Reopening Plan 2021-2022
"What will we look like?"
Health and Safety
Social Emotional Well Being
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Teaching and Learning
Bilingual and World Languages
Economic Overview & Budget Fiscal Matters
Teacher and Principal APPR
Forest Road School Reopening Video
Shaw Avenue School Reopening Video
Clear Stream Avenue School Reopening Video
The Valley Stream 30 school district comprises three elementary schools: Clear Stream Avenue, Forest Road, and Shaw Avenue. The development of the reopening plan for our three schools was completed in collaboration with stakeholders from across our district. We had representation from our administrators, teachers, facilities, psychologists, aides, parents and students. Our discussions focused on the guidance that has been shared across New York state from NYSED and the Department of Health.
Our committee broke down into three smaller subcommittees to discuss and provide recommendations for considerations indicated in the guidance documents that had been shared. Our subcommittees included Building Operations, Health and Safety and Instruction. Our subcommittees had multiple opportunities to come back to share with the whole committee their recommendations and to ask for feedback or clarification on specific points.
This reopening plan is one that will need to continually be reviewed and adjusted during the weeks leading up to school and as we begin the 2021-22 school year. We are committed to responding to the needs of the Valley Stream 30 community and understand that this health crisis we are currently experiencing requires flexibility in planning. Updates to our plan will be posted at our district website: www.valleystream30.com.
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Since our school buildings were closed in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Valley Stream District 30 continued to offer its students a well-balanced educational program through remote learning. Despite the challenges faced, and through the strong support of our staff and parents, our Valley Stream District 30 children transitioned to an unfamiliar learning platform and successfully retained their connection to our school community.
Throughout the 2020-21 school year we successfully implemented a reopening plan that was reviewed and adjusted based on Department of Health Guidance, State Education Guidance and school community input. We monitored and communicated positive cases throughout the school year. Very low levels of cases were identified over the year and none of the schools were required to close due to covid-19. Input on the 2021-22 school year reopening was attained at the end of the school year and our Reopening Task Force was reconvened during the spring and summer of 2021 to review updated guidance and plan for the 2021-22 school year. Our Reopening Plan follows our guiding principles and remains true to our Five-Year Strategic Plan.
Our guiding principles include:
- Ensuring the health and safety of students and staff.
- Providing a standards-based curriculum that will engage and support students.
- Providing instructional delivery models that will be implemented based on public health guidance.
Additionally, with the guidance of the Board of Education, all students will continue to be provided an iPad or Chromebook for personal use, as well as the technology to support their instruction.
Our Reopening Plan:
Based on the Center for Disease guidance https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/k-12-guidance.html
and state guidance, all districts must make efforts to return all students to in-person instruction daily. Our plan addresses having PK-6 students back in school following all possible health and safety protocols. Families and staff are highly encouraged to be vaccinated if eligible. This public health crisis is dependent on the “public” being vaccinated. The major variable to support elementary students in school, is to have them living in a home where all eligible household members are vaccinated. The Valley Stream School District 30 will make available weekly a testing site run by an independent health organization at the Shaw Avenue School to support the transition back to school.
As a CDC recommended preventive strategy, mask wearing for all on school grounds will continue to be instituted as done during the 2020-21 school year. Social distancing of the recommended 3 feet for students will also be adhered to where possible. Multiple preventive strategies will also continue as described in this document. The monitoring of community transmission will continue as well as collaboration with the Nassau Community Health Department.
Opportunities to have further discussion and to ask questions will be provided prior to the opening of school via virtual forums. Opportunities to meet with our school psychologists will also be arranged prior to opening school. Information will also continue to be posted on our website.
We have weathered a very challenging period in education and the Valley Stream District 30 has come together to support one another, provide valuable feedback and work toward our common goal of providing all of our students and staff with a safe, healthy and productive learning environment to return to. We thank you for your continued support in achieving this goal and your invaluable assistance to provide the best possible education for our students. We are “Moving” forward!
Dr. Nicholas A. Stirling
Superintendent of Schools.
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“Let’s Move Again!”: What will Returning to School Look Like?
Students and staff will return to Valley Stream 30 schools with increased health and safety measures in order to combat the effects of COVID-19 in our schools. The District Taskforce and individual district leaders have received input from all stakeholders and have received communications from the Center for Disease Control, the NYS Department of Health, Governor’s Office and State Education Department to create a reopening plan with safety and health at the forefront.
Face coverings will continue to be required based upon best available data and input from health authorities, the School Board, CDC guidelines and stakeholder groups including teachers and parents. Social distancing is not always possible in school settings, therefore, students and staff will be provided with reusable masks and expected to wear them while on school grounds where social distancing is not possible and when exemptions do not apply.
