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KCSD Reopening Plan for 2021-22 School Year
The Kingston City School District is committed to the health and safety of the students and families of our community. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and the Ulster County Department of Health (UCDOH). This addendum, contains the mitigating factors to increase in-person instruction.
- Health and Safety of students and staff and their families
- All students will have access high quality education
- Social-Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health needs of our students caused by school closure
- Open communication with stakeholders such as families, faculty, and staff
- Acknowledging and supporting diversity in our schools
- Communication/Family and Community Engagement
- Health & Safety
- Health checks
- Social distancing, face coverings & PPE
- Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring
- Health hygiene
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Vulnerable populations/accommodations
- Visitors on campus
- School safety drills
- Child Nutrition
- Meals onsite
- Meals offsite/remote
- Social Emotional Well-Being
- School Schedules
- School Activities
- Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
- Technology and Connectivity
- Teaching and Learning
- In-person Instruction
- Remote/Hybrid Instruction
- Special Education
- Bilingual Education and World Languages
- Teacher and Principal Evaluation System
- Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching
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 a for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model. If in-person instruction is offered, but a parent does not want their child to attend, the parent must notify the child’s school principal and complete a form indicating their preference.
The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Kingston City School District for the 2021-22 school year. This plan includes procedures for the following schools:
Kingston High School
Kingston, NY 12401
Principal: Vincent DeCicco
118 Merilina Ave
Kingston, NY 12401
Principal: Debra Fitzgerald
65 Fording Place Road
Lake Katrine, NY 12449
Principal: Andrew Sheber
Chambers Elementary School
945 Morton Boulevard
Kingston, New York 12401
Principal: Kate Petrie
Edward R. Crosby Elementary School
767 Neighborhood Road
Lake Katrine, NY 12449
Principal: Kathleen Sickles
Harry L. Edson Elementary School
116 Merilina Avenue
Kingston, NY 12401
Principal: Brian Martin
Robert R. Graves Elementary School
345 Mountain View Avenue
Port Ewen, NY 12466
Principal: Errin Parese
George Washington Elementary School
67 Wall Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Principal: Wanda LoBianco
John F. Kennedy Elementary School
107 Gross Street
Kingston, NY 12401
Principal: Melissa Jamieson
Ernest C. Myer Elementary School
231 Millbrook Avenue
Hurley, NY 12443
Principal: Erin Nelson
21 Wynkoop Place
Kingston, NY 12401
Assistant Director: Jana Conti
The health and safety of our students, our staff and their 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 New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
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.
Dr. Paul Padalino will serve as the COVID-19 Safety Administrator and Naomi Stevens, Registered Nurse, will serve as the COVID-19 Resource Coordinator. Naomi Stevens will work closely with our local health department and will serve as a central contact 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 county, state, and federal guidelines. Naomi Stevens’ contact information is:
Kingston High School
Kingston, NY 12401
Communication/Family and Community Engagement
The district 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 via the district website at https://www.kingstoncityschools.org/reopening, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website homepage and a direct link to the plan will be found on each individual school’s homepage. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into other languages, via the G-Translate feature available on the district website.
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 communications with our school community. The district will rely on KCSD and individual school websites, KCSD App, Text/Email blasts and Robocalls via Blackboard, Facebook, mailings and Microsoft Teams to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hygiene. The information that we will share will be based on state and local guidance, KCSD administration, Medical Director and the District’s COVID Resource and Safety Officers.
In the event of a return to remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to students who need them. The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, including KCSD Email, phone calls to schools, and Microsoft Teams.
The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. Parent engagement will be in the parent’s preferred mode of communication regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of IDEA, with the support of bilingual family workers and a translation service.
In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication. The District will continue to enhance efforts to communicate with English language learners' parent/guardians in their preferred language and mode of communication. The KCSD Website has a translate option, Text/Email blasts are released in the home language preferred and the KCSD App changes language automatically by user through “language preferences”.
