Health and Safety

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

The top priority during the planning process was maintaining the health and safety of the entire school community.  As stated prior, recommendations and guidance came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all district schools including any district run before or after school programs for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Both Jerilee DiLalla, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources and Lynn Carragher, Assistant to the Superintendent for Inclusive Education have been identified as COVID-19 Safety Coordinators for the district.  They can be reached at: Jerilee.DiLalla@bcs1.org  or  Lynn.Carragher@bcs1.org. Principals of each respective building will serve as the COVID-19 Compliance Officers.

Capacity Assessment

The development of the plan considered the number of students and staff allowed to return in person while adhering to the guidelines.   The following factors including available space, resources, staffing and transportation were considered by the district administration and subcommittees to determine the resumption of in-person instruction.

Square footage of current buildings and usable square footage of current classroom configurations were taken into consideration for opening at full capacity in the K-5 setting. Additional space such as the cafeteria, gymnasium, stage, art and music rooms were also examined for classroom settings. This means all spaces would be utilized within each building.  Additional classroom teachers would be needed across all three elementary buildings to teach the supplemental classrooms to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.  Support staff would have to be utilized differently to meet the needs of all students.  This would limit AIS services and support from instructional coaches.

At the middle and high school levels, classrooms are smaller but with schedule adaptations and the reorganization of classroom settings, students could resume in person instruction at 50 percent capacity and adhere to the recommended guidelines. 

In examining the factors listed above, concerns include:  Safety mandates, resources such as staff, equipment and spacing available as well as equitable instruction, supervision and the provisions required to ensure services to students with disabilities and English language learners are delivered effectively.  As we looked at all factors of reopening, staff absenteeism was identified as a potentially significant risk factor due to the pandemic.  In addition, labor shortages may be the result of teachers unable to return in-person and a shortage of qualified substitute teachers may be a significant possibility.  Therefore, a multitude of considerations went into the decision-making process. 

Social Distancing, Face Coverings and PPE

The district will adopt protocols and procedures consistent with public health mandates and recommended best practices for students, faculty, staff, and other individuals to ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus when riding the bus, on school grounds and in school facilities.

Specifically, appropriate PPE means, at least, an acceptable face covering, which is recommended to be worn by all individuals at all times but is required to be worn any time or place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing.  Students will have opportunities to remove their face covering during meals, instruction and for permitted breaks when able to maintain appropriate social distancing.  Masks will always be expected when walking throughout the classroom, in common areas or corridors. 

The district surveyed staff to determine who will be using their current face coverings and ordered large quantities of PPE including: cloth face masks, disposal face masks, clear face masks, goggles, clear face shields, gowns, disposable gloves and separators (polycarbonate).  School health professionals will have additional PPE such as fitted N95 masks available to them.  The district will also adopt protocols and procedures relative to face coverings and social distancing that align with public health guidance for staff, students, and other personnel when on school grounds and on the bus.   

Any student, or staff who has a medical conditions that prevents wearing face coverings, difficulty breathing or is incapable of physically removing the face covering on his/her own will not wear cloth face coverings and alternate methods of protection will be discussed by parents and staff. The District will be responsible for maintaining an adequate supply of disposable masks for distribution as needed to students, faculty and staff. The district will instruct students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and vendors on: The proper way to wear face coverings, washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering and the proper way to discard disposable face coverings.

The district is in communication with the department of health relative to local hospital capacity and other factors via participation in weekly phone calls between the superintendent and the Commissioner of Public Health for Monroe County. 


Health Checks

The district will develop 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 will include the requirement for any student or staff member with a temperature greater than 100°F 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.

Currently, the district has purchased a third-party application system that allows students and/or parents/guardians, faculty and staff to perform the health screening checks prior to leaving for the bus stop or arriving at school. If the district is notified of potential exposure by a parent or staff member, the designated Covid-19 School Compliance Officer (Principal) shall be notified and follow the guidance set for by the Department of Health. He/she will also inform the District Covid-19 Safety Coordinator of potential exposures for consistency. 

