2020 Full Reopening Plan
- Letter from Chief Operating Officer William J. Hecht
- Communication/Family and Community Engagement
- Health & Safety
- Health & Safety (continued)
- Child Nutrition
- Social Emotional Well-Being
- School Schedules
- Attendance, Attendance Reporting, and Chronic Absenteeism
- Technology and Connectivity
- Teaching and Learning
- Special Education
- Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
- Bilingual Education and World Languages
- Key Resources
- Appendix A - COVID-19 Testing
July 31, 2020
Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,
On March 16, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order closing schools for two weeks due to the COVID-19 crisis. Subsequent Executive Orders closed schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Life as we knew it changed in a very dramatic way. We were all forced to shift to remote learning overnight. I applaud our students, parents, faculty and staff for the tremendous work that has been achieved since that time. I am so proud of everyone.
As we look ahead to the next school year and plan for our reopening in September, I want to share the steps we are taking to ensure the health and safety of our entire BOCES family and that learning will continue while meeting social and emotional needs in the coming year.
This document contains the Orange-Ulster BOCES plan to reopen school buildings, following the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), State and local health departments and the New York State Department of Education. The plan contains various scenarios from in-person to hybrid models to full remote learning for our Special Education and Career and Technical Education programs.
Communication will be essential to this process and we will keep everyone informed and updated throughout the summer and throughout the school year as situations change. We are also mindful of the many uncertainties we continue to face and must plan for every possibility. Ultimately we may need to pivot between the models throughout the year.
I would like to thank the Orange-Ulster BOCES Reopening Task Force, along with the building level teams and Operations for all of their hard work and commend them all for creating such a comprehensive plan. In addition, I would like to recognize the unwavering leadership of our Cooperative Board throughout this crisis. Together we will bring our students back in a safe and healthy manner.
Please review the Orange-Ulster BOCES Reopening Plan document and contact your program administrator with any questions. Together we will face this challenge and together we will overcome it. We continue to be Orange-Ulster BOCES strong.
William J. Hecht
Chief Operating Officer
At Orange-Ulster BOCES (OU BOCES) our primary commitment is to the safety and well-being of the
students and families we serve. When the 2020-2021 school year begins, on-campus school will look
much different than in previous years due to COVID-19 and the health and safety measures that
continue to evolve. This school reopening plan defines guidance for the initial reopening of our
buildings with auxiliary plans should a pivot to remote learning be required. It aligns with the
guidance and regulations developed in collaboration between the NYS Department of Health and the
NYS Education Department.
To be clear, the health and safety of our students, our staff, and their families is our top
priority. We have developed a plan that intends to insure that students and employees feel
comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations
and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State
Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
The areas outlined in this plan represent the myriad considerations that OU BOCES will address to
reopen schools safely and to sustain their safe operation. It is important to note that our plan
retains a strong focus on academic instruction to enhance student performance and address learning
loss. An emphasis on the social-emotional needs of our students is a priority and therefore has
been addressed within this plan.
It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the
year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies and stay-at-home orders from
the Governor. The rate of infection, the spread of the virus, and response to the disease in our
community will be at the forefront of decision-making as we move to reopen our schools.
Mr. Mark Coleman, Director of Operations, will serve as the Orange-Ulster BOCES’ COVID-19
Coordinator. Mr. Coleman will be the central contact for schools, families, staff and other school
community members and will ensure the district is in compliance with the best practices per state
and federal guidelines.
Of course, as with every plan being developed throughout New York State at this time, this document
is fluid and will change as necessary based on guidance from the NYSDOH, CDC, and NYSED and in
consideration of the needs of our families and staff. We strongly believe the services described
throughout this plan are in the best interests of our students, families, staff, and community.
This plan is grounded in the following guiding principles:
- Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
- Providing the opportunity for all students to access education in the fall;
- Monitoring schools, students, and staff. When necessary, modifying schedules to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
- Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities that are emerging from this historic disruption;
- Fostering strong two-way communication with partners, such as families, educators, and staff;
- Factoring into decision-making the challenges to the physical safety, social-emotional well-being, and the mental health needs of our students caused by school closure; and
- Considering and supporting the diverse needs of our students, families, and districts.
To help inform our reopening plan, OU BOCES has sought feedback and input from stakeholders,
including administrators, faculty, support staff, students, health care providers, parents,
students and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings
and one- on-one conversations.
OU BOCES remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students,
parents/guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the OU BOCES
website at www.ouboces.org/rp, and will be updated throughout the school year as we respond to
As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, OU BOCES has
developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to our staff, students, parents/
guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. OU BOCES will use its existing
communication modes including our website, email, social media, robo calls, and regular mail. In
addition, we will use appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination
of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and
options related to school operations throughout the pandemic.
OU BOCES Communication Goals:
- To encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (e.g., signage and announcements) to adhere to NYSED, CDC, and NYSDOH guidance regarding the use of acceptable face coverings, face covering the nose and mouth, when a social distance cannot be maintained.
- To provide regular updates about health and safety, scheduling, and all other information faculty, staff and families should be aware of.
- To provide information to families through a variety of platforms including mail, email, telephone calls, text messaging, social media and website postings.
- To provide information on how families can access technology and receive technical support.
- To provide communication to families in their preferred language and mode of communication to assure all have equitable access to information.
OU BOCES has developed communication materials accordingly, including the creation of sample
messages/letters for COVID-19 cases or potential cases for various school audiences. Information
will be disseminated in a variety of platforms that include:
- OU BOCES website
- Call list/robo call
- Online training
- Correspondence (letters) to homes
- Social media accounts used by OU BOCES
- Virtual informational meetings (Zoom, WebEx, Google Classroom, etc.)
Clear messaging will be prepared and consistently communicated prior to re-entry, on the first day,
during the first week, throughout the first month, and continuously throughout the year. Minimum
monthly communication will provide information on the following topics:
- Who to contact with questions, concerns or suggestions.
- The facts as currently known (NYSDOH, CDC).
- The importance of social distancing, monitoring symptoms of COVID-19 and when to stay home.
- Set protocols for entrance (screening) and the review process for staff calling in sick. Ongoing reminders for staff to stay home if they feel sick.
- Encourage and implement social distancing in bathrooms, break rooms, hallways, etc. and install social distancing markers on the floors, etc.
- Practice proper hand hygiene. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is most effective. When this is not practical, use of hand sanitizer is the next best option.
- Encourage and practice proper respiratory etiquette (i.e., coughing or sneezing into your elbow if a tissue is not available).
- Encourage personal responsibility for oneself and one’s work area.
- Educate the school community on OU BOCES policies/procedures, including how to properly wear and dispose of a face covering/respirator.
The health and safety of our students, staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all OU BOCES buildings and satellite locations for the 2020-21 school year when in-person schooling resumes.
To ensure employees and students comply with communication requirements, OU BOCES will:
- Post signage throughout the buildings to remind personnel to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning/disinfecting protocols.
- Establish a communication plan for employees, visitors, and parents/guardians with a consistent means to provide updated information. This will be accomplished through:
- Social media
- Print mailings
- Voice and/or video messaging
- Traditional media outlets
- Maintain a continuous log of every person, including staff, workers, and visitors, who may have close contact with other individuals at the work site, school, or area; excluding deliveries that are performed with appropriate PPE or through contactless means.
- If a worker or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the BOCES will immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.
To ensure all faculty, staff, students, and visitors comply with physical distancing requirements, anyone within OU BOCES facilities will practice social distancing:
- All individuals on OU BOCES premises must maintain social distancing and will wear face coverings.
- Proper social distancing is defined as a six (6) foot separation between individuals.
- Individuals may remove their face coverings only when isolated in an office space, however, individuals must wear face coverings when in public spaces such as hallways, break rooms, and large meeting spaces.
- Students and staff are required to wear face covering and social distance even in outdoor congregate settings, unless such individuals are exercising their rights to a mask break.
- Mask breaks shall be completed in accordance with the Orange County Department of Health Commissioner’s Executive Order, wherein mask breaks shall be taken at specified and limited times during the day as approved by the program administrator and shall have no less than twelve (12) feet of separation and occur outside or otherwise in large interior spaces with adequate ventilation and at least twelve (12) feet of separation. For additional reference, the full executive order can be found on page 44.
- Ensure six (6) foot distance between personnel, unless safety or core function of the work activity requires a shorter distance.
- Tightly confined spaces will be occupied by only one individual at a time, unless all occupants are wearing face coverings. If an area is occupied by more than one person, occupancy will be kept under 50% of maximum capacity.
- Social distance separation will be designated using tape or signs that denote six (6) feet of spacing in commonly used and other applicable areas on the site (e.g., clock in/out stations, health screening stations, reception areas).
- In-person gatherings will be limited and tele- or video-conferencing will be used whenever possible. Essential in-person gatherings, such as meetings, will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces with appropriate social distancing among participants.
- Designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries will be established, limiting contact to the greatest extent possible.
- Masks are required to be worn by all individuals in all classroom and non-classroom settings, including but not limited to hallways, school offices, restrooms, gyms, auditoriums, etc. All visitors must wear masks. Masks should have at least two layers of material (e.g. 2-ply). However, students may remove their mask during meals as long as the minimum required social distancing is observed.
- Acceptable masks include but are not limited to cloth-based masks (e.g., homemade sewn, quick cut,),
and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.
- Effective June 7, 2021, face masks are not required to be worn outdoors on school grounds, including during outdoor school sports. No student, teacher, staff member, or visitor may be prevented from wearing an acceptable face mask voluntarily on school grounds.
- Responsible Parties and faculty may use alternate PPE (i.e., masks that are transparent at or around the mouth) for instruction or interventions that require visualization of the movement of the lips and/or mouths (e.g., speech therapy). These alternate masks may also be used for certain students (e.g., hearing impaired) who benefit from being able to see more of the face of the faculty or staff member.
- Prohibited face coverings - Any face covering which contains an exhaust valve is not permitted as it does not qualify as an appropriate face covering. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#masks-with-vent
- Students will be provided designated breaks from wearing face covering throughout the school day. These breaks will be taken in outdoor locations to the extent possible and will be supervised by staff ensuring social distancing guidelines are followed.
- All individuals may choose to utilize their own face covering, however face coverings can and will be provided by OU BOCES as needed.
