Our Path Forward: Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Message from Superintendent Dr. Matthew Evans 

Dear Monticello School Community Members,

This school opening plan represents the best of our knowledge as of July 31, 2020.  It reflects the work of staff and volunteers who committed to developing plans that allow Monticello’s students to resume their education—either in-person or remotely—for 2020–21.  The plans are consistent with the guidance published by the New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department.

While community members are encouraged to consult their school’s specific plans the following represents a summary of our plans for 2020–21.  All of these are subject to change, based on infection rates, logistics, and unforeseen issues.

I. Health and Safety

    1. All students and staff will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times, and wear face coverings except for particular situations (for example, eating and mask breaks).
    2. We ask that all parents check their child’s temperatures and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, chills, cough, etc.) in the morning, before students are brought to school. Any student with a temperature of 100° F or more will be sent home.
    3. In addition to daily temperature checks, students and staff will be screened with a health questionnaire regarding coronavirus symptoms, and exposures to infected individuals.
    4. Masks will be provided upon request. 
    5. All schools will be closed on Wednesdays for deep cleaning and disinfection.

II. Cohort Options 

Students will be organized into one of four groups, known as “cohorts.” Regardless of cohort, all students will receive, and be expected to participate in, five days of instruction.

  1. Parents may enroll their students in
    1. A hybrid model—two days in-person/three days remote, or
    2. An all remote learning model—five days/week.
  2. Students of particular needs will be identified and invited to attend in-person instruction, four days per week (and remote instruction on Wednesdays).
  3. Please note, however, that social distancing guidelines limit the amount of school space available for in-person instruction. While we will make every effort to accommodate family preference, we can not guarantee enrollment in any particular in-person cohort.

III. In-Person Instruction

  1. Students in cohort A will attend in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  2. Students in cohort B will attend in-person on Thursdays and Fridays.
  3. To prevent a system overload, our schools will have a staggered phase-in of grades over several weeks. This is to ensure that all social distancing and other health measures can be appropriately maintained.  Please see your school’s plan for more details.
  4. The first cohorts—of the staggered phase-in—will begin in-person instruction on September 14.
  5. Remote learning will begin for all students on September 14.

IV. Remote Learning 

  1. A school staff member will connect with students—live and daily—when they are attending in remote learning. We are required to take student attendance, daily, even in remote learning.
  2. The remote learning platform for students in grades K–2 will be Seesaw.
  3. Students in grades 3–12 will participate in remote learning through Microsoft Teams.
  4. Monticello instructional staff will utilize one or more of the strategies described in blendedlearning.org, as a regular practice in remote learning.

V. Other 

  1. Students will be graded as they had been, traditionally, prior to the March 2020 closure.
  2. Student attendance will be taken daily and monitored by Monticello staff. If a student is participating actively in remote instruction, he/she will not be marked, “absent.”

This is a very high-level overview of our school opening plans.  Please be sure to review your school-specific plan for more details.  Our schools will also hold parent informational sessions from August 7–14.  Please see Fall 2020 Informational Nights for more details about this schedule. 

We believe that—given these trying times—we are providing the best we can to maintain healthy schools and restore quality learning for our students and staff.  We will monitor these environments and other trends frequently and make adjustments when necessary.

I appreciate the work our committees and staff members have done in creating these plans.  They have volunteered their time or had their usual work schedules significantly interrupted (or both) to develop these thoughtful plans.

I hope all of you stay well and enjoy your summer.  Please check our website, www.monticelloschools.net, regularly, for updates, or follow us on Twitter, @mevansmonti or @whymontirocks.

 

Sincerely Yours,

Matthew T. Evans, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
Monticello Central School District

Fall 2020 Informational Nights

After Governor Cuomo announces his final decision regarding school building openings during the first week of August, the district will host a series of virtual parent information sessions.

The schedule for these meetings is as follows; the meetings will be recorded and posted as they are completed:

Aug. 6 – Robert J. Kaiser Middle School, 6 p.m.

Aug. 10 – Monticello High School, 6 p.m.

Aug. 11 – Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School, 6 p.m.

Aug. 12 – George L. Cooke Elementary School, 6 p.m.

Aug. 13 – Emma C. Chase Elementary School, 6 p.m.

Our Path Forward: Planning for the 2020-21 School Year

Committee Members

High School Committee Members:

Barbara Recchio
Courtney Bonfante
Deb Cahill
Elizabeth Bassett
Jeff Danzer
Jeffrey Mannino
Jennifer Gorr
John Maranzana
Karen Collura
Kimberly Gordon
Lisa Jamin
Maria Cruz
Nancy Wegrzyn
Nicole Grant
Rachel Blount
Rachel McBride
Robyn Boardman
Rose Joyce-Turner
Sandy Wagner
Shannon Leaney-Levenson
Sheryl Manz
Stephen Wilder
Tanya Duryea
Dawn Parsons
Steve Lewis
Robin Sklar
Nelson Quinones

Middle School Committee Members:

Bill Stento
Brittney Hardin
Dana Taylor
Harrison Larson
Jason Doyle
Jennifer Ducey
Kim Gordon
Laurie Oshinsky
Elizabeth Bassett
Mary Beth Bastone
Michelle Knowlton
Nancy Wegrzyn
Sara Kozachuk
Stacy Cornelius
Timothy Mangiaracina
Tracey Orlan
Dawn Parsons
Steve Lewis
Robin Sklar
Nelson Quinones

Elementary Committee Members:

Ann Marie Kurthy
Barbara Recchio
Christopher Palmer
Claire Byrne
Conmeka Lockhart
Connie Avery-Cheng
Courtney Bonfante
Cyrena DiCio
Douglas Murphy
Elisa Mendels
Ellen Einhorn
Erin Mentnech
Jacqueline Jara-Cole
Jill Yannetta
John Larson
Kelly Ann Olsen
Lisa Jamin
Makayla Jahn
Maria Cruz
Mary Wells
Maryann Swensen
Melanie Hector
Michele Rosenstein
Michelle Dennis
Molly Messina
Nancy Soldwedel
Paola Salcedo
Patricia Andersen
Patricia Whipple
Petrina Kavleski
Sandra Monroe
Sandy Wagner
Sarah Mootz
Sue Rodriguez
Susan Poli
Tiffany Kelly
Tim Mangiaracina
Virginia Gallet
William Frandino
Dawn Parsons
Steve Lewis
Robin Sklar
Nelson Quinones

Introduction

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

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

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close. While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a for a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. Parents will always have the choice to remain in the remote learning model.

There will be four cohorts (groups) of students in the fall semester:

Cohort A:

In-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, remote learning Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Cohort B:

Remote learning Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday.

Cohort C (invitation only):

In-person instruction on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with remote learning on Wednesday. Cohort C will be comprised of students entering kindergarten, English as a New Language (ENL) students, homeless students, special education self-contained students, and students in households without internet access.

Cohort D:

Fully remote learning.

This model enables the district to resume a form of in-person instruction with proper social distancing procedures in place by limiting the number of students in school on any given day and by allowing for a day of deep cleaning and disinfection (Wednesday) in between cohort groups.

Families will complete an enrollment form by Aug. 15  to opt their children into Cohort A or B (two days per week of in-person instruction) or Cohort D (fully remote). Building staff will ensure a 100% completion of enrollment forms by following up with phone calls, and in-person visits, where necessary.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Monticello Central School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures for the following schools:

Chase Elementary SchoolPrincipal Bill Frandino

Cooke Elementary SchoolPrincipal Conmeka Lockhart

KLR Elementary SchoolPrincipal Christopher Palmer

RJK Middle SchoolPrincipal Michelle Knowlton

Monticello High SchoolPrincipal Stephen Wilder

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Dr. Linda Oehler-Marx, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. She will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines.

In late May, the district formed three reopening committees at the elementary, middle and high school to create a plan for September 2020. These committees are comprised of administrators, teachers, nurses, teaching assistants, parents, related service personnel and members of the technology, transportation, security, and facilities departments.

Our three priorities in creating this plan are: the health and safety of our students and staff, the quality of the teaching and learning, and being fiscally responsible in the process.

We also relied on feedback collected from our parents through an online survey administered in June 2020, which received more than 1,200 responses. More than one third of our parents indicated that they preferred a fully remote option for their families. The other two thirds expressed a desire for buildings to reopen, but a concern for the safety of their children.

During the week of July 16, the New York State Education Department released a 145-page document outlining the mandatory requirements and considerations for school reopening. The three committees began to meet almost daily to work through the guidelines and prepare a plan for learning that prioritizes health and safety, allows a degree of flexibility for family choice in terms of scheduling, emphasizes social-emotional learning and supports academic success.

