2020 School Reopening Plan

In accordance with direction from the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) and the New York State Department of Health, Central Valley Central School District has developed this plan to reopen school for 2020-21. The plan reflects current guidance from the state education and health departments, direction from the governor’s office, and current COVID-19 data for Central Valley Schools and the Mohawk Valley.

The plan is founded on three goals. First, Central Valley CSD will do everything reasonable to protect the health and safety of our students and employees. Second, Central Valley CSD will do everything reasonable to provide our community’s children with a viable and effective education that prepares them for their futures. Third, Central Valley CSD will be fiscally responsible and remain within the constraints of our budget.

This plan provides a roadmap to achieve those goals while adhering to the state’s guidance.  That guidance is detailed, but can be summarized as a simple concept—Whatever we do, we must satisfy three criteria:

  • Maintain a minimum social distance of six feet,

  • Wear a mask when social distancing is not possible or practical, and

  • Operate all facilities, including school buses, at 50-percent occupancy or less. 

Central Valley CSD recognizes that the best model for learning is in-person instruction. In-person instruction:

  • Provides direct teacher-to-pupil interaction in a structured environment

  • Builds positive school relationships and healthy routines,

  • Provides students with equitable access to learning, regardless of ability, learning style, or technology access.

Central Valley CSD lacks the resources to fully staff and fund daily in-person instruction for all students. The district recognizes that although all students benefit from in-person learning, it is especially important for younger students. For this reason, PreK-6 students will receive in-person learning as long as it is safe and district finances allow. Students in grades 7-12 also benefit from in-person instruction, but are better able to learn under a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction with distance learning. Unfortunately, Central Valley lacks the resources to safely transport grades 7-12 and is forced to begin the school year with grades 7-12 learning remotely.

Central Valley CSD also recognizes that high-speed internet access is essential under any distance learning model. For this reason, connectivity is a fundamental part of this plan.

Finally, this plan is a living document; it can and will change as new state requirements, COVID-19 cases in our buildings, or a COVID-19 outbreak in our region require.

Communication/Family and Community Engagement

  1.  The district engaged Central Valley administrators, faculty, staff, and parents/legal guardians of students in a virtual meeting on July 22 to gather ideas and concerns related to creating a back-to-school plan Superintendent Jeremy Rich engaged local health departments and local health care providers through virtual meetings with Herkimer BOCES.

  2. The district’s communications plan ensures students, parents or legal guardians of students, staff, and visitors will consistently receive applicable instructions, training, and signage. This information will be posted to the district website www.cvalleycsd.org. Time sensitive information will be shared via the district’s text/email/voicecall and mobile app platform. The district will share appropriate information on its Facebook page.

  3. The district ensures all students are taught or trained via video instruction how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene

  4. The district encourages all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through signs posted at building entrances and throughout the buildings; and through polite verbal reminders to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the use of acceptable face coverings when a social distance cannot be maintained.

  5. As needed, the district will provide communications in the language(s) spoken at home among families and throughout the school community.This plan is accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments by contacting the district office at 315-894-9934.

  6. Questions regarding this plan should be directed to Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Rich at 315-894-9934.

Health and Safety

  1. Building Capacity

Central Valley CSD has reviewed and determined the number of students allowed to return for in-person instruction in each of its buildings. The capacity level was determined using the following factors:

  • Required six (6) foot distance between students during instruction 

  • PPE & Face Coverings availability

  • Availability and capacity of transportation options

  • Local hospital capacity

Each building was canvassed to identify existing and potential additional instructional spaces to maintain room occupancy that meets social distancing requirements.

Central Valley CSD is making available PPE and face coverings to its students, faculty, and staff.  It is estimating the amount needed during in-person instruction using the NYS Education Department’s “PPE Burn Rate Calculator”.  The calculator recommends one (1) disposable mask per week per student.

Transportation capacity was addressed by determining that 28 students could be safely transported on each 66-passenger bus, while wearing masks.  Buses will be loaded from the back to the front and unloaded in reverse.  While on the bus, one student will sit in each seat, unless students live in the same house together.

Central Valley CSD has maintained a direct line of communication with Herkimer County Public Health Department to monitor the capacity of local and regional hospitals.

  1. Stakeholder Involvement/Planning

The district engaged Central Valley administrators, faculty, staff, and parents/legal guardians of students in a virtual meeting on July 22 to gather ideas and concerns related to creating a back-to-school plan Superintendent Jeremy Rich engaged local health departments and local health care providers through virtual meetings with Herkimer BOCES.

