HCSD Reopening Plan

HUDSON CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT PRELIMINARY REOPENING PLAN
July 31, 2020

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for answers to common questions and concerns related to reopening schools in September 2020.

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Content Outline

Letter from Superintendent of Schools

Dear Members of the Hudson City School District Community:

Summer Greetings to all HCSD Families and a special welcome to families whose first child enters Kindergarten as a member of our Class of 2033! The following plan was developed to provide you with answers to the most pressing questions you may have relevant to the reopening of school this September. Please know that the following plan and details are not the result of one meeting or a series of meetings. Rather, they reflect the collaborative efforts of a team of educators along with significant contributions from a mosaic of other stakeholders in our school community. The research, resources, documents, and persons of varied expertise consulted throughout this plan’s development have been extensive. The plan was also informed by your responses in the reopening survey we disseminated earlier this summer. Risk mitigation for the purposes of individual and public health has been a driving factor in our decision-making with the shared focus of delivering the highest quality developmental and educational experience feasible to our students.

We appreciate the support and outreach you have offered us since we embarked on this unique journey of learning amid the current pandemic. We encourage you to continue giving school personnel the opportunity to clarify understanding or respond to a concern prior to sharing less complete information in social media forums, which ultimately stretches our resources thinner. Indeed, you can count on us to continue responding to your inquiries and requests for assistance or additional information in as timely a manner as we can and with a mindset of partnership.

This plan is a living document that will continue to be refined and improved before our return in September. I encourage every parent and staff member to read this plan. Questions and concerns you may have can be directed to either your school principal or emailed directly to reopeningquestions@hudsoncsd.org. Your input provides opportunities to clarify our communications, meet individual needs and to refine and improve our plans.

After reviewing the District’s school reopening plans, any parent or guardian who believes their child will be unable to return to school for in-person learning should contact the building principal of their child’s school by August 24 or as soon as practical. The District will review the matter and discuss options with the parent or guardian to address their concerns.

I would like to thank every member of our educational community for engaging and contributing to a comprehensive plan for a healthy, safe and enriching educational experience for students this fall.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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Introduction to Reopening Plan

On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region.

Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.

While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, the district is also planning for remote/distance learning as well as a hybrid model that combines in-person instruction and remote learning. It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making as we move to open our schools.

Parents will have the choice to opt for a 100% virtual learning model (see page 35) if requested and approved by the District. However, the District requires that parents inform us of their decision prior to the beginning of the school year. The procedure for opting for 100% virtual learning is under development and will be communicated to parents prior to the start of school.

The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Hudson City School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan includes health and safety procedures that will be implemented in the following schools:

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. We know that effective teaching and learning cannot occur without a safe environment. Our reopening plan incorporates the following guidance documents: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The Hudson City School District (HCSD) worked with a cross-section of stakeholders to develop school reopening plans that provide a safe learning environment for students and staff this fall. Stakeholders followed guidance protocols to create a comprehensive plan that centers around the health and safety of our school community to provide equity and access to a quality education while also meeting the social-emotional needs of our students in the best way possible given the current circumstances.

The safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount and has been at the forefront of our planning. Our school reopening plan is designed to bring as many students as possible back to face-to-face education, while providing additional opportunities and improving upon the distance learning systems that we adopted this past spring. To allow our school district to safely reopen, there are a number of features, contingencies, and safety protocols that we must plan for, and we have attempted to outline these throughout our plan. We understand that the situation around COVID-19 is ever-evolving, and as a result, our plan will be forced to evolve with it. We, as a school district, cannot anticipate the way that the virus will develop, nor can we fully anticipate the way that it will affect our region, but through careful planning, hard work, and resilience, we have put together a plan that allows our schools to have the flexibility to address these concerns.

The HCSD school reopening plan is student-centered and was informed by four school reopening subcommittees as well as a district steering committee composed of a vast number of stakeholders, including building and district administrators, teachers, healthcare providers, buildings and grounds staff, students, parents/guardians, transportation staff, food service and technology departments, board members and representatives of the local Department of Health and Risk Management team. The committees were established to assist the district by providing feedback into the development of our reopening plan. The committees met each week with over 80 individuals participating. Additionally, parents and staff were surveyed to collect and analyze pertinent information to be considered when developing this plan. The committee members’ time, efforts, talents and dedication have been inspiring and have provided the backbone for our return this fall.

The committees used the District’s mission statement, “The Hudson City School District, in partnership with our community, advances the intellectual, social and emotional development of all students to prepare them for college, career and citizenship,” as a focal point to ensure our plan supported this mission. The committees reviewed a plethora of resources such as Hanover research, CDC guidelines, resources from NYSDOH, reopening plans from other states, Questar III BOCES documents, and guidance provided by NYSED.

The following principles guided the HCSD school reopening plans:

  • The health, safety, and well-being of our students and adults is our top priority.
  • Equity and access for all students within our diverse school population must be a consideration for every part of our plan.
  • Flexibility to provide in-person, remote and hybrid learning environments as needed so that we are prepared to move from one model to another if regulatory changes occur during the school year.

The school district will designate an external consultant  as their COVID-19 Safety Coordinator. This individual shall be responsible for the continuous compliance with all health and safety protocols, as well as any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal or “new normal” levels.

The school district has designated the Superintendent of Schools (or designee) as the primary point of contact upon the identification of a positive COVID-19 case and to be responsible for subsequent communications.  This person shall be responsible for all aspects of the school’s reopening 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 either your school principal or emailed directly to reopeningquestions@hudsoncsd.org.

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Communication/Family and Community Engagement

Communication between the district and students, parents and staff as well as fostering family engagement is of utmost importance to the HCSD. Schools and districts have developed a communications 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.

All students will be taught or trained how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper use of face covering, social distancing and respiratory hygiene.

All schools in the HCSD will encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (e.g., signage) to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), specifically acceptable face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained.

Communications will be provided in the preferred language spoken at home and throughout the school community. Written plans will be accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments.

To help inform our reopening plan, the District sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including building and district administrators, teachers, healthcare providers, buildings and grounds staff, students, parents/guardians, transportation staff, food service and technology departments, board members and representatives of the local Department of Health and Risk Management team. Engagement efforts included online and paper surveys, meetings and one-on-one conversations.

The HCSD remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan will be available to all stakeholders via the district website at www.hudsoncsd.org/reopening and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan will appear on the website homepage as well as each school page. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also 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 as needed.

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the District has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The District is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. The District will use its existing communication channels – including the district website, robocalls, texts and emails, the District’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and mailings where applicable – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. The District will communicate news, requirements, and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing protocols, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. The information we will share will be based on state guidance. Translated communications will be available on the district website using the Google Translate feature and translated materials may also be distributed to families by delivery, mailing, or email.

The District will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. Schools will notify using robocalls, texts, emails, e-newsletters and direct mailings.

The District will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their children.

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. As part of this continuous training, the District will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each student’s age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they return to the school setting.

These trainings will cover:

  • Hand & respiratory hygiene – Step-by-step instructional flyers posted near sinks with additional in-person guidance from teachers and staff; hand hygiene video resources on the district website; social stories (or illustrated descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity) that address what school will look like in terms of hygiene expectations will be provided to young children and students with disabilities.
  • Proper face covering procedures (when/how to wear and remove) – Step-by-step instructional flyers posted and video resources on the district website with additional in-person guidance from teachers and staff; social stories that address face covering expectations for students on the bus and at school will be provided to young children and students with disabilities.
  • Social distancing protocols – Video resources on the district website with additional in-person guidance from teachers and staff; social stories that address what school will look like in terms of social distancing on the bus and at school will be provided to young children and students with disabilities.
  • Identifying symptoms – CDC signage of the most recognized symptoms.
  • Health screenings and at-home temperature checks – Video in progress about health screenings and reminders to check temperatures at home.