Students will practice social distancing from the arrival through dismissal when attending school. Students will also social distance as best as possible when riding the shuttle bus. Staggered entry and release schedules may be utilized in an effort to decrease crowding if necessary.
Limited Access to Visitors and Volunteers
It is essential to create a healthy and safe environment by limiting potential COVID-19 exposure whenever possible. Our district will be limiting access to visitors and volunteers with appointments only. A request must be made 24 hours in advance. Administrators will establish protocols for greeting visitors and the use of screenings and temperature checks.
Each classroom will have hand sanitizer dispensers or bottled sanitizer for use in the classroom. Washing of hands will be reinforced upon use of bathrooms. Students and staff will work together to ensure everyone is promoting wellness by cleaning hands before and after lunch.
Student desks will be spaced three feet apart when possible. Extraneous furniture will be removed from each classroom as much as possible for proper social distancing practices. Administrators will view and approve classroom designs prior to the start of the school year.
Controlled Movement Patterns
To limit COVID-19 exposure and promote social distancing, students will move in cohorts where possible throughout the day, utilizing controlled movement patterns based on signage throughout the school. Staggered dismissal patterns will be devised, with designated drop-off and pick-up areas for walkers.
Common Area Modifications
Students will be monitored in all common area locations to encourage social distancing practices. Special area classes and special resource classes such as Physical Education, Reading, Math, ENL, Speech, Enrichment, Library, Art and Music will adhere to social distancing where possible in their class or they will push-in to grade level classes. The limiting of collaborative activity and shared resources will occur.
Students will receive meals in a grab-and-go style in the morning and will be asked to eat in their classrooms when possible. Students will also eat in their classroom for lunch. Lunch will include pre-packaged items that will be delivered to the classroom. Bagged lunch from home is encouraged. Each classroom will make accommodations for students with allergies.
For the safety of staff and students in school, assemblies and other large gatherings will not be permitted until further notice. On time pick-ups at the end of the day by families will also assist in minimizing large gatherings in schools.
Positive Cases Identified
The school district in collaboration with the district doctor, school nurse and Department of Health will follow all health protocols of reporting, contact tracing, isolating, school closing and communication to parents and staff once a positive case is identified in school.
Extracurricular activities will continue to be done virtually where feasible. Opportunities for in- person activities will be assessed throughout the school year.
Before and After School Programs
There will be no in-person before school programs. Before school programs will be offered when possible. The YMCA is an independent organization that uses our school facilities. Please click here for more information and sign up. The district will work collaboratively with the YMCA on implementing all health and safety measures outlined in the District Reopening Plan.
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Health and Safety
The health and safety of students and staff is the top priority when making the decision to reopen schools. Valley Stream 30 will work in collaboration with NYSED, the CDC, the NYS Department of Health, and the Nassau County Department of Health to safely reopen. Current recommendations provide guidance on the conditions that need to be in place in order to reopen schools safely and effectively
All classrooms have been redesigned to accommodate the 3 feet of social distancing amongst students. There will be limited movement of students throughout the school building. Students will remain in their classroom for lunch, and some specials. Students and staff are expected to wear a face covering when moving about the classroom and building.
COVID-19 Safety Coordinator
The building principal at each of the 3 school buildings is the COVID-19 coordinator. They are responsible for monitoring and maintaining all aspects of the reopening plan. The COVID-19 coordinator is also the lead facilitator for their school building’s health and safety committee. They will be responsible for leading building-wide activities to help support a smooth transition to the “new normal” for staff, students and families.
The District has created a schedule of communications focused on Re-Entry. Beginning the week of August 9th, weekly correspondence will go home to families from the buildings and or central office. Valley Stream 30 uses Blackboard Connect as a communication platform to send out mass emails, text and phone messages to the community. All correspondences that are shared with the community are made available on our district website, www.valleystream30.com. Our school buildings will utilize a new tool Parent Square to disseminate information electronically to families (replacing Remind and Dojo). In addition, Valley Stream 30 has a Facebook and Twitter account to share information with the greater community.
The district is in the process of creating a FAQ that will be shared with our entire community (parents, staff, visitors) in order to provide vital information related to the health and safety procedures in place for anyone coming into our district. Signage will be visually present at all entrances, and throughout the buildings, across the district. Student-friendly “Need to Know” sheet will be created for distribution and regular reference in the classrooms to help students adjust to new routines that will need to take place in order to keep students and staff as safe as possible. The district is currently planning for a brief video to explain the vital reopening procedures and changes across the district.
Signs/Symptoms and Temperature Checks
As a part of Valley Stream 30’s opening day activities, all staff will participate in a training for the observable signs to look for and what to do if a student or staff member demonstrates signs of illness. Our school nurses along with our COVID -19 coordinator will develop and facilitate these sessions for staff. Our district staff handbook will be updated to include new Covid-19 related information, including observable signs to look for and the protocol for sending symptomatic persons immediately to the Health Office for further review of symptoms. If the school nurse is unavailable, the COVID-19 coordinator (school building principal) will be the backup.
