Unadilla Valley CSD is Closed for Summer; Reopening Planning Underway
Although Unadilla Valley CSD is closed for the summer due to the COVID-19 health crisis, our feeding program is continuing. Planning for our reopening in September is underway. Please visit our Reopening Resource page below for more information.
 

Unadilla Valley

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PO BOX F | 4238 State Highway 8
New Berlin, NY 13411
P: 607.847.7500
F: 607.847.9194
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Reopening Plan

Reopening our PK-12 school: 

Unadilla Valley CSD Reopening Plan 

Introduction

On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.  

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model.

Unadilla Valley School is offering in-person, socially distanced instruction for students in grades K-12 on a 50-50 basis. All students will attend in person instruction with modified schedules (as outlined below) and for most students, this would involve in-person attendance and remote learning on an alternating daily basis. Families who wish to have their students attend remotely must notify the District if they intend to engage in this type of learning by August 14, 2020. Any changes in regards to learning scenario will be made using the communication plan found in Appendix B. It is important to note that the District plan can be superseded by Chenango County DOH or NYS Guidance to move to a virtual model based on the current pandemic situation

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Unadilla Valley Central School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

   The Unadilla Valley Central School District is a one building, Pre K - 12 district that consists of an elementary wing and a secondary wing. The Reopening Plan will be implemented with fidelity throughout the building and grounds and can be found at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our 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).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our 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 our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Kevin Nial will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. He will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff, other school community members, as well as Chenango County DOH and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. He can be reached at knial@uvstorm.org or 607-847-7500 extension 1134.

  

Content Outline

Communication/Family and Community Engagement
Health and Safety
Facilities
Child Nutrition
Transportation
Social Emotional Well-Being
School Schedules
School Activities
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Technology and Connectivity
Teaching and Learning
Special Education
Bilingual Education and World Languages
Staff

Communication/Family and Community Engagement

 To help inform our reopening plan, the 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 online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations. The district hosted two evening community forums that were held in person and virtually. Community stakeholders and faculty members were able to share questions, thoughts and concerns.  In response to the questions posed, the district created  specific  answers. 


Currently, a survey has been disseminated to the community at large in order to ascertain additional information from families about their intentions for their child’s education in the fall.  The survey also seeks to verify connectivity status of families and the need for devices to ensure the continuity of learning.  Orientation sessions will be provided over a two-week period so small groups of children may be brought in to receive explicit instruction on the health and safety protocols that the district has in place. 


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 https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, in response to the ever-changing 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.


In preparing for the reopening of school and the start of a new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all pertinent information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use all existing communication channels, (i.e: School Messenger, Facebook, district webpage, district based app, newsletter) in combination with appropriate signage and training opportunities.  These methods have proven to be the most effective when sharing pertinent information with district stakeholders and the surrounding community.

 
The district also actively seeks the dissemination and consistent application of new procedures, protocols, expectations, and options as they relate to school operations over the course of the pandemic.  The district will again rely on the modes of communication identified above to:  communicate news, updated requirements and modifications to the district plan as it relates to reopening and in-person instruction, social distancing, and health/ hygiene requirements.


The information that we will share will be based on the latest state guidance and on recommendations of our own reopening committee(s). The district's reopening committees have consisted of: Health, Safety and Wellness, Transportation, Communication, Grading, Scheduling, Professional Development, and the Whole School Experience (at both the Elementary and Secondary levels).


In order to make remote learning feasible,  the district will make computer devices available to all students and teachers.   A survey has been sent to all stakeholders to assess their personal levels  of connectivity and access to technology.  The district will establish and publicize multiple ways in which school administrators, teachers, staff and secretaries can be reached during remote learning.  This may include, district emails, Seesaw and  Google Classroom platforms, telephone calls and messages. 


The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. The district will communicate about schedules by mid-August via mailings and electronic means.


The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child(ren). The district has protocols to ensure parents/legal guardians of students who receive special services are receiving meaningful engagement in their preferred language and mode of communication.


In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication. The district has protocols to ensure parents/legal guardians of students who are considered English language learners are receiving communications in their preferred language and mode of communication.


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 students’ 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 minimally the following protocols that are detailed later in this plan:

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

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. Additionally, the district will access the CDC sample announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19, videos about behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19, and utilize the digital resources on the CDC’s communications resources webpage. 


The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.  

The district will share with all stakeholders its protocols and safety measures regarding containment and health and safety protocols at orientation sessions throughout a two week period in August (August 17th-27th). Continued instruction will occur daily as students participate in, in person learning opportunities.  In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. The district will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.


School Closures
The district is preparing for situations in which one or more school buildings need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases. Collaboration with local health officials to determine parameters, conditions or metrics, such as increased absenteeism or increased illness, that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.


A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. The district will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.


Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises over 9% after Aug. 1. Schools will close if the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%. Schools in regions in Phase IV can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average, unless otherwise directed from our local county health departments. If the infection rate rises about 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5%. Once schools open at Phase IV below 5% for a 14-day rolling average, schools can remain open even if the rate continues to rise about 5% until it reaches 9% for the 7-day average.


School will be notified by:  Chenango County Department of Public Health, 5 Court Street Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 337-1660 on the situation.


School administrators should consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. Schools may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities. Schools should consult their medical director and/or the local department of health when making such decisions.
Determine which operations will be decreased, or ceased and which operations will be conducted remotely; include a process to conduct orderly closures which may include phasing, milestones, and involvement of key personnel.  UVCS Superintendent may send a “School Messenger” and inform of a “virtual day” in the event of teacher and/or substitute shortage or other such situation when internal coverage can’t be arranged. The district may choose to modify operations in one or more schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will consult with the Chenango County Department of Health when making such decisions.

