2022-23 School Operating Plan
Please note: The District’s 2022-23 operating plan is subject to revision based on updated guidance and local public health conditions. As new information is released, the District may modify the plan accordingly.
- Communication/Family and Community Engagement
- Health & Safety
- Masks in School
- Health Checks
- Point of Care (POC) Testing
- Screening Testing
- Healthy Hygiene Practices
- Medically Vulnerable/High-Risk Groups
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Management of Persons Who Are Ill
- If Students or Staff Become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School
- Exposure to COVID-19
- Returning to School After Illness
- Cleaning and disinfection
- After School Program
- Ventilation and Filtration
- Food Service and School Meals
- Transportation Protocols
- Social Emotional Well-Being
- Technology and Connectivity
- Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
- Visitors on Campus and Facilities Use
Schools are an important part of the infrastructure of communities as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students and children and enable parents and caregivers to be at work. As we enter a new phase of the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with New York State Education Department (NYSED) and (NYDOH) Department of Health released updated guidance in mid-August providing added flexibility for schools. The CDC issued the Operational Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care Education Programs to Support Safe In-Person Learning. Shortly thereafter, a joint memo was released from NYSED and NYDOH, which encouraged school districts to utilize the CDC guidance as a resource for COVID-19 mitigating strategies.
The current CDC and State guidance requires a person who is positive for COVID-19 to follow the CDC’s isolation period of 5-days from date of onset of symptoms or date of last exposure if nonsymptomatic and mask for days 6-10 upon return to school.
All other items within the CDC and State guidance documents are recommendations, and we encourage everyone to adhere to them in order to help keep our buildings a safe learning environment for all. We will continue existing COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including cleaning and disinfection and increased ventilation in classrooms. Students and staff are also strongly encouraged to continue to practice healthy hygiene and to stay home when sick.
The Superintendent of Schools (or designee) shall be responsible for all aspects of the school’s opening plan, as well as answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and the plans being implemented in the school. Questions and concerns you may have can be directed to your school principal.
The plan outlined here is for the opening of schools in the Hudson City School District for the 2022-23 school year. This plan includes health and safety procedures that will be implemented in the following schools:
- Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School; Principal Mark Brenneman
- 518-828-4360 Ext. 1112
- M.C. Smith Elementary School Webpage
- Hudson Junior High School; Principal Rhode Octobre-Cooper
- 518-828-4360 Ext. 8100
- Hudson Junior High School Webpage
- Hudson Senior High School; Principal Derek Reardon
- 518-828-4360 Ext. 3100
- Hudson Senior High School Webpage
Communication/Family & Community Engagement
Communication between the district and students, parents, and staff as well as fostering family engagement is of utmost importance. Hudson City School District has developed a communication plan for students, parents or legal guardians of students, staff, and visitors that includes applicable instructions, training, signage, and a consistent means to provide individuals with information via web pages, text and email groups, and/or social media groups or posts. The following information outlines our plans and protocols for communication and community engagement.
- The plan will be available to all stakeholders via the district website at https://www.hudsoncsd.org/reopening/ and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to changing local circumstances. The link to the page will appear on the website homepage as well as each school page. The plan can be translated into other languages via the Google Translate feature available on the district website. A hard copy of this plan will be made available in the preferred language of families upon request as needed.
- Parents/guardians can find the NYSDOH Parent FAQ via the district website.
- Regular updates and communications with students, parents/guardians, staff and visitors via the district’s website (https://www.hudsoncsd.org/), automated messaging (email, text messages, and phone calls when applicable), and the District’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
- All students, faculty, staff, and visitors will be encouraged through verbal and written communication (e.g. signage) to adhere to CDC and NYS guidance.
- The district will have a designated COVID-19 Resource Person for COVID-19-related questions. This coordinator is June Boucher, Nurse Coordinator. She can be reached at email@example.com anytime or by phone at 518-929-1971 during the hours of 7:30 am to 3:30 pm, Monday through Friday.
Health and Safety
Please note the school is no longer required nor is it recommended by the CDC or NYSDOH to contact trace. Therefore we will no longer be notifying families if their student has a potential exposure to COVID-19.
The following are the District’s adopted health and safety protocols.
