GEC SY 2020-2021 Reopening Plans - Guild for Exceptional ...

 
GEC SY 2020-2021 Reopening Plans
GEC has worked to develop the following reopening plans based upon NYS
reopening guidance and numerous stakeholder meetings. The following plans
were developed following current health guidelines (as of 7/30/2020). GEC will
offer families a choice of remote learning or a hybrid model of in person and
remote learning. The hybrid model will consist of in person instruction and
remote instruction.

           Health and Safety
The health and safety of GEC’s students and staff in our school is paramount. GEC
has developed a written protocol which focuses on the following preventative
actions:

    GEC will instruct all staff prior to the start of school on how to observe for
     signs of illness in students and staff and will require symptomatic persons
     to be sent to the school nurse or other designated personnel.

           1. 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.
              Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stay Home When You Are Sick.
              https://www.cdc.gov/flu/business/stay-home

           2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keeps an up to
              date list of symptoms of Coronavirus on its website, his list is not all
              inclusive as some individuals may display other symptoms or none at
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all. As of 7/13/2020, the following are listed as the most common
                symptoms of COVID-19:

               • Fever or chills (100°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.
           3.   GEC staff will 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.

                Students and staff exhibiting these signs with no other explanation
                for them will be sent to the school health office for an assessment by
                the school nurse. GEC’s nurse will refer such persons to a healthcare
                provider and provide resources on COVID-19 testing.

    GEC will require staff to notify the school’s program director before 7 AM if
     they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change
     outside of school hours. Families of students will be asked to email
     notification to the school nurse.

    GEC will perform daily temperature screenings of all students and staff,
     along with a daily screening questionnaire. Daily screening check list for
     students will be completed by families at in person drop off time. This
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questionnaire will be provided to the family in their preferred language.
       NYC DOE which provides student transportation will need to share written
       protocol that will account for student screening questionnaire. Screening
       by the parent/guardian prior to school is strongly encouraged.

   GEC’s screening questionnaire (a paper checklist) will determine whether the
   individual has:

            ● knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days
             with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for
             COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
            ● tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past
             14 days;
            ● has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a
             temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or
            ● has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread
             community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel
             Advisory in the past 14 days.

       Per NYSDOH, GEC is prohibited from keeping records of student, faculty,
       staff, and visitor health data (e.g., the specific temperature data of an
       individual), but are permitted to maintain records that confirm individuals
       were screened and the result of such screening (e.g., pass/fail, cleared/not
       cleared). These records will be maintained by the school nurse in the
       nursing room.

    GEC requires that ill students and staff be assessed by the school nurse. If
     the school nurse is not available, ill students and staff will be sent home for
     follow up with a healthcare provider.
    GEC’s school nurse will wear PPE when assessing ill persons and conducting
     certain respiratory treatments.
    GEC students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive
     response to the questionnaire will be sent directly to a dedicated isolation
     area. Students will be supervised in the isolation area prior to being picked
     up. GEC will maintain 2 rooms for health services, one room will be for
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healthy students to obtain medications, the second room will be for
       isolation.
      GEC’s school nurse will use disposable equipment and supplies in the health
       office as much as practicable.
      GEC will health screen anyone entering the building. (such as vendors) A no
       contact area has been designated for pickups and deliveries. Parents or
       guardians are to maintain 6 feet of distance when dropping off or picking
       up their child.
      GEC will provide guidance to parents/guardians to observe for signs of
       illness that would require a child to stay home.
      GEC will display handwashing and respiratory hygiene signs throughout the
       building. (Entrances, restrooms, classrooms, offices, therapy areas)
      GEC will provide alcohol based hand sanitizers throughout the building
       along with signage indicating that visibly soiled hands should be washed
       with soap and water.
      GEC staff will maintain 6 feet of social distancing whenever possible.
      GEC will require that all employees and students wear a mask in school.
       Given the nature of a student’s various disabilities, GEC will try its best to
       have students comply with mask wearing. All adults in the building must
       wear a mask.
      GEC will accommodate students and staff who are at high risk or live with a
       person at high risk “Employees requesting a reasonable accommodation
       due to COVID-19 will inform the Education Director of their interest in a
       reasonable accommodation. The Education Director will then inform the
       Director of Human Resources so that the request can be reviewed by
       Human Resources”
      GEC’s school nurse will work with families to accommodate students who
       are at high risk and develop a plan with families for accommodation.
      GEC has an ordering plan in place for obtaining and maintaining an
       adequate supply of face coverings for staff as needed and PPE for use by
       school nurse.