 
School building administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.

Back to content outline

Health and Safety

The health and safety of Unadilla Central School students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school. Our 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 following protocols and procedures will be in place in district and district run programs for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator at, Kevin Nial, knial@uvstorm.org 607-847-7500, extension 1134. 

For more information about how health and safety protocols and training will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Reopening Plan Communication Process found in Appendix B of our Reopening Plan.

Health checks

The district has developed resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources. 

The Unadilla Valley Central School District will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening. These can be found in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx. Paper copies can also be made available upon request. Screening will be conducted in-person at school. Parents/guardians will be instructed how to support this at home. 

  1. Daily temperature checks and completion of the screening questionnaire provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines for staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors before fully entering the building. 

  2. Daily temperature check and completion of the screening questionnaire (mentioned above) for students will take place when boarding the bus or when entering the building for self-transported students. Additionally screenings will be done randomly throughout the day. 

    1. Temperature checks will be completed and attended to in a discreet manner on a student by student basis. 

    2. Students will be treated with respect and screening will be completed discreetly if not done at home by a parent/guardian. 

    3. In addition to parents/guardians completing the screening before the start of school, all students will be screened and their temperature taken as they enter the school building. 

    4. Screening will take place as quickly as possible as students enter the building. Students will maintain social distancing as they enter the building. As students are being screened, they will maintain a distance to ensure confidentiality. Students not being screened will remain in the vestibule area behind closed doors when others are being screened. Students of the same household may be screened at the same time. 

  3. The screening data collection method for students: staff will use a screening form and be trained in the use of this form. Data will only be recorded and kept if symptoms are indicative of possible Covid-19 infection. Records will only be kept long enough to inform local Public Health of the aforementioned concerns. From this point we will follow the recommendation of the local Public Health office. 

  4. Isolation of persons with temperature or symptoms indicative of Covid-19: Individuals will be moved to the “Isolation Room”. This room has outside access and is adjacent to a restroom that is not available to the entire population. At this point school health officials will continue the evaluation and contact parents/guardians as well as the local Public Health Office if warranted. 

  5. In addition to protocols mentioned for students, all staff will complete a self-screening each day. Staff will scan a QR code and fill out the questionnaire. In addition to the screening questions, staff will take their own temperature. Temperature must be below 100°F. If temperature is 100°F or above, the staff member must report this and will not report to work. In addition, if other new symptoms (not known or chronic symptoms from a pre-existing condition) are noticed, staff members should not report to work. Staff members will contact the school and inform of the situation. Staff will be directed to obtain a more thorough health assessment and report results to the building administrator and supervisor.  

    1. Kathleen Hansen, Elementary Principal, khansen@uvstorm.org

    2. Kimberly Murray, Secondary Principal, kmurray@uvstorm.org

  6. Maureen Perry, mperry@uvstorm.org will review the incoming reports of screening by staff and parent/guardians attesting that they are completed. 

  7. Regina White, rwhite@uvstorm.org will be the contact person for staff or students to inform if they later experience COVID-19 symptoms.

  8. The district will minimally provide regular reminders via email, website, facebook, school messenger, or paper copy to staff and parents/guardians of the health protocols and practices.

In-school temperature screening protocols:

  • Staff will supervise students who are waiting their turn

  • Student social distancing requirements as mentioned previously will be adhered to

  • All staff members who complete screenings and temperature checks will be trained 

  • Sufficient supplies for taking temperatures will be available

  • Staff will use PPE when conducting the screenings 

Social distancing, Face Coverings & PPE

The district has developed a plan with policies and procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when using school facilities, grounds, and district transportation.

  • Physical spacing/maintaining 6 feet social distancing will be in effect and practiced during the school day. To assist with this, tape lines will be placed in the middle of hallways, and signage will instruct on social distancing and keeping right  Additionally, there will be marked “traffic patterns” in key places such as the Cafeteria, Nurse’s Office, etc. 

  • Social distancing protects you from COVID-19 infection. 

  • Social distancing will be in effect in school hallways/stairwells/open areas/classrooms/ gymnasium/cafeteria.

  • Avoid close contact during the school day. Do your best to keep at least 6 feet apart.

  • Classroom desks will minimally be 6 feet apart.

  • Bus transportation will require physical spacing, unless from the same household.

  • Keep minimum 6 feet spacing during school meals.

  • Avoid large gatherings to allow for proper social distancing.

  • Respect one another’s physical space.

  • Hall monitors will be at the intersection of key hallways to ensure good student practices


The Unadilla Valley School District has deployed signage/posters throughout the campus, alerting and reminding students and staff of what is expected during the school day.


  • UV Storm Pride signage:

    • Hand sanitizing station

    • Please practice social distancing

    • Follow one-way traffic (arrows)

    • Face coverings required

    • Visitors must sign-in

  • Obeying signage messages allows for a safe reopening of school.


Stay COVID-19 free

Proper face coverings must be worn in common areas such as hallways or school buses. For those medically unable to wear face coverings accommodations will be added to existing IEP or 504 plans. Emergency 504 plans will also be considered for those in need of accommodations. 

Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings indoors and in certain situations outside, including on the school bus, when six-foot physical distancing is not possible. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one if they have stipulation from their primary care provider. Additionally the district will have stipulations reviewed by the school physician for further recommendations regarding best education practice.

