These are the COVID-19 Protocols for students, staff, families, visitors and anyone entering our sites or campuses as they reopen in steps.

They are based on Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recommendations.  They are to be implemented across all District sites and campuses in steps. They begin with Step 2 because Step 1 indicates all learning is virtual.


Step 1:  Distance or Virtual Learning Only

Step 2:  Community spread of COVID-19 has declined to allow initial opening of schools

Step 3:  Community spread of COVID-19 has declined further to allow further opening of schools

Points of Contact, Training & Communication

Points of Contact

The Superintendent will coordinate and deliver all internal messages to staff.

The Director of Marketing Communications will coordinate all messages to students, parents, and the community regarding reopening, possible closure, and other COVID-19-related information. The Director of Marketing Communications will ensure that each site has posters with messaging on hand washing and covering of coughs and sneezes located throughout, along with posters at site entrances reminding individuals not to enter if sick.  Communications will be delivered in Spanish and English.

At each school or site, a site administrator or designee will coordinate physical distancing protocols, including ensuring that student and staff schedules, as well as facility set-up, allow for implementation of the protocols.

At each school or site, the lead custodian will coordinate implementation of cleaning protocols, including ensuring that sufficient cleaning supplies are available to custodial staff and, as appropriate, students and staff.  A checklist, including regular disinfecting procedures, in English and Spanish, will be available to all custodial staff and posted throughout the site.

At each school, a site administrator, the school nurse, or other designee will coordinate and implement the protocols set forth in the Step Two Protocols: Employees section of this document for screening of staff. That individual will be responsible for:

  • Communicating any reported case of COVID-19 among staff members to the Director of Human Resources and among students and families to the Coordinator of Health and Wellness, and
  • Informing the Coordinator of Health and Wellness if absences of students and staff on any given day are above 10%, or if there appears to be a cluster of respiratory-related illnesses. Staff attendance will be monitored daily by Human Resources (HR) while student attendance will be monitored daily by Management Information Systems (MIS). MIS will develop a dashboard for both student and staff attendance for Cabinet to monitor daily.

The special education director and 504 compliance coordinators will coordinate with site-based case managers to ensure the needs of special education students and students with special needs are being met in the context of the implementation of these safety protocols.

In conjunction with district administration, the athletic director and coaches will develop protocols that incorporate applicable Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and CDC recommendations for athletic activities when athletic programs are being reviewed to resume. STAFF TRAINING



Prior to students returning to campus, all staff will be trained on the implementation of these protocols.  Supervisors will ensure training is completed and report to HR.  Training will include proper use of PPE and supplies; cleaning and disinfecting; and other measures.  All staff is required to complete a suite of trainings in Safe Schools related to COVID-19 and complete a form that indicates completion.  Trainings must be debriefed with supervisors and teams.

  • Coronavirus Awareness (10 min.)
  • CDC Guidelines for Face Coverings (9 min.)
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workspace (10 min.)
  • Managing Stress and Anxiety (10 min.)
  • Preparing Your Household (9 min.)


Family Communication

Prior to students returning to campus, parents will be provided the protocols that relate to students and visitors on campus.  As part of this process, the district will send communication to all parents that outlines the symptoms for which parents must screen each morning, as well as the expectation that students will not be sent to school or placed on the bus if they are exhibiting any symptoms.  The district will require a signed acknowledgement from parents regarding these protocols.  School offices will confirm all parents have acknowledged and signed the protocols before their children return to school.

Each school site will identify a person to be the designated COVID-19 point of contact, which will be communicated to parents prior to the first day of school.  This person will be responsible for answering parent questions regarding implementation of COVID-19 protocols.


Step 2 protocols are established based on community monitoring that reveals low levels of community spread of COVID-19.  These practices are put in place as part of a general scale-up of operations.


Daily Health Screenings


1. Before Leaving Home

Inform students and parents that students must not come to school if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, or chills;
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • muscle aches;
  • sore throat;
  • headache;
  • fatigue;
  • congestion or runny nose;
  • cough;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea; or
  • new loss of taste or smell.

