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JCS Reopening Plan

Posted on 08/04/2020

Johnsburg Central School District

COVID -19 Reopening Plan


School logo

Michael Markwica
(518) 251-2921 Ext. 9

Heather Flanagan
Building Principal
(518) 251-2921 Ext.1

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,

Below you will find the reopening plan for Johnsburg Central School.  As we have worked through this pandemic, we have had to look at education through a different lens and come up with new and creative ways to educate students.  The plan that is laid out below covers topics including, but not limited to: Communication with families; Health and Safety; Facilities; Child Nutrition; Transportation; Social-Emotional Well Being; School Schedules; Attendance; Technology and Connectivity; Teaching and Learning; Career and Technical Education, Athletics and Extracurricular Activities; Special Education; Languages; and Staffing. 

The plan is very detailed, but does not, and can not cover everything.  This is partially due to the fact that it would be impossible to cover all details of education in a single plan, but also due to the fact that many things are changing on a daily basis that will affect our plan.  Therefore, the plan is a living document that will change as our surroundings and circumstances change.  Many of the items listed below will change as our Local, State, and National regulations, as well as the Center for Disease Control recommendations, change.  

The district plans to keep students, parents, and staff up to date with any of the changes and information by the use of emails, letters, Facebook, newsletters, and our automated phone system (One Call Now).  In addition, we encourage parents to call the administration if they have any questions at 518-251-2921.

We thank you in advance for your understanding, and we look forward to working with you through this time.  

Thank you.

Michael Markwica

Superintendent of Schools

Johnsburg Central School

Table of Contents

Letter from Superintendent …………………………………………………………. 1


Communication/Family and Community Engagement ……………...……..4

Health and Safety ……………………………………………………….…...5

Facilities ……………………………………………………………………..19

Child Nutrition ………………………………………………………………21

Transportation ………………………………………………………………22

Social-Emotional Well-Being …………………………………………..……25

School Schedules ……………………………………………………...…….27

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism ………………………………….…..28

Technology and Connectivity ………………………………………………..29

Teaching and Learning ……………………………………………………….30

Career and Technical Education (CTE) ........................................................32

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities ………………………………..…….32

Special Education …………………………………………………….……....33

Bilingual Education and World Languages…………………………...………34


Key References………………………………………………………………...36


At Johnsburg Central School our primary commitment is to the students and families we serve. Our priority must be keeping them safe. When the 2020-2021 school year begins, on-campus school will look much different than previous years due to COVID-19 and the health and safety measures that continue to evolve.  This School Reopening Plan will define clear guidance for the reopening of our school and aligns with the regulations developed in collaboration with NYSDOH and the NYS Education Department.

The areas outlined in this plan represent the myriad considerations  Johnsburg Central School will address to reopen schools safely and to sustain their safe operation. It is important to note that our plan retains a strong focus on academic instruction to enhance student performance and address learning loss.  An emphasis on the social-emotional needs of our students is a priority and therefore we have addressed this within our plan. 

To be clear, the health and safety of our students, our staff, and their families is our top priority. We have developed a plan that intends to ensure that students and employees feel comfortable and safe returning to the school campus. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), theNew York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Warren County Public Health Department, and theNew York State Education Department (NYSED), znc

It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning throughout the year due to recommendations and guidance from our partnering agencies, and stay-at-home orders from the Governor. The level of infection, the spread of the virus, and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of decision making as we move to open our schools.

Mr. Michael Markwica as the primary and Mrs. Heather Flanagan as the secondary will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinators.  They will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff, and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and following the best practices per state and federal guidelines. 

Of course, as with every plan being developed throughout New York State, this document is fluid and will change as necessary based on guidance from the state, CDC, and NYSED and in consideration of our families and our staff. We strongly believe the services described throughout this plan are in the best interests of our students, families, staff, and community.

Guiding Principles

The development of this plan was guided by and grounded in the following guiding principles: 

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff; 
  2. Providing the opportunity for all students to access education in the fall;
  3. Monitoring schools, students, and staff.  When necessary, modifying schedules  to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread; 
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities that are emerging from this historic disruption; 
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners, such as families, educators, and staff;
  6. Factoring into decision making the challenges to the physical safety, social-emotional well-being, and the mental health needs of our students caused by school closure; and
  7. Considering and supporting diversity in our schools and school districts as we provide education is essential.

Communication/Family and Community Engagement 

To help inform our reopening plan, the Johnsburg Central School District has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, and employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings, and one-on-one conversations.

The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff, and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. 

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors, and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication modes – including website, Facebook, School Newsletter, Onecall Now (automated phone calling system), virtual meetings, in-person meeting with social distancing practice, Parent/Staff letters  – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements, and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. 

Johnsburg Central School District Communication Goals:

  • To encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (e.g., signage) to adhere to NYSED, CDC, and DOH guidance regarding the use of acceptable face coverings - a face mask covering the nose and mouth, when a social distance cannot be maintained.
  • To provide regular updates about health and safety, scheduling, and all other information faculty, staff and families should be aware of.
  • To provide information to families through a wide array of platforms including mail, email, telephone calls, text messaging, social media, and website postings.
  • To provide information on how families can access technology and receive technical support to assist with the utilization and maintenance of equipment.

Johnsburg Central School developed communication materials accordingly, including the creation of sample messages/letters for COVID-19 cases or potential cases for various school audiences. We will utilize the communication methods used by the district to inform the school community. Information will be dispersed in a variety of platforms that include:

  • District website
  • Call list/ROBO Call (One Call Now)
  • Email blast
  • Online training
  • Correspondence (letters) to homes
  • Social media accounts used by the district
  • Town Hall Meetings (Zoom, WebEx, Google Classroom, etc.) 

Clear messaging will be prepared and consistently communicated before re-entry, on the first day, during the first week, throughout the first month, and continuously throughout the year. Minimum monthly communication will provide information on the following topics:

  • Who to contact with questions, concerns, or suggestions. Empower people to make a positive difference and communicate the expectation for them to do so.
  • The facts as we currently know them (NYSDOH, CDC).
  • The importance of social distancing, monitoring symptoms of COVID-19 and when to stay home.
  • Set protocols for entrance (screening) and the review process for staff calling in sick. Constant reminders for staff to stay home if they feel sick.
  • Encourage and implement social distancing in bathrooms, break rooms, hallways, etc. Installing social distancing markers on the floors, etc.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene. Staff is allowed to use hand sanitizer, but hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is still more effective. Hand sanitizer works best on clean hands.
  • Encourage and practice proper respiratory etiquette (i.e., coughing or sneezing into your elbow if a tissue is not available).
  • Encouraging personal responsibility for yourself and your work area.
  • Educating the school community on district policies/procedures, including how to properly wear and dispose of a face mask/respirator.

Health and Safety

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), Warren County Public Health Department, and theNew York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place at Johnsburg Central School for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 Safety Coordinator at (Mr. Michael Markwica) or (Mrs. Heather Flanagan) at 518-251-2921.

