A Framework for Reopening
August 22, 2022 Here is a joint memo from New York State Department of Health Commissioner Bassett and New York State Education Department Commissioner Rosa containing information about COVID-19 operational guidance for schools )
In addition, yHere you will find documents containing useful information for schools and parents/caregivers here: Schools & Youth | Department of Health (ny.gov)
Also, a direct link to the SED website with information on Schools, health and safety is here: http://www.nysed.gov/back-school/health-and-safety
Here you will find documents containing useful information for schools and parents/caregivers here: Schools & Youth | Department of Health (ny.gov)
Also, a direct link to the SED website with information on Schools, health and safety is here: http://www.nysed.gov/back-school/health-and-safety
Information in this plan applies to all facilities and programs in the Fallsburg Central School District:
Benjamin Cosor Elementary School – BEDS Code: 590501060003
Fallsburg Junior-Senior High School – BEDS Code 5905010600002
Fallsburg Central School District – BEDS Code 5905501060000
Summary of Major Changes and Updates (These remain in effect for the start of the 2022 -2023 School Year):
Masks are no longer required in schools but remain optional. No one should be made to feel uncomfortable for wearing a mask.
For staff and students who test positive, they will isolate for 5 days and wear a mask for days 6-10.
Dear School Community Member:
I hope this updated guidance document for the 2022-23 school year finds you in the best of health and spirit. I continue to be proud of the efforts and support from all members of our school community as we continue to deal with the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 . The health, safety, and welfare of students, staff and our school community continues to drive and guide all decision-making as we plan for this new school year.
In terms of education, we know that our students learn best when they are in school and have seen proof of this since we welcomed our students back for full time, in-person instruction. We look forward to continuing this trend for the 2022-23 school year.
This updated plan has been submitted to Sullivan County BOCES and Sullivan County Public Health and any revisions are based on the newest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and guidance from the Sullivan County Department of Health.
Please take time to review this updated plan. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your building administrators or me. Updates will take place as needed moving forward. Parents will be notified of any changes through emails and postings on Facebook and the District web page.
Thank you for your partnership with us and your continued support of our schools.
Ivan J. Katz
Ivan J. Katz, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Communication- Family and Community Engagement
Health and Safety
Test to Stay Policy
Social Emotional Well-Being
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Technology and Connectivity
Bi-Lingual Education and World Languages
FALLSBURG CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
A FRAMEWORK FOR REOPENING
Communication-Family and Community Engagement
Regular and frequent communication between schools, families, and the wider community has always been an essential element of effective family and community engagement. When families, schools, and communities work together and keep each other informed, students are more successful, and everyone benefits. In an effort to foster trust and instill confidence, Fallsburg Central School District has provided updates throughout the pandemic to keep all employees current and up to date as to what is happening at our school. Our website, social media platforms, automated email and calling systems, direct mail, Monday Messages, and other print media are utilized to provide relevant, current information about our planning and response to the pandemic to faculty, staff, administrators, parents, students, community partners and other stakeholders. Information concerning current guidance, rule changes, instruction, health and safety tips and public health notifications will continue to be provided using our communications resources. Families of our students have been engaged throughout the pandemic using these various communications platforms, as well as Google Meets and Google Classroom. Surveys since the pandemic started have solicited input from students, parents and staff on a number of topics and we appreciate and use the feedback to guide changes and improvements. Wherever practical, all communications and documentation will be made available in the predominant language spoken in each of our households. Communications and documentation will be accessible to all and in compliance with A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.
1. ENGAGING WITH STAKEHOLDERS - The FCSD has engaged with stakeholders and community members in developing our reopening plans for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school year. We will continue engaging stakeholder groups to plan for the 2022-2023 school year. Your input is important to us. Our school committees are as follows:
The BCES Re-Entry Planning Committee is comprised of the following stakeholders:
The JSHS Re-Entry Planning Committee is comprised of the following stakeholders:
Stakeholder meetings and school community presentations will be held throughout the year as needed.
The full plan for 2022-2023 will be shared with the board of education at the September Board of Education meeting.
2. COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
The FCSD has developed a communications plan for students, parents or legal guardians of students, staff, and visitors that includes applicable instructions, training, signage, and a consistent means to provide individuals with information. This updated information will include but not be limited to:
This will be accomplished by:
BCES and The JSHS will continue to share updated information and will inform stakeholders of upcoming events . Common forms of communication, in a family’s native language, and will include:
School nurses have been designated to be the point of main contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases, and are to be responsible for subsequent communication with the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and the Superintendent’s secretary.
