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Cambridge CSD Reopening Plan

 

Introduction

On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York State can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.  

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, school buildings in that region would also be directed to close and pivot to remote instruction. 

The Cambridge Central School District developed several methods to engage various stakeholder groups in the development of this plan.  These included the utilization of questionnaires to students, parents, and staff members.  Small-group meetings were also held to gather the input of the Cambridge Administrators Association, the Cambridge Faculty Association, and the local CSEA union.  In addition, CCS engaged with parents, medical and mental health professionals, the Washington County Department of Health, the WSWHE BOCES, area superintendents, the Cambridge-Greenwich Village Police Force, and the Mosaic architecture firm.

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, CCS is also planning for remote instruction as well as a hybrid model that combines in-person and remote instruction. Guardians will have the choice to have their child(ren) remain in the remote instruction model. 

  • Given the logistics of scheduling, transportation, food service, and safety,  should parents choose to have their child(ren) remain in the remote instruction model at the start of the year, they must inform CCS no later than two weeks prior to the start of the year.  Once the choice is made, their child(ren) must remain in the remote instruction model until the next quarter (10 week period). Should a parent choose to have their child(ren) return to in person instruction, they must notify CCS no later than two weeks prior to the start of the quarter.  This change will be based on CCS’s ability to maintain in person instruction within the New York State COVID guidelines and regulations.  

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of the Cambridge Central School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes procedures for the following schools:

 

  • The Cambridge Elementary School
  • The Cambridge Jr./Sr. High School

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

It is possible that we may need to pivot between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our school building. 

Superintendent, Dr. Douglas Silvernell will serve as CCS’s COVID-19 Coordinator, and will work closely with our local health department officials.  He will serve as the central contact for our schools, stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members.  He will ensure CCS is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. Dr. Silvernell’s contact information can be found on the school’s website. He can be reached at (518) 677-2653 Extension 1010.

The Cambridge CSD will continue to provide a comprehensive education for our students. CCS plan has been developed through a number of sources that have included; the guidance from the New York State Education Department, the New York Department of Health, questionnaires distributed to staff, families and students, as well as a number of subcommittees comprised of various stakeholders.  Using this guidance and feedback, CCS has been able to develop a comprehensive plan to assist in the reopening of the school building for instruction.











Content Outline

  • Communication/Family and Community Engagement 
  • Health & Safety  
    • Health checks 
    • Social distancing, face coverings & PPE 
    • Infection control strategies 
    • Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring
    • Health hygiene 
    • Cleaning and disinfecting 
    • Vulnerable populations/accommodations  
    • Visitors on campus 
    • School safety drills 
  • Facilities 
  • Child Nutrition 
    • Meals onsite 
    • Meals offsite/remote 
  • Transportation 
  • Social Emotional Well-Being 
  • School Schedules 
  • School Activities 
    • Extracurriculars
    • Childcare
  • Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism 
  • Technology and Connectivity 
  • Teaching and Learning 
    • In-person Instruction  
    • Remote/Hybrid Instruction  
  • Special Education  
  • Bilingual Education and World Languages 
  • Staff
    • Teacher and Principal Evaluation System 
    • Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching




Communication/Family and Community Engagement

To help inform our reopening plan, CCS has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, families of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online questionnaires, meetings, phone calls, email correspondence and one-on-one conversations. 

CCS remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, staff, visitors, parents and guardians. The plan is available to all stakeholders via CCS website at https://www.cambridgecsd.org/, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website homepage and at: https://www.cambridgecsd.org/domain/340, our COVID reopening homepage.  CCS will provide communications in the language(s) spoken at home among families and throughout the school community.  Provisions will be made to ensure the documents are accessible to those with hearing and visual impairments.

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, CCS has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, families, visitors, education partners and vendors. CCS will use its existing communication channels including School Messenger (robocalls), Facebook, our website, local news agencies, and the U.S. Postal Service. Additionally, appropriate signage and training opportunities will be utilized to support the dissemination of consistent messaging. CCS will rely on these methods to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening. 

In support of remote learning, CCS will make computer devices available to students and teachers. We will be distributing devices to all the students at the opening of the school year. CCS will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact the school and teachers during remote learning, including email, telephones and appropriate applications.

CCS will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. 

