Reopening Plan 2021-22

Canajoharie Central School District 2021-22 Proposed Opening Plan

Fully Return and Open

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world and more importantly, the Canajoharie community. Individuals, families and communities have suffered physically, emotionally, financially and educationally. In March of 2020 our educational system and community was turned upside down, which resulted in a big adjustment to all aspects of everyday life.

The 2020-21 school year was our time to recover and rebuild. In 2021-22, we will move forward and bring all students back to school daily. We will work together with all stakeholder groups to ensure that our students are receiving the best education possible and are safe, while also making faculty and staff safety a high priority. There will be no perfect plan for everyone and there will be adjustments and shifts as we progress through this unprecedented event. What the plan looks like today might look completely different in the future. We have to balance transportation, food service, staffing, facilities, finances, and maintenance to make the plan effective.

This document is the plan for the Canajoharie Central School District to fully reopen for the 2021-22 school year. The guidelines are driven by the CDC, New York State Education Department and the county/state Department of Health.

Communication/Family and Community Engagement

Regular and frequent communication between schools, families, and the wider community has been an essential element of effective family and community engagement. The Canajoharie Central School District will continue to inform all stakeholders to ensure that the proper information is disseminated to families, community members, faculty and staff. The district administration gathered information from stakeholders and surveys, along with guidance from the NYSED and Department of Health to formulate the best plan possible in respect to the resources, staffing and facilities we have.

  • Engagement:
  • Board of Education
    • County and HFM BOCES Superintendents
    • NYSED, DOH and County Officials
    • Stakeholders – parents, students, faculty, staff and union representatives
  • Communication:
    • Opening plan will be available on the district website under “COVID-19”
    • Weekly communication/information will be updated on the school website, social media and email
    • Forums will be conducted at the beginning of the year to faculty/staff and community and as needed during the school year

Training:

  • Faculty and Staff will continue to be trained/updated on: 
    • COVID-19 protocols – Superintendent Conference Day – September 2 and 7Mandated NYSED COVID-19 Training for opening 
  • Students will be updated on:
    • COVID-19 protocols – September 9-12
  • Parents/Guardians will updated on:
    COVID-19 protocols on district website – available – September 1, 2021
  • Signage:
    Protocols for visitors as it relates to COVID-19 will be posted in each building and on the district website

COVID-19 Safety Coordinator – Mrs. Alicia D’Ambrosio, East Hill Principal:
Main contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and liaison to the Montgomery County Department of Health

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:

Opening Concepts:

  • All faculty and staff will have access to any PPE that is needed
  • All students will have access to face coverings (students can use their own)
  • Per the NYS DOH, masks are required for anyone in school facilities
  • School day will begin at regular time – please see your respective school for details:
  • 7:50 am School begins – building opens at 7:30 am for HS and MS
  • Morning program for Elementary is at 7:30 am
  • The school day will end at regular time for all students 

Grades PreK-5: East Hill

  • PreK-K will have grade level teacher, Art, Music, Library and PE
  • Grades 1-5 will be rotate for subject areas including ELA, Math, Social Studies/Science
  • Students will also attend Art, Music, Library and PE
  • Students will receive 40 minutes for lunch and recess daily

Grades 6-8: Middle School

  • Students will follow a 10 period day including lunch and Advisement.

Grades 9-12 – High School:

  • Students will follow a 10 period day including lunch and Advisement.

If school is closed due to COVID-19 – all students 6-12 will be remote following their daily schedule and PreK-5 will follow the designated schedule per the Elementary School.

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:

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

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.
  1. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • 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.
  • 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 Screenings:

  • Parents/Guardians are encouraged to take temperature of their child each day
  • Parents/Guardians are to ensure they assess their child(ren) each day for any of the symptoms (see above)
  • Faculty and staff are responsible for taking their temperature daily and filling out a daily screening questionnaire if they have symptoms or are positive (email daily)
  • Students who arrive late to school must directly report to:
    • High School – Main 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.
  • Cafeteria:
    • Signage will be posted every to comply with social distancing guidelines
    • Students will be seated per table following social distancing guidelines.
    • When eating, students will not be required to wear their face masks.
    • Students will be dismissed to dump their trays/garbage by the assigned staff.
  • Physical Education:
    • Masks are required by DOH guidelines while indoors and no masks outside
    • Students and staff will be expected to wear face masks while on district transportation, in district buildings when required
    • Face masks must be worn unless a student or staff member is following socially distant guidelines, is eating, taking an assigned face mask break or outside

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

  • Visitors must follow all safety protocols listed in this document including wearing face masks and completing a verbal COVID-19 Health Screening Questionnaire. We encourage parents and guardians to reach out to school personnel via email, phone call or Google meet.

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
  • 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 at least 6 feet away from peers/staff when directed by the 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 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 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.
  • Students or staff cannot return to school unless they have been cleared by a physician if they have been absent due to illness for 2 or more days

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 quarantine

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 district 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 regular basis in all occupied building spaces and transportation vehicles and will include frequently touched areas such as:
  • Maintenance will be equipped with disinfecting sprayers and will be cleaning and disinfecting common areas.