The information regarding daily health screenings will be distributed in digital and paper format all families in both English and Spanish.

Also, parents will be informed via registration documents, on the school website, and via email/phone reminders that they should screen students for the above symptoms each morning, should self-report symptoms, and must keep students at home if any symptoms are present.  Students will have the opportunity to make up work missed due to symptoms of COVID-19.

Schools will not give out attendance awards for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis.  In addition, tardy slips will not be used for the duration of the COVID-19 health crisis.


2. Entering & Riding the School Bus

All buses will have clearly visible signage communicating to parents that students should not enter the school bus with any of the above symptoms.

A bus driver or aide, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), will visually check each student prior to the student boarding the bus.  If a student exhibits visible symptoms, the following steps will be taken:

  • If the parent is at the bus stop, the student will return to their parent.
  • If the parent is not at the bus stop, the student will be provided with a mask if they do not already have one and will be situated so as to be physically distanced from other persons on the bus. Students suspected of being ill must be escorted directly to the Nurse’s office upon arrival at school by a staff member of the school.
  • If a student has a chronic condition such as allergies or asthma, parents will inform staff of that condition. If staff has been so informed, students with symptoms of runny nose or cough should be permitted to ride the bus.


3. Upon Arrival at School

Each student will immediately wash their hands and proceed directly to their classroom. Breakfast in the classroom will be instituted at all schools in all grade levels and in all classrooms.

A staff member, wearing appropriate PPE, will visually check each student and take temperatures with a non-contact thermometer after or while eating breakfast.  Any student with visible symptoms of runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, or vomiting, or one who has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees, will be taken to the Nurse’s office where “sick” and “well” areas have been constructed. Parents may be contacted for pick-up with the following exceptions:

  • If the student has a runny nose and the nurse/health aide observes that there are no other symptoms, the nurse/health aide will contact the parent to inquire as to whether the student has had any other symptoms or there have been any COVID-19 exposures in the home. If not, the student may return to class.
  • If the student has health information on file that confirms a diagnosis of asthma or other respiratory condition and the nurse/health aide observes that there are no other symptoms, the nurse/health aide will contact the parent to inquire as to whether the student has had any other symptoms or there have been any COVID-19 exposures in the home. If not, the student may return to class.

A second check will occur after or while students are eating lunch, following the same protocol described above.


Staff members will educate and remind students regularly to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between individuals at all times possible.

Where possible, students will remain with the same groupings and the same staff throughout the day. Design schedules for middle school and departmentalized students to allow the same groupings of students to move from classroom to classroom as much as possible. Steps will be taken for site administrators, in coordination with Human Resources to consider reducing class sizes as much as possible within the constraints of the number of students enrolled and the physical layout of the school.

Occupancy levels must be created and posted for each shared learning environment and workspace in each facility (i.e., multipurpose rooms, libraries, offices, etc.). Non-instructional activity spaces may be converted to classrooms if the school site has sufficient teachers to staff those converted classrooms.


1. Additional Protocols to Ensure Physical Distancing

Attendance at school will be staggered to allow for sufficient physical distancing as students are assigned specific schedules for those who return to school under the Blended Learning Model.


2. Drop-off & Pick-up Procedures

Each school will review current duty procedures to expand the number of staff available for duty during drop-off and pick-up to provide additional capacity for assisting students and families.  Each school will review current layouts to consider potential expansion of drop-off and pick-up locations to ease the potential of crowding.  Schools such as Kenilworth and Shaw Montessori that have significant bus traffic will look at additional opportunities to expand pick-up and drop-off zones.

