Stay Safe to Stay Open


Key Safety Protocols

In order to support the safe reopening of schools to face-to-face instruction, the WUSD adopted key safety protocols to address the following areas:  educating and informing, physical infrastructure, transportation, activities and athletics, food service operations, staffing, and health and behavior norms.  The WUSD Board of Education adopted these key safety protocols at the August 24th, 2020, Board meeting.  The WUSD Key Safety Protocols are posted on the WUSD COVID-19 website, have been emailed to all families in the WUSD, and are posted in all WUSD facilities.

Educate and Inform

  • CDC Coronavirus education materials will be posted throughout our sites in English and in Spanish in highly visible locations to include:  handwashing hygiene practices, when to stay home, cough/sneeze safely, and everyday protective measures.

  • Staff will be provided training on safe practices

  • Informational materials will be provided to students and staff through multiple venues to include the website, videos, and written communications

  • Regular routines will be established for handwashing and sanitizing

  • Through teachers and daily announcements classroom practices and routines will be established.

  • Parents will receive regular communication via multiple venues – email, website, videos and written communications.

  • Parent support will be critical to our success – urging families to keep sick children home and follow hygiene practices at home and at school


Physical Infrastructure

  • Plexiglass barriers will be used in public spaces

  • Floor adhesives will be used to mark six feet of separation and hallway traffic patterns

  • Bubblers will not be available; bottle fillers will be able to be used

  • Sanitation stations will be used throughout our sites

  • Locker use will be limited at both the elementary and secondary - secondary students will be encouraged to use backpacks and only access lockers at the beginning and end of the school day

  • Teaching spaces and classrooms will be reconfigured as necessary to create additional spaces for physical distancing

  • Isolation rooms will be established at each site to be used as needed with students or with staff

  • Classroom desks/tables will be placed three to six feet apart with a preference for six feet whenever possible

  • Cleaning and disinfecting will be increased with daily and weekly protocols and in between new groups of students

  • Students and staff will not be able to share objects unless those objects are sanitized

  • Use of communal spaces will be staggered and cleaning protocols will be increased

  • Hand hygiene will be taught and reinforced



  • Students will need to wear face coverings on the bus - if a student is unable to safely wear a face covering concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis

  • Students will sit with no more than 2 students/seat with an approximate capacity of 48 students/bus

  • Sitting at windows with one student per seat is preferred and should be used whenever possible

  • Students from the same household are strongly encouraged to sit together and may sit with three in a seat

  • Buses will be disinfected following each route with special attention to high touch areas

  • Families will be encouraged to self-transport if at all possible

  • Pick up zones and drop off areas may need to be modified and start and end times of school days may be staggered

  • Whenever possible, bus windows should be open to increase circulation of outdoor air, but not if doing so might pose a health or safety risk (temperature too cold, risk of falling, etc.)  If the weather is cold outside, bus drivers may choose to open two windows up to one inch to increase ventilation while keeping the bus temperature warm and safe for students and staff.

  • All buses will have and use seating charts, and every attempt will be made to keep cohorts of students together whenever possible.  Students will ride near the same students in the morning and afternoon whenever possible.


Food Service

  • Routines will be established for handwashing and sanitizing before and after any food handling/consumption

  • No food items will be shared

  • Lunch and breakfast will be delivered to classrooms or other areas designated for food services

  • Students will be kept in cohorts and with six feet of physical distancing when consuming food whenever possible

  • Cafeterias/gyms/common spaces may be designated for eating with student cohorts if appropriate

  • Students will face the same direction while consuming foods

  • Because students will be eating in classrooms and/or designated areas with cohort groups, staff will need to be additionally allergen aware

  • Food service will serve only nut-free food items during the 2020-2021 school year



  • Trainings and meetings will be conducted virtually whenever possible/practical

  • In-person trainings will be conducted with six feet of physical distancing maintained and if distancing is not possible, face coverings will be required

  • Appropriate personal protective equipment will be provided to staff as needed

  • Each teacher will be provided with a plastic/plexiglass partition to allow for one-on-one student interactions

  • Staff will be required to wear a face covering whenever inside a WUSD facility.  Exceptions to this will include a medical concern, when in a classroom/room with no other individual present and the door closed, when eating or drinking and 6 feet of distance is maintained, or when presenting/teaching when the teacher is the only one without a face covering and maintains 6 feet of distance at all times from all other individuals. Staff will also be provided with a face shield for additional protection if needed/desired

  • Staff will complete a daily symptom checker to self-monitor wellness

  • Work spaces will not be shared

  • Refreshments will not be shared



  • We will rely on guidance from the WIAA to hold safe athletic practices, competitions, and events

  • All key safety protocols will be followed as established for activities and athletics as they are during the school day

  • Virtual options will be pursued when appropriate/necessary

  • Because face coverings are not recommended during strenuous activity, physical distancing of six feet will need to be maintained whenever possible


Health and Behavioral Norms

  • We will limit all non-essential visitors and visits

  • Visitors will follow temperature and face-covering protocols

  • School families/cohorts will be maintained whenever possible - keeping together smaller groups of students to limit interactions outside the classroom/grade level to the greatest extent possible

  • Student passing times will be adjusted and limited

  • We will regulate our entrances and exits to prevent groups of individuals from gathering

  • Face-coverings will be required for students and staff anytime other students/staff are present and in all public areas at all times to include hallways and commons areas -  students who may not be able to safely wear a face covering will have concerns addressed on a case-by-case basis

  • Face-coverings will not be required when students are eating or drinking (distancing should be maintained) or when students are at recess and potentially engaged in strenuous activity.  Physical distancing will be especially important during times face-coverings are removed.

  • Face-covering breaks are acceptable and appropriate when students/staff have six feet of distance from other individuals, students/staff are eating or drinking (distancing should be maintained), are outside (distancing should be maintained).  Face covering breaks should be brief, occur in designated classroom spaces and used with discretion as directed by staff.

  • Field trips and gatherings will be limited and monitored

  • School staff will work with students and staff with high risk/vulnerable conditions to address concerns on a case-by-case basis

  • Staff will complete a daily symptom checker to self-monitor wellness

  • Upon arrival at school, students will have a staff member complete a visual symptom checker and check his/her temperature.  Any child with a temperature of 100 or above or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be escorted to an isolation area or outside to return home

  • Regular hygiene practices will be used and all desks/work areas will be disinfected in between classes

  • COVID-19 positive cases will be handled on a case-by-case basis in cooperation with the Watertown Health Department.