Protocol- 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.

Plan – Obtaining and Maintaining PPE:

  • Needed PPE will be ordered as needed per the Superintendent of Schools and Director of Facilities.
  • PPE will be stored in each building to ensure proper staff can access
  • PPE will be available for faculty, students and staff as needed

Facilities

In each building we will follow health guidance related to social distancing and other safety measures that must be put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. We may need to rearrange or re-purpose physical space within the buildings and district.

General Health and Safety Assurances:

  • All social distancing requirements will be met with the use of all of the building spaces
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will be done on a regular basis in all occupied building spaces and transportation vehicles

Fire Code Compliance:

  • All changes that may exist will be sent to, reviewed and approved by the Office of Facilities Planning

Ventilation:

  • The High School and the New North Wing in the elementary school are a VAV (Variable Air Volume) system with rooftop units that provide the air flow. The rooftop units will be monitored to keep outdoor air intake at the maximum capacity.
  • The middle school and remaining part of the elementary building’s HVAC systems consist of unit ventilators or individual space rooftop units. The rooftop units will be monitored to keep outdoor air intake at the maximum capacity.

Child Nutrition

The Canajoharie Central School District will continue to provide free breakfast and lunch for every student. The COVID-19 will alter some of that past design. To ensure that students have adequate access to meals for each school day, the protocols for child nutrition are located below.

  • Protocol for Meals:
    • All students will receive breakfast and lunch daily while in attendance
    • Any students who bring their meals to school must stay in their backpack and can only be taken out when it is time for the student to travel to the food area
    • All students must wear face coverings too and from the food areas, only taking them off while eating unless otherwise instructed
    • All cafeteria employees will wear gloves and face coverings

  • Location for Meals:
    • Students will eat their breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria and great room
    • If school is closed due a COVID-19 emergency, meals will be available at the high school from 11 a.m. to noon each day

Protocol for hand hygiene and cleaning:

  • Students will have to sanitize their hands before and after lunch with either hand sanitizer that will be available before they enter the cafeteria line to receive their food and in the food areas designated
  • Students may also use the bathrooms to wash their hands before and after meals

Transportation

As with any school district, transportation is vital to ensure students are attending school each day. New York State Education Law requires that non-city school districts provide transportation for all children in grades K-8 who live more than two miles from the school they legally attend and for all children in grades 9-12 who live more than three miles from the school they legally attend, up to a distance of 15 miles. (NYSED, 2020)

Transportation policies:

  • Due to Federal transportation mandates, masks must be worn all all times while using district transportation.
  • Due to the limited capacity for each vehicle, students will only be transported to and from their designated residence each day. There will be no alternative pick-up or drop-off
  • Windows and roof hatches will be open when temperatures are 50 degrees or above. Please make sure your child is dressed appropriately
  • All district drivers and staff will be wearing face shields and face coverings and gloves when they have direct contact with a student

Protocol for cleaning and disinfecting:

  • All vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis

Social and Emotional Well-Being

The district is here to help support students who may be struggling with the ever changing situation and how COVID-19 may have affected their situation in and out of school.

Protocol for Social and Emotional Well-Being Resources:
Online and in-person support will be provided to all students and staff. Building level student support teams will be utilized at each building to screen and develop individualized social-emotional support plans.

  • Tier 3: Individual students (<10%) 
    • District PPS members assigned as Case manager to support referral to outside agencies including but not limited to: Home Run, Family Counseling Center, St. Mary’s Counseling Center, SPOA, etc.
    • Individual will be referred to the school social worker or the school psychologist
      Parent/Guardian contacted and plan developed to support student both in and out of school

  • Tier 2: Small groups of students (10-25%)
    • Referral made to PPS through the teacher, staff member, parent or administrator
    • Targeted Counseling Groups for students referred to the PPS Team
      • Self-regulation
      • Anxiety/Fear
    • Regular Check in/Check out procedures

  • Tier 1: Whole Group (75-90%)
    • East Hill: Direct social-emotional skill development via Conscious Discipline on a weekly rotational basis.
    • Middle School: Classroom-based social-emotional skills taught through Conscious Discipline and Restorative Practices.
    • High School: Restorative Practices concepts embedded within course curriculums
  • District staff will be provided mental health resources and access to mental health supports throughout the school day and year. Training will be provided for staff to support students during COVID and support their individual mental health needs.

School Schedules

COVID-19 has made it critical for the Canajoharie Central School District to adjust the traditional instructional model. The main goal is to get all students back into the building for in-person instruction on a daily basis. The New York State Education Department and Department of Health guidelines will force the district to create a different model.

