School Reopening PlanSeptember 3, 2020
SCCS FAQ’s - Meal Program
What will mealtimes look like for students at school during Covid-19?
Breakfast on days when students are in school:
- All students from Pre-K to 12 who wish to eat breakfast will do so in the classroom
- Breakfast will be pre-ordered the day before and will be at the students’ classrooms when they arrive at school
- Masks will be worn until student is seated at desk
- Hand sanitizer will be provided before and after eating
- Students who do not qualify for free/reduced lunch must have money on their cafeteria account to order/purchase breakfast
- Cafeteria accounts may be funded through myschoolbucks.com or by sending in a check made out to the SCCS – Cafeteria Fund
Lunch on days when students are in school:
- All students will eat in the cafeteria
- Hand sanitizer will be provided to all students
- Students may bring their lunch or purchase lunch in the cafeteria
- Students will be socially distanced and wear a mask while walking to their seats or going through the lunch line
- There are directional arrows and six-foot social distance markers for students to follow while proceeding through the line
- Once seated, students may remove their mask while they eat
- Upon leaving the cafeteria, students will put their mask on and be provided hand sanitizer to return to class
- After each lunch period, the cafeteria will be closed for a complete sanitizing. Sanitizing includes any area students came in contact with, including the line students walked through to pick up their lunch as well as all tables/desks/chairs where students were seated
On days when students are not in school:
- Students who qualify for free/reduced meals and wish to have breakfast and/or lunch provided for the days when they are not required to be at school, will take grab-n-go meals home with them as they leave school
- Students who do not qualify for free/reduced meals may also order a breakfast and/or lunch to take home for the days when they are not in school; the cost will be deducted from their cafeteria account
- Parents of students who qualify for free/reduced meals may pre-order meals and arrange for pick up through the cafeteria
- Meals for multiple days will be able to be picked up at one time
- Meals will be grab-and-go and will be picked up at a specified time and place at the school
- If there are transportation issues, parents may contact the district office
What is a grab-and-go meal?
- A meal that meets all nutritional guidelines but can be packaged in a to-go bag
- A meal that is ready to be consumed without requiring much preparation
- Information regarding grab-n-go meals will be on district website under the cafeteria section
What is the district doing to help ensure student safety?
- Temperature/health screenings of all staff/students
- Thermal cameras installed at both entrances of school
- All classrooms configured to adhere to social distancing rules
- Plastic barriers placed on all desks
- UV wands to scan library books
- Hand sanitizer in all classrooms
- Teachers will sanitize desks in the Jr/Sr high school between class changes
- Bathrooms configured to promote social distancing
- Additional cleaning staff working to keep high touch areas/bathrooms sanitized throughout the school day
- Sanitizing machines purchased to be used for additional sanitizing of all areas
- Acquired EPA-recommended cleaning/disinfecting products approved to kill the virus
What types of PPE has the district purchased?
- Disposable masks
- Cloth masks
- N95 masks
- Clear face shields
- Rubber gloves
- Isolation gowns
- Hand sanitizer
- Sanitizing wipes
- Acrylic sneeze guards
- No-touch thermometers
September 1, 2020
The most recently revised school reopening plan dated August 28, 2020 can be reviewed by selecting the plan located in the right hand column.
SCCS FAQ’s School Reopening
August 17, 2020
Will the school require masks and social distancing?
Yes, students and staff will wear masks during transitional times, which includes riding on a bus, entering the school, walking in the hallway, using bathrooms, or transitioning between secondary classrooms. Students may take masks off when seated at their desks if social distancing of six feet can be maintained.
Elementary students may also take off their masks to eat lunch, as six feet distance will be maintained, and outside the school building for planned breaks.
Secondary students will wear a mask other than during scheduled mask breaks and while seated eating breakfast and lunch. If a student has a documented medical reason for not wearing a mask, a health plan will be developed and those students will be required to wear a face shield. Mask-breaks may happen, at the teacher’s direction, during seated, quiet independent work time or when outdoors as long as social distancing is maintained.
Students will be required to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands throughout the day.
Will health screenings occur? Who is responsible for determining if our child becomes symptomatic?
Yes, all staff members and parents/guardians have an important role in this process. Parents should begin the day by taking your child’s temperature and checking for the following symptoms; fever, chills, flushed cheeks, difficulty breathing, fatigue, irritability, cough, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, and/ or diarrhea. If displaying any of the symptoms or if their temperature exceeds 100oF, please stay home.
