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    Rekindling our “Warrior Spirit”

    Lake George District COVID-19 Reopening Plan

    A Three Phase Approach: Orient ~ Preparing & Practice ~ Return 

    Message From the Superintendent: 

    At Lake George CSD, the health, safety and emotional well being of our students, our faculty, and our staff is paramount and has been at the forefront of our back to school planning. We want to recognize that we have learned numerous lessons from these experiences and our philosophy at LGCSD is that there is no replacement for the value realized from in-person, educational experiences that happen every day at LGCSD.  We know for sure that our schools play a critical role in the wellbeing of our community. What we also know is that our schools provide a critical role in all that is associated with connecting, social emotional well being and teaching and learning.  Collectively, the members of the   K-12 Reopening Steering Committee believe that we must plan to resume in-person instruction of students as soon as safely possible. Parallel to this belief, we must also prioritize and plan to strengthen our Continuity of Learning systems and our ability to be nimble and move quickly to respond to future outbreaks of the virus; the following reopening plan is drafted with this in mind. 

    Additionally, to allow LGCSD to plan for re-entry with stakeholder feedback, the following surveys have been utilized as a means to gather further information:

     

    Lake George CSD’s goal is to safely return to in-person instruction through a gradual “ease-in” approach of bringing students into school and ultimately returning to in-person instruction for all students. The “ease-in” reopening plan consists of three phases and was created around the following goals: Safety, Connection, Social Emotional well being, Equity & Access, Preparedness, Teaching & Learning.  The three phases are described in greater detail below:

    •  Phase I - “Connections”  (9/8-9/9)
      • The first two days back are orientation days. During this phase students will attend school in person for one half day session depending on their cohort 

     

    • Phase II -“Prepare & Practice” (9/10-9/25)-
      • Students in grades K-4, 7-8, and targeted students (includes, but not limited to, younger students, special class students, English language learners, and students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020) will attend school in person on a daily basis and students in grades 5-6 and  9-12 will alternate between in person and remote learning on an every other day rotation
      • After the orientation days, students will begin transitioning to an in person model where the focus will be to communicate, educate & reinforce:.  

     

    • Phase III - “Return” (9/28) : All students return to in person learning daily

    Much has changed in five months. We expect that the situation will continue to evolve as we continue to learn more about this virus. This document is focused on safeguarding student and staff health while operating in-person instruction.  Our planning is designed to bring the most students back to face-to-face education as possible, while providing additional opportunities and improving upon the distance learning systems that we adopted this past spring.  To allow Lake George CSD to safely reopen, there are a number of features, contingencies, and safety protocols that we must plan for, and we have attempted to outline this throughout our plan.  We understand that the situation around COVID-19 is ever-evolving, and as a result, our plan may be forced to evolve with it.  As we are all aware, we cannot predict the way that the disease will develop, nor can we fully anticipate the way that it will affect our region, but through collaboration, careful planning, hard work, and resilience, we have put together a plan that allows LGCSD to have the flexibility to address these concerns.  

    We have been planning for months at the regional, state, local, building and district level through the input of a vast number of stakeholders, including building and district administrators, teachers, nurses, buildings and grounds staff, students, parents, our local department of healthTheir time, efforts, and dedication have been inspiring and have provided the backbone for our return this fall.  It is our best judgement based on the information we have now. However, we expect to update this document as new information becomes available, and will note in text where new and updated information is provided.

    Sincerely, 

    Lynne C. Rutnik

    Superintendent of Schools

    Lake George CSD 









    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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

    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 hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. We believe nothing compares to the benefit of students receiving in-person instruction. However, if you/your family has extenuating circumstances that prevents your child from attending in-person instruction, the following process will be followed: 

    • Written notification to the building level administration by August 10, 2020
    • The district is requesting a 10 week commitment to decision
    • A combination of synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction will be provided. Access to curriculum and support will be designed by building/cohort to include, but not limited to, virtual participation. 

    The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Lake George CSD for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:

     

    • Lake George CSD: Principal Mr. James Conway/Nurse: Mrs. Faith Helms
    • Lake George Jr-Sr High School: Principal Mr. Cocozza/Nurse: Mrs Carrie Becker

     

    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. 

    Superintendent Lynne Rutnik will serve as the primary Covid- Coordinator for LGCSD: and her designee (s) to include the School Business Administrator and the building principals will serve as the district’s COVID-19 co-coordinators when directed or necessary. Under the direct supervision of Lake George Elementary School Principal, Mr. James Conway and the Lake George Jr-SR High School Principal Francis Cocozza, Mrs. Carrie Becker (Jr-Sr HS Nurse) and Mrs. Faith Helms, (Elementary School Nurse) will work closely with our local health department and will be responsible for supporting processes and procedures for students, families and faculty/staff around CDC Health guidelines.   Superintendent Rutnik, Michael Varney, LGES Principal Conway and LG Jr-Sr HS Principal Cocozza 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. 

    Lake George District Office number: 518 (668 - 5456)

    Emails: 

    Content Outline

    • Communication/Family and Community Engagement 
    • Health & Safety  
      • Health checks 
      • Social distancing, face coverings & PPE 
      • Infection control strategies 
      • Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring
      • Health hygiene 
      • Cleaning and disinfecting 
      • Vulnerable populations/accommodations  
      • Visitors on campus 
      • School safety drills 
    • Facilities 
    • Child Nutrition 
      • Meals onsite 
      • Meals offsite/remote 
    • Transportation 
    • Social Emotional Well-Being 
    • School Schedules 
    • School Activities 
      • Extracurriculars
      • Childcare
    • Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism 
    • Technology and Connectivity 
    • Teaching and Learning 
      • In-person Instruction  
      • Remote/Hybrid Instruction  
    • Special Education  
    • Bilingual Education and World Languages 
    • Staff
      • Teacher and Principal Evaluation System 
      • Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching

     

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    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 information that we will share will be based on state guidance and the K-12 COVID Steering Committee, which consists of the Lake George CSD Leadership Team and representatives of each building’s Shared Decision Making Committees, who had input into the plans.

