District-Wide Safety Plan (2020-2021)

Click to go directly to a section: Introduction | Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines Section II: General Emergency Response Planning | Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence | Section IV: Prevention and Intervention Strategies | Section V: Recovery | Section VI: Communicable Disease – Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan

Introduction

Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. Districts are required to develop a District-wide School Safety Plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The District-wide School Safety Plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed building-level emergency response plans required at the school building level. The District-wide School Safety Plan provides the framework for the Building-level Emergency Response Plans.

Districts stand at risk from a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and manmade disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.

The Niskayuna Central School District, supports the SAVE Legislation and intends to facilitate the planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

Niskayuna Central School District has designated the Superintendent of Schools as the district’s Chief Emergency Officer (CEO). The CEO is responsible for:

  1. Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders;
  2. Leading the efforts of the district-wide school safety team in the completion and yearly update of the district-wide school safety plan and the coordination of the district-wide plan with the building-level emergency response plans;
  3. Ensuring staff understanding of the district–wide school safety plan;
  4.  Ensuring completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans for each school building;
  5. Assisting in the selection of security related technology and development of procedures for the use of such technology;
  6.  Coordinating appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan;
  7. Ensuring the conduct of required evacuation and lock-down drills in all district buildings as required by Education Law section 807; and
  8. Ensuring the completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans by the dates designated by the commissioner.

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Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines

A. Purpose

The District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Board of Education, the School Superintendent appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan.

B. Identification of School Teams

The district has created a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, teachers, administrators, nurses, emergency services including police and fire officials, communications, facilities, transportation, information technology services, counseling services and school safety personnel.

C. Concept of Operations

The District-wide School Safety Plan is directly linked to the individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans for each school building. Protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan guides the development and implementation of individual Building-level Emergency Response Plans.

In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be initiated by the Building Principal/Designee. The Niskayuna Central School District consists of the following facilities:

  • Niskayuna High School: 1626 Balltown Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Iroquois Middle School:  2495 Rosendale Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Van Antwerp Middle School and District Office : 2253 Story Avenue, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Birchwood Elementary School:  897 Birchwood Lane, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Craig Elementary School:  2566 Balltown Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Glencliff Elementary School:  961 Riverview Road, Rexford, NY 12148
  • Hillside Elementary School:  1100 Cornelius Avenue, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Rosendale Elementary School: 2455 Rosendale Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309
  • Transportation and Operations and Maintenance Department: 1301 Hillside Avenue, Niskayuna, NY 12309

When appropriate to the emergency, non-district schools within our boundaries will also be contacted:

  • St. Kateri-Tekakwitha Parish School: 1801 Union St. Schenectady
  • Our World Montessori: 1335 Balltown Road, Niskayuna

All information pertaining to an emergency or violent incident will be directed to either the Building Principal or Designee. Upon the activation of Building-Level Emergency Response procedures, the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee is notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials are also notified. The Building-Level Emergency Response Teams are activated to support an appropriate response to an emergency and play a central role in overall planning for responses to emergencies at the building level. Efforts may be supplemented by County and State resources through existing protocols when needed.

D. Plan review and public comment

The district-wide and building-level plans were originally adopted in 2001-2002, by the School Board after one public hearing that provided for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties, and has been adopted on an annual basis thereafter. This plan was formally adopted by the Board of Education on August 13, 2019. Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17 (c)(3), this plan was available for public comment for 30 days prior to its adoption.

The commissioner’s regulation requires that this plan be reviewed by the District-wide School Safety Team on an annual basis on or before September 1 of each year, and recommendations for updates provide to the Superintendent. Herein after, all updates made by the District-wide School Safety Team shall be presented to the Board of Education for adoption pursuant to the aforementioned regulations. In most cases, recommendations are specific and included in the building-level plans. While linked to the Districtwide School Safety Plan, the Building-level Emergency Response Plans are confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.

The District-wide School Safety Plan is posted on the district’s website (www.niskayunaschools.org) as requested by the New York State Education Department and available at the Niskayuna Central School District Office at 1239 Van Antwerp Road, Niskayuna, New York.

NOTE: Building-level Emergency Response Plans are supplied to both local and State Police within 30 days of adoption.

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Section II: General Emergency Response Planning

The District-wide School Safety Plan provides the framework for the Building-level Emergency Response Plan. The purpose of a uniform plan is to ensure district-wide continuity for emergency responses. These general emergency responses will provide one consistent response system that will be used by all school employees, students, parents and emergency responders. This is particularly beneficial as students move from elementary to middle school and then to high school, and as full-time, part-time and substitute employees travel among the schools.

The district team has identified many factors that could cause an emergency in our schools and facilities within the district as well as factors that need to be considered when responding to an emergency. The detailed list of potential internal and external hazards or emergency situations is included in the
confidential building-level emergency response plans.

