School Site Safety Checklist

MHUSD School Site Safety Checklist

Lista de verificación de seguridad del sitio escolar de MHUSD



The Health & Safety Task Force worked to create a checklist that can be used by local site Safety Teams to ensure that safety measures are in place prior to bringing students back to school buildings. 

This document  guides school reopening throughout the county: Reopening of Santa Clara County K-12 Schools for the 2020-21 School Year 

District-level Steps Taken: The District has a baseline for safety measures at ALL buildings, and most of these have already been audited/verified by walk-through teams led by our COVID Coordinator. These items are:

  • Signage (face coverings, symptoms, handwashing, physical distancing)

  • Sanitizer (readily available in all offices, classrooms, and other meeting areas throughout building)

  • PPE (face masks and face shields)

  • Non-touch thermometers (each site/building for symptom screening)

  • Clear barriers in front office spaces (in higher traffic area)

  • Disinfectant spray/towels (available in each work area for frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces)

  • Free-standing hand-washing stations (to be installed once we have dates for students to return - one station per drinking fountain since water and drainage for these new stations will use existing water supplies)

  • MERV 8/8A or 13 air filters (highest grade allowable by each site’s HVAC system to maximize both filtration and air flow) changed at least quarterly (instead of annually), fans on HVAC systems turned on at least two hours prior to building occupancy and continue during occupancy to maintain air flow.

Site-level Steps to Be Taken:

  • Create site-level Safety Teams (certificated, classified, administration)

  • Conduct a site audit to review/resolve the procedures and processes on this checklist - each team will create processes specific to their site for each area of the checklist

  • Based on site audit and team discussions, create a list of needed items to ensure compliance with safety measures. Each site will have designated COVID funds to purchase site agreed-upon items for their campus.  Items for site-decisions may include, but not limited to, any of the following:

    • Stanchions and ropes/chains to create separations for lines

    • Temporary paint for creating guides for social distancing

    • Removable decals (directional arrows or social distancing guides)

    • Portable plexiglass barriers for teachers

    • Barriers/dividers for student tables

    • Additional age-related signage

Physical Distancing 


  • Buses - ensure appropriate unloading procedures (front of bus to back of bus, one individual at a time) to allow for distancing 

  • Utilize as many entrances and exits on campus as can be supervised appropriately to decrease crowding at entry and exit points. Campuses remain closed except to students and staff. Access points are only open for student and staff entrance at the start of the day and open for student and staff exit at the end of the day.

  • Designate routes for entry and exit and create clear signage and directional arrows

  • Instruct drivers to remain in their vehicles when dropping off or picking up students. When in-person drop-off or pick-up is needed, a single parent or caregiver will call the front office for instructions on how to proceed. Offices are closed for walk-in assistance; however, phone numbers are posted on the front door so that a visitor can call to request curbside assistance.

  • Mark spaces six feet apart for students waiting outside to be picked up. Ensure release times allow for each cohort to wait for pickup appropriately distanced from one another.

  • Provide supervision to disperse student gatherings and ensure distancing during school arrival and departure.

  • Train those supervising to encourage students and any accompanying adults to engage in safe behaviors, including wearing a cloth face covering and staying six feet apart from others while traveling to school.

  • Provide marks on ground six feet apart where students can stay distanced while waiting for school to begin and end each school day.

  •  Check bicycle racks and add signage or block areas to encourage maintaining distance from each other.

Classroom setting 

Elementary schools

  • Students will be screened prior to entry on campus and will remain six feet apart from others as they proceed to their classrooms.  

  • Ensure cohorts of students and staff remain stable for the entire school day while on campus.

  • Review schedules, including recess and lunch,  to ensure students do not mix with other stable classroom cohorts.

  • Space student desks at least six feet apart.

Middle and high schools

  • Space student desks at least six feet apart.

All schools

  • Class sizes should be only the size which would allow for maintaining six feet apart of desks when indoors. 

  • Distance teacher and staff desks at least six feet away from students’ desks to minimize the risk of adult-to-child and child-to-adult disease transmission.

  • Assign stable seating arrangements for students to ensure that close contacts within classrooms are minimized and easily identifiable. 

  • Consider moving classrooms or other activities to outdoor spaces and other larger spaces to allow for greater distancing between students 

  • Train staff and students to maintain at least six feet of distance from each other. 

