RETURN TO LEARN

ACTION STEPS FOR FAMILIES

ACTION STEP 1 – DAILY AT HOME HEALTH SCREENINGS PRIOR TO ATTENDING SCHOOL

In an effort to prevent possible exposure of staff and students to COVID-19, you are responsible to review the following questions each morning and PRIOR to your child riding a school bus or entering school.

1.Does your child have a fever of 100 degrees 1 or more?

2.Is your child experiencing (a) a new loss of taste or smell, (b) nausea or vomiting, OR (c) diarrhea?

3.Is your child experiencing two or more of the following symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Chills

  • Cough

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

4.Is your child experiencing ANY of the Emergency Warning Symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

  • New confusion

  • Inability to wake or stay awake

  • Bluish lips or face

5.Has your child had, or do you think your child has, COVID-19?

6.Has your child tested positive for COVID-19?

7.Has your child been around a person with COVID-19?

If the answer to any of these questions is “YES,” YOUR CHILD SHOULD REMAIN AT HOME and you should contact the attendance clerk at your child’s school by phone or email. Students remaining home as a result of COVID-19 concerns will not be penalized regarding absences. Assignments, tests, or other school work can be made up by arrangement with teachers.

If your child is showing any of the Emergency Warning Signs listed in Question 4, seek emergency medical care immediately.

If your answer to Question 5, 6, OR 7 is “YES,” please contact your physician and the Payne County Health Department (918)225-3377 or (405)372-8200 for specific guidance on the criteria to be met before your child returns to school.

1This temperature is set per the OSDE Return to Learn Oklahoma, June 2020.

PARENTS/GUARDIANS, BY SENDING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL, YOU ARE REPRESENTING TO ALL OF OUR STAKEHOLDERS – STUDENTS, STAFF, FAMILIES, COMMUNITY – WHO ARE COUNTING ON YOU TO HELP KEEP OUR SCHOOLS SAFE AND HEALTHY THAT THE ANSWER TO EACH OF THESE QUESTIONS IS “NO.”

ACTION STEP #2 – MASKS/FACE COVERINGS

  1. Masks are required for all students in grades 5-12 (CMS and CHS).

  2. Masks are required for all students K-12 while they are riding the bus.

  3. Masks are required for all adults – staff and visitors while they are on CPS campuses or transportation.

  4. Masks are strongly recommended for students in grades PK-4, especially when they are in common areas where social distancing is not easily accomplished.

  1. Students at any grade level who return from quarantine at either day 7 or day 10, must wear a mask in accordance with CDC guidelines until they complete day 14 after their exposure to COVID-19. Students who cannot or will not wear a mask to complete the 14 days recommended by the CDC will remain on remote/virtual learning until the entire 14-day quarantine has been completed.

  2. Mask requirements may be changed in compliance with our Return to Learn plan.

Students and teachers exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 in school are no longer required to be excluded from educational activities and in-person classroom instruction as long as the exposure happened in a classroom setting and everyone was wearing masks covering their nose and mouth. Other quarantine requirements remain in effect (OSDH, 2021).

ACTION STEP #3 – HYGIENE AND SANITATION

Handwashing is one of the best means of protection against infection. Students will be reminded to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their noses, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating.

Students will be reminded to “cover” their coughs and sneezes.

Students will be reminded to limit touching their faces.

Students will have increased access to hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed in every student restroom in addition to the hand sanitizing stations that were already present in our cafeterias.

Sharing of supplies such as crayons, markers, scissors and pencils will be discouraged.

Students will be reminded that sharing food is not a safe practice.

Snack procedures will be modified this year. All snacks must be pre-packaged and must be received at the school no less than 72 hours prior to their being served. Schools that serve snacks to students will provide additional information on snacks to parents.

Students are encouraged to bring filled water bottles or other non-breakable water containers to school with them. As school opens, students are encouraged to use the traditional “bubble up” water fountains only to fill their bottles – not to drink directly from the fountain. Please do not share water bottles. All water bottles should be taken home daily for cleaning.

Parents/Guardians, THANK YOU for reinforcing the aforementioned practices at home. Surface cleaning and disinfecting measures will be increased throughout the District. Ventilation in all aspects of school operations will increase.

ACTION STEP #4 – SOCIAL/PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Additional information on the other action steps can be found in the Action Steps for Families document which is linked on the left side of this page.

