District Wide Safety Plan

  •  

    New York State

    Project SAVE

    District-wide Safety Plan

    For

    Minerva Central School District

    2021-2022
    Revised, July 2, 2022

    PDF Version

    Introduction

    Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner.  New York State School Districts are required to develop a district-wide school safety plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents and emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies.  The district-wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed emergency response plans required at the school building level.  Districts stand at risk from a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and manmade disasters.  To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law.  Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in each school district and its schools.

    The Warren-Washington-Saratoga-Hamilton-Essex BOCES, in coordination with the Minerva Central School District, supports the SAVE Legislation and intends to facilitate the planning process.  The Superintendent of Minerva Central School encourages and advocates ongoing district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.

     Section l: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines 

    1. Purpose

    The Minerva District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner's Regulation 155.17.  At the direction of the Minerva Central School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of the Minerva Central School District appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan. 

    1. Identification of School Teams

    The Minerva Central School District has created a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, students, teachers, administrators, parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel.  The members of the team are as follows:

    • Danae Tucker, Board of Education/Community Member
    • Kyle McFarland, School Superintendent
    • Susan Frasier, School Nurse
    • Lynn Green, Confidential Secretary
    • Capital Region BOCES Risk Management Specialist
    • Martin Turcotte, Head Custodian

     

    1. Concept of Operations
    • The District-wide School Safety Plan shall be directly linked to the individual Building-level Emergency Response Plan for Minerva Central School. The protocols reflected in the District-wide School Safety Plan will be used to guide the development and implementation of the individual Building-level Emergency Response Plan
    • The Board of Education has appointed Kyle McFarland as the Chief Emergency Officer. The Chief Emergency Officer or designee is responsible for coordinating communication between staff and law enforcement and first responders and for ensuring the staff’s understanding of the district-level safety plan. The chief emergency officer or designee shall also be responsible for ensuring completion and yearly update of building-level emergency response plans.
    • The development of the district-wide safety plan was a collaborative effort involving members of the district-wide safety team, law enforcement officials, county emergency service coordinators, and the Capital Region BOCES Health Safety Risk Management Services. The plan was further developed utilizing the guidelines provided the by the New York State Education Department.
    • In the event of an emergency or violent incident, the initial response to all emergencies at an individual school will be by the School Emergency Response Team. The Minerva Central School District is a single building housing Grades PK-12.  All information pertaining to an emergency or violent incident will be directed to either the Principal/Designee or the Superintendent located in the Main Office.
    • Upon the activation of the School Emergency Response Team, the Superintendent of Schools, or his/her designee will be notified and, where appropriate, local emergency officials will also be notified by calling 911
    • County and State resources through existing established protocols may supplement emergency response efforts.

     

    1. Plan Review and Public Comment
    • This plan shall be reviewed and maintained by the District-wide School Safety Team and reviewed on an annual basis on or before July 1 of each year. A copy of the plan will be available at the School Superintendents Office.
    • Full copies of the District-wide School Safety Plan and any amendments will be submitted to the New York State Education Department within 30 days of adoption.
    • Pursuant to Commissioner's Regulation 155.17(e)(3), this plan was made available for public comment 30 days prior to adoption. The district-wide and building-level plans may be adopted by the School Board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties.  The plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education. 
    • While linked to the District-wide School Safety Plan, the Building-level Emergency Response Plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provision of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.

    Section II: Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention

    1. Prevention/Intervention Strategies

    Program Initiatives

    The Minerva Central School District has offered and participated in programs and activities for improving communications among students and between students and staff, and reporting of potentially violent incidents, such as:

    • School Wellness Programs
    • Prevention and Intervention Programs available through the Glens Falls Hospital Community Outreach and Hudson Headwaters Health Network
    • Non-Violent Conflict Resolution Training Programs
    • Student Mentoring Program
    • Athletic Programs (Soccer, Basketball, Softball & Baseball)
    • Youth and Government Programs
    • Student Leadership Conference on Violence Prevention
    • New York State Police Safe Schools Program concerned with bullying and violence prevention
    • Internet Safety Training for Parents
    • New York State Police Drug Awareness Training for Educational Professionals
    • Established anonymous reporting mechanisms for school violence
    • Sexual Harassment Training for Staff and Students
    • Incident Command System (ICS) training for staff
    • National Incident Management System (NIMS) training for emergency response team members
    • Project SAVE Violence Prevention Training
    • New York State Homeland Security for Schools training for staff
    • New York State Project Save Guard training for staff
    • Best Practices for School Safety (2004)
    • New York State School Safety Guide (2013)
    • New York State Guide to School Emergency Response Planning (2015)
    • Collaboration with the Town of Minerva Emergency Preparedness Committee

