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School Opening 2020: Policies & Protocols

Click on the topics below for specific details.  Please feel free to contact Faculty Chair, Kelly O’Halogan or School Administrator, Nicole Littrean if you have any questions.

Re-Opening Plan Submitted to NYSED

PPE Protocol

Masks must be worn inside the School building.  This applies to all students (even Early Childhood), faculty, staff, and any other individuals in the building.  There are exceptions and special circumstances as outlined below, and with the youngest children, mask-wearing is balanced with other ways of maintaining safety in a developmentally appropriate way.

Parents are asked to provide masks for their children that adhere to the School’s dress code policy and do not have writing on them or offensive images.  The School will always have a supply of disposable masks for those who need one.  Individuals should have their masks with them at all times, as they must be prepared to put them on if someone else who is unmasked is unexpectedly unable to socially distance.

Exceptions to general mask-wearing are outlined below.

  • All students, (EC – grade 12) especially younger ones, will be given “mask breaks” at the discretion of the teacher.  This might be at a socially-distanced window in the classroom, or another employee may take the student outside for a mask break.
  • Early Childhood and Grades 1- 5 students when outdoors will wear either a mask or a face shield (face shield hat) at the direction of the teacher.
  • The class schedule for grades 1-12 will have built-in times for multiple mask breaks throughout the day. In addition, students who need additional mask breaks will be accompanied by an adult to have a mask break.
  • Students outside will wear a mask or a face shield when socially distancing cannot be guaranteed.
  • A student who is having difficulty breathing should immediately be given a mask break and if the difficulty continues, be evaluated by the nurse.
  • Students may remove their mask to eat provided that it is done in an area of the school determined to have the appropriate capacity for social distancing during mealtimes.
  • Faculty will use age-appropriate methods to remind students to keep masks in place.
  • A teacher has discretion in determining if a child is safe or not to remove their mask, as all teachers receive training on COVID-19 specific hygiene.

Cleaning Protocols
  • The School will follow CDC Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Facilities. The School’s custodial staff will be responsible for the cleaning of shared spaces throughout the school day, including bathrooms, playground equipment, shared specialty subject rooms, doorknobs, etc.
  • A log will be kept of daily cleaning.
  • Child-friendly cleaning supplies will also be available in all rooms to allow teachers to regularly wipe down surfaces, supplies, and equipment.
  • Disinfectant wipes will be available by all high-touch areas including printers and shared computers.
  • The School building will be cleaned at the end of each school day by a contracted cleaning company.
  • The School will utilize products identified as effective against COVID-19 by the CDC and EPA.

Health Practices and Protocols

WSGC has updated its health policies in accordance with NYSDOH requirements and CDC guidelines for COVID-19 for both its students and employees.  Information about reasons for absence will be held as a confidential record by the School Nurse. First Aid kits and thermometers will be kept in each classroom to avoid unnecessary trips to the Nurse’s office.

Student Illness policy for 2020-21 school year:

Students must stay home from school if they display any symptoms of COVID-19 including fever or chills (fever above 100.0°F), cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Non-confirmed case of COVID-19

If a student is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19, students must stay home until symptoms have improved, for a minimum of 10 days since the first symptoms appeared. They can return to school:

  1. Once there is no fever for 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and they have felt well for a minimum of 24 hours;
  2. If they have been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

Positive Case of COVID-19

After a positive test, a student must stay home and not return to school until:

  1. They have received clearance to return to school from the DOH;
  2. It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;
  3. It has been at least three days since the student has had a fever (without using fever-reducing medicine);
  4. It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

Exposure to a confirmed case of COVID-19

If a student or employee has been exposed to COVID-19 by being in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (including being closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) they must stay home for 14 days. Symptoms must be tracked, and if symptoms develop, protocols for a suspected case must be followed.

Healthy students and staff with the following symptoms will not be excluded from school:

  1. Allergy symptoms (with no fever) that cause coughing and clear runny nose may stay if they have medically diagnosed allergies and follow medical treatment plans.
  2. Well-controlled asthma.

Please inform the school immediately if a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If a suspected case is identified during the school day, the individual will be brought to a separate isolation space, the family will be contacted and asked to pick up the child immediately. Areas used by the patient will be closed off and any exposed students will be sent home. The School may choose to close the campus or parts of the campus for 2-5 days while working with the local health department to determine the next steps.

Health and hygiene education 

All students will be educated on hygiene protocols, including hand-washing, coughing, and sneezing, as well as the safe use of face coverings. Hand-washing will be enforced throughout the day and additional hand-washing stations will be made available throughout the campus to encourage good hygiene. Hand Sanitizing stations have been installed in central places in the school building.