Communication/Family and Community Engagement

To help inform our reopening plan, the district has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations, including:

  • Initial survey to families on reopening preferences and concerns 
  • MTA survey
  • Principal + feedback from parents
  • Student survey
  • Commitment survey (pending)

The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website homepage and will be visible from every school’s homepage. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into other languages, via the G-Translate feature available on the district website. If you are unable to access any page(s) or documents in our site, please email communications@k12mcsd.net or call (845) 794-7700, extension 70531 with detailed information on the location of the page or document you were attempting to access

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication channels – including the SchoolMessenger notification system, and the district’s website, as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. The district’s website supports translation browser extensions, and also has a G+ translation toolbar available on the top of the district’s web page.

The district is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. The district will rely on the SchoolMessenger communication system and the district’s website to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene, based upon guidance from the New York State Department of Health and the New York State Department of Education.

In support of remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them. The district began planning for additional device distribution in the spring of 2020, when it became apparent that the COVID-19 pandemic would impact the 2020-21 school year, surveying all families and staff to determine need. The district ordered enough devices to supply a device for each student and for any teacher or staff member in need of one by mid-October. Students without ample access to internet connectivity, or without a device, will have priority in joining Cohort C, which attends school for all four days of face-to-face instruction each week.

The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, through our learning management systems, through email, by phone, and through the two-way communication application Kinvo. Additionally, we will make use of our School Messenger system. 

The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. We use our district web site as a primary form of communication, in addition to other social media accounts. Schools and teachers provide specific guidance through phone calls, mailings, email, and through Kinvo and School Messenger.

The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication.  All communication from the district will also be provided in Spanish versions, or translated into the home language of the families. 

The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. These trainings will cover:

Hand hygiene

All school staff and students will be trained in and must practice standard mitigation practices as outlined by the New York State Board of Health, such as face masks, distancing, washing hands frequently. A video demonstrating proper hand hygiene will be produced and posted to the website and available for in-person and remote instruction. Signage will be posted conspicuously throughout all buildings. All schools will provide scheduled hand hygiene times to promote and reinforce hand hygiene.  Hand sanitizers will be available throughout common areas (entry points and nurses’ offices).

Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove)

Students and staff will be trained/instructed on the proper wearing of face masks. Students and staff will be trained in all mitigation activity and oriented to building specific procedures. Signage will be posted conspicuously throughout all buildings.

Social distancing

All school staff and students will be trained and frequently reminded of the importance of maintaining a minimum of six feet of distance from any person who is not a member of their household. Conspicuous signage and visible cues supporting social distancing will be available throughout the district. See “Social Distancing”.

Respiratory hygiene

All school staff and students will be trained and frequently reminded of the importance of proper respiratory hygiene, including covering mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and appropriate disposal of the tissue. Conspicuous signage will be posted throughout the building.

Identifying symptoms

All school staff, parents and students will be trained in identifying the symptoms of COVID-19 via direct communication home, conspicuous signage available throughout the district.  See “Health and Safety”

The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
  • Hand washing
  • Adherence to social distancing instructions
  • Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19

In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means, which may include videos, social media posts, daily building announcements, and direct communication home via the SchoolMessenger system.

The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan.

In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. The district will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

School Closures

The district is preparing for situations in which one or more school buildings need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases. The district will collaborate with the Director of Sullivan County Public Health to determine metrics that will influence school closures, with guidance from the local officials as well as the most recent recommendations from NYSED and the CDC.

The district may choose to modify operations in one or more schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will continue to consult with the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Services when making such decisions. 

District administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all district schools, including our before and after care programs if they are able to operate in the future, for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator.

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

Health checks

The district has developed resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s list of coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources.

The Monticello Central School District will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening:

All staff and visitors will be required to complete a five-question survey prior to entering any district building, with the following questions:

  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?
  4. Have you been under quarantine and not cleared to return to work?
  5. Have you traveled to a state covered by the COVID 19 Travel Advisory in the last 14 days?

A poster with a QR code that links to the survey in English and Spanish will be posted at the entrance to each building, which will enable real-time monitoring with our security personnel. The survey will also be available as a paper copy in English and Spanish at the entrance of each building for staff and visitors who do not have the ability to access the survey digitally.

The MCSD security team will maintain a log of people completing the form, entering the building and a time stamp, but all specific responses will be wiped from the system daily.

Students will have their temperatures taken daily prior to entering the building, according to written district protocol, with appropriate social distancing measures in place. If the temperature reading is above 100° F, or if the student reports experiencing other COVID-19 related symptoms, the student will be quarantined or isolated in the building’s dedicated “isolation” room, and the parents/guardians will be notified. The student will wait in the isolation room until his or her/parents arrive. Each school building has designated an isolation room, apart from the nursing suite that will be monitored by nursing personnel if a student needs to be placed in isolation. Face masks and other PPE must be worn at all times in the isolation room. Nurses will be protected with N95 masks, eye protection, face shields, gowns, gloves and shoe covers.

If, during the course of a school day, students and/or staff develop any symptoms listed they must notify the following persons:

Staff: Email Human Resources at csapia@k12mcsd.net, and contact your physician for further guidance.

Students: Students who develop symptoms should contact their school nurse:

Emma C. Chase Elementary School
Susan Poli, RN/School Nurse
Phone: (845) 888-2471, Ext. 5
Fax: (845) 888-2029

George L. Cooke Elementary School
Nancy Soldwedel, RN/School Nurse
Cherie Degraw, LPN/Health Assistant
Phone: (845) 794-8830, Ext. 5
Fax: 845-796-5006

Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School
Michele Rosenstein, MSN/RN/School Nurse Teacher
Lorraine Gervais-Jones, LPN/Health Assistant
Phone: (845) 794-4240, Ext. 5
Fax: (845) 796-5036

Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
Kimberly Webalowsky RN/School Nurse
Jody Russell, LPN/Health Assistant
Phone: (845) 794-3058 Ext. 5
Fax: (845) 796-5035

Monticello High School
Jacqueline Jara-Cole RN
Ann Young, LPN/Health Assistant
Phone: (845) 794-8840 Ext. 5
Fax: (845) 796-5037

Social Distancing, Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The district has developed a plan with policies and procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when on school facilities, grounds and transportation.

The cohort model adopted by the district facilitates the ability for the appropriate social distancing of six feet. With a standard classroom size being approximately 850 square feet, there will be 12 students in each classroom space. Each space will have student and staff-designated desk locations and visual instructions for movement to ensure that mandatory spacing is maintained. Physical barriers, such as sneeze guards, will be employed as needed.

As much as possible, students and staff will be arranged into self-contained groups with room locations and assignments consolidated to minimize interaction between individuals from other staff or student groups. Faculty and staff may work with more than a single cohort or self-contained group, but must wear appropriate PPE and maintain social distancing.

All sharing of objects such as writing utensils, touch screen devices, tabletop/desk units, toys, books between students and/or other individuals will be limited. Staff will need to arrange cleaning and disinfection of any objects in between use or plan to provide items for exclusive use of one single individual. 

Students and staff are required to wear face masks whenever they are on school district property, including riding the school bus. In situations where the mouth of a teacher and/or student must be visible out of instructional need, see-through face masks or clear dividers may be used. Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Face shields, without a mask underneath, are not permissible.

The district will supply employees and students daily face masks when necessary and will encourage personal masks when appropriate. The district will monitor and maintain supplies of face masks.

Employees and students with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.

There will be at least two mask breaks per day with students remaining more than six feet away from all other individuals for the duration of the break.  

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

Buildings will arrange an arrival and departure plan to ensure adequate spacing between students, which may include staggard arrival and departure times, separate entrances for specific students and/or any other strategies designed to reduce occupancy in any one location.

Student movement will be limited where possible, with lunch delivered to the classrooms, and some instruction (such as specials and social-emotional wellness classes) held via video within the classroom. Students will keep all belongings with them at their seat location and not use hallway locker storage.  

Hallways will be marked as one-way where possible, and when one-way traffic is not possible, marked so that individuals pass on opposite sides of the hallway at a maximum distance. When students move as a class entity down the hallway, they will maintain six feet of separation in line.

Any instances of singing or aerobic activity must be distanced by 12 feet. As such, any aerobic physical education activity will be held outdoors and indoor physical education will be academic in nature. Similarly, singing activities will be conducted outdoors, while rhythm work that does not include recorders or singing, will be conducted indoors with proper PPE and distancing. Marking for fields playground or blacktop areas, such as field marking paint or blacktop paint, may be used to separate areas and/or mark distancing locations (e.g. dots may be painted on blacktop to assist physical education activity or singing).

Infection control strategies

The district will employ numerous strategies to prevent students from congregating and to support appropriate social distancing (see “Social Distancing, Face Coverings and PPE”).

All custodial staff will be trained in regards to wearing the proper PPE, cleaning each area they are assigned, how to disinfect, and what chemicals to use for each area. The custodial staff will disinfect all areas daily and wipe down high touch points on a rotation basis throughout the day. As each area is disinfected, the custodian will mark up a floor plan of the area stating date and time completed.