A. Identification of sites of potential emergency, including:

  • Detailed plans for each school building;
  • The location of potential command and evacuation sites; primary and secondary for each site;
  • The kinds of action to be taken in the event of emergency, and
  • The potential internal or external hazards or emergency situations.

B. Multi-Hazard Response Guidelines

1. Actions

Included in the building-level safety plans are actions for handling multi-hazard emergencies that are in compliance with the Incident Command System (ICS). These guidelines include but not limited to:

  •  Initial actions
  • Command post location (primary and secondary)
  • Before, during and after school evacuation including evacuation routes and relocations sites (internal and external)
  • Shelter in place
  • Lockdown/lockout
  •  Duck and cover
  • Emergency school cancellations, closing, early dismissal and delays including after-school, evening activities and weekends

2. Emergencies

These include, but are not limited to the following Multi-hazard Response Guidelines:

  • Air Pollution
  • Anthrax/Biological
  • Aviation Crash
  • Bomb/Explosive Threat
  • Building Structural Failure
  • Civil Disturbance
  • Crimes Against Persons (includes Loss of Transportation Fleet
  • Assault, Abuse, Hostage-Taking, Medical Emergencies
  • Kidnapping and Robbery)
  • Earthquake
  • Electrical Systems Failure
  • Energy Supply Loss
  • Epidemic
  • Explosion
  • Fire and Alarm Activation
  • Flooding
  • Hazardous Materials Incident, Off Site
  • Hazardous Materials Incident, On Site
  • Heating System Failure
  • Hostage Situation
  • Intruder
  • Loss of Building Use
  • Multiple Casualty Incident
  • Natural Gas or Propane Leak
  • Radiological Incident
  • Roof Failure or Leak
  • School Bus Accident
  • Severe Weather Emergency
  • Toxic Exposure
  • Water Emergency

3. Resources

The district has identified various resources that may be available for use during an emergency, including: the identification of personnel via school building teams; use of Incident Command System (ICS); a list of volunteer faculty/staff trained in first aid, CPR and AED use; master list of all vehicles in the Transportation Department; building floor plans/maps with shut-offs. The
specific, detailed information in included in the confidential building-level safety plans.

4. Incident Command System (ICS)

The district has identified school personnel authorized to make decisions during an emergency. Through ICS the procedures to coordinate the use of school district resources and manpower during emergencies are clearly defined. ICS identifies the staff members and their backups assigned to provide assistance during emergencies. Each school building has a safety team that works under the Incident Command System. Each team is  documented in detail. This document is given only to the building-level emergency response teams, district administration, the New York State Police, Niskayuna Police Department, Niskayuna Fire Department, Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. The safety team details are located in the confidential building-level safety plans.

5. Policies and Procedures for Training

The district has developed policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students, including the strategies for implementing training related to multi-hazards. All drills required by the NYS Department of Education are satisfied annually. The district has established the following procedure(s) for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students:

  • The District will submit certification to NYSED that all district and school staff have undergone annual training on the emergency response plan, and that the school safety training includes components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees  hired after the start of the school year will receive training within 30 days of hire. The District will certify that all school staff receives this training by September 15th of each school year, or within 30 days of hire, whichever is sooner.

Faculty and staff in each building will be provided information about drills through training and/or teacher’s manual. Families will receive this information through the back-to-school brochure at the beginning of each school year.

  • Full participation in the Annual Early Dismissal – Go Home Evacuation Drill. The drill is no more than 15 minutes before the normal dismissal time. Procedures include -notifying parents and guardians at least one week prior to the drill; and testing the usefulness of the communications and transportation system during emergencies
  • Full participation in an On-Site Sheltering and Accountability Drill.
  • Full participation with 4 Building Lockdown/Security Drills annually.
  • The District conducts 8 Fire Alarm Activation and Evacuation Drills annually.
  • Any combination of eight of the required evacuation or lockdown drills is completed by December 31st of each year.
  • At least two additional drills must be held during summer school in buildings where summer school is conducted. One drill must be held during the first week of summer school.
  • Pupils are instructed in the procedure to be followed in the event that a fire occurs during the lunch period or assembly.
  • For after-school programs, events or performances conducted within a school building and include persons who do not regularly attend classes in the building, the principal or other person in charge of the building must require the teacher or person in charge of the after-school program, event or performance notify attendees of the procedures to be followed in an emergency.
  • The District conducts 4 School Bus Safety and Evacuation Drills annually.
  • The District-wide School Safety Team participate in simulated tabletop exercises.
  • The District has conducted drills and other training exercises to test components of the emergency response in coordination with the following agencies:
  • Niskayuna Fire Department
  • Rexford Fire Department
  • Niskayuna Police Department
  • Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department
  • Schenectady County Sheriff’s Department
  • Capital Region BOCES Health-Safety-Risk Management Services
  • Mutual aid departments as needed

6. Implementation of School Security

The district has developed policies and procedures related to school building security, including the following:

  • All visitors entering school buildings are directed to the Main Office to provide identification, sign in, and receive a visitor badge. Anyone who is found in the building without identification is directed back to the Main Office to sign in.
  • Each building has a secured front entrance with video monitor and remote access hardware.
  • The District Office at Van Antwerp Middle School has a secured entrance with remote access hardware.
  • Video surveillance systems are installed in district facilities. Video surveillance capabilities will be reviewed and expanded as needed.
  • Installation of exterior blue lights in the event of a lock-down.
  • Safety walkthroughs are performed by building personnel on an annual basis.