- Additional Personal Protective Equipment may be worn:
- Respirators/N95 (Limited to individuals who have received all appropriate training, medical clearance and fit testing.)
- Disposable Gowns
- Plastic Face Shields (A face covering must be worn in conjunction with this)
- Safety Glasses or Goggles
- All individuals should familiarize themselves with proper use of personal protective equipment. Training will be provided.
- All individuals should know how to properly care for and dispose of their personal protective equipment.
- All individuals should continue to practice proper hygiene even with the added protection of personal protective equipment.
To ensure all faculty, staff, and students comply with building entry and exit procedures, OU BOCES will do the following:
- Entry and egress in and out of all buildings will be limited to a single location where feasible. If applicable, a single point of entry and single point of egress will be identified to minimize cross traffic. All entry to the buildings will occur through the main entrance to a check-in point at the security station.
- Students arriving by bus will be released to enter the building on a staggered approach. Entry will be through the main entrance and other designated doors, if appropriate. All students will go directly to their classrooms upon entering the building.
- Students brought to school by parents will be admitted to the buildings after bus students have entered.
- A face covering must be worn by all individuals, students, staff, and visitors on OU BOCES property.
- Temperature screening will occur at designated entry areas at all buildings. Students are required to wear a face covering and social distance while waiting to be screened
At the conclusion of the day, students will be dismissed by program/academy to board their school buses. Staff will accompany students from the building and onto school buses, insisting they board buses directly and without delay. All faculty, staff and students will be required to wear a face covering. Dismissal will occur on a staggered schedule and utilize all available exterior doors which open to the parking lot in order to minimize contact in hallways. Parents picking students up from school should arrange to do so prior to dismissal of bus-riding students.
Parking permits will be distributed to students on a first-come-first-served basis with students that have extenuating circumstances being given priority. Students will park in student designated parking lots. Students are not to transport other students in their vehicles to campus, unless they reside in the same household.
Upon arrival at the campus, students must enter the building through the main entrance or other designated area as determined by their program. Students must wear face covering once leaving their car and until they are in their classroom and can be socially distanced. Faculty will supervise parking areas during arrival and dismissal.
Daily Health Screening
To ensure all faculty, staff, and students comply with daily screening requirements, OU BOCES will institute the following procedures:
- Prior to entering all OU BOCES locations, staff, parents/guardians, visitors and vendors must complete a medical screening questionnaire.
- Students and staff should complete this screening prior to arriving at work via the link sent each morning via email from “Raptor Screening”.
- Visitors and parent/guardians picking students up must complete a health screening at security stations.
- Staff will be required to monitor their own temperature prior to arrival on campus and throughout the day. Staff whose symptoms response changes from a “NO” to “YES” during the day must contact their supervisor immediately and await further instruction. Students should notify their instructor, and the nurse should be called.
- Parents will be provided with a written protocol on how to assist with daily health screenings at home prior to students leaving for school.
- Students and visitors will be screened for temperature at arrival.
- Parents must monitor for temperatures and symptoms prior to sending their student on a bus, however students will be screened upon arrival for temperatures.
- Visitors will have their temperatures taken upon arrival.
- Temperature screening equipment will identify temperatures 100.0 degrees fahrenheit and greater. Individuals whose temperature exceeds the threshold will be brought to an isolation room to receive further evaluation from a nurse.
- All staff and students will be accounted for using a written log located in each classroom/office space.
- All visitors/contractors will complete the building log located at each security station.
- For multiple individuals entering the building simultaneously, they will be required to stand at the demarcated locations on the floor, maintaining social distance until they can be signed in and screened.
- Corridors will be created where individuals can enter the facility when in-person screening is utilized.
- Multiple lines and entrances will be coordinated, if needed, to reduce crowding.
- Markings (whether in tape or otherwise) will be placed on the ground or in the corridor to indicate six (6) foot intervals to provide for appropriate social distancing for individuals while in line.
- Only after all individuals have been accounted for, cleared through the medical screening and wearing proper face coverings, will access to the building be granted.
- Should a person fail the medical screening, specific procedures will be followed. Please reference the Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 Case section for specifics.
Students and staff must practice good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools should plan time in the daily schedule to allow for hand hygiene. To ensure all faculty, staff, and students comply with daily screening requirements, OU BOCES will insure the following:
- Hand hygiene includes:
- Signage encouraging hand washing and correct techniques
- Traditional hand washing (with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds), is the preferred method
- Adequate facilities and supplies for hand washing including soap and water will be provided
- Use of paper towels or touch-free paper towel dispensers where feasible (hand dryers will be taken out of service as they can aerosolize germs)
- Use of no-touch/foot pedal trash can where feasible
- Extra time in the schedule to encourage frequent hand washing
- Students and staff should wash hands as follows:
- Upon entering the building and classrooms;
- After sharing objects or surfaces;
- Before and after snacks and lunch;
- After using the bathroom;
- After helping a student with toileting;
- After sneezing, wiping, or blowing nose or coughing into hands;
- Anytime hands are visibly soiled;
- Hand Sanitizer - At times when hand washing is not available students and staff may use a hand sanitizer. In order for the sanitizer to be effective it must contain a minimum of 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Students will be monitored and supervised when using hand sanitizer. The use of hand sanitizers should include:
- Signage placed near sanitizer dispensers indicating that soiled hands should be washed with soap and water;
- The placement of sanitizer dispensers near entrances and throughout common areas.
Employee Use of BOCES Vehicles
Employees who must ride in a company owned vehicle with another employee for work purposes may only do so under the following conditions:
- All employees in the vehicle must me fully vaccinated against COVID 19. Fully vaccinated means that each employee has received their second dose, or in the case of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine - one dose, and at least two weeks have passed since each employee has received their last dose, or in the case of J&J, their “dose”.
- All occupants of the vehicle are wearing approved face coverings over their nose and mouth at all times while occupying the vehicle.
- It is recommended that windows be opened while occupying the vehicle, though this is not mandatory.
- Following use of the vehicle, and before allowing another employee to operate the vehicle, the vehicle shall be sanitized utilizing processes outlined by the BOCES Custodial Supervisor.
- Employees sharing vehicles shall indicate the contact time with others in the vehicle either by recording the contact on their personal contact tracing sheet OR by initiating a contact tracing log sheet listing the vehicle as the “room” where contact has taken place. This sheet shall be turned in to the Operations and Maintenance department at the end of the day the vehicle was used.
Visitor and Vendor Practices
No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses except to address the safety and well-being of students. Parents/guardians will report to security and not be permitted beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will have restricted access to our school buildings.
To ensure all faculty, staff, students, visitors and vendors comply with protective equipment requirements, anyone visiting OU BOCES facilities will follow the instructions below.
- All visitors will be required to wear proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times.
- All visitors must check in at Security for temperature screening and to complete the COVID-19 Check in Screening form. The visitors must sign in with their identification through the Raptor system for a visitor badge. This will indicate to all other Security locations that the visitor has been screened.
- All visitors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for the purpose of contact tracing. All visitors should be accompanied by a staff member.
- Should a visitor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they are visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
- At the end of each day, the receptionist/designee must scan the sign-in/out documents and send them individually to: StaySafe@ouboces.org
- All vendors will be required to wear proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times.
- All vendors must report to the Operations and Maintenance building first for temperature screening and to complete the COVID-19 Check in Screening. The vendors must sign in with their identification through the Raptor system for a visitor badge. This will indicate to all other Security locations that the vendor has been screened.
- No vendor will enter a building unless necessary for completion of their job. All meetings should be held outside or via Google Meet when possible.
- All vendors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for purposes of contact tracing. All vendors should be accompanied by a staff member.
- Should a vendor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they’re visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
- At the end of each day, the receptionist/designee must scan the sign-in/out documents and send them individually to: StaySafe@ouboces.org
Parent/Guardian Picking up Students
For parents/guardians who wish to sign out their child from the building, we will continue to maintain our security protocols. Parents/guardians are required to wear proper face covering prior to entering the building and while waiting for their child. Parents/guardians will be required to complete a Check in Screening, have their temperature taken, and present ID to be screened through our visitor management system. Parents will be required to remain at the security desk until their child comes down to leave the building. In the case of a sick student in the nurse’s office, the nurse or a designated staff member will escort the student to the security desk.
Space Design and Capacities
General Office Area
- All offices should be limited to 50% of the rated occupancy for the space. Offices must normally maintain a minimum of 150 sq. ft. per individual.
- Where applicable, all offices and other small spaces should be limited to one (1) individual at a time.
- In a multiple occupant office, occupancy should be reduced to 50% normal load in addition to maintaining at least 6 feet of separation between individuals.
- Additional protective barriers such as polycarbonate screens or strip curtains will be utilized to create a physical separation without hindrance to egress or airflow.
- Workstations have been reconfigured so that employees do not face each other, or establish partitions if facing each other cannot be avoided.
- Face covering is required in multiple-use office settings.
- Additional breaks may be allotted to allow individuals time to leave the space to remove their face covering. Specific determination of these conditions will be made by the individual’s program supervisor.
- Shift start and end times may be staggered to a greater extent than normal when possible (while still ensuring safe operations), to eliminate employees from congregating during the shift change-over and from overcrowding at entrances and exits.
- Tasks requiring large numbers of people to be in one area will be reduced or eliminated.
- Employee use of virtual meeting tools, including phone and virtual teleconference, in lieu of in-person meetings, whenever possible will be encouraged.
- If in-person meetings are essential, consideration will be given to limiting meetings to 10 people or fewer depending on local, state, and federal guidelines.
- In-person meetings will be limited, if virtual meetings are not feasible.
- If meetings are to occur in person, social distancing protocols will be required based on current guidance and face coverings are required to be worn.
Break Rooms and Lunch Rooms
- Breakroom use is discouraged if a minimum of six (6) feet separation cannot be maintained when consuming food or drink.
- Staff are advised to take their lunch and breaks in their private offices, classrooms, designated alternative lunch/break room locations, or outside at the picnic tables located throughout the campus.
- Staggered break schedules will be utilized to alleviate separation concerns.
- If staff wish to take breaks together they must do so in a large space or outside, where a minimum six (6) feet of separation can occur.
- Amenities that are handled with high contact frequency, such as water coolers, coffee makers, and bulk snacks will be replaced with alternatives where possible.
- Communal meals will not be provided to employees, and food will not be available in common areas where employees may congregate.
