Saratoga Central Catholic School Reopening Plan

Saratoga Central Catholic Reopening Plan

LAST UPDATED: August 7, 2020 at 1:00PM

The following template was created by the Capital Region BOCES Health-Safety-Risk and Communications Services and adapted by the Catholic School Office to assist schools in crafting their required school reopening plans following the COVID-19 closure. The outline fully incorporates the reopening guidance from the State Office of Religious and Independent Schools. To promote accessibility, reopening plans must be posted as HTML text directly onto a web page on the school’s public website and not as a PDF, Word document, Google Doc or other format. Include (on the web page) information about whom to contact if someone has difficulty accessing the plan.

Overview

This reopening plan for Saratoga Central Catholic School was created by school faculty and staff in consultation with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany as well as local and state health officials. The goal of the process was to create a plan that provided for safety of all stakeholders while allowing for SCC to continue educating students’ minds and nurturing their character development.

Introduction

On Monday, July 13, 2020, 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 regions 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 schools have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the school is also planning for remote/distance learning, as well as a for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model. Every 5 weeks, at progress reports and the end of each academic quarter, parents will be able to opt-in to the remote learning model. Once opted-in, students remain in that model until the 5 week period is up. If during the first week of a new five-week cycle, a student wants to opt-in who had planned to be in person, they may do so.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of Saratoga Central Catholic School for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 the school campus. Our reopening plan

incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), New York State Reopening Guidance for Religious and Independent Schools, the Religious Services Guidelines on the New York Forward website 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 school.

Denise Kowalski, the school nurse, will serve as the school’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Ms. Kowalski will work closely with our local health department and will be responsible for overseeing COVID response and the school’s implementation for safety measures. S/he/they will serve as a central contact for stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the school is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Ms. Kowlaski’s contact information is available on the school website and will be included with relevant communication home to families.

Content Outline

    • • Communication/Family and Community Engagement
      •  School Closure
    • • Health and Safety
      • Health Checks
      • Health Hygiene Practices
      • Social Distancing
      • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings
      • Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing and Monitoring
      • Cleaning and Disinfecting
      • School Safety Drills
      • Vulnerable Populations/Accommodations
      • Visitors on Campus
    • • Facilities Guidance
      • Infection Control Strategies
      • School Safety and Emergency Drills
    • • Child Nutrition
      • Meals Onsite
      • Meals Offsite/Remote
      • School Food Authorities (SFA)
    • • Transportation Guidance
      • School Bus
      • School Bus Staff
      • Students on Transportation
    • • Social Emotional Well-Being
    • • Religious and Independent School Schedules
    • • Attendance
    • • Teaching and Learning
      • In-person Instruction
      • Remote/Hybrid Instruction
      • Technology and Connectivity
    • • Athletics and Schools Activities
      • Liturgy
      • Faith Formation
      • Extracurriculars
      • Childcare
      • Interscholastic Athletics
    • • Bilingual Education and World Languages
    • • Key References

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Communication/Family and Community Engagement

To help inform our reopening plan, the school has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations.

The school 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 school website at www.saratogacatholic.org and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website homepage and across social media platforms.

As part of its planning for the reopening of school and the new academic year, the school has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to school staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The school will use its existing communication channels – including email, Schoology, and Constant Contact, and School Reach – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic.

The school is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. The school will rely on email, Constant Contact, and SchoolReach calls and texts to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. The information that we will share will be based on state guidance, diocesan guidance, as interpreted by SCC’s administration, school board, and reopening committee.

In support of remote learning, the school will make computer devices available to students and teachers where appropriate. If a family is in need of assistance in securing a device for their student, they should contact the school office. The school will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact with teachers during remote learning, including regular office hours, emails, and periodic video conferences.

The school 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. As of Friday, August 7, 2020, the plan is for classes to begin on Monday, September, 14, 2020. Student orientation will take place prior to that date, between September 8th and 11th.

