Nashoba Regional School District
COVID-19 Guidelines and Protocols
Nashoba Regional High School
The purpose of these guidelines are to outline Nashoba Regional School District’s compliance with COVID-19 pandemic guidelines. These guidelines have been carefully considered to address and promote the health and safety of all students and staff during in-person learning. This outline complies with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), and the local board of health. Further included in this document are Nashoba Regional High School-specific protocols and procedures.
*Please note: These guidelines are subject to change according to guidance from the CDC, our Nashoba Associated Board of Health, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and DESE as they continue to adapt pandemic protocols. We will update these policies in as timely a manner as possible.
Table of Contents
Self-Check Screening Tool
Please refer to the Self Check Screening Tool each day. By showing up for work or school you are Self-Certifying to your Supervisor that you have completed this screening check and that all answers are no.
Students and staff must stay home if feeling unwell. Everyone must do their part to protect others and not come to school if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms or are feeling sick.
Below is the full list of symptoms for which caregivers should monitor their children, and staff should monitor themselves:
❏ Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
❏ Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
❏ Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
❏ New loss of taste or smell
❏ Sore throat
❏ Headache when in combination with other symptoms
❏ Muscle aches or body aches
❏ Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
❏ Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
❏ Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
If you answered YES to any one question above, you need to consider staying home. Please contact your supervisor and follow up by contacting your healthcare provider and ask to speak to a nurse to be sure that no further assessment is needed before coming to school/into the office.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Response/Actions
COVID-19 symptoms while at school - If a staff member or student presents with symptoms while at school: If a student presents with symptoms while at school, he/she/they should remain masked at all times, follow strict physical distancing, and notify the school nurse. Once the school nurse is notified, the student will be instructed to stay in the medical waiting room which is separate from the Health Office where other ailments are treated.
Parents/guardians will be notified and should be available to pick up their student as soon as possible. Students with symptoms should be tested for active COVID-19. Staff members with symptoms should notify the school nurse, make sure there is coverage for their class, and then leave school to be tested.
NRHS COVID-19 Testing Program
Abbott Binax NOW Rapid Antigen COVID-19 testing is available as an option for students and staff who develop symptoms while at school. Students and staff should not come to school if they are experiencing any symptoms. Students under 18 require parent/ guardian permission for this optional testing. Parents/ guardians will be called prior to testing. This rapid antigen nasal swab test can allow for immediate contact tracing if the result is positive. If the result is negative, the student or staff will still be dismissed and will require documentation of a negative PCR test for greater accuracy prior to returning to school (or the 10 days at home option if preferred). Students and staff should remain at home/ quarantine while awaiting test results. Clearance by the health office is required prior to students or staff returning to school. If a positive result is received, students and staff require a letter of clearance by either the Board of Health, Massachusetts Community Tracing Collaborative (MA CTC), or their physician prior to being cleared for return by the NRHS Health Office.
COVID-19 Symptoms at home: If a student or staff member has COVID-19-like symptoms: If an individual is unwell and has COVID-like symptoms, before he/she/they may return to school, must provide the NRHS health office with a negative PCR test and/or self-isolate/quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. Only after they have tested negative for COVID-19 and/or completed quarantine/self-isolation requirements, have improvement in symptoms, and have been without symptoms for at least 24 hours without the use of medications, students/staff may return to school after consultation with NRHS Health Office. If a provider makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may return to school based on the recommendations for that alternative diagnosis (e.g., influenza or strep pharyngitis).
If a staff member or student has symptoms and they do not get tested: If a student or staff member presents with COVID-19-like symptoms and chooses not to be tested, they may return to school 10 days from start of symptoms, as long as their symptoms have improved and they have been without symptoms for at least 24 hours prior to their return to school without the use of medications.