- Congregating in copier rooms/areas is discouraged and staff are encouraged to utilize our central printing service.
- Cleaning supplies will be provided at copier stations.
- Staff are encouraged to wipe down touch surfaces post and prior to use.
- One person in an elevator at a time, unless assisting a student, in which case face coverings should be worn.
- Elevators will be frequently disinfected.
- All bathrooms regardless of size will be limited to one person at a time.
- Individuals must knock before entering a bathroom to ensure there is no other occupant present. Individuals waiting to use the bathroom will maintain social distance and must wear face covering.
- In special circumstances where a student must be assisted in the use of the lavatory, the adult present is required to be wearing all applicable personal protective equipment including a face covering and when medically applicable, the student will also be wearing a proper face covering.
- Signage will be posted on entry indicating single person use.
- Automatic hand dryer use will be discontinued and replaced with touchless paper towel dispensers.
- Touchless water fixtures will be installed where applicable.
- If appropriate, doors may be propped open to reduce the need to touch surfaces.
Student Changing Rooms
- All changing rooms will be limited to one or two students at a time depending on the size of the room.
- Individuals must knock before entering a changing room to ensure there is no other occupant present. Individuals waiting to use the changing room will maintain social distance.
- Students must wear face covering in changing rooms.
- Six feet of physical distance must be maintained in common areas and outside of classrooms (e.g. lobbies, auditoriums, gymnasiums, cafeterias, and hallways), where possible.
- Where feasible, hallway traffic may be limited to single flow direction.
- Where single flow is not applicable, bi-direction traffic will be permitted.
- Directional flow will be identified by signage on the floor/stairs.
- Occupancy in each classroom will be specific and determined based on the overall square footage of the space.
- Each student, teacher and support staff will receive not less than six (6) feet of separation from others, as specified in the guidance.
- Additional considerations will be taken to account for space utilized for classrooms and teaching material.
- Overall class sizes will be reduced to accommodate all safety parameters.
- Students, teachers and support staff will be required to wear proper face covering.
- Where possible, special areas teachers and therapists will travel to the classroom to provide instruction/treatment.
- Items in the classroom will be restricted to that of necessary use.
- Remove any unnecessary furniture.
- Remove any soft surfaces that are difficult to disinfect.
- Beginning on May 3, 2021 CTE students will be invited to return to the Arden Hill and Gibson Road Campus five days per week. In the recent interim guidance from the NYSDOH, it was recommended that schools in counties with high risk of transmission maintain physical distancing of at least three feet between students in classrooms and use cohorting. Cohorting is defined as self-contained, pre-assigned groups of students with reasonable group size limits.
- CTE students are currently in smaller pre-assigned groups and are already cohorted due to the half-day scheduling of students. Our classrooms and labs provide for ample space to maintain physical distance of at least three feet. In our efforts to assess our community and students’ desire to return to in-person five days per week, we surveyed over 1700 families. The responses were 75% in favor of five days per week. For those who indicated they did not want their student to return five days a week, they will continue to follow the hybrid model.
- Six feet is always the required distancing between adults (teachers, staff, visitors) and between students and adults.
- All students and staff are required to wear appropriate face coverings.
- N95 Respirator use for nurses should be limited to situations of suspected COVID-19
- Nurses must receive proper training and fitment of N95 Respirators prior to use.
- Where applicable, nurse stations have been reconfigured to:
- Maintain social distancing of no less than six (6) feet.
- Create “sick” and “well” zones.
- Students that receive daily medication should be treated separately from students presenting with symptoms of illness.
- Nebulizer treatments should be conducted in a separate isolated space with adequate fresh air circulation.
- Physical separation will be achieved by utilizing:
- Individual exam rooms
- Polycarbonate barriers
- Retractable dividing curtain walls.
- Isolation Rooms
- Individuals presenting with symptoms representative of COVID-19 will be immediately isolated to reduce risk of transmission.
- Where applicable, separate, independent room/s with a door in close proximity to the exterior will be utilized for quarantining individuals who present with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
- Each isolation room has been assessed for adequate fresh air and HVAC ventilation.
- These isolation rooms have been identified in each building:
- Career and Technical Education Center
- Room 170
- Axelrod Building
- Room 210 (front hallway)
- Suite 424
- Arden Hill
- Rm 239
- Rm 271
- 227 Main Street Goshen
- Room 205
- Middlehope Elementary
- Rm A104
- Conference Room
- Career and Technical Education Center
Security Vestibule/Reception areas
Security Stations will remain at all entrances of each building.
- Where a multi- entrance design is used, additional security posts will be instituted.
- Security posts will serve as the primary location for processing all individuals entering and exiting the building.
- Polycarbonate barriers have been installed to protect all individuals.
- Floor signage has been installed to indicate where visitors shall stand to maintain social distance.
- Reception areas have had seating removed or adequately spaced to provide a minimum of 6 feet of separation.
- Frequently touched materials such as magazines have been removed.
- The use of shared space and equipment use will be eliminated or limited, as practicable.
- Blocks of computers will be sectioned off to ensure social distancing is maintained.
- Tables of computers will be reconfigured so as to not face each other or a polycarbonate barrier will be installed to create a physical barrier.
- Cleaning and disinfection of computer labs and keyboard will be frequent
- Keyboards will be wiped and disinfected before and after each use.
- Keyboard covers may be utilized to aid in the cleaning and disinfection process.
- Students will be instructed to wash hands prior to and after touching the keyboards along with other frequently touched surfaces.
- All soft covered surfaces that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected have been removed.
- Reconfigure space to ensure social distancing.
- Tables will be limited to one individual at a time where applicable.
- Polycarbonate barriers may be installed to create a physical barrier.
- Desks will be arranged so as to not face each other.
- Small reading nook use will be discontinued unless:
- Limited to one person at a time.
- Cleaned and disinfected routinely
- Tables will be limited to one individual at a time where applicable.
- Borrowing of materials such as books may need to be discontinued if adequate disinfection cannot be assured.
- Create directional traffic flow patterns between bookcases to ensure social distancing.
- Portable hand wash stations will be installed in the main entrances of each building.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in each entry, all corridors, and each classroom.
- Limited to one occupant at a time.
- Automatic hand dryer use will be discontinued.
- Touchless soap dispensers are in place at each sink.
- Touchless paper towels dispensers have been installed.
- Touchless faucets are currently in most bathroom spaces.
- Areas with existing old style fixtures will have touchless faucets installed where practicable.
- Entry doors to gang bathrooms will be left open where applicable to reduce the need to handle
- Vestibules/Reception Areas
- Polycarbonate barriers will be installed to provide protection for staff and individuals presenting for entry.
- Water Fountains
- As required by New York State Code, a potable water supply will be provided per 150 occupants, but not less than one source per floor.
- To reduce cross contamination the bubbler/drink spouts have been removed or disabled.
- Automatic/touchless bottle filling equipment is installed in place of the drink spout.
- Additional bottle filler stations will be installed where necessary.
- These appliances will be routinely cleaned and disinfected as described in the Cleaning and Disinfection Section.
- Floor Signage
- All entrances or areas of static wait have floor signage installed allotting for a minimum of six (6) feet of separation between all individuals.
- All corridor floors and stairway treading have been fitted with striping to indicate directional traffic flow and social distancing.
- All corridor doors will be affixed open using electromagnetic devices to minimize the need to touch doors.
OU BOCES will ensure sufficient ventilation and fresh air to all spaces of occupancy by means of:
- Modifications to the Building Management Systems programming to allow fresh air dampers to introduce more outside air.
- Air handling systems have been evaluated for functionality with higher MERV rated filters.
- Where applicable, filters will be exchanged to achieve MERV rating ranging between 11-13.
- In spaces where fresh air is limited due to original building systems, fresh air will be introduced through open windows and doors. OU BOCES encourages staff to open windows to allow outside air into rooms when it is safe and practical to do so.
- Fan motors’ speeds will be increased where applicable to ensure volume and flow of 15cfm minimum.
- More frequent maintenance and inspection of the systems will be scheduled to mitigate extra strain on systems.
- Filter replacement schedules will be more frequent.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
The Operations and Maintenance staff at our Orange Ulster BOCES take great pride in the cleanliness of our buildings. We remain committed to keeping our buildings clean and disinfected for the safety of students, staff and visitors. Daily cleaning and disinfecting logs are maintained.
All Custodial staff have received training in proper cleaning protocols and adhere to the procedures and precautions outlined in the Occupational and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Exposure Control Plan.
The following is a plan which we will follow and monitor closely:
- Our general cleaning will be done on a daily basis and more if needed:
- Garbage and recycling removal
- Put new plastic liners in garbage cans, wash cans as needed
- Sweeping and washing of all floors
- Usable products to wash floors: PSQ2, Halt, NABC or Quat Plus (used at 2 oz., per gallon of water)
- Vacuuming of all carpets
- Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting of all bathrooms
- Usable products to clean and disinfect sinks and/or toilets: NABC, PSQ2, Foamy Q & A, Quat Plus, and/or Halt.
- Replenishing of all dispensers (paper towel, toilet tissue, hand sanitizer and soap).
- Sweeping and/or vacuuming of all staircases
- Sweeping of all hallway floors
- Washing windows as needed
- Cafeterias will be cleaned and disinfected after each use during the day. Floors will be swept and washed daily. Garbage will be removed in between usage of the cafeteria and cans and lids will be washed and disinfected daily.
- Kitchen will be disinfected daily in addition to frequently touched surfaces. Kitchen floors will be swept and washed daily using a disinfectant.
- Classroom fixtures will be cleaned and disinfected in between sessions including desks, chairs, table tops, counters, restrooms and frequently touched surfaces.
- Health offices including cots and restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
- Offices, countertops, bathrooms, phones and desks will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
- Emergency Response - Employees or students with symptoms of illness must be sent to the designated isolation room where the school nurse (Registered Professional Nurse, RN) will assess individuals. As chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies or chronic gastrointestinal issues may present as symptoms as COVID-19, they are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat. Proper PPE will be required any time a nurse may be in contact with a potential COVID-19 patient.
