COVID-19 RESPONSE IN THE 2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR

DISTRICT COVID-19 UPDATES

NEW  11-18-21 UPDATE:

11-17-21:

11-15-21:

11-12-21:

11-5-21:

11-3-21:

10-18-21:

10-12-21:

10-4-21:

9-27-21:

9-23-21:

9-20-21: 

9-17-21:

9-15-21:

9-13-21: 

9-03-21:  COVID-19 Testing Mandate from the NYS Dept. of Health for all District employees. Details sent in robo call to families, staff and posted in website Announcements Box located at the top of the district webpage.

9-02-21:  Letter from Mr. Budhai on the Opening of Schools for 2021-22

8-25-21: Schools will reopen for all students in grades K-12 for in-person learning on September 9th

District Plan for Health, Safety & In-Person Learning

District 2021-2022 School Opening Plan

  • 10-12-21 COVID-19 Update to Testing Protocols & Procedures PRESENTATIONS for Community Zoom Meeting Series:
  • 9-3-21 NYS Department of Health issues requirement for all school district employees to submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Important Safety Reminders & Mitigations:

QUARANTINING & ISOLATION SCENARIOUS

  • IF an individual tests positive for COVID-19, THEN regardless of vaccination status that individual must isolate for 10 days. 
  • IF an individual is fully vaccinated, THEN close contacts do NOT need to quarantine UNLESS the vaccinated person who is exposed develops symptoms.
  • IF an individual is NOT fully vaccinated, THEN close contacts WILL be required to quarantine for 10 days.
  • NOTE: The close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student; the exposed students will not be required to quarantine if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.
  • IF you have a question on quarantining & isolation, THEN please call your child’s school nurse for clarification or refer to the 2021-22 School Opening Plan.

FACE MASKS

  • Masks are required to be worn by all individuals inside any school regardless of vaccination status, as per New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).
  • Masks must be worn at indoor school events and while playing or attending athletic or any other indoor events.
  • Mask breaks with social distancing will be provided.
  • Masks are not required outdoors. Unvaccinated people should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or when 3-feet social distancing is not possible.
  • A mask will be provided to any student who does not have one or who needs a new one.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING

  • Maintain 3-feet of social distancing between students in classrooms and indoor school locations, combined with mask wearing.

COMMUNICATION

  • All communication and any updates will be posted on our district website and social media platforms.
  • Phone calls, text messages and emails will be used to notify families of COVID-19 or schedule updates.
  • Families are urged to be sure updated contact information is on file.

CLEANING & SANITIZING

  • Cleaning and sanitizing will remain rigorous. The district is stocked with personal protection equipment (PPE), sanitizer, masks, gloves, surface cleaning supplies.
  • School spaces and buses will be cleaned and sanitized, using approved disinfectants daily.
  • If someone in a school tests positive for COVID-19, the classroom or space will be disinfected immediately.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

  • Parents, guardians, caregivers and staff members are urged to be mindful of indications of illness, to stay home if they show signs and symptoms, and to seek testing when symptoms are present.
  • Any student who exhibits symptoms will be required to go home and not return to in-person learning for 10 days unless they have a negative COVID test result, or have a physician’s note with an alternate diagnosis, and are symptom free. The student would shift to remote asynchronous instruction (assignment placed through online platform) with a daily session (one period) with a teacher.
  • PARENTS/GUARDIANS should contact their child's teacher, building level principal or nurse if their child has tested positive  with COVID-19 to receive further information regarding remote asynchronous instruction.

CONTACT TRACING AND STEPS

  • Contract tracing protocols will continue to be followed.
  • CDC flowchart will be followed in decision making if there is a COVID-19 diagnosis at school.
  • New diagnoses of COVID-19 will be reported to the Rockland County Department of Health and all directives will be followed.
  • Teachers, staff, and families of students who were close contacts (as defined by CDC) to a person who tested positive will be notified immediately.
  • CDC guidance now provides that when all students wearing face masks have close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, the exposed students will not be required to quarantine if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.

COVID-19 TESTING

  • Testing is recommended in certain instances. Testing will not be administered without written parent/guardian consent.