Communication with parents, using the above forms of communication, will be used by the building administrators to share updates with parents and the community, at large.
At the District level:
3. TRAINING PROTOCOLS
The FCSD will ensure all students are taught and reminded how to follow any new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper mask wearing, physical distancing, and respiratory hygiene.
When students are in school, current protocols will continue to be reinforced by staff throughout the school day.
When in the buildings, students should wash their hands before and after eating and after using the restroom. The Center for Disease Control has guidance on schools including updates for vaccinated individuals: (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html).
4. ENCOURAGING ADHERENCE TO CDC AND DOH GUIDANCE
When students and staff are in the school buildings, the FCSD will encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to any current guidance regarding the use of PPE. Masks are not required in schools for the 2022- 2023 school year (there are exceptions to this which will be covered later in this document).
5. COMMUNICATION IN COMMUNITY LANGUAGES
Written plans are accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments including this document. All written communication to parents will be distributed in English and Spanish as Spanish is the predominant language spoken in our school community.
If there is a need for additional documentation in another language, we will use Google Translate to provide the information in the family’s native language. District Administration also has hand-held translating devices to use for in person and phone communications.
Health and Safety
Health and safety considerations always come first in every decision made and in every action taken by our district. The FSCD is committed to educating and communicating with our school community about the everyday preventive actions that can be taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19 when students are in school.
The FSCD follows the recommendations of the CDC, the NYSDOH and Sullivan County Public Health in developing plans.
Public Use of Facilities
While the District's school buildings and grounds are maintained primarily for the purpose of educating students within the district, the Board of Education recognizes that the buildings and grounds are a valuable community resource and believes that this resource should be available to the community for specific uses that will not interfere with educational activities (see Policy 1500). For updates on the use of facilities, please visit our website.
1. NUMBER OF STUDENTS and PHYSICAL DISTANCING.
While students and adults are in the school buildings for in-person instruction, it will be vitally important that the physical spaces provide the maximum possible protection from spreading the coronavirus. All water drinking fountains will remain shut down, and only designated water bottle refill stations will remain open to students and staff until further notice.
Most bathrooms will be restricted to one (1) occupant at a time whenever possible.
The following factors remain considerations when determining resumption of in person instruction: (1) Ability to maintain appropriate physical distancing or masks; (2) PPE and masks availability; (3) Availability of safe transportation; (4) Guidance and recommendations from CDC, DOH, and SED; (5) Local hospital capacity for Sullivan County; (6) guidance from The Center for Disease Control, NYS Department of Health and Sullivan County Department of Health; (7) Transmission risk levels (Please see CDC Covid Data tracker at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view.).
2. ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS
The District reopening plans have engaged school stakeholders and community members (administrators, faculty, staff, parents/legal guardians, and the Sullivan County Department of Health) in developing our reopening plan. We plan to engage our stakeholders on an ongoing basis as necessary. Training for students and staff in effective hygiene practices and ongoing reminders will take place as necessary. Stakeholders are encouraged to contact the building administrator or central office with any questions or concerns.
3. DETECTING SIGNS OF ILLNESS
The FCSD reopening plan has a written protocol developed in collaboration with the District’s Director of School Health Services (Dr. Amarjit Gill) that is designed to instruct staff in how to observe for signs of illness in students and staff, and requires symptomatic persons to be sent to the school nurse or other designated personnel.
When students and staff are in the building, staff will be required to report such observances of student and/or staff illness to the school nurse, or his/her designee, via telephone. The purpose of this mode of communication is to reduce the foot traffic in the nurse’s office. The nurse, or his/her designee, will direct the staff member to either send the student or staff member to the nurse’s office, or the nurse/designee will go to the student/staff member’s location to assess him/her. The same holds true for an ill staff member.
4. TEMPERATURE SCREENING
The district has discontinued the practice of taking daily temperatures of all students, staff and visitors.
5. ASSESSING ILLNESS AND PROCEDURES
BCES and JSHS: Staff will be required to report observances of symptoms or illness to the school nurse, or his/her designee, via telephone. The purpose of this mode of communication is to reduce the foot traffic in the nurse’s office. The nurse, or his/her designee, will direct the staff member to either send the student to the nurse’s office, or the nurse/designee will go to the student’s location to assess him/her. The same holds true for an ill staff member.
