Western NY Maritime Charter Middle and High School
Purpose: The purpose of this plan is to outline building level COVID response, containment and reaction plans. The format used follows the NYSED COVID plan framework. Those areas addressed by this framework, which are not handled at building but rather LEA level, are indicated as such.
1) Health and Safety:
- Health Checks - students, staff, and parents alike will receive instruction on the symptoms of COVID and be able to answer screening questions as part of the process of arriving at school. All staff and students will be screened for temperature and signs of illness by the school nurse or designated personnel daily. Anyone pre-screened online will be instructed to remain home. If a student has had a known exposure to COVID (10 minutes or more of unprotected close proximity within 6 feet) or has traveled from a state listed on the New York State travel advisory, they must confer with a doctor directing the appropriate quarantine period, usually 14 days, and whether they should be tested. We will require a Doctor’s statement clearing your child before returning to school. In all cases, if they test positive, the student will stay home per a doctor order and are not allowed to return to the school building until cleared by a doctor to do so.
- Social Distancing - Floor signage will control foot traffic flow and prompt separation in common areas. Classrooms will have desks at appropriate distance and tables will have physical barriers. Small class sizes with large classrooms account for distancing in the classroom. Lunch tables will be at no more than 50% capacity. Middle School students will be able to achieve social distancing while attending full time in school instruction. High school students will attend two days of in school instruction and three days of remote instruction to be able to successfully comply with the requirements of social distancing.
- Management of Ill Persons - Anyone screened and identified as being ill will be isolated for follow up triage by the school nurse or designated personnel. Teachers/staff will be sent home immediately. For students, parents will be contacted to pick up the student. Parents and staff will be instructed in the return to school protocol which will require a doctor’s clearance to return to school for any student or staff member who exhibited a fever, any students or staff ordered to quarantine by a doctor, or any students or staff who test positive for COVID-19. The school’s main office will report to the LEA any knowledge of known COVID-19 cases who were known to be in the building.
- Health Hygiene - All students and staff will receive training in expected hygiene practices and will be provided the materials in adequate supply to execute these practices including hand sanitizing stations in every room and paper towels for hand drying.
- Face Coverings and PPE - All students, staff and visitors will be expected to enter the building with face coverings. The school main office, the nurse, and all classroom teachers will have an on hand stock to provide individuals in need. Additionally all staff will be provided with face shields. The nurse conducting daily screening will be afforded the use of additional PPE as necessary. Students may remove their mask when eating, when seated in a classroom and allowed to do so by a classroom teacher provided the student maintains 6 feet of separation from others, and when engaged in heavy physical exercise so long as at least 12 feet of separation is maintained.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting - Thorough cleaning of all surfaces will be conducted nightly. In addition, any time students change rooms desks, chromebooks or any shared materials will be disinfected as part of the process of accepting students for the next period. If it is discovered that a known COVID case was present in school all areas that the student came into contact with will be deep cleaned. If necessary, that student’s class will conduct school online one day while the classroom is deep cleaned. If the student attended a significant portion of the day and came into contact with multiple areas of the school, the entire school will revert to online instruction for one day while the entire school is deep cleaned. If it is known that unprotected close proximity of 10 minutes or more and within 6 feet took place see section 1-a above.
- Footprint and Utilization of Space - Due to the size of the school’s student body in relation to the capacity the school was originally designed for (1 : 6), there is no plan to alter the school’s layout or footprint. Students will be rotated into Changing rooms for PE class no more than 5 at a time.
- Planning - N/A
- Fire and Lockdown Drills - Fire drills can be staggered by floor and wing, thus separating the student body across the school footprint. Distancing will be maintained during movement. Lockdown drills will simulate any huddling out of sight along inside walls.
- Ventilation - Due to the age of the school, there is no air conditioning but windows are able to be opened in classrooms in order to provide ventilation. Heating is radiator based and does not circulate potentially contaminated air. Heating systems are strong enough to maintain window use even during cold weather months.
- Plumbing - will comply with all Covid cleaning and sanitizing requirements.
3) Nutrition: Breakfast and lunch meals will be available to all students at no cost. Money is not collected from students. Adults who buy meals will prepay for food. No guests will be invited to the school to eat. Those students who decide to choose remote instruction may pick up a “take-out” breakfast and lunch for each day the school is in session. Only one door will be used for meal pick-up. Information about meals and meal pick up will be available on the school website. Pre-portioned condiments will be used. The kitchen and the cafeteria will be cleaned between scheduled meals. Each lunch has been reduced in student number and breakfast will be served in various locations at the middle school to maintain social distance. Disinfecting and sanitation guidelines are in place to maintain cleanliness of tables, chairs, carts, serving areas and kitchen equipment. Deep cleaning will occur nightly. No vending machines will be available. There will be no sharing of food. Sanitation stations will be available at the beginning of the serving line. Six foot spacing will be marked by tape.
4) Transportation: Maritime students travel from many locations. Few are walkers, some travel via city transportation, most via district busses. Maritime supports that all students will wear masks while traveling to school and will support all district regulations regarding cleanliness. In any event, masks will be demanded for entry into Maritime. Students will be reminded to wash their hands or use sanitation stations on their arrival to school.
