Alleghany County Public Schools










Table of Contents

Local Public Health Conditions..........................................................................3

Planning to Respond to COVID 19.....................................................................3

Division’s Partipcation in Community Response Efforts………………………………….4

Behaviors that Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 …………....................................4

Maintaining Healthy Environments……..............................................................5

Maintaining Healthy Operations …………………………………………………….……………..8

Protecting Vulnerable Individuals .....................................................................10

Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick………….................................................10

Planning to Close if Necessary……………………………………………………….………….…..11

Dynamic School Decision-Making…………………………………………….……………….…..11

VDH and CDC School Metrics…………………………………………….…………………………..12

ACPS Return to Extra-Curricular Partipcation……………………….…………………………12





Disclaimer: The health mitigation plan is subject to change based upon the nature of the pandemic and updated recommended mitigation approaches.






Local Public Health Conditions

The Future of Learning and Education Crew (FLEC) continues meeting to refine planning for students and staff returning to school. This committee includes representatives from each department and building, students and parents, community and school board members, and the health department.

In addition, we continue reviewed the following information and guidance:

Center for Disease Control

Virginia Department of Health

Virginia Department of Education

Virginia High School League


Planning to Respond to COVID-19

Each school and building has a dedicated COVID-19 response contact person:

AHS contact: Principal, Karen Staunton: 540-863-1700,

CMS contact: Principal, Marty Wood: 540-863-1726,

CES contact: Principal, Josh Craft: 540-965-1820,

MVES contact: Principal, April Easton, 540-863-1737,

SES contact: Principal, Thomas Dobbs, 540-863-1712,

Maintenance Department contact: Supervisor of Maintenance and Transportation,

Ben Truett, 540-965-1808,

School Board Office contact: Director of Special Education, Elizabeth V. Heath, 540-863-1809,  

Nurse Manager: Donna Harris, 540-965-1810,

The nurse manager is responsible for contacting the local health department. Each school has a full time nurse on staff. Nurses have a protocol to follow (see Nurse Clinic’s School Reopening.)

Local Health Department contact: Teresa Byer, 540-965-7864,

Absence management system monitors employee attendance while the student database monitors student attendance. The nurse manager for the division will monitor health related attendance of staff and staff with the Director of Special Education providing division oversight.

Students will received Covid-19 mitigation instruction during the first 10 days of school. Staff also received coronavirus mitigation training through Safe Schools modules and receive face to face training provided by division staff (CDC guidance based training). Communication is maintained on the division website and utilizing School Messenger.  VDH and CDC guidelines will be followed for response to an outbreak or positive test results.  Additions to the division parent/student handbook will also communicate essential information to parents.

The nurse manager and nursing staff have been participating and will continue to participate in weekly webinar and virtual meetings with VDH and community agencies as available.

PPE has been provided to all sites along with go buckets for each site with essential classroom supplies related to Covid-19. Face coverings have been provided to students and staff with additional face coverings available at each site.  Plans are in place accordance to CDC and VDH guidance for the provision of Covid-related health care (See Nurse Clinic’s Reopening Plan.) The division has nursing staff in each school, a mental health counselor, and counselors in each building who are trained in mental health first aid.  All staff are eligible to utilize services provided by the division’s health insurance plan Employee Assistance Program.

Parents were invited to attend training during opening days of school that will include technology, health mitigation, and screening of children at home prior to sending to school. The division webpage will be updated as necessary.

Division Participation in Community Response Efforts

A member of the Division Leadership Team continues to participate in the Alleghany Highlands COVID-19 Task Force.  Resources have been shared between the Alleghany County Public Schools and other community agencies such as local governmental bodies, first responders, local emergency managers, local law enforcement, Virginia Department of Health, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Community Services Board. The division has been in regular communication with the local Roanoke/Alleghany Health Department.  Regional superintendents communicate regularly sharing ideas.

Behaviors and Training That Reduce Spread


All staff will completed training through Safe Schools platform and face to face training. Parents received training during pre-school training dates.  Students received training during the first days of school opening.  Additional trainings will be made available as necessary.