GEC has a written plan in place to follow if there is a confirmed case of CoVID-19i
                      in the school. Please find link here:

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GEC Preschool as of July 30, 2020

Testing, tracing, and isolation
It is important to note that testing, combined with contact tracing and isolation, helps control the
spread of COVID-19 in NYC. All test results, both positive and negative, are reported to the
Department of Health (DOH). When a person has a positive COVID-19 test, it is the DOH and
Contact Tracers that will reach out to provide support so that these individuals can remain safely
in medical isolation. They will also ask for help to identify close contacts. These organizations
will then reach out to the individual’s close contacts to provide important information that is
aimed to stop the spread of the virus, including how to safely isolate/quarantine. While these
organizations will provide support, to further assist with contact tracing the student/family and
staff are asked to reach out to their personal contacts and notify the school.

Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 10 days
Most people who test positive and have a relatively mild illness will need to stay in self-isolation
for at least 10 days. People who test positive can resume public activities after 10 days and once
they have:
    a. gone for 3 days/72 hours without a fever (and without taking fever-reducing medications
       like Tylenol); and
    b. experienced improvement in other symptoms (for example, their cough has gotten much
       better); and
    c. received clearance from DOH or contact tracer.

Repeat testing prior to return is not recommended. Return to school should be based on time and
symptom resolution.

Close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case should be tested. For general guidance,
DOH/CDC defines close contact as:

     Being within less than 6 feet of COVID-19 case for at least 10-15 minutes. Close contact
      can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a healthcare waiting area or
      room with a COVID-19 case while the case was symptomatic or within the 48 hours
      before symptom onset, OR
     Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed
      on) while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment.

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In school settings: close contacts include other students and staff who were within 6 feet of the
student or staff for at least 10-15 minutes in a classroom, in other school spaces, or on the bus..
Where the students are in self-contained classrooms for an extended period, all students/staff
within this “cohort” are considered close contacts as they may have been within 6 feet of the
person with a positive test result. Possible close contacts should not come back to school until
they have been tested (or elected instead to self-quarantine for 14 days). If an individual tests
positive for COVID-19, then self-isolation is for a minimum of 10 days and until at least three
days have passed with no fever and improvement in other symptoms as noted. If the test is
negative, the student/staff can return to school if asymptomatic and wearing a mask.

            IF ANY SYMPTOM(S):

                  i.   Place the student in the designated isolation room. All students in the
                       room must be as far apart as possible, and no less than 6 feet. Strict mask
                       wearing covering the nose and mouth at all times for every person in the
                       room must be enforced along with strict PPE for staff member waiting in
                       the room with the child.
                 ii.   Contact caregiver for pick-up.
                           1. Student waits to be picked up in the isolation room. Caregivers
                               must wear a mask/face covering when picking up their student.
                               Students should not ride public transportation to get home.

While specific protocols vary, there are some common elements for each possible COVID-
19 scenario:
     Evaluate symptoms
     Separate from others
     Clean and disinfect spaces visited by the person
     Test for COVID-19 and stay at home while awaiting results
     If test is positive:
           - Remain at home at least 10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no
               fever and improvement in other symptoms
           - Monitor symptoms
           - Notify the school and personal close contacts
           - Answer the call from DOH or Contact Tracers to help identify close contacts to
               help them prevent transmission
           - Secure release from contact tracers or DOH for return to school
           -
Protocol: Student or staff tests positive for COVID-19

   1. The student or staff member must remain at home (except to get medical care), monitor
      their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, assist the school in

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contact tracing efforts, and answer the call from DOH and/or contact tracer. For most
       people who have relatively mild illness, they will need to stay in self-isolation for at least
       10 days and until at least 3 days have passed with no fever and improvement in other
       symptoms.

   2. The student’s parent/caregiver or the staff member informs the school nurse that the
      individual has tested positive for COVID-19. The school nurse will notify the DOH and
      others as pre-determined by the school.

   3. Determine whether the student or staff member was on the premises during the time
      frame that started two days prior to symptom onset (or testing positive if not
      symptomatic) until the time of isolation.
          a. If so, promptly close off areas visited by the COVID-19 positive individual until
             such areas can be cleaned and disinfected, if they have not been cleaned and
             disinfected already.
          b. Promptly clean and disinfect the student’s or staff member’s classroom and any
             other areas visited by the individual, if that has not been done already.
          c. Promptly clean and disinfect the bus(es) the student or staff member was on, if
             any, and if not already done.