However, pick-up and drop-off procedures at all schools must be reviewed to determine possible modifications that could include staggered times, expanded bus service, and alternate locations for walker/parent drop-off and pick-up.  Two options are possible for ensuring physical distancing procedures are followed, and these two options may be utilized in conjunction with one another:

  • Implement staggered drop-off times so that not all students arrive on campus at the same time. Stagger pick-up times similarly. School administrators should determine the staggered arrival and pick-up times in a way that best meets the individual school’s needs and reduces the number of students in common areas at the same time.
  • As an example, grades K, 2, and 4 could be scheduled to arrive between 7:45 and 8:00 a.m., with grades 1, 3, and 5 scheduled to arrive between 8:10 and 8:25 a.m. OR students with last names A–L could be scheduled to arrive at 7:45, etc. The latter approach will be helpful for families with multiple children at the same site.
  • Parents are required to drop-off and pick-up students without getting out of the car, unless express permission from a site administrator is provided for good cause. If a parent has permission to get out of the car during drop-off and pick-up, the student should arrive to and leave school before or after assigned times for the majority of students.


3. Bus Transportation Seating Options

To the greatest extent possible given bus capacity, transportation staff will:

  • assign students to bus seats with one student per row and, when possible, an empty row between students.
  • where students can be assigned one per row, assign students to the seat closest to the window.
  • maintain maximum bus ventilation at all times, including opening windows
  • set ventilation to non-recirculating mode.

The transportation department will develop routes and seating guidelines for each route.  These routes and seating guidelines will be modified throughout August and September based on collaboration with schools and families.

In addition, the following expectations will be enforced, modeled and reinforced by transportation staff:

  • Staff and students are required to wear a face covering when on a school bus unless a health condition prevents this.
  • Siblings or students who share a common household may sit together.
  • Assigned seating must be created and reinforced on all buses.


4. Classroom Layout

Due to the size of a classroom or the furniture used in a classroom, six feet of physical distancing may not be possible.  Where possible, students should sit in individual desks six feet apart, facing the same direction rather than facing each other.  All students and staff are required to wear face coverings when in a classroom unless a health condition prevents this.  For classrooms with tables or flex seating, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Separate tables as much as possible.
  • Install partitions between students’ seats, if feasible.
  • Create individual storage systems, such as seat sacks.

Given the extreme challenge of physical distancing within classrooms, it is important that:

  • Students remain in the same cohort throughout the day, and when appropriate, conduct special area classrooms using videoconferencing technology or with special area teachers conducting class within students’ homeroom classrooms.
  • Interactions between cohorts is limited if not altogether eliminated.
  • Face covering expectations are enforced, modeled and reinforced.
  • Hand washing expectations are enforced, modeled and reinforced.


5. Communal Spaces

Hallways, Walkways and Breezeways: Mark hallways, walkways and breezeways and walkways with adhesive tape or decals to direct students to stay on one side of the hallway for each direction of travel.  Where possible given the school layout, certain hallways may be designated one-way.  If possible, students should maintain six feet of distance between one another when moving through hallways. In addition, students and staff must wear face coverings when moving through hallways and breezeways.

Playgrounds, Fields and Courts: Allow no more than one class at a time to use designated fields and courts that can be used in line with the guidelines that follow:

  • Assign classes a specific time slot.
  • Avoid use of playground equipment.
  • Employ techniques to maintain physical distancing during unstructured time.
  • Require teachers and students to wash their hands following activities.
  • Recess kits will be developed for use by cohorts, as time permits.


6. Cafeterias and Multipurpose Rooms

Multipurpose rooms and cafeterias are closed while breakfast and lunch are prepped.  Breakfast and lunch will be consumed in classrooms and on disposable food service items (trays, plates, etc.), if possible.  If disposable items cannot be used, food service staff will collect all items while wearing gloves. Students are not permitted to share lunch items with one another.

  • If a classroom has a student with food allergies, convene a 504 team to discuss appropriate accommodations. These may include, for example, taking the student to another location, such as a school conference room or the multipurpose room, with one friend (so long as physical distancing can be maintained in the alternate location).
  • Each classroom will be equipped with additional open trash cans designated specifically for breakfast and lunch disposal.