Adequate supplies will be maintained by nursing, maintenance and custodial staff.

Signs and messaging have been provided from CDC and VDH and distributed to the buildings for consistency.

Tape lines will mark off 6 feet distance between desks in classrooms, flow of traffic in the halls, and food service lines in the cafeteria. Extra time will be allowed for minimal transition between classes to allow for cleaning.  Buses will be cleaned between routes. CDC, VDH and DOLI recommendation for capacity and use of communal spaces will be implemented. VDH and VHSL guidelines will be used for school related athletics and extra-curricular activities.

Face coverings/masks are required at all times and six feet physical distancing will be maintained at all times possible.  CDC advises that individuals maintain six feet of distance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says spacing as close as three feet may have similar benefits if students wear cloth face coverings and do not have symptoms of illness. Physical distancing is not limited to distance between children; physical distancing between adults is a key mitigation measure. Therefore, in school settings, schools are encouraged to aim for six feet of physical distance to the greatest extent possible; however, if six feet of distance is not feasible (inclusive of buildings and school buses), schools should implement a combination of face coverings and a minimum of three feet distance between everyone present

Maintaining Healthy Environments

Screening Guidelines


VDH/CDC health screening recommendations for staff and students will be utilized. Staff will self-screen daily. Parents will be expected to screen students for symptoms before deciding to send a student to school for the day or not. If students or staff are exhibiting symptoms, medical provider should be contacted and student/staff should not come to school until cleared by the medical professional. Screening questions will be provided to parents and staff. Visitors may be given access to enter the office in the building only if screening conditions are met and are encouraged to call the school for an appointment before arriving. Visitors will be required to wear a face mask.




Staff Health Screening and Monitoring During COVID-19

Screening, monitoring and testing are essential components of limiting the spread of COVID-19. An important part of keeping schools safe is actively encouraging sick staff to stay home if ill and emphasizing to all the importance of knowing the symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with these symptoms or combinations of these symptoms may have COVID-19:


Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Fever 100° F


Muscle pain

Sore throat

New loss of taste or smell

     “Cold symptoms” such as nasal congestions, sinus pressure/sinus headache

       Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

COVID-19 Screening Questions

Staff should assess themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 before reporting to work; and/or may be asked the following by school personnel upon arrival:

“YES or NO since my last day in the building, have I had any of the following:”

Fever of 100° F or greater?

New cough?

“Cold symptoms” such as nasal congestions, sinus pressure/sinus headache

Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?

New chills?

New headache?

New muscle aches?

New sore throat?

New loss of taste or smell?

Close contact with someone who has tested positive or suspected COVID-19?

Are you currently in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?

Have you had a positive test of do you have a pending test for COVID-19?

If an individual answers YES to any of the screening questions before arriving, they should stay home and not enter the building. Consult your health care provider.  If an individual reports COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival, the school should activate the emergency protocol for COVID-19:

Employee should immediately leave work and consult health care provider

If unable to leave, employee should report to designated sick room

School nurse will assess, notify supervisor, and nurse manager

If a positive test, school will follow guidance of VDH regarding closure in accordance to VDH guidance and the Superintendent

Employee will communicate with supervisor and Human Resources regarding leave options

Employee must provide return to work documentation prior to entering building

Visitor Entrance Questionnaire to ACPS Facilites


Do you have or have you had any of the following symptoms NOW or in the PAST 14 DAYS?





Fever of 100o F or greater?

New cough?

“Cold symptoms” such as nasal congestions, sinus pressure/sinus headache

Nausea / Diarrhea / Vomiting                   

New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?

New chills?

New headache?

New muscle aches?

New sore throat?

New loss of taste or smell?

Close contact with someone who has tested positive or suspected COVID-19?

Are you currently in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?

Have you had a positive test of do you have a pending test for COVID-19?


If you answer YES to any of the above questions, you will not be admitted to this facility.


Please call the office and schedule an appointment.


Social distancing and the wearing a face covering is required in the building.



Screening Questions for Covid-19 (Students)


Please indicate if you have any symptoms of COVID-19 listed below.