The District will create and deploy signage 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
  • Proper hand washing
  • Social distancing (including student artwork depicting our Bluehawk mascot with a 6 foot wingspan)
  • Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19

In addition to signage, the District will require all students, faculty, staff and visitors to adhere to CDC and NYSDOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through verbal and written communication and additional means such as videos produced by our BOCES.

In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. The District will notify the wider community if specifically directed to do so by local health officials.

In the event one or more school buildings need to close based on regional metrics, an outbreak in the school community, or because of external factors, we shall do so under the guidance of the Columbia County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health. In the event that the school district would be forced to close, the school district’s incident management system would be invoked to provide a structure to the school district’s response that would involve internal and external parties from around the school community. When determining what buildings should be closed or phased out first, the school district will consult the Columbia County Department of Health to better understand the spread and what the requirements for closing or phasing shall be. The school district may consider going back to their opening week schedule if a phasing or closure is required in order to lower the density of the school building while still providing educational opportunities to students.

The District will:

  • Implement consistent communication plans to ensure that members of the school community are kept up-to-date with all developments and changes to our plan.
  • Post and maintain all school reopening plans on a dedicated page on the district website and have hard copies available at each school in the languages spoken by families.
  • Communicate regularly with families in the preferred language(s) spoken at home through the use of Google Translate or other professional translation service.
  • Ensure that communications are ADA compliant.
  • Develop and implement communications for students and families about how to prepare for the upcoming school year.
  • Encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, through verbal and written communication (e.g. signage,) to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), specifically acceptable face coverings when social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Post signs at every school entrance that cautions against entering school with symptoms related to COVID such as a fever, cough or shortness of breath.
  • Provide instruction or training to students on how to properly wash hands, wear a face covering, follow social distancing protocols and practice proper respiratory hygiene.
  • Immediately notify parents through Robo messaging system (call, text, email) of any confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within the school community.
  • Immediately notify faculty/staff through email of any confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 within the school community.
  • Immediately notify the local health department via phone about potential COVID-19 cases and work closely with local health department guidelines for contact tracing and coordination as needed.

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Health and Safety

Depending on the metrics of our region, county, and schools, we need to plan for multiple scenarios, such as: return to onsite at 100% capacity, 100% remote learning with no or limited onsite staff/students, and a hybrid model including partial onsite and partial remote learning. Since this is an ever-changing situation, the District may need to change protocols at any time to address specific needs and circumstances in order to protect the health and safety of students, employees and the community. Please note, health guidance cannot anticipate every unique situation. As a result, HCSD will continue to consult available guidance through governmental agencies, including but not limited to the State Education Department, the New York State Board of Regents, applicable Governor Executive Orders, and state and local Departments of Health, as well as other information deemed relevant to monitor the situation. The District will comply with applicable federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards, and accessibility standards to address individual needs.

It is important to remember the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person shows no symptoms or is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously or fatally ill. Due to the hidden nature of this threat, HCSD expects all employees, students, families and community members to rigorously follow the practices outlined below.

Health Checks

All students and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily and individuals with symptoms will be separated and sent home. Staff and students will be assigned a specific entryway to utilize daily based on assignment(s).

Screening Protocols

  • A parent or guardian will be asked to screen their children for COVID-19 symptoms each day prior to sending them to school. Parents should check their child’s temperature daily and keep them home if they have a temperature of 100.0°F or greater. Additional screening may be conducted during the school day.
  • If a student has a fever upon arriving at school, they will be isolated and sent home for evaluation by their health care provider.
  • Parents must ensure they do not send a child to school if the child has COVID-19 symptoms (as listed in this document below) or is lab-confirmed with COVID-19, and instead should opt to receive remote instruction until the below conditions for re-entry are met (see page 12).
  • Staff will be required to complete a self-screening process prior to entering any HCSD building, including a temperature verification process, and the District may require further screening of employees at any time based on current state and federal guidelines. Staff are expected to sign in electronically any time they are accessing a district facility/building.
  • Staff and students should not enter schools or district buildings if any of the following apply. The individual is:
    • Sick or has been sick with COVID-19 symptoms in the past 14 days. Symptoms to watch for: fever (100.0°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 or has been in close contact with a person with a confirmed case of COVID-19. These individuals must follow all isolation and quarantine guidelines from the local health authority or their physician.
    • Has a household member who is awaiting COVID-19 test results, or who is awaiting their own test results.
    • Has traveled internationally or on a cruise in the past 14 days, or has traveled to a state that requires a 14 day quarantine. These individuals must follow current CDC self-quarantine recommendations: View the current CDC recommendations.
  • Teachers and staff will monitor students and refer them to the nurse if symptoms are present.

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Healthy Hygiene Practices

Hand Washing/Sanitizing Expectations

  • Staff and students will be expected to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.
  • 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.
  • Requirement for hand washing and/or use of HCSD-provided hand sanitizer:
    • Habitual and thorough hand washing including but not limited to upon entry, after recess, before and after meals and following restroom breaks.
    • Use of hand sanitizer upon entry to classroom and periodic teacher/staff reminders during instructional days.

Respiratory Hygiene

Students and staff will be instructed and trained to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately. Students and staff will also be instructed or trained to use the inside of their elbow (or shirtsleeve) to cover the mouth or nose when a tissue is not available. Hand washing/sanitizing after sneezing, coughing and handling tissues or other soiled material will be part of the instruction/training as well.

A supply of tissues and non-touch trash cans (when feasible) will be available in each room.

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Social Distancing

The District developed the following  plan with procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when on school facilities, grounds, and transportation. Procedures include directional arrows in hallways, 6 foot distance floor markers, and maximum capacity signage for smaller spaces based on 6-foot requirements.

If social distancing of six (6) feet cannot be maintained, proper face coverings must be worn in common areas such as hallways or school buses (think “Moving = Masks”). For those medically unable to wear face coverings, provided the doctor’s order suggests they are safe to be in person in school without a face covering, alternatives such as wearable face shields or other portable face shields will be considered. Additionally, staff interacting with medically excused students will be offered additional PPE options.

For our school district to maintain safe operations, we must attempt to maintain social distancing to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus while on school grounds and in school facilities. To facilitate this, our school district has redesigned our classroom spaces, common areas, and other rooms throughout the buildings for appropriate social distancing. Specifically, appropriate social distancing means six feet of space in all directions between individuals or the use of suitable physical barriers between individuals that do not adversely affect air flow, heating, cooling, ventilation, or otherwise present a health or safety risk. The only time when social distancing requirements may be relaxed in the school district is when the safety of an activity or the core activity requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household. To promote this type of behavior, the school district has instituted measures such as placing six-foot distance markers around the school district; changing traffic flow patterns to reduce bi-directional foot traffic will be designed as feasible; staggering the bus schedule to reduce the amount of students in the hallway at any given time. Furthermore, the school district has evaluated smaller spaces in the school building such as elevators, break rooms and offices and will be limiting the use of these spaces. These identified spaces will require the use of face coverings and occupancy should not exceed 50% of the maximum, unless the space is designed for use by a single occupant. In addition to the above noted changes, our school district has evaluated the feasibility of modifying existing areas of mass assembly, such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, and cafeterias, to provide additional learning spaces for students that are more easily socially distanced appropriately.

Student drop off and pick up will be staggered as feasible to limit contact. Parents/guardians will not be permitted entry into school buildings unless a predetermined meeting has been scheduled. Details will follow from each school prior to the school year.

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Medically Vulnerable/High-Risk Groups

We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness, live with a person who is at an increased risk, or simply do not feel comfortable returning to an in-person educational environment. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. Each case will be approached uniquely depending on the individual situation, but potential solutions for these vulnerable populations include remote learning or work, modified educational and work settings, or by providing additional PPE to individuals with underlying health conditions.

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings

Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order, DOH guidance and SED guidance  regarding the wearing of appropriate face coverings (masks). Students and staff are expected to wear appropriate face coverings while on district property or school buses. This requirement is subject to change.

  • Masks include non-medical grade disposable face masks, appropriate cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth)
  • Staff and students will appropriately wear face coverings at all times except: those who are medically exempt with documentation, during meals, portions of instruction under the guidance of the teacher and for short “mask breaks” as long as 6 foot social distancing can be maintained.
  • Office staff may remove masks while seated at their work space where they can maintain the mandated social distancing from other individuals.
  • All students (PK-12) MUST wear masks/face coverings in common areas such as school buses, during arrival and dismissal, and in hallways when transitioning between classes (think “Moving = Masks”).
  • Students will not be required to wear face coverings while eating but will be distanced 6 feet apart.
  • Individual needs regarding face coverings will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Requests for accommodations should be submitted to school administration.
  • Additional protective equipment will be provided to school nurses.
  • Students and staff will be expected to provide and utilize their own face covering and will be responsible for daily cleaning.
  • Students/staff who do not have appropriate face coverings will be provided with one by the District.

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Management of Ill Persons, Contact Tracing & Monitoring

Isolation Protocols

  • Students displaying symptoms of COVID-19 must be immediately separated from other individuals and supervised until their parent/legal guardian or emergency contact can pick them up from school.
  • Other students will be removed from the classroom and taken to an alternate location on school grounds (e.g., go on a walk outside, move to a different classroom, etc.) so that the classroom can be disinfected.
  • If an individual who has been in school is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19, the school will notify the local health department in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including confidentiality requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Schools will close off areas that are heavily used by the individual with the lab-confirmed case (student, teacher, or staff) until the non-porous surfaces in those areas can be disinfected.
  • Communication will be provided to families of those who came in contact with a student or staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Staff members displaying COVID-19 symptoms will follow district protocols including isolation from students and other staff members until they can safely leave school premises.
table outlining the steps to take is a student/staff memeber has COVID-19 syptoms, if someone tests positive for COVID-19 and if a student or staff memeber tests positive for COVID-19; steps are also detailed in the reopenin plan text

Source: Columbia County Department of Health

For more information, see our Testing Plan and Contact Tracing Plan.

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Returning to School After Illness

Students and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be permitted to return to school when:

  • The district will work closely with the local DOH to determine when an individual may return to school.
  • At minimum the following will be required:
    • Documentation from a health care provider evaluation,
    • Negative COVID-19 test results and symptom resolution,
    • Release from isolation.

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School Closures

A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. The District will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. See updated information about school closures on page 2 of this Contact Tracing Plan.

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Cleaning and Disinfection

Frequent cleaning and disinfection will support a healthy learning and work environment for students and staff.

Daily School Cleaning

The school district has instituted, trained on, and follows the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) guidelines on the hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection of school buildings and materials. The District has developed extensive procedures and protocols for school-wide cleaning and the disinfection of classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, school buses, and all other school facilities based on the CDC guidance. The District also identified the areas of buildings that will require additional cleaning and disinfection, such as bathrooms. Throughout the course of the year, the District will maintain cleaning and disinfection logs that identify the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection for those areas. The District also developed and maintains a list of commonly touched surfaces throughout the school district, with a cleaning and disinfection schedule assigned to individuals and positions for these surfaces.

The District will also be increasing ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible based on the outdoor air temperature and the capabilities of our HVAC system. Lastly, the school district shall continue to conduct or complete the process of performing its required Lead-in-Water testing as required by NYSDOH regulation 67-4.

The school district also understands that to maintain a safe and healthful school environment, it needs to promote and encourage proper hand hygiene throughout the day. In order to achieve this goal, the District will be installing hand hygiene stations throughout common areas of the building so that students may sanitize their hands while they are in transition and at times when they may not be able to clean their hands with soap and water throughout the school day. The District will train students, faculty, and staff on proper hand hygiene throughout the school year and provide continued education for individuals through proper signage at all levels of the school district. Throughout the course of the school day to the extent practicable, the District expects students, staff, and faculty to wash or sanitize their hands including but not limited to upon arrival to school, upon arriving to a new classroom, before and after eating.

Each classroom and restroom will be cleaned and disinfected.

  • All high-touch areas will be disinfected throughout the day.
  • Staff will have access to disinfectant solutions to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects frequently. Staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible.

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Weekly School Cleaning

Schools will be disinfected multiple times a week depending on the schedule for in school instruction.

School Safety Drills

Education Law § 807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. When planning drills, consideration will be given to how our schools may modify drill procedures to minimize risk of spreading infection. Conducting drills is an important part of keeping students and staff safe in an emergency, however, steps will be taken to minimize the risk of spreading infection while conducting drills. As such, it may be necessary for our schools to conduct drills in the 2020-21 school year using protocols that are different than we are used to.

Regardless of the modification used when conducting a drill, students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

Modifications to evacuation drill protocols may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting drills on a “staggered” schedule, where classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once, and appropriate distance is kept between students to the evacuation site. Staggering by the classroom minimizes contact of students in hallways, stairwells, and at the evacuation site. If conducting drills using a modified procedure, it is required that the drill be conducted with all students in the school building on that school day, it may be necessary to do so during a class period that is extended for this purpose; and
  • If schools re-open with a “hybrid” in-person model, such as one where students attend school alternate school days or weeks to reduce the occupancy of the school building, schools will be certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures, and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person.

Modifications to Lockdown Drills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct lockdown drill in classroom setting while maintaining social distancing and using masks;
  • Conducting lockdown drills on a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students present to maintain social distancing, however schools will make certain that all students are receiving instruction in emergency procedures and participating in drills while they are in attendance in-person; and
  • Conduct lockdown drills in the classroom without “hiding”/ “sheltering” but provide an overview of how to shelter or hide in the classroom.

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Facilities

All schools in the HCSD will promote social distancing while maintaining existing safety requirements designed to protect students. To accomplish this, our schools will change the way they utilize space.

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.

Schools will continue to  conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills. These drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the District, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

The District plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”

Upon reopening, the District plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible. Water systems will be flushed in all buildings before the start of the school year.

General Health and Safety Assurances

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except as needed for the safety and well-being of students and staff. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.

Visitors will be kept to a minimum for essential school business only and any visitors must follow all safety protocols including completing a screening questionnaire, temperature check and wearing a face covering.

Fire Code Compliance

The District will conduct fire (evacuation) drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without exceptions. Schools will continue to conduct mandatory fire drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

Doorways

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

Emergency Drills

The school district has given special consideration to the way it will perform emergency drills throughout the course of the school year while social distancing is required. The District will still complete the eight (8) evacuation drills and four (4) lockdown drills, but the way the drills are conducted shall be modified for the upcoming school year.

