Teaching and Learning
What should we expect the school year to look like?
The plan is to return the school environment to as close to “normal” as possible through adherence to safety protocols. Students and teachers will notice classrooms starting to look much closer to the way they did pre-pandemic.
Please describe the Continuity of Learning Plan.
Students who are in quarantine/isolation due to a confirmed case or exposure to COVID-19 as well as symptomatic students awaiting test results will have access to virtual instruction within one full school day after notification or from the date of test. If your child is home sick for an illness unrelated to COVID-19 they do not participate in virtual instruction. For elementary students that are in quarantine, the MTPLCSD plan is modeled on the Homebound Instruction plan and will provide two hours of live instruction per day. Each grade level team has built a plan to accomplish this and it will be shared with families as they are scheduled to begin. With the exception of physical education classes, our secondary students will participate in live streaming classes operating on the bell schedule. The needs of special education and English Language Learners will be handled in accordance with their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and/or specific learning needs.
Is there a remote option?
No. All students will attend classes in-person. If your child has an individual medical need which requires more information, please contact your respective school nurse for details.
Athletics and Extracurricular
Will students go on field trips?
Yes, as appropriate and planned by grade level teams.
Are sports up and running?
Fall athletics have begun and all programs are running strong. Twelve varsity and JV teams kicked-off last week and we are looking forward to competitions starting this week. Modified athletics began on 9/13.
What is happening with transportation?
Buses will run on regular schedules. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask at all times of school buses regardless of vaccination status. In order to minimize quarantines, when feasible, we will be working to assign seating and will provide masks to students who do not have them.
What is happening with Food Service?
The USDA and NYS have extended a program that will permit ALL students to receive school lunch at no cost each school day until June 30, 2022. Lunch orders, previously placed via the screener will still be sent via email daily.
In the near term, meals will remain grab and go for elementary and middle school students. An a la carte menu will be available at WHS and the popular deli counter will resume in October.
Testing and Vaccinations
Will MTPLCSD participate in a testing program?
Yes. The County has partnered with Quadrant Biosciences to offer FREE testing to all students and staff in Mt. Pleasant. It is a non-invasive, saliva-based PCR swab test that is pooled with 12 samples. It is the same testing protocol that was followed by the SUNY system last year. We expect that voluntary testing of ALL will begin on or about the week of September 27th and voluntary screenings of 20% of our population will follow. Please stay tuned for more details. We are currently waiting for a contract to be finalized at the County level. At that time, we’ll be able to finalize our plans and send you specific information about consent and registration. All students and staff with new or worsening COVID-19 symptoms must present the results of a negative NAAT or PCR test in order to return to school. Please see our Return to School protocols.
Will MTPLCSD require vaccinations?
Being vaccinated is not required. However, school districts across New York State have been asked to support opportunities for students and staff to be vaccinated. We will partner with Westchester County to schedule an on-site vaccine clinic and will share information as soon as it is available. Additionally, quarantine requirements for those exposed are lessened for individuals who have been vaccinated. For example, a vaccinated person without symptoms does not need to quarantine for 10 days if and when they are exposed to the virus as a close contact and all unvaccinated teachers and staff must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing.
Screening, Quarantining, and Contact Tracing
How did you determine that my child needs to quarantine?
If your unvaccinated child has been exposed as a close contact (within three to six feet for 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period) to someone with COVID-19, he or she must remain at home and excluded from school and school activities for 10 days.
Will we have to screen daily this year?
No. As a result of the universal mandate for mask usage inside our facilities, we will no longer be requiring the use of a daily screener by students, staff, or visitors.
How will health services and contact tracing be handled this year?
While we are still awaiting guidance on some items from WCDOH, the current guidance states that student contacts within three feet who were wearing masks and vaccinated individuals will NOT be required to quarantine unless they become symptomatic.
Facilities, Operations, and Custodial Items
Are we doing any outdoor learning?
Principals are working on building capacity for increased outdoor learning and eating outdoors as much as possible. Tents are likely to be on each campus in October.
What are the Physical Distancing requirements for the 2021-2022 school year?
Three feet of distance will be in place in all our buildings and we are aiming for 6 feet whenever possible.
How will our ventilation interventions mitigate the spread of germs?
In addition to windows being opened to increase ventilation, all univents will be open to 100% outdoor air. We have installed HEPA filtration units purchased with federal monies. They are American made and cover 1500 sq ft each providing 10 exchanges per hour. They will run 24/7.
Health and Wellness
What if my child is not feeling well at home?
If your child does not feel well, please keep them at home and contact the school nurse for further guidance regarding whether or not your child needs a Covid-19 test to return to school. The Covid-19 tests that are currently accepted are a PCR or NAAT Covid-19 test. A rapid antigen test is not accepted at this time.
What if I get a call from the school nurse because my child is in the health office?
If your child is presenting with one or more symptoms of COVID-19 as defined by the CDC, you will get a call from the school nurse to pick your child up from school. Your child must be excluded from school pending a negative PCR or NAAT COVID-19 test, unless you have a Chronic Care Plan on file, or a note from your pediatrician indicating a diagnosis of a laboratory confirmed acute illness (for ex. Strep Throat or Flu) and including a statement that “COVID-19 is not suspected.”
What if my child has seasonal allergies, asthma or another chronic condition that presents similar symptoms to Covid-19?
Parents should contact the school nurse if your child has a chronic condition to discuss the implementation of a Chronic Care Plan. This plan would need to be implemented based on documentation from your pediatrician.
How will I be notified if there is a suspected or confirmed COVID case, or quarantine at school?
In the event that a student or staff member becomes sick or symptomatic, the district will notify all of those individuals who have been potentially exposed through our contact tracing efforts at the school level. Targeted communication to impacted families will be sent to those in quarantine. School and district aggregate data can be found at the NYS COVID Dashboard, where daily data is reported. We are hopeful that masking and appropriate physical distancing will minimize the need to quarantine.