Note: Policies and procedures are continually being evaluated and shaped by real life experiences, such as bomb threats, forced entry into the school building with vandalism and outbursts of potentially violent behavior by students.

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Section III: Responding to Threats and Acts of Violence

A. Policies and Procedures

Schools will activate their Building-level Emergency Response Team and
will refer to their Building-level Emergency Response Plan and the Multi-Hazard Response Guide. The Multi-Hazard Response Guides are reviewed by the District-wide School Safety Team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district. These policies and procedures are for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school. Threats of violence by students include threats by students against themselves, which may include threats of suicide. The following types of procedures are addressed in the confidential Building-level Emergency Response Plans:

  • Contacting appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
  • Inform the building principal and Superintendent.
  • The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation. Informing the building principal of implied or direct threats.
  • Determine the level of threat with principal and Superintendent/designee.
  • Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district’s response as appropriate to include possible implementation of the safety team.
  • If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.
  • If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure and contact appropriate law enforcement agency.
  • Monitor the situation; adjust the level of response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, sheltering or evacuation procedures.
  • Communication with parent/legal guardian, and general public, as needed

NOTE: The Niskayuna Central School District Code of Conduct also describes policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school. The district’s code of conduct also supports school safety and security. The code of conduct is pursuant to the district’s safe and drug-free schools policy and the no weapons policy.

B. Response Protocols

These are identified in the Building-Level Emergency Response Plans, along with definitions of ICS roles and responsibilities. The Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Guides address specific procedures and protocols for responding to bomb threat, intruders, hostage takings and kidnapping including:

  • Identification of decision-makers.
  • Notification of administrators/agencies.
  • Plans to safeguard students and staff.
  • System for student release (reunification).
  • Procedures to provide transportation, if necessary.
  • Debriefing procedures.

C. Notification and Activation of Internal and External Communications

  1. The district policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident are located in each Building-Level Emergency Response Plan. Each plan identifies individuals who are authorized to initiate contact with local law enforcement agencies.
    All communications during an incident at the school will flow through the Incident Command Post. Emergency services will be requested through the 911 system.
  2. The district has also posted “If You See Something, Say Something” posters and window clings around the district.
  3. In the event of an emergency, staff, students and visitors will be contacted in one or more of the following manners: telephone (landline and cellular), intercom, runner with verbal message, automated notification system, district radio system, website, email and radio.
  4. The district has established policies and procedures to contact parents, legal guardians or persons in parental relation to the student in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. In the event that a student threatens violence, including violence against themselves, the parent of that student will be contacted by the school. Such communication will be made in consultation with first responders, and will vary depending on the particular details of the incident, including one or more of the following: media (TV, radio, newspaper), school district website, social media and direct email, phone and text communication. Community meetings and/or press conferences may be scheduled in a timely manner to discuss the particulars of the incidents and the district’s response.

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Section IV: Prevention and Intervention Strategies

The District strives to provide and enhance emergency and violence prevention and intervention strategies. Such strategies include improving communications among students and between students and staff, reporting of potentially violent incidents and establishing reporting mechanisms for school violence.

A. The school climate is viewed as an important part of school safety. The Dignity for All Students Act supports an environment free of harassment and discrimination. The District provides training around bullying prevention through curriculum integration, which is overseen by the District’s Dignity Act Coordinator. The BOE Policy 7550 supports intervention and defines Disciplinary Consequences/Remediation. If appropriate, disciplinary action will be taken by the administration in accordance with the district’s Code of Conduct, as applicable. If the behavior rises to the level of criminal activity, law enforcement will be contacted.

B. Policies and procedures related to school building security, including, where appropriate, the use of security monitors and or/security devices or procedures:

  • All entrances are secured daily. The District utilizes an electronic buzzer system for visitors at only one entrance to each building (two at the high school) wherein persons must be identified and cleared prior to allowing them access to the building.
  • Security cameras have been installed in strategic areas throughout the district.
  • Staff has been issued swipe cards in order to access the buildings.

C. Policies and procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to:

  • The district employs school social workers, counselors and psychologists/behavioral specialists who assist the district in identifying early warning signs in students and early intervention/prevention strategies. Designated personnel also play a key role in suicide prevention programs.
  • All faculty and staff will receive Mental Health Awareness and Violence Prevention Training and the District’s Code of Conduct is made available. The Superintendent of Schools will determine if additional persons should be given such information based on facts or circumstances arising.