To ensure employees and students comply with communication requirements, Johnsburg Central School will:

  • Post signage throughout the buildings to remind personnel to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning/disinfecting protocols. 
  • Establish a communication plan for employees, visitors, and parents/guardians with a consistent means to provide updated information. This will be accomplished through:
  • Website
  • Email
  • Social media
  • Print copy mailings
  • Voice and/or video messaging
  • Traditional media outlets
  • Maintain a continuous log of every person, including staff, workers, and visitors, who may have close contact with other individuals at the worksite, school, or area; excluding deliveries that are performed with appropriate PPE or through contactless means.
  • If a worker or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school district must immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations

Facility Entry 

  • Entry and egress in and out of all buildings will be limited.  If applicable, a single point entry and single point egress will be identified to minimize cross traffic for different routines throughout the day.  All entry to the buildings will occur through the main entrance once school has started, to a check-in point at the security station.  
  • A face covering, must be worn by all individuals, students, staff, and visitors on Johnsburg Central School property when social distancing cannot be maintained.  
  • Proper face-covering includes, but is not limited to, a surgical mask, cloth mask, balaclava, or bandana and must completely cover the individual's mouth and nose. 
  • A plastic face shield alone is not an acceptable face covering.  
  • All individuals may choose to utilize their own face covering, however, face coverings can and will be provided by Johnsburg Central School daily when needed. 

Daily Health Screening

  • Prior to entering Johnsburg Central School,  staff must complete a medical screening questionnaire.  This questionnaire is accessible through the Johnsburg Central School website atJohnsburgcsd.orgor a QR code is posted at all main entrances that provide a direct link to the survey using an iPhone or android phone.  Families will be encouraged to also go to this website and fill out the daily health assessment for their child(ren).  If they do not, one will be filled out in school by the school nurse or her representative.  
  • Staff should complete this screening prior to arriving at work via the electronic submission form.  
  • Although the filing of the health survey is preferred to be done online, paper copies of the questionnaire for visitors will be available at security stations.  
  • Staff will be required to monitor their own temperatures prior to arrival on campus and throughout the day.  Anyone whose symptoms response changes from a NO to YES during the day, must contact their supervisor immediately and await further instruction.  
  • Students whose parents have not filled out the health assessment will be screened for the temperature at arrival as well as any visitors. 
    • Parents are encouraged to monitor for temperatures and symptoms prior to sending their students on a bus.
    • Visitors will have their temperatures taken upon arrival.
  • All staff must use their electronic badge when entering the building, therefore, keeping an electronic record of entry.
  • Students will be signed in and accounted for as without fever/symptoms and able to attend school through attendance roll.
  • For multiple individuals entering the building simultaneously, they will be required to stand at the marked out locations on the floor, maintaining social distance until they can be signed in and screened.  
  • Corridors will be created (outside, but preferably covered) where individuals can enter the facility when in-person screening is utilized.
    • Multiple lines and entrances will be coordinated if needed to reduce crowding.
    • Markings (whether in tape or otherwise) will be placed on the ground or in the corridor to indicate six (6) foot lengths to provide for greater social distancing for individuals while in line.
  • Students will only be allowed to go to their individual desk area once in the building.  No lockers will be used during this time.
  • Should a person fail the medical screening, specific procedures should be followed.  Please reference the Suspect or Confirmed COVID-19 Case section for guidance.   

Social Distancing

  • All individuals on Johnsburg Central School premises must maintain social distancing and face-covering when social distancing cannot be maintained. 
  • Proper social distancing is defined as a six (6) foot separation between individuals.  When social distancing is practiced, such as in an isolated office, classrooms when instruction and eating are taking place, or large meeting spaces, the individuals may remove their face covering.  However, in common areas, such as breakrooms, hallways, or bathrooms, the face-covering must be worn.  
  • Ensure six (6) foot distance between personnel, unless safety or core function of the work activity requires a shorter distance. Any time personnel is less than six (6) feet apart from one another, personnel must wear acceptable face coverings.
  • Tightly confined spaces will be occupied by only one individual at a time unless all occupants are wearing face coverings. If an area is occupied by more than one person, keep occupancy under 50% of maximum capacity.
  • Social distance separation will be using tape or signs that denote six (6) feet of spacing in commonly used and other applicable areas on the site (e.g., clock in/out stations, health screening stations, reception areas).
  • In-person gatherings will be limited as much as possible and we will use tele- or video-conferencing whenever possible. Essential in-person gatherings, such as meetings, will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces with appropriate social distancing among participants. 
  • Designated areas for pick-ups and deliveries will be established, limiting contact to the extent possible. 

Personal Hygiene

Hand washing - Students and staff must practice good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Schools should plan time in the school day schedule to allow for hand hygiene. 

  • Hand hygiene includes:
    • Signage encouraging hand washing and correct techniques; 
    • Traditional hand washing (with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds), which is the preferred method.
    • Adequate facilities and supplies for hand washing including soap and water;
    • Use of paper towels dispensers where feasible;
    • Open trash cans for non-touch disposal;
    • Extra time in the schedule to encourage frequent hand washing.
  • Students and staff should wash hands or use hand sanitizer as follows
    • Upon entering the building and classrooms;
    • After sharing objects or surfaces;
    • Before and after snacks and lunch;
    • After using the bathroom;
    • After helping a student with toileting;
    • After sneezing, wiping, or blowing the nose or coughing into hands;
    • Anytime hands are visibly soiled;
    • When hand washing is not available use a hand sanitizer;
  • Hand Sanitizer - At times when hand washing is not available students and staff may use a hand sanitizer.  In order for the sanitizer to be effective, it must contain a minimum of 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.  It should be noted the sanitizers are flammable and students must be monitored and supervised when using these. Using hand sanitizers should include:
    • Signage should be placed near sanitizer dispensers indicating soiled hands should be washed with soap and water;
    • Placement of sanitizer dispensers should be located near entrances and throughout common areas.

Visitor and Vendor Practices

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


  • All visitors must be wearing a proper face-covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times when a six (6) foot social distance cannot be maintained.
  • All visitors check-in at Security for temperature screening and to fill out the COVID-19 CHECK-IN SCREENING which can be found by scanning the QR Code posted on all doors. The visitors must sign in with their identification through the Johnsburg Central school system for a visitor badge. This will indicate to all other Security locations that the visitor has been screened.
  • No visitor should enter a building unless necessary. All meetings should be held outside or via virtual meetings when possible.
  • All visitors must sign in and out at the main entrance of the building stating their destination and the receptionist will record for contact tracing. All visitors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a visitor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they are visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
  • At the end of each day, the receptionist will file the information for possible future contact tracing. 


  • All vendors must be wearing proper face-covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times when six (6) foot social distance cannot be maintained. (Vendors will also be encouraged to come before and after student hours.)
  • All vendors must report to the front window at the Main Entrance for temperature screening and to fill out the COVID-19 CHECK-IN SCREENING which can be found by scanning the QR Code posted on all doors. Vendors for transportation and kitchen will report to those areas where the Head of Transportation and the Kitchen Manager will do the health assessment and temperature check before entry.  At the end of each day, these people will send the main office a copy of this information so contact tracing can be followed if necessary.  
  • No vendor should enter a building unless necessary for the completion of their job. All meetings should be held outside or via virtual meetings when possible.
  • All vendors must sign in and out at the main entrance of the building stating their destination at that building for contact tracing. All vendors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a vendor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they’re visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
  • At the end of each day, the receptionist will file the information for possible future contact tracing. 

Johnsburg Central School will train all personnel on new protocols and frequently communicate safety guidelines. Training on the precautions listed below will be conducted either remotely or in person. Social distancing and face coverings will be required for all participants if training is conducted in person. Training material is designed to be easy to understand and available in the appropriate language and literacy level for all workers.

Johnsburg Central School will ensure all students are taught or trained how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper face-covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene. Additional training will be provided in:

  • Prevention of disease spreads by staying home when they are sick.
  • Proper respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoiding the use of communal objects. If communal objects must be used, provide information on proper disinfection procedures between use. Examples of communal objects include, but are not limited to, other workers’ phones, desks, offices, computers or other devices, other work tools, and equipment.
  • Provide employees and students with up-to-date education and training on COVID-19. 
  • Risk factors and protective behaviors (i.e., cough etiquette and care of PPE).

