Frequently Asked Questions

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) will be using criteria and recommendations  by national and local medical and public health experts to guide our decision-making regarding the policies in place for the safety of our students and employees. Because the situation is fluid in our community, these guidelines areonly applicable as of August 19, 2021, and will be updated as conditions change.

Most Frequently Asked Questions Regarding COVID-19

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The COVID-19 vaccine is not required to attend school; however, the District encourages eligible students to get vaccinated. Information on vaccinations for eligible students may be found at backtoschool.dadeschools.net.

Face coverings are required for students, employees, parents, volunteers, and visitors while on school property and on school buses. Face coverings may be removed while outdoors as long as appropriate distance is maintained.

Employees and students will be encouraged to stay home if they are ill. Should they become ill during the school day, students will be separated from their peers, and their parents will be contacted to pick them up from school and seek medical care. All schools will be cleaned at the end of the school day, and restrooms will be cleaned frequently during school hours. Schools will continue using electrostatic germicide sprayers to disinfect rooms and hallways. Frequent handwashing will be encouraged, and hand sanitizing stations will remain throughout each school. Students will be seated 3 feet apart in classrooms, to the extent feasible, to promote physical distancing.

K-12 schools will continue to have a health professional on site during the 2021-2022 school year.

1. Stay home if sick. 

2. Sanitize hands with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol upon entering the building. 

3. Wash hands frequently or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 

4. Avoid touching face and eyes. 

5. Wash/sanitize hands after touching or removing facial covering. 

6. Limit use of shared objects, such as physical education equipment, playground equipment, art supplies, toys, and games. Shared objects will be cleaned after each use. 

7. Bring personal water bottles with water. Water fountains will be turned off and hydration stations will be made available for refills. 

8. Follow all directions provided by teachers or administrators for the safety of the school community. It is especially important that students stay in the classrooms and spaces 

9. All persons must maximize physical distancing to the extent possible under the circumstances. 

10. Face coverings are required for students, staff, and visitors when in the building. They may be removed during outdoor activities as long as appropriate distancing is maintained.

 11. All student facial coverings must meet the requirements of the Code of Student Conduct and Policy 5511, Dress Code and School Uniform. Face coverings are apparel/accessory and must not include obscene, profane, drug-related, gang-related, or inflammatory messages or pictorial graphics. Face coverings which include inappropriate language that could be perceived as offensive, derogatory, threatening, or intimidating are strictly prohibited. Repeated display of such face coverings will constitute disciplinary measures as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct.

Information on mental health services available for students may be accessed here or by contacting the Department of Mental Health Services at 305-995-7100

All schools will be cleaned at the end of the school day, with the exception of restrooms, which will be cleaned frequently during school hours. To aid in the daily cleaning, every school has been provided electrostatic germicide sprayers to disinfect rooms and hallways. Additionally, buses will be wiped down and cleaned between routes. Staff will use hospital-grade germicide when sanitizing. 

Parents are asked to perform the At-Home Daily Health Screening each day to determine if it is safe to send their child to school. 

If a student becomes ill or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, the student will be separated from other students and staff to the designated space identified as the Health Screening Area. If the student is not wearing a mask, the student will required to put one on. The student will be monitored, and the District will contact the parent/guardian or, if needed, the emergency contacts. Parents/guardians and/or emergency contacts will be informed of the importance of the student being picked up immediately for the safety of the student and others. 

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, contact investigation will be initiated in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. The student will also be required to self-isolate for 10 days. 

The FDOH will notify the District School Health Office (DSHO) when the student they confirmed was COVID-positive is cleared to return to school. The DSHO will then notify the school principal, who will in turn notify the student's parent/guardian. 

A fully vaccinated student will not need to quarantine and may remain at school provided they remain symptom-free since the current exposure to a COVID-19 confirmed positive or probable case, provide proof of vaccination and the student is not residing in a group home. Other CDC testing requirements also apply. Students who are not eligible for vaccination or who are not fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine in accordance with 2021-2022 quarantine protocols, which may be accessed at backtoschool.dadeschools.net.

If the other household members did not come in direct contact with someone that tested positive, and the individual in quatantine does not have symptoms, other household members, including siblings, do not need to quarantine or isolate. However, if the individual in quarantine has symptoms or tests positive, all household members should contact their medical provider and get tested. 

In many cases, the decision to close a classroom(s) or a school is the result of the close contact investigation. However, these determinations will be made on an individual school-by-school basis due to multiple factors that potentially impact the final decision. These factors include, but are not limited to: 

• Number of COVID-19 positive cases of students and staff 

• Potential exposure to other students and employees identified through contact tracing 

• Ability to sanitize affected areas prior to the return of students and staff 

• Potential for outbreak 

• Cases that are linked within same school 

• Ability to notify those impacted based on the day of the week and the time that the case was reported 

Students under a stay-home directive due to COVID-19 can participate in remote learning until they are cleared to return for in-person instruction. Please visit icp.dadeschools.net and click on the Information for Parents tab for additional details.

If anyone in the student's household tests positive for COVID-19, the student must follow the quarantine protocols detailed in Question 13 above. 

An employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days and contact their supervisor before returning to work.

A fully vaccinated employee will not need to quarantine and may remain at work provided they remain symptom-free since the current exposure to a COVID-19 confirmed positive or probable case. Employees who have not been vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 10 days from the date of the last contact with the person who has COVID-19. The employee can return to work on the 11th day if they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have not tested positive for COVID-19. 

Dashboard data will be updated each work day and include confirmed cases at schools and work locations. Dashboard data entry is separate and apart from the immediate mitigation activities occurring at school sites, such as self-isolation for suspected/positive cases, the quarantining of employees and students who are close contacts, and the deep sanitization of all areas of the impacted school. The District COVID-19 Dashboard is not intended to be a real-time system for tracking self-reported employee and student confirmed cases. It is a laggining indicator and should not be interpreted as an immediate notification system of cases. Families and employees should not rely on the dashboard to learn about cases in their school or worksite as they will learn about self-reported cases from their school or worksite well ahead of that information being populated onto the dashboard 

Breakfast and lunch procedures will be determined at each individual school site. Ideally, each school will be able to utilize their cafeteria and dining areas while providing for adequate spacing. The use of outdoor dining areas will be maximized whenever possible. Meal schedules will also be carefully coordinated to ensure an appropriate number of students are in the cafeteria at one time. 

Masks and/or face coverings will be required for all students and staff on board. Enhanced sanitization protocols will continue to be followed on all school buses. 

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, visitor access will be limited and restricted to the main office. Visitors are not permitted to enter any District buildings under the following conditions: 

1. The individual has any of the following symptoms: a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher; shortness of breath; cough; loss of taste or smell; muscle aches; weakness; chills; nausea; vomiting; or any other symptoms of COVID-19; 

2. The individual has tested positive for COVID-19; 

3. The individual has been exposed to someone with symptoms of COVID-19; 

4. The individual has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Any visitors permitted to enter District buildings will be subject to screening and must adhere to all District guidelines.