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    St. Madeleine Sophie School

     

    St. Madeleine Sophie School Reopening Plan                 

    LAST UPDATED August 7, 2020

    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

    The St. Madeleine Sophie School is grateful to our School Reopening Committee, a group of dedicated and invested members of our SMS School Community.  Representing our many stakeholders our committee members: Reverend James Belogi- Pastor, Kelly Sloan- Principal, Philip Kelly- School Board President and Parent, Terri Bouchard- SMS Asst. Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, Kathleen Riordan- Pastoral Associate for Administration,  Susan Brenner- SMS Aftercare Director and First Grade Assistant, Thomas Tegiacchi- SMS Parish Finance Council Liaison, Lauren Kanai- SMS School Nurse,  Kathy DeLaMater – School Board Member and Volunteer, George Montone- SMS School Board member and retired public school administrator.  We had teachers representing various aspects of teaching and learning in our school including Lisa Jansen- Fifth grade teacher, Sherri Hanson- Pre-K teacher, Madeline LoGiudice- Third grade teacher, Andrea Reno- Music Teacher. 

    Sub-committees were formed and met on a weekly basis to address each of the areas outlined in the plan. 

     

    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.

    After being presented with the options families will decide the best instructional plan for their children, choosing either in daily in person instruction on our campus, or a blended model.  Families will complete a survey outlining their needs including: their drop off/ pick-up time, in-person or remote learning, and the possible need for aftercare.  Families choosing to learn from home will be asked to commit to that option for the first quarter of school.  In addition, any student choosing in person learning at school, but needing to learn from home for an extended period of time, due to illness or quarantine will have the option to rejoin in class instruction when it is deemed safe to do so (by health care professionals).  Families may also choose to transfer from in school learning to learning from home if deemed appropriate or necessary.   

    The plan outlined here is for the reopening of St. Madeleine Sophie 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.

    Mrs. Kelly Sloan, our principal will serve as the school’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Mrs. Sloan will work closely with our Pastor, Reverend James Belogi and our local health department and will be responsible for all decisions, as necessary.  Mrs. Sloan and Reverend Belogi will serve as a central contact for stakeholders, families, staff, and other school community members and will ensure the school is complying and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.  Mrs. Sloan can be contacted by email at ksloan1@smsschool.org, or the school phone at 518-355-3080.

    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, students, 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.smsschool.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 on the SMS School Reopening Plan tab on the homepage.  A link to the plan will be emailed to every family and paper copies will be available to families upon request. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals.

    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 Swift Reach K-12 phone calls, emails and text messages, backpack mail, Zoom meetings and website updates– 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 weekly notes, emails, phone calls and text messages 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 and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Catholic Schools Office.

    In support of remote learning, the school will make computer devices available to students and teachers where appropriate.  Families will be surveyed for need and arrangements will be made for all students to have the materials needed.  The school will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact with teachers during remote learning, including email, phone calls and video conferencing.

    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. Schedules and changes will be notified using our Swift Reach K-12 platform including email, phone calls and texts. 

    The school is committed to ensuring that all 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 Video demonstrations will be sent to families before the start of school to be learned and practiced at home and will be retaught refreshed in classroom when we return to school. Modeling and reminding will be a daily occurrence, to ensure good practice.
    • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove) Students will be asked to wear cloth masks (when available) every day, video demonstrations will be sent home prior to the start of school and refreshed upon entry to school.  Disposable masks will be available if needed.
    • Social distancing -Social distancing will be followed in hallways, and classrooms and especially when eating or unmasked. Video demonstrations will be sent to families before the start of school.  Floors will be marked with appropriate distance and students will practice with their class in school.
    • Respiratory hygiene
    • The Covid-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Therefore, it is important that students an ad staff cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately. 

    A supply of tissues and no touch/floor pedal garbage cans will be available in each room.  If no tissue is available using the inside of the elbow or shirt sleeve to cover the mouth or nose is preferable to using the hands.  Performing hand hygiene after sneezing will be taught and reminded after sneezing, coughing and handling of dirty tissues or other soiled material. 

    • Identifying symptoms:

            Parents/guardians and staff members will be provided resources to educate them regarding     the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening that must be conducted each morning before coming to school.

