Operations

Operations addresses core health and safety principles of the Hamburg Central School District. The areas of Operations include Healthy & Safety, Facilities, Child Nutrition and Transportation.

Table of Contents


HEALTH AND SAFETY

The factors considered when determining resumption of in person instruction included:

  1. Ability to maintain appropriate social distancing or face coverings;

  2. PPE and face covering availability;

  3. Availability of safe transportation; and

  4. Local hospital capacity in consultation with the Erie County Department of Health.

Communication

The District engaged with school stakeholders which included: Administrators, instructional and non-instructional staff, community members, and union representatives. For more detailed information regarding our communications plan for students, parents/guardians, staff and visitors, please refer to Communication and Family Engagement

Health Checks

Staff and families shall be provided with resources to educate them regarding the symptoms of COVID-19. Students and staff who exhibit any of the following symptoms are instructed to stay home. Please refer to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for an up to date list of symptoms of the Coronavirus. As of July 13, 2020, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19:

    • Fever or chills (100 degrees F or greater)

    • 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; and/or

    • Diarrhea

Health Screenings

  • The District has developed a protocol for daily health screenings of all students and staff. Families are required to complete a health screening each morning prior to their student boarding the bus, or if not utilizing school district transportation, prior to entering the building.

  • Students and staff are required to notify the school when they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside school/work hours by emailing the school nurse.

  • The Health Office will review all daily Health screenings of students and staff in their building.

  • Students whose temperature screening has not been received by the district prior to entering the building shall be immediately reported to the Health Office.

  • Daily automated messaging and text messages will be sent to families to remind them to conduct daily screening at home prior to boarding the bus/coming to school.

  • Families who are experiencing hardship and can not afford a thermometer should contact their school nurse, and one will be provided for their family for daily screening requirements.

  • Before being granted access to the building (if deemed essential), visitors are required to complete a wellness questionnaire which includes monitoring their temperature. School entry monitors will receive training in this process and be provided with appropriate PPE and hand sanitizer.

Health Hygiene Practices

Healthy hygiene practices will be taught in schools to both students and staff. Training includes hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing supplies and time to allow for frequent hand hygiene. Training will be accomplished in person, with videos, announcements, print and digital resources (posters and signs).

Each building will display and share with parents age appropriate posters as reminders to students to:

  • Stay home if they feel sick.

  • Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with a stricter policy implemented by the district.

  • Properly store and, when necessary, discard PPE.

  • Adhere to social distancing instructions.

  • Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.

  • Follow hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.

  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Hand and Respiratory Hygiene

Students and staff must practice good hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Building principals, department supervisors and instructional staff will allow for time in the school/work day to allow for good hand hygiene.

    • The District will provide ample hand washing stations

    • Alcohol based hand sanitizer stations (60% alcohol or greater) will be located throughout the common areas, and near high touch surfaces, and in classrooms that do not have a sink.

    • Signage will be placed near hand sanitizing stations indicating visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water.

    • Staff/students will be reminded of proper hand hygiene before meals, after recess or physical education, and before and after removing PPE.

    • A supply of tissues will be available in each room.

Social Distancing

Social distancing is maintaining a six foot space between yourself and others. Staff, students and essential visitors to our building and facilities are required to practice social distancing. Social distancing is required during instruction and is expanded to 12 feet during certain types of activities. All students, staff and visitors are expected to practice social distancing whenever practicable.

  • Classrooms will be arranged in a manner that allows for social distancing.

  • Class size and/or cohorts of students will be determined by the number of students who can be in each classroom while maintaining 6 feet social distancing.

  • Arrival and dismissal times will be staggered to allow increased social distancing while entering/exiting the building. Such scheduling will impact students who walk, drive or are driven, and students who are bused (pick up times and the loading and/or unloading of buses). Families will be notified of any changes in drop off/pick up locations and times on a per building basis. Parents will not be permitted into the buildings for the sole purpose of drop off/pick up of their children.

  • The buildings will reduce school movement where possible by keeping students within a defined area or classroom, modifying class schedules and/or class transitions.

    • Where possible, the same cohort of students will stay with the same teacher each day

    • Where possible, Special Area teachers, for example, Music, Art, PE, may go into individual classrooms versus rotating individual students through a shared space that is not able to be cleaned with each new use.

    • Whenever possible, hold physical education, music, and art classes outside and encourage students to spread out.

    • All classes are encouraged to consider how they might extend the learning space to outside, when appropriate

  • Open windows to improve ventilation, taking safety and weather into consideration.

  • Keep individual student belongings separated.

