Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School Multi-Layered COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Kenneth L. Rutherford
Elementary School
Monticello Central School District

Rutherford’s Multi-Layered COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Planning for the 2021-2022 school year



Rutherford Will Be Responsive

  • Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 pandemic, this prevention plan should be considered a living document and will be updated frequently as more information becomes available, or as situations change.


Developed in Consultation with Experts

  • The Monticello Central School District has been guided by the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the requirements from the Sullivan County Department of Public Health, in the creation of its COVID-19 Mitigation and Prevention Plan.



  • Health & Safety
  • Well-being of students and staff- Socialization
  • Quality of teaching and learning-Engagement


In Person Instruction

  • Our focus continues to be having all our students safely back in school, five days a week. We are not offering a remote option to students. In order to keep our community safe, layering multiple prevention strategies is essential.


Elements of Multi-Layered Mitigation

  • Encouraging Vaccination
  • Universal Indoor Mask-Wearing
  • Daily health screening
  • Social distancing
  • Cohorts/pods of individuals
  • Improved ventilation/air quality
  • Handwashing
  • Respiration Hygiene –( Covering coughs & sneezes )
  • Staying home when sick with symptoms
  • Protocol for returning to school
  • Cleaning/disinfecting of facilities


Promoting Vaccination

COVID-19 vaccination for all eligible students as well as teachers, staff, and household members is the most critical strategy to help schools safely resume full operations.


Universal Masking

  • Students and staff are required to wear face masks whenever they are in MCSD Buildings, except when eating. Masks are not required when outside of school buildings.
  1. Students may wear their own appropriate face covering
  2. The district will supply a face mask when necessary
  3. During school transportation:
  1. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses
    regardless of vaccination status. Bus windows must be open
    while students are on the bus.


Social Distancing

  • Students and staff will maintain social distancing guidelines while in the school building and on school property, including the school bus.
  • Three (3) feet of distance must be maintained to the greatest extend possible between student in all indoor spaces and school buses
  • Six (6) feet of distance must be maintained between adults and students
  • Six (6) feet of distance must be maintained when singing, playing recorders,
    physical education, and/or any aerobic activity
  • Phys. Ed. classes will limit extended close contact and will held outside weather permitting



  • Cohorting means keeping people together in a small group and having each group stay together throughout an entire day. Cohorting can be used to limit the number of students, teachers, and staff who come in contact with each other, especially when it is challenging to maintain physical distancing, such as among young children, and particularly in areas of moderate-to-high transmission levels.
  • Students will remain in their classrooms for much of the day, including lunch, but may leave to attend some special area classes. Some special area teachers may push into classrooms. Some staff may work in more than one classroom, but we will limit cross-classroom staffing as much as possible. Each grade level will enter and exit the building through their assigned unique entrance.

Third Grade Entrance – In front of Parent Drop-Off/Pick-Up
(Far right from Parking Lot)

A tan building with large doors in the center

Fourth Grade Entrance 
(Far left from Parking Lot near Flagpole)

A tan brick build that says Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School. Doors are to the left.

Fifth Grade Entrance
Main Entrance to Building

A covered entrance to a building with four glass doors.

Students and staff will undergo a temperature screening when entering the building.

  1. Have you had COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days? These
    symptoms include sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown
    reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of
    taste, or fever at or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Have you had a positive diagnostic COVID-19 test in the past 14 days?
  3. Have you had close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID-19
    case in the past 14 days and are unvaccinated?
  4. Have you been under quarantine and not cleared to return to work?
  5. Have you traveled internationally in the past 14 days?


Attention to Ventilation

  • Window fans may be used to cross ventilate rooms, fans should be pointed away from people, and not be used to recirculate air in a classroom.
  • All classrooms have an air filtration unit.
  • During transportation, in buses and other forms of transportation, windows will be kept open if doing so does not pose a safety risk.


Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

  • People should practice handwashing and respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) to keep from getting and spreading infectious illnesses including COVID-19


Staying Home when Sick and Getting Tested

  • Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as
    influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care, regardless of vaccination status.


Additional Health Monitoring

  • ALL individuals (students, parents, staff…) need to self-monitor body temperature and general health condition every morning; and stay home if
  • If a parent is considering administering cold medicine for their child, then that child should not be attending school
  • When in doubt it will be best to keep your student home


Suspected Individuals will be Isolated

  • Students/staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire will be sent to an isolation space, students will be supervised, and parent will be contacted immediately. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students/staff will
    be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.


