In an effort to maintain social distancing, district buses will operate at reduced capacity, where possible and students and the driver/monitors will need to utilize Personal Protective Equipment. The following are other safety actions that will be taken:
- Students will be encouraged to find alternative modes of transportation if possible (e.g., walking or parent drop off) to reduce bus occupancy.
- Students, school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics will be required to wear face masks/coverings (provided by the District) prior to boarding the bus unless they have been provided a medical exemption. In the event a student forgets a face covering one will be provided.
- Weather permitting, drivers will increase bus ventilation by opening the top hatches of buses or opening windows daily.
- Students, drivers, monitors, and mechanics will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of social distancing, proper use of PPE and signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Hand sanitizer is now permitted on buses under Executive Order 202. Bus drivers/monitors/students are now permitted to use personal hand sanitizer on the buses, which should not exceed 8oz and be secured when not use.
- Drivers, monitors who must have direct contact with students will be required to wear gloves.
- When boarding -students will occupy seats from back to front, Students will unload front to back.
- Siblings may sit together to increase capacity on the bus.
- Seats will be marked with tape to show students where they may sit.
- Seating will be assigned when possible, by cohort.
- Field trips and other extracurricular activities requiring bus use will be suspended.
- Buses will be cleaned/disinfected daily in the a.m. and p.m.
- Bus drivers will be required to conduct pre and post-trip inspections to include the cleaning of high use areas of the bus, (e.g., steering wheel, handles, seatbacks, etc.).
- Drivers will be required to complete a checklist after each cleaning, which should be forwarded to the district’s Director of Transportation.
- Drivers will maintain a daily passenger log for each run to assist with contact tracing when needed. Software may be used to gather student data, whenever possible, a single driver will be assigned to the same bus and same routes. The district will communicate with parents and students regarding bus eligibility and bus stop locations. Students will need to social distance at the bus stop and when loading.
- Child-care transportation will be required to be consistent each week to ensure consistency for contract tracing.
- Bus provider will provide assurance that all employees will perform a daily self-health assessment for symptoms of COIVD-19 before arriving to work.
To reduce close contact of persons entering and exiting the building, the district will:
- Stagger arrival times of both buses and parent transportation to reduce density. Buses naturally stagger during the arrival process.
- Extend arrival and dismissal time to allow for easier student movements to meet social distancing requirements when necessary.
- Schools should establish designated areas for student drop-off and pick-up, limiting contact and entry of parents/legal guardians into the building, to the greatest extent possible.
- Require face masks to be worn by students, staff, and parents during the arrival and dismissal process.
- Supervision plan has been developed for students to access breakfast while moving to the cafeteria/classrooms.
- Utilize multiple supervised points of entry into each school building to reduce bottlenecks, close contact and hallway travel to classrooms.
- Implement a detailed traffic management plan to include:
- Separate parent drop off/pick up locations.
- Multiple, supervised building points of entry will be used, as deemed necessary.
- District is prepared for an increased number of parents transporting their own children to and from school.
- Install hand sanitizer dispensers at all entrances to the facility and require students, employees, and visitors to clean their hands upon entry. Frequent hand washing is more effective than the use of hand sanitizers.
- Children under age nine should only use hand sanitizer when supervised by an adult. Call Poison Control if consumed: 1-800-222-1222.
A modified visitor management process will be utilized at all school buildings as follows:
- Only essential visitors, including parents, will be permitted into the school buildings
- Essential visits consist of:
- Pre-scheduled meetings that cannot be handled virtually. Parents will be provided the opportunity to meet with school personnel virtually via Microsoft Teams (or similar virtual conference platform), including parent/teacher conferences, which should be limited to virtual meetings
- Picking up of sick persons
- Other visits deemed essential by the school administration
- Visitors will be asked to have preset appointments before arriving at our schools.
- Security will verify appointments.
- All persons entering the building will be required to wear face masks prior to being permitted entry into the building. Disposable masks will be provided to visitors for exigent circumstances (see Screening and Monitoring)
- Visitors will be required to clean their hands with sanitizer prior to and after the check-in process.
- Sanitizer dispensers will be installed at building entrances, check-in locations and any delivery locations such as loading docks.
- “Stand Here” signage and floor markers will be installed to designate places where visitors should wait to be checked-in.
- Appropriate shields or other barriers will be installed at check-in locations where it is necessary to physically separate building service staff from visitors during the check-in process.