Students and staff will have their temperature checked by trained staff as they enter the school on a daily basis. The district will use non-contact thermometers/scanners. If greater than 100oF, the student will meet with the school nurse in isolation and parents will be contacted to pick up their child immediately. Staff members will be sent home.
What are my child’s options for instruction?
The district will provide two options for students and families.
The hybrid model alternates between in-person and remote learning on alternating days. Students would either attend school on an A or B day as designated by the district. Social distancing requires bus and classroom capacity to be significantly reduced (50%), limiting class size to 12 or fewer students. Our plan will allow students to connect in-person with their teachers every other day, provide certified teachers in every classroom, and minimize contact between pods of students and staff members. All students will be taught in actual classrooms versus repurposed spaces such as cafeterias, auditorium, or gyms.
For the remote only model, teachers will be assigned to provide assignments and instructional videos for students.
Why did the district choose the alternating day hybrid model?
We believe in-person contact with students every other day is the best option for our students. Remote learning is challenging for some students and having in-person contact will help keep them on track and provide the support they need. Other models have 5-7 day breaks between in person instruction and we believe those models will adversely affect student engagement. We will provide an A/B day schedule for the first couple of months so parents can plan ahead. We also believe limiting students’ contacts to as few as possible adults will help mitigate the risk even further. The A/B model also provides 20% more in-person instruction on a bi-weekly basis for each pod.
Is a COVID-19 test required prior to the start of classes?
No, testing is not required for students or staff to begin the school year. According to the Cayuga County Health Department, testing may be required if an individual has been in proximate contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID -19. The individual may be placed in a mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation by the health department.
Will the year definitely be starting on time?
At this time, we anticipate opening the hybrid model on September 8 or 9 depending on whether your child will attend in-person learning on an A or B day.
Will we be kept informed of current cases in our school? How will we be notified?
If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, students and staff who have been in close contact with that individual will be notified by email or phone. The district will work proactively with the health department to complete contact tracing and determine who will be notified for an individual case.
If it is determined that a pod/group of students and staff must be quarantined due to a positive case of COVID-19, parents will be notified immediately. Timing is dependent on receipt of test results and contact tracing by the health department.
Will the kids have access to microwaves to heat food at lunch?
At this time, I do not anticipate that being an issue. An adult will be present to help students.
What will replace the time that was previously used for specials? More instruction, or is this time being used as a buffer due to new cleaning/hand washing protocols?
The ‘specials’ teachers at the elementary level will be asked to provide activities for classroom teachers to complete with their students. Each of the specials and support teachers will be assigned to a specific classroom ‘pod’ to work directly with students and the classroom teacher. I expect additional time will be needed to wash hands and for other safety protocols.
What metrics will be used to determine whether schools close again?
Governor Cuomo and the NYS Department of Health have created a formula to close schools based on the number of positive cases within a region. The district will work with the Cayuga County Health Department to determine if that threshold has been reached within our region or community. Please understand that these processes may change with little notice as the COVID-19 guidance is continually being updated. If you want to know current infection rate, please check out the link provided.
On July 13, 2020, the Governor announced;
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new, data-driven guidance for reopening schools in New York State. Schools in a region can reopen if that region is in Phase IV of reopening and if its daily infection rate remains below 5 percent or lower using a 14-day average since unPAUSE was lifted. Schools will close if the regional infection rate rises above 9 percent, using a 7-day average, after August 1. https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-county-dashboard
Will desks and surfaces be sanitized between students if they switch classes?
Yes, we intend to have supplies for teachers in classrooms and have additional cleaning staff on hand to clean high contact surfaces and bathrooms.
Have air circulation units been updated or installed?
All have been cleaned and serviced. New units typically cost in the $10K range and require a voter approved capital project to be then approved by state education department which can take up to one year for approval.
How much PPE have you secured for the staff & students?
The district has followed the guidelines established by the NYS Department of Health and purchased the required equipment. In addition, the district will supply masks to students and staff if needed. Students may wear cloth masks from home.
Will they have the use of lockers?
All students will be issued a locker. With less than half of our students each day, there will be additional space between most lockers. Students can use their locker at the beginning and end of the day as well as before and after lunch. Otherwise, additional locker use will be discouraged.
