Reopening Plans

Reopening Plans



Johnson City Central School District
2020-2021 Reentry Plan
(DRAFT)
**Changes as of November 10, 2020**


Introduction


On Monday, July 13, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.


Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.  If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction.  If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen.  Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.


While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning.  Parents have the choice to remain in the remote learning model.  To select this model, parents will receive a mailing with clear expectations with a return form to the district for planning purposes.


The Johnson City CSD plan outlined here is for the 2020-2021 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

   Johnson City Elementary School       Principal Denise Riley    607-930-1015

   Johnson City Middle School              Principal Daniel Erickson    607-930-1012

   Johnson City High School                 Principal Paula Grassi     607-930-1009

   District Website                              www.jcschools.com


The health and safety of our students, our staff and our families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses.  Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the NYS Education Department.  


NOTE:  It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor.  The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision-making as we move to open our schools.


Assistant Superintendent Eric Race will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator.  Along with the Superintendent Mary Kay Roland, Mr. Race will work closely with our local health department and they will be the central contacts for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.  

     Superintendent Mary Kay Roland   607-930-1005  mroland@jcschools.stier.org

     Assistant Superintendent Eric Race    607-930-1006  erace@jcschools.stier.org

     Email Concerns/Questions  COVIDquestions@jcschools.stier.org


Message from the Superintendent:


Dear Wildcat Community,

      The following re-entry plan was created and influenced by many stakeholders in our district. It is focused on our number one priority of  providing a quality education in a safe and healthy learning environment for all.  Every consideration was given to both health and safety, best practices in teaching and learning, and meeting the needs of all our students and staff. We believe this plan respects the wishes and concerns of our entire school community.  Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.

                                                        With gratitude,  

                                                        Mary Kay Roland


COMMUNICATION/FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT


To help inform our reopening plan, the Johnson City CSD has sought feedback from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/caregivers of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee union and community groups. Engagement efforts included ThoughtExchange surveys of families and staff, a phone call survey to families, virtual forums, in-person meetings of stakeholders, and one-to-one conversations with pertinent teacher and union leaders as well as our community school advisory committee. This list includes: parents, staff, administrators, Board of Education members, school culture and climate committee members, Broome Health Department, Johnson City Police Department, JCTA and JCEA Union Presidents, Broome County Crime Victims Assistance Center, BT-BOCES, Family Enrichment Network, Handicapped Children’s Association, JC Connects Community School Advisory Committee.


Johnson City CSD remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders through the district website (www.jcschools.com).  Translation is available via the G-Translate feature available on the website.


As part of the planning for the reopening of schools and the 2020-2021 school year, the Johnson City Central School District has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district, staff, students, parent/caregivers, visitors, and education partners and vendors.  The district will be using its existing communication channels including email, robocalls, district website, district app, social media, letters, phone calls, virtual meetings, push notifications via text messaging and videos.  Also, appropriate signage and training will occur to support consistent messaging regarding protocols, expectations, requirements, and operations during the pandemic.  Translation will be provided in the predominant languages spoken in the district. 


The district is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communicating with all our school community.  The district will rely on the district website, email, text messages, videos, social media and robocalls to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening, schedule changes, and requirements regarding social distancing, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene.  The information we share will be based on state guidance and input from various stakeholder groups that impact decision-making.


In support of remote learning, families and teachers will be queried as to their personal ownership of devices and Wi-Fi access with the intent to support those people who need support. Phone call surveys have been used to collect this information from families and a ThoughtExchange survey provided information about teacher needs.  The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning including email, text messaging, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, robo calls, district website, social media platforms, etc.  This will be in as advance notice as possible.


The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding provision of special education services for their child:  CSE and CPSE meetings, phone calls, email.  Every attempt will be made to provide this communication in the preferred language and mode of communication.


Communication to families of English language learners will be as best as possible in their preferred language and mode of communication.


The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families have multiple opportunities to be trained on all public health policies and protocols.  This continuous training will allow the district to assess the best approach to communicate the information for each student’s age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols.  The goal will help ensure all students and families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting.  This training will cover:

  • Hand hygiene

  • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove)

  • Social distancing:  6 feet and 10 minutes contact

  • Respiratory hygiene 

  • COVID symptom identification

This training will occur through classroom instruction, signage throughout the building, information sent home, and videos posted on the website.  Periodic reminders will be part of our protocol to parents and students with multiple opportunities for additional trainings.


Signage will be present throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19.  Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

  1. Proper use of personal protective equipment

  2. Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear

  3. Hand washing

  4. Adherence to social distancing instructions

  5. Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19


The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy.  Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic.  These procedures are outlined in the Health and Safety section of our reopening plans below.


In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department.  All direction will come from the Broome County Health Department.


School Closures


The district is preparing for situations in which one or more school buildings/classrooms need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases.


