Safety Protocols

BackToSchool

As we begin the 2021-22 school year, we will continue our practice of relying on local public health officials for guidance on safety protocols and utilizing Hilliard’s COVID-19 data to inform the decisions we make.  We will closely monitor our community’s transmission rates, our students and staff’s positive case rates, and the number of quarantines of both students and staff. If data trends determine we need to make changes to any of our protocols, we have the ability to adjust swiftly and in a targeted fashion.  The decision is data-driven, and as data shifts in either direction, our protocols could also change.

At the August 9 Board of Education meeting, the Board authorized the Superintendent to make decisions on the use of masks on a classroom, building-wide, grade level, or district-wide basis.  They also charged the Superintendent with notifying the Board of any such changes within 24 hours and making regular reports to the Board on district COVID data.

 

Facial Covering Expectations

 

Mask Guidelines

Effective December, 2021

PreK-6th Grade

All PreK-6th grade buildings will require the use of masks by all individuals in the building (students, staff, and visitors).  When outside, masks are not required.

7-12th Grade

All 7-12th grade buildings will require the use of masks by all individuals in the building (students, staff, and visitors).  When outside, masks are not required.

Unvaccinated Staff

All unvaccinated staff, regardless of grade level, will be required to wear a mask at all times, indoors and outside.

School Busses

Per federal mandate, all individuals will be required to wear masks on school busses.

Additional Guidance

The performing arts, athletic departments, and advisors will continue to communicate directly with students and parents regarding health and safety protocols for after-school activities as necessary.  

We will continue to encourage spectators to elect to wear a mask when in our facilities at optional, after-school events.  We will have masks on hand for those who need one and would like to wear one.

We will follow quarantine guidance from the Ohio Department of HealthYou can click here to read an overview or click on this link to see a classroom exposure flowchart.

Exemptions

There are two ways you can go about requesting an exemption for your student. One is a medical exemption, and the second is a religious exemption.  Each of these exemption types has a form that is required in order to ask for the exemption. Access the forms here.

Please note that these are the only two forms that will be accepted.  The forms must be sent to our Central Office or emailed to Mike_Abraham@hboe.org.  Principals and teachers will not be able to process exemption requests.  It is important to note that until you receive notification of an approved exemption request, your student must be in a mask when they attend school.

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Contact Tracing & Quarantine

Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) has established quarantine guidelines and safety protocols in accordance with publications of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).  You can find the latest guidance by clicking this link to take you to the ODH web page.

Only health departments have the authority to issue isolation and quarantine orders under Ohio law; school districts do not have that authority. If you do not self-quarantine and FCPH determines that your child must quarantine, FCPH may issue a quarantine order.  However, unless FCPH issues a quarantine order to your child, the decision to isolate/quarantine is left to the parent/guardian. We would ask that you read the ODH protocols carefully as you consider what is best for your student.  If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.

If you do choose to self-quarantine, it will be considered an excused absence. Please notify your child’s school as you would any time your child is absent or ill. 

If you choose not to self-quarantine and your child returns to school following receiving notice of being a direct contact, the District requires the following for a 14-day period following the date of last exposure (“modified quarantine”):

  1. The student must not be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; AND
  2. The student must continue to conduct daily self-checks at home with their parent/guardian for the 14 day period following the exposure; AND
  3. The student must wear a face mask indoors during the school day for 14 days.

Please review guidelines from FCPH and contact FCPH with any questions.

Building

Building Protocols

Visitors and Volunteers: Visitors will be allowed in the schools when the principal deems a necessary visit and an appointment is scheduled. Pick-up/ Drop-off of students or items will still be outside the front doors. Visitors in any building must wear a mask.

Air Flow/HVAC: The building HVAC systems will continue to be programmed to bring in more outside air throughout the day. All air handling systems will utilize the maximum MERV rating filter that they are rated for.

Water Bottle Fillers/Fountains: Water bottle filling stations will be open for use. Water fountains will continue to be closed.

Bus

Transportation

Face Masks: Per federal requirements, face masks will be required to be worn by all students, staff, and school bus drivers while on the bus.

Hand Sanitizing: Hand sanitizer will be available on all school buses.

Assigned Seats: Students will have an assigned seat and will be seated up to the bus capacity.

Cleaning and Disinfecting: Each bus will continue to be cleaned and disinfected daily.

Bus

Food Service

All enrolled students are eligible to receive one breakfast and one lunch daily at no charge for the 2021-2022 school year through United States Department of Agriculture waivers. 

Cafeteria Seating: In order to provide sufficient information for contact tracing, there will be assigned lunchroom tables.

Hand Sanitizing: Students will be encouraged to wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer before lunch periods. 

Building

Mitigation Strategies

Physical Distancing: Individuals will be physically distanced by 3 feet when possible. 

PPE: Desk and table sneeze guards will be available for students and staff upon request, including in the school cafeterias. 

Hand Washing/Hand Sanitizing: Increased hand washing will continue to be emphasized throughout the school day. Hand sanitizer will continue to be placed in classrooms and throughout the buildings. Students will be encouraged to sanitize their hands throughout the day. 

Cleaning and Disinfecting: Routine cleaning protocols will continue throughout all school buildings and buses.  

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