- Visitors will be required to answer mandatory screening questions, and access declined when indicated. This will also assist contact tracing when needed (see Screening and Monitoring).
- Mandatory screening questions will be added to the visitor management system (e.g., Raptor) sign-in process.
- Contact information will also be requested.
- Visitors will display their license to school personnel and ask the visitor to affix the disposable visitor badge to their outermost garment.
- Badges may be printed prior to the visitors’ arrival
- Lanyards will not be used
- Stickers should be discarded by visitor upon exiting
- Visitor Management Systems, when practical, will be configured to allow visitors to scan their license and staff will remove the printed visitor badge from the printer with minimal contact with the visitor.
- Contractors shall be required to wear PPE when moving through the building and where 6’ distancing is not possible.
- Drop off procedures will be modified as follows:
- Most drop-offs will be prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from building administrator
- Drop off bins will be eliminated
- Medication drop-offs should be coordinated with the school health office
- Forgotten lunch drop-offs will be prohibited with the exception of students who may have a food allergy and cannot safely be provided a school lunch
- A designated drop off area will be established for all deliveries (e.g., FedEx, UPS) to prevent delivery persons from entering the building
Room letter designations will be used to stagger building movement for several functions including:
- Class changes
- Other functions as deemed necessary
The following procedure will be followed:
- Classrooms will be designated using letters (e.g., A, B, C…)
- A list of classrooms assigned to each letter
- Prominent signage will be installed in each classroom with the letter designation
- Classroom designations will be utilized for:
- Staggered Class transitions (hallway movement)
- Staggered Grab and Go lunch pickups from the cafeteria
- Staggered dismissal
- Staggered outdoor activities as appropriate
- Communication plan for announcing schedule changes or bell schedule changes
The district will take the following safety actions (see also Instruction):
- Students will be placed at desks that are spaced to allow for 6’ distancing and utilize empty desks, which will act as barriers (see Social Distancing).
- Students will not share supplies.
- Handwashing / hand sanitizing will be required at regular intervals. See Healthy Hygiene Practices.
- Use of shared equipment will be limited and when necessary, cleaned between each use.
- Disinfecting wipes specifically for keyboards and other technology will be provided in each classroom.
- The use of aerosol cleaning sprays or wipes that contain bleach should not be utilized. Manufacturer’s instructions should be followed for all cleaning and disinfection of products
- Specialist teachers will rotate through individual classrooms using a modified schedule and with any curriculum adjustments needed to limit shared resources (e.g., sporting equipment, art supplies, etc.).
- Physical education will utilize a curriculum that allows for social distancing and students will be encouraged to spread out. The Re-entry Guidelines for Health and Physical Education from NYS AHPERD will be reviewed and followed by the department.
- Teachers will utilize outdoor spaces for instruction whenever possible, however, this will likely be limited in scope.
- Serving of Boxed/bag lunches will be available and delivered to the cafeteria tables assigned seating daily (see also Food Service).
- The District will assign lockers or other student storage areas by cohort or eliminate their use. However, student should not carry an unreasonable number of books or materials throughout the day.
Grade K-5 Students
- Classes will remain in their assigned rooms for the majority of the school day.
- Class groups will not be allowed to mix with other class groups to the greatest degree possible.
- Toys will not be shared between groups of children unless they have been washed and disinfected.
- Toys that can be put in the mouth should be cleaned and disinfected frequently and before being shared with another child. Set aside toys that need to be disinfected; washing with soapy water is the ideal method of cleaning. Toys that cannot be cleaned or disinfected should not be used. Toys/ games throughout the day will be rotated for disinfecting.
- Children will be restricted from bringing toys and other items from home.
- Children’s books and other paper-based materials are not considered high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection.
- Each school will consider virtual formats for guest speakers and any visiting reader programs.
Grade 6-12 Students
- Schools may utilize larger spaces (e.g., theater, band, MPR) for instruction to allow for larger class sizes while still providing adequate distancing.
Strategic movement and a reduction density in hallways and stairways (to the degree possible) will allow for appropriate distancing. The district will take the following safety actions
- Face masks will be worn when students and staff are moving throughout the building.
- Announcements will be made to release classes in a staggered manner based on Room Letter Designations (e.g., all A and B classrooms, followed by C and D classrooms, etc. to reduce density in hallways during class changes. The additional time needed to stagger transitions should be factored into the school day.