  • Instruct staff to leave windows, if possible, and doors open during occupancy.

  • Remove or mark for non-use furniture and equipment in the classroom to facilitate six feet of distancing and to reduce high-touch surfaces.

  • Student desks face same direction (not facing each other).

  • Ensure adequate supplies to eliminate need for sharing of high-touch materials (art supplies, equipment, electronic devices, etc.) or limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between uses.

  • Verify a system to keep students’ belongings separate so that students do not come in contact with other students’ belongings.

  • Place markings on classroom floors to facilitate physical distancing and ensure desks remain in place.

  • All staff has been informed to reach out to the front office if classroom cleaning and disinfecting supplies are running low: hand sanitizer, paper towels, disinfecting spray, soap for classrooms with sinks. 

Non-classroom setting

  • Staff Break Rooms, Offices, and Workspaces are modified to avoid gathering (stacked chairs, maximum occupancy signs, 6 ft distance between seated workstations)

  • Restrooms: Ensure certain groups of students assigned to use certain restrooms and that adequate supervision of restrooms to avoid congregation and maintain physical distancing.  

  • Libraries: Closed until further notice, but individual teachers may select materials for classroom use.

  • Cafeterias: Serve meals in classrooms or outdoors, instead of cafeterias.

  • Physical Education, Playgrounds, and Recess: Conduct activities outdoors with appropriate physical distancing within cohorts. Hold outdoor activities in separated areas designated by class and/or staggered throughout the day, in favor of physical activities that require less contact with surfaces and allow for physical distancing by placing markings on the ground.

  • Follow latest CDC guidance regarding opening or closing of playgrounds

  • Cohort based supervision while out at recess and lunch (elementary)

  • Ensure schedule of staff supervision to ensure social distancing

    • Playgrounds 

    • Eating areas

    • Restroom

  • Face coverings must be worn during indoor physical conditioning and training or physical education classes. Activities that require heavy exertion may be conducted outside in a physically distanced manner without face coverings. Activities conducted inside should be those that do not require heavy exertion and can be done with a face covering. Students should take a break from exercise if any difficulty in breathing is noted and should change their face covering if it becomes wet and sticks to the student's face and obstructs breathing.

  • Create small-sized first aid kits for yard supervisors to carry that include hand sanitizer, face coverings, gloves, and, at secondary sites, feminine sanitary products included as well. 

  • Lockers: Eliminate use of book lockers to avoid unnecessary mixing and congregation of students in hallways.

  • Hallways: Create schedules or procedures for movement through hallways to avoid crowding. Examples: stagger passing times or establish designated one-way walking/passage areas.

Hygiene Measures

Face coverings

  • Create expectations and provide training that everyone must wear a face covering at all times while on campus, except while eating or drinking. For this requirement, face coverings provided from home are sufficient.

  • Identify students who may be excluded from face covering requirement, including: (1) anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the covering without assistance and (2) students with special needs who are unable to tolerate a face covering,  as approved by SPED Director and team. Each site shall explore accommodations, including remaining in distance-learning, for students unable to safely wear a face covering.

  • Post age-appropriate signage and place signs at appropriate height for the little ones in high visibility areas to remind students and staff that face coverings are required 

  • Create a communication plan to all staff and families regarding expectations for use of face coverings at school and how to wash them.

  • Create age-appropriate brief lessons (may be video announcement, home room, PA, etc) to educate students on the rationale and proper use of face coverings.

  • Ensure that front office has available disposable face masks for students or staff who may need a replacement during the day .Parents need to be reminded to send one additional clean mask with their child each day. 

  • Ensure that enough plastic face shields have been ordered and are on-site for any staff member who requests to wear a clear face shield in addition to their face covering. 


  • Create brief age-appropriate lessons (video, home room, PA, etc) to teach and reinforce proper handwashing and sanitizing techniques

  • Post age-appropriate signage and place signs at appropriate height for the little ones in high visibility areas to remind students and staff of proper handwashing techniques 

  • Free-standing handwashing stations installed once in-person instruction resumes

  • Ensure adequate supplies at each sink (classroom, restroom, and free-standing handwashing stations) including soap, paper towels, and no-touch trash cans. Inform staff on process for reaching out to front office staff in classroom supplies are running low.

  • Ensure hand sanitizer (with at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol) is available in numerous high traffic locations (office, classrooms, library, cafeteria, etc) for staff and students to use. Staff and students should use district provided hand sanitizer whenever entering and exiting the classroom.

