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Health/Safety

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The health and safety of the children and adults in our schools is the number one priority in all decision-making processes. Every new plan and procedure was created with the health and safety of our students and staff in mind. South Glens Falls will continuously review and consider the number of students and staff allowed to return in person. The following factors will be conidered when determining resumption of in-person instruction and continuation of in-person instruction once it has begun:

  • Ability to maintain appropriate social distance
  • PPE and cloth face mask availability
  • Availability of safe transportation
  • Local hospital capacity (The district will consult with the Saratoga County Department of Health to review these numbers regularly.)

Staff Health Screening

  • Staff will be required to self screen and report this daily. Pinpoint Health Screening will be used to track this daily screening requirement. Staff will be asked if they have:
    • 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;
    • Experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F, in the past 14 days; and/or
    • 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.
  • Any individual who screens positive for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, or who presents with a temperature greater than 100.0°F, must not be allowed to enter the school if screened outside, and must be immediately sent home with instructions to contact their health care provider for assessment and testing.

Visitors, Guests, Contractors and Vendors

  • Visitors will be limited in all school buildings. Only scheduled visitors and parents picking up children will be allowed in the school buildings. Scheduled visitors will self screen and submit their answers when reporting to the building.
  • Contractors and vendors will also be limited during the school day. Upon arrival to any district building they will answer a screening questionnaire.

Student Health Screening

  • Families will be required to self screen students and to report this daily. Pinpoint Health Screening will be used to track this daily screening requirement. A daily email will be sent to families with a link to use to report. Below are the questions that will be asked. Have you:
    • 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;
    • Experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F, in the past 14 days; and/or
    • 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.
  • Any student who screens positive for COVID-19 exposure or symptoms, or who presents with a temperature greater than 100.0°F, must not be allowed to enter the school if screened outside, and must be immediately sent home with instructions to contact their health care provider for assessment and testing.
  • Separate guidance and directions on how to use the screener will be sent to all families.

Healthy Hygiene Practices

  • Healthy hygiene practices will be taught and re-taught in school settings for both students and staff.
    • Scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not accessible. Staff and students should use paper towels (or single use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
  • Families will be given a toolkit on how to assist their children in learning about hand and respiratory hygiene.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the schools.
  • Students will be given time to allow for frequent hand hygiene.
  • All schools will post signs throughout the school and should regularly share messages with the school community.
  • At a minimum, students and staff should wash hands, as follows:
    • Upon entering the building and each classroom;
    • After using shared objects or surfaces (e.g., electronic devices, musical instruments, writing utensils, tools, toys, desks or table tops);
    • Before and after snacks and lunch;
    • After using the bathroom;
    • After helping a student with toileting;
    • After sneezing, wiping or blowing nose, or coughing into hands;
    • Upon coming in from outdoors; and
    • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.
  • The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Students and staff must cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately.
  • A supply of tissues will be available in every classroom.

Social Distancing

All students will be required to maintain a minimum of 6-foot distancing while in school. Because of this, a hybrid model of learning will be utilized to start the school year.

  • The district must maintain protocols and procedures for students, faculty and staff to ensure appropriate social distancing to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus when on school grounds and in school facilities. Specifically, appropriate social distancing means 6 feet of space in all directions between individuals or use of appropriate physical barriers between individuals that do not adversely affect air flow, heating, cooling or ventilation, or otherwise present a health or safety risk. If used, physical barriers must be put in place in accordance with United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, and may include strip curtains, cubicle walls, polycarbonate or similar materials, or other impermeable divider or partition.
  • To the extent possible, we will attempt to create smaller student/educator cohorts to minimize the mixing of student groups throughout the day. We will also minimize movement of students, educators and staff as much as possible.
  • Social distancing (of at least 6 feet or a physical barrier) must be maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds, including in the cafeteria, unless safety or the core activity (e.g., moving equipment, using an elevator, traveling in common areas) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household.
  • In a circumstance where sufficient physical distancing is difficult or impossible, such as when students enter or exit a school bus in proximity to the bus driver, all individuals, including staff and students, must wear face coverings that cover the mouth and nose consistent with public health guidance. To be clear, face coverings are not a replacement for physical distancing, but they should be used to mitigate virus spread when physical distancing is not feasible.
  • Signage will be posted around all school buildings recommending social distancing.
  • South Glens Falls must ensure that a distance of 12 feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require projecting the voice (e.g., singing), playing a wind instrument, or aerobic activity resulting in heavy breathing (e.g., participating in gym classes). Modifications will be made to those classes and curriculum to accommodate this.
  • Each school will create a plan for moving students in the hallway. This will address physical distancing objectives as students move between classrooms and will be shared with staff and students at the start of the school year.

