Broome Tioga Boces

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Introduction

What follows this letter is Broome-Tioga BOCES’ plan for reopening our schools for the 2020-21 school year. This reopening plan envisions three possible learning scenarios: remote instruction, hybrid instruction, and in-person instruction.

 

Required under the state’s Phase 4 COVID-19 reopening strategy, this highly detailed plan is designed to ensure the health and safety of all students, staff and visitors to our schools. It is the result of many hours of thoughtful discussion and input from key stakeholders throughout our organization. It was developed in accordance with guidance from health officials at the local, state and federal levels. Updates will be made as the situation evolves.

 

It is our number one goal to make this reopening as seamless, comfortable and stress-free as possible given the remarkable circumstances the pandemic has forced upon us. As much as we might cringe at the threadbare and ubiquitous phrase “the new normal,” we must concede that any promise of normalcy would be foolhardy at best. Those coming back to our schools in September will immediately notice that there have been many changes; it will not be business as usual, as they say.

 

When the 2020-2021 school year begins, school will look much different than previous years due to new health and safety measures enacted in response to COVID-19. Masks will be required and many rules and signs will need to be followed to ensure safety.

 

We ask for your support and cooperation in following the guidelines detailed in the reopening plan. Together, we are confident we can make the 2020-21 school year a one-of-a-kind success.

Reopening Plan Submitted to NYSED




Broome-Tioga BOCES Reopening Plan

July 29, 2020

Broome-Tioga BOCES Reopening Plan July 2020 rev 10-9-20 2


Community and Family Engagement

In the development of this plan, Broome-Tioga BOCES engaged a wide range of school stakeholders and community members, including administrators, faculty, staff, parent/legal guardians of students, local health department officials, local health care providers and the chamber of commerce.


BOCES will provide regular communications to students, parents/guardians, staff and visitors. Those communications will include applicable instructions to individuals about BOCES’ plan and protocols for reopening; training for applicable students and staff supported by signage regarding hygienic practices to reduce COVID-19 spread and transmission; encouragement to students, faculty, staff and visitors to adhere to CDC/DOH guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically face coverings when social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained; and regular updates to students and staff regarding COVID-19 and school activities. Signage will be posted at entrances, restrooms, cafeterias, classrooms, administrative offices, health offices, janitorial areas and hallways.


BOCES will ensure all students, faculty and staff are taught or trained how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including, but not limited to, hand and respiratory hygiene, proper face covering, and how to adequately put on/take off/clean PPE.


BOCES’ communications pursuant to this plan will be provided in the language(s) spoken at home among families and throughout the school community. This plan will be accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments.


BOCES has designated Assistant Superintendent James P. Mullins to serve as COVID-19 Safety Coordinator, with the following responsibilities:


  • Be the main contact upon the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and to be responsible for subsequent communication.

  • Ensuring continuous compliance with all aspects of the BOCES’ reopening plan, 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.


    Health and Safety

    In developing this plan, BOCES has reviewed and considered the following factors in determining the number of students and staff allowed to return and resume in-person instruction: ability to maintain appropriate social distance, PPE and face mask availability, availability of transportation, and local hospital capacity.


    Protocols to Observe Signs of Illness in Students and Staff

    In collaboration with BOCES’ director of school health services, BOCES has developed the following protocol to instruct staff to observe for signs of illness in students and staff:


    • A temperature greater than or equal to 100.0° F (37.8° C)

    • Feel feverish or have chills

    • Cough

    • Loss of taste or smell

    • Fatigue/feeling of tiredness

    • Sore throat

    • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

    • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

    • Muscle pain or body aches

    • Headaches

    • Nasal congestion/runny nose


      Management of Ill Persons

      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 and allergies or chronic gastrointestinal conditions may present the same symptoms as COVID-19, but are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat. If a school nurse is not available, the BOCES will isolate and dismiss any student or staff member who has a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 that are not explained by a chronic health condition for follow up with a health care provider.

      Students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the screening process; will be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home.


  • School health personnel will wear PPE when assessing ill persons or conducting certain respiratory treatments.

  • BOCES administration will designate two rooms, if available, for school health service personnel. One room will be for healthy students to obtain medications and nursing treatments. The second room will be for isolating ill persons.

  • Disposable equipment and supplies will be used in the health office as much as practicable.