  • Create hand washing or sanitizing protocols for all transitions (upon arrival, entering class, after recess, lunch, returning from bathroom, etc.)   


  • Spray disinfectant and paper towels available for each classroom and office space in order to regularly disinfect (at least daily) frequently touched hard surfaces pursuant to CDC guidance:

  • Tables

  • Desks

  • Chairs

  • Door handles

  • Light switches

  • Phones

  • Copy and Fax machines

  • Bathroom surfaces (toilets, countertops, faucets)

  • Playground equipment

  • Remove cloth and porous surfaces items that are difficult to clean or disinfect (pillows, rugs, bean bag chairs, etc.)

  • Hand sanitizer available outside of the bathrooms

  • Daily sanitizing of all classrooms and restrooms and other cleaning measures indicated by Facilities Dept

Food Service

  • Ensure that “Grab n go,” packaged, or sack lunch option is available for safe on-site distribution 

  • Review food distribution - distribute on different areas of campus to avoid crowding and/or stagger times of distribution 

  • Review areas on campus where students can safely eat - weather protected outdoor area, large indoor areas with room for distancing, and classrooms

Screening/Symptom Monitoring

The Health and Safety Task Force recommends that all staff and students are screened for temperature and symptoms daily before coming on campus, at each entry point to be determined by each site. Signs posted at all entrances instructing students, staff, and approved visitors not to enter campus if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting or diarrhea.

  • Review site’s procedure for screening all students and staff for symptoms each day. [District-recommended method for screening; each site will monitor the daily screening] 

  • Ensure supply of contact-less thermometers and procedures for each entry point are developed, following the recommendations below:

    • Screenings will be conducted at cars during drop-off, prior to boarding the bus, or before entering campus for walkers. Families should not leave children at bus stops until they have been screened by MHUSD staff. 

    • Each person measuring temperatures should wear appropriate PPE (facemask, clear face shield, and disposable gloves). When using a non-touch thermometer, gloves do not need to be changed between checks because no touching is involved

    • Each screening area will have large visible signage stating COVID symptoms that can be referred to by screeners and those being screened

    • Each student will answer yes/no to a list of posted COVID symptoms. With answers of “no” and a temperature below 100, each person screened will receive an indicator showing that they have been screened by a staff member, such as a stamp or paper bracelet.

  • Communicate screening requirements to all staff and families; any student or staff with any identified COVID-19 symptoms and/or a temperature of 100.0 or higher; or who is experiencing COVID symptoms (sore throat/cough, headache, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) will be sent home immediately until testing and/or medical evaluation has been conducted. 


Testing/reporting for COVID-19 

Indications for testing: (consult with COVID Coordinator, Noel Weeks, for each suspected or confirmed case of COVID - All guidance regarding isolation, quarantining, and returning will be filtered through Noel Weeks as she is the coordinator with County Public Health)

  • Communicate that students and staff will need to get tested or provide a note from medical provider after they develop one or more COVID-19 symptoms OR if one of their household members or non-household close contacts tested positive for COVID-19.

Positive test results:

  • Communicate that parents/guardians and must notify school administration immediately if the student or staff tested positive for COVID-19 or if one of their household members or non-household close contacts tested positive for


  • Upon site receiving notification that staff or a student has tested positive for COVID-19 or been in close contact with a COVID-19 case, contact Noel Weeks or Human Resources IMMEDIATELY.

  • Students/staff who test positive and have completed isolation requirements as

Recommended by COVID Coordinator Noel Weeks, do not require a medical note or a negative test prior to returning to school/work.

Negative test results:

  • Symptomatic individuals who are not close contacts and who test negative for

COVID-19 can return to in-person school/work after at least 24 hours from fever resolution (if any) and improvement in other symptoms.

  • Close contacts to a COVID-19 case who test negative can return to in-person school/work only after completion of 14 days of quarantine from last exposure.

  • Documentation of negative test results must be provided to school Administration. In lieu of a negative test result, symptomatic individuals who are not close contacts may return to work/school with a medical note by a physician that provides alternative explanation for symptoms and reason for not ordering COVID-19 testing.

  • Train office staff to contact COVID Coordinator Noel Weeks for ALL suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to receive appropriate guidance on isolation, quarantining, and other safety measures in accordance with latest County Public Health guidelines.