  1. Communication Plan

The district’s communications plan ensures students, parents or legal guardians of students, staff, and visitors will consistently receive applicable instructions, training, and signage. This information will be posted to the district website www.cvalleycsd.org. Time sensitive information will be shared via the district’s text/email/voicecall and mobile app platform. The district share appropriate information on its Facebook page.

  1. School Health Protocol

The district’s written protocol, developed in collaboration with the district’s health services, instructs staff to observe for signs of illness in students and staff and requires symptomatic persons to be sent to the school nurse.

The currently recognized symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • Fever (100.0°F or greater) or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (including bluish lips)

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Students and staff exhibiting these signs with no other explanation will be sent to the school nurse for assessment. If a school nurse is not available, the school will contact the parent/guardian to pick up the ill child or will send the staff member home.

Additionally, staff will be instructed to be aware of these other signs of any type of illness such as:

  • Flushed cheeks

  • Glassy eyes

  • Rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity)

  • Fatigue, and/or irritability

  • Frequent use of the bathroom


  1. Screening Protocol & Assessment

The district’s written protocol ensures daily temperature screening of all students and staff, and a daily screening questionnaire for employees and staff.

Prior to the start of the 2020-21 school year, the district will send a paper form to all parents/legal guardians on which they will indicate that they agree to take their student’s temperature each day before the student boards the school bus or travels to school and to keep any student home who has a temperature greater than 100.0°F. Each building’s central office staff will retain a copy of the signed form with the student’s annual forms. Staff will follow up via telephone call to any parent to ensure every student has a form on file.

Before entering any school building each day, a minimum of 25 percent of students will pass through a Onescreen GoSafe remote temperature monitor to ensure their temperatures are below 100.0°F. Any student registering a temperature above 100.0°F will be directed to the building’s isolation room for examination by the school nurse.

Before entering any school building each day, all Central Valley CSD employees will pass through a Onescreen GoSafe remote temperature to ensure  their temperature is below 100.0°F. They will also be required to complete a screening questionnaire via a Google Form on a Chromebook located at the main entrance of each building.  Negative form responses will automatically notify Cuyle Rockwell who will reach out to the employee's supervisor to isolate the employee. The questionnaire will ask if the staff member, to the best of their knowledge, has:

  • Knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19

  • Tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days

  • Has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

  1. Response to possible COVID-19

The district’s written protocol requires that anyone who has a temperature of 100°F or greater or has a positive response on the screening questionnaire will be isolated from others and sent home immediately. Students will be supervised in a previously identified isolated area while awaiting transport home. Prior to being sent home, any ill students or staff will be assessed by the School Nurse.  Staff will be instructed to follow-up with their healthcare provider. The district will follow Herkimer County Department of Health guidance regarding testing and contact tracing.

The district will provide staff and parents/guardians periodic reminders of the requirement by:

  • Automated telephone message, email, or text

  • Weekly written notices to homes in the parent/guardian’s native language where it is known that families cannot access the information through the other methods

  • Building letters/newsletters

  1. Isolation Protocol

The district’s written protocol requires any students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or positive response to the district’s screening questionnaire to be sent directly to a predetermined, supervised isolation area, separate from the school’s health office.

This isolation area will be monitored by a nurse’s aide while it is occupied by students.  That aide will be outfitted with appropriate PPE (surgical mask, face shield, gown, gloves, etc.). Students in the isolation area will have access to restrooms.

Students will be escorted from the isolation area to the parent/guardian. The parent/guardian will be instructed to call their health care provider, or if they do not have a health care provider, to follow up with a local clinic or urgent care center.

  1. Visitor/Guest/Contractor/Vendor Protocol

Central Valley CSD will require all visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors to complete a Google Form screening questionnaire and attest that their temperature was taken and is below 100°F each day before entering any school building.  If they cannot attest that their temperature has been taken, staff will take their temperature. The questionnaire will ask if the staff member, to the best of their knowledge, has:

  • Knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19

  • Tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days

  • Has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

Travel throughout the district’s buildings by visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors will be limited to minimize interaction with students and staff.  While in the district’s buildings, visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors must wear an acceptable face covering.  The district will provide a face covering if they do not have one.