   4. PRESCHOOL:
        a. Send a communication to the other families in the student’s class (e.g., cohort)
           that there has been a positive test without naming the individual student or staff
           member who tested positive.
        b. Communications sent to families/staff should:
              i.   Inform them there was a positive test (not the specific individual) in the
                   self-contained classroom.
             ii.   Explain that since they were within this cohort and may have been within
                   6 feet of the person with a positive test, they are considered a “close
                   contact” and therefore should be tested.
            iii.   Instruct those designated as close contacts to isolate prior to their test and
                   while waiting for the results. In general, as the highest yield test will be a
                   few days after the exposure, ideally, the test should occur no sooner than
                   day 4 or 5 after the last exposure. (In other words, if an exposure lasted
                   several days, the best time to test is 4 or 5 days after the end of the
                   exposure period.)
            iv.    Explain that if close contacts choose not to be tested, the student or staff
                   member should remain home in self-quarantine for 14 days.
             v.    Remind families and/or staff of the importance of not having contact with
                   higher-risk individuals (e.g., grandparents and those with underlying
                   medical conditions).
            vi.    Remind families and/or staff of the list of COVID-19 symptoms for which
                   to monitor.

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Any area of the school visited by the COVID-19 positive individual must be closed off and/or
        cleaned and disinfected. The area can be used 12-24 hours after cleaning/disinfecting has
        occurred.
        In the event that a parent/guardian of a child must be isolated because they have tested positive
        for, or exhibited symptoms of, COVID-19, the parent/guardian must be advised that they cannot
        enter the school for any reason, including picking up their child.
        •An emergency contact authorized by the parent is to pick up the child.
        •As a close contact, the child must not return to the child care for 14 days from last time they
        were in close contact with the person with COVID-19 (if in same household or is otherwise a
        close contact). If the parent/guardian who is a member of the same household as the child is
        being quarantined as a precautionary measure, without symptoms or a positive test, staff should
        walk out or drop off the child to the parent/guardian at the boundary of, or outside, the premises.
        •As a “contact of a contact,” the child may return to the child care program during the duration of
        the quarantine.

                     Quick reference sheet: Key actions for individual COVID-19 events

Event           Location of Event                    Testing Result              Quarantine

                                                                                 Return to school once asymptomatic
                If an individual is symptomatic at   Individual tests negative
                                                                                 for 24 hours
                home, they should stay home and
                get tested.
                                                                                 Remain home (except to get medical
                                                                                 care), monitor symptoms, notify the
                If an individual student is
                                                                                 school, notify personal close
                symptomatic on the bus or at
                                                                                 contacts, assist the school in contact
                school, they should remain
                                                                                 tracing efforts, and answer the call
                masked and adhere to strict
Individual is                                                                    from DOH or Contact Tracers. Most
                physical distancing. Students will   Individual tests positive
symptomatic                                                                      people who have relatively mild
                then be met by the nurse and stay
                                                                                 illness will need to stay in self-
                in the isolation room until they
                                                                                 isolation for at least 10 days and
                are picked up. They should not be
                                                                                 until at least 3 days have passed with
                sent home on the bus.
                                                                                 no fever and improvement in other
                If an individual staff member is
                                                                                 symptoms.
                symptomatic at school, they
                should go home, isolate, get
                                                                                 Remain home in self-isolation for 14
                tested.                              Individual is not tested
                                                                                 days from symptom onset

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Return to school, if asymptomatic or
                                                      Individual tests negative
                If an individual is at home when                                  once asymptomatic for 24 hours
                they learn they were in close
                contact with an individual who
                                                                                  Remain home (except to get medical
                tested positive for COVID-19,
                                                                                  care), monitor symptoms, notify the
                they should stay at home and be
                                                                                  school, notify personal close
                tested 4 or 5 days after their last
                                                                                  contacts, assist the school in contact
                exposure.
Individual is                                                                     tracing efforts, and answer the call
exposed to                                                                        from local board of health or
                If an individual is at school when
COVID-19                                              Individual tests positive   Community Tracing Collaborative.
                they learn they were in close
positive                                                                          Most people who have relatively
                contact with an individual who
individual                                                                        mild illness will need to stay in self-
                tested positive for COVID-19,
                                                                                  isolation for at least 10 days and
                they should be masked, wait in an
                                                                                  until at least 3 days have passed with
                isolation room, and then sent
                                                                                  no fever and improvement in other
                home. Do not take public
                                                                                  symptoms.
                transportation home. They should
                stay at home and be tested 4 or 5
                days after their last exposure.                                   Remain home in self-quarantine for
                                                      Individual is not tested
                                                                                  14 days from exposure