D. Appropriate prevention and intervention strategies and strategies for improving communication among students and between students and staff and reporting of potentially violent and unsafe incidents. Highlights of the major programs are noted below (not all inclusive).

High School

  • Natural Helper Program
  • Health class, drug awareness training
  • Extracurricular clubs designed to promote healthy decisions
  • NCAP grant to support drug/alcohol prevention

Middle School

  • Access
  • Drug Awareness Training
  • Banana Splits
  • Family life/health
  • Extracurricular clubs designed to promote healthy decisions

Elementary School

  • Traffic Safety Programs
  • Fire Safety Programs (local fire departments)
  • Character Education
  • Bullying Prevention
  • Elementary Counseling programming in classrooms
  • Banana Splits
  • Family Life
  • Bus Safety

E. Description of duties, hiring and screening process, and required training of, security monitors, campus supervisors and other school safety personnel are maintained in the District Office.

F. The district has many Board of Education (BOE) policies that support school safety, including but not limited to:

  • 8211: Access to Buildings
  • 8120: Accident Prevention & Safety Procedures
  • 6150: Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances (Personnel)
  • 7320: Alcohol, Drugs and Other Substances (Students)
  • 5471: Drug and Alcohol Testing for School Bus Drivers
  • 4328: Alternative Education Programs
  • 5311: Bill of Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • 8110: Buildings & Grounds Inspections & Maintenance
  • 8200: Buildings & Grounds Management.
  • 8414.1: Bus Driver Qualifications & Training
  • 5311.4: Care of School Property by Students (See 8212)
  • 8123.1: Contagious Diseases
  • 7110: Comprehensive Student Attendance
  • 4300: Curriculum
  • 4200:Curriculum Development
  • 7360: Weapons in School and the Gun-Free Schools Act
  • 5313: Disciplinary Consequences for Students
  • 6151: Drug-Free Workplace
  • 8134: Emergency Closings
  • 5683: Fire and Emergency Drills, Bomb Threats, and Bus Emergency Drills
  • 8121: First Aid
  • 4315: Health Education
  • 8123: Hygiene Precautions and Procedures
  • 8612: Mail and Delivery Services
  • 5470: Missing Children
  • 5450.1: Notice of Releases of Sex Offenders
  • 8115: Pesticides and Pest Management
  • 7551: Sexual Harassment of Students
  • 3230: Public Complaints
  • 3410: Code of Conduct on School Property
  • 3420: Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment in the School District
  • 8111: Reporting of Hazards
  • 8100: Safety program
  • 5681: School Safety Plans
  • 5330: Searches and Interrogations
  • 5640: Smoking/Tobacco Use
  • 9150: Staff-Student relations
  • 5310: Student Discipline
  • 5420: Student Health Services
  • 5311.5: Student Personal Appearance Code
  • 5450: Student Safety
  • 8410: Student Transportation
  • 5400: Student Welfare
  • 5431: Suicide Prevention
  • 7530: Suspected Child Abuse and Maltreatment
  • 4810: Teaching about Controversial Issues
  • 4313: Teaching about Religion
  • 8240: Traffic & Parking on School Property
  • 3280: Use of School Facilities, Materials and Equipment
  • 3210: Visitors to the Schools
  • 7420: Student Records Access and Challenge

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Section V: Recovery

Recovery addresses the help needed for all involved to heal and to restore the school community to “normal” operations. The District supports the school buildings by deploying district resources that support the Emergency Response Teams and the Post-Incident Response Teams in the affected school(s).

Recovery plans include mental health/emotional recovery, academic, physical and business recovery, and can continue long after the actual emergency. The District has social worker and counselor resources and support systems. The District has the ability to coordinate with school, local, County and State disaster mental health services. The District’s role with mental health services includes looking at the school culture and climate, providing student access to services and following threat assessment procedures.

A. District Support for Buildings

Each Building-level Emergency Response Plan provides resources for supporting the Emergency Response Teams and Post-Incident Response Teams. The district’s Incident Command System (ICS) identifies backups to relieve team members. This provides team members the opportunity to rotate personnel, to fill in if assigned personnel are unavailable and to debrief in a supportive environment. The district realizes that some emergencies may overwhelm an individual school’s ability to manage an extreme crisis. If/when a
Building-level Emergency Response Team or Post-Incident Response Team is faced with an emergency such as threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide Emergency Response Team will assist as follows:

  • Acting as a sounding board for the building principal/supervisor regarding the implied or direct threats and/or violent acts.
  • Assisting in determining the level of threat and appropriate response.
  • If safe to do so, sending a district-wide team member to support the Building-level Team(s).
  • Monitoring the situation and adjusting the district’s response as appropriate.
  • Assisting with parent/guardian, faculty/staff, and media communication.
  • Assisting with coordinating building and grounds security in conjunction with local and State Police.
  • Assisting with offering a backup Post-Incident Response Team (i.e., another school team and/or an outside group) if needed.
  • Offering debriefing sessions as needed working in conjunction with local, County and/or State emergency responders.