Staff will be required to take their temperature prior to leaving for school, so that they have the opportunity to enter in their absence in our digital system and coverage can then be found for the staff member. Early staff will be able to enter the building between 7:30-8:00am through the main office entrance. Upon entry staff will receive temperature checks, will sanitize their hands at the hand sanitizing stations and then proceed directly to their classrooms. Staff entering the building between 8:00 and 8:15am will be able to enter the building at any location that has a FOB. There will be staff at these doorways prepared to take temperatures. Staff entering the building will sanitize their hands at the hand sanitizing station and proceed directly to their classrooms. Once staff has entered their rooms they will complete the digital daily questionnaire sign in. Each building will utilize administrators, security personnel and teacher aides to assist with temperature checks. The daily questionnaire that will be provided to staff digitally will ask them to indicate whether they have a fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, have recently developed a cough or shortness of breath and will ask if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 10 days. Any staff member that has either a fever or answers yes to any of the questions on their questionnaire will be sent home and be required to follow up with a healthcare provider.
Families will be asked to take their child’s temperature prior to leaving home to attend school for the day. Valley Stream 30 will also instruct parents/guardians to observe for signs of illness in their child that requires staying home from school. An affirmation regarding these responsibilities will be collected at the beginning of the year and midyear. Students will not be permitted into the building prior to 8:15 a.m. Upon arrival at the school building, each student’s temperature will be taken using a scanning thermometer. Each of the three school buildings will share a specific entry plan with families prior to the first day of school. This plan will indicate which entryways students will be entering and exiting the building. Each building will utilize administrators, security personnel, and teacher aides to assist with temperature checks. The school buildings are currently planning for student arrival between 8:15 and 8:30am, Upon assessment a staggered schedule may need to be implemented.
Students that are sent to the nurse because they have exhibited signs of illness will wait in an isolated area either in the nurse’s office or in close proximity to the health office until the student can be assessed by the school nurse. Students with a fever upon entry to the school or during the school day will need to be picked up by an adult. Families will need to follow up with a healthcare provider.
Signage and Social Distancing
Valley Stream 30 will have appropriate signage to instruct staff and students in correct hand and respiratory hygiene. Across Valley Stream 30, school district signage will be posted in every hallway where possible.
Valley Stream 30 District/school will require all students in school buildings to keep a social distance of at least 3 feet whenever possible and a social distancing amongst adults and students and adults of at least 6 feet when possible. Floor markings will be utilized in hallway spaces outside of bathrooms and in the gym. Floor markings will be used outdoors at the entryways of the school buildings.
Valley Stream 30 is aware staff and students may request medical accommodations. After reviewing documentation, in consultation with the district/county doctors if needed, an accommodation will be shared with the individual. Specific accommodations will be provided, as feasible, to those with specific needs on a case by case basis. Most medical related accommodations for students will go through a 504 process managed by the Special Services Department.
Face Coverings and PPE
All persons entering our schools will wear a cloth face covering, or be given one upon entry if needed, in case social distancing cannot be maintained. Signage and communications to this effect will be posted at the entrance to the schools and district offices. This will be communicated in building and district newsletters and family correspondence. Students will be given face covering breaks only when there is no movement around the room by any member of the class community and social distancing practices can be maintained. Students will not wear face coverings during snack and lunch.
Valley Stream 30 has purchased face coverings to have available at each of our buildings if staff, students or visitors are in need of one upon entering. Additional PPE for specific subgroups, as well as any staff member who requests a different form of PPE, has also been ordered.
Training will be provided on proper PPE use including:
- The proper way to wear face coverings.
- Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering.
- Proper way to discard disposable face coverings.
- The importance of routine cleaning of reusable face coverings.
- Face coverings are for individual use only and should not be shared.
If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School
The district requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.
Return to School after Illness
The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health
department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:
- Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
- Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
- Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation
The district will refer to DOH’s “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.
The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department. Vaccinated asymptomatic individuals will follow CDC recommendations on not having to quarantine and following up with testing 3-5 days after exposure.
Identified COVID-19 Cases
When a student, teacher, or staff member or a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19, and has exposed others at school, Valley Stream 30 will implement the following steps:
- Students whose parents/guardian test positive for COVID-19 are not permitted to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.
- In consultation with the local public health officials, Valley Stream 30 may consider whether school closure is warranted and the length of time, based on the risk level within the specific community as determined by the local public health officer.
- Closing off the area where the COVID-19-positive individual was based. Areas of the school visited by the COVID-19-positive individual may also need to be closed temporarily for cleaning and disinfection. Appropriate notification will be made to the occupants of such areas.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- Waiting at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to haveCOVID-19, such as offices, classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas.
