Comprehensive Plan

NYSARC, Inc. NYC CHAPTER (AHRC NYC CHAPTER) SCHOOLS

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL PLAN
2021-2022 SCHOOL YEAR


September 2021

The protocols and practices detailed in the following plan have been disseminated to all staff and families and are incorporated into both Staff and Parent Handbooks.  The plan may change as deemed necessary and appropriate, or as required by mandates from the NYS Education Department, the NYS Department of Health, the NYC Department of Education, or the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and/or policy of AHRCNYC.  Changes will be communicated to staff and families as they occur.

AHRC NYC SCHOOL AGE MODEL

AHRC BROOKLYN BLUE FEATHER ELEMENTARY, AHRC MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL and AHRC JAMES P. MURPHY STATEN ISLAND PREP are committed to in-person instruction, five days per week, full day in September 2021.   The program will meet or exceed the current health and safety requirements as recommended by the NYSED Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year (issued August 2021) and the Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention by the CDC (updated May 2021) the NYSDOH Interim Guidance for Classroom Instruction in P-12 SCHOOLS (issued September 2021) NYCDOHMH COVID-19 Prevention in Nonpublic and Charter Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools (issued September 2021).

AHRC schools are committed to ensuring that a comprehensive academic curriculum; a highly focused emphasis on health and hygiene; targeted behavioral interventions to assist students and develop the ability to tolerate and routinely engage in preventative measures; and a strong social-emotional development component will be the core of instruction.

AHRC schools are taking many important precautions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and allow schools to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open.

  • Promoting Vaccination Efforts
  • Mandatory Weekly COVID-19 Testing for unvaccinated staff
  • Wearing masks (As part of AHRC NYC, the Education Department has the support of central procurement and Personal Protective Equipment for both students and staff is readily available.)
  • Daily Temperature Checks and Screening
  • Cohorts (maximized to the greatest extent possible)
  • Physical Distancing ( maximized to the greatest extent possible)
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Staying home when sick
  • Prohibiting visitors
  • Regular cleaning to help reduce transmission risk
  • The acknowledgment that school-age students with disabilities, especially those with autism demonstrated major difficulties in attending to tasks, in staying motivated, and exhibited challenging behaviors during remote instructional learning classes.

AHRC NYC programs recognize that there may be students whose medical conditions, or other family concerns and uncertainties preclude their return to in-person instruction at this time and for these students, parents will receive information on the “Medically Necessary Instruction” program provided by the DOE for interim educational services for grades 3K – Grade 12.

AHRC NYC PRESCHOOL MODEL

AHRC Astoria Blue Feather ELC; Esther Ashkenas Central Park ELC; Francis of Paola ELC; Howard Haber ELC and the AHRC James P. Murphy Staten Island Prep preschool are committed to in-person instruction, five days per week, full day in September 2021.   The program will meet or exceed the current health and safety requirements as recommended by the NYSED Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year (issued August 2021) and the Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention by the CDC (updated May 2021) the NYSDOH Interim Guidance for Classroom Instruction in P-12 SCHOOLS (issued September 2021) NYCDOHMH COVID-19 Prevention in Nonpublic and Charter Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools (issued September 2021).

AHRC NYC preschools are committed to ensuring that a comprehensive early childhood curriculum; a highly focused emphasis on health and hygiene; targeted behavioral interventions to assist students and develop the ability to tolerate and routinely engage in preventative measures; and a strong social-emotional development component will be the core of instruction.

AHRC preschools are taking many important precautions to help protect students, teachers, and staff and allow schools to safely open for in-person instruction and remain open.

  • Mandatory vaccination for all staff
  • Wearing masks (As part of AHRC NYC, the Education Department has the support of central procurement and Personal Protective Equipment for both students and staff is readily available.)
  • Daily Temperature Checks and Screening
  • Cohorts (maximized to the greatest extent possible)
  • Physical Distancing ( maximized to the greatest extent possible)
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Staying home when sick
  • Limiting visitors unless scheduled
  • Regular cleaning to help reduce transmission risk

PREPAREDNESS

  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies; including staff and student masks, staff gloves; thermometers have been inventoried and ordered
  • Specialized PPE for school nurses and designated school staff to assess and care for ill students (n95 masks, face shields, disposable gowns) have been inventoried and ordered
  • Safe cleaning, sanitizing & disinfecting products have been inventoried and ordered
  • The Principal will serve as the Safety Coordinator and will be responsible for continuous compliance with the School Plan.
  • The School Nurse will serve as the COVID-19 Resource Coordinator and will be the main contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19, and will be responsible for subsequent communication.
  • Monthly PPE Inventory Meeting

Each school will work with, support, and supplement the contact tracing efforts of the NYC Department of Health.  Each school has a protocol for symptomatic individuals and positive cases in their school, and a process to adequately isolate and mitigate additional exposure to COVID-19.  As stated above, the School Nurse will serve as the COVID Resource Coordinator and ensure that these protocols are followed at the site.