Signage for washing hands, wearing face coverings, social distancing and hand sanitizing dispensers will be located throughout each building.
Overnight cleaning and disinfecting in accordance with NYS Health Department requirements will occur according to a procedure defined by our facilities department. In addition, no staff or students will be in attendance on Wednesdays or over the weekend to allow custodial staff to perform a deep cleaning of the buildings on these days.

All plastic separators used in buildings will comply with the 2020 BCNYS Section 2606.

Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

All water lines will be flushed prior to opening.
Drinking fountains will not be in use. However, students may use the water bottle refilling stations on select drinking fountains to refill water bottles. We will also have bottled water available for anyone who requires water.

Ventilation

New air filters will be installed in all ventilation systems in all buildings. We can monitor the ventilation using the BAS system in each building where available. Where the system allows we can control the amount of fresh air entering each room. All buildings do not have BAS and we will have to open windows to allow fresh air. We are changing all HVAC filters on a quarterly basis installing a AP-Eleven filter. 

 

 

 

 

Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

The district requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are elevbseveral students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least six feet apart. The district has designated areas to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies.

PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield) should be added. When caring for a suspect or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If an N-95 respirator is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used.

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.
Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula).

Aerosol Generating Procedures

Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. The district requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: gloves, N-95 or a surgical mask with face shield, eye protection and a gown. PPE will be used when: suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions.

Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished.

Cleaning of the room will occur between use and cleaning of the equipment should be done following manufacturer’s instructions after each use.

If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

The district requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students must wear a mask while in the isolation area. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

Return to School after Illness

The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

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

The district will refer to DOH’s https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/system/files/documents/2020/10/prek-gr12_toolkit.pdf regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing

The district will follow the Sullivan County School District Testing and Tracing Plan, developed by the Sullivan County Public Health Services in collaboration with Sullivan County school districts. 

School Closures

Monticello Central School District will collaborate with the Sullivan County Department of Health to determine the parameters, conditions, or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. District administrators will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. Monticello Central School District may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases, in consultation with the Sullivan County Department of Health when making such decisions.

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

Health hygiene

The district will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, auditorium, custodial staff areas) and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

  1. Stay home if they feel sick
  2. Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with any stricter policy implemented by the school
  3. Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE
  4. Adhere to social distancing instructions
  5. Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19
  6. Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines
  7. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette

Hand and Respiratory Hygiene

Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.

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

Cleaning and disinfecting

The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, as applicable. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
  • Health offices, isolation rooms
  • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, handrails, etc.)
  • Breakrooms
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens
  • Computer labs
  • Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus Garage
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Libraries
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Playgrounds (cleaning only)
  • Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)

The district will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:

  • For handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
  • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
  • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.

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

Vulnerable populations/accommodations

We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities.

All parents will have the option of enrolling their child(ren) in Cohort D, which will be fully remote for teaching and learning.

Faculty and staff need will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with medically-directed accommodations made, without undue hardship to the district. Faculty and staff should contact their immediate supervisor with any concerns.

Visitors on campus

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well-being of students. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.

Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.

School safety drills

Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and the Fire Code, and they will be conducted without exception. Protocols for emergency drills will be maintained to ensure student and staff safety. Masks and additional hand sanitizer and gloves will be added to the current “To Go” buckets already distributed in all classrooms and designated common rooms to ensure adequate PPE is readily available. Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. All required drills will be planned, scheduled and conducted to maximize social distancing. These changes must be included in the Fire Safety plans.

Before and After-School Care

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.

The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines.

Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Facilities

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the district, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

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

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

All existing and new Alcohol-based Hand-Rub Dispensers are in installed in accordance with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5.

All existing toilet and sink fixtures meet the minimum standards of the BCNYS.

Child Nutrition

School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely.

For information about how meal information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Meals onsite

All MCSD students will continue to have access to free breakfast and lunch at no cost to the household through the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The food service team will work with the meal scheduling developed by each building’s administration teams.

Students will not dine in the cafeterias. The cafeterias will be used as a staging and serving area for the students only, in a modified grab-and-go setting with multiple “serving lines” set up to accommodate the quantity of students, and allow for social distancing. Neither staff, other than those assigned to the cafeteria areas for cleaning, nor students will have access to the cafeteria areas for any reason other than to pick up a meal at the appropriate scheduled time. The area will continue to be a contained safe food preparation and staging area.

Students will obtain their breakfast immediately upon arrival to the school before proceeding to their homeroom classrooms.

Students must use a hand sanitizer solution or wash hands before and after eating. Trained food services staff will create one self-contained, full reimbursable meal for each child, based upon choice and medically-documented substitutions. The district will continue to maintain the already implemented procedures to protect students with food allergies.

All meal components will continue to be monitored and documented for proper temperatures and appropriate meal plan requirements prior to, during, and after service. Students will not be allowed to share meals or tables.

Students will not have access to the salad bar, although pre-made chef salad varieties will be a daily option, along with typical alternate food choices.

Only food service staff will have access to the individual food components of the meal and will wear the proper PPE. Staff will place the meal in a closed disposable tray on a barrier table for the student to pick up.

There will be no ala carte menu items or snacks available for purchase, to limit contact between students and food service workers, and to speed the meal service process. The goal is to feed the children a nutritious meal in a timely fashion to ensure students will have ample time to return to their classroom and eat their meal.

Meals offsite/remote

The district will continue to deliver meals when students are learning remotely. 

Please note that New NYSED guidance requires parents to register their children in order to receive delivered meals. Parents were notified via several alerts in the first and second week of their students with the opportunity to register their child for meals.  If you registered your child for delivered meals, please review the delivery schedule below.   

Meal Delivery Schedule

If you have any questions concerning meal delivery, please contact the bus garage at 845-794-8570 or 845-794-2120  

Food Safety

The MCSD Food Service Department follows all New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Guidelines and updated CDC guidelines. The MCSD Food Service Director sends a letter to the NYSDOH annually each August to request two in-house inspections for Child Nutrition requirements, and the NYSDOH inspects the facilities at least once per year; more often if they have the availability to do so.

The MCSD Food Service staff are all members of the New York School Nutrition Association and maintain the required number of Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) as directed by The Professional Standards portion of the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. Staff are proactive on updates pertaining to the programs and requirements, and regularly receive training above and beyond the district-assigned training and are versed in the latest CDC and DOH releases. The district will be updating the current HACCP plan to include the most recent information as it becomes available, and to use for future reference.

The Food Service Director keeps all vendors and suppliers up to date with the expectations of the district. All items brought in the establishment are from reputable vendors awarded through cooperative bidding process. Vendors are already in habit of having the drivers notify the staff prior to arrival, instructed to scan QB code for contact tracking upon arrival, where to stage product to avoid contact with staff, and how orders/returns are to be handled. Communication is key with vendors. Should MCSD unexpectedly close, the vendors will be notified immediately, and alternative plans made.

Should the option of waivers be extended, MCSD intends to make sure our students are receiving meals on days where they are not physically in the building. The meal time waiver and parent pick up waiver will be requested to send meals home with our children, and/or picked up by a parent. MCSD is also waiting on response from SED as to whether or not we will also be able to provide meals transported via another student, residing in the same household, should an alternating schedule split the household members on campus.

MCSD may opt to utilize some or all of the following:

  • non-congregate feeding
  • meal service time flexibility
  • bulk meals
  • parent/guardian meal pick up
  • meal pattern flexibility (should the supply line be interrupted)
  • “offer” vs. “serve” flexibility for senior high school meals

Transportation

For a video showing young students what to expect on the bus, click here.

The district will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines.
All MCSD students and staff who ride the bus will adhere to the following procedures:

  • All school bus drivers and monitors are required to wear masks at all times. Monitors will also wear face shields to protect their eyes.
  • Students will enter the bus wearing a face mask and leaving a six foot gap between other students and go directly to their assigned seat, loading from rear to front.
  • School buses shall not be quipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the district. School bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses. Hand sanitizer will be provided for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices or lunch/break rooms.
  • When exiting, each student will exit from front to rear, leaving 6 foot gap between the other students.
  • All students will sit one to a seat (family members and same household, two to a seat) with students alternating from the window to the aisle seats. Each seat will be marked with an “X” and all children will be assigned to their seat by who gets on and off first. When morning pick up, student will be assigned seats from rear of the bus to the front. In the afternoon drop off, students will be assigned front to back for drop off.
  • We work on a two-tier system for regular school days. With the school going at 50 percent, we will be doing double runs for each tier. First picking up the outer parts of our district dropping off, spraying bus, and then picking up the inner parts of school district, reverse in the afternoon. In between we will deliver meals if needed.
  • Pick up and drop offs will be limited to school and home address. Childcare transportation will be up to the families. This is to keep numbers consistent on the buses.