- Once the area has been appropriately cleaned and disinfected it can be reopened for use.
- Individuals without close or proximate contact with the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 can return to the area and resume school activities immediately after cleaning and disinfection.
- Additional close contacts such as teachers, direct aides, classmates, and others should also quarantine at home.
- Implement the plan for continuity of education, support services, and meal programs for individuals in isolation.
Returning to School
If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:
- It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms.
- It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine).
- It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.
The district will notify the state and or local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the district.
To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district has
developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with
protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
Districts may assist with contact tracing by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date
- Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited.
- Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance
with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program
Hand Washing - In accordance with the CDC guidance on when and how to wash your hands and NYS Department of Health guidance and in consultation with local public health officials, Valley Stream 30’s plan for handwashing includes:
- Opportunities for students and staff to meet handwashing frequency guidelines.
- Scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not accessible. Staff and students should use paper towels (or single use cloth towels) to dry hands thoroughly.
- Wash hands when arriving and leaving home; arriving at and leaving school; after playing outside; after having close contact with others; after using shared surfaces or tools; before and after using restroom; after blowing your nose, coughing, and sneezing; before and after eating and preparing foods; and anytime hands are visibly soiled.
- Sufficient access to handwashing and sanitizer stations.
- Fragrance-free and approved hand sanitizer (with a minimum of 60 percent alcohol) will be available and supervised at or near all workstations.
- No child of any age should be permitted to use hand sanitizer without supervision.
- Hand sanitizer is not effective on visibly soiled hands. It is recommended to wash with soap and water first.
- Students will be supported to do these tasks where they may need assistance.
Respiratory Hygiene – it is important that students and staff cover their mouths or noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of the tissue appropriately.
- A supply of tissues and no touch trash cans will be available in each room when feasible.
- If no tissue is available, using the inside of the elbow (or shirtsleeve) to cover the mouth or nose is preferable to using the hands.
- Students and staff will be instructed to perform hand hygiene after sneezing, coughing and handling dirty tissues or other soiled material.
Valley Stream 30 will meet cleanliness standards prior to reopening and maintain a consistent level of cleanliness during the school year. Cleaning protocols will follow the NYSDOH Interim Cleaning and Disinfection Guidance for Primary and Secondary Schools for COVID-19.
- Only those disinfecting products that are approved for use against COVID-19 listed on the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) list of products registered in New York State and identified by the EPA as effective against COVID-19 will be used. All products will be kept out of children’s reach and stored in a space with restricted access.
- When cleaning, the space will be aired out before children arrive and a thorough cleaning will be done when children are not present.
- A schedule for cleaning will be developed and input will be sought from each school to determine areas of special interest and need for additional cleaning.
- Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities and more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces, including desks which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use, if shared.
- Disinfecting surfaces will occur between uses, such as:
- Desks, tables and barriers
- Seats on bus
- Technology sanitization will be performed by the individual instructional staff
- Disinfecting will be performed frequently, for high-touch surfaces, such as door handles, handrails, light switches, sink handles, restroom surfaces
- Soft and porous materials such as rugs and chairs will be removed to the greatest extent possible.
- Limit sharing of personal items, objects, and electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids as much as possible. Student’s belongings will be separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers or areas and ensure they are taken home and cleaned and disinfected regularly. Stuffed animals and any other toys that are difficult to clean and sanitize will not be allowed unless in accordance with special accommodations.
- Where appropriate, schools are ordering supplies such as those used in art and PE for each individual student
- Employees will be encouraged to self-clean individual workstations and shared spaces before and after use. Sanitization stations will be provided that will include disinfectant spray, paper towels, and hand sanitizer to encourage new cleaning guidelines.
- Areas that were used by any sick person will be closed off and not used before cleaning and disinfection. To reduce risk of exposure, Valley Stream 30 will wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If it is not possible to wait 24 hours, the district will wait as long as possible.
- If a facility has been unoccupied for seven days or more, it will only require normal routine cleaning to reopen the area. This is based on the current CDC recommendations.
- Valley Stream 30 schools will maintain cleaning and disinfection logs as required by the NYSDOH are linked here.
- Limit access to school for parents and other visitors.
- All buildings will require visitors to complete COVID-19 questions and sign in. A log will be maintained with the date, time, and places visited to assist with contact tracing efforts, if necessary.
- All contractors coming onto Valley Stream 30 property to perform work will complete the COVID-19 questionnaire for contractors and provide to the facilities department before coming to work each morning.
- Limit the use of outside organizations using building facilities within the district.
- Establish protocol for accepting deliveries safely.
