April 2021 Updated Plan
During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency
Corning-Painted Post Area School District
Revised April 2021
Our original plan to reopen our schools was created in August, 2020. This updated plan, created in April, 2021, is to align our original plan with the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as released by the New York State Department of Health on Friday, April 9, 2021.
The goal of this updated plan is to prioritize safe in-person learning in our schools while adhering to layered mitigation strategies.
Here is a link to the updated guidance: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/Pre-K_to_Grade_12_Schools_MasterGuidance.pdf
Our initial planning began ahead of the April 9 NYSDOH Guidance, in anticipation of the release of new guidance. Areas covered in planning included a family survey released in March to inquire how many families would return to four days of in-person learning, planning of bus routes based on that data, determining health and safety/PPE needs, measuring classrooms to accommodate 3 foot social distancing, planning for lunch, physical education and other activities. Survey results (conducted March 12-19, 2021): 89.4% reported the desire to return to in-person instruction. 48.7% able and willing to provide parent transportation to make that possible.
When the updated guidance was released April 9, the district immediately began to engage stakeholders and plan for the return of additional days of in-person learning for our PreK to 8 students, based on the CDC’s community rate of transmission guidelines in the new guidance.
This updated plan covers:
(1) Reopening of school facilities for in-person instruction
(2) Monitoring of health conditions
(3) Containment of potential transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)
(4) Closure of school facilities and in-person instruction, if necessitated by widespread virus transmission
Below you will find the updated areas of our plan ready for Monday, April 26, return to four days of in-person learning for grades PreK to 8. We are also exploring the feasibility of expanding to four days of in-person learning for grades 9-12 with a goal of beginning on May 3, 2021. The majority of our August 2020 plan remains in place with the changes outlined below. Our August 2020 plan can be found at this link: https://www.corningareaschools.com/content/reopeningplan
Updates Since Our August 2020 Plan:
Communication/Family and Community Engagement
April 9 Guidance, Engagement
The District engaged school stakeholders and community members in multiple ways in the development of its original Reopening Plan and continued to, with the April 9, 2021 NYSDOH Guidance. Using the Reopening Task Force in 2020 as our starting point, we gathered input and feedback from a variety of district stakeholders and community members. Numerous formats were used that included surveys and both in-person and virtual meetings. The information collected drove our planning process and our decision to move forward with an A/B blended instructional model to begin the 2020-2021 school year. Updated components and activities are below.
CPP Updated Plan Internal / External Communication / Stakeholder Engagement:
- March 19-2, 2021: Survey to families on increasing in-person days
- March 26, 2021: Update from Superintendent, for families posted to website (Survey results)
- April 6, 2021: Email to High School Families/Students (Message to families of our high school students beginning our communications to students about available vaccine clinics for minors)
- April 13, 2021: Update from Superintendent, for families posted to website, emailed to families (New guidance announcement, invitation to Family / Community Town Hall)
- April 14, 2021: Staff Town Hall w/ Q and A (AM/PM)
- April 14, 2021: Board of Education Meeting presentation
- April 14, 2021: Daycare/Child Care Providers Town Hall
- April 14, 2021: Parent Advisory Group / Q and A
- April 15, 2021: Family/Community Town Hall w/ Q and A
- April 15, 2021: Update from Superintendent posted to website, emailed to families: New survey (Commitment Form for families), Town Hall reminder, Link to guidance document
- April 16, 2021: Superintendent and Executive Principal on high school student-run “CPPtv” internal school TV program to communicate with High School Students
- April 26, 2021: Parent Advisory Group / Q and A
- April 26, 2021: Email to HS families (Possibility of expansion to four days at the HS, invitation to Family/Community Town Hall)
- April 26, 2021: HS Staff Town Hall w/ Q and A
- April 27, 2021: HS Family/Community Town Hall w/ Q and A
- April 26, 2021: Survey to High School Families
- April 28, 2021: HS Staff Q and A with Building Administration
- April 29, 2021: Update from Superintendent, for families posted to website, emailed to families (determination about expansion to four days at the HS)
Superintendent communicates weekly at a minimum or more often as-needed with local Steuben County Health officials. The Superintendent and Head Nurse communicate with local health agencies as-needed for guidance and feedback.
Vaccine Link on CPP website: https://www.steubencony.org/pages.asp?PID=13959
Updated Presentations / Videos:
April 9 Guidance Instructions/Training/Signage
The District has a landing page for all Reopening content located here: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content/reopening. Our website includes a language translate function for text content and also accessibility options.