    Health Checks

    BOCES will ensure periodic screenings, including temperature checks of all students. Staff, visitors, contractors and guests will use an electronic self-reporting tool and self-monitor. The following information will guide this process:


  • When arriving on district transportation with temperature checks and screen in place, students will be temperature screened in accordance with the component school district’s process before reaching a BOCES campus or classroom.

  • BOCES is maintaining a list of component district screening protocols to ensure students are screened either by a component district or BOCES. Students who arrive on our campus and have not participated in a component screener and temperature check will use BOCES’ screen and BOCES will perform periodic temperature checks.

  • Students who walk, drive or are transported by a family member and do not have internet access will be provided with hard copies of the questionnaire to fill out upon arrival at a designated outside location.

  • All employees must complete the online questionnaire and temperature check questionnaire before entering one of our sites/buildings. Employees without access to the online tool will be provided a hard copy to complete daily.

  • Visitors, i.e. vendors, contractors, will fill out the online screening and temperature check questionnaire before entering the building via the main entrance. Hard copies of the questionnaire will be available at the main entrances to each building for those who do not have access to a mobile device.

  • Parents and guardians will enter buildings by appointment only after completing the online screening and temperature check questionnaire.

  • Parents/guardians will be required to fill out the online screening and temperature check questionnaire before entering the building via the main entrance.


    The screening and temperature check questionnaire will determine whether the individual has:


  • Experienced new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms in the past 10 days.


  • Had a positive COVID-19 test within the past 10 days.

  • Knowingly been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 OR been directed by the department of health to quarantine within the past 14 days.

  • Traveled to a state or territory on the NYS travel advisory list for more than 24 hours.


    Parents/guardians and staff members will be provided resources to educate them regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. Parents/guardians and school staff will be instructed that any student or staff member with a fever greater than 100°F and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school.


    Students and staff are required to notify BOCES when they develop symptoms or if their answers to the questionnaire change during or outside school hours.


    Face Coverings

    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).


    Face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected, but does not have symptoms. Face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical personal protective equipment. All individuals in BOCES’ facilities and on BOCES’ grounds must be prepared to put on a face covering if another person unexpectedly cannot socially distance.


    All students, staff, parents/guardians and visitors must wear cloth face coverings:

  • Whenever they are within six feet of someone

  • In hallways

  • In common areas: entrances, exits, lobbies

  • When traveling around the school

  • In restrooms

  • In other congregate settings, including buses


    Students 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 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 employees and students and have an adequate supply in case of need for replacement. BOCES will allow an employee to wear their own acceptable face covering. Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.

    BOCES will continue to obtain and maintain adequate supplies of face coverings for school staff, students who forget their masks, and PPE for use by school personnel.


    Social Distancing

    Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping a six-foot space between yourself and others, unless safety or core function of the activity requires a shorter distance. All persons in school buildings will keep social distance of at least six feet whenever possible.


    To that end, BOCES will support social distancing in all school facilities and on school grounds, including transportation 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:

  • Additional PPE for staff caring for such students.

  • Assigning only one staff member to care for the student.

  • Ensuring that student groupings are as static as possible by having the same group/cohort of students stay together when practicable.

  • Establishing designated areas for student drop-off and pick-up, limiting contact and entry of parents/guardians into the building, to the greatest extent possible.

  • Reducing in-school movement where possible by keeping students within a defined area or classroom and modifying class schedules or class transitions.

  • Assigning lockers or other student storage areas by cohort where practicable.

  • Ensuring that a distance of 12 feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities requires projecting the voice; e.g., singing, playing a wind instrument, or aerobic activity.

  • Canceling/limiting student assemblies, athletic events/practices, performances, school- wide parent meetings.


    Medically Vulnerable/High-Risk Groups

    BOCES will accommodate the needs of students who are in high-risk groups of COVID-19 infection. BOCES will accommodate the needs of students who have family members who are in high-risk groups. If a parent seeks an accommodation(s) for a student, they must work with and provide documentation from the family’s healthcare provider(s) so that an informed decision can be made on how best to meet the family’s needs.

    If the parents/guardians choose not to send their child back to school, BOCES will provide instruction remotely if the home school district has contracted with BOCES for educational services for such students.


    BOCES will provide accommodations to staff within a high-risk group of COVID-19 infection in accordance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. BOCES will consider accommodations for staff who live with a person at high-risk of such infection.