CCS is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, CCS will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ developmental level, and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. According to CDC, NYSED, and the NYSDOH guidance, these trainings will cover:

  • Hand hygiene 
  • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove) 
  • Social distancing
  • Respiratory hygiene
  • Identifying symptoms

CCS will post signage across CCS to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas: 

  • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
  • Hand washing
  • Adherence to social distancing instructions
  • The symptoms and prevention of COVID-19

In addition to signage, CCS will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to the CDC and NYSDOH guidance regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

CCS is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan. 

CCS will share with all stakeholders its protocols and safety measures regarding containment through our various communications channels.  In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the Washington County Department of Health. CCS will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

School Closures

CCS is preparing for situations in which the school building needs to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases.

These determinations will be made following the NYSDOH guidance document , and the NYSED school reopening guidance, in conjunction with the Washington County Department of Health on a case by case basis.

CCS may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. CCS will consult with the Washington County Department of Health, and follow their directives when making such decisions.

Administrators will consider closing the school building if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. Should the building be required to close, we will pivot to a fully remote instructional model.



Health & Safety 

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to our school campus. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in our district, including our Pre-Kindergarten program and our YMCA before and after school daycare for the 2020-21 school year if in-person schooling resumes. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator, Dr. Douglas Silvernell at: douglas.silvernell@cambridgecsd.org or call 518-677-8527 ext. 1010.

For more information about how health and safety protocols and training will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Health checks

CCS has developed resources to educate families and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to stay at home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources. 

The Cambridge Central School District will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening:

  1. Staff, contractors, vendors and visitors will be required to complete a screening questionnaire guidance provided in the New York Forward Pre-K to Grade 12 School Guidelines for staff, contractors, vendors, and visitors prior to being allowed in the building. Any visitors to the facility with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of COVID-19 virus shall not be allowed on site. Visitors will be allowed on site by appointment only.
  2. Families will be required to complete daily temperature checks and screenings of their children to confirm that students are not experiencing symptoms.  Parents, guardians and school staff will be instructed that any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus should not be present in school.  A digital application or paper form will be used. Families without internet access will be provided a paper option to complete the home screening.
    1. A CCS staff member will review incoming screening reports by families and attest that they are completed.
    2. Students who are unable to be screened at home will be checked at school. The screening will be confidentially administered in the health office. In an effort to minimize time away from instruction, students will be screened in a timely manner.
      1. The CCS in-school temperature screening protocols are:
        1. The staff will supervise students who are waiting their turn
        2. Students will adhere to social distancing requirements
        3. Staff members who perform temperature screenings will be trained 
        4. CCS will maintain sufficient supplies for taking temperatures
        5. Use of PPE for staff members conducting the screening will be required
  3. The screening data will be maintained confidentially on the health screening application until such time as the district is required to maintain such records. 
  4. Any individual with a temperature of 100°F or greater or has a positive response to a screening question will be seperated from others and will be immediately released from school. Families should be prepared to pick their child(ren) up from school if the student is released under these conditions to provide for the safety of others. 
  5. A separate screening area is dedicated to this protocol in room 17, adjacent to the nurses’ office. To prepare this area the room has been cleaned and disinfected, repainted with an anti-microbial paint, and the floor has been refinished with an antimicrobial finish.
  6. Students and staff will be required to notify the school when they develop symptoms. Should their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside of school hours they must  immediately contact the health office and their supervisor.  
  7. Students, staff, and families will be reminded periodically of these protocols and procedures through district approved methods of communication (i.e. mailings, School Messenger, and  social media)

Social Distancing, Face Coverings & PPE

CCS has developed a plan with policies and procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when on school facilities, grounds and transportation.

Classrooms will be furnished to allow for six-foot social distancing.  

Maximum capacity signage will be used for spaces based on the six-foot requirement.

Directional arrows will be placed in hallways to control hallway traffic. 

If social distancing of six-feet cannot be maintained, proper face coverings must be worn in common areas such as hallways or school buses. For those medically unable to wear face coverings the school will work with the guardians and their health care provider to make informed decisions on how best to meet the child’s needs at school while protecting their health and safety. 

Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings indoors and outside, including on the school bus, when six-foot physical distancing is not possible. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, instruction, and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distancing. The teacher may request that students wear face coverings when the teacher is moving about the room during instruction.

Because students and staff will need to be prepared to wear a face covering if another person unexpectedly cannot socially distance, they will be required to wear a face covering in all common areas (e.g., entrances and exits) and when traveling around the school. 

Face coverings will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Vented masks and face shields do not meet NYSDOH requirements and will not be allowed.

Employees and students are allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering if they choose. Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.

Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school, so there will be regulated periods of time when masks are not worn. 

