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Health & Safety FAQs

Health and Safety Frequently Asked Questions for BUSD Parents and Students

BUSD has been planning for health and safety protocols for school reopening since June. We are excited to welcome back students and staff on April 12, 2021. Please see the link for the BUSD Covid-19 Prevention Plan Each site has a Covid-19 Compliance Team, a School Covid-19 Plan (see school website) and established routines for health screenings, physical distancing, reminders about hand washing and mask wearing and other health and safety guidelines. In addition, most sites have had at least one walk through with the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, as well as site visits by Facilities, Student Services and Health Services. Nurses and Health Assistants have also been assisting with health and safety protocols. The link to Los Angeles Department of Public Health Reopening Guidelines for K-12 schools is below. Please note that guidelines are updated frequently.

  1. When is BUSD opening for in-person instruction?

Monday, April 12, 2021 for all grade levels. Parents completed a survey selecting either the Hybrid Learning or the Distance Learning Only option. Non-responses were opted into Distance Learning Only.

  1. What will the schedule be?

Student schedules and assigned teachers will remain the same.  Students will continue to attend synchronous (live) classes online with teachers in the morning. Students will be assigned a cohort. Cohort A will attend in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. Cohort B will attend in-person classes on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.  Parents may choose to have their child continue with Distance Learning per the district survey that was completed before Spring Break. All students will continue with asynchronous learning (online) on Fridays.

*The plan for Alternative Education may differ in schedule and cohorting due to smaller schools and lower class size.

 3. What will in-person instruction in the afternoon look like?

Most classes will be in small cohorts of under 14 students. Teachers will focus on providing support and intervention for students in the afternoons. In addition, teachers will also be working with students on social emotional learning lessons.

*The plan for Alternative Education may differ in schedule and cohorting due to their small schools and class sizes.

  1. Will my student be able to switch between the Distance Learning Only and the Hybrid Learning Model?

BUSD will work with families to accommodate their request to switch models once school has begun. However, please keep in mind, that we will need to maintain physical distancing and provide consistency of education. Please contact your site administration if you are interested in changing models. Once a change has been approved, we cannot change models for your child again.

  1. How and where will students enter school?

Each site has developed plans for ingress and egress depending on their physical campus layout, number and maturation of students, and staff. Parents and students will be asked to submit a Google Form for a health screening before coming to school. Parents and students can show a picture of their completed screening form from their phone upon entrance to school or they can complete a verbal health screening with a staff member if they do not have access to a phone. Temperatures will also be taken. Parents may not enter school grounds. In elementary, parents will take their student to the assigned gate or entrance for the temperature taking and screening. Each school will communicate and implement their site procedures for ingress and egress.

Secondary students will be assigned a gate or entrance and show verification of health screening from their phone or complete a verbal screening. Secondary students will also complete a temperature check upon entrance to school and they will be asked to go directly to their assigned class and leave through the same gate or exit.

Students should arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to school beginning and leave immediately after they are released. Students will not be allowed to wait for parent pick up for more than 15 minutes after they are dismissed and the school district cannot supervise students after school. Please assist us by making arrangements for prompt pick-up, child care or other arrangements for student pick-up.

  1. Do students and staff need to be 6 feet apart? Didn’t the CDC just change their guidelines to 3 feet?

We will continue to promote physical distancing. However, since transmission is not high in Los Angeles County, physical distancing of students was reduced to 3 feet without cohorting. “In middle and high schools, CDC also recommends students should be at least 3 feet apart in classrooms where mask use is universal and in communities where transmission is low, moderate, or substantial.” Public health is encouraging adults to maintain physical distancing as much as possible. Students will be sitting in desks that are placed to maintain physical distancing. They will be sitting in alternate rows and facing the same direction. Some classrooms with round tables or kidney-shaped tables may use partitions depending on capacity and numbers of students. Desks will be cleaned daily and rooms will be cleaned between cohorts. Sites are using visual markers (dots, logos, signs, directional arrows) to remind students about pathways, exits and entrances, and physical distancing. 

  1. Will the front office and school be open to visitors and parents?

No. To reduce foot traffic in the offices, please continue to call or email school and site staff regarding daily business and questions unless there is an emergency. Appointments are required.

  1. How will students wash their hands in a timely manner?

Good hygiene is something we always want to reinforce with students.  Since capacity will be reduced, there may be time for teachers to build in hand-washing into their routines. If not, students can use hand sanitizer and it will be provided in classrooms.

  1. What are the BUSD mask policies?

Masks are mandatory per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines. A student is welcome to wear their own mask as long as it meets standards (2-ply and fitted). Students may not wear gaiters, bandannas or scarves. If a student or staff member does not have a mask, then one will be provided. If a student is struggling with wearing a mask, then the teacher and/or administrative team can work to support the student and help them learn the correct way to wear a mask. If a student is defiant and refuses to wear a mask, then we will follow progressive discipline. Link to policy

  1. What if a student has special needs or has a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask?

The Special Education Department has already reviewed students who may need accommodations and they have worked with site administration and staff to create a plan to assist the student. This group is very small in number, but if you have any concerns, please see your administrative team or the special education team at your site. Please see our Mask Wearing Guidelines for Students in Special Education or who have medical conditions. Link to policy

  1. Can students wear face shields?

Yes, but the student must wear a mask underneath the face shield or a drape.

  1. Will screenings before school be required? Temperature taking?

Yes. We will encourage parents to complete health checks before students attend school through a google form or verbal screening. Parents or students (parents for elementary) will submit a Google health check form or complete a verbal screening with staff before entering school. We will also be taking temperatures of students before they walk onto campus. Hand-held and/or free-standing thermometers are available at each site to assist with this process.