Our procedure will include:

  1. Daily temperature checks and completion of the screening questionnaire for students, staff, contractors, vendors and visitors prior to arrival or at the building in the absence of non-completion. 
  2. Ensuring all students/staff are treated equally regarding the screening process.
  3. Multiple avenues for screening completion and how the process cannot be used as a basis to exclude students from school.
  4. Process for ensuring students/staff who require screening to be completed at school are treated in a confidential manner and the screening is completed as quickly as possible to minimize time away from class.
  5. The screening data collection method, the data maintained and the data retention period.
  6. The protocol the district will follow if a student/staff member becomes ill at school.
  7. The designation of a staff person(s) to review the incoming reports of screening by staff, students and/or parent/guardians and attesting that they are completed.
  8. Anyone showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated in a designated location in each building until they can be sent home.

Any in-school temperature screening protocols will include:

  • Staff supervision of students who are waiting their turn
  • Student/staff social distancing requirements
  • Training for staff members who perform temperature screenings
  • Methods for ensuring sufficient supplies for taking temperatures
  • Use of PPE or barriers for staff members conducting the screening

Training will be available that covers our policy and the topics recommended by the CDC and DOH.

Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing and Monitoring

The district requires students who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. Faculty and staff who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day will be required to seek care from a medical professional.  If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. The district 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. Below you will find a list of buildings, the location of the COVID symptom isolation area and the treatment medication area for each. 

 

School Name

COVID Symptom Isolation Area

Treatment/Medication Area

Ginther Elementary School

Isolated Section of Nurse’s Office

Nurse’s Office

Barclay Elementary School

Isolated Section of Nurse’s Office

Nurse’s Office

Fred W. Hill Elementary School

Isolated Section of Nurse’s Office

Nurse’s Office

Oliver Middle School

Isolated Section of Nurse’s Office

Nurse’s Office

Brockport High School

Isolated Section of Nurse’s Office

Nurse’s 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 will be available. When caring for a suspect or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection and a fit-tested N95 mask will be used. If an N95 mask is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used.  School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots and health office equipment. Disposable items will be used as much as possible.

The district protocol will require that should a student become ill at school, the school nurse will utilize a screener developed by the district Medical Director in order to determine if the student is showing signs that require them to enter the district’s Covid-19 protocol.  In this case, the student will be supervised in an isolation area and a parent/guardian will be contacted to pick the student up from school.  The family will be provided a healthcare resource list and guidance to follow up with their healthcare provider.  The student will need to be written back in by their health care provider to return to school. Regular contact will occur between the school and family during this time.

District protocol will provide ill staff with access to the school nurse.  The school nurse will utilize the screener developed by the district Medical Director to determine if the staff is showing signs that require them to enter the district’s Covid-19 protocol.  In this case, the staff would either be sent home or utilize the isolation area if they are awaiting transport home.  The staff member will be provided a healthcare resource list and guidance to follow up with their healthcare provider.  The staff will need to be written back in by their healthcare provider to return to school. Regular contact will occur between the human resources department and the staff member during this time.

The district will notify the 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 of the district.

To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district will develop and maintain 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 Brockport Central School District will ensure the following:

  1. Accurate attendance records of students and staff members will be kept
  2. Student schedules will be up to date
  3. A log of any visitor which includes date and time and where in the school they visited will be kept
  4. We will assist 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, the district will work in consultation with the local health department to determine if a classroom, school or district would need to be shut down. Also, a decision would be made collaboratively regarding any additional cleaning or protocols that would need to be followed. 

Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations.

Health Hygiene

The district will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, 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 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.
  • After coming in from the outdoors.
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.

Respiratory Hygiene

The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets.. Therefore, the district 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 do not have a tissue when sneezing or coughing, sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash/sanitize 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.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

The district 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.

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 will be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur a minimum of once a day. 

The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.  


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 that these individuals can safely participate in educational activities. We will comply with all applicable federal and state laws and work with our families and staff to accommodate to the extent possible each individual case within the guidelines.


Visitors on Campus

Outside visitors or volunteers will be minimized on school campus.  Visitations to BCSD schools will be restricted unless their presence has been requested to preserve the safety and wellbeing of our students and/or for essential activities.   Essential visitors will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Essential activities include but are not limited to:

  • Student evaluations for CSE, ENL, etc.
  • Registration and enrollment meetings
  • Approved programs and services
  • Scheduled student meetings w/teacher/counselor/administrator
  • Approved vendor deliveries


School Safety Drills

The district will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without exception. Schools will 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.

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