             GEC will follow the following protocol regarding the return to school of
              students and staff following illness or diagnosis of COVID-19District/school
              plan has written protocol that complies with CDC guidance for the return to
              school of students and staff following illness or diagnosis of confirmed case
              of COVID-19 or following quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case
              of COVID-19. Return to school will be coordinated with the local health
              department by the school nurse. Please reference link above.

             Physical distancing will include:
                 1. Staggered arrival and drop off times.
                 2. A staffing plan that will not require employees to “float” between
                    different groups of children except for staff absences.
                 3. For naptime and rest time students will be at least 6 feet apart, head-
                    to-toe.

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 When physical distancing isn’t possible
       1. GEC staff is encouraged to wear a large button-down, long sleeves
          shirt or smock and put long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or
          other updo. Short manicured nails are also strongly encouraged.
       2. Staff is encouraged to have multiple changes of clothes on hand.
       3. Students are encouraged to have multiple changes of clothes on
          hand.
       4. Contaminated clothes are to be placed in a plastic bag and sent home
          for laundering.

       School Closures

      GEC will collaborate with the NYC Department of Health to determine the
       parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased
       illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that
       positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level and
       indicate school closure. GEC will consider closing the school if absentee
       rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. GEC may choose to
       modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. Notice of
       remote learning only will be communicated to staff and families.

    GEC has adopted the following intensified cleaning and disinfecting
     procedures for the preschool:
        1. Daily a GEC custodian will clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently
           touched surfaces (for example, door handles, sink handles, stairwell
           handrails) multiple times per day.
        2. Classroom staff will clean, sanitize and disinfect table top surfaces
           before and after each mealtime.
        3. Staff will toilet individual students to maintain the ability to clean
           after each
        4. The school will avoid the use of items that are not easily cleaned,
           sanitized or disinfected (for example, plush toys, dress up clothes,

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dolls that cannot be laundered, blankets in the dramatic play area,
               puppets)
            5. As per DOH regulations GEC will ensure safe and correct application
               of disinfectants (bleach and water solutions) and keep these products
               away from students)
            6. A daily checklist for school personnel to inspect their area and ensure
               they have sufficient supplies each day (e.g., face covering, tissues,
               hand hygiene supplies, cleaning supplies, etc.) will be posted outside
               each room for GEC staff to complete. A shortage will be phoned in to
               the front desk who will report it to the proper department.

    GEC has designated the school Program Director to serve as the COVID-19
     safety coordinator whose responsibilities include 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.
    As always, written materials shared with families will be available in the
     languages spoken at home. Bilingual staff is also available to assist in
     translating info via phone.

            Facilities
    GEC will conduct required school safety drills with modification to ensure
     social distancing between persons.
        1. A staggered schedule has been adopted to allow all rooms to exit
            individually. GEC will adopt NYC FDNY regulations as needed when
            new guidelines are released.
        2. Drills will be conducted so that any student receiving in person
            learning participates in drills.
        3. Lock down drills will be conducted with the following modification: a
            staggered schedule will be adopted. All students receiving in person

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learning will participate in drills. Lockdown drills in the classroom will
            be conducted without “hiding/ sheltering” but will provide an
            overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.

    GEC is putting together classrooms that will meet current social distancing
     guidelines to protect staff and students.
    Students will use bathrooms individually to maintain social distancing and
     provide disinfecting between use as needed.
    Drinking fountains will be closed.
    Windows (with window guards) will be open throughout school hours to
     increase ventilation in rooms.
    GEC is having all HVAC for the building reviewed as well as AC filters
     replaced as needed.

   School Meals

    Schools meals will continue to be provided by the NYC DOE meals program.
     GEC awaits guidance from the NYC DOE.
    As always, families may submit applications for free or reduced meals
     anytime during the school year. GEC’s school secretaries will provide
     applications.
    Students who bring in meals, may only bring in food that does not need to
     be refrigerated or heated. (unless a medical accommodation is needed)
    GEC staff is trained in food handling, safety and allergy protocols at the
     start of each school year. School meals will continue to be served in
     classrooms. Staff will wear disposable food safe gloves when serving and
     feeding students. Gloves will be changed between feeding of students.
    Tables will be cleaned prior to and after serving meals. 6 feet of distance
     will be maintained between students. Due to the various feeding needs of
     students, staff may need to assist in feeding and a distance of 6 feet will not
     be possible between staff and student.
    Staff and students will wash hands before and after meal time. At no time
     will food be shared between students.