Methods of Instruction

Traditional Instruction

At this time, Cushing Public Schools plans to provide in-person learning for all students. Our goal is to provide instruction as close as we can to the traditional model parents and students were accustomed to receiving prior to March 13th, 2020. For this document, traditional instruction refers to in-person, on-site instruction. Some changes will occur based on the social distancing requirement at this time. There will also be the addition of Canvas PK-12 in our traditional model. A district expectation has been established that all teachers use Canvas for instruction and use the basic format of Canvas set by the district so there is consistency for students and parents.

Virtual Academy/Virtual Learning

Cushing High School began a Virtual Academy in Fall 2019. The Virtual Academy allows students the opportunity to take courses completely online or in a blended format. There is an application process for the CHS Virtual Academy. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Mr. Mike Wayland at Cushing High School.

Cushing Public Schools is also offering a fully virtual learning at Cushing Middle School and our elementary sites to accommodate our families who wish to continue with virtual learning. Parents who are interested in a virtual learning option for their child should contact the building principal at their child’s school for more information on how to apply for virtual learning.

Virtual learning refers to those students who have chosen to learn on-line through one of our school sites. Virtual learning is not associated with any type of school closure. Students who choose a virtual learning option are committed to this choice for the entire semester in which they have enrolled. Students who fail to participate fully in their virtual learning platforms will be placed back into traditional classrooms.

Remote Learning

Remote learning would be enacted if an individual classroom, group of classrooms, individual school, or entire district had to close due to the need to quarantine or isolate. This means it would be possible for some students in the district to be in a remote learning environment while others could still attend in a traditional setting. The decision to transfer to remote learning will be made by the Superintendent of schools based on the virus situation in specific areas of the district. These decisions will be made based locally generated data related to COVID-19, cases at our school sites, and attendance rates of both students and staff. Additional data sources may be used as new information becomes available. During remote learning, the students’ teachers will provide learning experiences (both live and recorded) through Canvas. All assignments and student communication will be posted and made through Canvas. Students will have access to direct instruction through videos, activities, or reading materials. There will be guided practice and independent practice as well. Students will submit assignments to their teachers through Canvas for grades. GRADES and ATTENDANCE will be recorded.

During remote learning, student’s teachers will remain in their classrooms and record lessons for students to receive. Students will be at home working remotely on their Chromebooks. In the event of a building or district closure due to COVID-19, CPS is prepared to provide Chromebooks to students in at least grades 2-12. With this model, teachers will be available to answer individual questions.

If remote learning is necessary, Cushing Public Schools administrators will look to local data trends to determine when students and staff should return to in-person instruction and what additional steps are needed for the school community. Remote learning will only be implemented if necessary.

Temperature Checks

In lieu of temperature checks and symptom screening being performed after arrival to school, methods to allow parent report of temperature checks done at home may be consideredThe epidemiology of disease in children along with evidence of the utility of temperature screenings in health systems may further justify this approach.Although imperfect, these processes may be are the most practical and likely to identify the most ill children who should not be in school (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020).

School staff will be equipped with touchless forehead thermometers to measure temperatures for any student or staff member who may become ill during the school day (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2020). If a student is identified with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher or a staff member is identified with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher or if either a student or a staff member begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, they will be isolated in a predetermined isolation room until they are able to be sent home. Until the student or staff member can be sent home, they will be required to wear a mask for the remainder of the time that they are on a Cushing Public Schools campus.

COVID-19 infection manifests similarly to other respiratory illness in children. Although children manifest many of the same symptoms of COVID-19 infection as adults, some differences are noteworthy. According to the CDC, children may be less likely to have fever, may be less likely to present with fever as an initial symptom, and may have only gastrointestinal tract symptoms.

Any student or staff member who is sent home because of COVID-19 symptoms should be encouraged to contact their health care provider to discuss testing and medical care.

In the absence of testing, students or staff should follow the CDC's criteria to be around others or the advice of local health professionals. The CDC's criteria are as follows: 

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

You can be around others after:

  • 10 days since symptoms first appeared and

  • 24 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and

  • Other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving*

*Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation

Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.

Note that these recommendations do not apply to persons with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19. Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.”

For Anyone Who Has Been Around a Person with COVID-19

Students and teachers exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 in school are no longer required to be excluded from educational activities and in-person classroom instruction as long as the exposure happened in a classroom setting and everyone was wearing masks covering their nose and mouth. Other quarantine requirements remain in effect.

