Safe Return To School Plan

Student wearing mask and reading a book
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    Our top priority in all decisions is the health, safety, and well-being of our students, employees, and school communities. To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the district follows all COVID-19 health measures required by the NC Department of Health and Human Services and consults with Wake County Public Health to determine what precautions are needed in our schools to keep our students, staff, and community healthy in a safe and welcoming environment.

    If you have additional health or safety concerns related to your student, we encourage you to contact your principal for processes available to review your health and safety request.



    North Carolinians aged 5 and over are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Visit for more information and to find a free vaccination site in your area.

    Stay home when sick.

    You may not enter a WCPSS facility if you have been:

    • Instructed to quarantine
    • Sick or experiencing any of these symptoms of illness
      • Fever or chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea

    When students can return to school

    Students who are not feeling well but do not have one of the COVID-19 symptoms listed above may return to school if they are fever free for 24-hrs without the use of fever reducing medication AND symptoms have improved. The health care provider is not required to detail the specifics of an alternate diagnosis.

    View for requirements to return after a COVID-19 diagnosis, exposure, or symptoms.



    • Beginning March 7, masks will be recommended but not required in schools for all staff, students, and visitors.
    • Masks are recommended in indoor public settings by all individuals (age 2 and older) in areas of high or substantial transmission.
    • Masks optional at all athletic events effective immediately.
    • Masks optional for all other extracurricular activities beginning Feb. 25 at 5 p.m.
    • Masks are required following being positive for COVID-19.
    • Masks are recommended after a COVID exposure.
    • As of Feb. 25, masks are recommended but not required for students and staff on buses related to athletics, band, and co-curriculars.
    • Beginning March 7, masks will be recommended but not required on morning and afternoon bus runs and on vendor transportation.

    At times when a mask is required, if your student cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability, you may request a mask accommodation by submitting a Mask Accommodation Request Form to your student’s principal. The form requires medical certification, which must be completed and signed by a licensed health care provider. Regional program students (including those in self-contained preschool special education classrooms) and students with mask accommodations are not required to request an accommodation for 2021-2022.



    Proper handwashing is recommended for staff and students.


    Recess and PE

    • No restrictions
    • Masks are optional


    Eating on Campus

    As before the pandemic, any food in schools for students or staff should be commercially prepared and individually wrapped (when possible) when not coming from homes - e.g. no food from home to share with others. Students should not share food. 

    Healthy spaces

    Buildings will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and every evening. Disinfecting supplies will be provided to each classroom.

    Well-maintained HVAC systems are also important in reducing risks associated with COVID-19. Our school’s HVAC systems have been designed in accordance with the NC mechanical code and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommendations. In response to the pandemic, we’ve upgraded to MERV 13 air filters, an important risk-reduction strategy for COVID-19.


    COVID-19 reporting

    Even with thorough measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 on school campuses, anyone in the community could be exposed to COVID-19 through everyday interactions on-campus or off-campus. To assist with maintaining a healthy school community, we ask students, employees, and visitors to notify your school as soon as possible if you are diagnosed with COVID-19. WCPSS is required to report cases of COVID-19 to Wake County Public Health.

    For parents and caregivers:

    IMPORTANT: As of Feb. 21, 2022, schools are no longer conducting individual contact tracing for possible exposures. Only COVID positive cases are reported on our dashboard. This change is part of the recent update of the StrongSchools NC Toolkit by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.



    Visitors and volunteers can support schools per WCPSS Board Policy 5015: School Volunteers at the principal’s discretion. All volunteers must register.


    Water Fountains

    The StrongSchools NC Public Health Toolkit does not note that water fountains should be closed, but we encourage the use of bottle filling stations.

On-campus COVID-19 testing

Wake County Public School System, in partnership with MAKO Medical, will begin offering weekly, on-campus COVID-19 testing for students and staff. COVID-19 testing is an effective way to reduce transmission, especially when layered with other precautionary measures. Register today > 


We welcome your feedback. Reach out to your principal with questions specific to your school or student.