COVID-19 positive – If a staff member or student tests positive:
If a student or staff member test positive they must remain home in self-isolation (except for medical appointments) monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contact, assist the school in contact tracing efforts and answer the call from the local board of health or MA CTC. For most people who have relatively mild illness, they will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days AND until at least 24 hours have passed with improvement in other symptoms without fever. Students/staff must provide a letter of clearance from the MA CTC, Board of Health, or physician to the NRHS health office. The health office will clear the student/staff member before returning to school/work.
Definition of a close contact: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, their close contacts will be defined as only those who have been within 6 feet of distance of the individual for at least fifteen minutes over a 24 hour period, while the person was infectious. The infectious period begins 2 days prior to symptom onset. If someone is asymptomatic, the infectious period is considered to begin 2 days prior to the collection of their positive test. Close contacts will need to follow the most up to date recommendations for quarantine guidelines.
Massachusetts State Guidelines
All NRHS students/staff members must adhere to the current State of Massachusetts COVID-19 guidelines. This includes but is not limited to, mask adherence, travel restrictions, and suggested curfews. All Mass. State Guidelines are subject to change without notification from NRHS.
Phase 2 of vaccine distribution for K-12 educators will begin in February. Please continue to monitor state guidance for the most up to date information regarding vaccine rollout.
Please see: General Ways to Stay Healthy
Health Office Visits: In order to prevent potential exposure to vulnerable students receiving care for other medical treatments, all student visits to the Health Office will be triaged.
Students do NOT need to present to the Health Office for the following common situations:
Isolation rooms/Medical holding: An isolation room has been identified in the NRHS health office suite. This separate isolation room will be utilized should a student or staff develop signs or symptoms of potential infection. If it is determined that a student should be sent home due to possible COVID-19 infection, the student will remain in the supervised isolation room or in an outdoor space with a staff member until the student can be transported home by the family.
Regular Cleaning, Sanitizing, Disinfecting, and Disposal Protocols
The Nashoba Regional School District will ensure that facilities and surfaces are regularly cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected in accordance with health and safety guidelines and that hazardous materials are disposed of properly. Use of shared objects should be limited when possible and cleaned between use.
No fans will be allowed in classrooms.
Each classroom/office has been outfitted with a free-standing HEPA filter that will act as an additional point of air filtration.
Face Coverings and Masks
Students and staff must wear face coverings or masks, with exceptions only for those students or staff for whom it is not safe to do so due to medical conditions or other considerations. Please see NRSD Face Covering Policy. Those who are unable to wear a mask must have a physician’s note stating that the individual is medically exempt from wearing a mask. Parents will be responsible for providing students with face coverings or masks. The student should arrive at school wearing a mask and should have a second one as a backup in their backpack. NRSD will have backup disposable masks available for students who need them. All face coverings or masks must adequately cover both the nose and mouth. Masks with exhalation valves will not be allowed.
Mask breaks: Outdoor class mask breaks have been built into the master schedule. These built in mask breaks should be held outdoors, weather-permitting. Teachers may elect to have students take additional mask breaks within the classroom with windows and doors open. Taking a 5-minute mask break every thirty minutes is suggested but will be left up to the discretion of the teacher. Physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet is still imperative when outside without a mask. At NRHS, we will maintain 10 feet of physical distance for mask breaks. If a student needs a mask break outside of scheduled mask break times, it is okay for that student to go out into the hall ALONE for 2 minutes. Teachers should check to make sure there is no one else in the hall before that individual goes out. Masks are to be worn inside even if everyone is 6 feet apart.
Mask Removal and Placement on Face:
Please see Proper Face Mask/Covering Protocol
Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing: All students and staff must engage in frequent handwashing, including upon arrival, before and after eating, after bathroom use, after coughing or sneezing, before and after taking off/putting on face coverings or masks, and before dismissal. Effective hand washing requires that all individuals use soap and water to wash all surfaces of their hands for at least 20 seconds, wait for visible lather, rinse thoroughly, and dry with a disposable towel. If handwashing is not available, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent ethanol or 70% isopropanol will be provided. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed into all surfaces of both hands until dry and should not be rubbed off onto clothing.