     Parents/guardians and school staff will be instructed that any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F1 or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep an up to date list of symptoms of Coronavirus on its website.

    • This list is not all inclusive as some individuals may display other symptoms or none at all. As of 7/13/2020, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19: • Fever or chills (100°F 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. I
    • All staff are educated to observe students or other staff members 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.
    • Students and staff exhibiting these signs with no other explanation for them will be sent to the school health office for an assessment by the school nurse.
    • If a school nurse is not available, the school will contact the parent/guardian to come pick up their ill child or send the staff member home.
    • Health screenings including daily temperature checks and completion of a screening questionnaire are required for staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors. Students are required to have a daily temperature check and periodic completion of a screening questionnaire.
    • Anyone who has a temperature of 100°F or greater or has a positive response on the screening questionnaire must be isolated from others and sent home immediately. Students will be supervised in the isolated area while awaiting transport home. Schools will refer such persons to a healthcare provider and provide resources on COVID-19 testing.
    • Students and staff are required to notify the school when they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside school hours.
    • Staff will be required to complete screenings prior to arrival at school
    • Parents/guardians will be strongly encouraged to screen their child before sending them to school. Screening by the parent/ guardian prior to school is preferred in lieu of temperature checks and symptom screening being performed after arrival to school.
    • Screening of students includes a daily temperature check and periodic completion of a screening questionnaire.
    • A screening questionnaire determines whether the individual has:
    • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19; ● tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days; ● has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or ● has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

     

    Parents/Guardians will notify school through phone call (518)355-3080 or email lhosey@smsschool.org if their child develops symptoms.  Reminders of symptoms will be sent multiple times per week, through multiple forms of communication to families. 

    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 (cloth masks) 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 and backpack mail as well as in class instruction. 

    St. Madeleine Sophie 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 at https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80

    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 may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The school will consult our school nurse and/the Catholic Schools Office and the local health department when making such decisions. 

    School building administrator will communicate with the superintendent or his designee regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.

    We will work closely with our Superintendent and Health Department to decide the best course of action if operations or partial operations need to cease.

    St. Madeleine Sophie School will use our Emergency Response protocols (which are already in place) including: notifying families with our Swift Reach K-12 system which enables us to reach all families with phone calls, text messages and emails.  We would be in contact with all necessary entities including our transportations offices at the various school districts, Guilderland Central school District and the Catholic Schools Office. 

     

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    Health and Safety

    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).  

    The following protocols and procedures will be in place for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator, Mrs. Kelly Sloan at ksloan1@smsschool.org  or 518-355-3080.

    For more information about how health and safety protocols and trainings will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80 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.

    St. Madeleine Sophie School will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening: 

    • Prior to coming to school each day families will conduct a health screening including taking their child’s temperature and screening for any symptoms. Anyone with a temperature over 100 degrees or answering any YES to any of the screening questions are required to stay home, and contact the school.
    • An electronic form will be submitted prior to arrival to school every day. Upon arrival at school those unable to properly screen their child should indicate that school personnel will need to take the child’s temperature and screen for symptoms.
    • Those that are able to screen at home but are not able to access the electronic document will complete a form upon arrival at school.
    • Instruction on proper screening techniques will be given to families prior to the beginning of school to practice, with additional time for questions before the first day of school. 

     

    1. Daily temperature checks and completion of the screening questionnaire provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines for staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors [prior to arrival/at school].

     

    • All students will be temperature checked upon arrival at school, those that have not completed the screening prior to arrival at school will do so upon arrival. Using a staggered arrival and various points of entry for different grade levels will allow everyone t be treated equally and not singled out.
    • Screening will be sent electronically to each family for completion daily, those unable to complete it before arrival will do so verbally with staff on site.
    • Students being screened at school will be done before entering the building. With multiple staff members helping with arrival there should be minimal issues with timing nor privacy. 
    1. Temperature checks will be done using a digital, touchless thermometer. Actual temperatures will not be recorded, only the indication that the temperature cleared or did not clear the threshold will be recorded and retained until no longer needed.
    2. Student or staff member will be isolated from others and immediate dismissal from school if they have a temperature of 100°F or greater or has a positive response to a screening question.
    3. Students and staff are required to notify the school when they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside school hours and how the school should be notified.
    4. Laura Hosey, Administrative Assistant will review the incoming reports of screening by staff and parent/guardians and attesting that they are completed.
    5. Kelly Sloan, Mrs. Laura Hosey or the School Nurse on duty will be the designated contact person for staff or students to inform if they later experience COVID-19 symptoms.
    6. Reminders to staff and parents/guardians of the health screening policy will occur weekly before the beginning of school and then daily through the use of signage, emails, phone calls, text and website.

