Guilderland Central School District September 2021 Opening of Schools Plan

Health & Safety Protocols & Procedures

This a DRAFT document and is subject to change as the Guilderland Central School District receives new and more current information.

This document was updated on June 2, 2022 with revised NYSDOH Isolation and Quarantine Guidance.

This document was updated on March 2, 2022.

This document was updated on Jan. 19, 2022.


Use the links below to view the various sections of Guilderland Central School District’s 2021-22 Opening of Schools Plan. If you have any trouble accessing parts of this plan or have questions, please contact communications@guilderlandschools.net and assistance will be provided.

Introduction | Health checks | Distancing| Protocols for the removal of mandated masking| Infection control strategies | Management of ill persons, notification of positive cases and monitoring | Testing Continuing instruction for students with COVID-related absences | Cleaning and disinfecting | Visitors on campus | School Meals | Transportation | School Activities (e.g., athletics, extracurriculars) | Return to school after overseas travel 


Introduction

The purpose of the plan outlined here is to ensure the collective health and safety of Guilderland Central School District students and staff in the 2021-22 school year. The health and safety of our students, staff and their families is our top priority and we remain committed to doing our part to minimize the potential health and safety impact of COVID-19. 

This plan incorporates the latest guidance, recommendations and requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED), as well as the Albany County Health Department. It is a living resource and is subject to change based on new and evolving guidance and local conditions. 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 throughout the school year.

The Guilderland Central School District will offer in-person instruction to all students five days a week, per the regular school schedule, in the 2021-22 school year. However, we recognize that remote instruction may be preferable to some families for medical reasons. For information about remote learning options, please contact Dr. Marie Wiles, the Superintendent of Schools.

Neil Sanders, the Assistant Superintendent for Business, will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator for the 2021-22 school year. He 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 state and federal guidelines.

This document is subject to change based on local circumstances and any decisions made by state and local officials. When this occurs, changes to this plan will be communicated to GCSD families via SchoolMessenger email. Changes will also be posted on the district website. Every effort will be made to ensure the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with ADA accessibility guidelines. The plan can also be translated into other languages via the Translate feature available on the district website.

Periodically the district will seek community input on elements of the plan through surveys, televised Q and A forums, and other tools available to the district.

 


Health Checks & Screenings

The district has developed resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19. These resources reiterate the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F/37.8° C or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. For more information from the CDC on COVID-19 symptoms, see here.


Physical Distancing

Plans and protocols for physical distancing

GCSD 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. The district will implement physical distancing to the extent possible within our structures but we will not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, (e.g. when schools cannot fully re-open with these distances) other multiple prevention strategies, such as screening testing will be utilized.

  • Maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance (if possible) between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk.
  • Keep at least 6 feet (if possible) between students and teachers/staff.
  • Keep at least 6 feet (if possible) between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Installation of CDC recommended signage on physical distancing, hardwashing and general COVID-19 information.
  • Maximum capacity signage for smaller spaces, break rooms and restroom facilities.

      Protocols for the Removal of Mandated Masking in the School Setting

      The state requirement for universal masking in P-12 school settings ended on March 2, 2022. Decisions on masking that are more protective than state requirements may be made by local local health departments, guided by local conditions. Attention should be given to equity in the adoption of more protective measures, particularly testing.

      Schools in NYS have been operating safely during the COVID-19 pandemic through adoption of recommended public health measures, including but not limited to masking. Additional mitigation measures should remain in use, including improved ventilation, widespread vaccination, testing and use of home test kits, maintaining physical distance as feasible, hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette, encouraging students and staff to stay at home when ill or symptomatic, and voluntary mask wearing for those who prefer the extra protection.

      This updated guidance aligns with the new CDC Community Burden Framework which guides state and local jurisdictions on COVID-19 mitigation measures based on level of community burden.

