Reopening Our Schools – Updates and Information

As we work toward the reopening of schools, stay up to date on the most recent important updates and information.

The District’s School Reopening is Now Available | Reopening FAQ

Health and Safety

The single most important goal of reopening is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.  Below is detailed information on how the Canajoharie Central School District will strive to achieve that goal:

Reopening Concepts:

  • All faculty and staff will have access to face shields, gowns, gloves and face coverings (faculty and  staff can use their own
  • All students will have access to face coverings (students can use their own)
  • School day will begin at:

    PreK-5 – 8:40am – East Hill and Middle School – building opens at 8:20am
    Grade 6 – 8:10am – Middle School – building opens at 7:50am
    Grades 7-12 – 8:10am – building opens at 7:50am

  • There will be two separate transportation runs in the morning for PreK-5 and 6-12
  • The school day will end at the regular time for all students and only one transportation run
  • The district code of conduct will still be in effect during both in-person and remote learning
  • Grades PreK-6 Grade – In-person – daily – Elementary and Middle School Building:

Grades PreK-5

  • Additional classrooms will be utilized at each grade level to ensure proper social distancing
  • Each grade level will have five sections with 10-14 students in each room
  • Teachers will rotate through each homeroom at each grade level-students will receive instruction in ELA/Writing, Science/Social Studies, Math, AIS, and special areas
  • Each instructional area will receive 50-60 minutes for instruction daily 
  • Students will also receive appropriate Special Education and ENL services
  • Students will receive an 50-60 minutes for lunch and recess daily
  • Cohorts will remain together throughout the school day

Grades 6

  • Additional classrooms will be utilized to ensure proper social distancing
  • Each classroom will have sections of 10-14 students in each room
  • Students for the majority of the classes will stay together as they move to different classrooms
  • Students will be on a 9 period day with 40 minutes for each period, including lunch

Grades 7-12 – Hybrid – High School Building  

  • Four Day Rotating Schedule Consisting of 50% of Grades 7-8 and 9-12  
  • 1 day-In-person day of attendance
  • 1 day-At home assignment day will consist of Asynchronous Learning (curricular  experience where students engage in the learning materials on their own time, interacting intermittently with the teacher)
  • 2 days-Remote instruction day(s) and will be Synchronous Learning (real-time, live  instruction between students and teachers)
  • 5th day will repeat the rotation
  • Schedule will be done with an A and B Day rotation
  • Calendars for each group will be developed to let students know group and day
  • In-person and remote days will be on a daily school schedule with 9 periods and it will be Synchronous Learning
  • Each group of students will be assigned a number to represent that group
  • Group 1 – 50%-Grades 7-8 / Group 2 – 50%-Grades 7-8
  • Group 3 – 50%-Grades 9-12 / Groups 4 – 50%-Grades 9-12

Schedule – Grades 7-8 (Group 1 and 2) – Example:

  • Monday-A Day-Group 1-In-Person / Group 2-At home assignment day
  • Tuesday-A Day-Group 2-In-Person / Group 1-At home assignment/
  • Wednesday-A Day-Group 1 and 2-Remote Learning
  • Thursday-A Day-Group 1 and 2-Remote Learning
  • Friday-Repeat Rotation with a B Day Schedule

Schedule – Grades 9-12 (Group 3 and 4) – Example:

  • Monday-A Day-Group 3 and 4 – Remote learning
  • Tuesday-A Day-Groups 3 and 4 – Remote Learning
  • Wednesday-A Day-Group 3-In-Person / Group 4-At home assignment
  • Thursday-A Day-Group 4-In-Person / Group 3-At home assignment
  • Friday-Repeat Rotation with a B Day Schedule

 

  • A calendar for each student will be made so they know what day they have to attend
  • If school is closed due to COVID-19 – all students will be remote following a daily schedule

If we need to go remote daily due to closure, the following schedules will be used (all  students will have their own device to use at home):

  • PreK-5 – 9:00 – 11:45 am consisting of 4-:30 minute classes with:15  minutes break between each class
  • Grades 6-12 – Follow 9 period day starting at 9:10 am with:40 minute periods and:03 minutes between each period-School day will begin at.