- Isolation - Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by a parent/guardian will be isolated in a designated isolation room with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may also be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least six (6) feet. If they cannot be isolated in a separate room from others, face covering (e.g., cloth or surgical mask) will be provided to the student if the ill person can tolerate wearing it and does not have difficulty breathing, to prevent the possible transmission of the virus to others while waiting for transportation home. Students will be escorted from the isolation room to their parent/guardian. The parent or guardian will be instructed to call their health care provider, or if they do not have a health care provider to follow up with a local clinic or urgent care center. In consultation with the school nurse, custodial staff may consider:
- Closing off areas used by a sick person 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, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
- Once the area has 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 and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
- Notification - the NYS and local health departments will be notified immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual in school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.
Orange-Ulster BOCES will continue to assist the Orange County Department of Health with contact tracing in order to expedite notification to individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 in accordance with Guidance on the Contacts of a Close or Proximate Contact of a Confirmed or Suspected Case of COVID-19 issued by the New York State Department of Health. In order to properly identify those who are direct or proximate contacts of the infected individual, the following has been established:
- All classrooms, offices, break rooms and separate buildings (maintenance buildings, etc.) will require “signing in” of all persons who enter these spaces. Anyone entering these spaces must sign in and out regardless of the amount of time spent in the space. The logs for each space will be forwarded to StaySafe@ouboces.org at the end of each work day.
- Custodians, maintenance personnel, technicians and other staff who must move about because of the nature of their job responsibilities must maintain a personal log and submit to StaySafe@ouboces.org at the end of each workday. In addition, custodial staff must maintain and submit their Daily Cleaning Log each day and submit to their supervisor at the conclusion of each day.
- BOCES staff, usually the school nurse or program principal will immediately complete the Orange County Department of Health Call Center Pre K-12 Reporting Form when notified of a positive student or staff member. This form will be forwarded to the COVID Compliance Office to initiate reporting of the case to the DOH as well as begin pulling contact tracing sheets from the archive. Sheets will be forwarded to the program POC who will then identify all individuals who have had direct or proximate contact of at least 10 cumulative minutes. Based on this information, the Orange County Department of Health Close Contact Identification for Contact Tracing sheet will be completed in order to generate a list of contacts for the Orange County Department of Health. Based on contact dates, mandatory or precautionary quarantine will be advised by BOCES and confirmed by the OC DOH.
To ensure the OU BOCES employees comply with contact tracing and disinfection requirements, we will do the following:
- Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and notifying Public Health in the event of a positive case. In the case of an employee testing positive for COVID-19, CDC guidelines will be followed regarding cleaning and disinfecting the building or facility if someone in which someone has been identified as sick. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019 ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and copier machines.
- Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
- Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
- Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
COVID-19 Symptoms or Exposure and Returning to School and Work Following Illness
OU BOCES will take the following actions related to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure.
Schools must follow guidance from New York State Education, state and local health departments and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, or testing positive for COVID-19.
A health care provider’s note will be required to return to school if any member of the school (student, staff, or faculty) is not attending due to potential symptom(s) of COVID-19 or a confirmed positive/ diagnosis of COVID-19.
- For a COVID-Related Symptom: If a student/staff/faculty member displays a COVID-19-related symptom, they must obtain a healthcare provider note to return to school. Symptoms of COVID-19 include but are NOT limited to: fever or chills (100 degrees F or greater), persistent cough, shortness of breath of difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,unexplained rash, pinkeye.
- For Pertinent Exposure: Pursuant to recent Orange County Department of Health Guidance, OUBOCES staff may request clearance to return to work from the school nurse. To request clearance please contact the school nurse. You will then be sent the “Return to School/Work Following District Ordered Quarantine Questionnaire” to be completed. *This is only for student/staff/faculty quarantined due to an exposure at OUBOCES.*
A note from a medical provider is required when returning to school/work after illness or an outside COVID exposure. Please note, this documentation from your medical provider must indicate that you are clear to return to school/work and are not suffering from any symptoms of COVID-19.
The following events would allow clearance from your school nurse prior to your return to school/work:
1. You have been exposed to someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 at OUBOCES ONLY
The following events would require a note from your medical provider prior to your return to school/work:
1. You have tested positive for COVID-19:
2. You have been exposed outside of OUBOCES to a COVID-19 positive individual (this requires a mandatory 10 day precautionary quarantine under the direction of a medical provider or a Department of Health order)
*All staff returning to work from a quarantine due to any COVID-19 exposure or positive COVID-19 test must also provide a quarantine release notice from their local Department of Health.*
- Orange County, NY residents can obtain a Department of Health Clearance with the link provided below: https://www.orangecountygov.com/1936/Coronavirus
- Staff residing outside of Orange County, NY please contact your local Department of Health
3. Following COVID-19 Diagnosis and Subsequent Isolation Period: If a student/staff/faculty member tests positive for the virus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, they must have a health care provider note AND the following conditions must be met:
- symptom resolution, at least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms for symptomatic individuals or 10 days from the collection date (test date) of the positive COVID-19 test for asymptomatic individuals;
- AND at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medication.
A negative COVID-19 test will not be required, unless specifically requested by the Department of Health, but may be provided in addition to the health care provider’s note.
Healthcare provider notes must include AT MINIMUM the following information:
- The individual is cleared to return to school/work.
- The individual has an alternate diagnosis unrelated to COVID (for scenario number 1 above) OR the individual has no subsequent illness after completing their quarantine period (for scenario 2 above) OR the individual has successfully completed their isolation period and meet the current CDC clearance guidance (for scenario 3 above).
- The alternate diagnosis does not have to be listed in the note, but may need to be discussed confidentially with the school nurse and/ or the local health department.
The health care provider clearance note will assist with mitigating the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 in a congregate school environment, as we work collectively to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and residents.
School nurses CAN use their clinical judgment when deciding to send a child or staff/faculty member home from school or work due to suspected potential COVID-19-related illness, and or based on exposure potential.
Please note that individuals exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will need to quarantine for 10 days from their last date of exposure, however after day 10 is reached, individuals must continue monitoring for symptoms through day 14 and if any develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact their local health department or their healthcare provider to report this change. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may be released from isolation as soon as 10 days depending on symptom resolution. This is due to the incubation period of the virus, how long it may take someone
to become ill after being exposed to the virus.
Consistent with recent CDC guidance, quarantine for individuals exposed to COVID-19 can end after ten
days without a testing requirement if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period.
- Individuals must continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
- Individuals must be counseled to continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14.
- Individuals must be advised that if any symptoms develop, they should immediately self-isolate and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.
Vaccinated Individuals or Previous COVID-19 Diagnosis
Consistent with recent CDC guidance, asymptomatic individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine after full vaccination, if the following criteria are met:
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine); AND
- Have remained asymptomatic since last COVID-19 exposure.
Individuals who do not meet both of the above criteria and who have been exposed to someone with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are required to quarantine for ten days. Consistent with previous CDC guidance, there is no testing requirement to end the quarantine if no symptoms have been reported during the quarantine period. However, a test should be sought immediately if any symptoms develop during the fourteen days after exposure.
Consistent with CDC guidance from February 13, 2021, asymptomatic individuals who have previously been diagnosed with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 and have since recovered, are not required to retest and quarantine within3 months after the date of symptom onset from the initial SARS-CoV-2 infection or date of first positive diagnostic test if asymptomatic during illness.
While COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy at preventing severe and symptomatic COVID-19, there is currently limited information on how much the vaccines might reduce transmission, how long protection lasts, and the efficacy of vaccines against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Additionally, some individuals who were previously infected with COVID-19 have been reinfected at a later time. Therefore, regardless of quarantine status, all individuals exposed to COVID-19 must:
- Continue daily symptom monitoring through Day 14;
- Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated);
- Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their health care provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.
Updated Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State
This supersedes the previously issued April 1, 2021 guidance for Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel and aligns with CDC requirements and recommendations for domestic and international travel released April 2, 2021.
General Updates and Definitions
- Fully vaccinated is defined as being 2 or more weeks after the final dose (e.g., first for Janssen/Johnson & Johnson, second for Pfizer and Moderna) of the vaccine approved by the FDA or authorized by the FDA for emergency use.
- Vaccines that are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use or approved by the FDA do not satisfy this definition.
- Recently recovered is defined as 1) recovered from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 by meeting the criteria for discontinuation of isolation, 2) within the 3-month period between date of arrival in New York and either the initial onset of symptoms related to the laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection or, if asymptomatic during the illness, the date of the laboratory confirmed test, and 3) asymptomatic after travel or new exposure.
- CDC and NYS recommend delaying international travel until the traveler is fully vaccinated.
- All travelers must complete the NYS Travel Form unless the traveler had left New York for less than 24 hours or is coming to New York from a contiguous state (i.e., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont).
- Domestic travel is defined as travel lasting 24 hours or longer to states or US territories other than contiguous states (i.e., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont).
- There are generally no quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for asymptomatic domestic travelers. Exceptions:
- Unvaccinated health care personnel who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months and who work in nursing homes, enhanced assisted living residences (EALRs) or assisted living programs (ALPs) must furlough for 14 days after arrival in New York, consistent with CDC recommendations to avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days after travel.
- All unvaccinated domestic travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result.
- All international travelers must comply with all CDC requirements, which currently include proof of negative test or recent COVID recovery in order to board airplanes headed to the US.
- Currently CDC does not require quarantine, work furlough, or testing requirements for asymptomatic international travelers.
- New York follows that recommendation with the following exceptions:
- Unvaccinated health care personnel who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months and who work in nursing homes, enhanced assisted living residences (EALRs) or assisted living programs (ALPs) must furlough for 14 days after arrival in New York from international travel, consistent with CDC recommendations to avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days after travel.
- Unvaccinated health care personnel who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months working in all other health care settings must furlough for 7 days with a test on day 3-5 after arrival in New York from international travel, or furlough for 10 days if not tested.
- Fully vaccinated individuals who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York from international travel.
- All unvaccinated international travelers who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 3 months are recommended to get tested 3-5 days after arrival in New York, consider non-mandated self-quarantine (7 days if tested on day 3-5, otherwise 10 days), and avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe disease for 14 days, regardless of test result.
- Travelers from Canada, crossing at land borders subject to the agreement between the governments of the United States and Canada, are permitted to travel in accordance with said federal agreement and need not quarantine solely due to such federally authorized travel.
Recommendations for non-mandated self-quarantine
- As noted above, in some situations quarantine may be recommended but not required.
- For situations where quarantine is recommended under this guidance, employers may develop policies for travel that either do or do not require furlough of affected staff.
