Westfield Day School DOH Reopening Plan

PURPOSE

The Westfield Day School is an independent school located in Armonk, New York, that operates with the consent of the Commissioner as a grade 7-12 school for students with learning disabilities. The school building has been closed since March 12, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and it has remained closed following the orders of Governor Cuomo. In keeping with the “continuity of learning” principles established by the Commissioner and Board of Regents, we immediately created an internet-based, full-time school for our students called “E-School”. Using a GOOGLE platform, we maintained our classes and our therapy services which continued through the end of the regular school session and into the summer session.

The population of the school is generally between 20-30 students and 12-18 staff members including administrators and therapists. Our building has 16 small classrooms, a larger Commons area for gatherings including lunch, and administrative offices within a 4700 square foot perimeter.

In collaboration with staff, parents and administrators the “stakeholders”), and based on discussions and surveys, the plan represented here has been developed following the guidelines of the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Department of Education (NYSED).

No school activities will operate without meeting the minimum standards set forth in the NY State guidance, as well as applicable federal requirements, including but not limited to such minimum standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and OSHA. These standards will apply to all school activities in operation during the COVID-19 public health emergency until rescinded or amended by the State.

The plan covers the following topics:

1. Reopening of the school facilities for in-person instruction

2. Monitoring of health conditions of students and staff

3. Containment of potential transmission of the the 2019 novel coronavirus (CoVid-19)

4. Closure of the school facilities and in-person instruction, if necessitated by widespread virus transmission

 

This reopening plan was developed and organized around three distinct categories: PEOPLE, PLACES, and PROCESSES.

I. PEOPLE

A. Responsible Parties for the purposes of the plan this includes the Chief Executive Officer, the Assistant Director of Administration and the Administrative Assistant. They have reviewed and are familiar with the guidelines issued by the DOH. They are overseeing the reopening and are responsible for adhering to the mandated and other policies from the State. They will oversee the School Secretary in implementing records of health screening and cleaning as well as the operational activities described here. The responsible party for overseeing all aspects of the Health and Safety Plain is the Assistant Director of Administration who has been designated as the Safety Coordinator. The responsible party for maintaining contact with outside agencies regarding known or suspected infections among students or staff is the Administrative Assistant who has been designated as the Point of Contact Coordinator. All efforts are to mitigate the spread of this virus.

B. Face Covering/PPE – Students and staff will be expected to wear acceptable face masks at all times when proper social distancing cannot be maintained. They will be encouraged to keep masks on even when distancing is maintained, but may take breaks as requested. Students and staff will be encouraged to bring their masks from home, however the school will provide masks for any, including visitors, who need them.

● The plan is to order 50 masks per week to be sure they are well stocked.

● Students and staff will be trained in proper types, uses and disposal of masks

C. Social Distancing – Staff and students will be trained to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing in all areas. To this end the school space has been marked off showing proper distancing in halls, classrooms, Common areas, entrance ways and exits . All rooms have been measured and reconfigured to contain only enough desks and chairs to fit within these parameters.

D. In-Person Instruction – The school is prioritizing the effort to return all students to in-person instruction especially since we are an interpersonally-based therapeutic support school (please also see Reopening Options below). However, we understand that the health and safety of our students and staff and their families are paramount. Recognizing the dynamic nature of the CoVid-19 virus, we are also prepared to implement a hybrid approach–part-time in person with part-time remote learning– which can switch easily to all distance learning or back again to in-person instruction, as conditions warrant. We will also live-stream any and all in person instruction to accommodate those whose health needs or concerns require them to remain at home.

E. Cohorts– Due to the generally small size of our school, we may divide the school into two cohorts. These cohorts will remain in separated areas of the building thus reducing the number of interactions between students in the school at any one time. Staff can teach both cohorts but will take precautions to practice proper social distancing and hygiene between classes.

F. Screening – All parties entering the building will have their temperatures taken by the school secretary. If an individual has a temperature of 100 degrees or more, the individual will be denied entry into the building. If this is not possible, the person will be directed to an isolated room to await pick up by a parent or family member. A screening questionnaire will be provided to staff on a daily basis and twice a week to all students. The questionnaire will be sent to parents via email twice a week and require a response for the student to enter the building and to participate in school. (See Appendix B).

G. Schedules – There are four possible scheduling scenarios: Fully distance learning, full in-person classes, or one of two hybrid options. In all hybrid models, students will have in person learning on average 50% of the time. Full in-person schedule would begin at 9:00AM and end at 2:30. The two hybrid options are:

● In Hybrid Option A, students will be in-person in the morning (9 AM-11:45 PM) only and have lunch and distance learning (1:15 PM- 2:30 PM) in the afternoon from their homes. Students would eat lunch at home.