After assessing the student/staff member, the nurse will make the determination, based upon his/her professional judgment of the student/staff member’s symptoms of the next step(s) to take with the student/staff member.
If the school nurse is unavailable, the building administrator will check with the student or staff member. The School, with respect to student dismissal, will contact the student’s parents, and/or guardians. Staff may be sent home.
For any member of the faculty/staff and/or student who presents symptoms of a contagious disease, such as, but not limited to, COVID-19, he/she will be escorted to a designated area, away from other people in the building, to await transportation home. Parents, or the staff member if applicable, will be notified to follow up with their family doctor, or if they do not have a doctor, to go to an Urgent Care facility for treatment and diagnosis. If the student or staff member is showing extreme symptoms that need immediate medical care, the School will call “911.”
Any return to school after illness must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Questions about safe return should be directed to the school nurse.
6. PLANS/PROCEDURES FOR THOSE WITH POSSIBLE ILLNESS
Each FCSD reopening plan has written protocols requiring 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
Any ill staff members or students will be quarantined in a designated area until transportation home can be obtained. The parents will be notified and the student will be escorted to the lobby when the parent arrives to transport them home.
The district is not currently requiring masks for visitors that are not ill or symptomatic. Any visitors that have been diagnosed with Cocid-19 or are showing symptoms of Covid-19 are not allowed on school property or in school buildings.
8. PARENT HOME DETECTION
The FCSD reopening plan has a written protocol to instruct parents/guardians to observe for signs of illness in their child that require staying home from school. Parents should keep students home with symptoms and consult their health care provider.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
This list does not include all possible symptoms. The CDC may continue to update this list as they learn more about COVID-19. The following link is to the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/children.html
8a. Test to Stay Policy
The test to stay program is no longer required in the district. Individuals who are exposed are not required to quarantine.
The FCSD reopening plan has written protocols and appropriate signage to instruct staff and students in correct hand and respiratory hygiene as needed.
The following video is from the CDC:
Responsible parties must ensure that appropriate physical distancing is maintained between individuals whenever possible while in school facilities and on school grounds, inclusive of students, faculty, and staff, unless safety or the core activity (e.g., instruction, moving equipment, using an elevator, traveling in common areas) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household.
Indoor air quality can be improved by increasing outdoor air delivery to the building (ventilation) and removing particulates/viral particles from the air (air filtration)to the greatest extent possible. The FCSD has replaced air filters and has received federal funds to enhance air filtration systems throughout the district.
10. STUDENT ACCOMODATIONS
The FCSD will work with families, medical providers and the school physician to determine if accommodations are necessary for students and staff who have serious medical needs. Parents and guardians whose students have serious medical issues, should contact the building principal.
11. PPE and MASKS
The FCSD reopening plan, as of March 2, 2022, no longer requires all employees, visitors over the age of 2, and students to wear a mask when in the school buildings. There are some exceptions to this, including those returning to the school after testing positive for Covid-19 (they have to wear masks for days 6 through 10). Responsible parties may choose to wear masks on school grounds and may not be prevented from doing so.
Responsible parties should still remain physically distanced as per this plan whenever possible. Masks should have at least two layers of material (e.g. 2-ply). Acceptable masks include but are not limited to cloth-based masks (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut), and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and the nose. Scarves, bandanas or any face coverings that hang straight down from the nose, are not acceptable. Masks should fit properly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face and be made of breathable fabric that does not let light through.
12. PPE SUPPLIES
The FCSD has purchased and will maintain adequate supplies of masks for school staff, students and visitors who chose to wear or are required to wear masks.
13. MANAGEMENT OF ILL PERSONS
The FSCD will consult with Sullivan County Public Health in order to determine school closure recommendations, quarantining provisions, and returning/reopening protocols. The established protocols also include adherence to, and promotion of, hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfection guidance.
The FCSD reopening plan has a written protocol for actions to be taken if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the District as follows:
Nurses’ Offices: The nurses’ offices will follow CDC and Department of Health protocols relative to when a student or staff member develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day. The level and number of exposures will be determined by school nurses. They will use recent guidance and recommendations of the Sullivan County Department of Health.