Because students and staff will need to be prepared to wear a face covering if another person unexpectedly cannot socially distance, they will be required to wear a face covering in all common areas (e.g., entrances and exits) and when traveling around the school. 

Face coverings will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. 

Employees are allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering if they choose. Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.

Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school, so there may be periods of time when masks are not worn; “mask breaks” will be regularly scheduled. 

Face coverings should not be placed on:

  • Children younger than 2 years old

  • Students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction

  • Anyone who has acute trouble breathing or is unconscious

  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance 

The district will instruct students, parents/guardians and staff, contractors and vendors on:

  • The proper way to wear face coverings

  • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering

  • Proper way to discard disposable face coverings

  • Students will each be provided with two cloth coverings that will be theirs to keep and care for

  • There will be additional face coverings available for those that are in need

Infection control strategies

  • In accordance with CDC/Health guidelines, the Unadilla Valley Central School District recommends frequent handwashing during the school day for all students and staff. Frequent handwashing prevents the transmission of COVID-19 virus. 

  • Signage will be visibly posted to remind all of the importance of frequent handwashing. 

  • Sufficient access to handwashing stations will be available throughout the school campus (hallways, classrooms, bathrooms). 

  • Scrub with soap/sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Scrub for at least 20 seconds. There will be touch free paper towel dispensers in bathrooms. 

  • Avoid touching your face or face covering during the school day. 

  • When coughing/sneezing, cover your mouth with the inside of your elbow. Cough/sneeze using tissues if available. 

  • Please wash your hands when:

    • Arriving and leaving home

    • Arriving and leaving school

    • After playing outside

    • Before/after eating

    • After sharing things with others

    • After blowing your nose/coughing/sneezing

    • After using the school bathroom

  • Proper handwashing ensures personal health.


Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

  • Bathrooms will have every other stall marked as not available for use. Urinals available for use will also be marked accordingly. 

  • There will be a minimum of eight (8) no touch water bottle filling stations available throughout the building. Drinking fountains will not be available for use. 

  • Touch free paper towel dispensers will be available in all bathrooms.

  • Staff in the Elementary building will provide a log of when entire classes make use of bathroom facilities. This log will be submitted to custodial services to ensure that cleaning is completed as necessary. 

Ventilation

  • Doors and windows will remain open for better ventilation during the school day whenever possible. 

  • The current ventilation system does meet minimum requirements and will be inspected regularly. 

Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

The district requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. The district has designated areas to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies. 

The district has identified a room in the front of the building, away from student classrooms and near the school health office as well as the School Based Health Clinic to use as the isolation room. This room has a sink for hand hygiene, access to an individual bathroom, and a direct exit for family member pickup.

PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face) should be added. When caring for a suspect or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If an N-95 respirator is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used.

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula).

Aerosol Generating Procedures

Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. The district requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: gloves, N-95 or a surgical mask with face shield, eye protection and a gown. PPE will be used when: suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions. 

Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished. 

Cleaning of the room will occur between use and cleaning of the equipment should be done following manufacturer’s instructions after each use.  

If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

The district requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

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 local health department.

COVID-19 Testing

  • Unadilla Valley school nurses are trained and responsible for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases during the school day. 

  • Students/staff who develop symptoms of COVID-19 illness while at school should be referred to the nurses office.

  • Suspected COVID-19 cases will immediately be isolated/separated from others and placed in an isolation room. 

  • Nursing staff will medically triage suspected cases. 

  • The COVID-19 Coordinator and building principal will be notified once the student/staff is isolated.

  • Parents will be notified to come and pick up their student. If the student cannot be picked up, the school will provide transportation. Parents will be given a number to call when they arrive at the school and their child will be delivered to them at their car.  

  • Any symptomatic COVID-19 student/staff member sent home should be seen by a healthcare provider.

  • The Chenango County Health Department will be notified of all suspected COVID-19 cases.

  • UVCS School will await direction from the Chenango County Health Department.

  • All school areas occupied by suspected COVID-19 cases will be immediately deep-cleaned by school custodial staff. 

  • School district administration will communicate plans for continuing or dismissing school in accordance with Chenango County DOH and federal CDC guidelines. 

  • Parents of suspected COVID-19 symptomatic students will be advised to keep the child home until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.

  • UVCS will require any student or staff member who becomes infected with COVID-19 or is suspected of infection and/or quarantined to adhere to the following before returning to school: 

  1. Contact, communicate, and cooperate with the Chenango County Health Dept. on COVID-19 for mandatory tracking/tracing follow-up procedures.

  2. Present to UVCS Administration a medical release and return to school/work, approved and signed by a licensed medical provider. 

In the event that a large-scale testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district administration will work with the following providers:

  1. Chenango County Department of Public Health: 5 Court Street Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 337-1660

  2. Bassett School Based Health Clinic

Contact Tracing

The district will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district. 

To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district has developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program by:

  1. Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members

  2. Ensuring student schedules are up to date 

  3. Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited

  4. Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program

Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department. 

For more information about how COVID-19 containment efforts will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

School Closures

A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. The district will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. 

  • Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises over 9% after Aug. 1. Schools will close if the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%.

  • Schools in regions in Phase 4 can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average, unless otherwise directed from the LOCAL (insert county) health department. 

  • If the infection rate rises about 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5%

  • Once schools open at Phase IV below 5% for a 14-day rolling average, schools can remain open even if the rate continues to rise about 5% until it reaches 9% for the 7-day average.

