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PCLS COVID-19 » Painesville City Local Schools COVID-19 School Operations Plan

Painesville City Local Schools COVID-19 School Operations Plan

Painesville City Local Schools 

2020-21 COVID-19 School Operation  Plan



This plan is the result of extensive collaboration among Painesville City Local Schools, the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD), all Lake County school districts, and other districts across the state of Ohio. It is also informed by the many responses we received on our family survey. While different school districts sought to learn as much as possible from one another in making these very difficult decisions, the PCLS plan is tailored to the particular needs of our own community and the resources which we have available in our district.


We fully recognize that, no matter how we provide our services, the circumstances will present hardship for families to varying degrees. Under these conditions, we have pursued a plan which can best serve the needs of the greatest number of our families while still maintaining appropriate levels of safety (under the guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and advisement of the LCGHD).


The PCLS school opening plan provides two choices, to be made by each family based on their comfort level and individual circumstances:


OPTION 1: In-Person Learning


OPTION 2: Online Learning*



Please understand that, with the pandemic situation being a very fluid one, some details may be subject to change at some point if directives from the state/LCGHD change. We will be certain to communicate any adjustments to all families.


We must work together more now than ever to ensure that our students are safe and successful. Everyone involved plays a critical role. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and support through this challenge.


Option 1: In-Person Learning


While there are obvious benefits to sending your child to school for in-person learning, please know that there is also risk. While the precautions put into place by the district serve to reduce risk to the greatest extent possible, the risk of infection is never completely eliminated.


The elementary (8:30-3:00) and middle school (8:00-2:30) instructional day will be the same as it was last year. 


The high school (9-12) instructional day will be adjusted, with a start time of 8:00 and a dismissal time of 1:08. In-person learners taking band and/or choir may be scheduled for lunch and class between 1:15 and 2:30). High school teachers will hold “virtual office hours” daily between 1:45 and 2:30.


All in-person learners (elementary, middle, and high school) will attend Monday through Friday, according to the school calendar.


There will be no “late start Tuesday” this year.


School Closing Based on Lake County Risk Level

county risk level

Schools will be open and operate under the conditions outlined in this “in-person” learning plan any time that Lake County is designated as “Level 1” (yellow) or “Level 2” (orange) in the state’s risk designation system. 


Risk Level 3 (Red) indicates a very high exposure and spread in the county. Under these conditions, it may or may not be safe to operate schools with in-person learning. At this designation, risk factors in Painesville City and within PCLS schools must be considered to determine whether or not health and safety of staff and students would be further compromised if school were in session. Under the advisement of the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD), the Superintendent, in consultation with the Board of Education, will make the determination of whether or not to close schools for in-person learning. If the decision is made to close, schools will be closed for a minimum of five instructional days. County COVID data are typically updated each Thursday. Accordingly, a closure decision is most likely to occur on Thursday or Friday of the given week. In the event of an ordered school closure, even in-person learners will need to switch on online learning. Any time that a student stays home (illness, calamity day, etc.), the expectation is that he or she participates in classes online if at all able. Regular instruction will be managed through online platforms (Clever and Google Classroom), so that the transition from in-person to online learning will be as seamless as possible. 


A school building will be closed for in-person instruction in the event that the number of concurrent confirmed cases identified within a building meets or exceeds 3% of the total population of in-person learners for the given building. In the event that this occurs, the timeline for reopening will be determined by the Superintendent, in consultation with the Board of Education, under the advisement of the LCGHD.


The Superintendent, under the advisement of the Lake County General Health District (LCGHD), in consultation with the Board of Education, will evaluate the safety of maintaining in-person athletic and other extracurricular activities separately from decisions regarding building closure.


Risk Level 4 (Purple) indicates severe exposure and spread in the county. In Level 4, all people are advised to only leave home for necessary supplies and services. Under these conditions, schools and in-person extracurricular activities will be closed, and all students will move to online learning. In the event of a closure under a Level 4 county risk, schools will be closed for a minimum of ten instructional days. 

