• Health and Safety – Frequently Asked Questions

    Q: How will classrooms be spaced to allow for social distancing?
    A: Classrooms will be arranged so that students are as socially distanced as possible.

    Q: Will Plexiglass still be installed at every student desk?
    A: At this time, Plexiglass has been removed from student desks, but Plexiglass barriers are available at each school if you would like your child to utilize one at their desk. Please contact your child’s teacher for this accommodation.

    Q: How will social distancing be handled on buses?
    A: Students will have assigned seats and will be social distanced to the fullest extent possible.

    Q: How often will be my child’s classroom be cleaned?
    A: All classrooms and other instructional spaces are cleaned daily by Custodial Services. In addition, teachers and students have been provided with food-grade Sanitizer that can be used on desks, high-touch surfaces, and any shared materials.

    Q: Are students and staff required to wear a face covering in school?
    A: At this time, students and staff members are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering, especially if they are not vaccinated or not able to maintain social distancing. Face coverings will be available at all schools for any student or staff member who needs one.

    Q: Will I still be allowed to visit my child’s school?
    A: Visitors will still be allowed at all schools, but an appointment will be required. Please contact your child’s school to discuss visitor information.

    Q: What happens if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?
    A: The District conducts contact tracing after each positive case to determine any action needed, including, but not limited to, any notifications of parents/students and staff or any quarantine of impacted individuals. Contact tracing procedures will include a review of seating charts and cohort information and may not be possible in large group settings including, but not limited to, the cafeteria, ILT, and courtyard/recess.

    Q: If a student or staff member in my child’s class tests positive, will my child need to quarantine?
    A: Each situation is handled on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with current DHEC guidance for schools. Individuals who need to quarantine will be determined based on several factors including level of contact with the positive individual, vaccination status and contagious period of the positive individual.

    Q: If there is a case in my child’s class, will I be notified?
    A: If an individual in your child’s classroom tests positive and was infectious while at school, you will be notified.

    Q: I received a letter from the District stating that there was a case in my child’s class – does my child need to stay home or get tested?
    A: If you receive a letter from the District regarding a case in your student’s classroom, your child does not need to quarantine. Individuals who are identified as close contacts of a case will be called personally to notify them of their need to quarantine and when testing is recommended. Individuals who have not been identified as close contacts should monitor for symptoms and consider testing if symptoms develop.

    Q: I received a call from the District that my child has been exposed at school and is a close contact, do my other children need to stay home?
    A: If your child has been identified as a close contact at school and placed under quarantine, they will remain home and be closely monitored for symptoms. Others in your household, including other District students, do not need to quarantine unless your exposed child develops symptoms/tests positive. In the event that anyone in your household develops symptoms or tests positive, please notify your School Nurse.

    Q: If my student or someone in our household tests positive for COVID-19, who should I report that to?
    A: Students who test positive for COVID-19 or have exposure to someone who is positive for the virus, such as someone in their household, should be reported to their School Nurse as soon as possible. Students who are sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or awaiting testing/test results for the virus may not report to school. After-hours and weekend reporting of all COVID19 information should be sent to Amanda Santamaria, District Nurse Coordinator (asantamaria@dorchester2.k12.sc.us)

    Q: Should I report COVID-19 related information about my student or family to my student’s teacher?
    A: While you can certainly share this information with the teacher, please make sure that you have also reported this information to the School Nurse or School Principal. After-hours and weekend reporting of all COVID19 information should be sent to Amanda Santamaria, District Nurse Coordinator (asantamaria@dorchester2.k12.sc.us)

    Q: My student has been tested – can they attend school while we are waiting on results?
    A: Any individual who is awaiting test results due to exposure or symptoms may not attend school or District activities in-person until proof of negative test results is received by the District.

    Q: If my student is placed under quarantine by the school, our doctor, or DHEC, can they return to school once they receive a negative test result?
    A: Based on current DHEC guidance for schools, options for shortened quarantine, including a negative test result, are not available. Individuals who are placed under quarantine due to close contact will need to complete a full quarantine period and carefully monitor for symptoms.

    Q: My child is fully vaccinated – will they still need to quarantine after a close contact exposure?
    A: Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after a close contact exposure as long as they remain asymptomatic. If your child has been exposed, please let the District know so we can provide you with proper guidance, even if they are fully vaccinated.

    Q: If my student is isolated or quarantined due to having the virus or being exposed to it, do their absences count against them?
    A: If your child has been directed to isolate or quarantine and needs to miss in-person learning time, they are marked absent for in-school time missed, but their absences will be excused. Your child should still work with their teacher to complete work at home throughout their absence.

    Q: If my student is isolated or quarantined due to having the virus or being exposed to it, how will they continue receiving instruction?
    A: If your child is under isolation or quarantine and unable to report to school in-person, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss options for continued learning. Depending on their grade level and course schedule, different methods for completing assignments may be utilized. Missed in-person instructional time will not count against your student, but class work should continue to be completed while at home.

    Please note: This information is based on requirements at this time in accordance with guidelines from DHEC and the CDC. We will continue to monitor these recommendations and the level of disease activity to determine appropriate requirements for students as we move forward and hopefully, as conditions improve. For specific operational questions about your child’s school, please contact your School Principal.