Isolation: Both buildings have a plan for students that require isolation. The District will work with each individual case to make sure that home transport is handled safely and efficiently.
Collection: BCES and the JSHS have established protocols for how parents or legal guardians should pick up their student(s), with instructions that the student must be seen by a health care provider. Staff would also be instructed to be seen by a health care provider.
Infected Individuals: Persons (students or staff) who have tested positive must complete their period of isolation and have recovered, so as not to transmit COVID-19 when they return to in-person learning. Discharge from isolation and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the school nurses, who are consulted for all covid-19 related issues. Any students or staff who are returning to school after testing positive for Covid-19 are required to wear masks for days 6 through day 10.
Exposed Individuals: individuals who are exposed to someone who tests positive for Covid-19 are no required to quarantine.
Vaccination: For a weekly list of public health clinics, please visit: https://sullivanny.us/Departments/Publichealth/COVIDvaccines/clinics
For a pharmacy or health care provider near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/.
For help finding vaccines, call 1-800-232-0233 or text your ZIP code to 438829 to get options sent to your phone.
Previous COVID-19 infection: asymptomatic individuals who have recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection during the previous three (3) months, unless they are symptomatic, do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.
Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection: The District will continue to promote hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection. The FCSD cleaning staff will clean and disinfect any exposed areas and the District will make appropriate notification to occupants of such areas.
Contact Tracing: The school nurses will complete contact tracing if necessary.
14. COMPLIANCE FOR SCREENING
Visitors will be required to sign in on a “COVID-19 Sign-in Sheet” upon entry to any school building. The sign-in sheet will be used to determine potential exposure to COVID-19, as well as being used for safety purposes and to have an accurate account of who is in the buildings at any given time.
Faculty and staff members will sign in daily. The sign-in sheet will include the COVID-19 questionnaire, and will be used to determine exposures and who is in the buildings at any given time.
Any return to school after illness must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. This includes wearing a mask for day 6 through day 10 after positive test results.
If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms, or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home as directed by the department of health.
15. CLEANING AND DISINFECTING
FCSD will clean and disinfect schools following CDC guidance.
-FCSD school-wide cleaning includes classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, and buses.
-Schools will identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility and area type; and
-High-touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more frequently.
-Musical instruments are not to be shared.
-Playgrounds, if utilized, will be cleaned as per CDC guidance. Outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools, generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection.
-Shared athletic/gym equipment (e.g., balls, protective gear) if used, will be cleaned between use per manufacturer’s directions.
-School Health Office Cleaning School health office cleaning must occur after each use of: Cots, Bathroom.
-Health office equipment (e.g. blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes, etc.) will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions. Disposable items should be used as much as possible including disposable pillow protectors; or disposable thermometers, or disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, and disposable otoscope specula.
16. SAFETY DRILLS
Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and the Fire Code, and they will be conducted without exception. Protocols for emergency drills will be maintained to ensure student and staff safety. All required drills will be planned, scheduled and conducted to maximize physical distancing when possible. These changes must be included in the Fire Safety plans.
Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills during each school year.
17. BEFORE AND AFTER CARE PROGRAMS
The FCSD-run before and after-school care programs will adhere to all current District safety protocols. The coordinator of the program, along with his/her assistant, will take the necessary steps to ensure that the students and staff comply. All other before and after-school programs must follow all District health and safety protocols.
18. COVID-19 SAFETY COORDINATORS
The FCSD reopening plan designates a COVID-19 safety coordinator in each building. The BCES and the JSHS principals will be the COVID-19 safety coordinators. Assistant principals in both buildings may be assigned, by their principal, as designees to serve in the absence of a building principal. At the District level, the COVID-19 safety coordinator will be the Superintendent of Schools and/or his designees (Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and the School Business Manager). Safety coordinator responsibilities include continuous compliance monitoring of all aspects of the School’s/District’s reopening plan.
1. NYS UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE
The FCSD reopening plan does not include changes or additions to facilities at this time. However if that changes, the FCSD will comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code and submit all changes to OFP.
Deliveries: deliveries and pickups will continue in designated areas until further notice.
2. BUILDING CONDITION SURVEY
The FCSD reopening plan will ensure compliance with the 2021 Building Condition Survey and Visual Inspection, where and if applicable.