At the secondary level, students may carry a regular size backpack since they will not be using their locker throughout the day. Students will bring their materials to and from school each day. Most teachers who use a textbook can post information in Google Classroom, so we shouldn't need to issue textbooks to students.
SCCS Reopening Plan Additional Information (Update August 14, 2020)
The Cayuga County Department of Health has updated information regarding communications, screening, scenario protocols, testing, contact tracing, and disinfection/cleaning. In the next couple of days, this information will be incorporated into the district reopening plan.
The Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES, will communicate directly with members of the Cayuga County Health Department regarding COVID-19 issues and protocols. The primary COVID-19 contacts at the Cayuga County Health Department are:
Kevin Zippel, PhD., RN Supervising Community Health Nurse
Nancy Purdy, BSN, RN Director of Community Health Services
The Cayuga County Health Department designates (315)-253-1560 for primary use which is answered at the office during typical working hours and after hours by a 24 hour 7 day a week answering service who will contact appropriate personnel as requested.
The Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES will communicate with the Cayuga County Health Department for any COVID -19 related concerns and questions pertinent to the operations of their districts including but not limited to the public health and well-being of the District’s students and employees.
The Cayuga County Health Department will communicate with the Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES regarding COVID-19 related information or concerns pertinent to the public health and well-being of the District’s students, faculty and staff; including but not limited to quarantine and isolation of students and employees.
The Cayuga County Health Department will communicate with the Responsible Parties at any school district/BOCES if the designated primary contacts change and who they are.
The Responsible Parties at any school district/BOCES will communicate with the Cayuga County Health Department if the designated primary contacts change and who they are.
Close Contact- a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.
Contact Tracing- interview a person having been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection to determine whom they may have been contact with during the timeframe of being infectious in order to prevent spreading of the infection. Contact tracing is led by the Cayuga County Health Department. The school will be required to provide attendance records, contact information and other supportive information as requested to the health department.
Incubation Period- the interval between the time of invasion by an infectious agent and appearance of the first sign or symptom of the disease in question. For SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) , the incubation period is on average 4-5 days but may be as long as 14 days. 5% of persons will develop symptoms in 2 days; 50% of persons will develop symptoms in 5 days; 95 % will develop symptoms within 14 days.
Infectious Period- period of time during which a case is able to transmit a disease to others. The
infectious period for COVID 19 starts 2 days before someone develops symptoms; is most infectious day of symptom onset; and infectiousness wanes over the course of 10 days.
Infectivity of COVID-19 - is determined by its reproduction number, or R0 (pronounced R naught), which current epidemiological estimates suggest lies between1.5 to 3. This means that every COVID-19 patient may infect up to three other people on average.
Isolation- the Health Department will require, through public health order, a person to go into mandatory isolation who has tested positive for COVID-19 and shall be monitored by the health department.
Proximate Contact - It is not necessary for proximate contacts to be placed in quarantine. Being in the same enclosed environment such as a classroom, office, or gatherings but greater than 6 feet from a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Precautionary Quarantine- A resident of New York State (NYS) returning from travel to a designated state for designated period of time or an international traveler arriving to NYS are required to quarantine for 14 days. It is possible having traveled to these areas, the traveler is a proximate contact of a positive Covid-19 individual(s).
Self- Care- ability to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider.
Quarantine- the Health Department will require a person having direct contact to a positive Covid-19 person to mandatory quarantine, through public health order, and will monitor person for development of symptoms. Separating people and limiting movement of people who have or may have been exposed can help to prevent spread of illness from people with COVID-19 before they feel ill or have symptoms.
The Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES will monitor daily the employees, students and necessary visitors for symptoms of COVID-19, to include daily screening before entering the school buildings. Employees and students should be encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, the loss of taste/smell, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Employees and students are not to attend school if feeling ill.
COVID-19 testing is contingent upon availability of specimen collection material, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and laboratory capacity. As such, the specific recommendations for specimen collection sites may be altered to reflect resources, timeliness of analysis and response. It is recommended all people seeking a COVID-19 test call in advance to schedule their appointment and assure health care personnel are appropriately attired. Additional opportunities for COVID-19 testing may become available over time. At the time this plan is written, here are local resources for COVID-19 testing. At all testing sites bring your health insurance card if you have one.
