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Re-Opening Guidelines

Queens Yeshiva Ketana Re-Opening Plan for Fall 2020

Pursuant to the Department of Health’s Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Queens Yeshiva Ketana has developed an individual plan for reopening and operating during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Our plan meets the standards set forth in the guidance and reflects engagement with school stakeholders and community members, including but not limited to administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/legal guardians of students, local health departments, local health care providers, and affiliated organizations. Specifically, our plan covers: (1) reopening of school facilities for in-person instruction, (2) monitoring of health conditions, (3) containment of potential transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and (4) closure of school facilities and in-person instruction, if necessitated by widespread virus transmission.

  1. Reopening of School Facilities for In-Person Instruction

  2. Capacity:

    We will phase in our students by allowing the older grades to re-enter school on September 3, 2020, and allowing our youngest students to re-enter school on September 4, 2020.

    Social Distancing:

    All students, faculty and staff will attempt to maintain appropriate social distancing between individuals or by use of appropriate physical barriers between individuals (may include strip curtains, cubicle walls, or other impermeable divider or partition) unless safety or the core activity (e.g., instruction, using an elevator, traveling in common areas) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household. Students, faculty, and staff will attempt to use face coverings and PPE.

    PPE and Face Coverings:  

    PPE and face coverings will be strongly encouraged when social distancing is not being practiced. Students, faculty, staff, and other individuals will be strongly encouraged to use face masks.

    Vulnerable Populations:

    To the greatest extent possible, we will make accommodations for vulnerable students to allow them to participate in educational activities which may include extra PPE or social distancing for the particular student or teleconferencing and/or distance learning, when appropriate and available. Vulnerable faculty and staff will be encouraged to wear PPE such as face shields as appropriate.

    Extracurricular Activities:

    Extracurricular activity will be minimized, and when they will occur, proper social distancing or barriers or face coverings will be strongly encouraged.

    Field Trips:

    Field trips will generally be limited. When field trips will occur, students, faculty and staff will be asked to social distance or wear appropriate face coverings as the situation dictates. Visitors will be limited, and facemasks will be required of visitors as well as temperature checks.

    Transportation:

    All individuals will wear acceptable face coverings. Students whose physical and mental health would be impaired by wearing a mask will not be required to do so. All buses which are used every day will be cleaned/disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning or afternoon runs depending upon the disinfecting schedule. School buses will not be permitted to be equipped with hand sanitizer nor will staff carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.

    School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics will wear a face covering, will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of personal protective equipment and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, will perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work and will notify their employer and seek medical attention if they are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

    Transportation departments/carriers will provide Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves for bus drivers, monitors and attendants on buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages. Bus drivers, monitors, and attendants who have direct physical contact with children will wear gloves.

    Food Services:

    Meals will be served in various locations throughout our school campus. Appropriate social distancing will be encouraged and measures to protect students with food allergies when providing meals in spaces outside the cafeteria, including appropriate staff training, will be maintained. Students will be encouraged to perform hand hygiene before and after eating by washing their hands. Appropriate hand hygiene will be promoted through signage and teacher reinforcement and the sharing of food and beverages will be discouraged by the same means. Additionally, cleaning prior to the next group of students’ arrival for meals, if served in the same common area, will take place.

    Emergency Drills:

    Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills will be conducted as feasible.

    Mental Health, Behavioral, and Emotional Support Services and Programs:

    Teachers will be trained to observe for signs of mental, behavioral, and emotional issues with students.  Such students will be referred for evaluation and proper next steps will be taken. The referral will be made by our Head of Guidance, Mr. Tzvi Herman, in consultation with the school administration.

    Communication:

    There will be timely emails/newsletters sent out to parents and staff with updates and applicable instructions. Teachers and students will be trained in proper social distancing and hygiene protocol. Appropriate signage will be placed throughout the building and informational material will be kept for distribution in the main office.

    Rabbi Binyomin Kessler will be the designated coordinator and the main point of contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and will be responsible for subsequent communication. They will be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians of students regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and the plan implemented by the school.

    Continuity of Learning:

    Our school will ensure learning will continue throughout the coming school year. Primarily, we will prepare for in-person instruction and will allow for remote instruction, such as teleconferencing, if the need occurs. There will be clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to students.  Students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology via the main office number.