  • School will be notified by:  Chenango County Department of Public Health, 5 Court Street Norwich, NY 13815 (607) 337-1660 on the situation.

  • School administrators should consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. 

  • Schools may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities.

  • Schools should consult their medical director and/or the local department of health when making such decisions.

  • Determine which operations will be decreased, or ceased and which operations will be conducted remotely; include a process to conduct orderly closures which may include phasing, milestones, and involvement of key personnel. 

  • UVCS Superintendent may send a “School Messenger” and inform of a “virtual day” in the event of teacher and/or substitute shortage or other such situation when internal coverage can’t be arranged. 

For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visitAppendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

Health hygiene

The district will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, auditorium, custodial staff areas) and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

  1. Stay home if they feel sick.

  2. Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with any stricter policy implemented by the school.

  3. Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.

  4. Adhere to social distancing instructions.

  5. Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.

  6. Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.

  7. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Hand Hygiene 

Students and staff must carry out the following hand hygiene practices.  

  • Wash hands routinely with soap (any kind) and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Dry hands completely after washing. Use paper towels to dry hands.

  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed on the hands until it is completely absorbed. DO NOT dry hands if sanitizer is used.

Hand washing should occur:

  • Before and after eating (e.g. snacks and lunch).

  • After going to the restroom or after assisting a student with toileting.

  • After using a tissue.

  • Before and after using shared materials.

  • Before and after putting on or taking off face masks.

  • After coming in from the outdoors.

  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.

Respiratory Hygiene

The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Therefore, the district will emphasize the importance of respiratory hygiene. 

Students and staff must carry out the following respiratory hygiene practices.

  • Cover a cough or sneeze using a tissue. If a tissue is used, it should be thrown away immediately.  

  • If you don’t have a tissue when sneezing or coughing, sneeze into your elbow.

  • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.

  • Face coverings are protective. Wearing a face covering will keep the respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

For more information about how hygiene information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

Cleaning and disinfecting

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.   

For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.                      

Vulnerable populations/accommodations 

We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. 

  • Families/students will have the option to engage in full virtual learning upon request

  • Those with special needs will also be accorded social distancing of more than 6 feet when possible

  • Students without an existing IEP or 504 can obtain an emergency 504 based on their need. 

Visitors on campus

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 District office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Face covering will be provided to visitors if they do not have one. 

Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.

School safety drills

The district will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without exceptions. Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies. 

Protocol to conduct required school safety drills with modifications ensuring social distancing between persons:

  • Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. Methods to promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills are ultimately the district’s or other applicable school’s decision and responsibility. Those changes must be included in the Fire Safety plans.

  • Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. When planning drills, consideration should be given to how a school may modify their drill procedures to minimize risk of spreading infection. Conducting drills is an important part of keeping students and staff safe in an emergency; however, steps should be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. As such, it may be necessary for schools to conduct drills in the school year using protocols that are different than they are used to.

  • Regardless of the modification used when conducting a drill, students should be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

Modifications to evacuation drill protocols:

  • Fire Drills will be conducted as typical with the following additions: 

  1. Students and Staff will properly wear PPE.

  2. Students will remain quiet.

  3. Students and Staff will walk the hall toward their designated egress maintaining at least six feet of social distance. 

  4. Students will line up outside in designated areas and continue to remain quiet and maintain social distance.

  5. While outside, students may remove their face covering for a “mask break”.  

  6. When returning to the building, students will wear face covering and maintain social distancing protocols.  

  • When the school is using a hybrid model (“A Days” and “B Days”) fire drills will occur on a schedule to ensure that all students are able to participate in said drills.

Modifications to Lockdown Drills: 

  • Lockdown drills will take place in the classroom setting while maintaining social distancing/using face coverings.

  • Lockdown drills will occur on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing, drills will occur on a schedule to ensure that all students are able to participate in said drills.

  • Lockdown drills will be conducted in the classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” and teachers/adult supervisors will provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom in the event of an actual emergency. A written “script” will be provided to adult supervisors to help instruct students. 

  • All other aspects of the Lockdown Drill will remain the same, I.E. teachers will resume teaching only after their classroom has been cleared by a school official or designee, appropriate announcements, have been made, etc.


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Facilities

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. 

 

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Child Nutrition

School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely. 

For information about how meal information will be communicated, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

Meals onsite

For those students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing. 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 and may be eating in the school cafeteria. If not feasible, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or in staggered meal periods 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.

Cafeteria Protocols: 

    Cleaning and Disinfecting:

  • All tables and chairs will be fully cleaned/disinfected after each use. The serving line will also be cleaned/disinfected after each grouping of students receive their meals. There will be no sharing of food, (I.E. share table). The serving line will be no touch for the students. Students will inform workers what they desire and the item will be placed on their tray or handed to them. 

  • Disposable plates and plasticware will be used. 

  • Direction/training will be provided for cleaning.


Staff Practices:

  • Cafeteria staff will perform a self-health assessment each day before the start of work. 

  • Cafeteria staff will take their temperature when they arrive at work each day. Temperature must be below 100 degrees F. If temperature is 100 degrees F or above, the staff member must report this and will not remain in the building. Staff members will be directed to obtain a more thorough health assessment and report results to the building administrator and supervisor. 

  • All staff members will appropriately use PPE and social distancing protocols beyond already established guidelines for food workers.

  • If workers have physical contact with an individual they will change gloves.

  • Students will inform workers of food choices and workers will place all food on disposable trays.

  • Students will at no time have touch contact with food or serving areas. 