     

    In-school temperature screening protocols, include:

    • Staff supervision of students who are waiting their turn
    • Student social distancing requirements using floor and wall signage
    • Training for staff members who perform temperature screenings will be conducted before the start of school by the school nurse
    • Laura Hosey, Administrative Assistant and nursing staff will ensure sufficient supplies for taking temperatures including digital tools to monitor supplies
    • PPE and/ or barriers for staff members conducting the screening will include gloves, masks, face shields, gowns, barriers.

    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, parish center, 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 at all times, but especially when unable to maintain social distance from others.
    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 will 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. https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80

    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.

    Directional arrows in hallways, maximum capacity signage for smaller spaces will be posted. 

    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, protocols will be determined after meeting with the principal and school nurse. 

    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 outdoors, including on the school bus. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, and for scheduled short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance or are behind their personal barrier that will be provided for each child. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one as long as medical documentation is provided.   Additional precautions will be implemented to maintain the safety of everyone.  Additional protections including face shields will be discussed and used if appropriate.

    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, but other precautions and PPE will be discussed and used if medically appropriate.

    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
    • Training will be provided prior to school starting on the use and importance of social distancing and face coverings, then revisited often after school begins
    • Adequate supplies of masks and PPE will be on hand for anyone needing them

     

    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.

    The School Nurse’s Office will be used to provide medications or nursing treatments and the room previously used as the Faculty Room will be designated for assessing and caring for ill students and staff.  Additional spaces may be designated for such usage if deemed necessary.

    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

    St. Madeleine Sophie School will work together with the Albany County Department of Health and The Catholic Schools Office to practice and communicate protocols and safety measures needed in the case of positive or presumed-positive cases in the school.  All relevant parties including parents/legal guardians, faculty, staff, students and the local community will be notified appropriately. 

    When referring, sourcing, and/or administering testing, the school will work with the following providers: The Albany County Department of Health.

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

    Close classrooms, buildings or entire campus depending on recommendations and input from local health officials.

    Notification of families, including plan for release of students on site, to restrict further possibility of infection. 

    Protocols for returning to school will be discussed and shared with families. 

    Cleaning and sanitization protocols will be discussed and implemented with consultation from health officials

    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 https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80 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, after consultation with state and local health departments

    • 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 Albany 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: Albany County Department of Health on the situation
    • School administration will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.
    • Madeleine Sophie School may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; we will consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities.
    • We will consult our school nurse and/or the local department of health when making such decisions.
    • After consulting with health officials, and Superintendent’s office, we will determine which operations will be decreased, or ceased and which operations will be conducted remotely; we will use the measures outlined in our School Safety Plan as for any emergency or unforeseen early dismissal procedures.

    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 https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80 of our reopening plan.

    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
    • Health offices, isolation rooms
    • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
    • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, copy machine keypads, etc.)
    • Breakrooms
    • Cafeterias/Kitchens
    • Computer labs
    • Classrooms
    • Maintenance offices and work areas
    • Library (when opened)
    • Parish Center
    • 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 will 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. Synchronous learning as well as asynchronous learning opportunities will be discussed and made available to families, which will include virtual live interaction time each day.

    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 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.   

