Health and Safety Protocols

  • Overview

    Woman using hand sanitizer This page will be updated as Berkeley County School District is able to finalize approaches to health and safety for those families in need to more traditional learning options. We anticipate many changes/revisions/modifications to these health and safety protocols for the 2020-2021 school year as we continue to utilize practicable measures, to provide the safest situation possible for our students and employees.

Disinfecting Protocol

    • COVID-19 approved disinfectants will be used in all spaces.
    • Surfaces and common spaces will be cleaned and sanitized at least twice each day. Those items to be cleaned frequently include but are not limited to doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, desks and chairs.
    • Desks and chairs will be wiped down with an appropriate/approved disinfectant before each use.
    • Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in common areas and in classrooms.

Student Guidelines

Health Services

    • Non-essential visits to the school health room will be minimized or eliminated to decrease the risk of potential exposure to COVID-19. All teachers are expected to call the nurse with concerns, prior to sending a student to the health room. 
    • Parents should administer medications at home (if practicable) to limit possible exposure.
    • Parents will only bring "as needed" medication to be use at school only if absolutely necessary. (i.e. inhalers, epi pens, Benadryl, etc.)
    • Each school will identify a separate isolation room in close proximity to the health room.
    • The isolation room will need a telephone line to allow children to speak with their parents while awaiting pick up. This will decrease the spread of infectious conditions from student to nurse.
    • Isolation rooms will be disinfected between each use.
    • If a student is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, they will be escorted to an isolation area for further monitoring until they are signed out.
    • If a student is sent home from school with COVID-19 symptoms, a letter will be given to the parent(s) explaining when the student may return to school.
    • All positive cases will be reported to DHEC by the district’s nursing coordinator.
    • Health rooms with 2 entrances will designate an entrance for “sick” visits and an entrance for “healthy visits” (students coming for medications, treatments, etc.). These entrances will be designated by proper signage for students and staff to follow. This will protect healthy students and staff from potential infectious students/staff.
    • Health rooms that do not have multiple entrances will keep healthy students (children receiving medications or procedures) separate from students who are ill.
    • Nurses will train school staff on proper wear and removal of protective equipment.
    • Commonly touched areas in the health room will be cleaned throughout the day.
    • All medical procedures must be conducted in the nurse’s clinic; unless the student has a one on one nurse. Toileting may be conducted in designated restrooms for students with high support needs.

BCSD Face Coverings Protocol

  • Berkeley County School District (the “District”) is mindful of the evolving need for safety measures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As part of reopening schools, the District is implementing various safety measures including the use of face coverings.  The District encourages the use of face coverings at all times practical when social distancing cannot be achieved and provides the following protocol related to the same.

    Face coverings are encouraged to be worn by all persons when entering and exiting school buildings, while in the hallways and common areas, and while in close proximity to others.  The District recognizes that wearing face coverings will not be practical at all times.  Thus, students and staff may remove or lower their face coverings in the classroom and while social distancing can be achieved.  Further, while the District is strongly encouraging face coverings, the following shall be exempt from this protocol:

    1. Any person who is unable to safely wear a face covering due to age, an underlying health condition, or is unable to remove the face covering without the assistance of others;
    2. While a person is in their private individual office; and
    3. While actively eating or drinking.

    Conspicuous signage shall be posted at all entrances informing students, staff, and visitors of the expectations set forth in this protocol.


    **Staff and students on school buses must adhere to the South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines**

South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines

  • As BCSD school buses are owned, funded and maintained by the South Carolina Department of Education, students and staff utilizing these buses for transport to and from school will be expected to adhere to the following South Carolina Department of Education Face Covering Guidelines for School Buses. 

    South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines

     
    Students and staff who ride the state’s pupil transportation system to and from school are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, and exiting school buses. Staff members, including bus drivers, are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, driving, and exiting school buses. Bus drivers and support staff should ask any student who boards a bus without a covering to put one on and offer them a disposable or cloth face covering provided by the SCDE.
     
    Students who should NOT be required to wear face coverings:
     
    • Those younger than two years old;
    • Those who have trouble breathing;
    • Those unable to remove the covering without assistance; and/or
    • Those with special healthcare or educational needs as determined by an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Accommodations Plan, or an individual student healthcare plan, or by a medical doctor
    Staff members, including bus drivers, who have trouble breathing and/or those with special healthcare needs as noted by a medical doctor should NOT be required to wear face coverings.

School Building and Classroom Guidelines

    • Berkeley County School District intends to conduct temperature checks for all students and staff entering schools.
    • Pick up and drop off should occur on the outside of the building.
    • To the extent practical, face coverings are encouraged for all students and staff. Berkeley County School District has ordered face coverings for all employees and the South Carolina Department of Education has also ordered face coverings for all employees.
    • Schools will implement frequent hand-washing and/or hand-sanitizing opportunities.
    • Common areas should be set up for appropriate social distancing to the extent possible.
    • Classrooms will be set up with social distancing in mind. Student desks should face in the same direction and if practical, 6 feet social distancing should occur. When appropriate, a student should be assigned the same desk throughout the course. 
    • Sharing of food or any other item should not occur; this includes cupcakes or cookies for a celebration.
    • Information concerning plans for class movement and student class changes will be provided in school specific plans.
    • Visitors are prohibited from entering the building, except as necessary in emergent or required circumstances. Pick up and drop off should occur on the outside of the building.
    • To the extent possible, hallway use will be limited and there will be a staggered release of students/classes during class changes.
    • Assemblies or other congregate events are discouraged.

