Education

An open letter from the Shelter Island School District on reopening

Dear Shelter Island School Community:

Since the beginning of the summer, we have been busy contemplating everything possible to ensure a safe return for the school community in September.

Just this past week, we received guidance from Gov Cuomo, The New York State Department of Health, and the New York State Education Department on learning for next year. Our administrative and district team have been meeting on this every day and this will continue as the summer progresses.

The Shelter Island School District has been analyzing various scenarios and methods. All school districts have been directed to create three plans for next year: a full in-person plan, a hybrid plan which would have an in-school and distance learning element, and a full distance learning plan. Pending meeting Gov. Cuomo’s reopening requirements, it is the district’s goal to bring all students back full-time next year, while meeting and exceeding all safety guidelines set forth in the Department of Health and Education Department guidelines. To that end, the following safety measures have either been implemented or are in the process to be implemented:

• Wash stations installed

• True HEPA Air purifiers purchased for each room

• PPE purchase – thousands of masks, gloves, and gowns

• Hand sanitizer purchased

• Reduced class sizes when necessary

• Students will be entirely cohorted in grades Pre-K – 7

• Students will be instructed with the same group of students throughout the school day.

• Classroom realignment to fit students and staff as safely as possible

• Teacher schedule reassignment to teach and learn as safely as possible

• Health screens and temperature checks of all students and staff

• New school entrance plan in the morning

• Hallway and stairway — one ways with arrows in the hall

• Classrooms must be cleaned out of everything but desks to optimize space

Required Components of Shelter Island’s Plan

• Students and staff wear masks at all times, except when engaged in instruction and seated at a desk that is socially distanced from their peers and staff

• Daily health screenings for all employees, students, and staff

• Children and staff’s temperatures will be taken upon arrival

• Contact tracing and coordination with local health department guidelines

• Daily cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which will be logged and documented

• Limited sharing of supplies

• Only essential school visits

• Training for students and staff on proper hygiene and safety cleaning measures

• All students will report to school for a full day,

• Except Pre-K 3 will be half day as planned

• Spaces will be converted to create extra classroom space

• Teachers and classes will be encouraged to go outside

• Different personnel may teach or supervise different classes to keep class numbers as low as possible (teachers have been given the flexibility by the NYS Education Department to teach 10 hours per week outside of the certification area)

• First week of school will be orientation on new safety protocols

• Teachers will also place a strong focus on social and emotional learning

• Lunches will be in classroom

• Pre-K-7 will eat lunch in their classroom

• 8-12 can leave school grounds for lunch with parental permission

• One way halls/stairs

Now comes the most important part — your involvement in the development of further implementation. We want to hear your input. Please take a few moments to complete the following survey:

Parents and Students: surveymonkey.com/r/XY9ZL5M Staff: Link will be emailed to you.

We also would like to hear from you as we continue to develop the plans in a community forum. These will take place for the following groups via Google Meet at the following dates and times:

• Faculty/Staff — Friday, July 24 at noon

• Parents — Monday, July 27 at 6 p.m.

• Students — Tuesday, July 28 at noon

Please refer to the district website for the links to these meetings. The following are links to the guidance we received from the state:

NYSED – Guidance http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/programs/reopening-schools/nys-p12-school-reopening- guidance.pdf

DOH -governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/Pre- K_to_Grade_12_Schools_MasterGuidence.pdf

The reopening of our district is a monumental task. It may be the most important work our staff ever does. We want to provide our children with the best education possible, focusing on academics, but most importantly focusing on the social, emotional, and physical health of everyone involved. Please be aware, while this is the framework of our plan, the framework and the ensuing plan are all subject to change pending the ever-changing situation of the pandemic. We will continue to provide you with information as the situation unfolds. We look forward to engaging you in this process as we continue to build upon these plans. We also hope you are having a restful and relaxing summer.

INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR IN-PERSON INSTRUCTION AT PRE-K TO GRADE 12 SCHOOLS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY

Sincerely,

Brian Doelger, Ed.D., Superintendent/Principal

Jennifer Rylott, Director of Pupil Personnel, Data, and Instruction

Todd Gulluscio,Director of Athletics, Physical Education, Health, Wellness, and Personnel