Florida Union Free School District’s Reopen Plan 2020-2021

Reopen Plan 2020-2021

Introduction | Communication/Family and Community Engagement | Health and Safety | Facilities | Child Nutrition | Transportation | Social-Emotional Well-Being | School Schedules | Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism |
Technology and Connectivity | Teaching and Learning | Career and Technical Education (CTE) |
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities | Special Education | Bilingual Education and World Languages | Staffing |
Key References

 

 

Introduction

The Florida Union Free School District has developed this plan in consultation with community engagement to provide three instructional plans.  The 2020-2021 school year will look significantly different than previous years due to COVID-19 and the health and safety measures that continue to evolve.  This School Reopening Plan will define clear guidance for the reopening of Golden Hill Elementary School and S.S. Seward Institute and aligns with the regulations developed in collaboration with NYSDOH and the NYS Education Department.

The areas outlined in this plan represent the myriad considerations the Florida Union Free School District will address to reopen schools safely and to sustain safe operation. It is important to note that the plan retains a strong focus on academic instruction to enhance student performance and address learning loss.  An emphasis on the social-emotional needs of students is a priority and is addressed within the plan.

This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

Golden Hill Elementary  School

  • Debbi Lisack, Principal
  • Marlene Lysack, School Nurse

S.S. Seward Institute

  • Michael Rheaume, Principal
  • Susan Moore, Assistant Principal
  • Eileen Smyth, School Nurse

The health and safety of students, staff, and families is a priority. The reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The District may need to alternate between in-person, hybrid and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in the community will be at the forefront of decision making to open schools.

Marlene Lysack, Golden Hill Nurse, Eileen Smyth, S.S. Seward School Nurse will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinators and in consultation with the Horizon Family Medical Group which serves as the District Medical Director.  They will serve as the central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.

This document will change as necessary based on guidance from the state, CDC, and NYSED.

 

Guiding Principles

The development of this plan was guided by and grounded in the following principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Providing the opportunity for all students to access education in the fall;
  3. Monitoring schools, students, and staff.  When necessary, modifying schedules to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities that are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners, such as families, educators, and staff;
  6. Factoring into decision making the challenges to the physical safety, social emotional well-being, and the mental health needs of our students caused by school closure; and
  7.  Considering and supporting diversity in our schools and school districts is essential.

 

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Communication/Family and Community Engagement

To help inform the reopening plan, the Florida Union Free School District has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included meetings with the District Advisory Team/Reopening Committee, Seven Task Force Groups, an online survey, virtual informational meetings with faculty and staff meetings, virtual meeting with parents/guardians and email feedback.

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.floridaufsd.org and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. ]. Every effort has been 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 will be translated into Spanish and will be 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 plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication modes – including school website, texting, social media, phone calls and email -as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic.

Communication Goals

  • To encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (e.g., signage) to adhere to NYSED, CDC, and DOH guidance regarding the use of acceptable face coverings – a face mask covering the nose and mouth.
  • To provide regular updates to faculty, staff and families about health and safety, scheduling, and other information.
  • To provide information to families through a wide array of platforms including mail, email, telephone calls, text messaging, social media and website postings.
  • To provide information on how families can access technology and receive technical support to assist with utilization and maintenance of equipment.

The Florida Union Free School District developed communication materials accordingly, including the creation of sample messages/letters for COVID-19 cases or potential cases for various school audiences. Communication methods used by the district to inform the school community include:

  • District website
  • School Messenger
  • Email notifications
  • Online training
  • Correspondence (letters) to homes
  • Social media accounts used by district
  • Virtual Meetings using Google Meets

 

Clear messaging will be prepared and consistently communicated before re-entry, on the first day, during the first week, throughout the first month, and continuously throughout the year. Minimum monthly communication will provide information on the following topics:

  • Who to contact with questions, concerns or suggestions.
  • The current facts from NYSDOH and CDC.
  • The importance of social distancing, monitoring symptoms of COVID-19 and recognition of when to stay home.

 

The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address 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

In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means such as email, notifications and website postings.

 

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Health and Safety

Whether instruction is provided in-person, remotely, or a combination of the two, schools have an important role to play in educating and communicating with school communities about the everyday preventive actions they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Prevention is accomplished by following the recommendations of health authorities in the following areas:

  • Health Checks;
  • Healthy Hygiene Practices;
  • Social distancing;
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Cloth Face Coverings;
  • Management of Ill Persons; and
  • Cleaning and disinfection.

This section addresses health and safety measures.

The District has reviewed and considered the number of students and staff allowed to return in person.  The capacity of the building along with staffing availability have been considered. In addition the District considered the following factors when determining resumption of in person instruction:

  • Ability to social distance
  • PPE and face mask availability
  • Availability of safe transportation
  • Local hospital capacity

Training and public health education related to COVID-19

The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each student’s age group and will provide 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. These trainings will cover:

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

Health Checks and Temperature Screening

To ensure all faculty, staff, and students comply with building entry and exit procedures, the Florida Union Free School District will do the following:

  • Where feasible, entry and egress in and out of all buildings will be limited to a single location.  All entry to the buildings will occur through the main entrance.
  • A face covering, must be worn by all individuals, students, staff, and visitors on the Florida Union Free School District property.  Paper masks will be available at the entry.
  • Proper face covering includes, but is not limited to, a surgical mask, cloth mask, balaclava or bandana and must completely cover the individual’s mouth and nose.
  • A plastic face shield alone is not an acceptable face covering.
  • All individuals may choose to utilize their own face covering, however face coverings will be provided by the Florida Union Free School District.

 

Health Checks

To ensure all faculty, staff and visitors comply with daily screening requirements, the District will do the following:

Prior to entering all District locations, individuals must complete a Daily Health Questionnaire.

  • Staff may complete this screening prior to arriving at work via the electronic submission form or immediately upon arrival.
  • Paper copies of the questionnaire for visitors will be available at entry.
  • An employee who develops symptoms during the day must contact a supervisor immediately who will direct them to the School Nurse.

To ensure students comply with periodic health screening, parents must complete a Health Questionnaire electronically on a weekly basis.

Parents must conduct a daily health check at home before students come to school. Parents will be instructed that a students with a fever of 100 degrees or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school.

 

Screenings- Temperature

  • Students and visitors will be screened for temperature upon arrival.
  1. Parents are encouraged to monitor for temperatures and symptoms prior to sending child(ren) on a bus, however students will be screened upon arrival for temperatures.
  2. Visitors will have their temperatures taken upon arrival.
  • Students will be screened for temperature upon entering the building and will be accounted for through the attendance system.
  • For multiple individuals entering the building simultaneously, they will be required to stand at least 6 feet away maintaining social distance until screened.
  • Areas will be created where individuals can enter the facility when in-person screening is utilized.
  1. Multiple lines and entrances will be coordinated, if needed to reduce crowding.
  2. Markings (whether in tape or otherwise) will be placed on the ground or in the corridor to indicate six (6) foot lengths to provide for greater social distancing for individuals while in line.
  • Individuals must be screened and wearing proper face coverings to gain access to the building.
  • Individuals who have a temperature greater than 100 degrees or a positive response on the Daily Health Questionnaire will be directed to the School Nurse.  Please reference the Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 Case section for guidance.

Visitors, Guests, Vendors and Contractors Screening Protocols

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 security vestibule and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities and parent/guardian visitors will be required to wear face coverings and will have restricted access to school buildings.

 

To ensure all faculty, staff, students, visitors and vendors comply with protective equipment requirements, anyone visiting the District facilities will do the following:

 

Visitors

  • All visitors must be wearing proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times.
  • All visitors will complete Daily Health Questionnaire and have temperature screening. The visitors must sign in with their identification through the visitor management system for a visitor badge. This will indicate to all other Security locations that the visitor has been screened.
  • No visitor should enter a building unless necessary. All meetings should be held outside or via virtual meetings when possible.
  • All visitors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for contact tracing. All visitors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a visitor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they are  visiting and alert the school nurse immediately.
  • At the end of each day, the designee will scan the questionnaires to mlysack@floridaufsd.org and esmyth@floridaufsd.org .

