Health and Safety FAQs
Health and Safety FAQs
Q. What is the most recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about schools reopening?
Q: What will health self-assessments look like for students?
A: For students, we will ask families to take temperatures of students before leaving the house for school in the morning. WDMCS will assess students for symptoms of COVID-19 and share that information with families. WDMCS will continue to encourage families to keep their students home when they are not feeling well. This will help us all ensure that we continue working together to keep everyone healthy and safe.
Q: How will you track COVID-19 exposure during the 2020-21 school year?
A: We are able to track as much as we know through a student’s schedule. Students will follow their schedule as normal. While we will use mitigation strategies like face coverings, hand-washing, and social distancing, classes are not with the same set of students all day; they are mixed by team at times and other times mixed by grade or school. In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, we will be able to know who may have been exposed through these schedules.
Q: If there is a COVID-19 diagnosis in a school building, what will happen?
A: If a WDMCS student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the district will work with local health officials to determine the appropriate next steps. This may require a building to temporarily shift to an online learning environment. Because each case is unique, we will communicate through our Blackboard phone, email, text, and app alerts any time-sensitive announcements regarding any needed changes for a school day.
WDMCS will also reach out to the employee/supervisor or family about possible exposure. We will work alongside the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Polk County Health Department to communicate with those individuals impacted to determine their needs and provide support.
We will deep-clean any district buildings impacted. We must maintain privacy of individuals but will share extensive communication regarding exposure or potential exposure to allow families and staff to make informed decisions.
Q: How is WDMCS keeping buildings clean?
A: WDMCS is currently using a daily disinfectant with electrostatic sprayers. We are also looking at products that provide protection over time and disinfecting agents that can be applied and prohibit spread. Our custodial and maintenance crews are following touch-point cleaning schedules to apply disinfectant, and we will deep-clean any district buildings impacted by a positive case.
Q. Will WDMCS ventilation systems filter out COVID-19? Does outside air get cycled into buildings?
A. To help mitigate viruses, including COVID-19, The WDMCS Operations Department upgraded the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) filters we use to filter out viral particles. (We changed from MERV 8 to MERV 13-14.) Operations consistently completes and documents preventative maintenance measures taken to ensure all HVAC equipment is operating as designed. This includes quarterly filter changes, visual inspections, belt changes, and coil cleaning as needed.
Nearly all district HVAC systems have been upgraded within the last 10-15 years, so they meet relatively modern standards. Systems upgraded within the last 10 years use CO2 detection to save energy and set outside air intake levels. We refined our automation programs for CO2 detection, set all spaces to “occupied” during school hours, and set minimum outside air levels for spaces that don’t measure CO2 levels to ensure adequate outside air intakes.
In some cases, programming has been altered for energy efficiency or convenience. Our district programmer is working to restore all ventilation values to their design parameters, and we will be ready to provide optimum ventilation for buildings at full occupancy by the first day of school.
What if a student test positive?
The parent communicates the DAY they find out, regardless of if it’s outside of school hours or on a weekend.
- Parent calls the school and asks to speak with the school nurse.
- The parent should not communicate the positive COVID-19 results with other staff.
- The student should be kept home and wait for a phone call for contact tracing.
Who does the parent call at night or on a weekend?
Call the new WDMCS COVID-19 Response Line: 515-633-5990.
Include your name, your student’s name, school, and phone number.