Guiding Principals| State & Local Guidance | Masking Guidelines | Quarantines | Remote Learning | Attendance | Daily Health Screenings | Physical Distancing | Athletics | Extra-curricular Activities | Symptomatic Individuals | Meals/Cafeteria | Transportation | Vaccinations | Voluntary COVID Testing | Cleaning/Disinfecting | Ventilation | Use of School Facilities | Visitors | Safety Drills
UPDATE: 8/31/2021: On Friday, August 27 Governor Hochul announced distancing guidelines that included returning to 6 foot distancing in certain areas of the school, including the cafeterias. That information was clarified on Saturday, August 28th by her office using the language below.
“Because of the importance of in-person learning, schools should implement physical distancing to the extent possible within their structures but should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.”
With that clarification from her office, the distancing at the Hudson Falls CSD will be at a minimum of 3 feet in all areas. The 3 feet spacing is the maximum spacing that allows for all students to attend in-person learning five days per week.
Public Presentation of 2021-2022 Reopening Plan
- Return to 100% in-person instruction.
- Safely maintain an in-person learning environment for all students, faculty, and staff.
- Preserve extracurricular activities and interscholastic athletics for students.
- The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- The New York State Education Department (NYSED)
- The Washington County Department of Health
- The District’s Medical Director Dr. Robert Nielson
Additionally, the district will be monitoring Washington County’s COVID-19 community transmission rate and how the transmission rate may impact the daily operational procedures. Transmission rates are measured by the CDC’s four-category system of low, moderate, substantial, and high. Click here for the CDC COVID-19 data tracker.
While this plan needs to be fluid to adapt for the health and safety of our community, our current framework is below. Further masking details are in the paragraph following.
UPDATE: 8/31/2021 In late August Governor Hochul enacted a mask mandate for all school buildings in NYS. The graduated masking plan developed by Hudson Falls CSD, and spelled out below will remain in our plan so that when the Governor removes the masking mandate our local plan will be in place.
We are defining masks as ear-looped masks only. No neck gaiters, bandanas, or masks with exhalation valves.
Indoors during Moderate, Substantial, and High Transmission
- Masks are required regardless of vaccination status when students are present.
- Masks may be removed while eating or drinking.
- Consistent and correct mask use is especially important indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Outdoors during Substantial Transmission
- Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear masks.
Outdoors during High Transmission
- Mask wearing is encouraged outdoors for unvaccinated individuals.
- Mask breaks will be coordinated to provide for at least 6 feet of physical distancing.
Each case will be investigated individually by the Washington County Department of Health and their contact tracers. Acknowledging that each investigation is unique, the general plan is following. Please note: The following is based on conversations with Washington County DOH.
- Individual Status: Unvaccinated Distance from exposure: Less than six feet Masked? Not masked properly Quarantine? Required
- Individual Status: Unvaccinated Distance from exposure: Less than six feet Masked? Masked properly Quarantine? None
- Individual Status: Unvaccinated Distance from exposure: Grater than six feet Quarantine? None
- Individual Status: Vaccinated Quarantine? No Quarantine Required if asymptomatic
There is no Virtual Academy (parent-selected) option this year. Remote learning will be offered only when necessary. Examples may be: In the case of a class-wide quarantine, or in the case of a staffing shortage.
All students are expected to attend school in-class, every day. Individual students who are quarantined will be provided with learning opportunities consistent with other medical absences.
Students will complete temperature checks upon arrival. Staff is expected to stay home when symptomatic and contact the building nurse. Visitors will be required to sign in, complete an attestation, and do a temperature check prior to entering an HFCSD facility.
Wherever possible HFCSD will maintain a 3-feet or greater physical distance between students to stay open at 100% capacity. Classroom windows and doors will be open to increase ventilation where possible. Seating charts are required to assist in contact tracing.
Please see the Hudson Falls Athletics COVID Guidelines for details for each sport. High-Risk Sports call for stricter masking guidelines. Generally, athletics will follow our Framework from the first page, based on the current level of Community Transmission. Based on the community transmission level, spectator access may be limited.
Extra-curricular clubs will resume. Field trips will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Late buses resume.
Symptomatic individuals will be sent home when displaying any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4 or greater
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Loss of smell or taste
- Other COVID Symptoms as listed by the CDC after a review of the student’s health file.
Nursing judgment will be used if a symptomatic individual should be sent home with other symptoms. Symptomatic individuals may return with proof of a negative (PCR type required) COVID test or a doctor’s note providing an alternate non-COVID diagnosis.
The main eating location will be the cafeteria, with overflow in other identified locations as needed. Students will be separated by 3 feet as much as possible. Students may take their masks off to eat and drink. Masks must go back on after their meal is complete.
All passengers and drivers must wear a mask while on the bus, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission level. Windows will be open to the greatest extent possible. Parents/Guardians who are able to provide transportation to and/or from school are encouraged to do so to reduce the population on buses. Seating charts are required to assist in contact tracing.
Currently, there is no mandate/requirement for employees to be vaccinated. However, vaccination is strongly encouraged for all employees. The district will work with the Washington County Department of Health to encourage vaccinations of all eligible individuals.
Washington County is developing a voluntary test screening plan that is anticipated to begin in mid-to-late September. The District will make a decision on participation when more information is available.
- The district will continue regular cleaning and disinfection daily or more frequently, as needed, along with frequent cleaning and disinfection of shared objects and surfaces as well as high transit areas, such as restrooms and common areas.
- Classrooms will be disinfected as necessary.
- High-volume touchpoints will be disinfected frequently throughout the day as well as each night.
- Use of hand sanitizer and the practice of good hygiene will be taught/encouraged.
- All staff will have access to PPE.
The district will increase ventilation with outdoor air. All buildings will filter the ventilation system to the greatest extent possible. And we will work to ensure all HVAC systems are functioning properly.
Limited indoor use of school facilities by outside groups. Outdoor use of facilities will be permitted.
The number of visitors may be limited. Masks, temperature checks, and a COVID attestation are required for anyone entering our buildings.
All safety drills will be modified to maintain social distancing.