Here is the district’s reopening plan for September 2020. This plan was submitted to New York State on July 31. Please note, we will continue to update this plan as more details are finalized.
- Communication/Family and Community Engagement
- Health and Safety
- Child Nutrition
- Social Emotional Well-Being
- School Schedules
- Remote Learning Plan
- Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
- Technology and Connectivity
- Teaching and Learning
- Special Education
- Bilingual Education and World Languages
- Teacher and Principal Evaluation System
- Certification, Incidental Teaching, and Substitute Teaching
- Contact Tracing and Testing Protocol
Communication/Family and Community Engagement
The school district has engaged stakeholders through community surveys, county school meetings, meetings with bargaining unit leadership, meetings with local government officials, advice of legal counsel and BOCES Component District meetings to develop its reopening plan. The Columbia County Department of Health, NY State Department of Health, NYSED, local government agencies and the governor’s office provide ongoing information that will be used to update our plan over time. As such, this plan is a living document that continues to be responsive to the experiences of our faculty, staff, administrators and parents as we go forward with in-person, remote and/or hybrid models of instruction.
The district will continue to provide information through multiple modes including the district website, Facebook page, and School Messenger system. Additionally, each district building will be provided with appropriate signage to remind and inform visitors, staff and students about safety protocols such as handwashing, social distancing and appropriate use of face coverings.
The district has created a dedicated email account for questions about school opening: email@example.com. We have also posted a Q&A page with space for parents to ask questions about school opening. Additionally, the district will host three Zoom sessions to provide information on school opening along with the opportunity for parents to ask questions in the Zoom chat.
The District is committed to providing ongoing instruction and training in COVID-19 symptoms, hygiene practices and contagion mitigation. We fully understand that our behaviors are the greatest factor affecting our safety with respect to contagion.
We work diligently and consistently to encourage all faculty, students, staff and visitors to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE, social distancing and handwashing so that we can contribute to our own health and the health of members of our larger community. We will communicate in the language(s) spoken at home and in manner accessible to those with hearing and/or visual impairments.
Health and Safety
In creating our in-person, remote or hybrid instructional plans, we have considered multiple safety factors with direct input from both the County DOH and our own school medical staff. These include our ability to provide for social distancing, safe transportation protocols, our ability to purchase sufficient PPE and a current 2-month supply of PPE and consultation with the Department of Health regarding the capacity of local health facilities.
The district will require daily completion of a digital pre-work health screening for all faculty and staff, reviewed by direct supervisors. Students will be screened periodically in school. All students and staff will engage in daily temperature monitoring. Staff who have a temperature in excess of 100 degrees will not report to work. Students who display symptoms of COVID-19 or a fever of 100 degrees or more will be placed in supervised isolation until a parent can bring the student home and bring the student for medical evaluation and clearance to return to school. Each building has a dedicated isolation room. Students with symptoms of illness will be sent home, using extreme caution to reduce contagion to the extent possible.
Students and staff will pass through a temperature screening device upon entering the buildings. If the device indicates a fever in excess of 100 degrees, the individual’s temperature will be retaken with a thermometer to see if isolation is required.
Few visitors will be allowed into the building. For those who have business that requires their entry, they will be required to wear a mask at all times, complete the screening questionnaire and have their temperature taken before entering the building. Generally, deliveries will not require a visitor to enter the building. Items may be left in vestibules or outside for staff to retrieve, rather than allowing deliveries within the building. This includes parents dropping off items for students and mail delivery. In all cases, office protocols are designed to reduce the number of people entering the building during the day.
The district will use social media and School Messenger to remind parents to look for signs of infection, take their child’s temperature regularly and to keep sick children home. Parents and the district are partners in reducing contagion and mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Reminders regarding keeping sick children home will be on-going throughout the school year.
As we created our schedules for this year, six feet of social distancing guided much of our efforts. We have devised strategies to maintain distancing in cafeterias, during passing and in classrooms. Hallways will support one way traffic and stairways will be for either up or down traffic, but not both wherever possible. Chorus and Band require 12 feet of distancing. Physical education classes will be conducted outdoors as much as weather allows and curriculum will focus on personal fitness and activities deemed lowest risk by the DOH, for example table tennis with participants wearing gloves. Classrooms will keep windows open as long as temperatures are above 45 degrees. Similarly, buses will operate with open windows as long as weather permits.
Students or staff who are medically fragile or are otherwise at high risk of dangerous complications from COVID-19 should contact administration for their needs to be evaluated individually so that the district may provide reasonable accommodations relative to their specific needs. The accommodations would be specific to the medical risk presented and will be designed to limit the individual’s exposure to contagion to the extent possible.
All individuals in the school — students, staff or visitors — are expected to wear a face covering at all times. Students are expected to come to school with a mask, however, if the student does not have a mask, or if the mask is lost or soiled during the day, the district will provide a mask. Similarly, visitors to the school must wear a mask.
Students will be provided with face mask “breaks” during the school day in conjunction with social distancing. Breaks occur at a teacher’s discretion during a silent classroom activity with everyone seated (like reading, taking a test, working on an independent activity). Students may remove their masks in the cafeteria while all are seated and eating. An individual student may request a mask break. Under those circumstances, the student may be allowed to take a mask break in the hallway, seated, or in a remote location on the playground, also seated. Students may also remove their masks while seated in the cafeteria and eating. When masks are off, social distancing will be strictly enforced.
