Health & Safety Protocols

  • The Iowa City Community School District is committed to student and staff health and safety and we are dedicated to helping control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The following enhanced health and safety guidelines will be implemented to help protect students, staff, families, and our entire school community. This guidance supplements our District’s standard policies, procedures, practices, and school rules.

    UPDATE: Effective January 3, 2022, the updated Johnson County Public Health (JCPH) COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidance was implemented in our District.  That guidance is detailed below.  This timing aligns with the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to all individuals age 5 and over.    

    We want to emphasize that COVID-19 remains prevalent and it is imperative that we continue to utilize precautionary measures to help control the spread. Our District will continue to monitor COVID-19 rates and make adjustments as needed.

Health & Safety Guidelines

      Districtwide

      • Layered prevention strategies, including washing hands, social distancing, and staying home when sick are paramount for all in the school community. The District’s policy, procedures, and these enhanced health and safety guidelines apply to all Iowa City Community School District schools and facilities, District activities, programs and events, BASP, mission and community partners, and community use of District facilities.

        Vaccinations: Our District strongly encourages all individuals 5 years of age and older to get vaccinated (and boosted) if eligible. While a vaccine is not required to attend, visit, or work in a District school or building, this recommendation reflects the guidance of the CDC, IDPH, and JCPH.

        Masks: Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is recommended in District buildings and on District campuses.  Face coverings will be available for students, staff, and visitors at each building.

        Isolation
        Our District follows the CDC's COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance for K-12 schools. Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days.

        Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must follow the below protocols: 

        • Stay home for five days.
        • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you can return to school on day six; however, you will be required to wear a mask through day ten.
          • If mask-wearing is not an option, you will be required to isolate at home for the full 10-day period.
        • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves and you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
        • The same protocols apply for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID-19.
        • Students and staff should follow our Stay-At-Home Guidelines when ill.

        Quarantine
        Our District follows the CDC's COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance for K-12 schools.  Our District will no longer require quarantine when an individual is exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual at school. As such, contact tracing will no longer be conducted within our schools when positive COVID-19 cases are identified, and based on JCPH recommendation, we will not send notification calls or emails to a school community when a positive COVID-19 case is identified. 

        If you have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual in your home and you are fully vaccinated and boosted (for those eligible), you are not required to quarantine.  However, it is recommended that you wear a mask around others for ten days, monitor for symptoms, and be tested for COVID-19 on day five. Unvaccinated individuals who have a household exposure to someone with COVID-19 must follow the below protocols. The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had COVID-19.

        • Stay home for five days. 
        • If possible, take a COVID-19 test on day five.
        • If you develop symptoms, get a test and continue to stay home.
        • If you have no symptoms after five days, you can return to school on day six; however, you will be required to wear a mask through day ten.
          • If mask-wearing is not an option, you will be required to quarantine at home for the full 10-day period.
        • Please Note: The above bullets also apply to vaccinated individuals that are eligible for the booster but have not yet received it and those that have not fully completed the initial vaccination process (individuals that have received one of two doses).

        Community Use of Buildings
        Our District will allow community use of our facilities outside of the school day based on our facility use guidelines.

      Elementary

      • Students 5 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is recommended in District buildings and on District campuses.

        School Day: 

        • Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when sick, when COVID-19 symptoms are present, or when unvaccinated and determined to be a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual in the home.
          • Singleton: Students will join the morning meeting and small group Reading and Math lessons through Zoom. Students with IEPs also need to receive Specially Designed Instruction (SDI). ELL services/assignments should continue either synchronously (Zoom if possible) or asynchronously (activities assigned in Seesaw and/or Canvas). All assignments will be posted to SeeSaw. We will continue to explore other options (i.e. building substitutes, academic support teachers, etc.), but will begin the year as such.
        • Buildings are open to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
          • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, buildings will be closed to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
        • The District will work with each school to maximize the distance between individuals. We can not guarantee consistent social distancing of 3 feet in classrooms and buildings.
        • The District will utilize the classroom capacity guidance articulated in Board Policy 606.1. For the 2021-2022 school year, levels 1-4 will be used for all school buildings and level 5 for ICCSD Online.
        • Individual schools will determine breakfast and lunch procedures. Buildings are encouraged to use spaces beyond the traditional lunchroom to promote social distancing.
        • Students and staff are encouraged to take frequent hand washing breaks throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be available in school buildings.
        • Building and classroom cleaning and disinfecting will take place as regularly scheduled.
        • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, classrooms will be kept together throughout the instructional day and will eat lunch in classroom cohorts. For instructional purposes, cross cohorting will be allowed for interventions, ELL, SPED, Title I/Academic Support, ELP, band/orchestra, and single subject acceleration.
        • As ventilation systems meet CDC requirements, windows must remain closed as opening them negatively impacts ventilation and air circulation.
        • It is recommended that individuals wear a face-covering while on the bus or utilizing other District-provided transportation.
        • In-person staff meetings will be allowed.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, meeting participant capacity will be capped at 50% of the room capacity.
        • Field trips are allowed.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, field trips will be limited to outdoor destinations. 
        • Community use of District buildings and grounds is allowed outside of the school day based on our facility use guidelines.

      Junior High & High School

      • Students 5 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status, is recommended in District buildings and on District campuses.

        School Day: 

        • Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when sick, when COVID-19 symptoms are present, or when unvaccinated and determined to be a close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual in the home.
          • Singleton: Students should be able to access teacher instruction. This should occur in the following ways:
            • Students may have the opportunity to “Zoom In” to their scheduled class period.
            • Teachers could record instruction from a class period and post it on Canvas.
            • Teachers may create a screencast or video with the instruction to post on Canvas.
            • Access to instruction must be provided in addition to the normal classroom assignments and asynchronous activities.
        • Buildings are open to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
          • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, buildings will be closed to visitors and volunteers during the school day.
        • The District will work with each school to maximize the distance between individuals. We can not guarantee consistent social distancing of 3 feet in classrooms and buildings.
        • The District will utilize the classroom capacity guidance articulated in Board Policy 606.1.
        • Individual schools will determine breakfast and lunch procedures. Buildings are encouraged to use spaces beyond the traditional lunchroom to promote social distancing. 
        • Students and staff are encouraged to take frequent hand washing breaks throughout the day.  Hand sanitizer will be available in school buildings.
        • Building and classroom cleaning and disinfecting will take place as regularly scheduled.
        • As ventilation systems meet CDC requirements, windows must remain closed as opening them negatively impacts ventilation and air circulation.
        • It is recommended that individuals wear a face-covering while on the bus or utilizing other District-provided transportation.
        • In-person staff meetings will be allowed.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, meeting participant capacity will be capped at 50% of the room capacity.
        • Field trips and community experiences are allowed.
        • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, indoor student gatherings will be limited to 50% of the space capacity to protect the health and safety of our students. 

        Secondary Events and Community Use of District Space:

        • All school-sponsored events may be conducted as usual, both indoors and outdoors.
          • It is highly recommended that spectators wear a mask during indoor events.
          • Athletics/activities will be conducted according to State association/IDPH guidelines.
          • Travel out of the district is allowed.
          • Volunteers for events or activities must complete a 2021 volunteer form prior to volunteering in a District school or for a District Activity.
          • When the County transmission rate is in the "high" category, spectator capacity at indoor programs and events will be capped at 50%.
        • Community use of District buildings and grounds is allowed outside of the school day based on our facility use guidelines.

      Community Transition and Guideline Review

      • School Sponsored experiences outside the school setting - In addition to the District’s guidance, students and staff must comply with local, state, and federal regulations in effect in the location the students and/or staff are traveling to outside District property. The District strongly encourages any program that is planning travel outside the District to obtain travel insurance as travel guidance could change based on JCPH, IDPH, CDC guidance, and/or County transmission rates. The District will not reimburse families for trips canceled due to changes in the District’s health and safety guidelines or changes made by other jurisdictions/organizations. 

        COVID-19 Dashboard: The District will maintain a COVID Dashboard that publishes the number of positive COVID-19 students and staff reported to the District. The dashboard will be updated daily (Monday through Friday).