    Essential Visitors

    BOCES will ensure all visitors adhere to COVID-19 procedures and protocols and will limit visitors to our buildings to the essential visitors listed below.


    • Agency service providers

    • Emergency responders/ first responders

    • Food deliveries

    • Maintenance and repair servicers

    • Substitute teachers

    • School district personnel

    • Mail delivery


    If Students or Staff Become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

    Whenever a student shows symptoms of any communicable or infectious disease reportable under the public health law that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he or she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately, in a safe and proper conveyance. The director of school health services shall immediately notify a local public health agency of any disease reportable under the public health law. The director of school health services, or other health professionals acting upon direction or referral of such director, may make such evaluations of teachers and any other school employees in their discretion, they may deem necessary to protect the health of the students and staff.


    School staff must immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse or other designated school staff. Such reports should be made in compliance with FERPA, and Education Law 2-d.


    BOCES has two rooms for school health personnel - one room for healthy students who have injuries or need their medications or nursing treatments, and another room for isolation and caring for ill students and staff accessed with COVID symptoms. Both rooms will have a supervising adult presence.

    BOCES will call for emergency transport (911) following district protocols, for any student showing any of these emergency warning signs of MIS-C or other concerning signs: trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest that does not go away, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain.


    BOCES’ protocol for actions to be taken if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a BOCES educational program is as follows:

  • BOCES will immediately notify the state and local health departments

  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, BOCES will provide for the cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event an individual is confirmed to have COVID-19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces.


    Return to School After Illness

    BOCES will follow CDC guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school:


  • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours.

  • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and have a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.


    In accordance with CDC guidance, BOCES’ protocol for the return to school of students and staff following confirmed case of COVID-19 or following quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is as follows:


  • Return to school will be coordinated with the local health department.

  • A student or staff member will be allowed to return to school with documentation from a health care provider.


    Facilities

    BOCES will follow NYS facilities guidance related to:

  • Fire prevention, building code and state energy conservation code

  • The building conditions survey and visual inspection

  • Lead-in-water testing

  • Installed alcohol-based hand-rub dispensers

  • Installation of dividers in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, gymnasiums, doors and other points of congregation

  • Building construction and temporary quarter projects

  • Leasing of new facilities

  • The use of temporary or permanent tents

  • Existing and/or altered toilet and sink fixtures

  • The number of drinking fountains per one hundred occupants

  • Code required ventilation

  • Project submissions dedicated to COVID-19 reopening

  • The use of plastic separators


    Cleaning & Disinfection

  • Disinfectants used must be from the EPA approved list

  • High-touch surfaces should be disinfected frequently throughout the day

  • Schools must identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility and area type


    School Safety Drills

    BOCES will conduct required school safety drills with modifications ensuring social distancing between persons.


    Fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills will be conducted without exceptions. Fire safety, evacuation, and lockdown plans will include any changes in such plans that promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills.


    Before and Aftercare Program

    BOCES does not maintain BOCES-run before and aftercare programs.


    Extracurricular Activities

    BOCES will develop protocols to ensure participation in school activities and extra-curricular clubs, i.e. Special Olympics & Skills USA.


    Child Nutrition

    BOCES will coordinate with food service management to ensure all students enrolled have access to school meals each school day, which will include students in attendance at school and students learning remotely.


    BOCES will address all applicable health and safety guidelines through:


  • Protocols and procedures for how students will perform hand hygiene before and after eating, how appropriate hand hygiene will be promoted, and how sharing of food and beverages will be prohibited (unless individuals are members of the same household).

  • Protocols and procedures that require cleaning and disinfection prior to the next group of students arriving for meals, if served in the same common area.

  • Compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.

  • Protocols that describe communication with families through multiple means in the languages spoken by families.

  • Require social distancing (six feet separation) while consuming meals in school unless a physical barrier is provided.

  • Arrange student dining areas so that students are not facing one another (unless proper dividers are in place).

  • Have adequate supplies of face masks and hand sanitizer in food service areas.

  • Coordinate with custodians to establish sanitation procedures.

  • Train teachers who have students eating in classrooms on food allergies, including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.


    Transportation

    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.


    School Buses

    All buses (conforming and non-conforming to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards, as well as type A, C or D) which are used every day by districts and contract carriers must be cleaned/disinfected once a day. High-contact spots must be wiped down after the a.m. and p.m. run depending upon the disinfection schedule.