      Counties are designated “Low” COVID-19 burden when there are fewer than 200 new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous 7 days, there are fewer than 10 new admissions per 100,000 persons total over the previous 7 days, and less than 10% of all occupied inpatient hospital beds are occupied by someone with COVID-19. Counties are designated “Medium” COVID-19 burden when there are 200 or more new cases per 100,000 residents over the previous 7 days, there are 10-19  new admissions per 100,000 persons total over the previous 7 days, and 10%-14.9% of all occupied inpatient hospital beds are occupied by someone with COVID-19. CDC guidance recommends masking for all individuals, including in schools, when a jurisdiction is at “High” community burden. Local health departments are strongly encouraged to implement universal masking when the county COVID-19 community burden is high.

      Masking

      Students, staff and teachers must wear masks on return to school during Days 6 – 10 of their isolation period.

      NYSDOH recommends students, staff and teachers wear masks when:

      • They feel more comfortable wearing a mask for personal reasons.
      • They were in the same room within the school as someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 15 minutes or longer and were thus exposed or potentially exposed, when group contact tracing is used (see below).
      • They are known to have been exposed to COVID-19 in any setting within the previous 10 days.
      • They are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their healthcare provider(s).

      Masks should be well-fitted and appropriately worn (to cover nose and mouth) and should conform to CDC guidelines for masks and respirators.

      Masking is no longer required on school buses or vans. Individuals who are required to wear masks in school should wear masks on school transport.

      Anyone returning from a new COVID-19 infection should appropriately wear a well-fitting mask on days 6-10.

      Masked and unmasked people will be working and learning alongside each other in schools. It is essential that those who wear masks, whether by choice, expectation, or requirement, are not stigmatized, bullied, or made to feel uncomfortable, and likewise, those for whom masks have not been required or recommended are not stigmatized, bullied, or made to feel uncomfortable. Pursuant to the Dignity For All Students Act, students have the right to a school environment free from harassment and bullying. School officials have communicated mask policy changes to the local community to manage expectations.

      Whenever persons are expected or required to wear masks, masks may be removed when eating, drinking, singing, going outside, or playing a wind instrument. When masks are removed for these purposes, physical distancing of 6 or more feet should be maintained to the extent possible.

      NYS aligns with the CDC definition of close contact in schools. In the school setting when universal masking is in place, a close contact is generally defined as less than 3 feet from an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. The exception allowing 3-feet of distance to determine exposure in schools does not apply to unmasked individuals, nor does it apply to teachers, staff, or other adults regardless of masking. This means that in settings where masks are not worn, anyone within a 6-foot radius of an infected person should be considered exposed. 


      Infection Control Strategies

      The district’s infection control strategies include:

      • Installation of polycarbonate separators as appropriate.
      • Strategic placement of automatic hand sanitizer dispensers and manual pump operated dispensers in all school buildings.
      • Enforcement of physical distancing guidelines. 
      • All ventilation systems will exceed requirements.  Outside air dampers will be controlled through our building management systems and seasonally adjusted.  Outdoor air will be increased to the extent possible.

      Health Hygiene

      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 schools (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, auditorium, 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 as described previously.
      • Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE
      • Adhere to physical distancing instructions.
      • Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19
      • Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting guidelines.
      • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

      Hand Hygiene

      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 instead of a hand dryer, if they are available.
      • If soap and water are not readily 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.

      Respiratory Etiquette

      The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes.  Therefore, the district will emphasize the importance of respiratory hygiene.

      Students and staff must carry out the following respiratory hygiene practices:

      • Cover a cough or sneeze using a tissue.  If a tissue is used, it should be thrown away immediately.
      • If you don’t have a tissue when sneezing or coughing, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
      • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
      • Face coverings are protective.  Wearing a face covering will keep respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

      Ventilation and Air Quality

      General Information

      • Ventilation will be increased on a seasonal basis to the maximum our systems can sustain to maintain a comfortable environment. Bringing additional fresh outdoor air into buildings will help to keep virus particles from concentrating inside.
      • Open windows and doors, using child-safe fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows.
      • Additional box fans should be used to exhaust air from the room and so as not to blow on any one individual.