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Transportation
GEC as always will defer to NYC DOE for transportation info for GEC’s students.
NYC DOE will be responsible for following all guidelines outlined by NYSED.

            Social Emotional
        GEC will continue to work on social emotional needs through Pyramid
         Model work. GEC will continue to utilize the Pyramid Model, providing
         tiered interventions to support students’ social and emotional needs.
         Our program will continue to promote schoolwide expectations: Be
         Kind, Be Safe, and Be Helpful.
        GEC’s Pyramid team, comprised of the Program Director, Social
         Workers, Psychologist, Educational Supervisor, Teachers, Teacher
         Assistant, and Speech Therapist, will meet monthly via Google Meets.
         The team will discuss current needs of all students and review additional
         supports for students with greater social-emotional difficulty.
        GEC Classroom teachers will utilize social stories to reinforce
         expectations and desired behaviors. Social Workers and School
         Psychologist will backpack resources home to families, as well as
         conduct remote parent support groups. Teachers and therapists will
         submit referrals as needed, to be reviewed and addressed by the
         Program Director, Social Workers and/or School Psychologist. Increased
         supports for higher-needs students, including Behavioral Intervention
         Plans, will be developed if deemed necessary.
        GEC’s School Psychologist will conduct a series of trauma-Informed
         teaching workshops to facilitate how to support families and students
         during this public health crisis. Further development of coping and
         resilience skills will be shared for both staff and students. Weekly
         departmental meetings will allow staff to share concerns, needs and
         questions with GEC’s Program Director. Online Anti-Bias and Diversity
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trainings will be required for all staff. Frequent check-ins with students,
            families, faculty and staff will be conducted to address needs of the
            school community.

            School Schedules
After meeting with various stakeholders throughout July of 2020, GEC has created
a comprehensive plan for a hybrid model of both in-person and remote learning.
GEC will reopen with 2 student options of learning: a remote only model and a
hybrid model. Those families opting for a hybrid model will be notified by phone
or email as to what day in person learning can resume. GEC reserves the right to
adopt an all remote learning model should staffing or health needs of the
community change. All families and staff will be notified with as much advance
notice as practicable. GEC will stagger student arrivals and departures.
Finalization of times will be determined closer to the school reopening date to
allow for rolling admissions count. As always if children are being dropped off or
picked up, families will be asked to sign in and out. Student will be escorted
individually to and from the lobby. Families are asked to bring their own pen each
day for the purpose of signing in and out to ease the efficiency of drop off and
departure. Bussing info is yet to be released by the NYC DOE. If community
health needs or staffing circumstances change GEC reserves the right to shift
back to all remote learning.

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Budget and Fiscal
GEC relies upon student reimbursement from NYSED. As of 7/30/2020 GEC has
funds to support the purchase of materials to meet reopening plan. (PPE,
additional cleaning supplies and signage as required by NYC DOH) The GEC
community is aware that due to the COVID 19 emergency additional state and
federal funding may not be available. If at any point funding levels diminish GEC’s
ability to provide PPE or cleaning supplies GEC will immediately adopt a remote
learning model.

            Attendance
GEC has developed a mechanism to collect and report daily teacher student
engagement and attendance remotely. Daily contact with students in remote or
hybrid settings will be recorded by the classroom teacher. Methods of outreach
to students and their families who have not engaged in distance learning will
include phone calls and emails by teachers, TA’s and social workers.

            Technology and Connectivity
GEC acknowledges that adequate access to a computing device and high-speed
broadband is essential for educational equity for both in person and remote
learning. GEC has surveyed families as to their access to devices and internet.
GEC has encouraged and assisted families in applying for ipads through the NYC
DOE. GEC has also worked with families who have limited access to devices
during school hours (during this past closure and remote learning period) to pick
up activities in Google classrooms. GEC is utilizing NYC DOE secure Google
classroom platforms for live remote instruction and tele-therapy sessions. Staff is
accessible by email and phone to assist families in supporting the continuity of
learning. GEC’s teachers all possess Ipads and therapists have access to GEC
issued laptops. GEC will continue to the best of its ability to provide instruction

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on using technology and IT support for students, teachers and families and
provide professional development for teachers and leaders on designing effective
online/remote learning experiences. GEC’s school community remains resolved in
reflecting on past issues and growing in its use of these new platforms.