 

Vendor

  • All vendors must be wearing proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times.
  • All vendors must complete Daily Health Questionnaire and have temperature screening. The vendors must sign in with their identification through the visitor management system for a visitor badge.
  • No vendor should enter a building unless necessary for completion of their job. All meetings should be held outside or virtually when possible.
  • All vendors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for contact tracing. All vendors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a vendor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they are visiting and contact the school nurse immediately.
  • At the end of each day, the designee will scan the questionnaires to mlysack@floridaufsd.org and esmyth@floridaufsd.org .

Training and Instruction for Parents, Guardians, Faculty, Staff and Students

The District will ensure all students and parents are informed of new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. Additional training will be provided in:

  • Prevention of disease spreads by staying home when they are sick.
  • Proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoiding the use of communal objects. If communal objects must be used, provide information on proper disinfection procedures between use. Examples of communal objects include, but are not limited to, other workers’ phones, desks, offices, computers or other devices, other work tools and equipment.
  • Provide employees and students with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19.
  • Risk factors and protective behaviors (i.e., cough etiquette and care of PPE).

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools.html

Training for Screeners

The District will identify individuals familiar with CDC, OSHA protocols, and DOH guidelines in each building who will be trained to assist screening.  Screeners will wear appropriate employer-provided PPE, including at a minimum, a face covering, temperature screenings and social distancing. If social distancing or barrier/partition controls cannot be implemented during screening, PPE should be used when within six (6) feet of a student.

Training topics for all staff and substitutes

  • Proper hand washing: proper hand hygiene. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing by providing employees, the school community, and visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Provide training on proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use  https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
  1. Hand washing video
  • Proper cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Social Distancing
  1. Provide training for faculty/staff on how to address close contact interactions with students as part of every day job tasks.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/social-distancing.html

  • Operating procedures (various by building)
  1. Entrance into the building
  2. Cleaning procedures
  3. Sick child pick up
  4. Staff who are sick or suspected to be sick

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

  • Proper cleaning techniques
  1. Cleaning and disinfecting

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/clean-disinfect/index.html

  • Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf

  • Hazard Communication – Right-To-Know
  1. Proper use of chemicals and Safety Data sheets
  1. No chemicals from home
  2. Transfer of hand sanitizer in smaller containers
  3. List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
  • Exposure Control Plan – with a focus on Pandemic/COVID-19
  • Personal Protective Equipment – PPE
  1. Update Hazard Assessment and PPE Selection Worksheet for all identified employees
  2. Proper type, use, and size
  3. Cleaning and sanitizing of the face covering (if applicable)
  4. Provide training for staff and students on wearing, putting on, removing and discarding PPE, including in the context of their current and potential duties

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

  • Use of face coverings (donning/doffing) (cloth vs. surgical)
  1. Face coverings don/doff video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQxOc13DxvQ

  • Respirator Protection (N95 – required for identified employees per NYS)
  1. Inclusive into your existing Respirator Protection Program or can be a separate Respirator Protection Program for medical staff only
  2. Training provided for identified personnel only

https://oshareview.com/2020/04/osha-requirements-for-occupational-use-of-n95-respirators-in-healthcare/

 

Signs and Messages

Signs will be posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures  and describe how to stop the spread pdf icon of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face cover image icon).

When Students Eat in Classrooms

  • Train staff on food allergies, including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.
  • Train all non-food service staff on any meal service-related activities they will be responsible for.

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/foodallergies/pdf/13_243135_A_Food_Allergy_Web_508.pdf

 

Personal hygiene, recognition of illness, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene

Students and staff will be taught healthy hygiene practices. Schools will provide instruction, messaging and signage in hand and respiratory hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools should plan time in the school day schedule to allow for hand hygiene.

Signage will be posted throughout facilities in entrances, restrooms, cafeteria classrooms offices and janitorial areas to remind individuals to:

  • Stay home if feel sick.
  • Cover nose and mouth with acceptable face covering.
  • Properly store and when necessary discard PPE.
  • Adhere to social distancing instructions.
  • Report symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19.
  • Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Hand hygiene includes:

  • Signage encouraging hand washing and correct techniques;
  • Traditional hand washing (with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds
  • Adequate facilities and supplies for hand washing including soap and water;
  • Use of paper towels or touch-free paper towel dispensers where feasible
  • No touch trash can
  • Extra time in the schedule to encourage frequent hand washing.
  • Hand Sanitizer – At times when hand washing is not available students and staff may use a hand sanitizer.  In order for the sanitizer to be effective it must contain a minimum of 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.  It should be noted the sanitizers are flammable and students must be monitored and supervised when using these. Using hand sanitizers should include:
  • Signage should be placed near sanitizer dispensers indicating soiled hands should be washed with soap and water;
  • Placement of sanitizer dispensers should be located near entrances and throughout common areas.

Students and staff should wash hands as follows:

  • Upon entering the building and classrooms;
  • After sharing objects or surfaces;
  • Before and after snacks and lunch;
  • After using the bathroom;
  • After helping a student with toileting;
  • After sneezing, wiping, or blowing nose or coughing into hands;
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled;
  • When handwashing is not available use a hand sanitizer;

 

Respiratory Hygiene

Students and staff are reminded to cover mouths or noses with a tissue or use inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing and dispose of tissue appropriately and perform hand hygiene.

Social Distancing

To ensure all faculty, staff, students, and visitors comply with physical distancing requirements, anyone within the District facilities will practice social distancing expectations:

  • All individuals on District premises must where a face covering and maintain social distancing.
  • Proper social distancing is defined as a six (6) foot separation between individuals.  When social distancing is practiced, such as in an isolated office the individuals may remove their face covering.  However in common areas, such as breakrooms, offices, classrooms, hallways or bathrooms, the face covering must be worn.
  • Tightly confined spaces will be occupied by only one individual at a time, unless all occupants are wearing face coverings. If an area is occupied by more than one person, keep occupancy under 50% of maximum capacity.
  • Social distance separation will be using tape or signs that denote six (6) feet of spacing in commonly used and other applicable areas on the site (e.g., clock in/out stations, health screening stations, reception areas).
  • In-person gatherings will be limited as much as possible and we will use virtual-conferencing whenever possible. Essential in-person gatherings, such as meetings, will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces with appropriate social distancing among participants.
  • Designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries will be established, limiting contact to the extent possible.
  • Student cohorts will be static to reduce movement in the school.
  • Arrival and dismissal will be staggered to facilitate social distancing.
  • Desks will be faced in same direction.
  • Windows will be opened as appropriate to improve ventilation.
  • Student belongings will be separated.
  • Shared supplies will be limited and cleaned between use.
  • Safeguards will be in place on playgrounds  including staggered use and hands washed afterward.
  • Visitors will not be allowed.
  • Student assemblies and field trips will be virtual.
  • Capacity of all classrooms is posted.

Vulnerable Populations

The unknown vulnerabilities of the faculty and staff will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations, where appropriate, will be provided when needed.  Faculty and staff will be trained in vulnerabilities outlined in guidance provided by the State Education Department and are asked to notify their supervisor with questions and concerns.

 

The District acknowledges that the following groups are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 and may need added or alternative provisions for social distancing.

 

Persons in these groups should consult with their healthcare provider regarding prevention:

  • Individuals age 65 or older;
  • Pregnant individuals;
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions including, but not limited to:
  1. chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;
  2. serious heart conditions;
  3. immunocompromised;
  4. severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher);
  5. diabetes;
  6. chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis;
  7. liver disease;
  8. sickle cell anemia;
  9. children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.

