Preschool Re-Opening School Plan

 

Rising Ground Preschools
Marion & George Ames Early Childhood Learning Center,
Dr. Katharine Dodge Brownell School
Children’s Learning Center

Reopening School Plan

2020-2021
Revised September 4, 2020

Dr. Angela White, Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Alzina Gilmore, Vice President of Preschool

Ms. Terri Lein, Ames Preschool Principal
Ms. Vera Gregory, Brownell Preschool Principal
Ms. Lauretta Cageao, CLC Preschool Principal

Introduction

Our primary goal is to ensure that students, faculty, and staff are safe at school and are not unknowingly transmitting the COVID-19 virus. This document provides a roadmap for navigating steps towards the reopening of Rising Ground Preschools and includes the most current guidance from the New York State Education Department Reopening Guidance, Centers for Disease Control, Capital Region BOCES, NYS Department of Health, and American Federation of Teachers.

It is our expectation that this plan may evolve and be modified as updated public health guidance becomes available.

Communications

Stakeholder Group

The following stakeholders participated in reviewing the Preschools Reopening Plan:

Dr. Angela White, Superintendent of Schools
Ms. Alzina Gilmore, Vice President of Preschool
Ms. Terri Lein, Ames Preschool Principal
Ms. Vera Gregory, Brownell Preschool Principal
Ms. Lauretta Cageao, CLC Preschool Principal
Ms. Karen Banks, Special Education Teacher, Brownell
Ms. Kathryn Magayah, Group Teacher, Seabury
Ms. Myriam Choate, Special Education Teacher/Integrated Setting, Ames
Ms. Odette Stewart, Classroom Teacher, CLC

Safety Coordinator – Ames: Eliana Nunez; Daphne Carter(alternate)
Brownell: Diana Sampayo
CLC: Ornellia Rossi
Resource Coordinator – Ames: Maria Lucio
Brownell: Lauren Pabon
CLC: Corine White

Staff Communication
The Preschool Reopening Plan was shared with all staff during an informational meeting. This provided an opportunity for staff to provide feedback, make recommendations, and voice concerns. The finalized plan will be emailed to all staff and reviewed prior to the first day of school.

Parent Communication
The Preschool Reopening Plan was shared with all parents during an informational meeting. This provided an opportunity for parents to provide feedback, make recommendations, and voice concerns.

The Reopening Plan will also be emailed and mailed to all parents. Weekly phone blasts or emails will be sent out to families reminding them of daily screening requirements. We will ensure that all families have a way to notify us even if they cannot access internet /phone/ speak English/ remember the protocol.

Training parents how to properly screen will be provided– we will provide a video and written instructions on how to monitor and identify signs and symptoms of COVID –19. We will send out these reminders weekly to families, so they continue to monitor and screen their child every day prior to sending them to school and upon their return.

Daily, parents will be instructed to screen information to determine whether their child has:
• knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
• tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
• has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or
• has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.
Parents will be instructed to keep their child at home if there is a positive response to any of the screening information and to report this information to the school.

In compliance with NYSED requirements, the finalized plan will be placed on the school’s website for public review.

CSE Communication

To ensure collaboration between the committees on preschool special education (CPSE) and the Ames, CLC, and Brownell Preschools, the Reopening Plan will be provided via email. This will ensure that 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.

IEP Implementation

Until schools return to normal operating conditions, the same flexibility with respect to IEP implementation for delivery of services during school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to apply to the programs and services whether delivered in-person and/or remotely (e.g., flexibility with respect to the mode and/or manner; group or individual sessions; specific group size for related services, frequency, duration and location of related services, and special class size ratio etc.).

Provision of Services

Consistent with previously issued Office of Special Education (OSE) guidance, the Preschools Schools will ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, each student will be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s IEP. During the 2020-21 school year, due to the health and safety requirements that must be in place when schools resume, we realize that we may not be able to provide all services in the same mode and/or manner they are typically provided. Working collaboratively, the administration, teachers and clinicians will need to determine what methods of delivery of services will be utilized to deliver special education programs and services to meet the needs of students as we plan for various types of instructional models including in-person and remote learning. When providing remote services, the Biondi schools will continue to use the information included in OSE’s March 27, 2020 and April 27, 2020 guidance documents.