Training for Screeners

Johnsburg Central School will identify individuals familiar with CDC, OSHA protocols, and DOH guidelines in each building who will be a trained screener.  Screeners will wear appropriate employer-provided PPE, including at a minimum, a face covering, temperature screenings, and social distancing. If social distancing or barrier/partition controls cannot be implemented during screening, PPE should be used when within six (6) feet of a student.  

Training topics for all staff and substitutes 

  • Proper handwashing: proper hand hygiene. Promote frequent and thorough hand washing by providing employees, the school community, and visitors with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. Provide training on proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use
  • Proper cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Social Distancing
    • Provide training for faculty/staff on how to address close contact interactions with students as part of everyday job tasks.

  • Operating procedures (various by building)
    • Entrance into the building
    • Cleaning procedures
    • Sick child pick up
    • Staff who are sick or suspected to be sick

  • Proper cleaning techniques
    • Cleaning and disinfecting

  • Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

  • Hazard Communication – Right-To-Know
  • Exposure Control Plan – with a focus on Pandemic/COVID-19 
  • Personal Protective Equipment - PPE
    • Update Hazard Assessment and PPE Selection Worksheet for all identified employees
    • Proper type, use, and size
    • Cleaning and sanitizing of the face-covering (if applicable)
    • Provide training for staff and students on wearing, putting on, removing and discarding PPE, including in the context of their current and potential duties

  • Respirator Protection (N95 - required for identified employees per NYS)
  • Inclusive into your existing Respiratory Protection Program or can be a separate Respiratory Protection Program for medical staff only
  • Training provided for identified personnel only

Signs and Messages  

Signs will be posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs.

When Students Eat in Classrooms

  • Train teachers on food allergies, including symptoms of allergic reactions to food.
  • Train all non-food service staff on any meal service-related activities they will be responsible for.

Space Design and Capacities

General Office Area

  • All offices will be limited to 50% of the rated occupancy for space.  Offices must normally maintain a minimum of 150 sq. ft. per individual.  
  • Where applicable all offices and small spaces will be limited to one (1) individual at a time.  
  • In a multiple occupant office, occupancy will be reduced to 50% normal load in addition to maintaining at least 6ft of separation between individuals. 
  • Additional protective barriers will be used.
  • Workstations will be reconfigured so that employees do not face each other, or establish partitions if facing each other cannot be avoided. 
  • Face coverings should be worn in these multiple-use office settings.  
  • Additional breaks may be allotted to allow individuals time to leave the space to remove their masks.  The specific determination of these conditions will be determined by the individual’s program supervisor.  
  • Where possible Johnsburg Central School will establish additional shifts to reduce the number of employees in the worksite at one time
  • Will stagger shift start and end times greater than normal when possible (while still ensuring safe operations), to eliminate employees from congregating during the shift change-over, and from overcrowding at entrances and exits.
  • Will reduce tasks requiring large amounts of people to be in one area.
  • Employees will be encouraged to use virtual meeting tools, including phone and virtual teleconference, in lieu of in-person meetings, whenever possible.
  • If in-person meetings are essential, consider limiting the number of people depending on local, state, and federal guidelines.

Conference Rooms

  • Will limit in-person meetings (refer to NYS guidance), if virtual meetings are not feasible.
  • If meetings are to occur in person, they will be conducted in a quick manner.
  • Social distancing among participants will be required.
  • Lingering and socializing before and after meetings should be discouraged.

Break Rooms and Lunch Rooms

  • Breakroom use is discontinued if a minimum of 6 ft. separation cannot be maintained when consuming food or drink. 
  • Staff is advised to take their lunch and breaks in their private offices, designated space, or classrooms.  
  • Staggered break schedules may be utilized to assist with separation concerns.  
  • If staff wish to take breaks together they must do such in a large space or outside, where at minimum 6ft. of separation can occur.  
  • Amenities that are handled with high contact frequency, such as water coolers, coffee makers, and bulk snacks will be replaced with alternatives where possible.
  • Communal meals will not be provided to employees, and food will not be available in common areas where employees may congregate.

Copier Rooms/Areas

  • Congregating in copier rooms/areas is discouraged. 
  • Cleaning supplies will be provided at copier stations.
  • Staff is encouraged to wipe down touch surfaces post and prior use. 


  • One person in an elevator at a time.
  • Personnel must wear acceptable face coverings when in common use areas.
  • Elevators will be frequently disinfected. 


  • Individuals will have to wear face coverings when using the restroom, and where appropriate it will be limited to one person at a time.
  • When appropriate, individuals must knock before entering a bathroom to ensure there is no other occupant present.  
  • In special circumstances where a student must be assisted in the use of the lavatory, the adult present must be wearing all applicable personal protective equipment including a face covering, and when medically applicable, the student will be wearing a proper face covering as well. 
  • Signage will be posted on entry indicating one person at a time.
  • Automatic hand dryer use will be discontinued and replaced with touchless paper towel dispensers.


  • Where a single flow is not applicable, bi-direction traffic will be permitted.  
  • The directional flow will be identified by indications on the floor/stairs 
  • Adequate distancing will be obtained between all individuals by taped off lanes on the corridor floors/ stair treads. 
  • All individuals must also allow for adequate space when traveling in the same direction.


  • Occupancy in each classroom will be specific and determined based on the overall square footage of the space.  
  • Each student, teacher, and support staff will receive not less than 6 ft. of separation from others.
  • Additional considerations will be taken to account for space utilized for classrooms and teaching material.  
  • Students, teachers, and support staff will be required to wear proper face-covering other than when instruction/eating is going on and social distancing can be accomplished. 
  • Where possible special teachers and PPS staff will travel to the classroom to provide instruction.
  • Restrict items in the classroom to that of obvious use.  
    • Remove any unnecessary furniture.
    • Remove any soft surfaces that are difficult to disinfect such as:
      • Area Rugs 
      • Soft fabric chairs
      • Toys

Nurse Stations

  • All students and staff are required to wear appropriate face coverings.
    • Nurses will use N95 masks when dealing  with suspected COVID-19
    • Nurses must receive proper training on N95 masks prior to use.
  • Where applicable, nurse stations have been reconfigured to:
    • Maintain social distancing of no less than 6ft. 
    • Create “sick” and “well” zones. 
      • Students that receive daily medication should be treated separately from students presenting with symptoms of illness. 
      • Nebulizer treatments should be conducted in a separate isolated space with adequate fresh air circulation. 
    • The physical separation will be achieved by utilizing:
      • Individual exam rooms
      • Barriers where appropriate
      • Retractable dividing curtain walls
  • Isolation Room/s
    • Individuals presenting with symptoms representative of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated to reduce the risk of transmission. 
    • A separate room will be utilized where applicable.

Isolation Rooms

  • Separate, independent room/s with a door in close proximity to the exterior will be utilized for quarantining individuals who present with symptoms representative of COVID-19.  
  • Where excess space is not available. Nurse stations will be equipped with dividing curtains allowing for both a physical divide and at minimum 6ft of separation. 
  • Johnsburg Central School will use the conference room as you enter the school at the main entrance as an isolation room.  

Front Entrance/ Security Vestibule 

  • Where a multi- entrance design is used, additional staff will be assigned.
  • They will serve as the primary location for accounting for all individuals entering and exiting the building.  
  • Floor decals have been installed to indicate where visitors shall stand to maintain social distance.   
  • Frequently touched materials such as magazines have been removed as well as the bench for visitors. 

