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Health & Safety

"The point is that being able to demonstrate
‘due diligence’ is not about having a thing,
it is about doing a thing."

- Max Geyer

The health and safety of students and staff is a top priority. This detailed plan covers essential actions required to ensure operations that will support a safe and organized transition back to classroom instruction, through systematic protocols and procedures, and emergency preparation plans. PAUSD is also committed to promoting the mental health and wellness of the PAUSD community. Staff will take essential actions to keep staff and students physically and emotionally safe and healthy. School sites will continue to provide for the social, emotional, and physical health needs of students, and cultivate positive, safe school environments that promote high levels of connection, engagement, and overall well-being.


  • Ensure that all staff members share responsibilities and respond in a consistent manner.
  • Follow Santa Clara County Public Health Department (SCCPHD) protocols for notifying exposure of confirmed cases.
  • Secure protective equipment to comply with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance for students and staff, appropriate for each classification or duty; meet relevant California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) requirements; and have a plan for an ongoing supply of protective equipment.
  • Secure a sufficient number of no-touch thermal scan thermometers for health offices.
  • Consider the differing requirements of PPE for the differing populations of students with disabilities (i.e., for those requiring medical procedures, toileting, lifting, and mobility assistance).
  • Frequently disinfect high traffic areas.
  • Expeditiously disinfect space visited by suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • All staff and students wear face coverings throughout the day.
  • Maintain cleaning supplies to continuously disinfect the school site per CDPH guidance.
  • Ensure sufficient supplies of hand sanitizers, soap, hand-washing stations, tissues, no-touch trash cans, and paper towels.
  • Follow established physical distancing protocols and sanitation protocols.

Adjustment Prioritizing Health and Safety

  • Create markers to indicate the expected distance between students; especially in high-traffic areas.
  • Limit educational activities with high student contact.
  • Orient students with a new landscape of school and provide health education around minimizing germ spread, covering sneezes/coughs, washing hands, and physical distancing.
  • Communicate that students may not bring items that are not easily disinfected.
  • Inform students not to bring personal items from home, other than snacks/lunch, school assignments, devices, or items specifically required by the school.
  • Inform staff, parents, and students to refrain from bringing disinfecting supplies into the classroom.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer, at least 60 percent alcohol, if soap and water are unavailable (frequent handwashing is more effective than the use of hand sanitizers).
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfection protocol.
  • Teach and remind students of hygiene practices necessary to ensure personal health and safety in school facilities and vehicles.
  • Per CDPH and Cal/OSHA guidance, and consultation with local public health officials, provide opportunities for students and staff to meet handwashing frequency guidance and provide sufficient access to handwashing and sanitizer stations.
  • Provide fragrance-free hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60 percent alcohol) at or near all workstations and on buses. Children under age nine should use hand sanitizer under adult supervision.
  • Call Poison Control for any accidental consumption: 1-800-222-1222.
  • Train staff and students on proper handwashing techniques and PPE.
  • Advise staff and students to use paper towels (or single-use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
  • Share hand washing protocol to wash hands when: arriving and leaving home; arriving at and leaving campus; after playing outside; after having close contact with others; after using shared surfaces or tools; before and after using the restroom; after blowing the nose, coughing, and sneezing; and before and after eating and preparing foods.
  • Apply CDC guidance on proper PPE use by teaching staff and students to use tissues to wipe the nose, cough and sneeze inside a tissue, and not touch the face or face covering.
Library with 6' marks

PAUSD Campus Library

Counseling and Social-Emotional Support

  • Prioritize a focus on social-emotional learning to provide support for students as they re-enter school; identify students in need of additional support, and build a safe and inclusive classroom community.
  • Provide lessons that discuss the impact of not being physically close, being able to read emotions or social cues with faces covered, and how to share thoughts and feelings so that others understand what is needed.
  • Establish counseling support plans for crises related to infectious disease stress.
  • Offer individual counseling, group counseling, and group education support to overcome anxiety and fear, and various other stresses.
  • When a problem behavior is intensified, due to the stress of infectious diseases added to already existing psychological difficulties, provide counseling team support.
  • Continue to identify students with social-emotional needs and offer counseling and therapeutic support via telehealth methods.
  • Provide routine communication (in-person or virtual) to staff members to encourage self-care and promote staff cohesion and coping skills.
  • Provide staff with resources from their Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
  • Align District resources, policies, and programs to fully support mental wellness for students and staff.
  • Frequently assess and evaluate supports that are currently in place to assist students with mental health issues, with support from school counselors, administration, and wellness center staff.
  • Encourage students to use counseling services as needed.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Teacher PPE set

PPE Provided for PAUSD Staff
*Additional supplies provided as needed.

