Fall 2020 Reopening Plan

August 9, 2020

This plan was developed based on the NYS Department of Health, NYC Department of Health, and the Center for Disease Control guidelines for Day Care and Day Camp programs. We will update this plan as new guidance develops. We will inform the IPS community of any updates.

This includes:

  • Health checks and questionnaires at arrival and midday temperature checks for full day students and staff.
  • Having a fever is considered a reading of 100.0.
  • Washing hands with soap and water upon entering the school.
  • Limited parents/caregivers in the building.
  • Staggered arrival and dismissal times.
  • No gatherings at school.
  • Scheduling when classes will walk through the hallways or use the bathrooms.
  • All adults will wear masks.
  • While The New York City Department of Health does not mandate that young children wear face masks while in school, we highly recommend that children wear them during the day if they are able to do so. At a minimum, IPS encourages children 2 years and older to wear masks to and from school. Their mask will be worn when leaving the classroom to go to the bathroom (at 76th St.) and when walking to the outdoor play space. This is crucial to helping keep our teachers, students, and classroom families safe. 
  • Stocking ample paper products and PPE supplies.
  • Regular (“top of the hour”) cleaning and disinfecting of common areas and frequently touched surfaces.
  • Each classroom will have a UV light wand to sanitize surfaces and instructional materials. This will be used when the children leave the room for outdoor play.
  • Each classroom will have an Air Purifier to circulate the air throughout the day.
  • Daily documentation of attendance, health checks, cleaning, and disinfecting.
  • Communication to employees and families of health protocol and school practices based on these protocols.
  • Appropriate signage throughout locations. 

We have reduced all part-time floaters to limit germs in the buildings. Each location has one full time floater who will assist with arrival health checks and then be assigned to a classroom where needed. 

Groups of no more than 10 students have been assigned to classrooms. All classrooms will be used to allow for the social distancing requirement. Each class has two permanently assigned teachers. 

Specialty teachers will visit each location one day per week. 

Arrival

  • Arrival at both IPS locations will begin at 8:00 am. Each class will have the same time slot to arrive every day. 
  • Space markers to maintain a six foot distance between each family will be outside the front door.  
  • All adults and children 2 years and older must wear masks while waiting outside the front door and when inside the building. Disposable masks will be available for any adult who does not have a mask. 
  • We encourage older children to walk to school to decrease the number of strollers at school. We are only able to store folding or umbrella style strollers.
  • We are not able to store bikes or scooters.

86th Street Arrival:

  • Arrival will take place through the gym. 
  • Squares (6 sq ft each) will be taped on the floor.  One adult and their child will enter and stand in their square. 
  • The Location Director or Assistant Location Director will have the adult answer a questionnaire regarding the child/family’s health and take the child’s temperature.
  • The floater will accompany the child to the bathroom to wash their hands.
  • Teachers will stand on the ramp leading out of the gym waiting for the children to be brought to them.
  • The class (as a whole) will then walk to their classroom.

76th Street Arrival:

  • Arrival will take place through the IPS lobby entrance.
  • Squares (6 sq ft each) will be taped on the floor.  One adult and the child will enter and stand in their square. 
  • The Location Director or Assistant Location Director will have the adult answer a questionnaire regarding the child/family’s health and take the child’s temperature.
  • The floater will accompany the child to the second lobby door, where his/her classroom  teachers will be waiting.
  • The classroom teachers will take the child into the bathroom on the first floor to wash his/her hands.
  • The class (as a whole) will then walk up the stairs to their classroom.

Dismissal at Both Locations
Each class, at their designated dismissal time, will be brought to the school entrance.  Each child will be dismissed one at a time to maintain social distancing to his/her parent/caregiver.

Separation

  • During the separation process, one parent/caregiver per child will be allowed to accompany him/her to his/her classroom. 
  • IPS will ask that parents cooperate and have the same adult accompany the child to school throughout the separation process. 
  • The adult accompanying the child to school will also answer the health check questionnaire and have his/her temperature taken.
  • A section of the gym will be taped off for adults to sit.  This is for parents/caregivers who are ready to leave their child in the classroom, but not yet ready to leave the school.

Common Areas
For the beginning of school, only the outdoor play area will be used by each class.  Once separation is over, we will consider using the gym for gross motor activity in addition to the outdoor space.