Face coverings should not be placed on:

  • Students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious.
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

CCS will instruct students, families, staff, contractors and vendors on:

  • The proper way to wear face coverings.
  • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering.
  • The proper way to discard disposable face coverings.
  • How additional face coverings will be made available in designated locations on school property and buses for students who forget their masks.
  • How school health staff will be provided additional PPE as needed to be purchased by CCS.

Infection control strategies

In addition to permanent hand washing stations in bathrooms, classrooms, cafeterias and offices, alcohol based hand dispensers will be placed near the elementary and secondary attendance entrances and near athletic facilities. 

Social distancing will be maintained in all classrooms using NYSED guidance on square footage. Class sizes will be adjusted to fit within the appropriate social distance model.  

School administration is responsible for determining the number of students and staff allowed to return in person and the best way to resume instruction.  District administration will collaborate with local health and government agencies to keep abreast of local COVID numbers/health updates and local hospital capacity.

CCS has reviewed and considered the number of students and staff allowed to return in person. The following  factors were considered when determining resumption of in person instruction: 

  1. The ability to maintain appropriate social distancing; 
  2. PPE and  face covering availability; 
  3. The viability of safe transportation; and 
  4. The local hospital capacity – In consultation with the Washington County Department of Health

Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

Students and staff with symptoms of illness are to be immediately sent to the health office.  The school nurse will assess individuals with chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies or chronic gastrointestinal conditions that may present the same symptoms as COVID-19 but are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat.  

If a student shows symptoms of any communicable disease that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he or she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately.  The school nurse or other district official shall immediately notify a local public health agency.

CCS staff will immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse or other designated staff.  Reports should be made in compliance with FERPA. 

CCS requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. CCS has designated areas to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies. 

PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. If the CCS community, or the Capital Region show moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield) will be added. When caring for a suspected or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If an N-95 respirator is not available, a surgical face mask and face shield will be used.

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment. Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

Disposable items will be used as much as possible.

Aerosol Generating Procedures

Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. CCS requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: 

  1. Gloves, 
  2. A surgical mask with a face shield for eye protection, and
  3. A gown.

PPE will be used when: suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions. 

Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished. 

Cleaning of the room will occur between use and cleaning of the equipment will be done following manufacturer’s instructions after each use.  

If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

CCS requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the screening questionnaire be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. 

Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least six-feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to the person picking them up. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

Return to School after Illness

CCS has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. These protocols include:

  1. Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation 
  2. Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result 
  3. Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation 

CCS will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

CCS requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete a period of 14 days of  quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the Washington County Department of Health.

COVID-19 Testing

CCS will comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members.  The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted would be determined by a healthcare provider or the Washington County Department of Health.  

In the event that a large-scale testing needs to be conducted at the school, CCS administration will work with the following providers:

  • Washington County Department of Health
  • the school Physician 

Contact Tracing

CCS will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of CCS. 

To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, CCS has developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.  

In order to assist with contact tracing CCS will:

  1. Keep accurate attendance records of students and staff members.
  2. Ensure student schedules are up to date.
  3. Keep a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited.
  4. Assist the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program.

If COVID-19 cases are discovered in the school, in consultation with the local health department, CCS will do the following: 

  1. Communicate with the local health department.
  2. Provide necessary information to aid in contact tracing.
  3. Maintain confidentiality as required by federal and state laws and regulations. 
  4. Will not attempt to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department. 

For more information about how COVID-19 containment efforts will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section section of our reopening plan.

School Closures

A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. CCS will collaborate with the Washington County Department of Health to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. 

At a minimum, the plan will incorporate the following:

  • The building will close if the regional infection rate rises over 9% after Aug. 1. The building  will close if the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%.
  • Schools in regions that are in Phase 4 can reopen if the daily infection rate remains below 5% using a 14-day average, unless otherwise directed from the  Washington County Department of Health.
  • If the infection rate rises above 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5% to reopen
  • Once schools open at Phase 4 below 5% for a 14-day rolling average, schools can remain open even if the rate continues to rise above 5% until it reaches 9% for the 7-day average.
  • School will be notified by: the Washington County Department of Health on the situation.
  • CCS administration will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. 
  • CCS may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. If infection rates are rising above 5%; CCS will consider modifying school operations for medically vulnerable students and staff if they are participating in in-person activities.

 

For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section of our reopening plan.