Cold like symptoms                                                           Y / N

Sinus congestions/Sinus headache                                 Y / N

Nausea / Diarrhea / Vomiting?                                          Y / N

New cough?                                                                         Y / N

New shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?         Y / N

Fever (100.00 F or higher)?                                               Y / N

New chills?                                                                           Y / N

New muscle aches?                                                            Y / N

New headache?                                                                   Y / N

New sore throat?                                                                 Y / N

New loss of taste or smell?                                                Y / N

Have you been in close contact with a positive or suspected positive for   COVID-19 (close contact includes   48 hours before they became symptomatic)                Y / N


Are you currently in isolation or quarantine for COVID-19?                                             Y / N

Have you tested positive for or do you have a pending COVID-19 test?                        Y / N

Please provide answers to all questions above so that we can protect your safety and the safety of our staff.  All information you provide will be confidential.

Maintaining Healthy Operations

For any employee in high risk category concessions have been made.  They are to reach out to their supervisor and discuss reasonable accommodations up to and including working remotely when feasible. Virtual learning plans and service plans will be in place and available for any students.

We are following guidance from VDH, CDC, VHSL, and VDOE for extracurricular activities, athletics, and gatherings.

We will be following Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Family Medical Leave Act which includes paid sick leave will be utilized for staff when needed. The ACPS School Board has extended these benefits to eligible employees through March 31, 2021.

Substitutes will receive training.


VDOE guidance including a variance to allow one student per seat (unless members from the same household).  Face coverings are required on buses and at all other times in accordance with state and federal guidance. Windows can be opened when weather conditions allow.


Plans adhere to social distancing requirements and meet the specific needs of each building. This may include serving students in the classroom and implementing social distancing practices in the cafeteria.


Cleaning and disinfecting will be done twice daily. Bus drivers will clean buses in between each run.

Before Children Arrive

- General deep cleaning

- Disinfect Common surface and seating areas


Transport Students

- One per seat w/sibling exception

- Face coverings worn by children and drivers


Single Run Routes

1. Daily:

     - Perform General Cleaning

     - Disinfect common surface and seating areas

2. Multi Run Routes

     a. Daily after first run/student transitions:

          - Disinfect common surfaces between runs

     b. Daily after second run:

          -  Perform general cleaning

          -  Disinfect common surface and seating areas


Virtual Wednesday Cleaning

- Perform heavy general cleaning

- Disinfect common surface and seating areas

- School facilities will be open on Wednesdays for limited use meetings and extra-curricular activities.


Fleet cars will no longer be shared. All professional travel outside of the district has been suspended with the exception of essential travel that requires prior approval of the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee.  Hand sanitizers are provided in fleet cars.  Hand sanitizer stations are mounted in buildings. Hand sanitizer stations or handwashing stations are accessible to all students and staff. Education of students will include encouraging additional handwashing.  The division has a one to one initiative so students have their own devices for use at school and at home.  Internet access will be provided to students as required. Virtual learning is incorporated in the instructional plan and will be available to all students. Use of shared materials will be restricted or shared items will be disinfected between usages.

All systems have a balance of outside and inside air.  Filters will be changed as recommended.

Water systems and features have been maintained during the shutdown.



Protecting Vulnerable Individuals

Alleghany County Public Schools will be following Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Expanded Family Medical Leave Act which includes paid sick leave for staff when needed. CDC, VDH and local county guidance will be utilized with regard to staff quarantine after travel.


For any employee in high risk category concessions will be considered.  These employees are to reach out to their supervisor and discuss reasonable accommodations up to and including working remotely when feasible.  Virtual learning plans and service plans will be in place and available for any students.

The division has implemented VDOLI and VOSH Emergency Temporary Standard Regulation including an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.


For students with special needs or medical issues, individual plans will be developed by the student’s instructional team. (Example: This may include flexible scheduling, 100% virtual instruction or other individual instructional accommodations.)


Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick

Each building will have isolation places and plan for attending to those in isolation, and closure and cleaning of the isolation space.

Parents will be responsible for transporting students home or to a health care provider. For urgent cases, staff/students will be transported by ambulance.