- Floor and wall signage will be utilized to prompt distancing where appropriate including outside classrooms where students will be required to stage during class transitions.
- Hallway movement will be evaluated in each building, and a modified traffic pattern will be utilized to:
- Create one-way corridors where appropriate
- Create one-way stairways where appropriate
- Use of center hallway prompts (e.g., cones, floor tape, or retractable belt stanchions to promote distancing of 2-way traffic
- Common Areas
The district will take the following safety actions to conform with the above CDC guideline:
- The number of people permitted in bathrooms at one time will be restricted utilizing the use of signage indicating when a restroom is “in use.”
- Each school may consider the use of scheduled restroom usage to maintain separate classrooms or student groups.
- Signs asking employees to wash hands before and after using the restroom will be installed.
- No-touch trash cans will be placed by restroom doors.
- Paper towels will be made available and the number of students in a restroom at any given time will be limited.
- Frequent cleaning of restrooms will be required.
- The district has been installing touchless plumbing fixtures and will continue to do replace fixtures using touchless technology.
- Grab and Go lunches will either be delivered to classrooms or each classroom will be called to the cafeteria in a staggered manner based on Room Letter Designation – Please see reopening plan under food service for detailed service plans. Should cafeterias be deemed safe to open with restrictions, the following safety actions will be implemented:
- Cafeterias will have reduced capacity based to allow for distancing and limiting the number of people who can sit together.
- Seating capacity will be reduced to ensure distancing between tables
- Chairs that compromise social distancing or maximum density for space will be removed
- Physical distancing will be required while on service lines, and floor signage and floor prompts installed
- Consider implementing physical barriers in between seating, if necessary if social distancing cannot be achieved
- Congregating in kitchen areas will be prohibited – Social distancing will be followed in all kitchen production areas as well as service areas.
- Self-serve food items will be removed – salad bars and any other self-serve items will be eliminated.
- Hot and cold food bars with open food items and communal serving stations will be eliminated – all food items will be pre-packaged
- Dinnerware/drinkware will be removed from communal spaces and only issue as needed – prepackaged utensils/napkins will be used at all times
- Communal condiments will be replaced with single serving, individually wrapped items- appropriate portion control and condiments will be provided with meals
- Limit Sharing
Cleaning and Disinfection
- Kitchen areas should be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis.
- Cafeteria tables or similar spaces used for multiple lunch periods will be cleaned and disinfected after each use.
- Kitchen equipment should also be cleaned on a routine basis:
- Coffee machines, refrigerator handles, and the ice machine handles should be disinfected at least three times per day - equipment that has been used will be sanitized after use.
- All silverware and dinnerware should be cleaned in the dishwasher. This helps ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection - there will be only disposable utensils being used.
- Ice machines that require a handheld scoop should not be used, as it is difficult to control potential contamination in this case.
- Water/beverage faucets that require workers to operate them with their hands should also be disinfected three times per day - kitchen faucets are currently operated by foot pedals. If faucets are not operated by foot, they will be sanitized after each use.
- If silverware and dishes cannot be kept clean and covered, disposable options are recommended.
- See also Cleaning and Disinfecting
Generally, the use of faculty rooms will be restricted, with the exception of microwave and refrigerator use.
- Signage installed for the maximum capacity at one time.
- Employees will be required to wash their hands before and after touching break room appliances.
- Break rooms will not be utilized for eating.
- Only disposable hand towels will be utilized.
- Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
- Install hand sanitizer dispensers and make disinfecting wipes available near shared equipment.
- Install no-touch trash cans.
- Move parent-teacher conferences, 504, and individualized education program (IEP) meetings to phone conferences or a virtual format.
- See Sample Virtual IEP Meeting Agenda.
- Use videoconferencing or teleconferencing when possible for work-related meetings and gatherings.
- Cancel, adjust, or postpone large work-related meetings or gatherings that can only occur in-person in accordance with state and local regulations and guidance.
- When videoconferencing or teleconferencing is not possible, meetings will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces continuing to maintain a distance of 6 feet apart and wear cloth face coverings.
- Conference rooms that are used should be disinfected on a daily basis at a minimum.
- Disinfectant wipes or spray should be left in each conference room, and employees should be encouraged to wipe down all surfaces and equipment (e.g., mouse, keyboard, phone) touched during conference room meetings.
- The district is encouraging the utilization of cafeterias for meal consumption, in order to provide meal choices & hot foods in prepackaged boxes.
