Health and Safety in 2020-21


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 have and will continue to follow guidance and orders from local and state public health and education officials, including at the Colorado Department of Education, Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE), Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Colorado Governor's Office and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to meet evolving health and safety requirements and to implement district COVID-19 protocols at all PSD schools and sites. As of June 24, 2020, final, state-level 2020-21 planning guidance for K-12 schools was not yet available.

It is important to note that information posted here is current as of June 24, 2020 and subject to change.

Throughout the year, procedures and expectations will be monitored continuously to ensure schools and district buildings are safe environments for everyone.

Overall expectations and monitoring at schools and sites:

  • Students and staff who are sick should stay home so they can 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 conduct a COVID-19 screening before entering a school or district building. 
    • Currently, PSD is working with public health officials to determine whether student temperature checks will be required upon arrival at school. If they become required, check-in procedures will be established. 
    • Every site will have two touchless infrared thermometers.
  • PSD will regularly communicate and monitor developments with local authorities, employees and families about exposures and cases of COVID-19, as well as keep them informed about updates to policies and procedures.
  • Although there is some guidance for K-12 schools from the Colorado Department of Education and Colorado Department of Health and Environment regarding this topic, as of June 18, 2020, PSD staff anticipate that schools will receive additional guidance and/or requirements for case tracking, contact notification and more ahead of the 2020-21 school year. This information will guide our planning work over the summer.

    PSD will work with Larimer County Department of Health and Environment staff, and other public health and education officials, to develop and communicate clear protocols that align with guidance and requirements, so families and staff know what to expect if someone tests positive for or is exposed to COVID-19 during each of the educational phases. 


In-school health and safety procedures

In place at all schools and sites for all phases during the 2020-21 school year.

Information is current as of June 24, 2020, and subject to change. 

Safety Actions

If in-person education is possible in some form in 2020-21:

  • Healthy hygiene practices, such as hand washing and wearing a face covering, will be promoted.
  • PSD will follow guidance, requirements and orders set by local and state public health and education officials, including with the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and others. If face coverings are required by these agencies when we start the school year and in-person education can happen in some form in PSD, staff and students will be required to wear them when in PSD schools and facilities. According to preliminary CDPHE guidance for K-12 schools, as of June 11, 2020, face coverings should be considered for students age 3 or older. Those with trouble breathing, or those unable to remove a mask without assistance should not wear a mask. As of June 11, 2020, CDPHE has yet to issue final guidance on face coverings for K-12 schools. 
  • Schools will have a designated isolation room or area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms. Parents/guardians will be notified if their student reports feeling ill.
  • Removeable plexiglass dividers will be installed in front offices and possibly in other areas within PSD buildings.
  • All employees will be trained on health and safety protocols.


Promote Social Distancing and Restrict Interactions

  •  For arrival and drop-off, schools will put in place protocols to limit close contact with parents or caregivers.
  • Schools will maintain maximum desk/table spacing based on room dimensions.
  • Recesses, lunches, and students passing in the halls will be staggered to keep students separated.
  • Using health protocols, recess will occur outside. 
    • 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.
  • Schools will encourage students to use water bottles and hydration stations instead of water fountains.

Restrictions for Nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities

If in-person education is possible in some form in 2020-21:

  • No nonessential visitors or volunteers will be allowed through at least the first quarter (approximately 9 weeks after the start of school).
  • No in-person assemblies will be held.
  • No large gatherings over 50 people, when social distancing is not possible, will be held, including events like school supply drop off, back-to-school nights, etc.
  • No before or after school, in-building enrichment clubs will be held at elementary schools.
  • 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. 


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.

Meals at Schools

If in-person education is possible in some form in 2020-21:

  • Schools will start the year with a maximum two options of pre-plated or bagged meals for breakfast and lunch.
  •  Elementary students will eat in classrooms or outside with appropriate social distancing. Table/desktops will be sanitized before and after lunch in the classroom.
  • Middle and high school students will eat in cafeteria and common spaces with distancing. High School students will be allowed to leave campus for lunch.
  • Spaces for students with food allergies will be established and individual student protocols followed.

Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation

If in-person education is possible in some form in 2020-21:

  • Rooms with high-touch surfaces will sanitized and disinfected throughout the day.
  • Priority cleaning schedule of disinfecting and sanitizing will be in effect.
  • Ventilation will be increased through opening windows and doors as needed.

Health and Safety Resources

School Board1

School Board2

School Board