Health and Safety in 2020-21


Information posted is current as of Aug. 4, 2020 and subject to change.

During the 2020-21 school year, the health and safety of students, staff and the community is a top priority as Poudre School District educates children while adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic.

District and school leaders will continue to work with and follow guidance and orders from public health officials to meet evolving health and safety requirements and to implement district COVID-19 protocols at all schools and sites. Throughout the year, procedures and expectations will be monitored continuously to ensure schools and district buildings are safe environments for everyone. Some local and state agencies the district is working with include the:

  • Colorado Department of Education (CDE)
  • Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE)
  • Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE)
  • Colorado Governor's Office
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Overall expectations and monitoring at schools and sites:alt=""

  • Face coverings: Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings that covers their mouth and nose. Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their students with face coverings. 
  • Students and staff who are sick should stay home to care for themselves and keep others from getting sick.
  • Procedures will be implemented to check for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, based on public health guidance. 
    • All PSD employees will be required to conduct a COVID-19 screening before entering a school or district building using a district app. 
    • Families must check their student(s) for COVID-19 symptoms daily and not send them to school if they have a fever of more than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or are sick. 
  • Students will be separated into cohorts at school, as possible, to reduce contact and possible COVID-19 exposure and to allow for contact tracing as necessary.  
  • PSD will regularly communicate and monitor developments with local authorities, employees and families about exposures and cases of COVID-19, and keep them informed about updates to policies and procedures. PSD is actively collaborating with county health officials on plans for possible exposure, contact tracing and school closures.

The list of health and safety procedures below are in place at all schools and sites for all phases during the 2020-21 school year. Information is current as of Sept. 11, 2020, and subject to change.


General school health and safety procedures

Safety Actions (required face masks, hand washing, school safety features)

  •  Face coverings: Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings that covers their mouth and nose (anything that follows county guidance). Parents/guardians are responsible for providing their students with face coverings.
    • Face covering breaks with social distancing outside or in well-ventilated areas will be scheduled during the school day. 
    • Face coverings will be required of all bus drivers and riders. 
    • This decision is supported by the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. It also aligns with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s July 16 statewide mask order, requiring that face coverings be worn at all times in indoor public spaces, such as classrooms. 
  • Hand washing and other hygiene practices will be promoted through a shared culture of safety.
  • Schools will have a designated isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms.
  • Removeable plexiglass dividers will be in front offices and possibly in other areas within PSD buildings.
  • Hand-sanitizer and touchless water bottle-filling stations are being installed.  Students will be encouraged to use water bottles and hydration stations since water fountains have been shut off per county orders.
  • All employees will be trained on health and safety protocols.

Social Distancing and Interactions (drop off/pick up times, in classrooms and throughout the school day)

  • Student arrival, drop-off and pick-up times - Students will go directly into the buildings after drop off. Gatherings outside of the school before or after school will not be allowed.
  • Students and staff will maintain six feet of social distancing to the fullest extent possible, but it may not be possible in all instances.  All students and staff are asked to limit close contact with others, which is defined by the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment as being within six feet of another person for more than 10 minutes. 
    •  Visual cues such as floor decals and/or signs will be utilized to indicate the flow and direction of one-way traffic and effective distancing.
  • Students will be separated into cohorts. When at school, students will remain in the same cohort throughout the day at elementary school, and to the extent possible, with the same cohort at middle and high school.
  • Classroom guidelines: 
    • Maintain maximum desk/table spacing based on room dimensions.
    • Seating charts will be used in classrooms
    • Classroom floor space will be maximized by removing non-essential furniture.
    • Furniture that can't be disinfected (i.e. soft fabrics) will be removed from classrooms and common areas.
    • Students will have their own school supplies and backpacks. Personal items will remain at the desk with the student.
    • Shared school supplies and materials are discouraged. If supplies are shared, disinfection will take place between uses.
  • Students will be encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Drinking fountains will be shut off, per county orders, but bottle-filling stations will be open where available.
  • School lockers will not be available except for students who need them for health reasons.
  • Recesses, lunches, and students passing in the halls will be staggered to keep students separated. Recess will occur outside with the following protocols 
    • Playground equipment will be used by small groups of students. 
    • Students will wash their hands upon reentering the school. 
    • Recess times will be staggered for each class/cohort.


