Safe Reopening Plan

LEA Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services


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 LEA Name: South Amboy Public Schools

Date: 06/21/2021 Date Revised: by 8/21/21 (60 Days as required)


1. Maintaining Health and Safety

For each mitigation strategy listed below (A–H), please describe how the LEA will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the following safety recommendations established by the CDC. 


A. Universal and correct wearing of masks 

While circumstances may change by September, we are still operating under the current conditions which require mask wearing in schools. The plan will call for mask wearing in September, unless there is guidance from the NJDOH and the Department of Education indicating mask wearing is no longer required during the school day.  Parents should continue practicing face mask wearing.  This will help children understand the importance of wearing a facemask. School nurses will continue to provide workshops and review the correct wearing of masks.  Video will be posted on our district website under the Coronavirus Resource Page.


B. Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding)

Student desks will continue to be distanced at 3-feet from each other.  This is consistent with the current NJDOH guidelines for districts within a CALI score of 2 or less. (May be subject to change by September 2021)  


While students are entering campus and waiting for their first class to begin, directional stickers will be placed around campus in high traffic areas to mitigate congregations of students. 


During meal periods:  School site support staff will monitor lunch periods to maintain social distancing during meal times. Tape floor markings will be used to enable physical distancing while passing and waiting in lines. Multiple POS locations will be used, e.g. kiosks, etc. to help support physical distancing. We will serve individually plated or bagged meals, whenever possible.   


During passing periods Directional stickers will be used to help the flow of students in an effort to decrease the congregation of students. Staff will monitor student flow in the hallways and bathrooms to minimize congregation of students.


Classrooms and other instructional spaces Classroom furniture will be arranged to minimize student face to face contact. Student chairs will be distanced 3-feet away from one another. Teacher and staff desks will be at least 3 feet away from student and other staff desks. 


Restroom signs will be placed outside of the restroom indicating the capacity limit. When all stalls in the restrooms are being used, students and staff should wait outside until a stall is available. Social distancing stickers will be placed outside of the restroom to maximize spacing between students. 


Locker rooms: Locker rooms will not be in use until further notice. Restrooms located within the locker room will have signs placed at the entrance indicating the capacity limit. While students are exiting the campus Site staff will monitor students as they are exiting the schools to minimize the congregation of students. 



C. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette 

The school has developed plans to teach and reinforce washing hands, avoiding contact with one's eyes, nose, and mouth, and covering coughs and sneezes among students and staff. Teachers will reinforce good hygiene practices at the beginning of the students’ instructional day. Staff will be told about the proper hygiene practices when reporting back to work.  The elements below will all be addressed: 

  •  Use tissue to wipe their nose
  • Cough/sneeze inside a tissue or their elbow
  • Wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing
  • Students will continue to routinely wash hands for 20 seconds before and after meals, and when returning from outside activities
  • Wash their hands before and after eating; after coughing or sneezing; after being outside; after class where shared items were handled; and before and after using the restroom. 
  • Wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and use paper towels to dry hands thoroughly. 
  • Use fragrance-free hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed in every classroom
  • Portable hand-washing stations will be installed in Prek classrooms.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to wash hands during passing periods. Students will be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering each class. 
  • The school has supplies on hand to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, tissues, no-touch trash cans, no-touch paper towel dispensers, face coverings, gloves, hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes.

Face Coverings:

All parents will be required to acknowledge a Covid Agreement form using Genesis, confirming their responsibility to monitor and screen children before sending to the schools. The acknowledgement also confirms the understanding that face-coverings/mask are mandatory. Nurses and Teachers will continue to instruct students on the proper use of face coverings. Cloth face coverings may be fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials and should:

  •  Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face 
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops
  • Include multiple layers of fabric 
  • Allow for breathing without restriction 
  • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to the shape. 

D. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation


School Cleaning:

Hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout the school.
Custodians will conduct routine cleaning of all touch points throughout the school day.  This includes: door knobs, railings, push-bars, and bathrooms

Teachers will spray desks and chairs with Peroxy HDOX cleaning solution and students will wipe down their own desks and chairs. Students will use the hand sanitizer prior to moving to another classroom.  At each transition point, students will use the hand sanitizing stations.


During the night shift, custodians will utilize electrostatic gun sprays to sanitize classrooms after routine cleaning. Disinfecting shared work areas, counters, railings, door knobs, hard surfaces and stairwells shall be performed more frequently during the pandemic phase.