The school 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 school 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:

    • • Hand hygiene:
      • The training of all students, faculty, and staff on proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene will occur.
      • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.
    • Proper face covering procedures:
      • Face coverings are strongly recommended to be worn by all individuals at all times, indoors and outdoors, but required to be worn any time or place individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, instruction, and during short breaks, so long as they maintain social distance.
      • Acceptable face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth-based face coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.
      • Face coverings must be worn in common areas; entrances/exits, lobbies, when traveling around school.
      • Employees with health care provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering, will not be required to do so.
      • Students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and vendors will be trained on the proper care & use of PPE (how to put on, take off and care for), washing hands before putting on and taking off face covering, and the proper way to discard disposable face coverings.
      • PPE will be readily available for all faculty, staff, medical staff, and students who can’t provide their own.
      • PPE will be worn on school buses.
  • • Social distancing:
    • Desks/tables and other classroom furniture will be placed six feet apart in classrooms.
    • Signage will note distancing requirements and flow of traffic around campus.
    • If social distancing of 6 ft. cannot be maintained, proper face coverings must be worn in common areas such as hallways and school buses, except in the case of students whose covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction or obstruction to education services & instruction.
    • School lunches will be preordered and boxed.
    • Teacher monitors will ensure food and beverages are not shared.
    • Students and parents/guardians will be notified of distancing requirements as they enter the building, guidelines will be sent home, and posted on the website. In the first few days of school, students will be consistently trained on maintaining social distance.
    • • Respiratory hygiene
      • 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.
    • • Identifying symptoms
      • Each student will have their temperature taken with a no touch thermometer before entering the building.
      • Students with temperatures above 100 degrees F will not be allowed into the building and parents will be called.
      • Contact information for each student will be provided at each entrance.
      • If a faculty member or student presents with a fever of greater than 100 F, signs of illness, and/or positive responses to the questionnaire they will be sent to the dedicated area.
      • Students who develop symptoms will be cared for by the School Nurse or School Staff Member with appropriate PPE in the designated area. Appropriate PPE would include, mask, eye goggles/face shield and a gown.
      • If there are several students waiting to see the nurse, they will wait six feet apart.
      • Students will be sent with instructions to contact their health care provider for assessment & testing.
      • Social distancing protocol will be followed.
      • Students will be kept in a safe, hygienic area where their needs will be tended to.
      • The protocol for a student/faculty member to return to school: must be able to provide, at minimum: documentation from a healthcare provider following evaluation; negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result; and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation.
      • If student or faculty member is COVID-19 positive, they must comply with the state’s contact tracing program.

The school will create and deploy signage throughout the school building 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 school will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means such as email communications, YouTube videos, and notes home.

The school is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our school 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.

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 school will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

School Closures

The school is preparing for situations in which the school building needs 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.

The school will notify state and local health departments immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by any individual within school facilities or on school grounds.

The school will maintain a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with the New York State Contact Tracing Program. This will include keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff, ensuring schedules are up to date, keeping visitor logs (date, time, where in the school they visited) and assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the NYS Contact Tracing Program.

If there is a positive case, the school office will work with the local health department (providing phone numbers/addresses) in order to identify individuals who were exposed to COVID-19.

For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Health Checks

The school 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.

Saratoga Central Catholic School will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening.

Saratoga Central Catholic School will use an app based program to monitor symptoms and screen community members daily. For students, this means completing a questionnaire daily prior to coming to school. Once a student arrives, their temperature will be checked and their completion of the daily questionnaire will be verified. A kiosk and/or paper questionnaire will be available for visitors to complete.

Students will enter the building through designated areas and wait, socially distanced, for their temperature to be taken.

The data collected by this screening application will be monitored by school staff.

Any staff member or student who registers a temperature greater than 100°F will wait in the school’s designated isolation area and await re-screening. If it is deemed necessary that that person go home, they will be escorted to the door once their ride arrives.

Health Hygiene Practices

The school 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 available instead of a hand dryer if they are available.
  • • 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 school 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 the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Social Distancing

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

The building will be marked with directional arrows for flow of movement, as well as markers for waiting areas in spaces where a line may form.

If social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, 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 made for them to move through the building at alternate times to avoid being in a space less than 6 feet from others. This may include waiting in an office until after the bell rings or being allowed to transition to a new class early.

The availability of safe transportation and local hospital capacity in consultation with local department of health officials were considered in the development of this reopening plan.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Covering

Students, staff and visitors to our school will be expected to wear face coverings indoors and outside, including on the school bus, when six-foot physical distancing is not possible. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, instruction, 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.

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.

An employee is 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.

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

The school 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

Any person without a facemask will be provided one by the school.

Management of Ill persons, Contact Tracing and Monitoring

The school 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 school 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. 10

The isolation area at SCC will be located on the middle floor of the building, adjacent to the school office.