    School buses shall not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability to the carrier or district.


    School Bus Staff

    BOCES school bus drivers, monitors, attendants and mechanics must wear a face covering with optional face shields.


    BOCES transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and be provided periodic refreshers on the proper use of PPE, the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and the proper use of social distancing.


    BOCES will provide PPE such as masks and gloves for drivers, monitors and attendants in buses, as well as hand sanitizer for all staff in their transportation locations such as dispatch offices, employee lunch/break rooms and/or bus garages.


    BOCES drivers, monitors and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.


    BOCES school bus drivers, monitors and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses.

    Student Transportation

    Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus, including during the ride to and from school; and while entering, exiting and seated.


    Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical health or mental health are not subject to the required use of a face covering. Students with a disability which would prevent them from wearing a mask will not be forced to do so. No student will be denied transportation for not having a mask. BOCES will provide students with a mask if they do not have one.


    Students will be trained and provided periodic reminders on the proper use of PPE and the signs, symptoms of COVID-19, and the proper use of social distancing.


    Students should social distance (six feet separation) on the bus whenever possible.


    Social Emotional Well-being

    As BOCES is not required to have a guidance plan we will utilize our existing structure to guide our SEL work. BOCES has a social-emotional learning (SEL) work group to address our strategic planning initiative: meet the social-emotional & mental health needs of our students ~ adopted spring 2017. This initiative is measured by the following data points: positively impact chronic absenteeism, reduce the number of emergency interventions, suspensions and referrals per student.


    This work group strategically uses research-based interventions to align SEL interventions with our student programming. The SEL work group is represented by administrators, social workers, teachers, related service providers and paraprofessional staff members. Each site-based trauma informed practice team (TIP) is led by the site/program principal and has participation from a variety of building based stakeholders. The TIP team's primary responsibility is to oversee implementation of training, practices and curriculum at the building level to meet the needs of the whole student.


    The SEL work group is guided by CASEL and the NYSED SEL Benchmarks & Reclaiming Youth At-Risk, focusing on the BOCES “Circle of Six: Safety, Belonging, Responsibility, Purpose, Achievement & Exploration” initiative. BOCES Circle of Six influences and guides our decisions as we plan programmatically, and on an individual student basis, to meet the needs of the whole child (MTSS - model of tiered student support).


    Training is instrumental while we work to create a culture of care. Our model for training is: train (professional learning), support (trauma informed practice coaching team) & supervise (building capacity at the program level). Each building/program has access to a TIP (trauma informed practice team) that oversees research-based initiatives within Instructional Programs for fidelity of implementation and support. Paraprofessionals, teachers & administrators can seek support for the system (classroom/building) or individual student struggles using our electronic ticket

    system to request the assistance of a coach. This existing ticket system will be our tool, along with our student support teams and our PBIS teams, for providing resources & referrals for mental health and behavioral health support services for BOCES.


    The following is a list of research-based SEL trainings regularly provided to administrators, teachers & paraprofessionals at BOCES:

  • Mental Health First Aid

  • Life Space Crisis Intervention- certification with a yearly refresher

  • Non-violent Crisis Intervention- yearly refresher

  • Reclaiming Youth at Risk (certification course)

  • BOCES Circle of 6

  • Schools That Matter

  • Responsive Classroom (certification course)

  • Implicit Bias

  • Mindfulness

  • Executive Functioning

  • Restorative Practices- certification course

  • Home Visits

  • Coping & Resilience with COVID-19 Effects


    In terms of returning from this extended school closure, our training focus will be to meet the immediate safety and belonging needs of students by focusing on predictable, taught and practiced school/classroom routines and procedures, explicitly teaching behavior expectations. Listening with empathy and without judgment regarding student real and perceived pandemic experiences and fear and helping our adults with scripted reassuring language.


    Additionally, BOCES uses the following curriculum tools to support students SEL needs: Second Step (K-8 all programs)

    Zones of Regulations (K-8 specified programs)


    BOCES K-8 inclusive education programming is adapting a standards-based report card that uses the NYS SEL benchmarks to monitor student progress and provide families with input.


    BOCES acknowledges adults in our school community need to take care of themselves. Adults in our school community have experienced stress, anxiety, grief & trauma. BOCES will continue to consider this impact whether we return in person or remotely. BOCES will continue to provide resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral and emotional support services and programs, including EAP correspondence.


    Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism

    BOCES will collect and report daily teacher/student engagement or attendance regardless of the instructional setting, including in a remote or hybrid schedule. During in-person instruction, daily attendance is taken in the student management system employed by the district, SchoolTool.


    BOCES will use a separate code for remote instruction in our student management system(s). Attendance of any school-age student of compulsory age will be reported in SIRS until they exceed compulsory school age.


    Students who drop out while still of compulsory school age must be kept on the school attendance register until they exceed compulsory school age or move out of the component district.


    Technology & Connectivity

    BOCES will:


  • Use surveys to determine the level of access to electronic devices and high-speed broadband all students and teachers have in their places of residence.

  • Loan devices to teachers who need them for hybrid or remote learning. It will loan such devices to students for hybrid or remote learning on a case-by-case basis. Teachers can access BOCES’ internet through classroom use (with supervisor approval).

  • Provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or hybrid models, especially if all students do not yet have sufficient access to electronic devices and/or high-speed internet.


    School Schedules

    BOCES is planning a hybrid school schedule prioritizing in person instruction planned for implementation at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year and contingent scheduling models if the situation warrants.


    BOCES will work with all component school districts to create a schedule for hybrid instruction based upon their needs.


    Priorities will be determined based upon the needs of student populations for in-person instruction. If not feasible a phased-in and hybrid model of education will be considered.


    BOCES will have a remote instruction model, completely virtual, that will be implemented if the need arises during the 2020-21 school year.


    Teaching & Learning

    BOCES will provide 180 days of instruction each school year to their students in accordance with BOCES regional calendar or a host site school district calendar. Instructional days shall be counted for programs that are delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model.


    BOCES’ continuity of learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year is as follows:


  • Our instructional plan will prioritize in-person instruction and we will plan for contingencies for remote and hybrid models based on component school districts’ needs.

  • We will revise our existing continuity of learning plan and update this document to meet our needs through reopening.

  • Instruction will be aligned with the outcomes in the New York State Learning Standards. Educators will be given opportunities to prioritize units of study to meet hands-on instructional certification standards.

  • Equity will be at the heart of all school instructional decisions. All instruction will be developed so that whether delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model due to a local or state school closure, there are clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible to all students. Such opportunities must be aligned with NYS State Standards and include daily scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from their teachers.

  • Instruction aligned to the academic program will include regular and substantive daily interactions with an appropriately certified teacher regardless of the delivery method (e.g., in person, remote or hybrid).

  • Each instructional program will create a clear communication plan for how students and their families/caregivers can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology. This information will be accessible to all, available in multiple languages based on BOCES need, widely disseminated, and include clear and multiple ways for students and families to contact schools and teachers (e.g., email, online platform, and/or by phone). Teachers will be expected to document this communication using BOCES instructional student logs.


    In-person:

  • Single platforms will be used to simplify the process for parents and teachers. All teachers will use either SeeSaw or Google classroom.

  • One point of contact (case manager) will be identified for groups of students so that only one teacher will contact families (not multiple). The case manager will collaborate with the other teachers to maintain accurate information for families.

  • K- 5 inclusive education programming will use standards-based reporting.

  • 6-12 inclusive education/general education/CTE will use traditional (percentage- based) grading per our existing grading policy.

  • NYSAA will continue to use their existing procedure.

  • Learning outcomes/standards will be prioritized for all grade levels/ programming.

  • Teachers will make initial contact with families via email/phone.


    Hybrid (in person & remote):

  • Single platforms will be used to simplify the process for parents and teachers. All teachers will use either SeeSaw or Google classroom.

  • One point of contact (case manager) will be identified for groups of students so that only one teacher will contact families (not multiple). The case manager will collaborate with the other teachers to maintain accurate information for families.

  • K- 5 inclusive education programming will use standards-based grading (1-4).

  • 6-12 inclusive education/general education/CTE will use traditional (percentage- based) grading.

  • NYSAA will continue to use their existing procedure.

  • Learning outcomes/standards will be prioritized for all grade levels/programming.

  • Support services will be prioritized and delivered in person on days students are in person.

  • Teachers will make initial contact with families via email/phone.

  • Students and teachers will be required to use the video feature while on Zoom calls (no blank screens/photos).