Health hygiene

CCS will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, auditorium, custodial staff areas) and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

  1. Stay home if they feel sick.
  2. Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with the CCS mask wearing protocols.
  3. Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.
  4. Adhere to social distancing instructions.
  5. Report any symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19 to the Health Office and the COVID-19 Coordinator.
  6. Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
  7. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Hand Hygiene 

Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home. 

CCS will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school:

  • For handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
  • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
  • Please Note: Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

Students and staff must carry out the following hand hygiene practices: 

  • Wash hands routinely with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Dry hands completely after washing. Use paper towels to dry hands (hand dryers have been deactivated).
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed on the hands until it is completely absorbed. Do not dry hands if sanitizer is used.

Hand washing should occur:

  • Before and after eating.
  • After going to the restroom or after assisting a student with toileting.
  • After using a tissue.
  • Before and after using shared materials.
  • Before and after putting on or taking off face masks.
  • After coming in from the outdoors.
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.

Respiratory Hygiene

The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Therefore, CCS will emphasize the importance of respiratory hygiene. 

The following respiratory hygiene practices will be carried out by students and staff:

  • Cover a cough or sneeze using a tissue. If a tissue is used, it will be thrown away immediately.  
  • If you don’t have a tissue when sneezing or coughing, sneeze or cough into your elbow.
  • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
  • Face coverings are protective. Wearing a face covering will keep the respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

 

For more information about how hygiene information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section of our reopening plan.

Cleaning and disinfecting

CCS will ensure adherence to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and NYSDOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19.” Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection. 

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include and are not limited to:

  • Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times each day.
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms will be closed for the beginning of the school year.
  • Health offices, isolation rooms will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Administrative offices will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times each day.
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.) will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times each day.
  • Break rooms will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens will be cleaned and disinfected after each seating.
  • Science labs will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected each day. Each classroom will be provided with disinfectant and microfiber clothes for more frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Maintenance offices and work areas will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • The Bus Garage will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Buses, school vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected after each route.
  • Libraries will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms) will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Playgrounds will be cleaned and disinfected each day.
  • Outdoor seating areas will be cleaned and disinfected each day.

 

Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which will be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.  

CCS will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.   

For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement”  section of our reopening plan.                      

Vulnerable populations/accommodations 

We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. 

CCS has designated Dr. Douglas Silvernell, Superintendent of Schools, ​as the primary contact upon the identification of a positive COVID-19 case and to be responsible for subsequent communications. He will be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and the plans being implemented in the Cambridge Central School District. 

Given the highly contagious and opportunistic nature of COVID-19, CCS will provide accommodations to individuals, pursuant to applicable laws who are at a high risk or who live with a person who is at a high risk of complications as a result of COVID-19. Each case will be approached uniquely depending on the individual situation, but potential solutions for these vulnerable populations include remote learning or telework, modified educational and work settings, or by providing additional PPE to individuals with underlying health conditions. Considerations as to the correct approach will be determined by individual cases.

In addition to this, we understand that certain student and staff populations may require modifications to social distancing or PPE based on hearing loss or impairment, receipt of language services, or because they are young students in an early education program. In these scenarios, we may utilize specialized clear face coverings, face shields, and/or increased distancing when possible.

Visitors on campus

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well-being of students. Families will report to the secure entrances and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.

Visitors must follow the same safety procedures as students and staff. 

School safety drills

CCS will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without exceptions. CCS will continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies. 

CCS has given special consideration to the way that we will perform safety and emergency drills throughout the course of the school year while we are required to socially distance. We will still complete our eight evacuation drills and four lockdown drills, but the way that we conduct our drills may, in some instances or form be modified for the upcoming school year to ensure social distancing between persons. Due to the hybrid nature of our school schedule, we will need to ensure all of our students receive instruction in emergency procedures and participate in drills.

  • Fire Code Section 404 requires that CCS maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans. These plans will  include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. Methods to promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills are ultimately the decision and responsibility of CCS. Any changes will be included in the Fire Safety plans.
  • Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. When planning drills,CCS may modify our drill procedures to minimize risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. As such, it may be necessary for CCS to conduct drills in the school year using protocols that are different than students and staff are used to.
  • Regardless of the modification used when conducting a drill, students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

The school district modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site. Staggering by classroom, minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site. If conducting drills using a modified procedure, it is required that the drill be conducted with all students in the school building on that school day.
  • All students will receive instruction in emergency procedures, and participate in drills while they are in attendance in-person.