- In addition, pursuant to Executive Order 202.60, as extended, any New York State resident who voluntarily travels to another state or country for travel that was not taken as part of the person’s employment nor at the direction of the person’s employer, will not be eligible for 3 benefits under New York’s COVID-19 paid sick leave law, although an employer may voluntarily provide such leave.
- Regardless of any employer furlough requirements, individuals should self-quarantine when not at work, avoiding large gatherings or exposure to individuals at high risk.
Precautions for All Travelers
Irrespective of quarantine or vaccination status, all travelers should:
- Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14;
- Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated); and
- Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their health care provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing
How to Quarantine
International travelers to New York who are required to quarantine must comply with the following quarantine guidance. More information on safe quarantine is available here.
- The individual must not be in public or otherwise leave the quarters that they have identified as suitable for their quarantine.
- The individual must be situated in separate quarters with a separate bathroom facility for each individual or family group. Access to a sink with soap, water, and paper towels is necessary. Cleaning supplies (e.g., household cleaning wipes, bleach) must be provided in any shared bathroom.
- The individual must have a way to self-quarantine from household members as soon as fever or other symptoms develop, in a separate room(s) with a separate door. Given that an exposed person might become ill while sleeping, the exposed person must sleep in a separate bedroom from household members.
- Food must be delivered to the person’s quarters.
- Quarters must have a supply of face masks for individuals to put on if they become symptomatic.
- Garbage must be bagged and left outside for routine pick up. Special handling is not required.
- A system for temperature and symptom monitoring must be implemented to provide assessment in-place for the quarantined persons in their separate quarters.
- Nearby medical facilities must be notified, if the individual begins to experience more than mild symptoms and may require medical assistance.
- The quarters must be secure against unauthorized access.
Travel Advisory Exemptions
NYS does not grant exemptions from the travel advisory for international travel. For more information, international travelers should consult the CDC website.
Travel restrictions will help to contain the rates of COVID-19 transmission in New York State and will work to protect others from serious illness. All New Yorkers must take these travel directives seriously. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. For further information, please visit:
- DOH COVID-19 Website
- NYS Local Health Department Directory
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Website
- World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Website
When a person has been identified (confirmed) or suspected to be COVID-19 positive, the response protocol at OU BOCES could include:
- Having school administrators collaborate and coordinate with local health officials to make school closure and large event cancellation decisions.
- Establish a plan to close schools again for physical attendance of students, if necessary, based on public health guidance and in coordination with the local DOH.
- Implement established plans for continuity of education, medical and social services, and meal programs and establish alternate mechanisms for these to continue.
- Implement as needed short-term closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been in a school building. If this happens, CDC recommends the following procedures:
- Closing off areas used by ill person(s) and locking off area(s). Signage can also be used to ensure no one enters the area. If possible, wait 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Do not use the area(s) until cleaning and disinfection has taken place.
- Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill person(s), focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
- Communicating as soon as possible with staff, parents, and students.
- Using NYSDOH guidance/procedures for when someone tests positive.
- In consultation with the local DOH, a school official may consider whether school closure is warranted and period of time (prior to re-opening) based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local DOH.
- In accordance with guidance for quarantine at home after close contact, the classroom or office where the COVID-19-positive individual was based will typically need to close temporarily as students or staff quarantine.
- Additional close contacts at school outside of a classroom should also quarantine at home.
- Closing of schools could be a regional decision.
- 7 metrics - NYS Dashboard
- Schools will reopen if a region is in Phase IV and the daily infection rate remains below 5% using a 14-day average
- Schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9% using a 7-day average after August 1, 2020
- 7 metrics - NYS Dashboard
- Thresholds will be determined on a case-by-case basis dependent on the numbers (school closures may be a response).
- Buildings may consider closing if required cleaning products (bleach and water can be used as a cleaning product) and PPE are not available
Orange Ulster BOCES has procured and continues to monitor its supply chain for adequate PPE for staff, students and health professionals as recommended by CDC.
OU BOCES will train all personnel on new protocols and frequently communicate safety guidelines. Training on the precautions listed below will be conducted either remotely or in person. Social distancing and face coverings will be required for all participants if training is conducted in person. Training materials are designed to be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language for employees.
OU BOCES will ensure all students are taught or trained in a developmentally-appropriate manner how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly. Such training will include, but not be limited to, hand hygiene, proper face cover wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. Additional training will be provided in:
- Prevention of disease spreads by staying home when sick.
- Proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
- Avoiding the use of communal objects. If communal objects must be used, provide information on proper disinfection procedures between use. Examples of communal objects include, but are not limited to, other workers’ phones, desks, offices, computers or other devices, other work tools and equipment.
- Provide up-to-date education and training on COVID-19.
- Risk factors and protective behaviors (i.e., cough etiquette and care of PPE).
Training for Screeners
OU BOCES will identify individuals familiar with CDC, OSHA protocols, and NYSDOH guidelines in each building who will be a trained screener. Screeners will wear appropriate employer-provided PPE, including at a minimum, a face covering, temperature screenings and social distancing. If social distancing or barrier/partition controls cannot be implemented during screening, PPE should be used when within six (6) feet of a student.
Training Topics for All Staff and Substitutes
- Proper hand washing: proper hand hygiene. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing by providing employees, the school community, and visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Provide training on proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html
- Proper cough and sneeze etiquette
- Social Distancing
- Provide training for faculty/staff on how to address close contact interactions with students as part of every day job tasks.
- Provide training for faculty/staff on how to address close contact interactions with students as part of every day job tasks.
- Operating procedures (various by building)
- Entrance into the building
- Cleaning procedures
- Sick child pick up
- Staff who are sick or suspected to be sick
- Proper cleaning techniques
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes
- Hazard Communication – Right-To-Know
- Proper use of chemicals and Safety Data sheets
- No chemicals from home
- Transfer of hand sanitizer in smaller containers
- List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)
- Exposure Control Plan – with a focus on Pandemic/COVID-19
- Personal Protective Equipment - PPE
- Update Hazard Assessment and PPE Selection Worksheet for all identified employees
- Proper type, use, and size
- Cleaning and sanitizing of the face covering (if applicable)
- Provide training for staff and students on wearing, putting on, removing and discarding PPE, including in the context of their current and potential duties
- Use of face coverings (donning/doffing) (cloth vs. surgical)
- Respirator Protection (N95) - required for identified employees per NYS)
- Inclusive into your existing Respirator Protection Program or can be a separate Respirator Protection Program for medical staff only
- Training provided for identified personnel only
Signs and Messages
Signs will be posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face cover).
When Students Eat in Classrooms
- Train teachers on food allergies, including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.
- Train all non-food service staff on any meal service-related activities they will be responsible for.
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in OU BOCES, facilities’ operations will be geared toward meeting NYSDOH, CDC, and NYSED requirements and guidelines. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the NYS Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 NYS Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.
The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.
OU BOCES plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”
Upon reopening, OU BOCES will increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible. Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied.
The following actions will be taken as needed:
- Work with engineers to establish proper filtration requirements.
- Alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms or spaces with the introduction of temporary and/or movable partitions, the change will be submitted to OFP, the local municipality and/or code enforcement officials for review.
- For off-site facilities, communication with the project manager at OFP and a Temporary Quarters (TQ) Project submission.
- Tents, both temporary and permanent are regulated by code and must be submitted for a building permit.
- Minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building is established in the building code.
- Drinking Water Facilities: Reduce number of drinking fountains available, in order to facilitate frequent cleaning. However, drinking fountains are a code-required plumbing fixture. One fountain is required for each one hundred occupants.
- Maintain adequate, code-required ventilation (natural or mechanical), as designed.
- If other air cleaning equipment (e.g., new technology) is proposed, submit to OFP for review and approval.
Emergency Response Protocols & Drills
The 2020-2021 school year may include hybrid models of the traditional school day. Scheduling emergency response drills, including evacuation and lockdown drills, may be spread across the different student populations dependent on the day each population is present. Emergency response protocols are in place for: shelter-in-place, hold-in-place, evacuation, lockout, and lockdown drills.
During shelter in place, hold in place, lockout and lockdown drills, staff/students will be required to:
- Be six (6) feet apart of space between students and staff during drill.
- Use a face covering throughout the event if medically practicable.
- Administrators must notify all staff of the time of the drill in advance.
If evacuation is necessary, areas will be identified outside the building in advance that will allow six (6) feet of separation for students and staff. Staff will have extra face coverings on hand, in the event that a student or staff member needs one.
The way in which the BOCES manages food services will look different in the 2020-2021 school year. An emphasis will be placed on the safety of the preparation and delivery of meals. All OU BOCES students are already eligible for meals at no charge, based on the implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) instituted several years ago. All children attending any special/alternative education site where OU BOCES serves meals is eligible.
Kitchens - Operations
Kitchens will open using a new layout that promotes social distancing. All kitchen staff will be required to wear face covering to the extent practicable and in accordance with the regulations of the NYSDOH and NYSED. Tables and prep stations will be re-configured to allow for adequate social distancing.
- Workstations and staff will be staggered so employees avoid standing directly opposite or next to one another.
- Access to production kitchens will be limited to trained food service staff and O&M staff assigned to perform cleaning and sanitation tasks.
- All food service employees will be trained in safety protocols.
- All food service staff are required to follow the NYSDOH, SERVSAFE, National Restaurant Association (NRA) and CDC guidelines as provided, prior to the beginning and end of each day of work.
Kitchen - Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing
- All kitchens and kitchen surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfectants and sanitizing prior to reopening. Focus will be on all contact areas touched by staff, following sanitizing material guidelines.
- All food contact surfaces, food preparation surfaces and equipment will be washed and rinsed after use and prior to resets using a solution of bleach and water to sanitize all food preparation and contact surfaces.
- Disposable gloves will be worn when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.
- Only disposable, wrapped, single use condiments, utensils and packaging will be used.
Meal Preparation/Meal Delivery
All meals will be delivered and eaten in respective classrooms.
- Meals will be prepared in accordance with National School Lunch Program (NSLP), NYSDOH, NY SERVSAFE and CDC GUIDELINES using individual containers in delivery.
- All meals and meal components including utensils, condiments, napkins, etc. will be pre-packaged and sealed for individualized, single-use only.
