Staff Information and Resources

Required Staff Information

Resources

  • Back to Building Requirements for staff returning to work in our schools and district facilities (below). 
  • View our Cleaning Protocols for staff including information on what supplies are available (below).
  • Learn more about our required sign in protocols for schools and district locations. 
  • Staff COVID Handbook includes information about the school day and frequently asked questions.
  • District- and site-level COVID-19 Health & Safety Team information
  • View our FAQ for staff regarding a return to work in our schools (below). 

Videos 

Building COVID Safety Team Resources
District COVID Safety Team Resources
Newsletters to staff from the COVID Safety Team 
Human Resources Updates
Employee Assistance Program

Health Promotion Northwest Employee Assistance Program provides free, confidential, professional assistance to help employees and their families resolve problems that affect their personal lives and job performance.

Cleaning Protocols

Best Practice

Viruses do not typically survive on surfaces for an extended period of time. To clean surfaces and objects wipe them down with the provided cleaner and disinfectant wipes. The most effective way to remove the virus is using a towel and cleaner to wipe it away. After cleaning, dispose of single-use towel or launder reusable towel.

Daily Cleaning

Custodians clean and sanitize used spaces daily and high use areas multiple times per day.

To ensure used spaces get clean make sure your building team is communicating with custodians on which work spaces are being used. If working remotely from the classroom, teachers should try and use one area of the classroom. If using a part of the classroom outside of your normal area, leave an obvious note for the custodian.

Middle and high school students clean their own desk before leaving the classroom. All rooms have access to cleaner and paper towels. This cleaner is effective at removing virus and is safe to use.

Cleaning Products

Do not bring in your own cleaning products. Mixing cleaning chemicals can be hazardous. Every building has access to appropriate cleaning products. If you need more, ask your custodian.

Provided Supplies

  • Spray bottles of cleaner
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Cleaning rags
  • Gloves

Ordering Supplies

Custodians order cleaning supplies through the district work request system. Coordinate with the staff requesting supplies and the building custodian.

Case Response Cleaning

If a student begins to feel unwell during the school day, they will be directed to a designated screening room. There, a school nurse or trained staff member will check their temperature and assess their symptoms. Parents will be notified if their student needs to be picked up from school. The student’s workspace will immediately be cleaned and disinfected.

Back to Building Requirements

We are so excited to be bringing more staff in to the buildings, but we also want to do it carefully and well. These measures are individual layers of protection against becoming infected with or spreading COVID-19. Using all layers strengthens our ability to prevent the spread of infection should a person be contagious while on site. If you have additional questions review the staff handbook.

Remember that taking care of yourself is taking care of your community​.

  • Do not come on site if you are sick.
  • There are no visitors, including children and pets allowed in buildings.

Digitally sign-in and out of your work area daily, attesting that you and others in your household are not experiencing symptoms attributable to COVID-19 and not another condition.

  • Signing in and out daily is the difference of us having to shut down an entire building when there is a COVID-19 case and only having to notify a few people.
  • Please use the digital sign-in through the provided QR code. If you need a QR sticker, ask your building administrator.

Cloth masks are required in shared spaces and when others are present.

  • If you are alone in the building or your office, you do not need to wear your face covering but have it accessible to put on quickly.
  • If you are working in a group office with other people more than 6 feet away from you, you still need to be in a cloth mask.
  • Face shields are not an alternative to cloth face masks. Face shields with no cloth face mask can be worn in a low-risk environment if they have a cloth extension that is attached to the entire edge of the shield.
  • If your job requires higher PPE and you do not have it, contact your supervisor or building nurse.
  • View page 9 of the staff handbook for more information about PPE.

Always keep at least 6 feet of distance from non-household members.

  • Do not congregate in communal spaces.
  • Meals should take place in your workspace.
  • Hold meetings virtually as best practice. If you need to meet in person, meeting outside with 6 or more feet of distance is better, and if inside meet with 6 or more feet of distance for short meetings.
  • In shared offices desks should be at least 6 feet apart.

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water often. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are not a replacement for the hand washing.

Do not bring in your own cleaning products. Mixing cleaning chemicals can be hazardous. Every building has access to appropriate cleaning products. If you need more, ask your custodian.

Updated: February 2021

Staff FAQ

What kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided and what do I need to bring/buy?

All staff will be provided the required PPE for their risk-level. Staff are also allowed to wear their own as long as it fits our requirements. We have clear requirements from the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the state Department of Health and the state Department of Labor and Industries (L and I) regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) based on risk-level. All staff will have PPE and guidance available for their risk-level. Please review our return to building guidelines. 

PPE by Staff Type

Which Mask for the Task Poster

What type of masks are recommended for students and staff to wear?

Masks are essential to limiting spread of COVID-19 and increased layers of masks will increase protection. On Feb. 10, the CDC released research on increased efficacy of masks by layering and fit. The Washington state Department of Health has not made any changes to their guidance.

