Multi-Sensory Education | K-8th | North Bethesda, MD
(301) 299-4602

Health and Safety

Enhanced Health and Safety Measures for Our Return to Campus

A Shared Responsibility

Families and staff play a vital role in helping the school maintain safety on campus. The number one safety measure is to keep a child home if they are sick or for staff to stay home if they are sick. We want to work with families and staff to support our students' and staff’s adherence to safety measures while they are on campus as well as at home.

To support this effort, prior to the start of on-campus school, we will provide extensive training as well as an orientation to all staff, parents, and students on all safety/health procedures and to ensure the safest and smoothest transition to campus. As a community that prioritizes health and safety, we must all do our part to adhere to state health recommendations and regulations to control disease transmission and potential future outbreaks.

Moreover, there may be times when we will ask families/staff to comply with broader safety measures and we greatly appreciate your cooperation in this regard. Diener will incorporate enhanced COVID-19 safety measures for our return to campus that align with CDC as well as State and local guidelines, outlined below and subject to change.

Each morning, before arriving on campus, staff and students will be required to complete a daily wellness screening through a link to a google document. This will include taking and recording their temperature (no more than 3 hrs prior to arrival) and answering a set of questions about symptoms and possible exposure to COVID-19.

Completing the daily wellness screening should take no more than five minutes and will be an essential part of our overall health and safety plan.

A student/staff member may be asked to stay home and seek medical attention/quarantine if:

  • A temperature of 100.0 or higher is recorded
  • The answer to a question is YES

We have carefully examined our physical spaces and how we organize and run the school day. Best practices such as social distancing, limiting transitions, and ensuring good hygiene at all times are paramount for optimal safety and will be enforced here at Diener.

When the weather permits, we plan to utilize outdoor space as much as possible throughout the day. Classes such as Fitness may be held outdoors. When students are indoors, windows may be kept open to provide additional ventilation. 

All staff and students will be required to wear a mask at all times indoors with the exception of eating/drinking. Masks will also be required outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

This is a key part of the plan as mask-wearing protects others and protects oneself.

Diener has a large supply of masks on hand for both students and staff and will continuously be available at all times. Students or staff may choose to wear their own masks from home, but in all cases, masks must be worn.

The school does not assume liability for any masks provided. If a student or staff chooses to bring/wear their own mask, the mask must:

  • be made with multi-ply fabric;
  • fit snugly over the nose and mouth area;
  • not be loose or open, and;
  • must be worn with straps over the ears;
  • or tied around the back of the head.

Wearing scarves or bandanas as masks will not be allowed.

Diener encourages students and employees to find an appropriate fitted mask and practice wearing them for extended periods leading up to on-campus school. This will help ease the wearing of them throughout the school day.

The CDC recommends for each person to clean their hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Diener will require all staff/students to wash their hands at the following times:

  • Upon entering/exiting a classroom or office
  • Before and after eating/drinking
  • After a facemask has been touched/taken off
  • After using the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching a shared surface area or supply/material
  • Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth

All Diener classrooms have a sink and soap dispenser for hand washing. In addition, there are 1-3 sinks in each bathroom that staff/students can use. When soap and water are not accessible, students and staff will be required to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Diener has a large supply of hand sanitizer (gel, spray, wipes) on hand for staff/students’ use and will be replenished when necessary. Each classroom/office will have a hand sanitizing station outside of the entrance to the room and anyone entering/exiting the room/office will be required to use the sanitizer. All staff will carry a travel size hand sanitizer with them at all times, as well.

All classrooms will have no more than 15 people in the room at one time (no exception).

All classrooms will be set up to allow for social distancing (at least 6 ft) while students are at their desk/seat. We have sneeze guards available for individual student desks if needed.

All teacher desks will have a sneeze guard to protect the student/teacher when 6ft of separation is not possible.

If a classroom is set up using 6 ft tables, students will be seated at each end with a sneeze guard in the middle of the table.

Students will stay in their homeroom “cohort” for instruction as much as possible during the school day. Should any student(s) have to travel to another room, a personal chair and desk will be designated for each student and cleaned and sanitized before and after use.

All students will be provided with individual/personal basic school and art supplies as well as manipulatives and fidgets.

There will be no sharing of these supplies.