School may be closed under the advisement of the LCGHD independent of the county risk level based on the contact tracing of an infected individual or individuals.


While the district is making every effort to minimize disruption to 

the families we serve, it is necessary that even those who opt for 

in-person learning have contingency plans in place in the event 

that school must be closed due to elevated safety concerns.


Expectations for In-Person Learning


Parent/Caregiver Expectations:

  • Assess your child every morning before sending them to school. Keep them home if ill or if exhibiting the symptoms listed in this section. Note that everyone entering the building will be screened for temperature, and those with a temperature of 100o F or higher will be excluded.
  • Have a plan in place to pick child up if necessary within 30 minutes of notification (documentation of child pick-up will be provided to give to employers if necessary)
  • Provide a face covering (mask) for your child on a daily basis


Student Expectations:

  • All students must properly wear a face covering (this includes on the bus, when entering the building, when exiting the building, when transitioning within the building, and in class with the exception of “mask breaks” at the teachers direction)
  • Maintain expectations for physical distancing, hand washing/sanitation, and general safety


Staff Expectations:

  • All staff will be required to wear face coverings
  • Monitor students for symptoms and refer to the clinic if illness is suspected
  • Enforce physical distancing, hand washing/sanitation, and cleaning expectations
  • Design instruction which can accommodate learning from home in the event of a school closure or an extended student absence


If these expectations cannot be met, it is highly recommended 

that your child participate in online learning


If a child exhibits behaviors which compromise safety (including failure to comply with physical distancing and face covering expectations), he or she may be reassigned to online learning


Physical Distancing


Ohio Department of Health: “School staff should try when possible to maintain 6-foot social distance among students, staff, and volunteers in all school environments, including classrooms, hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, playground, drop-off and pick-up locations, and school buses.”

  • As a general guideline, we are going to make every attempt to keep rooms set up with desks spread out as far as possible (3-6 feet), all facing the same direction.  
  • There will be no large group gatherings/assemblies of students.
  • There will be no school field trips.




  • Movement from classroom to classroom will be minimized in the elementary schools. 
  • Students must wear their face coverings when moving from one area of the building to another.
  • Students will stay to the far right when walking in the hallways and stairwells.
  • Middle school lockers will not be in use (only assigned by activity advisors for students participating in after-school activities requiring storage of additional non-classroom items). 
  • Use of high school lockers will be infrequent during the school day. Lockers cannot be shared. 
  • Students will report directly to their classroom upon arrival to school and during class changes. Loitering in the hallways or common areas is not permissible.
  • Water fountains will not be available, but students will have access to the water bottle filling stations.


Face Coverings/Masks


  • While physical distancing is the primary method of precaution against the spread of infection, face coverings provide an additional important protection and will be required for all K-12 students. 
  • Students may be permitted to remove their face coverings for “mask breaks” whenever seated in a classroom, as directed by their teachers, if there is a minimum of six feet between students.
      • At the elementary level, most classrooms can accommodate 14 students with six feet of distance between students.
      • At the middle school level, most classrooms can accommodate 14 students with six feet of distance between students.
      • At the high school level, most classrooms can accommodate 19 students with six feet of distance between students.
      • Students will be required to wear face coverings when participating in small group or one-on-one learning activities.
  • Cloth Face coverings / masks should:
    • Fully cover the mouth, nose, and chin
    • Fit snugly against the side of the face so there are no gaps
    • Not create difficulty breathing while worn
    • Be held securely through either a tie, elastic, etc. to prevent slipping
    • Not contain any printed images or language which is inappropriate for school 
  • All staff are required to wear face coverings (masks or face shields).
  • All students (preschool through 12th grade) are required to wear face coverings while riding the bus.
  • Per guidelines from the CDC and the Ohio Department of Health, the following exemptions to wearing a face covering may apply in special circumstances: 
    • Health reasons such as severe asthma or respiratory impairments, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, or claustrophobia; 
    • children with severe cognitive or developmental delays; 
    • anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious; 
    • anyone who is unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Face shields may be an acceptable accommodation for students who are unable to wear a cloth mask based upon the exemptions above. If worn as an accommodation, face shields must fit snugly around the head without any gaps between forehead and shield, must curve around the face, and must extend below the chin.
  • Medical exceptions will require a physician’s note. For consideration of other special needs with regard to face covering exceptions, please contact Chris Young, Director of Student Services at
  • Students must provide their own face covering. The school/bus will have disposable masks on hand in the event that a child needs one, but we are unable to maintain a supply for daily provision. 
      • If you require assistance in obtaining a mask for your child, please contact Maribel Young at the PCLS Family Resource Center:  
  • In the event of a state-wide mask order, such order will supersede PCLS guidelines (i.e., students would need to keep a mask on at all times).