    • Fire Code Compliance St. Madeleine Sophie School will comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC), except as specified in 19 NYCRR 1221.2(d).
    • Time Management: Class Schedules will be altered to reduce student use of the corridors. Care will be taken to ensure hallways will not be congested with students.
    • Leave Doors Open: To reduce the spread of the virus from touching door levers and knobs, doors may be fixed in the open position.
    • Plastic Separators: The use of light-transmitting separators will be used when appropriate and necessary.
    • Alcohol-Based Hand Rub Dispensers: hand washing facilities will be made available in addition to alcohol-based hand rub dispensers in each classroom and all shared spaces.
    • Professionals will be assisting with any ventilation changes
    • Movable partitions will only be used if need to separate students in larger spaces on campus including the Parish Center and Parish Hall
    • Canopies will be used outside to provide additional usable space for classes to meet.
    • The appropriate number of toilet fixtures for use will be made available while maintaining social distancing
    • Drinking Water Facilities: Each student will be asked to bring a refillable water bottle each day. It should be full when students arrive. Time will be made each day for bottles to be refilled with assistance from staff from water filling stations. 

    Infection Control Strategies

     

    All highly touchable surfaces will be fitted with nano septic self-cleaning tape to prevent germs collecting on surfaces such as but not limited to railings, toilet handles, doorknobs and push bars etc. 

    Each child will have their own designated personal see-through barrier for their desk/table to use when eating or during mask breaks, or when six-foot distancing cannot be met. 

    Schedules will be adjusted to limit the number of students in the hallways at one time.

    Students will eat lunch in their classrooms to maintain their cohort, the cafeteria will not be used for eating. 

    Alcohol-based hand rub dispensers will be at doors and other points of congregation.

    Pre-Kindergarten classrooms will have sinks for hand washing within the classroom.

    Additional spaces on the campus will be used for larger classes to properly social distance.  All spaces we plan on using have previously been used by students. 

    Our spacious campus provides a great deal of outdoor space that will be used frequently for classes that do not need to take place in the classroom.  The use of the outdoor spaces will also be scheduled to maintain the proper social distancing, including our pavilion and canopies.

    All shared spaces used will be cleaned and disinfected between uses.

     

    Facility Alterations and Acquisition

     

    • Classrooms will be configured to fit students allowing the proper social distancing. Classes needing additional space will use other spaces on campus including the Parish Hall meeting rooms and if needed, the Parish Center. 
    • The use of personal barriers will be used when social distancing is not available, or masks are removed to eat or for scheduled mask breaks.
    • Each of these other spaces have multiple forms of egress, and fire alarm system. There is no need for changes to the lighting nor the ventilation systems that are already in place for these spaces to be used.
    • The library will be closed for the near future.
    • Students will be entering through a variety of entrances allowing for social distancing as they arrive at school. Arrival times will be staggered to prevent congregation of students
    • Dismissal will be changed no families will be permitted inside of the school, students will be called from their classrooms and dismissed when parents arrive to their cars. 

    Space Expansion

    Excess furniture will be removed from classrooms to enable student desks to be distanced from each other.  Classes with larger enrollment will be moved to alternate sites on campus including the Parish Hall and Parish Center if needed. 

    Tents for Additional Space

    • The permanent pavilion behind school and temporary canopies will be used as outdoor learning spaces when weather is appropriate.
    • Canopies (with no sides) will be used temporarily for approximately 90 days, for classes including special area classes. Yoga mats will be the preferred seating when using the outdoor spaces.  Each student will have their own mat, which will be disinfected after use. 
    • Canopies are new, there will be no cooking or heating equipment.
    • Madeleine Sophie School will consult with our local municipalities and code enforcement officials to ensure compliance

      Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures
    • Adequate toilet fixtures will be available including in Pre-K classrooms
    • Water filling stations will be available at least one per 100 people.
    • The water system has been maintained, but will be flushed if needed

    Physical barriers between toilets and sinks will be used if six feet of separation is not feasible

                          Use of touch-free paper towel dispensers.

    • Distancing rules will be monitored by staff during bathroom visits, signage and occupied markers, which will assist in reducing the restroom occupancy at any given time.

    Ventilation

    • Ventilation will be increased with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible by opening windows while maintaining health and safety protocols.

    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.

                    Written protocols for safety drills are in the School Safety Plan and visuals are displayed in each classroom.

    • Students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

    The school modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:

    • Fire drills will be conducted on a “staggered” schedule, where certain classes will already outside allowing appropriate distance to be in hallways and between students to the evacuation site. Staggering minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site

     

    • The school will be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.