Masks in School
- Masks are no longer required at school or on school buses/vans. The only instance when a mask is strongly recommended is when an individual tests positive for COVID. They are required to follow the CDC’s isolation protocol and are strongly recommended to wear a mask for days 6-10 upon return to school.
- The State Health Department and the CDC recommends students, staff, and teachers wear masks when:
- People who have known or suspected exposure to COVID -19 should wear a well-fitting mask or respirator around others for ten days from last exposure, regardless of vaccination status or history of prior infection.
- They are moderately-to-severely immunocompromised and have discussed the need to mask with their healthcare provider(s).
- Individuals are welcome to wear a mask if they choose to do so. Our school community has shown great resilience over the past two years, and we expect everyone to continue to practice civility and tolerance surrounding these individual choices.
These requirements are subject to change based on updated guidance received throughout the school year.
- Students must stay home if they have a temperature of 100°F or greater or if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms. Additional screening may be conducted during the school day.
- We recommend that all staff take their temperature daily. Staff must stay home if they have a temperature of 100°F or greater or if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms. Additional screening may be conducted during the school day.
- If a student registers a fever at school, they will be isolated and sent home for evaluation by their health care provider. With signed parental consent, all schools have the ability to do Point of Care (POC) testing on site, which could facilitate COVID-19 diagnosis and inform the need for isolation and notification of close contacts. See Point of Care (POC) Testing below.
- Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms (listed below) or is confirmed with COVID-19 through a lab test or at home test. Parents should notify the school of such circumstances immediately.
- All employees and parents/guardians are expected to understand their obligation to ensure that individuals reporting to school are fever and symptom free each day this school year.
- Staff and students should not enter schools or district buildings if any of the following apply, until symptoms start to diminish. The individual is:
- Sick with COVID-19 symptoms. Symptoms to watch for: fever (100°F or higher), cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
- Has a confirmed case of COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
- Teachers and staff will monitor students and refer them to the nurse if symptoms are present.
- Students or staff with symptoms of illness will be sent to the health office to be assessed. Students or staff that exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 that are not explained by a chronic health condition as determined by the school health personnel will be sent to the isolation room until a parent/guardian can pick them up.
- If consent is given, the student or staff member will be given a COVID-19 test (see above Point of Care (POC) Testing).
- If positive, students and staff will immediately be sent home and are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider. If negative, the decision to send the student(s) home will be made by the school nurse in conjunction with the parent/guardian.
- Any POC positive test results will be reported to the local Department of Health as required.
Point of Care (POC) Testing
Point of Care testing enables the school nurses to test students or staff who develop symptoms while in school to determine if it is related to COVID-19.
- POC testing will be completed utilizing a rapid molecular test or a rapid antigen test. This test involves a gentle swab of the nasal passage and results are available within 15-30 minutes.
- District Nurses have been trained on proper testing procedures.
- Parent consent is required for Point of Care (POC) testing.
- Any POC positive test results will be reported to the appropriate agency(cies) as required.
The CDC no longer recommends routine screening testing in K-12 schools. Screening testing identifies infected people, including those with or without symptoms who may be contagious, so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission. Schools may consider implementing screening testing for high risk activities, at key times of the year, and when returning from breaks. Parental consent is required for Screening testing. This would only be implemented depending upon local community transmissions rates under the guidance of the local health department.
Healthy Hygiene Practices
- Healthy hygiene practices will be reviewed with students at the beginning of each school year.
- The district will reinforce proper hand hygiene (cough/sneeze covering) among all students and staff.
- Staff and students will be expected to regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not immediately available.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at the entry points of each school, in classrooms, in the cafeteria, and in appropriate common areas throughout the school.
Medically Vulnerable/High-Risk Groups
- Staff with a medically vulnerable status should submit requests for accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the Superintendent for eligibility determination.
- Students with a medically vulnerable status seeking an accommodation must provide medical documentation, which will be reviewed by the HCSD school physician.
- Medical documentation should include:
- The nature, severity, and duration of the impairment
- The activity or activities that the impairment limits
- The extent to which the impairment limits the ability to perform the activity or activities
- Accommodations recommended by the medical professional and substantiation as to why the requested accommodation is needed
- Medical documentation should include:
- The district will consult with school health personnel and school physicians and work together with the students’ family or staff member on how to meet the individual needs and provide accommodations that are medically necessary.