If schools re-open with a “hybrid” in-person model, such as one where students attend school on alternate school days or weeks to reduce the occupancy of the school building, the District will ensure all students receive instruction in emergency procedures and participate in drills. In order to assure the safety of our evacuation drills, the District may conduct drills on a “staggered” schedule by having classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once to ensure appropriate distancing.

To ensure the safety of lockdown drills, the District may conduct them in several different ways to enforce social distancing – whether this be through the use of a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students to maintain social distancing or by conducting a lockdown drill through verbal and visual instruction and providing students an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about lockdowns.

Inspections

The District plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”

Lead Testing

Lead testing will be conducted and completed in 2020 per NYSDOH regulation 67-4.

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Child Nutrition

Regardless of the educational model chosen by our school district and the dynamic nature of the plan, our school district shall continue to provide school breakfast and lunch to all students who were previously receiving school meals – both on-site and remotely.  The District will address all applicable health and safety guidelines to ensure compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements. The District will communicate the plan for meals with families through multiple means, in the preferred language spoken at home.

Meals Onsite

While on-site, the District will maintain appropriate social distancing during meal times and provide food service.

For students onsite, meals will be provided while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced.

The District will ensure social distancing between individuals while eating in the school cafeteria. If not feasible, meals may be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or in staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.

  • Hand hygiene will be promoted before and after meals.
  • Breakfast and lunch will be served in school, including allowance for eating in classrooms to ensure appropriate social distancing. The process for food stations/delivery is being developed.
  • Alternate locations will be provided for students with severe food allergies, as needed.
  • Students will be supervised during meal times and prohibited from sharing food and beverages unless members of the same household.

The sharing of food and beverages (e.g., buffet style meals, snacks) is prohibited, unless individuals are members of the same household. Adequate space will be reserved for students, faculty, and staff to observe social distancing while eating meals.

Meals Offsite (Remote)

The HCSD will provide all enrolled students with access to free school meals each school day whether school is in-person or remote; address all applicable health and safety guidelines; ensure compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements; and communicate with families through multiple means, in the languages spoken by those families.

  • Meals will be available at locations throughout the District for students learning remotely. The District will work with the school community to determine the best locations and time for meal drop off sites.

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Transportation

The HCSD will provide transportation services to all students with consistency and equity. School buses will ensure regular disinfection measures are implemented. Students will be trained about the proper wearing of masks and social distancing on the bus, at stops, and at loading/unloading times.

The District will provide transportation services to all students who need it with consistency and equity. The provisions we put in place to provide this service will include: adherence to CDC, NYSED, and NYSDOH regulations and guidelines set forth for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing all school buses. Additionally, we will be providing guidance and instruction to all transportation staff on the proper use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and training and educating students on PPE requirements and use (including how to properly wear masks/facial protection and the definition of social distancing [SD] and how to do so while at the bus stop, on the bus and during boarding and disembarking the bus).

New transportation procedures for the 2020-21 school year are outlined below:

  • Parents/guardians will screen their child(ren) for signs of COVID, particularly a fever, before getting on the bus each day.
    • Students who have a temperature of 100 F or higher must be kept home to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Students will be sent home if they display a fever upon arrival to school or thereafter throughout the school day.
    • If a child is kept home due to a fever or other COVID symptoms, the parent/guardian should notify the District immediately and speak with the school nurse.
  • All students and transportation personnel must wear masks/face coverings on school buses. Unless they provide documentation of a qualifying medical condition stating that they are medically prohibited from wearing facial PPE, all students and staff must wear a mask while entering/exiting and while seated on a school bus.
    • Students are expected to be prepared with their own masks/face coverings. In the event they forget it on a given day, a disposable mask will be provided for them.
    • The District will develop a protocol to address instances in which a student refuses to wear a mask while on the bus.
  • All transportation personnel are required by SED regulations to wear gloves when in the presence of students.
  • Students will be seated according to the 50% pattern to allow for sufficient social distancing (i.e., one rider per seat, alternating between window and aisle seats). In the example diagram below, O represents a student seat and X represents an empty seat:

bus diagram showing how students will sit on the school bus alternating between window and aisle seats

  • Students will be assigned seats according to the seating schematic above. Siblings or children who reside in the same household may be seated together. This will alter the above schematic somewhat to provide appropriate social distancing, however, it will not necessarily affect the number of riders.
  • The bus will be loaded from the back to the front and unloaded from the front to the back. This means that the first students on the bus will sit in the back, and the students sitting in the front will be the first to get off the bus.
  • Changes to transportation needs will be accommodated as soon as possible (e.g., if a family moves or as part of a court appointed custody agreement).
  • In the event there is a last minute change to student transportation arrangements, the parent/guardian will be required to pick up and/or drop off their child(ren) at school that day.
  • Until further notice, transportation will not be provided for any field trips or off-campus activities unless expressly authorized by the Superintendent of Schools.
  • The District will develop school arrival and dismissal times and procedures for school buses and parent drop off and pick up. This will be communicated to families prior to the start of school.

Parents/guardians will have the option to drive their child(ren) to and from school each day. The District will reach out to families either by mail or survey to determine whether or not their child(ren) will be riding the bus. If they choose to drive their student(s) to and from school, a waiver of transportation will be provided. Alternative transportation arrangements will be put in place for the duration of a semester. If due to circumstances a parent needs to change those arrangements, we will make every attempt to accommodate their needs at the end of the semester.

This year as we examine bus routes, part of our focus will be centered on “time” in terms of the number and locations of bus stops. The HCSD Transportation Department will continue to work with surrounding districts to find ways to safely and effectively combine the transportation needs of multiple districts, especially for our students that have been placed in out-of-district programs.

Once the education model is confirmed and a plan in place, we will begin routing for the 2020-21 school year. Parents will be notified (either by mail and/or a secure link to the district website) what their child’s transportation arrangements will be, as well as the protocols and safety measures/expectations put in place for student transportation during the 2020-21 school year.

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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 recognizes that the social emotional well-being of our students and staff during these challenging times is critically important. The District has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens under any model of instruction.

The District has established an advisory council that involves shared decision-making and is composed of parents/guardians, students, members of the board of education, school building and/or district leaders, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers. The advisory council will inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan. This program plan is being reviewed and updated to meet the current health and safety situation and will reflect interventions that can address student needs in a full on site, hybrid and remote model.

For students, this includes:

  • 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.
  • Identifying and supporting students, throughout the course of the school year, who are having difficulty transitioning back into the school setting by reassessing students who were identified as Moderate or High risk to determine whether additional or different interventions will be needed.
  • Partnering counseling staff with groups of teachers to assist in the implementation of Tier 1 strategies that will address the pandemic and self-care for students.
  • 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 what school will look like when they return. Social stories will address wearing face coverings, screening and social distancing on the bus and/or at school.

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.

The HCSD shall make every effort to provide and address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens under any model of instruction. Additionally, throughout the course of the school year, the District will identify and support students who are having difficulty transitioning back into the school setting.

The District will provide periodic training for faculty and staff on how to support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. The District will also provide information on developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff during training or through written materials.