Modifications to Lockdown Drills will include, but are not limited to: 

  • Conducting a  lockdown drill in a classroom setting while maintaining social distancing/using masks.
  • CCS will ensure that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.
  • CCS will conduct lockdown drills in classrooms without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but providing an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.

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Facilities

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in CCS, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. 

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

CCS plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”

Upon reopening, CCS plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible.   Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied. 

  • CCS will work with engineers to establish proper filtration requirements as required (e.g., filters that the HVAC system can handle).
  • There are currently no plans to make any alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms or spaces or the introduction of temporary and/or movable partitions.  Should that change, CCS  will submit a proposal to OFP, the local municipality and code enforcement officials for review.
  • The occupied portion of the school building will comply with the minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building as established in the building code.
  • CCS has transitioned from drinking fountains to water filling stations. The water fill stations have been installed to ensure sufficient access to sanitary means of a water source. Filling stations are located throughout the building in accordance with regulations and building code requirements. 
  • Hands free flushing devices and faucets will be installed in restrooms that need the updated hardware in an effort to reduce contact and increase sanitation in those areas.
  • CCS maintains adequate, Code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed in all classrooms and common spaces.
  • If other air cleaning equipment (e.g. new technology) is proposed, it will be submitted to OFP for review and approval. 
  • Any district project submissions that are dedicated to updates to air ventilations, will be submitted as “COVID-19 Reopening Plan.”

 

Child Nutrition

School meals will continue to be available to all students enrolled in CCS,  including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely. 

We will provide daily breakfast and lunch to all students who are in attendance Just as in normal school operations.

For information about how meal information will be communicated, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section of our reopening plan. 

Meals onsite

For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing as per NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.  

CCS will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria. If not feasible, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms, auditorium) or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between meals.

The sharing of food and beverages is prohibited unless individuals are members of the same household. 

Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students daily. Meals will be compliant with USDA child nutrition guidelines and regulations. Breakfast will be served as a grab and go, to assist with social distancing guidelines, and to limit cohort mixing. Lunch will be served in our cafeteria and auditorium spaces in order to meet the social distancing guidelines. Some grade levels may eat meals in their classroom spaces while socially distanced.

Students will wear appropriate PPE at all times other than when they are seated six feet apart. While at their lunch seat, students can remove their masks to eat lunch. 

Staff members will act as lunch monitors to implement social distancing guidelines, provide support, and to monitor the students safety during lunch periods. These staff members will also monitor the sharing of food and prevent this from happening. 

Students with food allergies will be flagged through the current methods used by cafeteria staff. These students will sit in a seat that is specifically used for allergies. 

Prior to, and after eating, students will wash their hands in their classrooms, or by using approved hand sanitizer. Students will be instructed in proper hand washing procedures. Appropriate signage will be placed in bathrooms and locations where students will be washing their hands. Faculty and staff will promote hand washing prior to students eating. 

The common areas utilized for lunch service will be disinfected and cleaned after each seating. These procedures and protocols will follow the NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines. 

We will continue to follow the NYSDOH and USDA requirements and guidelines to ensure compliance with running a Child Nutrition Program. 

Meals offsite/remote

In the event of a school building closure, breakfast and lunch will be provided for all students who request this service. CCS will have the option for families to pick up meals or to have meals delivered. This will occur on an every other day cycle Monday through Friday (unless directed otherwise by NYSED). 

We will be establishing meal pick up and delivery systems that meet the guidelines and will provide breakfast and lunch to our remote learners. 

Transportation

CCS will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and when seated) and should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable.  

Students will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced. 

Members of the same household may be seated in the same seat with siblings. All other students will be seated one student per seat. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses. 

All buses that are used every day will be cleaned & disinfected between routes.  

School buses shall not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition. School bus drivers, monitors, students and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.  

Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure approved social distancing.

Whether school is in session remotely or otherwise, pupil transportation will be provided to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools or students whose Individualized Education Plans have placed them out of CCS whose schools are meeting for in-person sessions. 

All students are entitled to transportation by CCS to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless or attend private or charter schools.



School Bus Staff 

School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics are required to perform and report a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify the Transportation Supervisor and seek medical attention.  

School bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield when:

  • Driving a transportation vehicle.
  • Social distancing can not be maintained.
  • Traveling inside the school building or bus garage.

Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of PPE and the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  

Transportation departments will need to provide PPE such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations (but not on the bus). 

Drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.