Computer Labs


  • The use of shared space and equipment use will be limited where feasible. 
  • Blocks of computers will be sectioned off to ensure social distancing is maintained. 
  • Cleaning and disinfection of computer labs and keyboard will be frequent
  • Keyboards should be wiped and disinfected before and after each use. 
  • Students should be instructed to wash hands prior to and after touching the keyboards along with other frequently touched surfaces.


Library Spaces

  • Remove all soft covered surfaces that cannot be properly cleaned and disinfected.
    • Bean bag chairs
    • Upholstered couches or chairs
    • Area rugs
  • Reconfigure space to ensure social distancing.  The library area will have very little daily use.  Elementary Librarian will travel to individual classrooms. 
    • Tables will be limited to one individual at a time where applicable.
    • Desks should be arranged so as to not face each other. 
  • Borrowing of materials such as books may need to be discontinued if adequate disinfection cannot be achieved.

Engineering Controls

  • Portable hand wash stations will be installed in the main entrances of the building.  
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in each entry, all corridors, and each classroom.
  • Bathrooms 
    • Limited to one occupant at a time when possible. 
    • Automatic hand dryer use will be discontinued.
    • Entry doors to bathrooms will be left open where applicable to reduce the need to handle 
  • Vestibules/Reception Areas
    • As required by New York State Code a potable water supply (water fountains) will be provided per 150 occupants, but not less than one source per floor.  
    • To reduce cross-contamination the bubbler/drink spout has been removed or disabled.
    • Automatic/touchless bottle filling equipment is installed in place of the drinking spout.  
    • Additional bottle filler stations will be installed where necessary.  
    • These appliances will be routinely cleaned and disinfected as described in the Cleaning and Disinfection Section.
  • Floor Decals
    • All entrances or areas of static wait have floor signage installed allotting for a minimum of six(6) feet of separation between all individuals
    • All Corridor floors and Stairway treading have been fitted with stripping to indicate directional traffic flow and social distancing.
  • Corridor doors will all be affixed open using electromagnetic hold-open devices to minimize the need to touch doors.  
  • Temperature Screening Equipment 
  • Exterior pavilion use  


Johnsburg Central School will ensure sufficient ventilation and fresh air to all spaces of occupancy by means of:

  • Modifications to the Building Management Systems to allow fresh air dampers to introduce more outside air. 
  • Air handling systems have been inspected for function with higher MERV rated filters.
    • Where applicable filters will be exchanged for MERV rating ranging from 11-13.
  • Spaces where fresh air is limited due to original building systems, fresh air will be introduced through open windows and doors.  
    • Options for replacement and modification to existing systems will be explored.
    • Engineers will design new systems capable of increased fresh air and filtration.  
  • Fan motors speeds will be increased where applicable to ensure volume and flow of 15cfm minimum.  
  • More frequent maintenance and inspection of the systems will occur to mitigate extra strain on systems.
  • Filter replacement schedules will be more frequent. 

Cleaning and Disinfection

The Johnsburg Central School will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, as applicable. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that includes the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include

  • Bathrooms
  • Locker rooms, (will not be used until sports are resumed) 
  • Health offices, isolation rooms
  • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
  • Breakrooms
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens
  • Computer labs
  •  Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus Garage
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Libraries
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Playgrounds (equipment will not be used, but the outside area may be used.) 
  • Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)

Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.

The district will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:

  • For handwashing: soap, running warm 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.

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 should 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 should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on the frequency of use.  A schedule will be created by the Head of Buildings and Grounds as well as daily logs kept. 

For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families, and staff members.

Disinfectants must be products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and be appropriate for the surface.

Suspect or Confirmed COVID Cases

  • Emergency Response - Students and staff with symptoms of illness must be sent to the health office. A school nurse (Registered Professional Nurse, RN) is available to assess individuals as 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. Proper PPE will be required anytime a nurse may be in contact with a potential COVID-19 patient
  •  Isolation - Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian will be isolated in a room (the conference room next to the main entrance)  or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may also be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least 6 feet. If they cannot be isolated in a separate room from others, facemasks (e.g., cloth or surgical mask) will be provided to the student if the ill person can tolerate wearing it and does not have difficulty breathing, to prevent the possible transmission of the virus to others while waiting for transportation home. Students should be escorted from the isolation area to the parent/guardian.   The parent or guardian will be instructed to call their health care provider, or if they do not have a health care provider, to follow up with a local clinic or urgent care center; Other considerations include:
    • Administration will contact Warren County Public Health for additional instructions and guidance.   
    • Closing off areas used by a sick person and not using these areas until after cleaning and disinfection has occurred;
    • Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area
    • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, 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 COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection. 
  • Notification - the NYS and local health departments will be notified immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual in school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Contact Tracing 

Public Health Officials assume the task of contact tracing, once notified.

To ensure the school district and its employees comply with contact tracing and disinfection requirements, the Johnsburg Central School District will do the following: 

  • Have a plan for cleaning, disinfection, and notifying Public Health, in the event of a positive case.  In the case of an employee testing positive for COVID-19, CDC guidelines will be followed regarding cleaning and disinfecting your building or facility if someone is sick.
  • Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and copier machines.
  • Vacuum the space if needed. Use a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, if available.
  • Consider temporarily turning off room fans and the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
  • Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.

Return to School after Illness

The Johnsburg Central School 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 COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:

  1.       Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation/ Warren County Public Health have agreed that it is safe for them to return. 
  2.       Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
  3.       Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation


The district will refer to DOH’s“Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 in addition to working with the Warren County Public Health Department. 

The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed 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 Warren County Public Health Department.

Closure Considerations

When a person has been identified (confirmed) or suspected to be COVID-19 positive; the process In Johnsburg Central School could include:


  • Having school administrators collaborate and coordinate with the Warren County Public Health Department to make school closure and large event cancellation decisions.


  • Establish a plan to close schools again for the physical attendance of students, if necessary, based on public health guidance and in coordination with the local DOH. Establishing a decision-making tree at the district level.
  • Develop a plan for continuity of education, medical and social services, and meal programs and establish alternate mechanisms for these to continue.
  • Implement as needed short-term closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been in a school building. If this happens, the CDC recommends the following procedures:
    • Closing off areas used by the ill person(s) and locking off area(s), signage can also be used to ensure no one enters the area. If possible, wait 24 hours before you clean and disinfect. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, wait as long as possible. Do not use the area(s) until cleaning and disinfection have taken place.
    • Opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
    • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas (e.g., offices, bathrooms, and common areas) used by the ill person(s), focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.
    • Communicating as soon as possible with staff, parents, and students.
  • Using DOH guidance/procedures for when someone tests positive.
    • In consultation with the local DOH, a school official may consider whether school closure is warranted and a period of time (prior to re-opening) based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local DOH. 
    • In accordance with the guidance for quarantine at home after close contact, the classroom or office where the COVID-19-positive individual was based will typically need to close temporarily as students or staff quarantine. 
    • Additional close contacts at school outside of a classroom should also quarantine at home.
  • Closing of schools could be a regional decision.
    • 7 metrics - NYS Dashboard 
      • Schools will reopen if a region is in Phase IV and the daily infection rate remains below 5% using a 14-day average
      • Schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9% using a 7-day average after August 1, 2020
  • Thresholds will be determined on a case-by-case basis dependent on the numbers (school closures may be a response).
  • Buildings may consider closing if required cleaning products (bleach and water can be used as a cleaning product) and PPE are not available


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

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

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

Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible.   Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied.

