New York City’s final plan on reopening schools was released early Friday night — including fleshed-out details on coronavirus testing for students and staffers, protocols on positive cases and potential schools closures.
Students and staff will be chosen at random for temperature screenings every day, prior to entering the building, and will be required to conduct at-home temperature checks, according to the expanded guidance, which is posted online.
Students with a temperature of more than 100 degrees will not be allowed to enter the building.
Staffers, including teachers, will undergo COVID-19 testing on a rolling basis once school is in session, with the Department of Education recommending that they get checked “at least once a month.”
The 109-page proposal also lays out details on how coronavirus-positive cases will be handled.
All students and teachers in classes with a confirmed case must quarantine for 14 days, as they’re considered “close contacts.”
In schools where students travel between classes, quarantine is also mandated for individuals in all classes attended by the confirmed case.
Students who are in quarantine will continue remote learning.
A COVID-19 positive individual will only be allowed to return to school with clearance from a doctor and if they are symptom-free for 24 hours without use of medication, the plan says.
There is also a chain-of-command in place when communicating a positive case — involving the Department of Health, Department of Education, school principal, Building Response Team, superintendent, affected teachers and Borough Safety Director.
The plan also warns that schools could close if there were “recurrent, uncontrolled outbreaks of COVID-19 … even if the overall case rates across New York City were to remain low.”
That’s in contrast to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said schools would shutter if the city’s infection rate hits 3 percent.
The final proposal released Friday night is an expanded version of one submitted to the state for approval last week. Schools are also required to submit individual plans, which are expected to be released next week.
Details on social distancing requirements, including class sizes, will be determined by the individual schools.
On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo greenlit all of New York’s more than 700 school districts to reopen this fall, including the Big Apple, which will reopen its 1,800 facilities with a blended learning model involving in-school instruction and remote learning.
The latest version of the city’s plan allows individual schools to apply for exceptions to the blended model if it’s not “feasible given space, staffing, family choice and expected in-person attendance.”
Families can still opt into 100 percent remote learning at any time but can only switch back to blended learning on a quarterly basis.
Source: New York Post
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