Transportation cleaning/disinfecting procedures:

  • Each driver shall spray the school bus with disinfection after each bus is emptied, this includes in between runs and transfers. All handrails will be wiped down.
  • Each night every school bus will be disinfected with electrostatic spray by the bus garage mechanics.
  • All employees will be trained to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning and how and where to dispose of when finished.

Wheelchair-equipped school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.

Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of district whose schools are meeting in in-person sessions.

All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Students who do not have a mask will not be denied transportation. Students who do not have masks will be provided one by the district. Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation.

Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

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

School Bus Staff

School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their employer as per the reporting policies and seek medical attention.
School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield.

Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment, social distancing, and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Transportation departments/carriers will need to provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.

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

For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Social Emotional Well-Being 

Background

Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential to creating schools that effectively prepare all students to succeed in school and in life. “It is the process through which children, youth, and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions” (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2018).

Introduction

Despite the innate resiliency of children, social emotional and mental health issues have skyrocketed nationwide due to COVID-19 impacts. The global pandemic has created a world where worry, fear and isolation are the new norm. Both adults and children are struggling to regulate their emotions, maintain relationships and process the transformation of existence. Economic despair further enhances these needs and exacerbates existing disparities bringing equity and social emotional well-being front and center as we prepare to bring students and staff back into our school buildings. For those who still questioned if relationships really matter, COVID 19 has provided the answer.

The MCSD school community is facing unprecedented challenges as we respond to the impacts of a global pandemic, an economic recession, and civic unrest. Many of our students and their families have experienced trauma from stress, isolation, economic hardship, and loss. For some, the return to school will re-kindle a sense of connectedness, safety, and normalcy. Others will return with anxiety, fear, and mental health issues as a result of the many unknowns.

While still addressing the ASCA National Standards, the Elementary, Middle, and High School Programs Maps included in the Comprehensive Counseling Plan will prioritize the Social Emotional components using a tiered approach that ensures students are provided with the individualized counseling supports they need. Program goals, delivery modes and projected dates will be adjusted as needed at the discretion of building teams that advise the District Wide Guidance Advisory Council.

Existing shared decision-making teams in each building will assist in reopening SEL implementation efforts. Inclusive of a variety of stakeholders, these teams will meet on a regular basis to ensure programming and resources continue to meet the diverse needs of our students.

In addition to supporting academics and attendance, our Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) provides an opportunity to address individualized social emotional needs. With a goal to re-establish a sense of connectedness and belonging, transitioning back to school will include time to determine specific levels of interventions needed. School-wide tier 1 SEL supports will cultivate a culture of care and kindness rooted in trust and relationships. Individual and small group tier 2 supports will allow for customized interventions by designated staff members. School counselors, social workers and psychologists have the skill set to deliver intense tier 3 supports within the school setting. Referrals to community-based mental and behavioral health providers will be made under the guidance of the specialized tier 3 providers.

In order to prepare for the return of students in September, a great deal of self-care and professional learning are necessary. Staff will be provided with opportunities to Sharpen the Saw with wellness opportunities offered by the district and community partners in addition to resources from our Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Professional learning is critical to meeting the increased social emotional needs of our students:

Mental Health First Aid
Trauma-informed schools
Empathy
Restorative practices
SEL & resources available
Community partnerships
Equity
MTSS

Phased Opening

The Monticello Central School District will facilitate a phased reopening for both full face-to-face and hybrid models. A phased in reopening will allow for operational issues to be resolved included arrival and departure procedures, remote screening and in person screening procedures, as well as social distancing procedures and guidelines. By bringing in small groups to practice new daily routines such as social distancing, hand hygiene, meal services, and face covering, etc. it will allow us to evaluate our procedures and protocols and make necessary adjustments.

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

Our preschool providers, Project Excel and Head Start, have measures in place to ensure adherence to the health and safety guidance from NSYED and the NYSDOH.

Additionally, they have continuity of learning plans that align with the four-cohort model in the district. Project Excel plans can be found here: https://www.easterseals.com/newyork/our-programs/educational-services/project-excel.html?fbclid=IwAR3joPzeDNiYC4Jam8yQPJji7SCbXlhABvidMiyggeXN-XQAUz233BAB-rI

or

https://www.facebook.com/ProjectExcelMonticello/

and Head Start plans may be found here:

https://www.headstart-sullivancounty.org/

For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website

Instruction

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.

When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, kindergarten students, self-contained special education students, homeless students, English language learners, and students with technology or connectivity needs.

Equity is at the heart of all school instructional decisions. All instruction will be delivered, whether delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model, there are clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students. Such opportunities will be aligned with New York State standards and include routine time for students to interact with teachers.

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content and will follow our regular grading policies and procedures at each level.

For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website.

Face-to-Face Instruction

In the face-to-face learning environment without social distancing requirements, students and faculty will follow the traditional school schedule as outlined in the student management system.

In the face to face learning environment under the requirements of social distancing, students will remain in homerooms and teachers will rotate in on a regular basis to provide individual and small group instruction in specific content areas. Whole group instruction will take place via See Saw (K-2) or Microsoft TEAMS (3-12).

Blended/Hybrid Instruction

Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to New York State Department of Health and CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.

Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into elementary classrooms.

The district will use a cohort model to limit the population density in the buildings on any given day. There will be four cohorts of students:

  1. Cohort A: Two in-person days per week (Monday/Tuesday) and three remote learning days per week (Wednesday-Friday)
  2. Cohort B: Three remote learning days per week (Monday-Wednesday) and two in-person days per week (Thursday/Friday)
  3. Cohort C: Four in-person days per week (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday) and one remote learning day per week (Wednesday). Cohort C is limited to Kindergarten, Special Education self -contained, English as New Language Learners and those students with limited to no internet access at home. This Cohort is by invitation only at the start of the school year, but will be re-evaluated as the school year progresses.
  4. Cohort D: Fully remote learning

All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

Our schools will minimize the movement of students. This may mean having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.

Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity.

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, to reduce their exposure to additional students.

For information on school schedules, visit the School Schedules section of our reopening plan.

Remote/Hybrid Instruction

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

Emma C. Chase Elementary School 

At the elementary level, students will remain in classrooms together in small pods, while special area teachers and interventionists rotate into classrooms. Children will eat lunch in their classrooms. Physical education classes will be held outside (weather-permitting) to maintain required 12 feet of space between students. When physical education classes need to meet inside, teachers will assign academic work. Music classes require 12 feet of social distance when singing, but other musical activities may occur with a six-foot requirement. Art classes will not share materials. Additionally, morning music for fifth grade students (instrumental lessons, band, and chorus) will not begin at the start of the school year. Rather, we will re-evaluate the program by the end of October.

School Schedule

In Cohorts A/B, students will receive the following instruction face-to-face. Remote instruction, fully remote or on Remote learning days, will include instruction in the below areas each day. Remote learning schedule recommendations will be shared with parents to enable support in structuring learning at home.

Duration Subject
60 minutes Math
30-40 minutes Math WIN
90 minutes English Language Arts
30-40 minutes ELA WIN
40 minutes Science/Social Studies
40 minutes Special Area Instruction: Library, Music, Art, Social Emotional Wellness, Physical Education
40 minutes Lunch, recess and required hygiene procedures

School Activities

Childcare

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.
The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines as defined in this document.

Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Teaching and Learning

Emma C. Chase elementary school will utilize the “Station Rotation” model of blended learning described by the Blended Learning Universe organization at www.blendedlearning.org

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.

Incorporating the online learning element during part of the in-person instruction will allow for crossover to the student use of technology when students are home on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for in-person attendance:

icons of teacher and students

 

 

Using the Station Rotation model of blended learning students experience teacher-led instruction, online web-based instruction, and collaborative learning. This allows for live interaction with the teacher/instructional staff and other students. The Station Rotation blended learning model also lays a foundation for tasks and technology use that will need to be conducted on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for all remote attendance:

Students participating in everyday remote learning will have a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform (Seesaw or TEAMS). Weekly physical education, music, art, and library tasks will be assigned with specific deadlines that do not conflict.

Remote learning students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

Vision of instruction for hybrid in-person/remote attendance:

Students participating in the hybrid in-person/remote learning will attend the school building in-person on two (2) days per week and participate remotely three (3) days per week.

When participating remotely, students will follow a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform (Seesaw or TEAMS). Students will be given tasks/learning activity for specials scheduled on the remote days for that student. Specials will rotate within a 5-day block of days such that all specials take place equitably for students on “in-person” days.

When participating remotely, classes/students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

When “hybrid learning” students attend in-person they will experience instruction in accordance with the Station Rotation model of blended learning. As described above, the Station Rotation model incorporates teacher-led instruction, collaborative learning, and online/technology facilitated learning.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

In-person attendance will be recorded in a traditional manner. Students physically present, tardy, or departing early will be recorded as such.