Anyone in common areas such as hallways is expected to wear a mask. Office employees, while seated at their desk, capable of maintaining social distancing and when no visitors are entering the office, may lower their masks. Similarly, teachers may lower their masks when alone in their classrooms. However, when visitors enter the office or classroom, all staff members must wear a mask.
Supplies of PPE and sanitizing supplies will be maintained at a minimum of 2-month supply. Reorder will be expected prior to the 2-month mark. Over time, usage will be monitored to evaluate if the usage estimate is accurate so that the 2-month threshold is never breached.
The Columbia County DOH will be contacted to provide the most current protocols for practices regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases. In no case will an employee or student with a confirmed COVID-19 case return to school without a medical release. We will rely on consultation with the DOH about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the school. This return requires at a minimum, documentation of evaluation by a healthcare provider (healthcare provider’s note clearing a person to return to school), and symptom resolution, or if COVID -19 positive, release from isolation as required by the DOH. Current advice from the CDC is for individuals who have been exposed to a case of COVID-19 to remain in isolation for 14 days. People with a positive test for COVID-19 but no symptoms can return after 10 days with no symptoms. Individuals who know that they have COVID or who have tested positive may return with a doctor’s release after 10 days since the first appearance of symptoms and at least 24 hours with no fever and no fever reducing drugs. Because these limits have changed over time and are likely to change going forward, the district will defer to the DOH when allowing students and staff to return to school. The district will continue to post updates to these guidelines, but the current advice of the DOH will always be the determining factor. In all cases, the district will assist the DOH in contact tracing efforts and with follow up on testing protocols.
All schools will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily. High-touch areas will be sanitized every two hours during the school day. High-touch surfaces include phones, counters, tabletops, desktops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards and tablets. High touch areas on buses will be sanitized between bus runs. All staff will be instructed in sanitizing protocols so that these may be used between users in classrooms and other spaces to the extent possible. Sanitizing spray will be available throughout the school and specifically in each classroom so that areas may be sprayed by users prior to use to increase their confidence in their environment. The district will continue to update these protocols as guidelines are re-published by the CDC.
All safety drills will be conducted as per NYSED regulations. For lock-down drills, the drill will be modified to allow social distancing of 6 feet. The teacher conducting the drill in any specific classroom will review that in an actual emergency, students may have to be closer together, but for the purposes of the drill, all contagion mitigation strategies will remain in place.
The Superintendent of Schools will be the designated COVID-19 safety coordinator. It is the coordinator’s responsibility to oversee continuous compliance with the re-opening plan as well as ongoing updates to the plan in response to DOH, NYSED, district experience and government requirements.
Our goal is to have clean and sanitized facilities and any change we make in procedures or materials will be reviewed and approved by our health and safety experts at Questar BOCES.
Our Cleaning and maintenance staff will be cleaning and sanitizing daily all areas occupied by students, faculty and staff. Each employee will maintain a log that includes the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection for each room. The Business Official, who is responsible for facilities and grounds, will review the logs regularly and will provide training in cleaning and sanitizing expectations for maintenance staff. As applicable, the district will comply with the current Building and Condition survey and will perform all tests and inspections required by regulations, codes and laws. The testers will follow all of the safety protocols described in this plan.
Alcohol-based and sanitizers are located in each classroom, office and common area. The hand sanitizers have been provided through the NYS DOH and comply with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5.
We are finishing substantial capital projects in both buildings and have no immediate plans to add to our facilities in any way. If this should change we will submit the plans to OFP for a full code review. For the immediate future, there will be no use of the facilities by community organizations.
Our Jr/Sr High School has approximately 200 students and the building has 4 water fountains. We have one recently installed fountain that allows for water bottles to be replenished. Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to use water bottles. As part of the maintenance and sanitation schedule water fountains will be sanitized multiple times during the day and every evening following dismissal.
All of our facilities’ classrooms and offices have windows for natural ventilation. Our faculty are instructed to open windows when weather permits. Our mechanical ventilation system has filters that are changed according to the schedule as determined by the manufacturer and according to guidelines of our health and safety experts.
There are no plans to use plastic separators in our facilities, with the exception of temporary, desktop barriers for speech instruction. We will comply with 2020 BCNYS section 2606.
If students are in school they will have time in their day for breakfast and lunch. Meals will continue to meet all nutritional requirements and will be prepackaged to “grab and go.” The students will pick up their pre-packaged meals and will not individually select items from a cafeteria line buffet. No cash will be exchanged and students will either access their Nutrikids account or their free/reduced account as has been our practice prior to the COVID emergency.
For students attending on an alternate day schedule, they will be able to pick up meals for the days they will be home. If in-person instruction is not provided and students are learning remotely, we will provide all the meals they would receive at school. These meals will be delivered to the students’ assigned bus stop at predetermined times, with several days/ meals delivered at a time. Students who pay for their meals will have the cost of any purchased meals deducted from their Nutrikids accounts.
Our meals will follow all health and nutrition guidelines. If a student has a health or allergy issue meal adjustments will be made for that student in the manner that we have consistently made such adjustments in the past. This may include a medical plan, IEP or 504 plan.
All of our meals will continue to meet all health and nutrition requirements. At the elementary school all classroom teachers will supervise student hand washing prior to eating. A staff member will be available to provide hand sanitizer before students eat their meals. Our lunch schedule is modified to allow for fewer students in each block to allow appropriate social distancing and the removal of masks during meals. At the high school students will be reminded to wash hands before meals and sanitizer will be available. Students will be supervised and reminded to observe social distancing during meals. All students will be reminded by faculty and staff that sharing of food and beverages is not permitted.