For staff, this includes:

  • Continuing to provide lists of resources summarizing social-emotional health that will include emphasis on the objective of prioritizing physical and social-emotional well-being upon school reopening and provide students ample time to re-acclimate. Resources should provide descriptions and tools to differentiate between likely or expected behavior presentations of students following the extended remote learning period from more significant behavioral presentations indicative of mental health needs or signs of trauma. A general trauma-responsive approach should be incorporated.
  • Assigning counseling staff to groups of teachers to problem solve any concerns regarding Tier 1, 2 and 3 supports.
  • Preparing for a possible school closure, by ensuring the availability of a list of tools for teachers to support student engagement, steps for how to manage minimal or no engagement and strategies for incorporating social-emotional well-being check-ins and social-emotional learning. This should include a plan for when and how to incorporate related service providers to support student engagement.
  • Providing access to professional development opportunities and resources that will address staff members’ own health and wellness.

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School Schedules

The HCSD has developed a comprehensive plan for school schedules that include in-person instruction, remote instruction and/or a hybrid of both in-person and remote. The schedules support state and local health and safety guidelines and ensure social distancing practices.

Tentative M.C. Smith Elementary School Schedule

  • All UPK – grade 5 students, including students assigned to a self-contained special education classroom, will attend school in person four (4) days a week (Monday-Tuesday AND Thursday-Friday).
  • Wednesday instruction will be remote for deep cleaning of all schools.
  • Pending the Governor’s order of when schools may officially open, students will be slowly phased in to the on-site school environment as follows:
    • ○ Week 1 starting 9/14/20: UPK-K only (grades 1-5 remote instruction)
    • ○ Week 2 starting 9/21/20: Grades UPK-K plus grades 1-2 only (grades 3-5 remote instruction)
    • ○ Week 3 starting 9/28/20: Grades UPK-5
    • ○ Grades UPK-5 will continue to report four (4) days a week (Monday-Tuesday AND Thursday-Friday).
  • Time will be dedicated during each grade level’s first week of school to familiarize incoming students with school and new safety protocols.
  • Instruction will be provided using longer periods (block schedule model) to reduce the number of instructional spaces and student contact exposures each day.
  • During home instruction days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely and/or complete assignments.
  • In the event school buildings are compelled to close, school will resume remotely following the same in-school schedule with a combination of synchronous (live online) and asynchronous (recorded) teacher lessons, online group work or small group instruction. Time spent on instruction will vary by grade level, however, students will engage with learning daily and attendance will be taken.

Tentative Hudson Junior High School Schedule

  • All students in grades 6-8 will attend school in person two (2) days a week on a hybrid schedule of either Monday-Tuesday (Blue Group) OR Thursday-Friday (Gold Group).
  • All 6-8 students assigned to a self-contained special education classroom will attend school all four (4) days.
  • Wednesday instruction will be remote for deep cleaning of all schools.
  • Pending the Governor’s order of when schools may officially open, students will be slowly phased in to the on-site school environment as follows:
    • ○ Week 1 starting 9/14/20: Grade 6 only (grades 7-8 remote)
    • ○ Week 2 starting 9/21/20: Grades 6-7 only (grade 8 remote)
    • ○ Week 3 starting 9/28/20: Grades 6-8
    • ○ Grades 6-8 will continue to attend school in person two (2) days a week (Monday-Tuesday OR Thursday-Friday) according to their group assignment (Blue or Gold).
  • Time will be dedicated during each grade level’s first week of school to familiarize incoming students with school and new safety protocols.
  • Instruction will be provided using longer periods (block schedule model) to reduce the number of instructional spaces and student contact exposures each day.
  • During home instruction days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely and/or complete assignments.
  • In the event school buildings are compelled to close, school will resume remotely following the same in-school schedule with a combination of synchronous (live online) and asynchronous (recorded) teacher lessons, online group work or small group instruction. Time spent on instruction will vary by grade level, however, students will engage with learning daily and attendance will be recorded.

Tentative Hudson High School Schedule

  • All students in grades 9-10 will attend school in person two (2) days a week on a hybrid schedule of either Monday-Tuesday (Blue Group) OR Thursday-Friday (Gold Group).
  • All students in grades 9-12+ assigned to a self-contained special education classroom will attend school all four days.
  • All students in grades 11-12 will attend school remotely M – F while we explore the feasibility of safely bringing in additional grades as space allows.
  • Wednesday instruction will be remote for deep cleaning of all schools.
  • Pending the Governor’s order of when schools may officially open, students will be slowly phased in to the on-site school environment as follows:
    • ○ Week 1 starting 9/14/20: Grade 9 only (grades 10-12 remote)
    • ○ Week 2 starting 9/21/20: Grades 9 – 10 (grades 11-12 remote
    • ○ Grades 9-10 will continue to attend school in person two (2) days a week (Monday-Tuesday OR Thursday-Friday) according to their group assignment (Blue or Gold).
  • Time will be dedicated during each grade level’s first week of school to familiarize incoming students with school and new safety protocols.
  • Instruction will be provided using longer periods (block schedule model) to reduce the number of instructional spaces and student contact exposures each day.
  • During home instruction days, students will be required to participate in classroom work remotely and/or complete assignments.
  • In the event school buildings are compelled to close, school will resume remotely following the same in-school schedule with a combination of synchronous (live online) and asynchronous (recorded) teacher lessons, online group work or small group instruction. Time spent on instruction will vary by grade level, however, students will engage with learning daily and attendance will be recorded.

For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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Budget and Fiscal Matters

The HCSD will continue to meet existing state aid reporting requirements. Additionally, the content of data submissions, such as attendance data, will remain consistent with past practice, except where modified by law, regulation or executive order.

Budget & Fiscal Goal:

  • Maintain financial integrity of the District during the COVID-19 crisis and reopening year

Objectives:

  • Provide financial support and technical guidance to departments for additional expenses incurred due to COVID-19.
  • Monitor potential and actual reductions in state aid
  • Evaluate reserves and ensure reserve withdrawals are in accordance with the adopted Board of Education plan and Education and General Municipal Law
  • Secure available federal funding to support District expenses
  • Ensure a long-term approach to fiscal planning in 2020-2021
  • Adhere to existing state aid reporting requirements and deadlines except where modified by law, regulation or executive order

Procedures:

  • Review department budgets as needed when questions arise regarding additional expenses
  • Consistently provide budget status reports on a monthly basis to identify shortages
  • Review financial status of District with Superintendent and Board on periodic basis
  • Complete reserve plan for Board of Education
  • Review carryover funds from the 2019-2020 fiscal year to offset potential state aid reductions during the 2020-2021 fiscal year
  • Apply for Federal CARES Act funding to restore the Pandemic Adjustment reduced from Foundation Aid in the 2020-2021 Budget
  • Prepare long-range financial plan for the Board of Education

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Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

All schools in the HCSD will collect and report daily teacher-student engagement or attendance whether the setting is in person, remote or hybrid.

School policies and procedures will focus on the academic consequences of lost instructional time and address absences before students fall behind in school.

Attendance/Chronic Absenteeism

  • Continue Board policy and develop appropriate record-keeping mechanisms to ensure that the attendance of all students is tracked and analyzed by the reporting entity.
  • Develop mechanisms for intervention when an individual student’s attendance record demonstrates a pattern requiring a need for improvement, including instances of chronic absenteeism.
  • Develop a district-wide program to encourage regular attendance, including the use of the appropriate incentives.
  • Ensure that all district schools accurately report information on students considered to be chronically absent and implement effective strategies and interventions to prevent and reduce the incidences of chronic absenteeism among students.
  • Continue to develop district-wide attendance initiatives to engage families in promoting their child’s attendance at school.
  • Continue with Tier 1, 2, and 3 attendance protocols.

