Richfield Springs Central School District Reopening Plan 2021-22

August 23, 2021

To the Richfield Springs School Community:

Welcome back!  As has been the case for the last year and a half, these plans, protocols and procedures are fluid and will change as the COVID-19 pandemic situation changes.  This is a living document and those changes will be reflected here, as well as using our communication system to communicate changes, as they occur throughout the school year.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Mr. Piatti, RSCSD Superintendent of Schools

•       Masks

The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend universal  indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to P-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels. Masks will be worn at schools while indoors.

People are not required to wear a mask outdoors on school grounds, but may if they so choose.People who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people.  Our District has a sufficient supply of masks for students and staff who forget their own or need a replacement, including on buses.


•       Physical Distancing

Our schools will maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, when practical. A distance of six feet is recommended between students and teachers/staff and between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated, as well as when eating, when participating in activities that require projecting the voice (singing) and when playing wind instruments. We will maximize physical distancing as much as possible when students are eating.


•       Lockers

Use of lockers will be permitted.

•       Transportation

Transportation will be provided at full capacity, although parents are still encouraged to transporttheir children when possible. All students and staff will be required to wear a face mask on the bus at all times. We will be assigning seats to assist with contact tracing.  Windows and roof hatches will be opened to allow fresh air exchange, weather permitting.


•       Temperature and Questionnaire Screenings

The CDC no longer recommends temperature screenings or screening questionnaires atschool. However, it is recommended schools should be proactive that children experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and should be tested for COVID-19 and stay home. Families are reminded and encouraged to be mindful of indications their children may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and toseek testing when such symptoms are present. The CDC maintains a list of COVID-1 9 symptoms on its website.  Although we do not plan to begin the school year with screening protocols, the RSCSDretains the right to implement screening if we feel it will help us control the spread of COVID-19.


•       Extra-Curricular Activities

All clubs and activities can begin this fall. Clubs will be permitted to meet in person, while following the masking and social distancing protocols that are in place.

At this point, the State of New York, New York State Health Department, Otsego County HealthDepartment, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association are allowing interscholastic athletics in the fall. However, the CDC and County Health Department havedeveloped guidelines to help schools implement programs safely that are deemed high risk. Our fall sports are not high risk, but basketball is and we will follow the guidance when that season begins in November.

Marching Band will practice and compete. Otsego County Health Department has indicated this is an elevated risk activity, while in a COVID-1 9 high transmission rate zone. Marching Band Director, Mr. Blake will communicate any required protocols to the members and parents in the near future.  We have purchased special masks and instrument covers to reduce aerosol in the air when playing wind instruments.


•       Vaccinations

The CDC states that vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will work with local partners and the Otsego County Department of Healthto offer and promote the COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible students and staff.  COVID vaccines are available at our Bassett School Based Health Center.


•       Contact Tracing

Our partners at the Otsego County Department of Health continue to guide contact tracing and willmake medical determinations regarding quarantines on a case-by-case basis. As in the past, District officials will provide the Otsego County Health Department information required to assist healthdepartment officials in their contact tracing efforts.


•        Ventilation and Fans

We consulted with our mechanical engineers and ventilation controls contractor to improve the airflowin our systems. All filters were replaced again this summer with the highest rated MERV filters that will allow our ventilation systems to bring in the maximum amount of fresh air.

Whenever possible, windows and doors will be open to bring in fresh air as well. In addition,fans will continue to be allowed in the classrooms.


•       Cleaning Protocols

We will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting our facilities to ensure a cleanenvironment for our students and staff. Cleaning logs are in each room throughout the Districtdocumenting the date and time of disinfection in the space. There are several alcohol­ based handsanitizer stations throughout the facilities including, but not limited to, all entrances, common areas,and classrooms.  Frequently touched surfaces and objects will be cleaned several times a day tofurther reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects. Signs regarding proper hand hygiene are  posted throughout the District.


•       Food Service

The USDA will allow our District to continue providing free meals to ALL children 18 and under,regardless of payment eligibility status, through June 30, 2022, as long as funding allows.


•       School Closures

In case of school closures due to a declared public health emergency, we are prepared to provideremote instruction to all students.