Progress Monitoring

Teachers and service providers will continue to collect data, whether in-person or remotely, and use these data to monitor each student’s progress toward the annual goals and to evaluate the effectiveness of the student’s special education services. Determining student progress is necessary for understanding the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and for determining whether, and to what extent, the school closures may have disrupted the student’s learning. Reports of progress to parents will be made via telephone or other electronic means if progress reporting procedures specified in the student’s IEP cannot be met with reasonable efforts.

School Schedules

As schools reopen and considerations are being made to meet the requirements of social distancing, the following options will be implemented in the Preschools. All schools will provide remote instruction September 10 – 18, 2020. The following will be implemented on September 21, 2020.

Groups A and B: Alternating Weeks -Ames and CLC

Half the student population will report to school for five days each week, while the remaining second half of the school population participates in remote learning at home. The student population will alternate between each week. All staff will report to work daily. Students will be provided with remote instruction and assignments to support their learning on the days in which they do not report to school.

Group C: Daily Instruction- Ames and Brownell

The preschool students will participate in face to face school instruction daily. All staff will report to school daily.

Group D: Remote Instruction Only: Ames, Brownell, and CLC

Students whose parents request remote instruction will receive synchronous and asynchronous instruction daily. All staff will report to school daily.

Classrooms
• Rearrange student desks and other seat places to at least six feet apart to increase the space between students. (with Mitch and his crew assistance)
o Use visual aids (painter’s tape) to illustrate the appropriate spacing.
o Remove non-essential items and furniture/equipment to maximize space.
• Break classes into smaller work groups when possible and rotate teachers and teaching assistants to each group instead of having students rotate to different groups.
• Hold classes outside when possible and encourage students to spread out.
• Encourage healthy habits:
o Reinforce handwashing routine, allow time for children to thoroughly wash their hands.
o Monitor bathrooms throughout the day and develop a mechanism for reporting the exhaustion of soap or towels and a method to replace these items quickly.
o Teach coughing and sneezing etiquette.
o Have hand sanitizer and tissues and designated receptacles for disposal available for use by children and staff.
o Teach and reinforce to children on the importance of not touching their faces or other people’s faces.
o Teach non-touch acknowledgments to show friendship
• Sharing of community supplies will be avoided when possible (i.e. scissors, crayons, etc.). All supplies should be placed in individual storage bags and labeled with the child’s name.
• Adequate supplies will be provided to minimize the sharing of high-touched materials to the extent possible (i.e. art supplies, equipment assigned to a single child) or limit use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and clean and disinfect between use (by whom). This include toys, books, or games.

Hallways, Playgrounds and Other Considerations
• Hallway travel in specific directions will be designated and marked by signs on the floor and wall

• Hallway movement will be restricted, and children will be properly spaced out when they are in the hallway.

• Reduced number of classes will be permitted outdoors during recess.

• Children will wash hands before and after outdoor recess.

• Field trips, school-wide parent meetings and other large gatherings will be cancelled based on state guidance.

Arrival and Dismissal Procedures

• Multiple entry points for students to arrive and for dismissal will be assigned. There will be multiple supervised holding areas for students to safely wait for school to start when they arrive on the bus. This will prevent the funneling of all children through the same entry or congregating in one space. Classes will be dismissed one at a time.
o If multiple entry points are not feasible, arrival and dismissal times will be staggered to avoid bottlenecks.

• Pen and paper sign-in/sign-out sheets will be eliminated. A single school staff member will be assigned to be responsible for signing children in and out (i.e. school secretary).

• Hands-free sanitizer stands will be installed near all entry doors and other high-traffic areas. Current regulations for hand sanitizer for children in school will be followed.

School Visitors/ Vendors/ Contractors/ Guests
• In advance of scheduled visits, interviews or on-site meetings, every effort will be made to communicate the requirement for temperature screenings, face coverings and our guidelines for social distancing prior to entering Rising Ground facilities.

• Information how to inform visitors of this protocol will be made at the program/site level. Signage will be posted informing visitors of the expectations at reception desks and front entrances of our office and SCHOOLS. Masks and other supplies will be made available at the reception desks at each site.