The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught, and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. These trainings will cover:
- Proper hygiene
- Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove)
- Social distancing
- Identifying symptoms
The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:
- Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
- Hand washing
- Adherence to social distancing instructions
- Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19
In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE. Furthermore, the District has worked with Ulster BOCES in the creation of a training document for staff and students.
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 & Safety section of our reopening plan.
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. The district will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.
The district is preparing for situations in which one or more school buildings 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 Superintendent of Schools will consult with the Medical Director, Dr. Walter Woodley, and the Ulster County Department of Health and any other appropriate agency resources in determining when a school closure is warranted.
The district may choose to modify operations in one or more schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will consult its Medical Director, Dr. Walter Woodley, and the Ulster County Department of Health when making such decisions.
School administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.
Health & Safety
The health and safety of our students, our staff and their 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 New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all district schools for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact Naomi Stevens our COVID-19 Resource Coordinator at:
Kingston High School
Kingston, NY 12401
For more information about how health and safety protocols and trainings will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
The District has developed resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources.
The District will implement the following screening tool for the response of all employees and visitors prior to entry into a District building:
All Employees/Students/Visitors must sign-in
- In the past 10 days, have you (or your child) tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, also known as SARS-CoV-2?
- Do you/your child (student) currently have (or have had in the last 10 days) one or more of these new or worsening symptoms?
- A temperature greater than or equal to 100.0° F (37.8° C)
- Feel feverish or have chills
- Loss of taste or smell
- Fatigue/feeling of tiredness
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Nasal congestion/runny nose
- In the past 10 days, have you been told you are a contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 by a local health department?
- In the past 10 days have you had a temperature greater than or equal to 100.0° F (37.8° C)
If the answers to any of the questions are yes, employees/students/visitors must be directed to return home and contact a health care provider.
If temperature is 100.0° or above, employee is to be sent home and asked to contact their health care provider.
All students prior to entering a school will have a daily temperature check and complete the health screening questionnaire (mentioned above). There will be multiple avenues of the screening process. The screening process will be confidential. The screening data will be collected and maintained for the required retention period.
Any student with COVID-19 symptoms will be supervised and isolated from others and immediately dismissed from school with a temperature of 100° F or greater or a positive response to a screening question. Staff and students are required to notify the school when they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside school hours by notifying the school nurse/health office. An office assistant will be assigned to review the incoming reports of screenings of staff and parent/guardians and attesting that they are completed.
Temperature screening protocols:
There will be:
- Staff assigned to supervise students who are waiting their turn
- Masks are required to be worn in school buildings and on school grounds.
- Student social distancing requirements
- Training for staff members who perform temperature screenings
- Methods for ensuring sufficient supplies are available for taking temperatures
- Use of PPE or barriers for staff members conducting the screening
Social distancing, face coverings & PPE
The district has developed a plan with policies and procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when on school facilities, grounds, and transportation. Examples include directional arrows in hallways, maximum capacity signage for smaller spaces based on 6 ft. requirement.
Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings indoors, including on the school bus. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one.
Face coverings will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, 2-ply cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Note: Masks with vents are prohibited by the CDC and are not allowed in school. Neck gaitors are prohibited as they are single layer and do not provide adequate protection.
Employees and students are allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering if they choose (with the above exceptions of vented masks and neck gaitors). Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.
Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school, so there may be periods of time when masks are not worn.
Face coverings should not be placed on:
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction
- Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance
The district will instruct students, parents/guardians and staff, contractors and vendors on:
- The proper way to wear face coverings
- Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering
- Proper way to discard disposable face coverings
- Face masks are required at all times on the school bus and for all indoor activities, except for meals.
- Students who are unable to medically tolerate a mask, including students where such mask would impair their physical health or mental health are not subject to the required use of a mask.
- KCSD will offer assistance to students who may have difficulty in adapting to wearing a mask.
- Responsible Parties must train all students, faculty, and staff on how to adequately put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE, including but not limited to, appropriate masks.
- 3-foot distancing between all individuals must be maintained indoors, while masked.
- 6-foot distancing must be maintained by all individuals outdoors, unmasked.