Isolation rooms will be shut down and disinfected following CDC and VDH guidelines for disinfecting.

Teacher will contact the nurse and the administrative office before sending students to the clinic to allow for preparation. The division has created decision trees that are posted on the division’s website School nurse will communicate with the nurse manager. The nurse manager will contact the local health department and follow the VDH and CDC guidelines.

Nurse’s Clinics Plan

If a student or employee arrives at the nurse’s clinic with a fever of 100. Fahrenheit or greater, the school nurse will don N-95 or K-N95 facemask, gloves, protective gown and face shield or goggles. The ill student/employee will be given a mask to wear if they do not have one and they will be escorted to the “sick” room (AKA isolation room) to be further assessed for signs/symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue and shortness of breath. If a student/employee is found to have shortness of breath, unrelated to asthma, 911 will be called and the student/employee will be transported to the hospital. If a student/employee does not have shortness of breath, but displays cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose or fatigue, the parent/legal guardian will be contacted to come and get them and to go see their physician.

Nurses will record the following regarding students/employees that display signs and symptoms of COVID-19.


    1.       When did symptoms first start?

2.        Have you been around anyone else who is sick?


1.        Flushed cheeks?

2.        Rapid, shallow, or difficulty breathing?

3.        Coughing?

4.        Fatigue or restlessness?


1.        Temp >100.0

2.        Pulse Ox < 96%

If a student/employee presents to the nurse’s clinic with a temperature less than 100. F, nurse and student/employee will both place a mask on (if not already on) and will then enter the clinic to be assessed with treatment per VDOE guidelines as related to their symptoms.

Any time the “sick” room is utilized for suspected symptoms of COVID-19, it will be closed down for 24 hours and then cleaned per VDH and CDC guidelines with CDC approved disinfectants and cleaning methods. If student/employee tests positive for COVID-19, current VDH and CDC recommendations will be followed to determine when they can return to school/work. Current recommendations found at

Planning to Close Down if Necessary

Executive orders and the VDH guidance will be followed for closings. Beyond this local health department guidance will be utilized. The nurse manager, local health department, division administration, and other relevant personnel or agencies will determine together whether classroom, building or division closure is necessary and the duration of the closure.

Dynamic School Decision-Making

Alleghany County Public Schools will continue to consider the expansion of in person learning in a safe and equitable manner.  The safety of all students, staff and greater community will always be considered as a driving force when expanding educational and extra-curricular opportunities.  As a result, ACPS will follow the VDOE’s revised Interim Guidance to K-12 School Reopening as published January 2021, and subsequent guidance provided by state and/or federal officials:


The CDC recommends the use of three core indicators (mitigation assessment, 14 day case incidence and/or RT-PCR test positivity) to assess the risk of transmission in schools and to inform decisions about school programming. See the VDH and CDC metrics dashboard below for the most up to date data.  For schools that have offered in-person instruction in some manner, VDH also recommends that schools consider the level of impact to a given school when assessing mitigation capacity.


Core Indicators

Schools should assess their ability to implement and adhere to the following five key mitigation strategies.  These strategies are most effective when compliance is universal and when all the strategies are used together including:


1.       Wearing a mask;

2.       Physical distancing;

3.       Washing hands;

4.       Cleaning and disinfecting; and

5.       Contact tracing.


Secondary Indicators

The following secondary indicators can be used to support the decision-making process in local communities, but should not be used as the main criteria for determining the risk of disease transmission in schools:


1.       % change of new cases per 100,000;

2.       % of occupied hospital beds;

3.       % of Covid-19 hospital patients; and

4.       Number of outbreaks.


CDC Indicators and Thresholds for Risk of Introduction and Transmission of COVID-19 in Schools


VDH School Metrics Dashboard


ACPS Return to Extra-Curricular Participation


As conditions evolve, Alleghany County Public Schools is committed to provide a safe environment for all students, staff, and visitors to engage in extra-curricular activities.  The link below contains the most updated version of our plan and is subject to change based upon prevailing data and guidance.