If any supply (game, activity, whiteboard, etc.) has been used in the classroom, it will be thoroughly washed and sanitized before the next use. Each classroom will have a clean and dirty bucket outside the room. Once the material has been used by an individual, the material will be placed in the dirty bucket.

We have designated staff to walk through the halls to clean all dirty materials every hour. Once the dirty materials have been cleaned and sanitized, the material will be placed in the clean bucket and will be ready to use.

Diener has a large supply of disinfecting wipes and spray that can be used on all surfaces.  In addition, we have purchased 2 UV Disinfectant Light wands to use on smaller surfaces.

All high touch surface areas (bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, hand railings) will be cleaned and sanitized AT LEAST every 2 hrs by custodial staff.

All other surfaces will be cleaned AT LEAST every 2 hrs by Diener staff. 

In addition to the daily screening, Diener has updated the health policy to adhere to the CDC and state recommendations that include the following:

  • Any student who has a new onset of cough or shortness of breath will be brought to an isolated health room that is monitored by a staff member in full PPE wear. This student will be sent home to seek medical attention.
  • Any student who exhibits two or more COVID-19 symptoms (fever or chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) will be brought to an isolated health room that is monitored by a staff member in full PPE wear. This student will be sent home to seek medical attention.
  • Any staff member who has a new onset of cough or shortness of breath will be sent home to seek medical attention.
  • Any staff member who exhibits two or more COVID-19 symptoms (fever or chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) will be sent home to seek medical attention.
  • Any student that needs medication/emergency medication/medical attention for anything other than COVID-19 symptoms/first aid will be brought to a private area in the classroom to be given aid by a certified medication technician.
  • Diener has 3 Thermal Scanners for fever detection to be used (if needed) during the school day.
  • The isolated Health Room for COVID-19 like symptoms will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after each use. This room is directly beside an exit door where parents will come to pick up.
  • Diener will not allow anyone other than students and staff members to enter the building (including parents and visitors).
  • Diener will not be using/sharing any other building on campus.
  • Upgrades to our HVAC system to include MERV-13 air filters will be installed for improved circulation.
  • Teacher Workroom/Break Area supplies and equipment will be cleaned and sanitized between each use.
  • All water fountains in the building will be taped off and not used.
  • Hallway traffic will be limited to one class at a time and monitored and overseen by a designated staff member.
  • Bathroom(s) traffic and use will be limited to one person at a time and monitored and overseen by a designated staff person.
  • Students and staff will be required to use a mask outdoors at all times when social distancing is not possible.
  • Each class will have a designated area/equipment to use for recess.
  • All playground equipment will be cleaned and sanitized after use.

Proper signage will be placed in all areas of the Diener School facility, including but not limited to hallways, classrooms, offices, bathrooms, etc.

Signage will include:

  • Social Distancing floor markers placed on floors
  • Proper handwashing technique
  • Practicing good hygiene (wash your hands, wear a face cover, cover coughs/sneezes, social distancing)
  • Reminder to keep 6 ft. apart
  • COVID-19 related tips for the protection of spreading germs

Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. 

Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

You can get COVID-19 during your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread COVID-19 to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may spread COVID-19 to other people including your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you were exposed to the virus.

Don’t travel if you or anyone you are traveling with are sick or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Anyone returning from travel to areas with community spread of COVID-19 must follow the guidance they have received from health officials. COVID-19 information for travel is updated regularly on the CDC website. Follow state and local recommendations or requirements after you return from travel.

The Diener School will not be participating in any field trips outside of the building.

Students will be dropped off and picked up outside of the building, in a carpool line around the main entrance circle.

Each classroom on the first floor has a direct door to the outside and students in these classrooms will only use their designated classroom door.  All students whose classroom is on the second floor will be entering/exiting through two designated doors. 

A staff member will assist to ensure that no more than one person is entering/exiting at a time.

If a student is going to be dropped off late or picked up early, the parent/guardian must call Diener’s main office to inform us of the late arrival/early pick up.  A staff member will either meet the student who is dropped off late and escort them to their classroom or escort the student who is leaving early out of the building to ensure no outside visitors enter Diener.

Diener's Dedicated COVID-19 Contact

In the event a student, staff member, or student/staff household member has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or related symptoms or has been told to quarantine/isolate by a medical professional, please contact:

Alicia Evers
Alicia@thedienerschool.org or call (301) 299-4602

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