    Training, Drills, and Exercises

    The Minerva Central School District has developed policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students, including the strategies for implementing training related to multi-hazards.  The district has established the following procedure(s) for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students:

    • The District will submit the certification to NYSED that all district and school staff have undergone annual training on the emergency response plan, and that the school safety training includes components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year will receive training within 30 days of hire. The District will certify that all school staff receives this training by September 15th of each school year, or within 30 days of hire, whichever is sooner.
    • Teachers shall review emergency response procedures on the first day of school with all students.
    • Full participation in the Annual Early Dismissal - Go Home Evacuation Drill in November.
    • District participation in the National Weather Service Annual Hazardous Weather Drill.
    • Full participation in an annual evacuation and off-site sheltering drill.
    • The District will conduct 4 Building Lockdown/Security Drills throughout the school year.
    • The District conducts 8 Emergency Evacuation Drills annually.
    • The District conducts 4 School Bus Safety and Evacuation Drills annually.
    • Emergency Response Team members participate in one simulated tabletop exercise annually, which is used to test the building-level safety plan.
    • The district has and will continue to conduct drills and other training exercises to test components of the emergency response in coordination with the following agencies:
    • Minerva Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad
    • Town of Minerva Emergency Preparedness Committee
    • Essex County Sheriff's Department
    • Essex County Office of Fire Prevention/Emergency Services Disaster Preparedness
    • New York State Police Troop B
    • Capital Region BOCES Health Safety Risk Management Service
    • Essex County Public Health Department 

    Note: Directly following each test or drill a debriefing will be conducted to evaluate the exercise and determine if changes to the emergency response plan are necessary.  Notes are taken during exercises and the debriefing, which are used during the evaluation process.

    Implementation of School Security

    The Minerva Central School District has developed policies and procedures related to school building security, including the following:

    • Past participation in the Essex County Sheriff's Department DARE Program
    • Security audits were conducted by local law enforcement, local fire department officials, insurance companies, and BOCES risk management personnel.
    • All visitors who enter the building are directed to the Main Office to sign in and receive a badge. Anyone who is found in the building without a badge is directed back to the Main Office to sign in.
    • Motion detectors have been installed in corridors.
    • Security card system on the front and back exterior doors. All staff was provided with a card and personal identification number.
    • Secured front entrance with video surveillance and remote door access hardware.
    • Digital video surveillance system.

    Minerva Central School District has a contract with Essex County Sheriff’s Office to employ a School Resource Officer. The contract is attached to Appendix 1 of the District-wide School Safety Plan.

    Note: Policies and procedures are continually being evaluated and shaped by real-life experiences, such as bomb threats, forced entry into the school building with vandalism, and outbursts of potentially violent behavior by students. 

    Vital Educational Agency Information

    The Minerva Central School is a one-building PK-12 facility.  The school facility houses 136 students and 45 administrative, teaching, and support staff.  A four-bay transportation building is also located on district property.  One (1) employee (Head Mechanic) occupies the transportation facility.  No other educational agency resides within the boundaries of the district.  The district has collaborative agreements with neighboring school districts to provide sheltering and transportation in the event that those resources are needed. 

    1. Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors
    • The Minerva Central School District has policies and procedures for dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to: the identification of family, community, and environmental factors to teachers, administrators, parents, and other persons in parental relation to students of the school district or board, students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive such information. The district has and continues to participate in programs such as New York State Police "Walk Away For Safety" abduction prevention training, child abuse and prevention (mandated reporter) workshops, programs designed to provide staff with information in identifying potentially violent behaviors and other risk factors.  The district additionally employees a staff psychologist, full-time guidance director, full-time special education teacher, and a full-time school health officer/teacher who are instrumental in assisting the district in identifying early warning signs in students, early intervention/prevention strategies, and the development of violence prevention instruction for staff.

     

    1. Hazard Identification

    The identification of sites of potential emergencies is located in Section M (Maps & Diagrams) of the Building-level Emergency Response Plan.  The location of potential hazards, such as chemical storage, propane, potential fire hazards, electrical hazards, playground equipment, etc. are documented on a building and facility diagram.  Potential off-site hazards are identified in Section W (County/Town Hazard Assessment) of the plan.  The diagram was developed from hazard assessment surveys that were conducted by school personnel, fire safety inspectors, law enforcement agencies, and risk management specialist.