BUILDING ENTRY/EXIT STAFF

  • Staffs who are un-vaccinated will be required to be COVID-19 tested weekly.
  • Staff will be temperature screened daily upon arrival to school by designated staff wearing PPE including goggles or protective face shields and gloves. Staff with temperature of 100F will not be permitted in the building and advised to return home.
  • Staff will be required to complete “COVID 19 Questionnaire for Care of Self and Others” daily upon arrival to school
  • A daily log confirming that staff that have been screened will be maintained.

As per NYSDOH regulations, specific temperatures will not be recorded; only an indicator that the individual has passed the screening will be recorded.

  • Staff is subject to the rules and regulations set forth by AHRC regarding reporting exposure to COVID 19: and travel to restricted locations.

Refer to AHRC website for updated information and required forms
http://mhin.ahrcnyc.org/covid-19/c-19_home.htm

  • Staff will be required to wear masks at all times regardless of vaccination status. School will provide face masks to all staff; however, staff will be permitted to wear their own acceptable face masks.
  • Staff will have a designated entryway and exit.

BUILDING ENTRY/EXIT- STUDENTS

  • Students will be temperature screened daily upon arrival to school by designated staff wearing PPE including protective shields and gloves. Should a child present signs or symptoms or a temperature of 100F, the schools have the capacity and personnel to immediately escort the child to a designated, isolated area until protocols for safe pick-up  arrangements are completed.
  • Parents will be required to look for any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 prior to sending their child to school. Parents will be directed to keep their child home if any of these signs are present, and should be medically assessed prior to determine the cause prior to returning to school:
  • 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
  • Students will periodically be required to complete “COVID 19 Questionnaire for Care of Self and Others” upon arrival or virtually with the assistance of parents.
  • Students will be required to wear masks indoors, unless inadvisable, as in those instances where a student is unable to medically tolerate; including those instances where it impairs physical and mental health.  All efforts will be made to ensure that students are taught to follow all safety protocols, including but not limited to targeted instruction and behavioral interventions.  Students will have daily mask breaks.
  • At dismissal, students who utilize bus transportation will be assisted by designated staff to board one bus at a time, waiting at markers that ensure social distancing.
  • Parents who choose to drop off and pick up their children will not be permitted in the school building. There will be a scheduled time and location for arrival and dismissal.  Parents and children will be required to wear masks.  At arrival, parent and child will be met at the designated door by a staff member for temperature checks and completion of “COVID 19 Questionnaire for Care of Self and Others” as required.   At dismissal, parents will wait outside the building at socially distant intervals.   Designated staff will accompany student outside.

BUILDING ENTRY/EXIT –VISITORS

  • NO visitors, including parents, will be permitted in the building without appointment. There will be a scheduled time and location for entry and exit.  When arriving, visitors must wear masks; be temperature screened; and required to complete “COVID 19 Questionnaire for Care of Self and Others”.
  • Clinics, CSE meetings, Parent training/workshops and Parent Teacher Conferences will be conducted via virtual platform or telephone.
  • No food deliveries for students as per already established policy
  • Staff who are scheduled for lunch may exit the building during their scheduled time; or have food delivered at door ONLY
  • All other deliveries – at door only

HEALTH CHECKS

  • Parents/ guardians and staff will receive detailed instructions on symptoms of COVID -19. (See Covid-19 Supplement to Staff and Parent Handbook). If these symptoms are observed at home, then staff and/or student should not report to school until additional medical assessment is made to determine the cause.
  • If these symptoms are observed in school, student and/or staff should report to the school health office for an assessment. Any individual who has a temperature of 100 F must be isolated and sent home immediately.  Students will be supervised in a designated, isolated area while awaiting transport home.

Each school will designate two locations for school health service needs.

