RJK Middle School Multi-Layered COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Fall 2021

Robert J. Kaiser Middle School
Monticello Central School District

Principal – Michelle Knowlton

Assistant Principal

  • Dr. Jason Doyle (RJK)
  • Sara Kozachuk (SJS)

RJK and SJS Office Staff

RJK Main Office 

  • Michelle Knowlton, Principal @ ext. 20910
  • Rebeca Perez, Principal’s Secretary @ ext. 20901
  • Diane King, Main Office Secretary @ ext. 20900
  • Safety @ ext. 20990

RJK AP Office

  • Dr. Jason Doyle, Assistant Principal @ ext. 20928
  • Patricia Murphy, AP Secretary @ ext. 20920
  • Kevin Watson, District Attendance Officer @ ext. 20965
  • Jessica Colavito, Attendance Secretary @ ext. 20966

RJK Guidance Office

  • Laurie Oshinsky, 7th grade Guidance Counselor @ ext. 20958
  • Jennifer Ducey, 8th grade Guidance Counselor @ ext. 20955
  • Jayme McGovern, School Psychologist @ ext. 20957
  • Harrison Larkin, School Social Worker @ ext. 20954
  • Sharon Zimmerman, School Social Worker @ ext. 20956
  • Maryanne March, Guidance Secretary @ 20951
  • Guidance Fax # is 796-3096

RJK Nurse’s Office

  • Kimberly Werbalowsky, RN @ ext. 20940
  • Jody Russell, LPN Health Assistant @ ext. 20940
  • Nurse’s Fax # is 796-5035


St. John’s Street Main Office

  • Michelle Knowlton, Principal @ ext. 92233
  • Sara Kozachuk, Assistant Principal @ ext. 92233
  • Lois Scamihorn, Main Office Secretary @ ext. 95233

St. John’s Guidance Department

  • Brittany Harden, 6th Grade Guidance Counselor @ ext.
  • Corinne Ellefsen, School Social Worker @ ext. 93232
  • Sharon Zimmerman, School Social Worker @ ext. 93232
  • Jayme McGovern, School Psychologist @ ext. 92232

St. John’s Nurse’s Office

  • Christine Bendi, LPN Health Assistant @ ext. 95227


RJK Will Be Responsive

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


Developed in Consultation with Experts

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



  • Safety
  • Socialization
  • Engagement


In-Person Instruction

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


COVID-19 mitigation is a cumulative result of many layers of safety

  • In the same way that ones COVID-19 risk level is a cumulative result of many characteristics, we are implementing many layers of strategies to create a
    cumulative level of mitigation/safety.


Elements of Multi-Layered Mitigation

  • Encouraging vaccination
  • Universal indoor mask-wearing
  • Daily health screening
  • Cohorts/pods of individuals
  • Improved ventilation/air quality
  • Handwashing
  • Respiration Hygiene
  • Staying home when sick with symptoms
  • Protocol for returning to school (testing…)
  • Frequent cleaning/disinfecting of facilities


Promoting Vaccination

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


Universal Masking

  • We require universal masking indoors in all MCSD school buildings, except when eating. Masks will not be required during outdoor school activities.

During school transportation:

  • Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses regardless of vaccination status. Bus windows must be open while students are on the bus.



  • Three (3) feet of distance must be maintained between student/staff in all indoor spaces and school buses.
  • Six (6) feet of distance must be maintained when eating, singing, playing instruments, physical education, and/or any aerobic activity.


Pods of Students/Staff

  • RJK students will be divided into Pods. Each pod will range from 18-24 students based on grade enrollment.
  • Some staff will cross between pods, physical education, and likely technology will be shared between classes; distancing and cleaning procedures will be followed in between class sessions.


Student Entrance

  • RJK – Students will enter through student entrance and cafeteria side door.
  • SJS – Students will enter in the front of the building.