Screening for Symptoms


    • Parents will be expected to conduct a wellness check (including taking their temperature) on their children daily prior to leaving home to go to school. Any student who has a fever of 100o F or higher or any of the symptoms related to COVID-19 should stay home. Any student with the following symptoms should see their primary care provider to be assessed for COVID-19:
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
    • Any families requiring assistance with obtaining a home thermometer to conduct daily checks of their children should contact Maribel Young at the PCLS Family Resource Center:  
  • Student temperatures will be screened as they enter the building utilizing non-contact, thermal imaging cameras. Any student suspected of having a temperature of 100o F or higher will be assessed individually utilizing an infrared thermometer, and if confirmed, will be sent home.


Response to Symptomatic Student


  • If a student begins to show symptoms or has a temperature above 100°F while at school, they will immediately be quarantined to a designated location, given a face covering, and monitored by a staff member wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and maintaining physical distance when possible.
    • Areas of the building that were occupied by a person exhibiting symptoms will be sanitized.
    • The symptomatic student will need to be picked up from the school within 30 minutes of notification. It is extremely important that families have a plan in place to be able to pick their child up from school should the need arise.
    • The Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) will be notified of the symptomatic student, and will follow-up with instructions. 
  • In the case of a student who exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and who is not evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the student is assumed to have COVID-19, and may not return to school until all three of the following criteria are met:
  1. At least 24 hours have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications)
  2. The individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
  3. At least ten days have passed since the symptoms first appeared  
  • Any time that a student must remain home, he or she is expected to participate in the learning activities provided by his or her teacher(s), as long as he or she is able. 


Response to Positive Test


  • If any student or staff member has been tested positive for COVID-19, that person must stay home for at least 14 days and until they are symptom-free. The LCGHD will receive this information from the student’s health provider, will notify the school of appropriate next steps, and work with the school to determine if other staff or students are considered to have been in close-contact and at high-risk. 
    • The LCGHD, through the school, will conduct contact tracing of the infected individual and advise any impacted staff/students of necessary next steps. If anyone has been in close contact (as defined by the CDC) with an infected individual, that person may be ordered to stay home for 14 days from their last exposure. 
  • Any time that a student must remain home, he or she is expected to participate in the learning activities provided by his or her teacher(s), as long as he or she is able. 




Ohio Department of Health: “School officials should endeavor to do the best they can to keep social distancing on buses.” 

    • Parents should complete a wellness check prior to sending their student(s) to the bus stop each day.  
    • Students will be expected to maintain appropriate physical distancing at the bus stop and while entering/exiting the buildings.
    • All (K-12) students will be required to wear a face covering while riding the bus (note: see face covering exemptions above). 
    • Students will generally sit two per seat, and sit on the designated areas in their assigned seats. 
    • Students should remain seated and facing forward while riding the bus.
    • Buses will be disinfected in between all routes. 
  • If a child exhibits behaviors which compromise safety (including failure to sit properly in assigned seat and to comply with face covering expectations), busing privileges may be revoked.