- Indoor areas/classes where 3- foot distancing is not possible, a combination of increased ventilation and air filtration (fans, open windows, and filters in areas without HVAC) will be used as mitigating measures.
- Cohorting of students in Pre-K through 6th grade will be implemented
- Individuals participating in activities that require projecting the voice (e.g., singing) or playing a wind instrument must be six feet apart and there must be six feet of distance between the performers and the audience during performances and concerts.
- Students in Physical Education classes will remain 6-feet apart.
Facility Alterations and Acquisition
There may be changes to space utilization and/or alterations. Plan elements include:
- Alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms or spaces or the introduction of temporary and/or movable partitions
- Means of egress, fire alarm system, ventilation, and lighting
- The installation of movable partitions (gym, cafeteria, library classroom dividers) as directed
- Use of cafeterias, libraries, auditoriums and gymnasiums with appropriate lighting, ventilation, means of egress, and fire alarms
Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures
Drinking Water Facilities: The District may reduce the number of drinking fountains available, in order to facilitate frequent cleaning. However, drinking fountains are a code required plumbing fixture. One fountain is required for each one hundred occupants. All school’s water systems shall be flushed prior to school reopening. The District will assess all school facilities and consider installing, where necessary, physical barriers between toilets and sinks if six feet of separation is not feasible. When possible, the District will use touch-free paper towel dispensers in lieu of air dryers.
The District will maintain adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed. The Director of Buildings & Grounds will assess to determine increasing ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible (e.g., opening windows and doors) while maintaining health and safety protocols, particularly for younger students.
Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring
The District requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. The District has designated areas to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies.
Location for Treatment/Services non-COVID Isolation
Kingston High School Health/Nurse's Office S112
J. Watson Bailey Middle School Health/Nurse’s Office 107
M. Clifford Miller Middle School Health/Nurse’s Office Medical Suite C
Chambers Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office Faculty Room
Edward R. Crosby Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office Coach's Office
Harry L. Edson Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office B-1
Robert R. Graves Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office Music Room
George Washington Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office 105
John F. Kennedy Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office 106
Ernest C. Myer Elementary School Health/Nurse’s Office TBD
Meagher PreK Health/Nurse's Office 2
PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield) should be added. When caring for a suspected or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If an N-95 respirator is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used.
School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.
Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula).
Aerosol Generating Procedures
Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. The District requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: gloves, N-95 or a surgical mask with face shield, eye protection and a gown. PPE will be used when suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions.
Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished.
Cleaning of the room will occur between each use and cleaning of the equipment should be done following manufacturer’s instructions after each use.
If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School
The District requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing. (Staff can be sent directly home or may request an assessment by the nurse)
Return to School after Illness
The District has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:
- Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
- Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
- Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation
The District will refer to NYS DOH Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit and local health department guidelines regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.
The District requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and their return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.
The District will notify the Ulster County Health Department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district.
The District will assist with contact tracing by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date
- Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited
- Assisting the Ulster County Health Department in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program.
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.
For more information about how COVID-19 containment efforts will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
The District will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, custodial staff areas) and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:
- Stay home if they feel sick.
- Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with any stricter policy implemented by the school.
- Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.
- Adhere to social distancing instructions.
- Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.
- Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
- Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
Students and staff must carry out the following hand hygiene practices.
- Wash hands routinely with soap (any kind) and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Dry hands completely after washing. Use paper towels to dry hands if available instead of a hand dryer if they are available.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed on the hands until it is completely absorbed. DO NOT dry hands if sanitizer is used.
Hand washing should occur:
- Before and after eating (e.g. snacks and lunch).
- After going to the restroom or after assisting a student with toileting.
- After using a tissue.
- Before and after using shared materials.
- Before and after putting on or taking off face masks.
- After coming in from the outdoors.
- Anytime hands are visibly soiled.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The District will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, as applicable. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.
Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include
- Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
- Health offices, isolation rooms
- Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
- Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
- Computer labs
- Science labs
- Maintenance offices and work areas
- Bus Garage
- Buses, school vehicles
- Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
- Playgrounds (cleaning only)
- Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)
Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.
The District will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:
- For handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
- For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
- Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.
Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.
The District will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.
For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. Staff members requesting accommodations can communicate with the Personnel Office. Students and parents should communicate with their school principal.
Visitors on campus
No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well-being of students. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.
Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.
School Safety Drills
The District will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code, without exceptions. Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.
Required school safety drills with modifications will be conducted to ensure social distancing between persons. Considerations for plans include:
- Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. Methods to promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills are ultimately the district’s decision and responsibility. Those changes shall be included in the Fire Safety plans.
- Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. When planning drills, consideration shall be given to how a school may modify their drill procedures to minimize risk of spreading infection. Conducting drills is an important part of keeping students and staff safe in an emergency; however, steps will be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. As such, it may be necessary for schools to conduct drills in the school year using protocols that are different than they are used to.
- Regardless of the modification used when conducting a drill, students will be instructed that (1) in the case of an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; and (2) maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.
The District’s modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:
- Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site. Staggering by classroom, minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site. If conducting drills using a modified procedure, the drill be conducted with all students in the school building on that school day, and it may be necessary to do so during a class period that is extended for this purpose.
- [If schools reopen with a “hybrid” in-person model, such as one where students attend school alternate school weeks to reduce the occupancy of the school building, schools must be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures, and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.]
Modifications to Lockdown Drills may include, but are not limited to:
- Conduct lockdown drills in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing/using masks.
- Conducting lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing, however schools must be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.
- Conduct lockdown drills in classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the district, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.
The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.
- KCSD will make best use of the space in the classroom by removing unnecessary furniture and objects to help maximize the distance between students and for better air flow. All desks should face the same direction and/or students should be seated on the same side of tables.
- Where feasible, KCSD will put in place measures to reduce bi-directional foot traffic using tape or signs with arrows in hallways, or spaces throughout the school, and post signage and distance markers denoting spaces of six feet in all commonly used areas and any areas in which lines are commonly formed or people may congregate (e.g., outdoor spaces, libraries, cafeterias, health screening stations).
- KCSD will determine which facilities, grounds, or portions thereof (e.g., libraries, recreational facilities) will be closed to the public (i.e., not students, faculty, or staff) or offer limited, specific hours to members of the public. Any use of a school facility or grounds by the general public will be subject to the same guidelines required during all other school operations.
Upon reopening, the District plans to:
- Increase ventilation while increasing air filtration, to the greatest extent possible
- Flush water systems in buildings that have been unoccupied
- Consider alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms or spaces or the introduction of temporary and/or movable partitions
- Maintain the minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building
- Limit the number of required drinking fountains available, in order to facilitate frequent cleaning
- Maintain adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed
A cleaning document will be developed following the latest CDC and/or DOH cleaning guidelines, and distributed custodian in each building as well as the Director of Facilities. The document will be updated if new guidance is issued and then reviewed with the head custodians in each building
Operational items for re-opening including signs and cones for maintaining social distancing (remain 6-feet apart). Cones will be used to mark spacing.
The District has adequate access to drinking water in all the buildings and has an appropriate number of drinking fountains. Each building has a refillable water bottle fountain and the District plans to replace older fountains with refillable water bottle fountains.
Ventilation – the District will have written plans on how to maintain adequate, code required ventilation (natural and mechanical) as designed. When ambient air temperatures allow, the District will increase the amount of outside air being delivered to occupied spaces. This will be accomplished by opening outside air dampers. As part of the District’s PM plan, motors, belts, bearings and outside air dampers will continue to be monitored on a regular basis. The District will utilize its Energy Management System (EMS) to supplement physical inspections.
Windows and doors will remain open to the greatest extent possible while maintaining health and safety protocols
Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up – no parent shall be admitted to the building unless business must be conducted in-person inside. If so, masks will be required and there will be a health screening performed.