● In Hybrid Option B, the schedule would alternate between distance and live learning on certain days agreed to by stakeholders

➢ Arrival and pick up will be staggered to enable temperature taking and reduce crowding at the entrance

➢ Cubbies will not be used.

➢ All in-person classes will be live streamed for students who cannot attend in-person

H. Signage – will be created that acknowledges and reminds students and staff of the following:

● Stay home if you feel sick

● Wear face covering

● Discard PPE correctly

● Social distancing instructions

● How to report symptoms or exposure to COVID-19

● Hand washing guidelines

● Cough etiquette

I. Space Configurations – The Westfield Day School has modified and reconfigured spaces and areas to insure 6 foot social distancing.

● A Student Reading Room will be closed off.

● If lunch is in the building, students and staff will practice social distancing. All will be instructed and supervised in proper cleaning of surfaces after lunch.

● Students will have their own computers, writing implements and supplies. These items will not be shared. If a student does not come to school prepared with these materials, the school will provide them with cleaned or new ones.

● Classroom surfaces will be cleaned between each class

● Students will wash their hands in between each class when changing classrooms

● The school will eliminate bi-directional hallways

● Alternate methods will be used for PE

J.Capacity – All students and staff will be permitted to return initially due to the small size of the school and reconfiguration of the school space.

● Everyone must wear a mask whenever in the building.

● There will be staggered breaks when students can go outdoors with social distancing to take a mask break.

● Staff and students can remove masks for eating but must maintain distancing.

K. Shared Objects – All students and staff will use their own computers, writing implements, notebooks, etc, The school will provide these items to students if their personal material is not easily accessible. Students will not share anything provided by the school.

L. Transportation – is provided by the district of residence for our students or privately. Buses will have a separate drop off and pick up from private transportation. Students will line up with 6 feet marked off between them. They will enter one at a time to have health screening and temperature checks

GATHERINGS

Food Services/Meals – Our hybrid plan may not include lunch on campus as we may have half days of in person instruction and dismissal before lunch. If opening for full days, lunch will be brought from home or provided by a vendor who meets or exceeds the state and local food service standards. Any food deliveries to the school will be left outside and brought in by a staff member trained to have proper PPE when distributing packages brought in to the school. Lunch
will be taken at individual, properly spaced desks. Proper cleaning/disinfection of used surfaces will be monitored by staff.

Faculty and Staff Meetings will only occur using teleconferencing. Whenever possible, staff members will interact and communicate using remote technologies.

Ventilation– In addition to our school HVAC filters, the school will keep all windows open as weather permits.

Common Areas – The only common area for more than five students to meet at one time will be outdoors. Our bathrooms are designed to be for one person at a time. Proper cleaning items will be found in each bathroom and other washing stations. Students will be instructed and signage provided on how to clean the area before they leave the bathroom.

MOVEMENTS and COMMERCE

Dropoffs: Buses will be instructed to drop off students one at a time at the corner of the building sidewalk where they can maintain social distancing according to markings as they wait to be screened and entered. Private dropoffs will be scheduled at the front of the building where students can join the entrance line and thereby reduce congestion at the entrance.

Pickups: Buses will queue up in the back of the building so that students may exit with proper distancing along the sidewalk. Private pickups will take place in the front of the building where students will be allowed to leave one at a time after remaining in a socially distanced line in the building.

Deliveries: Will be left outside for staff to bring in the building wearing proper PPE.

Shared Objects – All students and staff will use their own computers, writing implements, notebooks, etc, The school will provide these items to students if their personal material is not easily accessible. Students will not share anything provided by the school.

II. PLACES

A. Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection – The Administrative Assistant will maintain a log that includes date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection. She will also identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each area of the building and surface types. Staff will be trained and assigned responsibility to maintain the cleaning of their classrooms throughout the school day. Students will be trained in proper methods of hand washing and use of face masks.

B.Cleaning and Disinfecting – is the primary responsibility of the school’s cleaning service. The following products will be used: Soap and water for routine cleaning and handwashing, hand sanitizers with a minimum of 60% alcohol base available in all rooms and hallways, Tough Guy Disinfectant, Lysol wipes, and when needed a Clorox and water solution. Our routine cleaning and disinfecting will take place daily including bathrooms and all high touch surfaces. Staff will be assigned to cleaning the areas that their classes use on as frequent a basis as needed.