 

Face Masks or Covering

  • All students, employees, visitors, vendors will be required to wear masks in the FUFSD buildings and on buses.
  • If needed, face masks will be provided to students, employees, visitors and vendors in buildings and onbuses
  • Face mask breaks will be incorporated into the student day.

 

Suspect or Confirmed COVID Cases

  • Emergency Response – Students and staff with symptoms of illness must be sent to the health office. A school nurse (Registered Professional Nurse, RN) is available to assess individuals as chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies or chronic gastrointestinal conditions may present the same symptoms as COVID-19 but are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat. Proper PPE will be required anytime a nurse may be in contact with a potential COVID-19 patient
  • Isolation – Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian will be isolated in a room or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may also be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least 6 feet. If they cannot be isolated in a separate room from others, facemasks (e.g., cloth or surgical mask) will be provided to the student if the ill person can tolerate wearing it and does not have difficulty breathing, to prevent the possible transmission of the virus to others while waiting for transportation home. Students should be escorted from the isolation area to the parent/guardian.   The parent or guardian will be instructed to call their health care provider, or if they do not have a health care provider, to follow up with a local clinic or urgent care center; Other considerations include:
  1. Closing off areas used by a sick person and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred;
  2. Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area
  3. Waiting at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible;
  4. Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
  5. Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.
  6. Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
  • Notification – the NYS and local health departments will be notified immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual in school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Contact Tracing

Public Health Officials assume the task of contact tracing, once notified.

To ensure the school district and its employees comply with contact tracing and disinfection requirements, the District will do the following:

  • Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and notifying Orange County Health Department, in the event of a positive case.  In the case of an employee testing positive for COVID-19, CDC guidelines will be followed regarding cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html
  •  Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and copier machines.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use vacuum equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
  • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
  • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.

Return to School after Illness

The District has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

  1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
  2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  3. Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation

 

The district will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the Orange County Health Department.

 

Closure Considerations

When a person has been identified (confirmed) or suspected to be COVID-19 positive; the process in the District could include:

  • Having school administrators collaborate and coordinate with local health officials to make school closure and large event cancellation decisions.
  • Establish a plan to close schools again for physical attendance of students, if necessary, based on public health guidance and in coordination with the Orange County Health Department. Establishing a decision-making tree at the district level.
  • Develop a plan for continuity of education, medical and social services, and meal programs and establish alternate mechanisms for these to continue.
  • Implement as needed short-term closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been in a school building. If this happens, CDC recommends the following procedures:
  1. Closing off areas used by ill person(s) and locking off area(s), signage can also be used to ensure no one enters the area. If possible, wait 24 hours before you clean and disinfect. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Do not use the area(s) until cleaning and disinfection has taken place.
  2. Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  3. Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill person(s), focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
  4. Communicating as soon as possible with staff, parents, and students.
  • Using DOH guidance/procedures for when someone tests positive.
  1. In consultation with the Orange County Health Department, a school official may consider whether school closure is warranted and period of time (prior to re-opening) based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the Orange County Health Department.
  2. In accordance with guidance for quarantine at home after close contact, the classroom or office where the COVID-19-positive individual was based will typically need to close temporarily as students or staff quarantine.
  3. Additional close contacts at school outside of a classroom should also quarantine at home.
  • Closing of schools could be a regional decision.
  1. 7 metrics – NYS Dashboard
  1. Schools will reopen if a region is in Phase IV and the daily infection rate remains below 5% using a 14-day average
  2. Schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9% using a 7-day average after August 1, 2020
  • Thresholds will be determined on a case-by-case basis dependent on the numbers (school closures may be a response).
  • Buildings may consider closing if required cleaning products (bleach and water can be used as a cleaning product) and PPE are not available.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The District will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, as applicable. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
  • Health offices, isolation rooms
  • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
  • Breakrooms
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens
  • Computer labs
  • Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus Garage
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Libraries
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Playgrounds (cleaning only)
  • Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)

Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.

The district will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:

  • For handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
  • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
  • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.

Disinfectants must be products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and be appropriate for the surface.

 

 

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Facilities and Emergency Response Protocols and Drills

 

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the district, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

The District plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”

Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible.   Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied.

The following actions will be taken as needed:

  • Work with engineers to establish sufficient fresh air exchange.
  • Tents, both temporary and permanent are regulated by code and must be submitted for a building permit.
  • Minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building is established in the building code.
  • Maintain adequate, Code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed.
  • If other air cleaning equipment (e.g. new technology) is proposed, submit to OFP for review and approval.

Emergency Response Protocols & Drills

The 2020-2021 school year may include hybrid models of the traditional school day. Emergency response drills, including evacuation and lockdown drills, may be spread across the different student populations dependent on the day each population is present the day the drills are scheduled.

Emergency Response Protocols

  • Shelter-In-Place
  • Hold-In-Place
  • Evacuation
  • Lockout
  • Lockdown

 

Shelter-In-Place

Areas will be identified in each school that will be used for the Shelter-in-Place along with areas that cannot be used for due to certain types of environmental hazards (i.e.: high winds, tornado, etc.). Shelter-In-Place protocols will be the same with the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Shelter-In-Place
  • Use of face coverings throughout the event.
  • Have extra face coverings
  • Listen for updates and respond accordingly

 

Hold-In-Place

Hold-In-Place protocols will be the same the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Hold-In-Place
  • Face coverings should be worn at all times during the event
  • Have extra face coverings
  • Listen for updates and respond accordingly

 

Evacuate

Evacuation protocols will be routinely the same with some minor adjustments:

  • Identify areas outside of the building in advance that will allow 6 feet of separation of students and staff. Verify that students and staff will not impede emergency responders
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Identify, in advance, who will be holding the door to get out of the building, therefore reducing the amount of people touching the door hardware when leaving the building. Personnel that will be conducting this task may be assigned to holding the door for one or more classrooms or until confirmation that everyone has vacated the building
  • As written in the established protocols, bring all necessary items needed and consider adding the following items: extra face coverings, in the event a face covering becomes unusable and hand sanitizer
  • If no extra face coverings are available, instruct anyone that does not have a face covering to use their shirt to cover their nose and mouth during the event

 

Lockout

Lockout protocols will be the same, besides maintaining six (6) feet of space between students and staff in the area.

 

Lockdown

During a Lockdown, there will be a violation of the six (6) foot recommendation between people. In order to protect life safety, lockdown protocols will be mostly the same process as they have been conducted in the past.

  • Evaluate, in advance, if there is room to social distance without being in the line of sight
  • Face coverings should be worn during the event at all times
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Instruct anyone that does not have a face covering to use their shirt to cover their nose and mouth during the event

After School Program

The YMCA before and after school program will follow the protocols and procedures in the reopening plan in addition to regulations for afterschool programs.

 

Identifying positive COVID-19 cases

Marlene Lysack, School Nurse Golden Hill and Eileen Smyth, School Nurse S.S. Seward will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinators. They will work closely with the District Medical Director of Horizon Family Medical Group and the Orange County Health Department .They will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines This information will be posted on the website and communicated through District notifications.

Specific Facility Information

General Office Area

  • All offices will be limited to 50% the rated occupancy for the space.  Offices must normally maintain a minimum of 150 sq. ft. per individual.
  •  Where applicable all offices and small spaces will be limited to one (1) individual at a time.
  • In a multiple occupant office, occupancy will be reduced to 50% normal load in addition to maintaining at least 6ft of separation between individuals.
  • Additional protective barriers such as polycarbonate screens or strip curtains will be utilized to create a physical separation without hindrance to egress or airflow.
  • Workstations will be reconfigured so that employees do not face each other.
  • Additional breaks may be allotted to allow individuals time to leave the space to remove their masks.  Specific determination of these conditions will be determined by the individual’s program supervisor.
  • Will reduce tasks requiring large amounts of people to be in one area
  • Employees will be encouraged to use virtual meeting tools, including phone and virtual teleconference, in lieu of in-person meetings, whenever possible
  • If in-person meetings are essential, consider limiting meetings to 10 people or less
  • depending on local, state, and federal guidelines.