  1. Are teachers and staff required to receive a vaccination?

The Covid-19 vaccine is not required for employment. We have provided links to outside clinics and we have also provided BUSD/BFD clinics for our employees to have access to vaccinations. All employees have had numerous opportunities to get the vaccine and the vast majority of our teachers and staff have been vaccinated. Vaccination information is private and protected information.

  1. Will students be required to be vaccinated?

The Covid-19 vaccine is not required at this time. The vaccination is currently approved for children who are age 16 and above, pending 14 years of age with Pfizer.  The certification process for vaccines for children takes longer, hence the delay. Vaccine administration for children will be guided by LADPH guidelines and the CDC. Vaccination information is private and protected.

  1. What is the Covid-19 testing plan for students and staff?

There is not testing plan for BUSD. Testing is not required by LADPH for school districts in the red or fewer case rate tiers. In the event a staff member or student tests positive for Covid-19, testing resources will be provided to close contacts. Tiers can change so please visit the LADPH website for current tier information for counties.

  1. What are the daily cleaning guidelines for schools?

Cleaning will occur between cohorts and at the end of the day. Facilities has purchased additional cleaning and disinfecting equipment like backpack sprayers and other products to assist with cleaning protocols. High-touch areas will be cleaned frequently. Custodians have received training. Custodians will be using a checklist to show they have cleaned specific rooms. Link to Daily Cleaning Guidelines

  1. What supplies will teachers have in their classrooms?

BUSD has provided masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes, partitions where needed, signs, bottle fillers (replaced drinking fountains), and additional equipment for nurses and special education classrooms. Please have your child bring a refillable water bottle (clearly labeled with their first and last name) as water fountains have been changed to water bottle fillers.

    18. Can students and staff help clean between classes?

Yes. We all have a vested interest in working together to keep our schools, classrooms and facilities clean. Older students may be asked to assist but it is strictly voluntary.

  1. Will restrooms be cleaned more often?

Yes, please see the Daily Cleaning Guidelines in question #16. Each site has also created plans for physical distancing in restrooms (physical distancing markers, signs, covering urinals and sinks to encourage physical distancing and reduced capacity).

  1. Have air filters been upgraded?

During Distance Learning, our facilities team was hard at work replacing school buildings and classrooms with MERV13 filters.  All sites have MERV13 filters, which is a high-grade filter for optimal air ventilation. 

  1. Does BUSD have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in stock?

BUSD has purchased masks, gloves, partitions (where needed), signs, bottle fillers (replaced drinking fountains), and additional equipment for nurses. Sites have requisitioned stocks of supplies for the sites, and they can request more when necessary.

  1. Can students use the playground equipment?

Yes, as long as the playground equipment is cleaned daily. Students should wash their hands, use hand sanitizer and maintain physical distancing on the playground equipment.

  1. Can students share classroom supplies?

Whenever possible, students should have their own supplies.  If supplies are difficult to share, like manipulatives for math, teachers, staff and students can wipe these types of supplies down between use.

  1. Who will help monitor students, physical distancing and health and safety guidelines?

Everyone plays a role with health and safety guidelines. We encourage all members of our learning community to assist with monitoring health and safety guidelines. Please assist us by reminding your child to maintain 3-6 feet physical distance from others and to wear their mask. If they need a mask break, they can work with their teacher and site staff to accommodate a break.

  1. How will attendance be handled?

More information will be sent later this week.

  1. If students are on a hybrid schedule and do not attend the afternoon, is it considered truancy or is attendance in the afternoon voluntary?

Students need to be either engaged in asynchronous learning or in-person afternoon sessions. Students need to regularly attend classes for in-person instruction unless they have an alternative plan worked out per their IEP, 504 or individual plan with the school counselors or administration. Truancy and attendance concerns will be addressed by the site and Student Services as compulsory attendance laws are a State mandate.

  1. What happens if a student is symptomatic, tests positive, has a family member who is positive for Covid?

Parents should keep their child home if they are sick or have any symptoms of Covid-19. Parents are asked to conduct the health screening each day before taking their child to in-person learning. If a student becomes symptomatic at school for Covid-19, BUSD will follow the decision pathway as prescribed by public health. Parents will be asked to immediately pick up their child from school if there is a concern. Please be sure to arrange for your child to be picked up quickly from school if that is necessary. Click on the link below to see the presentation developed by our school nurses, based on LADPH protocols. Nurses, health assistants and administrators have been following exposure management protocols all year for child care, staff and cohorts.

  1. If an individual is vaccinated and exposed to someone who has Covid-19 or is symptomatic, do they need to quarantine?

No, per LADPH, if it has been 14 days after the individual has been fully vaccinated and they are not presenting symptoms. Please click on the link for information presented by our health services staff

  1. How is BUSD conducting contact tracing in the event of a positive case?

We are strictly following LADPH guidelines for contact tracing and reporting of cases as well as notification. If a student tests positive in a classroom or is quarantined due to symptoms of Covid-19, parents will receive an email notification. BUSD will not share the student’s identity, but you will be notified if your child was exposed and any steps that will be taken. Please see links to our district Covid-19 Dashboard

and the district Covid-19 Exposure Management Plan

  1. Is there a travel advisory?

Yes. Currently, there is a travel advisory for out of state or country travel or anyone traveling 120 miles from home.  Anyone traveling out of state, country or farther than 120 miles needs to quarantine for 10 days per LADPH. However, changes may be made any day as Los Angeles County has changing conditions and tiers. Please visit the LADPH website for the latest information.

  1. What do I do if I am concerned that health and safety protocols are being violated?

Contact the site administration. You can also email Stacy Cashman at in Student Services. You can also visit the BUSD website for detailed information on Reopening, Resources and Covid-19 Public Health and Safety Guidelines.