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Gloversville Enlarged School District Reopening Plan Overview


As we formalize our reopening plans it is important to address any unanswered questions of parent(s), guardian(s), and students. Your questions will be addressed over the course of the 3 parent/guardian information sessions required for schools to reopen in September. The form is broken down into the following sections: Health & Safety, Child Nutrition, Transportation, Social Emotional Well-Being, Technology, School Schedules & Instruction, & Special Education/504 Plan Services. There is space to ask up to three questions per section. You are not obligated to ask questions in each section. If you have more than three questions in a single section you are able to submit another form. Thank you for your time and understanding. We will get through this together. We are Gloversville Strong. Please click on the link below to submit your questions.


July 31, 2020

Dear Members of the Gloversville Enlarged School District Education Community:
The attached document has been created in accordance with New York State guidelines to ensure
the health and safety of our students, our staff and our community members as we look to reopen
our schools this fall. The NYS Education Department and Department of Health guidelines are
very clear and our district’s reopening plan is in accordance with their provisions. Over the past
several weeks, the administrative team has held numerous meetings with stakeholders and
generated a number of surveys to better inform our decision-making and plan development. The
creation of our reopening plan has not been an easy task and I thank all who participated in this
important work.

As a district, we fully understand that in-person instruction is fundamentally important to every
child. Therefore, we strived to create a plan that maximizes in-person learning opportunities
across all grade levels. With the exception of Pre-Kindergarten and self-contained special
education students, who will report daily, our selected hybrid learning model will see students in
Kindergarten through 12th grade attending school 50% of the days and learning remotely on the
other days. We know this is not ideal and will cause hardships, but we found no alternative plan
that worked. Student/teacher ratio and building square footage were our biggest obstacles. We
certainly look forward to the day that we can welcome all students back every single day.

A rotating in-person schedule, with our classrooms at half capacity, is the only way for us to
move forward while maintaining the social distancing requirements set forth by the state. Our
students in grades K-12 will be split into two “teams”, Dragons and Huskies. Dragons will
attend school on Monday, Wednesday and every other Friday and Huskies will attend school on
Tuesday, Thursday and every other Friday. This rotating schedule was selected because it
provides opportunities for students to interface with their teachers on a regular basis, while also
providing consistency for parents and guardians in need of childcare for their younger students.
Every effort will be made to ensure students of the same families will be attending school on the
same days so older siblings are home when their younger siblings are. If families desire to
deviate from this rule, we will do our best to accommodate those specific requests.
The remote off-site learning days will be designed to ensure students have opportunities to
interact with their teachers and classmates and work on standards and concepts that
were introduced in class. Our goal is to ensure remote learning is much more interactive,
structured and effective than it was in the spring when school closed. The fact remains that we
could find ourselves in a full remote environment this school year if COVID-19 cases grow in
our region and it is imperative that we become much better at delivering remote instruction.
Daily attendance will be taken on remote learning days to track participation and accountability
and we will strive to ensure the learning experiences on these days are meaningful.
Students and staff will be required to wear masks while on busses, in hallways or offices, and
any time they are unable to maintain social distance. During instruction, students will be
allowed to remove their masks when seated at least six feet apart. It is recommended by the
NYS Department of Health that students keep masks on as much as possible, but it is not
mandated during instruction if they are sufficiently socially distanced. This is a very important
point as it means our students will be allowed to remove masks while seated at their desks. We
fully understand there are mixed feelings regarding masks, and acknowledge the impracticality
of children wearing them for long periods of time. We are confident that our plan balances the
need for proper safety precautions while not making in-person learning too cumbersome for
students and staff.

Parents and guardians will be asked to conduct health screenings of their children before coming
to school each day, including temperature readings and self-reporting to the school. It is
imperative that students exhibiting symptoms of illness are not sent to school. This requirement
from the state is still being developed by our Health and Safety team and parental patience and
cooperation is essential.

In conclusion, we are all in this together and collectively we have no control over the track of the
virus nor the government's response to it. We can only control how we respond individually and
as a school community. The plan we have created is not perfect, and changes or adaptations
may occur. Frustration is running high, but it is important that we remain optimistic about the
education of our children and about their future in general. These are uncertain times, but they
will pass at some point. In the meanwhile, let's focus on the solutions to challenges we can
control. To me, our most important collective challenge is to offer the best possible educational
experience for your children in a safe, nurturing environment. More than ever, cooperation
between the school and home is critical. We look forward to improving our partnership.

Sincerely,
David Halloran
Superintendent of Schools

Letter from Superintendent 


REQUIRED COMPONENTS OF THE GESD REOPENING PLAN

  • Students and staff are required to wear masks during all transitions and when 6 foot social distancing is not possible. Schools will arrange desks or seating so that students are socially distanced from peers and staff, and are separated from one another by 6 feet.
  • Daily health screenings for employees and students. A system for parents and staff to complete an online screening form is under development.
  • Contact tracing and coordination with local health department guidelines.
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • Shared books and supplies will be minimized and where used, books (e.g., library books, trade books) supplies (e.g., science lab materials) will be disinfected or allowed to remain untouched for the amount of time specified in CDC and/or NYSDOH guidelines.
  • School visitors will be restricted to those required for school business.
  • Students and staff will be trained on proper hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and face covering practices and protocols
  • Community use of facilities will be restricted. Protocols being developed.
  • The district is developing options/programs to accommodate the needs of the medically vulnerable/high risk population.
  • Each school has a designated quarantine room for students and staff that may be presenting symptoms of COVID-19.

