We are closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19. When we share information with the Bonjour NY | Hola NY | Ni Hao NY community, we will also post it here.
COVID protocols and safety measures
The following outlines the responsibilities, protocols, and instruction plans for the Facility, for as long as state governments mandate interim COVID-19 protocols to be set in place. All individuals attending programs at the Facility, as well as all visitors, families, vendors, and employees, are subject to this protocol when using the Facility for any purpose.
The Facility Camps Director is responsible for developing the plan and ensuring compliance with guidelines and regulations issued by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) during the Facility’s reopening.
The Facility Camps Director shall ensure that protocols and procedures are communicated and complied with by all staff. In partnership with contractors or subcontractors, information about site policies related to containment and prevention of COVID-19 outbreak shall be communicated to students and parents/legal guardians of students. These protocols shall also be communicated to administrators, staff, local health departments, local health care providers, and, where appropriate, affiliated organizations.
Social Distancing and Face Covering
During operations, staff should maintain a distance of no less than six feet apart from each other as much as possible, unless safety of the core activity requires a shorter distance, or individuals are of the same household (such as siblings).
Office spaces shall be organized so that staff members can maintain a distance of six feet. The Facility Camps Director may also provide physical barriers between employee workspaces in accordance with United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines, including strip curtains, cubicle walls, plexiglass or similar materials, or other impermeable dividers or partitions.
Staff shall design lesson plans and class activities such that children maintain social distancing as much as possible.
The Facility Camps Director should ensure that in-place measures are put in place to reduce bi-directional foot traffic in hallways and that communal spaces have tape or stickers designating standing space of six feet apart. In classrooms, staff should also put in place measures to designate standing or sitting space of six feet apart for students.
Any time or place that individuals cannot maintain appropriate social distancing, individuals must wear acceptable face coverings, as well as in common areas such as hallways, lobbies, and shared restrooms, where they may unexpectedly encounter other individuals.
Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings (e.g., homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose.
Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical health or mental health, are not subject to the required use of a face covering.
Each contractor and subcontractor shall provide face coverings to all employees. Employees are also permitted to wear their own personal face coverings. Where possible, employees should disinfect face coverings before re-use.
Families shall provide face coverings for their students to bring with them upon arrival to the Facility each day. When in the lobby, stairwell, school hallways, and classrooms, students shall wear face coverings. Staff are responsible for ensuring children are able to adapt to the wearing of a facemask or face shield, and will coordinate with families to ensure child comfort. Mask breaks shall be provided at a safe distance.
In general, staff may allow students to remove their face covering during snacks, meals, and for short breaks. However, staff must ensure that students maintain proper social distancing during the entirety of face covering breaks.
If a face covering is damaged, contaminated, or otherwise unusable, staff shall obtain a replacement from the Facility Camps Director.
If a child is unable to wear a face covering, or has significant difficulty adapting to use of face coverings, staff shall communicate with the impacted family to accommodate the child’s needs.
Contractors and vendors are required to source and wear their own face masks when on-site at all times. However, the Facility may provide face coverings to contractors and vendors as needed.
Social Distancing for Certain Activities
For all activities where individuals participating in activities are required to project their voices (e.g. singing), playing wind instruments, or aerobic activity that may induce heavy breathing, staff should ensure that students remain masked and maintain a distance of no less than 6 feet apart from one another.
In the event of a school field trip, children and staff are required to wear face coverings during the entirety of the field trip, including within transportation such as subways and buses, and in other buildings.
Staff should not employ student safety measures for travel which require physical contact, such as a hand holding buddy system. The Operations Manager shall provide items which will reduce the need for physical contact between students during travel, such as walking ropes.
Staff are discouraged from sourcing parent / guardian volunteers for chaperones to school trips.
In general, visitors and parents or guardians are not permitted entry to other floors of the Facility. Visitors and parents or guardians who wish to enter the upper floors must first check in at the security desk. The security staff will then notify Facility reception, who shall confirm whether the visitor, parent or guardian may be permitted access to the upper floors of the Facility.
The school security staff on duty shall ensure that no more than 25 individuals are located in the first floor school lobby at one time. Individuals in excess of 25 must wait outside the school building to either pick-up / drop-off children, or to be accommodated. All individuals in the school lobby must maintain social distancing unless they are of the same household.
Classrooms at the Facility range between 425 and 650 square feet. Depending on the size of the classroom, staff are to ensure that classroom occupancy does not exceed 15 students at any time.