Drivers and monitors may choose to wear gloves unless they must be in physical contact with the students. Drivers will wash their hands with soap and water before and after their bus routes.  In an effort to keep everyone safe, staff and students will be reminded to practice healthy hygiene;

  • avoid touching  their eyes, nose, and mouths with unwashed hands
  • avoid touching contaminated surfaces or objects
  • avoid blowing their noses, coughing, or sneezing into hands and then touching other people’s hands or common objects

Bus Routes

  • Students must wear masks and remain socially distanced while waiting for the bus.
  • Students should not arrive at the bus pick up location more than 5 minutes before the buse’s scheduled arrival time.
  • Additional bus routes will be scheduled to accommodate social distancing needs. This may require earlier pick-up times

Morning Bus Routes:

  1. Students should arrive at the bus stop as close to the pick-up time as possible. Avoid arriving more than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled pick-up time.
  2. While at the bus stop, students must wear a mask and practice social distancing. 
  3. As students board the bus, they must be wearing their masks and practice social distancing. They must avoid contact with other children who are not siblings. 
  4. Unlike past years, loading will be started in the back of the bus and move forward. This does not include Kindergarteners who will be seated in the front of the bus with their older siblings. Siblings or students who live in the same residence will be seated together. Otherwise one student will be in each seat on the bus. 
  5. While riding the bus, children must keep their masks on and maintain social distancing procedures.
  6. When students arrive at school they will be immediately dismissed from the bus and enter the school building where they will follow entrance procedures and protocols. 

 

Afternoon Bus Routes:

  1. Students will follow the same safety procedures for the afternoon bus route. 
  2. The students will be released from class at the end of the day by announcement of their bus number.  While walking to the bus students must be wearing their mask. 
  3. Students will be seated by first drop off in the front to last drop off in the back. This does not include Kindergarteners who will be seated in the front of the bus with their siblings. Siblings or students who live in the same residence will be seated together. Otherwise one student will be in each seat on the bus.

 

Students will be expected to wear masks at all times while participating in school transportation. If students do not have a mask one will be provided for them. Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so or denied transportation.  Buses will unload upon arriving at school. They will not wait to have all buses unload at the same time.

For more information about training protocol for students and staff and how transportation information will be communicated, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section of our reopening plan.

Social Emotional Well-Being

We recognize that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. CCS has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions. 

As part of the Cambridge Central School District’s plan for addressing our population's social emotional well-being we have formed a committee that has been meeting to discuss this issue. This committee is working on identifying areas for beneficial planning and programming. This committee is composed of administrators, teachers, counselors, parents,  and our school nurse.  

Currently, we have two school psychologists, two school counselors and a licensed counselor from Northern Rivers Family Services. Each of these professionals will be available to help identify and work with students who are struggling during these challenging times. 

CCS will provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. We will provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. 

Training for teachers and staff will begin during superintendent professional development days at the beginning of the 2020-21 school year.

CCS has established an advisory council that involves shared decision-making and is composed of families, students, members of the board of education, school building and district level staff. CCS addresses professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. This is addressed by our leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers. The advisory council will inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan. This program plan will be reviewed and updated to meet current needs. 

School Schedules

The Cambridge CSD has developed school schedules for both our Kindergarten-6th Grade students and 7th-12th Grade students. These schedules reflect two hybrid models of instruction and complete remote instruction. 

Students will have a staggered arrival time and staggered dismissal time in order to meet social distancing guidelines. 

Students will be in cohorts in grades K-6 that allows for six-feet of social distancing in the classrooms. Students in grades 7-12 will be socially distanced in their classrooms. 

Condensed time in core subjects is being considered in order to adjust to the needed transition times. 

Students in Kindergarten-6th grade will have library, art, music, and physical education classes in addition to the common branch subjects. In order to limit students movement throughout the building and the use of common spaces, the teachers will rotate to the students' classrooms.  

There are currently three schedules being developed for the students in grades 7-12. It is being determined what plan we can implement. 

  •  Grades 7-8 may attend school daily, grades 9-12 will be on an AB schedule where students are in person one day and remote the other day
  • A completely remote schedule. 

For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the “Communication/Family and Community Engagement” section of our reopening plan.

School Activities 

Extracurriculars

Interscholastic sports are not permitted at the time of publication of this guidance, and additional information on athletic activities is forthcoming. Cambridge CSD will adhere to the guidance as it is released by the state. 

We are currently exploring the options for extra curricular activities and clubs. At the beginning of the school year we will not have any clubs or extracurricular activities. We are exploring the possibility of running a student council, virtually hosting class officer and class advisor meetings, and other activities that can follow the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. 