Operationalize Academic/Instructional Parameters for Reopening

General School Information
  • The alternating day schedule is designed to reduce building student population to approximately 50% daily.
  • The first week of school will have dedicated time to train and familiarize all students with new school routines, and all health/safety protocols/procedures.
  • Lunch pre-packaged and served to ensure appropriate social distancing, including allowance for eating in classrooms. The process for food stations/delivery is being developed.
  • Alternate locations will be provided for students with severe food allergies, as needed.
  • Hallway traffic will be one-way, where possible, with appropriate signage.
  • Classes moving within hallways will be regulated to reduce the number of students in the hallway at a given time.
  • There will be no field trips for the time being.
  • Filtration and ventilation will meet or exceed minimum requirements.
  • Teachers will be encouraged to have windows open and instruct parts of classes outdoors, where feasible.
  • Lockers and locker rooms will not be used at the secondary level.

Pre-Kindergarten

  • Pre-Kindergarten students will follow a traditional in-person Monday through Friday schedule.
  • Classrooms will be arranged to meet the required six-foot social distancing guidelines.
  • The number of students in each classroom will be reduced to accommodate health and safety guidelines.

Kindergarten – Grade 5 Hybrid Model

  • Grades K-5 is planned for an alternate day model. Students will be divided into two groups (Dragons & Huskies). Dragons will attend in-person on Monday/Wednesday. Huskies will attend Tuesday/Thursday. Each group will attend on alternating Friday’s.
  • On remote learning days, students will have regularly established times to check in with a teacher and/or school staff member. Check-ins and evidence of remote work via Google Classroom and other district supported digital platforms will be logged at the classroom and building level. Instructional delivery may involve assignment completion from the in-person lesson or a live-streamed lesson at the students regularly assigned class time.
  • The school will facilitate remote instruction for any student who requires it due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, and for those who are deemed medically vulnerable by a physician.
  • Curriculum will be aligned with our New York State Learning Standards.
  • Grade reporting will be in accordance with NYSED guidelines and may be modified to meet the conditions of the instructional delivery model.
  • Each classroom will have no more than 16 individuals in the classroom to insure safety protocols can be followed.
  • Systems to monitor and support the social-emotional well-being of students and staff are being developed.

Grades 6 – 12

  • Grades 6-12 is planned for an alternate day model. Students will be divided into two groups (Dragons & Huskies). Dragons will in-person on Monday/Wednesday. Huskies will attend Tuesday/Thursday. Each group will attend on alternating Friday’s.
  • On remote learning days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely and/or complete assignments. Student expectations on remote days will be determined by the teacher based on what will work best for the specific class and what is being learned. Instructional delivery may involve assignment completion from the in-person lesson or a live-streamed lesson at the students regularly assigned class time.
  • Curriculum will be aligned with our New York State Learning Standards.
  • Grade reporting will be in accordance with NYSED guidelines and may be modified to meet the conditions of the instructional delivery model.
  • The school will facilitate remote instruction for any student who requires it due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure, for those who are deemed medically vulnerable.
  • Systems to monitor and support the social-emotional wellbeing of students and staff are being developed.

For information pertaining to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website https://www.hfmboces.org/ .


Specialized Services

  • Students in self-contained, special education programs will be onsite daily when school is in session, unless otherwise directed in the students program services
  • Students receiving special services will continue to receive these services (e.g., ENL, speech)
  • Students who may be at a higher risk may need additional considerations in their programming, such as remote learning.

Performing Arts, Physical Education, Athletics & Extracurricular Activities

  • NYSED requires 12 feet in between students when physically exerting themselves in PE activities and when singing or using wind instruments. The plan for Physical Education and performing arts is currently being developed to meet the needs of our school community and NYSDOH/NYSED guidelines
  • Interscholastic sports are currently not permitted. NYSPHSAA indicated that the fall sports season is being postponed approximately one month and that fall sport regional and state competitions are cancelled
  • Extra-curricular activities will be examined to determine which can be conducted virtually, blended, or modified.

Transportation

The district utilizes Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES Regional Transportation Service. Transportation guidelines specify:

  • Face coverings are required on buses provided that the student is physically able to do so.
  • Social distancing protocols will be maintained on the bus.
  • Students will initially trained and periodically retrained on proper social distancing.
  • Members of the same household/family will be seated together when possible.
  • Parents/guardians will be required to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms prior to getting on the bus.

For additional transportation information please contact the Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES transportation office at 518-775-5788.


Shift to Virtual Learning in the Event of School Building Closure Due to COVID-19

  • In the event school buildings are compelled to close, schools will transition to a remote learning model.
  • Grades PreK-5 students will follow a schedule that most closely approximates their in-person schedule. Instruction may be a combination of synchronous (live-online) and asynchronous teacher lessons (not live, pre-recorded lessons), online group work or small group instruction. Time spent on instruction will vary by grade level, however, students will engage with learning daily.
  • Grade 6-12 students will follow the in-school schedule when at home with live, virtual instruction (most common method), blended with recorded teacher lessons, online group work, and small group instruction.
  • Every effort will be made to engage students in meaningful, NYS Standards aligned instruction everyday.
  • Student and staff attendance will be taken daily.
    Click here for Full Reopening Plan