• Signage will be posted informing visitors of the expectations as highlighted below at reception desks and front entrances of our office and center-based sites. Masks and other supplies will be made available at the reception desks at each site.

• Unscheduled/unannounced nonessential visitors will be limited. If approved to enter the school, they will be required to adhere to all safety guidelines as listed in this document.

• Failure to comply with the guidelines listed below will restrict a visitor’s entry into the school

Health and Safety

Teaching teams will maintain a daily checklist of safety/health supplies needed in the classroom and other staff will keep daily checklists for their offices. Inventories will be given to the resource coordinator.

Healthy Hygiene Practices
Teachers and all staff with encourage healthy habits:
• Reinforce handwashing routine, allow time for children to thoroughly wash their hands.

• Develop a bathroom schedule for preschool school classes. Limit one-three students at a time in the bathrooms.

• Have hand sanitizer and tissues and designated receptacles for disposal available for use by children and staff.

• Teach non-touch acknowledgments to show friendship

Hand Hygiene

• All staff and students will be taught and reminded how to wash their hands properly and safely.

• Proper hand washing will be enforced and done throughout the day.
• Hand washing will be required for all people coming in from outside.
• When hand washing is not possible, hand sanitizer will be used.
• There will be hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the floors and in bottles of hand sanitizer will be in every classroom and replenished routinely.
• We will reduce the number of high-touch areas.
Respiratory Hygiene

• All staff, students will be taught and reminded how to safely cough in a tissue or in the crook of your arm.

• All staff will teach and reinforce to children the importance of not touching their faces or other people’s faces.

Temperature Screenings

• All children will be screened with a contactless device upon arrival and before entering the school by assigned staff. Daily health temperature screening of children and authorized individuals (e.g., consultants, maintenance, contractors) with legitimate business needs to enter the school.
o These health checks will be done safely and respectfully and with measures in place to ensure confidentially as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality will be maintained.
o Individuals who have a fever of 100.0 or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted into the school building.
o Parents will be encouraged to be on the alert for signs of sickness in their child and keep them home when they are sick.
o The school will designate a specific place for staff to dispose of gloves and how to bag/discard them after use.

• Daily all staff will be required to complete a screening questionnaire upon arrival before entering the classroom.

• Staff will be encouraged to stay home if they are sick or if their children/family members are sick.

• All visitors will be screened with a contactless device and be required to complete a questionnaire upon arrival before entering the facility.

• These health checks will be done safely and respectfully and with measures in place to ensure confidentially as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality will be maintained.

• Individuals who have a fever of 100.0 or above or other signs of illness will not be admitted into the building/facility.

• The station will be cleaned/sanitized, as necessary. Sanitizing wipes/alcohol pads will be at the stations for cleaning as recommended by the manufacturer.

• Signage explaining the requirement for temperature screening will be posted on the outside doors of the buildings/offices as well as in the lobbies of the buildings.

• Demarcations will be placed on the floor to ensure proper social distancing while multiple visitors wait to be screened.

Face Coverings

• All individuals on school and agency premises, including students and visitors, will wear a facemask or a cloth face covering while on school and agency property when social distancing cannot be maintained effectively in hallways, restrooms and in other congregating areas. Cloth face coverings are meant to stop the wearer from spreading respiratory droplets and to remind people not to touch their faces.

• Students, parents/guardians, and staff will be instructed on the proper way to wear face coverings, wash their hands before putting on and after removing their face covering, and the proper way to discard disposable face coverings.

• Masks will be provided to visitors that do not have one when they arrive at the sites.

• Mask breaks will be planned by the teacher and the students throughout the day when it is safe to do so

• All staff will be provided with face shields or eye protection and gloves. When the face shield is worn it must be used with the face mask.

• Teachers will teach and reinforce the proper use of face covering. Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially young children and students with disabilities) to wear in all-day settings such as school. As per CDC guidance, face coverings should not be placed on:
o Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
o Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

Social Distancing

• All Staff, Visitors and students will be required to adhere to the following protocols for social distancing (as applicable) which may include: All staff, visitors and students will be required
o to stay a minimum of 6 feet from others at all times. This requirement may be adjusted where the six feet separation is not possible.
o There will be directional flows in the hallways and common areas to avoid physical contact while walking through the school.