B. Disaster Mental Health Services

If/when a Building-level Emergency Response Team or Post-Incident Response Team is faced with an emergency that may overwhelm an individual school’s ability to manage an extreme crisis, the districtwide Emergency Response Team will assist as follows:

  • If safe to do so, sending a district-wide team member to each affected school/building as a liaison between the school/building and the District Office.
  • Activating the district-wide Post-Incident response Team. The district and schools have school counselors, school psychologists, school nurses, and social workers that have local connections to:
    ○ Neighboring school districts
    ○ Saratoga County Department of Mental Health
    ○ Schenectady County Mental Health service providers
    ○ Ellis Hospital-Ellis Health Center and/or
    ○ Northeast Parent and Child Society
  • Offering district support and looking for continued feedback from those directly impacted during the incident, with projected plans to assist if needed during heightened stressful times such as a re-occurrence of a similar event and anniversaries of the original event.
  • Assisting with parent/guardian, student, and faculty/staff debriefing and/or post-incident crisis intervention. If needed, assisting in contacting additional outside mental health resources.
  • Assisting the schools with written statements going out to faculty/staff, parents/guardians, press releases and media requests through the district’s Public Information Officer and Communications Office.

The district supports the recovery phase and reevaluates current multi-hazard and violence prevention practices and school safety activities.

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Section VI: Communicable Disease – Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan

This Continuity of Operations Plan (plan) has been developed to meet the requirements of subsection (2)(m) of Education Law §2801-a which requires public employers to prepare a plan for the continuation of operations in the event that the Governor declares a public health emergency involving a communicable disease. This plan is built upon the components of the District-Wide School Safety and the Building-Level Emergency Response Plan(s). The Plan includes elements of the COVID-19 Reopening Plan and will be updated regularly to reflect current guidance and best practices. The District-Wide School Safety Team assumes responsibility for development and compliance with all provisions of this plan and implementation at the building level through the Building-Level Emergency Response Team.

The district will work closely with Schenectady County Public Health Services (local health department) to determine the need for activation of this plan. Glencliff Elementary is in Saratoga County, so the district will also maintain communication about this plan with Saratoga County Public Health Services. The district will report suspected and confirmed cases of communicable diseases (e.g., influenza, coronavirus, etc.) on the monthly Communicable Disease Report, (DMS-485.7/93; HE-112.4/81) and submit it to the local health department. Depending on the severity of the disease, the district may be required to report information more frequently and in another format (i.e., daily for COVID-19).

The local health department will monitor county-wide communicable disease cases and inform school districts as to appropriate actions.

When this plan is activated, the District-Wide School Safety Team may invite additional people to the meetings to aid in the planning efforts, including:

  • District Medical Director
  • School nurse(s)
  • Technology Director
  • Human Resources Office
  • Business Official
  • Facility Director
  • Food Service Director
  • Transportation Coordinator
  • Public Information Officer
  • Curriculum Director

Communication with parents, students, staff, and the school community is important throughout a pandemic outbreak. Communication methods will include postings to the district website, general mailings, email, social media, electronic signs, text messages and phone calls as well as notices to the news media. The district Communications Office (Communications) has been designated to coordinate this effort. Communications will work closely with the Director of Technology (Tech) to ensure proper function of all communication systems.

A. Essential Positions/Titles

The district has developed this plan to prepare for any future government ordered shutdowns that may occur, similar to the coronavirus shutdown in the spring of 2020. Attachment 1 includes a list of essential positions that would be required to be on-site or in district to continue to function as opposed to those positions that could work remotely. The list includes:

  • Title – a list of positions/titles considered essential (i.e., could not work remotely) in the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce.
  • Description – brief description of job function.
  • Justification – brief description of critical responsibilities that could not be provided remotely.
  • Work Shift – brief description of how work shifts of essential employees and/or contractors will be staggered in order to reduce overcrowding in the district.
  • Protocol – how precise hours and work locations, including off-site visits, will be documented for essential employees and contractors.

Continuity of operations could be severely impacted by a loss of staff. The table below describes the procedures for maintaining essential functions and services by planning for backup personnel.

Role/Topic Task Backups
Superintendent Have decision-making authority for the district.

Make district policies and procedures to reflect crisis response.

Assistant Superintendent

Business Official

Business Official Maintain overall function and facilities operation.

Review essential functions and responsibilities of back-up personnel.

Monitor utilization of supplies, equipment, contracts, and provided services and adjust as necessary

Purchasing

Purchasing   Agent

Deputy Purchasing Agent

Payroll

Payroll Coordinator

Additional Positions:

Accounts Payable Clerk

Treasurer

Information Processing Specialist

Facilities Director Keep the Business Office informed of staffing issues and of the point at which buildings can no longer be maintained.