    Modifications to Lockdown Drills:

    • Lockdown drills will be conducted in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing/using masks.
    • Lockdown drills will be conducted in classrooms without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but students will be provided an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom. Students will practice being quiet, listening for directions, while other protocols are followed (doors closed and locked, lights off etc.)

     

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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 and behind their personal barrier. 

    The school will assess where meals will be served, currently all meals will be served in the student’s homeroom classroom at their own seat or desk.  The school will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating, meals will be served in classrooms and in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing both during lunch and recess. When meals are eaten in the classroom, lunches will be delivered to individual classrooms to prevent hallway congestion.

    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 will be 6 feet apart and separated by a barrier while consuming meals.

    Proper cleaning and disinfection of tables, chairs, and other frequently touched hard surfaces will take place after meals. Meals will be individually packaged and given to students.

    There will be no use of share tables, or other self-service of condiments etc. Individualized condiments will be provided for students.

    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.

    Meals will be served to students in the school building, observing all applicable health and safety guidelines.  Measures to protect students with food allergies will be taken, including education of staff of on how to identify symptoms and protocols in how to deal with allergies including but not limited to proper use of Epi Pens.    Students will perform hand hygiene before and after eating with teacher prompting.  Sharing of food/beverages will be discouraged, through classroom lessons and daily reminders.  Students will be eating at their desks behind individual barriers.

     All students will be educated on the seriousness of food allergies.  With social distancing in place the chance of cross contamination is limited.  Any classes containing students with air-borne allergies i.e. peanuts etc. will be designated “allergy aware” classrooms and those foods will be prohibited from the classroom. 

    Students with food allergies will have individual health plans developed by the families, school nurse and child’s doctor to ensure their safety.  Plans will be shared with all necessary faculty/staff/ students.

    Meals Offsite/Remote

    St. Madeleine Sophie School will work with students learning from home and their home district to ensure meals are provided if needed

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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.

    Individual districts will ensure:

    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.

    Students on Transportation

    • When students embark and disembark the bus, they will be encouraged to follow social distancing protocols.
    • Drop off and pick up of students will be reconfigured with several different loading and unloading locations for students who are transported by bus, car or are pedestrians.
    • (edited/added 8/27/2020): As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as students in NYS get ready to go back to school, school districts will have the authority to install hand sanitizer dispensers on buses as well as allow students and district staff to have personal-size quantities while aboard the bus. Installation of such dispensers will only be allowed in the area of the driver and must be secure to withstand any sudden stop or impact. The dispenser will not block any aisles and will not present any obstructions to passengers getting on and off the bus. The sanitizer will be ethanol-based, and the dispenser can be no larger than 40 ounces. Students and personnel on the bus will also be authorized to carry personal-size bottles of sanitizer, whose contents should not exceed 8 ounces in volume. These should be secured when not in use.

    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 https://ny49000030.schoolwires.net/domain/80 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 has done this by:

    Providing families with resources to address mental health, behavioral and emotional needs of students.  Faculty and Staff will receive professional development regarding Social-Emotional Well Being prior to students returning to school. Materials and resources will continue to be offered to families throughout the school year.

    The school has established an advisory council that 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:

    Using resources from the Catholic Schools Office, Catapult Learning, and the State Education Department

    We also have the services of our Catapult School Counselor, who will assist student directly and indirectly by developing plans with teachers for whole classes, small groups and individual students based on needs.  

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    Religious and Independent School Schedules

    • To maximize in-person instruction, additional instructional space on campus will be utilized allowing cohorts to stay together and separated from other grades as much as possible.
    • Recess schedules will be modified to allow ample time for each class to have recess, while decreasing the number of students in one location.
    • Special area classes will be scheduled to allow for students both in school and at home to benefit from instruction
    • The option of remote workforce is possible for faculty and staff needing that option
    • Special area classes will take place in classrooms instead of rooms designated for specials, with the special area teacher moving from room to room, or outdoor spaces when possible.
    • The goal is to have in-person learning available for all Pre-K through Fifth grade students all day every day, Monday through Friday.
    • Plans for synchronous and asynchronous instruction for those students learning from home while students are learning in school will be developed with each individual family learning from home.