    Additionally, the following collaborative efforts have been on-going throughout the reopening planning process: 

    • Building level shared decision making committees (Jr-Sr High School & Lake George Elementary School)
    • Members of the Lake George Central School District Leadership Team participated in regional BOCES Committees to include the following topics: 
      • Transportation
      • Facilities
      • Social Emotional/Mental Health
      • Building level 
      • District level
      • Regional Technology 
      • Regional Curriculum Assessment Council
      • Regional Department of health meetings with Nurses and Superintendents in surrounding counties
    • Coordination, communication and collaboration with NYSPHSAA & Section 2 Athletics Covid-19 Task Forces

    Our school district affirms and attests that we have reviewed and understand all state-issued industry guidelines and will submit our plans for reopening to them.  In addition to this, we will post copies of our finished plan on the school website as well as each building's office as well as the Office of the Superintendent of Schools.  Throughout the course of this process, we will also update our communication plans to ensure that members of the school community are consistently kept up-to-date with all developments and changes to our re-entry plan.  This process will be managed through verbal instruction, posted signage that is consistent with DOH COVID-19 signage, the maintenance of a COVID-19 page on our school website, through letters home, text and video messages, phone calls and emails delivered through our School Management System. 

    We will also develop communications for students and families about how to prepare for the upcoming school year, including specific information on the social distancing requirements, how to properly wear a face covering, and proper hand and respiratory hygiene.  Throughout the course of the school year, we will continue to train students, faculty, and staff on how to follow any new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly. 

    The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at www.lkgeorge.org on the dedicated COVID section of the website. 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 Translate feature on the top left header on the district website. 

    In support of remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them. The district is a 1 to 1 district in which every student K-12 is supplied with a school-owned device. The district will send parents and legal guardians a survey regarding their access to a device and high speed Internet. The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, including but not limited to phone, email, and Google Classroom. 

    The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. The district will mail packets to parents and legal guardians, utilize the SchoolMessenger Emergency Alert system, and post information on the district website. 

    The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. The district will utilize the SchoolMessenger Emergency Alert system with a link to information posted on the district website, which can be translated into the family’s preferred language. The district will also call, email, and/or make home visits to families of children who receive special education services. 

    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 utilize the SchoolMessenger Emergency Alert system with a link to information on the district website, which can be translated into the family’s preferred language. 

    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. 

    The Lake George School District will a use combination of online resources, signage,  and age appropriate in-person activities to teach and reteach the following topics related to health policies and protocols:

      • Hand hygiene 
      • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove) 
      • Social distancing
      • Respiratory hygiene 
      • Identifying symptoms
        • Parents/guardians should notify the schooL NURSE if their child develops symptoms. Please contact:,
        • Jr- Sr High School: Nurse Carrie Becker at Beckerc@lkgeorge.org (518) 668- 5452 
        • LGES: Nurse Faith Helms at Helmsf@lkgeorge.org (518) 668 - 5714

     

     

    The district will create and deploy signage throughout 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 through additional means such as district, building level, alert systems and social media communications. 

    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.  

    Lake George CSD will share with all stakeholders its protocols and safety measures regarding containment through the use of district, building level, alert systems and social media communications where appropriate. Our website will contain the peopening plan which will be placed on the website which entails safety protocols.  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.

    School Closures

    A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. The district will collaborate with the local health department 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 following conditions may warrant reducing in-person education or closing the school, in consultation with state and local health departments, and plan for an orderly closure; such conditions may include [update accordingly]:

    • Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises over 9% after Aug. 1. Schools will close if the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%.
    • Schools in regions in Phase 4 can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average, unless otherwise directed from the LOCAL (insert county) health department. 
    • If the infection rate rises above 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5%
    • Once schools open at Phase IV below 5% for a 14-day rolling average, schools can remain open even if the rate continues to rise above 5% until it reaches 9% for the 7-day average.
    • School will be notified by: [CONTACT INFORMATION OF LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT] on the situation.
    • School administrators should consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. 
    • Schools may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities.
    • Schools should consult their medical director and/or the local department of health when making such decisions.
    • Determine which operations will be decreased, or ceased and which operations will be conducted remotely; include a process to conduct orderly closures which may include phasing, milestones, and involvement of key personnel. 

    For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    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 our COVID-19 safety coordinator Superintendent Rutnik at rutnikl@lkgeorge.org .

    For more information about how health and safety protocols and training will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    Health checks

    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 Lake George School District district will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening.

    Health Screening for Students:

    • Students will complete daily temperature checks upon arrival using socially distanced touchless thermometers at the following locations:
      • Elementary School - Two Thermometers at the entrance to each cluster
      • Jr./Sr, High School - Two Thermometers each  at the Main Entrance and  Bus Entrance and one at the Gym Entrance.
    • The screening area will be supervised by a staff member in each area. 
    • Students that register a temperature over 100, or develop symptoms during or outside school hours with no other explanation for them, should be sent to the school health office for an assessment by the school nurse. If the school nurse is not available, the school will contact the parent/guardian to come pick up their ill child.
    • Periodic health screenings will be conducted by parents/guardians on behalf of their children by completing the screening questionnaire provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines. Results will be posted at https://covid.lkgeorge.org/login.php
    • The data collected for contact tracing purposes includes name, phone, email, and whether students  were allowed or denied entry.
    • A staff person (administrative assistant, attendance person, or school nurse - only if they can handle this additional duty with other job duties) will review periodic student health screenings completed for students and attest that they are completed and if further action is necessary.
    • A district wide alert every two weeks will remind staff and parents/guardians of the health screening policy.

     Health Screening for Staff: 

    • Staff should complete daily temperature checks and the screening questionnaire provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines  prior to arrival at school. Results should be submitted at  https://covid.lkgeorge.org/login.php
    • The data collected for contact tracing purposes includes name, phone, email, and whether you were allowed or denied entry.
    • A staff person (administrative assistant, attendance person, or school nurse - only if they can handle this additional duty with other job duties) will review the incoming reports of screening by staff. and attest that they are completed. 
    • Staff members developing symptoms during or outside school hours with no other explanation for them should report to the school health office for an assessment by the school nurse. 
    • A district wide alert every two weeks will remind staff and parents/guardians of the health screening policy.

    Health Screening for Vendors, Visitors & Contractors

    • Temperature checks and completion of the screening questionnaire provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines  will be completed at the main entrances prior to being allowed in the building. Please visit https://covid.lkgeorge.org/login.php
    • These procedures will be posted at each entrance.
    • The data collected for contact tracing purposes includes name, phone, email, and whether you were allowed or denied entry.

     

    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. Please note that LGCSD will be requesting that all faculty/staff and students wear face masks at all times with the exception that masks may be taken off for for the following reasons: 

    • Scheduled “mask - breaks” times
    • When eating meals; or
    • When the core of the activity prevents usage (a distance of twelve feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities requires projecting the voice (e.g., singing), playing a wind instrument, or aerobic activity-physical education.)

    *The Department of health has informed the district that face shields alone are not acceptable: face masks must be worn in addition to the face shield in school settings. 

    Procedures to assist with physical distancing include the use of directional signs, increased staff monitoring of students during arrival and dismissal, in hallways, cafeteria lines, etc. Lockers and cubbies will not be utilized with students to help maintain physical distancing.  Physical distancing signs will be posted throughout the buildings. This guidance will also be communicated verbally regularly to students, staff, and families. 

    All staff, students, and visitors are required to wear masks while in the building, as well as outside where physical distancing cannot be maintained. CDC recommends masks in settings where other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Adults doing drop-off and pick-up should wear masks. Instructions for making, wearing and washing masks can be found on the CDC website.

    Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear masks indoors and outside, including on the school bus.. Students will be allowed to remove masks 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 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; or 
    • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance. 

    Students and staff may use alternate PPE (i.e., masks that are transparent at or around the mouth) for instruction or interventions that require visualization of the movement of the lips and/or mouths (e.g., speech therapy). These alternate coverings may also be used for certain students (e.g., hearing impaired) who benefit from being able to see more of the face of the staff member. 

    Masks will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Acceptable masks for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. 

    An employee is allowed to wear their own acceptable mask if they choose. Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate masks will not be required to do so.

    The district will instruct students, parents/guardians and staff, contractors and vendors on:

    • The proper way to wear face masks
    • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face masks
    • Proper way to discard disposable face coverings
    • The importance of routine cleaning of reusable face masks; and 
    • Face masks are for individual use only and should not be shared

    For additional information on applicable training and additional protocols relating to social distancing

    Infection control strategies

    Arrival and dismissal schedules will be staggered to prevent congregation of staff and students.   Pick up of students will not involve parents entering the building.  One way traffic patterns will be established including one way use of stairways to prevent congregation, carpet stickers, wall stickers, posters.  Daily schedules will be adjusted to prevent large numbers of students in hallways at the same time.  Use of plastic separators, especially for those high risk locations such as greeter desks will be utilized.  Hand sanitizer dispensers will be readily available.  Use of sinks/handwashing will be encouraged and increased throughout the day. 

    Schedules have been developed in accordance with NYSED guidelines. Each instructional space has been measured to abide by the spacing guidelines and considerations made regarding changing class sizes.  Flexibility for additional sections or cohorts has been considered.  Flexibility regarding the meeting location of classrooms has been considered.  Shifting of moveable partitions in the open classrooms of LGES will be utilized to alter spaces to meet requirements. 

    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. 

    Elementary School:  

    Will have an area of isolation for COVID symptom students and staff that will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies while they are waiting to be dismissed from school. 

    Will have a nursing area to treat injuries and provide medications or nursing treatments that will be separate from the sick area. 

    High School: 

    Will have an area of isolation (attached to current health office) for COVID students and staff that will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies while waiting to be dismissed from school. 

    Will have a nursing area to treat injuries and provide medications or nursing treatments that will be separate from the sick area.

    COVID symptoms for isolation area:

    • Fever or chills (100°F or greater); 
    • 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; and/or 
    • Diarrhea

    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, 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.

    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:

    1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation 
    2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result 
    3. Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation 

    The district will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” 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 return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

    COVID-19 Testing

    The district Covid 19 Coordinator in conjunction with school administration and school nurses will ensure that necessary information is provided in order to ensure the safety of students, staff, families, and the community.  Information will be provided in a manner to protect the privacy of individuals as required.  Multiple communication platforms may be used to share this information including a hot-line and information shared on the district web page. 

     

    In the event that a large-scale testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district administration will work with the following providers:

    Contact Tracing

    The district will notify the state and local 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. 

    To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district has developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.  

    Districts may assist with contact tracing by:

    1. Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
    2. Ensuring student schedules are up to date 
    3. Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited
    4. Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program

    If/when COVID-19 cases are discovered in the school, in consultation with the local health department, the district will do the following: 

    • School staff will immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse or other designated school staff. Such reports should be made in compliance with FERPA, and Education Law 2-d. If nurses choose to go to classrooms to make assessments of students, this also should be done in a manner that protects the student’s confidentiality. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, arrangements should be made to have students wait at least 6 feet apart. Ideally schools should have two rooms for school health personnel - one room for healthy students who have injuries or need their medications or nursing treatments, and another room for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both rooms require a supervising adult to be present and should have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies. School nurses and other school health professionals assessing or providing care to ill students and staff should follow Transmission- based precautions which includes the use of appropriate PPE (see section on PPE). 
    • Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian must be isolated in a room or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least 6 feet The CDC and NYSDOH recommend: 
      •  Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
      • Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.
      • Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
      •  Closing off areas used by a sick person and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred; 
      •  Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. 
      •  Waiting at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible; 
      • Refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidancefor Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” for information on “close and proximate” contacts”

    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.

    School Closures

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

    At a minimum, the plan will incorporate the following:

    • Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises over 9% after Aug. 1. Schools will close if the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%.
    • Schools in regions in Phase 4 can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent using a 14-day average, unless otherwise directed from the LOCAL health department. 
    • If the infection rate rises about 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5%
    • Once schools open at Phase IV below 5% for a 14-day rolling average, schools can remain open even if the rate continues to rise about 5% until it reaches 9% for the 7-day average.
    • School will be notified by: Warren County HEALTH DEPARTMENT on the situation.
    • School administrators will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. 
    • Schools may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities.
    • Schools should consult their medical director and/or the local department of health when making such decisions.
    • Determine which operations will be decreased, or ceased and which operations will be conducted remotely; include a process to conduct orderly closures which may include phasing, milestones, and involvement of key personnel. 

    For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families and staff members,visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    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 school (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:

    1. Stay home if they feel sick.
    2. 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.
    3. Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.
    4. Adhere to social distancing instructions.
    5. Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.
    6. Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
    7. 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 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.

    Respiratory Hygiene

    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 into your elbow.
    • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
    • Face coverings are protective. Wearing a face covering will keep the respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

    For more information about how hygiene information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

    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. 

    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 areas such as the nurse’s office 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.                      

    Vulnerable populations/accommodations 

    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. Reasonable accommodations will be provided on a case by case basis in accordance with education and employment law. The district mandates the following process in the case a mask can not be worn and will be determined on a case by case basis:

    • Student: Parent/Guardian will provide a written request/documentation to the building principal. Principal or designee will work with the family to determine next steps
    • Faculty/Staff: Written request with accompanying documentation will be sent to the immediate supervisor. Supervisor or designee will meet with employee to determine next steps 

    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.  Parents will not be allowed to volunteer in classrooms and/or participate in classroom or school events. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. 

    All visitors will have to have screening and temperature checks before entering the building

    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. As such, it may be necessary 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 if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.  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 will be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures, and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.

    • 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 will 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 will be given to modifying the 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. 

     

    Fire Drills:  All students will be instructed by staff on how to safely follow the new procedures for fire drills.  Students will be wearing masks during the day, including during drills.  In order to accommodate physical distancing, the physical distance of students when exiting classrooms, in the hallways, and when outside of the building will be adjusted and closely monitored by staff.  Furthering distance from the building will allow students to maintain physical distance requirements and avoid congregation.  Use of masks will help to ensure safety throughout drills.  Plans will be adjusted to reflect any changes.  

    Lockdown Drills:  All students will be instructed by staff on how to safely follow the new procedures for lockdown drills.  During lockdown drills, procedures for locking doors and reducing visibility into classrooms will still be followed.  Students will be wearing masks during the day and will wear masks throughout the drill to help ensure their safety.  Student desks can be utilized as appropriate to reduce sight lines.  Students will be provided an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom in the event of an actual lockdown. 

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    Facilities

    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.

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

    Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible.   Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied. 

    Facility Alterations and Acquisition

    The district has implemented the following infection control strategies, which include changes to space utilization and/or alterations:

    • Replacing cafeteria tables with socially distanced desks.
    • Removing desks and other furniture in all classrooms to allow for social distancing.
    • Utilizing temporary storage on school grounds. 
    • NYSED approved moveable partitions will be installed as needed.

     

    Space Expansion

    There are currently no plans to expand the square footage in our school buildings.

    Tents for Additional Space

    There are currently no plans to purchase tents for additional space in our district.

    Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

    • Drinking fountains with no bottle filling station will be closed off.  The district still has enough drinking to meet building code.
    • Water lines will be flushed prior to the start of school
    • Shared bathrooms will be modified including:
      • Installation of physical barriers between toilets and sinks if six feet of separation is not feasible
      • Use of touch-free paper towel dispensers in lieu of air dryers.

    Ventilation

    • Adequate code-required ventilation will be maintained.
    • Opening windows and doors will be utilized to the  to the greatest extent possible to increase ventilation with outdoor air

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    Child Nutrition

    School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely in compliance with the Child Nutrition Program requirements. 

    For information about how meal information will be communicated, visit the district’s website at  www.lkgeorge.org to access additional information on this item. 

    Meals onsite

    For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.  Masks are required until seated and whenever moving around during meal times.

    The district will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria. If not feasible, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.

    The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household. Adequate space will be reserved for students, faculty, and staff to observe social distancing while eating meals.

    Through the use of age appropriate classroom activities and signage, good hand hygiene habits will be promoted throughout the day.

    Mealtime protocols

    • All students will wash their hands/use hand sanitizer prior to eating.
    • Existing procedures to protect students with food allergies will remain in place.
    • Masks are required while moving during mealtime (garbage, bathroom, etc.).
    • Students will eat in the cafeteria or classroom based on a predetermined schedule. 
    • Cafeterias and classrooms are already configured to maintain social distancing while eating.
    • Food sharing is not allowed.
    • Students will wash hands/ use hand sanitizer prior to resuming classroom activities.
    • Eating areas will be cleaned and disinfected between student groups. 

    Meals offsite/remote/ hybrid

     

    • Meals will be delivered to students when parents/guardians request them when in Hybrid/Remote settings. 

     

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    Transportation

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

    Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced. Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other. Parents 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 will be cleaned and disinfected twice a day. 

    School buses will not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.  

    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 or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of the district whose schools are meeting for in-person sessions. 

    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. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education. 

    School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at 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 along with an optional face shield.  

    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.  

    Drivers will be provided with 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. Those that must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.

    Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after the AM run and again after the PM run. 

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

    Transportation staff protocols:

    • An appropriate face mask will be worn at all times.
    • Gloves may be worn if they choose to do so but are not required unless they must be in physical contact with students.
    • Transportation staff will wash their hands  with soap and water before and after am and pm runs to keep healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
      • touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
      • touch a contaminated surface or objects
      • blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into hands and then touch other people’s hands or common objects

    Bus Routing Protocols

    • Students need to be transported to and from the same address five days/week (there would be no special arrangements such as going home instead of day care on a particular day or getting on the bus at a friend’s house, etc.) 
      • Similarly, schedules that vary by day (where a student gets dropped off or picked up at different locations during the week) would not be possible.
      • Parents/guardians would be responsible for transportation to and from other locations.
    • Bus routes are designed to minimize student riding time and maintain social distancing
    • Due to limited space, parents are encouraged to drop off and pick up their children

    Bus Riding Protocols

    • Masks are required at all times on the bus.
    • Students will enter the bus upon the driver’s signal and proceed to their assigned seat.
    • Students are required to sit in the same assigned seat every day.
    • Students will sit, one to a seat, members of the same families can be assigned to the same seat.
    • Students will exit the bus upon the driver’s signal.

    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 this reopening plan.

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    Social Emotional Well-Being

    LGCSD recognizes that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. We also recognize that the district recognizes that all students have had different experiences from COVID-19 and not everyone in the school will be in the same place. The district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions. The district will identify and support students having difficulty with transitioning back into the school setting. Returning to a different in-person learning environment may present challenges for everyone. The Lake George Central School District shall make every effort to provide and address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instruction.  Throughout the school year, we will screen at regular intervals, identify and support students who are having difficulty transitioning back into the school setting by utilizing our counseling services and student support services composed of school psychologists, social workers, guidance counselors, support personnel and appropriate agencies. 

    • LGCSD will use a consistent screening tool in the fall, winter and spring.

    Teachers and student support personnel in our district will provide a social-emotional learning curriculum by delivering specific instruction, problem-solving, and various coping strategies to handle a plethora of situations.  Interventions are targeted through the Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) to promote the development and growth of social-emotional learning.  

    We will also provide periodic training for faculty and staff on how to support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.  We will also provide information on developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff during training or through written and online materials. Members of our mental health building teams will support both in-person and remote learners by coaching teachers, directly delivering social-emotional learning curriculum, and individually supporting students as determined by building level team decision making. A focus will be placed on supporting a positive climate and culture that acknowledges universal trauma care strategies for students. Best practice guidelines will be followed for students who may need more support.

    The school district has identified the individuals on both building levels student support teams who will serve as the central points of contact and who are responsible for receiving and attesting to having reviewed all screening activities and student concerns regularly and will maintain communication with the established student support team.  

    Schools will coordinate with families, school staff, and community and State resources to assess and assist in the psychological and emotional recovery of staff and students: 

    The district has established an advisory council that involves shared decision-making and is comprised of families, students, members of the board of education, school building and/or district/charter leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers. The advisory council will inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan. This program plan has been reviewed and updated to meet current needs.

    Professional Development: 

    The district addresses professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. This is addressed by:

    • Professional development that occurs before students return for in person, remote or hybrid instruction and will be on-going throughout the school year.  Professional development will include:
      • Trauma sensitive environments (TIE) including but not limited to physical and psychosocial safety, calm, connectedness, hope, efficacy. 
      • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), restorative/community building practices, and other coping and resilience skills. 
      • Student and staff education, self-care and support. 
    • The district will ensure teachers have knowledge of social emotional learning standards and are provided with on-going consultation on classroom implementation with support personnel. 

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    School Schedules

    For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    The safety and health and emotional well being of our students, our faculty, and our staff is paramount and has been at the forefront of our planning. Lake George CSD’s goal is to safely return to in-person instruction through a gradual “ease-in” approach of bringing students into school and ultimately returning to in-person instruction for all students. The three phases are described in greater detail below: 

    Phase I - “Connections” (9/8-9/9)  

    The first two days back are orientation days. During this phase students will attend school in person for one half day session (see schedule below). 

    Goals: Safety, Connections

    • To communicate expectations and practice new safety protocols to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for all
    • To connect, build trust and strengthen relationships from the 1st day of school
    • To allow for additional professional development for faculty/staff 

    Phase 1 Schedule

    Phase II - “Prepare & Practice” (9/10-9/25)

    Communicate, Educate, Reinforce: After the orientation days, students will begin transitioning to an in person model.  Students in grades K-4, 7-8, and targeted students (includes, but not limited to, younger students, special class students, English language learners, and students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020) will attend school in person on a daily basis and students in grades 5-6 and  9-12 will alternate between in person and remote learning on an every other day rotation (see schedule below).

    Goals: Safety, Connection, Equity & Preparedness

    • Decrease the number of students to stop the spread of the virus
    • To allow targeted subgroups in-person instruction from day 1 (Phase II)
    • To communicate and practice expectations and routines/procedures with reduced capacity of students
    • To communicate expectations around remote instruction to students and families
    • To practice remote expectations/routines (should we have to pivot to a remote model in the future)
        • To assess our efforts around health & safety protocols and remote expectations to allow in-person learning by September 28, 2020
        • To allow increased time around COVID-19 data trends 
        • Ease-in allows us to begin school with reduced capacity for health reasons

    Phase 2 Schedule

    At the end of Phase II, the district leadership team, in collaboration with the COVID Steering Committee, will meet to assess and evaluate if the aforementioned goals have been realized. 

    If yes, Phase III will begin on Monday 9/28/2020. 

    If no, Phase II will continue while the district leadership team, in collaboration with the COVID Steering Committee, define adjustments and accommodations that need to be made.  We will then set a new date for Phase III to begin and communicate this date to all stakeholders. 

    Phase III- “Return” (9/28) - 

    All students return to in person learning daily. 

    Goals: Safety, Connection, Equity, Preparedness, Teaching & Learning

        • We have successfully practiced all new safety protocols and are ready for a full, in -person reopening
        • All targeted subgroups have had an opportunity to have targeted in-person instruction to help close
        • Communication & practice of new safety expectations and routines/procedures have occurred 
        • Remote learning expectations  have been practiced and refined by students, teachers and families
        • We have more data on the virus to help guide decisions and plan for the future
        • Ease-in allows us to begin school with reduced capacity to stop the spread 

    Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may result in the need to limit the number of people in the classroom or school buildings and/or may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid learning model and a fully remote learning model. Please visit the Teaching and Learning section for information regarding the remote and hybrid learning models.

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    School Activities 

    Extracurriculars

    Currently, Interscholastic Athletics is not permitted. In the event some or all interscholastic sports are permitted Lake George will follow the guidance from NYSDOH, NYSPHSSA, NFHS and the CDC regarding safely returning to play. Protocols in line with guidance from the NFHS and CDC will be implemented including social distancing, mask wearing, daily coach and athlete health screenings, hand washing/sanitizing and facility/equipment cleaning and disinfection. Resource: NYSPHSAA Road Map for Return to Interscholastic Athletics. 

    In addition to Interscholastic athletics, all extracurricular activities/clubs and assembly programs will be suspended until  a determination is made that indicates a safe return can be made to those activities for everyone involved including students and staff.  While it is our desire to bring back activities that can be conducted in a safe manner,  at a minimum, this will include following the current guidance for appropriate physical distancing, use of PPE, cleaning and disinfecting protocols.  As we work to ensure the safety of our staff and students, we will consider creative ways to provide extracurricular activities and/or assemblies that can be provided remotely at any point during the school year. 

    In an effort to minimize the spread of infection and to facilitate district wide cleaning the district:  

    • All field trips will be postponed and virtual trips will be encouraged.
    • Locker rooms and the weight room will be closed until conditions permit reopening
    • The district will be closed in the evenings 
    • We will encourage virtual meetings and presentations as much as is practical. 
    • Building use will not be open to the public under the current plan. 

    Childcare

    The Local YMCA will continue to be offered as in the past with social distancing guidelines in place. Coordination of these guidelines will take place with LGCSD/LGES and the YMCA before the beginning of the school year. 

    Policies regarding before and aftercare programs include social distancing, PPE usage, cleaning and disinfection requirements, as well as risk of COVID-19 transmission will be the responsibility of the YMCA. Protocols in how to maintain cohorts, if applicable, or group members of the same household will be considered.

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    Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

    The district will follow the Board of Education Attendance Policy. 

    Student attendance will be taken and recorded every day, regardless of instruction being provided remotely or in person.

    The district will provide ongoing support to build and maintain student engagement and attendance.  The district may use the following interventions when students are not attending: 

    • Interventions will be utilized to include support from principals, counselors and student support personnel
    • Reach out directly to families and students via phone, email or other digital means.
    • Refer students to building level student support team
    • Connect families with outside resources
    • Conduct home visits if a student does not engage following outreach
    • Connect with the local department of social services (LDSS) to assist in student engagement

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    Technology and Connectivity

    The district will use an annual survey, administered to students and staff at the start of the school year, to determine their access to devices and high-speed internet access.  This survey will provide the district with information specific to their access, not including school provided devices.  Specifically, respondents will answer the following questions.  

    Does your home have Internet access?

    • Yes. Cable Modem
    • Yes. DSL
    • Yes. Satellite
    • Yes. Dial Up
    • Yes. Through a tethered Smartphone or Hot Spot
    • No. We do not have Internet access at home

    Do you have access to a personally owned device, not a district owned device?  Please check all that apply:

    • Yes. A Smart Phone that only I use.
    • Yes. A Smart Phone that is shared.
      • Yes. A Tablet that only I use.
      • Yes. A Tablet  that is shared.
      • Yes. A Chromebook that only I use.
      • Yes. A Chromebook that is shared.
      • Yes. A Personal Computer that only I use.
      • Yes. A Personal Computer that is shared.

    Lake George CSD has a full K-12 1-to-1 device program.  All students and staff in the district have access to their own device.  These devices can be utilized at home to insure that all students and staff have access to a device.  Additionally, the results of this survey will inform the district of those students and staff in need of internet access at home.  The district has purchased hotspots that will be provided to those students and staff.

    Through emergency remote learning during the Spring of 2020, the Lake George CSD confirmed their ability to ensure that all students and staff had access to the devices and high-speed internet needed to demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in a remote or blended model.  The district is committed to continuing to ensure access to devices and high-speed internet access to all students and staff.  Additionally, the district will provide the necessary non-digital resources and materials (books, art supplies, instruments, etc) needed by students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in a variety of ways.  

    Information and Instructional Technology support is available to all students, staff, and families through the district’s Help Desk system and IT Team.  This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Email support
    • Phone support
    • Videoconferencing support and training
    • In person support, repair, training
    • Training videos and resources

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    Teaching and Learning

    The school calendar typically includes two staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health, prioritizing curriculum standards based, instructional practices for physically distanced teaching, and technology integration.  

    Additionally, there will be two student orientation days, this time will allow groups of students to meet with their new teacher and begin to establish the relationship necessary for a successful school year.  These days will also be utilized for student orientation. As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.   

    All instruction, regardless if delivered in-person, remotely or in a hybrid model,  will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.  Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical.  Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.   

    Grading practices will be designed with the intent of staying consistent through the 2020-2021, regardless of any learning environment transitions that are needed.  They will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.  These practices will be building level decisions and will be defined and shared by the principals in collaboration with the shared decision making bodies.

    In-person Instruction 

    Lake George CSD’s goal is to safely return to in-person instruction through a gradual phase-in approach of bringing students into school and ultimately returning to in-person instruction for all students.  For information on the school reopening schedules, visit the School Schedules section of our reopening plan. 

    Upon reopening, the district will adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size and configuration will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.   The district has identified additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into classrooms to accommodate a six-foot radius around students if needed.  Sufficient staffing levels are in place to accommodate the number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing.

    Our schools will minimize the movement of students. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity,chorus, and band. 

    Due to current enrollment, we have the ability to have students remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

    The district’s current enrollment will allow for regular and routine scheduled times for standards based teaching and learning, while still following the aforementioned safety precautions, during in-person instruction.  These schedules will closely resemble the traditional schedules, but may include staggered times to allow for more physical distancing in common areas.  

    For information about how in-person instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    Opt-out: We believe nothing compares to the benefit of students receiving in-person instruction. However, if you/your family has extenuating circumstances that prevents your child from attending in-person instruction, the following process will be followed: 

    • Written notification to the building level administration by August 10, 2020
    • The district is requesting a 10 week commitment to decision
    • A combination of synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction  will be provided. Access to curriculum and support will be designed by building/cohort to include, but not limited to, virtual participation. 

    Alternate Learning Models

    Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may result in the need to limit the number of people in the classroom or school buildings and/or may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid learning model and a fully remote learning model.

    Furthermore, all safety precautions will be followed and enforced to protect students in the Alternative High School Equivalency Preparation Program (AHSEP) against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

    Remote Learning Model:

    Students will attend school remotely through meaningful and frequent interaction with teachers to receive academic and other support designed to meet the needs of students.  Teachers will provide prioritized standards-based instruction and support with academic expectations consistent with in person instruction, engage students daily, check for evidence of learning, and include ongoing meaningful feedback on student learning. Additionally, teletherapy will be provided to meet the needs of students with disabilities.  Alternate instructional experiences may include videoconferencing, online modules or tasks, viewing instructional videos, responding to teacher questions or posts, conducting research, doing projects, collaborating digitally with classmates, etc. Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

    Daily or weekly student schedules will be used to ensure daily student engagement and to prevent conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.  These schedules will be developed by building principals and classroom teachers and will be shared with students and families at the beginning of the school year.  They will outline times for instructional engagement with all content areas, as well as, resource and support services.

    During remote learning, students should expect to spend the following amount of time on school work in the remote learning model:

    • Students in Grades K-6:  Approximately 3 hours daily of instructional engagement with additional supports, opportunities as scheduled
    • Students in Grades 7-12: Approximately 4 hours daily of instructional engagement with additional supports, opportunities as scheduled.

    Teachers will report to work during the contractual hours to provide instruction and attend to professional development and other professional responsibilities

    Remote learning opportunities will include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, with teachers finding ways to keep students engaged, provide instruction and support, create opportunities for student collaboration, to check for evidence of learning, and to provide regular and meaningful feedback 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.

    For information about how in-person instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

    Hybrid Learning Model:

    The hybrid model will be a combination of  in person instruction and remote learning (as defined above) developed to meet state guidance given or local needs.  The hybrid model may be implemented due to NYSED or Governor mandate, mandated capacity requirement invoked, or Covid-related quarantine station (by school).

    When a hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for daily in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, younger students, special class students, English language learners, and students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020.

    With the understanding that the district will prioritize in person instruction for our younger students, the hybrid model for students in grades K-6 will depend greatly on the need to initiate a hybrid model.  Any reduction in the number of students able to attend daily in the elementary school, will begin with the oldest students alternating daily between in person instruction and remote learning on an A/B day rotation.  For example, the hybrid model for students in grades K-6 may have the following structure: 

     

    A Day 

    B Day

    In Person

    Grade K-4

    Prioritized Students (as described above)


    Grade 5

    Grade K-4

    Prioritized Students (as described above)


    Grade 6

    Remote

    Grade 6

    Grade 5

     

    A hybrid model for students in grades 7-12 may have students alternate daily between in person instruction and remote learning on an A/B day rotation. For example, the hybrid model for students in grades 7-12may have the following structure:

     

    A Day 

    B Day

    In Person

    Grade 7-8 

    Prioritized Students (as described above)

    Grade 9-12

    Prioritized Students (as described above)

    Remote

    Grade 9-12

    Grade 7-8 

     

    For information about how in-person instruction information will be communicated to students and families, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

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    Special Education 

    Whether services are provided in-person, remote and/or through a hybrid model, how will the district address the provision of free appropriate public education consistent/with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services?  

    Lake George School district will ensure students with disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education at the public expense and in conformity with the student’s individualized education program to meet the unique needs of the student with a disability regardless of the setting of in-person, remote and/or hybrid model. All services provided to the student will be at no cost of the parent or student. Our school district will collaborate with families to ensure students can continue to be provided FAPE while protecting the health of the safety of students and providers. To the extent a student with a disability cannot attend or participate with in-person instruction due to their unique circumstances (or exposure to COVID-19)  an appropriate remote option will be provided.  For services provided in-person, or through a hybrid model, the district will be following all health and safety guidance and best practices recommended  by the New York State Department of Health, the New York State Education Department, as well as guidance from the CDC. All students who attend in-person services will be expected to wear a face covering, unless the extent of their disability or a medical condition would preclude this.  In such cases, alternate measures, including social distancing, PPE for staff and providers, and other related strategies will be implemented to reduce risk of transmission, or (where not feasible), remote services will be offered.   The district will also provide resources and training to students, staff and parents on protocols for in-person learning and ensure that personal protective equipment is available, in addition to following cleaning guidelines.  For remote services, the district will provide resources and training to staff, students and parents on accessing remote instruction, services, supports and resources,  to eliminate potential barriers to their access to FAPE.

    How programs and services offered will be documented and provided to students with disabilities, as well as communications with parents

    Programs and services will be provided to students with disabilities following their individualized education programs and documented by case managers and service providers. The district will utilize a combination of in-person, hybrid and remote services, with a priority and focus on those populations of students (including students with disabilities) who are most adversely impacted by remote learning to provide them in-person instruction, consistent with all relevant health and safety protocols and guidelines.  In the event of either temporary or longer-term school closure, remote instruction and  teletherapy services will be provided following the IEPs to the greatest extent possible. Our district may not be able to provide all services in the same manner in a remote situation that they are typically provided in person (in terms of group vs. individual sessions; specific group size; frequency, duration, location, special class size ratio…) but will prioritize to “match” as closely as possible with collaboration with parents. If providers or teachers  cannot deliver the full session or have other issues impacting the delivery or effectiveness of the service, the district will document what was provided, and what was not (and why) so that when school resumes in person, the CSE can review and determine whether, and to what extent, compensatory services may be needed. In addition to teletherapy offered in remote settings, google classroom with resources, lessons, supports, materials in addition to paper copy will be offered to ensure continuity of learning and access to the relevant curriculum for each student. Case managers and providers will be conducting virtual meetings with families prior to reopening of schools to communicate and collaborate with parents regarding the delivery of services with all scenarios that may occur this school year: remote only, hybrid, and in person. Training and resources will be available for parents and students on how to access supports and services, utilize technology and how to communicate with staff and providers, as needed.  Biweekly follow up communication will occur by case managers and/or providers via emails, conferences or phone calls to discuss student progress. Quarterly or trimester progress monitoring reports will be sent home to parents with data and narrative on student progress on IEP goals.  Parents will also be able to communicate with staff through our parent portal as well as contacting staff or providers via e-mail, and in all cases, may contact the office of special education for assistance. 

    Collaboration between committees on preschool special education/committees on special education and program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on/individualized education programs, plans for monitoring and communicating student progress and commitment to sharing resources. 

    Annual reviews for CSE and CPSE conducted during COVID closure were conducted virtually and the committee prioritized communications about how the delivery of services may look over summer and during the 2020-2021 school year in the event of instruction in remote settings and in-person settings would be provided for the upcoming year. Decisions were individualized based on the needs of the students with input from parents. Updated Information regarding provision and delivery of services  will be communicated with families by case managers and providers prior to the start of school consistent with the district’s reopening plan,  as well during any subsequent changes the location or format of services and instruction that may be mandated due to COVID  school closure. Information regarding the provisions of services, contact information for providers and resources for parents will also be available on the district website. Additionally, biweekly follow up communication will occur by case managers and/or providers via emails, conferences or phone calls to discuss student progress. Quarterly or trimester progress monitoring reports will be sent home to parents with data and a narrative on student progress on iep goals.

    Access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students. 

    Students with disabilities will be provided access to accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) listed on the student's individualized education program in all settings:  remote only, hybrid and in-person scenarios. Case managers and providers will work with general education and special education  teachers to ensure each student with a disability has access to these in all academic settings. If during the course of the school year or as a result of school closure or a change in format,  a student needs further accommodations, an amendment or program review CSE meeting may be conducted, as necessary.

    For information about meaningful parent engagement regarding the provision of services to a child to meet the requirements of the IDEA, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.
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    Bilingual Education and World Languages

    The district will consider its ELL students as at-risk and will prioritize in-person instruction for these students. Lake George CSD will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20 in either in-person or hybrid instruction models as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year. 

    After this 20-day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within required 10 school days of initial enrollment. 

    Required instructional units of study to all ELLs will be provided based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction. 

    For information about regular communication and engagement with parents/guardians of English-language learners, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement Section of this reopening plan.

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    Staff

    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. 



    Key References

    Additional References

    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.

    Also by July 31, 2020, districts must complete a short companion Department of Health survey that includes a link to the publicly posted plan on the district/school website