Excused and Unexcused Absence/Tardiness – The student and parent/guardian are responsible for providing written notification of the reason for any absence upon the student’s return to school. A note from a medical professional is required should a student be absent for five (5) consecutive school days. In addition, the parent/guardian should contact the school personnel on the date of the student’s absence.

For incidents of a student illness beyond a total of ten (10) days over the course of the school year, medical documentation will be provided to the building principal so as to determine that extenuating circumstances exist.

Attendance shall be taken at the beginning of instruction. Each classroom teacher shall record the presence or absence of students in a classroom [In-person as well as virtual] and shall report all absences or tardies to the building office electronically.

In the event that a student is absent from school without notification to school personnel, school personnel will contact the student’s parent/guardian to confirm the student’s absence. If, in either situation, no contact is made, a message will be left requesting that the parent/guardian.  If no contact is made, other means will be made to contact the student’s parent or guardian.

Attendance will be taken daily following the current in-school procedures. In a remote setting, daily attendance opportunities could be based on the various interactions staff has with students, whether it is via a Google Meet, through shared notes and text interactions in an interactive document, or through the feedback process while reviewing or monitoring student work.

Each school building will have a team that reviews attendance data on a weekly basis. The team will utilize various strategies to improve attendance such as phone calls and letters home, home visits and parent education resources. We also partner with outside organizations who can collaborate with families and help with potential school attendance barriers.

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Technology and Connectivity

HCSD Remote Learning Plan

The Hudson City School District (HCSD) is committed to providing equitable access to chromebooks and laptops and internet connectivity for those families in need. The District has sent surveys home to all families and staff in the district to determine level of access to devices and high speed internet.

The District will continue to provide instructional technologies and tools throughout the district for all students and staff by the first day of school, September 14, 2020, as follows

  • A suite of instructional technology software will be accessible to students and staff to support teaching and learning.
  • Chromebooks will be available to all students.
  • Mobile devices (laptops) will be provided to all teachers and administrators.
  • Mobile devices (laptops or Chromebooks) will be provided to other support staff as needed.
  • Hotspots will be available for students and staff in need of Internet access
  • Adaptive technologies will be provided to students as per IEP mandates.
  • A technology helpdesk will be available for onsite and remote technology assistance.
  • In collaboration with the Office of School Improvement, instructional technology professional development will be provided to all staff
  • In collaboration with district and building staff, workshops will be offered to parents and guardians in the summer and throughout the school year.

For the 2020-2021 school year, the HCSD will be providing devices to any student and staff member who needs a device and will continue to do so as needs arise. Students will continue to have access to multiple modalities for learning. All students will be offered a chromebook but for any student who may experience an issue with a chromebook or internet access, the Information Technology department will provide them an alternate computer and internet device  if needed. Paper format of assignments will be also made available for any student experiencing a technology issue and/or younger students who may require a paper assignment. Teachers and staff will continue to receive professional development and support on effectively integrating technology into all modalities of instruction.  The building administrators, the Manager of Instructional Technology and the Assistant Superintendent for School Improvement will oversee most of this work and professional development with support from our local BOCES and vendor partners as applicable. Students will have all of the hardware, software and training they need to actively and successfully participate in in-person, remote, and virtual learning. Technology workshops for parents and guardians will also be available beginning in August and continue throughout the school year.

Students who choose the remote learning option will receive a combination of virtual educational opportunities and continuity of instruction.  Virtual educational opportunities include a wealth of resources relevant to a grade level and/or course of study, ensuring students can be intellectually engaged and continue practicing skills already mastered.  Continuity of instruction includes online learning opportunities designed and delivered by certified classroom teachers that allow students to move forward with virtual instruction in course content and skills.  Students will have a full schedule of classes as determined for their grade level by the New York State Education Department. The remote learning option may include: Virtual Office Hours by teachers, Synchronous lessons (live session with teacher), Asynchronous lessons (pre-recorded lessons), videos, opportunities for independent learning and completion of assignments, small group work that are synchronous sessions with teacher and assigned students to focus on differentiated learning and project based learning opportunities.

Remote instruction will be delivered at the elementary and secondary level using Google Classroom as the primary platform.  We will develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using online systems  with students. Teachers may deliver synchronous learning opportunities through Google Hangouts Meet only. Zoom is not an option as it is not Ed Law 2D compliant. Instruction may include the use of pre-recorded video (e.g., Screencastify, Recorded Google Hangouts Meet, or other options as approved by the Technology Department) to ensure all students have the benefit of learning from a content expert. New instruction will only be provided by a certified teacher with direct support provided by certified teacher assistants as appropriate.  All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. Teachers are encouraged to create meaningful learning opportunities for students through the use of short instructional videos and by providing small-group and one on one virtual support as needed. Teachers may use a host of supplemental tools to enhance their instruction.

All instruction will only be provided with direct support from a certified teacher.  Students will have opportunities to interact with teachers and other students in a number of ways, including but not limited to the following:

    • Emails using the district issued e-mail addresses;
    • Discussion boards where teachers and students can participate with each other in real time; or during asynchronous opportunities;
    • Google Hangouts/Meet for groups and meetings with individual students.

Please note, the district is prepared to transition to a model  that is completely virtual in nature for all students, should the district be required to close if directed at any time by New York State to do so.

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Teaching and Learning

The HCSD will provide clear opportunities for equitable instruction for all students; ensuring continuity of learning regardless of the instructional model used; providing standards-based instruction; ensuring substantive daily interaction between teachers and students; and clearly communicating information about instructional plans with parents and guardians.

MCSES UPK-5 In-Person Instruction

  • All PK-5 students will be in school four (4) days a week.
    • On Wednesdays, teachers will provide virtual academic interaction and support opportunities, as well as enrichment opportunities, that enhance the current academic content.
    • Remote opportunities for specials (art, music, PE, and library) will also be offered on Wednesdays.
  • All teachers will teach using the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in school, as well as through the online resources the District is providing for use during mandated virtual learning times.
    • Teachers will collaborate with each other and the Educational Consultants/Specialists to prioritize the NYS standards to ensure all students are learning the required content articulated within the NYS standards.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
  • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
    • As appropriate, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
  • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately during the school day and provided in-person to the extent practicable, as well as virtually on Wednesdays.
  • It is anticipated that specials (art, music, PE, library) will be more consistently incorporated into the schedule as the daily routine becomes more automatic.
    • There will be no band or choir at this time. However, band lessons may continue remotely.
  • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
    • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
    • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional trimester schedule.
  • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
    • FastBridge
    • SRI and SMI
    • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
    • Grades 3-8 State assessments in ELA, Mathematics, and Science
    • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
    • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
  • During in-person instruction, teachers and staff should prepare students with the skills and knowledge they will need when working remotely (e.g., online platforms, tools, available resources, etc.)
  • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.
  • Teachers should:
    • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
    • organize curricular lessons according to topics, skills, and content which is best delivered in person vs. which of those can successfully be completed remotely and supported through in-person instruction.
    • prepare for remote learning by planning activities that can connect and reinforce in-person classroom learning.
    • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
    • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
    • determine which regular daily classroom routines and procedures can be translated into remote activities. This will help students feel a sense of familiarity while reinforcing the sense of community for the class.

MCSES PK-5 Hybrid Instruction (In-Person and Online)

  • While the intent is to have all students, PK-5, in school four (4) days a week, if external factors prohibit us from accomplishing this, the District will decide what grade levels/special groups of students will continue to attend school in-person four days a week, and which grade levels will have to follow a hybrid model.
    • Any MCSES grade levels that need to follow a hybrid schedule will follow the same schedule as the Junior and Senior High School students also on a hybrid schedule.
    • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.