      Transportation

      • Windows will be kept open a few inches to improve air circulation in buses and other forms of transportation, if doing so does not pose a safety risk.
      • Roof hatches will be open, when possible.

      Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing and Monitoring

      Revised NYSDOH Isolation and Quarantine Guidance, Effective May 31, 2022

      GCSD 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 appropriately physically distanced. 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.

      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 suspect 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).

      If Students or Staff Become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

      The district requires students or staff with a temperature or other signs of illness, 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 provided with a COVID-19 test kit and/or referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

      Staying Home When Sick (Staff and Students)

      General information:

      • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.The guidelines for dismissal/absence from school are detailed here.
      • The district will ensure that families understand attendance policies and procedures regarding absences for illness 
      • The district will ensure that workers are aware of and understand sick leave policies. 

      If a student tests positive for COVID-19 at any time, including following an exposure, the following guidelines apply:

      If a student tests positive for COVID-19:

      • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. Students may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. For example:
        • Day 0: Symptom onset or tested positive
        • Day 1: Stay home
        • Day 2: Stay home
        • Day 3: Stay home
        • Day 4: Stay home
        • Day 5: Stay home
        • Day 6: Return to school if asymptomatic, or if symptoms are resolving
      • If a student tests positive for COVID-19 and took an Over-the-Counter (i.e., at-home, take-home) antigen test, parents/guardians should report the results to the Albany County Department of Health using this form.
      • In order for students who have tested positive and have had symptoms to return to school after five days, they must:
        • Be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.
        • Have not lost their sense of taste or smell.
        • Have no runny nose.
        • Have no more than an infrequent, nonproductive cough that is not getting worse. Students with a cough must be able to tolerate continuous mask use as breaks are not allowed.
        • Have not experienced excessive or unusual fatigue.
        • Have no persistent headache or muscle aches.
        • Have no nausea, diarrhea or vomiting for at least 24 hours.
      • State guidance states that all individuals should wear a well-fitting mask around others (e.g., at home, in public) for a full 10 days following the first day of symptoms (or the date of a positive test, if the student is asymptomatic).
      • Anyone who is moderately or severely immunocompromised should follow the standard 10-day isolation guidance issued previously.

      There may also be times when a student has COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

      Regardless of whether or not there is a known exposure to COVID-19, it is very important that students who are sick do not attend school.

      If a student has COVID-19 symptoms:

      • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student has COVID-19 symptoms they must have a lab negative NAAT, lab antigen test or PCR test, or two negative over-the-counter (i.e., at-home or take-home) antigen tests taken 36 hours apart, in order to return to school. The symptomatic student should stay home for the 36-hour time period between the two antigen tests.
      • When parents/guardians are presenting the district with negative tests results, they must also present this attestation signed by a parent or guardian. Attestation forms will automatically be submitted to your student’s school nurse.
      • In addition to a negative test result(s), students must be well enough to:
        • Participate in school;
        • Not have rhinorrhea (runny nose) or cough severe enough to make mask wearing difficult or unhygienic;
        • Be fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications; and
        • Meet other school or district requirements to return to school after a non-COVID-19 illness.
      • If a student tests positive for COVID-19, please follow the guidance above.

      Please also note:

      • There is no exemption to the testing requirement for symptomatic students.
      • If the student is dismissed by the school nurse with a COVID-19 symptom that may be attributed to a known chronic condition, a note from the child’s doctor is required. The doctor’s note must include an alternate diagnosis of the known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms and also indicate that a COVID-19 test is not required in order for the student to return to school.
      • If a healthcare provider makes a diagnosis of a confirmed non-COVID-19 acute illness (e.g., laboratory-confirmed influenza or strep throat) AND COVID-19 is not suspected, then a note signed by the healthcare provider explaining the alternate diagnosis may be provided to allow a student, teacher, or staff member to participate in school without COVID-19 testing.