Before and Aftercare Programs
Valley Stream 30 does not run a before school program. Each of the three school buildings does have an afterschool program that is run by the YMCA of Glencove. Staff is hired and trained by the YMCA. The school district will determine locations within each of the school buildings that can be used to ensure safe social distancing and comply will be cleaned prior to a new group of students entering this space. Staff from the YMCA will be required to bring students to an exit door when their guardian has arrived to pick them up.
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General Health and Safety Assurances
- Valley Stream 30 will follow all guidance related to health and safety. This will include meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly to prevent spread of infection. These requirements will be addressed in more detail in other parts of the plan. The Facilities portion of the reopening plan will seek assurance that Valley Stream 30 will meet all requirements associated with building space related changes that they may elect to make.
Fire Code Compliance
- Changes or additions to facilities require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), since all spaces to be occupied by public school students and staff must meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code. In their plans, districts or other applicable schools will provide assurances that, should alterations be made, districts and other applicable schools will submit the proposed changes to the OFP for review and approval - just as with any other project.
- Many stairs and corridor doors have closers with automatic hold openings. These doors are normally held in the open position and are automatically released by the fire alarm system. The function, position, and operation of those doors must remain unchanged. Fortunately, they need not be touched during normal use.
- Valley Stream 30 shall conduct standard operations and procedures to the best of their abilities without deviating from current requirements. Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and regulation and the Fire Code, and they must be conducted without exceptions. Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted. Methods to promote and provide for social distancing during the evacuation drills are ultimately the district’s decision and responsibility. Those changes will be included in the Fire Safety plans.
- Statute has not been changed to provide an extension to the submission deadline for the Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections. These deadlines must be met. Lead Testing due in 2020 - At present, the statutory requirement that lead testing occur in 2020 continues. NYS DOH regulation 67-4, Lead-In-Water Testing, DOH requires lead-in-water testing to be conducted when the building is “normally occupied.” Sampling should not be conducted when the building is vacant or has been vacant for an extended period due to COVID-19 closure. Simulation of “normally occupied operation” for the purpose of lead-in-water testing is not permitted. NYS DOH advises that schools follow recommended procedures to the extent possible to provide clean and safe drinking water upon reopening.
- The number of toilet and sink fixtures must meet the minimum standards of the New York State Building Code. In order to ensure compliance, a design professional should be consulted prior to any modifications to layouts or number of fixtures.
- Ventilation Mandatory Requirements - Maintain adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed. We will open up our uni-vent systems to allow for additional fresh air to circulate within the building.
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Valley Stream 30 will provide all students enrolled in the school lunch program with access to school meals each school day.
Valley Stream 30 uses Whitsons culinary group to provide meals to our students. They have ensured that their meals are in compliance with child nutrition requirements. Whitsons has outlined all of their health and safety measures that they are taking in accordance with CDC guidelines: https://www.whitsons.com/covid-19-updates
Upon reopening of school, students will be eating breakfast and lunch at their own personal desks. Students are not allowed to share food with other students in the classroom. Students will either wash their hands at a sink or hand sanitizer before and after eating.
Communication will be shared with families to notify them of any food allergies in the classroom and foods to avoid sending in with their child. Accommodations will be made for students based upon their allergies.
All district documentation in reference to child nutrition is posted on the Valley Stream 30 website, www.valleystream30.com. The district website allows for families to translate information using Google translate. In addition, we have translators available within the school district if needed.
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All students in Valley Stream 30 that will be riding on our contracted shuttle bus will be required to wear a mask upon entering the bus. If they do not have a mask, one will be provided to them by the district. Parents will be expected to take their child’s temperature and assess any symptoms of illness prior to leaving their house in the morning. When the child arrives at school, a Valley Stream 30 staff member will be present to take their temperature using a scanning thermometer. Once students are on the bus, they will be spaced out to be one child on a seat bench and students will be asked to sit in the window seats. Only students that are in the same household may share a bench.
The bus driver will wear a mask when passengers are aboard the bus. The matron on the bus will wear a mask and gloves while passengers are on the bus. The bus driver will wipe down high touch areas after each run and will conduct a deeper cleaning(disinfecting) at the end of the day. Signage for social distancing and the wearing of masks will be posted on the buses.
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Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
The return to school this year will again be unlike any other in our history and will be emotionally charged for students and adults alike. At the heart of this complex time is attending to our mental health needs and deepening our Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies so we can begin to process, heal, and thrive. For the past several years, Valley Stream 30 has been at the forefront of prioritizing SEL for students that is driven by an inclusive “whole child” vision and a strategic plan that lays out purposeful goals that guide all our decision-making. The district has updated our five year strategic plan with a continued commitment of promoting social emotional learning and development as an essential part of every child’s education. Valley Stream 30 also recognizes the importance of strengthening and supporting adult SEL competencies & capacity to model the resiliency skills needed to meet the challenges of today’s “new normal”.