Facilities

Space utilization
All available office space and classrooms will be used as extensions of the classrooms to provide additional social distancing opportunities for students during instruction as well as clinical sessions
• We will be using the outside space we have available for outdoor classroom instruction.

• All Safety Drills – four lockdown drills – eight evacuation drills – will be conducted on a staggered schedule to ensure that students attending on alternating weeks will participate. During each drill students and staff will wear face masks and will be socially distanced. We will use multiple exits during our drills, so students have less contact. Our doors are automatically released during a drill

Ventilation
• Working with the custodial staff, ventilation and filtration systems will be monitored to ensure proper operation and the control of airborne exposure to COVID-19.

• General Services will keep air vents clean, open, and unblocked. They will also keep the office temperature regulated to control humidity and keep allergens under control.

• Circulation of outdoor air will be increased as much as possible by opening windows and doors before the arrival and after dismissal of the children. Window and doors will not be open if they pose a safety or health risk to the children of the school (i.e. all doors to the school building, classroom doors).

• Schedule for cleaning all vents will be maintained.

Signage
• Floors will have directional signage to remind staff and students which way to walk in hallways.

Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocols

• A deep cleaning and/or electrostatic cleaning of the entire school will be done prior to the opening of school.

• Staff will wear disposable gloves when cleaning and/or disinfecting.
o Rising Ground will ensure an adequate supply of disposable gloves will be available for staff use.

• Each child’s belongings will be separated and in individually labeled storage containers, cubbies, or areas and taken home weekly and cleaned (i.e. sleeping blankets, etc.).

• Soft seating, cots, and vinyl furniture will be sanitized and cleaned daily.

• All dolls with fabric clothing and fabric dolls will be packed away and not provided to children.

• The water coolers will be flushed to clear out any standing water. We will have water available for every class with disposable cups. Water filtration systems are already in place in certain common areas.

• Teachers and Staff will be trained on the proper disinfecting techniques, cleanings will be scheduled and logged, and proper, safe disinfectants will be made available in all common spaces.

• Clutter-free spaces in classrooms, hallways, offices

• Surfaces will be cleaned using soap and water or another detergent. Classroom staff will regularly clean frequently touched surfaces (i.e. door handles, sink handles) throughout the day.

• Areas used by a sick individual/child will be closed off and not used before cleaning and disinfecting.

• Use of shared objects (i.e. art supplies, toys, puzzles, games) will be limited when possible or cleaned between use.

• A schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection will be implemented.

• Schools that have access to provide laundry will ensure that laundered items (i.e. children’s blankets) will be laundered according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Disposable gloves will be worn when handling dirty laundry. Gloves will be properly removed, and hands washed after laundering. Laundry basket will be cleaned and disinfected.

• Cleaning products will not be used near children, and staff will ensure that there is adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children or themselves from inhaling toxic fumes.

• Anti-microbial wraps for door handles will be used for doors that are to remain closed (i.e. bathrooms).

• Cleaning logs completed by the custodians will be submitted to the building Principals daily.

• Cleaning plans used by the cleaning crew will include tech, high-touch surfaces, classrooms, offices, bathrooms, and large eating spaces.

Disinfecting
• The use of NYS DEC and EPA registered household disinfectants will be used. Staff will be instructed to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
o Rising Ground will provide an adequate supply of disinfectant for use.

• Dilute household bleach solutions will be used, if appropriate for the surface. The label will be checked to determine if solution is intended for disinfection and ensure the product is not past its expiration date.

• Soft surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.

• Working with the custodian, staff will be informed of those surfaces that should be cleaned with soap/water vs. those that should be disinfected and when a circumstance calls for soap versus disinfectant (e.g., a child vomits – disinfect.)

Isolation Protocol

• An “Isolation Coordinator” (IC) will be selected and responsible for implementing the isolation protocol. A designee will also be selected, in the event the IC is absent/not on premises.
o The IC and designee will be trained on protocol.
o The IC and designee will be required to wear all PPE while in the isolation room.

• Sick staff members or children will not return until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation.

