Richfield Springs COVID-19 Reopening Plan
Richfield Springs Central School – BEDS Code 472001040000
Richfield Springs Elementary School (P-6) – BEDS Code 472001040001
Richfield Springs Jr/Sr High School (7-12) – BEDS Code 472001040002
At the Richfield Springs Central School District, 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 District Reopening Plan will define clear guidance for the reopening of our school and aligns with the regulations developed in collaboration with NYS DOH and the NYS Education Department. Our large one-building school district with approximately 400 students allows us the space to effectively divide up and socially distance our students effectively to meet the guidance for reopening. Our 1-1 computer device program for all students, affords us the opportunity to reach our students effectively in the distance learning environment as well.
The areas outlined in this plan represent the myriad considerations addressed 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.
This plan includes procedures that will be followed. 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 our school campus. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).
It is possible that we may need to alternate between in-person, remote learning and/or a combination of both (hybrid model) 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.
Superintendent Tom Piatti will serve as the District’s COVID-19 Coordinator. He will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members. Mr. Piatti will ensure the District complies with and is 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, 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.
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 school district as we provide education is essential.