GUIDANCE & DETERMINATION FOR UPDATES

HAND-WASHING AND HYGIENE

  • Students and staff will have every opportunity to properly wash their hands throughout the day.
  • We will continue to reinforce good etiquette in school by reminding everyone to wash hands frequently and to assist young children with hand-washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol will be available in all locations for use in addition to handwashing.
  • We will continue to teach young children coughing and sneezing etiquette and to keep hands away from their faces.

MEALS & CAFETERIA USE

  • Breakfast and lunch will continue to be provided to all students in the district.
  • Cafeterias may be used if students are able to maintain 6-feet apart when masks are removed for eating. When necessary, schools will create lunch schedules that reduce the number of students in the cafeteria at one time or determine alternate locations.
  • Students must wear masks when moving through the food service line.
  • Cafeterias will be cleaned immediately after use. Surfaces that are in contact with food will be washed, rinsed, and sanitized before and after meals.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION CLASSES

  • Whenever possible, physical education classes will be conducted outdoors in acceptable weather.
  • When classes are conducted indoors, mask-wearing is required.
  • Teachers will make efforts to establish properly distanced mask breaks for students during indoor activities.

PROGRAMS & INSTRUCTION

  • As long as allowed by public health officials, schools will be open for in-person teaching and learning, and students should be in school.
  • Remote instruction will be provided to students who are medically vulnerable, through Capital Region BOCES collaborative remote learning program for elementary grades.
  • In the case of closure due to public health emergency, all schools will be prepared to provide remote instruction.
  • Any student who is placed under quarantine and cannot attend in-person due to illness or COVID-19 exposure, will receive remote instruction. The student would shift to remote asynchronous instruction (assignment placed through online platform) with a daily session (one period) with a teacher.
  • PARENTS/GUARDIANS should contact their child's teacher, building level principal or nurse if their child has tested positive  with COVID-19 to receive further information regarding remote asynchronous instruction.

SIGNAGE

  • Signage will be placed throughout district facilities reinforcing the main elements of our health and safety protocols.

SPECIAL EDUCATION

  • Services to students with disabilities will be held in person unless otherwise indicated in the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or other means

SPORTS & ACTIVITIES

  • Masks are required to be worn by athletes and all individuals during indoor sporting events.
  • Anyone who is not fully vaccinated must wear a mask outdoors during any sporting event when 3-feet social distancing is not possible.
  • High-risk sports and activities may be canceled or held virtually depending on vaccination and community transmission rate.
  • Spectators may be limited or not allowed, depending on community transmission rate.

TECHNOLOGY

  • All technology devices have been reimaged and sanitized for a phased-in redistribution for the start of school.

TECHNOLOGY HELP DESK

  • Visit the TECH DEPT Page for videos on using applications on our webpage.
  • CALL TECH HELP DESK : 845-353-7075, or Fill out a quick-access TECH HELP FORM located on the Technology Department webpage

TRANSPORTATION

  • Masks must be always worn on buses by any one on the bus including drivers and students.
  • A mask will be provided to any student who does not have one or who needs a new one.

VENTILATION

  • Schools will follow all ventilation protocols, including mechanical and natural ventilation where appropriate.
  • Ventilation strategies include bringing fresh outdoor air into the building by opening multiple doors and windows and using child-safe fans to increase air flow.
  • During transportation, the windows on buses will be cracked open or opened.

2021 FAQ for COVID-19

The following FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) were initially published by the Rockland Department of Health (DOH) and will be updated as more information is learned and guidance is provided by New York State. 

Q: Did New York State Department of Health mandate COVID-19 Testing for those who are not fully vaccinated?

A: The New York State Department of Health has issued a mandate requiring all district employees to submit proof of full vaccination in lieu of mandated weekly COVID-19 testing. Please review the link: Rockland County Health Department to access vaccination sites for both initial and the booster vaccination for immunocompromised individuals.

Q: What are the recommended protocols if a student tests positive?

A: Students should immediately be placed in isolation at home for at least 10 days. School staff should assist the Rockland DOH in contact tracing efforts by providing a list of probable close contacts. The identification of close contacts begins 48 hours before the student becomes symptomatic, or 48 hours before the student was tested for the COVID-19 virus if asymptomatic. Identified close contacts should also remain at home for 10 days of quarantine from the date of last exposure to the infected student.