Schedule:

  • School day will begin and end at the regular time at:
    • PreK-5 – 7:50 a.m. – East Hill and Middle School – building opens at 7:30 a.m.
    • Grade 6-8 – 7:50 a.m. – Middle School – building opens at 7:30am
    • Grades 7-12 – 7:50 a.m. – building opens at 7:30 a.m.
  • The school day will end at regular time (3 p.m.) for all students and only one transportation run
  • PreK-K will have their regular teacher and Art, Music, Library and PE
  • Grades 1-5 will be a rotation for subject areas including ELA, Math, Social Studies/Science
    • Students will also attend Art, Music, Library and PE
    • Students will receive 40 minutes for lunch and recess daily
  • Grades 6-8: Middle School
    • Students will follow a 10 period day including lunch and Advisement.
  • Grades 9-12 -High School:
    • Students will follow a 10 period day including lunch and Advisement.
    • If school is closed due to COVID-19 – all students 6-12 will be remote following their daily schedule and PreK-5 will follow the designated schedule per the Elementary School.
  • Music and Physical Education will follow social distancing guidelines when they can. Masks should be worn when they are not playing an instrument or singing and when they cannot social distance while performing an activity in PE. Being outside for PE and Music is encouraged and masks do not need to be worn while outside.
  • If school is closed due to COVID-19 – all students will be remote following a daily schedule

Budget and Fiscal Matters

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardship for the country, state and local governments, including school districts. In order to facilitate a safe plan for reopening the district will be investing in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), cleaning and other supplies, signage, hand sanitizer, technology, and personnel. The district has received the appropriate amount of funding from the state and federal government to ensure a full reopening with students in school on a daily basis.

Attendance

Attendance daily is expected for each student. Letters will occur when students are absent for 5, 10, 15, and 20 days. Teachers and administration will follow-up with students and parents/guardians after the 10 day letter is sent out to collaborate on interventions to help curb the attendance issues. If a student contracts COVID-19 or has to quarantine due to an exposure, the student will be marked present for that day(s).

Technology and Connectivity

Technology:
The Canajoharie Central School district will have the capacity to fully implement the 1 to 1 initiative beginning in September 2020. Through Smart Schools Bond purchases, all students in grade K through 12 will have access to their own dedicated computing (Chromebook) device.

Connectivity:
The Canajoharie Central School District has developed multiple ways to connect in the school and at home:

  • Working with local partners to provide remote access areas throughout the community (if possible).
  • Deployment of mobile hotspot devices (Verizon).
  • Establishing on site location for students who cannot connect from their home
  • The following steps have also been taken to assist in teacher, parent, student connectivity:
    • Establishment of techsupport@canjo.org email for parents/students
    • Creation of Technology FAQ page on district website
    • Creation of video tutorials for staff, students and parents to help with access with frequently used programs, platforms and/org websites.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)/P-Tech and Outside Placement Programs

  • Programs will be in session
  • CTE and Outside Placement Programs – daily
  • Detail information will come from the guidance office and PPS office Interscholastic Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
  • The fall interscholastic athletic season is scheduled to start on August 23
  • Changes and updates will be made as information becomes available
  • Other extracurricular activities will resume – information TBA
  • All proposed social distancing and sports standards will be followed

Special Education

The Canajoharie Central School District is committed to meeting the individual health, safety, and learning needs of our students with disabilities. There has been collaboration between members of the committees on special education and committees on preschool special education in the development of this plan.

  • Least Restrictive Environment:
    • Students with disabilities in grades Prek-6 will be receiving in-person special education services including programming and related services (Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy) per their IEP.
    • Students with disabilities in grades 7-12 will be receiving their special education services in Integrated co-taught programs, direct consultant services, resource room, special classes, and related services will be provided per the students’ IEP.
    • Programs and services provided will be documented via the student’s daily attendance, progress monitoring and/or related service logs.
    • Programming and related services being provided will be communicated to the families via written communication and/or telephone calls.
  • Modifications and Accommodations:
    • Provided in-person at the Prek-6 levels using technology, school provided materials and access to staff.
    • Provided in-person and virtually at the 7-12 grade levels using technology, applications, school provided materials and access to staff.
  • Collaboration:
    • Members of the CPSE and CSE committees represented student needs on the district-wide reopening committees and provided recommendations to ensure that programming and services provided to students were consistent with their IEPS.
  • Progress Monitoring:
    • Student goals will be monitored and reported on a quarterly basis per their IEPs.

Bilingual Education and World Languages:

  • Students receiving ENL services will be instructed both in person and remotely. Students will receive services (minutes of ENL instruction) based on the results from NYSITELL and/or NYSESLAT.
  • Elementary students in grades K-5 will receive instruction via pull out, co-taught and virtually by an ENL teacher.
  • Middle School students in grades 6-8 will receive instruction via pull out, co-taught and virtually by an ENL teacher.
  • High school students in grades 9-12 will receive instruction via pull out, co-taught and virtually by an ENL teacher.
  • Parents/Guardians registering potential ELL students will be screened using the NYSITELL in order to assess if the student will require ENL services.
  • Ongoing parent/guardian communication will be provided to ELL families, by the district’s PPS staff and Migrant Specialist through Herkimer BOCES.

For a printable version click here.