Student PPE/Social Distancing In Cafeteria: 

  • Students must properly wear (over nose and mouth) appropriate face covering while in the cafeteria when they are not actively eating or drinking. Students will stay in their assigned seat. 

  • Students will use social distancing protocols in the cafeteria. As per NYSED criteria, the cafeteria can accommodate approx. 150 individuals. The divider in the middle of the room will be used to separate the cafeteria, 50 people per side. Students will only use seats that are designated for use.  Long Tables: Seats will be arranged in a manner that students are not sitting directly across from each other. Also, every other seat will be used for stationary seats. Octagonal Tables: Only four students per table will be allowed. 

  • Seats that are marked with a “red X” are not to be used. 

  • Students will not leave their seats unless they raise their hand and get permission from an adult supervisor. Students will dispose of their trays as they are leaving the cafeteria.

  • Students will follow social distancing protocols. Students will follow the traffic patterns as marked on the floor and signage on the wall.

  • Students will be dismissed by table and leave the cafeteria using social distancing protocols.

  • Students will obtain extra snacks during their first trip through the lunch line.

Use of Classrooms/Alternate Spaces for Lunch:

  • Students in grades PK-2 will have meals delivered to the classroom. 

  • While eating, students may remove PPE but must remain socially distant from others. 

  • Students in grades 3-12 will report to the lunch line in cohorts, as per their schedule. They will follow marked “traffic patterns” and maintain social distancing protocols. They will take their lunch to their designated area for consumption. While eating, they may remove face coverings but must adhere to social distancing protocols. 


Meals offsite/remote

Students will receive meals on a daily basis (Monday-Friday) when school is in session whether remote or in-person. We will be working on an “A-Day/B-Day” schedule. Students in the building on “A-Days” will receive lunch to take home for the next day, “B-Day” when they are not in school (A-Day and B-Day to be reversed accordingly). Lunches will be placed in a cooler on the school bus then handed to students as they exit the bus. Students that self-transport will pick up their meals at the end of their in-person school day at a set location area near the exits at the north and south end of the campus designated for self transport and/or family member pickup. 

 

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Transportation

 

The district will conduct transportation activities that 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) and should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable.  

Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced. 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 once a 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 where Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district whose schools are meeting in 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. 

School Bus Staff 

School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their employer as per the reporting policies and seek medical attention.  

School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield.  

Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  

Transportation departments/carriers will need to provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.  

Drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.

When temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, school buses should transport passengers with roof hatches or windows slightly opened to provide air flow.

Parent/Guardian Transportation: 

  • Parents and guardians are encouraged to drop off and pick up students if possible.

  • The school will provide designated areas and times for pick-up and drop-off. 


Protocols for bus drivers, monitors and attendants include:

  • All buses will be fully cleaned/disinfected each day. High contact areas will be wiped down after each AM and PM run. Direction and training will be provided for cleaning.

  • Drivers, monitors and attendants will perform a self-health screening each day before the start of work. This will include scanning the QR code and answering the questions or filling out a hard copy of the screening form. 

  • Drivers, monitors, and attendants will take their temperature at the bus garage before boarding the bus each day. Temperature must be below 100 degrees F. If temperature is 100 degrees F or above, the staff member must report this and will not board the bus. Staff members will be directed to obtain a more thorough health assessment and report results to the building administrator and supervisor.  

  • The driver, monitor, and attendant may wear gloves if they choose to do so but are not required unless they must be in physical contact with students. If they are in physical contact with a student they must change gloves following the interaction.

  • Drivers or attendants will verbally confirm that the student wellness assessment checklist has been completed by an adult. If it is indicated that the assessment has not occurred, the driver or attendant will perform the assessment on the student.

  • Temperature checks will be completed by the driver or bus attendant. Temperature must be below 100 degrees F or the student cannot ride the school bus. If the temperature of a student is 100 degrees F or higher one or more of the following options will be executed. 

    • The driver will radio the school and the family will be contacted with this information letting them know that the student(s) and family unit members will remain home. 

    • If the family cannot be contacted, the student and family unit members will sit in the isolation seat(s) and taken to school for further screening by school health professionals.

    • A van will be dispatched if the family cannot be contacted to retrieve the student(s) at the bus stop, or if there is not sufficient room on the bus isolation seat(s). The student(s) will then be taken to school for further screening by school health professionals.

    • Transportation staff will wash their hands with soap and water before and after am and pm runs to keep healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:

      • touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

      • touch a contaminated surface or objects

      • blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects


Protocols for students include:

  • Students and families will be provided with information and training regarding riding the bus with PPE and social distancing protocols.

  • Students must properly wear (over nose and mouth) appropriate face covering for the entire bus ride. Students will stay in their assigned seat, below the level of the seat back that is in front of the student. PPE will be provided to students who forgot or do not have PPE. Medically exempt students will, in advance, provide the school with valid documentation from primary care providers.

  • Students from the same household will sit together on the bus. Students not from the same household will sit in a seat as directed by the bus driver or monitor.

  • The bus driver will indicate when students can exit the school bus. Students will exit the bus and remain minimally six feet apart using social distancing protocols.

  • All students exiting the bus will enter the building though the District Office entrance.

  • Secondary Students that are dropped off or self-transport will enter through the Secondary Entrance. 

  • Elementary students that are dropped off will enter through the Elementary Entrance. 

  • Parents will not enter the building with students unless there is a pre-arranged meeting.