Valley Stream 30 has an annual guidance and counseling plan that is reviewed and updated in conjunction with district staff and in collaboration with the guidance team of Valley Stream Central High School district. Since Valley Stream 30 is a K-6 district we utilize an access model for counselor services for our students. Each of our buildings has access to at least one full time school psychologist who provides an array of counseling interventions for all students identified as being in need through our systemic Multi-Tiered RTI District Framework for Social Emotional Learning and Development. For the 2021-2022 school year, the district has expanded our school psychologists from a total of four to five to meet the mental health needs of our students. Our guidance and counseling plan can be found on our district website: https://www.valleystream30.com/
In addition to our guidance and counseling plan, we also have our annual Mental Health plan that is updated on an annual basis. This plan speaks to our district-wide universal SEL screener, tiered levels of support available to all students, community resources for families, and a blueprint of mental health lessons to address specific SEL competencies as well as addressing the stigma of mental illness in 6th grade. For the 2021-2022 school year, the district will be continuing to expand mental health lessons to other grades. School psychologists have spearheaded identifying and implementing research-based counseling Tier III interventions tailored to specific student emotional/behavioral needs.
Each of the three elementary schools in Valley Stream 30 has an established shared decision making team (IST) that consists of administrators, teachers, parents and students. In addition to the shared decision making team, each building has an SEL Implementation Team that leads wellness initiatives aligned with district goals and provides coaching support to the faculty. Over the past several years, these building-level teams have been critical in the roll out of the RULER approach that is part of the district’s Tier 1 Universal Expectations for all classrooms to create emotionally safe learning environments and build students’ emotional literacy. For the 2021-2022 school year, the district will renew defining the SEL team members roles and responsibilities.
As part of our re-entry, the district plans to continue to utilize the CASEL’s SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools (2021) that lays out four critical practices with essential questions to guide our continued work for our students and staff to reunite, renew, and thrive as a school community during these unprecedented times:
Critical Practice #1: Take time to cultivate & deepen relationships & build community partnerships as students and staff return to work
Critical Practice #2: Design opportunities where adults can connect, heal, and build their capacity to support students
Critical Practice #3: Create safe, supportive and equitable learning environments that promote all students social-emotional learning
Critical Practice #4: Use data as an opportunity to share power, deepen relationships and practice continuous improvement for students, families, and staff
For the 2021-22 school year, Valley Stream 30 will continue with its district-wide SEL Advisory Council that will work collaboratively with each of the building-level SEL Implementation Teams
to review data, share/research best practices, brainstorm ideas on potential concerns, and engage in shared decision making.
Valley Stream 30 recognizes that the school plays a key role in promoting mental health in all children, recognizing that students’ learning and development is supported by environments that encourage a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence as well as the ability to identify, express, and regulate emotions. The district is committed to creating safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments for all students that support their social and emotional development by: Creating a common SEL language throughout the district based on the RULER approach and Second Step program, allotting time throughout each day for students to reflect on their emotional state utilizing the Mood Meter, teaching de-escalation techniques and strategies such as the Meta Moment & Blueprint SEL anchor tools, and redesigning the curriculum in grades Pre-K-6 to integrate more SEL aligned lessons incorporating RULER’s “Feeling Words”.
For the 2021-22 school year, a 15 minute Wellness period will be added to the daily schedules in grades PK-6 to allow for activities such as creating Class Charters, morning greetings, Mood Meter feeling check-ins, mindfulness activities, and classroom community building exercises to foster emotionally safe and caring learning environments. Through a combination of presentations, videos, real-world scenario role playing, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness approaches, the school psychologists will follow a push-in rotational schedule where they will visit classrooms to instruct on mental health awareness, increase students’ stress management strategies and coping skills. In collaboration with the psychology department, the Physical Education teachers will continue to include mental health objectives into their daily lessons. Calming activities such as yoga and personalized fitness tracking as well as socially distant team building and problem solving events such as treasure hunts will be incorporated into the PE units of study.
The district also plans to assess the school climate at each of our three elementary schools by surveying families, staff, and students during the school year. Valley Stream 30 has established relationships with: New Horizons and North Shore LIJ to offer referrals for outside counseling services and support as well as contracted a psychiatrist for any psychiatric evaluations/consultations in addition to provide staff training as needed . In continuing to enhance our services to families we will continue to offer District-wide Live Stream parent workshops with local guest speakers, including district school psychologists. In addition to the Universal SEL Screener that the district administers to all students as part of our Multi-Tiered RTI Framework for Student Behavior, the school psychologists will be identifying other diagnostic screeners to address specific stressors contributed by the COVID-19 and administer to students in need with parent consent.