Visitor Protocols – no visitors shall be admitted to the building unless business must be conducted in-person. If admitted, greeters will follow the health screening protocol including ensuring a mask is being used by the visitor before they enter the building. Parents or guardians who are picking up a student will remain outside, and the student will be brought to the parent/guardian and the greeter will bring any necessary documentation to the parent/guardian to complete. Parents or guardians who are dropping a student off will utilize the intercom system and the greeter will provide any necessary documentation to the parent/guardian to complete.
School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely.
For information about how meal information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
- 6-foot distance will be maintained, where required and where possible
- Increased ventilation will be present in dining areas
- Outdoor dining will be available, weather permitting
- Staggered scheduling for eating in Middle and High School
For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students, including in the serving line and while eating. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced. Hand hygiene will be required before and after meals.
The district will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria. Meals may also be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) and/or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing, and appropriate cleaning and disinfection will occur between shifts.
The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks, share table) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household. Signage will remind students of this rule. Adequate space will be reserved for students, faculty, and staff to observe social distancing while eating meals.
All applicable health and safety guidelines, measures to protect students with food allergies, hand hygiene before/after eating and social distancing and/or physical barriers will be in place.
All student meal service will meet compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.
Food Service employees will be provided with masks and gloves. Employees will wear washable aprons when handling or delivering food. Staff members will have adequate supplies of soap, hand sanitizer, and tissues in food service areas
The District will ensure that all employees complete a daily health assessment prior to reporting to work, and employees will have a temperature scan prior to reporting to their station.
Cleaning and disinfecting protocols for kitchen area will follow DOH guidelines. Additional cleaning may be performed in accordance with CDC guidelines. Serving lines will be cleaned between lunch services, and check-out areas will be regularly as necessary between lunch services.
The District will continue to distribute meals at multiple sites on a daily basis for students who are not in school, in addition to offering daily delivery.
- Masks must be worn at all times. Masks will be available on buses for students without them
- One student per seat, when possible
- Maintain current loading procedures
- All bus windows and hatches will be open
- Siblings and same household students will share seating
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 and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.
All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/ disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) runs depending upon the disinfection schedule. School personnel will also disinfect buses between daily bus runs.
School bus drives will be supplied with hand sanitizer by the bus company in accordance with NYS guidelines.
Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.
Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools that are in in-person session, or students whose Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) have placed them out-of-district in schools that are meeting in-person.
All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools within certain mileage parameters. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due with reasonable cause may file a Section 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.
School Bus Staff
School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required 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.
School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering, and may wish to also wear a face shield (optional).
Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
Transportation departments/carriers will provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.
Drivers, monitors and attendants who may have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.
Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocols (Contractor)
- Clean railings and seat tops between secondary and elementary runs in the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM)
- Buses will be wiped down after all the morning (AM) bus runs are completed
- Following the afternoon (PM) bus runs all buses will be thoroughly cleaned
- The bus contractor will utilize fogging machines purchased to be used to clean the buses
- A cleaning will be performed between runs by school staff
- The bus contractor will ensure that all school buses will NOT be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition
- All staff must wear a mask (to be provided by the bus contractor), and optionally a face shield
- Staff who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves (to be provided by the bus contractor)
- Students are who are physically able are required to wear a mask while on the bus
- Bus staff will have a supply of masks to give students if they attempt to enter the bus without a mask, but no student will be denied transportation if they do not have a mask
- 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 work with the bus contractor and confidentially share information regarding any students who are unable to wear a mask due to a disability
Parents will be encouraged to drive students to school if possible
Drop off procedures
- Buses will drop off one at time to allow for social distancing and the drivers will work with students when they embark and disembark the bus to follow social distancing protocols
- Students will be seated one per seat if possible. Students from the same household will be seated together.
- AM pick-up – first student on the bus in the morning sits in the last seat and then as students get picked up, they will fill in from the back to front so as to minimize close contact.
- PM drop-off – students will be assigned seats from back to front. The last row will be for the last drop-off.