  • Buses will arrive at the school and unload students on a staggered schedule. This will ensure that students are not all entering the building at the same time for screening protocols. 

  • Students will be loaded on buses for dismissal using a staggered process.


For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

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Social Emotional Well-Being

We recognize that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. The district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions. This has been done by: 

The district will have two social workers and two school counselors available daily to identify and support students having difficulty with transitioning back into the school setting. The Counseling Department will also assist teachers and support staff with strategies to help students adjust to changes within the school and learning environment. Students will be with minimal adults throughout the day and in smaller cohorts, approximately 10. This will allow for more adult contact as well as time to provide reassurance and education around the new procedures. There will also be a School Resource Officer available to assist in classrooms and manage procedural needs. 

The district has established an advisory council that involves shared decision-making and is composed of families, students, members of the board of education, school building and/or district/charter leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers. The advisory council will inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan. This program plan has been reviewed and updated to meet current needs.

The district addresses professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. This is addressed by:

The COVID 19 Coordinator will plan with the District Administrative Staff to implement professional development for all district staff the first days they return in September. Staff will receive training using the Reopening Guidance: Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s School. Items that will be covered through education and training are: health and safety (preventative actions, symptoms, health checks and screenings, DOH guidance, social distancing, face coverings), facilities changes/alterations, transportation procedures, social-emotional well being, school schedule, attendance and chronic absenteeism, student/family engagement and adjustments to teaching and learning. 
 

The district has also gathered feedback from constituents through community forums and faculty conversations. These opportunities allowed the administration and Board of Education to hear concerns and needs of families moving forward. Many families are experiencing anxiety and worries as they prepare for their children to return to school. The Counseling Department will utilize the feedback to work with families and students as they generate schedules and plan the opening days as well as the school year. 

 

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School Schedules

 Elementary School (UPK-5)
   

  • Students will attend in person instruction at a level of 50% on an A/B rotational schedule.
  • 8-13 students per classroom.
  • Students will receive instruction virtually on the days they are not in physical attendance.
  • Art and Media will be provided in the classroom.
  • Music and Physical Education will be provided in an environment that will allow for 12 foot social distancing as required by the activity.
  • Students will have breakfast/lunch/recess in classroom cohorts.
  • Instruction will be provided based on Essential/Priority Standards with the goal of providing engaging educational experiences to continue to emphasize the love of learning. 
  • Grading will be standards based at the appropriate level. 


Middle School (grades 6-8):  

  • Students will receive instruction virtually on days that they are not scheduled to receive in person instruction.
  • The average, daily class size will not exceed 13 students per classroom.
  • Students will follow a semestered schedule with a 5 week rotation of core and encore courses.
  • Student achievement during each 5 week course rotation of courses will be reported through the use of eight marking periods (M1- M8).
  • Students will be grouped into small, daily cohort groups based on their grade levels, student needs, and course offerings.  All efforts will be made to maintain the integrity of such groups and limit their movement throughout the building and across their school day.
  • Grading will be numerical (0-100).
  • Teachers may utilize the district developed, Blended Learning rubric to support  learners with social, emotional, or economical barriers that impact their ability to achieve in a blended learning environment.


High School (grades 9- 12):

  • Students will attend in person instruction at a level of 50% on an A/B rotational schedule.
  • Students will receive instruction virtually on days that they are not scheduled to receive in person instruction.
  • The average, daily class size will not exceed 13 students per classroom.
  • Students will follow a semestered, block schedule.
  • Student achievement will be reported through the use of four marking periods (M1- M4).
  • Students will be grouped into small, daily cohort groups based on their grade levels, student needs, course offerings, and credits needed for graduation.  All efforts will be made to maintain the integrity of such groups and limit their movement throughout the building and across their school day.
  • Grading will be numerical (0-100).
  • Teachers may utilize the district developed, Blended Learning rubric to support learners with social, emotional, or economical barriers that impact their ability to achieve in a blended learning environment.

At all levels, if the parents/guardians choose not to send their children back to the school, the building will provide instruction remotely. 

For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

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School Activities

Extracurriculars

The district has subcommittees of students, parents/guardians and advisors/coaches that will be meeting to review how we provide opportunities for students to be involved in extracurriculars that can be implemented following the guidelines detailed in this plan and aligned to the CDC and NYSDOH requirements.  This aspect of school life will not start until minimally September 21, 2020.

Childcare

The district will not be offering before- school programming due to the challenges of staffing and classroom cohort considerations. An aftercare program is run by an outside agency.  This agency will be expected to implement the protocols included in this plan for social distancing, PPE usage, cleaning and disinfection requirements, as well as risk of COVID-19 transmission. Protocols in how to maintain cohorts, if applicable, or group members of the same household will also be expected.

 

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Technology and Connectivity

The district is conducting a survey to further identify internet access and capacity. This is a follow-up survey conducted by the district; an initial survey was conducted during closure which helped to identify initial barriers to learning in regard to technology. The most recent survey specifically identifies access to internet and internet capacity; the district is seeking to know and understand a household’s ability to connect and multi-stream throughout the day. The survey will be provided electronically with printed copies mailed to those who are unable to complete the electronic version. Phone calls will be made to any household who has not completed the survey in order to ensure all staff/students/families have been accounted for in the plan. 

The district is currently in the process of extending its exterior wifi around the building and throughout its parking lots. This will allow any student, family, or teacher without the internet to gain access outside the building in a safe manner at any time of day. The district is also working with Southern Tier 8 to identify areas with no connectivity within the district to secure necessary hotspots. 

All students and staff will be issued a device by the district. The rollout of devices will include holistic training for staff, students, and families on how to use the device as well their designated learning platform. There will be ongoing support for staff, students, and families for both the device and platform to ensure learning is enhanced and assisted both in a remote and blended model. Support will include in-person and remote training opportunities, a district-wide technology Google Site that includes a library of video and written tutorials, resources, and a help desk form. The district has designated technology support for staff, students, and families for all instructional models. Students will be given direct instruction to develop digital fluency. 

Staff will be provided with professional development opportunities to develop and implement effective online learning experiences as well as best practices for instruction in remote/online settings. Training will be offered over the summer and throughout the school year to ensure learning is personal and authentic. 

The district will provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote and blended models. Two online learning platforms, Seesaw and Google Classroom, will be utilized to support and enhance learning experiences. These platforms will streamline communication and effectively connect teachers with students and families. Students will have the ability to engage in a variety of learning experiences that can be supported with little to no internet access. For example, all students will have the ability to work offline on their devices. All instructional materials will be uploaded at a designated time to student devices and be accessed at home even if they do not have internet access. The district will coordinate a schedule for this process regardless if learning is remote or blended. This system will be used to provide equity in learning while the district works to increase access for all students. 

The district is working to develop learning experiences that offer students and families flexibility and support. 

Student data privacy and security will be maintained and the district is implementing all the necessary facets to be in compliance with Federal and State laws related to student technology use, including Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

 

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Teaching and Learning

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

These days will also be utilized for student orientation. This time will allow small groups of students to meet with their new teacher and begin to establish the relationship necessary for a successful school year.

As we enter 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.dcmoboces.org.

Parents will receive a survey the last week of July and/or the first week of August to attain information about their intentions for the 2020-2021 school year. Once the district is aware what each family’s preference is, they will receive more information. They will be provided relevant information about what they will be required to do/opt-in/out of remote and/or in-person learning for their child. 

Parents will be reassured that if they choose not to send their child back to school, each building will provide instruction remotely. 

In-person Instruction 

Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced 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 number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing. Each building will be using a hybrid, A/B rotation, 50% of students in-person, per day. The district will identify new approaches for delivering instruction and provide adequate supervision of students.

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

Our 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 our reopening plan. 

The model of in-person instruction that will be used for elementary and secondary students will be different given the health and safety protocols that will be in place. The daily learning experiences will be provided based on the pre-assessment that indicates student achievement levels since closure. Students will be in consistent cohorts for all school experiences and remain with the small group throughout the day to minimize interactions.

  • Regular, substantive interactions will occur between students and teachers. Students will be assigned one grade level teacher. Special area teachers will travel to individual classrooms. Teachers will have assigned instructional planning time when students receive art, music, media and PE. 

  • Students will remain in their cohorts for lunch and recess. 

  • One support staff person will assist with lunch coverage.

  • Clear opportunities for instruction are accessible to all students such as aligned with state standards, routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers. This will occur with in-person instruction as well as remote learning. Seesaw and Google Classroom will allow for continued and regular student/family and educator engagement.

For in-person instruction students and families can obtain information by visiting the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our 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, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

Instruction will focus on subject areas. Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. 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.

Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include opportunities for students to access credit bearing material.  While recording of live lessons is ideal for students unable to attend at a scheduled time, teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. We will use a five-scale grading rubric based on levels of competency/mastery, which can then be aligned to numeric bands (for GPA purposes).

Additional detail relating to the model of remote/hybrid instruction that will be used for elementary and secondary students is provided below. Student experiences will include student, teacher and peer engagement.

  • Regular and substantive interactions will occur between students and teachers. Students will attend school every other day, A/B days, and engage in remote learning on the opposite day. Staff will have scheduled office hours to provide support daily during assigned remote learning days. 

  • Clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students (i.e., aligned with state standards, include routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers

For information about how remote/hybrid instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of the plan.

 

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Special Education

Return to building: Practices for the delivery of 50/50 Special Education Services and Programming

Before Opening

• Unadilla Valley Central School (UVCS) has established and maintained communication with parents/guardians and local health authorities about the scale and scope of in-person special education services and instruction.  All programs and services are being provided in accordance with students’ Individualized Education Plans and as designed by the Committee on Special Education.

• The UVCS has consulted the most recent federal guidance for school programs, including ongoing mitigation strategies, as well as prevention, support, and communication resources.

• The UVCS has ensured that appropriate social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene, and cleaning/disinfection protocols are in place.

• We have posted signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering.

• Faculty and staff have been trained on the health and safety precautions related to Covid -19.  Training was completed both remotely and in person.  Training included how to use appropriate social distancing, requirements of face coverings, and how to best support the use and tolerance for face coverings.

While Operating:

  • All school participants will adopt and implement healthy hygiene practices.

  • UVCS will ensure acceptable face coverings are worn by all staff whenever they are unable to maintain social distancing and/ or within six feet of any students or other staff members.  Medical exemptions will be considered and accommodated on an individual basis.

  • UVCS will provide and have an adequate supply of face coverings at no-cost to staff and students in need.

  • UVCS employees may use alternate PPE (i.e., face shields or coverings that are transparent at or around the mouth) for therapies or interventions that require visualization of tone’s face or mouth (e.g. speech therapy). These alternate coverings may also be used for students (e.g. hearing impaired) that benefit from the full visualization of their communication partners face.

  • Staff members will encourage students to wear acceptable face coverings. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2, or for anyone who is unable to medically tolerate such covering, including students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction.