- Personal HealthCare provider
- Cayuga County Urgent Care Centers including:
303 Grant Ave.
Urgent Care of Auburn
37 West Garden St., Suite 105
WellNow Urgent Care Center
271 Grant Ave.
- Out of county testing sites:
550 Harrison Center
550 Harrison Street, Syracuse
No appointment necessary
Syracuse Community Health Center
819 South Salina St., Syracuse
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.
No appointment necessary
Cayuga Medical Associates
Appointment and Registration: cayugahealth.org/
Or call 607-319-5708.
Appointment is required and testing criteria must be met
Call the NYS Department of Health hotline number for additional sites:
The Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES will immediately notify the Cayuga County Health Department (CHHD) upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual in school facilities or on school grounds, including employees, students, and visitors. The CCHD will verify the person has tested positive.
The Cayuga County Health Department will lead the COVID-19 contact tracing effort partnering with the Responsible Parties at any school district/BOCES to provide names, addresses, phone numbers of pertinent people. Additionally, the Responsible Parties at any school district/BOCES will be required to provide attendance records, contact information and other supportive information as requested to the health department.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, the Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES may choose to temporarily move instruction to a remote format until all contacts can be identified, notified and placed in quarantine.
The CCHD will notify the Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES of any positive or quarantined employees or students.
- Employee/Student Has Tested Positive For COVID-19
Will be provided a Public Health Order by the Cayuga County Health Department to be in mandatory isolation for the period of COVID-19 infectiousness.During the period of isolation, the individual will be monitored by the health department. The local health department will officially release employee/student from isolation when criteria for discharge has been met.
- Employee/Student Has Been In Close Contact With Positive Covid-19 Person
Will be provided a Public Health Order by the Cayuga County Health Department to be in mandatory quarantine for the period of COVID-19 incubation period.During the quarantine, the individual will be monitored by the health department and if symptoms develop, the health department will encourage COVID-19 testing.The health department will officially release employee/student from mandatory quarantine when discharge criteria has been met.
- Employee/Student Is Symptomatic Having No Close Contact With Positive Person
If employee/student is ill feeling, they are to remain at home and self-care; consult with their medical provider, if necessary.They may return to school after all symptoms are resolved and fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medicine.
- Employee/Student Has Had Close or Proximate Contact With Someone In Quarantine
A contact (Person C) of a contact (Person B) is not considered at risk unless Person B tests positive for COVID-19. Person C is not subject to quarantine.
- Employee/Student Has Traveled To A State Designated As Having Significant Community Spread OR Any International Travel
Employees/Students who travel internationally or to a designated state with significant community spread must notify their supervisor/principal of their travel plans, including the state/country traveled to, along with the departure and return dates.
If an Employee/Student has traveled internationally or from within one of the designated states with significant community spread, he/she must register with NYSDOH and quarantine upon re-entering New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state or airline arrival date to New York. https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.
Employees/Students may return to work/school after completing 14 days of quarantine, dependent on the eruption of COVID-19 symptoms
Cleaning and Disinfection
Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person.
Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes many germs and dirt from surfaces.
Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. Killing germs on a surface after cleaning can further lower the risk of spreading the virus.
The following practices will be utilized by the Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19 and other contagious germs.
The Responsible Parties at any school district/ BOCES will follow these practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other contagions:
- Daily routine cleaning of surfaces with disinfectants shall be conducted throughout the school
- Close off areas internal to the building used by the person who is sick.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas like desk, locker, bathroom office, keyboards, mouse, telephones etc.. Allow the areas to dry before reuse.
- Wait 24 hours to vacuum the space if needed. When vacuuming routinely or as part of extra cleaning, temporarily turn off room fans and if possible turn off the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
Regular use of the room and objects may continue after disinfection.
Southern Cayuga CSD Reopening Plan Update (July 31, 2020)
Dear SCCS Friends and Families,
I await news from Albany on whether schools will be permitted to reopen in September. The district is preparing for either contingency and yesterday uploaded our reopening plan to our webpage. I hope you find the information helpful.
Perhaps the biggest challenge remaining is the transportation of students as bus capacity will be severely curtailed due to social distancing. As some families have indicated they plan to keep their kids at home or to drive them to school, principals Luke Carnicelli and Jean Amodeo will continue to reach out to parents to confirm their decision. If families chose to keep their children home, the district will provide remote instruction. Over the next week, we ask families to commit to their decision and we’ll reevaluate the arrangement on November 1.