- Seats will be assigned by the bus contractor based on runs
- Wheelchair buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet
- Bus seating charts will be maintained by the bus driver or monitor and be given to a school administrator daily for contact tracing purposes.
School Bus Staff Procedures (the following documentation shall be provided to the bus contractor)
The bus contractor will ensure the following:
- All school bus drivers, monitors, attendants, and mechanics shall perform a health self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to reporting to work
- All school bus drivers, monitors, attendants, and mechanics will be trained, and provided periodic refreshers, on social distancing, the proper use of PPE and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19
- As stated under PPE the bus contractor will supply their staff will all PPE products required. Additionally, hand sanitizer will be available for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages
- Staff who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves (this be provided by the bus contractor)
- Drivers, monitors, and attendants will be instructed that they must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on the bus
- Bus drivers, as done annually, will remind students of bus rules
- Bus drivers will provide students periodic reminders on proper use of PPE and social distancing on the bus
- Note: The District, as part of its reopening plan, will provide students with periodic reminders on proper use of PPE, social distancing and signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (training materials have been developed as well as signage in buildings)
When temperatures permit, school buses should transport passengers with roof hatches or windows slightly opened to provide air flow.
Hygiene protocols for bus drivers, monitors and attendants including:
- Transportation staff should be encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water before and after am and pm runs to maintain health and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from person to person. 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.
For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
Social Emotional Well-Being (SEWB)
The Kingston City School District cares deeply about the social emotional well-being of our students, families and faculty. In alignment with NYSED guidance, supporting student and staff social emotional needs across the school communities must be a top priority in order to create the mental, social, and emotional foundations for academic learning to occur.
- Directors of Special Education and Teaching & Learning will meet bi-weekly with school principals to review school counseling and support programs, developed under the direction of certified school social workers and school psychologists. Students will be assessed at the beginning of the school year to determine social emotional needs. School level teams will review needs and create individualized plans to meet students’ needs and will monitor progress with subsequent assessments.
- The Kingston City School District has an established Trauma Responsive Team. A priority of the District Comprehensive Improvement Plan is Social Emotional Learning with goals and specific action steps developed. These teams will merge and expand to serve as an advisory council and include families, students, Board of Education, and community members. It will be named the Social Emotional Well-Being Advisory Council.
The SEWB Advisory Council will meet monthly to implement the following core components:
1. Trauma Responsive Practice
2. MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Support)
3. Strengthen Tier 1 SEL Interventions
4. Mental Health services in our schools
The district will support each school to provide appropriate resources and support referrals to address mental health, behavioral and emotional support services.
- School teams will review the SEWB survey administered at the beginning of the school year and review students’ needs.
- School teams will create intervention plans for students that may include:
- Referral to school based mental health clinic
- Referral to Behavior Specialist Team
- Referral to Social Worker, Psychologist
There is a professional development plan for faculty and staff aimed at how to talk with students during and after the ongoing COVID-10 public health emergency, as well as provide supports for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty and staff.
- Superintendent Conference Days will include topics related to resiliency through this pandemic and supporting students, parents as well as faculty.
- Grant monies have been allocated to continue work in the area of trauma and resiliency that will assist us to continue to support students, parents and faculty.
All extracurricular activities are being considered and reviewed to determine activities to be allowed to meet in person or in an alternative format. There will be no field trips leaving school property or in-person assembly programs until further notice.
The District is currently following the NYS, local health department, and NYSPHSAA for interscholastic sports guidance.
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
- All K-12 schools will collect and report daily teacher/student attendance regardless of the instructional setting.
- Students and staff are encouraged to stay home when they are not feeling well.
- For students who have not engaged in remote learning and school staff outreach to parents/guardians has been unsuccessful, KCSD will deploy a number of strategies for reaching out including:
- phone calls to families with translation services when necessary.
- collaborating with the home school district to see if the student is participating there (for students who spend part of their school day in their home district).
- physical distancing check-ins with students whose families are not responding to phone calls or other methods of communication.
- Kingston City School District will work closely with Ulster County Department of Social Services in the case where Educational Neglect is suspected.