  • Provide reasonable accommodations, such as a face shield with a cloth drape for those who are unable to wear face coverings for medical reasons (per Cal/OSHA, considerations for face shields should include a cloth drape attached across the bottom and tucked into the shirt).
  • Per CDPH guidance, staff could use face shields, which enable students to see their faces and to avoid potential barriers to phonological instruction.
  • Provide other protective equipment, as appropriate for work assignments: For employees engaging in symptom screening, provide surgical masks, face shields, and disposable gloves. For front office and food service employees, provide face coverings and disposable gloves. For custodial staff, provide equipment and PPE for cleaning and disinfecting, including:
    • For regular surface cleaning, provide gloves appropriate for all cleaning and disinfecting.
    • Classified staff engaged in deep cleaning and disinfecting should be equipped with proper PPE for COVID-19 disinfection (e.g. gloves, eye protection, and mask), in addition to PPE, as required by product instructions. All products must be kept out of children's reach and stored in a space with restricted access.
    • Per Cal/OSHA requirements, PPE must be provided and worn to effectively protect employees from the hazards of cleaning products, and training must be provided to staff on the hazards of chemicals.
    • Provide KN95 masks, disposable smocks, gloves, and face shields with cloth guards, to all teachers and other personnel working one-on-one with students who require physical supports.

District PPE Stock

PPE stock at the warehouse

Snapshot of PAUSD Warehouse PPE and Sanitation Stock

Site PPE Distribution - spreadsheet snapshot

An example of PAUSD School Site Tracking.
*PAUSD has an adequate supply of disposable masks aligned with the county recommendation. Additional supply available as needed.

District PPE Distribution - spreadsheet snapshot

An example of PAUSD District Tracking.
*PAUSD has an adequate supply of disposable masks aligned with the county recommendation. Additional supply available as needed.

How to Use a Mask

  • Before wearing a mask, wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure the mask is firmly pressed against your face.
  • Do not touch the mask while you are wearing it; if you do, wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water afterward.
  • Remove the mask from behind (do not touch its front side); and then wash your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant or with soap and water.

Campus Access

Campus entrance signage

PAUSD Campus Entrance Signage

  • Develop a plan to minimize access to campus, and limit nonessential visitors, facility use permits, and volunteers.
  • Monitor staff and students throughout the day for signs of illness; including determining any special or unique needs for students with disabilities.
  • Provide passive screening for students by instructing parents to screen students before leaving home for school, and to keep students at home if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or if they have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Engage in symptom screening before students enter campuses and buses, consistent with public health guidance, including visual wellness checks and asking students about COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours; whether anyone in their home has had COVID-19 symptom(s), or a positive test.
  • All students and staff must wash or sanitize hands as they enter and exit campuses, classrooms, and buses.
  • Provide supervised, sufficient points of access to avoid larger gatherings.
  • Any students or staff who develop symptoms of illness while on campus should be immediately separated from others; preferably isolated in an area through which others do not enter or pass. If more than one person is in an isolation area, ensure physical distancing.
  • Any students or staff exhibiting symptoms should be required to continue to wear a face covering and wait in an isolation area until they can be transported home or to a healthcare facility.
  • Students should remain in isolation with continued supervision and care until picked up by an authorized adult.
  • Follow established guidelines for triaging students in the health office, recognizing not all symptoms are COVID-19 related.
  • Protect and support students and staff who are at higher risk for severe illness (medical conditions that the CDC says may have increased risks, or who cannot safely distance from household contacts at higher risk, by providing options through distance learning.
  • PAUSD staff visiting sites or the District office, and visitors invited by PAUSD, must check-in and -out of the front office and complete screening
  • Limit access to campus for parents and other visitors.