    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

    While in a remote or hybrid schedule attendance and teacher-student engagement will be collected through online learning -Google Classroom as well as visual check-in with video conferencing tools. 

    Daily check-ins will also be conducted by office, and teachers with each student learning from home.  

     

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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. 

    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.

    • Madeleine Sophie School will use September 8-9, 2020 as Professional Development days to provide explicit instruction in new protocols and to review the protocols that will be discussed during the weeks leading up to the opening of school.
    • September 10 and 11 will be used as Orientation Days, with Grades K-5 coming to school one day, and Pre-K families coming the other to allow families and students to practice the new procedures for re-entry into school. 
    • Pre-K families will have a virtual Zoom Orientation leading up to the opening of school, and individual appointments for each Pre-K and new student to come to school, escorted by their parent or family member to become accustomed to their new classroom. New protocols and routines will be demonstrated and recorded for children to see and be able to practice at home before school begins. 
    • School will officially begin for all students on Monday, September 14. Staggered drop-off times, new arrival and drop off patterns will be shared with families to allow for a smoother transition for students.  All students will be dropped off outside of the school buildings.  Parents/Families  will not be entering the school buildings.  All health screenings will be conducted before family members dropping off students leave the premises.  (For those that were not able to screen at home) 
    • Madeleine Sophie School will continue to use iReady as a diagnostic tool, teaching tool and remediation tool. This platform is able to be implemented both in person and at home.  This tool will focus on each child’s strengths and needs and will be focused on helping each student to progress on their own learning path in both ELA and Math. 
    • Families will receive a survey after reviewing our reopening plans. They will be asked to choose whether their child will be attending school in person or from home.  We ask they consider what model will work for the first quarter of school (with no unforeseen challenges).  We ask that those deciding to learn from home to plan on staying at home through November at least.  Those students beginning the year in-person will always have the option to switch to at home learning due to circumstances. 
    • We hope this flexibility will encourage families to keep students home on days when they are not feeling well, as students will be prepared to learn from home just as they do in the classroom. With the ability to return to school if they are healthy and cleared medically if needed. They will not need to stay home for the remainder of the quarter. 
    • Families choosing to learn at home will have individual virtual meetings with the classroom teacher and principal to develop a learning plan that will work for the student, teacher and families, that most importantly meets the needs of that student and family. Options for live and recorded and instruction will be provided to families.  Schedules will be developed to benefit all students regardless of their location. 

    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.

    Additional staff will be added to assist in supervision of students and accomplishing the increased need for cleaning and sanitization.  

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

    The school will minimize the movement of students.  Students will eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities will be suspended. Special-area subjects art, music, and physical education may be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. Consideration will be given to each activity to determine if we will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity, or if students will be masked. Special attention will be paid to allow students to learn about physical activities that can be done individually instead of team-based instruction. 

    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.

    In Person or On Site Learning

    • All students will be on school campus attending their classes as scheduled unless special accommodations are made for more vulnerable students to attend remotely
    • Student responsibilities and expectations will be held to pre-pandemic status
    • Students, teachers and staff will engage in daily social- emotional learning readiness discussions
    • Students at all grade levels will engage in benchmark assessments to determine any curricular or achievement gaps in learning
    • Curriculum will be NYS standards based and will be assessed and graded using appropriate rubrics
    • All core and special content area courses will be taught by respective teachers while maintaining student cohorts and limited movement about the campus
    • Teachers will maximize their instructional time by using data to differentiate instruction and learning outcomes
    • Madeleine Sophie School will work to record or livestream instruction for the benefit of any student population who will attend classes online only
    • Daily attendance will be recorded using Power School
    • Parents/guardians are encouraged to support the efforts of all teachers and stay abreast of their child’s progress
    • Teachers are expected to communicate with parents/guardians on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly)
    • *Livestreaming classes will be done so in a way that it protects the privacy of the teacher and individual students

    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.