- Any activity that promotes frequent touching or sharing will be discouraged. For example, there will be no self-serve lines, no salad bars and no shared tables, unless social distancing can be adequately accommodated. Teaching staff is expected to enforce no sharing food from home rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Meals will be delivered using a no-contact method to each classroom prior to set meal times.
- Face covering and disposable gloves will be worn by those transporting food at all times.
- Carts used to transport meals will be cleaned and disinfected after each meal drop.
- Students on site will receive breakfast and lunch daily in accordance with NSLP guidelines. Students off site during times of illness and/or “off” days will be referred back to their home district for meals under the NSLP Visiting Student Guidelines.
Food Allergies/Food Sharing
- Measures are currently in place to protect students with food allergies. Each student is required, according to state and federal guidelines, to provide a physician’s note documenting food allergies. That note is then recorded into OU BOCES Point of Sale (POS) system (Meals Plus) showing each time the student accesses a meal. A report from the POS system of students’ allergies and specialty food is also used daily during preparation of meals.
- Any activity that promotes frequent touching or sharing will be discouraged. Staff is expected to enforce no sharing food from home rules to prevent the spread of COVID.
Student Hand Hygiene
All students will be required to wash and/or sanitize hands prior to consumption of meals. Those serving meals, whether it be a classroom teacher or food service personnel, will ensure that all students wash their hands using soap and water. If soap and water is not available, hand sanitizer will be provided and used. Visual displays regarding handwashing and social distancing will be posted prior to the start of the school year and will be visible in all classrooms.
Parent Handbooks are provided to families at the start of each school year providing pertinent information regarding meals, menus, etc. This year, it will include the new COVID-19 related guidelines, such as but not limited to handwashing, social distancing, face coverings, food sharing, etc., and our website will be updated to reflect the same. A letter will be mailed to all parents prior to the start of the new school year to convey all of the new requirements to families, including assurances that OU BOCES has taken steps to prepare meals in a safe manner and in accordance with all guidelines. It will also be a reminder of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program and a reminder that regardless of a family’s income, every student is eligible for meals during the day. Communication to families will be in their preferred language and mode of communication to assure all have equitable access to information.
In planning for our re-entry, OU BOCES has created task force teams in our Special Education and Career and Technical Education programs to examine the guidance provided by the NYSDOH and NYSED for our re-entry in the fall. These task forces, made up of administrators, teachers, school counselors, nurses, therapists, para-educators, social workers and custodial staff, included an examination of mental health.
The work of the task force was grounded in the belief that the most equitable opportunities for educational success rely upon the comprehensive support for students and families provided by our professionals and the systems of support we have built. These supports include academics as well as the social and emotional well-being of our students. We have developed a cohesive and strategic plan, regardless of the re-entry option, to support students and staff upon return for the 2020-2021 school year. This includes a means to identify and actively support student and staff well-being, including mental health concerns. This plan incorporates considerations for teams to quickly transition between face-to-face and continuous remote learning, which may be required based on the health concerns.
Research shows the importance of mental and emotional well-being for students and staff, which has both psychological and ultimately, academic outcomes. As the result of the prolonged closure, many of our students and staff will require social-emotional support to help them re-engage and re-enter work and school. This crisis has elevated the role of leaders in creating conditions helping students practice empathy, create social bonds across distance and adapt to new learning experiences. Counselors, school-based health programs, and wrap around supports will play an extremely important role in the adjustment period when buildings reopen and access to school counselors and school-based health programs will be invaluable supports to our students. We remain committed to the notion of supporting the “whole-child” as well as equipping all staff to connect, heal, and build capacity to support our students.
Prior to the reopening of the new school year, all staff should acknowledge that both children and staff may feel worried or stressed as they return to school and their work day. During the crucial first weeks of school, opportunities for both students and staff to share and process their emotions, as well as establishing structures that allow them to take time to readjust will be incorporated into programming. The use of existing services to help provide these opportunities and promote empathy for one another and those most impacted by the return to school can include:
- Restorative Circles in each classroom
- Reflection Time - This can be a few minutes at the beginning or end of each class. Provide students with a way to reflect and document their experience on what they’ve learned about themselves during the pandemic, either through journal writing, artwork, music, poetry or other creative outlets.
- In person/remote introductions of support teams and services available (Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, etc.) to each classroom during the first week of class.
- Child Study Team meetings will be held to discuss at-risk students and intervention plans.
- Faculty Meetings will be conducted during the first week of school to address staff concerns and provide opportunities for staff support groups.
We understand that students have been out of school for six months without in-person instruction. Some students have been in an unstable environment without proper support from school personnel. Long-term immersion in households with negative family dynamics, physical and mental abuse, financial uncertainty, loss of a loved one or friend due to the coronavirus, and other obstacles can lead to withdrawal, isolation, and lack of interest in school. All students will need to adjust to in-person, remote, or some new “norm” of schooling.
Structures to promote supportive adult-student relationships
- Ensure every identified at-risk student has at least one caring adult/mentor at the school who checks in regularly with them and whom they can reach out to.
- Where possible, we will look at opportunities for meaningful teacher-student relationships such as “looping” students with the same teachers and peers from the previous year’s programs.
- If distance learning continues, identify and implement routines to maintain or deepen connections virtually or over the phone, such as through smaller group meetings or individual check-ins.
- Recognizing that new structures will most likely be in place, create consistent routines and procedures that allow for flexibility as much as possible which will promote a sense of safety that helps students. This will be important, especially for those who have experienced trauma or struggle behaviorally, regulate emotions and take on new challenges and developmental tasks.
Feedback from family partners
Continuous communication with the families of our students will assist with emotional stability, readjustment to school, maintaining positive relationships, providing another layer of one-to-one support and getting to know students. Staff, students, and families will be surveyed several times throughout the school year to monitor the effects of implemented support services, in school and/or in the remote learning climate.
All OU BOCES student-based programs will support students’ social-emotional needs and will follow the model and link below.
Trauma-Informed Care covering the key points in the diagram below.
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative / U.S. Department of Human Services, 2014).
Some resources we will share with staff include, and are not limited to:
- Teaching Tolerance: Speaking Up Against Racism Around the New Coronavirus https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/publications/responding-to-hate-and-bias-at-school/section-two-when-theres-a-crisis
- Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility: Guidelines for Talking with students: https://www.morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/guidelines-addressing-coronavirus-outbreak
- Guidance from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). The organization’s “Mindsets and Behaviors” standards list touchpoints for administrators and educators focused on students’ holistic well-being, including the following:
- Self-confidence: Do students believe in their own ability to succeed during/after pandemic?
- Coping and safety skills: How do students cope when dealing with a problem?
- Adaptability: Are students able to transition well to new routines, expectations, and responsibilities?
- Social skills: Do students exhibit mature social skills? Are they behaving appropriately in relationship to their environment and the situations they are in?
A wide array of professional development courses addressing social-emotional needs has been developed to support OU BOCES and regional district educators. Some of these titles include:
- COVID Considerations: Social-Emotional Learning
- COVID Considerations: Counseling During the Pandemic
- Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM): Supporting with Compassion
- Reopening Schooling Live On-Campus: Using the CISM to Provide Emotional Support
- Looking Back & Building a Path Forward: Educators Reflect in Writing on the COVID-19 Remote Teaching Experience
- Bibliotherapy I and Bibliotherapy II
- NYS Social-Emotional Learning Benchmarks and Mental Health Literacy mini-course
- Teaching, Talking, and Thinking about Pandemics with Students
- Conquering Fear with Facts: Resources to Help You Communicate about Coronavirus in a Developmentally Appropriate Way with Your Students
- Sharpen the Saw: Stress Management for Educators
- Podchat PD: Social-Emotional Learning: Not Just for Kids
- Restorative Justice
- Teaching the Traumatized Child
- Writing through Trauma
- Anti Racist Curricula and Teaching
- Culturally Relevant Practices
- A Gentle Approach: Providing Trauma Informed Instruction During Remote Learning
- Social Justice and Taking Informed Action
- Supporting Today’s Students
- Establishing Relationships with Students from Afar
Additionally, all OU BOCES employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers many free services including face-to-face and virtual counseling. Information about all social-emotional supports will be made widely available to the OU BOCES community through our website, www.ouboces.org.
The Division of Special Education operates programs for students from 5 to 21 in center-based and satellite locations throughout Orange County. Student schedules are individualized according to their IEP and in accordance with New York State Education Department’s requirements for graduation. The charts below represent samples of student learning schedules for an elementary self-contained program for students with multiple disabilities and for a secondary program which serves students in a Regents track program.
In-Person and Remote Elementary Special Education Schedule
|Time||In-Person Learning||Remote Learning (Synchronous)|
|8:30-8:50||AM Homeroom and Breakfast||Google Classroom Check In|
|8:50-9:20||Physical Therapy||Physical Therapy Google Classroom|
|9:23-9:53||ELA||ELA Google Classroom|
|9:56-10:26||Speech||Speech Google Classroom|
|10:29-10:59||Science||Science Google Classroom|
|11:02-11:32||Health||Health Google Classroom|
|11:35-12:05||Social Studies||Social Studies Google Classroom|
|12:41-1:11||Math||Math Google Classroom|
|1:14-1:44||Math||Math Google Classroom|
|1:47-2:17||Life Skills||Life Skills Google Classroom|
In-Person and Remote Secondary Special Education Schedule
|Time||In-Person Learning||Remote Learning (Synchronous)|
|8:30-8:45||AM Homeroom||Google Classroom Check In|
|8:45-9:25||Global Studies I||Global Studies I Google Classroom|
|9:27-10:07||Living Environment I||Living Environment I Google Classroom|
|10:09-10:49||Physical Education||Physical Education Google Classroom|
|10:51-11:31||English 9||English 9 Google Classroom|
|11:33-12:13||Health||Health Google Classroom|
|12:36-1:00||Creative Writing||Creative Writing Google Classroom|
|1:02-1:42||Studio Art||Studio Art Google Classroom|
|1:44-2:24||Algebra 1A||Algebra 1A Google Classroom|
|2:26-2:30||PM Homeroom||Google Classroom Checkout|
For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
Career and Technical Education
The Career and Technical Education Division operates half-day programs for high school students.
The chart below represents two scenarios for student learning in different options for re-opening.