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 shield) 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 school 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 school 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 school 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 school 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

  • • Faculty, staff, or students displaying symptoms must be seen by their health care provider for an evaluation and if, applicable, a referral for COVID 19 testing.
  • • NYS DOH will be contacted should someone within the school test positive for COVID-19.
  • • Saratoga County Health Department will provide necessary information for referring, sourcing & administering testing.
  • • Saratoga County Health Department will decide if large scale testing is needed.

When referring, sourcing, and/or administering testing, the school will work with the following providers:

  • • Saratoga County Health Department

Contact Tracing

The school 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.

To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the school 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.

The school may assist with contact tracing 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

If COVID-19 cases are discovered in the school, in consultation with the local health department, the school will do the following:

  • • Provide information to local officials for contract tracing purposes.
  • • Temporarily close certain classrooms or spaces from use while disinfection takes place.

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 the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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 school will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

At a minimum, the plan will incorporate the following:

  • • 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 the Saratoga County Health Department 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 school nurse 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 process to conduct orderly closures which may include phasing, milestones, and involvement of key personnel.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The school 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 school 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 school 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 the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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 to provide reasonable accommodations that ensure these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. A family may opt their student in to the remote learning option at SCC as a way of safely participating in school activities without risking exposure. Other accommodations may be made in consultation with the school nurse and COVID coordinator.

Visitors on Campus

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on the school campus, 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 our school building.

Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.

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Facilities Guidance

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the school, 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 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 school plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Occupational Safety Inspections on time.

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

The school will revisit Emergency Response Plans, protocols, and procedures and make modifications in light of COVID-19.

Describe the facilities reopening plan and activities, which will occur including:

  • • All fire code and building code regulations are strictly maintained.
  • • Certain classes are being moved to block scheduling to reduce the number of students in the hallways at one time.
  • • Lunch periods are staggered to reduce the number of students in the hallway.
  • • All interior doors will remain open throughout the day.
  • • Plastic separators have been purchased and will be placed in all Science rooms.
  • • sanitizer dispensers will be located in each hallway and at the entrances to any office, and within each classroom. Students will be encouraged and reminded to washing their hands on a regular basis, in addition to frequent hand sanitizing.
  • • Multiple entrances to the building will be used to limit high numbers of people entering and exiting at any given time. Large spaces with multiple doors will be marked with entry and exit signage.
  • • At this time, no alterations of classrooms are being made beyond shifting teachers of larger classes to a space appropriate to accommodate social distancing.
  • • All appropriate building codes will continue to be met.
  • • Traditional water fountains have been replaced with bottle filling stations on each floor.
  • • Increased ventilation will consist of keeping doors and windows open as well as the addition of window fans for increased air circulation

Infection Control Strategies

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection: Protocols and procedures for school-wide cleaning and disinfection of classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, school buses, and all other school facilities, as well as training and promotion of hand and respiratory hygiene among all individuals in school facilities and on school grounds; The training of all students, faculty, and staff on proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene will occur. Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected at least once daily, along with health cots. Regular cleaning and disinfection of classrooms, and hallways per CDC and DOH guidelines as well as the use of DEC products. Cleaning & disinfection of areas exposed to COVID-19 per CDC & DOH guidelines

Every classroom has been reconfigured to maintain 6 feet of distance between all students. The maximum class size is 16 students, at most.

Facility Alterations and Acquisition

  • • The school weight room equipment is being stored and the space will be converted into a classroom.
  • • With art and music moving to the parish center, two additional classrooms are available for instruction in the main school building.
  • • The gym is available for use by classes on an as-needed basis, assuming PE classes have not been moved inside due to weather.

Space Expansion

St. Peter’s Parish Center, located on the campus, will be utilized for the cafeteria and for four additional classrooms.

Tents for Additional Space

N/A

Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

  • • All bathrooms will be available to all students throughout the day.
  • • Drinking fountains have been uninstalled and have been replaced with water bottle filling stations.
  • • Appropriate barriers will be placed in bathrooms to provide physical separation of urinals and sinks.
  • • Hall and bathroom monitors will be ensuring proper social distancing.

Ventilation

  • • Doors and windows will be left open to increase ventilation.
  • • Window fans will be used to circulate air out of the building.

School Safety and Emergency Drills

The school will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without, exceptions. The school 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.