Conference Rooms

  • Will limit in-person meetings (refer to NYS guidance) when virtual meetings are not feasible
  • If meetings are to occur in person, they will be conducted in a quick manner
  • Social distancing among participants will be required
  • Lingering and socializing before and after meetings should be discouraged

Break Rooms and Lunch Rooms

  • Break room use is discontinued if a minimum of 6 ft. separation cannot be maintained when consuming food or drink.
  • Employees are advised to take their lunch and breaks in their private offices or classrooms; in their vehicles or outside.
  • Staggered break schedules may be utilized to assist with separation concerns.
  • If employees wish to take breaks together they must do such in a large space or outside, where at minimum 6 ft of separation can occur.
  •  Amenities that are handled with high contact frequency, such as water coolers, coffee makers will be replaced with alternatives where possible.
  • Communal meals will not be provided to employees, and food will not be available in common areas where employees may congregate.

Copier Rooms/Areas

  • Congregating in copier rooms/areas is discouraged.
  • Cleaning supplies will be provided at copier stations.
  • Staff are encouraged to wipe down touch surfaces post and prior use.

Elevators

  • One person in the elevator at a time.
  • Elevators will be frequently disinfected.

Restrooms

  • All bathrooms regardless of size will be limited to one person at a time.
  • Individuals must knock  before entering a bathroom to ensure there is no other occupant present.
  • In special circumstances where a student must be assisted in the use of the lavatory, the adult present must be wearing all applicable personal protective equipment including a face covering and when medically applicable, the student will be wearing a proper face covering as well.
  • Signage will be posted on entry indicating one person at a time.

Hallways/Stairwells

  • Where feasible hallway traffic may be limited to single flow direction.
  • Where single flow is not applicable, bi-direction traffic will be permitted.
  • Directional flow will be identified by indications on the floor/stairs
  • Adequate distancing will be obtained between all individuals by taped off lanes on the corridor floors/ stair treads.
  • All individuals must also allow for adequate space between when traveling in the same direction.

Classrooms

  • Occupancy in each classroom will be specific and determined based off of the overall square footage of the space.
  • Each student, teacher and support staff will receive not less than 6 ft. of separation from others.
  • Additional considerations will be taken to account for space utilized for classrooms and teaching material.
  • Overall class sizes will be reduced to accommodate all safety parameters.
  • Students, teachers and support staff will be required to wear a proper face covering.
  • Where possible special teachers and PPS staff will travel to the classroom to provide instruction.
  • Restrict items in the classroom to that of obvious use.
  1. Remove any unnecessary furniture.
  2. Remove any soft surfaces that are difficult to disinfect such as:
  1. Area Rugs
  2. Soft fabric chairs

Nurse Stations

  • All students and staff are required to wear appropriate face coverings.
  1. N95 Respirator use for nurses should be limited to situations of suspected COVID-19
  2. Nurses must receive proper training and fitment of N95 Respirators prior to use.

Where applicable, nurse stations have been reconfigured to:

  • Maintain social distancing of no less than 6ft.
  • Students that receive daily medication should be treated separately from students presenting with symptoms of illness.
  • Nebulizer treatments should be conducted in a separate isolated space with adequate fresh air circulation only after consultation with the health care provider.
  1. Physical separation will be achieved by utilizing:
  1. Individual exam rooms
  2. Polycarbonate barriers
  3. Retractable dividing curtain walls.
  • Isolation Rooms
  1. Individuals presenting with symptoms representative of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated to reduce risk of transmission.
  2. A separate room will be utilized where applicable.
  3. Reference the Isolation Room/s section for additional information.

Isolation Rooms

  • Where applicable, separate, independent room/s with a door will be utilized for quarantining individuals who present with symptoms representative of COVID-19.
  • Where excess space is not available. Nurse stations will be equipped with dividing curtains allowing for both a physical divide and at minimum 6ft of separation.

These rooms have been identified in each building:

  • Golden Hill Health Office
  • S.S. Seward Health Office

Security Vestibule/Reception areas

Security Stations will remain at all entrances of each building.

  • Where a multi- entrance design is used, additional security posts will be instituted.
  • They will serve as the primary location for accounting for all individuals entering and exiting the building.
  • Polycarbonate barriers have been installed to protect all individuals.
  • Floor demarcations have been installed to indicate where visitors shall stand to maintain social distance.
  • Reception areas have had seating removed or adequately spaced to provide at minimum of 6ft of separation.
  • Frequently touched materials such as magazines have been removed.

Computer Labs

  • The use of shared space and equipment use will be limited where feasible.
  • Blocks of computers will be sectioned off to ensure social distancing is maintained.
  • Tables of computers will be reconfigured so as to not face each other or a polycarbonate barrier will be installed to create a physical barrier.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of computer labs and keyboard will be frequent
  1. Keyboards should be wiped and disinfected before and after each use.
  2. Keyboard covers may be utilized to aid in the cleaning and disinfection process.
  • Students should be instructed to wash hands prior to and after touching the keyboards along with other frequently touched surfaces.

Library Spaces

  • Reconfigure space to ensure social distancing.
  1. Tables will be limited to one individual at a time where applicable.
  1. Polycarbonate barriers may be installed to create a physical barrier.

2. Desks should be arranged so as to not face each other.

    • Borrowing  of materials such as books may need to be discontinued if adequate disinfection cannot be achieved.
    • Create directional traffic flow patterns between bookcases to ensure social distancing.

    Engineering Controls

    • Alcohol based hand sanitizer will be available in each entry, all corridors, and each classroom.
    • Bathrooms
    1. Limited to one occupant at a time.
    2. Automatic hand dryer use has been discontinued
    3. Touchless soap dispensers will be installed at each sink as possible.
    4. Touchless paper towels dispensers will be installed as possible.
    5. Touchless faucets are currently in most bathroom spaces
    6. Entry doors to gang bathrooms will be left open where applicable to reduce the need to handle
    • Vestibules/Reception Areas
    1. Polycarbonate barriers will be installed to provide protection for staff and individuals screening
    1. Barriers have been designed in accordance with New York State Fire Code
    • Water Fountains
    1. As required by New York State Code a potable water supply will be provided per 150 occupants, but not less than one source per floor.
    2. To reduce cross contamination the bubbler/drink spout has been removed or disabled.
    3. Automatic/touchless bottle filling equipment is installed in place of the drink spout.
    4. Additional bottle filler stations will be installed where necessary.
    5. These appliances will be routinely cleaned and disinfected as described in the Cleaning and Disinfection Section.
    • Floor Demarcations
    1. All entrances or areas of static wait have floor signage installed allotting for a minimum of six(6) feet of separation between all individuals
    2. All Corridor floors and Stairway treading have been fitted with stripping to indicate directional traffic flow and social distancing.
    • Corridor doors will all be affixed open using electromagnetic hold-open devices to minimize the need to touch doors.
    • Temperature Screening Equipment

    Ventilation

    The District will ensure sufficient ventilation and fresh air to all spaces of occupancy by means of:

    • Modifications to the Building Management Systems to allow fresh air dampers to introduce more outside air.
    • Air handling systems have been inspected for function with higher MERV rated filters.
    1. Where applicable filters will be exchanged for MERV rating ranging from 11-13.
    • Spaces where fresh air is limited due to original building systems, fresh air will be introduced through open windows and doors.
    1. Options for replacement and modification to existing systems will be explored.
    2. Engineers will design new systems capable of increased fresh air and filtration.
    • Fan motors speeds will be increased where applicable to ensure volume and flow of 15cfm minimum.
    • More frequent maintenance and inspection of the systems will occur to mitigate extra strain on systems.
    • Filter replacement schedules will be more frequent.

     

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    Child Nutrition

    The District has identified Cynthia Wood, Cook Manager as the contact person to receive and respond to communications from families and to school staff. Families will be reminded in food service communications during the summer and periodically that they can submit a new application for free and reduced-price meals any time during the school year.  Applications are available in each school building, on our website and through email or regular mail as needed.  Phone in and in-person support to complete the application is available.

     

    School meals will continue to be available to all students, at both Golden Hill Elementary School and S.S. Seward Institute,  including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely.

     

    Meals Onsite

    For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.

     

    The district will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.

     

    The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household. Adequate space will be reserved for students, faculty, and staff to observe social distancing while eating meals.

     

    In-school child nutrition meals will be served by staff who have been trained in safe food handling and safety guidelines, including temperature control and proper use of food service gloves. Additionally, all these staff members will be trained in Child Nutrition accountability regulations and proper procedures for serving students with food allergies.

    1. Breakfast: Will be available for students at both S. S. Seward Institute and Golden Hill Elementary.  Any student who wishes to receive a breakfast will be offered  breakfast from a mobile cart at the school entrance located where it is accessible to students as they arrive.  Students will be served the breakfast meal, by food service staff and take the meals to their assigned “classroom” to be consumed in the classroom.
    2. Lunch:
    1. Students or parents may pre-order lunch on the district website.  The Food Service Department will prepare and deliver lunches to every classroom or other room where students are assigned. (If a student did not order a meal, the food service department will have “extra” meals available.)
    2. The POS software loaded on a mobile device will be used to determine eligibility status and provide accountability.  No cash or check will be accepted for meal payment.  Parents will be asked to use the online payment option, MySchoolbucks, or mail a check or money order to the business office.
    3. Food Allergies- Before meals are served in any classroom, the Food Service Staff will check the list of students with food allergies and make sure those students are not served foods that trigger their allergies.
    4. Classroom – non-food service staff:  Will be responsible for how students will perform hand hygiene before/after eating, how hand hygiene will be promoted, how sharing of food/beverages will be discouraged; how social distancing and/or physical barriers will be utilized.

    3. Meals will not be to be served in a common area/cafeteria.

    4. Child Nutrition Program requirements.  The child nutrition programs will continue compliance with all the program requirements and regulations.

    Meals offsite/remote

    Food Service Staff will prepare breakfast and lunch for pick-up by any parent or guardian who contacts the school district for meals.  Pickup will be during the school day. The district will establish time and place for meals pickup, giving the greatest consideration for the safety of all.  Parents/Guardians who pickup meals must agree to follow all Florida Union Free School District Safety requirements.

     

    All schools in the Florida Union Free School District will follow SFA policies when communicating about school meal services, eligibility, options and changes in operations.  All communications will be provided through a variety of communication methods including website, social media, emails, School Messenger, newsletters, and regular mail and translated into the languages spoken by families.

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    Transportation

    The Florida Union Free School District contracts transportation services with Quality Bus. Transportation activities are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated).

    Students are required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable. Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.

    All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected minimally 2 times per day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run depending upon the disinfection schedule.

    School buses shall not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.

    Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.

    Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students when Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district whose schools are meeting for in-person sessions.

    All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

     

    Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Refer to the cleaning standard operating procedures guidance for further information.

    • Buses and other transportation vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected twice daily (focus on high touch areas) and in between runs if scheduled for multiple routes. At the end of the day clean and disinfect the entire bus
    • Daily Cleaning
    1. All trash removed
    2. Floors swept and dust mopped
    3. Walls and windows cleaned
    • High Touch Surfaces
    1. Bus seats and seat backs
    2. Seat belts
    3. Door handles, handrails
    4. Driver operator area
    • Cleaning and disinfecting products approved by the EPA will be used according to instructions.
    • Eating and drinking will be prohibited on the bus
    • Buses will be inspected to ensure cleaning/disinfecting protocols are followed on district owned and contracted buses
    • All cleanings/inspections will be documented (via trackable log)

    Bus protocols for a reported case of COVID -19 on a school bus

    Sharon Becz, Quality Bus General Manager and Howard Cohen, Florida UFSD Business Official will be notified, the district will then notify building administration and a plan will be implemented to contact parents of students on that bus.

    Bus will be taken out of service for 24 hours before the bus can be used again after a report of COVID-19. Bus will be disinfected following CDC guidelines.

     

    Students on Transportation

    • As was outlined in the Health and Safety section of this guidance, all parents/guardians will be required to ensure their child/children are not experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a fever of 100 degrees or greater prior to them boarding their method of transportation to school;
    • Students must wear a mask on a school bus;
    • Students must social distance (six (6)  feet separation) on the bus to the extent practicable;
    • Students who do not have a mask can NOT be denied transportation;
    • Students who do not have masks will be provided one by the district.

     

    Training (Office Personnel, Drivers, Mechanics, Aides)

    • Hazard Communication/Right-To-Know (annual)
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Exposure Control/Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP)
    • COVID Awareness
    1. New cleaning Protocols (buses, transportation center)
    2. Handwashing
    3. Face Covering (sizing, use, wear & care)
    4. Personal Health and Hygiene
    5. Special working conditions with face coverings (strenuous activity)

     

    Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    • Disposable gloves
    • Face Covering/Mask
    • Face Shield (if applicable)

     

    Transportation Communication

    • The District will emphasize to parents and students prior to reopening schools that the District has thoroughly disinfected all buses and student transportation vehicles
    • The District will communicate with parents and students that student transportation vehicles are included in the district’s COVID-19 plans and what part students and parents will play in ensuring safety and minimizing infection while utilizing District transportation services
    • Advise parents not to send their children to school or board the bus if sick or with an elevated temperature
    • Survey parents regarding transportation including an “opt-out” option
    • Remind students/parents/guardians that social distancing requirements extend to the bus stop
    • Communicate with administration multiple routing scenarios for different instructional scheduling options

     

    Density Reduction, Social Distancing, Bus Capacity

    • CDC guidelines suggest creating distance between children on the school bus when possible.
    • As a density reduction strategy, another consideration is to seat one student per row, all students wearing masks. (Source: National council on school facilities and cooperative strategies).
    1. This results in approximately 22 students on a 66-passenger bus
    • Allow siblings or those that live in the same household to sit together
    • Place floor decals or tape to indicate where students should sit and to mark six (6) foot distances in aisles
    • Sneeze guards to protect the driver
    • Do not seat students directly behind the driver
    • Provide additional adult supervision (monitors) on buses to manage social distancing
    • Students shall wear face masks

     

    Routing

    • The District had developed multiple routing scenarios for administration to analyze different instructional scheduling options
    • Limit rotation of substitute drivers and aides if possible
    • Limit student movement between bus routes
    1. Discontinue allowing students to ride different buses on different days of the week unless parent or guardian makes plausible requests (childcare, custody arrangements)
    2. If possible, mirror AM and PM routes, so bus riders are the same group each day

     

    Loading/Unloading & Pickup/Drop-off

    • Students shall be loaded in sequential route order. First student on the bus sits in the back, when going to school, last student off sits in the back when going home from school
    • Dismissal times will be staggered to best suit building needs and to promote social distancing
    • Adjustments will be made by buildings:
    1. For unloading and entry, and loading and departure
    2. Route timing which will be affected by delayed loading/unloading processes
    3. Arrival and departure activities shall be supervised to ensure social distancing
    • Will add or modify bus routes to reduce load levels on buses

     

    Transporting to BOCES

    • Quality Bus will be transporting to BOCES and will follow similar protocols as previously described
    • A log of attendees on the trip in both directions from the BOCES building. Upon request, schools may need to supply the log of passengers in addition to cleaning logs in the event BOCES must assist in contact tracing due to exposures either at the BOCES buildings, or during transportation

     

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    Social-Emotional Well-Being

    In planning for our re-entry in September, the District has formed Task force teams to examine the guidance provided by the Department of Health and NYSED for our re-entry in the Fall.  Our work is grounded in our beliefs the most equitable opportunities for educational success relies upon the comprehensive support for students and families provided in our schools with our professionals and the systems of support we have built. These supports include academics as well as the social and emotional well-being of our students. We are committed to prioritizing social emotional well-being – not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social and emotional space to access rigorous academic content with confidence. In support of this belief, a Social-Emotional Learning team was created consisting of  certified teachers, certified school counselors, licensed mental health professionals, community members, nurses  and school administrators. This task force team was created to develop a cohesive and strategic plan, regardless of the re-entry phase, to support students and staff upon for the 2020-2021 school year; this includes a means to identify and actively support student and staff well-being and mental health concerns through a range of pre-determined tactics to be employed by those dealing with difficult situations. This plan will focus specifically on how to best support students and staff in a blended learning model scenario, which includes a mix of both in-person and virtual classroom instruction.  This plan includes considerations for teams to rapidly transition between face-to-face and continuous remote learning, which may be required based on the pandemic.