  1. Parents/Legal Guardians Observing for Signs/Symptoms

The district has a written protocol to instruct parents/legal guardians to observe for signs of illness in their child that require the students to stay home from school.  This will be done prior to the 2020-21 School Year and periodically throughout the school year. 

 Parents/legal guardians will be instructed to look for the following symptoms/signs:

  • Fever (100.0°F or greater) or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing (including bluish lips)

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea

Parents/legal guardians will be instructed to keep their students until at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and/or 10 days have passed since symptoms onset.

  1. Hand & Respiratory Hygiene

The district has a written protocol to instruct staff and students in appropriate hand and respiratory hygiene.  This protocol will be reinforced with signage in various, conspicuous locations in its buildings.

Students and staff will be instructed on how to practice good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The district will plan time in the school day schedule to allow for hand hygiene, especially at the start of school, after using the restroom, before/after eating, after recess, before leaving school, etc. Hand hygiene includes:

  • Traditional hand washing (with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds)

  • Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (60% alcohol or greater) when soap and water are not available, and hands are not visibly dirty

  • Providing hand sanitizer throughout common areas (e.g. entrances, cafeteria), near high touch surfaces, and use touch free dispensers when able

  • Signage will be placed near hand sanitizer indicating visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water

  • Students or staff who are unable to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers for health reasons will be permitted to wash their hands with soap and water

Additionally, since COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, students and staff will be instructed on how to practice good respiratory hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

  • Instructing students and staff cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately

  • Providing a supply of tissues and trash cans nearby should be available in each room

 If no tissue is available, students and staff will be instructed to use the inside of the elbow (or shirtsleeve) to cover the mouth or nose and to always perform hand hygiene after sneezing, coughing and handling dirty tissues or other soiled material.

  1. Social Distancing Protocol

The district’s written protocol ensures all persons in school buildings keep social distance of at least six feet whenever possible.  The protocol will ensure that student groupings are as static as possible by keeping the same group/cohort of students together.

The size of the groupings/cohorts will be determined by the number of students who can be in each classroom while maintaining six (6) feet social distancing. The district also determined that a distance of twelve (12) feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require projecting the voice (singing, etc.), playing a woodwind or brass instrument, or aerobic activity resulting in heavy breathing (gym classes, etc.). Movement in-school will be reduced as much as possible.

The district will ensure social distancing at all times when individuals are eating in a school cafeteria and prohibit the sharing of food and beverages including: buffet style meals and snacks unless among members of the same household.

Gatherings in small spaces (elevators, supply rooms, faculty offices, conference rooms, add district specific small spaces, etc.) shall be limited to at most 50% of the maximum capacity of the space and all individuals in the space at the same time must wear acceptable face coverings.

Other actions the district may consider include:

  • Stagger arrival and/or dismissal times to allow increased social distancing on buses as well as in classrooms. 

  • Consider dividing up student entry points rather than funneling all students through the same entry space, to limit the amount of close contact between students in high-traffic situations and times.

  • Making arrival schedule changes for students who walk or are dropped off at school by a parent or caregiver is another possibility

  • Establish designated areas for student drop-off and pick-up, limiting contact and entry of parents/guardians into the building, to the greatest extent possible.

  • Turn desks (including teachers’) to face in the same direction rather than facing each other to reduce transmission caused by virus-containing droplets (e.g., from talking, coughing, sneezing)

  • Open windows to improve ventilation. Do not open windows if there is a health or safety risk (e.g., allergies, or potential fall)

  • Keep individual student belongings separated. Limit use of shared supplies to one group of students, clean between use by cohorts of students

  • Consider using visual aids (e.g., painter’s tape, stickers, posters, cones etc.) to illustrate traffic flow and appropriate spacing to support social distancing

  • Explore the use of alternate spaces (e.g., classroom) for eating lunch and breakfast. If alternate spaces are not available, ensure classroom groups are together in lunchrooms while adhering to the social distancing rules

  • Restrict the use of classrooms and other places where students, faculty, and staff gather (e.g., lockers, cubbies, entryways, hallways), so that individuals can be socially distanced. Assign lockers or other student storage areas by cohort or eliminate their use – however, students should not carry an unreasonable number of books or materials throughout the day

  • Limit gathering in small spaces (e.g., elevators, faculty offices) by more than one individual at a time, unless all individuals in such space are wearing acceptable face coverings

  • Playgrounds may continue to be used when proper safeguards are in place. In elementary school settings, consider staggering playground use rather than allowing multiple classes to play together. Limit other activities where multiple groups interact.