      Additional quarantine and isolation information can be found on our local county department of health website, as well as the New York State Department of Health and CDC websites 

      Notification of Positive Cases

        Effective Jan. 19, 2022, NYSDOH will no longer conduct contact tracing. This means that individuals potentially exposed to COVID-19 will no longer be contacted by their local department of health. At the elementary level, schools will notify staff/parents when there is a positive case identified in a classroom. GCSD will continue to report positive COVID-19 cases to our community on Tuesdays and Fridays and to the New York State COVID-19 Report Card on a daily basis.

        Please note GCSD will only conduct contact tracing in a limited and targeted capacity, such as, but not limited to, exposures during lunch, certain high-risk sports or where there are reduced mitigation strategies. Particular attention will be paid to staff and students at high risk for severe disease, as well as those times and locations where there may be fewer layers of mitigation in place (e.g., classes with students who are unable to wear a mask due to a documented medical issue and/or disabilities). These situations may result in a student or staff member being excluded from school and asked to stay home and quarantine for five to 10 days.

        When it is necessary to conduct contact tracing, GCSD will follow these guidelines:

        1. Notifying teachers, staff, and families of students who were close contacts as soon as possible (within the same day if possible), to the extent allowable by applicable privacy laws, after the school is notified that someone in the school has tested positive.
        2. Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members.
        3. Ensuring student schedules are up to date.
        4. Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited.

        Confidentiality will 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.

        NYSDOH recommends exposed or potentially exposed individuals follow NYSDOH Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for testing and masking.


        Testing in a school setting with reduced mask usage

        In the absence of a statewide masking requirement, COVID-19 testing remains a recommended public health strategy for surveillance and to identify infected individuals quickly so that they can isolate and avoid spreading COVID-19 further. New York State has provided schools with over 20 million tests to support this strategy. Whenever someone in school – student, staff or teacher – is determined to have been exposed or potentially exposed, the individual should be tested for COVID-19 as follows:

        • Consider testing immediately upon learning of the exposure or potential exposure,
        • At least 5 days after the last date of exposure or potential exposure, regardless of vaccination status,
        • If the individual is not fully vaccinated and attending or working at school after an exposure or potential exposure, frequent testing (e.g., daily, every other day, at least twice within 5 days) from the date of the exposure or potential exposure (Day 0) through at least day 5 should be strongly considered and encouraged,
        • Exclude from school if a test is positive and/or exclude from school and test as soon as possible if symptoms develop,
        • Exception: Individuals with lab-confirmed COVID-19 within the past 3 months do not need to get tested unless they develop symptoms.

        Symptomatic individuals, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, should stay home until tested and if positive or not tested, should isolate for 5 days, or until other criteria are met for school attendance (e.g., resolution of fever), whichever is longer. The NYSDOH flow chart addresses school attendance and requirements for children who have symptoms consistent with vaccine side effects shortly after receipt of the COVID-19 vaccine.

        Exposed school staff and students and/or their parents/guardians are primarily responsible for ensuring that recommended testing occurs. GCSD may supply testing kits to affected families for testing at home and/or provide access to existing testing programs at the school.

        GCSD will remain current on it’s reporting of all COVID-19 test results that the district conducts or becomes aware of, including results of home testing, to the New York State COVID-19 Report Card, in addition to their other reporting obligations under Public Health Law.

        Exposed individuals, regardless of vaccination status, may remain in school by appropriately wearing a well-fitting mask and undergoing recommended testing and may participate in school-based extracurricular activities. These individuals also may continue to ride the school bus and attend school-administered childcare programs and programs licensed or permitted by OCFS to care for school age children (whether on-site at the school or off-site at a different location and whether they include students from a single or multiple schools).

        OCFS-licensed or permitted programs may have additional recommendations or requirements on masking or testing. Those childcare programs should contact their regional office or regulator if they have questions. A list of OCFS Regional Offices can be found here.