            Teaching and Learning
Through this reopening plan GEC has ensured that a continuity of learning plan is
in place for the 2020-2021 school year. GEC will operate 180 school days unless
otherwise instructed by the Governor’s executive order. Staggered arrivals and
departures will affect instructional time for the duration of this health crisis. GEC
will continue to use units of study that align with the NYS Learning Standards.
Students will have access to certified teachers, certified TA’s and licensed
therapists via the Google classroom platform for live instruction when remote
learning is taking place. GEC’s multilingual staff will continue to provide families
and students with supports needed to engage in remote learning. GEC will
continue to communicate with families via Google meets, Google classroom
postings, and phone calls. The GEC website will also provide access to all general
notices for families. Center-based and small group learning is a critical
component of a Prekindergarten instructional program. GEC will:

   1. avoid centers that include multiple students using it at one time, such as
      water/sand tables, sensory tables, etc.;
   2. provide students with individual sets of materials to avoid sharing of
      common items; and
   3. follow proper sanitation guidelines from the Department of Health after
      children have been at a learning center or in small groups.
   4. Refrain from hand holding buddy systems between students
   5. Students will be cohorted to limit the potential exposure to the COVID 19
      virus for the duration of this public health crisis.

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SPECIAL EDUCATION
    GEC’s school reopening plan, addresses the provision of FAPE consistent
     with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities
     and those providing special education and services.
    GEC will continue to offer meaningful parent engagement in the parent’s
     preferred language or mode of communication regarding the provision of
     services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA.
    GEC will continue to collaborate with the committees on preschool special
     education (CPSE) and committees on special education (CSE) to ensure
     there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the
     recommendations on individualized education programs (IEPs), plans for
     monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to
     sharing resources.
    GEC will ensure access to the necessary accommodations, modifications,
     supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive
     technology) to meet the unique disability related needs of students.
    In regards to progress monitoring GEC teachers and service providers will
     continue to collect data, whether in-person or remotely, and use these data
     to monitor each student’s progress toward the annual goals and to
     evaluate the effectiveness of the student’s special education services.
     Reports of progress to parents may be made via telephone or other
     electronic means if progress reporting procedures specified in the student’s
     IEP cannot be met with reasonable efforts.

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Staffing and Human Resources
GEC will ensure that all teachers, school leaders and related service professionals
hold a valid and appropriate certificate for their assignment. Historically, it is
noted that schools lose staff before the beginning of the school year in which case
GEC will employ substitute teachers to address staffing needs for the allowable
amount of days given their qualifications and teaching assignment. The following
info is from NYS reopening guidelines:

    Substitute teachers with a valid teaching certificate can work in any
     capacity, for any number of days. If they are employed for more than 40
     days by a school in a school year, they must be employed in an area for
     which they are certified.
    Substitute teachers without a valid certificate, but who are working
     towards certification (taking college coursework) at a rate of not less than
     six semester hours per year, can work in any capacity, for any number of
     days, in any number of school districts. If they are employed for more than
     40 days by a school district or BOCES in a school year, they must be
     employed in the area for which they are seeking certification.
    Substitute teachers who do not hold a valid teaching certificate and are not
     working towards certification may work for no more than 40 days in a
     school district or BOCES in a school year, except as described below.
    During the 2020-2021 school year, due to the COVID-19 crisis, substitute
     teachers who do not hold a valid teaching certificate and are not working
     towards certification, but hold a high school diploma or its equivalent, may
     be employed by a school beyond the 40-day limit, for up to an additional 50
     days (90 days total in a school year), furthermore if GEC has conducted a
     good faith recruitment search for a properly certified candidate and there
     are no available certified teachers that can perform the duties of such
     position, in rare circumstances, a school may hire a substitute teacher
     beyond the 90 days, if a district superintendent or superintendent attests
     that a good faith recruitment search has been conducted and that there are

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still no available certified teachers who can perform the duties of such
       position and that a particular substitute teacher is needed to work with a
       specific class or group of students until the end of the school year.

In the case that a related service professional is unavailable, GEC will notify both
families and the CPSE.

GEC looks forward to recovering, rebuilding and renewing the spirit of
             our preschool along with all schools in NYS.

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