7. Bathrooms

Permit students to enter bathrooms in groups no larger than the number of stalls or urinals in the bathroom, and direct them to maintain physical distancing.  If feasible, add sneeze guard partitions to sink areas.  If sneeze guards or partitions are not possible due to physical layout or cost, limit the number of students in the bathroom to allow an empty sink between students during hand washing.  Finally, display posters reminding students of proper hand washing techniques.

  • Capacity signs must be posted outside each bathroom to ensure everyone knows the bathroom capacities.
  • Sign-in and sign-out sheet should be used in all classrooms to trace when students leave classrooms for the bathroom, when the bathroom is used, and when a student returns to class.
  • Teachers will identify the bathrooms that are used by staff and students regularly, and work to make sure teachers communicate to not cross paths with other teachers, especially with whole classroom bathroom breaks.
  • Where feasible, six feet marking spaces should be used on the floor leading up to sinks to ensure proper distancing as well as outside of the bathroom door for those waiting.
  • If possible, sneeze guards can be placed in bathrooms where there are rows of sinks.
  • Ensure exterior sinks are operational and used for thorough hand washing
  • Schools will create a system during recesses to ensure students do not congregate in the bathrooms.


8. Front Offices

Plexiglass is installed to form a barrier to the front desk and office staff.  Adhesive tape or decals will be placed on the floor six feet from the front desk to ensure physical distancing of visitors as they await service at the front desk.

  • Sites determine where markers need to go in the office and nurse’s office to ensure physical distancing.
  • Sites need to work with district maintenance to ensure safety measures are installed prior to students returning to campus.

Hand Washing

Require all students to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at the following times:

  • Upon arrival at school or the classroom (use hand sanitizer if there is no sink available).
  • After being outside for physical activity.
  • Before and after lunch.
  • Prior to leaving school for home.
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing nose.
  • Where sinks are not available for hand washing, sanitization stations will be available.
  • Video reminders of routines and procedures to ensure proper hand washing will be created, modeled, enforced and reinforced by staff members.


Cloth Face Coverings

Students are required to wear cloth face coverings or a face shield, subject to the health condition exception stated below* when physical space does not allow for maintenance of six feet of space between individuals.  Students will not be required to wear cloth face coverings during physical activities and when physical distancing is maintainable, though they may voluntarily wear face coverings at any time.

  • Each school should have twice as many reusable face coverings as they have students so they can collect and wash with a replacement ready.
  • Schools will have age-appropriate sized masks for all grade levels.
  • Purchases and donations of face coverings have already been secured.
  • An internal system between schools and district can be created for washing and drying masks between schools and the district. Sites may also create washing and drying systems.
  • Central messaging from District will be created to enforce face coverings being worn at schools with care instructions.

*Any student who has difficulty breathing or who is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his or her own will not wear cloth face coverings, and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff.

Students may bring their own cloth face coverings to and from school. Schools will have a supply of face coverings available to provide students who cannot provide their own.  District should provide instructions at the beginning of the school year regarding how to wash face coverings and how often.

Cloth face coverings are designed to protect other individuals rather than the individual wearing the covering.  Accordingly, the greater number of students wearing cloth face coverings, the greater the overall transmission mitigation that will be achieved.  Plastic face guards, which provide protection for the wearer, will not be required or provided, but are permitted.


Student Belongings & Materials

For younger students and where possible, require that student belongings be kept in individual bins or cubbies labeled with each student’s name.  Belongings and materials (other than laptops) will not be transported between home and school.

Do not permit sharing of school supplies among students.  If a school supply or piece of equipment must be shared by students (for instance, a pencil sharpener or blocks and toys), have a staff member wipe down the item with disinfectant after each use.


Trips & Activities

Field trips are canceled until further guidance comes from the Arizona Department of Health Services.  Teachers are encouraged to use virtual learning opportunities (such as virtual tours of museums) to enhance educational experiences for students.  Options for virtual fine arts experiences (virtual art shows, concerts, etc.) will be reviewed for approval by Cabinet.