If during a case interview, the Rockland DOH identifies that case as a student in school, we would reach out to the school administrator to inform them of the positive case and conduct contact tracing. If it is a rapid antigen test, the student/family may get the result before the DOH. In that situation, we would expect the medical office that ordered the test to reach out to us, or perhaps the family. If the school district is aware of a positive test among its students or staff, but has not heard from the Rockland DOH, please reach out to us so that we can confirm this case. Case investigation/contact tracing would then proceed after NCDOH or SCDOH is notified.

The DOH is responsible for case investigation and contact tracing in their counties. School districts should support case investigation and contact tracing efforts by confirming attendance, sharing rosters, etc. Case investigations are typically done within 24 hours of receipt of a positive test result. School districts should have plans in place related to community notification and operations while investigations are underway. Rockland DOH provides isolation or quarantine orders to all cases and contacts in their respective counties. In addition, those under isolation or quarantine will be monitored daily. When the isolation or quarantine period has ended, a letter from the local health department confirming release will be provided to each case and contact. Students and/or staff can provide the letter to their school district to return.

Contact tracing and quarantining of close contacts is initiated upon receipt of a positive test result. In addition, only contacts of the case are quarantined, not contacts of contacts.

Q: What are recommended protocols if a staff member tests positive?

A: The staff member should be in home isolation for at least 10 days, with contact tracing as outlined in the previous answer. The District will elicit current employment on case investigation and would reach out to the specific school when we find out. In addition, please note that each DOH investigates its own County cases. Confirmed cases in faculty, staff and administrators that live outside the school’s county will be investigated by the jurisdiction in which they reside. In these cases, please know that varied County Departments of Health will work together.

Q: If a child is quarantined, how will they receive remote instruction?

A: The parent/guardian should immediately report the case to their child’s building level nurse, teacher or principal. The student(s) will receive assignments through their appropriate platform (ie: Classlink, Google Suite or Schoology) from their teacher(s). All students that are quarantined will receive a live synchronous session daily to provide support during the time of quarantining. 

Q: What are the recommended protocols for a symptomatic student on a bus?

A: Local health department would not be involved for symptoms only. The District would only begin an investigation based on a positive virus test. If a student tests positive, any close contacts of that student, (including those on the same bus) may be subject to quarantine.

Q: What are the recommended protocols for suspected cases of COVID-19?

A: Students and staff with symptoms of illness should not attend school. It is recommended that individuals and/or families consult their medical provider to determine if COVID-19 testing is warranted. Note: notification and contact tracing is initiated upon receipt of a positive COVID-19 test result. No action is taken for suspected cases. Students and staff who test positive for COVID-19 should follow the established CDC/NYS DOH guidelines for ending isolation. All residents who test positive are monitored daily by the Rockland DOH contact tracing staff and will receive a letter from their Rockland DOH confirming release from isolation.

Students and staff with other illnesses (ex: cold, flu, strep throat, etc.) should follow existing school policy for return and consult with their medical provider for guidance.

Q: What should someone do while waiting for a pending COVID-19 result?

A: Staff and students who have been tested for COVID-19 or who have signs and symptoms of COVID-19, should remain at home and not come to school until results are known. A positive result will require additional isolation of the case and close contacts elicited as described above. Quarantine and/or notification will be determined by the local health department in conjunction with the school district. Laboratory testing may take days until results are determined.

Q: To what extent must students/staff quarantine/isolate after:

A: For a singular positive case Identified close contacts (students or staff) should be placed on quarantine for 10 days from the date of last contact. Rockland DOH recommends that close contacts get tested for COVID-19.

A: For multiple positives This would be more complicated, depending on if they are in the same cohort (a cluster), or positives in multiple cohorts (an outbreak). Those in a cluster would isolate at home, and a presumably small number of identified close contacts would quarantine at home. An outbreak across multiple cohorts would involve a larger number of people identified as close contacts, and thus more of the student population under quarantine. This would require coordination with NYS DOH in addition to the school district.

Q: Should isolation occur within singular classroom? Grade level? Building? District? 

A: Isolation would apply to the person who tests positive. Any close contacts identified for quarantine will likely be in the same classroom or lunchroom. Schools should try to limit the number of cohorts to the greatest extent possible. For most children that number is going to be at least two - the bus and the classroom.