Between each lunch period cleaners will clean and sanitize each table in the cafeteria according to DOH guidelines. Students will be encouraged to dispose of all trash in an appropriate receptacle.
Our district will use our website, Facebook and electronic messaging through School Messenger to update parents and guardians of changes and updates to this plan. This district will provide communication in families’ preferred language.
We have measured the cafeterias and tables in both the elementary and secondary school. Based on the modified lunch schedule and expanding our eating space, we can provide seating that will maintain social distancing while eating. Students will remove face coverings while eating, but will wear coverings when going to and from the cafeteria, while in the lunch line and at all times when they may not be able to maintain social distancing.
Each bus in use will be cleaned and disinfected daily and high contact areas will be sanitized between each run. Because of their flammability, hand sanitizers will not be allowed on any bus. However, hand sanitizer will be available at multiple locations in the garage and in the schools.
Students and staff must wear a face covering while on any bus. District employees may wear a face shield in addition to a cloth face covering. The district will request that parents/guardians provide an appropriate face covering for their child(ren), but the district will provide a face covering to any child who needs one so that no child is denied transportation for lack of a mask. Drivers and aides must also wear gloves in case their duties may require direct contact with a student. As is the case with all employees, staff in the transportation department will complete a health self-assessment prior to arriving at work.
Parents are encouraged to provide transportation to the extent that they are able. It is key to our ability to transport students that we reduce our current ridership. This reduction will allow us to increase social distancing on each bus. Our intention is to seat students one to a seat using the seats themselves as barriers, with the exception of members of the same household who will be required to sit together. As students are picked up, they will be seated from the back of the bus, distancing themselves to the greatest extent possible. If a student is incapable of wearing a mask due to a doctor’s medical exemption or a documented disability, that student will be seated six feet from any other student. Windows will remain open on the buses as long as weather allows.
As is the case with all district employees and students, initial training and refresher training in safety, hygiene, identifying symptoms of COVID-19 and contagion mitigation will be provided by the district. The district will continue to provide transportation to students attending non-public schools and out-of-district placements in accordance with all laws and regulations.
Social Emotional Well-Being
Communities and schools are facing unprecedented challenges as we respond to this global pandemic. Our school community (students, parents, faculty, and staff) has experienced extremely stressful and sometimes traumatic experiences while isolated from school, friends, and community. To the best of our ability, the district will support our students, faculty, and staff members’ social and emotional well being regardless of whether instruction is in person, remote, or hybrid.
Our Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Program Plan is reviewed and updated annually to better meet our student’s current needs. This plan has been developed under the direction of our school counselor. Each building’s shared decision making (SDM) teams will review this plan and make recommendations for changes or updates as necessary. The SDM advisory team will include representative stakeholders.
A mental health team consisting of school psychologists, counselors, and administrators meets monthly during the school year to review student mental health referrals, current programs, student needs, and emotional support services. This group will also gather and provide resources for students, their families, and our faculty/staff to the best of our ability.
As it becomes available, professional development opportunities will be provided to faculty and staff to enhance our ability to support students during and after COVID-19. Professional development will also provide support for coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. These opportunities will be provided during faculty meetings, conference days, and grade level meetings.
At Walter B Howard Elementary School, students will be in attendance for in-person instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. All students will engage in remote instruction on Wednesdays. Childcare will be available on Wednesdays.
At the Jr/Sr High School, all students in Grades 7 and 8 will report to school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Students in grades 9-12 will be divided into two groups and will attend schools either Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday. Wednesdays will be designated as remote learning days for students in grades 7-12 with no in-person instruction.
If in-person instruction is not feasible as a result of staffing shortages (due to COVID-19), district-wide hybrid instruction will be implemented that prioritizes in-person instruction for students with disabilities, English language learners, and students with internet connectivity issues at their residence. If possible, students in the early primary grades and students requiring academic intervention will also be considered.
Should circumstances require a transition or continuation of 100% remote instruction, assigned times will be established for teachers and students to meet remotely. This may be organized by grade level, partial classroom groups, or subject specific courses. Scheduled times for virtual meetings will be communicated to students and families. Additionally, resources to aid in learning (recorded video lessons, assignments, web sites, applications, etc.) will be shared with families by the child’s teacher. Google Classroom will be the platform used whenever practical to house all class-specific information and assignments.
The district recognizes that some families would like to select remote instruction as a preference due to concerns stemming from the COVID emergency. As has always been the case, any student with a medical diagnosis that restricts school attendance as documented by their family physician will be provided with home instruction as defined by NYSED regulations. Students on remote instruction by preference will be taught by NLCSD faculty and will be on class rosters along with their in-person or hybrid instruction peers. Teachers will post direct instruction videos in their Google Classroom. Remote instruction students are expected to engage daily in their remote classroom by viewing the video and completing posted assignments. This daily engagement will constitute attendance. Students on remote instruction will be expected to participate in the Wednesday remote lesson along with their in-person classmates. Students on remote instruction will be assessed in the same manner as their in-person and hybrid instruction peers. This will include all required NLCSD and State assessments.