    Section III: Response

    1. Notification and Activation of Internal and External Communications
    • The district policies and procedures for contacting appropriate law enforcement officials in the event of a violent incident are located in Section D (Emergency Communications) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan. Section E (Incident Command System) of the plan identifies individuals who are authorized to initiate contact with local law enforcement agencies.  All communications during an incident at the school will flow through the Incident Command Center.  Emergency services will be requested through the 911 system. 
    • The Minerva Central School is a single building housing grades PK-12. In the event of an emergency staff, students and visitors will be contacted in one or more of the following manners:
    • Telephone
    • Intercom
    • A runner with a verbal message
    • District Radio (walkie-talkie - 2-way radios) System
    • The district has established guidelines for staff and students that in the event that they initially discover an emergency situation, or impending emergency, that they will notify the Principal and provide him/her with information on the nature of the event. In the event that the Principal cannot be reached, the Superintendent located in the Main Office will be contacted.  These procedures are reviewed with staff on opening day of school and they review these procedures with students on the first day of classes.
    • Section L (School Cancellation and Early Dismissal) and Section O (Community Notification) of the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provide procedures for contacting parents, guardians, or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. This includes using local media in some instances, NTEC Automated Notification System, or use of a phone tree with emergency contact information provided by student’s parents/legal guardians if necessary.
    1. Situational Responses
    • The district has developed multi-hazard response plans. These guidelines are present in Section F (Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Action Guidelines) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan.  The emergencies addressed in the plan include, but are not limited to:
    • Threats of Violence
    • Hostage/Kidnapping
    • Natural/Weather Related
    • Civil Disturbance
    • School Bus Accident
    • Gas Leak
    • Intruder
    • Explosion
    • Bomb Threat
    • Hazardous Materials
    • Mass Casualty
    • Biological
    • Radiological
    • Epidemics 
    • Others as determined by the Building-level School Safety Team

    The guidelines provide basic instructions for responding to any given incidents, such as:

    • Notifying school administrators of the incident
    • Contacting emergency response agencies
    • Assembling the emergency response team and implementing the incident command system
    • Moving occupants from an area of danger to an area of safety
    • Community/parent notification
    • Sheltering or student release procedures
    • Aftermath and recovery 

    Responding to Acts of Violence: Implied or Direct Threats

    The Crisis Response Plan and Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Action Guidelines in each Building-Level Emergency Response Plan provide guidance on the district's policies and procedures for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students (including to themselves), teachers, other school personnel, and visitors to the school.  The following types of procedure(s) are addressed in the plan, and could be used by the district:

    • Contacting parents, guardians, or persons in parental relation to a student in the event of an implied or direct threat of violence by a student against themselves, including the threat of suicide.
    • The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation.
    • Informing the Building Principal of an implied or direct threat.
    • Determining the level of threat with the Superintendent/Designee.
    • Contacting appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
    • Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district's response as appropriate, and include possible implementation of Emergency Response Team.
    • Implement components of the Building Level Emergency Response Plan in an effort to protect the safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors.

    Acts of Violence

    Section F (Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Action Guidelines) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provides guidance on the district's policies and procedures for responding to direct acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel, and visitors to the school.  The following types of procedure(s) are addressed in the plan, and could be used by the district:

    • Determine the level of threat with the Superintendent/Designee.
    • If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area and evacuate if appropriate.
    • Inform the Building Principal/Superintendent.
    • If necessary, initiate lockdown procedure, and contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.
    • Monitor the situation; adjust the level of response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate early dismissal, lockout, sheltering, hold in place or evacuation procedures. 

    Note: The Minerva Central School District "Code of Conduct" describes policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school.

    Response Protocols

    Section E (Incident Command System), Section F (Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Action Guidelines), Section H (Bomb Threats), and Section J (Emergency Security and Intruder Procedures) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provides guidance on the district's policies and procedures for responding to bomb threats, hostage-takings, intrusions, and kidnapping.  The following protocols are provided as examples:

    • Identification of decision-makers.
    • Plans to safeguard students and staff.
    • Procedures to provide transportation, if necessary.
    • Procedures to notify parents.
    • Procedures to notify media.
    • Debriefing procedures.

