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Reopening Our Schools & Important Updates

Fort Plain schools reopened on Monday, Sept. 14 under the hybrid instruction model. View our Back-to-School Information Guides: Harry Hoag Elementary SchoolJr./Sr. High School

For the latest information, visit our Important Updates webpage. |School Reopening PlanRemote/Hybrid InstructionCOVID-19 TestingContact TracingElementary At-Home Learning Site | Childcare Resources

Health & Hygiene

Symptoms of COVID-19 | COVID-19 Testing | Protocols to promote healthy hygiene habits | Cleaning & Disinfecting | Identifying signs and symptoms | Screenings | Signage | Personal Protective Equipment | Return to School Protocols/Contact Tracing

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The protocols and procedures listed below will be in place in all district schools for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 Safety Coordinator, Superintendent John Bishop at administration@fortplain.org.


Symptoms of COVID-19

Included below are 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources.

According to the Center for Disease Control, symptoms of infection include:

  • fever or chills
  • cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fatigue
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • new loss of taste or smell
  • sore throat
  • congestion or runny nose
  • nausea or vomiting
  • diarrhea

Importantly, if staff or students are sick, they should stay home.  In addition to the above symptoms, signs of potential infection include: flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing (without exercise), fatigue, irritability or frequent bathroom use.

As a precaution, all district employees will self screen at home and attest to having self screened prior to entering the buildings.  Additionally, parents should screen their children prior to sending them to school each day.  Sick children should be kept home.

When a staff member or student becomes symptomatic during the school day, the school nurse will work to isolate them and gather information to share with the Montgomery County Health Department.

If the staff member can safely drive themselves home, they will be permitted to do so.  If they are unable to do so, then a family member will be contacted to assist with these arrangements.  The staff member will be encouraged to follow up with their medical provider to determine next steps.  The staff member may be asked to remain home for up to 14 days.  Otherwise a negative test for COVID 19 would permit them to return to work.

Any individual who presents with symptoms will remain in the “isolation room” while they await transportation.


COVID-19 Testing

When a student or staff member test positive for COVID 19, the District Safety Coordinator, School Nurse, and the Montgomery County Department of Health will be contacted.  Efforts will be made to protect the confidentiality of the infected individual.

In collaboration with the health department, decisions will be made regarding who may need to quarantine or if a short term or long term school closure is necessary.


Protocols to promote healthy hygiene habits

    • In coordination with public health, school nurses will be “turn key” trainers to remind students, parents and employees to practice healthy hygiene.
    • The school environment will be outfitted with hand sanitizing stations throughout the building to ensure healthy hygiene practices.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols based on CDC guidance will be followed, with an emphasis on frequent cleaning of high-touch/high-traffic areas. Classroom surfaces will be disinfected  during each student transition. The district will conduct deep-cleaning on a nightly basis, including the use of defogging equipment.

The district will supply appropriate cleaning and disinfecting supplies (disposable wipes, sprays, paper towels) to faculty and staff for shared and frequently touched surfaces, followed by hand washing.


Identifying signs and symptoms

    • All staff will be trained to identify the signs and symptoms of sick persons.  Specific protocols are being developed to isolate and separate sick people from well persons.
    • School nurses will develop a process for periodic checks throughout the school day.
    • Attendance officers will contact parents to determine the nature of any student’s absence.  A call script, with questions outlined below, will be provided.
      • Have you had any symptoms, including a fever of 100 degrees, in the past 14 days?
      • Have you knowingly been in contact with a COVID 19 positive individual?
      • Have you tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID 19?
      • Have you traveled internationally or to a state mentioned on the NYS Travel Advisory list in the past 14 days?

Screenings

    • All employees will perform a self screening prior to entering the building.
      • Employees will attest to their wellness upon entry to the building prior to  student arrival.
      • Employees may report to the nurse’s office for a temperature screen if needed.
    • Any student or employee that has a fever will be sent home.
    • Temperature check procedures for students are still being considered.

Additional signage throughout the building

    • The district will work closely with the local health department to procure signage.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

    • Individuals are encouraged to bring their own face coverings.
    • Face coverings will be provided if needed.
    • We recognize that face coverings may be a challenge for students (especially younger students) to wear all-day.  Social distancing will be prioritized in the classroom and cafeteria so masks can be removed during instruction and meals.
    • Students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face covering, but must be appropriately socially distanced.

Return to School Protocols

The district will be in direct contact with the public health department if a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19. Schools must follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school:

  • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours;
  • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and have a healthcare provider’s written note stating they are clear to return to school.

If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:

  • It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;
  • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); and
  • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.