As parents get ready to send their kids back to school this year, they are faced with many different circumstances than normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused schools to put more emphasis on health and safety, and schools have changed protocols to adhere to state and federal guidelines. A big piece of that is personal protective equipment, or PPE. Here are plans from local districts on how PPE will be incorporated into the school day. For the full reopening plans, visit the district’s website.
Face coverings are required, though scheduled mask breaks will be allowed when socially distanced. Medical masks will be provided for anyone who needs one as per NYSED guidance. All health offices and custodial staff will be supplied with N95 masks, face shields and gloves. Antibacterial dispensers will be in all classrooms and hallways. PPE signage will be posted in all buildings.
All individuals in school facilities and on school grounds must wear a face covering if another person unexpectedly cannot socially distance. All students and staff members must wear cloth face coverings whenever they are within six feet of someone in hallways, restrooms, buses and other places.
The schools will provide acceptable face coverings to employees (and students if they forget their own) and have an adequate supply in case of need for replacement.
Mask breaks will be scheduled when socially distant.
Schools will provide instruction to students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and vendors on the proper way to wear face coverings, hygiene before putting on and after removing a face covering, how to discard disposable face coverings, and cleaning of reusable face coverings.
Students, faculty, staff, and other individuals are required to wear face coverings, unless they have a documented issue. Signage will also be posted in both buildings to remind students and staff about appropriate PPE and safety procedures. Acceptable coverings include cloth-based and surgical masks that cover the mouth and nose. Students, faculty and staff will be trained on how to adequately put on, take off, clean, and discard personal protective equipment. If a face covering is lost at school, the student or staff member will be supplied with one. Face coverings may be removed during meals, and short breaks will be given by teachers as long as students are socially distant. Individuals – including students – must wear face coverings in common areas, such as entrances/exits, buses, lobbies, and when traveling around the school. Face shields cannot be used in place of a face mask.