Plan was developed with input and collaboration

  • Reopening Committee – parents/guardians, faculty, staff and administration
  • Building Level Committees – Elementary, Middle and High School
  • District Administration
  • District Safety Committee
  • Canajoharie United School Employees – Superintendent/Board of Education
  • Survey – Parents/Guardians

Communication

  • Reopening Plan will be mailed, emailed, on district website and social media which includes training dates and expectations 

Protocol – Signs of Illness in Students and Staff and Correct Hand and Respiratory 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, offices, auditorium, custodial areas) and regular messaging will be shared with the school community.  Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

 Know the signs of illness and report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.

Signs of Illness:

  • Fever or chills (100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater);
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle or body aches;
  • Headache;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Sore throat;
  • Congestion or runny nose;
  • Nausea or vomiting; and/or
  • Diarrhea.

Staff will be educated to observe students and staff for signs of any type of illness such as:

  • Flushed cheeks;
  • Rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity);
  • Fatigue, and/or irritability; and
  • Frequent use of the bathroom.  

If a student or staff member exhibits any of these signs with no other explanation for them, they will be sent to the school health office for an assessment by the school nurse.  

If school nurse determines that the student or staff member has symptoms indicative of the virus, they will be isolated from others and sent home immediately.  

Such persons will be referred to their healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.  A student or staff member cannot return to school with a fever unless it has been 24 hours without medication after the last 100 degree or greater reading.

  • Stay home if they feel sick
  • Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering. 
  • Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.
  • Adhere to social distancing instructions.
  • Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.

how to wash your hands guide

When and How to Wash Your Hands | Handwashing

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.
  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

how to wear a mask

clip art of a person wearing a mask

  • Students and staff will be encouraged to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and to use a tissue when they cough or sneeze and follow a regular hand washing protocol. 
  • stop-the-spread-of-germs image.png
  • 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.  

Protocol – Daily Temperature Screenings

  • Parents/Guardians are encouraged to take the temperature of their child each day
  • Students will have their temperature checked daily by a staff member with a thermal thermometer prior to entering the bus
  • Students who do not take the bus will have their temperature checked before entering the building by a staff member with a thermal thermometer
  • Students will be randomly selected to take a screening questionnaire
  • Faculty and staff are responsible for taking their temperature daily and filling out a daily screening questionnaire upon coming to work
  • All students, faculty and staff will be recorded and documented daily

Students who arrive late to school must directly report to:

  • High School – Nurse Office
  • East Hill and Middle School – Main Office 

Protocol – How to keep proper social distancing – including when to wear face coverings

Social Distancing

Classrooms:

  • Desks in all classrooms will be set up to comply with social distancing guidelines. 
  • Signage will be utilized to indicate where students can sit and stand to maintain social distancing

Hallways: 

  • Student travel times will be staggered to limit hallways congestion at all buildings.
  • Signage will be posted in the hallways to guide the flow of throughout the building in a single direction

Cafeteria:

  • Signage will be posted every to comply with social distancing guidelines every 6 feet in the cafeteria line.
  • Students will be seated by cohort with 3 students per table following social distancing guidelines.
  • When eating, students will not be required to wear their face masks.
  • Students will be dismissed one at a time to dump their trays/garbage by the assigned staff.

Physical Education:

  • Class size will be limited to ensure social distance guidelines of 12 feet.
  • Outside spaces will be utilized as weather permits
  • Use of Facemasks
  • Students and staff will be expected to wear face masks while on district transportation, in district buildings and on district property
  • Face masks must be worn unless a student or staff member is following socially distant  guidelines and is eating or taking an assigned face mask break

Protocol – Health Screening and Face Coverings for Visitors, Guests, Contractors and Vendors:

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well-being of students.  Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child.  Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to the school buildings.  Visitors must follow all safety protocols listed in this document including wearing face masks and completing a verbal COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire.  