We will not be hosting any large group gatherings or assemblies at this time. We will continue with this policy until such a time that social distancing is not required or when guidance suggests it is safe. 

Childcare

A written plan is in place for before and aftercare programs run by CCS.  

Policies regarding before and aftercare programs include social distancing, PPE usage, cleaning and disinfection requirements, as well as risk of COVID-19 transmission. Protocols in how to maintain cohorts, if applicable, or group members of the same household will be considered.

The Cambridge CSD is working on implementing a before and after care program with the regional YMCA. This program will be run on site and is responsible for policies regarding before and aftercare programs including social distancing, PPE usage, cleaning and disinfection requirements, as well as risk of COVID-19 transmission. Protocols on how to maintain cohorts, if applicable, or group members of the same household will be considered.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

Cambridge CSD will continue to use our SchoolTool student data management system provided by Mindex. This will be used by teachers to keep attendance records in grades K-12 for remote and hybrid learning. Attendance to synchronous instruction will be taken by the common branch teacher. Attendance in special education services will be kept by the special education service provider. Records will be kept in the Frontline IEP Direct contact log.

Strategies to address chronic absenteeism are being discussed. 

 

Technology and Connectivity

We currently have a list of students K-6 and 7-12 who had limited access to high-speed internet service at their homes. We are currently working on developing a system to assess students' needs in our district. 

All teachers and students will be provided with a device to access remote learning.

If a student does not have high-speed internet access they will be a priority for in person instruction. We have also set up public WiFi spots around campus for students to utilize if remote instruction is mandated. 

CCS has purchased WiFi hotspots that will be provided to students who do not have adequate high-speed internet access. We have collaborated with local community organizations to provide remote WiFi hotspot locations. These locations will be communicated to families, faculty, and staff. 

All teachers will be in the school building if remote instruction is mandated by the state. 

Teachers have developed a rubric that will outline learning standards and allow for the documentation of mastery of learning standards.  Students that do not have sufficient access to high speed internet will be flagged as at-risk students and be given the following options to access materials needed for remote instruction:

  • Permission to come to the building for supervised, socially distanced access to wifi and support for instruction.
  • Documents needed for instruction to be uploaded to a Chromebook device with the ability to be accessed offline and submitted when the student can access wifi.
  • Provide students with a USB device to download instructional materials to work when on remote instructional days. 

In blended models of instruction, teachers will be monitoring a Education Law 2d compliant platform in order to deliver both synchronous and asynchronous instruction for students. Teachers are engaging in professional development opportunities about best practices for remote instruction and how to blend instruction in a hybrid model. 

CCS is currently exploring digital platforms that are 2d compliant and have the potential to engage students in meaningful synchronous learning opportunities. 

Teaching and Learning

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our students and staff have faced this Spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, CCS will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing, mask rules and appropriate hand washing hygiene etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.   

When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, students at risk of dropping out, and students with technology or connectivity needs. 

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice.  

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in future study.  

Grading practices will follow a framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

The Cambridge CSD collaborates with the C.E.O. (Committee for Educational Opportunity) to provide Pre-Kindergarten instruction. The program will follow appropriate health and safety guidelines outlined in the NYSED guidance and required by the NYSDOH. C.E.O. will also have a continuity of learning plan that addresses in-person, remote and hybrid models of instruction that will mirror the continuity of the learning plan outlined by CCS. 

For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please refer to the BOCES website.

Prior to the start of school parents will be asked to utilize a Google form and make a choice about in person or remote instruction for their child. If a parent wishes to switch from one or the other methods of instruction:

  1. They must submit a written request to the registrar two weeks prior to the start of a new quarter. 
  2. We understand that unforeseen circumstances may arise and we will make accommodations for families so long as it does not interfere with another student's health and safety within school.

In-person Instruction 

Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks are positioned no less than six feet apart. 

Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be used as classrooms.

Current staffing levels may be insufficient to accommodate the expanded number of classrooms needed to ensure social distancing. At the Elementary level in grades 3-6, teachers will be departmentalized for the upcoming school year.  While students will have a homebase”, they will be part of a team and work with every teacher on that team. Instead of students going to their classes, teachers will be rotating between the rooms. Other school district staff (i.e. Teaching Assistants or Aides) will monitor a fourth department in these grade levels that focus on independent practice, using technology based instruction, and academic interventions. 

