• ABSD COVID-19 Response Update
    November 4, 2020
  • The purpose of this document is to provide updated guidance for COVID-19 response.  This guidance is based on recommendations from the Portage County Health Department and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  This information is not to take the place of medical advice, but rather procedures and protocols recommended under the above named agency direction.  You are encouraged to contact your health care provider or the Portage County Health Department (715) 345-5350 if you experience COVID-19 symptoms or have health related concerns.
    General questions, reporting a positive COVID-19 case or that you are waiting for results:
    Penny Boileau
    (715) 366-2941 ext. 418
    Nights/Weekends (920) 240- 6360
    Reporting student quarantine or student absence due to COVID-19 symptoms:
    Sandy Ciula
    (715) 366-2941 ext. 414
    Virtual Learning- Signing up for or ending virtual learner status:
    Sandy Barden
    (715) 366-2941 ext. 108
    Virtual Learning- Technology questions:
    Michael Seymour
    (715) 366-2941 ext. 328
    COVID-19 is an illness caused by a new coronavirus. It spreads from person to person through droplets created when we cough, sneeze, talk, sing or laugh. Most people who get COVID-19 have mild illness, similar to having a cold or the flu. However, in others it can cause severe illness, such as pneumonia. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
    • Fever (temperature 100.4°F or higher)
    • Cough
    • Trouble breathing
    • Chills
    • Muscle/body aches
    • Loss of sense of taste or smell
    • Runny nose or nasal congestion
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    The CDC’s website has good information about COVID-19: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
    Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.
    People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 need to quarantine.  Close contact means:
    1. You were within 6 feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes accumulated over a 24 hour period.
    2. You had direct physical contact with someone with COVID-19 (hugs/kisses).
    3. You shared eating or drinking utensils with someone with COVID-19.
    When identified as a close contact, you should stay home in quarantine for 14 days after the last possible date of exposure. Even if you test negative, you should stay home since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus unless directed differently by your health care provider.
    You should also self-quarantine for 10 days if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, even if you receive a negative COVID-19 test result.  Be certain to contact your health care provider or the Portage County Health Department at (715) 345-5350.
    Contact tracing is a process to identify individuals who were in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 and is at risk for disease due to exposure.  People with COVID-19 are considered infectious from 2 days before their symptoms first start until 10 days after their symptoms started, assuming they are recovered after 10 days.
    If a person has no symptoms, they are considered infectious from 2 days before their positive test was collected until 10 days after the positive test.
    Individuals coming into close contact with an infectious individual, defined as within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes accumulated over a 24 hour period, shared eating utensils or had direct physical contact with the individual during the infectious timeframe.
    If we are notified of a student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19, we begin contact tracing procedures as follows:
    1. If the student is in school, the student is isolated and monitored by Sandy Barden, Main Office 4K-12 Administrative Assistant, a parent is called and the student is to be picked up and taken home as soon as possible.
    2. Contact tracers are Penny Boileau, Andrew Bradley, Sandra Ciula and Toni Schumacher. Depending on the situation, one or more will begin interviewing the infected individual or the infected student’s parent to obtain as much information possible about who could be considered close contacts.  Student safety is of primary concern.  Older students are able to provide more of this information than younger students.  In the case of younger students, homeroom teachers are contacted to assist in identifying close contacts.  Quarantine dates are clarified.
    3. In some situations, such as sporting events or physical education class, video is watched to identify close contacts. If information is needed about any classes, teachers are interviewed to identify close contacts.
    4. Staff members are notified via email and asked to identify as a close contact if applicable and inform Penny Boileau or Trina Warzynski.
    5. Student contacts may be isolated. In the case of an entire class or grade level being identified, the students remain in that room until they can be picked up to go home.  Parents are called and students are sent home as soon as possible.  Quarantine dates and return date are communicated to parents and students if they are older.
    6. Staff members identified as close contacts should keep ample distance from others until coverage can be obtained so they may be released to go home. Close contacts are given the quarantine dates and return date.
    7. Close contacts are in quarantine from the last day of possible exposure for 14 days.
    8. Notifications go out via Blackboard Connect and email if there are any class, grade level, school level or district level cancellations or shut downs.
