NYS COVID-19 School Report Card
Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools - Reopening Guidance
The closing of schools in March 2020 has profoundly affected the lives of New Yorkers. This impact will continue through the 2020-21 school year and beyond. While no one can predict all the challenges that may arise over the coming weeks and months, it is imperative that we plan for a safe and orderly return to school.
Without question, our paramount concern is to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our schools, children and adults alike. At the same time, we must also contend with a myriad of complex challenges – catching up on months of lost in-person instruction; addressing students’ social and emotional needs in the wake of this catastrophe; ensuring all students have the ability to participate equitably in remote learning; planning for the possibility of deep budget cuts; and so many others.
The Board of Regents and Department's task was to create a framework to help guide schools and school districts as they continue to plan for school to return in the fall, whether instruction takes place in person, remotely, or through some combination of the two. That framework is presented here, in this guidance document.
The guidance provides schools and districts with the flexibility they will need to develop and implement creative solutions to their unique, local circumstances. It describes the reopening actions that schools must take and those that are recommended best practices to be considered.
To read more aboure about NYSED's plan, you may access the full link here:
The Elmsford Union Free School District (EUFSD) will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the EUFSD has developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
The EUFSD may assist with contact tracing by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date
- Keeping a visitor log that includes date and time address and phone number, and where in the school they visited
- Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program
- Informing local health department of staff member testing positive regardless of county of residence.
- For all contact tracing, the DOH will require the name, address, and phone number as well as the name and phone number of the guardian of a student.
If/when COVID-19 cases are discovered, in consultation with the local health department, the EUFSD will do the following:
- Close or quarantine locations of potential exposure for 24 hours, if possible
- Clean and disinfect locations as necessary
- Provide DOH with information as required
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. Staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded without guidance and direction from the local health department.
For more information about how COVID-19 containment efforts will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Health and Safety section of our reopening plan.
Public Health Officials assume the task of contact tracing, once notified.
The Elmsford Union Free School District (EUFSD) is not equipped to conduct testing in the event of a large-scale outbreak. We have a standing relationship with the Westchester County Department of Health (DOH) and in the event that testing is required, we will defer to the Westchester County DOH for any required or relevant information. This information will be disseminated through our communications platform. Testing is readily available in our community. Students, staff or visitors requiring COVID-19 testing should contact their health provider, a local urgent care, federally qualified health center or visit the NYSDOH website to locate a nearby testing facility:
In-person and Virtual (Hybrid)
- All students come to school every day to learn
- “Normal” school day
- Basis of both Learning from Home and Blended Models
- Can only be achieved if current social distancing guidelines are modified
- No students come to school
- All learning occurs remotely
- Students follow a consistent and set schedule
- Substantial interaction through synchronous instruction
- Students in school certain days and learning from home certain days or portions of days
- Approximately 50% of students in school at a time
- Ability to schedule additional time to meet students’ needs such as IEP and ENL
1:1 Chromebook distribution in each model
EUFSD Hybrid Model
100% Remote Learning Option
We understand the concern many of our families have about returning their children to in-person learning in September. The district will offer a 100% "Remote" learning model, which will have a child follow their assigned cohort. Instead of meeting on in-person days, they would participate in a virtual platform.
While this model will not provide the same "in-person" experience on the days their cohort meets, it supports learning daily, facilitated by a teacher or staff member.
