Safe Return to Schools Plan

Updated on Mon, 02/28/2022 - 4:31pm

District charters have developed their own Safe Return to School Plans. These plans are linked at the bottom of the page.

Adams 12 Five Star Schools is committed to maintaining learning environments as normal as possible this school year. In conjunction with local public health, we will review and make adjustments to guidance as needed based on:

  • Current COVID 19 data
  • Risk of transmission  and levels of community spread
  • Implementation and compliance of mitigation and prevention strategies 
  • Other information related to the health and safety of students, staff and the community.

**The following health and safety protocols have been updated as of February 8, 2022. The plan will be reviewed every 6 months and updated if needed.**

Academic/Classroom Guidance

  • Families may enroll their child in the Five Star Online program in lieu of in person learning for the 2021-22 school year. 
  • Classroom instruction should return to pre-COVID practices as much as possible.Schools should cohort students when possible.Teachers should maintain accurate seating charts.
  • ​Schools should encourage social distancing when possible.
  • Currently, there are no building capacity limitations, however all staff, students and families should practice physical distancing when possible.
  • Large group activities should be done outdoors as much as possible.
  • Assemblies and field trips are permitted. 
  • Visitors are welcome in all district buildings but are required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status and follow previously established district protocols.

Social/Emotional/Mental Health

A strong emphasis has been placed on supporting students social and emotional wellness upon returning to in person learning or if participating in Five Star Online through: 

  • Building Healthy Communities-The Building Healthy Communities is an ongoing educational event series that provides families with information and skills to help navigate the unique pathways of youth development with confidence. 
  • District wide Needs Assessment aimed to support and respond to resource, mental health and social emotional needs of our students and families. 
  • Regular tier one weekly SEL instruction in all elementary buildings
  • Emphasis on community building through daily morning meetings
  • Increase in staffing of Social Emotional Learning Specialists, School Counselors and School Psychologists and Social Workers
  • New or continued implementation of SEL initiatives building wide (Sources of Strength, Second Step, SOS, …)
  • Regular data analysis by the district SEL/Mental Health team of trends and patterns of behavior and mental health needs in order to further support buildings on an ongoing basis 

Common Areas/Food Service/Water Systems

  • Common areas will reopen.

  • No capacity limits, however, staff are encouraged to hold large events outdoors when possible.

  • Signs will encourage social distancing when possible and frequent hand washing/sanitizing.
  • Water fountains will reopen.
  • Concession stands will reopen but masks will be required in the stand for all staff and volunteers.

Nutrition Services

  • Cafeterias will be open.
  • Food Service operations have returned to service off our serving lines.
  • Hand sanitizer is placed at the beginning of our service lines. 
  • Food is protected by shields, covers or wraps.
  • Utensils and surfaces are cleaned between each cohort of students.  

Transportation Services

  • All bus riders including the driver will be required to wear a mask. As of March 1, 2022 masks are optional on district buses and other district vehicles used for student transportation.
  • Buses will return to full capacity for students.
  • Students will be assigned seats to support Contact Tracing if needed.

Health and Safety Protocols:

Face Coverings (Masks)

Masks are optional in all district schools and buildings, and on school buses.

The district will honor personal and parent choice with regard to mask-wearing. Some staff or students will choose not to wear a mask while others will continue wearing one. As always, we ask that everyone respect the individual choices of others. Our schools and classrooms will continue to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all. 


Consistent with applicable law, accommodations are available for students and staff based on disability or medical condition. If you’d like to request an accommodation for your child, please contact your child’s school directly.


  • COVID vaccinations are encouraged but are not required for anyone 5 years and older. Families may visit our website for vaccine information
  • Adams 12 will also be hosting COVID Vaccine Booster clinics for all eligible staff and students when they are approved.

Quarantines/Contact Tracing

Adams 12 Five Star Schools reside in counties (Adams and Broomfield County)  that have been identified by public health as a low risk community therefore, students and staff will not be required to quarantine in the event of an exposure during the school day. If a school is experiencing an outbreak, quarantines may be necessary. An outbreak is defined as five cases or more tied to the original positive case. Adams 12 will consult with LPHD when necessary regarding COVID cases and when an outbreak has occurred.  