Containment Plan 

WSGC has designated several isolated spaces in different parts of the building for quarantining of suspected cases of COVID-19 and will follow CDC guidelines for containment of a sick individual on campus. In the instance of a suspected case, the student will be quarantined in an isolation space while the family is contacted to pick up the student. The school will immediately contact the Nassau Department of Health to determine the correct course of action with respect to quarantine time for the student with the suspected case, as well as anyone the student has been in close contact with. It will also support contact tracing. The school will also follow up with the family about test results.

Staff and Student Testing

Following recommendations by the CDC and NYSED, WSGC will not require routine mandatory COVID-19 testing or antibody testing of students, faculty, and staff as a screening mechanism.  The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should only be determined by a healthcare provider or the Nassau Department of Health.  The School will require testing to prove that an individual who has previously tested positive for COVID-19 is “clear” to return to the building.  The School also reserves the right to require testing before and during trips to Glen Brook.

Health Screening at arrival:

For Grades 1-12 Students arriving by car:

All cars will pull into the school’s U-shaped driveway (“U”). An employee will take the student’s temperature and verify the parent has completed the app information before the student exits the car. Students who have not completed the daily health check on the School Pass app will remain in the car, exit the U, complete the app, and return to the U.

  • HS students will enter the far right doors at the top of the U.
  • Grade 5-8 students will enter the far left doors at the top of the U.
  • Grade 1-4 students will enter through the Main Lobby doors.

For Early Childhood Students arriving by cars:

All cars will park on the street. Parents will walk their children to the Cambridge Avenue double gate by the soccer field and remain with their child until an employee verifies the parent has completed the app information and takes the child’s temperature before the parent departs.

Exception: Students of Ms. Giumenta, Ms. Seo, and Ms. Kata will enter the smaller, wooden Cambridge Ave Gate. Parents will walk their children to the gate and remain with their child until an employee verifies the parent has completed the app information and takes the child’s temperature before the parent departs.

For EC students arriving by bus, they will be met by an EC faculty member in the U when exiting the bus and will be walked to their respective entry point where they will have their temperature taken.

For all students arriving by bus:

An employee will verify that the parent has completed the health screening through the app and will take each student’s temperature. Students with incomplete app information or with a fever or other signs of illness will be taken immediately to the quarantine area and parents will be phoned to pick up the student.

Health screening during the school day:

Any student showing signs COVID-19 including fever, cold, cough, or any other sign of illness will be screened at one of our health stations for assessment. Students determined to be ill will be quarantined until the parent can pick up the student.

Ventilation

Ventilation will be increased in all rooms. Doors and windows will be kept open as much as possible to allow for increased air circulation. Fans will be added to increase airflow (both extractor and regular fans). The school is also looking into procuring air purifiers for each room.

In-School Learning Model

Early Childhood

  • Pre-arrival: Parents complete School Pass Health App.
  • Arrival at one of the two Cambridge Street gates: Health check from WSGC employee and escort to the playground. The student and parent will wear a mask for arrival.
  • School Day: Outdoor activities, use of Nature Trail, and playgrounds.  Face shields or masks will be worn.   Indoor activities will be minimal and will require a face mask, except during snack time.
  • Dismissal: Children escorted to exits to meet parents.  Both students and parents will wear a face mask.
  • After School Care: Children remaining in After School Care will nap in small groups.  Masks will not be worn at nap time.  Much time will be spent outdoors.
  • Dismissal: Students will wear masks and will be walked to the exits to meet their bus or parents.

Grade One through Five

Pre-arrival:  Parents complete School Pass Health App.

Arrival in the U:  Health check from WSGC employee and walk to the classroom.  Masks will be worn.

School Day:

  • Main Lesson will begin with circle activity outdoors.  Face shields may be worn instead of masks.
  • Lesson and bookwork in the classroom. Masks will be worn.
  • Snack – inside or out, per teacher.  Masks will not be worn.
  • Recess – outside with class in a dedicated area of the playground.  Face shields may be worn instead of masks.
  • Mask breaks will occur between specialty classes.  Breaks will last 5-10 minutes.
  • Lunch – inside or outside per teacher.  Masks will not be worn.
  • Specialty classes continue as stated above.
  • Dismissal: Students will wear masks and will be walked to the exits to meet their bus or parents.

Grade Six through Twelve

Pre-arrival:  Parents complete School Pass Health App.