    VIEW BCSD COVID-19 EMPLOYEE EXPOSURE GUIDELINES

Transportation Guidelines

    • Students that are ill will not be permitted to ride the school bus.
    • Student seating on buses will be assigned with social distancing in mind, as practical.
    • Buses will be disinfected following unloading of students using electrostatic cleaners.
    • Families who are able to transport their children to school are encouraged to do so.
    • We ask that school bus use be reserved for those families who truly have no other option for transporting their children to school.
    • Bus staff will use face coverings and exhibit social distancing when interacting with students and colleagues.
    • Personal protective equipment will be distributed based on need and availability.
    • Bus staff will use gloves and eye protection when using disinfectant supplies. Gloves will be discarded after use.

    Social Distancing, Ventilation and Capacity on School Buses

    • Assignment of three students to a seat should not occur.
    • Each student will be assigned a seat on the bus. Each driver will maintain a seating chart as documentation of the students’ location on the bus. When possible, members of the same household will be assigned the same seat to limit the possibility of exposure. When possible, an adult monitor may be used to ensure appropriate seating occurs.
    • The driver will maximize the circulation of outside air to the extent practicable. The opening of roof vents and windows will be utilized as weather permits.
    • Buses will be disinfected prior to starting the next trip.

    Signage and Student Education

    • Posting of COVID-19 prevention in prominent areas on school buses.

    Training Programs

    • Virtual training options will be made available that will also include COVID-19 protocols.
    • SCDE Behind-the-Wheel trainers/testers will exhibit social distancing with trainees while being able to properly observe and provide instruction.

    Safety Summary

    Parents are encouraged to educate their students on positive behavior at bus stops, to include the
    following:

    • Social Distancing
    • Limiting Contact with Others
    • General Safety Rules

     

    South Carolina Department of Education School Bus Face Covering Guidelines

     
    Students and staff who ride the state’s pupil transportation system to and from school are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, and exiting school buses. Staff members, including bus drivers, are required to wear face coverings while boarding, riding, driving, and exiting school buses. Bus drivers and support staff should ask any student who boards a bus without a covering to put one on and offer them a disposable or cloth face covering provided by the SCDE.
     
    Students who should NOT be required to wear face coverings:
     
    • Those younger than two years old;
    • Those who have trouble breathing;
    • Those unable to remove the covering without assistance; and/or
    • Those with special healthcare or educational needs as determined by an Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Accommodations Plan, or an individual student healthcare plan, or by a medical doctor
    Staff members, including bus drivers, who have trouble breathing and/or those with special healthcare needs as noted by a medical doctor should NOT be required to wear face coverings.

Meals / Child Nutrition Guidelines

    • Students will sanitize hands before and after eating.
    • School building guidelines and disinfecting protocols will be followed.
    • If picking up meals from the cafeteria, students will rotate on a staggered schedule to the cafeteria to pick up meals and move to designated areas to eat.
    • If students are eating in the classroom, the teacher/student will wipe down desks before and after meals.
    • Students seated in the cafeteria or classrooms are to follow social distancing guidelines.
    • Sharing of food should not occur.
    • If there is a student with allergies, arrangements will be made for the student to eat in an allergen-free zone.
    • Disposable serving items will be used when possible.
    • “Grab and go” and a la carte options will be served when possible.
    • Hot meals will be served by child nutrition staff only; students do not touch utensils.
    • Virtual students should be served in a “drive-through” service by child nutrition staff.
    • Additional school-specific plans for meal services are to be followed.

Guidelines for Extracurricular Activities

  • Schools will continue to offer extracurricular activities, at their discretion and consistent with student, classroom, and school building guidelines.

    Health and safety guidelines for athletics are provided by the South Carolina High School League (SCHSL). Information compiled for the guidelines was carefully reviewed and vetted by SCHSL staff; South Carolina school superintendents; South Carolina athletic directors and coaches; the SCHSL Sports Medicine Advisory Committee; the South Carolina Department of Education's AccelerateED Task Force; the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and members of the office of S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster.

    The guidelines include requirements of face coverings for coaches and staff at all times while on site and face coverings/masks for athletes when not actively participating in the sports activity.

    Visit the SCHSL website to review all guidelines and restrictions for high school athletes and athletics staff.

    » VIEW GUIDELINES FOR ATHLETICS

Before/After School Child Care

    • Before and after school programs will operate when school is open to students.
    • Pick up and drop off should occur on the outside of the building.
    • Students need to be enrolled and attend the traditional school model in order to participate in child care (morning or afternoon).
    • Programs will adhere to the CDC and DHEC guidelines.