3. LEAD-IN-WATER TESTING
The FCSD reopening plan will provide provisions to conduct the Lead-In-Water Testing as required by NYS DOH regulation 67-4.
4. ALCOHOL-BASED HAND RUB DISPENSERS
The FCSD has installed hand sanitizers in rooms and in hallways, especially in entrances, cafeterias and high traffic areas. This is in accordance with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5.
6. BUILDING CONSTRUCTION
The FCSD reopening plan will ensure that all new building construction and temporary projects will be submitted to the New York State Education Department for a full code review as required.
8. USE OF TENTS
The FCSD reopening plan, if it includes the temporary or permanent use of tents, will provide plans adhering to New York State Education Department requirements.
9. TOILET AND SINK FIXTURES
The FCSD reopening plan will ensure that the existing or altered number of toilet and sink fixtures meet minimum standards.
10. DRINKING FOUNTAINS
The FCSD reopening plan will ensure that each building provides one drinking fountain for filling water bottles per one hundred occupants or provide a written plan for a reasonable alternate source of drinking water.
The FCSD has and will continue to address ventilation through upgrades and improvements (natural or mechanical). Recent CRRSA and ARP funding has been designated for this purpose.
12. PROJECT SUBMISSIONS DEDICATED TO COVID-19 REOPENING
The FCSD will ensure that all project submissions only dedicated to “COVID-19 Reopening” will be labeled as such.
13. PLASTIC SEPARATORS
The FCSD reopening plan, if it includes the use of plastic separators, will comply with the 2020 BCNYS Section 2606.
A successful nutrition program is a key component to a successful educational environment. Children cannot focus on learning when they are hungry. School meals boost learning, and studies show that students perform best academically when they are well nourished. No child should ever go hungry, and these plans provide for the feeding of all students who require food assistance. FCSD will consider national, state, and local health and safety guidelines along with the needs of our students.
1. ACCESS TO SCHOOL MEALS
The FCSD will provide all students who are enrolled in the School Food Authority (SFA) with access to school meals each school day.
2. FOOD ALLERGIES
The FCSD reopening plan continues taking measures to protect students with food allergies when providing meals in spaces outside the cafeteria. When students eat in classrooms the cafeteria manager, working with building administration will share information on food allergies with staff including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.
3. HAND HYGIENE
Instruction on appropriate hand hygiene and opportunities to allow students and staff to clean their hands before eating will include designated times for each room to use the bathroom in their hallway. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available in each room.
Protocols and procedures will be articulated by staff on a regular basis to students to discourage sharing of food and beverages. Only store bought and pre-wrapped foods are permitted to be brought in and will be distributed by staff members. There is a cafeteria menu on the website to order healthier treats for students.
4. CLEANING BETWEEN MEALS
Each FCSD school will follow protocols and procedures that require cleaning and disinfection prior to the next group of students arriving for meals, if served in the same common area. Food service employees will adhere to all policies and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing.
5. CHILD NUTRITION PROGRAM COMPLIANCE
The FCSD reopening plan will ensure compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.
6. PHYSICAL DISTANCING DURING MEALS
The FCSD reopening plan will require that students should maintain proper social distance (six  feet of separation) while consuming meals in school whenever possible.
BCES: Both breakfast and lunch will be served to Pre-K through grade 6 students in classrooms, in the cafeteria and in other spaces as necessary to ensure appropriate physical distancing, as well as reduce cross-contact of students. Students will be assigned seating in the cafeteria to minimize and track potential exposures.
JSHS: Breakfast will be provided through a “grab and go” kiosk upon entry to the building. Lunch will be in the cafeteria or additional designated rooms with desks stationed at appropriate distances. Students will go through the line at socially distanced intervals. Students are required to stay in the space for the duration of the lunch period. Student bathroom usage will be limited to one (1) person at a time when possible.
1. DISINFECTING BUSES
All buses which are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/disinfected as needed. All cleaning and disinfection will be handled by the district’s transportation vendor.