The following Remote Learning Plan will be put in place should we be unable to provide in-person instruction. The district has expanded its available Chromebooks for student use and will boost its WiFI signal to be available in school parking lots in support of this Plan as follows:
Curriculum – K-6
These guidelines will be considered to be in place if and when the District must shift from in-person instruction or a hybrid schedule to 100% remote instruction. 100% remote instruction may be necessitated by COVID-19 infections, staff shortages, weather related concerns or continued reductions in revenue.
Reading, Writing, and Phonics:
- Teachers are expected to continue using the Teachers’ College Units of Study in Reading and Writing for grades K to 6 and the Units in Phonics for grades K-2. NY State Standards in ELA should also be followed.
- Mini-lessons should be created and video recorded by the teacher and virtually sent home to the child daily using Google Classroom. Lessons could also be taught live on Google Meet, this is at the discretion of the teacher and availability of his or her students. It is expected that students are frequently provided the opportunity to show evidence of learning which includes teacher feedback that will further enhance growth.
- Students should have access to books at their just right reading level. These books could either be electronic books or gathered books from school that children will take home.
- Students will be supplied with a writing notebook and any writing tools needed at home. If phonics materials can not be virtual – phonics tools can be sent home for children to use.
- Children should still work on writing pieces with the goal of having several published pieces according to the Units of Study.
- Teachers are expected to use the Go Math Curriculum daily for all grade levels.
- All students will have access to Go Math materials through the online resources of Think Central, review and practice materials, and links to digital mathematical resources. Feel free to incorporate other resources as long as you follow the NY State Learning Standards in Mathematics.
- Teachers should video record daily mini-math lessons and send them to their students to view. Students should be provided short, frequent practice and submit evidence to their teachers.
Science and Social Studies:
- Like during the typical school year, teachers can teach these subjects one unit at a time. It is recommended that you alternate science and social studies units.
- Follow units according to NY State science standards and use any necessary resources
- A daily lesson should go home in either science or social studies. Teachers can video record themselves, use videos, or other resources for their units
- Grade 5 & 6 – students will have daily science lessons and units will alternate between writing and social studies (or social studies/writing will be embedded together).
Special Areas: Art, Music, Band, Library, Computer, Health and Physical Education
- Each special area in art, music, library, PE, health and computer is responsible for producing and posting a weekly videoed lesson for each grade level PK-6.
- These lessons should follow typical units based on the curriculum and follow the NY State Learning Standards.
- Students should be expected to complete an assignment or activity and send it to his or her teacher regularly for feedback.
- Art, music, library/computer, PE is responsible to offer a weekly live Google Meet to each grade level PK to 6. Please plan the time of this meeting with the grade level teachers so that there are no scheduling conflicts
- The band teacher should continue virtual band lessons with groups of students using Google Meet.
- Teacher will develop daily video lessons in: Literacy and mathematics (science and social studies will be embedded into these)
- Teacher will hold a daily class Google Meet. This meeting will be a social opportunity for the students. Calendar time will be included in this daily meet
- Preschool learning kits will be available for students to take home – consisting of tools they will need to learn from home
These guidelines will be considered to be in place if and when the District must shift from in-person instruction or a hybrid schedule to 100% remote instruction. 100% remote instruction may be necessitated by COVID-19 infections, staff shortages, weather related concerns or continued reductions in revenue.
Regents, Required and Elective Courses
- Teachers should plan lessons for their specific course, identifying and focusing on the most important standards within that curriculum. This “compressed curriculum” should represent prioritized standards. Teachers should plan lessons that emphasize those standards that are foundational for future learning in other courses and/or grade levels.
University in the High School Courses
- Teachers of University Courses should plan lessons following the syllabus distributed to students in September, as directed by the respective institution of higher education. We will communicate all changes as we receive them.
Advanced Placement (AP) Courses
- Teachers of AP Courses should follow the guidance provided by The College Board, aligning instruction to the updated exams that are being developed. See The College Board Website for updates.
- All special area teachers are responsible for offering daily live Google Meets based upon the remote learning schedule provided.
- Physical Education classes could consist of live fitness instruction, personal fitness plan development, goal setting and reflection, orienteering or live runs/walks.
- Music classes will consist of elements of general music, music theory and virtual ensemble curriculum as is feasible.
- Art will need to prepare supplies for distribution to families in anticipation of a full remote learning program.
- The Library Media Specialist is tasked with offering daily live Google Meets for the Digital Literacy course. Additionally, she should be coordinating with teachers with regard to database usage, research assistance, technology integration and “book talks.”
Special Education, Reading, Related Service Providers: K-12
- Special Education teachers will continue to collaborate with general education teachers to modify (as appropriate) the curricula outlined above for Students with Disabilities as per each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goal(s).
- Co-Teachers should co-plan the daily lessons and modify lessons/videos/activities for their students as needed. Special education co-teachers should plan on joining the daily classroom google Meet
- Co-Teachers should meet weekly with students on their caseload to review concepts and to assess IEP goals with their students – this can be done in small groups or individually, depending on the needs of their students.
- TA’s/Aides will meet virtually or by phone with students on their caseload. TA’s when possible should join the live Google Meets with the classes in which they are assigned to
- Resource Room and Special Class teachers should continue to plan and provide instructional activities related to each student’s IEP goal(s) or other learning goals.
- OT, PT, Speech, Psychologist – will plan small groups and individualized learning for mandated students on their caseloads. These groups can be a combination of videotaped activities, live Google Meets, and telephone calls. All activities and lessons should be planned according to services and goals on student’s IEP or 504.