Blended Hybrid Model: 50/50 Capacity Rotating Schedule
|Group 1 Students||Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday|
|Group 2 Students||Monday||Tuesday||Wednesday||Thursday||Friday|
|Remote Learning||In-Person Learning|
|On Campus Focus:
Instructional Delivery of Theory/ Development of Practical Skills via Video Presentations or Demonstrations/Task Completion
Instructional Delivery of Theory/ Development of Practical Skills
Hands-on Practical Skills Development
|10:05-10:35||Virtual Check-In/Critical Feedback||Critical Feedback/Prep for Remote Learning|
Instructional Delivery of Theory/ Development of Practical Skills via Video Presentations or Demonstrations/Task Completion
Synchronous (Academics)/ Asynchronous
Instructional Delivery of Theory/ Development of Practical Skills
Hands-on Practical Skills Development
|2:30-3:00||Virtual Check-In/Critical Feedback||Critical Feedback/Prep for Remote Learning|
|Academics||Integrated Academics as Scheduled||Integrated Academics as Scheduled|
|Attendance||Check-Ins and Task Completion||Traditional|
Battery: Diagnostics, Formative, Summative/Interim/Final Exam
For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.
Attendance and Attendance Reporting
All programs at OU BOCES will take daily attendance when school opens in September whether in-person,
hybrid, or remote. Attendance policies and procedures will be communicated with families and students
prior to the start of the school year or if the instructional model changes during the year. Teachers will
record daily attendance in SchoolTool, our student management system, based on the required daily
scheduled student contact and engagement. Daily reports will be generated to identify students who are
absent and/or chronically absent. Contact with the families will be made daily to determine reasons for
absence and needs or barriers the student may have to participate in daily lessons. Communication with
families about attendance matters will be in their preferred language and mode of communication.
While there is no one-size-fits all approach to addressing chronic absenteeism, BOCES is committed
to providing interventions to prevent and address health-related and mental health chronic
absenteeism. We recognize that many factors will influence student attendance, and may be greatly
impacted by the instructional models provided; in-person, hybrid, and remote.
The BOCES addresses chronic absenteeism as follows.
1. Nurture a culture of attendance
- Communicate clearly to families and students what the attendance policy is and expectations
- for participating based on the model of instruction
- Explain the importance of attendance to the entire school community
- Track daily attendance, tardies, and student engagement in one central, secure location with a tool that helps you can quickly see how these data points impact student behavior.
2. Early Identification and Intervention
- Each school regularly monitors attendance data and communicates with parents about issues as they arise.
- Use data to identify which students are at risk, so you can intervene before isolated absences
- Establish intervention plans; parent phone call, home visit, counseling, instructional modifications, engage community partners, etc.
3. Create a more positive school culture and a focus on engaging instruction
- Evaluate and address your students’ engagement in learning
- Provide teachers and school leaders with multiple levels of support to help students stay more engaged and act positively.
- Help students achieve positive social and emotional character development, while reinforcing the behaviors that make up your ideal school culture.
- Use goal-based incentives and rewards to motivate attendance and positive student behaviors where age appropriate.
Access to technology is essential for the successful roll-out of this plan. OU BOCES is committed to
ongoing planning and implementation of OU BOCES technologies to ensure equitable access for staff
and students. The team has initiated plans that are mindful of student home access to reliable internet
OU BOCES will:
- Continue to gather data from teachers and families to identify individual levels of access to devices and high-speed broadband from their residences. OU BOCES will continue to assess the ongoing needs of our teachers and families for technology and connectivity (survey, interviews, school outreach, etc.). In the event students and/or teachers do not have access, the BOCES will take the necessary steps to meet their needs where plausible.
- Evaluate and upgrade network resources to best meet the needs of staff and students for all onsite programs.
- Maintain an inventory of equipment and other assets which students, families, and staff have in their possession.
- Procure, manage and/or maintain hardware, software, licenses, learning management systems, etc. to support and improve virtual instruction and student engagement.
- Identify professional learning needs for teachers and continue to support their development of skills and pedagogy in a virtual learning environment.
- Maintain a technical support system for parents/students/teachers to report issues that might be experienced during remote learning. Communicate protocols to all stakeholders to inform them in advance of how to gain assistance in such cases.
OU BOCES will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple
formats, wherever possible. Further, the organization will support teachers through professional
development and coaching on pedagogical methods that enable students to participate in multiple
ways, so that they can demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models
through the use of both synchronous (i.e., Google Meet or other web conferencing tools) and
asynchronous technologies (i.e., Google Classroom or other LMS). In the event students do not have
sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, OU BOCES will provide the students with
alternate methods to access materials and instruction - pick up materials at school, drop off materials
to students’ homes, etc. The BOCES will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to
educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities.
To assure high-quality teaching and learning, a continuity of learning plan has been developed for the 2020-21 school year. This plan considers and plans for teaching and learning in-person, remotely, and through hybrid models of instruction. Our plan reflects instruction aligned with the New York State Learning Standards and addresses equity as well as quality of instruction for all learners.
The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring in delivering remote instruction under unusual circumstances, OU BOCES will focus two in-service days prior to instruction beginning for students on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.
As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.
Should a remote or hybrid learning model become necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who struggled to engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs.
Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment will be conducted early in the school year to evaluate learning loss and current levels of proficiency. This will be used to inform teachers’ instructional planning. The scope and sequence of curriculum will be evaluated based on these assessments and prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for success in future study.
Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. Special Education students will progress toward achievement of IEP goals reported quarterly, as required.
For specific information relating to teaching and learning in OU BOCES Special Education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the website, www.ouboces.org.
Upon reopening, the number of persons in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six (6) feet apart.
Student movement during the instructional day will be limited. Students will eat lunch in their classroom or in outdoor spaces instead of the cafeteria. Assemblies, field trips and other large, in-person activities will be eliminated. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom. Whenever possible, students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to the 12 feet requirement between students when engaging in organized physical activity in these classes.
To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students. Recess activities will not utilize fenced-in playground areas or playground equipment.
Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year thus necessitating short or long-term school closures, OU BOCES has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue “as is” in a fully remote environment.
As noted previously, student schedules will remain the same whether instruction is in person or remote. This will insure students do not encounter conflicts in the event synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.
Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers providing live instruction and lessons to students where possible. Teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis.
To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.
We will continue to follow the Orange-Ulster BOCES Code of Conduct. It is our expectation that students will follow the rules and expectations regardless of the mode of instruction.
A series of courses designed for OU BOCES educators is being offered this summer, fall, and throughout the year to assist in supporting the remote, blended, and in-person learning environments for the 2020-21 school year. These courses are broken down topically and also by grade level bands to provide the most support possible. Courses are grounded in the NYS Learning Standards and structures to guide educators through using the standards to design instruction and assessment in in-person, remote, and blended learning models. Sample titles from this series includes:
- COVID Considerations: English
- COVID Considerations: Science
- COVID Considerations: Social Studies
- COVID Considerations: Math
- COVID Considerations: Parent Involvement
- COVID Considerations: Student Engagement
- COVID Considerations: Social-Emotional Learning
- COVID Curricular Considerations: Pre-K to 2nd Grade
- COVID Curricular Considerations: 3rd to 5th Grade
- COVID Curricular Considerations: 6th to 8th Grade
- COVID Curricular Considerations: 9th to 12th Grade
- Remote, Blended, or Live from New York: Preparing for the First Week of School (Elementary School Session)
- Remote, Blended, or Live from New York: Preparing for the First Week of School (Middle School Session)
- Remote, Blended, or Live from New York: Preparing for the First Week of School (High School Session)
- New York State Science Learning Standards Mini-Course
- New York State Social Studies Standards Mini-Course
- New York State Arts Standards Mini-Course
- Next Generation ELA Standards Mini-Course
- Next Generation Math Standards Mini-Course
- Move it Up- Move it Down: Differentiation of Instruction
- Making Assessment Fun: Showcasing Student Work with Flipgrid
- Podchat PD: Are Your Diversity Strategies Missing the Mark? Nine Ways to Get it Right
- Building Capacity in Google Apps: Making the Most of Google Docs
- Revealing Your Own Administrator Pathway
- Using Assessments to Drive Instruction
- Google Classroom
- Methods for Remote Learning
- Google Forms to Check for Understanding
- Instructional Coaching Institute
- The Administrator’s Guide to Providing Instructional Feedback in the Remote and Blended Teaching Environment
The OU BOCES Special Education Division provides educational and therapeutic services to more than 1,000 students with disabilities from each of our 17 component school districts and several others outside the OU BOCES Supervisory District. These students range in age from 5 to 21 and are of various disability categories. Services, dictated by students’ Individualized Education Plan (IEP) are provided in both center-based and district-based settings.
The OU BOCES reopening plan provides a framework to ensure that all students with disabilities continue to have a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) available to them. Special education and related services are designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living in the least restrictive environment (LRE). In consideration of the health, safety, and well-being of students, families, and staff, our plan is designed to enable transitioning between in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments to ensure the provision of FAPE, consistent with the changing health and safety conditions.
Special education programs and services of OU BOCES provide equity and access for students with disabilities to be involved in and to participate and progress in the general education curriculum with access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids/services, and technology (including assistive technology). While not all formats allow for maximum benefit to students, these programs and services can be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote). OU BOCES will document the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities as well as to the communications with parents in their preferred language and mode of communication (e.g., Related Services Log). OU BOCES 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.
OU BOCES is committed to providing 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. Further, we will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process.
OU BOCES will plan and support collaboration between the committees on preschool special education (CPSE), committees on special education (CSE), and program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served. We will 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.
OU BOCES will maintain records to document the implementation of each IEP. The documentation will include, but will not be limited to: narrative records of how the student is adjusting to live, hybrid, and remote instruction during 2020-21, a record of what instruction and services were provided, a record of formative, summative, and standardized assessments and their results as well as progress monitoring documentation, a record of school-family collaboration, and the provision of compensatory services records.
To facilitate smooth transitions between in-person and remote instruction, all special education teachers and related service providers will utilize the Google Classroom platform. Utilizing this tool during in-person instruction will allow students and teachers to seamlessly move to remote instruction should health and safety considerations dictate such.
To the extent possible and to address sanitation practices, school supplies such as pencils, instructional manipulatives, etc. will be assigned to individual students and kept in separate bags/containers to reduce sharing.
Upon reopening, the number of persons in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. The vast majority of classes in the Division of Special Education are self-contained and most have a roster of six students. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six (6) feet apart.
Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year thus necessitating short or long-term school closures, OU BOCES has developed a remote learning model and schedule that can continue “as is” in a fully remote environment.
All instruction, regardless of its delivery format, will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards and teachers will deliver instruction to students in a synchronous manner to the extent that it meets student needs. Considering the wide variety of student needs throughout our programs, decisions concerning synchronous v. asynchronous instruction will be made by the program principal in conjunction with the student’s teacher and family. To the extent possible, student schedules will remain the same whether instruction is in person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.
Vulnerable Students with Special Needs
Some special needs 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 for parents/ guardians to work with their child’s healthcare providers so that an informed decision can be made on how best to meet the child’s needs at school, while protecting their health and safety. As these students transition back to the school environment, our trained teaching staff will plan and coordinate with the following so that a healthy transition is made:
- school health services personnel
- special education personnel
- pupil personnel services and
Students who have family members in high risk groups may also need to attend school remotely.
Additional PPE for staff caring for such students will be provided on a case-by-case basis. Staffing assignments will be examined to provide the lowest teacher-to-student ratios possible.
The OU BOCES Career and Technical Education Division services more than 1,700 students from 17 component school districts and several others outside the OU BOCES supervisory districts. Every CTE program consists of both theory and hands-on components to prepare students for their chosen field. Off campus work-based learning experiences are also provided during their two year program. Students are enrolled in half-day sessions which meet five times per week.
OU BOCES CTE has developed a hybrid learning model where students will receive instruction in-person and remotely on an alternating day (A day, B day) schedule. Fewer students on campus allows for greater latitude in planning for meeting and maintaining the requirements for social distancing. The reduction in attendance allows for the creation of fixed cohorts. Students will engage in remote instructional experiences and in-person practical and experiential activities in the hybrid model.
Students will be divided according to class size. Students will attend CTE according to their assigned cohort and as part of a rotating schedule. Programs where the enrollment allows for students to attend every day and maintain social distancing will do so. CTE school counselors will work closely with district counselors to communicate schedules to students and families.
Students on campus will receive instruction on practical applications through hands-on activities. Students receiving instruction via remote learning will be provided with theory or practical lessons which may include video presentations, video demonstrations, and/or assigned tasks.
Schedules that accommodate the daily needs for special education and English language learners (ELL) are prioritized. These students may attend CTE classes daily.
In preparation for a potential pivot to all remote learning, CTE staff will identify and place emphasis on essential skills for instruction. Teachers will prepare “Go Kits” for students in the event remote instruction is mandated. Video presentations or demonstrations for use in remote learning have and will continue to be developed.
Integrated Academics will be provided to students as scheduled either during in-person instruction or via remote learning. by the academic teachers who will follow a rotating schedule.
Academic teachers will work collaboratively with CTE technical instructors to provide content-driven, integrated and blended instructional experiences for students. Instructional experiences may include, but are not limited to, completing assigned tasks or assignments, viewing video presentations or demonstrations, responding to posts or questions from the instructor, completing projects, developing portfolios, or engaging with staff or students in an online or phone conversation.
The grading policy consists of 55% for practical skills development, 40% for didactic learning, and 5% for student portfolios.
Special education students will attend CTE and receive in-person instruction each day. Special education consultants will work closely and collaboratively with CTE instructors in meeting the needs of our special education students’ IEPs.
Work Based Learning (WBL)
CTE will continue collaborating with business and industry partners to identify and ensure safe and healthy work-based learning opportunities for our students. WBL opportunities will be contingent upon the guidelines and requirements established by the state and the decisions made in consultation with our partners in education.
Clinical/practical experience is a key part of a student’s CTE program. Hands-on experience outside the classroom will be dependent on business partners and their safety protocols. We are working with business partners to ensure that proper safety precautions are in place.
Within the guidelines of the NYS Education Department, we will create hands-on opportunities within our vast program offerings for all students to meet their Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) requirements. This will include on campus projects for business partners, interdisciplinary projects, and projects for other OU BOCES divisions. Virtual work-based learning experiences will be utilized as often as possible.
Assemblies and other congregational events will be suspended until future guidance is given or unless social distancing and PPE protocols can be firmly practiced. Some events, such as clubs, may take place online.
If events are offered in conjunction with component districts, social distancing and PPE will be required. Events may be offered only to students and coaches to minimize the density of population at the event locations. OU BOCES will confer with Orange County Health Departments for assistance and guidance as decisions are made.
Guest speakers and visits to various institutions that support instruction and delivery of the curriculum by exposing students to individuals in business/industry or experiencing a work site live will:
- Pursue virtual group events, gatherings, or meetings, if possible, and promote social distancing of at least six (6) feet between people if events are held. Limit group size to the extent possible.
- Limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations as possible – especially with individuals who are not from the local geographic area (e.g., community, town, city, county).
- Pursue virtual activities and events in lieu of field trips and assemblies, as possible.
- Pursue options to convene in-house competitions to minimize risk of COVID-19 students.
Proposed field-trips will be reviewed individually to ensure they meet CDC guidelines for keeping students safe. We will consult with business/industry partners and other institutions involved with any field trips as necessary.
OU BOCES provides world language instruction in Spanish and French 7-12 and English as a New Language (ENL) instruction for ELLs/MLLs K-12. OU BOCES provides technical assistance for World Language Instruction 7-12 and PreK-12 for ENL instruction in our region. This assistance can be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).
Our support of English language learners (ELLs) will be comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive. If we reopen using in-person or hybrid instruction we will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year. After this 20 day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within the required 10 school days of initial enrollment as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154.
The BOCES is committed to comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive instruction for ENL students, we will provide the required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction. Further, we will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process. We will provide all communications for parents/guardians of ELLs in their preferred language and mode of communication. OU BOCES has a regional translation service and will assist with translation services. This service can translate live conversations, as well as documents.
OU BOCES will provide professional learning opportunities to our staff that support best practices and equitable instruction for ELLs as well as general education students to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.
In order to assure that students have opportunities to study world languages, we are prepared to teach Spanish and French in the live in-person, hybrid, or remote format upon reopening. OU BOCES will provide professional learning opportunities that support best practices in all three formats of instruction. In addition, we provide equitable instruction for our ELLs, SWDs, and general education students who are studying world languages such as Spanish or French to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.
Teacher and Principal Evaluation System
All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to OU BOCES approved APPR plan. OU BOCES will consider whether their currently approved APPR plans may need to be revised in order to be consistent with plans for re-opening under an in-person, remote or hybrid instructional model. School leaders will continue to attend annually required Lead Evaluator training.
Certification, Incidental Teaching and Substitute Teaching
All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.
Pre-Service Teachers/Clinical Therapy Students
Pre-service teachers and clinical therapy students from NYSED registered college or university programs and whose sponsoring institution has an articulation agreement with OU BOCES can serve under the supervision of fully certified teachers at OU BOCES. Pre-service teachers and clinical therapy students will follow social distancing, face coverings, check-in screening, and other COVID-19 procedures that the teachers follow. Pre-service teachers and clinical therapy students will serve under the supervision of our full time certified teachers and therapists. At no time will a pre-service teacher be used as the teacher of record.
The unknown vulnerabilities of our faculty and staff will be handled on a case-by-case basis with support from our Human Resources department. Accommodations, where appropriate, will be provided when and where needed. Faculty and staff will be trained in vulnerabilities outlined in guidance provided by the NYSED and are asked to notify their supervisor with questions and concerns.
OU BOCES acknowledges that the groups below are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 and may need added or alternative provisions for social distancing. Schools will need to make accommodations and be able to accommodate the needs of these students in the school community.
Persons in these groups should consult with their healthcare provider regarding prevention:
- 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;
- severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher);
- chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis;
- liver disease;
- sickle cell anemia; children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children.
- State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 16, 2020)
- State Education Department Presents Framework of Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 13, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health (July 13, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Public Transportation Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)
- New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- New York State Education Department Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website
Davis, K. T. (2020. March 5) A Coronavirus outreach plan: 5 steps for district leaders. Edweek.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Trauma and Justice Strategic Initiative / U.S. Department of Human Services. (2014). SAMHSA’s concept of trauma and guidance for a trauma informed approach.
Working collaboratively with the Orange County Health Department, we have been provided with testing locations throughout the County. Staff and students will be provided with this information so they may choose a location that best meets their needs and where they live.
COVID-19 Testing Information
Steven M. Neuhaus, Orange County Executive - Dr. Irina Gelman, Commissioner of Health
|Question||COVID-19 (Swab Test)||
|What is it testing?||Tells you if you are currently infected and/or contagious for COVID-19||Test you for previous infection. Test for immune system molecules that fight off the virus.|
|Will this test determine if I am currently contagious?||Yes||No|
|What is the test like?||Q-tip swab in the mouth or nose||Simple blood sample|
|When is the disease detected?||2-3 days after contracting virus||Cannot be detected for up to
10-14 days after contracting virus
|How long will it take to get results?||3-4 days||1-2 days|
COVID-19 Testing Locations
Disclaimer: Below is not a complete list of all testing facilities and is accurate as of the date of creation of this document (May 8). Please contact your primary care provider or hospital for updated testing information.
(Standard or Rapid)
(Finger Stick or Vein)
|Anthony Wayne Recreation (888) 364-3065
APPOINTMENT IS REQUIRED. Individuals who would like to be tested must make an appointment by calling NYS COVID-19 Hotline 888-364-3065. NO WALK-INS allowed. All patients must remain in the vehicle.
|Bon Secours (845) 858-7000||Standard||Vein|
|Cornerstone Healthcare (845) 563-8000||Standard||Vein|
|Crystal Run Healthcare (845) 703-6999||Standard||Vein|
|Elite Healthcare (845) 782-4000||Standard||Vein|
|Excel & Orange Urgent Care (845) 703-2273||Standard||Vein|
|Ezra Choilim (845) 782-3242||Standard||N/A|
|Horizon Family Medical Group (800) 859-0085||Rapid||Vein|
|Orange Regional Medical Center (845) 333-1000||Standard||N/A|
|Rambam Care (845) 472-6226||Standard||Vein|
|Rite-Aid (657 Broadway Newburgh)||Standard||N/A|
|Rite-Aid (393 Windsor Highway, New Windsor)||Standard||N/A|
|St. Anthony’s (845) 986-2276||Standard||Vein|