Custodian day shift priority is the disinfecting of high-touch areas following the Cleaning Procedures

Custodians have written instructions detailing where to show careful attention such as to doors and door handles, stair handrails, locker doors/handles, phones and phone handles, water fountains, sink faucet handles, door push bars, paper towel dispenser handles, hand soap dispensers and other high touch items. All custodians have signed off that they have read and understand the process.

Custodians are to focus on keeping restrooms clean and stocked with soap and paper towels.  All hand sanitizers are to be checked and filled throughout the day. Rooms that are not being used have been sanitized and jambs are sealed with an adhesive label detailing date of cleaning(s) and follow up inspections.   


Ventilation:

HVAC filters have been upgraded at both schools.  The MERV rating for the filters at the Middle High School is a 13, and the MERV rating at the Elementary School is a 22.  The Elementary School’s HVAC was replaced approximately 5 years ago, allowing for a higher MERV rating to be installed.  The MHS HVAC is over 25 years old, and the highest filter the system can accept is a 13.   Most schools in the state have a MERV rating of 8 or lower.  The higher the MERV rating, the more airborne particles are captured by the filters.  



E. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments


Contact tracing is the process used to identify those who come into contact with people who have tested positive for many contagious diseases, including COVID-19. Contact tracing is used by health departments to prevent the spread of infectious disease. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have an infectious disease (cases) and their contacts (people who may have been exposed) and working with them to interrupt disease transmission. For COVID-19, this includes asking cases to isolate and contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily.


The goals of contact tracing are:

  • To interrupt ongoing transmission and reduce the spread of an infection
  • To alert contacts to the possibility of infection and offer preventive services
  • To offer diagnosis, counseling and treatment to already infected individuals
  • If the infection is treatable, to help prevent reinfection of the originally infected patient
  • To learn about the epidemiology of a disease in a particular population

District Contact Tracers:

Jorge E. Diaz jdiaz@sapublicschools.com Superintendent  School Safety & School Security Specialist 732-525-2100 ext. 1226
Dr. Martin Gurczeski mgurczeski@sapublicschools.com Director of Early Childhood Education & School Safety & Security Specialist 732-525-2100 Ext. 1221
Cathy Housman chousman@sapublicschools.com Nurse, MHS 732-316-7669 Ext. 3225

Michelle Witte mwitte@sapublicschools.com School Counselor, MHS 732-316-7669  Ext. 3230

Lisa McAlonie lmcalonie@sapublicschools.com Nurse, ES 732-525-2118, Ext. 2236

 

All procedures will adhere to applicable federal and state law and regulations regarding privacy and the confidentiality of records.

Contact tracing for COVID-19 typically involves:

  1. Interviewing people with COVID-19 to identify everyone with whom they had close contact during the time they may have been infectious;
  2. Notifying contacts of their potential exposure;
  3. Referring contacts for testing;
  4. Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19; and
  5. Connecting contacts with services they might need during the self-quarantine period.To prevent the further spread of disease, COVID-19 contacts are encouraged to stay home and maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others until 14 days after their last exposure to a person with COVID-19. Contacts should monitor themselves by checking their temperature twice daily and watching for symptoms of COVID-19.

The school nurse shall consult with the local health department in the development, review and revision of the district contact tracing policy and procedures. The school nurse and the building principal are the designated staff liaisons responsible for providing notifications and carrying out other components of the board’s contact tracing policy.


The school nurse in consultation with the building principal shall establish measures for a system of open communication that allows staff, students, and families to self-report symptoms and/or suspected exposure.


A staff member shall immediately notify the principal and the school nurse when he/she observes symptoms consistent with COVID 19 or becomes aware that an individual who has spent time in a district facility tests positive for COVID-19.  The school nurse shall immediately notify local health officials, staff, and families of a confirmed case while maintaining confidentiality when the COVID-19 test is positive.


When the individual exhibits symptoms the school nurse will ensure that the student is taken to the designated isolation area.  The nurse will examine the individual and may refer them for testing and treatment.  A student exhibiting symptoms of COVID 19 may be required to submit to a COVID 19 test.  The school nurse shall require the certification of a physician that the student is contagion free before readmitting a student to school.  The nurse shall report all students testing positive for COVID 19 to the health department.  The health department shall conduct the contact tracing.