It is possible that students who are scheduled to report in-person in a specific day participate remotely for whatever reason. The specifics associate with situations such as this will need to be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Remote attendance will be recorded for students that demonstrate online activity either by participating in synchronous instruction or socialization with the teacher/staff; and/or demonstrate productivity by submitting completed tasks on or before an established deadline. It is worth noting here that learning task deadlines need to occur on a regular basis (daily is ideal) but learning task deadlines need to be arranged such that students have a reasonable workload. By having at least one assignment or academic task due for evaluation each day we will have a concrete means of measuring attendance when a student is participating remotely.

Note that collection of attendance for hybrid (in-person/remote) learning is accomplished by applying each of the above situations for the applicable mode of learning for that specific student on that specific day.

Regular substantive interaction for in-person participation:

In-Person interaction will occur as described by the Station Rotation model and be very similar to traditional student-teacher-staff interaction.

Remote interaction will be both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live). Teachers and/or instructional staff will schedule time with individual students, small groups, or large groups for some measure of synchronous interaction each day. Currently, we are intending for 10-20 minutes per day. Keep in mind on days other than Wednesday there will also be students physically in the building which requires careful scheduling to allocate time for instructional staff to also conduct remote activity for students participating remotely.

All students will be participating remotely on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays teachers and/or instructional staff may schedule time for synchronous interaction for individual students, small groups, or large groups. Additionally, teachers may establish “office hours” when students and/or parents may schedule a check-in synchronous interaction. It is worth mentioning here that web video communication or standard phone communication may be used when individual interaction is arranged. Participation in scheduled activity and/or task submission will be used to measure attendance for Wednesdays.

How to contact the school to inquire about instruction:

We recommended individuals with questions or concerns email the classroom teacher and/or a grade-level teacher at their district address; or contact the main office (845-888-2471) to leave a message for the teacher. Teachers will commonly consult with administrators as part of developing solutions.

When questions/issues remain please contact:

Emma C. Chase Principal, Bill Frandino at wfrandino@k12mcsd.net
Assistant Principal, Virginia Gallet at vgallet@k12mcsd.net
OR call the main office (845-888-2471) to leave a message with office staff

George L. Cooke Elementary School 

At the elementary level, students will remain in classrooms together in small pods, while special area teachers and interventionists rotate into classrooms. Children will eat lunch in their classrooms. Physical education classes will be held outside (weather-permitting) to maintain required 12 feet of space between students. When physical education classes need to meet inside, teachers will assign academic work. Music classes require 12 feet of social distance when singing, but other musical activities may occur with a six-foot requirement. Art classes will not share materials. Additionally, morning music for fifth grade students (instrumental lessons, band, and chorus) will not begin at the start of the school year. Rather, we will re-evaluate the program by the end of October.

School Schedule

In Cohorts A/B, students will receive the following instruction face-to-face. Remote instruction, fully remote or on Remote learning days, will include instruction in the below areas each day. Remote learning schedule recommendations will be shared with parents to enable support in structuring learning at home.

Duration Subject
60 minutes Math
30-40 minutes Math WIN
90 minutes English Language Arts
30-40 minutes ELA WIN
40 minutes Science/Social Studies
40 minutes Special Area Instruction: Library, Music, Art, Social Emotional Wellness, Physical Education
40 minutes Lunch, recess and required hygiene procedures

School Activities

Childcare

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.

The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines as defined in this document.

Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Teaching and Learning

George L. Cooke Elementary School will utilize the “Station Rotation” model of blended learning described by the Blended Learning Universe organization at www.blendedlearning.org

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.

Incorporating the online learning element during part of the in-person instruction will allow for crossover to the student use of technology when students are home on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for in-person attendance:

icons of teacher and students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Station Rotation model of blended learning students experience teacher-led instruction, online web-based instruction, and collaborative learning. This allows for live interaction with the teacher/instructional staff and other students. The Station Rotation blended learning model also lays a foundation for tasks and technology use that will need to be conducted on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for all remote attendance:

Students participating in everyday remote learning will have a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform Seesaw. Weekly physical education, music, art, and library tasks will be assigned with specific deadlines that do not conflict.

Remote learning students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

Vision of instruction for hybrid in-person/remote attendance:

Students participating in the hybrid in-person/remote learning will attend the school building in-person on two (2) days per week and participate remotely three (3) days per week.

When participating remotely, students will follow a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform Seesaw. Students will be given tasks/learning activity for specials scheduled on the remote days for that student. Specials will rotate within a 5-day block of days such that all specials take place equitably for students on “in-person” days.

When participating remotely, classes/students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

When “hybrid learning” students attend in-person they will experience instruction in accordance with the Station Rotation model of blended learning. As described above, the Station Rotation model incorporates teacher-led instruction, collaborative learning, and online/technology facilitated learning.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

In-person attendance will be recorded in a very traditional manner. Students physically present, tardy, or departing early will be recorded as such.

It is possible that students who are scheduled to report in-person in a specific day participate remotely for whatever reason. The specifics associate with situations such as this will need to be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Remote attendance will be recorded for students that demonstrate online activity either by participating in synchronous instruction or socialization with the teacher/staff; and/or demonstrate productivity by submitting completed tasks on or before an established deadline. It is worth noting here that learning task deadlines need to occur on a regular basis (daily is ideal) but learning task deadlines need to be arranged such that students have a reasonable workload. By having at least one assignment or academic task due for evaluation each day we will have a concrete means of measuring attendance when a student is participating remotely.

Note that collection of attendance for hybrid (in-person/remote) learning is accomplished by applying each of the above situations for the applicable mode of learning for that specific student on that specific day.

Regular substantive interaction for in-person participation:

In-Person interaction will occur as described by the Station Rotation model and be very similar to traditional student-teacher-staff interaction.

Remote interaction will be both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live). Teachers and/or instructional staff will schedule time with individual students, small groups, or large groups for some measure of synchronous interaction each day. Currently, we are intending for 10-20 minutes per day. Keep in mind on days other than Wednesday there will also be students physically in the building which requires careful scheduling to allocate time for instructional staff to also conduct remote activity for students participating remotely.

All students will be participating remotely on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays teachers and/or instructional staff may schedule time for synchronous interaction for individual students, small groups, or large groups. Additionally, teachers may establish “office hours” when students and/or parents may schedule a check-in synchronous interaction. It is worth mentioning here that web video communication or standard phone communication may be used when individual interaction is arranged. Participation in scheduled activity and/or task submission will be used to measure attendance for Wednesdays.

How to contact the school to inquire about instruction:

We recommended individuals with questions or concerns email the classroom teacher and/or a grade-level teacher at their district address; or contact the main office (845-794-8830) to leave a message for the teacher. Teachers will commonly consult with administrators as part of developing solutions.

When questions/issues remain please contact:

George L. Cooke Principal, Conmeka Lockhart at clockhart@k12mcsd.net
Assistant Principal, Melanie Hector at mhector@k12mcsd.net
OR call the main office (845-794-8830) to leave a message with office staff.

Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School 

For a more detailed, specific plan, visit the KLR Fall 2020 planning web page

At the elementary level, students will remain in classrooms together in small pods, while special area teachers and interventionists rotate into classrooms. Children will eat lunch in their classrooms. Physical education classes will be held outside (weather-permitting) to maintain required 12 feet of space between students. When physical education classes need to meet inside, teachers will assign academic work. Music classes require 12 feet of social distance when singing, but other musical activities may occur with a six-foot requirement. Art classes will not share materials. Additionally, morning music for fifth grade students (instrumental lessons, band, and chorus) will not begin at the start of the school year. Rather, we will re-evaluate the program by the end of October.

School Schedule

In Cohorts A/B, students will receive the following instruction face-to-face. Remote instruction, fully remote or on Remote learning days, will include instruction in the below areas each day. Remote learning schedule recommendations will be shared with parents to enable support in structuring learning at home.

Duration Subject
60 minutes Math
30-40 minutes Math WIN
90 minutes English Language Arts
30-40 minutes ELA WIN
40 minutes Science/Social Studies
40 minutes Special Area Instruction: Library, Music, Art, Social Emotional Wellness, Physical Education
40 minutes Lunch, recess and required hygiene procedures

School Activities

Childcare

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.

The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines as defined in this document.

Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Teaching and Learning

Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School will utilize the “Station Rotation” & “Flipped” model of blended learning described by the Blended Learning Universe organization at www.blendedlearning.org

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.

Incorporating the online learning element during part of the in-person instruction will allow for crossover to the student use of technology when students are home on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for in-person attendance:

icons of teacher and students

Using the Station Rotation model of blended learning students experience teacher-led instruction, online web-based instruction, and collaborative learning. This allows for live interaction with the teacher/instructional staff and other students. The Station Rotation blended learning model also lays a foundation for tasks and technology use that will need to be conducted on remote learning days.

