• 5.01 Overview

    Dramatic changes to normal school operations will require the district to effectively communicate with stakeholders to:

    • Identify pain points that will need to be addressed (e.g., fear of infection) prior to the opening of school. NYS BOCES is currently conducting a statewide survey that will be helpful in the refinement of this plan.
    • Gauge anticipated attendance for a potential Fall reopening based on:
      • Unwillingness to return (fear-related)
      • High-risk group (student or family)
    • Gauge transportation needs - (see also Arrival and Dismissal)
    • Communicate what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection routine, health policies for staff, and health & safety measures in place).
    • Establish formal and informal routes of communication for stakeholders to express concerns, questions, comments, and feedback as it relates to IEQ.
    • Update parents emails, etc.

    5.02 Calendar of Communications

    The district recognizes the need to communicate with each of the various stakeholder groups.  The district will communicate with stakeholders BEFORE, DURING, and in the event of a CLOSURE utilizing multiple channels of communication, including:

    • School Mass Communication System - email and robocalls
    • Website - dedicated COVID section
    • Social Media - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

    Prior to Opening Schools

    For Employees, the district will:

    • Communicate what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection and health & safety measures in place).
    • Provide information and training on how to assess the mental health of students
    • Provide an optional survey to staff in order to assess for trauma, grief, loss and mental health support
    • Provide information and training on new workplace policies and changes
    • Communicate new or modified working schedules for staff, including:
      • how they can stay up to date on new scheduling requirements,
      • how to make requests for schedule changes if a need arises.
    • Notify staff of required employee training programs to be completed prior to schools opening (see Training Section)
    • Provide information on how to self-report exposures and infections  (See Health and Safety Section)
      • [1]Employer HR Policies, HIPAA guidelines, and other laws should be followed at all times.
    • Provide information on the requirements for the use of face-covering and how to make them at home
    • Provide a list of CDC Frequently Asked Questions that reflect the unique operating conditions of the district
    • Offer virtual employee support groups via online platforms (e.g., coffee/tea with parents)

    For Students & Families, the district will:

    • Conduct regular virtual stakeholder meetings and town hall sessions regarding all reopening procedures
    • Communicate what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection and health & safety measures in place).
    • Provide an optional survey to families in order to assess for trauma, grief, loss and mental health support
    • Contact parent/caregiver and social worker to touch base, offer support and link to resources
    • Conduct a check-in meeting with student to assess for basic needs, e.g., food, housing, transportation, emotional well-being)
    • Communicate with parents and students to minimize the mixing of children from different households at bus stops and adhere to proper distancing when boarding school buses.
    • Instruct parents on the requirement and procedure for labeling of personal property and preventing it from mixing with other students’ property
    • Provide information on how to self-report exposures and infections (See Health and Safety Section)
    • Provide information on the requirements for the use of face-covering and how to make them at home
    • Discourage students from congregating in large groups before and after school.
    • Provide a list of CDC Frequently Asked Questions that reflect the unique operating conditions of the district
    • Provide a Virtual Orientation event for students including the use of building walkthroughs in a manner that does not impact building security
    • Provide educational materials on loss and grief and ways to cope with stress
    • Share information on the district website containing crisis hotlines, and county mental health resources
    • Offer virtual parent support groups via online platforms (e.g., coffee/tea with parents)

    While Schools are Open, the district will:

    • Communicate what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection and health & safety measures in place).
    • Provide staff with an optional survey to staff in order to assess for trauma, grief, loss and mental health support
    • Conduct a virtual Back to School Night for parents
    • Provide students on-going, easy to implement tips and tools for behavior support (e.g., time management in a distance learning environment)   
    • Provide staff professional development on engagement strategies for online learning             
    • Provide frequent and ongoing communication for families regarding school updates and access to resources
    • Offer virtual parent support groups via online platforms (e.g., coffee/tea with parents)
    • Share information on the district website containing crisis hotlines, and county mental health resources

    When Schools are Closed, the district will:

    • Provide information on Continuity of Instruction Procedures
    • Communicate what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection and health & safety measures in place).
    • Provide staff and families information regarding telehealth services   
    • Share information on the district website containing crisis hotlines, and county mental health resources

    5.03 Communication with Vendors

    Notify vendors that access to the facilities will be restrictedIn order to safeguard building occupants, the district will implement restrictions as follows:

    • Request that vendors reduce the frequency of deliveries while simultaneously meeting the demand of ordered goods
    • Request that vendors use the same delivery driver for all deliveries for the duration of school
    • Request vendors to suspend deliveries and/or adjust maintenance schedules for services in the event school is closed for health reasons.
    • Notify vendors that, during deliveries, they are required to take precautions including:
      • Maintain physical distancing between themselves and building occupants
      • Wear appropriate PPE (a face mask and gloves)
      • Do not make deliveries if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19

    [1] CDC: Create a communication system for staff and families for self-reporting of symptoms and notification of exposures and closures.