Isolate and Transport those who are Sick
• An isolation room or area will be designated to separate anyone who has COVID-19 and/or PMIS/MIS-C symptoms. The room will be as close as possible to the entrance of the building to minimize potential exposure throughout the building. The Rising Ground Nurse supervisor will be contacted for direction and guidance.

• Staff and children with COVID-19 symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at school will be separated immediately and will be taken to the Isolation Room. Parents of sick children will be contacted immediately to pick up child from school. Staff who are sick will be directed to go home or to a healthcare facility depending on how severe the symptoms are. Working collaboratively with the Rising Ground Medical Director, will provide a written protocol for directing families to the most appropriate venue to enhance consistent referrals based on known symptoms. The protocol will include the circumstances under which an ambulance should be called.

• The building administrators will have the student who has a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 sent to the isolation room and the parent will be contacted to pick up his/her child. Administrators will determine if additional staff is needed to assist with non-nursing tasks such as:
o Student supervision.
o Telephone calls, text, or emails to parent/guardians; and
o Assistance with completing any required paperwork other than nursing documentation.

• Staff and families will be instructed to notify school officials if they (staff) or their child (families) become sick with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case or are told to self-isolate due to an exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 infected individual.

• If an ambulance is called, they will be alerted that the person may have COVID-19 symptoms.

• All areas used by the sick individual will be closed off and not used until after the areas are sanitized and disinfected.

• All persons in contact with the sick individual shall be noted in the event contact tracing becomes necessary.

• Custodian staff will wait at least 24 hours or as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting. In coordination with General Services, the scheduling of electrostatic cleaning to kill and prevent further transmission of COVID-19 will take place when there are known or suspected cases in the school building.

• In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, school administrators will notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

• A student with a confirmed Positive case of COVID-19 can return to school when:
o He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND

o Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND

o At least ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms began.

Contact Tracing
Contact Tracing for staff and students is being conducted by the Human Resources department of Rising Ground.

Food Service and Nutrition

• Breakfast and Lunch will be individually Packaged for distribution. Students who learn remotely will have access to breakfast and lunch from the Preschool (Ames only) or the home district.

• Students will eat lunch in their classrooms.

• Immediate and appropriate cleaning of tables after breakfast and lunch will be conducted by classroom staff.

• Sharing of food and utensils will be prohibited.

• Disposable food service items (i.e. utensils, dishes) will be used.

Transportation

Although we do not control the district transportation plan, we are continuing to work closely with them and communicating consistently to coordinate a smooth and safe transportation transition for our students. We are in constant contact with the drivers and the matrons as well as the district transportation representatives.
Socio-emotional learning

In our preschools, we remain committed to supporting the social-emotional learning of our students. Our dynamic population of students requires individuals and global supports to facilitate the right mindset for learning. All of our students have individualized education plans which outline the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of each student. In addition to following the student’s individualized plan, each preschool offers the following global social, emotional and positive behavioral supports:

• Preventative and proactive emotional check-ins with students which include regular communication and collaboration with teachers, TAs, administrators, 1-1s and parents/guardians and outside providers.

• Therapeutic crisis intervention and de-escalation protocols will be implemented.

Attendance

The Preschools recognizes that regular school attendance is a major component of academic success. Through implementation of this policy, the Preschools expects to reduce the current level of unexcused absences and tardiness, encourage full attendance by all students, maintain an adequate attendance recordkeeping system, identify patterns of student absences and develop effective intervention strategies to improve school attendance. During our hybrid instruction, remote instruction attendance will be maintained through students logging into Google Classroom, Google Meet, Zoom meeting, phone calls, or text messaging.

• At the start of school day, all attendance information shall be recorded in PowerSchool and provided to the staff member who is responsible for attendance documentation and reviewed. It is expected that teachers will maintain their class record-keeping relative to attendance.

• The nature of an excused (e.g. doctor’s appointment) or unexcused absence or tardy and early departures shall be coded on a student’s record in PowerSchool. Each classroom teacher shall document all contacts with a student and her/his parent/guardian regarding the student’s attendance, including a summary of all intervention efforts.

o Daily Auto or phone calls will be made to parents informing them of their child’s absence.
o Daily communication (telephone calls, texts, and/or email) to parents of absent students will be made by the classroom teacher.

