Health and Safety

Health and Safety FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of cleaning/sanitization protocols will custodial/facilities and teaching staff be using to keep our schools clean and disinfected?

Routine cleaning and disinfecting are an important part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Surfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and faucets will be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. Maintaining a safe and healthy environment in our schools will require a collaborative effort between all school and district staff. Our custodial teams at each school will focus on the overall cleaning and disinfecting of the school throughout their work shifts, but they will need the help and support of all staff with cleaning high touch areas throughout the day. Our custodial and facilities staff will be using a combination of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting to keep our schools clean and safe.

All staff will perform regular cleaning of their spaces (using approved district cleaning agents) between multiple student or staff uses of their space. Computer labs will be cleaned with district approved cleaners between cohort uses, and allow for 10-minute dwell time before reuse. Classroom computers will be cleaned with district approved cleaners between uses, and allow for 4-minute dwell time before reuse.

Click here for the BLS COVID-19 Cleaning Protocols.

Will students or staff be able to attend in-person if they travel out-of-state?

Individuals who have traveled out of state (domestic or international) are recommended to:
Get tested 3-5 days after travel AND stay home for 7 days after travel.

  • Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.

If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home for 10 days after travel. Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Also take these actions for 14 days after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

  • Stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you, particularly in crowded areas. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
  • Wear a mask to keep your nose and mouth covered when you are in shared spaces outside of your home, including when using public transportation.
  • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home.
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
  • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19, and take your temperature if you feel sick.

If COVID-19 metrics worsen, will schools return to all Comprehensive Distance Learning?

At any point throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the instructional model could change depending on our county’s COVID-19 metrics, guidance from health officials, or restrictions put in place by the Oregon Department of Education. Our teachers and staff are prepared to quickly make the switch, if necessary. In the event of an outbreak, Bend-La Pine Schools will coordinate with the local health authority for any outbreak response, and will report to the local health authority any cluster of illness (2 or more people with similar illness) among staff or students. In addition, BLS will ensure continuous services and implement Comprehensive Distance Learning. If one or more schools are closed the Comprehensive Distance Learning model will be implemented for all staff/students. The district will continue to provide meals for students.

How will my student with special needs be accommodated with social distancing protocols in place?

Some students with significant disabilities require 1:1 support, and need assistance from staff with feeding, washing, dressing, academic readiness, sitting at a desk, manipulating academic materials, using communication devices, etc. In order to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19, it is important to minimize close contact to the extent possible; however, when it is not possible, the use of additional precautions and protective equipment is required.

Classroom space and recommendations in the district’s Operational Blueprint Management Plan ensure that there are adequate levels of staffing available to effectively and safely deliver and support in-person programming for the number and needs of students with disabilities assigned to a self-contained autistic support classroom while maintaining distance and limiting interactions.

Staff will be prepared and properly trained to accommodate students’ health and safety needs in addition to their education, and will adhere to all health and safety guidelines when providing hands-on assistance to students with disabilities. Staff will wear appropriate protective equipment and engage in appropriate practices based on the activity and risk level.

All school personnel will be mindful that seeing staff putting on protective equipment or being approached by staff wearing protective equipment can create anxiety in some students. They will always use a student-centered approach and offer reassurance upon approach and throughout interactions.

Upon the reopening of school for the 2020-21 school year our priority is to complete pending initial and reevaluation assessments for students in special programs. School Psychologists will have a plexiglass dividers and wear a mask during testing sessions.

My student has a high-risk medical condition. What’s the best option for us?

Families should consult their child’s health care provider to discuss the appropriateness of students with high-risk medical conditions attending school for in-person instruction. Parents of students with disabilities who are more susceptible to infections may want to choose the Bend-La Pine Schools Online option to educate their child at home.

What happens when there is a positive case in a school setting?

En Español

As schools are reopening for more in-person instruction, we want to take a moment to share details about what to expect when there is a positive COVID-19 case in a school setting. We know many of you may have questions about the process and we want to help explain so that the steps are clear.

Positive Case Notification

When we become aware that a person positive with COVID-19 has been in our school, we will communicate with all school families. This notification is intended to raise awareness and provide transparency and does not imply that there was a close contact exposure with students

It is our hope that these updates will help to keep top of mind the ways that we can all work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and to provide you with timely information about cases in our community that have a nexus to our schools.

We understand that this notification may generate questions or concerns. Most cases of COVID-19 that we have seen to date, among our staff and students, have been community spread. And our safety practices and protocols have helped to reduce spread into our schools.

Once a positive case has been identified, we work quickly to determine if there has been an exposure at school and who, if anyone, is a close contact of that individual.

Contact Tracing

Once a report of a positive case is confirmed, our designated COVID-19 support staff take a look back, 48-hours, from the date of symptom onset (for symptomatic individuals) or the date the COVID-19 test was administered (for asymptomatic individuals). Information is collected and reviewed on staff/student attendance, transportation (bus, carpool), and staff and student interactions to help identify close contacts of the COVID positive individual. After this thorough review, our designated COVID support staff will reach out to identified close contacts and provide instructions for quarantine, based on state and local public health guidelines.

We want our families to know: If your child is ever identified as a being in a cohort where a close contact was made, please know you will receive a separate close contact communication - in addition to the school wide exposure notification. If you do not receive a separate close contact communication from the district, your student has NOT been identified as a close contact of the case. (Close contact: defined as having a cumulative of 15 minutes or more of less than 6-foot distancing within 24 hours)

You can learn more about our processes in detail by reviewing our District’s COVID-19 Communication toolkit.

We are partnering closely with our district’s nursing team and local public health officials who will provide support and direction for managing COVID-19 related scenarios that impact our school community.

Quarantine Instruction

Teachers will continue to provide learning materials and instruction to students who are quarantining. It is possible that an entire cohort or school could be closed due to quarantine requirements. In such cases, learning would continue remotely through Comprehensive Distance Learning.

Additionally, our district has hired 16 new staff members to help support and fill-in for teachers and classroom staff throughout the pandemic, as well as more than 350 individuals from the High Desert ESD substitute pool who have said that they stand ready to help.


We want our community to protect themselves against COVID-19. Here are some ways to protect your family:

✓ Keep children who are sick at home. Don’t send them to school.

✓ Teach your children to wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.

✓ Teach your children to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or by coughing into the inside of the elbow. Be sure to set a good example by doing this yourself.

✓ Limit gatherings and wear masks around individuals outside of your household.

More information can be found on the Oregon Department of Education’s Ready Schools, Safe Learners page, the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID-19 page and our Return to School webpage.

Thank you for doing your part to help make our community safer for students, staff and families.

Contact Us

Questions? Reach out to us about COVID-19 or questions about returning to school via email:

[email protected]

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Learning

Return to School FAQ

Return to School

Health and Safety FAQ

Support for Families

Comprehensive Distance Learning

Comprehensive Distance Learning