    • Elementary students will keep their supplies in totes.

    • Secondary students will be permitted to use backpacks.

    • Lockers will be used mainly for outerwear and access to lockers will be limited

    • Limit the use of shared supplies to one group of students, clean between cohorts of students.

  • Visual aids will be used throughout the buildings to illustrate traffic flow and appropriate spacing to support social distancing.

  • The use of alternate spaces will be utilized, for example, students may eat in their classroom, instruction may occur in the auditorium.

  • The use of staff break rooms will be scheduled, based on staff schedules, to ensure no more than the maximum number of individuals is in the space at one time.

  • Limit/schedule the use of restroom facilities to ensure not exceeding the maximum number of individuals in the restroom as one time. Students must wear a face covering while in the restroom.

  • Playground use is permitted, however use will be staggered to accommodate social distancing requirements. Students are required to utilize hand hygiene before and after using the playground equipment and are required to wear a mask.

  • A distance of 12 feet in all directions is required between individuals while participating in activities which require projecting the voice (for example, singing), playing a wind instrument, or aerobic activity.

  • No assemblies are permitted

  • No evening activities, (for example, Continuing Education, Open-House, etc.) unless permitted in writing by the Superintendent

  • Buildings will change in-person events to a virtual format, when possible.

  • No guest speakers are permitted

  • No field trips, local or extended

  • No non-essential visitors we be permitted in the buildings

Reopening Matrix: Staff/Student Attendance

Staff/Student Attendance

Medically Vulnerable/High-Risk Groups

The District recognizes certain groups of people are at an increased risk for complications from COVID-19 and may need added or alternative provisions for social distancing. The following groups are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 and should consult with their healthcare provider and district regarding prevention. A person may also be considered vulnerable or in a high-risk group if they live with a family member with health issues.

  • Individuals age 65 or older,

  • Pregnant individuals

  • Individuals with underlying health conditions including, but not limited to:

    • Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma

    • Serious heart conditions

    • Immunocompromised

    • Severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher)

    • Diabetes

    • Chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis

    • Liver disease

    • Sickle cell anemia

Staff members should contact Human Resources if you believe the information above applies to you.

Families should contact Pupil Services (ckaney@hcsdk12.org) if the information above applies to you.

Students with Special Needs/Medically Fragile Students

Children with special needs or students who are medically fragile may not be able to maintain social distancing, hand or respiratory hygiene, or wear a face covering. It is important that parents/guardians work with their child's healthcare provider so that an informed decision can be made on how to best meet the child’s needs at school while protecting their health and safety. Alternate plans may be created in consultation with school health personnel, building administration, and central office personnel, on how to meet the needs of the child, which may include:

  • Additional PPE for staff caring for such students

  • Assigning only 1 staff member to care for the student, and/or

  • Limiting proximity to other individuals, to the extent practicable.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Cloth Face Coverings

  • All students, staff and visitors must wear a face covering while in school facilities and on school district grounds whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:

      • Whenever you are within 6 feet of someone

      • In Hallways

      • In restrooms and

      • In other congregate settings, including buses

  • All students and employees will be provided with two cloth face coverings. Disposable face coverings will be available for students, staff and visitors should they forget their own.

  • Students, staff and visitors shall be permitted to wear their own acceptable face covering.

  • Students and staff with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so. Staff must submit documentation to the Human Resources office for processing. Families should submit documentation regarding students to the Pupil Services office for processing.

  • Instructional staff are required to schedule “mask breaks” for students,

  • Face coverings should not be placed on:

      • Children younger than 2 years old

      • 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 face covering without assistance.

  • Students, staff and families will receive instruction on the proper way to wear face coverings, hand washing etiquette and disposal through visual cues, social media and in -person instruction.

  • Students and staff may use alternate PPE which is transparent at or around the mouth for instruction or intervention. The district will provide alternate PPE to staff and/or students who require it.

  • School health professionals and staff who work with students who can not maintain a social distance of 6 feet, will be provided with additional PPE, to include:

      • Face masks

      • N95 Respirators

      • Face shields

      • Disposable gloves

      • Disposable gowns

Please also note that measures will be taken to immediately address any situations where a student fails or refuses to follow the District’s health and safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The specific measures may range from a verbal reminder to potential disciplinary action, depending on the circumstances. For example, students are generally required to wear an appropriate face covering at all times while in school, excluding mask breaks, and students who refuse to comply may be denied entry into certain areas of the building, including classrooms. Students may be removed or suspended from in-person classroom instruction for repeated or flagrant violations of the District’s health and safety protocols. If a student is unable to comply with any particular health and safety protocols for medical reasons, it is imperative that the student or parent contact the District’s Pupil Services office to discuss the matter as soon as possible.