Resources and Professional Development
In 2020-2021, Valley Stream 30 hasbeen participating in the Mental Health/SEL Liaison Meetings facilitated by Nassau BOCES that is made up of several districts in Nassau County to plan for re-entry and will be joining their Mental Health Consortium for the 2021-2022 school year to share best practices/resources, and offer PD opportunities for staff and school leaders. Our school psychologists are working on summer SEL curriculum projects to prepare student resources and staff training ideas for our transition back to school. During Superintendent’s Conference days, building and district meetings time will be provided to staff to have an opportunity to share and discuss their feelings and concerns during the transition back. As a district, we will look to expand our Check in Connect program that had previously been established as a mentorship for students with a staff member. The expansion will include providing this support to staff and families as well. As a district we are also exploring out-of-district consultants to work with staff on how to cope with trauma and be able to identify the red flags signaling students are in need of support. Each school will have specific members of their crisis team be trained in Crisis Intervention Prevention (CPI) to assist with de-escalation techniques for highly stressful scenarios and preventive measures to approach a student with emotional needs. Lastly, the district is in the process of creating a digital platform where all mental health resources can be found in one centralized location for teaching staff and continuing to utilize our district/school webpages to post family resources.
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Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
In Valley Stream 30 we use eSchool as our Student Information System(SIS). Each day teachers will take attendance for students that are in their classroom physically. Students that have 10 or more absences will be notified via written notification and phone call by the school administration. Our teachers, nurses and administrators will monitor daily attendance for patterns and frequency of individual students.
Teachers will be completing an on-line form once they have entered the building that will be time stamped and will account for their daily “sign-in” to the building. Staff members that will not be able to attend work due to illness will enter in their submission for a sick day on the Electronic system AESOP via Frontline.
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Technology and Connectivity
Hardware and Connectivity
The Valley Stream 30 School district has made a commitment to device accessibility for all students in Kindergarten through 6th grade. Should there be a need to pivot to remote instruction, all students are equipped with a device to utilize in school and at home. All students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade have received an iPad. Students in grades 4th-6th have received a Chromebook. We continue to have hotspots available through T-Mobile for families that are in need of internet connection in their homes. All teaching staff and administration has been provided a MacBook to use for school purposes.
We have continued to provide our staff with on-going professional development opportunities in a virtual setting. We have utilized district staff members, Nassau BOCES Model Schools, OTIS online learning and a variety of video recorded sessions to support staff with the implementation of remote learning and digital programs. Our integration with Google and the use of various tools in the suite will continue to be an area that we look to support staff with as we move into the 2021-22 school year.
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Teaching and Learning
Continuity of Instruction 2021-22
As of September 2021 we are transitioning back to fully in person instruction. Our curriculum is fully aligned with New York State Learning Standards. All of our core curricular resources have a digital component to match and support their print texts. Through the use of digital platforms like Class Link and Google Classroom, students have access to all resources.
Should we need to pivot to remote learning at any point during the school year, students will receive a blend of asynchronous and synchronous instruction. Students should sign on to the Google Meet with their classroom teacher at 8:20am for attendance. Students will continue to follow their regular schedule, including special area classes and support services.
Communication of Instructional Plans
Valley Stream 30 has multiple means of sharing information with families. All print memos that are shared with the community are posted on our Valley Stream 30 District website(www.valleystream30.com). As a district we will be shifting toward the use of the Parent Square digital platform for mass communication. The district, building administration and classroom teachers will be using this platform to share important updates.
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The Valley Stream 30 School District will continue to provide high quality special education programs and related services, providing accessible curriculum, support interventions, and accommodations driven by students’ IEPs for 2021-2022. While reopening may present challenges for all, students with disabilities may experience these challenges to a greater extent than their peers and take longer to remediate lost skills. This plan allows for flexibility in determining how to meet the individual needs of students receiving special education services while complying with healthy/safety guidelines. There will be an increase to in-person instruction & related services with health & safety precautions in place. All mandatory special education regulations will be followed to the greatest extent possible to provide students with FAPE. This plan identifies vulnerable student populations based on severity of disability.
Valley Stream 30 engaged parents in the IEP development, outline provision of special education services based on student needs as part of the 2021-2022 Annual Review meetings held video conference. All families of students with disabilities will have their IEPS finalized prior to schools opening and the Special Services Department is accessible over the summer to address all parent concerns/questions and reconvene CSEs/CPSEs if requested. Families can reach out to the district via email, phone or digital communication platform.