  • In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 i.e. when staff or student tests positive, the classroom will be closed and thoroughly sanitized following CDC regulations. Staff and parents of students in the classroom, and any unvaccinated individual who has had prolonged contact with the child/staff member will be notified to quarantine for 10 days from the date of exposure. If the quarantine is initiated by the school and a classroom is closed, remote instruction will continue during the time of quarantine.   If a second positive case is reported in another classroom, the same protocol will be followed.  Individual student cases, outside of school will be considered a legal absence and remote instruction will not be offered.
  • All confirmed cases will be reported to the NYC DOHMH and the NYC Trace & Test Corps. The NYCDOHMH and NYC Trace & Test Corps will investigate and perform Contact Tracing as recommended by the CDC.   Instructions and directives from local health authorities regarding reporting, isolation and closures will be followed.
  • A staff or student who has tested positive for COVID-19 may not return to school until the following conditions have been met:
  • after 10 day isolation from date of confirmation has ended AND;
  • the individual is symptom free without medication for 24 hours

 

Unvaccinated staff or student who has been exposed to COVID-19 may return to school:

  • after the 10 day quarantine period has ended, AND
  • are symptom free without medication for 24 hours.

Asymptomatic fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID 19.

Families will be notified when confirmed COVID-19 cases occur in their child’s classroom. Notification will include whether or not close contact to the individual occurred and if so, will give clear direction to quarantine, get tested and see a medical professional.

  • Staff are subject to the rules and regulations set forth by AHRC regarding

reporting exposure to COVID 19; and travel to restricted locations.

Refer to AHRC website for updated information and required forms

  • Staff and students are subject to the recommendations set forth in the NYSED Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year (issued August 2021) and the Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Phased Prevention by the CDC (updated May 2021).

 

HEALTHY HYGIENE PRACTICES

SIGNAGE

Signs depicting healthy hygiene practices will be posted in high visibility areas including but not limited to school entrance, restrooms, classrooms, offices, hallways, etc. to serve as daily reminders of the following healthy hygiene practices.

FACIAL MASKS

Staff and students and any individual entering the building must wear acceptable            facial masks.   Students will be required to wear masks, unless inadvisable, as in those instances where a student is unable to medically tolerate; including those instances where wearing a mask impairs physical and mental health.   All efforts will be made to ensure that students are taught to follow safety protocols, including but not limited to targeted instruction and behavioral interventions.   Students and staff will receive instruction on the appropriate methods for donning and removing facial coverings during meals or necessary breaks.  Facial coverings will be provided; however, appropriate facial coverings from home that meet the CDC criteria will be permitted.

HAND HYGIENE

  • Traditional hand washing with soap and warm water and lathering for 20 seconds should be conducted frequently throughout the day but minimally, upon arrival, following the use of the restroom, before and after meals, after gym,  before and after removing PPE, after sneezing, wiping or blowing nose, or coughing
  • Alcohol based (60% alcohol or greater) hand sanitizers will be available in each classroom, restroom, hallway, office and gym area; usage will be supervised by classroom staff.

 RESPIRATORY HYGIENE

  • Frequent and ongoing instruction, reinforcement, and visual reminders throughout the building must be in place to remind staff and students of the importance of covering nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing; or using the inside of elbow or shirtsleeve if tissues are not available.
  • An adequate supply of tissues is available

SOCIAL DISTANCING   Physical distancing will be maintained to the extent possible

  • Desks in school age programs will continue to be placed a minimum of six feet apart since the classroom size allows for full in-person participation even at six feet distancing
  • Desks/tables in preschool programs will be placed according to most recent physical distancing
  • Desks and chairs are labeled with child’s name
  • Hallways are marked with arrows to designate the direction and flow of traffic; space markers to designate safe distancing
  • Classroom groupings will remain static i.e. the same cohort of students will remain together for the entire day with the assigned staff so as to limit interactions with other individuals to the extent possible. Intermingling of classes in common space areas will be prohibited.
  • Limited and scheduled use of gym, allowing for single class usage and time for disinfecting and cleaning between uses. Gymnasiums are demarcated to ensure a distance of SIX feet in all directions while students are participating in activities.  Outdoor activities including playground and community walks are permitted.  Classroom cohorts must be maintained with no mixing of cohorts in a single location and no mixing of cohorts during entrance to and exit from the playground/ building.   Each school is responsible for developing and submitting a playground schedule that, at minimum, must maintain the cohorts and establish routine cleaning and maintenance protocols.
  • Lunch will be eaten in the classroom or in designated areas – six feet of distancing is required when eating meals or snacks. Students are not required to wear masks when seated and eating.  Meals may be served in alternate areas to accommodate individual static cohorts, i.e. only one group at a time; or meal periods may be staggered to ensure physical distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between cohorts.
  • Limited assemblies, performances or other group events will be permitted as per guidance recommendations
  • Bathroom schedule: maximum of two students at a time with a staff member accompanying students to ensure all health precautions are followed and social distancing is maintained;  except for independent students in  the Middle/High School
  • No multi-class field trips;
  • Therapy schedules and protocols are designed to limit traffic in hallways. Therapists are assigned to a room and will have a designated area to work, either within the classroom or, if necessary, a separate location. All materials used by therapists, including physical therapy equipment must be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
  • Faculty and Staff Meetings will be held virtually.