The Broome County Health Department will work in collaboration with the district to determine parameters, conditions such as increased absenteeism or increased illness, that will serve as warning signs that COVID-19 levels are beyond an acceptable level. The Health Department will also be consulted when decisions modifying operations within the district.


Communication for school closures will be through robocalls, texts and emails.  It will also be posted on the district website.


Health and Safety


Focused on preventive actions, schools and districts will be required to perform health checks and screenings, per DOH guidance, and recognize signs and symptoms of illness in students and staff; develop plans to maximize social distancing; develop plans to manage and isolate ill persons until they can be sent home; instruct students and staff in proper hand and respiratory hygiene; require wearing appropriate face coverings; and develop cleaning and disinfection procedures for the school in accordance with CDC and DOH guidance.

HEALTH AND SAFETY Reopening Plan Mandatory Requirements

Using the social distancing guidelines established by the NYSDOH and CDC guidelines, the district will strategically calculate how many students we can educate in person on a daily basis.  Our in-person building schedules will follow the recommended social distancing guidelines as established by the NYSDOH and the CDC guidelines.

The district will procure (depending on manufacturer availability) all of the necessary and recommended PPE for students and staff according to the recommendations in the guidance document. PPE and cloth face masks will be available on a daily basis. However, students and staff who prefer to wear their own cloth masks will be permitted to do so.

The district transportation plan restricts any school bus to a maximum 50% capacity and follows the 6 ft social distancing rule.  The only exception to this rule is students that reside in the same household and will be allowed to sit together.

To date, hospitalizations in our area for COVID-19 have never exceeded 34 individuals on a daily basis. This data is updated regularly by the state at the following website:
https://forward.ny.gov/daily-hospitalization-summary-region. The district will monitor this data daily that is provided by the State and local government.

Stakeholder meetings have taken place to shape potential reentry plans as well as phone surveys and Thought Exchange surveys to families and staff.  Meetings have been in-person, virtual, and one-to-one and have included all the above listed participants.  Further meetings will be held during the month of August of various stakeholder groups to finalize implementation plans.

The district will be using various means of communication which include: School Messenger, Remind, district website, Facebook and Twitter, video, push notification, district app.  All signage, instructions and training materials used will be from the CDC’s Toolkit for K-12 Schools.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/schools.html

Initial trainings for staff will occur before the opening of instructional days with students during Superintendent’s Conference Days.  These will be facilitated by administrators and other trained health professionals in the district and will utilize data and videos available in the CDC’s Toolkit for K-12 Schools as one of multiple resources provided by NYSDOH and SED.  Reminder trainings will be held throughout the school year.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/schools.html

The district has created an online health questionnaire that acts as a screening for all staff prior to reporting to school.  Staff are also expected to take their temperature before coming to school and answer the health questionnaire daily.  Any staff who answer yes to any of the questions on the health questionnaire or have a fever of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher are expected to stay home and report their absence on the Frontline absence management system.  

The same health questionnaire used to screen staff will be used for students and parents before sending their child(ren) to school.  On a daily basis, parents are expected to do a temperature screening and the health questionnaire for their children BEFORE sending them to school.  We have created an online form for them to attest to these daily screenings.  If a student is at home and ill they are to stay home.  Parents must notify the school that they are home due to illness.  Parents should make an appointment to see a doctor and keep the school updated with any relevant information.

If a Staff member becomes ill or shows signs of a COVID-19 like symptom they will notify their supervisor and go home immediately.  

If any student becomes ill or shows signs of a COVID-19 like symptom they will be sent to the nurses’ office for assessment.  Once assessment is complete the student will be sent to the isolation room or sent back to class.  Many factors will be considered in determining if a student should be sent to isolation and home or back to class to remain in school.  In working  in conjunction with the Department of Health and our school Medical Director, it has been determined that the school nurse shall make that determination using their professional judgement, historical knowledge of that particular student and any medical documentation.   

The district needs to educate parents on how to observe for signs of illness in their child that require staying home from school.  This information needs to be made available via multiple forms of communication and repeated periodically as reminders.  Written communications home, email, videos, and push notifications via text will be used to continually remind and educate parents/caregivers about the signs of illness.

The district will be using signage and videos directly from the CDC’s Toolkit for K-12 Schools.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/schools.html

Signage and physical markers will be placed throughout the buildings and on transportation to signify the 6 feet social distancing requirement.

Written protocol will be available to those administrators who are responsible for personnel issues and those who will be responsible for student accommodations.  These protocols will follow both legal and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recommendations.

ALL employees, adult visitors and students will be REQUIRED to wear a cloth face covering as well as maintain proper social distancing (6ft) while in buildings. 

Those students and staff who for medical or social-emotional reasons cannot wear a mask will need to produce a doctor’s note to excuse them from this NYS Dept of Health mandate.
Mask breaks will be allowed during meals. During instruction, masks must be worn. Mask breaks are encouraged upon teacher discretion.