- Reading teachers will schedule virtual small group lessons with students on their caseload. These live lessons will be scheduled with families
Instruction and Procedures – K-6
- Teachers will work in grade level teams to design instruction and create lesson videos. Instruction will be delivered at the elementary level using Google Classroom. All daily videos will be shared to students/families on a Google Classroom Page. You will deliver synchronous learning opportunities through Google Hangouts Meet only. Zoom is not an option as it is not Ed Law 2D compliant.
- Each classroom teacher will hold a daily live Google Meet opportunity for their class. This could either be done as a whole class or small groups, but must be offered daily to each student.
- Attendance must be taken daily for each student using E-School, our student management system. A student should be marked present for their daily participation and/or proof of daily learning (some examples include: participating in a Google Meet, daily completion/submission of a task, student viewing of a learning video, a phone call, etc.)
- In grades K to 4, classroom teachers will create and share a daily instructional lesson video in reading, writing, math, and social studies/ science. In grades 5 & 6, classroom teachers will create and share a daily instructional lesson video in reading, math, science, and writing/social studies. These lessons should be mini-lessons that teach a skill and help get students started. The lesson should last between 10-15 minutes each.
- Paper packets of materials can no longer be distributed in lieu of daily instruction as per NYSED guidance.
- In order to gauge student learning and the overall success of a daily lesson students should be provided with frequent opportunities to show evidence of learning.
- The students will complete their assignment/task and hand it into their teacher electronically for feedback. Teachers will give direction to student and their families on how to submit work
- Teachers must be available to students and families to answer questions. Teachers will set up a time each day in which they are available to support their students, provide assistance, and answer questions. Questions by student’s/families should be answered in a timely manner.
Instruction and Procedures – 7-12
- Teachers will work individually and by departmental teams to design instruction. Instruction will be delivered at the secondary level using only Google Classroom. Teachers will deliver synchronous learning opportunities through Google Hangouts Meet only. Zoom is not an option as it is not Ed Law 2D compliant. Instruction may include the use of pre-recorded video (e.g., Screencastify, Recorded Google Hangouts Meet, or other options) to ensure all students have the benefit of learning from a content expert. It is expected that you add the Principal and Assistant Principal to classroom groups to allow them to join in the virtual classroom according to their availability.
- In recognition that students are juggling many demands and that learning from home presents challenges for many students, an every other day schedule model will be used at the secondary level. This means morning classes (periods 1-5AC) will provide both live and recorded instruction and associated assignments on one day and afternoon classes (periods 5BD-9) may provide instruction and assignments on the next day, ensuring an alternating approach for students. The two-day model also provides opportunities for Special Education teachers to provide modifications to the curriculum and embedded supports to students as appropriate.
- Students (on average) should be expected to spend no more than the following amount of time on their schoolwork at home; including learning new material, watching instructional videos, participating in class chats/hangouts, and assigned work.
- Gr. 7-8: 2–2½ hours per course per week
- Gr. 9-12: 2½–3 hours per course per week
Please remember that times are offered as a way of staggering courses so that teachers holding live instruction will not overlap. Be conscious of the total amount of work per week that students are engaging in, including all that they are completing independently for your course. Teachers are encouraged to communicate with grade level colleagues when assigning large scale projects for student completion.
Grades 7-12 Orange Day Black Day 8:00 – 8:40 Period 1 Senior Choir
8:45 – 9:20 Period 2 ABCD
Period 2 AC
Black Tie Affair
9:25 – 10:05 Period 2 BD Period 7 10:10 – 10:50 Period 3 Period 8 ABCD
Period 8 AC
10:55 – 11:35 Period 4 ABCD
Period 8 BD 11:40-12:20 Period 4 BD Period 9 12:25-1:05 Period 6 Period 1 & 3 Resource Room 1:10-1:50 Period 5 Resource Room
Period 9 Resource Room
Period 6 Resource Room
* All Period 5 classes except Senior Choir and Health BD
- Teachers must allocate a minimum of one hour daily in which they will be available to individual students in “real time” office hours. This time frame should be consistent, shared with students and families, and NOT when other courses are in progress. Office hours may be spent in any of the following ways:
- Emails in which teachers are “live” and responding in real time to a student’s questions;
- Discussion boards where teachers and students can participate with each other in real time;
- Digital Chat or Messaging Apps (like Remind) which allow conversations without actual phone numbers; or
- Google Hangouts/Meet for individual students.
- Assignments must be able to be completed with limited resources. Assignments should not require resources such as poster boards, trips to craft stores, etc.
- Teachers are encouraged to create meaningful learning opportunities for students through the use of short instructional videos and easy-to-complete assignments. Avoid creating work just to assign work. If it does not further student learning of course content, it should not be assigned.
- Paper packets of instructional materials may no longer be distributed to students as an instructional delivery method per NYSED guidance.
Assessment of Student Learning & Grading – K-12
At both the elementary and secondary level, the typical report card and 5 week progress reports will continue to be used. Teachers are responsible to regularly assess and progress monitor their students with the goal of being able to provide each child with a 5 week progress report and quarterly report card.
At the secondary level, there has been no move on the part of the New York State Education Department to waive either course or credit requirements.
University courses should follow the grading guidance provided by the respective institution of higher education.
Attendance – K-12
Student attendance will be taken daily using the student management system regardless of whether a child is receiving in person instruction or receiving instruction remotely. A student will be considered “Present” if they are physically in attendance, have participated in a virtual meeting or phone conversation, have accessed remote learning videos, tools, and posted assignments or have engaged in email, text or virtual classroom conversations with their teacher(s).