            School Closures

            A closure refers to a last resort contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in-person education and/or closing the school. GCSD will collaborate with the Albany County Department of Health to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

            The decision for school closure will be in consultation with state and county health departments. The superintendent of schools, with the assistance of key personnel will determine which operations will be decreased, ceased or conducted remotely.  Information about school closure will be communicated to students, families and staff members via the district’s website, School Messenger, email and appropriate social media channels.

            Pivoting to Fully Remote

            Given the possibility that our community may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term onsite school closures, school buildings are prepared to pivot to an all remote model of instruction using a schedule that aligns with the in-person environment.

            Under these circumstances, all instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. To ensure high-quality learning experiences, teachers will use one of two online learning platforms (SeeSaw and Google Classroom) along with a common, coordinated set of guidelines.


            Continuing Instruction for Students with COVID-related Absences

            According to New York State Department of Education guidance, students must have meaningful contact with teachers during their regularly scheduled school day. Meaningful contact is defined as live (not asynchronous) interactions with teachers and/or classmates throughout the school day, during which students can ask questions or get feedback about their work. Other feedback mechanisms, such as email and Google Suite (Forms, Docs, Sheets, etc.) are helpful, but need to be supplemented to be considered meaningful contact. Students afforded meaningful contact during the day would be marked “Remote Present” for the school day.

            Elementary Continuity of Instruction 

            • Classroom teachers will send out assignments, either virtually via Google Classroom or Seesaw, or as a hard copy, depending on needs and abilities of students and/or families.
            • Building principals will establish a group of teachers who will provide up to two hours of tutoring after regular school hours.
            Responsibilities
            • Classroom Teacher
              • Will provide classwork to students through Google Classroom, Seesaw or via a work packet, depending on needs and abilities of students and/or families.
            • Teacher/Tutor 
              • Will establish a Google Meet time and link, and share with families/students
              • Will provide up to two hours of academic instruction and support for the student.
            • Part-Time Teacher (if utilized) 
              • Will establish a Google Meet time and link, and share with families.
              • Will provide up to two hours of academic instruction and support for the student during the regular school day.
            • Students
              • Will take advantage of/attend the required sessions to have meaningful contact interactions with their teacher.
              • Will meet the teacher’s expectations for level of engagement or amount of work completed.

              Secondary Continuity of Instruction

              Opportunities for providing meaningful contact include:

              • Providing quarantined students with a Google Meet link so their Chromebook will give them a “window” into the classroom so that they can see and hear what is happening in the classroom.
              • Pairing quarantined students with another student to become  “Quarantine Buddies
                • Creating a partnership will allow the in-classroom student to help the quarantined student with basic questions and logistical concerns, such as moving the Chromebook around the room, etc.
              • Teachers meeting for 10-15 minutes with quarantined students on a Google Meet while students in the physical classroom are engaged in another task. These meetings should take place during the students’ regularly scheduled class time. Meetings held after school, while helpful, alone will not count as meaningful contact for attendance purposes.  Examples of ways to utilize class time with students include (but are not limited to):
                • Meeting with quarantined students at the beginning of class to review expectations and assignments while classroom students are completing a “do now” activity.
                • Meeting with quarantined students in the middle of class as a “check-in” to see if there are questions about the day’s assignments while classroom students are working in small groups.
                • Meeting with quarantined students at the end of class to review the day’s instruction.
              Responsibilities
              • Teacher
                • Provide all quarantined students with access to classroom materials via Google Classroom.
                  Review expectations for quarantined students 
                  Provide the opportunity for meaningful contact interactions to quarantined students during their regularly scheduled class time (see examples of such above).
                  Take attendance for quarantined students during each block.
              • Student
                • In order for students to be marked present they must:
                  • Take advantage of/attend the required sessions to have meaningful contact interactions as provided by the teacher.
                  • Meet the teacher’s expectations for level of engagement or amount of work completed.