  • Wash hands before and after touching play structures and keep 6 feet of space from other children as much as possible. When possible, build in visual cues that demonstrate physical spacing

  • Cancel/limit student assemblies, athletic events/practices, performances, school-wide parent meetings. Consider transitioning field trips to free virtual opportunities. Consider changing in-school events to a virtual format

  • Limit visitors to school buildings. Consider using online meetings with parents and other persons when feasible.

  1. High Risk Accommodations

The district’s written protocol details how the district will provide accommodation to all students and staff who are at high-risk or live with a person at high risk. Currently, the CDC considers the following to indicators of being at high risk for COVID-19:

  • Individuals age 65 or older

  • Individuals with the following health conditions:

  • Cancer

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

  • Obesity (body mass index of 30 or higher)

  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

  • Sickle cell disease

  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

  • Children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.

Alternate plans will be created in consultation with school health personnel on how to meet the needs of the child at higher risk, while keeping social distancing.

  1. Staff/Visitors/Students Face Covering

The district’s written protocol requiring all Employees, Adult Visitors, and students to wear a cloth face covering whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. An acceptable face covering is defined by Centers for Disease Control as:

  • Fitting snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

  • Completely covering the nose and mouth

  • Is secured with ties or ear loops

  • Includes multiple layers of fabric

  • Allows for breathing without restriction

  • Can be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

All individuals in school facilities and on school grounds must be prepared to put on a face covering if another person unexpectedly cannot socially distance. According to the NYS Department of Health face shields worn without other face coverings are not considered adequate protection against COVID-19 and should not be used alone. All students and staff at Central Valley CSD must wear cloth face coverings:

  • Whenever they are within 6 feet of someone

  • In hallways

  • In restrooms

  • Add district-specific common areas

  • In other congregate settings, including buses.

The district will schedule “mask breaks” for students as needed throughout the day.

The district will provide acceptable face covering to all staff (and students if they forget their own) and have an adequate supply on hand to replace staff and student face covering as needed.

Per NYS Department of Health guidelines, face coverings will 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.

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

  • The proper way to wear face coverings

  • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering

  • Proper way to discard disposable face coverings

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

  1. Supply of Cloth Face Coverings

The district’s plan ensures that an appropriate supply of face coverings is available for its students, faculty, and staff.  The district is estimating the amount needed during in-person instruction using the NYS Education Department’s “PPE Burn Rate Calculator”.  The calculator recommends one (1) disposable mask per week per student. The district is working with both NYS and HFHO BOCES to obtain an appropriate supply of face coverings at the best price possible. The district has purchased one month of masks for use by school staff, students who need one. The inventory will be replaced as needed. The district purchased N95 masks and disposable gloves for the school nurses..

  1. Protocol for Confirmed COVID-19 Case

The district’s written protocol outlines steps to be taken if there is a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school.  The protocol centers around both cleaning/disinfecting areas, cooperating with the local Public Health Department, and following NYS Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control guidance.

If the district receives word that a student or staff has received a laboratory confirmed positive COVID-19 test, the district will take the following steps regarding the area used by the person with the confirmed case such as offices, classrooms, common areas, etc.:

  • Close off areas used by a sick person and not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred.

  • Increase air circulation by opening windows/outside doors.

  • District staff will wait as long as possible (ideally 24 hours) and then begin cleaning and disinfection as per Centers of Disease Control guidelines.

  • 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.

The district will cooperate with any and all contact tracing activities coordinated by the local Public Health Department.  This includes: 

  • Notifying the local health department to determine what steps are needed for the school community. 

  • Forwarding all appropriate sign-in/sign-out screening logs to the Public Health Department.

Due to HIPPA protections and NYS Education Department guidelines, the district will not notify the community of a positive COVID-19 test in the district.  Any announcement or notification will come from the local Public Health Department.

  1. Return to School/Work Protocol

The district’s written protocol complies with Centers for Disease Control and NYS Department of Health guidance, for the return to school/work for students and staff following a positive screen for COVID-19 symptoms, illness, or diagnosis of confirmed case of COVID-19, and following a quarantine due to contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

The duration of any quarantine will be determined by the local health department and the district will follow the local health department’s guidance.