    Arrangements for Obtaining Emergency Assistance from Local Government

    Section D (Emergency Communications) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provides guidance for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government agencies.  The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the district:

    • The superintendent or his or her designee in an emergency will contact the regional emergency dispatch center by calling 911. The dispatcher will determine the appropriate services needed by the school. 
    • The dispatcher will contact Donald Jaquish, Director of Essex County Disaster Preparedness. Jaquish will coordinate assistance with Federal/State or Local Government agencies for needed assistance.
    • The superintendent or his or her designee contacts the highest-ranking local Town of Minerva official to provide notification and/or request assistance.

    Procedures for Obtaining Advice and Assistance from Local Government Officials

    The district will utilize procedures outlined in Section D (Emergency Communications) and Section E (National Incident Management System and Incident Command System) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan for obtaining advice and assistance from local government officials including the county or city officials responsible for the implementation of Article 2-B of the Executive Law.  The types of procedures for obtaining advice and assistance from local governments during countywide emergencies could include the following:

    • Superintendent/Designee in an emergency will contact the emergency management coordinator and/or the highest-ranking local government official for obtaining advice and assistance.
    • The district has identified resources for an emergency from the following agencies: County Civil Defense Office, Adirondack Chapter of the American Red Cross, Essex County Emergency Services Office, New York State Police, Essex County Public Health Department, Essex County Sheriff's Department, and Capital Region BOCES Health Safety Risk Management Services.

    District Resources Available for Use in an Emergency

    • Section N (District & Building Resources and Supply Inventory) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan identifies the district resources, which may be available during an emergency, which could include the identification of resources, such as available facilities, blankets, cots, food supply, communications equipment, fire extinguishers, first aid supplies, flashlights, bull horn, district vehicles and buses.

    Procedures to Coordinate the Use of School District Resources and Manpower during Emergencies

    • Section E (Incident Command System) and Sections Q (Emergency Medical Resource Personnel) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provides a description of the district's procedures to coordinate the use of resources and manpower during emergencies. These sections include the identification of the officials authorized to make decisions and the staff members assigned to provide assistance during emergencies.

    Protective Action Options

    • Section G (Emergency Evacuation Procedures), Section K (Emergency Sheltering Procedures), Section L (School Cancellation and Early Dismissal Procedures) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan describes the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate: school cancellation prior to the start of school, early dismissal, evacuation before, during and after school hours, and sheltering procedures.

    Section IV: Recovery

    1. District Support for Buildings
    • Section C (Crisis Response Plan) and Section E (Incident Command System) in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan provide resources for supporting the Emergency Response Team and Post-Incident Response Team at Minerva Central School. The district's Incident Command System Plan identifies alternates to relieve team members, and interfaces with the Crisis Response Plan to provide team members the opportunity to debrief and rehab in a controlled environment.  Additionally, members of the Post-Incident Response Team will be provided with sufficient manpower to allow the rotation of personnel, and the opportunity to debrief and rehab in a controlled environment.
    1. Disaster Mental Health Services
    • The Administrative branch of the Post-Incident Response Team (Crisis Response Team) will work through the School Psychologist and Guidance Director, and School Health Officer to coordinate disaster mental health resources through the County Mental Health Department, community resources, neighboring school districts, and other disaster mental health resources to fully support members of the crisis response team.
    • A debriefing of the Post-Incident Response Team is an essential part of the recovery phase following an emergency incident. The debriefing will be used in part to evaluate the district's plan for possible revisions.

    Appendix 1: School Resource Officer Contract with Essex County Sheriff’s Department. Please see section 6(b)(vii) that designates discipline to school administrators.

    Appendix 2: Required Plan Development Procedures: District-wide School Safety Team & District-wide School Safety Plan Review and Public Comment

     

    Public Hearing

    Date

    Public Comment

     Dates

    BOE Review

    & Approval Date

    District-wide School Safety Team

    Appointment Date

     

     

     

     

    Communicable Disease - Pandemic Continuity of Operations Plan

    This Continuity of Operations Plan (plan) has been developed to meet the requirements of subsection (2)(m) of Education Law §2801-a which requires public employers to prepare a plan for the continuation of operations in the event that the Governor declares a public health emergency involving a communicable disease.  This plan is built upon the components of the District-Wide School Safety and the Building-Level Emergency Respo1nse Plan(s). The Plan includes elements of COVID-19 Reopening Plan and will be updated regularly to reflect current guidance and best practices.  The District-Wide School Safety Team assumes responsibility for development and compliance with all provisions of this plan and implementation at the building level through the Building-Level Emergency Response Team.