              Cleaning and Disinfecting

              GCSD 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. Disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of disinfection.

              Examples of facility types where regular, daily cleaning to include frequently touched surfaces include:

              • Bathrooms
              • 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.)
              • Breakrooms
              • Cafeterias/Kitchens
              • Computer labs
              • Science labs
              • Classrooms
              • Maintenance offices and work areas
              • Bus Garage
              • Buses, school vehicles
              • Libraries
              • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)

              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.

              All classrooms in the district will be provided hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and gloves.

              Regular, daily cleaning of the facilities will occur, including frequently touched surfaces. Alcohol wipes will also be provided for cleaning sensitive equipment, for example in science classrooms. Cleaning will occur at least daily. The district will ensure regular cleaning of restrooms. 

              When there is a confirmed positive in any school building or on a school bus, GCSD will complete targeted disinfection of the affected areas. 


              Visitors on Campus

              During periods of high community transmission, 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 restricted in their access to our school buildings.


              School Meals

              For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students. Students do not need to wear face coverings (if required) when seated and eating.

              • GCSD will strive to maintain 3’ physical distance between individuals while eating whenever possible in school cafeterias. As practicable, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms). 
              • Students will be assigned tables by class; proper cleaning will be done between groups of students.
              • Students who are required to wear face masks do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating, but should wear masks when moving through the food service line
              • The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household.
              • Students will be encourage to practice hand hygiene before/after eating,

              In addition:

              • Regular daily cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. Surfaces that come in contact with food will be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals.
              • Hand washing is encouraged before, after, and during shifts, before and after eating, after using the toilet, and after handling garbage, dirty dishes, or removing gloves.
              • Given very low risk of transmission from surfaces and shared objects, there is no need to limit food service approaches to single use items and packaged meals.

              Transportation

              Pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district whose schools are meeting in in-person sessions.  GCSD will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. 

              • 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 will be cleaned once a day. High contact areas will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) runs.
              • When there is a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, a complete targeted disinfection of the affected area will be conducted.
              • At this time, the school district will not be providing bus passes for students to ride on alternative bus routes. 
              • Windows will be kept open a few inches to improve air circulation in buses and other forms of transportation, if doing so does not pose a safety risk.
              • Roof hatches will be open, when possible.
              • Face masks are no longer required on school buses, unless student/staff is returning to school/work during days 6-10 after being infected with COVID-19.

              School Bus Staff

              • 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. Any staff member with a fever of 100°F/37.8°C or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection are not to come to school.
              • 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 staff will be provided Personal Protective Equipment, including masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses, as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in areas such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.
              • Drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.

              School Activities

              The CDC, NYSED, and the Guilderland CSD recognize that school-sponsored sports and extracurricular activities provide students with enrichment opportunities that can help them learn and achieve and support their social, emotional, and mental health. 

              Music Ensembles: Students and adults will follow the same school-day policies and procedures for extracurricular music ensembles

              • Students will refrain from these activities when they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and should be tested
              • Use of bell covers for wind instruments when playing indoors
              • Physical distancing of at least 3’
              • Continue good hygiene practices, including proper hand hygiene and the appropriate elimination of brass fluid
              • Capacity at performing venues will be limited to 50%.

              Athletics 

              • Recommended regular screening for participants who are not fully vaccinated when the county risk level is designated as “high”.
              • Capacity at indoor competitions will be limited to 50%.

              Recess and Physical Education (Outdoors)

              • Fully vaccinated people may choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is  immunocompromised.

              Return to School After Overseas Travel

              At this time GCSD is following CDC guidelines for travelers returning to the US: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html.

              Students who are fully vaccinated who travel overseas will need to present the district with a negative COVID-19 test result within 3-5 days after travel.

              Students who are not fully vaccinated will need to be tested within 3-5 days after travel and quarantine for a full 7 days, even if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result. If the test result is positive, then should follow the current quarantine protocols of the state.

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