Symptom Screening


It is extremely important that health and safety screening takes place before students or staff enter buildings. Staff members should be accustomed to filling out a daily symptom screening. Parents/guardians reminders about daily screening before the start of each school day will be sent via short message service (SMS) and email messaging. Screening reminders will include a symptom screening link for immediate access. Site Administrators and Transportation will have access to data every morning and throughout the day.

Snapshot of Staff Screen Examples
Snapshot of PAUSD Pre-screening Questionnaire

Snapshot of PAUSD Pre-screening Questionnaire

Questions to check for symptoms

Safety Reminders

Safety reminders at office entrance

An Example of Safety Reminder Signage on PAUSD Campus

  • Safety reminder signs will be posted at the entrance of each school and throughout each applicable area of campus, reminding staff and students to wear a face covering, frequently wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, keep a distance from others to the greatest extent possible, avoid unnecessary contact, and do NOT enter school facilities if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • School employees will remind students about safety protocols, including to wash hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, and follow physical distancing throughout the day.

Oversight of Protocols


Site administrators and supervisors will oversee and serve as a resource for employees and students related to safety protocols and equipment. Screening results are to be reviewed by administrators frequently.

Creating and Providing Isolation Space

  • Create an isolation area for triage for other student illnesses or injuries.
  • Use the isolation room to manage students with fever and respiratory symptoms.
  • Any student exhibiting potential symptoms will wait to be picked up in a designated isolation space.
  • Designate a staff member to monitor the space (i.e., a secretary or clerk at elementary sites, and a health technician at secondary schools).
  • Disinfect space after usage.

Plan to Address Positive COVID-19 Cases or Community Surges

  • Per CDPH guidance, when a student, teacher, or staff member, or a member of the household, tests positive for COVID-19 and has exposed others at the school, implement the following steps:
    • In consultation with the local public health officials, the Superintendent and the Board of Education may consider whether school closure is warranted, and determine the length of time for the closure, based on the risk level within the specific community.
    • Per standard guidance for isolation at home after close contact, the classroom or office where the COVID-19-positive individual was based will typically need to close temporarily as students or staff isolate.
    • Additional contacts at school, outside of the classroom/s, should also isolate at home.
    • Additional areas of the school visited by the COVID-19-positive individual may also need to be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Provide a plan for continuity of education, medical and social services, and meal program, and establish alternate mechanisms to support students in quarantine.
  • Students and staff to follow district policies on student health in order to be readmitted on campus after being sick.
  • Follow guidelines that correspond to specific illnesses, including COVID-19 and others; working closely with local doctors and health departments.
  • Use PAUSD communication channel and use the following template provided by SCCPHD for different scenarios.

Steps for Responding to Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19

Immediate Actions
Scenario 1: A student or staff member either exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, answers "yes" to a health screening question, or has a temperature of 100.00 or above.
  • Student/staff sent home
  • Student/staff instructed to get tested
No action is needed
Scenario 2: A family member or someone in close contact with a student or staff member (outside the school community) tests positive for COVID-19
  • Student/staff sent home
  • Student/staff instructed to get tested
  • Student/staff instructed to quarantine, even if they test negative, for a full 14 days after (1) date of last exposure to COVID-19 positive non-household contact or (2) COVID-19 positive household member completes their isolation
  • If student/staff test positive, see Scenario 3 below
  • School administration notified
For the Involved Student Family or Staff Member:
Template Letter: Household Member or Close Contact With COVID-19 Case
Scenario 3: A student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Student/staff sent home if not already quarantined
  • Student/staff instructed to isolate for 14 days after symptom onset OR 7 days after resolution of symptoms, whichever is longer. (If never symptomatic, isolate for 14 days after positive test.)
  • School-based close contacts identified and instructed to test & quarantine for 14 days
    • In stable elementary classroom cohorts: entire cohort
    • In other settings: use seating chart, consult with teacher/staff
  • School administration notified
  • Public Health Department notified

For Positive Case Student Family/Staff:
Template Letter: COVID- 19 Case

For Student Families and Staff Members Identified as Close Contacts:
Template Letter: Household Member or Close Contact With COVID-19 Case

For All Other Student Families and Staff Members:
Template Letter: COVID- 19 Case in Our Community

Note. Recreated from “Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools COVID-19 PREPARED: for the 2020-2021 School Year.” Santa Clara County, Santa Clara County Public Health. 2020, June 30. Retrieved from