- Remote learning activities will take place within the scheduled "in-person" school days (Cohort A = Mon. & Tues. / Cohort B = Thurs. & Fri. /Wednesdays = Everyone Virtual)
- May include a combination of the following as appropriate:
- Instruction via virtual platform
- Independent Practice
- Opportunities for discussion
- Small Group work
- Project based learning opportunities
- Daily learning activities will include:
- Core Subject Areas
- Specials (as scheduled): Physical Education, Art, Music, Technology, Library, and Band or Chorus (if applicable)
- Planning will incorporate screen and movement breaks
- Lunch and “recess” time will be scheduled daily
- To the extent possible schedules will be consistent from day to day
- Wednesdays will be flexible to meet with students individually and/or in small groups as necessary, collaborate with colleagues, plan instruction, and respond to parent inquiries
- ENL/AIS/Related Services provided as scheduled
Coffee & Conversation
Letters to Community
Q & A
A significant number of individuals with Covid‐19 have no symptoms and can transmit the virus through respiratory droplets. These droplets are released when coughing, sneezing, loud speaking or singing. A mask acts as a barrier and can decrease the amount of respiratory droplets released into the air. While it is not a perfect barrier, it is one of the best tools we have to prevent the spread of Covid‐19 along with social distancing.
Children can wear homemade or purchased cloth face coverings or surgical masks. The right fit is important for children. Masks should cover the nose and mouth without any gaps on the sides. Pleated face coverings with elastic are likely to work best for kids. Adult cloth face coverings are usually 6x12
inches, and even a child‐sized 5x10 inch covering may be too large for small children. Try to find the right size for your child's face and be sure to adjust it for a secure fit. Masks should be washed daily. It might be helpful to have a small supply of masks on hand so they can be replaced daily. Masks with
vents or exhalation valves are not recommended as they can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others.
Hands should be washed before placement of a mask. Cloth face coverings can then be placed securely over the nose and mouth and stretched from ear to ear. Touching the face should be avoided while wearing a mask. Wash hands before removing the mask and avoid touching the front of the face covering by taking it off from behind. Wash hands after the mask has been removed.
As per the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, children under 2 years old should not wear masks. Children older than 2 years old can safely wear masks throughout the school day. Medical contraindications to mask wearing are exceedingly rare. Children with severe cognitive or respiratory impairment may have a hard time tolerating a mask.
Schools and teachers should structure in times when students can take off masks and have a break. These mask breaks would preferably be outdoors whenever possible with social distancing in mind. If children are indoors it is preferable that windows be open whenever possible particularly during mask breaks. These breaks can occur hourly ideally during quiet reading time or study when students are not speaking. Teachers might consider having
alternate rows remove masks at the same time during a break and then switching. Children may also remove their masks while eating, playing outdoors and during gym activities requiring physical exertion provided children can remain 6 feet apart from each other.
A mask can sometimes feel strange the first time a child wears one. It is helpful to try to find a mask that fits comfortably, that is not too tight and is made out of a soft non‐ irritating material. If a mask feels comfortable a child should have no difficulty breathing while it is on.
In order to make the indoor classroom setting as safe as we possibly can, the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mask wearing is advised at all times. It may sometimes be difficult for children to stay 6 feet apart. Masks can help prevent the spread of the virus in respiratory droplets released when coughing and sneezing. In addition, masks will also help prevent children from spreading germs by touching their nose and mouth. Mask wearing is a simple and effective measure we can take to help keep our children and families safe.
Some children may need help getting used to wearing masks all day. Mask endurance is a new term used to describe the ability to wear a mask for prolonged periods of time. Start working on mask endurance with children a few weeks before school begins. Find a fun design or pattern that is interesting to your child. Initially have children practice wearing their masks for small increments of time. Try wearing a mask with your child for
10 minutes once a day and slowly build up to longer periods three or more times a day. Parents are encouraged to wear their own masks to help model the behavior. Parents should keep it relaxed and fun. Children can adapt to new situations easily and should be praised for helping to keep their classmates and community safe.
According to the New York State American Academy of Pediatrics, carbon dioxide and oxygen particles are much smaller than viral particles and can flow freely through a mask while viral particles may be trapped. Cloth masks worn by the general public are not air tight and allow for air flow, in comparison to the more sealed N95 masks that healthcare professionals wear. Periodic mask breaks throughout the day are also recommended. It is nearly impossible for a child to have decreased oxygenation or increased carbon dioxide levels from wearing a cloth mask.