    Symptom Monitoring and Self-Quarantine
    Twice a day, during the quarantine, it is recommended to take a temperature reading and write down any signs of illness using the form on page 3 of “Next Steps: Close Contacts of Someone with COVID-19” (found here:  https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/publications/p02598a.pdf). If the close contact becomes sick with any COVID-19 symptoms, please call the Portage County Health Department at 715-345-5350, press 8. Get medical attention immediately if there are any of these warning signs:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to be woken up
    • Bluish lips or face
    The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC recommend that anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 be tested, whether or not they have symptoms. The test for COVID-19 involves a quick swab of the inside of the nose. Your child can be tested at your regular health care provider, a local clinic, or a community testing site.  CAUTION:  We have noticed the COVID-19 Rapid Test does not appear to be very reliable, as it has yielded far too many false-negative results.
    Call your healthcare provider before you go to get tested. Tell them about symptoms (if any) and that there was close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
    You can look for a community testing site near you at: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/community-testing.htm. Keep in mind that some community testing sites will not test children under a certain age. Call ahead to be sure.
    Testing Providers (Call facility for current guidelines on who is currently getting tested):
    • Ascension (1-800-362-9900)
    • Aspirus (1-844-568-0701)
    • Marshfield (1-844-342-6276)
    • Family Health La Clinica (Mondays-Fridays only) (920-787-5514)
    If you have questions about this information, please contact the Portage County Division of Public Health at 715-345-5350 option 8 and ask to speak with a public health nurse or email [email protected].
    Additional information about COVID-19 can be found at the following:
    CDC guidelines for Home isolation:
    Wisconsin Department of Health Services:
    Frequently Asked Questions and Answers:
    If you need food, shelter other things to maintain your quarantine, please call 211.
    Please note: A close contact will still have to remain home from school until their quarantine end date, even if they test negative unless directed otherwise by a health care provider.
    Prevent Further Spread
    The following guidelines will help to prevent further spread of illness at our school:
    • Follow the procedures for close contacts if you are identified.
    • Monitor your child for symptoms.
    • Contact your health care provider and the local health department if your child becomes sick.
    • Keep your son/daughter self-quarantined for 14 days, or until you are notified by the health department.
    • Encourage good habits: wash hands frequently, cover coughs and sneezes, stay home unless absolutely necessary, and use face coverings when in public.

    Physical Distancing
    The goal of physical distancing is to increase the physical space between individuals to reduce unintended exposure.  Although a 6 foot space between individuals will be difficult to manage and not feasible in many school situations, we will maintain as much distance as possible between individuals in all school settings.  We will work to minimize close contact defined as individuals being face to face within 6 feet for a prolonged period of time (usually 15 minutes).  Students will remain in classrooms or cohorts as much as possible to reduce the inter-mixing of large groups of students.
    1. Student desks and tables will be arranged to allow for maximized physical distancing.
    2. Student and teacher desks/tables will be arranged so all face the same direction.
    3. Classrooms will include the same students, teachers and support staff as much as possible each day.
    4. Teachers seeing multiple students each day will frequently clean high touch areas.
    5. Students will be seated in the cafeteria 6 feet apart and alternative spaces such as classrooms or larger areas may be used for breakfast and lunch to allow for physical distancing and to minimize inter-mixing of large groups of students.
    6. Recess and lunch hours will be staggered to avoid contact between cohorts of students.
    Limit Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Spread and Exclusion Criteria
    1. Staff members and students should not be in school if they are displaying symptoms of influenza type illness or COVID-19, or if they have been in contact with someone confirmed of having COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
    2. Portage County Health and Human Services Department will be contacted if we have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
    3. Ill staff members and students should not return to school until criteria to discontinue home or medical facility isolation is met determined by health professionals.
    4. Each morning, staff members and students should have a health screening conducted at home in accordance to privacy laws and regulations. Individuals with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher need to stay home.
    5. If a student becomes ill at school, s/he will be sent to the Main Office and we will provide an isolated space for the ill student to rest safely and quietly while waiting for the arrival of a parent/guardian. Upon notification, the parent/guardian should pick up the ill student as soon as possible.
    6. A staff person wearing appropriate personal protective equipment will stay with the ill student until a parent/guardian arrives.
    7. Nonessential visitors and volunteers will be restricted from being in the school building.
    8. Consideration to cancel or limit large group events will be taken under association guidance such as WIAA and fine arts associations.
    Hygiene and Personal Protective Equipment
    1. Students and staff members will be provided with cloth face coverings if needed. They are located in the Main Office.  The wearing of a face covering is required under Wisconsin Executive Order #28, Emergency Order #1 issued by Governor Evers.  This requirement is in effect until November 21st for individuals age 5 and older.
    2. Staff members tending to ill students are provided with personal protective equipment such as gloves, hand sanitizer, face coverings and goggles.