MANAGEMENT OF ILL PERSONS


Protocol for Students/Staff that Exhibit COVID-19 Symptoms

If a student or staff member presents with symptoms related to COVID-19, the teacher should use their classroom phone to communicate with the school nurse that a student requires assessment for COVID-19 symptoms. The nurse will proceed to the classroom to take the student to the Clinic for assessment. At the nurse's discretion, the teacher aide assigned to the health office may accompany the student to the Clinic. If the nurse is not available, the Principal or the Administrator in charge will be contacted. At no time should the student be sent to the Health Office for assessment. The nurse will determine if the student may remain in the building or will be sent home to follow up with a healthcare provider. The student will remain in the Clinic until picked up by their parent or guardian. At no time will the student be permitted to go home on the bus, walk or drive themselves home. The District will follow this protocol for all students and staff that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.

Isolation of Individuals Exhibiting Symptoms of COVID-19

Each building has identified a location (separate from the Health Office), to avoid confusion when referencing sites, the additional site is to be known as the Clinic, to house students and staff that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms until they can exit the building. A staff member will be assigned to supervise students until a parent or guardian arrives to pick them up. The staff member will maintain social distancing and be provided with appropriate PPE equipment including a face shield, face covering, gown, gloves and a 2-way radio so that the school nurse, school entry monitor and staff member can communicate regarding the student and when the parent or guardian arrives for pick up. Parents or guardians will be directed as to what door they will pick up their student from, as this may differ from the main entrance of the building.

Note to Parents When a Child is Sent Home with COVID-19 Symptoms

If a child is sent home with COVID-19 symptoms, (fever, cough, shortness of breath, headache, new loss if taste or small, sore throat, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle or body aches, please see CDC symptoms at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus) the nurse will give the parent/guardian a form (Notice to Parents Regarding Return to School) that indicates the protocol that must be followed to return to school. The parent/guardian will be responsible for attesting that the protocol is followed by signing the form and returning it with a note from a healthcare provider, prior to the child's return to school.

Notice for parents regarding return to school protocol

COVID-19 Testing

In compliance with CDC recommendations, the District will not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the Erie County Department of Health. Upon request, the District shall provide the local health department testing site information to families and staff.

Below, you will find resources shared from the Erie County Department of Health:

Return to School/Work After Exhibiting Signs/Symptoms of COVID-19

The District will follow ECDOH guidelines for allowing a student or staff member to return to school/work after exhibiting signs of COVID-19. One of the three following criteria must be met before a student/staff member can return to school/work after exhibiting signs of COVID-19

  1. A note from the student/staff members medical care provider with an alternative diagnosis is provided, or

  2. The result of a negative COVID-19 test is provided, or

  3. There has been at least 10 days since the onset of COVID-19 symptoms.

The symptomatic student or staff member along with their household members that attend or work at a school will be offered free point-of-care diagnostic COVID-19 test through the ECDOH.

Positive COVID-19 Test

All of the following criteria must be met before a student/staff member can return to school/work:

  1. At least 10 days after COVID-19 symptom onset or 10 days from their first positive test if asymptomatic, and

  2. Fever free for at least 72 consecutive hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and

  3. Respiratory symptoms are improving.

Notification of Potential Exposure

  1. If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 the district will immediately notify the Erie County Department of Health.

  2. If the district is not informed by the staff member or parent, the district will be informed by the Erie County Department of Health.

  3. The district will notify relevant portions of our school community of a positive case. Information shared will not identify the individual (student, staff member or visitor). All directives and guidance issued by the Department of Health will be followed by the district in the event of a positive case.

  4. The Erie County Department of Health will contact the school district for collaboration with contact tracing and to identify close contacts. (See below for a further explanation of contact tracing).

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is a public health function performed by the Erie County Department of Health to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This allows public health officials to put in place isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. In order to assist the DOH with this important task, accurate records must be kept. The following records will be utilized when contact tracing is needed:

  • Attendance records to determine who was present and onsite (students and staff)

  • Bus route rosters

  • Substitute employee records through the AESOP absence management system

  • Visitor management system (T-Pass), which provides the date and entry/exit information for visitors

Protocol for Symptomatic or Postiive COVID-19 Student or Staff

Protocol for Symptomatic or Positive COVID-19 Student or Staff

ECDOH Close Contact Standard

  1. Any student or staff member who is within 6 feet or less, for 10 minutes or more, of an individual with COVID-19, will be instructed by the ECDOH to quarantine in their own room with their own bathroom for 10 days from the last day of exposure to the COVID-19 case.