If a student/staff is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school:

  • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours

  • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

If a student/staff is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test, or their symptoms, or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:

  • It has been at least ten (10) days since the individual first had symptoms

  • It has been at least three (3) days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine)

  • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

Prior to being sent home, any ill students or staff will be assessed by the School Nurse.  Staff will be instructed to follow-up with their healthcare provider.

  1. Cleaning & Disinfecting Protocol

The district’s written protocol requires schools are cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control principles: 

  • Normal routine cleaning with soap and water will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure.

  • Disinfection using EPA-approved disinfectants against COVID-19 can also help reduce the risk. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important.

  • When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants can be used (for example, 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water, or 70% alcohol solutions).

  • Staff will always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used when cleaning and disinfecting. Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on setting and product.

Most surfaces and objects in school buildings will just need normal routine cleaning. Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches, doorknobs, desktops, chairs, etc. will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects. Students will not be present when disinfectants are in use and will not participate in cleaning and/or disinfection activities.

Central Valley CSD has identified cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility and area type in the district:

  • Classrooms: Every day

  • Identified High Touch Areas: Throughout the day

  • Desktop and Chairs: Each time a class changes

  • Offices: Every day

  • Common Areas: Every day

The district will follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection of electronic devices such as laptops, iPads or Chromebooks, keyboards and computer mice, etc., between use.

School Health Office cleaning will occur after each use of:

  • Cots

  • Bathroom

  • Health office equipment (e.g. blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes, etc.) should be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

District outdoor areas, like playgrounds in schools and parks generally require normal routine cleaning, but do not require disinfection, but will be cleaned on a regular, established basis. Shared athletic/gym equipment (e.g., balls, protective gear) will be cleaned between use per manufacturer’s directions.

Custodial Staff will maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection in a facility or area. In order to disinfect areas frequently, additional staff may need to be trained in cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

  1. Safety Drills

The district’s written protocol requires schools to conduct mandated safety drills with modifications that will ensure social distancing and appropriate face coverings. NYS Education Department requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. This regulation has not been modified during the current Public Health Emergency.

The district will modify the ways drills are conducted. Modifications to evacuation drills will include:

  • Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site.

  • Staggering by classroom, minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site.

Modifications to Lockdown Drills will include:

  • Conducting lockdown drills in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing and using masks

  • Conducting lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing

  • Conduct lockdown drill in classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom (appropriate for first Lockdown Drill of the school year).

However, all drills conducted using a modified procedure, will be completed on that same school day and will include all students in the school building on that school day.

  1. Before/Aftercare Programs

If the district offers a before and aftercare programs when run by the district or an outside agency,.the program will be in a cohorted space and will abide by all applicable provisions of this plan.

  1. COVID-19 Safety Coordinator

Central Valley CSD has designated Superintendent of Schools Jeremy Rich as a COVID-19 Safety Coordinator with identified responsibilities that include:

  • Continuous compliance with all activities of Central Valley CSD’s reopening plans

  • Phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal or “new normal” levels.

  • Add any additional district/building duties

The COVID-19 Safety Coordinator is a district administrator. The COVID-19 Safety Coordinator will coordinate activities with the local Public Health Department and the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Safety Service to insure consistency across the region.  (Recommendation not requirement): The COVID-19 Safety Coordinator will also be:

  • The main point of contact upon identification of positive COVID-19 cases and responsible for subsequent communication

  • Responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents/guardians regarding the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and plans implemented by the school.

Facilities

  1. The district has made no changes or additions to facilities to accommodate this plan. Should changes become necessary, they will comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code and submit all changes to OFP.

  2. Director of Facilities II Gordon Miller and School Business Administrator James Humphrey will ensure compliance with the 2020 Building Condition Survey and Visual Inspection.

  3. Director of Facilities II Gordon Miller and Herkimer BOCES Safety Coordinator Adam Hutchinson will conduct the Lead-In-Water Testing as required by NYS DOH regulation 67-4.

  4. Director of Facilities II Gordon Miller will ensure all existing and new Alcohol-based Hand-Rub Dispensers which are installed in any location are in accordance with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5.

  5. The district will not install additional dividers in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, gymnasiums, doors, or other points of congregation. Should new dividers become necessary, the district will submit detailed floor plans to OFP for review.

  6. The district will not begin new building construction and temporary quarter projects. Should such a project become necessary, the district will submit plans to OFP for review.