Drop-off/Pick-up & Visitors


  • Students should not arrive at school prior to the building’s opening time. Supervision cannot be provided prior to opening time, and students should not be gathering to wait. Building opening times are as follows:
    • Chestnut, Elm, and Maple Elementary: 8:20
    • Heritage Middle School: 7:45
    • Harvey High School: 7:30
  • Parents should limit visits to school as much as possible.  Meetings will generally be held virtually.  Parents who have to come to school should conduct personal health screenings  prior to coming to the campus. Parents (and visitors) will be required to wear a face covering and comply with a mandatory temperature check to enter the buildings.   
      • If an in-person meeting is necessary it should be scheduled in advance by calling the appropriate office or staff member.
      • In-person meetings will follow appropriate physical distancing protocols and a face covering will be required.
        • Staff may be allowed to virtually attend in-person meetings as determined by the appropriate building principal.  
  • Any materials that need to be brought to the school should be done so after a personal self-assessment and contacting the appropriate office in advance.  
  • At this time, the district is not going to allow any volunteers in the buildings.


Hand Washing & Sanitizer


  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are available in every classroom and in common areas (entrances, hallways, lunchrooms, etc.) for use whenever necessary.
  • Preschool and elementary students will all wash hands under adult supervision prior to lunch, after recess, after restroom breaks, and at any other appropriate times during the day. 


Cleaning & Sanitation


    • “High touch” areas will be cleaned throughout the day.
    • Cleaning/disinfecting supplies will be available in the classroom.
  • Note: not every surface in every classroom can be cleaned with every class change. Staff will make every effort to wipe surfaces at key times during the day. We intend to make disinfectant wipes available to students to use if they wish.
  • Rooms will be disinfected daily.
    • The district has purchased electrostatic disinfectant sprayers for each building to assist with this process and insure thoroughness of disinfection.


School Supplies


  • Sharing of  classroom materials and supplies (including books) will be limited to the greatest extent possible. Students will need to maintain their own assigned materials.


Breakfast, Lunch & Recess


  • Elementary and middle school (K-8) students will eat breakfast in their classrooms. Upon arriving at school, these students will report directly to their classrooms. Breakfast will be provided there.
  • High school (9-12) students will pick up breakfast in the cafeteria and take it to their classroom.
  • Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade will pick up their lunches in the cafeteria and eat either in the classroom or in the cafeteria, wherever the greatest amount of distance between students can be provided.
  • High school students will pick up a bagged lunch to take with them as they exit the building.
  • We intend to provide Preschool-5th grade students with daily recess. Use of equipment will be limited, group sizes will be minimized, and all students will wash their hands upon re-entering the building.




    • The district will have a full-time licensed healthcare provider available in each building every day that school is in session.
      • Clinics will be regularly cleaned and sanitized throughout the day and each night.
      • The nurse/health aide will ensure physical distancing protocols are followed as much as possible.
      • The nurse/health aide will isolate students showing symptoms to a separate area away from other students already in the clinic.
        • Students who exhibit symptoms or have a fever above 100o F  will be quarantined in a separate area with a mask to reduce the transmission of any potential illness. Parents will be expected to pick up their ill child within 30 minutes of notification from the clinic (documentation of child pick-up will be provided to give to the employer if necessary).
      • The nurse/health aide will ensure the clinic (and isolation area)  is disinfected immediately following a student entering who is exhibiting symptoms.
      • Medication distribution will take place in the office to limit the number of students coming to the clinic daily.  The district nurse will train all relevant staff in the appropriate medication distribution protocols.  


Option 2: Online Learning


The online learning program will not look exactly the same as it did in the spring. Online learning this year will require much more “new” learning than was necessary in the spring, and the program will extend for at least a semester rather than just one quarter. Additionally, we have built improvements into the program based upon the family feedback that we received. Students who are participating in the online learning program should expect their day to closely mirror that of a “regular” school day in terms of time commitment. This means that students will be required to be online and actively participating in class at designated times between specified hours daily.


Students participating in online learning will not have the option of remote learning exclusively through print materials. While instruction and learning activities may be supplemented and supported by print materials, computer-based activities are required. 


Learning standards and lessons will follow the state curriculum and the PCLS pacing guide. Grades will be assigned in accordance with PCLS policy and administrative guidelines.


There will be some limitations on “specials” (art, music, PE, etc.) and elective classes in online learning. Specials classes will not be available to online elementary students. A limited number of specials/electives will be available to middle and high school students, but participation in band and/or choir may not be possible.