The district will procure (depending on manufacturer availability) all of the necessary and recommended PPE for students and staff according to the recommendations in the guidance document.
Contact tracing measures by the Broome County Department of Health will be implemented if any student or staff receive a positive test for COVID-19. The County Health Department and the school will work collaboratively and in conjunction to ensure the most accurate list of contacts for each event.

Deep cleaning protocols will be implemented in our facilities if there is a confirmed case in the district as notified by BCDOH.

Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting areas inside a building or facility if someone tests positive for covid-19:
1.   Secure (all affected areas) areas visited by the ill persons. 
2.   Ensure ventilation for the affected areas is appropriate and extended if needed. 
3.   Disinfect all affected areas within 24 hours and prior to any occupancy or use using approved products and         following all recommendations for disinfecting.
4. Additionally, all high touch surfaces and any shared equipment within affected areas will be cleaned and disinfected. 

Returning to School:
When a student or staff member has been quarantined by the Department of Health or receive a positive COVID-19 test and are mandated to isolate, they may return to school when the following conditions have been met:
1) Quarantine: 14 days as outlined and mandated by the Department of Health, symptom free and fever free and released by the Department of Health.
2) Isolation: 10 days as outlined and mandated by the Department of Health  (or longer), symptom free and fever free for 48 hours and released by the Department of Health.
* You may be asked to provide the school medical documentation from your doctor or your release information from the County Department of Health.

If a student or staff member is sent home from the school because they developed symptoms the following steps must be taken following the Department of Health guidelines:
1) They must be evaluated by a Healthcare Provider
2) If Health Care Provider recommends, they will receive a COVID-19 Test
a) If the test is positive see above for isolation mandates.
b) If the test is negative they may return to school if their symptoms have improved and they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. 
3) If the Health Care Provider does not recommend a COVID test then the Health Care Provider must write a specific alternate diagnosis and the student may return to school based on the guidelines for that diagnosis. Medical documentation must be provided to the school from the Health Care Provider. 

LINK: BC Health Dept. Release From Self Isolation Form


Cleaning and disinfecting
Deep cleaning protocols will be implemented in our facilities if there is a confirmed case in the district as notified by the County Department of Health.

Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting areas inside a building or facility if someone tests positive for covid-19:
1.   Secure all affected areas visited by the ill persons. 
2.   Ensure ventilation for the affected areas is appropriate and extended if needed. 
3.   
Disinfect all affected areas within 24 hours and prior to any occupancy or use using approved products and       following all recommendations for disinfecting.
4. Additionally, all high touch surfaces and any shared equipment within affected areas will be cleaned and           disinfected.

Cleaning and custodial staff will be trained on proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols.  The focus will be on high touch traffic areas during occupied times throughout the school buildings including transportation buses.

Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection multiple times throughout the school day: tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, elevators, toilets, faucets and sinks.

High Traffic areas include: hallways, entrances, lobbies, bathrooms, kitchen/cafeterias, health offices, break rooms and copy centers.  

Cleaning/custodial staff will be assigned zones in buildings during occupied times throughout the school day and will be responsible for routine cleaning and disinfection of their assigned area.
·      Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect
·      Clean surfaces using soap and water and/or recommended cleaning products
·      Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
·      Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
·      Ensure adequate ventilation
·      Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
·      Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
·      Avoid mixing chemical products
·      Label diluted cleaning solutions
·      Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children

Disinfecting- Follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend:
·      Keeping the surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
·      Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product
·      Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect
·      Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface
·      Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection and has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5%–6% 
·      Ensure the product is not past its expiration date 
·      Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation 
·      Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute
·      Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used

*Cleaning staff and others should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after any potential contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

*Special considerations will be made for people with asthma and they should not be present when cleaning and disinfecting is happening

The district will maintain and practice using social distancing, face coverings and other PPE for unique students and staff situations. All mandated emergency drills to include fire drills, evacuation drills, bus drills and lockdown drills will be conducted according to SED regulations.  To limit the number of students involved and to help maintain social distance, drills will be staggered and performed with smaller groups of students and staff.  Proper cleaning and disinfection protocols will be followed during and after all drills.

At the time of this publication, child care programs run by the Community Action Team 
are being assessed as to capacity under CDC/SED guidelines.
Assistant Superintendent Eric Race will be the district COVID-19 coordinator.

Facilities

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the district, facilities operations will be geared toward cloth face coverings, meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly, as well as maintaining proper ventilation and air exchange throughout all occupied spaces.

The function, position, and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic openers will remain unchanged.

The district plans to meet the deadline for submission of the Building Condition Survey or Visual inspections on time.  In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent when the building is normally occupied.

Our district will conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. School leaders will plan for these drills to be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation to the greatest extent possible. We have consulted with our architects and engineers to ensure we have proper filtration of all our systems.  Water systems have been flushed in all buildings that were unoccupied during the closure.