Q: If an elementary student tests positive and the students within the class/cohort are all in masks and 6 feet apart in class must the class be quarantined?

A: This scenario will be decided on a case-by-case basis. There would be many factors to consider including age of students, time spent in the classroom, size of the classroom, etc. If all protocols for wearing face masks and social distancing are practiced, the likelihood that additional positive cases are identified from that cohort is minimal. These individuals may be considered proximate contacts and should be monitored for signs and symptoms while not being considered part of the contact tracing effort. The school district may decide to notify students and staff in the classroom or building who are not close contacts.

Q: If the spouse of a faculty member presents with a positive COVID test, how long should that employee isolate? Should a negative test be required to return to work?

A: The employee would be considered a close contact of the spouse, and would be subject to quarantine for 10 days from the date of last contact with the spouse. The employee may return to work after completion of the quarantine period; no test is necessary unless the employee develops symptoms. People who are fully vaccinated do NOT need to quarantine after close contact with an infected person unless the vaccinated person who is exposed develops symptoms.

Q: If a faculty member who has wide-spread access to the building tests positive (ie - custodian, principal, etc.) to what extent should isolation occur amongst the rest of the population? What steps should be taken before a return?

A: The faculty member should be in home isolation. If anyone meets the definition of a close contact with that faculty member, the close contact(s) should be quarantined for 10 days. The faculty member may return to work after 10 days of isolation provided that person is fever free for the last 72 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and symptoms (if any) are improving.

Q: What protocols need to be put in place for students/families that were at a bus stop; students and staff who were on a bus; and classmates and teachers of the bus riders in the following scenario?

A child who rides a school bus has a parent who was notified that he/she/they had tested positive for COVID-19 after the child left the house for the bus stop; and the parent then calls the principal to alert regarding the positive test result however the student has already arrived at school and is in class.

 A: The child should be sent home to be placed in quarantine. The child is most likely a close contact, but did not test positive, therefore there is no action that needs to be taken for any of the other persons mentioned. DOH will not quarantine a contact of a contact.

Q:  Who has the authority to mandate vaccinations for public school teachers and anyone over 16 years of age that enters our schools?  What specific statute or regulation legally prohibits the school district from implementing more robust health standards beyond the “guidance” issued by the New York State Department of Health? 

A: Without a mandate from NYS, including the State Education Department or State Department of Health, or the local Rockland County Health Department, there is no legal authority for the District to unilaterally require COVID-19 vaccinations for all teachers.  According to that part of the NYS Civil Service Law known as the Taylor Law, the District as the employer has the obligation to negotiate with the various employee unions in the District regarding the terms and conditions of employment of the public employees represented by such unions.  Until there is a mandate from NYS, including the State Education Department or State Department of Health, or the local Rockland County Health Department, any requirement that all teachers be vaccinated would be considered a mandatory subject of negotiations and, as such, must be negotiated between the public school district and the teachers union

The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issued its Commissioner’s Determination on COVID-19 Testing mandates on September 2, 2021 which require all school districts to ensure teachers and staff have testing performed for COVID-19 at least once per week when a school is in a geographic area identified by the CDC as having low, moderate, substantial, or high transmission rates. Under this NYSDOH Commissioner’s Determination, teachers and staff may be permitted to opt-out of mandatory weekly screening testing if they provide documentation of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  In addition, the District and our Nyack Bargaining Units agreed to certain Memoranda of Agreement regarding COVID-19 testing of their respective unit members for the 2021-2022 school year prior to the issuance of the NYSDOH Commissioner’s Determination.

Q:  What day(s) will staff members be tested who did not provide proof of their vaccination status?

A: Currently, we will test all staff members who did not provide proof of their vaccination status once a week on a rotating schedule in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Health. 

Q: How quickly will test results be made available and communicated to the local community? 

A: Individuals that are tested by the district’s provider are expected to receive results on the same day of testing or soon thereafter. For any individuals who test positive, the district will conduct contact tracing for those in close contact and provide general communication to the parents/guardians and staff of the affected school via our website and communication systems.  

Q: Will unvaccinated teachers be allowed on premises while test results are pending?