In the event that a student has been deemed as not participating in daily school related activities, the teacher will reach out to the family and student by phone, text or email. Multiple attempts will be made until a connection has been established.
The state wide central register of child abuse and neglect will be contacted only as a last resort after all other strategies to connect with students have been exhausted.
Planning Meetings – K-6
- Grade level teachers are encouraged to plan together regularly. Teams should work together to plan and videotape lessons.
- The principal will hold a weekly virtual grade level, special area, and TA/Aide meeting.
- A faculty meeting will be planned each month.
- Teachers will be expected to work regularly with our Questar ELA, math, and science coaches. These meetings may be scheduled by the principal
- District level planning meetings will continue virtually
- Please note that additional meetings may be required as information is rapidly changing.
Planning Meetings – 7-12
- All departments in grades 7 through 12 will conduct a weekly meeting via Google Meet to discuss the development of the “Compressed Curriculum” and instructional plan for the following week. Meetings will be scheduled by the curriculum coordinator. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory. Teachers should work with the building principal to ensure that these meetings are staggered so that Special Education teachers may also attend as appropriate. Building Principals should be invited to all meetings.
- All teachers will attend a bi-weekly whole-faculty meeting arranged by the building principal. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory.
- Please note that additional meetings (i.e. team meetings) may be required as information is rapidly changing. All meetings will take place during the contractual work day and will be mandatory in nature.
- District level planning meetings will continue virtually.
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Research has shown that there is a direct link between student attendance and participation in learning on achievement. Student attendance will be taken daily using the student management system regardless of whether a child is receiving in-person or remote instruction. A student will be considered “Present” if they are physically in attendance, have participated in a virtual meeting or phone conversation, have accessed remote learning videos, tools, and posted assignments or have engaged in email, text or virtual classroom conversations with their teacher(s).
In the event that a student has been deemed as not participating in daily school related activities, the teacher will reach out to the family and student by phone, text or email. Multiple attempts will be made until a connection has been established.
The state-wide central register of child abuse and neglect will be contacted only as a last resort after all other strategies to connect with students have been exhausted.
Technology and Connectivity
The district has gathered data regarding individual students’ and teachers’ access to devices and connectivity. The district has increased its access to devices that may be used by students in the event that instruction must be provided remotely. Additionally, the district is increasing access to high speed internet by creating hotspots in its parking lots. The New Lebanon Town Hall and the New Lebanon Library also offer access from outside their buildings. Given the local geography and the lack of broadband suppliers in the area, this increased access is intended to mitigate the lack of broadband or the lack of sufficient access for some of our households.
Students will be able to display evidence of learning through creations of digital products using multiple digital platforms.
Teaching and Learning
In-person instruction, hybrid instruction and remote learning will be delivered regularly to students by a NYS certified teacher and will be aligned to NYS Learning Standards.
Instruction will be accessible to all students, whether delivered in person, remotely or through a hybrid model. In order to mitigate concerns regarding availability of technology, the district will provide students with computing devices and will be establishing multiple locations within the district for families to go to obtain free wifi access.
Email and Google Classroom will be the established methods for students and families to communicate to teachers with regard to instruction and use of technology. Information from building principals will be disseminated through email, text and/or phone messaging using the School Messenger System. The student management system parent and student portals will continue to be utilized to communicate grading, attendance and student discipline information. Parents will be strongly encouraged to create a portal account so that they may better monitor their child’s progress throughout the year.
Whenever present in a school building, all persons will follow health and safety guidelines outlined in NYSED guidance and required by the New York State Department of Health.
Regardless of the mode in which services are provided, either in-person, remote or a combination of remote and in-person, students will receive their required services consistent with the provisions of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those individuals providing special education and services.
The special education department will continue its notification protocols and will maintain all records through the IEP Direct system to document services and programs offered and to provide a continuity of services. As required by regulation and IDEA, the district will maintain communication in the parent’s preferred language and mode of communication regarding their child’s plan. Regardless of the mode of instruction, either in-person, remote or a hybrid, the district will maintain all current modes of communication.
During our professional development days and Special Education department meetings the district will provide time to review and revise our methods to support an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations in students’ individualized education programs (IEPs) as well as plans for monitoring and communicating student progress. Special Education teachers will continue to collaborate with general education teachers to modify (as appropriate) the curricula outlined above for Students with Disabilities as per each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goal(s).
Resource Room and Special Class teachers shall continue to plan and provide instructional activities related to each student’s IEP goal(s) or other learning goals regardless of the mode of instruction, either in-person or remote.
Reading teachers and Therapists (OT, PT, etc.) will continue to plan small group and individualized learning for students on their caseloads regardless of the mode of instruction, either in-person or remote.
Bilingual Education and World Languages
At this time, New Lebanon Central School District does not have students enrolled with bilingual education needs. In the event that a child should need to be assessed for ELL (English Language Learner) services, the district will complete the ELL identification process as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154. Eligible students will be provided with instruction based upon their most recently measured English language proficiency level. Communication for parents/guardians of ELL students will be provided in their preferred language and mode of communication.
Teacher and Principal Evaluation System
All teachers and principals will be evaluated according to the district’s current APPR (Annual Professional Performance Review) plan to the extent possible if the district is providing instruction in a remote model or if NYSED suspends Regents Exams for an additional year. The district will use the approved observation tool. Should the district be providing instruction remotely, administration will conduct observations according to the plan to the extent that elements can be observed in a remote model of instruction. We do not anticipate making any changes to our APPR.
Certification, Incidental Teaching, and Substitute Teaching
All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for their teaching assignments except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulation or under Education Law. At this time, all teachers and teaching assistants in New Lebanon are working within their certification areas.
COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing
In the event an individual screens confirmed for COVID-19 symptoms while at school, meaning that they have a fever, or appear symptomatic while at school with any of the COVID-19 symptoms identified by the CDC, they will be placed in an isolation area. For students, parents/guardians will be called to pick the student up from school immediately. Staff members will be asked to leave immediately. Individuals will be referred to their primary care provider (PCP) for evaluation. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are not COVID-19 related, a note from the primary care provider (PCP) stating such diagnosis must be provided in order to return to school or work. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are COVID-19 related, testing must occur.
It is imperative that individuals seek medical evaluation from their primary care provider (PCP) to determine whether or not these symptoms are related to a known or diagnosed condition other than COVID-19 (i.e. ear infection, allergies, etc.).
At the minimum, New York State Department of Health Guidelines requires “documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, negative COVID 19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution, or if COVID 19 positive, release from isolation.” If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required and release from isolation will be determined by the County Health Department.
Any symptomatic student or staff awaiting testing results should self-quarantine and will not be allowed to return to school until released by either a negative COVID-19 test result. If an individual is confirmed as positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required for 10 days per CDC guidelines and symptom free for 72 hours, and release from isolation will be determined solely by the County Health Department. A release letter provided the County Health Department will be required for the return to school.
If a confirmed test result occurs, the county of residency will be notified by the laboratory performing the test. Individuals will be also be notified by either the initial testing facility or their local health department for negative results. The parents of any student who has tested positive must notify the school district as soon as possible. If this were to occur, the school district will contact the county of residency for confirmation and collaboration in beginning contact tracing activities. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person for the school will coordinate with the County Health Department for contact tracing purposes.
In the event a student is under mandatory quarantine by the County Health Department, the school district will provide remote learning options for the student for the length of their quarantine.
Per the New York State Department of Education’s guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “it is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. CDC Interim Considerations for K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing Schools should identify who in the community is responsible for referring, sourcing, and administering testing (e.g., local health department testing site, physician offices, hospital system) particularly in the event that large-scale testing at the school is needed. Schools wanting to perform COVID-19 testing must apply and be approved as a limited service laboratory (LSL). Please refer to the instructions and application materials, and if applicable, the worksheet for multiple locations.” Therefore, the school district will not be testing individuals.
COVID-19 Testing Sites
New York State Testing Site
State University New York at Albany
1400 Colonial Quad
Albany NY 12208
Must make an appointment by
Calling: 1-888-364-3065 or
Completing an online form:
Community Care Physicians
713 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham NY 12110
Priority 1 Urgent Care
2080 Western Ave
Guilderland NY 12084
920 Lark Drive
Albany NY 12208
Rite Aid – Colonie
1863 Central Avenue
Colonie NY 12205
Columbia Memorial Hospital Rapid Care
2827 Route 9
Valatie, NY 12184
WellNow Urgent Care
446 Fairview Avenue
Hudson NY 12534
Columbia County Department of Health
325 Columbia Street
Hudson NY 12534
Greene County Dept. of Health
411 Main Street
Catskill, NY 12414
CareMount Medical Urgent Care
6734 Route 9
Rhinebeck NY 12572
Kingston Mid-Town Mobile Site
27 Grand Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Emergency One Kingston
40 Hurley Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Columbia County Department of Health School Nurse Guidance Regarding COVID-19
1. Evaluate student’s chief complaint, signs and symptoms, and compare to the list of known signs and symptoms of SARS CoV-2 for children.
2. Obtain whether child has had close contact with a known case of SARS CoV-2, or if they have had recent travel history out of a 50 mile radius from home, and was that travel to a known “hot spot” area.
3. If a child presents with ANY symptoms while at home the child should remain at home and NOT go to school. If while in school a child presents with ANY of the known SARS CoV-2 signs and symptoms, or is suspect of being exposed to someone with SARS CoV-2, or has a known travel history to an “at risk” location, the child should be isolated to a designated room in the nurse’s office. Preparations should be made for the child to be sent home for voluntary quarantine if there is a travel history and they are asymptomatic. If they are asymptomatic and suspect of being exposed to someone with SARS CoV-2 they will be sent home for mandatory quarantine. If the child presents with signs and symptoms they will be sent home for mandatory isolation.
4. If any of the above incidences should occur, the nurse will notify the Columbia County Department of Health (CCDOH) and provide the child’s parent or guardian’s contact number so a case investigation can begin and close contacts to the child identified. School officials will aid CCDOH in identifying any teachers or students in which the child has had close contact (within 6ft for 10 minutes or more) while at school, or during transport to the school. (see item #8 below and Tables 1 and 2)
5. Parents should contact the child’s PMD to discuss the case, and if the MD agrees it is a suspect case of SARS CoV-2, the MD can schedule a diagnostic PCR test for the child. If the child’s PMD is not available, parents can contact any urgent care center or hospital emergency room.