  7. The district is not leasing additional facilities. Should leasing become necessary, the district will submit a plan to consult with OFP for a preliminary evaluation

  8. The district is not using tents or other non-permanent structures. Should they become necessary, the district will submit plans to NYSED that comply with the BCNYS.

  9. Director of Facilities II Gordon Miller will ensure that the existing or altered number of toilet and sink fixtures meets the minimum standards of the BCNYS.

  10. Each building will provide at least one drinking fountain per one hundred occupants.

  11. Director of Facilities II Gordon Miller will ensure the district maintains adequate, code-required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed. Steps taken will include:

  • Maintain service contracts for equipment and controls. 

  • Install appropriate air filters to optimize equipment performance

  • Perform routine maintenance on every air handler, univent and/or air circulating equipment to optimize performance

  • Monitor systems and promptly respond to alarms or problems

  • Use natural ventilation such as open windows and doors, fans, etc. when safe

  1. The district will not submit any projects only dedicated to "COVID-19 Reopening." Should such a project become necessary, it will be labeled as such.

  2. The district does not plan to use plastic separators. Should plastic dividers become necessary, they will comply with the 2020 BCNYS Section 2606.

Child Nutrition

  1. Students will continue receiving free breakfast and lunch under the Community Eligibility Program (CEP), whether in school or at home. If necessary, the district will deliver meals directly to rural homes and designated pick-up locations in villages.

  2. The Food Service Department will address all applicable health and safety guidelines.

  3. Building principals and classroom teachers will take appropriate measures to protect students with food allergies if students eat in spaces outside the cafeteria. All meals will be provided in socially distanced classrooms, minimizing the chances of exposure to food allergens. Schools will continue the practice of allowing students with extreme sensitivities to eat meals in the school’s designated area. The designated area will maintain social distancing protocols.

  4. Prior to and after eating, the classroom teacher or other adult present will encourage students to wash their hands or to disinfect their hands using hand sanitizer. The classroom teacher or other adult present will discourage sharing of food and beverage. This will be reinforced through verbal reminders, instructional videos, and wall posters.

  5. To minimize the likelihood of exposure and eliminate the need for additional cleaning, all meals will be served in the classroom. There will be no food service in the cafeteria or other public areas.

  6. Food Service Director Barbara Cristman will ensure compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.

  7. If necessary, Public Information Specialist Cuyle Rockwell will work with ELL Teacher Dawn Cooley to ensure information is communicated with families through multiple means in the languages spoken by families.

  8. Meals will be served in the classroom for grades PreK-6. Staggered classes. For grades 7-12, the district will deliver meals directly to rural homes and designated pick-up locations in villages.

  9. Food Service Director Barbara Cristman will ensure the development and maintenance of production records for each meal.

  10. Food Service Director Barbara Cristman will ensure compliance with the “Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.”

Transportation

  1. All Central Valley CSD and Birnie Bus vehicles used daily will be cleaned/disinfected once a day by transportation staff.

  2. Monitors and/or drivers will wipe down high-contact spots after each a.m. and p.m. run depending upon the disinfecting/cleaning schedule.

  3. School buses will not carry hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district.

  4. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants will not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer on school buses.

  5. School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics will wear a face covering along with optional face shield.

  6. Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will receive initial video training and periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  7. Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will receive initial video training and periodic refreshers  on the proper use of social distancing.

  8. Transportation departments/carriers will provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses.

  9. The district will provide hand sanitizer for all transportation staff in the employee bus garage.

  10. Drivers, monitors and attendants who have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.

  11. School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics shall perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID 19 before arriving to work.

  12. Students must wear a mask on a school bus if they are physically able.

  13. Students who do not have a mask will NOT be denied transportation.

  14. Students who do not have masks must be provided one by the district.

  15. Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation.

  16. Students will be trained and provided periodic reminders on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

  17. Students will be trained and provided periodic reminders on the proper use of social distancing.

  18. The district will provide pupil transportation to nonpublic, parochial, private, and charter schools or out-of-district placements whose schools are conducting in-­person education when/if the district is not.

  19. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a mask are not subject to the requirement.