Further explanation of guidance:

  • The new guidance still requires the person who tests positive for COVID-19 to isolate at home.

  • Exposed students and staff should still be identified by school officials and parents notified of the exposure.

  • Any student or staff who develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at school should be quarantined, regardless of whether they have been allowed to remain at school post-exposure in a classroom.

  • This new quarantine guidance is contingent upon BOTH the case and the contact wearing masks.

  • This guidance is intended only for exposures that occur in classrooms, classroom-like settings, and other situations essential for instruction of K-12 students. Classroom-like setting are school-associated activities that are setup and supervised like a classroom and allow for universal masking by all students and staff. Other situations essential for instruction would include riding the bus and school lunch time. Exposure occurring in the following settings will still require quarantine, including in-person attendance in the classroom:

    • Household and household-like exposures

    • Exposure during out-of-school activities

During the four weeks following an identified case (i.e. the beginning and end of their infections period while at school), monitor for infections in students, teachers, or staff who had exposure to the same classroom, lunchroom, or other official school activities. Such secondary infections would indicate heightened concerns for others who were also present at the time and may warrant additional quarantine, testing, or both.

Anyone who was not masked and was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person or anyone who was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person who was not wearing a mask should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person.

However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who:

  • developed COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and

  • has recovered and

  • remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

  • is fully vaccinated (currently 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna)

does not need to stay home.

After being sent home, the student or staff member cannot return to school until they meet the CDC's criteria to be around other's or one of the following criteria:

Anyone who was not masked and was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person or anyone who was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person who was not wearing a mask should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person with the following exceptions:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms of COVID-19 have been reported during daily monitoring.

  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms of COVID-19 were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g. in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.

  • In both cases of early quarantine release, additional criteria (e.g. continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14) must be met.

Illness at School

If a student is identified with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher or a staff member is identified with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher or if either a student or staff member begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, he or she will be isolated, sent home immediately, and encouraged to be tested.

Individuals found to have COVID-19 should not return to school until they have me the CDC's criteria to be around others. These criteria include:

I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms

  1. 24 hours fever free (without the use of fever reducing medication)

  2. Symptoms have dramatically improved* (cough, shortness of breath), and

  3. A 10-day period of isolation since symptoms first appeared.

*Loss of taste and small may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation

Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.

Note that these recommendations do not apply to persons with severe COVID-19 or with severely weakened immune systems (immunocompromised).

I tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms

If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after 10 days have passed since you had a positive viral test for COVID-19. Most people do not require testing to decide when they can be around others; however, if your healthcare provider recommends testing, they will let you know when you can resume being around others based on your test results.

If you develop symptoms after testing positive, follow the guidance above for “I think or know I had COVID-19, and I had symptoms.”

I tested positive for COVID-19 Antibodies

In order to skip quarantine, you MUST have a positive COVID-19 test date. Simply having the antibodies is not enough to not quarantine (unless you meet other criteria outlined in this document) as the CDC currently only allows a 90-day (3 month) quarantine grace period after COVID-19 infection. Without a positive test date, there is no way to determine where you are in your grace period or if it has already lapsed.

For Anyone Who Has Been Around a Person with COVID-19

Students and teachers exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 in school are no longer required to be excluded from educational activities and in-person classroom instruction as long as the exposure happened in a classroom setting and everyone was wearing masks covering their nose and mouth. Other quarantine requirements remain in effect.

Further explanation of guidance:

  • The new guidance still requires the person who tests positive for COVID-19 to isolate at home.

  • Exposed students and staff should still be identified by school officials and parents notified of the exposure.

  • Any student or staff who develops symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while at school should be quarantined, regardless of whether they have been allowed to remain at school post-exposure in a classroom.

  • This new quarantine guidance is contingent upon BOTH the case and the contact wearing masks.

  • This guidance is intended only for exposures that occur in classrooms, classroom-like settings, and other situations essential for instruction of K-12 students. Classroom-like setting are school-associated activities that are setup and supervised like a classroom and allow for universal masking by all students and staff. Other situations essential for instruction would include riding the bus and school lunch time. Exposure occurring in the following settings will still require quarantine, including in-person attendance in the classroom:

    • Household and household-like exposures

    • Exposure during out-of-school activities

During the four weeks following an identified case (i.e. the beginning and end of their infections period while at school), monitor for infections in students, teachers, or staff who had exposure to the same classroom, lunchroom, or other official school activities. Such secondary infections would indicate heightened concerns for others who were also present at the time and may warrant additional quarantine, testing, or both.

Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person with the following exceptions:

Anyone who was not masked and was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person or anyone who was in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person who was not wearing a mask should stay home for 14 days after their last exposure to that person with the following exceptions:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms of COVID-19 have been reported during daily monitoring.

  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms of COVID-19 were reported during daily monitoring. The specimen may be collected and tested within 48 hours before the planned quarantine discontinuation (e.g. in anticipation of testing delays), but quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than after Day 7.

  • In both cases of early quarantine release, additional criteria (e.g. continued symptom monitoring and masking through Day 14) must be met.

However, anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and who:

  • developed COVID-19 illness within the previous 3 months and

  • has recovered and

  • remains without COVID-19 symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath)

  • is fully vaccinated (currently 2 Pfizer or Moderna)

does not need to stay home.

Returning to School

When students or staff are ready to return to school after a COVID related absence, the staff member (or student’s parent/guardian) should call the school one day prior to returning for a COVID pre-return check-in. This conversation will clarify the following:

  1. Fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication, absence of respiratory symptoms, and at least 10 days since symptoms first appeared; or

  2. A release from a physician stating the individual may return to work or school*

*A physician’s release or negative COVID test will not reduce the amount of time that a student or staff member must spend in quarantine if they are a close contact. Physician releases are only for cases in which COVID is shown not to be the cause of illness.

On the individual’s first day back, he/she must check in at the front office prior to reporting to work or class for a temperature check with the principal’s designee.

What if a positive case is identified in the school?

Cushing Public Schools must be prepared for the possibility that a student or staff member will test positive for COVID-19. If a student or staff member tests positive or is exposed to COVID-19, they should report this to their building principal immediately.

If a staff member or student answers yes to one or more of the screening questions or begins exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, they should be isolated, sent home immediately and encouraged to be tested.

Any student or staff member who exhibits a fever of 100 degrees at school will be instantly isolated in a predetermined isolation room and immediately sent home. Until the student or staff member can be sent home, they will be required to wear a mask for the remainder of the time that they are on a Cushing Public Schools campus.

After being sent home, the student or staff member cannot return to school until they meet the following linked criteria to be around other’s or one of the following criteria:

  • Anyone who has had close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 should stay home for 14 days after exposure, based on the time it takes to develop the illness.

  • Any child who tests positive or has COVID-19 symptoms may return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without fever reducing medication) and diminished respiratory symptoms and ten days since symptoms first appeared.

  • Two consecutive negative COVID-19 tests given 24 hours apart would also indicate that a child may return to school. The negative test results should be provided to the school if the child is home for fewer than ten days.

  • A child who tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms can return to school after 10 days have passed since the test.

  • For more information, visit the following website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus

Anyone who is considered high risk or vulnerable should discuss when re-entry is recommended with their healthcare provider.

If a staff member or student has known close contact with an individual who has tested positive (e.g., someone in their household), they should stay home, self-monitor for symptoms and be tested. The individual should not return to the school until they have been tested and/or have completed a 14-day quarantine period.

If a staff member or student tests positive, schools should follow these steps:

  • Immediately isolate the individual if they are at school. Send the ill staff member home and call families to pick up sick children as quickly as possible. Each school site should have a room or area where an individual can be isolated if they cannot immediately leave the premises.

  • Those who come into contact with sick individuals should use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for them.

  • Disinfect applicable areas of the building in accordance with CDC and Oklahoma State Department of Health guidelines. 

  • Report any known positive cases to the local county health department.

  • Communicate necessary information to stakeholders particularly those who may be affected by the person who tested positive using letter templates.

Guidance for Exposed Students or Staff

While we hope to avoid all exposure to illness from COVID-19, we need to be prepared for that possibility. If you or someone you’ve been in close contact with has had diagnosed exposure to the virus, our first concern is for your health and safety and those around you. In this rapidly changing situation, healthcare providers should have the most up-to-date information from the CDC.

