And as the vast majority of children prepare to go home (some will be able to continue to do distance learning if given special permission, the mayor recently said), the city is sharing its policies regarding COVID safety in communities. schools.
With distance learning still not an option for other students, despite petitions and appeals from parents and teachers, Mayor Bill de Blasio again stressed the importance of bringing students back to learning by person and bragged about how the largest school district in the United States was last year. able to keep coronavirus cases 0.03% positive, or as he called it, “almost non-existent.”
“It was literally one of the safest places in New York City,” de Blasio said during his daily press briefing. “We intend to start over, with an extraordinary set of health and safety measures, but with a tool that we did not have for most of last year, vaccination and vaccination on a large scale. “
The United Federation of Teachers issued a statement on school protocols, urging decisions on masking, ventilation, social distancing and testing. The UFT was also delighted that “the mayor has finally recognized the need for virtual education for medically fragile children and for those in quarantine”. The union said details regarding distance education were still being worked out.
Teachers won’t be able to skip a vaccine much longer in New York City. Erica Byfield reports on the fight that is brewing around the decision.
Here are some of the protocols that schools in New York City will follow, with a handful of guidelines (such as quarantine and building closure guidelines) changing since last year, with all information also available here. on the city’s website.
Vaccinations and health screening
All employees of the New York City Department of Education, including staff based in schools, must be vaccinated and must prove that at least one dose was given by September 27. While there is no COVID vaccination requirement for children, the city has strongly encouraged all eligible students aged 12 and over to be vaccinated.
There is an online portal that students and families can use to enter their immunization status. Proof of vaccination includes an image of a vaccination card, NYS Excelsior Pass, or other government document.
All students and staff are also required to complete a health screening form before entering school each day, confirming that they currently do not have COVID-19 symptoms, have not recently tested positive for COVID -19 and are currently not required to self-quarantine based on close contact with an infected person. All students and staff who feel ill should stay home and get tested for COVID-19.
New York City teachers, firefighters, police and healthcare workers are expected to rally against the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on Wednesday. Romney Smith reports from NBC New York.
Face cover and PPE
Face coverings are mandatory for all students and staff traveling on school buses and anywhere on school grounds, indoors and outdoors, regardless of immunization status, unless medical exemption is provided.
Face masks can be removed at lunchtime so that students can eat comfortably at a safe distance from each other, or during designated “mask breaks”.
Schools in New York City follow the CDC’s guidelines for physical spacing, which “recommend that schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students in classrooms to reduce the risk of transmission.”
When and if possible, elementary schools will keep groups of students together cohesively or have teachers move between classes to minimize the amount of student movement throughout the school.
Some teachers question the city about its plans to impose vaccines on school staff. Erica Byfield reports.
Ten percent of unvaccinated people in each school who have submitted consent for the test will be tested every two weeks. Students and staff who are fully immunized have no testing requirements.
In order for students to participate in the school-based testing program, parents must provide consent for the children. The consent form can be downloaded here, or parents can complete it in their NYC Schools (NYCSA) account.
Positive cases of COVID-19 in schools: closures and quarantines
This is the only part that is quite different from last year. There are different quarantine protocols depending on the class in which a positive case is found and the vaccination status of the students.
If there is a positive case with a student in an elementary school class, all students in the class will be asked to quarantine themselves for 10 calendar days and will perform distance learning during that time.
It gets more complicated in middle and high school classes. If there is a positive case in a class, students who:
- At least 12 years old, vaccinated and not symptomatic: May continue to attend school in person, but are encouraged to take a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after exposure, as a precaution.
- At least 12 years old, vaccinated and symptomatic: will be quarantined for 10 calendar days and will have access to distance learning during this period
- Unvaccinated: Will be quarantined for 10 calendar days and have access to distance learning. On day 5 of quarantine, students can take a COVID-19 test and can resume in-person learning after day 7 with a negative result
Schools will only be closed when it is determined by the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) that there is widespread transmission in the school. Such closures are likely to be rare.
The state recommends canceling high-risk sports in high-risk areas unless everyone is vaccinated. Lynda Baquero reports.
Distance learning options
The city’s health department has determined that students who have any of the following conditions may be approved for medically necessary distance education:
|Active cancer||Adrenal disorder||Cerebral ataxia||Chronic kidney disease|
|Congenital heart disease||Congenital lung disease||Cystic fibrosis||Crohn’s Gastro / Maladie|
|Heart disease||Leukemia||Liver disease||Lymphoma|
|Metabolic disorders||Multiple sclerosis||Muscular dystrophy||Seizures|
Any family with a pupil who is immunocompromised due to a medical condition or treatment for a medical condition may seek medically necessary instruction. Applications from families with an unlisted condition will be reviewed to determine their eligibility.
A new school year is starting, which means it’s time to start back-to-school groceries, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. With a little planning, you can save on everything from school supplies to school clothes all year round.
Other guidelines: ventilation, cleaning, outdoor learning
All rooms used by students and staff for extended periods have fully operational ventilation through natural, mechanical or a combination of ventilation. Every New York City classroom has two HEPA purifiers, and cafeterias in large schools have large HEPA units for added protection and window-based exhaust fans to provide additional air circulation.
All classrooms and common areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, etc.) have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Frequently touched areas (doorknobs, water fountains, etc.) are cleaned several times during the day, and each classroom is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected daily using electrostatic technology.
When it comes to outdoor learning, schools in New York will continue to use schoolyards, streets and parks as additional learning space, with schools located in areas hardest hit by COVID. -19 being priorities for the program.