This accommodation process, including the potential for a decision that remote instruction should be offered, is available only to a student who has a disabling medical condition.
There is no obligation to extend remote instruction to that child’s siblings in the same home. Similarly, there is no obligation to provide remote instruction to a child who resides with someone else who reportedly has a heightened vulnerability to COVID.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- The district will make available face coverings upon request at no-cost to the employee.
- The district will make available face coverings upon request at no-cost to students.
- Additional PPE will be provided to school nurses.
If Students or Staff Become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School
- School staff must immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse.
- If several students or staff are waiting to see the school nurse, they should physically distance themselves from others.
- Two rooms will be available for school health personnel – one room for healthy individuals who have injuries or need their medications or nursing treatments and another room for assessing and caring for ill students and staff.
- School nurses and other school health professionals assessing or providing care to ill students and staff will follow transmission-based precautions which includes the use of appropriate PPE.
- Students suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian will be isolated in a room or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least six feet.
- Areas used by the ill person will be cleaned and disinfected.
- School staff will call for emergency transport for any student showing emergency warning signs for Multisymptom Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).
Exposure to COVID-19
- The following are the protocols to be followed for an individual that has been exposed or potentially exposed to a COVID-19 positive case. Masking and testing are strongly recommended. Home test kits will be provided by the school when available.
- We recommend that you follow the listed protocols below:
- Students who are exposed or potentially exposed may remain in school however they are encouraged to wear a well-fitting mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
- Test within five days after exposure or sooner if symptoms develop during the ten days period immediately following the exposure.
- If at any time you receive a positive test result, stay home and notify the school nurse.
Returning to School After Illness (following CDC and Department of Health Guidelines)
- If not diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider, individuals can return to school when:
- No fever, without use of fever-reducing medicines, and felt well for 24 hours.
- If diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.
- If diagnosed with COVID-19, individuals can return to school when:
- Positive individuals must be out a minimum of 5 days since the individual first had symptoms. Day 0 is the day of onset of symptoms or positive test result (if no symptoms).
- In order to return after day 5, an individual must be fever free for 24 hours (without using fever reducing medicine) and symptoms must be mostly resolved, including cough and shortness of breath.
- Positive individuals are strongly recommended to wear a well-fitting mask upon return to school and through day ten from initial exposure.
- The school may request medical documentation following the display of COVID-19 symptoms in school.
Cleaning and Disinfection
- All buildings will undergo a deep cleaning and disinfection prior to the opening of school.
- School wide cleaning will include classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, and buses. This cleaning will include:
- Normal routine cleaning to decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects.
- Disinfection using US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved disinfectants against COVID-19. Where disinfectants are used, products will be registered with EPA and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
- When EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, alternative disinfectants may be used (e.g., 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water or 70% alcohol solutions).
- The district will clean and disinfect each area with the following frequency:
- Classrooms: Clean daily
- Restrooms: Clean and disinfect daily
- Cafeterias: Clean and disinfect daily
- Libraries: Clean daily
- Nurse’s Offices: Clean and disinfect daily (and as needed) (see below)
- Staff will have access to disinfectant solutions to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects frequently.
- School Health Office Cleaning
- School health office cleaning must occur after each use of:
- Health office equipment (e.g. blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes, etc.)
- Disposable items should be used as much as possible including:
- Disposable pillow protectors
- Disposable thermometers, or disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, and disposable otoscope specula.
- School health office cleaning must occur after each use of:
After School Program
The District’s After School Program will follow all COVID-19 procedures and protocols outlined in this document.
Ventilation and Filtration
- The school district will continue to support the HVAC systems in each building through proper upkeep, maintenance, and updated filtration as required by the manufacturer’s recommendation and to the HVAC system’s capabilities.
- The HVAC system in each of our buildings is designed to control and regulate the airflow of that particular building and will be used within its requirements.
- When the HVAC system of a building supports it, each building shall increase the outside airflow of their HVAC system in order to better dilute the air of classrooms and provide additional outdoor air to students, staff and faculty.
- Outdoor air circulation can be increased by opening windows, unless they pose a safety or health risk (e.g. allowing pollen in or exacerbating asthma symptoms) to students using the facility.