Publish a web page of the plan as-submitted to New York State Education Department and Steuben County Department of Health at this location: www.corningareaschools.com
The Superintendent utilizes our website and district smartphone app to communicate with stakeholders and our community. Messages and archived messages are available here: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Superintendent
The District is utilizing direct email to families, Virtual Town Halls, the website and social media to communicate with stakeholders about the updated reopening.
The District will be able to provide communications in the language(s) spoken at home among families and throughout the school community. Our ELL teachers will work to help support our students and families. Our online written plan will be accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments and the website has a Google translate function.
The District will continue to emphasize through multimedia communication methods mask wearing, physical distancing and respiratory hygiene. Examples of our district-produced education series featuring our Head Nurse on these topics are here (Updated videos and graphics are being produced to align with current practices):
April 9 Guidance, Point(s)-of -Contacts
This will remain unchanged from our original August, 2020 plan. Our coordinator and other points of contact include Superintendent Michelle Caulfield; Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Delorme, Anne Stefanini, Head Nurse; Becky Henderson, Supervisor of Special Education. Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. For general questions, stakeholders can also contact the Superintendent directly at email@example.com.
Link to August 2020 Communication Plan content: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Communication
Health and Safety
The District will comply with the updated Interim Guidance for Pre-K to 12 Schools issued April 9, 2021 by the New York State Department of Health in the areas of Health and Safety.
Specific modifications include:
- The District will ensure that appropriate physical distancing is maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds, inclusive of students, faculty and staff, unless safety or the core activity (ex. Instruction, moving equipment, using an elevator, traveling in common areas) requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household.
- The District will reduce the physical distancing requirements to a minimum of three feet in classroom settings as of April 26, 2021 for elementary schools and the middle school. It is anticipated that the high school will move to the three foot minimum distance at a later date to be determined.
- Exceptions where a minimum of six foot distance must be maintained include:
Six feet is always the required distance between adults (teachers, staff, visitors) and between students and adults.
Six feet of distance is always required when eating meals or snacks, or drinking, or other times masks must be removed. This may mean that meals cannot be eaten in classrooms that have been converted to three feet of physical distancing during instruction time.
Individuals participating in activities that require projecting the voice (ex. singing) or playing a wind instrument must be six feet apart and there must be six feet of distance between the performers and the audience during performances and concerts.
Six feet of distance must be maintained in common areas and outside of classrooms (ex. lobbies, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, and hallways), where possible.
For sports activities, the District will follow the Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency issued March 25, 2021, and any subsequent updates to this guidance.
The District will also ensure that a distance of six feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require projecting the voice (ex. singing), playing a wind instrument, or aerobic activity resulting in heavy breathing (ex. participating in gym classes).
Face masks are required at all times in school buildings, except for when eating meals and snacks.
All visitors must wear masks.
Students may remove their masks while eating during meals and snacks, provided they maintain the required six foot distance as a minimum.
An acceptable mask is required to be worn by all individuals in all classrooms and non-classroom settings, including but not limited to school offices, restrooms, gyms, auditoriums, and all other parts of a school building.
Masks should have at least two layers of material (ex. two ply). Acceptable masks include but are not limited to cloth based masks (ex. Homemade sewn, quick cut), and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.
Face shields worn without other masks are not considered adequate protection or source control against COVID-19 and should not be used.
Faculty and staff may use alternate personal protective equipment (ex. Masks that are transparent at or around the mouth) for instruction or interventions that require visualization of the movement of the lips and/or mouth (ex. Speech therapy). These alternate masks may also be used for certain students (ex. Hearing impaired) who benefit from being able to see more of the face of the faculty or staff member.
Students who are unable to medically tolerate a mask, including students where such a mask would impair their physical or mental health, may request an exemption from the required use of a mask. The District has a defined process for such requests, which includes consultation with the District’s Chief School Physician in determining the need and appropriateness of each individual request.
As part of the District’s move to increased in-person student attendance on April 26, the District shall re-train students, faculty, and staff on how to adequately put on, wear, take off and dispose of personal protective equipment including masks.
The District will continue its hygiene practices that include, but is not limited to:
Signage related to preventing the transmission of COVID-19, handwashing practices and other hygiene practices (ex. Coughing or sneezing).
Handwashing stations and ready availability of hand sanitizer.
Daily health screening of staff and students with health attestations by either an app or paper-based format.
Use of daily temperature sensors and/or hand-held thermometers for screening at schools.
Referral of students and staff who display or experience symptoms consistent with COVID-19 to the school health office.
Maintenance of and adherence to all health office protocols when health office staff have a referral of a symptomatic individual.
Availability and proper use of necessary PPE materials and equipment to ensure the health and safety of all students and staff.
