1 Park St. Marathon, NY 13803
Health and Safety
- Students and staff will be supplied with information through emails, mail, Parent Square, the district website and social media, about protecting themselves and others from COVID-19. Staff that are present in the building will also be provided training on COVID-19 protocols. Signage will be posted in the building indicating proper procedures for hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing and respiratory hygiene for school personnel and visitors.
- The designated COVID-19 safety coordinator is Ms. Hoyt (607-849-1228). The COVID-19 safety coordinator will be responsible for the continuous compliance with all aspects of the school’s reopening plan, as well as any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal levels.
- After school care will be offered to students in UPK-6th grade by the YWCA as long as the program meets district guidelines and protocols.
Daily Health and Temperature Screenings
- All parents will be asked to screen their children before sending them to school. If students exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19 or have a temperature of 100 degrees or more, students should be kept home for the day. As of 7/27/2021, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19: fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea. Staff will also be educated to observe students or other staff members for signs of any type of illness such as: flushed cheeks; rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity); fatigue, and/or irritability; and frequent use of the bathroom.
- Staff that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms or have a fever should not report to work and call for coverage.
- Students and staff will no longer be required to complete a daily health screen before reporting to school.
- Visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors will complete a health screening survey upon entering the building.
- Temperatures must be taken and be below 100°F along with no positive responses on the questionnaire to be admitted. Screenings for visitors, guests, contractors, and vendors will be done in the main office.
- Only visitors with official business will be allowed on campus during Full in Person with Heightened Health and Safety Protocols.
- The CDC recommends fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
- District can “audit” by conducting random temperature checks by the school nurse.
Infection Control Strategies
- The CDC guidance identifies multiple prevention strategies in a layered approach to promote safer in-person learning and care. This is particularly significant due to the fact that students under age 12 cannot receive the vaccine at this time. These strategies include but are not limited to:
- Promoting vaccination;
- Consistent and correct use of masks;
- Physical distancing;
- Screening testing to quickly identify cases;
- Improved ventilation;
- Proper handwashing and respiratory etiquette;
- Staying home when sick and getting tested;
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine; and
- Routine cleaning with disinfection. Schools can monitor levels of community transmission by contacting their local health departments (LHD) or by using the CDC COVID Data Tracker.
- Staff will be trained on how to observe for signs of illness in students, colleagues, and themselves. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of reported symptoms – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to SARS-CoV-2. (See Symptoms of Coronavirus for more information).
Use of Masks
The CDC has recently updated its guidance on masks due to emerging evidence that demonstrates that the Delta variant of COVID-19, currently the predominant strain in the United States, is more infectious and has led to increased transmissibility when compared to other variants, even in vaccinated individuals.
The CDC states that unvaccinated people remain the greatest concern. Although breakthrough infections in vaccinated people happen much less often than infections in unvaccinated people, individuals infected with the Delta variant, including fully vaccinated people with symptomatic breakthrough infections, can transmit it to others. Thus, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels.
Consistent and correct mask use is particularly important indoors and when physical distancing cannot be maintained and in areas of high transmission of COVID-19. When teachers, staff, and students (ages 2 years and older) consistently and correctly wear a mask, they protect others as well as themselves.
- The CDC’s Order regarding masks, issued in January 2021, requires that “[a]ll passengers on public conveyances ... traveling into, within, or out of the United States ... regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth.” It applies to all forms of public transportation, including school buses. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses, including on buses operated by public and private school systems, regardless of vaccination status, subject to the exclusions and exemptions in CDC’s Order. Learn more about the requirement for face masks here.
- Masks are recommended for school events and athletics while indoors, per the CDC.
- The CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people. Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.
- The CDC recommends that schools should have a sufficient supply of masks for students and staff who forget their own or need a replacement, including on buses.
- The Occupational Health and Safety Administration has established masking requirements that apply to school districts.
Per the CDC guidance, schools that require people to wear a mask should consider:
- The possibility of reasonable accommodation for individuals who are not fully vaccinated and/or who are unable to wear or have difficulty wearing certain types of masks because of a disability.