    The district will work closely with the Essex County Department of Health (local health department) to determine the need for activation of this plan. The district will report suspected and confirmed cases of communicable diseases (e.g., influenza, coronavirus, etc.) on the monthly Communicable Disease Report, (DMS-485.7/93; HE-112.4/81) and submit it to the local health department. Depending on the severity of the disease, the district may be required to report information more frequently and in another format (i.e., daily for COVID-19).

    The local health department will monitor county-wide communicable disease cases and inform school districts as to appropriate actions.

    When this plan is activated, the District-Wide School Safety Team may invite additional people to the meetings to aid in the planning efforts:

    • District Medical Director
    • School nurse(s)
    • Technology Director
    • Human Resources Director
    • Business Official
    • Facility Director
    • Food Service Director
    • Transportation Coordinator
    • Public Information Officer
    • Curriculum Director

    Communication with parents, students, staff, and the school community is important throughout a pandemic outbreak. Communication methods will include postings to the district website, general mailings, email, social media, school communication apps, and public media. The district Superintendent, Mr. Kyle H. McFarland has been designated to coordinate this effort.

    Essential Positions/Titles

    The district has developed this plan to prepare for any future government-ordered shutdowns that may occur, similar to the coronavirus shutdown in the spring of 2020. Attachment 1 includes a list of essential positions that would be required to be on-site or in the district to continue to function as opposed to those positions that could work remotely. The list includes:

    • Title – a list of positions/titles considered essential (i.e., could not work remotely) in the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce.
    • Description – brief description of job function.
    • Justification - brief description of critical responsibilities that could not be provided remotely.
    • Work Shift – brief description of how work shifts of essential employees and/or contractors will be staggered in order to reduce overcrowding in the district.
    • Protocol – how precise hours and work locations, including off-site visits, will be documented for essential employees and contractors.

    Working/Learning Remotely

    The District will assess the devices and technology needs of all non-essential employees and contractors in order to enable telecommuting.

    Options for assessing district needs include stakeholder meetings or surveys to ascertain

    • Who will need devices and/or peripherals at home,
    • What programs will need to be added to these devices, and
    • The availability of viable existing at-home Internet service.

    The information from these surveys will be used to determine what items need to be purchased, which programs need to be installed on devices, and if appropriate Internet bandwidth can be provided to those in need

    Reducing Risk

    Depending on the exact nature of the communicable disease and its impact, the district is prepared to use the strategies below to reduce traffic congestion and maintain social distancing:

    • Limiting building occupancy to 25%, 50%, or 75% of capacity or the maximum allowable by state or local guidance.
    • Forming employee work shift cohorts to limit potential contacts.
    • Limit employee travel within the building and/or between buildings.
    • Limit restroom usage to specific work areas.
    • Stagger arrival and dismissal times.
    • Alternate workdays or workweeks.
    • Implement a four-day workweek.
    • Limit or eliminate visitors to the building.

    The district may need to include additional strategies based on updated federal, state, and local guidance.

    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings

    The district will procure a six-month supply of face coverings and PPE required for essential work tasks. Disposable PPE will be provided in quantities of at least two pieces per work day.

    PPE Type

    Task/Role

    N-95

    Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

    Cleaners/Custodians (based on disinfectants used)

    Face Shields

    Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

    Special Education

    Gowns

    Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

    Special Education

    Gloves

    Nurses/Nurses’ Aides

    Special Education

    Cleaners/Custodians

    Maintenance/Mechanics

    Cloth Face Coverings*

    All faculty, staff, and students

    * Cloth face coverings are not considered personal protective equipment by OSHA because their capability to protect the wearer is unknown. However, cloth face coverings are important as source control for COVID-19 and provide some protection to the wearer.  As such, OSHA strongly encourages workers to wear face coverings.

    Those individuals that are required to wear N-95 respirators will be fit-tested and medically screened prior to use to ensure they are physically able to do so.

    The use of cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of communicable diseases is important to the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students. Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected (asymptomatic) and is essential when physical distancing is difficult. Information will be provided to faculty, staff, and students on proper use, removal, and cleaning of cloth face coverings. All faculty, staff, and students will be encouraged to utilize their own personal face coverings but the district will secure and provide face coverings as needed.

    PPE and face coverings will be stored in a manner that will prevent degradation. These supplies will be monitored to ensure integrity and track usage rates.

