Health and Safety

  • Per NYSED guidance, the District focused on preventive actions to ensure the health and safety of students, staff, and families. Schools will be required to:

    • Perform health checks and screenings, per DOH guidance, and recognize signs and symptoms of illness in students and staff
    • Develop plans to maximize social distancing
    • Develop plans to manage and isolate ill persons until they can be sent home
    • Instruct students and staff in proper hand and respiratory hygiene
    • Require wearing appropriate face coverings
    • And develop cleaning and disinfecting procedures for the school in accordance with CDC and DOH guidance.

    No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well-being of students.

    • Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child.
    • Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.
    • Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.
    • Spaces within each school will be evaluated to determine if they are suitable for use.
    • District approved before and after school programs will follow the protocols outlined in the Plan.

    Health Checks and Screenings (Hybrid and In-person Instruction)

    • Begin screening at home. Parents are responsible for checking their child’s daily temperature and completing the health screening questionnaire. Schools will determine additional screening, as needed.
    • Urge parents to assess their child(ren) daily for outward symptoms of COVID-19
    • Require parents/guardians to complete COVID Survey/Attestation questionnaire for each child, and to contact the school in the event of health status changes
    • Counsel parents that students are required to stay home, if they have a temperature at or above 100.0˚, or are experiencing other COVID-19-related symptoms (e.g., shortness of breath or cough)
    • Prioritize information requested of parents and provide in check list form
    • Make students aware of the importance of, and process for, temperature screenings
    • Develop YPS Health Questionnaire App, in multiple languages, which can be completed online on a computer or phone
    • Include the three screening questions proposed by the DOH, in addition to questions regarding international travel, and travel to states listed in Governor’s Executive Order 205
    • Implement staggered school entry times, to facilitate collecting COVID-19 Survey/Attestation questionnaire and face covering recognition technology (kiosk)
    • Require hand sanitizing each time a student or staff member exits and re-enters a room

    Social Distancing (Hybrid and In-person Instruction)

    • Parent/Guardian must provide student with a face covering on a daily basis; all students must wear face covering. Disposable masks will be available to supplement the face covering provided by the parent/guardian if necessary.
    • Evaluate classrooms and other available spaces to ensure they are large enough, or class sizes are small enough, to maintain social distancing between students and staff
    • Meeting rooms will allow spacing for social distancing
    • Use visual aids to illustrate appropriate spacing and traffic flow throughout school building (e.g., designating hallways or entrances as one-way), the signage will be age/grade appropriate
    • Post directional reminders on the walls and/or floor
    • Use as many entrances and exits, as can be supervised appropriately by staff
    • Supervise arrivals and departures to ensure social distancing protocols are being observed
    • Restrict in-person student drop-off or pick-up during the school day to one parent or caregiver, entering designated areas of the facility to pick up or drop off a child
    • Restrict non-essential visitors
    • Prohibit the use of lockers 
    • Arrange classroom seating so that students are separated following social distancing guidelines; face desks including teacher’s desk in the same direction
    • Hold physical education and music classes outside whenever possible
    • Encourage participants to spread out during aerobic activities while following extended social distancing guidelines
    • Use visual cues to demonstrate physical spacing when inside schools
    • Implement use of floor spots for inside physical education classes adhering to the extended social distancing guidelines
    • Rotate staff into classrooms, whenever possible, rather than rotating students out when scheduling permits
    • Place markings on the ground to facilitate physical distancing at all school entry and exit points and crosswalks near the school
    • Provide social distancing floor/seating markings in reception areas and gyms
    • Reconfigure common areas by spacing out furniture to minimize crowding
    • Close off common seating areas if social distancing would be compromised
    • Suspend activities that do not allow for social distancing, including assemblies and not limited to in-person field trips and large group use of playground equipment simultaneously
    • Utilize outdoor spaces whenever possible
    • Limit the size of groups participating in playground activities simultaneously, through cohort scheduling mechanism

    Health Hygiene (Hybrid and In-person Instruction)

    • Develop protocol for staff working with physically aggressive students that addresses spitting, shields, arm guards, shin guards, and for those students requiring toileting assistance
    • Develop protocol for handling bodily fluids (e.g., drooling)
    • Distribute protocol for sending and receiving materials to/from students’ homes
    • Maintain student supplies in labeled individual containers, like a shoe box, to reduce risk of cross contamination
    • Avoid sharing materials, instruments, food and drinks
    • Minimize volume of materials students carry with them to avoid potential cross contamination

    Face Coverings and PPE (Hybrid and In-person Instruction)

    • Institute 3 or 4 face covering breaks while social distancing, otherwise face covering should be worn throughout the day where not medically contra-indicated or developmentally inappropriate
    • Remind parents/guardians to provide students with a face covering on a daily basis
    • Provide disposable face covering to students and staff if and when necessary
    • Require parents, caregivers, and all visitors to wear a face covering while in school buildings
    • Develop multi-language videos and other visuals, demonstrating the rules for wearing face covering, using hand sanitizer, hand washing and need for undergoing temperature checks
    • Include call back number/email address for requesting additional information and display video/visuals in the school lobby throughout the school day
    • Continue screening by a bus monitor, where available, on the bus, using a simple questionnaire designed by the Medical Unit
    • Review health and safety guidelines with all stakeholders

    Cleaning and Disinfection (Hybrid and In-person Instruction)

    • Develop classroom routines where students wipe/sanitize their materials and desks at end of each school day
    • Establish protocol for cleaning and disinfecting surface areas, desks, doorknobs, elevator buttons, bathrooms and computer/digital equipment including the associated record keeping process

    Arrival and Dismissal

    • Students who do not require supervision will be encouraged to report to their classes without congregating
    • Students will follow social distancing protocols, supervised appropriately by staff, when arriving at school by bus and when departing school at dismissal
    • For student drop off or pick up, drivers will remain in their vehicles, to the extent possible
    • For in-person student drop-off or pick-up, parent/guardian entry into the school facility to pick up or drop off child is prohibited
    • Principals will determine additional arrival/dismissal procedures, as needed, and communicate accordingly to stakeholders

    Hallways

    • Visual aids will be used to illustrate appropriate spacing and traffic flow throughout the school building (e.g., designating hallways or entrances as one-way and posting directional reminders on the walls and/or floor)
    • Staggered access and assignments will be used to reduce the need for hallway use across multiple areas of the building

    Classroom Instruction

    • Principals will evaluate classrooms and other available spaces to ensure they are large enough or class sizes are small enough to maintain social distancing guidelines between students and staff

    Cafeteria

    • Assess where meals will be served in accordance with social distancing protocols
    • Schedule classes in the cafeteria as outlined by NYSED; consider escorting one class at a time to pick up food in PreK-5, 6, & 8 buildings and return to the classroom, if feasible or have food delivered to classroom
    • Increase table spacing to maintain social distancing