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BT-BOCES 2021-22 School Opening Plan

School Opening Plan 2021-22

Introduction
Broome-Tioga BOCES will be open for full-time in-person learning starting September 9, 2021.  There will not be hybrid or remote learning options.
When the 2021-2022 school year begins, school will look much like it did when the last school year ended in June of 2021. Face coverings will still be required and social distancing will be maintained when possible. It is our number one goal to keep students and staff safe and physically present in school. 
BOCES receives students from local school districts via the home schools’ transportation department. BOCES is relying on our local partners to ensure children are not experiencing signs/symptoms of COVID-19 before boarding a school bus or leaving home Students and staff are required to notify BOCES when they develop symptoms.
We ask for your support and cooperation in following the guidelines detailed in the school opening plan. Together, we are confident we can make the 2021-22 school year a success.
BOCES has designated Assistant Superintendent Thomas D. McNair to serve as COVID-19 safety coordinator, with the following responsibilities:
  • Be the main contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and be responsible for subsequent communication
  • Ensuring continuous compliance with all aspects of the BOCES’ pandemic response
  • Be the county, state and federal liaison for all matters related to COVID-19
Face coverings
When teachers, staff, and students consistently and correctly wear face coverings, they protect others as well as themselves. Consistent and correct face covering use is especially important indoors and in crowded settings when physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth or disposable face coverings that cover both the mouth and nose (i.e. homemade, sewn, quick cut and bandana & disposable masks that cover mouth and nose).
All students, staff, parents/guardians and visitors must wear face coverings in instructional buildings regardless of vaccination status.

Students and staff who are unable to tolerate a face covering due to a medical condition will require documentation from a physician. BOCES administration will make decisions regarding students and staff who cannot tolerate face coverings due to a mental health concern or a developmental disability on a case-by-case basis. BOCES will collaborate with the home school district, which may include convening a CSE meeting to amend the IEP.
BOCES will provide an acceptable face covering to students and staff and have an adequate supply in case of need for replacement. Students and staff will be allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering.
BOCES will continue to obtain and maintain an adequate quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) used for school safety purposes.

Social distancing
Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping at least three feet or more space between yourself and others, unless safety or core function of the activity requires a shorter distance. All persons in BOCES instructional buildings will keep social distance of at least three feet whenever possible.
BOCES will create alternate plans in consultation with school health personnel on how to meet the needs of the child and staff when social distancing and face coverings are not tolerated.

School schedules
All classes are in-person instruction five days a week.

School buses and school vehicles
Face coverings are required at all times.

Management of ill persons
Any student or staff member with a fever greater than 100°F and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 infection should not be present in school.
Students and staff with symptoms of illness must be sent to the health office. Ill students and staff will be assessed by the school nurse (registered professional nurse, RN) or medical director. If a school nurse or medical director is not available, ill students and staff will be sent home for follow up with a healthcare provider. The school nurse or medical director will assess individuals for chronic conditions such as asthma, allergies or chronic gastrointestinal conditions that may present the same symptoms as COVID-19, but are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat.
Students with a temperature or signs of illness will be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area for an evaluation by a healthcare professional. The healthcare professional will wear protective equipment when assessing the student. Staff who are ill with COVID 19 symptoms at work should notify their supervisor, leave the building and follow up with their medical provider. 
Whenever a student or staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19 that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, the individual shall be excluded from the school and sent home in a safe and proper conveyance. The director of school health services or designee will immediately notify the local public health department when a positive COVID case is reported. 
School staff must immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse or other designated school staff.
BOCES will provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19.

Return to school after COVID-19 illness
If a person with COVID-19 symptoms is not diagnosed as COVID-19 positive by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) they can return to school in coordination with the local health department:
  • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours
AND are able to meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • They have been diagnosed with another condition and have a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school
  • They have a negative COVID 19 test
  • They have self- quarantined for 10 days
BROOME-TIOGA BOCES WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR CDC, STATE AND LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT GUIDANCE. THIS PLAN IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PROGRESSES.

Our Core Values

  • Students are our first priority.
  • Employees are our most valuable resource.
  • Cultivating diversity, equity, inclusion and guarding against bias are essential.
  • Everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
  • All employees will exhibit professionalism, integrity and excellence.
  • Creativity and continuous improvement are crucial to everything we do.
  • A safe, challenging and nurturing environment supports learning.
  • All can learn and grow academically, socially and emotionally.
  • Customer service and collaboration are key to being a successful and trusted partner.