Students will receive targeted instruction on the above healthy hygiene habits, including wearing a mask and the appropriate ways to don and doff a mask; and take scheduled mask break.

  • SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR IMMUNO-COMPROMISED STUDENTS

Students who are medically fragile may not be able to maintain social distancing, hand or respiratory hygiene, or wear a face covering or mask.  The principal and school health professional will work with the student’s family and healthcare provider to determine how best to meet the student’s needs while protecting his/her health and safety in an in-person environment.

FACILITIES

CLEANING AND DISINFECTION

  1. Cleaning and disinfecting protocols follow CDC “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection” in conjunction with OSHA requirements and general AHRC protocols for routine cleaning of classroom.
  2. Preventive measures
  • Entire facility has been cleaned and sanitized
  • Water fountains have been disconnected
  • All porous and /or soft materials, including rugs, have been removed from the classrooms.
  • Gym equipment will be set aside after single usage and sanitized at the end of the day
  • Heating/air conditioner systems have HEPA filters installed and maintained monthly
  • Faucets will be run prior to building opening
  • Wall sanitizers have been hung in every classroom
  • Additional cleaning equipment has been ordered; g. separate mopping equipment for bathrooms and classrooms
  • Additional custodial staff have been hired
  1. Daily Cleaning Schedule
  • All surfaces and objects receive daily routine cleaning with soap and water; and environmentally safe disinfectants and cleansers.
  • Classroom staff are responsible for the end-of-day cleaning of classroom desks, tables, manipulatives, etc. as well as during the day needed clean-up. Custodial staff follow a daily schedule of cleaning classrooms, common areas and offices. (Attached)
  • Additional cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, i.e. doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, tables, phones , keyboards, has been added to the cleaning schedule
  • Daily log that includes the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection will be maintained
  1. Custodial staff will be provided with PPE: facial masks, eye protection when necessary, and gloves.
  2. CDC Procedures  for classroom closure when student or staff contract COVID-19  will be strictly followed
  3. CDC Procedures for School Health Office Cleaning will be strictly followed

SAFETY DRILLS

Required emergency and safety drills will be conducted according to schedule.  All students will receive instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills when they are attending in-person.   Drills will be conducted on a staggered schedule. Classrooms evacuate separately and appropriate social distance is kept between students.  Lockdown drills will be conducted within the classroom, maintaining social distancing and using masks.

NUTRITION

Food is not served in AHRC schools.  Children bring in lunch from home.  Parents are encouraged to provide healthy and nutritious as per the suggestions in the Parent Handbook which each family receives at the beginning of each school year.  Meals will be eaten in the classroom in an effort to maintain the cohort, maintain social distancing and limit movement throughout the building.

TRANSPORTATION

The NYC Department of Education Office of Pupil Transportation will be providing bus transportation as mandated by the IEP.   Parents are advised to contact the school prior to opening if they plan to transport their children to school on their own so that the school can prepare for the safe arrival and screening of children.  Parents will receive specific instructions on the arrival and dismissal time; location of entry and exit; and procedures that will be followed.

For Office of Pupil Transportation, (OPT) guidance about Cleaning and Sanitation, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Social Distancing, Health Assessments, and Provision of Services for students please visit https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-year-20-21/district-school-reopening-plan-submission-to-nysed/transportation

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL WELLBEING

Social Emotional Learning is a core element of the curriculum in AHRC NYC schools and staff, students and families are supported by the expertise of Board Certified Behavior Analysts, School Psychologists, and in the school age program, a Social Worker and/or Guidance Counselor.  Addressing students’ behavior and mental health challenges are integral to the program and the process of gathering, reviewing and responding to data enables the staff to be directly responsive to student needs.  A strong emphasis on family support is also an essential aspect of the program and parent counseling and parent workshops are ongoing and will continue virtually.  The Pyramid Model to support the social and emotional development of children birth through age five is utilized in the preschools.