5) Social-Emotional Well-Being: The school counselors intend to present knowledge about resilience and mental health to students and staff alike. The counselors will proactively survey students and staff periodically in order to assess social-emotional well being. The counselors will then provide additional support to anyone identified as needing additional support and will also provide families and staff with information on additional supports available outside of the school and in the community if needed. Each student has a teacher mentor who will also be instructed to provide well-being checks daily.
6) School Schedules: The beginning of school will be staggered by grade level with half days in order to effectively ramp up to new expectations and procedures. In order to allow for required distancing during meals two additional lunch periods were put into place. While the initial primary mode of teaching at the middle school will be daily in-person, with effective communication between teaching staff and students, students may be able to move from in-person learning to a hybrid or fully-online mode seamlessly while continuing to receive necessary instruction. This is due to the fact that teachers will maintain parallel in-person and online instruction lessons. The high school will also open with half days by individual grade level to introduce both a new school building and new expectations and regulations for their health and safety. The high school will utilize a hybrid approach in order to maintain social distancing. Freshman and Sophomore classes will attend in-school instruction on Wednesdays and Fridays and remote learning the other days. Juniors and seniors will attend in-school instruction on Tuesdays and Thursdays and remote learning the other days. This will allow half of the student population to be in the cafeteria during any of the planned meals. This will also allow for half of the students in the hall at any given time. These changes will be evaluated every month to see if schedules should be adjusted either with full time in school instruction or fully remote instruction. Both of those choices have already been given to parents who would prefer to have their students in school full time or at home full time and those decisions are being dealt with individually.
7) Budget and Fiscal: The operating budget has been impacted by the cost of PPE and the increased cost for cleaning materials as well as an increased use of disinfecting solutions. Grants are being used to help offset this raised expenditure. Maritime is applying for funding through the CARES Act but is not eligible for funding through the GEERF (Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund). There is also an increased cost for technology, both hardware and software. Staff development funds are being targeted for best practices in remote learning.
8) Attendance and chronic absenteeism: The school will continue to leverage current attendance interventions as appropriate. The attendance policy has been revised to include participation in online learning as legal attendance for this school year. Any in person absences due to COVID protocol or other illness will not be considered absences if students engage in posted online learning. All staff will operate parallel in person and online learning experiences in order to provide flexibility in the face of potentially fluid individual and school wide situations. Communication between school and home has dramatically increased with remote learning and will continue to be important as we work to get all of our constituencies to support participation in a learning environment. Parents who do not make the appropriate efforts to ensure attendance, online or in person, will first be referred to community support mechanisms prior to the exploration of educational neglect or PINS.
9) Technology Connectivity: Maritime is working to promote technological equity for our students in the coming year. We are providing chromebooks with internet capabilities for students who have neither at home. Last year we needed to lend less than 50 laptops to students identified through a student survey. This year we have 84 ready to be assigned in a lending library format.
10) Teaching and Learning - Requirements and Flexibility: All students will receive instruction, whether in-person or online, based upon the state required standards and geared toward success on aligned state assessments. In-person and online instruction will be synchronized in terms of progress through the curriculum map in order to address required standards. All forms of instruction will include teacher student interaction. This will include written interaction as appropriate. When possible students will be afforded synchronous opportunities for interaction when in the online classroom. Hardcopy exchange of learning materials will be the option of last resort in circumstances where student access to online platforms is not possible. Exchange of hardcopy materials will be made on a weekly basis. Teaching staff will maintain continuous communication with families to apprise them of online progress as appropriate. Teachers will maintain one on one communication with students and families who demonstrate an intensified need. Any large scale move to online learning will be communicated to families by school leaders using online and all call communication. Units of study in terms of 180 minutes weekly, PE delivery and science lab requirements will be modified as necessary based upon prudent moves, as outlined above, to online learning.
11) Special Education: Maritime will ensure that all necessary modifications, accommodations and requirements of each IEP are met so that our identified population has every opportunity to be successful in in-person or remote instruction. Progress monitoring will continue and plans will be adjusted as necessary to promote progress towards goals.
12) Bilingual Education and World Languages: ELL staff will identify all new ELL students within 20 days of the start of school and initiate administration of NYSITELL as appropriate. ELL staff will continue to work with content staff to adapt materials for and provide additional support to ELL students regardless whether instruction takes place in-person or online. ELL services will be provided in accordance with regulations based upon the last reported proficiency level of ELL students. If in the online environment, ELL staff will communicate digitally and telephonically in order to provide the necessary support to ELL students. ELL staff will continuously communicate and engage with families of ELL students in their prefered language to provide support and assess needs. ELL student progress in English proficiency will be monitored by content assessments, NWEA testing and locally developed assessments created by ELL staff leading to culmination of the year’s progress as documented by the NYSESLAT.
13) Staffing and Human Resources: Maritime continues to hire for excellence. Whenever possible the teacher will be certified, passionate about their subject area and committed to excellence both in teaching and learning. Evaluations will be done both online and in person as appropriate. All teachers will have to have their classes posted in a Google classroom setting this year. Teachers will be required to submit SLOs. Student teachers will continue to be welcome at Maritime. Our partnership with local colleges has helped provide continued excellence in instruction.