  • UVCS will provide information to staff and students on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.

  • UVCS will reinforce proper hand hygiene and cough/sneeze covering among all students and staff.

  • UVCS will provide and maintain adequate supplies to support healthy hand and respiratory hygiene, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older students who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, tissues, and lined trash receptacles.

  • UVCS will increase cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilation.

  • UVCS will adhere to hygiene, cleaning and the disinfection requirements from the CDC and NYSDOH.  UVCS will also maintain logs on site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning/ disinfection.

  • UVCS will clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces within the school at least daily (e.g., equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) and shared objects (e.g., games, art supplies) between uses.

  • UVCS will ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants registered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and keep products away from children.

  • UVCS will ensure ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible such as by opening windows and doors, unless they pose a safety or health risk (e.g., allowing pollens in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to students using the facility.

  • UVCS will ensure that all water systems and features (e.g., drinking fountains, decorative fountains) are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown.

  • All members of UVCS will adhere to appropriate social distancing.

  • Staff will ensure at least six feet of distance between individuals, unless safety or core function of the activity (e.g., instruction) requires a shorter distance. However, any time that staff or faculty are less than six feet from one another or students, they will wear acceptable face coverings.

  • UVCS and staff will ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of students stay with the same staff.

  • UVCS will restrict mixing between groups and limit maximum student group size to ten in any specific area (e.g. classroom) at any given time, as feasible.

  • UVCS will post social distancing markers using tape or signs that denote six feet of spacing in commonly used and other applicable areas.

  • Staff will limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, support proper hand hygiene, and restrict group size to no more than ten students at any given time, as feasible.

  • UVCS will restrict nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups at the same time.

  • Space seating/desks will be at least six feet apart.

  • Classroom desks will not face in a direction toward each other, or students will sit on only one side of tables, spaced apart.

  • Students will eat in the classroom. UVCS will serve individually plated meals to avoid sharing of food and beverages, and ensure the safety of children with food allergies.

  • UVCS will stagger arrival and drop-off times and put in place protocols to limit close contact with parents or guardians and other individuals as much as possible for staff members.

  • Staff will limit sharing of classroom items, objects, and equipment.

  • Each student’s belongings will be separated from others’, placed in individually labeled containers or areas, and ensure they are taken home, cleaned, and disinfected daily.

  • There will be adequate classroom supplies to minimize sharing of high-touch materials to the extent possible or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between use.

  • Students will not share electronic devices, books, and other games or learning aids.

  • Staff will be trained in how to identify signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Staff will be instructed to stay home if they are sick and encourage parents to keep sick students home.

  • UVCS will continue to implement mandatory health screening assessment (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) before employees begin work each day, asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive diagnostic COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days, (4) travel to a state on the NYS travel advisory list.

  • UVCS community members will be required and encouraged to immediately disclose if and when their responses to any of the aforementioned questions changes, such as if they begin to experience symptoms.

  • UVCS personnel will perform screening activities from exposure to potentially infectious employees entering the workplace through the use of PPE, such as a face covering, gloves, gown, and/or face shield. Personnel performing screening activities will be employer-identified individuals who are familiar with CDC, NYSDOH, and OSHA protocols.

  • A plan will be developed for when an employee or student becomes sick.

  • Any employee or student who screens positive for any of the above criteria (i.e., symptoms, test, or close contact) will not be able to enter the school and they will be sent home with instructions to contact their health care provider for assessment and testing.

  • UVCS will immediately notify state and local health departments if an employee or student tests positive for COVID-19.

  • UVCS will cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as employees or students who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.

  • UVCS will maintain a continuous log of every person, including employees and students, who may have close contact with other individuals at the school; excluding deliveries that are performed with appropriate PPE or through contactless means.

  • Logs will contain contact information, such that all contacts may be identified, traced and notified in the event an individual is diagnosed with COVID-19.

  • UVCS maintenance has a plan ready for cleaning, disinfection, and temporarily closing (e.g. 1-2 days) in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.

  • Maintain operations that safeguard public health and safety.

  • UVCS staff will be advised about federal and state benefits and employee resources, including paid sick leave and reasonable accommodations.

  • UVCS will monitor staff absenteeism and have a roster of trained back-up staff.

  • UVCS will monitor health clinic traffic through school nurses and other health care providers who monitor the types of illnesses and symptoms among students.

  • UVCS will designate a staff person to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns. Employees will know who this person is and how to contact them.

  • UVCS has a communication system for staff and families for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures.

  • UVCS staff and students will be assisted with adopting supportive coping and stress reduction practices.

 

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Bilingual Education and World Languages

  • Any students who are supported through world languages and/or bilingual education will be following the plan for in-person, hybrid, and/or remote instruction as outlined in the District’s re-entry plan.  Regardless of the model implemented, students’  plans will be followed with particular emphasis on any needed accommodations and modifications to ensure equity of access with regards to instruction, instructional modalities, and demonstration of learning.  

  • For in-person or hybrid instruction, the District will complete the ELL identification process 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 required 10 school days of initial enrollment. 

  • Required instructional units of study to all ELLs will be provided based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction using services provided by BOCES. 


For information about regular communication and engagement with parents/guardians of English-language learners, visit Appendix B - Reopening Plan Communication Process in our Reopening Plan at https://www.uvstorm.org/ReopeningPlan.aspx.

 

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Staff

Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan. 

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. 

 

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Key References

Additional References

Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website

 

Appendix A

Appendix B