Part V: Additional considerations

Framework title updated 8/24/20
Framework content updated 2/12/20
County Risk Levels last updated 2/12/21
County Risk Levels next update 2/26/21

Framework for Reopening Schools and Returning to In-Person Instruction

Adult Education

  • SAU leadership and adult education directors meet to develop and/or adapt local guidance to ensure that it is appropriate for adult educators, learners, and staff.
  • Priority of services plans should be created to enable remote and classroom-based options for adults who need to complete their high school equivalency, job training, and college transition programs.
  • Integrate Maine Governor’s strategies, as well as DECD, CDC, and OSHA guidance for businesses, into district guidance to enable job training programs to continue. (For example, health care certification programs implement guidance for health care facilities.)

Career and Technical Education

  • Create a plan to sanitize any hand tools that may have to be shared between students.
  • Create a plan to address the public accessing the building such as daycares in Early Childcare Education programs as well as cafes in Culinary Arts.
  • Create a plan to sanitize all areas between sessions in the middle of the day.
  • Look for opportunities to utilize larger spaces, such as lab areas for classroom instruction.

Child Nutrition Programs

  • Trained staff should teach and monitor all sanitation procedures while increasing the frequency of cleaning, maintenance of all sanitation charts, and review of HACAP with staff.
  • Maintain all CDC standards for food service, masks/face shields, distance, hygiene
  • Investigate alternative dining locations within the school or school grounds.
  • Consider how meals will be offered to students not in attendance or half days.
  • Improve ventilation by running exhaust fans more than normal in the kitchen.
  • Remove self-serve ability (bars, milk coolers, and extras)

School Health Office

  • Have a plan to decrease traffic to the school health office in order to prevent office congregation and possible exposure of healthy students to a symptomatic one.
  • Create a process for triage and monitoring of symptomatic students and supervised isolation while waiting for dismissal.
  • Create a standardized protocol for decision making in regards to ill students and staff. Communicate the protocol and consistently follow it.
  • Clarify for all staff the role of the school nurse in the care and/or assessment of symptomatic adults in the building.

Transportation

  • School bus contractors collaborate with SAUs to adopt cleaning and disinfecting protocols, referencing use of products with valid label claims against human coronavirus and product label instructions, that will be used when each run is complete for all school buses and school transportation vehicles.
  • Adopt local implementation procedures for transportation staff and students who ride the school bus to wear a cloth face covering and accommodate students with special or medical needs that may not be able to wear a cloth face covering. 
  • Work with local special education and McKinney-Vento staff and student families to develop a COVID-19 transportation protocol for each special needs and homeless student.

Universal Considerations for Choral Ensemble/Group Singing Instruction 

Required: Masks should be worn at all times for all who are in the rehearsal room. Because singing is a higher risk activity, well-fitting, three-layer, surgical-style masks are recommended. 

Considerations: 

  • Maintain minimum indoor physical distance of 6x6 between each singer, instructors, and any other people such as conductors, other musicians, audiences or accompanists. All performers should be facing in the same direction to the extent possible. Avoid singing in a circle or semicircular formation. 
  • Indoor rehearsals should be limited to 30 minutes followed by a break before the room is used again to allow the central HVAC system to exchange the air in the space. A minimum of one air exchange (which 20 minutes will generally achieve) prior to the next use of the room is required, with three air exchanges preferable. 
  • Ensembles meet in either the music classrooms, theater, or larger area depending on their class size. Schools should consult DHHS Guidance to ensure that practice and performance spaces have ventilation systems that are well maintained and operate as designed. 
  • Larger groups that preclude appropriate distancing should meet in a larger area (e.g., theater, cafeteria, gym, etc.) or use any outdoor space that meets mandated student distancing requirements. 
  • Indoor choral performance should only occur in spaces where proper ventilation systems are compliant with DHHS guidance. 
  • One-way traffic patterns should be established for entering and exiting the room, pick-up, and storage of materials. 
  • Transition to small group experience whenever possible, especially when facilities and space considerations are limited. 
  • Focus on solo and small ensemble playing/singing when the ability to maximize physical distancing is limited. 
  • Pivot instructional strategies to reduce the number of students musicians performing at any given time (e.g., small ensembles perform while others listen and assess.) 
  • Utilize alternate performance venues including outdoor spaces, large activity centers, etc., to the extent possible. 
  • Produce performances of individual ensembles rather than full program concerts, to the extent possible. 
  • Use live streaming in combination with, or in place of, in-person audiences, to the extent possible. 
  • Maintain observance of all standing Executive Orders from the Governor’s office related to indoor and outdoor public gatherings. 
  • Consider having students sing softly/at a lower volume than usual. 
  • Consider having teachers use portable amplifiers so they can keep their voices at a low, conversational volume. 
  • Students should not share classroom materials such as pencils, sheet music, music stands, etc. 
  • Doors should be opened at the beginning and end of class to ensure students are not touching door handles. 
  • Use physical barriers (e.g., face shields, free-standing acoustic shields) between rows and/or between individual musicians, if available; clean and disinfect each barrier using approved products after each use. 

NOTE: 

  • These guidelines are largely consistent those outlined in documentation from the National Association for Music Education/National Federation of State High School Associations.