Nutrition

School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely.  Menus will be posted on the district and school websites and made available in preferred languages through G-Translate.

For all students in grades K-8:
Breakfast will be served in either the classroom or through the serving line in the cafeteria and taken back to the classroom.  All students will be provided breakfast.

Lunch will be provided through the serving line in the cafeteria and through proper social distancing, students will eat in either the cafeteria, in a classroom or another defined space as dictated by the number of students in the building at any one time.

For all students at the high school:
Breakfast will be provided to students as they enter the building and taken to their first period class.  All students will be provided breakfast.

Lunch will be provided through the serving line in the cafeteria and through proper social distancing. Students will eat in either the cafeteria, in a classroom or another defined space as dictated by the number of students in the building at any one time.

For all remote education students:
In our hybrid model of educating all students daily, the district would deliver meals to families at their homes and/or at designated meal sites on Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the cooperative efforts of our food service, transportation and other necessary staff.


Transportation

The district will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines.  Students and staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses: entering, exiting, and seated.  They should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable.

Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced.  Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other.  Parents/caregivers are encouraged to drive their student(s) to school to reduce density on the buses.

As is outlined in the Health and Safety section of this guidance, all parents/guardians will be required to ensure their child/children are not experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a fever of 100 degrees or more prior to them boarding their method of transportation to school.
Students must social distance (six feet separation) on the bus.

To help maintain social distancing, the district will be implementing the following:

When students embark and disembark the bus, they will be loaded back to front and unloaded front to back.  All students should follow social distancing protocols when entering and exiting the bus.  Buses will also use a staggered arrival and departure schedule to help ensure social distancing when entering and exiting school buildings. Multiple entry points will be used to enter and exit the building from the buses with an effort to reduce population density.
Students who do not have a mask can NOT be denied transportation.

Students who do not have masks will have a mask available via the district if one is needed.
Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation.

The district will continue to provide transportation to homeless students, students in foster care, those who attend religious, independent or charter schools – and those with disabilities – just as they always have.

When temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit, school buses will transport passengers with roof hatches or windows slightly opened to provide air flow.

All buses that are used every day will be disinfected and cleaned once a day.  High contact areas will be wiped down after each morning (a.m.) and afternoon (p.m.) run.

The district will implement hand sanitizing stations at each school drop-off location.

Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to comply with the 6 foot social distancing requirement.

Whether school is in session, remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose IEP has placed them out of district and whose schools are meeting in-person sessions.

All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law.  This includes foster children, homeless students, or those attending private or parochial schools.

The district has created an online form that contains the 4 screening questions staff are expected to answer on a daily basis.  Paper forms will be provided to staff who cannot complete the form online.  The data from the forms will be input by one of the transportation assistant staff when turned in by the employee.

Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, mechanics, and cleaners) are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work.  If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their employer as per the reporting policies and seek medical attention.

All school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics will be required to wear a face covering while operating a school bus.  The driver, monitor and attendant may wear gloves if they choose to do so but are not required unless they must be in physical contact with students.

Transportation staff should be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water before and after a.m. and p.m. runs to keep healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
·      touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
·      touch a contaminated surface or objects
·      blow your nose, cough or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

Hand sanitizer will be provided in transportation locations such as the Transportation building including break/lunch rooms, offices and the garage.

The district will be using various means of communication which include: SchoolMessenger, Remind, district website, Facebook and Twitter as well as the district app.  All signage, instructions and training materials used will be from the CDC’s Toolkit for K-12 Schools. 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/schools.html

The district will procure (depending on manufacturer availability) all of the necessary and recommended PPE for the transportation staff according to the recommendations in the guidance document.  

The driver, monitor and attendant MUST wear gloves if they must be in physical contact with students.


Social-Emotional Well-Being


The Johnson City Central School District recognizes that the social-emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is of critical importance.  The district has made available resources and referrals to supportive agencies to address mental health, behavioral and emotional needs of students, faculty and staff when school reopens.  


The district has established an SEL Coalition through our community school model to provide direction and advice with a focus on the social-emotional well-being of students and staff.  The composition of this coalition is:

Assistant Principals (3)

Social Workers (4)

School Counselor (2)

Parent (1)

School Psychologist (1)

Teacher (3)

Parent Engagement Coordinator (1)

Community Schools (1)


To identify and support students and staff having difficulty with transitioning back into the school setting, given the changes in the school environment, the district is putting in place additional training for administrators to identify signs of stress, fear and anxiety and the protocol for supporting adults in distress. The JC Connects SEL Coalition will be responsible for planning the “soft start” to school in September.


For adults: A “soft start” to the school year to allow staff to adjust to the new structure of school and reconnect with their colleagues and peers. Training on trauma, self-care, coping strategies and the benefits afforded to them through the school district through their health insurance and the Employee Assistance Program.  A JC Connects social worker will also be available for support and referrals to the adults.