Staff members will also be given cleaning supplies to clean frequently touched surface areas.

● Water filling stations will be used

● Paper towel dispensers will be used

● Designated disposal stations will be set up and well marked

C. Hygiene while in-school – The following practices will be in place to insure a hygienic environment:

● All staff and students will be instructed on proper hand washing and respiratory hygiene.

● Hand washing stations will be identified by proper signage in the building and will contain soap and paper towels and receptacles for disposal of waste.

● Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol will be placed in all classrooms, entrance lobby, hallways and other rooms that do not have sinks. (Parents can opt out of hand sanitizer)

● All will be reminded of the flammable aspect of alcohol based sanitizer

● Signage will be placed throughout the school

● Receptacles for PPE and paper towels will be placed around the building and properly labeled.

D. Communication Plan – The administration of The Westfield Day School has reviewed and understands the state issued industry guidelines, and is submitting a reopening plan. It is understood that the actual reopening decision will be made by the State in August. Westfield has engaged with all stakeholders in planning. This includes staff, parents, and
students.

● Westfield will utilize signage and instruction on safety and hygiene issues

● An email group of each of the stakeholders has been created and utilized for communication

● The Reopening Plan and all updates will be posted on our school website.

● All staff and students will be encouraged to adhere to the CDC and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE, particularly face covering and social distancing.

● The Point of Contact Coordinator has been assigned to identify and manage any positive COVID-19 cases

● As a therapeutic school we are prepared to monitor and manage the emotional well being of all our students.

E. Plans for Continued Communication – Westfield Day School will continue to communicate with all stakeholders as we either move forward to add additional in-person learning or pull back to less in-person and more distant learning. Additionally there will be ongoing communication between the school and the local and state health department and NYSED, to consider:

1. Re-opening of school facility for in-person instruction

2. Monitoring of health conditions

3. Containment of potential transmission of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

4. Closure of school facilities and in-person instruction necessitated by widespread virus transmission

III. PROCESSES

Contact Tracing/Tracking – The Responsible Parties will contact the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any student or staff suspected or known to have had prolonged exposure to an known or suspected infected person, or one who tested positively for COVID-19. In the case of an individual testing positive, the administration will support local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocols, training and tools provided by the New York State Contact Tracing Program. Confidentiality will be maintained.

RETURN TO SCHOOL – Before returning to school, our Point Of Contact Coordinator will be in contact with the local health official who will instruct us on the appropriateness and readiness of any exposed student or staff for return to school and work. Students or staff who have either been exposed or tested positively will need to present documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, clearance to be released from isolation. All employees will need to follow the DOH’s protocols outlined in the “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure”.

Coordination and Phased Re-opening
The COVID-19 Safety Coordinator (Assistant Director of Administration) will ensure continuous compliance with all aspects of the school reopening plan, as well as any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before operational activities resume.

REOPENING PLANS

Operational Activity – Through discussions and surveys with stakeholders we have identified those students and staff members who will only participate in distance learning.Given our small size, we are able to permit all of our students who wish to participate in in person instruction.

Restart Operations – Prior to starting, the entire school will be cleaned and disinfected. The heating and air conditioning units will be inspected and filters replaced.

Vulnerable Populations – Discussions and surveys with stakeholders have identified those students or staff whose health status requires minimal social exposure. Those students and staff who request distance learning only will be allowed to participate via our synchronous, online platform.

MONITORING

Screening – All parties entering the building will have their temperatures taken by the school secretary. If an individual has a temperature of 100 degrees or more, the individual will be denied entry into the building. If this is not possible, the person will be directed to an isolated room to await pick up by a parent. A screening questionnaire will be provided to staff on a daily basis and twice a week to students. The questionnaire will be sent to parents via email twice a week and require a response. This questionnaire will need to be filled out before the student is permitted to return to school.

Testing Protocol – Any students or staff who have been identified with possible CoVid symptoms will be referred to and given the contact information for the local Department of Health and testing centers. (Please see APPENDIX A)

Testing Responsibility – Please refer to APPENDIX A for contact information.

Early Warning SIgns – We will provide training to staff in the detection of Early Warning Signs
of possible COVID infection. We will defer to the local and state department offices for ongoing updates and guidance.

CONTAINMENT

Isolation – Any student or staff who is identified as having possible COVID symptome during the school day will isolate in once of the assigned isolation rooms while awaiting pick-up.