The following actions will be taken as needed:

  • Drinking-Water Facilities: Reduce the number of drinking fountains available, in order to facilitate frequent cleaning. However, drinking fountains are a code required plumbing fixture. 
  • Alterations to the configuration of existing classrooms or spaces.
  • The minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building is established in the building code.
  •  Maintain adequate, Code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed.

Emergency Response Protocols & Drills 

The 2020-2021 school year may include hybrid models of the traditional school day. Emergency response drills, including evacuation and lockdown drills, may be spread across the different student populations dependent on the day each population is present the day the drills are scheduled.

Emergency Response Protocols

  • Shelter-In-Place
  • Hold-In-Place
  • Evacuation 
  • Lockout
  • Lockdown


Areas will be identified in each school that will be used for the Shelter-in-Place along with areas that cannot be used for due to certain types of environmental hazards (i.e.: high winds, tornado, etc.). Shelter-In-Place protocols will be the same with the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Shelter-In-Place
  • Use of face coverings throughout the event may be considered
  • If 6 feet between staff and students cannot be achieved, face coverings should be worn at all times during the event
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Listen for updates and respond accordingly


Hold-In-Place protocols will be the same the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Hold-In-Place
  • Use of face coverings throughout the event may be considered
  • If 6 feet between people cannot be achieved, face coverings should be worn at all times during the event
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Listen for updates and respond accordingly


Evacuation protocols will be routinely the same with some minor adjustments:

  • Identify areas outside of the building in advance that will allow 6 feet of separation of students and staff. Verify that students and staff will not impede emergency responders
  • In an effort to get all staff and students out of the building as quickly and efficiently as possible, face coverings should be worn at all times
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Identify, in advance, who will be holding the door to get out of the building, therefore reducing the number of people touching the door hardware when leaving the building. Personnel that will be conducting this task may be assigned to holding the door for one or more classrooms or until confirmation that everyone has vacated the building
  • As written in the established protocols, bring all necessary items needed and consider adding the following items: extra face coverings, in the event a face-covering becomes unusable and hand sanitizer
  • If no extra face coverings are available, instruct anyone that does not have a face covering to use their shirt to cover their nose and mouth during the event


Lockout protocols will be the same, besides maintaining six (6) feet of space between students and staff in the area.


During a Lockdown, there will be a violation of the six (6) foot recommendation between people. In order to protect life safety, lockdown protocols will be mostly the same process as they have been conducted in the past.

  • Evaluate, in advance, if there is room to social distance without being in the line of sight 
  • Face coverings should be worn during the event at all times
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Instruct anyone that does not have a face covering to use their shirt to cover their nose and mouth during the event

Child Nutrition

Johnsburg Central School will follow SFA policies when communicating about school meal services, eligibility, options, and changes in operations.  All meals provided during the public health emergency will be available at no cost to all children. All communications will be provided through a variety of communication methods including website, social media, emails, robocalls, newsletters, and regular mail and translated into the languages spoken by families. 

Johnsburg Central School has identified Karen Moore, cafeteria manager, as the contact person to receive and respond to communications from families and to school staff.

School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely.

Meals Onsite

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

Meals will not be served in the cafeteria. Meals will be served in alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or be handed out at the end of the school day.

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

Breakfast will be provided to all students in their classrooms.  Lunch will be provided to grades pre-k through 6 in their classrooms, and the high school students will be given a bag lunch at the end of the day to eat at home.

Students will wash their hands before and after meals. 

Personnel other than the cafeteria staff will be trained on food allergies.  The school nurse will make sure appropriate teachers know if a student within their classroom has allergies. 

Meals offsite/remote

Meals will be provided to students who are learning remotely.  They will be delivered at the end of the school day (12:30 pm).  Both the current day’s lunch and the next day’s breakfast will be delivered at the same time.


Johnsburg Central School will conduct transportation activities that are consistent with state-issued public transit guidance and NYSED School Reopening guidelines. Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated) and should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable. 

Students who are able will be required to wear masks and social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, students whose physical or mental health would be impaired are not required to wear a face-covering but must be appropriately socially distanced. Members of the same household may be seated within 6 feet of each other. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.

All buses that are used every day by the district will be cleaned/disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) 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 drivers, monitors, and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on school buses. 

Wheelchair school buses will configure wheelchair placement to ensure social distancing of 6 feet.

All students are entitled to transportation by the district to the extent required by law. Transportation departments do not have the ability or the right to deny transportation for children who are in foster care, homeless, or attend private or charter schools. Parents who may have missed the due date to request out of district transportation due to a reasonable excuse may file a 310 appeal with the Commissioner of Education.

Cleaning and Disinfecting  

Refer to the cleaning standard operating procedures guidance for further information.

    • Buses and other transportation vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected daily (focus on high touch areas) and in between runs if scheduled for multiple routes. At the end of the day clean and disinfect the entire bus


  • Daily Cleaning
  • All trash removed
  • Floors swept and dust mopped
  • Walls and windows cleaned 
  • High Touch Surfaces
  • Bus seats and seatbacks
  • Seat belts 
  • Door handles, handrails
  • Driver operator area 


  • Cleaning and disinfecting products approved by the EPA will be used according to instructions. 
  • Eating and drinking will be prohibited on the bus
  • Buses will be inspected to ensure cleaning/disinfecting protocols are followed on district-owned and contracted buses 
  • All cleanings/inspections will be documented (via trackable log)

Bus protocols for a reported case of COVID -19 on a school bus 

Mr. Fred Morse will be notified, the district will then notify building administration and a plan will be implemented to contact parents of students on that bus.

The bus will be taken out of service for 24 hours before the bus can be used again after a report of COVID-19. The bus will be disinfected following CDC guidelines.

Students on Transportation 

  • As was outlined in the Health and Safety section of this guidance, all parents/guardians will be requested  to ensure their child/children are not experiencing any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and do not have a fever of 100 degrees or more prior to them boarding their method of transportation to school; 
  • Students must wear a mask on a school bus if they are physically able. 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 must social distance (six (6)  feet separation) on the bus; 
  • Students who do not have a mask can NOT be denied transportation; 
  • Students who do not have masks must be provided one by the district; 
  • Students with a disability that would prevent them from wearing a mask will NOT  be compelled to do so or denied transportation.  They will be made to sit at least six feet apart from any other student or staff.

Training (Office Personnel, Drivers, Mechanics, Aides) 

  • Hazard Communication/Right-To-Know (annual)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Exposure Control/Bloodborne Pathogen (BBP)
  • COVID Awareness
  • New cleaning Protocols (buses, transportation center)
  • Handwashing
  • Face Covering (sizing, use, wear & care)
  • Personal Health and Hygiene
  • Special working conditions with face coverings (strenuous activity)

Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Disposable gloves
  • Face Covering/Mask
  • Face Shield (if applicable)

Transportation Communication

  • Johnsburg Central School will emphasize to parents and students prior to reopening schools that the District has thoroughly disinfected all buses and student transportation vehicles 
  • Johnsburg Central School will communicate with parents and students that student transportation vehicles are included in the district’s COVID-19 plans and what part students and parents will play in ensuring safety and minimizing infection while utilizing District transportation services
  • Advise parents not to send their children to school or board the bus if sick or with an elevated temperature
  • Survey parents regarding transportation including an “opt-out” option
  • Remind students/parents/guardians that social distancing requirements extend to the bus stop
  • Communicate with administration multiple routing scenarios for different instructional scheduling options (split session, alternating days, hybrid option)