We expect that students and staff not wear gaiters, bandanas, or valve masks due to CDC recommendations. If a student or staff member is wearing one of the above, we will provide them with a mask to change into. If a student or staff member needs an accommodation they should work with their principal or supervisor individually.

The CDC suggests selecting masks that: have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric and are made from tightly woven cloth; completely cover nose and mouth; fit snugly against the sides of your face and don’t have gaps; have a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the top of the mask. Mask should also block light when held up to bright light source.

When layering masks, the CDC says not to double mask a KN95 or any disposable masks; a single snug fitting KN95 OR a procedural mask with a cloth face mask on top are two examples of variations that increase effectiveness.

We have students with special requirements which may require staff to be in close proximity to students and/or other staff. How do we make accommodations safely?

We have clear requirements from the Washington state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), the state Department of Health and the state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) based on risk-level. All staff will have PPE and guidance available for their risk-level.

PPE by Staff Type

Which Mask for the Task Poster

Employer Health and Safety Requirements for School Scenarios

What are our safety protocols?

Staff are encouraged to visit the HR COVID information webpage and to review the Staff Handbook.

How do I know who my COVID site safety coordinators are?

Each site has at least two safety coordinators. 

What is our air filtration and ventilation like in our schools?

Building strategies that improve air quality are part of a layered defense against COVID-19 transmission. District Safety and Operations leaders utilize recommendations from technical experts (like the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers), local health jurisdictions, OSPI, WA DOH, CDC, and public health research institutes to stay current with best practices in environmental health mitigation.

View page 6 in the Staff Handbook for more information about ventilation.

Vaccine eligibility and WA Phase Finder

Update: April 15, 2021

Governor Inslee announced that effective Thursday, April 15 all Washingtonians age 16 and up are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. This means that all students 16 and up are eligible. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for use in people ages 16 and up:

PeaceHealth has a limited supply of Pfizer vaccine at a clinic Saturday, April 17. Students or families can follow this link to sign up.

Another great resource for locating vaccination opportunities by brand is VaccineFinder.org.  If seeking a vaccine for someone 16-18, please choose “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID Vaccine” in the first step of VaccineFinder.

For assistance finding an appointment, you can call the COVID-19 Information Hotline, 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.

I am fully vaccinated, do I still need to follow health and safety protocols?

Fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine if they are a close contact and remain asymptomatic.

Otherwise, we continue to practice physical distancing and mask use:

  • Employees maintain at least six feet away from coworkers and the public when feasible.
  • Masks must be used for work.

There are no changes to L&I workplace guidance based on vaccination status at this time. While we are very grateful that many of our employees are vaccinated, vaccination status is personal health information.

We continue to protect the health of ourselves, our coworkers, medically vulnerable individuals and our community at large by wearing masks and maintaining physical distance. When public health entities inform us that local and national case rates and vaccination rates are at a place where we can shift our behavior, the COVID-19 safety teams will communicate it to all staff.

From FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccination in the Workplace:

After employees have been vaccinated, can they stop practicing other preventive measures such as social distancing and wearing masks?

No. CDC recommends that people continue to take these and other preventive measures after they are vaccinated. Even if employees have received the COVID-19 vaccine, it will be important for them to continue other preventive measures such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, and cleaning high-touch surfaces frequently. It takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination, and the COVID-19 vaccine may not protect you until a week or two after your second shot (dose). Together, getting vaccinated for COVID-19 and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.

Are we going to track cases of COVID by school?  If so, how? How will we respond?

Yes, our COVID coordinator will know if we have a positive case connected to or at a school, because we are notified by the health department. The COVID coordinator alerts our Director of Safety & Emergency Management, who alerts our executive team.  We then follow our tracking and communication protocols from there.  

We have several options for responding--such as focused cleaning, temporarily partial closures of a site, etc.-- as well as communicating. Each situation is unique and will be handled on a case by case basis; the Whatcom County Health Dept assists with guidance as we go through contact tracing process for each case and the situations involving any exposures.   

When should staff stay home if they are concerned or they are sick? What if a household member is sick?

Staff should stay home if they are symptomatic. The safe side would be to stay home if their household members were symptomatic, too. If a household member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the staff member should not report to work and should contact their supervisor. A staff member is considered a close contact if a household member is a confirmed case. If a household member is experiencing symptoms but has not tested positive yet and the staff member is not experiencing symptoms they can go to work.

Staff cannot come to work if they are sick or exhibit any symptoms. If you are concerned about leave, please contact Human Resources. 

Please email amanda.ingram@bellinghamschools.org in Human Resources. You should share some information in your email so that we can best know how to answer your questions or assist you.  

Bob Kuehl
Assistant Superintendent
Cara Forhan
Executive Administrative Assistant
(360) 647-6811

 

JoAn Steiner
Director
Kim Schmitt
Executive Administrative Assistant
(360) 676-2783

 

Employee Assistance Program