• The building administrators will meet regularly with appropriate staff to analyze data on student absences and tardiness to identify patterns. Such data shall be used to identify common barriers to attendance, prioritize resources for intervention, and monitor progress over time.

• Continuous monitoring will be conducted to identify students who are absent or tardy.

Technology and Connectivity
In School Instruction
• Every classroom has access to a device and Wi-Fi connection in school during school hours. The student in each class will have the use of same device unless a replacement is needed.

• E-Rate funding will be explored to build capacity in the wireless network to handle a dramatically increased use of the network.

• The devices are stored in a charging cabinet, so they are fully charged when student needs the device.
• When the device is returned, and before its connected to the charger, the device will be sanitized by a teaching team member by UV wand for the time specified by the device’s instructions.
Remote Instruction and assignments to be completed at home
• Teachers and related service providers are in daily contact with students via google classroom, Google Meet, and/or Zoom for assignments, and mandated related service sessions. When a student, parent or social services agency identifies to a teaching team member that a student needs their own device or robust internet access to connect to school, the building principal will contact NYC Department of Education to obtain a device with wireless internet access so remote instruction can be completed at the student’s residence.

• Teachers, OT, and speech teachers were surveyed during the spring for access to a device and internet access.
Professional Development
• At least once a month, a technology consultant provides professional development on how to use the G-Suite for Education to provide synchronous and asynchronous distance instruction and design activities specific to each grade or content area. The consultant meets with individual and small groups of teachers for professional development tailored to the needs their students. A YouTube library of tech tutorials will be accessible to teachers, students, and parents.

• G-Suite was selected initially for its ease of use for teachers and students. Teachers received professional development on G-Suite for the past and several incorporated the learning management system into their programs. These instructional technology leaders assist their colleagues who have technical and instructional questions about G-Suite. All the recommended privacy settings are enabled in G-Suite for Education to protect students’ privacy.

Teaching and Learning

In continued adherence to federal, State, and City health guidelines and federal and state laws regarding educating students with disabilities, we are continuing our remote learning plan for students receiving remote instruction during the regular school year. Since quality remote learning includes both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, the remote instructional model will include a mix of both as defined in this document. Additionally, this document outlines expectations about the instructional models we will use during remote instruction.

What is Synchronous Instruction?

As part of remote instruction, synchronous instruction will occur daily. Synchronous instruction is defined as some live interaction between the teacher and a student or students each day at a scheduled time at the discretion of the teacher, communicated in advance to parents and students and in consultation with the administrator.
• Daily synchronous instruction can be done with the whole class, in small groups, or with individual students, as determined by the teacher.
• The teacher is responsible for determining the appropriate form of daily synchronous instruction, which may include but is not limited to the following live approaches using Google Meet, Google Classroom, Zoom, and phone conferences, combined with the following:
• Daily social and emotional wellness check-ins with students
• Age appropriate activities and lessons
• Conferences with students or families
• In the case of live, whole class, small group and/or individualized live instruction, the teacher must establish the time for engagement

What is Asynchronous Instruction?
Asynchronous instruction will occur daily and serve as a complement to daily synchronous instruction. Asynchronous learning means instruction and learning that do not occur at the same time for all students. This enables families to work at their own pace and allows for students to learn the same material at different times independently.
• Asynchronous instruction consists of daily activities for students to work at their own pace as determined by the teacher and informed by student data.
• The teacher is responsible for determining the appropriate form of daily asynchronous instruction, which may include but is not limited to the following approaches:
o Activities
o Video lessons
o Discussion with parents on Google Classroom
o Phone communication

What should a teacher’s workday look like?
Teachers will create a work-day schedule in consultation with the school administration that includes but is not limited to:
• Synchronous whole and small group instruction and individualized student support
• Planning for asynchronous age appropriate activities
• Monitoring student engagement
• Individualized or small group check-ins to support work progress
• Supporting students and families
• Other duties related to remote learning
Since synchronous instruction may occur whole group, small group or with individual students, not every student will receive the same amount of synchronous instruction each day. The amount of synchronous instruction each student will receive will vary based upon academic and social emotional needs as outlined by the student’s IEP.
In addition to the above, teachers will:
• Review student IEP goals participate in IEP meetings, and progress monitoring with students and parents accordingly.
• Work in coordination with related service providers and parents to develop and implement student programs and services.