- Classroom meal consumption will utilized cold prepackaged boxed meals.
- Remote meal distribution will consist of cold prepackaged boxed meals.
- Food services will have all food and supply vendors ready to go in September with proper contracts in place to provide all necessary food items & supplies under any of these service plans for opening.
- USDA and New York State Child Nutrition Department have extended the waiver to permit the District to provide emergency meals under the Summer Food Service Program through December 31, 2020. As a result, students will not be charged for meals who are registered in the White Plains City School District. As of January 1, 2021, the District will be required to account for meals served under the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs.
- Food service staff will utilize a Point of Sale (POS) software to account for all meals served.
- Will be available at all buildings to students entering the building at pre-established entry points.
- Food service staff will be assigned to these entrance points to distribute meals in accordance with the daily menu.
- If cafeterias are in use, students will pick-up their prepackaged boxed breakfast.
Lunch – Classroom:
- Staff will maintain a student roster for each classroom and record daily who will be ordering a meal.
- Special dietary/allergic needs will be provided for with limited selections.
- Meals will be delivered in prepackaged boxes.
- Schools will schedule multiple lunch periods.
Staff will record who will be ordering lunch.
- Meals will be pick-up or will be delivered.
- All meals would be accounted for by the staff based on the roster sheets via a computer in the food service office.
Lunch – Cafeteria service:
- Students would move to the cafeteria and enter the service area.
- Pick-up their prepackaged boxed meal, inclusive of hot meals and greater choices.
- Sit socially distance and consume their meal, prior to proceeding back to the classroom
- and consume their meal.
- All food service kitchens in all buildings will follow the Westchester County Health Department regulations, policies and procedures.
- That includes handwashing, gloves, proper food receiving and storage regulations.
- All food service staff, during food preparation & delivery will follow pandemic guidelines in wearing masks, gloves, and social distancing.
- Production staff will clean and sanitize all equipment after each use in addition to end of day sanitizing by custodians.
- Signs will be posted in cafeteria service areas to convey service protocol, social distancing, meal choices, and handwashing/sanitizing.
- The use of protective shields at the POS will be utilized.
- Providing meals to students (remote learning):
- Food Services will be providing meals to remote learners in accordance with the National School Lunch Program guidelines.
- Students will be required to provide ID or name to order and account for their meal.
- District will provide meals to remote learners at specific locations and time throughout the District; and
- Make available, prior to the student leaving school, at designated locations within the building to pick-up meals before heading home for the following day.
- Cashless transactions & Free/reduced policy:
- District will not be permitting the use of cash/money transactions for meals.
- Parents/guardians will be required to use http://MySchoolBucks.com to fund a student’s meal account.
- District will be encouraging parents/guardians to complete the application for free and reduced breakfast and lunch applications, this is critical since the district will be required to follow the guidelines for the National School Lunch Program for paid meals, if a student is not eligible for free and reduced breakfast and lunch.
The district will adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health (DOH) in addition to the following:
- Classroom and office spaces will be provided with appropriate cleaning /disinfection supplies for self-cleaning of shared and frequently touched surfaces.
- The custodial staff of each building will perform frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces throughout the school day, including:
- door handles
- bathroom fixtures
- trash cans
- cash register counters
- Daily cleaning log checklists will be completed for each area of the building
- Registered disinfectants identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID 19 will be utilized.
- Logs will contain the following at a minimum:
- Date of cleaning
- Time of cleaning
- Scope of cleaning (checkboxes)
- The head custodian of each building will be responsible for maintaining all completed cleaning logs, making sure they are completed properly, which a copy will be forwarded to the Director of Facilities on a weekly basis.
- Staff will be required to use applicable personal protective equipment to perform cleaning and disinfecting.
- If buildings are closed for seven days or more, normal routine cleaning will be performed. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.
- Cleaning and Disinfecting training will be provided to all employees (see Training section) including:
- Hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard
- Cleaning and disinfection protocol for suspected and positive cases
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- When to use PPE
- What PPE is necessary
- How to properly don (put on), use, and doff (take off) PPE
- How to properly dispose of PPE
The terms cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are sometimes used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion and result in cleaning procedures that are not effective.
For example, if there is visible soil on a surface, clean it with detergent and water before spraying the surface with a sanitizer or disinfectant. Using a sanitizer or disinfectant as this “first step” is not effective because the purpose of the solution is to either sanitize or disinfect. Each term has a specific purpose, and there are many methods that may be used to achieve such purpose.