Protocol – Accommodations for Students/Staff who are at high risk/live with a person of high risk:

The Canajoharie Central School District recognizes that some students and staff members may be at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness or live with a person who is at an increased risk.  It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities and may do so in the following ways:

  • Ensuring both proper social distancing, face coverings and any other PPE are available
  • Following up with faculty/staff, parents/guardians, school nurse and physicians on any changes to the student’s or faculty/staff health condition
  • Ensuring that a student can have an opportunity to learn remotely if they cannot attend due to health reasons
  • Constant communication between the parent/guardian and faculty/staff with proper school personnel is important

Protocol – Students – Mask Breaks:

Students will be offered mask breaks when able to meet the following conditions:

  • Student is 6 feet away from peers and staff when directed by the classroom teacher
  • Student is eating/drinking, while maintaining acceptable social distance
  • Morning and afternoon breaks will be provided by the classroom teacher
  • While outside and following social distancing guidelines

Protocol – Students or Staff who 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 send 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 their isolation area to their parent/guardian
  • Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on  possible COVID-19 testing if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours.  A student or staff member cannot return to school with a fever unless it has been 24 hours without medication after the last 100 degree or greater reading.

Protocol – Return to School After Illness:

The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the Montgomery  County Health Department, 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.  The protocol includes:

  • Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
  • Possible negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  • Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation

Protocol – Confirmed Case of COVID-19:

If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case the district will immediately notify the Montgomery County Health Department.

The health department will begin with contact tracing.

To assist the health department with tracing the district will have put in place the following protocols:

  • Keeping attendance records for students and staff on a daily basis
  • Ensuring student schedules are up to date
  • Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date, time and where they have visited
  • Assisting the health department in obtaining contact information if needed and  making contact as well

The district will follow the requirements set forth by the health department for cleaning, disinfecting, and possible school closure when a positive case is identified

Protocol – Return to school after confirmed COVID-19:

Any positive cases must be quarantined for the recommended time and must be cleared by the medical official and health department in order to return to school.

Protocol – Cleaning and Disinfecting School – CDC Guidelines:

Cleaning and disinfecting will be done on a daily basis in all occupied building spaces and  transportation vehicles and will include frequently touched areas such as:

  • Door knobs and handles
  • Stair rails
  • Classroom desks and chairs
  • Lunchroom tables and chairs
  • Countertops
  • Handrails
  • Light switches
  • Handles on equipment
  • Push-buttons on vending machines and elevators
  • Shared toys, remote controls, telephones and desktops
  • Bus seats and handrails
  • Bathroom fixtures
  • Maintenance will be equipped with disinfecting sprayers and will be cleaning and disinfecting common areas during the school day

Protocol – Safety Drills with Modifications ensuring social distancing: 

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.

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. 

Fire Drill:  

  • Will be announced via the PA system rather than ringing the fire drill bell
  • Multiple fire drills will happen each period and the students will be drilled based on their location within the building. 
  • When one group returns, the next group will be drilled and this process will be repeated until all students have participated in the drill. 
  • Fire alarms will be tested either before students arrive or after they leave at designated intervals.  

Lockdown/Lockout/Shelter In Place Drills will include one of the following include:

  • In classroom setting while maintaining social distancing/using masks
  • Conducting lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing
  • Students will also be receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person

Protocol – Before and After School Programs:

Before School Program:

Students will report to designated locations throughout the elementary, middle and high school.  These locations will be supervised by staff members.

During arrival to school, students in kindergarten to sixth grade will report to the following areas:

  • Kindergarten students will report to the cafeteria
  • First grade will report to the Great Room
  • Second to sixth will report to assigned homerooms
  • Seventh to twelfth grade will report to assigned homerooms
  • Students and staff members will be required to wear face masks and adhere to social distancing protocols.
  • During programs before school, students will be given the opportunity to eat breakfast before the school day begins.

After School Program:

Community Based programs will submit a request to use school district facilities for  approval by the Superintendent and Board of Education.

Programs requesting building use will adhere to district protocols to address the health and safety of our students.

COVID-19 Safety Coordinator – Mrs. Alicia D’Ambrosio, East Hill Principal:

Responsible for continuous compliance with aspects of the reopening plan as well as any phased-in reopening activities 

Plan – Obtaining and Maintaining PPE:

  • Needed PPE will be ordered on a weekly basis per the Superintendent of Schools and  Director of Facilities based upon needs
  • PPE will be stored in each building to ensure proper staff can access
  • Face shields, face coverings, gloves, and other protective gear needed will be provided and available for all health care professionals
  • Face coverings, face shields and gloves will be available to all faculty and staff
  • Face coverings will be available for all students on transportation vehicles, buildings and classrooms