For students:  A “soft” start to the school year is planned with activities which emphasize reconnecting and readjusting to the structure of school.   


“Soft Start”/Prolonged Orientation Period Recommendations:

  1. In order to ensure that all students feel a sense of belonging, each teacher, whether in person or remotely, will provide students the opportunity to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on their lives and communities, specifically identifying  their feelings/emotions. 

  2. Regular emotional check-ins will take place.  

    1. Lower elementary-Choosing a “feeling face.” 

Upper elementary-Choosing and explaining a word that captures their current mood. 

Middle school-Exploring complex emotions, including how they might feel two seemingly different emotions at one time. 

High school- Assessing how complex emotions influence one’s behaviors. (CASEL)

    1. Developmentally appropriate resources will be shared with all students such as grounding techniques, journaling, healthy sleeping and eating habits, one trusted adult to share feelings with, etc.  

    2. Follow-up discussions will focus on what the students feel they need in the future - specifically delineating between needs for in-person and remote learning.  These identified needs will be addressed through school or community partners.  


District Guidance Plan:  The district guidance plan will be reviewed and updated to meet the needs of students during the 2020-2021 school year by the Guidance Advisory Committee.

MTSS Framework will be utilized to support the three tiers of SEL support.

  1. Tier One: An evidence based program such as Caring School Community will be utilized in grades K-8, to provide the opportunity to learn, reflect, and practice emotion identification and effective coping skills in the classroom, whether remote or in-person.  High school students will be provided checkpoints by faculty/staff, observation, flagging system for extra consultation or support.

  2. Tier Two:  A districtwide social/emotional referral process will be implemented to identify students and families who may need additional support within the school and community.  

  3. Tier Three: All students K-12 will have access to mental health support through district mental health staff as well as community partners housed in the school buildings.  Services can be accessed through the social/emotional referral process, self-referral or referral from a member of the faculty/staff 


Transformative SEL (Anti-Racist/Anti-Biased)

  1. A Trauma Informed Response team will be formed within the district and  trained by a Crime Victims Assistance Center staff member.  Training will include a full-day training focused on a culturally sensitive, trauma informed, anti-racist and anti-biased response to reports of any traumatic event.  Each team member will be provided a community resource guide.

  2. A training will be conducted for all district faculty and staff focused on a culturally sensitive trauma informed, anti-racist and anti-biased response to students, families and colleagues.  Follow up sessions will be provided in order to allow faculty and staff an opportunity for ongoing professional learning. 

  3. Building and District Culture and Climate Committees will continually assess needs and feedback regarding  the extent of progress and review programs that will best support the efforts to support all families and all students in an equitable manner. 


Plan to Support Staff :  


A needs assessment will be conducted for all staff before school begins to discern their needs and experiences both during the school closures and their anticipated needs. From there:

  1. A process will be created to identify and provide support for those staff members identified at higher risk for significant stress or trauma.

  2. In coordination with school and community supports, both in person and remote supports will be established for all district staff members.  Specificity will be given to a dedicated space and time for staff to come together to engage in collective healing with a focus on self-care. 

  3. Ongoing check-ins with faculty and staff will be conducted by a district social worker in order to support a culture of self-care and well-being amongst staff. 

  4. Virtual self-care room will be established and run by school and community partners.  

  5. Staff will be asked to assess their current self-care needs and develop a plan, including setting realistic boundaries around work. 

  6. Community Schools staff will work in collaboration with community partners to provide self-care activities (e.g., yoga, exercise, mindfulness). 

.

Parent/Family Engagement with SEL focus:

Prior to the start of the year:

  • Include parent representatives on the SEL Transition Coalition before the start of the school year.

  • Provide guidelines for safety/health measures that will be put in place to all parents before the beginning of the school year.

  • The district will identify barriers that prevent families/parents from engaging in their child’s education, prioritizing marginalized and BIOP families.

  • Contact information will be updated

  • Provide teachers and staff with professional learning and time to build culturally responsive relationships with parents/families.

  • Provide parents/families information in necessary languages.

  • Parents/families will be surveyed to determine the need for technology/wifi support in the home to ensure equitable access.

  • Technology will be distributed to parents/families that require it.

Instruction will be provided pertaining to use of technology and school-related websites


During the Year:

  • Provide parents/families with information about SEL strategies used in the classroom so they may understand/use common language.

  • Community Schools will provide opportunities for families to engage in in-person and virtual experiences.

  • Teachers will communicate with parents/families weekly and hold virtual parent/teacher conferences if in-person conferences are not possible.

  • Community schools will refer parents/families to necessary community partners.

  • Parents/families will be surveyed during the year to assess the social/emotional and academic development of their students.

  • Parent Leaders will work in classrooms at each level (primary, intermediate, middle school and high school), and provide their perspective.