Provided building administrators with procedures for maintaining essential building functions (e.g., HVAC system operation, alarms, security, etc.) along with a list of telephone numbers of outside companies and alternates for repair and maintenance of these systems.

Meet with staff and monitor their ability to maintain essential function

If the Facilities Director is not available his back-ups would be split by function below:

Custodial:
-a Head Custodian

Maintenance:
-a Senior Maintenance Mechanic

Human Resources Monitors absenteeism and ensures appropriate delegation of authority

 

Work with bargaining units to develop the plan for emergency use of personnel in non-traditional functions and changes in the normal work-day such as alternate or reduced work hours, working from home, etc.

Recruitment/Staffing

Human Resources Coordinator

Workplace Safety

BOCES Safety Specialist

Training

BOCES Safety Specialist

Labor Law Compliance

Human Resources Coordinator

Compensation Planning

Business Official

Insert additional functions

Benefits

Human Resources Assistant

Leave of Absence

Human Resources Coordinator

Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Will be implemented in the event of significant absences or school closure.

Alternate learning strategies will include:

Hard copy, self-directed lessons

Use of mobile media storage devices for lessons (CDs, Jump Drives, IPads)

On-line instruction; on-line resources; on-line textbooks

Communication modalities for assignment postings and follow-up: telephone; Postal Service; cell phone, cell phone mail, text messages; e-mail; automated notification systems; website postings

Director of Communications Provide critical and timely information and updates to all audiences utilizing the most effective communications mechanisms, including email/text/phone, district website and news media notices.

Relay information in consultation with the Superintendent or designee.

All functions can be accomplished remotely.

Superintendent’s Secretary

District Data Manager

Capital Region BOCES Communications Service

Director of Technology Ensure that all critical district functions that rely on Technology are functional.   These include but are not limited to Internet Access, Telecommunications, Security and Access systems, Student Information Systems, and public communications systems.

Senior System Administrator

Data Manager

Chief Instructional Technologist

B. Working/Learning Remotely

The District will assess devices and technology needs of all non-essential employees and contractors in order to enable telecommuting.
Options for assessing district needs include stakeholder meetings or surveys to ascertain:

  • Who will need devices and/or peripherals at home,
  • What programs will need to be added to these devices, and
  • The availability of viable existing at-home Internet service.

The information from these surveys will be used to determine what items need to be purchased, which programs need to be installed on devices and if appropriate Internet bandwidth can be provided to those in need.

C. Staggered Shifts

Depending on the exact nature of the communicable disease and its impact, the district is prepared to use the strategies below to reduce traffic congestion and maintain social distancing:

  • Limiting building occupancy to 25%, 50% or 75% of capacity or the maximum allowable by state or local guidance.
  • Forming employee work shift cohorts to limit potential contacts.
  • Limit employee travel within the building and/or between buildings.
  • Limit restroom usage to specific work areas.
  • Stagger arrival and dismissal times.
  • Alternate work-days or work weeks.
  • Implement a four-day work week.
  • Limit or eliminate visitors to the building.

The district may need to include additional strategies based on updated federal, state, and local guidance.

D. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings

The district will procure a six-month supply of face coverings and PPE required for essential work tasks. Disposable PPE will be provided in quantities of at least two pieces per work day.

PPE Type Task/Role
N-95 Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

Cleaners/Custodians (based on disinfectants used)

Face Shields Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

Special Education

Gowns Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

Special Education

Gloves Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

Special Education

Cleaners/Custodians

Maintenance/Mechanics

Cloth Face Coverings* All faculty, staff and students

* Cloth face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment by OSHA because their capability to protect the wearer is unknown. However, cloth face coverings are important as a source control for COVID-19 and provides some protection to the wearer. As such, OSHA strongly encourages workers to wear face coverings.

Those individuals that are required to wear N-95 respirators will be fit-tested and medically screened prior to use to ensure they are physically able to do so.

The use of cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of communicable diseases is important to the health and safety of faculty, staff and students. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected (asymptomatic) and are essential when physical distancing is difficult. Information will be provided to faculty, staff and students on proper use, removal, and cleaning of cloth face coverings. All faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to utilize their own personal face coverings but the district will secure and provide face coverings as needed.

PPE and face coverings will be stored in a manner which will prevent degradation. These supplies will be monitored to ensure integrity and track usage rates. District communication on how to access PPE will be provided.

E. Response Protocols for Preventing Spread

The District-Wide School Safety Team will meet to determine the need for activation of a pandemic response based on internal monitoring and correspondence with the local health department and other experts.

  • The Incident Command Structure at both the District and Building level will be informed that the response effort has been enacted. These individuals will meet to discuss the plan’s activation and review responsibilities and communication procedures.
  • Communications will work closely with the IT department to re-test all communication systems to ensure proper function. The District-wide School Safety Team and Building-Level Emergency Response Teams will assist in this effort.
  • An alert will be sent to the school community upon activation of this plan. The communication will be based on the latest information from federal, state and local health authorities.
  • If the decision is made to close a school building, the district will notify the NYS Education Department and District Superintendent.