CPSE and CSE
The Valley Stream 30 fosters a collaborative model for shared-decision making. The Special Services Department held transition CPSE/CSE meetings for all Kindergarten students entering schools in September during the Spring 2021 and Summer 2021. Both CPSE preschool and CSE school-aged committees met remotely and worked together with parents to make eligibility determinations and special education program/service recommendations for newly referred students. All our elementary schools have been provided the final committee recommendations & students’ individualized needs to assist with class/teacher assignments. The Special Services Department utilized a document repository to seamlessly share evaluations/reports to make informed and multidisciplinary decisions. All CPSE/CSEs meetings will continue to be “business as usual” and be held video conferences (i.e., Google Meet) for convenience & safety of families and staff in addition to in-person meetings throughout the year if feasible. In-person evaluations will continue when schools reopen when feasible and health/safety precautions are currently in place. Special Education Teachers and related service providers will continue to progress monitor IEP goals and provide IEP progress marks to families each quarter. Special Education staff will continue to expand efforts to utilize different modalities (i.e., expand digital communications such as Parent Square, Google Classrooms) to communicate with parents about their children’s progress and provide resources.
Accommodations and Modifications
Valley Stream 30 is committed to ensuring students with disabilities IEPs are being implemented as written laying out accommodations, modifications/supplemental aids, and specialized instruction. The Special Services Department incorporates an Universal Design for Learning (UDL) philosophy by providing all special education classes with 1:1 devices with accessibility features and assistive technology software to be used for students with disabilities dependent on their specific needs. District will install the Don Johnston Assistive Technologies bundle on all special education student devices for school & home use. Special Education Staff will continue to provide access to both manual and digital supplemental aids (i.e., graphic organizers, visuals). Students with disabilities who are unable to wear protective personal equipment and consistently adhere to other CDC guidelines will be identified to determine additional environmental modifications and/or differentiated personal equipment that will be needed.
Valley Stream 30 will continue to offer the full continuum of special education programs and services with-in district. Students’ individualized special education recommendations will be documented via finalized 2021-2022 Individual Education Programs (IEPs) that families will receive prior to the first day of school. Any changes/modifications to delivery of instruction/services as well as bus transportation will be communicated via district letters, district website notifications, and/or phone calls. Translation services will continue to be expanded based on the needs of the district’s bilingual families. In the 2020-2021 school year, the Special Services Department provided bilingual families with translated evaluation reports and complete IEPs in their native language. The Special Services Department will utilize applications (i.e., Say Hi app; Google translation) to create a welcoming environment and implement effective communications to reduce language barriers.
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Bilingual Education & World Languages
Valley Stream 30 does not have enough students at a given grade level, with the same home language to offer bilingual classes. Across the district we do adhere to the CR-Part 154 requirements for identification and instruction based upon levels and units of study. All families registering a child to attend a school within Valley Stream 30 school district will complete the HLQ as part of their registration process. Upon review of the HLQ those students that speak a second language will be administered the screening interview prior to being given the NYSITELL. Based upon a student’s results from the NYSITELL, they will be scheduled for the appropriate number of minutes and delivery of the instruction model based upon their level. We will continue to provide all required documentation and information to families in accordance with CR-Part 154 requirements, including the sharing of information in their preferred home language.
Students will receive both in person push in support via co-teaching with the classroom teacher and pull out services delivered virtually. Our ENL teaching staff, bi-lingual aides and parent language ambassadors will help to communicate with families on updates in the district.
Teachers will utilize materials and instructional resources that are linguistically age/grade appropriate and aligned to the Next Generation Learning Standards. Teachers will review the Blueprint for English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners to ensure that educational expectations are clear for ELL/MLL to provide a foundation for academic success.
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Both the State and Local economies continue to be dramatically impacted by COVID-19. During these troubling times, Valley Stream 30 continues to remain vigilant in assessing its fiscal status. This summer the District will complete its annual State Aid filing with the NYS Education Department and will complete its annual School Funding Transparency Form with the NYS Department of Budget.
- The District will continue to monitor the status of State Aid that may be restored by the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, $235,654.
- The District explores possible ways to maximize State Aid by careful planning of its
- The District maintains its regulatory compliance with successfully completed audits and financial reporting.
Budget and Fiscal Matters
Valley Stream 30 projects to spend resources on a number of unfunded necessities during the 2020-21 school year. Some of these essential items include personal protective equipment and additional sanitizing supplies. The District has used its savings from funds not spent this Summer to cover the expense of these unfunded items.
The District is continuously monitoring the cost of these unfunded expenses that are necessary for a successful school reopening.
As always, Valley Stream 30 will budget and spend funds based on what is best for its students and its community.
∙ The District is prepared for potential mid-year State Aid cuts.
∙ The District will continue to review its short-term and long-term financial plans to have a sound fiscal plan in place to sustain its academic programming.
∙ The District will continue to be transparent with the Board of Education and the Valley Stream 30 Community when deciding all relevant financial matters.
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Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (Education Law §3012-D/APPR)
Valley Stream 30 will continue to follow our NYSED approved APPR plan for the 2021-22 school year. http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/teachers-leaders/plans/docs/valley-stream-30/valley-stream-30-appr-plan-122116.pdf
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● State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools(August 12, 2021)
● Nassau County Department of Health Back to School Letter and FAQ (August 11,2021)
● 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