Please see Hand-Washing Protocol
Effective practices for Blowing of Nose, Coughing, Sneezing:
Students and staff are encouraged to hand-sanitize/hand-wash throughout the school day.
Maintaining 6 feet of separation at all times: All students and staff must maintain a social distance of 6 feet to the greatest extent possible. We are revising use of available indoor spaces to create 6 feet of physical distance in classrooms. Students will be seated in assigned seats in the classroom at least 6 feet apart and facing the same direction. All students and staff will maintain a social distance of 6 feet when entering and exiting the building and moving through the school (including to and within restrooms) when feasible. Students will NOT be allowed to roam the hallways or classroom areas. Students will not gather in large groups.
Signs and Messages: Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures such as properly washing hands, social distancing, and how to properly wear a face covering or mask. School-wide communications will be made via email or all-school calls unless an individual situation warrants a phone call to a parent/guardian.
Single-directional Travel during Passing Times: During passing, students will only be allowed to travel in single directions to avoid potential large gatherings and eliminate traffic issues in hallways. Outside of passing, students will be allowed to travel freely when available.
Locker Use: Lockers will be unavailable until further notice. Social distancing in the hallways does not allow for proper use. Students are encouraged to bring a personal bag that can be stored underneath their desks.
Visitor access to NRHS will be prohibited. The exception would be for contracted service providers for the purpose of special education, required support services, program monitoring as authorized by the school or district or an outside vendor who may be working within the school during a predetermined time. In these cases, the following protocol will be followed:
No early drop off will be permitted. Students will proceed directly to their classrooms and will not congregate around the building. In the case of an early arrival, students will be staged in either the upper or lower gym. This will provide adequate space for social distancing until proceeding to classrooms.
Arrival (Parent Drop Off)
Arrival (Student Parking/Walkers/Bikers)
At the end of the day the bus riding students will depart first, then the pick-up students, students parking on campus, walking and bike riding students.
Dismissal (Parent Pick Up)
Dismissal (Student Parking/Walkers/Bike Riders)
Students arriving late to school should be dropped off at the front entrance and ring the front entrance doorbell. Parents/guardians should wait in their car until the student is admitted into the building. Parents/guardians will not be allowed to enter the building.
Students being dismissed from school in the middle of the day will be called to the office at the time of dismissal. Parents/guardians will be asked to either remain in their car in front of the building and call the main office or come to the front door and identify themselves for student dismissal. Parents/guardians should be prepared to show ID.
Except in the case of an emergency or illness, parents/guardians will not be allowed to enter the building.
Parent Drop-Off of Items: The process for parents to drop off materials (eg. forgotten lunch or school books) to their child will be:
NRHS will follow a strict physical distance protocol of maintaining six feet when transitioning and moving within the hallways.
Building Movement Maps:
All restroom visits will be documented to ensure single usage of the restroom and to provide documentation for contact tracing as needed.
Sharing of Materials and Equipment
Student/teacher/staff sharing of equipment will be minimized. Students will be provided individual materials/resources to use whenever and wherever possible.
Lunch will be provided for all students at the conclusion of the in-person portion of the Hybrid Schedule as a Grab-n-Go bagged lunch. Students will then be able to eat lunch upon arrival home. Lunch cannot be consumed on the bus; masks must be worn the whole time. Breakfast will be served outdoors upon arrival of students at two locations: student parking lot and the main entrance. Consumption of breakfast will take place before entrance into the building in order to eliminate consumption of food in individual classrooms. Students will be separated by a minimum of 10 ft. during this time period. Use of the cafeteria will be limited to the serving of breakfast on days of inclement weather.
The teachers will have access to lunchroom and preparation areas in a safe and socially distanced space while they are on break and preparation time.
Teacher lunchtime and lunchroom: