Communicable Disease Management Plan

Prepared by:

Elaine Kinchen – Portland Forest School Vice Principal

Reviewed by:

Ian Abraham – Portland Forest School Principal 

Amanda Mayther – Parent representative

Jessa Moody – Teacher Representative

Oliver Hayes – RN, BSN CEN Consultant

Portland Forest School is a unique educational institution that seeks to meet students academic and educational needs while connecting them to the earth, community and a sense of purpose.  Portland Forest School is committed to fostering immersive educational experiences in an outdoor environment. As we face numerous challenges as a society and a community; fostering our students independence, resilience, and perseverance outside of four walls is more important than ever.  We want to reaffirm our commitment to our mission of education and nature connection as we look to the coming 20-21 school year.

Communicable disease management plan overview 3

Our Learning Plan 3

Shared School Spaces and Transportation 3

Forest School Spaces, Events, and Visitors 4

Health and Wellness 4

Distance Learning 4

Before School begins: 5

For students & Guardians 5

For Staff 6

For Facilities 6

During School: 7

For Students & Guardians 7

Cohorts 7

Health screening 8

Social distancing 8

Isolation and visitors 9

For Staff 9

For Facilities 10

Transportation 10

In the Event of Illness: 10

Definitions 10

For Students & Guardians 11

For Staff 12

For Facilities 12

When we will shut down a program 13

Reporting Confirmed Cases 13

Confirmed Case Response 13

Communication Chain: 15

Health Authority Contact information To report possible COVID-19 15

Communicable disease management plan overview

Academic Calendar 

The First Day of school Is scheduled for September  8th.  We will send out more information for check-in and out procedures by classroom as well as a classroom map. 

Our Learning Plan

Our school has very small class sizes compared to most public or private schools in the district.  We plan on running in-person classes that are based around having small, stable, consistent cohorts.  There  will be no blending between classes, and no shared spaces.  In addition to maintaining students in their unique cohorts, we will be following current recommendations that teachers, students, parents, guardians are to practice maintaining the recommended six-foot distance and eliminating contact with others whenever possible.  

Most of our school time is spent outside of a physical building.  In the outdoors, we will continue to require physical distancing.  Having school outdoors allows students a chance to move, socialize and learn in a safer environment with more air circulation and a lower rate of transmission.  When in the field we will follow CDC recommendations for outdoor safety.  Students’ supplies will need to be checked by families daily to make sure that they have the things that they need when out in the field.  Handwashing stations, and hand sanitizer will be provided and used frequently even when away from the school building.

Shared School Spaces and Transportation

We will ensure that students will maintain physical distance. We are making modifications as needed, adding additional classroom spaces. We will not have shared spaces, and classes will be assigned restrooms to use. Hand sanitizing stations will be available in each classroom. Entrances, exits, and travel patterns on campus will be limited and signage will be in place to provide direction. Younger students will use individual cubbies for belongings to minimize cross contact and help maintain social distancing.  Student gear will be clearly labeled with the students name.  Students will be asked to provide their own food and sharing will not be allowed.  Students must bring a reusable water bottle from home. Filling stations will be available, but drinking fountains will not be accessible. 

Unique stable groups will transport on their own vehicles maintaining at least 3 feet of space between passengers.  Masks will be required throughout the school day, on transportation, and whenever social distancing is not possible.  Forest school will follow all applicable guidelines for consistent seating and CDC cleaning recommendations for vehicles, restrooms, classrooms and any other spaces that students and staff interact with.  

Forest School Spaces, Events, and Visitors

Prior to the start of school we will communicate with families any new drop off and pick up procedures that will need to be implemented.  Signage and more information will be available before the Fall term begins. Visitors will not be allowed on campus.  All parents, guardians on campus must wear face coverings inside the building. Exceptions are made for people with disabilities and children 4 and under. We encourage masks with clear openings for clearer communication for those who are hearing impaired. To the extent possible, campus events will be live-streamed when social distancing requirements cannot be met. 

Health and Wellness

All students must complete a daily health screening before coming on to campus.  If health screening is completed at home students may still be temperature checked and visually evaluated before being allowed into class.  All health information will remain confidential.

All students and staff must wear a face mask indoors all times.  We encourage masks with clear openings for clearer communication for those who are hearing impaired. In the building we will have areas identified for those who need to be isolated for any period of time. Parents or emergency contacts will be expected to pick up any isolated student within 30 minutes of receiving a call. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing will be conducted for all high-touch surfaces. We will increase the circulation of outdoor air within the buildings as much as possible. Any concerns of a person in the building operating outside of these protocols should be immediately reported to school administration. Safety concerns or feedback can be sent to 

Distance Learning

Portland Forest School will continue to work in collaboration with directives from the Governor, County and state Health Authorities to adhere to any and all state orders and/or recommendations regarding the safety of in person schooling.  If required by the state or county, or if there is substantial risk of contagion, the Forest School will switch to our distance learning curriculum that was implemented this past Spring.  Distance learning will still be graded and meet the Oregon Common Core standards as well as designed to include hands-on lessons and have students outside daily.  We are committed to equity in our school community. If distance learning is necessary, families can let us know if they have connectivity or technology needs so that the school can provide assistance.

Before School begins:

For students & Guardians

  • Communicate to parents health screening guidelines
    • Communicate requirement for staff not to work, and guidance to parents not to bring their children to school, if they or anyone in their household have recently had an illness with fever or a new cough. They should remain home for at least 10 days after illness onset and until 72 hours after fever is gone, without use of fever reducing medicine, and COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, and diarrhea or other GI upset that is consistent with COVID-19) are improving. Staff or students who have a cough that is not a new onset cough (e.g. asthma, allergies, etc.), do not need to be excluded from school. 
    • Ask parents/ students to follow Guidelines  for self screening prior to school:
      • Taking and recording their own temperature for 14 days before school (refer to the individual instructions provided with the thermometer)
      • Self-screening for the presence of symptoms (fever of 100.4°F or greater, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, nausea, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, vomiting, etc.) within the past two weeks.
      • Determining if, within the past two weeks, the individual has traveled nationally or internationally.
      • Determining if the individual has been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with, tested for, or quarantined as a result of COVID-19.
  • Communicate mask and social distancing policy based on state guidance.
    • Mask policy – Required at all times indoors, In situations where social distancing is not possible, in public parks and recreation areas, and on vehicles.  This is subject to change based on current state and county guidance.
    • Social distancing policy – please maintain 6 feet of space between yourself and other students whenever possible, including when directed by a teacher or staff member.
  • Make sure that we have correct health information about incoming students including all immunization records, emergency contact information and pertinent health records.
  • Communicate with guardians that there will be daily health screenings for students.
  • Prior to the start of school A letter to the families outlining all policies and procedures involving infection control measures will be shared with the school community.  Updated communication will be shared at least monthly.

For Staff

  • Provide info and training on PPE and school protocols and when to stay home.
    • Include PPE guidance and PPE removal 
      • Sanitize hands before putting on face masks and shields and after removing them
  • High risk staff will be given opportunities for alternate tasks and duties that do not involve contact with students of families.
  • Train staff in contact tracing and check in and out protocol for contact tracing:
    • New class logs will record time and guardian of each student during check in and check out.
    • Guardians will not be allowed into the building.
    • If not recorded at home students temperature will be taken daily prior to admittance.
    • Unique stable cohort teacher will record all check in and check out to avoid sharing of writing implements
    • Records will be kept by school in a centralized location for 2 months.
  • Train staff in all guidelines covered in this document including training around screening, handwashing, proper use of PPE, social distancing cleaning procedures and sick policy.  See CDC guidance on masks

For Facilities

  • Order and confirm adequate supplies of PPE
    • School to provide spare masks for students and adequate quantities of masks, gloves and optional face shields for all teachers and floating staff.
    • EPA approved  Cleaning supplies
    • Hand sanitizer for building and teachers
  • Post signs for proper hand washing, cough etiquette, mask rules (in case social distancing can’t happen), COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Classrooms will be rearranged to provide a minimum of 35 square feet per student in each classroom.
    • Desks and seating areas will be labeled for each student and placed a minimum of 6ft away from each other.
    • There will be one cohort per grade level
      • Kindergarten and first grade cohorts will max at 12 students to two teaching staff for a total of 14 people
      • 2nd- 8th grade cohorts will stop between 8-10 students based on class needs.  With one teaching staff for a total of 9-11 people per grade.
  • School population with teachers/ administration and students is not to exceed 100 people.
  • Each class / cohort will be assigned one bathroom that they will use. Facilities will be cleaned at the end of each day. If multiple cohorts use the same bathroom it will be cleaned between cohorts.

During School: 

For Students & Guardians

  • Students will remain in our stable cohorts during school.  If other classes are using the same location, classes will not intermingle.
    • There will be one cohort per grade level
      • Kindergarten and first grade cohorts will max at 12 students to two teaching staff for a total of 14 people
      • 2nd- 8th grade cohorts will stop between 8-10 students based on class needs.  With one teaching staff for a total of 9-11 people per grade.
  • School population with teachers/ administration and students is not to exceed 100 people.
Health screening
  • All students must complete a daily health screening before coming to campus. Information will follow about whether that will need to be conducted at home or in person with staff.  All health information will remain confidential. 
    • Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher or any other covid like symptoms ( new cough or shortness of breath, chills or shaking, muscle pain, headache, vomiting diarrhea, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell) will need to leave the building and may not return to school until they have met the following criteria: 
      • If you will not have a test to determine if you are still contagious, you can return to school after these three things have happened: 
        • You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without  the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND 
        • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND 
        • At least ten days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.
  • If you will be tested to determine if you are still contagious, you can return to school after these three things have happened: 
    • You no longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND 
    • Other symptoms have improved (for example, when your cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND 
    • You received two negative tests in a row, 24 hours apart. Your doctor will follow the CDC guidelines. 
  • If you have been tested and determined not to have contracted COVID-19, you should stay home until at least 72 hours after you are free of fever, or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. 
Social distancing
  • Staff will work to ensure current state social distancing guidelines and school guidelines outlined in OHA 2357 or applicable state rules.  It may not always be possible to maintain social distancing and in those instances both staff and students will be masked. 
  • Students will spend approximately 85% of each school day outside in either parks, public lands and recreation sites, or private outdoor spaces.
  • Indoor time for instruction or otherwise will not exceed two hours per day.
  • In accordance with changing guidelines students will need to be masked during instructional time. 
  • We will only play games that do not involve physical contact.
  • All school wide events or activities that involve multiple cohorts are canceled at this time.  There will be no events that involve interaction between cohort groups.
  • Students will eat meals socially distanced outside whenever possible.  If students need to eat inside they will do so at their own desk.  Tables will be cleaned and disinfected  before and after eating.
  • Students are required to bring their own food.  There is no meal service at the school and no sharing of food is allowed.
Isolation and visitors
  • In the event of signs of illness families will be asked to immediately pick up their student. Student will be kept isolated from other students until they are picked up by guardians.
  • There will be no volunteers or anyone permitted in the school that is not a student or essential personnel.  Essential visitors should sanitize their hands upon entry.
  • Essential visitors will be visually screened for symptoms upon entry and will not be allowed entry if visibly ill.

For Staff

  •  Staff may not come to work if they are feeling sick, have been exposed to COVID-19 or have active signs or symptoms of COVID-19.  And if staff exhibiting symptoms will be required to quarantine, or receive a negative COVID-19 test before returning to work.
  • We will provide staff with all appropriate PPE related to their job duties including face coverings and disposable gloves.
  • Staff will be provided with hand sanitizer, water and soap to facilitate handwashing
    • At the start and end of each school day
    • After sneezing or coughing
    • Before and after eating
    • After using the restroom
  • Staff will not provide any food to students or allow food sharing during school
  • Keep daily logs for each stable class that conforms to the following requirements to support contact tracing of cases if necessary: 
    • Child name  
    • Drop off/ pick up time
    • Adult completing both drop off/ pick up 
    • Adult emergency contact information  
    • All staff that interact with stable class of children (including floater staff)   
    • Contact information of anyone that interacts with the class.
  • Staff are asked to physically distance from each other during trainings, staff meetings and other in person staff times..

For Facilities

  • Surfaces will be cleaned in accordance with EH&E Guidelines using EPA approved cleaners.
  • All classroom areas, high touch areas, bathrooms, sinks, water filling stations will be cleaned each day following CDC guidance by staff in appropriate PPE. 
  • Cohorts will be assigned specific entrances to use based on grade.  They will be visually screened by staff at the entrances and temperatures may be taken and information collected for contact tracing.  Students will proceed from their assigned entrance directly to their classroom.
  • Facilities, tools and equipment will be cleaned and disinfected every day and when possible after each use.  Whenever possible tools and equipment will be assigned to students for the entire year and labeled with the student’s name.  
  • Doors and windows will be open whenever possible to facilitate ventilation.


  • Only one stable cohort may ride on a vehicle at a time.
  • In between uses during the day, and inbetween uses by different stable groups vehicles will be cleaned according to CDC guidelines
  • Students must be at least 3 feet apart, sit one child per seat, and wear a mask at all times.
  • Windows will remain open to increase ventilation
  • The same driver may transport multiple stable groups, but not at the same time.
  • Drivers may wear face shields in addition to masks

In the Event of Illness:


Presumptive case: When you have been exposed to someone with a positive coronavirus test AND you have symptoms of cough, fever, or shortness of breath.

Quarantine: When you stay away from other people for a period of time when you may become sick with an infection, even if you have no symptoms.

Fever free: A temperature less than 100.4 F AND not using fever-reducing medicine (e.g. Tylenol)

The Portland Forest School for all Students and Staff utilizes the following flowchart for making decisions about whether a student or staff can safely return to school.  If a class is required to be closed for a period of time we will initialize a Short-term distance learning curriculum.

For Students & Guardians

  • If a student misses school OR is sent home sick we will call guardians to check on students and follow up on health.  If COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed we will notify the appropriate Local Public Health Authority. See end of document for location appropriate contact.
  • If a student has had direct contact with someone who has tested positive, Forest School will require the student not to attend school.
  • Any child or staff member with one of the following symptoms should be sent home and quarantine for a minimum of 72 hrs: 
    • fever (greater than or equal to 100.4F)
    • cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. 

In the absence of fever or respiratory symptoms, anyone with two of the following should be excluded: chills or shaking, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell. 

Lastly, following general recommendations for any school or school setting, anyone (staff or child) with vomiting or diarrhea should not participate until at least 24 hours after symptoms stop.

  • If a student is not admitted to a program due to a disqualifying symptom or contact, The Forest School administration team will be in contact with the parents to determine whether temporary distance learning curriculum should be initiated for the student.

For Staff

  • If a staff member stays home sick they will be contacted to confirm what symptoms of illness they have.  If COVID-19 is suspected or confirmed we will notify the appropriate Local Public Health Authority And begin our infection communication protocol .
  • If a staff member tests positive for Covid-19, that relevant stable class may be ended for the week, and the staff member will be asked to self quarantine for 14 days (or the current CDC recommendation).
  • If a staff member has had direct contact with someone who has tested positive Forest School will require that they self quarantine for 14 days or the current CDC recommendation.
  • If COVID-19 is suspected and testing is available, Forest School will pay for the staff to get tested for COVID if not covered under their insurance.
    • If testing is positive, follow current CDC guidelines re: isolation.  This will be considered Paid Sick Time.
    • If testing is negative, re-test in 24hours.  If still negative, staff may return to work in accordance with CDC “Return to Work” guidelines (see below).  Work time missed will be considered Paid Sick Time (PTO).
  • If testing is not possible, Forest School will require the staff to self-isolate in accordance with the latest guidelines from the CDC.  This will be considered Paid Sick Time. 