Staffing/Human Resources

Staffing Regulatory Flexibilities

To provide flexibility for in-person Prekindergarten programs in the 2020-2021 school year, the following will be allowable:

• Primary Instruction
o Primary instruction should be delivered by a certified teacher as outlined in Education Law sections 3602-e and 3602-ee.

o For flexibility and to comply with social distancing requirements for the 2020-21 school year, another staff member can oversee students during learning centers in an alternate learning space so the lead teacher can provide primary instruction to students.

PPE distribution

• All staff will be required to wear face covering while on school and agency property when not able to social distance or under specific considerations. Rising Ground will be providing bandanas to all employees to wear as face cloth masks, but employees can wear their own. Masks should be consistently and properly worn, properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of as applicable to avoid contamination of self, others, or the environment. Even while wearing your face mask, you should continue to keep about six feet between yourself and others. The mask is not a substitute for physical distancing. You are responsible for keeping your mask clean.

• As a precautionary measure, as recommended by the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19, all employees reporting to work will be asked to take their body temperature prior to coming to school. It your temperature is 100.0 or over please call your supervisor and let them know you need to stay home.

• Contagion Risk: Prompt identification and isolation of potentially infectious individuals is a critical step in protecting all of us in the workplace. If any employee suspects possible exposure to the coronavirus, we require that
o you do not come to the school and

o immediately report this to Human Resources following the procedure that has been established.

• You present a contagion risk if:
o You tested positive for coronavirus in the preceding 2 weeks
o You have had COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell in the last 24 hours
o You have a temperature exceeding 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit

• If you start feeling sick or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms while in the school, inform your supervisor and immediately leave the school and go home, and report any COVID-19 symptoms to Human Resources.

• An employee can return to work when:
o He or she has had no fever for at least three (3) days without taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND

o Any respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath) have improved; AND

o At least ten (10) days have passed since the symptoms began.

• Attendance expectations will be communicated to leadership and staff.

• Staff will receive necessary training on updated protocols, policies, and guidelines. After each training, staff will be required to sign-off on expected behavior related to health and safety.

• Staff will have access to adequate and appropriate PPE (i.e. gloves, face shield, etc.) and will have received trainings on expectations of use and proper disposal.

• Mental health resources will be easily accessible and available to all staff.

• Lunch times will be staggered for all staff to ensure social distancing in the faculty room. (i.e. A distance seating arrangement in the faculty room will be created).

• Demarcation will be placed on floor near timeclocks for staff while waiting access to clock in or out. Additional time clocks will be installed. Hands-free hand sanitizer will be placed adjacent to time clocks with signage instructing staff to use hand sanitizer after clock in/out.

• Sneeze guards will be provided to office staff in areas where it is difficult for them to remain at least 6 feet apart.

• Staff will be encouraged to ensure clean desk protocols to ensure proper cleaning.

Distribution of PPEs
• The attached document should be reviewed to familiarize yourself with items that the organization will be providing for your safety as well as how to properly use them along with the appropriate maintenance and/or disposal of each item.

Training Topics for Staff

• COVID-19 disease symptoms
• COVID-19 transmission
• Maintaining strong immune systems
• Basic safety practices, hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing
• Self-monitoring, employee health checks
• Rising Ground responsibilities
• Employee responsibilities
• Transfer of hand sanitizer to smaller containers
• Use of face masks (donning/doffing) (cloth masks vs. disposable masks)
• Use of gloves (particularly removal)
• PPE
o OSHA requirements
o Reuse (sanitizing, cleaning)
o Disposal
• Cleaning and disinfecting
• Training for temperature screeners and Isolation Coordinator

Resources

New York State Education Department
• Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s School: Reopening Guidance
NYSED reopening guidance

New York State Department of Health
• Interim Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance for Primary and Secondary Schools for COVID-19
https://sunypoly.edu/sites/default/files/health-alerts/COVID-19-School-Cleaning-Guidance-FINAL.PDF

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Stress and Coping
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html