There will be one district communicable disease safety coordinator with two back-up coordinators whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the district’s reopening plan and any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal or “new normal” levels. The coordinators shall be the main contact upon the identification of positive communicable disease cases and are responsible for subsequent communication. Coordinators shall be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians of students regarding the public health emergency and plans implemented by the school.

Hand Hygiene

Faculty, staff, and students will be trained on proper hand hygiene. Information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce hand hygiene at home. The district will provide stations around the school buildings:

  • For hand washing: soap, running water, and disposable paper towels.
  • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where hand washing facilities may not be available or practical.
  • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

Communicable Disease Exposures

The district must be prepared for communicable disease outbreaks in their local communities and for individual exposure events to occur in their facilities, regardless of the level of community transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) have provided recommendations for strategies to follow after an exposure:

  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred;
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 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 a communicable disease, 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 a communicable disease can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
  • If more than seven days have passed since the person who is suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease has visited or used the facility, additional cleaning or disinfection is not necessary, but routine cleaning and disinfection should continue.

Returning after Illness

The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for communicable disease symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

  • Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
  • Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  • Symptom resolution, or if positive for a communicable disease, release from isolation

The district will refer to the NYSDOH’s “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit” and other applicable guidance regarding protocols and policies for faculty, staff, and students seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed communicable disease case or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with a communicable disease.
The district requires that individuals who were exposed to a communicable disease complete quarantine and have no symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

Cleaning/Disinfecting

The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and NYSDOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection – Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes” and other guidance, as applicable.
Attachment 2 describes cleaning and disinfection protocols and procedures for the district. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which will be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.

The school district has determined employee policies for available leave in the event of the need of an employee to receive testing, treatment, isolation, or quarantine. These policies are consistent with existing federal, state, or local law, including regarding sick leave or health information privacy.

F. Contact Tracing Supports

The district will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive communicable disease diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district.

Districts may assist with contact tracing by:

  • Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
  • Ensuring student schedules are up to date
  • Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited
  • Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program

The district, in consultation with the local health department, will determine what process will be followed when communicable disease cases are discovered in the school (e.g., how many individuals will be quarantined, closing of areas or classrooms, etc.).

Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.

G. Housing for Essential Employees

Emergency housing for essential workers is not considered to be required for school faculty and staff. The need for emergency housing will be determined with direction from the local department of health.

Recovery

Re-establishing the normal school curriculum is essential to the recovery process and should occur as soon as possible. The district will

  • Work toward a smooth transition from the existing learning methods to the normal process.
  • Use the described communication methods to keep the school community aware of the transition process.
  • Work closely with the New York State Education Department to revise or amend the school calendar as deemed appropriate.
  • Evaluate all building operations for normal function and re-implement appropriate maintenance and cleaning procedures.

Each Building-Level Post-incident Response Team will assess the emotional impact of the crisis on students and staff and make recommendations for appropriate intervention. The District-Wide School Safety Team and Building-Level Emergency Response Teams will meet to debrief and determine lessons learned with input from all essential functions. The District-Wide School Safety Plan and Building-Level Emergency Response Plans will be updated accordingly.

Curriculum activities that may address the crisis will be developed and implemented.

Attachment 1

Title Description
(Summary of job function)
Justification
(Why work may need to be in-person)
Work Shift
(If possible include ideas for staggering shifts)
Protocol – How will you document hours/Locations
Superintendent Provide continuity for overall operations. Ensure all stakeholders receive the resources and support needed to ensure continuity Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require The Superintendent will determine the appropriate location based on the situation at hand.
Assistant Superintendent

 for Instruction

Provide continuity of K-12 instruction and professional learning support to faculty and staff The majority of the work of the ASI can be done remotely with the occasional in-person need to sign documents.

Re: instruction, although instruction can be provided via an all-remote scenario, it is always preferable to have teachers and student support staff provide instruction from their classrooms. This allows them to have access to teaching materials and technology resources.

The ASI can be remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require.

Re: instruction, there is no need at this time to consider staggering adults.  However, we have staggered student in-person attendance for grades 7-12, 50% in-person daily rotation

Communication and documentation of hours/locations happens in consultation with the Superintendent and/or designee and the district communications team via email, school messenger, phone calls and the district website.
Business Office Provide continuity for overall operations. Ensure all stakeholders receive the resources and support needed to ensure continuity Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require
Human Resources Monitor absenteeism and ensure appropriate delegation of authority

 

Work with bargaining units to develop the plan for emergency use of personnel in non-traditional functions and changes in the normal work-day such as alternate or reduced work hours, working from home, etc.

 

Ensure all stakeholders receive human resources support needed to ensure continuity Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require. Scheduling of on-site

personnel will be

as needed and set up

on a rotating basis to avoid interface.