The Flipped Classroom model (see image below) flips the traditional relationship between class time and homework. Students learn at home via online coursework and lectures, and teachers use class time for teacher-guided practice projects. This model enables teachers to use class time for more than delivering traditional lectures.

icon of teacher in front of students and icon of homes
The “Flipped Classroom” model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vision of instruction for all remote attendance:

Students participating in everyday remote learning will have a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform Teams. Weekly physical education, music, art, and library tasks will be assigned with specific deadlines that do not conflict.

Remote learning students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

Vision of instruction for hybrid in-person/remote attendance:

Students participating in the hybrid in-person/remote learning will attend the school building in-person on two (2) days per week and participate remotely three (3) days per week.

When participating remotely, students will follow a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform Teams. Students will be given tasks/learning activity for specials scheduled on the remote days for that student. Specials will rotate within a 5-day block of days such that all specials take place equitably for students on “in-person” days.

When participating remotely, classes/students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily for approximately 10-20 minutes; additional time may be scheduled when there is a need. Socialization and core academic tasks (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) will be a focus during this time. Weekly socialization/community sessions will be held on Wednesdays that will include all remote and partially remote students. Additionally, academic support sessions of longer duration may be scheduled.

When “hybrid learning” students attend in-person they will experience instruction in accordance with the Station Rotation and Flipped model of blended learning. As described above, the Station Rotation and Flipped model incorporates teacher-led instruction, collaborative learning, and online/technology facilitated learning.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

In-person attendance will be recorded in a very traditional manner. Students physically present, tardy, or departing early will be recorded as such.

It is possible that students who are scheduled to report in-person in a specific day participate remotely for whatever reason. The specifics associate with situations such as this will need to be managed on a case-by-case basis.

Remote attendance will be recorded for students that demonstrate online activity either by participating in synchronous instruction or socialization with the teacher/staff; and/or demonstrate productivity by submitting completed tasks on or before an established deadline. It is worth noting here that learning task deadlines need to occur on a regular basis (daily is ideal) but learning task deadlines need to be arranged such that students have a reasonable workload. By having at least one assignment or academic task due for evaluation each day we will have a concrete means of measuring attendance when a student is participating remotely.

Note that collection of attendance for hybrid (in-person/remote) learning is accomplished by applying each of the above situations for the applicable mode of learning for that specific student on that specific day.

Regular substantive interaction for in-person participation:

In-Person interaction will occur as described by the Station Rotation model; and be very similar to traditional student-teacher-staff interaction.

Remote interaction will be both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (not live). Teachers and/or instructional staff will schedule time with individual students, small groups, or large groups for some measure of synchronous interaction each day. Currently, we are intending for 10-20 minutes per day. Keep in mind on days other than Wednesday there will also be students physically in the building which requires careful scheduling to allocate time for instructional staff to also conduct remote activity for students participating remotely.

All students will be participating remotely on Wednesdays. On Wednesdays teachers and/or instructional staff may schedule time for synchronous interaction for individual students, small groups, or large groups. Additionally, teachers may establish “office hours” when students and/or parents may schedule a check-in synchronous interaction. It is worth mentioning here that web video communication or standard phone communication may be used when individual interaction is arranged. Participation in scheduled activity and/or task submission will be used to measure attendance for Wednesdays.

How to contact the school to inquire about instruction

We recommended individuals with questions or concerns email the classroom teacher and/or a grade-level teacher at their district address; or contact the main office (845-794-4240) to leave a message for the teacher. Teachers will commonly consult with administrators as part of developing solutions.

When questions/issues remain please contact:

KLR Elementary Principal, Chris Palmer at cpalmer@k12mcsd.net
Assistant Principal, Doug Murphy at dmurphy@k12mcsd.net
OR call the main office (845-794-4240) to leave a message with office staff.

Robert J. Kaiser Middle School 

School Schedule

Below is an overview and hybrid schedule for the reopening of the middle school. The school day has been divided into twenty-minute blocks or mods. At the middle school level, the school day has been divided into 20-minute blocks for a total of 17 mods. Core classes (math, science, English, and social studies) will be scheduled for three blocks or 60 minutes, while quartets including physical education classes will be scheduled for 40 minutes. Teachers will rotate in and out of classes, as students remain stationary in one room when possible.

Cohort A/B Daily Schedule

Students will be grouped by grade level team to reduce movement. All students will have the following in their schedules, but this is not presented in an order.

Duration Subject
60 minutes Math
60 minutes Science
60 minutes English Language Arts
60 minutes Social Studies
40 minutes PE/Tech or STEAM
40 minutes Quartet (Home and Careers, Art, Music, or Health)
40 minutes Lunch and required hygiene procedures

SEL (Social Emotional Learning): Every student who will be coming into the building for face to face instruction will receive SEL. Teachers will work on building relationships with their students. The time will also be used as a check and connect before students leave the building to make sure they have everything they need and understand what needs to be completed. Mini tech lessons and handwashing and mask wearing lessons will also be included. The nurse would be able to push in and support teachers. Guidance Counselors and social workers could also push in to implement the guidance plan.

Students who are enrolled in band, orchestra, or chorus will receive a small group lesson once per week while in school. Outdoor space will be utilized to offer chorus lessons. Music teacher will pick students up in the classroom.

REMOTE CLASSES: Spanish 8 and Intervention Classes will be offered fully remote for all students during the school year.

School Activities

Extracurriculars

There will be no face-to-face extracurricular activities at the start of the school year. Interscholastic sports are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance, and additional information on athletic activities is forthcoming.

Some extracurricular activities may be available remotely at the high school and/or middle school level, including:

  • Debate
  • Writers Club
  • College in the Classroom
  • Interact Club
  • Freshmen Class Advisor
  • Key Club and Yearbook
  • The high school musical
  • HS Musical Faculty Accompanist
  • HS Chamber Ensemble Director
  • HS Vocal Solo Accompanist
  • HS Instrumental Accompanist
  • HS Choral Accompanist
  • National Honor Society
  • Senior Class
  • Co-Master Scheduler, Co-Graduation Adviser, Co-Coordinator of Senior Honors Night
  • Graduation Co-Advisor
  • Student Council
  • Class Advisor Coordinator

Information about these opportunities will be communicated home to students as more information becomes available.

Childcare

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.

The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines as defined in this document.

Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

Teachers will use a variety of ways to determine student engagement while using both the remote or hybrid experience. The faculty will be using TEAMS Planner to schedule assignments with due dates. Teachers will use TEAMS insight which can teachers know how long a student was engaged in completing an assignment, assignment turn in, Completion of Do Now/Discussion Board question for the day.

Teaching and Learning

During a regular in person day students will receive 6 hours of interaction between teacher and student.

During a hybrid days students will receive 5 hours and 50 minutes of interaction between teacher and student while in school. Students will also receive remote learning in Spanish 8, Read 180, Math 180, and some quartets.

RJK Middle School will utilize the “Station Rotation” & “Flipped” model of blended learning described by the Blended Learning Universe organization at www.blendedlearning.org

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.

Incorporating the online learning element during part of the in-person instruction will allow for crossover to the student use of technology when students are home on remote learning days.

Vision of instruction for in-person attendance

icons of teacher and students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the Station Rotation model of blended learning students experience teacher-led instruction, online web-based instruction, and collaborative learning. This allows for live interaction with the teacher/instructional staff and other students. The Station Rotation blended learning model also lays a foundation for tasks and technology use that will need to be conducted on remote learning days.

The Flipped Classroom model (see image below) flips the traditional relationship between class time and homework. Students learn at home via online coursework and lectures, and teachers use class time for teacher-guided practice projects. This model enables teachers to use class time for more than delivering traditional lectures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vision of instruction for all remote attendance

Students participating in everyday remote learning will have a daily agenda of activity provided via web-based learning platform Teams. Weekly physical education, music, art, and library tasks will be assigned with specific deadlines that do not conflict.

Remote learning students will be scheduled to have group (large or small) substantive interaction with an instructional staff member daily

Teachers will provide their prep and conference period times to all parents/students with both school email address and school phone number with extension. Office hours will be required of teachers on Wednesdays for no more than 45 minutes. Remote only teachers will set up daily office hours of no more than 45 minutes.

Contact Information

RJK Middle School Principal, Michelle Knowlton at mknowlton@k12mcsd.net
Assistant Principal, Jason Doyle at jdoyle@k12mcsd.net
Assistant Principal, Sara Kozachuk at skozachuk@k12mcsd.net
OR call the main office (796-3058) to leave a message with office staff.