  • Parent questions/concerns will be addressed by appropriate staff in a timely manner.  The Parent/Family Engagement Coordinator will be available to help navigate this process.  

  • Community schools will support PTO initiatives.

  • Throughout the year parents will be seen as crucial stakeholders in the decision-making process and engaged through stakeholder meetings, Thought Exchange surveys, phone calls, email.

  • Identity and remove barriers that prevent parents/families from fully participating in the social/emotional/educational process.


           

School Schedules


The district has developed draft schedules that, through their flexibility, will allow for us to pivot between all three models of instruction that have been created:  in-person, hybrid and remote.  Students will be divided into two groupings (A and B) for hybrid instruction allowing for social distancing per NYS Dept. of Health guidelines. Each group will report two days a week and alternating Fridays. On the days students do not report, they will receive remote instruction synchronous with their classmates.  The model that will be implemented in September will be determined by the Governor’s decision about the opening of school which is to be given the first week of August.

From there, communication will be sent to staff, parents and students as well as to the community at large.  This messaging will be via our district website and app, emails, social media, mailings, robo calls and orientation meetings (both virtual and in-person).


Should the district be allowed to return to full in-person instruction, the daily schedule that has traditionally been in place will be implemented in each of the three buildings:  Elementary School, Middle School, and High School.


For hybrid and remote instruction, the current schedule (which is subject to adjustment pending transportation issues and BOCES programming) provides for a compressed instructional day for students with a full work-day for teachers.  All students will receive the mandated 180 days of instruction and with a waiver for minutes, these schedules will allow for students to receive in-person synchronous instruction with substantive feedback daily.  Again, detailed information regarding the schedules that will be in place shall be communicated to all families and staff as soon as the Governor issues his decision regarding the opening of school.


SCHOOL ACTIVITIES


Extracurriculars:  At this time, extracurricular activities cannot be planned during the 2020-2021 school year.


Field Trips: The district is not planning in-person field trips during the 2020-2021 school year.


Clubs: All club meetings will be held virtually during the 2020-2021 school year with the expectation that each club activity supports the purpose of the club. Should in-person gatherings meet state regulation, some club activities may be held in person. 


Assemblies:  Assemblies will not be held this year unless population density can be reduced to allow for social distancing with masks required or an outside event can be held that also allows for social distancing with masks.  


Athletics:  As of this writing, state regulation restricts the start of interscholastic athletics until September 21, 2020. 


Child Care:  The district does not operate before and after-school child care. The Community Action Team (aka CAT program) cannot operate within our district until guidelines change. The district will require the CAT program to follow all sanitizing, hygiene, social distancing and face mask expectations while using our building with students and staff.  


Budget and Fiscal


The district will continue to meet existing state aid reporting requirements.  In addition, budgetary decisions will be made throughout the year to provide an equitable education for all students while meeting contractual obligations.  An additional significant impact of COVID-19 and our reopening plan is the additional cost of all PPE and staffing to keep schools safe for all students and staff.


The fiscal outlook for the 2020-2021 school year is uncertain at this time.  Governor Cuomo has informed all schools that periodic review of state finances could impact state aid to schools.  The district will need to make further budgetary adjustments should state aid to Johnson City Central School District be reduced.


Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism


Each school in the district will make sure there is daily contact with students in in-person, hybrid and remote settings. 


When a student’s absence becomes excessive and without contact with an adult in the school, the building will deploy social workers, guidance counselors and/or student support staff to make contact with the student or families.  This can be by phone call, email or home visit.  CPS will be notified if there is evidence of negligence or abuse that is hindering the child from coming to school.


Attendance will be taken daily in each grade level (K-12) with the middle and high School taking attendance every period and the elementary building taking attendance daily.  Attendance will be taken through PowerSchool and will be reported in SIRS.


The district will document and report resident students of compulsory age who were not in attendance in a public school, including charter schools, nonpublic schools, or approved home schooling programs in the current school year until they exceed compulsory school age, they no longer reside in the district, or the district has documentation that the student has entered another educational program leading to a high school diploma.

The district will keep on the school attendance registry students who drop out while still of compulsory school age until they exceed compulsory school age or move out of the district.


Technology and Connectivity


Adequate access to a computing device and high-speed broadband is essential for educational equity and a priority for the Johnson City Central School District.

 

The district, through both a Thought Exchange survey and phone call survey to every home, has collected technology and connectivity data to obtain information that would support both a hybrid or totally remote instructional plan.


The district currently has over 2,200 Chromebooks with an additional 400 on order.  At this time we are being told that delivery times for some of these devices is NOVEMBER 2020. The district currently has over 800 iPads. As of June 30, 2020, we had 2,285 students enrolled K-12.


We have enough Chromebooks to go 1 to 1 with ALL 3-12 students. Doing this would eliminate the sharing of these devices ONLY.  Certain HS classes would still need to use computers in labs.  (Video production, photography, piano lab etc.)  For K-2 students, we have the option of providing an iPad if needed.