Social emotional supports for staff are equally important and COVID 19 Resources, which include resources for mental health, are available on the AHRC NYC website and can be accessed by staff and families.  The Comprehensive School Counseling COVID-19 Supplement will include additional resources to be disseminated to families and staff.

Professional learning opportunities for staff will include critical topics related to personal and student emotional well-being.

ATTENDANCE AND ABSENTEEISM

Attendance is recorded daily by the teacher and reported monthly on the NYC DOE CMR. Procedures for addressing absenteeism are in place and include follow up, in the first instance, by teachers via phone, text or email.  Additional follow up may be conducted by Nurse, Guidance Counselor, Social Worker or Principal.  The focus of outreach is to assess student and family needs and determine the obstacles that impact attendance, Absence based on mandatory quarantine will be noted as such.  Remote instruction will be provided during a quarantine period initiated by the school.   Remote instruction will not be offered during absence unrelated to school initiated quarantine.

The procedures for reporting chronic absenteeism as outlined in the NYC Department of Education Contract will be followed.

TECHNOLOGY

The Technology Survey will be sent to the families of new students, entering for the first time in September.  Based on the results, families will receive information on how to obtain the equipment needed to ensure that every student has access to technology.

TEACHING AND LEARNING

Continuity of Learning Plans for the school programs includes preparation for in-person learning.  AHRC Brooklyn Blue Feather, AHRC Middle/ High School and Staten Island Prep offer rigorous academic instruction that is aligned to NYS Standards and Commissioner’s Regulations Part 100, including Physical Education, the Arts and Career & Technology Education.

AHRC NYC Preschools curriculum aligns with NYS Standards for Early Childhood Education, utilizes The Creative Curriculum to inform lesson planning, and the Pyramid Model.

Individualized Education Program mandates and goals are consistently delivered. All necessary accommodations, modifications and supplementary serves, including assistive technology are provided to ensure the provision of FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public Education).   Assessments, quarterly and annual reports continue as scheduled.  CSE Meetings, Parent Teacher Meetings to discuss quarterly Progress Reports as well as regularly scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences will be held via remote platform.

STAFFING 

Teachers, school and district leaders and pupil personnel service professionals hold a valid and appropriate certification for their assignment.  As needed, protocols are in place to employ substitute teachers with a plan for certification to support instruction.

STAFF DEVELOPMENT 

School Age Programs will maintain their CTLE-approved trainings and workshops for all new and current staff inn curricular domains, behavioral support, and instructional strategies, which can be accessed here.  These will continue to be conducted by administrators, staff trainings, and other personnel experienced in presenting this content.  Programs will continue to offer professional development specific to COVID-19.  These trainings will include but are not limited to:

  • CDC-aligned, proper hand and respiratory hygiene
  • How to Adequately Put on, Take Off and Discard Protective Personal Equipment (PPE)
  • Appropriate Mask Wearing in the School Setting
  • Ways to Support and Maintain Appropriate Social Distancing in the School Setting
  • Technology-related trainings for students, staff and families in cases when remote-learning is necessitated (i.e. device-related trainings as well as effective use of digital curriculum and platforms)
  • Strategies to support the mental health of both staff and students during these times

These trainings will be offered in both in-person and virtual settings as needed. They will be conducted by staff familiar with CDC guidelines in these specific domains.  All in-person trainings will occur in environments that ensure social distancing requirements are met; and that all staff maintain hand-washing routines and appropriate mask usage.  Training materials will be shared digitally to limit the potential of contaminated documents.  All trainings will have attendance sheets and rigorous record keeping protocols to ensure that staff receives COVID-related trainings on a consistent schedule.

COMMUNICATION /FAMILY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

AHRC schools have a robust system of communication with the families and throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic have employed all of the methods to keep parents informed and to maintain regular, frequent and transparent communication:  system-wide phone and email communications;  direct phone, text and email contact between parents and teachers, school psychologists, social worker and guidance counselor, nurses and school; shared links for up-to-date information and resources;  technology surveys;  Parent Handbooks and Covid-19 Supplements; and access to the school and AHRC websites.

NYSARC, Inc. NYC CHAPTER (AHRC NYC CHAPTER) SCHOOLS COMPREHENSIVE PLAN