    Research shows the importance of mental and emotional well-being for students and staff, which has both psychological and ultimately academic outcomes.  We know, after this prolonged closure, many of our students and staff will require social-emotional supports to help them re-engage and re-enter work and school. As a District, our commitment is to create emotionally and physically safe, supportive and engaging learning environments promoting all students’ social and emotional well-being and development. The pandemic has elevated the role of leaders in creating conditions helping students practice empathy, create social bonds across distance and adapt to new learning experiences. Counselors, school based health programs, and wrap around supports will play an extremely important role in the adjustment period when buildings reopen and access to school counselors and school-based health programs will be invaluable supports to our students. Before school resumes, school administrators, teachers and mental health practitioners (school counselors, school psychologists will meet to create an asset map of already existing foundational assets within school districts and community-based organizations, and build upon them.  In addition, it will be critical to determine students who might be at risk for needing mental health supports. School counselors and administrators will be equipped with tools and information needed to see each child through a social emotional lens.  We remain committed to supporting all students and maintain our whole child commitment as well as equipping all staff to connect, heal, and build capacity to support our students.  Supports will include resources from school counselors and school psychologists and building level support teams, who will identify and deliver responsive SEL supports, including mental health check-ins, planning and goal setting, opportunities for self-reflection, and social interactions as applicable, which are already being implemented in the Florida Union Free School District Additionally, all District  employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers many free services including face-to-face and virtual counseling. Information about all social-emotional supports will be made widely available to the Florida Union Free School District community found on our website.  We are committed to developing/making accessible family/caregiver-appropriate social and emotional learning (SEL) content to be used during all phases of our re-entry.

    Transitions are important every year, and they will be even more important this fall returning from continuous remote learning to in-person instruction in buildings or a phased in approach to in-person instruction. Districts should support transitions in a culturally responsive manner and engage students, families, and communities in the process of identifying needs and supports. Transitions take many forms and include returning to school in the fall, moving from one grade band to another, or dealing with the varying emotional needs as a result of the health pandemic.

     

    The following considerations guided our building level planning:

     

    Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include

    • Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine
    • Fear and worry about health and the health of loved ones
    • Stress from the experience of monitoring oneself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19
    • Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact, even though person has been determined not to be contagious
    • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during quarantine
    • Other emotional or mental health changes

     

    Addressing Social-Emotional Health

    • Establish/sustain a culture that supports and emphasizes mental health services available for faculty, staff, students and families
    • Explore the use of Restorative Practices (use of healing/restorative circles for both staff and students)
    • Assist in adequate training for staff/faculty as requested to assist them in understanding:
    1. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies; self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making
    2. The warning signs for quarantine related mental health needs
    3. How to access crisis support and other mental health services

     

    What Mental Health Professionals can do in schools

    • Educate staff, parents, and students on symptoms of mental health needs and how to obtain assistance
    • Promote social emotional learning competency and build resilience
    • Help ensure a positive, safe school environment
    • Teach and reinforce positive behaviors and decision-making
    • Encourage good physical health
    • Help ensure access to school-based mental health supports; facilitate the expansion of school-based mental health supports

     

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    School Schedules

    The District has developed three instructional models which will be utilized depending on the situation.

    In-Person:  

    • 100% of students in-person

    Hybrid:  

    • Some students participate in-person on a daily basis following the school schedule.
    • Some students participate in a remote setting on a daily basis following the school schedule.

    Remote:   

    • 100% of students participate on a daily basis following the school schedule.  The instruction is primarily synchronous.

    If schools are open for in-person instruction, the District will begin the year with the hybrid model.

    • Parents will select in-person instruction or remote instruction for the first 10 weeks.
    • A change in delivery of instruction may be selected after 10 weeks.
    • Parents will receive selection forms in early August.
    • The first week of school may be modified to learn the new protocols.
    • The student school day will be shortened by approximately 45 minutes.

    Transportation:

    Parents will be asked transportation preference.  Since parents may opt out of transportation, the District will be able to maintain reduced capacity on the bus.

     

    Golden Hill Elementary School

    Golden Hill Instructional day:  An in-person and remote (online) learning environment will be offered to District families.  A synchronous instructional plan will be developed for remote learners. Instructional periods will be approximately 60 minutes per core subject. (see sample schedule below) Regardless of the program chosen, student work will be graded and daily attendance will be taken.

     

    Student cohort classes will remain together for the duration of the school day. Social distancing and face coverings will be adhered to for the entire school day. Where possible, students may participate in classes outside and multiple mask breaks will be built into the school day.

     

    Cohort instructors will remain with their cohort of students while specialists will travel to different classrooms.

     

    The instructional day will run from 9:00 AM to approximately 2:25 PM each day.

     

    Students in the remote learning option will participate in classroom instruction synchronously via the use of District issued Chromebooks. Students may engage in this learning environment with teachers and peers via Google Classroom and Google Meet along with other supported and District approved instructional platforms. The schedule for remote learning mirrors that of in-person learning.

     

    Regardless of the learning model chosen, continued student support services will be provided by the school psychologist, school counselor, ENL teacher, interventionists and the RTI Team.

     

    Sample student schedule: 

    (Specific schedules will be adjusted per grade-level)

    Time of day/Period Class Period in person Class period remote (online)
    9:00-9:40           Specials Specials
    9:40-10:45           Math Math
    10:45-12         ELA ELA
    12:00-12:30 Lunch Lunch
    12:30-1:00 Academic Support Services Academic RecSupport Services
    1:00-2:00         Science/Social Studies Science/Social Student
    2:00-2:25        Recess Recess

    **Mask breaks will occur every 30 minutes.  Masks may be removed while students eat lunch. Social distancing requirements remain through the school day.

    Student dismissal: staggered to provide for social distancing and bus/parent pick up. Student dismissal would occur promptly at 2:25 PM.

     

    Communicating with Golden Hill:  Frequent communication between caregivers and school staff is critical to student success.  During the 2020-21 school year, communication may be conducted via phone (845) 651-3095 x20050/55 or email.  In person conferences, unless otherwise determined, are not permitted at this time.  District and specific building information is always available on District website.

    S.S. Seward Institute

    Seward instructional day:  An in-person and remote (online) learning environment will be offered to District families.  Each model connects with the same schedule for instruction.  Instructional periods will be 36 minutes in length, with a certified teacher instructing each class. (see sample schedule below)  We will return to the regular grading system.  Students will attend classes within cohorts (small groups of same students), while wearing masks at all times and practicing social distancing.  Teachers will travel to different classrooms to reduce movement within the school building.  A small percentage of students  may need to change classrooms to attend college level and elective classes.

     

    The school day will be abbreviated.. Breaks and opportunities to go outdoors would be built into the school day.  The school day will run from 8:00 AM to approximately 1:45 PM each day.

     

    Remote (online) learning will be facilitated by the one-to-one Chromebook set up and classroom teacher contact.  Students will have daily contact with teachers and peers via Google Meet and other supported and approved instructional platforms.  The schedule for remote learning mirrors that of in-person learning.