    Continuity of Operations

    Continuity of operations could be severely impacted by a loss of staff. The table below describes the procedures for maintaining essential functions and services by planning for backup personnel.

    Role/Topic

    Task

    Backups

    Overall Operations

    Have decision-making authority for the district.

     

    Make district policies and procedures to reflect crisis response.

     

    Those listed below are assigned to this role:

    Superintendent

    Director of Student Services

    Business Manager

    Director of Facilities

    Business Office

    Maintain overall function and facilities operation.

     

    Review essential functions and responsibilities of backup personnel.

     

    Monitor utilization of supplies, equipment, contracts, and provided services and adjust as necessary

    Purchasing

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Business Manager

    ●        Director of Student Services

    ●        Facilities Director

    Payroll

    ●        Business Manager/Office

    Insert additional functions

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Director of Facilities

    ●        Business Manager

    Facilities

    Keep the Business Office informed of staffing issues and of the point at which buildings can no longer be maintained

    Provided building administrators with procedures for maintaining essential building functions (e.g., HVAC system operation, alarms, security, etc.) along with a list of telephone numbers of outside companies and alternates for repair and maintenance of these systems

    Meet with staff and monitor their ability to maintain essential function

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Director of Facilities

    ●        Director of Facilities

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Director of Facilities

    Human Resources

    Monitors absenteeism and ensures appropriate delegation of authority

     

    Work with bargaining units to develop the plan for emergency use of personnel in non-traditional functions and changes in the normal work-day such as alternate or reduced work hours, working from home, etc.

    Recruitment/Staffing

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Business Office

     Workplace Safety

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Director of Facilities

     Training

    ●        Superintendent

     Labor Law Compliance

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Business Office

     Compensation Planning

    ●        Superintendent

    ●        Business Office

     Union Communication

    ●        MCS President

    Continuity of Instruction

    Will be implemented in the event of significant absences or school closure.

    Alternate learning strategies will include:

    ●        Hard copy, self-directed lessons

    ●        Use of mobile media storage devices for lessons (CDs, Jump Drives, IPads)

    ●        On-line instruction; online resources; online textbooks

    ●        Communication modalities for assignment postings and follow-up: telephone; Postal Service; cell phone, cell phone mail, text messages; e-mail; automated notification systems; website postings

     Response

    The District-Wide School Safety Team will meet to determine the need for activation of a pandemic response based on internal monitoring and correspondence with the local health department and other experts.

    • The Incident Command Structure at both the District and Building level will be informed that the response effort has been enacted. These individuals will meet to discuss the plan’s activation and review responsibilities and communication procedures.
    • Communications will work closely with the Informational Technology Department to re-test all communication systems to ensure proper function. The District-wide School Safety Team and Building-Level Emergency Response Teams will assist in this effort.
    • An alert will be sent to the school community upon activation of this plan. The communication will be based on the latest information from federal, state, and local health authorities.
    • If the decision is made to close a school building, the district will notify the NYS Education Department and District Superintendent.

    The district will assign a communicable disease safety coordinator, Superintendent, and School Nurse, whose responsibilities include continuous compliance with all aspects of the district’s reopening plan and any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal or “new normal” levels. The coordinators shall be the main contact upon the identification of positive communicable disease cases and are responsible for subsequent communication. Coordinators shall be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians of students regarding the public health emergency and plans implemented by the school.

    Hand Hygiene

    Faculty, staff, and students will be trained on proper hand hygiene. Information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce hand hygiene at home. The district will provide stations around the school buildings:

    • For hand washing: soap, running water, and disposable paper towels.
    • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
    • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

    Communicable Disease Exposures

    The district must be prepared for communicable disease outbreaks in their local communities and for individual exposure events to occur in their facilities, regardless of the level of community transmission. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) have provided recommendations for strategies to follow after an exposure:

    • Close off areas used by a sick person and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred;
    • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
    • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible;
    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, lockers, and common areas.
    • Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.
    • Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
    • If more than seven days have passed since the person who is suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease visited or used the facility, additional cleaning or disinfection is not necessary, but routine cleaning and disinfection should continue.

    Contact Tracing

    The district will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive communicable disease diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district.

    Districts may assist with contact tracing by:

    • Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
    • Ensuring student schedules are up to date
    • Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited
    • Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program

    The district, in consultation with the local health department, will determine what process will be followed when communicable disease cases are discovered in the school (e.g., how many individuals will be quarantined, closing of areas or classrooms, etc.).

    Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.

    Returning after Illness

    The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for communicable disease symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

    • Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
    • Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
    • Symptom resolution, or if positive for a communicable disease, release from isolation

    The district will refer to the NYSDOH’s “Pre-K to Gr 12 COVID-19 Toolkit” and other applicable guidance regarding protocols and policies for faculty, staff, and students seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed communicable disease case or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with a communicable disease.

    The district requires that individuals who were exposed to a communicable disease complete quarantine and have no symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.

    Cleaning/Disinfecting

    The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and NYSDOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection - Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes” and other guidance, as applicable.

    Attachment 2 describes cleaning and disinfection protocols and procedures for the district. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which will be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

    The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on the frequency of use. 

    Housing for Essential Employees

    [Emergency housing for essential workers is not considered to be required for school faculty and staff.]

    Recovery

    Re-establishing the normal school curriculum is essential to the recovery process and should occur as soon as possible. The district will

    • Work toward a smooth transition from the existing learning methods to the normal process.
    • Use the described communication methods to keep the school community aware of the transition process.
    • Work closely with the New York State Education Department to revise or amend the school calendar as deemed appropriate.
    • Evaluate all building operations for normal function and re-implement appropriate maintenance and cleaning procedures.

    Each Building-Level Post-incident Response Team will assess the emotional impact of the crisis on students and staff and make recommendations for appropriate intervention. The District-Wide School Safety Team and Building-Level Emergency Response Teams will meet to debrief and determine lessons learned with input from all essential functions. The District-Wide School Safety Plan and Building-Level Emergency Response Plans will be updated accordingly.

    Curriculum activities that may address the crisis will be developed and implemented.

     

    Attachment 1 – Essential Positions

    Title

    Description

    Justification

    Work Shift

    Protocol

    Superintendent

    Responsible to oversee all district-level decision-making, approve purchases, leaves, furloughs, layoffs, and dismissals as well as opening and closing of the school.

    This position is essential to all functions of Human Resources, Instruction, Facility Management, Risk Management, Safety, and Budget.

    Typical work shift is day hours with additional hours for evening meetings.  In a pandemic, available at all times including weekends and holidays.

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function.

    Central Administration

    The Business Manager manages all financial transactions, finalizes purchases, maintains budget, insurance, bonding, and grants.

    There is a single person in the category of Central Administration.  This function is considered essential to the function of the district.

    Normal day shift.

    As the Business Manager was provided an at-home office for part of his function, he can shift his work schedule if needed.

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function

    Human Resources

    Responsible for payroll, benefits, recording absences, leaves, seniority

    There is one payroll clerk and one backup person for this position who also manages the purchasing. They are essential to the human resources function of the district.

    Normal day shift.

    As the payroll clerk was provided an at-home office for part of her function, she can shift her work time if needed

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function

    Facilities Services,   Transportation, Security

    Responsibility to all facility management, custodial oversight, heat and water, safety, and weather-related issues.

    Custodians, groundskeepers are essential to the function of the building.  It may be possible to furlough some staff or reduce hours depending on the work schedule to be determined.

    Bus drivers, while essential to the function of in-person educational services, may be reduced and/or furloughed in the event of a prolonged remote instructional period.

    The district functions with a single person in each responsibility category.  By definition, these each are essential to the function of the district on a daily basis.

    Normal day shift.

    As the Director of Facilities was provided an at-home office for part of his function, he can shift his work time if needed.

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function

    Food Service

    The position of Food Service Worker is also essential to the provision of food to students.  However, it may be possible to furlough some of the staff relative to the families in need remotely for food.

    We are legally required to have a director to manage appropriate food and servings for students. 

    Normal day shift, part-time

    The responsibility for this position will need to be maintained as we continue to provide food services even in remote mode.

    Communications

    Data and Communications is comprised of a team through Minerva Central School

    The team coordinates all student data for the RIC, maintains state reports, advises for homeless situations, maintains the website, and oversees all district communications.  The position can be flexible but will need to maintain a regular schedule during remote education to effectively communicate with parents and the community.

    Normal day shift

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function.

    Technology

    Information Technology is composed of a team through BOCES and the Districts. The team is responsible to maintain all district connections and NERIC services, maintain software updates and installation, oversee Ed Law 2d compliance, technology check-out, and check-in during remote education, review and update student information management systems, and coordinate training for teachers and staff in the general area of technology and curriculum.

