New Re-Opening Plan mitigation strategies Update 4.21.21

New Re-Opening Plan Mitigation Strategies Update 4.21.21
Posted on 04/22/2021
new re-opening plan update 4.21.21

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Mitigation Strategies

Five key mitigation strategies are essential to safe delivery of in-person instruction:

• Universal and correct use of masks/face coverings

• Physical/Social distancing

• Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

• Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities

• Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the health department



All students, staff and visitors shall be self-screened at home to ensure absence of symptoms and temperature check upon arrival. The district is utilizing a google form that contains the Health Screening questions. For students whose parents were unable to complete the screening in the morning, the school will comply with entry procedures including a temperature check. Teachers and staff will evaluate students throughout the day, including asking students how they are feeling and observing general wellness. The school has developed a protocol for students and staff who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.


Face Coverings

Face coverings will be required based upon best available data and input from local health authorities, CDC guidelines and stakeholder groups including teachers and parents. Proper face coverings should have at least two layers and includes, but is not limited to, surgical masks, or cloth-based masks [homemade sewn, quick cut], and must completely cover the individual’s mouth and nose. The most effective fabrics for cloth masks are tightly woven, such as cotton and cotton blends, breathable, and in two or three fabric layers. [Masks with exhalation valves or vents, those that use loosely woven fabrics, and those that do not fit properly are not recommended.]


Face coverings must be worn on school grounds and in school facilities: in congregate settings, on buses and in classrooms, and non-classroom settings, including hallways, school offices, restrooms, gyms, auditoriums, etc. Students and staff will be provided with reusable masks if they need one unless exemptions apply. Students will be educated on the importance of wearing face coverings. “Mask breaks” will be incorporated into the day.


Classroom Modifications

Student desks will be spaced at a minimum of three feet apart when possible and student sneeze guards/barriers will be used. Student desks will be facing the same direction. When using tables, students will be at least 3 feet apart, sitting on the same side, and barriers will be used. Student sneeze guards/barriers will be utilized by every student.

Physical Education and Music classes will have 6 feet between students indoors and teachers are encouraged to utilize outdoor areas when possible.


Controlled Movement Patterns

K-8 teachers will continue to rotate into classrooms. Staggered dismissal patterns will be devised, with designated drop-off and pick-up areas for parents/legal guardians.


Bathrooms & Sinks

• Limited to 2 students in a bathroom at a time

• We will add physical barriers, such as plastic flexible screens, between bathroom sinks in 2 sink bathrooms and in 4 sink bathrooms, we will close 2 sinks to ensure social distancing.


Signage/Physical Guides:

Physical guides when possible to ensure that students remain at least six feet apart while moving around buildings. For example: floor decals, colored tape, and signs to indicate where students should sit or stand, can be used to guide students safely.

Cafeteria and Lunch Structure

At this time, students in grades K-8 will eat in their classrooms and students in grades 9-12 will eat in the cafeteria.

• K-8 Grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches will be available and eaten in classrooms to deter students from congregating in the lunchroom.

• When eating meals in classrooms: Classrooms will be divided into two groups of students, odd rows and even rows. Students in the odd rows will eat for the first 15 mins. and then students in the even rows will eat for the next 15 mins. We will then rotate the following day for the even rows to eat first.

• Classes will be encouraged to eat outside on curbs whenever possible. Depending on the space capacity of the building, we may utilize larger areas such as part of the Gym, Cafeteria, or Library, etc.

• 9-12 breakfast and lunch will be served via social distancing and students will be seated at desks with student sneeze guards/barriers, 6 feet apart.

• Students will be reminded that the expectation is to wear a face covering up to the point of beginning their meal and immediately upon finishing, the face covering will be put back on.


Playgrounds Usage

The use of playground equipment will be used on a rotating basis during the week by classes. Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to and after using playground equipment. Each class will be assigned to a set of equipment for the day and the equipment will be wiped down after each use by an adult. The principals will create a schedule for use of playground equipment.


Use of Balls

The use of balls during recess and Physical Education classes will only be used by 2-3 students at a time. Students will wash their hands or use hand sanitizer prior to and after using a ball. The balls will be wiped down after each use by an adult.



Tents will be utilized for mask breaks and screenings. [Tents will be re-installed depending on weather and wind.]


Mask Breaks

Mask breaks will continue outdoors, weather permitting, and with students more than 6 feet socially distanced. Teachers are encouraged to have students eat their snack during mask breaks when possible.



We have reviewed our current ventilation systems and upgraded the filters in classroom uninvents and rooftop units over spring break.


Efforts to maximize ventilation include:

• Classroom windows and doors will be opened.

• Increasing outdoor air delivery settings as much as possible.

• Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning [HVAC] settings are maximized to increase air exchange.

• Upgraded filtering.

• Using exhaust fans in restrooms and kitchens when possible.



Students will be encouraged to stay socially distanced while at the bus stop. This must be a joint education effort between families and school personnel.

● Students will be socially distanced as much as the physical capacity of the bus allows.

● Transportation Supervisor, in conjunction with the driver, will establish seating charts with social distancing in mind to the best of their ability.

● We will start with one (1) student per seat and household

members will sit together. Then we will move to two (2) students per seat if needed.

● Some windows on buses will be open.

● Students must always wear a face covering on the bus. Bus drivers will have disposable masks to hand out to students in the event a student does not have his or her face covering.

● The buses will be cleaned once a day. High contact spots shall be wiped down after each run.


Sanitation, Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols

Schools will be cleaned daily, focusing on high touch entry points in common areas such as doorknobs, handles, elevator buttons, stairwell railings, light switches, and soap dispensers. Custodial staff will disinfect using proper cleaning products to spray and wipe down objects.

Scheduled and Routine: Throughout the workday, the custodial staff will implement a routine of surface cleaning in the high touch point areas discussed such as restrooms. The staff will, in some cases, report at staggered times depending upon hours of operation to ensure consistent disinfection practices while primary building employees are present. Later custodial shifts will apply the full standard cleaning of all areas to be ready for the next day. Additional disinfecting will be performed prior to the arrival of district staff in high-traffic areas such as the front office. Custodial staff will wear gloves as indicated and wear a face covering in congregate settings and non-classroom settings, including hallways, school offices, restrooms, gyms, auditoriums, etc.

● Deep cleaning: District staff will use an approved chemical and fogging machine [GenEon Sanitizing Misting units] to disinfect all classroom every night. If a positive COVID-19 case is determined within a school or building, district staff will use the GenEon Sanitizing Misting units to disinfect any area deemed appropriate by contract tracing processes.


In Classrooms:

Staff will continue to be provided with proper cleaning products to spray and to wipe down any community or high-touch areas after each class to reduce exposure for the next classroom. When teachers are moving into rooms, they will wipe down areas when they go into and out of the room.


Current Supply of Masks & Hand-Sanitizer:

This is in addition to what is already deployed in buildings.

Child masks: 4,800

Adult masks: 4,700

10 oz bottles of hand sanitizer: 900 1 gallon Santi-clean hand sanitizer: 42 1 gallon NYS hand sanitizer: 30


Guidance from:

● Ulster County: Considerations for the Safe Return of Students and Staff to Full-Time In-Person School Learning

● Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency