Oak Hill School Reopening Plan

The Oak Hill School has been working with stakeholder groups to develop a reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year. Stakeholders involved in the planning process included but not limited to Oak Hill teacher’s association, board members, local health officials, parents and component school district personnel. This process has been ongoing for the past several weeks via face to face meetings, emails, conference calls, as well as surveys to all parents whose child attends Oak Hill School. The process has been collaborative and inclusive with all stakeholders having input into the reopening plans. Paramount in our process is to ensure the health and wellbeing for all students and staff at Oak Hill School.

Governor Cuomo announced on August 7, 2020 all New York State schools are approved to open in September. If the infection rate goes above nine percent using a seven day average, schools will be closed.

The reopening plan will be maintained on the ​OakHill website​.

Teaching and Learning

Attendance will be collected daily in both the in person and virtual options of instruction. The educational program will continue to be aligned with the New York State Learning Standards in both models of delivery. Daily substantive interaction between teachers and students will occur with regularly scheduled times for students to interact, seek feedback and support from the teachers.

Students and families are encouraged to contact the school via phone or email with questions/concerns about instruction and/or technology.

Option 1 – In Person Instruction

All students and staff will attend for a regular school schedule with strict adherence to the Governor’s and ​NYS Department of Health Guidelines​. The school schedule will be for 5 days a week on the regular school calendar operating under the regular school hours of operation.

Option 2 – Full Virtual Instruction

Parents who choose to keep their children out of school will receive full instruction five days a week at a rigour comparable to in class instruction. This option would also be utilized in the event the Governor and/or the Department of Health order school closure during the academic year.

At Risk Individuals

Any student or staff with increased risk for severe COVID 19 or live with individuals with increased risk will be provided accommodations to allow safe participation in the school based on their individual and specific needs. This may include but is not limited to virtual learning or employment, modified settings or additional PPE.

 

OPTION 1 IN PERSON INSTRUCTION Full Reopening

Communication/Family and Community Engagement

Parents/guardians, staff and students will be provided with regular information regarding the COVID 19 Pandemic and the school reopening plan. Information will be available on the ​school website​, via email, phone and posted signage throughout the school. Information will be provided in the native language spoken at home with accessibility for those with visual or hearing impairments.

Health and Safety

Daily Health Screenings​ will be conducted for all students, staff, and visitors to the school buildings. Staff and visitors will be required to have a daily temperature check and complete a screening questionnaire. Students will be required to have a daily temperature check and periodic completion of a screening questionnaire. Parents are encouraged to take their child’s temperature before they leave for school. Any person with a fever or a positive response to the questionnaire will be isolated and sent home immediately with a referral to a health care provider and resources on ​COVID 19​.

Temperature checks – any temperature above 100 F and/or symptoms of COVID 19 should not be present in school. The ​Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)​ maintains a list of current recognized symptoms on its website. As of 7/13/20 the following are listed as the most common symptoms:

  • Fever/chills greater than 100F Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body ache Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting Diarrhea

Students and staff will be taught and re-taught ​healthy hygiene habits​ including the following:

  • Using a face covering when unable to maintain social distancing
  • Hand washing
  • Cleaning and disinfecting
  • Coughing/sneezing etiquette

Signage will be posted throughout the school with instructions and reminders.

All staff and students will be expected to hand wash:

  • Before and after snacks/meals, recess, and PE
  • Upon entering the building/classroom
  • Before and after using any shared object
  • After using the bathroom
  • Upon coming in from outdoors
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled

Social Distancing ​will be a required component in the school​. ​This means keeping a six foot space between yourself and others. The following social distancing requirements will be in place:

  • Classroom cohorts will be as static as possible. In other words, class groups will remain together all day and not intermingle.
  • Special area teachers will travel to classrooms to reduce shared spaces
  • Common areas of the building will be closed to staff and students
  • Desks will be positioned 6 feet apart facing in the same direction to reduce transmission of virus containing droplets
  • Students will be provided individual belongings and individual storage space
  • A 12 foot distance will be required while participating in activities requiring projection of voice (singing), a wind instrument or aerobic activity.
  • Visitors will be limited. Meetings will be held virtually with non school staff wherever possible.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearee in unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. All individuals in schools or on school grounds must be prepared to put on a face covering if social distancing can not be maintained. Face coverings must be worn over the moth and nose. All staff, students and visitors must wear face coverings.

  • Whenever they are within 6 feet of someone
  • In hallways
  • In restrooms
  • In congregate settings, including buses.

Staff and students will be provided face masks or may choose to provide their own.

 

Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocol
Increased cleaning will be conducted throughout each school day to include the following:

  • Regular cleaning of high touch surfaces (door handles, light switches, shared instructional materials, etc..)
  • Closed common areas and common use items (library, kitchen, staff room, tech room, water fountains)
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the building Increased cleaning of bathrooms
  • Daily classroom disinfectant

A full cleaning support throughout the school day. She will also be responsible for screening all staff, students and visitors on a daily basis.

A full time COVID 19 Safety Coordinator, Susan Vine, has been hired to provide  support throughout the school day. She will also be responsible for screening all staff, students and visitors on a daily basis. She may be reached at [email protected]

Management of Ill Persons
Any person exhibiting any symptoms of COVID 19 will be immediately isolated and sent home.

If any confirmed cases of staff or students occur, any area of the school used by the individual will be closed for cleaning and disinfection.

The school will follow the ​Center for Disease Control ​guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms or testing positive. Decision to return to school will be coordinated with the local health department.

Testing

Any individual with a suspected case of COVID 19 or a direct exposure to a confirmed case will be required to be tested. Oak Hill School will notify Schenectady County Department of Health of any positive test results. Testing will occur at a location determined by the individual’s physician or the County Department of Health. 

 

The school will maintain a list of staff and students based on county of residence to assist Schenectady County Department of Health and the Department of Health in the home county. Oak HIll school will cooperate and follow the guidance from the Department of Health. 

Contact Tracing

The Covid 19 Safety Coordinator, Susan Vine, along with the Executive Director, David Mitchell will collaborate with Schenectady County Department of Health and the Department of Health from the county of residence regarding contact tracing. 

The school will maintain a list of staff and students based on county of residence to assist Schenectady County Department of Health and the Department of Health in the home county. Oak HIll school will cooperate and follow the guidance from the Department of Health. 

School Closure
In the event of a school closure due to COVID 19 the following will occur:

  • The school will be cleaned and disinfected
  • The school will cooperate with the local Health Department to assist in contact tracing if applicable

Ventilation
Increased ventilation of fresh air with open doors and windows whenever possible will occur.

High efficiency filtration/UV systems in the HVAC system will be installed based on consultation with HVAC professionals.

School Safety Drills
School safety drills (fire drills/lock down drills) will continue to be conducted. Students and staff will be instructed in maintaining social distancing during the drills.

Child Nutrition

The school will continue to provide snack on arrival and mid morning for all students in prepackaged servings. Additionally, students will continue to bring lunch from home or receive lunch through the free/reduced meal program.

Students will eat lunch in their classrooms without intermingling with other cohorts and maintaining 6 foot social distancing while eating. Hand washing before and after meals will be promoted. Protection for those with food allergies will be assured, Sharing of food or beverages will be discouraged.

Transportation

Transportation is provided by the students home school district. Students and families should consult the home district reopening plan for additional information.

Social Emotional Well Being

The School Counselors will be focused on in class instruction and individual support in issues surrounding COVID 19 and its impact.

Additionally, the school team will continuously assess individual students, families and staff needs to develop appropriate supports.

OPTION 2 – FULL VIRTUAL INSTRUCTION

In the event schools are not allowed to open or we are closed by the Governor due to a rise in COVID 19, we will return to full virtual instruction.

Technology and Connectivity

A survey of family technology resources has been conducted to determine student and staff access to a device and high speed internet.

In the event a student or staff does not have adequate resources, the school will work with the family and home school district to provide access and a device.

Alternatively, options for additional methods of instruction for student participation and demonstration of mastery not dependent on technology will be provided for those students who are not able to access sufficient internet resources.

  1. Related Services

All related services will continue to be provided via teletherapy per the student IEP.

 


Updated 8/15/20