safety protocols • 2021-2022
For Parents and Students, Grades K4-8
The physical and social-emotional safety of our students and staff is a top priority. ICS will follow guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the Franklin Health Department and Milwaukee Public Health officials, as we plan for a safe return to school for the 2021-2022 school year. Given the challenges and uncertainty that COVID-19 presents, we will do our best to ensure the safety and health of our students and staff. To that end, we developed these guidelines for parents and students to follow. As we move forward, we will be sure to communicate any changes made with regard to safety protocols and encourage you to reach out if you have any concerns at any point during the school year.
Effective March 28, 2021, Indian Community School COVID-19 protocols are as follows:
When the COVID-19 Community Level is low or medium for Milwaukee County, and key ICS COVID-19 Dashboard metrics are green, yellow, or a combination of green and yellow, all students K4-8th grade will have the option to wear face masks or not. Masks will continue to be provided for those that want them.
Masking will be optional on school buses, but we will continue to make every effort to keep students seated with or near family members and we will limit mixing of students in the same seat whenever available seating makes that possible.
What criteria determines a shift to “mask optional” at ICS?
- We will continue to utilize several mitigation measures including:
- HEPA filters in all areas of our school.
- Hand washing and sanitizing throughout the day.
- Routine cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Social distancing when possible.
What criteria will determine a return to required masking?
- Substantial or high community spread in Milwaukee County for at least two consecutive weeks.
- Significant spread of COVID-19 here at ICS.
- All visitors to ICS will have the same school rules apply to them based on Milwaukee County and school levels. Information will be posted if we are in a “mask optional” or “mask mandatory “condition on our school website and on our entryway doors to the school.
Summary of ICS COVID-19 Safety Protocols
- We are asking that parents/guardians monitor their child(ren) for signs of illness, including checking their temperature twice daily at home if you have the means to do so. If your child experiences COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your medical provider for further guidance and notify our school at (414) 525-6103.
- We will continue to implement social distancing, maximize ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, use of hand sanitizer, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and our cleaning and disinfection protocols.
- The wearing of face masks for students is optional while riding the bus; students will continue to sit in assigned seating.
- The wearing of face masks for students, staff and visitors is optional. The school will supply face masks if needed. Masking outdoors will be optional.
- ICS will continue the practice of maintaining cohorts for students while expanding the group to include the full grade level.
- Parents and other visitors will remain limited to those visiting on official business.
- School events and activities where ICS families or the community will be present will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and will require Board approval.
While the health and safety of ICS staff, students, visitors, and the community remain a top priority, ICS will continue to re-evaluate the current state of the pandemic and will adjust our school’s COVID-19 protocols as warranted. The COVID-19 Dashboard will continue to be maintained on weekdays and will be used as a mechanism to help guide our decision-making as we move forward.
Teaching and learning spaces and common areas are reconfigured to allow for the best social distancing practices. We will maintain social distancing practices in high traffic areas to the best of our abilities by rerouting traffic flow, providing signage and verbal reminders. Restroom use will be monitored. Recesses will be staggered to keep students in grade cohorts (small groups of students that stay together throughout each school day). Activities will be planned for safe play. Locker use/student storage will be minimized to limit congestion in hallways.
- Water fountains are turned off so students will need to use their own personal water bottle from home. Water bottles can be refilled as needed during the school day.
- Frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing are mandatory for all students and staff.
- Students will stay with their assigned cohort group throughout the school day to limit the amount of exposure to other children and adults.
- Rotating classroom cohort groups of students into a variety of areas to limit exposure between students.
- Enhanced cleaning procedures are implemented per CDC guidelines including:
- Disinfection of student materials after their use and deep cleaning and disinfection at the end of each school day. Buildings will be cleaned and disinfected daily, with deep cleaning and sanitization scheduled in the evenings and over the weekends. For more information, please see our Cleaning & HVAC guidelines.
- Teachers and staff will be provided supplies to monitor the cleanliness of spaces.
- Classroom supplies and equipment will be cleaned between each cohort class.
- Learning materials will be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be available in each classroom and in common area spaces.
- Time will be built into schedules for frequent handwashing.
- Students will be given their own materials to use to avoid sharing items.
- Community school supplies will not be shared in classrooms. Students will use only their own personal school supplies throughout the school day.
- Student areas, including bathrooms and play equipment, will be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
- High contact areas such as door handles, desks, tables, etc., will be frequently cleaned and disinfected.
Bus / Transportation Safety
Transportation will be provided for ICS students by First Student buses who will clean and disinfect the bus twice each day following bus runs. To further ensure the health and safety of our student passengers, we are also requiring the following:
- The wearing of face masks by bus drivers and students is optional. Face masks will be provided if students do not have one of their own.
- Students will be assigned seats to provide appropriate social distancing. Students must remain in their assigned seats for the duration of their ride and follow seat assignments for the remainder of the school year. No more than one student is seated per seat, unless they are from the same household (siblings will be assigned to sit together).
- Hand sanitizer will be provided on each bus.
- Windows will be opened whenever possible to improve air circulation and ventilation.
- Food may not be eaten while riding the bus.
- Students that do not follow these rules will lose their riding privileges and will have to find alternative transportation.