The District will use its student management system for all students receiving in-person instruction and Microsoft Teams for students using a hybrid/remote schedule to collect and report daily teacher-student engagement. The District will consider forming a specific districtwide task force of key personnel and supports to provide regular updates on tracking and intervention efforts.
Technology and Connectivity
The District is knowledgeable of residency/home access levels to devices and high-speed internet for staff and students and is working continuously to pursue opportunities and solutions to address needs and to provide support to staff and students without sufficient access. The district/school will provide alternative options for students to learn, especially for students without sufficient access.
Teaching and Learning
In an effort to assure high quality teaching and learning, a continuity of learning plan has been developed. This plan considers and plans for teaching and learning in-person, remotely and through hybrid models of instruction. The plan is aligned with New York State Learning Standards and assures equity and quality for all learners. The plan will include regular and substantive interaction with classroom teachers, regardless of the learning model.
The school calendar includes additional staff-only workdays before students return to school on September 8th. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote and hybrid instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional well-being, technology integration and compliance trainings inclusive of adhering to all COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines.
As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time forming strong and positive relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels. Our number one priority will be for all students to be engaged, connected, and feel that they belong regardless of the instructional setting.
Assessing student learning gaps, or areas of need, will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to gauge student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.
Acknowledging that the typical content in each grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.
Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework for students in Grades K through 6 designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. A traditional secondary grading framework will be utilized for Grades 7 through 12 based on NYS learning standards.
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 that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.
Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into classrooms.
All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.
To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, as to reduce their exposure to additional students.
For information on school schedules, visit the School Schedules section of our reopening plan.
The priority of all instructional models, in-person, remote or hybrid, will ensure instruction is regular with substantive interactions between students and teachers.
There will be clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students and aligned with state standards, including routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers.
Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.
Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.
As noted previously, student schedules (time of day and letter days) will remain the same whether instruction is in-person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.
Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers finding ways to provide live instruction and lessons to students. While recording of live lessons is still essential for students unable to attend at a scheduled time, teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis.
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.
Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. We will use a five-scale grading rubric based on levels of competency/mastery, which can then be aligned to numeric bands (for GPA purposes).
The District will ensure a free appropriate public education (FAPE), whether the services are provided in-person, remote, and/or through a hybrid model, consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education and services.
- KCSD Continuity of Learning Plan
- This is also included in the Special Education 2020-2022 Plan.
The District will document the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities as well as communication with parents. IEPs will be followed, in the appropriate manner to keep students and faculty healthy. Special Education Teachers and Related Service Providers document services and sessions provided. Progress will be monitored and shared with parents quarterly.
Parent engagement in the parent’s preferred mode of communication regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of IDEA with the support of bilingual family workers and a translation service.
The District reopening plan addresses collaboration between CPSE and CSE representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on IEP, plans for progress monitoring, and communicating progress and a commitment to sharing resources. IEPs will be followed, progress will be monitored, and resources will be made available to provide FAPE.
The District will ensure access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aides and services and, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability related needs of the students. In the event that the IEP need to be amended, a CPSE/CSE meeting will be convened or an amendment without a meeting will be utilized to make adjustments.
Bilingual Education and World Languages
The provision of the required instruction units of study will be provided to all English Language Learners (ELLs) based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person, remote or hybrid instruction.
Kingston City School District will maintain regular communication with parents/guardians to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process. This will be provided in their preferred language and mode of communication.
Teachers will utilize materials and instructional resources that are linguistically age/grade appropriate and aligned to the Next Generation Learning Standards.
Teachers will collaborate with school support personnel and community-based human resources such as the Family Resource Center Coordinators, to address the multiple needs of ELLs.
Teachers will review the Blueprint for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners to ensure that educational expectations are clear for ELL/MLL to provide a foundation for academic success.
Teacher and Principal Evaluation System
All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan.
Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching
All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.
Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the district’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:
· A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted
· A set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance
NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening Plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.