  2. Persons under quarantine who develop symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 if the test result is positive, the student or staff member will be placed in isolation. If the test result is negative, the student or staff member will continue in quarantine for the full 10 days.

  • Hamburg High School - Lynn Lyford, School Nurse

  • Hamburg Middle School - Sue Krusynski, School Nurse

  • Union-Pleasant Elementary School - Erin Agle, School Nurse

  • Armor Elementary School - Jane Frappa, School Nurse

  • Charlotte Avenue Elementary School - Cheryl Ehlers, School Nurse

  • Boston Valley Elementary School - Dawn Liberti, School Nurse

  • Saint Peter and Paul School- Tara Mandeville, School Nurse

  • District Contact - Barbara S. Sporyz - Assistant Superintendent

COVID-19 Points of Contact

Cleaning and Disinfection

Areas that have been used by an individual suspected of having COVID -19 will be cleaned and sanitized in the following manner as recommended by the CDC and NYSDOH:

  • Closing off areas used by an individual and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred.

  • Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.

  • Waiting at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.

  • Once the area(s) have been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.

  • Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area(s) and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.

  • Refer to the DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” for information on “close and proximate” contacts.

  • If more than 7 days have passed since the person who is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary, but routine cleaning and disinfection should be performed.

Conducting School Safety drills amid COVID-19

  • All required NYS school safety drills (8 evacuation and 4 lockdown drills) will be conducted with the consideration of the social distancing and face covering requirements. It is understood that evacuation drills will likely take longer that they would with social distancing.

  • Students will be instructed that social distancing is a part of the drill, however, should an actual emergency which requires evacuation or lockdown be necessary, maintaining social distancing may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

  • In the event of a hybrid model where on-campus learning is in cohorts, the District will ensure all students participate in the required number of evacuation and lockdown drills.

Community Use of Facilities/Before and After School Daycare

District facilities will not be open for community use. Our priority will be safely supporting the academic and instructional programs while focusing efforts on cleaning and sanitation. The only exception to this will be our partnership with the Southtowns YMCA (NYS licensed childcare provider), who provides critical support to families in need of childcare and the Village of Hamburg Recreation Program (for outdoor use of facilities, only). The District will communicate our suspension of facility use by the community, which includes but is not limited to Continuing Education Program, Boys/Girl Scouts, District affiliated community events (for example, PTSA events), and the use of gymnasiums and pools by community organizations.

Designation of COVID-19 Safety Officer

The COVID-19 Safety Officer is responsible for 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 or “new normal” levels. Barbara S, Sporyz, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services and Fiance is the designated COVID-19 Safety Officer.

FACILITIES


Reopening Preparation

To prepare for the arrival of students, teachers and staff, the following safety enhancements will be completed in each school building prior to the first day of teacher attendance:

  • Markings for one-way traffic patterns though halls at all buildings

  • 6 foot social distancing reminders

  • Signage installed at entrances and throughout the buildings to inform and occupants of proper hygiene recommendations

  • Remove excess furniture to create additional space for social distancing

  • Install polycarbonate shield partitions for forward facing high contact positions (for example, Main Offices)

  • Provide hand sanitizer stations in common areas and at entrances and classrooms that do not have a sink.

  • Review all HVAC settings to ensure all spaces are provided with adequate ventilation

  • HVAC filters will continue to be changed at recommended regular intervals

  • Staff will be provided with effective cleaning products to wipe down high touch areas in their classrooms or offices

  • Information will be provided to staff regarding the expectations of sanitizing personal space, as it is not possible for the Buildings & Grounds staff to touch all surfaces everyday (for example, keyboards, desks, chairs, etc.)

Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures

During the School Day

  • Clean and disinfect high touch areas such as door handles, stair railings, elevator buttons throughout the day. All staff will support cleaning efforts, including classroom teachers and teacher aides to the extent practicable.

  • Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected frequently during the school day.

Lunches

  • Cafeterias - If the cafeteria is used for lunch periods

    • Tables will be wiped down and disinfected by cafeteria monitors after each lunch period.

    • Garbage will be emptied after each lunch period,

  • Classrooms - If eating in classrooms

    • Desks will be wiped down and disinfected by teachers after lunch is over.

    • Teachers will place trash in large garbage cans located in the hallway.