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

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


Attention to Ventilation

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


Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

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


Staying Home when Sick and Getting Tested

  • Students, teachers, and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care, regardless of vaccination status.
  • ALL individuals (students, parents, staff…) need to selfmonitor body temperature and general health condition every morning; and stay home if symptomatic.
  • If a parent is considering administering cold medicine for their child, then that child should not be attending school.
  • When in doubt it will be best to keep your student home


Suspected Individuals will be Isolated

Students/staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire will be sent to, Room 1, students will be supervised, and parent will be contacted immediately. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students/staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.


Parent Contact

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


Return to School After Illness

To return to school, the MCSD, in consultation with Sullivan County Public Health Services requires a previously symptomatic individual to show:

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


Contact Tracing in Combination with Isolation and Quarantine

  • “Contacts” are adults who have been within six (6) feet of an infected individual for a cumulative total of 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.
  • Unvaccinated individuals who have been deemed a contact will be referred to
    SCPHS for quarantine.
  • Vaccinated individuals will not be considered contacts and will not be referred to SCPHS. However, should self-monitor for symptoms and be tested 3-5 days after exposure if they become symptomatic.
  •  Fully vaccinated contacts do not need to quarantine following an exposure (they can continue to attend school in-person and participate in other activities), so long as they have no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Any individual who does not want to be referred to SCPHS as a contact because they are vaccinated will need to provide proof of vaccinations to the district representative for contact tracing in the building.
  • In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the contact definition excludes students who were within six (6) feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.


Instruction During Quarantine

  •  If students are quarantined, live streamed instruction will be provided by their teacher(s) during the quarantine period.
  • If a teacher is quarantined and is asymptomatic, they will be expected to live stream into their classes and provide instruction according to their teaching schedule. Student work will be posted, shared, and transmitted through the school’s learning management system (LMS).
  • All students and faculty/staff will be issued a district device. Additionally, students with inconsistent broadband access at home may request a district hotspot from the Assistant Principal Secretary, Patricia Murphy (RJK) or from Saint John Street Secretary, Lois Scamihorn (6th grade).


Cleaning and Disinfecting

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


We are all in this together

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


Arrival/Dismissal Procedures at RJK

  • Students will dismiss to buses by PA announcement.
  • Tardy students must enter at the Visitor Entrance.
  • Parent/guardian will remain in their car and students will be dismissed by PA announcement; pick-up will begin @ 2:15.
  • Bus pick-up and transport is only to and from the primary residence.

Arrival/Dismissal Procedures at SJS

  • Students will dismiss to buses by PA announcement.
  • Tardy students must enter at the Visitor Entrance located in the back of SJS.
  • Pick-up will begin after the buses depart @ 2:05.


Update Your Parent/Student Information

  • Make sure your primary information is updated; this is the address that transportation will use to make bus routes.
  • Create your SchoolMessenger account (Download App); no more
    paper forms.
  • Emergency contact information is parent/guardian responsibility within the SchoolTool Parent Portal system (on district web page).



  • Math, ELA, science, social studies will take place according to established instructional time guidelines.
  • Intervention, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech, school counseling, counseling w/social worker and/or other services will take place.
  • RJK and SJS will be running an 8 period (50 minutes per period) day. Math, ELA, science, and social studies will take place daily.


Exploratory classes offered over grade 6, 7, and 8 are:

  • Technology
  • Art
  • Music
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Business
  • World Cultures
  • Physical Education
  • Spanish (grade 8 only)


“iPads” will be issued to each student

  • Plan for iPads to go back and forth between home and school.
  • Plan for positive charging habits.


Food Services

  • “Grab and Go” breakfasts as all students enter the building.
  • RJK students will eat lunch in the cafeteria, gymnasium, and Ihelp Cafe’.
  • SJS students will eat lunch in the gymnasium.
  • Food allergies will be attended to through collaboration and communication between the school nurse, administrators, the classroom teacher, food services, staff delivering food, and staff monitoring student lunch.



  • Michelle Knowlton – mknowlton@k12mcsd.net
  • Dr. Jason Doyle – jdoyle@k12mcsd.net
  • Sara Kozachuk – skozachuk@k12mcsd.net