no declared State of Emergency for Nebraska or Directed Health Measure (DHM) in effect that requires the District to mandate masks or other specific interventions.
Lexington Public Schools (“District”) will begin the school year with the safety protocols described below.
This plan was written taking into account a broad base of stakeholder input and public comment, including the consultation of local medical providers, parents, and staff.
It shall be posted to the District’s website: www.lexschools.org on August 10, 2021.
It is accessible in the languages of English, Spanish, and Somali, but can be translated into other languages as requested, or reformatted for persons with disabilities.
This plan will be reviewed at least every six months and revised as necessary taking into account input from members of the public, local medical providers, public health agencies, and the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”). Any revisions will be publicly available on the District’s website.
The District shall maintain records of the people involved in writing this plan; and document input received about, changes to, posting locations of, and policies referenced within, this plan.
Masks shall be optional for students, staff, and visitors. The District shall provide masks to students and staff who wish to wear them, and will make our best effort to work with parents to reinforce their wishes concerning their children’s mask-wearing in school. Students, staff, and drivers may be required to wear masks on school buses and in other District vehicles if directed by the Nebraska Department of Education. If masks are required on vehicles, they must cover the nose and mouth.
Upon entering buildings, parents and visitors shall be required to perform a self- check for COVID symptoms. If they are symptomatic, they will not be allowed to enter.
ii. Physical distancing
Physical distancing will be maximized to the greatest extent feasible while considering the educational needs of students.
iii. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
Frequent hand-washing and/or use of hand sanitizer will be practiced in all buildings. Students shall be instructed to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When handwashing is unavailable, hand sanitizer shall be used. Students and staff shall be instructed to cover their mouths and noses while coughing or sneezing with a tissue when masks are not worn; and to immediately wash their hands after blowing their noses.
iv. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation
The District will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting buildings using EPA-approved detergents and disinfectants. Cleaning staff will be trained on the use of various cleaning agents, the use of PPE, and other relevant safety protocols.
Buildings will be cleaned at least once daily and high touch surfaces more frequently as needed. The District will work collaboratively with its cleaning contractor to ensure cleaning staff are trained and apprised of recommended practices. When possible, the District will increase the introduction of outdoor air and/or higher SEER filtration to improve ventilation and indoor air quality. Student transportation vehicles will be sanitized at the beginning and end of every shift using EPA-approved disinfectants.
The District will provide students in grades pK-5 with water bottles to reduce the risk of transmission.
v. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaborations with the state, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments
The District will comply with privacy laws and the recommended protocols for quarantine and isolation of either the Two Rivers Public Health Department or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. The District shall follow the NSAA guidance concerning school activities. An internal tracking document has been created to record the dates, medical orders, and isolation requirements for students and staff across the District, accessible only to authorized District personnel and the Two Rivers Public Health Department. The District will use its website to publish the most current recommendations concerning quarantine and isolation as well as utilize its communications system (email, text, voice) and translation services to inform households.
Students and staff who show symptoms of COVID will be encouraged to stay home. Those symptoms will be communicated to students, their families, and staff in multiple translations using the District’s website, social media platforms, and communications system. Available substitute teachers will be identified and principals will assist in developing staffing plans to cover the classrooms of quarantined or isolated staff members.
vi. Diagnostic testing and screening testing
The District shall refer students and staff having COVID symptoms to community diagnostic testing locations. If diagnostic or screening testing is recommended and becomes available in schools, the District will avail its facilities to students and staff who provide informed consent, and provide training to school nurses who may be able to assist in testing. Rate of community transmission will be monitored to determine whether asymptomatic screening is warranted. The District will use its website to publish the most current recommendations concerning quarantine and isolation as well as utilize its website, social media platforms, communications system, and translation services to apprise households.
vii. Efforts to provide vaccinations in school communities
The District will continue to work collaboratively with the Two Rivers Public Health Department, local medical providers, and other community leaders to promote and disseminate information on vaccinations to students, staff, and the community at large. The District will continue to avail its website, social media platforms, communications systems, message translation services, and facilities toward this effort.
viii. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies
The District will accommodate exceptions to COVID protocols as permitted by a student’s IEP or 504 team decisions.
ix. Coordination with State and local health officials. Including the needs for support and technical assistance to implement strategies consistent to the greatest extent practicable, with relevant CDC guidance
District personnel will continue to participate in weekly information-sharing sessions with local health care providers, the Two Rivers Public Health Department, and other community leaders. District administrators will continue to participate in regular state education department and governor briefings.
Continuity of Services
Student Academic Needs. The District has invested in iPads, wireless connectivity, academic and organizational software, and student and staff training to ensure continuity of instruction should in-person learning not be possible. Students will continue to be provided accommodations as stated in their IEP/504 plans during remote learning. Parent input will be sought to develop a plan for the provision of remote IEP services. Student progress will be reviewed by the student’s team when in person learning resumes.
Social emotional, mental health, physical health, and food service. The District is implementing a social-emotional universal screener for students and staff beginning in the 2021-2022 school year. A social, behavioral and emotional approach using evidence-based curriculum, professional development, and interventions will be implemented. Additional staff have been put in place to help support the mental health needs of all staff and students. School counselors and mental health support staff will be available for any students or staff in need of assistance.
Date Approved by Board: August 9, 2021