Collection – Parents or legal guardians will be provided with written instructions and contact information for local health providers and testing. (See APPENDIX A)

Infected Individuals – Persons who have tested positive and have completed isolation and have recovered, and will not transmit COVID-19 may return to in-person learning . Discharge from isolation and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

Exposed Individuals – Individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus and have completed quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. Discharge from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection – Adherence to, and promotion of, hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection guidance set forth by DOH and CDC, including strategies for cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas and appropriate notification to occupants of such areas.

Contact Tracing – We will support local health departments in contact tracing efforts using the protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program – an initiative between the Department of Health, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Vital Strategies; and

Communication: We will share protocols and safety measures taken by the school with all relevant parties including parents/legal guardians,faculty, staff, students and the local community.

CLOSURE

Closure triggers – In consultation with state and local health departments we will identify the conditions that may warrant ending in person education or closing the school. We will develop a plan depending upon reduction or closure

Operational Activity – We will determine which operations will be decreased or ceased or which operations will be conducted remotely depending on the guidance from the local health department.

Communication -We will be communicating internally with students and staff via texts and emails and externally throughout the closure process with all affected stakeholders through email, texts or phone messages.

REOPENING MODELS

OPTION 1 – Open school for full time in school instruction following all of the guidelines mentioned in this document.

● Lunch will be brought from home or provided by a vendor who meets the standards herein. Any food deliveries to the school will be left outside and brought in by a staff member.

● Our surveys show that a significant number of staff and parents are either unsure or opposed to coming into the building. Therefore we are preparing to provide live-streaming of all in person classes for those students who remain at home. Staff can also live-stream their classes for students either in the building or at home.

● We will always be prepared to switch to as much of an online format in the case of an overriding health need.

OPTION 2 – To have only distance learning. Last spring, from March until June 2020, we were able to have synchronous learning and students were able to meet with all of their teachers online on a daily basis.

● We will be using our communication plan to determine the appropriateness of the distance learning format for all students.

● A distance learning platform would be a temporary set-up until the health conditions in the school or geographic area are deemed safer by local and state officials.

OPTION 3 – Any hybrid option will include roughly 50% of the classes on line and 50% in the school.

● In Hybrid Option A, students will be in-person in the morning (9 AM-11:45 PM) only and have lunch and distance learning (1:15 PM- 2:30 PM) in the afternoon from their homes. Students would eat lunch at home.

● In Hybrid Option B, the schedule would alternate between distance and live learning on certain days agreed to by stakeholders

● In Hybrid Option C, students will be in-person in the morning (9 AM-11:45 PM) only. Students would have lunch and participate in distance learning until 2:30 PM in the school building under supervision.

○ All live classes would also need to be live-streamed for students who could not come in.

○ Teachers who could not come in could teach from home even if the students were in the class. A teacher assistant would be assisting the students in the school

APPENDIX A

Westchester County Department of Health
145 Huguenot Street
New Rochelle, NY 10801
914-813-5000

COVID-19 Hotline numbers for the public:

● People under self-quarantine and medical providers seeking information: (866) 588-0195

● People inquiring about testing: (888) 364-3065

● General Information: call 211

ALERT: The Westchester County Department of Health is alerting parents and guardians that there has been a rare, but serious, childhood inflammatory disease reported among children and teens with a possible link to COVID-19.

The New York State Department of Health is currently investigating over 100 cases of severe illness in children and child deaths that may be related to COVID-19 where children are experiencing symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease and toxic shock-like syndrome.

Please be advised that you should seek immediate medical care for your child if he or she develops any of the following symptoms:

● Prolonged fever (more than five days)

● Difficulty feeding (infants) or too sick to drink fluids

● Severe abdominal pain, diarrhea or vomiting

● Change in skin color – becoming pale, patchy and/or blue

● Trouble breathing or breathing very quickly

● Racing heart or chest pain

● Decreased amount of frequency in urine

● Lethargy, irritability or confusion

APPENDIX B

A Health Screening Questionnaire will be distributed to all parents and staff members before the first day of classes. Staff will repeat self screening every day. Parents should self screen on a daily basis. The school can screen all students additionally twice a week. All visitors will be screened before gaining entrance.

The following questions will be on the Screening Questionnaire:

 

(a) Have you or a family member knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19?

____ YES ____ NO

 

(b) Have you or a family member tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days?

____ YES ____ NO

 

(c) Have you or a family member experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F, in the past 14 days?

____ YES ____ NO

 

(d) Have you or a family member traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days?

____ YES ____ NO

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