Staff shall ensure that classroom spaces are reconfigured to allow for students to maintain social distancing during classroom activities, including ensuring that student tables are
placed at an adequate distance, and standing or sitting room is sufficient to allow for social distancing between children.
Where possible, staff shall coordinate hallway traffic so that movement is uni-directional.
Shared classroom spaces, such as libraries, art studios, or science labs, shall be cohorted in use, and disinfected between use by each class group.
The Facility Camps Director shall post signs throughout the school and regularly share similar messages with the school community, consistent with DOH COVID-19 signage regarding public health protections against COVID-19. This signage shall be selected to be legible to children, and shall remind individuals to stay home if they feel sick, use face coverings when unable to maintain social distancing, properly store and discard PPE, adhere to social distancing instructions, report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19, follow hand hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection protocols outlined in “Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection,” and to follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
The Facility requires families to provide a cold lunch for their children each day.
If children are provided with snacks, these snack items shall be individually packaged for each child. Children are not permitted to share food during lunch or snack time. Staff members supervising student meal times shall ensure children do not share meal items. Additionally, events at the Facility shall not include shared / buffet-style food.
Children and staff should maintain social distancing at all times when eating. Staff shall ensure seating for students is appropriately spaced.
Gathering in small spaces such as elevators, supply rooms, and staff offices is restricted. When a small space is not restricted to one individual, all individuals in the small space must maintain social distancing.
Elevators may be occupied by no more than two individuals, or one household, at a time. All individuals in elevators must wear face coverings.
The staff lounge may be occupied by no more than four individuals at a time. Supply rooms may be occupied by no more than one individual at a time.
Student restrooms may be occupied by no more than two students at a time.
The HVAC units meet or exceed DOHMH guidelines for filtering and air exchange in every case. The HVAC units shall be maintained under the supervision of the Facility Camps Director, who shall ensure that filters are regularly replaced and that the units are in working order, providing air circulation throughout the building.
When weather permits, staff should open classroom windows and doors to allow for maximal ventilation in classrooms.
The Facility Camps Director is responsible for ensuring that hand sanitizer stations shall be made available in close proximity to shared amenities, such as water fountains, water coolers, restrooms, shared office space, and the staff lounge. For amenities used only by adults (e.g. the staff lounge), the Facility Camps Director may also make disposable disinfectant wipes available for staff use.
In spaces where water fountains are adjacent, more than one student is not permitted to use adjacent water fountains at a time.
To ensure restrooms are not excessively occupied, the Facility shall use designations for bathroom occupation. These may include bathroom passes or occupied signs posted at restrooms.
Students shall remain cohorted throughout the day, meaning that staff should ensure that students stay with their preassigned, fixed classroom group throughout the course of the day and do not intermingle with other groups. This policy shall include field trips, auxiliary programming, lunch, and park time.
Staff may instruct more than one cohort throughout the day, so long as social distancing is maintained.
Staff are responsible for ensuring cohorts do not intermingle. Cohort assignments are designated by the administrative team.
In the event that a child or several children in a class has tested positive for COVID-19, following quarantine of that student and pending recovery, the class may be temporarily moved to a virtual learning model until all contacts have been identified, notified, tested, and cleared, as well as until the Facility has been cleaned and disinfected.
Use of Facility During Non-School Hours
Any use of the school Facility outside of school hours or the school sessions, such as by volunteers, vendors, parent committees, subcontractors, etc. must follow school guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.
Continuity of Learning
In the event that the Facility must move to a remote or hybridized model of instruction, the Facility Camps Director shall communicate changes to class schedules to families.
Curriculum content shall be distributed to families and instruction facilitated by teachers via an online virtual classroom platform such as Google Classroom. Remote and hybridized models of instruction shall include daily live instruction with staff via a video teleconference solution, such as Zoom.
Subcontractors and vendors
The Facility Camps Director is responsible for ensuring on-site enrichment programs may transfer to an online learning model if required due to mandated government closure of the Facility, in partnership with the Facility’s vendors. To reduce foot traffic and student occupancy in the building during after-school hours, enrichment courses may increasingly be offered online instead of on-site, or hybridized at staggered schedules.
All Facility policies regarding face coverings also apply to children attending all Enrichment programming, as well as their families. The Facility Camps Director is responsible for ensuring compliance with partner Vendors and after-school staff.
Vendors and contractors in partnership with the Facility are required to train their staff as well as their students in the proper use of PPE, including how to properly put on, take off, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE or face coverings.