All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

Our schools will minimize the movement of students. This potentially means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to the twelve foot spacing requirements between students when engaging in physical activity. 

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students. 

For information on school schedules, visit the “School Schedules” section of our reopening plan. 

  • Regular, substantive interactions will occur between students and teachers with a focus on both social emotional learning and academic growth. Students who engage remotely will have opportunities to socialize with their classmates and teachers through virtual platforms.
  • Clear opportunities for instruction are accessible to all students, aligned with state standards, which include routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers. Students who are in the remote instruction model will log into their classes on a daily basis.

Remote/Hybrid Instruction 

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, CCS has developed a hybrid learning model and schedule that can continue in a fully remote environment.

Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. 

As noted previously, student schedules will remain the same whether instruction is in person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.

Remote learning opportunities for elementary school students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction that follows developmentally appropriate lengths of direct instruction, independent practice, and feedback loops. While recording of live lessons is still essential for students unable to attend at a scheduled time, teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis.

Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers providing live instruction and lessons to students. While recording of live lessons is still essential for students unable to attend at a scheduled time, teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.

  • Regular, substantive interactions will occur between students and teachers with a focus on both social emotional learning and academic growth. Students who engage remotely will have opportunities to socialize with their classmates and teachers through virtual platforms.
  • Clear opportunities for instruction are accessible to all students, aligned with state standards, which include routine scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from teachers.  Students who are remotely instructed will log into their classes on a daily basis.

Special Education 

The Cambridge Central School District will continue to provide a continuum of services for students with an IEP. These services will reflect recommendations by the CSE committee:

  • CCS is establishing a matrix in which the highest needs students and students who have a risk of academic failure will be given adequate access to their education.  Special education students with highly specialized services may be offered full in person instruction. 
    • CCS will continue to provide a free and appropriate public education that is in alignment with the recommendations decided by the CSE committee. CDC guidelines will be followed in all models to insure student and staff safety. Students may be provided with these services in the following three models:
      • Remote Instruction: Students will be provided with instruction that meets the expected instructional hours as recommended in the student’s Individualized Education Plan. Special Education services will be provided by a certified instructor. Related services will be provided in accordance with NYSED regulations and guidelines by certified providers. 
      • Hybrid Instruction: Students will attend classes partly remote and partly in person. In this model their individual education plan will be implemented by an appropriately certified instructor. SWD in Grades K-6 will have the opportunity for  in person instruction daily. Students in Grades 7-12 will be on a  rotating hybrid schedule. If a student is identified as needing in person instruction to be successful, in the building learning may occur daily.
      • All in Person: Students will follow the same model as before school building closures due to COVID-19. 
  • Recommended programs and services will be provided to all SWD at CCS.  Case managers are responsible for documenting service, monitoring student progress and communicating with families.  Related service providers will also document student contact and progress towards meeting their goals. The students' families along with the case manager will work collaboratively to discuss ease of access. 
  • The CPSE chairperson will communicate and collaborate with program providers in the variety of settings where students are receiving IEP services.  
  • Students will be provided with appropriate access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students. 

Bilingual Education and World Languages

  • The Cambridge CSD will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year. After this 20-day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within required 10 school days of initial enrollment. 
  • Required instructional units of study to all ELLs will be provided based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction. 
  • Cambridge will ensure the maintenance of regular communication with families of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process, and provide all communications for families of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication

Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to CCS’s approved APPR plan. The  plan will work to ensure that appropriate efforts are taken to ensure that teachers and principals will be evaluated pursuant to our currently approved APPR plan, including any variance applications approved by the Department of Education.

Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching

All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for their teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law. CCS will also make every effort to hire certified substitute teachers when necessary. Should long term substitutes be needed, we will advertise for properly certified teachers. In the event that we are unable to locate a properly certified candidate we then will be searching for a candidate that holds similar qualifications (i.e. Math 7-12, if the vacancy is for a Special Education Teacher that teaches Math content area) Once a candidate is selected and hired as a substitute, the candidate will meet with an HR representative to review the certification process. This meeting will outline the specific requirements for obtaining the certificate (i.e. exams, workshops and coursework). CCS will then monitor the certification progress throughout the school year. 

 

Key References

Additional References

Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on CCS’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with: 

  • A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted
  • A set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance

NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening Plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.

Also by July 31, 2020, districts must complete a short companion Department of Health survey that includes a link to the publicly posted plan on CCS/school website

 

Kate Canini
kate.canini@cambridgecsd.org
518-677-2653