Arrival in the U:  Health check from WSGC employee and walk to the classroom.  Masks will be worn.

School Day:

  • Masks will be worn in the building. Mask breaks will be regularly provided.
  • Snack /Lunch- inside or outside, per teacher.  Masks will not be worn.
  •  When outdoors, face shields may be worn instead of masks.
  • Dismissal: Students will wear masks and will be walked to the exits to meet their bus or parents.

Class Schedules for Grades One through Twelve

Weekly class schedules will be much like previous years.  Classes may be shorter to allow for mask breaks.  Movement, PE, Music, all singing, recitation, and rigorous movement will be held outdoors.  Grades 1-8 will have an additional weekly class focused on social-emotional support.

District Student Services

  • The Garden City Union Free School District will determine if student services are provided virtually or in-person.
  • When services take place in-person at School, they will be located in the Gymnasium within cubicles to allow more space for social distancing.

Large gatherings and Assemblies

  • To the extent possible, assemblies and festivals will be held outdoors. When that is not possible, they will be held virtually.
  • The cafeteria will deliver pre-ordered food to designated grade-level classrooms. Snack and lunchtime will take place in classrooms or outdoors.
  • Class Meetings and Parent Conferences will be held virtually.

Sports and Athletics

  • League Play: We will not participate in intramural sports for the first semester.  A decision about the winter and spring seasons will be made in the late fall depending on infection rates.
  • Athletics: All sports and athletics will be held outdoors only.  This will be organized by grade rather than gender to avoid mixing of classes.  Twelve-foot social distancing is required.

Before and After School Care

  • Before School Care will not be offered this year. Students may arrive at 7:45 am and go directly to their respective rooms where their teacher will be present.
  • After School Care will be offered to families who need this service. It will be held in small groups with an attempt to keep grades separated to the extent possible.  It will be held predominantly outside.  If infection rates on Long Island increase, all After School activities may be canceled.

Hybrid-Flex Learning Model

While in-person learning takes place in the physical building, families, in grades 3-12, who are not yet comfortable returning to School may opt to participate in the Hybrid-flex Learning Model.  At any time, with prior notice, a family may choose to return to our In-School Learning Model.  Moving back and forth between the two models cannot be permitted due to the disruption to the class it would cause.

  • Classrooms will be equipped with the necessary technology for students to Zoom into the classroom, participate in the class, and view the chalkboard.  The technology placed in the classroom will be made as non-intrusive as possible.
  • When live streaming is not an option, classes will be recorded.
  • Classes held outdoors are not included in the Hybrid-Flex Learning option. These classes include Physical Education, Movement, Gardening, Music, and any class that requires rigorous movement, recitation or singing.
  • Additional IT staff will be hired to support this program.
  • Faculty and staff will receive extensive training on the use of classroom technology.
  • Families who opt for the Hybrid-Flex Learning Model agree to turn in student assignments in a timely manner either in person or via Google Classroom, as directed by the teacher.
  • Supplies will be provided to families whenever possible. This may involve families picking up supplies from the School.

NOTE:
If you have a student in grades 3, 4, or 5, and would like to start the school year with the Hybrid-Flex Learning option, please indicate your preference using this online form before Friday, August 7th:

OPT-IN TO HYBRID LEARNING

If you have questions or would like to change your mind after submitting this form, please e-mail Nicole Littrean at littreann@waldorfgarden.org or Kelly O’Halogan at ohalogank@waldorfgarden.org.

Teacher-Directed Distance Learning Model

When the physical building is closed for all or part of our classes, the Teacher-Directed Distance Learning Model will be initiated. All faculty have been trained and will continue training on the technological needs to successfully teach online, including lesson preparations for online classes. Some of the enhancements include:

Early Childhood

  • Consistency among all Early Childhood classes
  • Weekly calls with children
  • Google classroom resources
  • Weekly in-person storytelling experiences – as Governmental phasing allows
  • Weekly EC wide thematic newsletters – delivered in a shared EC Google classroom
  • Increased faculty training on Google Classroom and Zoom practices.

Grades 1-12

  • A more robust Zoom schedule with more specialty subject classes and main lesson time. A schedule for each grade will be provided in the next few days
  • Book-work time with the class teacher for Lower Grades.
  • Morning and Afternoon check-in for Lower Grades to provide greater support for students.
  • Social-Emotional Classes for Grades 1-8.
  • Increased faculty training on Google Classroom and Zoom practices.

Class Schedules for Grades 1-12

Click the grade below to view the TDDL schedule.

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Grade 6

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Updated 8/7/2020