School-wide assemblies may not be held with students assembled in the same physical location until further guidance comes from the Arizona Department of Health Services.  As an alternative (if feasible), hold school-wide assemblies virtually, with student groups remaining in their classrooms.

Large-scale school events such as “Back to School Night” or fall carnivals will be cancelled or reconfigured in order to maintain physical distancing.  Small-scale activities like parent-teacher conferences may take place over the phone or other electronic means.  Other extracurricular activities will be cancelled unless the activity can be conducted in compliance with the protocols in this document.


Specialized Classes

Some classes, such as science labs, choir, band, physical education and others, may require alternative lesson plans to limit contact and the sharing of supplies, and to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets. For example, music theory might be taught at school while playing and practicing is done at home.

Teachers of special classes and sites will work together to prepare site specific plans.


Step 2 protocols are established based on community monitoring that reveals low levels of community spread of COVID-19.  These practices are put in place as part of a general scale-up of operations.


Exposure Assessment and PPE

Prior to allowing employees to report to work, district administration, in conjunction with relevant site supervisors and department supervisors, must assess each work site to determine what PPE is necessary for specific positions in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.  If a position is determined to require PPE, PPE will be provided to staff at no cost and train staff on its correct use.


Visitors to School

Nonessential visitors and volunteers at school will not be allowed in classrooms.  No parent volunteers will be allowed in classrooms during the COVID-19 health crisis.

  • Sites will determine what is essential (includes vendors) and nonessential based on the procedures they develop.
  • Visitors will need to be screened in the same manner as employees and will be required to sign-in.


Daily Screening

Employees, essential visitors and vendors will not be allowed on campuses or sites if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • fever of 100.4 and higher or chills
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • congestion or runny nose,
  • cough
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea or
  • new loss of taste or smell

If a staff member is experiencing these symptoms the day or night before, please report your absence that day or evening.   If you wake

up feeling better, it is easier to cancel coverage than to find coverage each morning.

Perfect attendance awards for staff will be suspended until further notice.

Additionally, each individual employee will perform a self-temperature check and record it on a personal record, sites will have designated areas for non-contact thermometers for employee use.   Traveling employees will conduct a temperature check at the first site they visit for the day and record the temperature on their travel log. Thermometers will be disinfected by the staff member between

uses according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If an employee’s temperature is at or above 100.4, the employee will be sent home.  Employees will be informed they must self-report any symptoms that develop during the day and must remain home if they exhibit any of the symptoms identified above while away from school.


Hand Washing

Employees are required to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at the following times, at minimum:

  • upon arrival at school;
  • after being outside for student physical activity;
  • before and after lunch;
  • after sneezing, coughing, or blowing nose; and
  • after physical contact with other staff or students.


Enhanced Physical Distancing

Employees are required to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between individuals at all times, unless this is not physically possible or, for a student’s safety, less space is required.  If a situation arises

that requires a staff member to touch a student or another staff member (for instance, if a student requires toileting help, is having a physical emergency, or requires a two-person restraint), have the staff member resume physical distancing as soon as safely possible, wash their hands, and disinfect any surfaces they touched.


Cloth Face Coverings

Staff is required to wear face coverings or a face shield with students or other staff unless they cannot do so for health reasons.  In these cases, employees are to notify their supervisor and discuss strategies for reducing employee interactions with students or staff and other options for maintaining safety protocols.  Employees should contact the district’s ADA coordinator in the Human Resources Department or their direct supervisor to request a reasonable accommodation and begin the interactive process if they cannot safely wear a face covering.  Staff members are permitted to remove face coverings if the staff member is alone in his or her work area.  Note, however, that the face covering must be worn again, and the work area disinfected, before students or other staff arrive.

Unless a health condition prevents it, janitorial staff is required to wear face covering and other personal protective equipment (as available and appropriate) while cleaning and disinfecting the schools.

