Communication | Family and Community Engagement

  • Planning for Families: The District is prepared for situations in which one or more school buildings need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19. This may include modify operations in one or more schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The District will consult its medical director when making such decisions.

    To help inform our reopening plan, the District sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, bargaining units and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual meetings and one-on-one conversations.

    The District remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the District website at www. yonkerspublicschools.org, in a dedicated website for the reopening work at www.yonkerspublicschools.org/ Reopening2020. The dedicated website will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the District website homepage as well as the links to all school webpages. Every effort will be made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into other languages, via the G-Translate feature available on the District website.

    As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the District has developed a Communications Plan to disseminate all necessary information to District staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. To support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic and return to the school setting communications will include:

    • District’s digital social media platforms cohesively with the dedicated YPS Reopening 2020 website
    • District’s educational access Cable channel – Channel 75
    • District’s Blackboard automated mass communications system for phone messages, emails and text messages
    • Appropriate signage posted at all schools and District offices
    • Training opportunities for all stakeholders via in-person when available and remote online options using Zoom, WebEx, etc.

    The District is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communicating with our school community. The District will rely on Channel 75, District website, social media, school virtual meetings, school based leadership team meetings, and Blackboard mass messages to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. All information and resources shared will be based on state guidance.

    In support of remote learning, the District will make as many computer devices, as available, to students who need them. Students and their families have multiple ways to contact school administrators and teachers during remote learning. The District’s dedicated website for Distance Learning, www.yonkerspublicschools.org/DistanceLearning, and each school’s website provide contact directories for teachers and administrators.

    In addition, the District will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication. Methods will include digital translator access as well as a directory of local individuals fluent in languages representative of the community.

    To ensure that all students and families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols a cohesive use of District resources will be employed to communicate the information. This continuous training will be developed for each stakeholder group. Student training will be age/grade appropriate with frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. Using the strategies in the Communications Plan trainings opportunities will be provided for:

    • Hand hygiene
    • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove)
    • Social distancing
    • Respiratory hygiene
    • Identifying symptoms

    The District will create and deploy signage for schools and District offices to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19 as well as protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

    • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
    • Hand washing
    • Adherence to social distancing instructions
    • Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19

    To ensure learning and working environments that protect student and staff health, safety and privacy, YPS will operate under federal and state standard procedures for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic.

    In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. The District will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

    The District is prepared for situations in which one or more school buildings need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19. This may include modify operations in one or more schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The District will consult its medical director when making such decisions.