Meals and Recess


  • Breakfast and lunch will be available.
  • Sacked meals will be picked up. There will be no self-serve options such as salad bars.
  • Meals will be eaten in classrooms, in cafeterias, or in other locations throughout school buildings using assigned seats. 
  • Students will be asked to wash and/or sanitizer hands before and after lunch. 
  • Grab-and-go/sacked meals will be available for online students.

Outdoor recess

Playground equipment may be used by small groups of students. Students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before entering and after exiting the playground.

Restrictions for Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities at schools

  • Nonessential visitors or volunteers will not be allowed at schools through at least the first quarter (approximately 9 weeks after the start of school). 
  • No field trips, including all 5th grade Eco trips.
  • No in-person assemblies will be held (e.g. all-school assemblies, music performances, extracurricular activities).
  • No large gatherings or meetings over 50 people (county guidance July 18, 2020) will be held, including events like school supply drop off, back-to-school nights, etc.
  • Schools and district buildings will not be available for community rental at least through first quarter (approximately 9 weeks from the start of school). PSD will re-evaluate at this point whether that restriction will change and notify the community of its decision. For more information, visit the Facility Rentals web page. 

Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation

  • Spray bottles of disinfectant for staff use in each classroom. 
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers available in high-traffic areas in district buildings, including at all entryways and main offices.
  • Circulation of outdoor air will be increased as much as possible by opening windows and doors. Additionally, school ventilation systems are designed to recirculate air and are designed to work best when windows are closed. PSD is upgrading air filters to MERV 13 filters throughout buildings to filter out micron levels of COVID-19 where possible.

Priority cleaning schedule for buildings:

  • Daily Cleaning 
    • Restrooms disinfection
    • Locker rooms disinfection
    • Health offices/public areas/reception area
    • Trash/recycling removal
    • High-touch surface disinfection 
    • Sinks and counters disinfection 
    • Vacuum/sweep of hallway floors
    • Entryway door handles and high-touch surfaces 
    • Disinfection with ionizing hydrostatic sprayer
  • Every Other Day Cleaning
    • Vacuum/sweep classroom floors
    • Sweep gym floors
    • Vacuum rooms used for small group learning 
  • Once Per Week Cleaning 
    • Vacuum office area
    • Vacuum media center
    • Scrub gym floor
    • Staff lounge
    • Outside trash removal
    • Detail cleaning (carpet stains, mopping of floors, dusting, etc.)
    • Computer labs


Fire and Lockdown Drills

PSD anticipates hosting one fire drill per month. Lockdown drills may be conducted via video training, instead of live, if PSD is in a hybrid model of education. More information will be shared when available.


  • Drivers will wear face coverings. 
  • Windows and vents on the bus will be left open or slightly open at all times for improved ventilation.
  • Buses will be disinfected daily and between routes

Students who use PSD buses will be expected to follow these protocols: 

  • Students must wear masks or face coverings at all times when on the bus. Students will not be permitted to board a PSD bus without a face covering/mask. 
  •  Parents will be expected to take their child’s temperature and symptom screen before leaving the house and to ensure that an ill student does not ride the bus.
  • When student enter the bus, they will load the bus from the rear to the front of the bus and unload the school bus from the front of the bus to the back when possible.
  • Students will not be permitted to eat or drink on the bus.

For information about who is eligible for busing, visit the Transportation web page.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at Schools and Sites

PPE items include:   

  • PSD logo cloth masks and gaiters for every employee 
  • Face shields for every employee 
  • No touch “germ keys” for every employee 
  • Chalk-based spray paint and a marking stick for outdoor social distancing marking 
  • Small hand sanitizer bottles for classrooms 
  • One “Under the Weather” tent to isolate individuals who become symptomatic during the day 
  • Gloves in a variety of sizes 
  • Disposable non-surgical masks for adults and children 
  • Spray bottles of sanitizer for each classroom and microfiber towels 
  • Social distancing stickers 
  • Push broom sweepers for each classroom 
  • PSD health and safety signage in English and Spanish 
  • Plexiglass barriers for main offices, reception areas, and public spaces



Procedures for specific classes, school events and athletics

Music Classes

Choir, Band, Orchestra

  • Choir, band, and orchestra will practice in-person when physical distancing can be achieved. Physical distancing for these classes will be expanded beyond the current 6 feet.  Masks will be worn and instrument covers/barriers will be used whenever possible.
  • The amount of time playing band instruments and singing during class time will be limited until restrictions have been eased.
  • Outdoor instruction will be encouraged whenever possible.
  • Students will be encouraged to video themselves playing instruments/singing and use class time for review and/or individual instruction, as well as instruction of the non-performance Music Standards.
  • Music will be projected on screens whenever possible or students will be provided a personal copy of the music. There will be no sharing of music.
  • Use of a handheld microphone will be highly discouraged with students and a lapel microphone should be used in its place when possible (unless disinfecting can be done between uses).
  • There will be no public in-person music performances during the first semester.  This decision will be revisited prior to the second semester.