Symptoms of COVID 19 include:

  1. A fever of 100.4° F or greater;
  2. Cough;
  3. Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  4. Chills;
  5. Repeated shaking with chills;
  6. Muscle pain;
  7. Headache;
  8. Sore throat;
  9. New loss of taste or smell;
  10. Fatigue;
  11. Congestion or runny nose;
  12. Nausea or vomiting;
  13. Diarrhea

All school and district administrators, school safety specialists, counselors, and any other staff deemed appropriate by the school and district, shall be provided information regarding the role of contact tracing in keeping school communities safe from the spread of contagious disease. 



F. Diagnostic and screening testing


Daily Staff Screening

Prior to entering the school building, staff will complete a self-screening survey.  If during the course of the school day the staff member becomes ill, they shall notify the school nurse and building principal immediately.  The school nurse will conduct a more thorough screening to assess and identify symptomatic staff.  


Daily Student Screening

All parents will be required to acknowledge a Covid Agreement using Genesis, confirming their responsibility to monitor and screen children before sending to the schools. The acknowledgement also confirms the understanding that face-coverings/mask are mandatory. Only students wearing masks/face coverings will be allowed to enter the building.  Every student will use the hand sanitizing station prior to entering classrooms.  


Symptomatic students will be placed in isolation rooms away from other students.  Parents will be contacted to pick-up students immediately.  Parents must take their children to their primary care physician for follow-up. 


G. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible:


Staff Vaccination 

South Amboy Public Schools provided multiple rounds of Covid-19 vaccinations for our staff. Staff members were able to be vaccinated on March 23, March 24, March 30, and again on March 31. To date 83% of the staff have been fully vaccinated.


Student Vaccination 

South Amboy Public Schools provided one round of Covid-19 vaccinations in partnership with Madura Pharmacy at the Middle High School auditorium on Wednesday, May 26th from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for students ages 12 and over.  The second dose was provided on June 16th.  Forty students were vaccinated during the district clinic. 


H. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies

Student Spacing

Student spacing strategies will be employed and may include, but not limited to the following:

  • Spacing students’ desks at the recommended distancing of 3 feet;
  • Face shields for students unable to wear face coverings (Autistic and MD students)
  • Access to cleaning stations
  • Hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies are used at work stations

2. Ensuring Continuity of Services

A. Describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff’s social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services.


  • Students unable to attend school due to a COVID-19 diagnosis or are defined as a close contact as determined by a member of the district contact tracing team will be provided Quarantine Instruction for the period of time they are unable to be in school based on the district’s Home Instruction policy. 
  • Students in need of academic support will receive support in the classroom and through additional programming during the school year. 
  • Students who require emotional and mental health services will be provided assistance through the school counselor’s office throughout the course of the school year. An additional school counselor has been added to the team to assist in these services. 
  • Students who require additional services related to occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy will continue to receive these services, and the Child Study Team will continue the progress of services with families. 
  • Food services will be provided for all students regardless of their free and reduced lunch status.

3. Public Comment 

A. Describe how the LEA sought public comment on its plan, and how it took those public comment into account in the development of its plan.  Note, the ARP requires that LEAs seek public comment for each 60-day revision to the plan.


South Amboy Public Schools will share the plan with the community. South Amboy Public Schools provided an opportunity for feedback during the District Restart Committee meeting on June 14, 2021. South Amboy Public Schools revised the proposed plan to reflect any changes that need to be made based on feedback from the District Restart Committee. The plan was sent to the school community on June 21, 2021, along with a feedback/comment survey.  The final plan was presented at the Board of Education meeting on June 28, 2021. Revisions will be presented at the August 23rd, 2021 Board of Education meeting.


B. Describe how the LEA ensured that the plan is in an understandable and uniform format; is to the extent practicable written in a language that parents can understand or, if not practicable to provide written translations to a parent with limited English proficiency, will be orally translated for such a parent; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA, will be provided in an alternative format accessible to that parent. 


The plan was shared with the District Restart Committee composed of the various stakeholders within the school district. Feedback has been incorporated to include the input from the various stakeholders. In addition, the plan is being shared with the entire school community (staff, parents, and community members) and posted on the district website. The page can be translated into 10 different languages using the language tool at the top of the webpage. The plan is accompanied by a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that provides a more organized and understandable format for commonly asked questions.  District FAQs


The Plan will also be presented at the June 28th Board of Education meeting.



**South Amboy Public Schools will comply with Center for Disease Control (CDC), state, and local guidelines. This plan will continue to change as new guidelines are provided by the NJDOH, NJDOE, and Governor’s Office.