We have plenty of devices, but sufficient internet access is still a problem for some students and staff.  The district currently has a number of hot spots that can be signed out, but not enough for every household that needs one.

We can purchase additional hot spots for about $450.00 per device per year. These devices will give 2GB of data per month per device.  If teachers are using sites such as YouTube to augment instruction, this amount of data is not sufficient.  In this scenario, we would need to provide unlimited data to the hot spots which increases the annual cost to $750.00 per device per year.


We have also purchased the equipment to provide Wi-Fi on five (5) of our school buses.  The district currently has public Wi-Fi available all around the outside of our high school.  We are getting 3 more of these outdoor hot spots that can be deployed at either building for public access.

Should there be a declared school closure and families do not have Wi-Fi access in their homes despite having a device, paper copies of learning materials aligned with the state standards will be provided.  This is the least desirable method of instruction and will create an inequity in the delivery of instruction to each of our students. Our survey has indicated that given current need, we can support the number of families who need a hot-spot to have connectivity in a hybrid or remote learning situation.  


Teaching and Learning


All information regarding schedules, transportation, feeding, classroom expectations and protocols will be communicated to parents/caregivers and students via a mailing to each home in August 2020.


Equitable opportunities for teaching and learning as well as a clear continuity of learning plan based on the NYS standards are critical to the school district. Substantive daily interaction between teachers and students is an expectation of our plan. Each grade level/subject area will have a continuity of learning plan that meets state standards, reflects best practices for each of three instructional models, and meets all state mandated requirements to meet the units of study requirements at the secondary level. Also, opportunities for access to teachers will be built into the daily schedule to allow students to receive feedback and extra assistance in attaining mastery of the content.


The school calendar typically allows for Superintendent’s Conference Days which will be utilized at the beginning of the school year to provide mandated training, orientation to the health and safety protocols and adjusted school schedules, and SEL training for the staff to transition them back into the structure of school.  Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff faced this past spring with school closures which forced remote instruction under stressful conditions, the district feels the use of these Superintendent’s Conference Days can best be used to prepare the adults in the district with new protocols, trainings, and expectations that will reduce anxiety and better prepare them to meet with students on the first day of instruction where an emphasis on relationship-building will be the hallmark of our school year’s “soft start.”


When a hybrid or remote learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for increased in-person learning experiences to the greatest extent possible. This includes some special education students, ENL students, or other students with unique needs.


Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive essential standards, content, skills and understandings needed for students’ future study.


Assessing learning gaps or areas of need will be critical.  This will be attained through multiple means by the classroom teacher.


Academic Intervention Services for grades 3-8 will be determined by locally developed criteria.


Grading practices will reflect learning progress to provide feedback to students and families regarding mastery of course content.


UPK:  The district UPK programs are housed at the Family Enrichment Network and Helping Celebrate Abilities in Johnson City.  Both institutions will be required to follow the CDC guidelines that are expectations for young learners as well as district guidelines and expectations including all health and safety expectations, social distancing and cleaning/sanitation protocols. A reopening plan was submitted to the district by both FEN and HCA that demonstrates a continuity of learning plan that is developmentally appropriate and addresses the three models of instruction: in-person, hybrid, remote.


The district will meet the 1,200 minute science lab requirement through both virtual and in-person hands-on experiences.


The district recognizes the importance of movement and physical education in the lives of our students.  The district also recognizes that physical education is a NYS requirement for a high school diploma.  To that end, the district’s physical education department’s continuity of learning plan has provided for the three models of instruction which encourages each child to develop a healthy lifestyle through movement while meeting the state standards and meaningful substantive interaction between student and teacher.


In-Person Instruction


Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing.  Class size will reflect the need to ensure the students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart and are in rows.


Current staffing will be adjusted to accommodate the needs of the students as well as the CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and movement throughout the building.  This will allow for adequate instructional support and supervision of students within the three models of instruction that forms our continuity of learning plans in each building.


All instruction will be aligned to the NYS standards.


As much as practicable, the schools will minimize the movement of students throughout the day.  This will mean staggering lunches, eliminating assemblies and field trips/large group activities.  Related arts in K-5 will be pushed into the classroom where feasible.  Outside space will be utilized given weather conditions.  For music and physical education, the district will adhere to the 12 foot guidance issued by the CDC.


The building schedules described in a previous section allow for maximum learning time that meet NYS standards, SEL instruction at the developmentally appropriate level, and opportunities to receive direct and substantive feedback and interaction with the classroom teacher.


Schools must create a clear communication plan for how students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology. This information needs to be accessible to all, available in multiple languages based on district or charter school 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).


