COVID-19 Communications

Total Active Cases


Updated: 9/22/21

COVID 19 Decision Tree

Face Coverings

Face coverings will be optional for all students and staff during the 2021-2022 school year. Face coverings must comply with each schools dress code, if chosen to be worn.  Health Services will continue to work closely with Polk County Department of Health, monitoring best and safe practices regarding COVID-19 precautions.

Sick Policy

Lake Wales Charter Schools has a sick policy that addresses symptoms and situations that require absence. Students and staff displaying symptoms known of COVID-19 will be required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note with symptom improvement before being allowed to return to school or work.

If the individual is diagnosed with COVID-19 they will be required to isolate for a minimum of 10 days and remain fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms are improving before being allowed to return to school or work. Please see the Student/Staff Sick Policy during COVID-19 for more information.

Lake Wales Charter Schools will provide three(3) days of sick leave to an employee the first time they are diagnosed with COVID-19 in the current school year. These days will also be given if the employee is the guardian of a child who tests positive for COVID-19 and they will need to stay home to care for the minor during their isolation period. Any additional time required to complete isolation or quarantine a staff member will utilize their sick leave balance.

Contact Tracing and Case Investigation

When a COVID-19 case is identified as having contact with a school campus, contact tracing will be conducted by each school’s COVID team and reported to the Department of Health in Polk County.

Direct contacts will be required to quarantine at home for 10 days to monitor for COVID-19 symptom development. However, parents/guardians may choose to opt their child into in-person learning during the identified quarantine period by completing an “Opt-In During Quarantine” form. By completing this form the parent/guardian is signing that they are aware that the student has been identified as a direct contact to a positive COVID-19 case and the student will wear a mask while on LWCS premises. Completing this form also signifies that if at any time during the 10-day quarantine period the direct contact develops known COVID-19 symptoms, they will be required to follow the sick policy and have a negative PCR COVID-19 test or a doctor’s note to return to school or work.

Classroom teachers and bus drivers will keep seating charts to aid our COVID teams in determining who are direct contacts. Only those identified as direct contacts will be contacted by the school's COVID team and/or The Florida Department of Health. 

Outbreaks and School-wide Closures

Lake Wales Charter Schools has discussed our contact tracing & quarantine plans with the Florida Department of Health in Polk County. We acknowledge that if the Florida Department of Health identifies a COVID-19 situation that meets their “outbreak” guidelines (5 cases that are connected) their epidemiology department may close a classroom for a timeframe determined by current health guidelines. A school-wide closure could happen if 10% of the entire school population contracted COVID-19 at the same time.

Pre-K Programs

Pre-K programs will follow current DCF COVID guidelines for COVID positive students and contact tracing. Pre-K Programs will follow the Lake Wales Charter Schools mask policy.


Buses will be transporting students at full capacity this year. Bus drivers will be required to assign seats and keep a seating chart to aid COVID teams with contact tracing. Buses will continue to be cleaned/sanitized daily as they were in the 2020-2021 school year.

Isolation Rooms

Every school will have a designated space for sick/symptomatic students to sit and wait for parent pick up. While in the isolation room, students displaying known COVID-19 symptoms will be required to wear a face covering. If the student does not have a face covering, one will be provided to them. To return to school, the student will need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test or their symptoms improving with a doctor’s note of the date of return.

Cleaning of Campuses

Lake Wales Charter Schools have contracted with a cleaning company to provide nightly cleaning to all 8 locations and will evaluate this cleaning company quarterly. All schools will be provided with supplies to clean & sanitize high-touch surfaces. Additionally, each school has supplies to be able to fog after a COVID-19 case is identified.

Daily Health and Temperature Screenings

Staff and students will be asked to self-evaluate for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to school or work. If symptoms are present, they should refer to the Student/Staff Sick Policy during COVID-19 for further guidance. Students and staff will continue to be encouraged to practice good hand hygiene & cough etiquette.

Volunteers & Contracted Services

Lake Wales Charter Schools updated the Volunteer & Contracted Services procedures during COVID-19 at the end of the 20-21 school year. At this time, no changes have been made to those procedures.