Facilities Services Provide for the safety and security of all facilities to provide for continuity of operations Ensure all stakeholders receive operations and maintenance support needed to ensure continuity Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require During a shut- down, the only personnel in school buildings are individual head

custodians doing

building checks.

For maintenance and

grounds, scheduling

will be designed to
avoid interface.

 

Transportation Provide required transportation as well as delivery service as needed Ensure all stakeholders receive necessary transportation to ensure continuity Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require When possible, scheduling will be designed to reduce employee interface.
Food Service Provide required food service as needed Ensure all eligible stakeholders receive adequate access to food throughout the closure Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require Information is posted through the communications department on the website and through the parent messenger portal.  This is constantly updated to reflect the latest changes.

 

 

Communications Provide critical and timely information and updates to all audiences utilizing the most effective communications mechanisms.

 

 

Ensure all stakeholders have information they need during a public health emergency. Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require. Daily communication with Superintendent’s Office.
Technology Ensure that all critical district functions that rely on Technology are functional.   These include but are not limited to Internet Access, Telecommunications, Security and Access systems, Student Information Systems, and public communications systems.

 

All other systems in the district rely on the technology managed and maintained by the Technology Department Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require. Work with all district employees and stakeholders to provide the support, access and functionality as designated as Essential to District Operations.
Special Education Provide continuity of K-12 special education instruction, implementation of IEPs and professional learning support to faculty and staff The majority of the work of the SpEd Dept administrative work can be done remotely with the occasional in-person need to sign documents.

 

Re: SpEd instruction, although instruction can be provided via an all-remote scenario, it is preferable to have self-contained and at-risk students with disabilities in-person as much as possible.

 

It is also preferable to have teachers and student support staff provide instruction from their classrooms. This allows them to have access to teaching materials and technology resources.

 

The SpEd Dept admin staff can be remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require.

 

 

 

Re: SpEd instructional staff, there is no need at this time to consider staggering adults.  However, we have staggered student in-person attendance for grades 7-12, 50% in-person daily rotation. We can also bring in self-contained and at-risk students with disabilities in-person.

Communication and documentation of hours/ locations happens in consultation with the Superintendent and/or designee and the SpEd Dept and district

communications team via

email, school messenger,

phone calls and the district website.

Messenger/Mail Services Provide required mail service as needed Ensure all stakeholders receive mail services as needed to ensure continuity. Remote and on-site as needed and as circumstances require.

Attachment 2

Room Types/Areas Cleaning Frequency Disinfection Frequency Responsible Party Additional Information
Classrooms Daily Daily Custodial staff;

staff and teachers

Doors, desks, chairs, and floors
Restrooms 2x daily 2x daily Custodial staff Doors and sinks will be done twice daily. Floors will be done once daily.
Health Offices/

Isolation Rooms

Various Various Nursing staff; Custodial staff Cots, bathrooms and health office equipment will be cleaned after each use. Floors will be done once daily.
Breakrooms Daily Daily Custodial staff Doors, tables, chairs and floors
Cafeterias/Kitchens Various Various Custodial staff;

staff and teachers

Tables and chairs will be cleaned/disinfected in between each group’s use. Floors will be done once daily.
Outside Seating Areas Various Various Custodial staff;

staff and teachers

Tables and chairs will be cleaned/disinfected in between each group’s use. Floors will be done once daily.
Computer Labs Various Various Custodial staff;

staff and teachers

Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.
Science Labs Daily Daily Custodial staff;

staff and teachers

Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.
Maintenance Office and Work Areas Daily Daily Custodial staff Doors, desks, chairs, and floors
Bus Garage Daily Daily Custodial staff; Transportation staff Bathroom, doors, desks, chairs, and floors
Libraries Daily Daily Custodial staff; Librarians Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.
Playgrounds As needed N/A Custodial staff
School Buses Daily Daily Transportation staff High contact spots will be cleaned after the morning (AM) runs and cleaned/disinfected after the afternoon (PM) run.
School Vehicles After each use After each use Staff using vehicles Interior contact surfaces wiped down with

disinfectant wipes after each use.

Administrative Offices Daily Daily Custodial staff Doors, desks, chairs, and floors
Large Meeting Areas (e.g., gymnasiums, auditoriums, music rooms) N/A N/A N/A These areas are not going to be used. When these areas will be returned to use, then an appropriate frequency for cleaning/disinfection will be established.
Athletic Training Rooms, Locker Rooms N/A N/A N/A These areas are not going to be used. When these areas will be returned to use, then an appropriate frequency for cleaning/disinfection will be established.
Frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, copy machine buttons, handles, etc.) 2x daily 2x daily Custodial staff
Shared frequently touched surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, phones, laptops, tablets, remote controls, etc.) After each use After each use Staff using shared surfaces
Shared equipment (e.g., hand tools, facilities equipment, groundskeeping equipment, golf cart, etc.) After each use After each use Staff using equipment

Only district approved chemicals will be used. At no time will students be allowed to use cleaners or disinfectants.