Note: Wearing a face covering or face shield does not replace the need to maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

Prior to reopening, inspect water systems to ensure they are safe for use after the prolonged shutdown.  This will help to minimize the risk of waterborne pathogens that cause illnesses such as Legionnaires’ Disease.

Arrange for daily cleaning and disinfecting of all frequently touched surfaces in work areas, such as door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains, desks, and learning tools.  Any equipment or materials used inside or outdoors must be cleaned after each use.  Students will not be held accountable for the cleaning as the sanitization wipes can be harmful to students.  Staff will wear gloves when using cleaning chemicals.

Staff is expected to clean and disinfect personal workspaces when they arrive at work and just before leaving work.

Custodial staff will follow an assigned schedule for increased cleaning of surfaces and bathrooms throughout the day.  A daily custodial checklist will be created to ensure areas are disinfected and supplies are on hand.  Sites can develop a system to ensure the routines are completed regularly.


Step 3 protocols are established based on community monitoring that reveals even lower levels of community spread of COVID-19 than in Step 2.

Step 3 protocols will be discussed at a later date by the committee when less strict restrictions might be warranted

Key indicators to prompt discussion might include:

  • Face mask requirements relaxed by City of Phoenix.
  • Health departments state restrictions can be relaxed.

Yet clear communication must be provided noting the resumption of stronger restrictions can be returned to at any time based on the status of COVID-19.


When Step 3 is reached, more details will be provided.


If a person becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms or reports a positive COVID-19 test, the procedures listed below should be followed:

  1. Immediately report the situation to either the Health and Wellness Coordinator in the event of a student or student’s family member reporting a positive COVID-19 test, or the Director of Human Resources in the event of a staff member or a staff member’s family member reporting a positive COVID-19 test ONLY. Confidentiality must be maintained to the greatest extent possible.
  2. If an employee develops COVID-19 symptoms at work, separate the employee from all other students, staff, or visitors, then make arrangements to send the employee home in a safe manner. If the employee is able to self-transport, have the employee leave the site. If the employee is not able to safely self-transport, contact a family member, friend, or other method of transport to get the employee home or to a health care provider. If the employee appears to be in medical distress, call 911.
  3. If a student develops COVID-19 symptoms at school, separate the student from all other students and staff, with the exception of one staff member to supervise the student. Have this staff member wear PPE or a cloth face covering and maintain a distance of at least six feet from the student at all times, unless there is an emergency. Immediately notify a parent or emergency contact to pick up the student. Call 911 if the student appears to be in medical distress.
  4. Close off any areas that were exposed to the symptomatic employee or student. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting those areas. During that time, if feasible, open windows or outside doors to increase air circulation. After 24 hours, thoroughly clean and disinfect all surfaces in the area per CDC guidelines.
  5. Determine whether other employees or students may have been exposed to the symptomatic individual within six feet and for a prolonged period of time (typically longer than fifteen minutes). If so, notify those individuals (or, in the case of students, their parents) of the potential exposure. DO NOT disclose the name of the individual who has become sick. Notification should recommend that exposed individuals monitor their health closely, contact their health care provider if possible, and self-quarantine if any symptoms develop.
  6. Protocols to define when employees or students diagnosed with COVID-19 may return to work or school are evolving. Recent CDC guidelines communicated on July 17, 2020 indicate the following:


Summary of Recent Changes as of July 17, 2020

  • Except for rare situations, a test-based strategy is no longer recommended to determine when to allow health compromised person (HCP) to return to work.
  • For HCP with severe to critical illness or who are severely immunocompromised, the recommended duration for work exclusion was extended to 20 days after symptom onset (or, for asymptomatic severely immunocompromised HCP, 20 days after their initial positive SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test).
  • Other symptom-based criteria were modified as follows:
    • Changed from “improvement in respiratory symptoms” to “improvement in symptoms” to address expanding list of symptoms associated with COVID-19