Directing Hallway and Shared Bathroom Traffic

  • Children will be assigned to static pods; this means that the same small group of children and the same teacher will travel, when needed, out of the classroom. 
  • Brightly colored tape will be used on the floors, in the hallways, and on the staircases to direct the flow of walking traffic at both locations.
  • At 76th Street, each class will have a schedule to use the bathrooms throughout the day to avoid intermingling of children.

Teachers must make visual inspections of children throughout the day.
Symptoms to look for: flushed cheeks, rapid or difficulty breathing, fatigue, and/or extreme fussiness.

Office Space
In shared spaces where six feet of social distancing is not possible, employees will either work remotely or stagger their schedule and work a hybrid of at school and remotely.

Sharing of Supplies and Materials
Students and employees will have their own individual supply of materials to use so that sharing will not be necessary. Each individual’s items or container will be labeled with his/her name.

Personal Items
Bringing personal items from home into IPS will be greatly restricted for both students and employees. 

For Students:  

  • No backpacks or toys from home will be permitted.
  • Full-day students will bring their lunch box daily.  Full-day students may bring their rest sheet, small blanket, and small “lovey”/stuffed toy on Mondays. These items will be sent home every Friday to be washed.
  • All students will be required to have 2 sets of clean clothing at school.  

For Employees: 

  • Employees may bring their lunch, coat or outerwear, and one bag (handbag or small backpack).
  • Each employee will receive a bag to store these items in while at school.
  • It is strongly advised that employees also have a set of clean clothes at school.

Snack, Lunch, and Rest for Students

  • Individually-wrapped snack choices will be provided by the school. 
  • For social distancing purposes, snack time may be staggered in each class.
  • Full-day children will bring lunch from home. For social distancing purposes, some children may eat lunch at the tables and some may have a picnic on the rug if needed.
  • Rest mats must be spaced six feet apart.  Children must rest alternating head to foot.

Employee Lunch Breaks, Computer Use/Workstations, and Equipment

  • Lunch breaks and the use of common work space will be scheduled by the location administration in order to adhere to the social distancing requirements of six feet per person.
  • Disinfectants will be provided at every workstation and lunch area. Employees are expected to disinfect an area when they are ready to leave that area.
  • Inter-personal social contact should be limited while at school.

(MINIMUM) Handwashing Frequency for Students and Employees: 

  • Upon arrival at IPS
  • In between all activities
  • After using the restroom
  • Before and after eating snacks or meals
  • Before leaving for the day

Isolation of Sick Child or Employee

  • Any child or employee who shows signs of COVID-19 will be isolated until he/she is able to leave school.
  • Each location has designated an area to isolate sick individuals.

Returning to School After Being Out Due to Illness

  • Both students and employees will be required to provide the school with a doctor’s note saying they are cleared to return to school.
  • For non-COVID illness, children must be fever and symptom-free for 72 hours without fever reducing medication before returning to school.
  • If a child has a fever and cough they may not return to school for 10 days unless they bring documentation of a negative COVID test.

Suspicion of or Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at IPS:

IPS is required to report COVID-19 cases to the New York State and New York City health departments. These departments will decide the course of action the school will need to take. In some cases, a particular classroom may be required to close for a few days for sanitization purposes.  In other cases, the entire location may be closed for a few days for sanitization purposes.  School may be closed for fourteen (14) days in order to sanitize the school and/or for quarantine purposes.  

Depending on the length of time a classroom or the school is closed, we will either go to Zoom Connections for remote interacting or we will make up the days by shortening a school vacation or add days on in June.

Communication of school closings will be done via the Alert Now System and via email communication.

Close Contact with a Person Infected with COVID-19

  • Individuals (students and employees) who are informed that they have come into close contact with a person with COVID-19 are required to self-report to IPS. 
  • These same individuals will be asked to be tested for COVID-19 and to self-quarantine for either fourteen (14) days or until it has been established that they do not have the virus, whichever comes first.  They may then return to school with a doctor’s note.

Confidentiality
All cases of COVID-19 and suspicion of cases of COVID-19 will be kept in confidence.

Large Gatherings, Parent Meetings, and Large School Events

  • Large school gatherings and parent meetings will not take place at school until deemed safe by the state and local health departments.
  • All parent meetings will take place via Zoom. 
  • Annual school events such as the IPS Book Fair take place virtually.  

On-going Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • HEPA Air Purifiers have been purchased for each classroom
  • The custodian at each location will clean and disinfect at regular intervals throughout the school day.
  • “Top of the Hour” cleaning and disinfecting of bathrooms and common areas will take place.
  •  Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day.
  •  Electrostatic sprayers have been purchased for overnight sanitizing of classrooms and common spaces.