If you look around at school districts in Central New York, a variety of plans are being presented within neighboring communities. Our hybrid plan balances in-school and remote learning by alternating days. We believe our model will sustain student engagement as students will connect with their teachers and peers in-person every other day. We plan to provide a calendar through Thanksgiving indicating A and B days. We understand that any scenario creates challenges for families and we hope to resume normal operations as soon as possible.
We acknowledge that school for students will look different in the fall. Social distancing, masks, and health checks will be a daily practice. The district will be required to take the temperature and assess the well-being of all students and staff every day. Details for basic safety and wellness guidelines can be found at the beginning of the district’s reopening plan.
A typical day for students should begin with parents/guardians taking their temperature to be sure it is under 100°F. At the bus stop students will be required to wear a mask and have their temperature checked by an adult on the bus, in order to board the bus. We ask elementary parents to remain visible to the driver just in case their child’s temperature exceeds 100o F and they’re not allowed to ride on school transportation. Students will be social distanced on the bus unless seated with siblings.
Upon arrival at school, a health screening will take place and if no sign of illness, students will proceed directly to their classrooms. Anyone displaying signs of illness or a temperature over 100oF will remain isolated until they are picked up by parent/guardian. Detailed protocols for returning to school after an illness begin on page four of the reopening plan. Breakfast will be served in classrooms for the foreseeable future to help reduce student traffic in the hallways.
Once students have settled in classrooms, they may remove their masks if social distancing can be maintained. Elementary classrooms will be self-contained, with two adults working with 12 or fewer students on a daily basis. Our goal is to have no other students or staff members enter a self-contained pod of students at any point during the day. Our safety conscious approach will limit contact and thus lower the potential for infection. Pods of students will eat lunch in the cafeterias; we plan to have two students per table maintaining social distancing. Students will also have multiple recess/outside/mask breaks throughout the day. At the secondary school, students will transition between classrooms on a staggered schedule. Masks will be required whenever they travel outside of the classroom or cafeteria. If social distancing can be maintained, masks may be removed within classrooms. At the end of the day, all students will need to leave campus at dismissal time as there will be no afterschool activities. If fall sports and/or extracurricular activities are allowed to proceed in late September, that will change.
Our school reopening plan provides far greater detail. Please take time to review. Again, it is found on the homepage of the district website. Our primary goal is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff through this difficult time. Further updates will be provided as changes occur. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.
SCCS Superintendent of Schools
Southern Cayuga CSD Reopening Plan Overview
New Yorkers have excelled as a community in their efforts to combat the coronavirus. As a result of our willingness to wear masks, maintain social distance, and isolate when needed, the reopening of school buildings is now a possibility for September 2020.
Southern Cayuga CSD has been planning for one of three potential scenarios for the fall. A return to in-person learning, a continuation of remote learning, or a combination of the two. The administrative team has reviewed extensive guidance documents provided by the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Department of Education to develop a reopening plan for our schools. We believe that students and staff need to return to school in a safe and responsible manner and as a school community, we must abide by the guidance provided.
If Southern Cayuga is permitted to reopen schools, we will utilize a hybrid instructional model, blending in-person instruction and remote learning on alternating days. Specifically, students would attend school in person on either an A or B day and stay home on the opposite day. The model reduces class size by 50%, allows for appropriate social distancing, and reduces the need for masks for a portion of the day. Students from the same household will attend in-person instruction on the same day.
Furthermore, elementary classrooms will be self-contained, with two adults working with 12 or fewer students on a daily basis. Our goal is to have no other students or staff members enter a self-contained pod of students at any point during the day. Our safety conscious approach will limit contact and thus lower the potential for infection. We recognize the safety challenges for our younger students and the need for additional adult support.
Our secondary school will also be at 50% capacity each day and students will notice far fewer students in classrooms and in the hallways during transitions. Bell schedules have been adjusted to reduce the number of students passing in hallways at the same time. Social distancing and masks will become a norm at school.
The purpose of the overview is to provide the basic ‘gist’ of what we are planning to do. Details can be found on the additional pages of this reopening document which can be located on the district webpage. Governor Cuomo announced that a decision about reopening schools would be forthcoming by August 7.
SCCS Superintendent of Schools