    3. Students are frequently reminded and given scheduled time to wash their hands, reminded to keep their hands away from their faces, and they are taught the proper use of face coverings.
    4. Signs are posted throughout the building on how to properly use a face covering, wash hands, and how to use protective measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.
    5. Students are encouraged to carry personal water bottles instead of using public water fountains and are reminded to use proper techniques to shield coughs and sneezes.
    Cleaning/Disinfection Measures and Maintaining a Healthy Environment
    1. Our Head Custodian is trained in deep cleaning techniques, has created a schedule for custodians and has trained them to implement the cleaning protocol.
    2. Hand sanitizer and cleaning products will be available in classrooms for high touch surface areas to be used throughout the school day as needed ensuring safe and correct storage and application.
    3. Objects such as toys, games and school supplies will not be shared or will be cleaned between uses.
    Communication Expectations Regarding Infection Control
    1. We will provide parents with information about the importance of monitoring symptoms and staying home while ill.
    2. We will utilize school outreach methods to remind staff members and families to check for symptoms of household members each morning.
    3. Parents will be asked to provide specific reasons for absences including any illness symptoms present.
    4. Our attendance protocol will allow for students to be excused in case of symptoms exhibited individually or for a family member. Families will always have the option under this plan to keep their children home and we will provide distance learning opportunities through a virtual or learning packet instructional environment.
    5. Staff members have information about symptom identification and infection control.
    6. Staff members may be reassigned duties if needed to include teachers being reassigned to teaching areas out of their certification.
    Cafeteria and Food Service Safety
    1. Breakfast and lunch may be eaten in spaces other than the cafeteria. If the cafeteria is used, the number of students allowed at one time will be limited to accommodate physical distancing of 6 feet between individuals.  Other areas used as a cafeteria allow for appropriate physical distancing. 
    2. Elementary students eat in classrooms with the same cohort of students to reduce inter-mixing of groups of students. They will physically distance as much as possible.
    3. The cafeteria tables are cleaned between groups of students.
    4. Entrances and exits are established to control traffic to and from picking up meals and dropping off empty trays.
    5. When students go through the breakfast/lunch line, they are served with no self-service type items and they physically distance while in line.
    6. Seating is utilized to reduce the inter-mixing of students.
    7. Salad bars and other opportunities for self-service or high touch points have been eliminated including microwave use to heat up meals brought from home.
    8. Hand washing or the use of hand sanitizer is required before meals.
    9. Individually plated meals or pre-packaged meals are served ensuring the safety of children with allergies. Students may bring cold lunches from home.
    10. There is no sharing of food or utensils.
    11. Food service staff members are trained on proper food preparation and cleaning.
    Transportation Safety
    1. Face coverings are required for individuals age 5 or older according to Governor Evers issuing of Executive Order #28, Emergency Order #1. This order is in effect through Nov. 21st.
    2. Students with COVID-19 like symptoms such as a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher should stay home and not get on the bus.
    3. Students must sit in assigned seats at all times. This will be strictly enforced and students violating this requirement will be suspended from bus riding privileges.
    4. Students who become ill on the bus will be seated in a front seat and taken to an isolation room at school as soon as the bus arrives at school. A parent/guardian will be notified to pick up the ill student as soon as possible.  Confidentiality will be maintained, however, the Portage County Health and Human Services Department will be notified of a case when COVID-19 like symptoms are present.
    5. Requests for pick up or drop off changes on a short term basis will not be honored due to the strict protocols we need to follow for health and safety reasons.
    6. Families choosing to transport their own children should notify the Northern Express Bus Company so routes may be adjusted as necessary.
    7. There will be no field trips requiring busing without prior administrator approval.
    8. We will work with our transportation director/owner of our bus company to ensure drivers and transportation employees are trained on proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols along with district requirements for bus riding.
    This plan is monitored:
    Main Office Protocols- Sandy Barden, PK-12 Administrative Assistant
    Health Protocols- Rita Hart, School Nurse
    Attendance- Sandy Ciula, Dean of Students
    Transportation- Jeff Walker, Transportation Director
    Food Service- Connie Kaehn, Kitchen Manager
    Maintenance- Craig Nigh, Head Custodian
    Technology- Michael Seymour, Technology Coordinator
    Special Education- Andria Bena, School Psychologist/Special Education Director
    General Administration- Penny Boileau, District Administrator
    Contents may be modified as directed by the Portage County Health Department.
Last Modified on November 10, 2020