The new guidance also clarifies in regards to health screenings that:
Anyone with symptoms must be immediately sent home (if at school/work), or not report to school/work if at home, with instructions to contact their healthcare provider for assessment and testing irrespective of their vaccination status or previous COVID-19 infection.
Asymptomatic individuals who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in the previous three months who are screened or deemed to have been positive for COVID -19 exposure (ex. Identified as a contact of a positive case) may remain at school/work.
Additionally, the New York State Travel Advisory requirements, including quarantine for travel to non-contiguous states or internationally, was ended on April 10, 2021 and is no longer a required screening question.
Tracing and Tracking
The District will continue to work in close partnership with the Steuben County Public Health Department in tracing and tracking whenever an individual (student or staff) associated with the District tests positive for COVID -19 as outlined in the original plan.
The District has been an active partner with the Steuben County Department of Public Health and has hosted a series of COVID-19 vaccination clinics for school staff and the community during the winter and spring of 2021. The District will continue this partnership and make its facilities available as a public vaccination site.
The District shall also continue to publicize opportunities for vaccination to eligible school personnel and students, as eligible, through the local and state Departments of Health.
Link to August 2020 Health and Safety Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Health
Our cleaning and sanitizing protocols meet the new Department of Health guidelines and were thoroughly outlined in our August 2020 plan. These protocols will continue.
Our schools follow scheduled cleaning and sanitizing procedures, which will continue as introduced in the August 2020 plan.
Additional signage will be posted to support social distancing, proper hygiene and mask wearing.
Occupied areas will be provided with increased outside air with mechanical ventilation during periods of occupancy.
Ventilation and air filtering capacity will increase, within design parameters, in accordance to outside weather conditions.
Utilize fans in spaces that have open windows and/or doors.
Utilize air cleaners in spaces which require increased ventilation and have windows and/or doors that remain closed.
Link to August 2020 Facilities Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Facilities
Our protocols around all aspects of Food Services meet the new Department of Health guidelines and were thoroughly outlined in our August 2020 plan. These protocols will continue.
The District is able to continue our Food Services in essentially the same manner as was in place all school year. The adjustments will be just in scheduling for students who are transitioning to a different instructional model. Meal deliveries will continue to take place on Wednesday for remote learners, the meal packs will be adjusted for the number of days students are remote (example: hybrid students will now receive a three day pack vs. a five day pack). Students in full remote instruction will continue to receive seven day meal packs.
School breakfast and lunch will remain available at no charge for both in person and remote students.
Any changes to the in-person lunch menus will be posted on our food service website: https://corningpaintedpostcafeteria.gstboces.org/
Link to August 2020 Child Nutrition Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Child
The District has reassigned all bus routes to accommodate students at as reduced of a capacity as we can with our current fleet of buses and drivers. Parents can view the new bus routes in Parent Portal.
To reduce density on buses, the District is encouraging parents/legal guardians to drop off or walk students to school.
When safe, ventilation will be improved by opening windows.
When possible, all individuals should maintain appropriate physical distancing on district buses, unless they are members of the same household. Student health screeners should continue to be conducted at home before students board buses.
In all other regards, our transportation protocols already met the new Department of Health guidelines and were thoroughly outlined in our August 2020 plan. These protocols will continue. For example, we will continue to require individuals to wear acceptable masks at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated). Bus drivers will continue to have masks for those who need them.
Steps will continue to be taken to maximize the distance between students on school buses. We will be seating children one child per seat , when possible, knowing that this will not be possible at all times on all routes.
Our buses have already had a strict cleaning protocol, which will continue.
Link to August 2020 Transportation Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Transportation
Social Emotional Well-Being
The health and wellness of our students and staff is a priority. We have continued to implement and further develop district-wide plans and programs to support our students’ social and emotional well-being through the use of our Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Committee. We have provided essential professional development and coaching sessions in various strategies to support our staff and students as we navigate this pandemic. Our Social Workers, School Counselors and School Psychologist are essential. Regionally, we have partnerships with our GST BOCES who continue to share resources for each building to utilize in addressing concerns.
Link to August 2020 Social Emotional Well-Being Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Social
As of April 26, 2021, we are offering our K-8 families the opportunity to participate in four days a week of in-person instruction or a 100% off-site remote instruction model. These grades were already in a cohorted environment. Pre-K will be staggering their return to a four day in-person program over the next few weeks beginning on April 26, 2021. Once that phase-in is complete, all PreK-8 students will be able to attend four days per week, in-person.