Density Reduction, Social Distancing, Bus Capacity

  • CDC guidelines suggest creating distance between children on the school bus when possible. 
  • Seat one child per seat and each kid will sit next to the window. All students will be wearing masks. 
  • Consider these restrictions when planning transportation routes
  • Allow siblings or those that live in the same household to sit together
  • Place floor decals or tape to indicate where students should sit and to mark six (6) foot distances in aisles
  • Do not seat students directly behind the driver
  • Provide additional adult supervision (monitors) on buses to manage social distancing for the first 2 weeks to help set guidelines and rules. 
  • Students shall wear face masks (if required) while in transit when social distancing is not possible


  • The Johnsburg Central School  District has developed multiple routing scenarios for administration to analyze different instructional scheduling options 
  • Early dismissal 
  • Limit student movement between bus routes 
  • Discontinue allowing students to ride different buses on different days of the week.
  • Mirror AM and PM routes, so bus riders are the same group each day 

Loading/Unloading & Pickup/Drop-off


  • Students shall be loaded in sequential route order. The first student on the bus sits in the back when going to school, the last student off sits in the back when going home from school 
  • Dismissal times will be staggered to best suit building needs and to promote social distancing 
  • Adjustments will be made:
  • For unloading and entry, and loading and departure 
  • Route timing which will be affected by delayed loading/unloading processes
  • Arrival and departure activities shall be supervised to ensure social distancing


  • Will add or modify bus routes to reduce load levels on buses 

Transporting to BOCES

  • Johnsburg Central School will be transporting to BOCES and will follow similar protocols as previously described 
  • Johnsburg Central School will keep a log of attendees on the trip in both directions from the BOCES building. Upon request, schools may need to supply the log of passengers in addition to cleaning logs in the event BOCES must assist in contact tracing due to exposures either at the BOCES buildings or during transportation

Social-Emotional Well-Being  

In planning for our re-entry in September, the District has formed Taskforce teams to examine the guidance provided by the Department of Health and NYSED for our re-entry in the Fall.  Our work is grounded in our beliefs the most equitable opportunities for educational success relies upon the comprehensive support for students and families provided in our schools with our professionals and the systems of support we have built. These supports include academics as well as the social and emotional well-being of our students. We are committed to prioritizing social-emotional well-being - not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social, and emotional space to access rigorous academic content with confidence. In support of this belief, a Social-Emotional Learning team was created consisting of certified school counselors, licensed mental health professionals, community members, and school administrators (Johnsburg Central School “Student Success Team”). This task force team was created to develop a cohesive and strategic plan, regardless of the re-entry phase,  to support students and staff upon for the 2020-2021 school year; this includes a means to identify and actively support student and staff well-being and mental health concerns through a range of pre-determined tactics to be employed by those dealing with difficult situations. This plan will focus specifically on how to best support students and staff in a blended learning model scenario, which includes a mix of both in-person and virtual classroom instruction.  This plan includes considerations for teams to rapidly transition between face-to-face and continuous remote learning, which may be required based on the pandemic. 

Research shows the importance of mental and emotional well-being for students and staff, which has both psychological and ultimately academic outcomes.  We know, after this prolonged closure, many of our students and staff will require social-emotional support to help them re-engage and re-enter work and school. As a District, our commitment is to create emotionally and physically safe, supportive, and engaging learning environments promoting all students’ social and emotional well-being and development. The pandemic has elevated the role of leaders in creating conditions helping students practice empathy, create social bonds across distance, and adapt to new learning experiences. Counselors, school-based health programs, and wrap-around supports will play an extremely important role in the adjustment period when buildings reopen and access to school counselors and school-based health programs will be invaluable supports to our students. Before school resumes, school administrators, teachers, and mental health practitioners (school counselors, school psychologists, and/or school social workers) should meet to develop a list of positive attributes that the school already has in place to help with the transition back to school.  Included in this list will be both school and community-based organizations to aid in the well being of our school community.  In addition, it will be critical to determine students who might be at risk for needing mental health support. School counselors and administrators will be equipped with the tools and information needed to see each child through a social-emotional lens.  We remain committed to supporting all students and maintain our whole child commitment as well as equipping all staff to connect, heal, and build capacity to support our students.  Supports will include resources from Northern Rivers services including counseling and psychiatric evaluation, the “Student Success Team”, school psychologist, and two school counselors already in place at Johnsburg Central School. Additionally, all Johnsburg Central School employees have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which offers many free services including face-to-face and virtual counseling. We are committed to developing/making accessible family/caregiver-appropriate social and emotional learning (SEL) content to be used during all phases of our re-entry. 

Transitions are important every year, and they will be even more important this fall returning from continuous remote learning to in-person instruction in buildings or a phased-in approach to in-person instruction. Johnsburg will support transitions in a culturally responsive manner and engage students, families, and communities in the process of identifying needs and supports. Transitions take many forms and include returning to school in the fall, moving from one grade band to another, or dealing with the varying emotional needs as a result of the health pandemic.

The following considerations guided our building level planning:

Emotional reactions to coming out of quarantine may include 

  • Mixed emotions, including relief after quarantine 
  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones 
  • Stress from the experience of monitoring yourself or being monitored by others for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 
  • Sadness, anger, or frustration because friends or loved ones have unfounded fears of contracting the disease from contact with you, even though you have been determined not to be contagious 
  • Guilt about not being able to perform normal work or parenting duties during the quarantine 
  • Other emotional or mental health changes 

Addressing Social-Emotional Health

  • Establish/sustain a culture that supports and emphasizes mental health services available for faculty, staff, students, and families
  • Explore the use of Restorative Practices (use of healing/restorative circles for both staff and students)
  • Assist inadequate training for staff/faculty as requested to assist them in understanding:
    • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies; self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making 
    • The warning signs for quarantine related mental health needs
    • How to access crisis support and other mental health services

What Mental Health Professionals can do in schools

  • Educate staff, parents, and students on symptoms of mental health needs and how to obtain assistance
  • Promote social-emotional learning competency and build resilience
  • Help ensure a positive, safe school environment 
  • Teach and reinforce positive behaviors and decision-making
  • Encourage good physical health
  • Help ensure access to school-based mental health supports; facilitate the expansion of school-based mental health supports

School Schedules 


  • Students will get to school (either by parent drop off or school transportation) at 7:45 am. 

  • Students will be allowed into the school (7:45) and will be directed to their “cohort” classroom.  Lockers will not be used. 

  • Attendance will be taken, and breakfast will be served to the students in the classroom. 

  • Classes will start between as close to 8 am as possible.

  • Elementary classes will not move throughout the day, but teachers will make sure that movement is part of the schedule.  Some activities may include stretches beside the desk, taking walks outside, and using pods for individual play outside.  Special teachers (Art, Music, PE, and Library will come to the classroom.)  Lunch will be provided in the classroom.   Students will leave the classroom for related/special education services when they can not be provided within the classroom.  

  • 7th through 12th grade will be in their classrooms by cohorts.  They will have their core subjects taught by teachers coming into their classrooms.  Art, Music, PE, and Library will come to the classroom. Students will leave the classroom for related/special education services when they can not be provided within the classroom.  

  • All students will be dismissed at 12:30.

  • 7th through 12th grade will be given a bagged lunch either prior to being picked up by their parents or dropped off by the bus. 

  • Electives for 9th through 12th grades will be offered remotely from 1:30-2:45.  

Virtual Learning

  • Elementary students will be assessed to see if they can work remotely with their class as the in-school students do their morning work.  If they can not, teachers will instruct their students by remote learning in the afternoon from 1:30 to 2:45.