To remove dirt and debris by scrubbing and washing with a detergent solution and rinsing with water. The friction of cleaning removes most germs and exposes any remaining germs to the effects of a sanitizer or disinfectant used later.
To reduce germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations.
To destroy or inactivate most germs on any inanimate object, but not bacterial spores.
Note: The term “germs” refers to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and molds that may cause infectious disease. Bacterial spores are dormant bacteria that have formed a protective shell, enabling them to survive extreme conditions for years. The spores reactivate after entry into a host (such as a person), where conditions are favorable for them to live and reproduce.
Only the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered products that have an EPA registration number on the label can make public health claims that can be relied on for reducing or destroying germs. The EPA registration label will also describe the product as a cleaner, sanitizer, or disinfectant. In addition, some manufacturers of cleaning products have developed "green cleaning products". As new environmentally-friendly cleaning products appear in the market, check to see if they are 3rd party certified by Green Seal: http://www.greenseal.org, UL/EcoLogic: http://www.ecologo.org, and/or EPA's Safer Choice: http://www.epa.gov/saferchoice. Use fragrance-free bleach that is EPA-registered as a sanitizing or disinfecting solution (6). If other products are used for sanitizing or disinfecting, they should also be fragrance-free and EPA-registered (7). All products must be used according to the manufacturer's instructions. The following resource may be useful: Green Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting: A Toolkit for Early Care and Education.
Employers should provide staff with hazard information, including access to and review of the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about the presence of toxic substances such as cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting supplies in use in the facility. The SDS explains the risk of exposure to products so that appropriate precautions may be taken.
The district will take a series of steps to ensure the operations of mechanical systems, water systems, elevators, and HVAC systems. The objective is to test and ensure systems are safe that may have been used infrequently during the prolonged closure.
Heating and Cooling
- The percentage of outdoor air will be increased where possible (e.g., using economizer modes of HVAC operations) potentially as high as 100% (first verify compatibility with HVAC system capabilities for both temperature and humidity control as well as compatibility with outdoor/indoor air quality considerations).
- Total airflow supply to occupied spaces will be increased, where possible.
- Demand-control ventilation (DCV) controls that reduce air supply based on temperature or occupancy will be reviewed and adjusted accordingly.
- Natural ventilation will be increased by opening windows if possible and safe to do so to increase outdoor air dilution of indoor air when environmental conditions allow
- Building ventilation systems will be run two hours before occupancy and two hours after to ventilate the spaces.
- The District maintains adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed.
Fire Protection Systems
- The fire protection system will be tested to ensure all devices are working.
- Fire inspection records will be verified they are up to date
The district will follow steps recommended in the CDC’s “Guidance for Building Water Systems” including:
- Inspect flushing of hot water at plumbing fixtures.
- Raise hot water temperature to at least 120 degrees if possible.
- Flush hot water at all sinks (run for 5-15 minutes)
- Check water for pH and disinfectant levels.
NYSED Safety Drill Requirements
Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct 8 evacuation and 4 lockdown drills each school year.
Conducting drills is an important part of keeping students and staff safe in an emergency. Steps will be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. As such, it may be necessary for White Plains Schools to conduct drills in the 2020-21 school year using protocols that are different than they are used to.
Regardless of the modification used when conducting a drill, students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.
Modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:
- Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site.
- Staggering by classroom, minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site.
- If conducting drills using a modified procedure, it is required that the drill be conducted with all students in the school building on that school day, it may be necessary to do so during a class period that is extended for this purpose; and
- If schools re-open with a “hybrid” in-person model, such as one where students attend school alternate school weeks to reduce the occupancy of the school building, schools will be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures, and participating in drills
while they are in attendance in-person.
Modifications to Lockdown Drills may include, but are not limited to:
- Conduct lockdown drill in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing and using masks.
- Conduct lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing.
- Schools must be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person; and
- Conduct lockdown drill in classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.
 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014. How to clean and disinfect schools to help slow the spread of flu. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/school/cleaning.htm Microbiology Procedure. Sporulation in bacteria http://www.microbiologyprocedure.com/microorganisms/sporulation-in-bacteria.htm.
 Children’s Environmental Health Network Fragrances. Retrieved from: http://www.cehn.org/our-work/eco-healthy-child-care/ehcc-faqs/fragrances/.