Parent Contact

  • It is very important that the school is able to make timely contact with a parent if their child needs to be picked-up from school.
  • Inform the office of preference in parent
  • Answer the phone when receiving calls from any school number (rarely is a robo-call sent during the day)


Return to School after Illness

The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with Sullivan County Public Health Services, about the requirements for determining when individuals (regardless of vaccination status) who exhibit COVID-like symptoms can return to school. Those individuals who DO NOT test positive and are not directly linked to a positive case can return to school when they are able to show:

  1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation with alternative diagnosis, or
  2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, and
  3. Symptom resolution for at least 24 hours, or if COVID-19 positive, release from

Please note that either (1) or (2), and (3) must be met


Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine

  • “Contacts” are adults who have been within six (6) feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period or students who are closer than three (3) feet or between three (3) and six (6) feet appropriately masked continuously.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who have been deemed a contact will be referred to SCPHS for quarantine.
  • Vaccinated individuals will not be considered contacts and will not be referred to SCPHS. However, should self-monitor for symptoms and be tested 3-5 days after exposure if they become symptomatic. Vaccinated individuals must show proof of vaccination if they wish to be exempt from referral to SCPHS.
  • Fully vaccinated contacts do not need to quarantine following an exposure (they can continue to attend school in-person and participate in other activities), so long as they have no symptoms of COVID-19
  • Any individual who does not want to be referred to SCPHS as a contact because they are vaccinated will need to provide proof of vaccination to the district representative responsible for contact tracing in the building.
  • In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the contact definition excludes students who were within six (6) feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore wellfitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting. Please note that our students will be eating in their classrooms and will not be masked. This would require us to identify any student closer than six (6) feet to an infected individual to be identified as a close contact.


Instruction During Quarantine

  • All students will receive instruction during quarantine. Details are being
    determined now and will be shared once finalized.
  • All students and faculty/staff will be issued a district device. Additionally, students with inconsistent broadband access at home may request a district hotspot from their building principal.


Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • MCSD will clean and disinfect buildings once a day.
  • If an individual who has tested positive has been in a district space, that space will be closed, cleaned and disinfected before the space is reoccupied.
  • Cleaning products will be made available in each district building, if individuals would like to clean more frequently.


We are all in this together

  • By following all guidelines, we are making it possible to open our schools, stay open, and to adjust with conditions to lessen mitigation steps when possible…


Arrival/Dismissal Procedures

  • Students will enter and exit the building through their assigned doorways for morning entrance and afternoon dismissal.
  • Tardy students must enter at the main entrance and check in with office personnel.
  • For afternoon student pick-up, parents/guardians will remain in their vehicle while students are brought out of the building. Student pick-up will begin at 3:20 pm.
  • Bus pick-up and transport is only to and from the primary residence


Update Your Parent/Student Information

  • Make sure your primary residence information is updated; this is the address that transportation will use to make bus routes
  • Create your SchoolMessenger account (Download APP); no more paper forms
  • Emergency contact information is parent/guardian responsibility within the SchoolTool Parent Portal system (on district web page)
  • Please keep all active phone numbers and addresses updated with the main office. This will help us communicate with you regularly



  • Math, ELA, science, and social studies will take place according to established instructional time guidelines
  • Students will have one special per day
  • Interventions, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, guidance counseling, counseling w/social worker and/or other services will be scheduled in collaboration with the classroom teachers.


Food Services

  • Student breakfasts will be “Grab and Go” at their assigned entrance. Students will eat at their desk in their classroom at their fixed distance.
  • Plan to send individual snacks for your student only; individually wrapped snacks will be provided for students without a snack as needed.
  • Lunch will be brought to each student classroom; students will eat in their classroom at their fixed distance location.
  • Food allergies will be attended to through collaboration and communication between the family, school nurse, administrators, the classroom teacher, food services, staff delivering food, and staff monitoring student lunch.


District-Issued Devices- iPads/Chargers

  • MCSD will be providing iPads and charging cords to every enrolled student in grades 3, 4 and 5.
  • Students will be expected to transport their iPad back and forth between home and school daily.
  • Students are expected to charge their iPad at home nightly. Please help them plan/learn good charging habits.



How to contact us….

Christopher Palmer, Principal –

Veronica Serrano, Assistant Principal –

Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School
26 Patricia Place
Monticello, New York 12701
(845) 794-4240/ Fax (845) 794-5137