If you have a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, please notify your child’s school. This information is vital in helping us protect all of our students and staff. Students or staff who require quarantine or isolation due to COVID-19 should secure a letter from the Payne County Health Department with specific information on when their quarantine/isolation dates should begin and end.

Monitoring Absenteeism

  • Cushing Public Schools will alert the Payne County Health Department of any large increases in student and staff absenteeism, particularly if absences appear due to respiratory illnesses (like the common cold or the “flu,” which have symptoms similar to COVID-19).

  • Students who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should not be sent to school. If a student is sent to school with a fever of 100 degrees or higher, they will be sent home and will not be allowed to return to school for minimum of three days or until they meet the linked criteria to be around others.

  • Any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in “close contact” with someone who has COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to school based on their unique circumstances until one of the following criteria are met.

  • Perfect attendance awards and other attendance related incentives will not be used during the 2020-21 school year.

  • For the 2020-21 school year, any COVID-19 related absences will be considered “a significant medical condition” and be exempted from the count toward a child’s record under the chronic absenteeism classification.

Promote a Culture of Good Hygiene

Cushing Public Schools is an essential partner in establishing good hygiene practices among students. We will teach and remind students about coughing/sneezing etiquette, keeping hands away from the face, and effectively washing their hands. Find lessons on handwashing and hygiene HERE.

Cushing Public Schools will promote and reinforce a school culture of handwashing and hand sanitizing. We will utilize CDC handwashing posters to post signs strategically throughout the building, such as above sinks or near the cafeteria, to encourage appropriate and periodic handwashing. In addition, we will also post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., entrances, restrooms) to promote protective measures such as handwashing, the use of masks and social distancing.

Schools will plan and prepare for additional handwashing opportunities throughout the day. All students will wash their hands before eating breakfast or lunch. In addition to increased opportunities for handwashing, there will also be increased opportunities for students to use hand sanitizer throughout each school building.

FACILITIES CLEANING

The safety of our employees and our students are our first priority. Upon reopening, our schools will be completely cleaned and disinfected and we will continue to adhere to all necessary safety precautions. In addition to the deep clean of the office and school before employees and student return, the cleaning steps outlined below are to be taken to disinfect workplace surfaces, chairs, tables, etc. to protect employees and reduce the risk of spread of infection.

Classrooms – at least once per day*

High touch surfaces – multiple times per day

Bathrooms – multiple times per day

Buses – at least twice per day*

Teachers will have access to CDC approved wipes to clean desks and other surfaces on an as needed basis. *Disinfecting foggers will be used in both buses and classrooms.

Technology Cleaning Procedures

Cushing Public Schools Technology has evaluated its guidelines related to cleaning and technology. They have issued the following guidance for the cleaning of Chromebooks and Computer labs:

Chromebook Cleaning Guidelines

Computer Lab Procedures

Enhanced Technology Cleaning Guidelines

GROUP GATHERINGS AND EVENTS

Until further notice, Cushing Public Schools will not be hosting any large indoor gatherings of students, parents, and/or faculty. This includes but is not limited to professional development meetings, class parties, open house, meet the teacher, and assemblies.

Whenever possible, we will work to implement social distancing guidelines and keep cohorts of students together. Common areas such as teacher’s lounges will have limited capacities. Whenever possible groups will be divided up in Cafeterias, gymnasiums, and playgrounds to allow for social distancing. When appropriate, tape will be used to mark appropriate distancing.

VISITORS

In general, visitors will not be allowed on Cushing Public Schools campuses. We will be implementing several practices (listed below) to reduce the number of visitors, in order to reduce the number of people in our buildings. However, there may be special circumstances where visitors must enter our building such as special education meetings, disciplinary emergencies, etc.

Screening visitors prior to entry

Existing law provides that anyone with a communicable disease is prohibited from attending a private or public school, and Oklahoma State Department of Health rules acknowledge that an important part of a school health program is the prevention and control of communicable diseases. It is the duty of the parent or guardian, and the school, to exclude such person until the period of isolation or quarantine ordered for the case expires, or until permission has been given by local health officers. See 63 O.S. § 1-507

Visitors with a need to enter a Cushing Public Schools campus will be required to complete a symptom questionnaire and a temperature check prior to entry. Any visitor exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 without other explanation will be denied entry to Cushing Public Schools campuses.

Plans above are subject to change as new information becomes available or as new situations arise related to COVID-19.