Cohorting is not possible with our secondary schedule. We are unable to expand our in-person instruction to 100% of our students in grades 9-12 in the same way we are in grades PreK-8. We continue to explore returning our high school students to a four-day in-person model, with a tentative expansion to four days, beginning on May 3, 2021. Prioritized groups have been phased in to four days over the last two months and we will continue to do this until May 3, 2021. These groups are established as we confirm both transportation and classroom seat capacity.
Link to August 2020 School Schedules Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#School
Per our Board policy, all students are to attend school every day when school is open, unless the student is ill or otherwise excused. As part of our response to the pandemic, the District is offering a variety of instructional models, thus we have a blend of students attending school in-person and remotely, with some students attending school exclusively from a remote location and others attending both in-person and remote over the course of the week (hybrid model).
We have asked families to commit to the instructional model of their choice for each of their children. As in any other school year, if a student is unable to attend school as scheduled, the parent/guardian is required to provide an excuse.
Primarily, our students should attend school in the instructional model they have committed to through our registration methods. We understand that there may be circumstances that make it permissible for an in-person learner to connect remotely, providing the student is well enough to learn, just unable to attend in-person. Some examples include a required quarantine, awaiting a COVID-19 test result while following the district's health screening protocol, or other extenuating health situations.
At the elementary level, such situations must be communicated immediately to the building principal for approval. At the secondary level, students who are scheduled for in-person learning, should attend in-person. In an extenuating circumstance where this is not feasible, the student should attend remotely. It should be noted that secondary students do not need principal approval to make this shift. The district has established a system of recording attendance for both virtual and in-person students, through our Student Management System.
Link to August 2020 Attendance Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Attendance
Technology and Connectivity
With our reliance on virtual learning at least a portion of every week for every student, the District faced several hurdles to providing an equitable learning environment to the 30% of our students without reliable internet access. Cellular-based hotspots have been a valuable solution for many students. We have been able to connect about 300 students through this avenue. The lack of broadband or cellular access in many of our rural areas has been a continued challenge. We have worked with community partners to connect students with supervised sites during the day at locations such as our public library, daycares, our youth center, and a local church. For other students, we have not been able to find a viable internet option at home. We continue to encourage those students to participate in as much in-person instruction as possible. Each staff member and each student have an independently assigned device they can utilize whether we are in-person in our schools or providing virtual instruction.
Link to August 2020 Technology Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Technology
Teaching and Learning
To ensure equity in education, the Corning-Painted Post School District has prioritized efforts to invite all students to participate in in-person instruction. We are able to meet the parameters for inviting our K-8 students into our buildings for in-person instruction four days per week beginning on Monday, April 26, 2021. Our community partners are working on increasing their staffing to bring the pre-k students in-person four days a week. They are working directly with families on the scheduled return of pre-k students with many beginning four days on Monday, April 26, 2021 and the others scheduled to return over the next few weeks.
Based on the current parameters, we are unable to expand our in-person learning to all students in grades 9-12 in the same way we are our PreK-8 graders. At our high school, we do have the capacity to safely bring more students into our buildings within the parameters. We have prioritized high school students with disabilities, English Language Learners, those who require certain in-person related services, and other populations at the greatest risk of learning loss. Some of those students have already joined our in-person instruction four days a week and more will expand to four days on Monday, April 26. We are also collaborating with our local Department of Health to explore options for bringing our high school students back by adding additional layers protection to monitor health, contain potential transmission of Covid-19, and close schools or modify our instructional model if necessitated by widespread virus transmission. Over the next week, we will be meeting with various stakeholder groups to determine if bringing more high school students into the high school at a three foot physical distance is appropriate given our unique circumstances. If we determine that is plausible, we are aiming to bring those high school students who wish to return to in-person instruction four days a week in to begin doing so on Monday, May 3, 2021.
Link to August 2020 Teaching and Learning Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Teaching
Providing for in-person instruction for our students with disabilities remains a priority. As we have navigated this health pandemic, we have been able to adjust and accommodate students with more in-person instructional opportunities. We maintain flexibility and understanding for all students in whichever model they are learning, in-person or remote.
Link to August 2020 Special Education Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Special
With no further guidance in this area, the District has no changes around Teacher and Principal Annual Professional Performance Reviews, Certifications, Incidental Teaching, Substitute Teaching or Student Teaching. We will continue to implement our plan as outlined in the August 2020 plan.
Link to August 2020 Staffing Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Staffing
ELL (English Language Learners)
Our English Language Learners were prioritized to attend in-person learning, four days per week. Our ENL (English as a New Language) teachers have worked with individual families and invited ELL students to attend four days per week. ENL teachers recognize that the decision of the family would reflect the best instructional model for their student.
Link to August 2020 English Language Learners Plan: https://www.corningareaschools.com/Content2/192#Bilingual