Monticello High School 

For the complete, detailed Monticello High School plan, please visit the Monticello High School plan’s web page

Schedules at the high school will be designed to limit travel between rooms as much as possible. Teachers will rotate into classrooms as appropriate.  

Connections:
Time devoted for students to engage in their remote learning course assignments. Teachers may have the opportunity to circulate and check in with their students to provide instructional support. This time also creates flexibility to accommodate the safe and orderly arrival and dismissal of students.

Core:
Academic instructional time with the focus primarily being math, science, social studies and ELA. Variations will occur depended on student grouping.

Remote Learning Days:

The schedules presented for remote learning days are samples only and do not reflect what every student will have for their schedule.  Student schedules vary according to their selected courses and when they will be offered. 

Student Schedules:

Student schedules are anticipated to be developed during the weeks of August 24 through September 11 based on the commitment we receive from parents/guardians regarding their student’s learning model (Fully remote or hybrid).  Guidance counselors will be calling students and parents/guardians during this period of time to resolve any conflicts. 

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

Student attendance will be required and recorded daily.  For students attending in-person sessions, attendance will be taken in their assigned classroom.  When students are working remotely, they will be expected to attend scheduled synchronous instruction.  When students are working remotely on asynchronous instruction, teachers will utilize the Microsoft Insights application within Microsoft Teams to monitor daily student participation/attendance in their course. 

Teaching and Learning

Instruction will be provided through the school’s learning management system (LMS), Microsoft Teams, whether in the building or working remotely.
We will primarily utilize three blended learning models; “Station Rotation,” “Flipped,” and “Lab Rotation” model.

icons of teacher and students

The Station Rotation model allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule, where at least one of the stations is an online learning station. This model is most common in elementary schools because teachers are already familiar rotating in “centers” or stations.

Incorporating the online learning element during part of the in-person instruction will allow for crossover to the student use of technology when students are home on remote learning days.

Using the Station Rotation model of blended learning students experience teacher-led instruction, online web-based instruction, and collaborative learning. This allows for live interaction with the teacher/instructional staff and other students. The Station Rotation blended learning model also lays a foundation for tasks and technology use that will need to be conducted on remote learning days.

The Flipped Classroom model (see image below) flips the traditional relationship between class time and homework. Students learn at home via online coursework and lectures, and teachers use class time for teacher-guided practice projects. This model enables teachers to use class time for more than delivering traditional lectures.

Flipped Classroom model

The Lab Rotation model (see image below), like a Station Rotation, allows students to rotate through stations on a fixed schedule. However, in this case, online learning occurs in a dedicated computer lab. This model allows for flexible scheduling arrangements with teachers and other paraprofessionals and enables schools to make use of existing computer labs.

icons illustrating a lab rotation
Lab rotation model

When in the building, students will be assigned to a specific learning location for the duration of the day. Teachers will rotate into the classrooms to work with students. Whenever possible, those teachers will be the students’ teacher of record.

Students might travel to courses such as science labs, performing arts, visual arts, technology, family-consumer science, and physical education on a rotational basis depending on the course requirements and availability of the corresponding space and teacher.

Academic/Instructional Program Parameters for Reopening Monticello High School

  • Time will be dedicated during the first week of school to provide orientation for students to familiarize them with school requirements, the learning management system (Microsoft Teams), technology/internet skill development, promote social-emotional skill development amid the pandemic, and new protocols specific to promoting their safety, health, and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Grades 9-12 will be planned for an alternating cohort model with half of the students (Cohort Monti) coming to school for two consecutive days on Monday and Tuesday with the other half of the students (Cohort Panthers) attending on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be used for disinfecting school spaces between the two cohorts. This will allow for more effective physical distancing measures.
  • Students in our “Cohort C” will qualify for attending in-school sessions for all four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) include students with disabilities in self-contained classroom settings, English language learners, students who are homeless, and students without internet access in the home.
  • The in-person school experience for our hybrid in-school and remote learning program will occur in phases. Phase 1 will begin with students in our “Cohort C” and our 9th grade students split between Cohort Monti (Monday and Tuesday) and Cohort Panthers (Thursday and Friday). Phase 2 will include 10th and 12th graders attending in their assigned cohort. Phase 3 will include 11th grade students.
  • Instruction will be provided through the school’s learning management system (LMS), Microsoft Teams, whether in the building or working remotely.
  • When in the building, students will be assigned to a specific learning location for the duration of the day. Teachers will rotate into the classrooms to work with students. Whenever possible, those teachers will be the students’ teacher of record.

Extra-Curricular, Athletics, Physical Education and Performing Arts

  • The ability to provide physical education and the performing arts while ensuring 12 feet of spacing between participants is being assessed.
  • Currently, interscholastic sports are not permitted. Additional guidance is expected to be forthcoming.
  • Extra-curricular activities will continue to be assessed to determine which can be conducted virtually and/or safely.

Student Grading and Report Practices

  • Our current Board of Education Policy on Grading will be utilized during the 2020-2021 school year.
  • The District will issue report cards based on the scheduled cycle (see MCSD Calendar for specific dates). Grades will factor into student GPAs.

School Activities

Extracurriculars

There will be no face-to-face extracurricular activities at the start of the school year. Interscholastic sports are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance, and additional information on athletic activities is forthcoming.

Some extracurricular activities may be available remotely at the high school and/or middle school level, including:

  • Debate
  • Writers Club
  • College in the Classroom
  • Interact Club
  • Freshmen Class Advisor
  • Key Club and Yearbook
  • The high school musical
  • HS Musical Faculty Accompanist
  • HS Chamber Ensemble Director
  • HS Vocal Solo Accompanist
  • HS Instrumental Accompanist
  • HS Choral Accompanist
  • National Honor Society
  • Senior Class
  • Co-Master Scheduler, Co-Graduation Adviser, Co-Coordinator of Senior Honors Night
  •  Graduation Co-Advisor
  • Student Council
  • Class Advisor Coordinator

Information about these opportunities will be communicated home to students as more information becomes available.

Childcare

The Early Drop Off Programs at both the elementary and secondary levels will not occur when in person instruction begins in the Fall. If funding and facility usage allows, the district may phase these programs in at a later date.

The Empire funded after-school program at the elementary level will not resume in September as anticipated. Instead, if funding and facility usage allows, this program may be phased in and adhere to protocols established by the district during the instructional day.

Any provider of programs as such in nature will need to adhere to the necessary health and safety guidelines as defined in this document.
Specific childcare plans are being developed in collaboration with community partners and will adhere to the specific guidelines set forth by NYS and OCFS.

Communication with MHS Administration, Guidance, Faculty, and Staff

  • Students and parents/guardians can use the students’ Microsoft Outlook email application to send emails to school professionals. If you start typing the name of the school professional in the “To:” location the system will automatically provide personnel options. Please be sure to use the “Subject Line” to put the “Student’s Name” followed by the purpose of the email such as, “Student Question” or “Parent Concern”. School professionals’ access and respond to their email regularly and are expected to respond back to students and parents within a reasonable amount of time, usually within two workdays, given the volume of work and correspondence.
  • Directions on how to e-mail high school administration, guidance, faculty and staff can be found on our high school website, under “High School Links”, and click on “About Monticello High School.”
  • Contact information for our guidance department personnel may be found on the guidance department’s web page. our high school website, under “High School Links”, and click on “Guidance Department.”
  • If students and/or parents/guardians have questions specific to a course of study the first point of contact is the teacher of record.
  • If students and/or parents/guardians have a question regarding the academic program or student services they should contact their assigned guidance counselor.
  • If students and/or parents/guardians have a question or concern regarding safety or have not been able to resolve a concern with their teacher or guidance counselor then contact your corresponding cohort AP.
    • Mrs. Rachel Blount: 9th and 11th graders
    • Mrs. Robyn Boardman: 10th and 12th graders
  • If students and/or parents/guardians are unable to resolve a question or concern with their teacher, guidance, or assistant principal then they should contact High School Principal Stephen Wilder.
  • Informational announcements will be communicated via our SchoolMessenger application, the Kinvo application, and our high school website.

Technology and Connectivity

The Monticello CSD conducted a Digital Equity Survey in March 2020 to assess students’ and teachers’ level of access to devices and high-speed internet. We found that approximately 103 students and 25 teachers did not have access to a device at their place of residence. In addition, approximately 104 students and 10 teachers did not have, or do not have sufficient, internet access at their place of residence. A cellular audit was also conducted throughout the district. Our findings showed that several areas, particularly in Wurtsboro Hills, Forestburgh, and along the outskirts of Bethel, have “dead zones” and cellular/internet service is not available.