Containment Planning

Stopping the spread of the virus is a top priority of the school district. Because the health and wellbeing of all is our number one priority, we must plan for what happens when a student or staff member becomes positive.

Containment Team

Superintendent, Business Manager, Director of Building and Grounds, Building Principal, Building Supervisor, District Nurse Supervisor, School Nurse

Information to Staff and Families of Sick Students of Home Isolation Criteria

When someone has symptoms that are presenting:

  • Staff and students should not come to school, and that they should notify school officials (building principals or supervisor and the superintendent) if they (staff) or their child (families) become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, test positive for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case.

If a staff member or student has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case:

  • After notifying the supervisor, staff or student will be in quarantine for 14 calendar days and will only return to work if they have no symptoms.
  • Since this person has no symptoms, areas affected will remain open but a deep clean and disinfecting will take place.
  • No contact tracing needs to take place.

If a staff member or student becomes sick with COVID-19 symptoms during the school day:

If a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19:

  • The superintendent will work with the district nurse, building administrator and Director of Maintenance & Building and Grounds to immediately begin the next steps.
Clean and Disinfect
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfection products including storing products securely away from children.
  • When it is not feasible to wait 24 hours – cleaning and districfection should be done after everyone has left for the academic day in order to deep clean the space. Staff who are working in the space may have to assist with temporarily cleaning the space until a thorough job can be done when the space is unoccupied.
  • District nurse will begin contact tracing protocols immediately and contact the Department of Health.
Notify Health Officials and Close Contacts
  • In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, school administrators should notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • School nurses have completed the John Hopkins Contact Tracer Course and will start the process of tracing and work with the Department of Health on this.
  • Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home, self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
  • Close contact is defined as an individual who has had close contact (< 6 feet)** for ≥15 minutes.***
    • An entire school may not be closed because of one confirmed case.
    • Any staff or student that meets the close contact criteria will be quarantined for 14 days and will need to monitor for symptoms.
      • Stay home until 14 days after last exposure and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others at all times.
      • Self-monitor for symptoms:
        • Check the temperature twice a day.
        • Watch for fever, cough or shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
      • Avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
      • Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
      • If no symptoms develop, they will return to school after the 14 days.
    • Based on the number of students and staff that meet the close contact criteria, a determination will be made by the superintendent about remote learning for one class, some classes or the entire school.
Return to School after Illness

SGF must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If a person 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 have a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

If a person 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 10 days since the individual first had symptoms;
  • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine); and
  • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

The CDC provides specific guidance for individuals who are on home isolation regarding when the isolation may end.

Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings

Other Facility Planning

Fire Code Compliance

Changes or additions to facilities require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), since all spaces to be occupied by public school students and staff must meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code. At this time, the district has no plans to alter our facilities. However, if we need to in the future, should alterations be made, SGF will submit the proposed changes to the OFP for review and approval – just as with any other project.

Doorways

Many stairs and corridor doors have closers with automatic hold opens. These doors are normally held in the open position and are automatically released by the fire alarm system. The function, position and operation of those doors will remain unchanged.

Emergency Drills

Each school will conduct standard operations and procedures to the best of their abilities without deviating from current requirements. Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and regulation and the Fire Code and they must be conducted without exceptions. Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown Plans. These plans include a description of how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. Each school will write specific protocols and share these with all staff that promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills. These changes will be included in the Fire Safety plans.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic the school district will allow the temporary covering of vision panels during a lockdown drill. By covering the vision panels this will provide more spaces in the room for safety and maintain social distancing to the greatest extent feasible.

Inspections

All Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections will continue to be accomplished in our original timeline.

Lead Testing – 2020

Clean and safe drinking water is an essential part of opening schools safely for our students and staff. When our buildings are open and occupied, the district will conduct lead testing based on the DOH regulations.

Ventilation

The district will work with experts in the field of HVAC and will have the best filters installed that will assist in the filtering of contaminants in the building, while not putting undue stress on the system that will ultimately cause failure.