Letter to Families About Reopening Plan

Dear Families,

The District has been analyzing various scenarios in order to form a specific plan for reopening schools with the goal of maximizing opportunities for safe in-person learning. The District has until July 31st to submit our reopening plans to the State Education Department and the Department of Health, and will be informed during the first week of August if we are permitted to execute those plans. We will continue to adjust and adapt our plans as more guidance is issued and information becomes available. Most importantly, this below is NOT our final plan, but we want to share with you the information we can as we progress through this planning process.

The Hudson Falls Central School District is committed to providing both the safest and highest quality instruction to our students during this time. Our teams have been working since May to help develop these plans and ensure they are providing the best possible opportunities for our students. We want nothing more than to have students back in school full-time and have explored every way we could do so safely. We will continue to communicate regularly with our community by way of our district website as that will contain the most updated information. We will also share updates through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that link you back to the website.

Below we have outlined some of the general components to those plans both for the entire population and for specific grade levels to give families some level of understanding of what to expect this fall. Please note that plans are still being developed and more detailed information about each component of our reopening plan will be available in early August. The full plans will be available on our district website once they are finalized. In the near future, families will be asked by way of a survey if your students will be using our transportation and if you are interested in a fully virtual form of instruction.

Components of Reopening for All Students and Staff

  • We must provide social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear face masks (unless medically prohibited.) Families are asked to provide students with their own face masks whenever possible. Students may be allowed to remove their masks when engaged in instruction and seated at a desk that is socially distant from peers and staff.
  • Basic health screenings for employees and students will be conducted daily.
    • Employees will be required to take their temperature before coming to school everyday and submit information to verify their health. 
    • Parents will be required to take their students’ temperature before coming to school everyday and submit information to verify their health. 
  • Contact tracing and coordination with local health departments will be a key element for anyone who tests positive for COVID19 and the District will follow strict safety procedures to minimize the risk for all students and staff. 
  • Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols will be in effect for all buildings (specific cleaning guidelines will be available in our full district plan for review.) 
  • Shared materials will be minimized and where used, (e.g., library books, science lab materials, etc.) will be disinfected or allowed to remain untouched for three days between use (or length specified by CDC.) 
  • School visitors will be highly restricted (no parent volunteers will be permitted at this time) and will be required to complete a health screening form including temperature check and providing a phone number prior to entry.
  • Hallways and stairways will be marked for one-way travel wherever possible, and when not possible, there will be clear signs indicating the flow of traffic. 
  • All students and staff will be trained on the new safety protocols during the opening days of school, including proper hygiene practices. 
  • Schools will continue to provide food service to all students. The specific format of meal delivery is currently being developed.
  • Outside spaces will be used whenever possible. Field trips are not permitted at this time.

District Transportation of Students

  • Students and staff will be required to wear masks at all times on school vehicles. 
  • Parents/guardians must screen their children prior to getting on the bus. Children with a temperature over 100 or who are feeling ill must be kept home. 
  • Students will be required to sit in the same assigned seat every day.
  • There will be no special arrangements such as going to daycare or a friend’s house on a particular day. 
  • Separate bus runs will be developed for this year. 
  • Families are encouraged to pick-up and drop-off their children at school when feasible. 
  • You will receive a transportation survey asking if your student(s) will be riding school transportation.

Kindergarten – Grade 5

  • Our goal is to safely have as many students back as possible.
  • We are still working to complete student attendance plans at each grade level and this information will be available in early August.
  • Attendance will be taken each day for all students (in person and in any virtual or remote option if necessary).
  • Desks will be six feet apart. Students will be asked to wear a mask when social distance is not possible or barriers are not present. 
  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom.
  • Special classes may be provided in the classroom, alternate rooms, live streamed, or in an outdoor setting.

Grades 6 – 12

  • Our goal is to safely have as many students back as possible.
  • Attendance will be taken each day for all students (in person and in any virtual or remote option if necessary).
  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classroom.
  • Special classes may be provided in the classroom, alternate rooms, live streamed, or in an outdoor setting.
  • Grades 6-12 will follow an alternate day schedule with half of the students coming to school for two consecutive days of in-person instruction on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other half coming on Wednesdays and Thursdays, allowing for social distancing in classrooms, hallways, and transportation.
  • The days when your students are not in-person in school will be virtual instruction days. 
  • On virtual instruction days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely and/or complete assignments. Students will be expected to log into their Google Classroom and complete their scheduled work on virtual days. Expectations on virtual days will be determined by the teacher. 
  • Secondary students will not be issued lockers and will be asked to minimize the materials they carry in school by using classroom storage.  
  • Middle school students will remain in their “home” classroom for the majority of the day, their teachers will rotate to them to provide instruction. 
  • High school students will transition between their classes using the appropriate traffic flow, maintaining social distancing, and wearing masks. 
  • All locker rooms will remain closed, and high school students will participate in physical education activities using the clothing they are wearing. Students are reminded to wear appropriate footwear on PE days.

We will continue to add information about our reopening plans to the district website. This document has given you a brief overview of some of the elements to our plans, we will send out the full plan once it is completed.

Thank you for your continued support,

Linda J. Goewey, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Jon Hunter, Interim Superintendent of Schools

Click to access Return-to-School-Letter-2020.pdf