  • • Required fire drills will be conducted throughout the year and students will maintain social distancing while both exiting and re-entering the building during such drills.
  • • Evacuation and intruder drill swill be performed as required by the state, but in such a manner that students practice in small groups and remain socially distanced, understanding that ina real emergency their actions may vary.

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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 the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Meals Onsite

For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students while also considering increasing access points for providing meal service. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.

The school will assess where meals will be served (classroom, cafeteria, other). The school will ensure social distancing between individuals while 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. If meals will be eaten in the classroom, classes will go through the cafeteria line one at a time and return to the classroom.

When students eat in classrooms all non-food service staff will be trained on any meal service-related activities they will be responsible for. Teachers will be trained on recognizing food allergies, including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.

Students must be 6 feet apart or be separated by a barrier while consuming meals. The school will provide physical distancing guides in food service areas such as tape on floors, signage, increase table spacing, remove tables, mark tables as closed, or provide a physical barrier between tables to ensure students are 6 feet apart when consuming meals.

Proper cleaning and disinfection of tables, chairs, and other frequently touched hard surfaces will take place in between groups of students. Cashiers and servers will place meals on a counter or tray line for quick pick up and place pre-portioned condiments on each tray.

The use of share tables, salad bars and other self-service refrigerators and buffets for food and condiments is prohibited.

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

The school will coordinate school personnel in order to meet the feeding safety needs of students with disabilities.

There will be two separate cafeterias used to ensure proper social distancing. Six-foot markers will be placed in all areas that require such distancing. All lunches will be pre-ordered and pre-packaged for students. They will be labeled and either picked up by the student or delivered to the second cafeteria. Any items that have allergens will be clearly marked on the order form. No peanut butter products will be served at any time. All students will be required to wash/use hand sanitizer both before and after lunch. Proper signage will be posted discouraging any sharing of food and/or beverages, as well as proper hand hygiene protocols. The cafeterias have been arranged to ensure the six feet of distance between students. Weather permitting, students will consume lunch outside whenever possible

  • Time has been added to the school schedule to allow for cleaning and disinfecting of all areas of the cafeterias.
  • Any items that have allergens will be clearly marked on the order form. No peanut butter products will be served at any time.
  • Time has been added to the school schedule to allow for cleaning and disinfecting of all areas of the cafeterias.

Meals Offsite/Remote

No meals will be provided for students who learn remotely.

School Food Authorities (SFA)

N/A

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Transportation Guidance

The school 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 on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated) and maintain appropriate social distancing at all times. All students who receive transportation from the public school district are encouraged to adhere to CDC and NYDOH.

School Bus

Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus; 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 the school 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 whose 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 public school 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 to 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.

  • • Any bus used by the school will be set up for social distancing per state and local guidelines.
  • • If used, buses will be disinfected after each use.
  • • Any student boarding a bus will need to show proof of completing their health screening and a temperature check prior to boarding the bus.
  • • 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.

Students on Transportation

For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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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 school 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. The school will do this by:

  • • Surveying students regarding their feelings about returning to school
  • • Employing a counselor who can ease students suffering from anxiety and make appropriate referrals in consultation with parents

The school has established an advisory group that involves shared decision-making and is comprised of parents, members of the board of education, 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 school 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:

  • • Regular staff meetings and professional development
  • • Sharing of best practices with colleagues
  • • Consulting with the school counselor and other professionals on a case-by-case basis

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Religious and Independent School Schedules

  • • SCC will open with in-person instruction on September 14, 2020 after several weeks of staff training and student/family orientation.
  • • The campus has been reconfigured so that students will be in cohorts fo 6-7-8 grades, 9-10 grades, and 11-12 grades. Each will occupy a different floor of the building.
  • • Understanding that some movement is necessary when students have classes with other grades, teachers will be situated on the floor that best matches the grades they teach. Some teachers will physically move locations to teach students of a particular grade (i.e. a grade math teacher goes to a different room for 7th grade and 10th grade classes.)
  • • A faculty member will be identified as the remote learning coordinator. This person will have responsibilities related to tracking students working from home and ensuring they are receiving the appropriate materials from their teachers.

For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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Attendance

In order to be considered present during remote learning, a student working remotely must:

  • • Check in with the remote learning coordinator by a particular time each day. If the entire school is remote, the check in will be with a designated homeroom/1st period teacher.
  • • Be present for any and all video session with teachers on a particular day.
  • • Complete any assigned classwork for the day by 3:00pm.

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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 school 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.