2. AM/PM DISINFECTING
The FCSD reopening plan ensures high contact spots will be disinfected after each a.m. and p.m. run, depending upon the disinfection/cleaning schedule. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
3. BUS DRIVERS, AIDES, MONITORS, MECHANICS REQUIRED TO WEAR MASKS
The FCSD reopening plan does not require that school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics wear a mask but may choose to do so and may not be prohibited from doing so. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
4. TRANSPORTATION STAFF TO BE TRAINED ON PPE AND SYMPTOMS
The FCSD reopening plan will require that transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 as needed. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
5. TRANSPORTATION CARRIERS/DEPARTMENTS TO PROVIDE PPE
The FCSD reopening plan requires that transportation departments/carriers provide Personal Protective Equipment as needed and requested such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses. This will be handled by the district’s transportation provider.
6. HAND SANITIZER IN TRANSPORTATION LOCATIONS
The FCSD reopening plan ensures hand sanitizer will be provided for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
7. TRANSPORTATION STAFF TO WEAR GLOVES
The FSCD requires that drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child, must wear gloves. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
8. TRANSPORTATION STAFF AND SELF HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
The FCSD requires that school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics shall perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. This will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
9. STUDENTS AND MASKS ON BUSES
The FCSD no longer requires that students wear a mask on a school bus but that they may choose to do so. No student or driver will be prohibited from wearing a mask. This requirement will be handled by the District’s transportation vendor.
10. TRANSPORTATION FOR THOSE STUDENTS WITHOUT MASKS
Masks will be provided to students who request one.
11. DISTRICT PROVIDED MASKS
The FCSD will ensure that students who request a mask will be provided one by the District.
Social Emotional Well-Being
While District and School personnel cannot solve every problem, collectively they are a powerful force in the improvement of the well-being of themselves and those around them. Students may have experienced an extremely stressful, and for many, traumatic experience while isolated from school, friends, and community. Students known to be vulnerable, as well as those not previously on District and School “radars,” may return to instruction anxious, fearful, withdrawn, grieving, and/or unprepared to self-manage new or exacerbated negative behaviors. Whatever the experiences, backgrounds or emotional stress students may have experienced, we must be prepared to meet students where they are, regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves.
Child Study Teams, Building Level Teams, as well as administration teams, meet weekly to assess needs and support students. Together we will help our students thrive.
1. COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENTAL SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM PLAN
The FCSD ensures that comprehensive developmental school counseling program plans, developed under the direction of certified school counselor(s), are reviewed and updated to meet current needs as follows:
During staff conference days and prior to the first student day for students, the FCSD Advisory Council will meet and review the Fallsburg Central School District Comprehensive School Counseling Plan K-12. The Advisory Council will review each of the plan’s components which include: Philosophy, Vision, Essential Elements, Pupil Personnel Services Support Staff Roles and Responsibilities and The Accountability System. Changes to the plan will be reflected to meet students' needs.
2. INFORMING THE COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENTAL SCHOOL COUNSELING PROGRAM PLAN
The Advisory Council, made up of various stakeholders at all levels of the school district will continue to inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling plan.
3. MENTAL HEALTH, BEHAVIORAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
The FCSD reopening plan will address how the school/district will provide resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs as follows:
The Fallsburg Central School District is composed of one elementary building and one junior-senior high school building. Both buildings have staff to help address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs. Each building offers unique support to students, parents and families.
In both buildings, the school social workers, counselors and psychologists participate in the Response to Intervention Process (RTI). Throughout the district, students will continue to be referred to the RTI when they are identified as a student in need of additional behavioral support. The RTI team can recommend interventions to the classroom teacher that are designed to support the student within the classroom setting. If interventions are not successful, a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) can be recommended. Parental consent will be requested, and once obtained, the FBA process will commence.
A new Social-Emotional Learning program, Positive Action, was purchased for the 2021-22 school year. This is a resource teachers may utilize to support student social emotional learning. Training for this program has been ongoing.
BCES: There are three (3) school social workers, two school counselors and one (1) school psychologist, who are resources that can be drawn upon to support students in need of emotional or mental health support. If a parent or staff member identifies students in need of additional emotional or mental health support, they can request a meeting via our Fallsburg website (www.fallsburgcsd.net) and access the BCES Counseling Corner which includes a “Schedule a Meeting” option. Parents/Staff will be contacted by a school social worker or school counselor to discuss mental health and/or emotional support. The School Psychologist is an additional support which can be accessed as needed, based upon students’ needs. Students will be provided with the opportunity to attend synchronous sessions with the Social Workers / School Counselors focused on the monthly topic.