    The team coordinates all of the technology both in-district and remotely, maintains processes and purchases and updates, and serves as project manager for migration to a new student information system.  This is the only position that specifically manages the area of technology for the district and is therefore essential.

    Normal day shift

    This position can be available outside of normal work hours or work at different assigned times as deemed necessary.

    Instructional Programs Oversight

    The MCS Principal holds primary responsibility to maintain the integrity and professional development in support of the school’s instructional program.  This includes grade level and department meetings, shared decision making, professional development planning, and working with Teacher Leaders.

    The Principal is the same as the Superintendent at Minerva Central School.

    Normal day shift

    Evenings and weekends as necessary

     

     

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function.

    Athletics

    The Athletic Director is a stipend, part-time position.  During a pandemic, this position provides a connection to the League update and changes in schedule.

    Although many sports have been ultimately canceled, the uncertainty of scheduling has resulted in more planning than actually holding training or games.  It would be difficult to eliminate this position as we would lose contact with the regional and state planning with no one to attend the meetings.

    Works as needed

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function

    Special Education

    The Special Education department is maintained by a CSE Chair whose duties are non-administrative.  This position is responsible to coordinate all CSE meetings and child finds.

    There is no one else with room in their schedule to fill the responsibilities of this position.  Even in a remote mode, the district must maintain the federal and state requirements for FAPE.

    Normal  day shift

    Maintain the position at all times as essential to district function

     

    Attachment 2 – Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols and Procedures

    Room Types/Areas

    Cleaning Frequency

    Disinfection Frequency

    Responsible Party

    Additional Information

    Classrooms

    Daily

    2x week

    Custodial staff; staff and teachers

    Doors, desks, chairs, and floors

    Restrooms

    2x daily

    2x week

    Custodial staff

    Doors and sinks will be done twice daily. Floors will be done once daily.

    Health Offices/Isolation Rooms

    Various

    2 x week

    Nursing staff; Custodial staff

    Cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment will be cleaned after each use. Floors will be done once daily.

    Breakrooms

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff

    Doors, tables, chairs and floors

    Cafeterias/Kitchens

    Various

    2 x week

    Custodial staff; staff and teachers

    Tables and chairs will be cleaned/disinfected in between each group’s use. Floors will be done once daily.

    Outside Seating Areas

    Various

    Various

    Custodial staff; staff and teachers

    Tables and chairs will be cleaned/disinfected in between each group’s use. Floors will be done once daily.

    Computer Labs

    Various

    2 x week

    Custodial staff; staff and teachers

    Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.

    Science Labs

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff; staff and teachers

    Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.

    Maintenance Office and Work Areas

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff

    Doors, desks, chairs, and floors

    Bus Garage

    Daily

    Various

    Custodial staff; Transportation staff

    Bathroom, doors, desks, chairs, and floors

    Libraries

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff; Librarians

    Equipment to be cleaned/disinfected between each use. Doors, tables, chairs and floors will be done once daily.

    Playgrounds

    As needed

    Various

    Custodial staff

     

    School Buses

    Daily

    2 x week

    Transportation staff

    High contact spots will be cleaned after the morning (AM) runs and cleaned/disinfected after the afternoon (PM) run. 

    School Vehicles

    After each use

    After each use

    Staff using vehicles

     

    Administrative Offices

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff

    Doors, desks, chairs, and floors

    Large Meeting Areas (e.g., gymnasiums, auditoriums, music rooms)

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial Staff

    Teachers

    These areas are not going to be used for large groups.   Some of them are used for classrooms when providing in-person instruction.  During remote instruction, these areas will not be used.  When these areas will be returned to use, then they will be cleaned as indicated.

    Athletic Training Rooms, Locker Rooms

    Daily

    2 x week

    Custodial staff

    These areas are not going to be used. When these areas will be returned to use, then they will be cleaned as indicated.

    Frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, elevator buttons, copy machine buttons, handles, etc.)

    2x daily

    2x daily

    Custodial staff

    Teachers

    Aides

     

    Shared frequently touched surfaces (e.g., keyboards, desks, phones, laptops, tablets, remote controls, etc.)

    After each use

    After each use

    Staff using shared surfaces

     

    Shared equipment (e.g., hand tools, facilities equipment, groundskeeping equipment, golf cart, etc.)

    After each use

    After each use

    Staff using equipment

     

     

    Only district-approved chemicals will be used. At no time will students be allowed to use cleaners or disinfectant

     

     

     

     

Last Modified on September 29, 2021