Health and Safety

Will students attending in-person learning be required to wear facial coverings?
  • Yes, students attending in-person learning will be required to wear facial coverings. All students in grades PK-12 will be required to wear facial coverings while on the school bus and in common areas (hallways, cafeteria, etc.) Students in grades 6-12 will be required to wear facial coverings while indoors in classrooms. Students in grades K-5 will be required to wear facial coverings while in classrooms when 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained.
Why is the facial covering protocol above slightly different from what was described in the Parent Q & A from earlier this summer?
  • Based on feedback from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan and consultation with middle and high school teachers on the District’s Return to Learn Committee it was determined that students in grades 6-12 would be required to wear facial coverings at all times when inside school buildings including classrooms (unless eating or drinking.)
Will the school provide masks?
  • ECS will encourage all students to provide their own disposable or cloth facial coverings, however each school building will have facial coverings available for students who need them. Cloth facial coverings should be washed on a daily basis and disposable facial coverings should be disposed of at the end of each school day.
What is considered a facial covering, can clear plastic shields be used?
  • According to the Return to School Roadmap developed by the State of Michigan, a facial covering can either be cloth or disposable, but must completely cover both the mouth and nose of the wearer. Clear plastic shields do not constitute a facial covering. Plastic shields can be worn in addition to a cloth or disposable covering.
Will students’ temperatures be taken prior to boarding the bus or entering the school building?
  • No, based on guidance provided by the Health Department of Northwest Michigan, ECS will not be conducting daily temperature checks or health screenings. Rather, the District will be requiring that parents monitor their children for fever or any other COVID-19 related symptoms. Students who exhibit such symptoms should not be sent to school under any circumstances.

Will the school screen students daily for COVID-19 symptoms?
  • No, based on guidance from the Health Department of Northwest Michigan ECS will not screen all students on a daily basis for COVID-19 symptoms. Rather, the district will ask parents to screen their students at home each morning.
What symptoms should parents be screening their students for?
  • According to CDC guidelines, all parents should screen all students daily using the following checklist;
  1. Is your student experiencing any of the following symptoms: felt feverish, had temperature of 100.4 F or higher, cough, shortness or breath, sore throat or vomiting/diarrhea?
  2. Has your student had close contact in the last 14 days with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 or been directed by the local health department or your healthcare provider to self-isolate or quarantine?
  3. Has your student engaged in any activity or travel that puts you at increased risk for exposure to COVID-19, including international travel to/from Level 2 or 3 CDC designated countries, or travel to areas currently experiencing a surge?
  • If you are able to answer yes to any of the above questions, your student must not attend in-person learning for the day.
Should I contact the school if my student either tests positive for COVID-19 or has close contact with someone who has tested positive?
  • Yes, our ability to continue to offer in-person instruction is directly tied to our ability to contain any spread amongst our student and staff population. By keeping lines of communication open and honest between the school, our families, and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan we will be able to quickly respond and increase the chances of continuing in-person instruction for our students.
Will hand sanitizer be available?
  • Yes, hand sanitizer will be available on all school busses, at entrances to buildings, in all classrooms, and in common area locations. Students will be taught procedures and protocols for frequent hand-washing and hygiene practices.
Will students share manipulatives/center items?
  • As much as possible students will not be sharing materials in school. Materials that must be shared will be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
When and how will physical distancing be maintained throughout the school day?
  • ECS will work with all students and staff to maintain 6’ social distancing while indoors to the extent possible. For students in grades PK-5 students will remain cohorted with their grade level throughout the school day while in classrooms or on the playground. To the extent possible, students in grades 6-12 will also remain in grade level cohorts. To minimize movement and maximize spacing at the secondary level 6-12 students will be utilizing a modified block schedule where students only have three 90 minute block classes per day.
How will social distancing be addressed on the playground?
  • On the playground, students will be playing only with other students from their cohort/grade level. Teachers will maintain social distancing to the extent possible. Games that involve hugging, tackling, etc. will not be allowed.
When the state moves into Phase 6, will students and staff be required to wear facial coverings or will it be optional?
  • If Ellsworth Community School were to be located in a Region of the State that moves into Phase 6 of the Mi-Safe Start plan then no, ECS students and staff would no longer be required to wear facial coverings.