  20. Students must social distance (6 feet) on the bus

  21. The district will transport students to the extent required by law (e.g., homeless).

  22. Wheelchair buses will be configured to ensure social distancing of six feet

  23. Parents will ensure children are not experiencing any COVID symptoms/fever (see NYSED FAQ)

  24. The district will comply with the “Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work during the COVID-19 Health Emergency”

Social and Emotional Well-Being

  1. Director of Curriculum and Instruction Kathy Carney and CVA Assistant Principal Sally Kramas will review and update district-wide and building-level comprehensive developmental school counseling program plans, developed under the direction of certified school counselor(s) to meet current needs.

  2. The district’s existing advisory council, currently comprised of parents, social workers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and administrators, will expand to include students, members of the board of education, School Intervention Partnership Program (SIPP) worker, and students to inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan.

  3. The district will continue to provide resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs through:

  • Comfort Corner - a biweekly listing of resources for students, parents and staff, available on the district website

  • Personal intervention through school social workers, counselors, and psychiatrists

  1. The district will provide 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 supports for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. Specifically, the district is scheduling:

  • Brian Mendler - Reaching difficult and disruptive students

  • David Stuart - Student Motivation, science and interventions that matter most

School Schedules

  1. Whether under the in-person, remote or hybrid learning model, students will follow the building’s daily schedule. This will allow a smooth transition between learning models, if necessary.

CVA

  • 7 a.m.—Doors open

  • 7:40 - 8:15 a.m.—Period 1

  • 8:15 - 8:20 a.m.—Announcements

  • 8:23 - 8:58 a.m.—Period 2

  • 9:01 - 9:36 a.m.—Period 3

  • 9:39 - 10:14 a.m.—Period 4

  • 10:17 - 10:42 a.m.—Period 5

  • 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.—Period 6

  • 11:33 a.m. - 12:08 p.m.—Period 7

  • 12:11 - 12:46 p.m.—Period 8

  • 12:49 - 1:24 p.m.—Period 9

  • 1:30 - 2:30—Office Hours, Instructional Support/PD & Curriculum Development

Jarvis Middle School

  • 7:00 a.m.— Doors Open

  • 7:00 - 7:40 a.m.—Advisory

  • 7:40 - 8:15 a.m.—Period 1

  • 8:15 - 8:20 a.m.—Announcements

  • 8:23 - 8:58 a.m.—Period 2

  • 9:01 - 9:36 a.m.—Period 3

  • 9:39 - 10:14 a.m.—Period 4 (5th Lunch)

  • 10:17 - 10:52—Period 5 (6th Lunch)

  • 10:55 - 11:30—Period 6 (7th Lunch)

  • 11:33 a.m. - 12:08 p.m.—Period 7 (8th Lunch)

  • 12:11 - 12:46 p.m.—Period 8

  • 12:49 - 1:24 p.m.—Period 9

  • 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.—Office Hours, Instructional Support/PD & Curriculum Development

Barringer Elementary School

  • 8 a.m.—Doors open

  • 8:30—Instruction begin

  • 2:00—Car rider dismissal begins

Fisher Elementary School

  • 8 a.m.—Doors open

  • 8:30—Instruction begin

  • 2:00—Car rider dismissal begins

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

  1. The district will continue to take daily class attendance. The mechanism will vary by the learning model:

  • In-person - SchoolTool

  • Remote - Teachers will track attendance in their daily Google Meets and monitor participation in class/course assignments

  1. The district will continue the current practice of monitoring absences and intervening if a student demonstrates a pattern of chronic absenteeism. Interventions may include:

  • An automatic attendance letter triggered when absences exceed five in a quarter

  • Phone calls to parent/guardian

  • Personal visit by the School Resource Officer

  1. Director of Curriculum & Instruction Kathy Carney will meet program specialists from Madison-Oneida Regional Information Center to explore other tools to monitor attendance and participation under a remote or hybrid learning model.

Technology and Connectivity

  1. Building principals conducted surveys of their families to determine the level of access to devices and high-speed internet all students and teachers have in their places of residence.

  2. Each student in grades 5-12 will be issued a Chromebook for use in school and at home. If circumstances force the district to move to a remote or hybrid learning model, each student in grades PK-4 will be issued a Chromebook for use at home. For students without high-speed internet, the district will provide home connectivity through Kajeet, a broadband, wireless service. If Kajeet does not serve a particular residence, the student(s) will be transported to school for in-person instruction each day as long as regulations allow or the school remains open for in-person instruction.

  3. The district will provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models, especially if all students do not yet have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet. This may occur via:

  • Paper materials under a hybrid or remote learning model.

  • Optional in-person learning for Special Education students and students lacking high-speed internet under a hybrid model.