  • Student attendance will be recorded when students log on to Zoom/class sessions and learning platforms.

  • Best practices for remote engagement/assessment will be used. Examples include: entrance & exit tickets, polls, breakout rooms & timely feedback on completed assignments.


    Remote learning:

  • Single platforms will be used to simplify the process for parents and teachers. All teachers will use either SeeSaw or Google classroom.

  • One point of contact (case manager) will be identified for groups of students so that only one teacher will contact families (not multiple). The case manager will collaborate with the other teachers to maintain accurate information for families.

  • K- 5iInclusive education programming will use standards-based report cards.

  • 6-12 inclusive education/general education/CTE will use traditional (percentage- based) grading per our existing grading policy.

  • NYSAA will continue to use the 1-4 rubric.

  • Learning outcomes/standards will be prioritized for all grade levels/programming.

  • Zoom will be use as the platform for support services when delivered remotely.

  • Teachers will make initial contact with families via email/phone.

  • Students and teachers will be required to use the video feature while on Zoom calls (no blank screens/photos)

  • Student attendance will be recorded when students log on to Zoom/class sessions and learning platforms.

  • Best practices for remote engagement/assessment will be used. Examples include: entrance and exit tickets, polls, breakout rooms and timely feedback on completed assignments

Special Education

In implementing its Special Education programs, the BOCES will:


  • Ensure that all students with disabilities continue to have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services that meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.


  • Share a plan with all stakeholders that enable transitioning between in-person, remote and hybrid learning environments to ensure the provision of FAPE consistent with the changing health and safety conditions that exist.


  • Address the provision of FAPE consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services.


  • Provide meaningful parent engagement in the parent’s preferred language or mode of communication regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA.


  • Plan a hybrid school schedule, prioritizing an in-person schedule planned for students in special education programs for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year and will implement contingent scheduling models if the situation warrants. We will be in collaboration with home school districts, as well as parents/guardians regarding individual student needs.


  • Provide a free appropriate public education to all students with disabilities through a combination of models of instruction that adequately take into consideration the health and safety needs of those students as well as those providing the services.


BOCES site principals will collaborate with district stakeholders to ensure that students’ services are consistent with IEP recommendations, in all settings. Broome-Tioga BOCES Student Instructional Log, as well as IEP progress notes, will be maintained uniformly. Providers will communicate the daily progress through these means in order for the CSE to be consistently aware of student progress made. Broome-Tioga BOCES Director of Special Education will attend monthly meetings with all regional special education administrators and CSE Chairpersons in order to collaborate on the sharing of resources.


All students will be ensured access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) in all settings. The teachers and providers will work directly with families to communicate how these will be given and to offer suggestions when families have difficulty during remote instructional periods.

Students with disabilities will participate in rigorous coursework at their appropriate grade levels, adhering to the NYS learning standards, while taking into consideration additional, individual needs as specified on their IEPs. Students with disabilities will be given access to participate and progress in the general education curriculum. Whenever indicated on the IEP, students are able to participate in general education coursework through integrated opportunities (remote or in-person) to access coursework with their grade level peers, to the greatest extent possible.


BOCES ensures that students are being delivered special education and related services to the greatest extent possible as identified on the IEP. Documentation of all services is maintained, in order to further inform decisions regarding compensatory services.


BOCES’ staff will progress monitor in alignment with IEP goals in order to evaluate effectiveness of programming. Behavioral intervention plans and strategies to address individual goals will be adjusted as needed in all settings.


Student case managers maintain documentation related to remote instruction and share with all team members working with students in order to inform on student needs upon return to in- person instruction.


Service providers will work directly with districts and families to ensure that the necessary supplementary aides, equipment and services needed by each student is available to him/her, whether inside the school walls or while learning from home.


Bilingual Education and World Languages


BOCES will work with component school districts to complete the ELL identification process.


Teacher & Principal Evaluation System


BOCES will ensure that all teachers and principals are evaluated pursuant to the BOCES’ currently approved APPR plan, including any variance applications approved by the NYS Education Department.


Certification, Incidental Teaching & Substitute Teaching

BOCES will ensure that all teachers hold valid and appropriate certificates for their teaching assignments except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or Education Law.

Reopening Plan Submitted to NYSED
Broome-Tioga BOCES   435 Glenwood Road Binghamton, NY 13905 Phone: (607) 763-3300
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