JHS 6-8 Hybrid Instruction (In-Person and Online)

  • All students in grades 6-8 will follow a hybrid schedule, with the exception of self-contained special education students, who will be in school four (4) days a week.
    • A hybrid schedule means that half of the students in grades 6-8 will attend school in person on Monday and Tuesday each week, and the other half of the students will attend school in person on Thursday and Friday each week.
    • When not in school students are expected to be engaging in online learning activities.
  • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.
  • All teachers will teach using the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in school, as well as through the online resources the District is providing for use during mandated virtual learning times.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
      • The completion of assigned tasks,
      • The viewing of an instructional videos,
      • Responding to posts or questions,
      • Engaging with class peers in an online format or phone discussion,
      • Conducting research,
      • Working on projects, or
      • Meeting with faculty and staff face to face, via an online format or by phone
    • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
      • As appropriate, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
    • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately during the school day and provided in-person to the extent practicable, as well as virtually on Wednesdays.
    • It is anticipated that the amount of time allocated to specials (art, general music, PE, library) while students are in school will be increased as the daily routine becomes more automatic.
      • There will be no band or choir at this time but remote band lessons will likely continue.
    • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
      • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
      • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional quarter schedule.
    • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
      • FastBridge
      • SRI and SMI
      • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
      • Grades 3-8 State assessments in ELA, Mathematics, and Science
      • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
      • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
    • All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed by their assigned teacher(s) during both in person and remote instruction.
    • Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
    • If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
    • During in-person instruction, teachers and staff should prepare students with the skills and knowledge they will need when working remotely (e.g., online platforms, tools, available resources, etc.)
    • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies (e.g., calls, emails, Remind, ClassDojo, etc.) to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.
    • Teachers should:
      • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
      • organize curricular lessons according to topics, skills, and content which is best delivered in person vs. which of those can successfully be completed remotely and supported through in-person instruction.
      • prepare for remote learning by planning activities that can connect and reinforce in-person classroom learning.
      • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
      • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
      • determine which regular daily classroom routines and procedures can be translated into remote activities. This will help students feel a sense of familiarity while reinforcing the sense of community for the class.

HHS 9-10 Hybrid Instruction (In-Person and Online)

  • All students in grades 9-10 will follow a hybrid schedule, with the exception of self-contained special education students, who will be in school four days a week.
    • A hybrid schedule means that half of the students in grades 9-10 will attend school in person on Monday and Tuesday each week, and the other half of the students will attend school in person on Thursday and Friday each week.
    • When not in school students are expected to be engaging in online learning activities.
  • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.
  • All teachers will teach the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in school, as well as through the online resources the District is providing for use during mandated virtual learning times.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
      • The completion of assigned tasks,
      • The viewing of an instructional videos,
      • Responding to posts or questions,
      • Engaging with class peers in an online format or phone discussion,
      • Conducting research,
      • Working on projects, or
      • Meeting with faculty and staff face to face, via an online format or by phone
    • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
      • As appropriate, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
    • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately during the school day and provided in-person to the extent practicable, as well as virtually on Wednesdays.
    • Elective classes are built into the schedule, however, there will be no band or choir at this time (although band lessons are likely to continue remotely).
    • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
      • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
      • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional quarter schedule.
    • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
      • SRI
      • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
      • New York State Regents exams
      • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
      • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
    • All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed by their assigned teacher(s) during both in person and remote instruction.
    • Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
    • If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
    • During in-person instruction, teachers and staff should prepare students with the skills and knowledge they will need when working remotely (e.g., online platforms, tools, available resources, etc.)
    • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies (e.g., calls, emails, Remind, ClassDojo, etc.) to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.
    • Teachers should:
      • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
      • organize curricular lessons according to topics, skills, and content which is best delivered in person vs. which of those can successfully be completed remotely and supported through in-person instruction.
      • prepare for remote learning by planning activities that can connect and reinforce in-person classroom learning.
      • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
      • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
      • determine which regular daily classroom routines and procedures can be translated into remote activities. This will help students feel a sense of familiarity while reinforcing the sense of community for the class.

HHS 11-12 Remote Instruction

  • To start the school year, all students in grades 11 and 12, except self-contained special education students, will start the year in a remote learning environment.
  • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.
  • The daily schedule for remote students is currently under development. Student schedules will include core instruction, as well as all other courses required for graduation.
  • After the hybrid schedule for the 9th and 10th graders has been firmly established, we will evaluate the remaining instructional space in the high school for the ability to bring in additional grades on a hybrid schedule as well.
  • All teachers will teach using the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in their classrooms, as well as through the online resources the District is providing.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
      • The completion of assigned tasks,
      • The viewing of an instructional videos,
      • Responding to posts or questions,
      • Engaging with class peers in an online format or phone discussion,
      • Conducting research,
      • Working on projects, or
      • Meeting with faculty and staff face to face, via an online format or by phone
    • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
      • As appropriate in a virtual setting, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
    • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately within the virtual schedule.
    • Elective classes will be built into the schedule as well.
    • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
      • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
      • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional quarter schedule.
    • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
      • SRI
      • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
      • New York State Regents exams
      • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
      • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
    • All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed by their assigned teacher(s) during remote instruction.
    • Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
    • If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
    • Teachers should:
      • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
      • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
      • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
    • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies (e.g., calls, emails, Remind, ClassDojo, etc.) to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.

Remote Instruction – All Schools

Should there come a time where the District is required to move all students to remote instruction, the expectations for teaching and learning will remain the same. While remote learning has its challenges, the District will be prepared to respond to this model of instruction through Professional Development opportunities for teachers as well as a more cohesive plan to prepare students and families for this model of learning.

  • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet, as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.
  • Unless adjustments are made at the building level, the instructional schedule that had been in place for in-school or hybrid learning will continue to be in place during remote instruction.
  • All teachers will teach using the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in their classrooms, as well as through the online resources the District is providing.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
      • The completion of assigned tasks,
      • The viewing of instructional videos,
      • Responding to posts or questions,
      • Engaging with class peers in an online format or phone discussion,
      • Conducting research,
      • Working on projects, or
      • Meeting with faculty and staff face-to-face, via an online format or by phone
    • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
      • As appropriate in a virtual setting, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
    • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately within the virtual schedule.
    • Elective classes will be built into the schedule as well.
    • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
      • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
      • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional quarter schedule.
    • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
      • FastBridge
      • SRI and SMI
      • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
      • Grades 3-8 State assessments in ELA, Mathematics, and Science
      • New York State Regents exams
      • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
      • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
    • All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed by their assigned teacher(s) during remote instruction.
    • Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
    • If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
    • Teachers should:
      • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
      • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
      • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
    • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies (e.g., calls, emails, Remind, ClassDojo, etc.) to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.