- Relevant workplace safety guidelines or federal regulations.
- To ensure proper mask usage, students and staff should:
- wear face coverings over the nose and mouth and securely around the face.
- wash or sanitize their hands (using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol) before putting on a cloth face covering.
- be aware that they should not touch their cloth face coverings while wearing them and, if they do, they should wash their hands before and after with soap and water or sanitize hands (using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).
- Ensure teachers and staff are aware that they should wash or sanitize hands (using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol) before and after helping a student put on or adjust a cloth face covering.
- be aware that cloth face coverings should not be worn if they are wet. A wet cloth face covering may make it difficult to breathe.
- be aware that they should never share or swap cloth face coverings.
- Students’ cloth face coverings should be clearly identified with their names or initials, to avoid confusion or swapping. Students’ face coverings may also be labeled to indicate top/bottom and front/back.
- Cloth face coverings should be stored in a space designated for each student that is separate from others when not being worn (e.g., in individually labeled containers or bags, personal lockers, or cubbies).
- Cloth face coverings should be washed after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be set up outside the main office, in the cafeteria, faculty lounge/copy rooms, hallways and building entrances. Parents/guardians can inform the school that they do not want their child to use alcohol based hand sanitizers by sending a written notice to the school. Schools must provide accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer, to allow for their use of handwashing stations.
- Staff and students should cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately. Staff and students will perform hand hygiene after sneezing, coughing and handling dirty tissues or other soiled material.
- Shared objects - The district will put in place plans or measures to limit the sharing of objects, such as lockers, laptops, notebooks, touchscreens, writing utensils, chalk and dry erase boards, musical instruments, tools, and toys, as well as the touching of shared surfaces, such as conference tables and desks; or require students, faculty, and staff to perform hand hygiene before and after contact.
- Water fountains - The district will close water drinking fountains (unless they are configured as a bottle refilling station) and encourage students, faculty, and staff to bring their own water bottles.
- Shared passes will not be allowed.
Social Distancing, Face Coverings and PPE
- In Person with Heightened Health and Safety Protocols - Staff and students report to school Monday-Friday. Face coverings must be worn by students and staff on school buses and in school buildings at all times, except when eating and during mask breaks. Students and staff will not be required to wear a face covering when outdoors.
- All employees will be provided with one cloth face covering purchased by the district. Employees can choose to wear their own or the district provided face coverings. The district will also purchase a supply of disposable face masks for employee use when they do not have their cloth face coverings. In addition, the district will purchase the recommended amount of gloves, gowns, eye protection, face shields and N-95 masks.
- Students will be provided with one cloth face covering. Students can choose to wear their own face covering. Face coverings must be worn on the bus and in school buildings with the exception of students and staff with a medical or special needs exemption (exceptions must be approved by the building principal or direct supervisor and must be on file with the appropriate documentation).
- Social distancing - Three feet is the required distancing between adults (teachers, staff, visitors) and between students. Six feet of distance is recommended when eating meals or snacks, drinking, singing, playing a wind instrument, or other times masks must be removed. Six feet of distance should not exclude students from in-person learning in order to meet a minimum distance requirement.
- The school will follow the CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection with specific guidance for schools along with the Cleaning and Disinfection Decision Tool to aid in determining what level of cleaning and/or disinfection is necessary. School wide cleaning will include classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, and buses. Each classroom will have a check off sheet indicating the room has been disinfected on a daily basis. Cleaning supplies will also be provided to each room.
- Parents of students who were fully remote during the 2020-2021 school year have been contacted. If medical exceptions are documented and approved, medical tutoring may be available.
- In Person with Heightened Health and Safety Protocols - The school will conduct 8 evacuation and 4 lockdown drills each school year. Steps will be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. Evacuation drills will proceed as normal. Lockdown drills at the beginning of the year, will be completed within the classroom setting while maintaining social distancing and using masks; and without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom. During the second semester, lockdown drills will proceed as normal.
- School bus safety drills will be conducted three times a year.