  • 7th through 12th-grade students will follow the same schedule as their cohorts from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.  They will also have the opportunity to join the electives at 1:30 pm.  If they can not join in a class due to the unavailability of the internet (Example: PE class is outside) the teacher will contact them at a separate time. 

  • Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students that chose to learn remotely.  We will deliver them at the same time we bring students home at 12:30 pm.  We will have lunch and the next day's breakfast in the bag delivered.

Attendance, Attendance Reporting, and Chronic Absenteeism

Attendance and Attendance Reporting

All schools in the Johnsburg Central School District will take daily attendance whether school opens in September in-person, hybrid, or remote.  Attendance policies and procedures will be communicated with families and students prior to the start of the school year or if the instructional model changes during the year.  Communication will take the form of building-level parent letters/newsletters, robocalls, emails, text messaging, and social media.  Teachers will record daily attendance in School Tool, our student management system based on the required daily scheduled student contact and engagement.  Daily reports will be generated to identify students who are absent and/or chronically absent.  Contact with the families will be made daily to determine reasons for absence and needs or barriers the student may have to participate in daily lessons.

Chronic Absenteeism

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing chronic absenteeism, Johnsburg Central School is committed to providing interventions to prevent and address health-related and mental health chronic absenteeism.  We recognize that many factors will influence student attendance, and maybe greatly impacted by the instructional models provided; in-person, hybrid, and remote.

The Johnsburg Central School District addresses chronic absenteeism as follows.  

  1. Nurture a culture of attendance
  • Communicate clearly to families and students what the attendance policy is and expectations for participating based on the model of instruction.
  • Explain the importance of attendance in the entire school community.
  • Track daily attendance, tardies, and student engagement in one central, secure location with a tool that helps you can quickly see how these data points impact student behavior.
  1. Early Identification and Intervention
  • Johnsburg Central School regularly monitors attendance data and communicates with parents about issues as they arise.
  • Use data to identify which students are at risk, so you can intervene before isolated absences become chronic absenteeism.
  • Establish intervention plans; parent phone calls, home visits, counseling, instructional modifications, engage community partners, etc. 
  1. Create a more positive school culture and a focus on engaging instruction
  • Evaluate and address your students’ engagement in learning 
  • Provide teachers and school leaders with multiple levels of support to help students stay more engaged and act positively.
  • Help students achieve positive social and emotional character development while reinforcing the behaviors that make up your ideal school culture.
  • Use goal-based incentives and rewards to motivate attendance and positive student behaviors were age-appropriate.

Technology and Connectivity  

Access to technology is essential for the successful roll-out of this plan. Johnsburg Central School has been committed to ongoing planning and implementation of district technologies to ensure equitable access for staff and students. The team has initiated plans that are mindful of student home access to reliable internet and computers.

  1. The Johnsburg Central School District recently gathered data and asked teachers and families to identify their level of access to devices and high-speed broadband from their residence. Respondents indicated that they had adequate service, semi-adequate service, or no service at all.   The district will continue to assess the ongoing needs of our families for technology and connectivity (survey, interviews, school outreach, etc.) In the event, students and/or teachers do not have access, the district will take the necessary steps to meet their needs where plausible. (Ex: provide students with hard copies of material needed, and make phone contact.)
  2. Conduct and/or maintain an inventory of equipment and other assets. 
    1. Identify which students, families, and staff have district assets in their possession.
  3. Procure, manage and/or maintain hardware, software, licenses, learning management systems, etc. to support and improve virtual instruction and student engagement. 
  4. Identify professional learning needs for teachers and continue to support their development of skills and pedagogy in a virtual learning environment.
  5. Arrange a “Helpdesk” system for parents/students/teachers to report technical issues that might be experienced during remote learning. Communicate protocols to these stakeholders to inform them in advance of how to gain assistance in such cases.

Johnsburg Central School will provide all students with access to learning materials and resources in multiple formats, wherever possible. Further, the district will support teachers through professional development and coaching on pedagogical methods that enable students to participate in multiple ways, so that they can demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended models through the use of both synchronous (i.e. Google Meet or other web conferencing tool) and asynchronous technologies (i.e. Google Classroom or other LMS). In the event students do not have sufficient access to devices and/or high-speed internet, the district will provide the students with alternate methods to access materials and instruction, i.e. pick up materials at school, drop off materials to students’ homes, etc. The district will also schedule opportunities to connect with families to educate them on how to use the technologies and connect to the instructional activities. 

Teaching and Learning

In an effort to assure high-quality teaching and learning continuity of learning plan has been developed for the 2020-21 school year. This plan considers and plans for teaching and learning in-person, remotely, and through hybrid models of instruction.   Our plan assures that Instruction is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards and assures equity as well as quality for all learners.

Equity is at the heart of all school instructional decisions.  All instruction in our district will be designed so that whether it is delivered in-person, remotely, or through a hybrid model due to a local or state school closure, there are clear,  comprehensive, and accessible learning opportunities for all students. Such opportunities will be aligned with state standards.  Our teaching and instructional plan outline routine, scheduled times for students to interact and seek feedback and support from their teachers.  Our plan is centered on Instruction and academic programming that includes regular and substantive interaction with an appropriately certified teacher regardless of the delivery method (e.g., in-person, remote or hybrid). Our teaching and learning plan includes 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, 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) in an effort to assure learning for all. 

The school calendar typically includes one or more staff-only days before students arrive at school. Acknowledging the challenges that our teachers and staff have faced this spring delivering remote instruction under stressful circumstances, the district will focus these in-service days on providing support to staff in the areas of social-emotional health and technology integration.

As we enter the new school year, teachers will be encouraged to spend time building relationships, supporting students with the transition back to school, and teaching social distancing etiquette at developmentally appropriate levels.  

When a remote or hybrid learning model is necessary, certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. This includes, but is not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs.

Assessing student learning gaps or areas of need will be critical. Formative assessment before a unit of instruction to assess student understanding of pre-requisite skills will be common practice. 

Acknowledging that the typical content in a given grade level or course may need to be adjusted, the content will be prioritized to ensure that students receive instruction for the prioritized learning standards, key understandings, and skills necessary for students’ success in a future study. 

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content.

For information relating to teaching and learning in BOCES special education and Career and Technical Education programs, please see the BOCES website,

In-person Instruction

Upon reopening, the number of students in each of our classrooms will adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart.

Accommodating a six-foot radius around students will necessitate the identification of additional rooms and common-area spaces that can be converted into classrooms.

All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

Our schools will minimize the movement of students. This means having students eat lunch in their classroom instead of the cafeteria and eliminating assemblies, field trips, and other large-group activities. Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) will be pushed into the classroom.  Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity.

To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students.

Remote/Hybrid Instruction

Given the possibility that communities may experience spikes in COVID-19 cases at any point during the school year, which may prompt short or long-term school closures, our district has developed a hybrid/blended learning model and schedule that can continue as is in a fully remote environment.

Instruction will not only focus on “core” subject areas to the exclusion of elective courses. Consideration has been given to prioritizing hands-on and lab-based activities while students are onsite in school buildings. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

As noted previously, student schedules will remain the same whether the instruction is in person or remote so that students do not encounter conflicts wherein synchronous lessons for different subjects are offered simultaneously.

Remote learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction, with teachers finding ways to provide live instruction and lessons to students.

To ensure high-quality remote learning experiences, we will standardize the use of a single online learning platform, to the extent possible, and develop a common, coordinated set of guidelines for teachers to follow when using the platform with students.

Grading practices will follow a standards-based framework designed to provide direct feedback regarding students’ mastery of course content. We will use the same method of grading that the district has used for the last several years.  Parents are comfortable with this system and can follow it easily.  The in-person and remote system will be the same.  