For Facilities

  • An area will be designated at indoor facilities for supervised isolation of suspected illness. Supervising staff is required to wear full PPE (eye protection, mask and gloves) and follow CDC protocol in removing PPE after the student is picked up by guardians.  
  • Staff will be equipped with an additional full set of PPE for monitoring students in isolation, as well as for changing into after monitoring students in isolation.
  • After pick up, isolation area must be cleaned and disinfected following EH&E Guidelines
  • If COVID-19 is presumed or confirmed in a student or staff, the affected class will go to distance based learning for the following two weeks and the relevant space shut down for additional sterilization following the EH&E Guidelines.  

When we will shut down a program

  • In the event of either a presumed or confirmed infection, Portland Forest School will shut down the particular stable cohort class for up to 72 hours for cleaning and sterilization.  In addition if contact tracing indicates that other programs or locations were in contact with the infected person they may also be shut down for cleaning and disinfection.  If school need to be shut down for one of more classes for an outbreak of communicable disease the class will switch to short term distance learning curriculum.

Communication about infections:

Reporting Confirmed Cases

  • Report of Confirmed COVID-19 case from public to school staff
    • Staff informs Admin team.  Staff does not disclose to other staff or public


  • Admin reports to Local Public Health Authority (LPHA) or Local Public Health Authority reports a confirmed case to school admin
    • Admin obtains details on confirmed case including date of test, date of onset of illness, last known exposure at school, disposition (hospitalized, etc.) and public health recommendations. 
      • *OAR 333-003-0050 authorizes school districts to release individually identifiable information to LPHA relative to an impending public health emergency, anyone exposed to a communicable disease, or a reportable disease or condition of public health importance
    • RN, administration, and PIO collaborate on school/district communication
    • Principal notifies staff of confirmed details and exposures

Confirmed Case Response

  • Contact Tracing Response is initiated.  Response factors include:
    • Actual exposure within the school setting (i.e. when student/staff was at school relative to date of onset
    • Incidence in community, school, or cohort
    • Disposition of case
  • Identify student cohorts
    • As prompted by the RN or principal, designated staff will compile cohort rosters and itinerant staff sign in records for applicable exposure dates
    • Obtain with rosters:
      • Arrival and departure times
      • Parent and emergency contact information
      • Staff contact information
    • RN will provide all  appropriate contact tracing information to LPHA. School will apply LPHA interventions and continue collaboration with LPHA.
  • Work with LPHA to determine next steps and if temporary closure is warranted
    • As coordinated with LPHA and RN, increased surveillance or monitoring may be designated in specific buildings or cohorts
  • Employ applicable  enhanced disinfection procedures
    • Disinfect classroom(s)
    • Disinfect common spaces
    • Disinfect High touch surfaces
  • If someone is confirmed sick or carrier of contagious  illness: The administration will contact the parents or guardians of the other students in the class to alert them of the situation via telephone and email. If the sick student has siblings in school, the same action plan will be following for other potentially affected classes. 
    • In the case of a vaccine preventable illness, immunization records will be consulted and if shared with appropriate health authorities.
    • The principal will remain in contact with the parents of the affected class until the symptomatic staff/student is either back to full health and non-symptomatic.
  • If someone reports illness after a school session The Principal will contact the parent of the other students and/or affected staff member(s) of the class to alert them of the situation via telephone. If the sick student had siblings in school, the same action plan will be followed for other potentially affected classes. Parents of students will be notified after initial test results are known.

Communication Chain:

Portland Forest School Administration

Principal Ian Abraham 503-679-4017

Vice-Principal Elaine Kinchen 503-964-0158

Forest School Main Main # 503-858-8423

Trackers Earth

Global Program Director Kyle Shaw 206-867-8981

COO Chris Codino 503-314-2130

Health Authority Contact information To report possible COVID-19


Multnomah   Contact 619 NW 6th Avenue, 7 th Floor 503-988-3674

Portland, Oregon 97209 Fax: 503-988-3676

Clackamas Contact 2051 Kaen Road, Suite #367 503-742-5300Oregon City, OR 97045 FAX 503-742-5352