Food Service and School Meals
The District will continue to provide school breakfast and lunch to all students and will use layered mitigation strategies for food areas.
- Hand washing and/or hand sanitizer will be available before and after meals.
- Breakfast and lunch will be served in the cafeteria.
- Alternate locations will be provided for students who are uncomfortable being seated in the cafeteria, or with severe food allergies, as needed. Please contact the building principal to request an alternate location.
- Adequate space will be reserved for faculty and staff while eating meals.
- Cleaning and disinfection of tables will be completed regularly throughout the course of the school day.
The CDC and the local county health departments agree with full occupancy of the buses following the protocols below:
- Windows or roof hatches will be open whenever possible.
- Cleaning and disinfection practices will include antimicrobial application.
- Parents/guardians should screen their child(ren) for fever/signs of COVID-19 prior to getting on the bus; sick students must be kept home.
- All transportation department employees are encouraged to take their temperature and perform a health self-assessment before leaving home each day.
Social-Emotional Well Being
Along with physical health and well-being, schools in the HCSD will prioritize social emotional well-being, not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social, and emotional space for academic learning to occur.
The District will utilize a tiered approach of health interventions to assess students’ mental health needs, including:
- Providing a brief universal screening UPK through 12 to establish a student’s current baseline and identify those students who are most at risk based on pre- and post-school closure social, emotional, and behavioral presentation. Feedback may be obtained from staff, students, and/or parents, dependent on their developmental level.
- Categorizing students as low-risk, moderate-risk or high-risk for interventions to address social emotional needs once student needs are broadly and individually identified.
- Implementing Tier 1, 2 and 3 activities and interventions based on the data from the screener, referrals throughout the year and as it relates to the comprehensive school counseling program plan.
- Providing periodic resources for parents on addressing student social emotional health in various formats and languages. Particular attention should be paid to ensuring our staff has adequate access to interpreters and/or a translation service to meet the needs of our English Language Learners.
- Providing social stories for our youngest students and students with special needs in their preferred language that address social-emotional learning as needed.
The District addresses professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff.
Technology and Connectivity
Access to computing devices and high-speed internet are essential for educational equity. The District is committed to ensuring that all students have access to both a device and to internet access in all grades.
The District will continue to provide adequate and equitable instructional technologies and tools for all students and staff as follows:
- A suite of instructional technology software will be accessible to students and staff to support teaching and learning.
- In sixth through twelfth grade, students will be assigned a Chromebook to use in school and at home.
- In kindergarten through grade five, the District will provide students with a Chromebook for use in the classroom and periodically chromebooks may be sent home by classroom teachers for school use.
- Laptops will be provided to all teachers and administrators.
- Laptops/Chromebooks will be provided to other support staff as needed.
- Hotspots will be available for students and staff in need of internet access for school-related activities.
- Adaptive technologies will be provided to students as per IEP mandates.
- The HCSD technology Helpdesk will be available for onsite and remote (where applicable) technology assistance. Email the Hudson Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call the Helpdesk at 518-828-4360 ext. 2118 (for dialing when you are outside the district) or Extension 2118 (for dialing when you are in the district).
Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- Career and Technical Education is provided by our regional BOCES, Questar III. This organization has developed their own plans which must be followed by all Hudson students participating in the program.
- Students enrolled in CTE programs will attend CTE classes daily according to their schedule.
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
- The district will continue to follow New York State and local health department guidance for Athletics.
- Please refer to the District website for the most up to date information on the status of our sports seasons.
- Field trips are considered on a case by case basis with preference given to nearby, outdoor field trips.
- Clubs are permitted to meet in person as long as they follow the guidelines contained in this document.
Visitors on Campus and Facilities Use
- Schools in the HCSD will monitor the number of visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations, particularly during times when there is a moderate to high COVID-19 transmission rate.
- All approved visitors must follow the guidelines contained in this document.
- Approved visitors must stay home when symptomatic and seek testing and care, regardless of vaccination status.
- The use of district spaces by outside organizations is permissible. This use cannot conflict with school programs (facilities use “as available”). Facilities use will be handled the same as a normal year (including all appropriate forms completed). Groups must follow the applicable district-adopted guidelines.