  • Quarantines may be necessary following exposures that occur during certain indoor co-curricular activities and athletics.
  • Vaccinated individuals will not need to quarantine in the event of an outbreak or identified exposure during co-curricular activities and athletics.
  • Schools will Contact Trace close contacts that have been exposed to a COVID positive person.
  • While quarantines may not always be necessary, the district will notify families and staff if they are considered a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 as a result of a school-based exposure. 

Adams 12 COVID Cases & Quarantine Tracker

TCHD COVID- 19 Data    


Quarantine Processes

Preschool Students

  • Continued learning opportunities for quarantined preschool classes will be shared with families in the event of a quarantine. These opportunities will include a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Preschool leadership will work with special education teams to identify multiple instructional pathways for students with disabilities.

All Students K-12

  • During an outbreak in a classroom, core or grade level, public health requires that students and staff who do not meet quarantine exemption guidelines must quarantine.
  • Vaccinated students who are not experiencing any symptoms will continue to learn in person. Families must provide verbal or written verification of vaccination to their child's school.
  • Non-exempt students will quarantine and learn from home.
  • Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days and are no longer considered contagious do not have to quarantine. 
  • Teachers of classes that have been quarantined will continue teaching their in-person students in class, as long as they are vaccinated and not experiencing any symptoms.
  • Teachers of classes that have been quarantined will also use a one-way livestream to allow quarantined students to watch the in-person instruction taking place.
  • Quarantined students will engage in independent learning for all of their non-quarantined classes. This includes logging into their class’s learning management system (Schoology or Google Classroom) to check for resources and assignments, and completing assigned work. 

Other Protocols

The district will continue to implement layered prevention strategies including, but not limited to:

  • Increased ventilation to include 6 air exchanges per hour
  • Portable HEPA (high efficiency particulate air [filter]) air purifiers in all classrooms and common areas, meeting rooms, and offices
  • Frequent Hand Washing and sanitizing  
  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols
  • Reinforcing the importance of staying home when sick  
  • Encouraging social distancing when possible
  • Participating in the State Serial COVID Testing Program

School COVID Testing Program

  • Adams 12 Five Star Schools was previously enrolled in the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s free, voluntary, and statewide COVID-19 school testing program for the 2021-22 school year.  As of November 28, 2021 Adams 12 has opted out of the program. 

COVID -19 Testing

Find a Free Community Testing Location here. 

Request BINAX At Home Testing Kits

External Resources

During Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, children and staff who have been exposed to a positive case or who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 listed below, must follow the Guidance for Cases and Outbreaks in Child Care and Schools. Testing for COVID-19 is strongly recommended for anyone with symptoms or a known exposure. When the guidance for COVID-19 instructs children and staff to follow their regular return to school illness policy, this guidance may be used to determine when children and staff may return to school or child care.

Students and families: Print and use this template for an optional daily self-health screening.

  • Feeling feverish, having chills or 
    temperature of 100.4°F or greater

  • Loss of taste or smell

  • New or worsening cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Sore throat

  • Runny nose or congestion

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea, vomiting

  • Diarrhea


*Symptoms students and staff are screened for daily via the self-health screening logs. 

When is too sick for school? - Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (Spanish

Guidance on when you can return to school or work following COVID-related symptoms (Please note: this is document is based on the different levels of potential health restrictions)

There are four main reasons to keep children and adults at home:

  1. Someone who the child or staff lives with or has had close contact with who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19.

  2. The child or staff member does not feel well enough to take part in usual activities. For example, a child is overly tired, fussy or will not stop crying.

  3. A child needs more care than teachers and staff can give while still caring for the other children.

  4. The symptom or illness is on this list, and staying home is required. Remember, the best ways to stop the spread of infection is staying home when sick and good hand washing.

Charters' Safe Return to Schools Plans

Westgate School

Stargate School

Prospect Ridge Academy

New America School

Click here to read stakeholder feedback regarding COVID-19 Relief Funds distribution (ARP ESSER III)

Coming soon - District Use of Funds