Teaching and Learning

Continuity of Learning Plans

  1. Each school has a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year that prepares for in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction. (See plans above)

  2. Each school has a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year that is aligned to the New York State Learning Standards, regardless if instruction is delivered in person, remotely or in a hybrid model. (See plans above)

  3. Each school has a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year that includes regular substantive interaction between teachers and students whether delivered in-person, remotely or through a hybrid model of instruction. (See plans above)

  4. Each school has a continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year that places equity at the heart of all school instructional decisions. All instruction, whether delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model due to a local or state school closure, provides clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students. Such opportunities are aligned with State standards and include routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from their teachers. (See plans above)

  5. Students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology via telephone to the school office or teacher email. This information will be posted on the district website www.cvalleycsd.org and shared via written correspondence sent to parents/legal guardians.

  6. The district does not contract with outside agencies to provide prekindergarten programming. IShould that change, the district will ensure eligible agencies with whom it contracts will follow health and safety guidelines outlined in NYSED guidance and required by the New York State Department of Health. The district will also ensure their eligible agencies have a Continuity of Learning plan that addresses in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction.

Special Education

  1. Whether services are provided in-person, remotely, and/or through a hybrid model, Central Valley CSD will provide the free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education and services. FAPE may include, as appropriate, special education and related services provided through distance instruction provided virtually, online, or telephonically.

  2. Whether services are provided in-person, remotely, and/or through a hybrid model, Central Valley CSD will document the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities. Central Valley CSD will continue to utilize normal data tracking procedures for services and goals according to the individual’s IEP and will continue to follow standard and routine communication schedules with parents.

  3. Whether services are provided in-person, remotely, and/or through a hybrid model, Central Valley CSD will facilitate meaningful parent engagement in the parent's preferred language or mode of communication regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA. The Central Valley CSD will work collaboratively and creatively to help ensure there is an understanding of the school’s efforts to provide services consistent with the recommendations on the IEP. The Central Valley CSD will also continue to monitor student progress through our normal tracking procedures and protocols and communicate this information with parents in their preferred language or mode of communication such as emails, letters, and/or phone calls.

  4. Whether services are provided in-person, remotely, and/or through a hybrid model, Central Valley CSD will ensure that students have access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology to meet the unique disability-related needs of students as indicated on each individual's IEP. During this national emergency, Central Valley CSD may not be able to provide all services in the same manner they are typically provided. In some cases, it may be unfeasible or unsafe to provide hands-on physical therapy, occupational therapy, or any other related service. Practices such as distance instruction, teletherapy and tele-intervention, meetings held on digital platforms, online options for data tracking, and documentation will be utilized during these unprecedented times.  In cases where the student’s IEP cannot be met as written, the CSE office will collaborate with parents and administrators of the student to address the issue, and most importantly, provide the student with what he/she needs to be successful.

  5. Whether services are provided in-person, remotely, and/or through a hybrid model, the district will ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on individualized education programs/(IEPs), plans for monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to sharing resources. The Central Valley CSD may not be able to provide all services in the same manner that they are typically provided, and will work collaboratively with the appropriate parents, educators, and administrators to continue to meet the needs of children with disabilities. In making changes to a child’s IEP after the annual IEP Team meeting, the parent of a child with a disability and the Central Valley CSD may agree to not convene an IEP Team meeting for the purposes of making those changes, and instead develop a written document to amend or modify the child’s current IEP.

Bilingual Education and World Languages

  1. The district will continue to comply with the requirement to complete the ELL identification process through the administration of the NYSITELL assessment within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, 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 must resume for all students within required 10 school days of initial enrollment as required by Commissioner's Regulations Part 154.

  2. ELL teacher Dawn Cooley will provide required instructional 180 Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English Language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction. This will continue via Google Meet when remote.

  3. ELL teacher Dawn Cooley will routinely communicate with parents/guardians of ELLs via Language Link software to ensure that they are engaged in their children's education during the reopening process, and provide all communications for parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication. She will maintain of contact log to document her communications.

Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

  1. The district will continue to evaluate all teachers and principals pursuant to the district’s currently approved APPR plan, including any variance applications approved by the State Education Department. 

Certification, Incidental Teaching, and Substitute Teaching

  1. The district will continue to require that all teachers hold valid and appropriate certificates for their teaching assignments except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner's regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or Education Law.