Gates Chili Reopening Buildings Plans
To view the full plan submitted to NYSED in PDF format, click here.
The plan outlined here is for the reopening of schools in the Gates Chili Central School District for the 2020-21 school year, following the building closure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health and safety of Gates Chili students, staff and their families are the district’s top priority. The district wants students and employees to feel comfortable and safe returning to school campuses. The district’s 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).
On Monday, July 13, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that school districts in New York can follow plans to reopen for in-person schooling in September if COVID-19 infection rates stay at 5% or lower in a given region. Determinations will be made by region about opening and closing schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. If a region is in Phase 4 and has a daily infection rate of 5% or lower over a 14-day average, schools in that region could hold in-person instruction. If daily infection rates exceed 9% over a seven-day average, however, schools in that region would not reopen. Similarly, should a region see such an average after reopening, schools in that region would also be directed to close.
Governor Cuomo will inform districts in early August on which plan(s) may be utilized this fall. While districts have been instructed to prioritize efforts to return all students to in-person instruction, GCCSD is also required to create plans for remote instruction, as well as a hybrid instruction model that combines in-person and remote instruction. The district may need to alternate between in-person and remote learning 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 the district moves to open school buildings.
The Gates Chili Reopening Task Force, made up of more than 100 members who represented parents/guardians, faculty, staff, administration and Board of Education members, was divided into five subcommittees: School Operations and Logistics, Public Health and Safety, Teaching and Learning, Social-Emotional and Equity, and Transportation. Each of these five subcommittees met multiple times in June and July and made recommendations that were incorporated into the three district plans outlined in this document.
In addition, the district conducted multiple surveys of stakeholders and asked for feedback and input on a variety of topics related to reopening schools. According to the July 23 reopening parent/guardian survey results, the parents/guardians of the Gates Chili Central School District were largely in favor of sending their children back to school for hybrid instruction with necessary health regulations set in place.
Important to note that regardless of the final decision by the Governor, families will have a choice to participate in the remote instruction model. Additionally, parents/guardians whose children attend in person will have the ability to opt in or opt out of transportation to and from the district. The district will send forms for families to complete and return. These completed forms will then be compiled to help schedule instruction and transportation for September.
As Gates Chili Central School District plans to reopen school buildings in September, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:
- Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
- Allowing all students to have the opportunity to fully engage in instruction whether (1) in-person instruction, (2) a hybrid of in-person and remote instruction, or (3) fully-remote instruction;
- Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 virus transmission;
- Emphasizing equity, access and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
- Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
- Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.
Glossary of Terms
BC: Building Code.
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cohorts: Cohorts are self-contained, pre-assigned groups of students with group size limits established by the size of the room and number of desks that are able to be placed in the space while maintaining social distancing. Cohorts are established to prevent intermingling of students between cohorts to the extent possible.
ELL: English Language Learner.
Face Coverings: Schools will maintain protocols and procedures for students, staff, and other individuals to ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is used to protect against transmission of COVID-19 virus when on school grounds and in school facilities. PPE includes an acceptable face covering to be worn by all individuals at all times. These face coverings will be required to be worn any time/place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing. Acceptable face coverings include, but are not limited to, cloth-based face coverings (e.g., homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana, gaiter) and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.
Hybrid Instruction: On defined days, some Gates Chili students learn remotely while others learn in person at school. All Gates Chili students will learn remotely one day per week.
In-Person Instruction: Gates Chili students engage in instruction at Gates Chili CSD school buildings with their classroom teachers.
NYSED: New York State Education Department.
NYSDOH: New York State Department of Health.
OFP: Office of Facilities Planning.
OSHA: Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Remote Instruction: All Gates Chili students will participate in full-time remote instruction through the use of personal electronic devices, learning management systems (Schoology) and video conferencing.
Social Distancing: Schools will maintain protocols and procedures for students, staff, and other individuals to ensure appropriate social distancing to protect against the transmission of COVID-19 virus when on school grounds and in school facilities. Appropriate social distancing means six feet of space in all directions between individuals or use of appropriate physical barriers between individuals that do not adversely affect air flow, heating, cooling or ventilation, or otherwise present a health or safety risk. Classroom space will be reconfigured for social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at the time of opening.
Director of Physical Education, Health and Athletics Dr. Patrick Irving will serve as the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator. Dr. Irving will work closely with the Monroe County Health Department and will be responsible for communicating the necessary health guidelines that need to be followed by the Gates Chili Central School District. He will serve as a central contact for schools and stakeholders, families, staff and other school community members and will ensure the district is in compliance and follows best practices per state and federal guidelines.
This framework includes procedures that will be followed in the following schools:
Florence Brasser Elementary School - 585.247.1880
Neil Armstrong Elementary School - 585.247.3190
Paul Road Elementary School - 585.247.2144
Walt Disney Elementary School - 585.247.3151
Gates Chili Middle School - 585.247.5050
Gates Chili High School - 585.247.5050
- State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 16, 2020)
- State Education Department Presents Framework of Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 13, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health (July 13, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Sports and Recreation During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Food Services during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Office-Based Work during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.
(June 26, 2020)
- Interim Guidance for Public Transportation Activities during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. (June 26, 2020)
- New York State Department of Health Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- New York State Education Department Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Website
Once finalized, reopening plans must be posted on the district’s website. By July 31, 2020, districts will need to complete a survey through the Portal, providing NYSED with:
- A link to the public website where each school plan has been publicly posted
- A set of mandatory assurances that the reopening plan includes all of the mandatory elements outlined in the NYSED guidance
NOTE: Information submitted through the Portal will not include detailed narratives or descriptions of specific actions to be taken by a school or district as part of their reopening plan; those details must be articulated in the materials that are publicly posted on the school/district website.
Also, by July 31, 2020, districts must complete a short companion Department of Health survey that includes a link to the publicly posted plan on the district/school website