Elementary Music

  • Elementary music classes will focus on activities that do not involve singing or playing recorders until more information is available, i.e., study results.
  • Distancing will be utilized as in general education classrooms.
  • Outdoor instruction is encouraged whenever possible.
  • The use of shared materials will be limited; any shared materials must be disinfected between uses.  Handwashing/sanitizer will be offered before and after handling materials.
  • Music will be projected on screens whenever possible or students will be provided a personal copy of the music. There will be no sharing of music.
  • For the first semester, there will be no public in-person music performances and no in-person elementary choir. This decision will be revisited prior to the second semester.

Science Labs and Art Classes 

  • Educators will limit the use of shared science and art equipment that would be shared among students during a class period.
  • To the extent possible, adequate supplies will be provided to minimize sharing of high-touch materials (art and lab supplies, equipment, etc.). Equipment will be cleaned/disinfected between uses.
  • Individualized digital tools will be utilized, when possible, to lessen students sharing equipment.   

Physical Education Classes

  • Classes will be conducted in a way that students and staff can respect physical distancing guidelines, when possible, classes will be conducted in outdoor spaces. 
  • Educators will limit the use of shared PE equipment and eliminate the use of equipment that would be passed among students during a class period.
  • When used, equipment that is touched or handled by a student will be cleaned/disinfected between students/classes.
  • Students will be advised to dress in clothes that are appropriate for participation in PE to reduce or eliminate the need for lockers.


  • PSD will follow guidelines provided by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA), recommendations from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) regarding team sports and activities.
  • PSD has consulted national, state and local health department protocols and guidance in the creation of the “phased” return to in-person activities plan.
  • All parents/students participating in athletics will sign a release indicating their understanding of the health and safety risks and protocols in place to reduce the exposure to the coronavirus.
  • In compliance with any health orders, it's possible that students may be asked to withdraw from participating in athletics.
  • Participants will be grouped in student cohorts to minimize the potential of spreading the virus. If someone becomes sick, to the greatest extent possible, PSD will try to quickly identify the students who have been in contact with that student.
  • Based on national and state guidelines, district athletic directors and coaches have participated in several training presentations to ensure a clear understanding of the required safety measures and protocols that have been established to minimize the exposure or spread of coronavirus.
  • All sport season timelines and athletic schedules are tentative and subject to change based on CHSAA, State of Colorado, Larimer County and PSD guidelines and restrictions. All athletic teams/programs could be subject to calendar and schedule modifications that will impact scheduled opponent’s, length of the sport season, locations, dates, times and total number of scheduled games and practices.

School Assemblies, Field Trips and Travel

  • All school events such as school assemblies, pep rallies, plays, dances, concerts, back-to-school nights, etc. will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if they can be held safely. Public health officials will be consulted for all events
  • All field trips and/or other activities outside of school, including 5th-grade ECO trips, will not be allowedfor at least the first quarter (roughly nine weeks after the start of school). Decisions may be made later on a case-by-case basis in accordance with public health guidance and orders. 
  • All out-of-state and international field trips have been canceled through the end of 2020. 


Monitoring symptoms, PSD protocols for COVID-19

Staff Symptom Monitoring and PSD Protocols for Students

All staff are required to symptom and temperature check each day prior to entering the building using PSD’s COVID-19 online application or app. 

Complete information: PSD protocols for staff 

Staff may be screened for international travel and may be required to quarantine for 14 days depending on guidance from public health officials.

Student Symptom Monitoring and PSD Protocols for Students

Student Symptom Monitoring: Student symptom and temperature checks are the responsibility of parents/guardians and should be done prior to students getting on the bus or entering school.

Complete information: PSD protocols for students

PSD Protocols

Visit the PSD Protocols for COVID-19 web page to see protocols and learn about state and county guidance and what happens when there is a COVID-19 case in PSD.

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