In the event of an ordered school closure, students in the online learning program will continue as scheduled.


Students who participate in the online program have the option to participate in extracurricular activities if they choose (this includes marching band, drama*, and honors choir*). 

*drama and honors choir require auditions


Attendance/participation in daily online learning will be registered and tracked. District policy will be followed with regard to attendance, excessive absence, and truancy.


Every student will be issued his or her own Chromebook computer. Families who require assistance in accessing WiFi service can contact Heidi Fyffe at 


An online learning program will not be available for preschool regular education students.


Expectations for Online Learning


Parent/Caregiver Expectations:

  • Monitor student progress on coursework. Missing assignment notifications will be communicated through Infinite Campus Parent Portal, as well as being visible on the student’s Google Classroom.
  • Ensure the child follows the daily schedule provided
  • Communicate questions and concerns immediately with the appropriate teacher


Student Expectations:

  • Students will be required to follow the schedule assigned by their teacher(s).  This will  include attending live sessions (for which their attendance is mandatory), submitting work on specified due dates, etc.
  • Students will be expected to communicate any questions or concerns immediately to their teacher
  • Students will be visibly present during online class for attendance purposes


Staff Expectations:

  • Teachers will support students by assisting with use of the online platform, pacing, and providing feedback on assignments and assessments
  • Teachers will deliver live lessons at appointed times and maintain an updated virtual classroom to make resources and assignments readily available  
Teachers will facilitate virtual check-in meetings designed to support student course progress 
  • Teachers will be available for office hours to provide additional support
  • Teachers will grade work in a timely manner. Grades will be posted in Infinite Campus for students and parent(s)/caregiver(s) to track  


Learning Management System


As was the case in the spring, students’ personalized Clever page will serve as the single-sign-in launch page for the management of all applications used for learning. Google Classroom (located on the student’s Clever page) will house all assignments from the teacher as well as teacher presentations. 




The time commitment necessary for online learning is the same as is required for in-person learning. Students will follow a defined daily schedule. They must sign in and participate in live lessons at their appointed times. Middle school and high school students will be issued a schedule at the start of the year as usual, and will follow their daily schedule the same as they would if attending in-person. Elementary students will follow a consistent schedule as provided by their teacher. A sample elementary schedule is shown below:


Sample Elementary Online Learning Schedule








Morning Meeting


Live ELA

Live Math 

Live ELA 

Live Math 

Live ELA

10:15 - 10:30


10:30 - 11:30 

Live Math 

Live ELA

Live Math 

Live ELA 

Live Math

Lunch Break

12:15 - 1:00

Independent ELA Practice


Math Practice

Independent ELA Practice


Math Practice

LIVE Session 

Virtual Office Hours for additional help and support

1:00 - 2:00 

Science/Social Studies

2:00 - 2:15 


2:15 - 3:00

Live Math

Live ELA

Live Math

Live ELA




Students will have access to their teachers in real time during scheduled live lessons. Teachers will also have regularly scheduled virtual office hours when students can schedule to connect for additional support.


Special Services


For students remaining at home, students will receive IEP services and accommodations virtually as determined by the IEP team, inclusive of the parent. These students will have built into their learning schedule times for support from their intervention specialists/service provider(s). 


Students requiring ELD services will have built into their learning schedule times for support from their ELD teachers and/or paraprofessionals. 




Student attendance will be recorded the same as it would be if students were attending class in-person. Attendance will be taken for each live learning session. Again, district policy will be followed with regard to attendance, excessive absence, and truancy.




Meals will be available once per week for pick up for online learners. This is facilitated through a drive-through process every Friday at Harvey High School. At each pick-up, students will be provided with five breakfasts and five lunches. More details will follow.




For help with...

Please contact...

Facemasks, thermometers, community resources/services

Maribel Young

Chromebooks, WiFi access (prior to 8/17)

Heidi Fyffe

Online learning platforms

Wendy Camper

IEPs, student special needs

Chris Young

English Language Learning support

Ruth Haines