Elementary students will be assessed to see if they can work remotely with their class as the in-school students do their morning work.  If they can not, teachers will instruct their students by remote learning in the afternoon from 1:30 to 2:45. Teachers will connect daily with students through Google Classroom, Google Meet, email, or phone calls.

The 7th through 12th-grade students will follow the same schedule as their cohorts from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.  They will also have the opportunity to join the electives at 1:30 pm.  If they can not join in a class due to the unavailability of the internet (Example: PE class is outside) the teacher will contact them at a separate time.  Teachers will connect daily with students through Google Classroom, Google Meet, email, or phone calls.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

While planning for CTE instruction, whether in-person, remote, or hybrid models, Johnsburg Central School has collaborated with Washington, Saratoga, Hamilton, Warren, Essex (WSHWE) BOCES to ensure high school instructional plans are aligned.  WSWHE BOCES has developed models that ensure NYS learning Standards, applicable industry certification requirements, clinical and work-based learning hours have been met.  In addition, their plans follow all NYS/DOH health and safety guidelines and social distancing. 

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities 

Interscholastic Athletics

As a result of the COVID19 pandemic, districts have delayed the Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21.  With NYS approval for the opening of schools in September and with appropriate social distancing, PPE usage, and cleaning and disinfection of equipment, the following will be implemented:

  • Cancel NYS Fall Regional and State Championship events 
  • Waive seven-day practice rule to enable greater opportunities for local    


  • Maintain current practice requirements 
  • Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests 
  • Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season 

conditioning workouts.

If the Fall sports season is interrupted or impacted by the COVID-19 crisis (i.e. state official guidance, school closings, cancelation of high-risk sports, etc.) then a condensed season plan will be implemented. This plan takes into consideration the competitive and interactive aspects of each sport and would include the following, with the stipulated dates being tentative. 

  • Season I (Winter Sports) 
    • Dates: Jan. 4-Mar. 13 (Week 27-36) 10 Weeks 
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: basketball (girls & boys), bowling (girls & boys), gymnastics, ice hockey (girls & boys), indoor track & field (girls & boys), skiing (girls & boys), swimming (boys), *wrestling, *competitive cheer. * Because of the high-risk nature of wrestling and competitive cheer, sports may have to be moved to Season II or season III. 
  • Season II (Fall Sports) 
    • Dates: Mar. 1-May 8 (Week 35-44) 10 Weeks 
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: football, cross country (girls & boys), field hockey, soccer (girls & boys), swimming (girls), volleyball (girls & boys), Unified bowling. Note: Weather will have an impact on outdoor sports in some parts of the state in March and potentially early April. Girls Tennis moved to Season III. 
  • Season III (Spring Sports) 
    • Dates: Apr. 5-Jun. 12 (Week 40-49) 10 Weeks 
    • *Note: tentative dates Sports: baseball, softball, golf (girls & boys), lacrosse (girls & boys), tennis (girls & boys), outdoor track & field (girls & boys), Unified basketball.

Extracurricular Activities

Johnsburg Central School has appointed all Extracurricular personnel in hopes that clubs and groups can happen during the 2020-2021 school year.  Each advisor has been asked to submit their plans on how their group will be active during this time of COVID 19.  In their plan, they have to tell how the group will meet, what activities they will participate in, and how they will do this within the school’s COVID guidelines. 

Special Education 

The Johnsburg Central School District reopening plan provides a framework to 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 designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  In consideration of the health, safety, and well-being of students, families, and staff, our plan is designed to 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.

Special education programs and services of the Johnsburg Central School District provide equity and access for students with disabilities to be involved in and to participate and progress in the general education curriculum with access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students. While not all formats allow for maximum benefit to students, these programs and services can be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).  The  Johnsburg Central School District will document the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities as well as to the communications with parents in their preferred language and mode of communication (eg. Related Services Log). The district will ensure access to the necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet the unique disability-related needs of students.

The Johnsburg Central School District is committed to providing meaningful parent engagement regarding the provision of services to his/her child to meet the requirements of the IDEA. Further, we will maintain regular communication with the parents/guardians and other family members to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process

The Johnsburg Central School District will plan and support collaboration between the committees on preschool special education (CPSE) and committees on special education (CSE) and program providers representing the variety of settings where students are served to ensure there is an understanding of the provision of services consistent with the recommendations on individualized education programs (IEPs), plans for monitoring and communicating student progress, and commitment to sharing resources.

The Johnsburg Central School District will maintain records to document the implementation of each IEP.  The documentation will include, but will not be limited to: narrative records of how the student is adjusting to living, hybrid, and remote instruction during 2020-21, a record of what instruction and services were provided, a record of formative, summative, and standardized assessments and their results as well as progress monitoring documentation, a record of school-family collaboration, and the provision of compensatory services records.

Bilingual Education and World Languages

The Johnsburg Central School District provides world language instruction in Spanish 8-12 and English as a New Language (ENL) instruction for ELLs/MLLs K-12.  We utilize WSHWE BOCES  technical assistance for PreK-12 for ENL instruction.  This assistance will be provided in all formats (live-person, hybrid, or remote).

Support of English language learners (ELLs) will be comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive. At this point, Johnsburg Central School does not have any English language learners.  

 Johnsburg Central School District will be committed to comprehensive, high-quality, and culturally responsive instruction for ENL students when we have a student that has this need.  we will provide the required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction.

 Johnsburg Central School District will provide professional learning opportunities for our district that support best practices and equitable instruction for ELLs as well as general education students to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.  The district also has access to the WSWHE BOCES Professional Learning Catalog to support teachers to assure ENL and world language instruction is personalized and research-based.

In order to assure that students have opportunities to study world languages, we are prepared to teach Spanish in the live in-person, hybrid, or remote format upon reopening.  With the support of WSWHE BOCES, we will provide professional learning opportunities to our district and the region that supports best practices in all three formats of instruction and cover equitable instruction for our ELLs, SWDs, and general education students who are studying world languages such as Spanish to help address learning gaps caused by the COVID-19 school closures.

Our district will support our students as they work towards earning the New York States Seal of Biliteracy.  We will collaborate with WSHWEBOCES  to provide the Seal of Biliteracy professional learning.  As well, WSWHE BOCES will support assessment options and provide translators for NYS Seal of Biliteracy presentations.

Through using our district and BOCES resources, we are well prepared to reopen our schools and serve ELLs (if and when they enroll) , MLLs, and students learning world languages as they expand their skills, knowledge, and facilities with languages.


Teacher and Principal Evaluation System

All teachers and the principal will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan.  Johnsburg Central School District will consider whether their currently approved APPR plans may need to be revised in order to be consistent with their plans for re-opening under an in-person, remote, or hybrid instructional model. School leaders will continue to attend annually required Lead Evaluator training. 

Certification, Incidental Teaching, and Substitute Teaching

All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for the teaching assignments, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law. 

Student Teachers

Student teachers from NYSED registered college or university programs can serve under the supervision of fully certified teachers in the Johnsburg Central School District. Student teachers will follow all of the social distancing,  mask-wearing, health status reporting, and other COVID-19  procedures that the teachers follow.  Student teachers will serve under the supervision of our full time certified teachers only.  At no time will a student-teacher be used as a teacher of record.

Key References



Additional References


  • (June 26, 2020)
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Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the district’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:

A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted A set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance

NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening Plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.

Also by July 31, 2020, districts must complete a short companion Department of Health survey that includes a link to the publicly posted plan on the district/school website.