A: Any staff, including teachers, who have symptoms of COVID-19 are expected to remain home from work.  Unvaccinated teachers will be permitted on premises while awaiting receipt of their test results.  As noted above, the district is also taking other appropriate precautions such as the wearing of masks, social distancing to the extent practicable, providing hand sanitizers, use of air purifiers and use of disinfecting supplies.

Opening of Schools Announcements & Alerts

  • A Note of Thanksgiving to our School CommUnity and a reminder of early dismissal times for our schools on WED. NOV. 24 is POSTED HERE:

    Please be sure to read the letter from Superintendent Budhai with a Note of Thanksgiving that has been emailed to our families and staff; also being posted, below, for our school community.

    Also please be reminded that Wednesday, November 24 is a half day of school in the morning with the following early dismissal times:

    Nyack High School - 10:30am

    Nyack Middle School - 11:00am

    Liberty, Upper Nyack and Valley Cottage Elementary Schools - 11:45am

     

    Thank you. We wish everyone in our school community a respite of Thanksgiving!

    Nyack Public Schools
  • Nyack Middle School to host an on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinic for our students on FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 19th for anyone age 12 and over.

    Great news! We are excited to announce that our local Health Department is working with Montefiore Nyack Hospital in collaboration with Nyack Middle School to host an on-site COVID-19 vaccination clinic for our students. This vaccine clinic will take place on Friday, November 19that Nyack Middle School in the gymnasium. These vaccines will be provided at no charge to families and available to anyone age 12 and over.

    The consent form has been emailed to Parents/Guardians who have middle and high school children. It is also attached to this announcement in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole.

    If you would like your child to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, please sign the consent giving us permission to vaccinate your child and send back to your school nurse by Tuesday, November 16th.

    Additional information about the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is included in the consent form.

    Nyack Public Schools
  • Mr. Budhai's COVID-19 Update Presentations in English, Spanish & Haitian Creole from Oct. 12,13,14 Community Zoom Meetings are posted HERE:

    10-12-21 COVID-19 UPDATE ON TESTING PROTOCOLS & PROCEDURES  Presentation

    10-13-21 COVID 19 MIZAJOU SOU PWOTOKÒL AK PWOSEDI TÈS YO - Haitian Creole Language

    14-10-21 ACTUALIZACIÓN SOBRE PROTOCOLOS Y PROCEDIMIENTOS DE PRUEBA DE COVID-19 - Spanish Language

    Nyack Public Schools
  • The American Rescue Plan presentation from the June 8th Community Zoom Meeting is posted here. Feel free to peruse.

    American Rescue Plan Presentation

     

    Nyack Public Schools
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Community Zoom Meetings & Recordings 2021-22

TECH SUPPORT

Check out our TECH DEPT Page for videos on using applications

For technology assistance CALL TECH HELP DESK: 845-353-7075, or

Fill out a quick-access TECH HELP FORM:

Visit our Technology webpage for more resources and useful information.

2021-22 GUIDELINES

REFLECT, REFOCUS, REIMAGINE - August 2021 Presentation

During this school year, the District will update our school community on a regular basis with COVID-19 related communications and resources. Please be informed by checking this webpage on a regular basis. Ongoing guidance will be taken from the NYS Governor's Office, the Rockland County Department of Health (DOH) and the NY State Education Department (NYSED). The health, safety and socio-emotional well-being of all students, staff and families in our beloved community continue to be priority for the 2021-22 school year.

QUESTIONS?

FOOD PROGRAM

We are here to help!

Free & Reduced Meal Program

2021-22 Free & Reduced Meals Packets:

CALL Gloria Menoutis, District Business Executive, with questions or concerns - 845- 213-9590

TESTING/TRACING

How to Get Tested for COVID-19:

Testing Protocols:

  • The District is implementing new testing protocols as per the NY State Department of Health Commissioner's Issuance on 9-2-21

Contact Tracing Protocols:

  • A public health function performed by DOH to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • District will be prepared to assist the Rockland DOH and NYSDOH in knowing who may have had contact with a confirmed case
  • keep accurate attendance records of students & staff
  • keeping a log of all visitors to include time, date and school visited
  • Assist DOH in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with protocol, training and tools provided by the NNY Contract Tracing Program
  • Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations

ARCHIVE OF DISTRICT's 2020-2021 COVID-19 RESPONSE