Daily Cleaning of Buildings

  • Daily procedures for cleaning and disinfecting will be completed in all student and staff areas to prepare for the next day. Disinfecting will occur after routine cleaning is completed. Please see Hamburg Central School District Cleaning Standards & Procedures During COVID-19, for more information.

  • Disinfecting should never be done by students

  • Cleaning & disinfecting will be tracked by daily cleaning logs.

Playgrounds and Outdoor Areas

  • Mask use is required while on playgrounds.

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be located at doors adjacent to the playground.

  • Students will sanitize before and after use of the playground equipment.

  • Students will sanitize before and after use of outdoor areas for eating and/or instruction.

  • Per CDC Guidelines for outdoor areas: Outdoor areas usually require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on sidewalks and in parks is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas. The targeted use of disinfectants can be done effectively, efficiently, and safely on outdoor hard surfaces and objects frequently touched by multiple people.

HCSD Cleaning Standards Handbook for COVID-19.pdf

Reopening Matrix: Facilities

Facilities

Reopening Matrix: Child Nutrition

Districts must provide all students with access to school meals. Districts must be prepared with the flexibility and resources necessary to transition food service operations to an on-site or off-site student meal delivery system or operate both at the same time.

Students in the elementary and middle schools will each lunch in a classroom. Students at the HS will eat in the cafeteria or other designated large spaces to allow for social distancing.

Child Nutrition

Reopening Matrix: Transportation

The District is aware of the concern of increased vehicular traffic as more families are driving their children to and from school. We are reviewing the impact on a building basis.

Transportation

BUDGET AND FISCAL MATTERS


Fiscal Preparedness

The District’s budget was approved by the voters on June 16, 2020. The budget presented to the voters was based on state aid projections from the April 1, 2020 adopted state budget, which includes the projected CARES Act Restoration funding of $300,251 that replaces the state aid reduction in the state budget.The CARES Act requires a portion of the funds to be used to provide equitable services to non-public schools. We will continue to monitor state aid projections and make adjustments to the anticipated use of reserves and/or fund balance as required. The 2020-21 enacted state budget included provisions that will allow the Director of Budget, subject to amendment by the Legislature, to reduce appropriations across any and all program areas of the state budget should actual reserves come in at levels that are below the assumptions made in the Executive Budget. Absent additional federal support, the Division of Budget has stated that further reductions to school aid, Medicaid, social services, and transportation might be necessary to eliminate that projected budget gap.

180 Day Calendar and Attendance Reporting for State Aid Purposes

The District will provide a minimum of 180 days of student attendance as outlined in other sections of this plan and as currently required by law.

Flexibility for Budget Transfers

It is anticipated that there may be costs in 2020-21 that the District did not budget for in the correct account codes, in particular the need for additional equipment. Flexibility for budget transfers in the 2020-21 school year for additional equipment needed (associated with re-opening and the maintenance of buildings) would help the school district immensely. Historically, school districts have been advised that funds can not be transferred into an equipment account code since equipment is considered a non-contingent expense and transfers into non-contingent line items are prohibited. The lifting of this restriction would be very helpful to all school districts.

The District will be certain to maximize our state-aided hardware in order to ensure that all necessary equipment is purchased.

Tax Collection

The District will discuss with the Town Clerk (Town of Hamburg), who collects school taxes on the behalf of the District, to ensure community members have the ability to make timely payments in the period without penalty.

The District will be reviewing our tax collection process to try and anticipate any issues or problems that they may face based on the ability of residents to pay taxes in person and without penalty.

Other Considerations

The District will meet all existing state aid reporting requirements and deadlines; the content of data submissions will largely remain consistent with past practice, except where modified by law, regulation, or executive order. Additional costs for PPE, transportation, food service, and other mitigation needs will likely be necessary. The District is not assuming additional state or federal support will be available beyond what has already been budgeted for the 2020-21 school year and will plan for those needs accordingly. The District intends to seek FEMA reimbursement as necessary.

Charter Schools

The District will continue to process charter school per pupil invoices as required by Education Law section 2856 and Commissioner's Regulation section 119.1.

ATHLETICS

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has established a task force which will provide continued guidance regarding resuming high school athletics. Fall interscholastic sports has been postponed to September 21, 2020. Further guidance is forthcoming.

STAFFING

Teachers, school and district leaders, and pupil personnel service professionals hold a valid and appropriate certificate for their assignment.

SCHOOL SCHEDULES


Reopening Matrix: School Schedules

School Schedules

ATTENDANCE AND CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM


Reopening Matrix: Attendance and Absenteeism

Attendance