JR/SR HS: There are three (3) social workers, three (3) school counselors and one (1) school psychologist who are resources that can be drawn upon to support students in need of emotional or mental health support. If a parent or staff member identifies students in need of additional emotional or mental health support, they can request a meeting via our Fallsburg website (www.fallsburgcsd.net) and access the JSHS Social Work Corner which includes a “Social Corner Meeting Request” form option. Students/Parents will be contacted by a school social worker to discuss mental health and/or emotional support. Additionally, one time per month, a Monthly Blog Post will be shared with the students related to Social Emotional Learning. Students will be provided with the opportunity to attend monthly synchronous Google Meets with the Social Workers / School Counselors focused on the monthly topic.
For classified preschoolers and/or students attending out of district settings, there is one (1) school psychologist who is a resource that can be drawn upon to support the families of classified preschoolers and students in out of district settings. The School Psychologist is an additional support which can be accessed as needed, based on students’ needs.
For students in temporary housing, there is one (1) school social worker to support these students and families.
4. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT ON COVID-19
The FCSD reopening plan will provide ongoing professional development opportunities and updates for faculty and staff including PBIS, Safe Schools, Check and Connect and BRAVES at the elementary school and PBIS, Check-and-Connect and Peaceful Schools at the junior-senior high school.
The FCSD welcomed back all students to a full day, 5 day a week schedule on September 8, 2021 and has been in person since. Remote Learning instruction is no longer required and will no longer be offered. All students must attend school full time, as per compulsory education requirements in New York State. Students who have medical reasons that will not allow them to attend school, such as being quarantined by Public Health, will be supported by access to remote instruction in their regular classrooms with their regular teachers, using the technology platforms we currently have in place. For the 2022-2023 school year, remote learning days may be considered once snow days have been exhausted. Check the website and emails for any updates.
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
All Attendance protocols per the district attendance policy for students will continue this school year. (See FCSD policy 5130 https://boardpolicyonline.com/?b=fallsburg)
Technology and Connectivity
ACCESS TO DEVICES AND INTERNET
Chromebooks and WiFi hotspots will be distributed to all students as needed to ensure learning and connectivity as needed. The FCSD will continue to provide this technology to students if necessary. The goal is to be able to provide instruction for any days we have to switch to remote due to bad weather (after we run out of snow days) or COVID-19 related closures.
EQUITY IN INSTRUCTION
Equity is at the heart of all FCSD instructional decisions. All instruction will be developed so that there are clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students
COMMUNICATION PLAN FOR CONTACT
Families/caregivers can contact the school and their child(ren)’s teachers with questions about their child(ren)’s instruction and/or technology at any time. This information will be accessible to all, available in multiple languages based on FCSD need, widely disseminated, and include clear and multiple ways for students and families to contact schools and teachers (e.g., email, online platform, and/or by phone).
BCES: The teachers will “reach out” to their students, as well as their students’ families, via a “Welcome Back” letter. Both schools will send home a digital version of this document and hard copies are available upon request. The document will also be posted on the website. Teachers, in their “Welcome Back” letter, will communicate to the parents the best way(s) to initiate contact with the teacher.
JSHS: The JSHS will establish a set day for parent communication weekly to post building specific written information as well as information videos from building administration. General communication will be in both Spanish and English.
Contact information for building staff as well as for individual teachers will be made available on the Fallsburg CSD website. Individual teachers will be expected to share class specific expectations, grading policy, schedules, course outlines and contact information. Teachers are expected to respond to parent communication by the end of the next academic day. An orientation packet including schedules and expectations will be mailed to families in both Spanish and English.
HEALTH AND SAFETY WITH CONTRACTED PROGRAMS
If FCSD contracts with eligible agencies, it will attest that it has measures in place to ensure eligible agencies with whom it contracts will follow health and safety guidelines outlined in this plan.
1. SERVICES OFFERED TO STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The FCSD will continue to provide services to students as outlined in the student individual education plans.
Prior to the beginning of the school year, a Google Doc will be developed per student to document the mandated programs and services. The document will be available in a shared drive to increase the sharing of information per student with the pertinent staff and faculty. The document will be referred to as needed during parent discussions and/or annual reviews. A copy of the Google Doc will be placed in the student’s Pupil Personnel File for documentation purposes at the end of the school year.