    Attendance Taking:  

    The school will collect and report daily teacher/student engagement or attendance, regardless of instructional setting via email, texting, U.S.P.S. Mail and/or direct contact between the teacher and principal.

  3. MONITORING OF HEALTH CONDITIONS

  4. The facilities have been properly disinfected and appropriate signage and disinfection stations have been set up throughout the building. Furthermore, we have procured the proper amount of PPE and face coverings for our students, faculty, and staff.

    Hygiene Cleaning and Disinfection:

    School wide cleaning and disinfection will take place on a daily basis with cleaning products approved by the CDC for use against COVID-19.

    Monitoring Health Conditions at School

    Screening:

    Health screenings, including temperature checks, of students, faculty, staff and, where applicable, contractors, vendors, and visitors will take place daily. Individuals will have their temperature checked each day. If an individual presents with a temperature of greater than 99.0°F, the individual will be denied entry into the facility or sent directly to a dedicated area prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home.

    We will use a screening questionnaire for faculty and staff reporting to school and periodically use a questionnaire for students. Remote health screening, (ie. by electronic survey, digital application, or telephone, which may involve the parent/legal guardian) before an individual reports to school, will be implemented if and when appropriate.

    Testing Protocols:

    Staff and students will be referred to their primary care physicians for diagnostic testing for COVID-19, in consultation with local health department officials, when needed. Symptomatic individuals, close contacts of COVID-19 suspected or confirmed individuals and individuals with recent international travel or travel within a state with widespread transmission of COVID-19 as designated through the New York State Travel Advisory will be encouraged to be tested by their primary care physician before such individuals return to school.

    Testing Responsibility:

    The local health department will be the community organization primarily responsible for referring, sourcing, and administering testing.

    Early Warning Signs:

    We will follow the metrics signs established by state and local health departments that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

    Communication:

    There will be timely emails/newsletters sent out to parents and staff with updates and applicable instructions. Teachers and students will be trained in proper social distancing and hygiene protocol. Appropriate signage will be placed throughout the building and informational material will be kept for distribution in the main office.

    Rabbi Binyomin Kessler will be the designated coordinator and the main point of contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and will be responsible for subsequent communication. They will be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians of students regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and the plan implemented by the school.

  5. CONTAINMENT: RESPONSE AND PREVENTION

  6. School Health Offices:

    If an individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day, he/she will be isolated from everyone and, in the case of a student, arrangements for the child to be taken home quickly will be made.

    Isolation:

    Individuals who screen positive or those who become symptomatic while at school will be isolated and, in the case of a student, arrangements for the child to be taken home quickly will be made.”

    Collection:

    Parents or guardians will be contacted and told to pick up their child. They will also be instructed that the child see a health care provider.

    Infected Individuals:.

    Individuals who have tested positive must recover and be unable to transmit COVID-19 before they will be allowed to return to in-person learning. This will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

    Exposed Individuals:

    Individuals who were exposed to the virus must complete quarantine before returning to in-person learning. This will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

    Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection:

    We will attempt to adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection guidance set forth by DOH and CDC.

    Contact Tracing:

    We will attempt to support our local health department in contact tracing efforts.

    Communication:

    We will share protocols and safety measures with all relevant parties, including but not limited to emails, newsletters, mailers etc.

  7. CLOSURE AND CONTINGENCY PLANS

  8. Closure triggers:

    In consultation with state and our local health department, we will identify conditions that may warrant reducing in-person education or the closing of the school, and we will plan for an orderly closure if necessary.

    Operational Activity:

    Operations will be decreased and ceased via phases and milestones as the specific situation arises and determinations as to appropriate closures or partial closures will be done in consultation with the local health department.

    Communication:

    All changes and updates will be communicated to staff and parents and all other relevant individuals via emails, mailers, posters, signage, text messages, phones calls and our school website, as appropriate.

    Continuity of Learning:

    Our school will ensure learning will continue throughout the coming school year. Primarily, we will prepare for in-person instruction and will allow for remote instruction, such as teleconferencing, if the need occurs. There will be clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to students.  Students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology via the main office number.