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Broadalbin-Perth CSD releases proposed reopening plan

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BROADALBIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Broadalbin-Perth Central School District released their proposed reopening plan on Friday. The plan features in-person, remote, and hybrid learning models for students, and details the health and safety protocols that will be in place.

The district will be asking all parents to commit their children to one of the available learning models for the start of the school year by Friday, Aug. 14. Tuesday, Aug. 11, a presentation for elementary families will begin at 6 p.m., and a presentation for secondary families will begin at 7:15 p.m.

“On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire leadership team, I want to thank all the parents, employees, and community members who provided feedback throughout the process of developing this plan,” said Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson. “Our community is always stronger when we work together, and I appreciate how the B-P community continues to work with us as we navigate these unprecedented times.”

Lori Nellis, high school nurse, will serve as the district’s COVID-19 health coordinator. She is the main point of contact upon identification of positive COVID-19 cases and is responsible for subsequent communication regarding positive cases. Nellis may be reached at nellisl@bpcsd.org or (518) 954-2610.

Student Communication:

The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. These trainings will cover:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Proper face covering procedures, including how to wear and remove face coverings
  • Social distancing
  • Respiratory hygiene, including covering coughs and sneezes
  • Identifying symptoms and notifying the school if a child develops symptoms

The district will create and deploy signage throughout the schools to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
  • Hand washing
  • Adherence to social distancing instructions
  • Symptoms and prevention of COVID-19

During the first days of in-person instruction, faculty will instruct all students how to follow protocols safely and correctly, including hand hygiene, proper wearing of face coverings, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. Faculty will reinforce these protocols with students regularly throughout the school year.

School Closures:

Broadalbin-Perth is preparing for situations in which one or both school buildings need to close because of a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases.

The district is in weekly contact with the Fulton County Department of Health regarding increased absenteeism or increased illness. The district will collaborate with county health officials to determine if or when it might be advisable to close one or both schools.

The district may choose to modify operations in one or both schools prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will consult with local health officials when making such decisions.

Health and Safety:

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in all district schools, including the before- and after-school child care program, for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact the district’s COVID-19 safety coordinator, Superintendent of Schools Stephen Tomlinson, at tomlinsons@bpcsd.org or (518) 954-250

For more information about how health and safety protocols and trainings will be communicated to students, families and staff members, see the Student Communication section.

Health Checks:

Broadalbin-Perth has developed resources to educate parents, guardians, and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school.

Broadalbin-Perth will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening:

  • Employees and parents will complete a daily online health self-screening tool through ParentSquare. Employees and parents may access the daily tool starting at 8 p.m. the evening prior
  • School health staff and other trained personnel will perform daily temperature checks and complete the screening questionnaire for students whose parents did not complete the daily online health self-screening tool
  • Main office staff will perform temperature checks and complete the screening questionnaire for all essential contractors, vendors, and visitors to the school before they leave the main office for their destination in the school building

Employees performing daily temperature checks and completing the screening questionnaire will use a checklist to mark individuals cleared or not cleared. This data will be retained by the district indefinitely. The district will review the online daily self-screening reports by employees and parents for their children and attest that they have been completed.

Anyone who registers a body temperature of 100.0F or higher using a temporal or infrared thermometer, or who answers “yes” to any of the questions on the health screening questionnaire, will be denied entry to the building. Any student who arrives at school without a parent and registers a temperature of 100.0F or higher, or who answers “yes” to any of the questions on the health screening questionnaire, will be isolated in a designated room with supervision by a member of the health services team until the student can be picked up by a parent or guardian.

Students and staff must notify the school if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 or if their answers to the health screening questionnaire change during or outside of school hours by calling Lori Nellis at 518-954-2610 or emailing the school nursing staff at covid@bpcsd.org.

Infection Control Strategies:

Broadalbin-Perth will utilize physical barriers or dividers, alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers, and strict management of hallway traffic inside the school buildings to help mitigate the spread of infection.

The district will provide all employees with a daily checklist to use to ensure their area has sufficient supplies for the day, including face coverings, tissues, hand hygiene supplies, and cleaning supplies.

District leaders will routinely and randomly check classrooms, offices, and other common areas for compliance with social distancing, PPE, hand hygiene, and other infection control protocols.

Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing, and Monitoring:

Broadalbin-Perth’s school health services team will instruct staff to observe for signs of illness in students and staff, such as flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing, fatigue, irritability, or frequent use of the bathroom. Additional training will be provided to staff who will be conducting health checks of students and visitors. The district will provide disposable PPE for all members of the health services team and those staff conducting health screenings of students and visitors.

The district requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If there are several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least six feet apart. The district has designated areas in both school buildings to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID-19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas will be supervised by an adult and have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies.

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula).

If students or staff become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 at school:

The district requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent or guardian. Students and staff exhibiting signs of illness will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

Return to school after illness:

The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the Fulton County Department of Health, about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 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 COVID-19 positive, release from isolation

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed 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.

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