Virtual School Option

  • All districts are required to offer a virtual school option for families that would prefer to have their children participate in public education from home.
  • Once those families and students have been identified, the District intends to assign instructional staff the responsibility of educating those students.
  • It must be noted that while a virtual instructional experience will be substantive, it will not be equivalent to an on-site/in-person or hybrid learning experience. Instructional areas of focus will be core areas (i.e., English/ELA, math, science and social studies) and courses required for graduation. Limited elective offerings will be available in the virtual model.
  • Teachers and students will use the Google Suite platform, specifically Google Classroom and Google Meet, as the way to share assignments and resources virtually and to have virtual meetings.
  • All teachers will teach using the New York State standards and curriculum resources and materials available in their classrooms, as well as through the online resources the District is providing.
  • Teachers have the responsibility to maintain grade level standards and course work but are expected to differentiate instruction for students as needed.
    • Instructional experiences and evidence of learning are not defined only by the amount of time students spend with their teacher(s) in person, or virtually. Instructional experiences and evidence of learning also include engaging in standards-based learning under the guidance and direction of a teacher.
      • The completion of assigned tasks,
      • The viewing of instructional videos,
      • Responding to posts or questions,
      • Engaging with class peers in an online format or phone discussion,
      • Conducting research,
      • Working on projects, or
      • Meeting with faculty and staff face to face, via an online format or by phone
    • Teachers will ensure that the instructional experiences for students will be inclusive, culturally responsive, and consider the needs of all students.
      • As appropriate in a virtual setting, the teachers will determine how best to provide and support instruction in whole-group, small-group, and individual student settings.
    • State-mandated additional supports for special education students, students requiring AIS services, and ENL students will be scheduled appropriately within the virtual schedule.
    • Elective classes will be built into the schedule as well.
    • Classroom teachers will evaluate students and assign grades according to the established system with the grade level and school.
      • Grading will continue to be based on student achievement, student improvement, and participation in classroom activities and discussions.
      • Progress reports and report cards will be completed and issued based on the traditional quarter schedule.
    • Students will continue to be regularly assessed using the traditional school-specific and State-mandated assessments. These assessments include:
      • FastBridge
      • SRI and SMI
      • Standards-based classroom and schoolwide assessments
      • Grades 3-8 State assessments in ELA, Mathematics, and Science
      • New York State Regents exams
      • New York State Alternate Assessment (only for specific students)
      • New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (only for specific students)
    • All students are expected to complete the assigned class work and homework as directed by their assigned teacher(s) during remote instruction.
    • Students are also expected to participate meaningfully in class discussions and activities in order to receive course credit.
    • If work is missed due to absence, the student is expected to make up the work.
    • Teachers should:
      • identify content that takes precedence in the event instructional capabilities are modified and/or changed throughout the year.
      • consider in advance what materials might be suggested for students to have on hand at home or create assignments that can be completed with items easily found at home.
      • create a consistent plan and approach for how to give students assignments, feedback, and track their progress.
    • Teachers and staff should determine methodologies (e.g., calls, emails, Remind, ClassDojo, etc.) to connect with students and support learning while students are at home.

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Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Students will attend CTE programs daily.

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Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Athletics

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) announced on July 16 that fall sports will be delayed until September 21 and there will be no regional or state championship events this fall. NYSPHSAA has back up plans for condensed sports seasons should the fall sports season be further delayed.

Extra-curricular Activities

  • Field trips are prohibited at this time until further notice.
  • At this time, Clubs that are able to meet virtually will continue to do so pending administrator approval.

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Special Education

The HCSD considers in-person services a priority for high-needs students and preschool students with disabilities.

Students with disabilities were particularly impacted by the closing of schools in spring 2020. We fully recognize that programs and services are best delivered in person with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services.

The District will meet the needs of students with disabilities by:

  • Students with disabilities who require a highly specialized program, such as an all-day special class attend in-person instruction 4 out of 5 days a week (Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday). These programs include:
    • K – 2 Communications Class
    • 3 – 5 Life Skills Class(es)
    • K – 2 Social-emotional/Behavioral Class
    • 3 – 5 Social-emotional/Behavioral Class
    • K -1 Skills Class
    • 2 – 3 Skills Class
    • 4 – 5 Skills Class
    • 6 – 8 Communications/Life Skills Classes
    • 6 – 8 Social-emotional/Behavioral Class
    • 6 – 8 Skills Classes
    • 9 – 12+ Habilitation/Life Skills Classes
    • 9 – 12 Social-Emotional Class 1
    • 9 – 10 15:1 Skills Classes
  • Students with disabilities who participate in less restrictive programming such as integrated co-teaching, consultant teacher services, and a period of special class/Resource Room follow the same in-person/hybrid/remote model as their general education peers, supported by their special education teacher/case manager daily.
  • Related services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, school counseling) scheduled and prioritized on students’ in person days to the extent practicable. Individual scheduling and planning will occur in accordance with each child’s individualized education plan.
  • Individualized determinations will be made through the CPSE/CSE committees about whether and to what extent compensatory services are to be provided for any student with a disability who may have experienced a loss of skill(s) despite best intentions, efforts and creative solutions when providing educational programs and services during the spring 2020 school closure. As students return to in-person instruction, students’ skill levels will be assessed.
  • The District will plan for students with complex medical needs who cannot safely attend in-person school to remain home and learn remotely. The remote learning plan will include developing a system for drop off and pick up of any physical materials that may be required for students to access the curriculum and meet their IEP goals.
  • In the event of an extended school closure, programs and services will be provided virtually and remotely to the extent practicable and as can be scheduled with the family.
  • Coordinating regular communication with all Out of District Agencies on delivery of services to include parent contact documentation, level of student participation, related service delivery, student social emotional health status and platforms through which services are being provided.
  • Ensuring all general education teachers have access to and knowledge of students’ modifications and accommodations to ensure the unique disability needs are met.
  • Developing a team plan for communication with parents to include all teachers and providers in the parent’s preferred language and mode of communication.

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Bilingual Education and World Languages

The HCSD will provide communications to parents/guardians of English Language Learners (ELLs) in their preferred language and mode of communication to ensure that they have equitable access to critical information about their children’s education.

All ELLs will be provided with the required instructional Units of Study in their English as a New Language program based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level.

The District will conduct ELL identification for all students who enrolled during COVID-related school closures in 2019-20, during the summer 2020, and during the first 20 days of the 2020-21 school year within 30 days of the start of the school year.

Professional learning opportunities related to the instruction and support of ELLs will be provided to all educators, as required by Part 154 of the Commissioner’s regulations.

To the extent practicable, schools within the HCSD will continue to:

  • align policies to the Blueprint for English language learner/Multilingual learner Success
  • adopt progress monitoring tools to measure ELL proficiency
  • provide social-emotional learning supports to ELLs in their home language
  • continue using technology in ELL instruction

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Staffing

The Hudson City School District is committed to ensuring that all teachers, school and district leaders, and pupil personnel service providers hold valid and appropriate New York State certification for their designated assignments except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s Regulations or Education Law.

The District will employ substitute teachers to address staffing needs. We will make a good faith recruitment effort to find available certified teachers to act as substitutes in teaching assignments for which they are appropriately certified. We may use non-certified substitutes in circumstances where a good faith recruitment search was made and there were no available certified substitute teachers to perform the duties

All staff  will be required to attend an orientation that provides information on our district policies and new protocols such as social distancing requirements, use of face coverings, proper hygiene, and the health screening process.

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Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

The  Hudson City School District plan ensures that all teachers and principals will be evaluated pursuant to our currently approved APPR plan, including any variance applications approved by the Department.

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Student Teaching

  • The District will still work closely with local colleges and universities to help identify opportunities for student teachers and interns.
  • Student teachers will help support classroom instruction.
  • The student teacher will be under direct supervision of the certified classroom teacher.
  • Student teachers will be assigned to classrooms and assist cooperating teachers with both in school and remote teaching and learning activities and will be required to attend an orientation that provides information on our district policies and new protocols such as social distancing requirements, use of face coverings, proper hygiene, and the health screening process.

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NOTE: Appendix of cleaning supplies that will be used and permissible to be used in school in development.