    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. (Google Classroom in most cases)

    Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

     

    Blended or Hybrid Learning

    • All students will be scheduled for classes/courses as if they were attending school on campus
    • Teacher will teach students online and in person simultaneously (when possible)
    • Student responsibilities and expectations will be held to pre-pandemic status
    • Students, teachers and staff will engage in daily social- emotional learning readiness discussions
    • Students at all grade levels will engage in benchmark assessments to determine any curricular or achievement gaps in learning
    • Curriculum will be NYS standards based and will be assessed and graded using appropriate rubrics
    • All core and special content area courses will be taught by respective teachers while maintaining student cohorts and limited movement about the campus
    • Teachers will maximize their instructional time by using data to differentiate instruction and learning outcomes
    • Daily or course specific attendance will be recorded using Power School. Students, not personally present in school, will be required to sign in or log on to their respective classes.
    • Parents/guardians are encouraged to support the efforts of all teachers and stay abreast of their child’s engagement and progress
    • Teachers are expected to communicate with parents/guardians on a regular basis (weekly or bi-weekly)

     

    Completely Remote Learning (School Closure)

    • Student responsibilities and expectations will be held to a high standard
    • Students, teachers and staff will engage in daily social- emotional learning readiness discussions
    • Curriculum will be NYS standards based and will be assessed and graded using appropriate rubrics
    • All core courses will be taught by respective teachers and plans will include PE, Music, Art
    • Teachers will maximize their instructional time by focusing on essential academic knowledge and skills to ensure students are fully prepared for the next academic level
    • Consideration will be given to having teachers record all instruction for the benefit of parents/guardians who may seek guidance in assisting their child(ren)
    • Daily or course specific attendance will be recorded using Power School. Students will be required to sign in or log on to their respective classes.
    • Parents/guardians are encouraged to support the efforts of all teachers and stay abreast of their child’s engagement and progress
    • Teachers are expected to communicate with parents/guardians on a weekly basis

     

    Technology and Connectivity

    St. Madeleine Sophie School will work with each individual family to assess any technology needs and make chrome books available to borrow for all those needing them.  We will also assist those in need of high-speed internet.  Classes will not be completely dependent upon technology to participate in remote learning.  Textbooks, packets and other materials will be used and provided to all families.   

     

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    Athletics and School Activities  

    Liturgy

    Monthly school-wide liturgies will be modified allowing each class to continue to have their turn to participate in and assist at liturgies.  While all classes may not be able to attend each mass, livestreaming will be used for students to view from their classrooms, allowing the liturgy to become a teachable moment.  School liturgies may be moved from the daily mass schedule with parishioners to afternoon mass solely for school children to keep students in cohorts, and not in church with parishioners.  Alternate arrangements will be made to use more prayer services to take the place of attendance at weekly mass for older students. 

    Faith Formation

    In consultation with the pastor and director of faith formation, a plan for faith formation programs and  classes will be developed  taking into consideration proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols before and after faith formation classes.  Consideration will also be given to using other spaces on campus not being used by the school.

    Extracurriculars

    Extracurricular activities will be suspended until it is determined it is appropriate to begin them.  Student Council may begin later in the year.

    Note: Interscholastic sports, including CYO, are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance, and additional information on athletic activities is forthcoming.

    Childcare

    A written plan is in place for before and aftercare programs run by the school. 

    Policies regarding before and aftercare programs include social distancing, PPE usage including all students, faculty and staff wearing masks unless eating, or taking a scheduled mask break behind their personal barrier.  All cleaning and disinfection requirements will be followed, as well as risk of COVID-19 transmission.  The same cohorts from the school day will stay in place, if applicable, or group members of the same household will be considered.

     

    Key References

    ·         New York State Reopening Guidance for Religious and Independent Schools (July 27, 2020)

    ·         Reopening Survey for Religious and Independent Schools (July 27, 2020)

    ·         State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 16, 2020)

    ·         State Education Department Presents Framework of Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 13, 2020)

    ·         Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health (July 13, 2020)

    Additional References

    ·         Interim Guidance for Religious and Funeral Services and Operations of Faith-Based Institutions (June 26, 2020)

    ·         Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
    (June 26, 2020)

    ·         Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
    (June 26, 2020)

    ·         Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
    (June 26, 2020)

    ·         Interim Guidance for Public Transportation Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (June 26, 2020)

    ·         New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    ·         New York State Education Department Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    ·         Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    ·         Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website

    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.