     

    In both models, daily attendance will be taken to identify students who are present, and those who may require additional resources to engage in the instructional program.

     

    Students will be provided support via our school psychologist, counselors, ENL teacher and the collective SEL team.  Support services remain the same in all models.

     

    Sample student schedule:

    Time of day/Period Class Period in person Class period remote (online)
    8:00-8:36    Period 1            Math Math
    8:39-9:15    Period 2           English English
    9:18-9:54    Period 3           Science Science
    9:57-10:33  Period 4          Social Studies Social Studies
    10:36-11:12 Period 5          Elective Elective
    11:15-11:45          Lunch in classroom Lunch break
    11:47-12:23  Period 6          Spanish Spanish
    12:26-1:02   Period 7          Elective Elective
    1:05-1:41     Period 8          Elective Elective

    **Mask breaks will occur every 36 minutes.  Masks may be removed while students eat lunch following social distancing requirements.

     

    Student dismissal: will be staggered to provide for social distancing and bus and parent pick up.  Student dismissal would occur at 1:45 PM.

     

    Communicating with Seward:  Frequent communication between caregivers and school staff is critical to student success.  During the 2020-21 school year, communication will be conducted via phone or email.  In person conferences, unless otherwise determined, will not occur.

     

    All staff in the District will check email accounts on a regular basis, and respond to the sender within 24 hours of receipt of the email.

     

    The main number for the District is: (845) 651-3095.  By calling the office, calls will be connected to the requested person(s).  Should you need immediate assistance, please call (845) 651-3095 ext. 30132.  This is a direct line to the administrative office.

     

    Google Classroom remains as an additional avenue to contact staff, as well.  More information is available on our District website and Facebook page.

     

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    Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

    Attendance and Attendance Reporting

    All schools in the Florida Union Free School District will take daily attendance whether school opens in September in-person, hybrid, or remote.  Attendance policies and procedures will be communicated with families and students prior to the start of the school year or if the instructional model changes during the year.  Communication will be disseminated in building level parent letters/newsletter, School Messenger, emails, text messaging, and social media.  Teachers will record daily attendance in the School Tool student management system based on the required daily scheduled student contact and engagement.  Daily reports will be generated to identify students who are absent and/or chronically absent.  Contact with the families will be made daily to determine reasons for absence and needs or barriers the student may have to participate in daily lessons.

     

    Chronic Absenteeism

    The District is committed to providing interventions to prevent and address health-related and mental health chronic absenteeism.  Many factors will influence student attendance, and may be impacted by the instructional models provided; in-person, hybrid, and remote.

    The District addresses chronic absenteeism as follows.

    • Nurture a culture of attendance
    1. Communicate clearly to families and students what the attendance policy is and expectations for participating based on the model of instruction
    2. Explain the importance of attendance to the entire school community
    3. Track daily attendance, tardies, and student engagement in one central, secure location with a tool that helps you can quickly see how these data points impact student behavior.
    • Early Identification and Intervention
    1. Each school regularly monitors attendance data and communicates with parents about issues as they arise.
    2. Use data to identify which students are at risk, and intervene before isolated absences become chronic absenteeism.
    3. Establish intervention plans; parent phone call, home visit, counseling, instructional modifications, engage community partners, etc.
    • Create a more positive school culture and a focus on engaging instruction
    1. Evaluate and address your students’ engagement in learning
    2. Provide teachers and school leaders with multiple levels of support to help students stay more engaged and act positively.
    3. Help students achieve positive social and emotional character development, while reinforcing the behaviors that make up your ideal school culture.
    4. Use goal-based incentives and rewards to motivate attendance and positive student behaviors where age appropriate.

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    Technology and Connectivity

    Access to technology is essential for the successful roll-out of this plan. The Florida Union Free School District has been committed to ongoing planning and implementation of district technologies to ensure equitable access for staff and students. The team has initiated plans that are mindful of student home access to reliable internet and computers.

     

    1. The District recently gathered data and asked teachers and families to identify the level of access to devices and high-speed broadband from the residence. Respondents indicated that 97.2% have adequate internet service to participate in remote learning for substantive daily instruction and 2.8% responded they do not have adequate service. The district will continue to assess the ongoing needs of families for technology and connectivity (survey, interviews, school outreach, etc.) In the event, students and/or teachers do not have access, the district will take the necessary steps to meet their needs where plausible.
    2. Conduct and/or maintain an inventory of equipment and other assets.a. Identify which students, families, and staff have district assets.
    3. Procure, manage and/or maintain hardware, software, licenses, learning management systems, etc. to support and improve virtual instruction and student engagement.
    4. Identify professional learning needs for teachers and continue to support the development of skills and pedagogy in a virtual learning environment.
    5. Arrange a “Helpdesk” system for parents/students/teachers to report technical issues that might be experienced during remote learning. Communicate protocols to these stakeholders to inform them in advance of how to gain assistance in such cases.

    The District will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple formats, wherever possible. Further, the district will support teachers through professional development and coaching on pedagogical methods that enable students to participate in multiple ways, to demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models through the use of both synchronous (i.e. Google Meet or other web conferencing tool) and asynchronous technologies (i.e. Google Classroom or other LMS). In the event students do not have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, the district will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction, i.e. pick up materials at school, drop off materials to students’ homes, etc. The district will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities.

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    Teaching and Learning

    In an effort to assure high-quality teaching and learning a continuity of learning plan has been developed for the 2020-21 school year. This plan considers and plans for teaching and learning  in-person, remotely, and through hybrid models of instruction.  The plan assures that Instruction is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards and assures equity as well as quality for all learners.

     

    Equity is at the heart of all school instructional decisions.  All instruction in the district will be designed so that whether it is delivered in-person or remotely due to a local or state school closure, there are clear,  comprehensive, and accessible learning opportunities for  all students. Such opportunities will be aligned with state standards.  The teaching and instructional plan outlines routine, scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers.  The plan is centered on Instruction and academic programming that  includes regular and substantive interaction with an appropriately certified teacher regardless of the delivery method (e.g., in person, remote or hybrid). The teaching and learning plan includes a clear communication plan for how students and families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about instruction and/or technology. This information will be accessible to all, available in multiple languages, widely disseminated, and include clear and multiple ways for students and families to contact schools and teachers (e.g., email, online platform, and/or by phone) in an effort to assure learning for all.

     

    The school calendar includes two professional development days before students arrive at school. The district will focus the in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

     

    In the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.

     

    When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs.

     

    Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.

     

    Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.

     

    Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

     

    For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website www.ouboces.org

     

    The 2020-21 school year will begin as a hybrid.  Parents will select daily in-person instruction or daily remote instruction.  The hybrid option will be in place for the first 10 weeks.

     

    The District will be able to move between each plan as needed based on the situation.

    In-person Instruction

    Upon reopening, the number of students in classrooms will be reduced as needed to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.

     

    Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into elementary classrooms.

     

    Current staffing levels will be sufficient to accommodate the expanded number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing.

     

    All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

     

    The schools will minimize the movement of students. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity.

     

    To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

     

    For information on school schedules, visit the School Schedules section of the reopening plan.

     

    Remote/Hybrid Instruction

    Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, the district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

     

    All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

     

    As noted previously, student schedules will remain the same whether instruction is in person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.

     

    For information on school schedules, visit the School of the reopening plan.

     

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    Career and Education Education (CTE)

    While planning for CTE instruction, whether in-person, remote or hybrid models, the Florida Union Free School District has collaborated with Orange-Ulster BOCES to ensure high school instructional plans are aligned.  OUBOCES has developed models that ensure NYS learning Standards, applicable industry certification requirements, clinical and work based learning hours have been met.  In addition, the plans follow all NYS/DOH health and safety guidelines and social distancing.

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    Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

    Interscholastic Athletics

    As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fall sports start date has been delayed until Monday, September 21.  With NYS approval for the opening of schools in September and with appropriate social distancing, PPE usage, and cleaning and disinfection of equipment, the following will be implemented:

    • Cancel NYS Fall Regional and State Championship events
    • Waive seven-day practice rule to enable greater opportunities for local
    • participation
    • Maintain current practice requirements
    • Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
    • Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

     

    Additional guidance can be found in the Roadmap for Return to Interscholastic Athletics at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZG2vP_2hG-PZb5jfYYJfvrK8VgQYhv6Y4AT9Q1Wb42M/edit?usp=sharing

     

    If the Fall sports season is interrupted or impacted by COVID-19 crisis (i.e. state official guidance, school closings, cancelation of high-risk sports, etc.) then a condensed seasons plan will be implemented. This plan takes into consideration the competitive and interactive aspects of each sport and would include the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative.

    Season I (Winter Sports) 

    • Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36) 10 Weeks
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: basketball (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *competitive cheer.  *Because of the high risk nature of competitive cheer, sports may have to be moved to Season II or season III.

    Season II (Fall Sports) 

    • Dates: Mar. 1-May 8 (Week 35-44) 10 Weeks
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: football, cross country (girls & boys), soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls).  Note: Weather will have an impact upon outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April.

    Season III (Spring Sports) 

    • Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 (Week 40-49) 10 Weeks
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: baseball, softball.

     

    Extracurricular Activities

    Extracurricular activities and clubs at S.S. Seward will be reviewed and if appropriate will begin remotely.

     

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    Special Education

    The Florida Union Free School District reopening plan provides a framework to ensure that all students with disabilities continue to have a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet the unique needs and prepare students for further education, employment, and independent living in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  In consideration of the health, safety, and well-being of students, families, and staff, the plan is designed to enable transitioning between in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments to ensure the provision of FAPE consistent with the changing health and safety conditions that exist.

     

    Special education programs and services of the District provide equity and access for students with disabilities to be involved in and to participate and progress in the general education curriculum with access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability related needs of students. While not all formats allow for maximum benefit to students, these programs and services can be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).  The District will document the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities as well as to the communications with parents in their preferred language and mode of communication (e.g. Related Services Log). The District will ensure access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability related needs of students.

     

    The District is committed to providing meaningful parent engagement in the parent’s preferred language or mode of communication regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA. Further, regular communication will be maintained with parents/guardians and other family members of the student to ensure engagement in child(ren)’s education during the reopening process.

     

    The District will plan and support collaboration between the committees on preschool special education (CPSE) and committees on special education (CSE) and program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on individualized education programs (IEPs), plans for monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to sharing resources.

     

    The District will maintain records to document the implementation of each IEP.  The documentation will include, but will not be limited to: narrative records of how the student is adjusting to live, hybrid, and remote instruction during 2020-21, a record of what instruction and services were provided, a record of formative, summative, and standardized assessments and their results as well as progress monitoring documentation, a record of school-family collaboration, and the provision of compensatory services records.

    Vulnerable Students with Special Needs

    Some special needs students who are medically fragile may not be able to maintain social distancing, hand or respiratory hygiene, or wear a face covering or mask. It is important for parents/ guardians to work with their child’s healthcare providers so that an informed decision can be made on how best to meet the child’s needs at school while protecting health and safety. As these students transition back to the school environment, trained teaching staff will plan and coordinate with the following so that a healthy transition is made:

    • school health services personnel
    • special education personnel
    • pupil personnel services and
    • administration.

     

    Additional PPE for staff caring for such students will be provided on a case-by-case basis.  Staffing assignments will be examined to provide the lowest teacher-to-student ratios possible.

    Special education services will be provided to students to the greatest extent possible in accordance with their IEP, whether the student is in attendance in person or remotely.

    In-Person Services

    Students with IEPs will be grouped appropriately in cohorts, keeping in mind services, needs, and maintaining the Least Restrictive Environment. Related services may occur as more of a push-in model, as appropriate, to minimize student movement and maintain groupings within existing cohorts. If a student is pulled out for an individual session, an appropriate sized space will be utilized to ensure social distancing.

    Students with needs that make social distancing difficult will be discussed on a case by case basis and additional safety precautions and PPE measures put in place.

    Remote Services

    Special education teachers and related service providers will utilize online platforms (e.g. Google Meets and Google Classroom), equal to their general education counterparts and as per the building schedule, to provide live remote learning opportunities and provide appropriate supportive activities and materials.

    Special Education Programs

    • Special Classes are separately scheduled classes that will run daily for the same allotted minutes as their regular education counterparts, whether in-person or remote.
    • Consultant Teacher will continue to provide support for the student in the general education classroom, whether in-person or remote, as per the building schedule.
    • Resource Room will continue to provide support in a smaller group setting, and will be grouped thoughtfully in-person based on cohorts and on minimizing movement. If remote, Resource Room will be provided in a small group online for support.
    • Related Services (e.g. counseling, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy) will be provided and grouped, as appropriate, to maintain cohort groupings and minimize movement. Individual sessions will be in an appropriate space with appropriate protections in place. If remote, related services will be provided online and with appropriate activities and supportive materials.

    Out of District Students will follow the Reopening Plan of their respective placements. The District will have and communicate knowledge of these plans with families.

     

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    Bilingual Education and World Languages

    The Florida Union Free School District  provides world language instruction in Spanish, 7-12 and English as a New Language (ENL) instruction for ELLs/MLLs K-12.  We utilize OU BOCES  technical assistance for World Language Instruction 7-12 and PreK-12 for ENL instruction.  This assistance will be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).

     

    Support of English language learners (ELLs) will be comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive.  If the District reopens using in-person or hybrid instruction the ELL identification process will be completed within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year.  After this 20 day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within the required 10 school days of initial enrollment as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154.

     

    The District is committed to comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive instruction for ENL students, the required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction will be provided.  Further, regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that engagement in their child(ren)’s education during the reopening process which includes telephone contact, text messages, social media, emails and regular mail in preferred language will be provided.  All communications for parents/guardians of ELLs will be provided in the preferred language and mode of communication.  The District utilizes OU BOCES regional translation service to assist with translation services.  This service can translate live conversations as well as documents.

     

    The District will provide professional learning opportunities that support best practices and equitable instruction for ELLs as well as general education students to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.  The district also has access to the OUBOCES Professional Learning Catalog to support teachers to assure ENL and world language instruction is personalized and research-based.

     

    In order to assure that students have opportunities to study world languages, the District is prepared to teach Spanish in the live in-person, hybrid, or remote format upon reopening.  With the support of OUBOCES, the District will provide professional learning opportunities to employees and the region that supports best practices in all three formats of instruction and cover equitable instruction for ELLs, SWDs, and general education students who are studying world languages such as Spanish to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.

     

    By using the District and BOCES resources, the District is prepared to reopen the schools and serve ELLs, MLLs, and students learning world languages as students expand skills, knowledge, and facilities with languages.

     

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    Staffing

    Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

    All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the District’s approved APPR plan. The Florida Union Free School District will consider whether the currently approved APPR plans may need to be revised in order to be consistent with the plans for re-opening under an in-person, remote or hybrid instructional model. School leaders will continue to attend annually required Lead Evaluator training.

     

    Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching

    All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.

     

    Student Teachers

    Student teachers from NYSED registered college or university programs  can serve under the supervision of fully certified teachers in the District.  Student teachers will follow all of the social distancing,  mask wearing, health status reporting, and other COVID-19  procedures that the teachers follow.  Student teachers will serve under the supervision of full time certified teachers only.  At no time will a student teacher be used as a teacher of record.

     

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    Key References

      Additional References

      Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the district’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:

      A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted, a set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance

      NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening Plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.

      Also by July 31, 2020, districts must complete a short companion Department of Health survey that includes a link to the publicly posted plan on the district/school website.

       

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