A critical factor of our district reopening plan is to mitigate inequities in technology and internet access. To address the need to provide devices, all students, K – 12, will be issued a personally-assigned device. Our K – 8 students (approximately 1,900) will be issued 1:1 iPads at the beginning of the school year. Our 9 – 12 students (approximately 905) will be issued a personally-assigned laptop by October 5, 2020. We currently have 627 laptops that will be ready to be deployed at the beginning of the school year. Priority will be given to students that will work in a fully remote environment. We have ordered 490 additional laptops, however, with the current demand on manufacturers, we are unable to ensure availability at the beginning of the school year. We have also ordered and additional 250 laptops, with no anticipated delivery date, to begin to replace the aging high school laptops and provide additional devices for teacher use.

In addressing the need to provide internet access:

  • Hot spots will be given to families when reliable internet access is not available or if families are unable to afford internet service.
  • Monticello CSD will continue to work with internet service providers to expand/keep the free and low-cost home internet service options in our community.
  • Through E-rate funding, we will begin to expand our Wi-Fi access signal to the school building parking lots.
  • We will continue to notify families of where free public WiFi access is available
  • We will make students who do not have internet access a priority for our 4-day, onsite learning model
  • In the event that students still do not have reliable internet access, we will look at each case on an individual basis and develop a plan to deliver equitable continuity of instruction.

Students will have the ability to demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended learning environments in several ways. The Monticello CSD will be implementing four cohorts. Cohort A will meet onsite Monday/Tuesday and will participate in remote learning on Wednesday/Thursday/Friday. Cohort B will meet onsite Thursday/Friday and participate in remote learning Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. Cohort C will meet onsite Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday and participate in remote learning on Wednesday. Cohort D will be full remote instruction.

Cohort C will prioritize students who do not have sufficient access to internet, kindergarten students, ENL students, special education students and homeless students. If students do not have access to reliable internet service, we will work to develop an individual plan to ensure equitable, continuous instruction.

Each course/subject is aligned to the NYS Standards and the scope and sequence has been adjusted to support the essential standards and to support the acceleration of potential unfinished learning from previous grades. High quality curriculum and learning experiences will be implemented both in onsite instruction as well as in the remote learning environment.

Teachers will be tracking completed work to a level of mastery by utilizing rubrics that will be tied to assignments where applicable and student attendance will be taken while on site as well as in the remote environment.

Considerations

All professional development will be structured, organized and maintained throughout the year to continue to provide relevant resources, tools, curriculum planning and other relevant professional development. All teachers have access to professional learning to prepare them for the 2020-2021 school year throughout the summer and upcoming school year.
After several committee meetings to analyze the effectiveness of the learning management systems (LMS), MCSD decided to primarily utilize two systems, See Saw for grades K – 2 and Microsoft Teams for grades 3-12. This will give each grade level the most age appropriate management system to ensure effective and engaging remote instruction.

The Monticello CSD is committed to supporting our students and families who are navigating online learning. To provide instruction to students to build digital fluency, we have created a technical support web page to answer some of the most commonly asked questions, and to help students and families connect with the appropriate person to resolve any technological-related challenges.

The tech department is shifting their technical support to remote access capabilities to further support students, parents and teachers.
In our efforts to fully support teachers, we have 2.6 staff developers who work with directly with teachers on embedding innovative and effective technology into lessons. Staff developers will continue to facilitate webinars, training sessions and meetings with individual teachers in person and virtually to continually support technological needs throughout the year.

Staff developers have created a video library with tech tutorials for students, staff and families that is easily accessible on our district website. Monticello CSD is committed to ensuring student privacy and security with continued diligence in compliance with Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

We are currently investigating potential bandwidth increase to allow for more effective live streaming from school to home as well as expanding WiFi access from in the building to the parking lots.

Special Education

Students receiving special education services whether in in-person, digital, or hybrid leaning will receive specially designed instruction from their Special Education teachers aligned with their needs in the Least Restrictive Environment as indicated by their IEPs. The PPS Department and the Special Education teachers will ensure that students who have IEPs are receiving instruction in support of their IEP goals, and also have access to and are being instructed on grade level content, when appropriate. (FAPE).

School staff will review student’s IEP, contact the parent/guardian, and discuss IEP implementation to prevent regression and promote leaning.

Considerations will include:

  • Specially Designed Instruction: learning/behavior/social emotional/communication of IEP
    goals/objectives
  • Related service
  • Accommodations and modifications
  • Instructional materials individualized to the student’s needs
  • Individual and/or small group instruction
  • Access to remote learning technology
  • Modeling of instruction for parents to practice with their children, social skill
    instruction/opportunities for structured virtual interaction
  • Gathering parent’s input on needs and child’s progress, as appropriate

Communication:

The Special Education teachers and related service providers will maintain connections/communication with students and families to provide learning materials and supports using a variety of modalities (e.g., email, phone, print, and available online platforms. All communication/documentation will be provided in the parent/guardian’s preferred language and mode of communication.

IEP Goals/Progress Monitoring:

Students’ (CPSE and CSE) present levels for IEP goals will be assessed in order to record necessary baseline data. Baseline data will be used in measuring progress toward the annual goals and having efficient data to make essential educational decisions once normal school operations resumes. The parent of a student with a disability and the CSE Committee will convene an IEP meeting for the purposes of making necessary changes to the student’s current IEP (to be included as part of the IEP) if amendments are necessary. Meetings will be conducted either in person or virtually. Progress monitoring of IEP goals will be reported quarterly to parents.

Services/Accommodations:

All accommodations/services will be provided by the district in person, virtually and/or in a hybrid model. Changes in services and accommodations if needed will be made through the IEP amendment process. Accommodations may be met in an online environment by providing additional supports, such as individualized telephone or video conferencing, support from a teaching assistant etc.

Related Services:

If a student’s IEP requires the provision of related services, the district will provide these services in-person, virtually and/or in a hybrid model. The PPS Department will ensure that services can be provided effectively and that individual students are able to effectively access all recommended related services.

Compensatory Services:

The CSE Committee will consider compensatory services when students return to school and IEPs may need to be adjusted accordingly. The CSE Committee will determine the amount of compensatory related services students with IEPs may require, on a case-by-case basis, when normal school operations resume.

Communication with parents/guardians will be ongoing documenting the programs and services offered for SWD in their preferred language or mode of communication.

Bilingual Education and World Languages

MCSD is fully committed to the successful implementation of the ELL identification process and has a specific plan of action to ensure Part 154 Regulations are executed with fidelity. Our successful application of the ELL identification process begins at Monticello’s Registration Office. The initial interview occurs at the District Level and is inclusive of reviewing documents, prior assessments, academic experiences and analyzing students previous/recent academic work samples.

Based on the parent or guardian’s indicated preferred language, the interview is conducted by a qualified and NYS Certified Monticello Teacher. At that time, a MCSD certified ENL Teacher administers an initial ELL identification Assessment (NYSITELL.) After the identification process of ENL Students, pupils are categorized into one of five levels. Those levels are the following: Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding, and Commanding. Once identified, each of the students are appropriately place within classes according to Part 154 Regulations. This process is collaborated with building principals, guidance counselors, ENL Teachers, and Jason Doyle, ENL Coordinator for Monticello Central School District.


As per page 23 of NYSED Reopening Guidance Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools from July 13, 2020: “Instructional Units of Study must be provided to all English Learners based on their most recently measured English Language Proficiency, including former ELLs. For most of MCSD’s ENL Students, that assessment was administered during the spring of 2019 NYSESLAT. NYSED cancelled the spring 2020 NYSESLAT due to the COVID-19 school closures. For MCSD ENL kindergarten and newly arrived ENL Students from outside of New York State, the NYSITELL will be used as the most recent measure of students’ English language proficiency.

The district will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process. We will provide all communications for parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication.

MCSD maintains on-going communication with ENL parents/guardians in each family’s primary language to ensure they all are updated about the reopening process, timelines, news, and updates. Our district uses SchoolMessenger Notification System.  The system transmits messages into the first language of parents as indicated on each child’s SchoolTool Student Management System.  The SchoolMessenger notification system provides ENL community members with the necessary updates, reopening guidance, and specific directions about reopening. The district’s website features a G+ translation bar that allows users to translate website content into the language of their choice.

Additionally, Alex Perez, Monticello’s ENL Translator, provides supplemental support to families, parents, and students in need of any documents, explanations, or procedures translated.  Mr. Perez is bilingual and speaks, writes, and reads both Spanish and English fluently.  Mr. Perez also attends ENL parent meetings, ENL monthly meetings, and is readily available when called upon to support any Spanish-speaking community member.

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

Staff

Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan.

Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching

All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.

Key References

State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 16, 2020)

State Education Department Presents Framework of Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 13, 2020)

Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health (July 13, 2020)

Additional References

Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)

Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (June 26, 2020)

Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (June 26, 2020)

Interim Guidance for Public Transportation Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (June 26, 2020)

New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New York State Education Department Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website

Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the district’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:

  • A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted
  • A set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance

NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening Plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.

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