Throughout the school year, parents will be contacted in their preferred mode of communication which may include phone calls, e-mails, Google Classroom and/or Google Meet sessions. Communication will be in a language spoken by the family. A communication log will be developed and information provided relative to date, time, mode of communication, and meeting synopsis. A copy of the Google Doc will be placed in the student’s Pupil Personnel File for documentation purposes.
2. PARENT ENGAGEMENT
The FCSD reopening plan addresses meaningful parent engagement in both English and Spanish regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA as outlined below.
To facilitate communication with the families of English Language Learners, translators will be available for staff. Throughout the school year, documented parent/student check-ins will be made by case managers in order to ensure meaningful parent engagement.
Parents/Guardians will be provided with instruction and information on how to log onto Google Meet sessions in order to facilitate continued participation in CSE/CPSE/504 Meetings. Meeting reminders will be provided by PPS staff via phone calls and/or emails the day before/morning of scheduled meetings.
3. COMMITTEE ON PRESCHOOL EDUCATION & COMMITTEE ON SPECIAL EDUCATION COLLABORATION
The FCSD reopening plan addresses collaboration between the committees on preschool special education (CPSE) and committees on special education (CSE) and program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on/individualized education programs/(IEPs), plans for monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to sharing resources as indicated below.
Related services will be scheduled around core instructional blocks to avoid any unnecessary interruption to student learning and ensure students with disabilities have equitable access to instruction. A Google Document will be developed and will be shared by all providers to document the days/times of related service sessions so that student schedules are maximized and manageable for students and parents.
Days and times of sessions will be provided at the same day and time, as much as possible, regardless of the instructional model to ensure consistency for students and parents. Weekly team meetings will be held to review schedules and student needs. Any necessary adjustments will be discussed and made.
FCSD ensures access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability related needs of students as shown below.
Accommodations and modifications are readily available on student IEP’s and are also uploaded into a shared Google Drive on a monthly basis. If adjustments are necessary, case managers will complete a PPS Team Referral in which the student’s needs can be further discussed at weekly team meetings. If necessary, CSE Program Review Meetings will be scheduled to recommend changes to a student's Individual Education Plan.
Bilingual Education and World Languages
1. ELL IDENTIFICATION
The District will complete the ELL (English Language Learner) identification process per Part 154 Regulations. The Fallsburg Central School District will continue to monitor ongoing NYSED guidance regarding the provision of services for ELLs and the administration of the NYSITELL during the 2021-22 school year. Adjustments will be made as needed to ensure compliance with regulations.
2. INSTRUCTIONAL UNITS OF STUDY FOR ELLS
FCSD provides required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs.
3. REGULAR COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS OF ELLS
The Fallsburg Central School District reopening plan ensures the maintenance of regular communication with parents/guardians of English Language Learners (ELL) to ensure that they are engaged in their child(ren)’s education during the reopening process, and provides all communication for parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication. To facilitate communication with the families of English Language Learners, the District employs document translators to ensure documents are translated in English and Spanish. Communication will be provided via email, mail, district website, Facebook, phone blasts, etc..
Resources and References
CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL
August 11, 2022 Update on the CDC Website
CDC Guidance for Covid-19 Prevention in K-12 schools https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html#physical-distancing)
Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 for School Administrators of K-12 schools. This page provides information on common questions related to CDC’s Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 schools.
Sullivan County Public Health - Face Mask Information https://www.scboces.org/cms/lib/NY24000912/Centricity/Domain/1/PH%20Back%20to%20school%20mask%20reminder%202021%208-11-21.pdf
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The U.S. Department of Education released a new resource on supporting child and student social, emotional, behavioral, and mental health this week. This resource includes many real-world examples of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country. (October 2021)
The White House posted a fact sheet on Operational Planning for COVID-19 Vaccination for Kids Ages 5-11. The release notes that "the Administration’s plan will mobilize a comprehensive effort across the public and private sectors to ensure that we have the supply, the sites, and the support needed to get our nation’s children vaccinated and protected against the virus." (October 2021)
Ensuring a safe and healthy school environment for our children as they return to school this fall is a top priority for the Fallsburg Central School District (FCSD). FCSD is also here to answer any question you may have regarding the updated information that is attached Please reach out to your school Principal with any building specific questions. You can also reach out to the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Ivan Katz, with any general questions you may have regarding the updated information. Additionally, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) continues to be ready to answer questions by email at SchoolQuestionsCOVID@health.ny.gov