Remote/Hybrid Instruction


The other two models of instruction that have been created by the district are the remote instruction model and the hybrid model.  The Johnson City Central School district is beginning the school year with the hybrid model which is a combination of in-person instruction with an alternating day of remote instruction.  This model will continue until full in-person instruction can be implemented.  The district will have a fully remote model with clear expectations for teachers and students for those students whose parents opt for this model OR a full closure of school occurs again this year due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. 


Instruction will encompass a full academic program with core subjects, electives, and related arts subjects part of the student learning experience.  All instruction will be aligned to the NYS learning standards.


Student schedules will remain the same whether instruction is in-person or remote so that students have synchronous instruction that provides substantive interaction and meaningful feedback to students from their classroom teachers.


To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.  Teachers have received training over the summer as part of their professional learning opportunities.


Grading practices will measure student progress to mastery of the NYS learning standards and the course content.


For information on scheduling, please refer to the School Schedule section. 


Special Education


The Johnson City Central School District is committed to providing all students with disabilities with a free and appropriate education.  This will be evident in all three models: in-person, hybrid, and remote.  Each student with a disability will have an individual continuity of learning plan which will detail the specific services on their IEP and how they will be provided under each model.  This will also include protocols for the health and safety of each student with disabilities aligned with their individual needs (e.g., masks, additional PPE needed by staff).


Instructional needs of the students within each model has been prioritized based on their IEP.


Documentation will be provided to students with disabilities and their parents through virtual CSE meetings, mailings, emails, phone calls, progress reports.  The program and services each student with disability will receive will be documented in their continuity of learning plan.  This will be communicated with parents through the various means mentioned above and will include translation in the preferred language.


The district CPSE/CSE meet annually and all students with disabilities have an IEP for the 2020-2021 school year.  A review of student needs will necessitate CSE meetings to adjust existing plans based on current student levels and needs. Each student has a special education teacher who is responsible for implementing and sharing the plan with the general education staff and continually communicate with parents.  Weekly calls and progress notes are two ways we will monitor and communicate progress as well as sharing resources with appropriate key partners.


Students with disabilities who receive services through BOCES or other alternative placements also have an IEP which documents their specific services.  These documents are created in partnership with BOCES or the alternative placement who will then create the continuity of learning plans.  These settings will share with CSE any changes or modifications that need to be made to plans so that timely CSE meetings may be scheduled to incorporate these changes into the student’s IEP.


The district will ensure access to all necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aides and services, and technology to meet the unique disability-related needs of students in each of the three instructional models.  Each student has a special education teacher who is responsible for the implementation of the IEP and continuity of learning plan.  This includes providing access to all accommodations, modifications,supplementary aids and services, and technology needed for each student with disability.  The special education teacher is also responsible for sharing the information with the general education teachers and support staff.


Professional development will be provided to all special education and general education teachers in best practices for students with disabilities and technology support for all assistive devices used.


Bilingual Education and World Languages


Using data derived from parent surveys and ELL teachers’ documentation, the District recognizes the loss of learning experienced by our emerging and entering ELL students during the closure period. The three models of instruction are focused on meeting the needs of all ELL students while prioritizing the needs of entering and emerging students. 


The district will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closure in 2019-2020, as well as during the summer of 2020 enduring the first 20 school days of the 2019-2020 school year.  After this period of flexibility, ELL identification will resume for all students within the required 10 school days of initial enrollment.


The district will  provide all communications to parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication to ensure that they have equitable access to critical information about their children’s education. The predominant languages of our ELL students are Spanish, Arabic, Urdu, Lao, Pushto, and Vietnamese. The documents which will be translated are documents relating to social-emotional supports for ELLs in hybrid/remote learning, the ENL Parent Handbook,  individualized schedules during hybrid/remote learning, health and safety information, videos for technology support and training for parents, communication regarding school closure.


Each of the three models of instruction provide for instructional Units of Study to all ELL students according to NYS regulations and standards.  This is based on their most recent measured English language proficiency: entering, emerging, transitioning, expanding, and commanding.  The continuity of learning plan that documents student progress towards language proficiency and college and career readiness also provides documentation of state mandated minutes of ELL support by a certified ELL teacher.

Professional learning will be provided by the district which supports best practices for instruction and support of all ELL students during the 2020-2021 school year. This training will be provided to all teachers of ELLs whether general education or ELL certified which is in accordance with the Part 154 of the Commissioner’s regulations.


For each of the three models of instruction, the district plan for ELL learners was guided and aligned by the district Blueprint for English language learner/Multilingual learner Success inclusive of all indicators in the Blueprint. Translations will be in the preferred home language.  Progress monitoring tools will utilize the resources shared by R-BERN as well as district-created tools. 


Staffing and Human Resources


The district will fully implement Education Law 3012-d under its currently approved APPR plan for the 2020-2021 school year for teachers and principals.


The district will ensure all teachers and administrators hold a valid and appropriate certificate for their assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching).


The district will welcome student teachers into their classrooms and will work with the colleges and universities regarding supervision and health and safety protocols that are in place.

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