6. The child can return to school only after 10 days of isolation (if symptomatic), has been three days (72hrs) without a fever, and their symptoms have improved. If the child is asymptomatic but suspect of being in close contact to a positive case, or traveled to a “hot spot” location, that child will be out of school for 14 days of quarantine before being allowed to return to school. If they should present with symptoms during that time, then the isolation protocol takes effect. (See Tables 1 and 2)
7. Once the child is sent home, arrangements for remote teaching will begin immediately.
8. Internal contact tracing will begin to determine what bus (if applicable) the child was on, what class/classes the child attended that day, and what other children did the child have close contact with on the bus or in class.
9. If a teacher calls in with symptoms of SARS CoV-2 and or states they were in close contact with a confirmed case of the virus, the school administration will contact the Columbia County Department of Health and give them the teacher’s contact information so the health department can conduct a case investigation and begin contact tracing. Any person who has been identified as a close contact of the teacher will be notified to quarantine and will be monitored for the development of symptoms. The teacher will seek to be tested and remain in isolation until the test results come in and their isolation period is determined by CCDOH.
10. The school district should have a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) in place that addresses replacing teachers who become a suspect case or may have had close contact with a suspect student and therefore will have to mandatorily isolate or quarantine at home. This plan should include a threshold marker of teacher absenteeism identifying when the district may have to consider temporary school closure until adequate staffing can be resumed.
11. The school district should send a letter to parents and guardians prior to the start of the school year that instructs them to treat children who have allergies with medication prior to sending them to school for the day, in order to avoid allergy symptoms being mistaken for symptoms of COVID-19.
12. Parents should be forewarned by the school district that children with any signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will be evaluated by the school nurse, who will determine the next course of action based on that evaluation. If the child fits criteria per the New York State Guidelines, the child will be immediately sent home to be evaluated by the child’s healthcare provider. The provider shall determine if testing for COVID-19 is recommended and whether the child may or may not return to school. The school nurse may consult with the child’s healthcare provider upon the child’s return to school if questions should arise regarding the return to school note provided.
13. Parents/guardians should be advised that they must have an emergency plan in place in the event that their child is sent home because of illness or due to exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual or individuals while in school. The plan should anticipate and prepare for up to 14 days of required quarantine for the child. Parents/guardians should be further notified that any child who has been identified with illness or exposure to COVID-19 may be required to leave the school immediately. Arrangements for transport of said child should be appropriate and should limit undue exposure risk to others (e.g. the child should not be transported home by bus or with medically fragile individuals).
14. The Columbia County Department of Health should be used as a resource only after the school has referred to the guidelines set forth by New York State, the individual schools’ policies and procedures and COVID-19 Response Tables 1 and 2, attached.
As noted in the New York State Department of Education’s guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “Contact tracing is a public health function performed by local public health departments to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This allows public health officials to put in place isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. Schools must cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing. Schools can assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at school with a confirmed case by:
- keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
- ensuring student schedules are up to date;
- keeping a log of any visitors which includes date, time and where in the school they visited; and
- Assist local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
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 department of health.”
In the event an individual is identified as a confirmed case within a school, the County Health Department will determine a starting date for which the school will need to provide contact tracing information. This date will be 48 hours prior to the individual becoming symptomatic. To this end, the school district will need to keep records that will be made available to the County Health Department for those who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case. Any close contacts will be identified by the County Health Department. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person will be asked to assist the county with quarantine surveillance monitoring of contacts in connection with a confirmed case in a school.
If a student or staff member is identified by the County Health Department as a contact, they will be contacted by a county Case Manager and be instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Any contact identified by the County Health Department may not return to school until such a time as they are released from mandatory quarantine by the Case Manager.
School closure decisions will occur in consultation with the County Health Department. This may involve the closure of a classroom or entire facility depending on the quantity of suspected and/or confirmed cases. There may be no need to close to a school building if the County Health Department determines that the identified close contacts are excluded from school and the facility may continue normal operations. Full closure of a school facility may be necessary in some situations and will be implemented on a case-by-case basis.
Any staff or students who travel out of state to any location listed on the Governor’s Travel Advisory list, will be required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to New York State. Persons who travel to any states listed on the Travel Advisory list should self-report their travel to the district COVID-19 School Resource Person for instructions. Persons who travel via airplane and are required to complete a survey upon arrival in NYS, should still self-report their travel to the district COVID-19 School Resource Person. If a location has been removed from the travel advisory list while a person is serving their related 14 day mandatory quarantine, that person must still complete the full 14 days of mandatory quarantine before returning to school.
In the event that someone within a household travels to a state on the travel advisory list and returns to New York State, but the student or staff member does not travel, that student or staff member may be allowed to return to school without a 14 day mandatory quarantine. In the event that person in a household who has traveled becomes a positive case, the County Health Department will identify all household members as close contacts and quarantine all members of the household for 14 days.
Essential employees will be determined by the school district. Under Executive Order 2026, the services these staff perform are considered essential functions of the school facility, which include, but is not limited to, healthcare services and services necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of the school facility.
In the event that any of these essential employees are identified as contacts by the County Health Department, they may return to school and continue to perform their job duties as long as they remain asymptomatic and wear appropriate PPE at all times within the school facility. Any essential staff who are identified as contacts will undergo surveillance monitoring by the COVID-19 School Resource Person. If they become symptomatic, they will immediately self-report to the COVID-19 School Resource Person, who will contact the County Health Department to determine testing protocols and quarantine procedures. Essential staff are mandated to follow quarantine protocols for 14 days outside of their normal work duties.