The school has developed a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year for in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction.

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.

Every five weeks, families will be asked to formally state their intention for in-person or remote learning. This will be by way of a signed form by the parent. A student who signs up for in-person instruction my reconsider and move to remote learning during the first week of every five-week cycle. After that time, a student may not move to remote learning unless required due to quarantine protocol or a letter froma medical professional.

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 may be insufficient to accommodate the expanded number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing. Teachers have been asked to teach an additional class each day and/or take on added supervisory responsibilities each day. Along with expanded cleaning services, these additions will keep our building safer, cleaner, and better supervised.

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

The school 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.

Despite the need to socially distance, our in-person instructional model will involve regular and meaningful interaction among students and faculty. The learning environment will be one of inquiry and discussion.

In terms of assignments and assessment, the majority of work will be submitted digitally. This approach will minimize the work required of teachers to reach remote learners. It will also allow for an easy transition for students if the school needed to quickly move to an entirely distance learning model.

Remote/Hybrid Instruction

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

Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. 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 wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.

Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers finding ways to provide live instruction and lessons to students. While recording of live lessons is still essential 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.

Saratoga Central Catholic will move all students and teachers to the Google Education Suite, which will streamline file sharing and email communication.

Classes will have either a Google Classroom or Schoology site associated with it, so that materials can be shared and interaction can be facilitated in a uniform way across the school.

Technology and Connectivity

Students at SCC are expected to have a personal device – tablet with keyboard, Chromebook, or Laptop – as part of their supplies. If a student is not able to purchase a device or needs assistance in setting it up, they should contact the school office.

Students will be given assignments that require creativity and collaboration. Formative assessment that tests for mastery and not simply a grade will be employed across all disciplines in an effort to monitor learning beyond a simple number grade.

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Athletics and School Activities

Liturgy

SCC will continue to have two masses per month, using Live Stream capabilities from the Church of St. Peter’s and/or the SCC Gymnasium. High School and Middle School students will be divided, with high school watching in the gymnasium and middle school in their prospective class homerooms. All students and staff will be required to wear face masks and remain 6 feet apart for social distancing.

All areas used for liturgy will be cleaned and disinfected after use that day.

If necessary, all masses will be viewed remotely in the event of another shutdown. 23

Faith Formation

Non-Applicable

Extracurriculars

SCC PE classes will be held outside unless there is inclement weather. Indoor PE will be limited to personal fitness. All students will continue to use face masks, social distance 12 feet and use hand sanitizer frequently. There will be no use of the locker rooms and students will wear a school issued PE uniform the day of class.

No field trips, large gatherings or assemblies will be permitted at this time.

There will be no daily morning meetings held in the SCC gymnasium. Morning prayer, the pledge and announcements will be over the PA in homeroom.

Band, Chorus and high school Drama Club will be offered in the St. Peter’s Parish Center. All students will be 12 feet apart for social distancing, face masks to be worn to and from rehearsal but not required during rehearsal, and hand sanitizers frequently used.

After school clubs will be allowed, however, it is recommended that the supervisor of each provide a plan to the principal, including proper PPE usage, social distancing and frequent use of hand sanitizer before the club is offered.

All areas used for extracurricular activities will be cleaned and disinfected after use that day.

If necessary, all extracurricular activities will continue remotely in the event of another shut down.

Childcare

Non -applicable

Interscholastic Athletics

Per the NYDOH Guidance, interscholastic sports are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance. Additional information is forthcoming.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYPSPHSAA) has established a COVID-19 Task Force comprised of religious and independent school Athletic Directors and public school district administrators responsible for providing guidance to allow New York high school student-athletes to return to athletics as soon and as safely as possible. The task force is reviewing State and local health guidelines, as well as NYSED guidance, regarding the 2020-2021 school year to determine, among other things, the extent to which changes may be needed for each interscholastic sports season. The COVID-19 Task Force will continue to review all aspects of the fall 2020 season and the 2020-2021 school year related to the COVID-19 crisis, such as: practice requirement; fan attendance; resocialization efforts; protocol, procedures; transportation; etc. As more information becomes available it will be shared on the NYSPHSAA website.

UPDATE – NYSPHSAA has announced that all athletics are on hold until September 21, 2020, at which time a decision will be made as to whether winter athletics will be played starting January 4, 2021.

Key References

Additional References

Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the school’s website. By August 7, 2020, schools will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:

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

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

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