Home » Our District » School Safety » Archived 2021-22 New Hartford Central School District Reopening Plan

Archived 2021-22 New Hartford Central School District Reopening Plan

NHCSD Board of Education

Pamela King, President
Linda Lark, Vice President
Annette Bean
Beth Coombs
John Jadhon
Cindy Chan Phillips
James Stephens
David Langone, Interim Superintendent of Schools


We will be following CDC and NYS guidance. These can be found on the following websites:

Health & Safety, Physical Distancing & Face Coverings


The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission levels. Masks will be worn at schools while indoors.

People are not required to wear a mask outdoors on school grounds, but may if they so choose. People who are not fully vaccinated should wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people. Our District will have a sufficient supply of masks for students and staff who forget their own or need a replacement, including on buses.

Physical Distancing

Our schools will maintain at least three feet of physical distance between students within classrooms when practicable. A distance of at least six feet is recommended between students and teachers/staff and between teachers/staff who are not fully vaccinated. We will maximize physical distancing as much as possible when students are eating.


Use of lockers will be permitted.

Desk Barriers/Shields

There will be no desk barriers used in classrooms.


Transportation will be provided at full capacity although parents are still encouraged to transport their children when possible. Every effort has been made to keep the bus routes as similar as possible to previous years. However, there will be some adjustments to accommodate a reduction of student density on the buses where possible. Our transportation plan should not impact the instructional day. Double runs will not be used unless we have an emergency situation or change in guidelines. All students and staff will be required to wear a face mask on the bus. We will be assigning seats to assist with contact tracing. Windows and roof hatches will be opened to allow fresh air exchange, weather permitting.

Temperature and Questionnaire Screenings

The CDC no longer recommends temperature screenings or screening questionnaires at school. However, it is recommended schools should be proactive that children experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 and stay home. Families are reminded and encouraged to be mindful of indications their children may exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 and to seek testing when such symptoms are present. The CDC maintains a list of COVID-19 symptoms on its website. Although we do not plan to begin the school year with screening protocols, the New Hartford Central School District retains the right to implement screening if we feel it will help us control the spread of COVID-19.

Extracurricular Activities

At this point, the State of New York, New York State Health Department, Oneida County Health Department, and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association are allowing interscholastic athletics in the fall. However, the CDC and County Health Department have developed guidelines to help schools implement programs safely that are deemed high risk. In the fall, New Hartford sponsors cheer and football. Both activities are considered high risk. Mr. Banek, Director of Athletics, is communicating with the parents of all athletes that have signed up for a sport deemed high risk.

Other sports offered by New Hartford in the fall are not considered high risk.

Marching Band will practice and compete. Oneida County Health Department has indicated this is an elevated risk activity while in a COVID-19 high transmission rate zone. The Director of the Marching Band will communicate any required protocols to the members and parents.


The CDC states that vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The District will work with local partners and the Oneida County Department of Health to offer and promote the COVID-19 vaccinations for eligible students and staff.

Contact Tracing

Oneida County Health Department continues to guide contact tracing and will make medical determinations regarding quarantines on a case by case basis. As in the past, district officials will provide Oneida County Health Department information required to assist health department officials in their contact tracing efforts.

Ventilation and Fans

We consulted with our mechanical engineers and ventilation controls contractor to improve the airflow in our systems. All filters were replaced again this summer with the highest rated MERV filters that will allow our ventilation systems to bring in the maximum amount of fresh air. Whenever possible, windows and doors will be opened to bring in fresh air. As a supplement, air filtration units will be provided in each classroom to reduce the risk of transmission. In addition, fans will continue to be allowed in the classrooms with ceiling fans reversed. Other fans will be facing out of open windows to increase fresh air exchange.

Cleaning Protocols

We will continue to follow CDC guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting our facilities to ensure a clean environment for our students and staff. Cleaning logs are in each room throughout the district documenting the date and time of disinfection in the space. There are several alcohol-based hand sanitizer stations throughout the facilities including, but not limited to, all entrances, common areas, and classrooms. Cleaning/Alcohol wipes and green cleaning solution are available in all classrooms and other shared spaces. Frequently touched surfaces and objects will be cleaned several times a day to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects. Signs regarding proper hand hygiene are posted throughout the District.

School Closures

In case of school closures due to a declared public health emergency, we are prepared to provide remote instruction to all students. This includes access to a device such as a Chromebook or Laptop in order to access Google Classrooms, Zoom and other software essential to support daily learning. It will also include daily schedule information, attendance procedures, instructional material pick-up, grading procedures, important contact information, attendance at BOCES programs, as well as other pertinent information.

I have COVID-19 symptoms. When can I go back to work at the school?

New York State Department of Health Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit

Management of Ill Students

Students with symptoms of illness must be sent to the school Health Office. The nurse will assess each individual.

If Students Become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

NHCSD will follow Education Law § 906, which provides that whenever a student in the public schools showsm symptoms of any communicable or infectious disease reportable under the public health law that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he or she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately, in a safe and proper conveyance. The Director of School Health Services shall immediately notify a local public health agency of any disease reportable under the public health law. The Director of School Health Services, or other health professionals acting upon direction or referral of such director, may make such evaluations of teachers and any other school employees, school buildings and premises as, in their discretion, they may deem necessary to protect the health of the students and staff.

School staff must immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse or other designated school staff members. Such reports should be made in compliance with FERPA, and Education Law 2-d. If nurses choose to go to classrooms to make assessments of students, this also should be done in a manner that protects the student’s confidentiality. If there is more than one student waiting to see the school nurse, arrangements will be made to have students wait at least six feet apart. School nurses and other school health professionals assessing or providing care to ill students and staff will be required to follow transmission – based precautions which include the use of appropriate PPE (see section on PPE).

Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by the parent/guardian must be isolated in a room or area separate from others, with a supervising adult present utilizing appropriate PPE. Multiple students suspected of COVID-19 may be in this isolation room if they can be separated by at least six feet.

NHCSD will comply with NYSDOH and CDC recommendations and:

  • Close off areas after use by a sick person and not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfection have occurred.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
  • 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.

Return to School After Illness

NHCSD will follow NYSDOH guidance for allowing a student or staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in conjunction with the local health department.

My child has COVID-19 symptoms. When can they go back to school?

New York State Department of Health Pre-K to Grade 12 COVID-19 Toolkit

School Closures

NHCSD will collaborate with the Oneida County Health Department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism, increased illness in school community, etc.) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID -19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. The Superintendent of Schools will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. NHCSD may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The medical director and/or the Oneida County Health Department will be consulted when making such decisions.

We will continue to monitor directives from the Governor’s office regarding school closings.

Child Nutrition

NHCSD will ensure compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.

Child Nutrition Program requirements will be followed for all meals served. We will continue to offer students as many choices for all meal components as possible. Menus will be planned by the Food Service Administration team and reviewed by the director and school dietitian both of whom are registered dietitians. Menus will also be analyzed on a macro and micro nutrient level using menu planning software.

NHCSD will ensure that:

  • Students enrolled in the School Food Assistance program will have access to school meals each school day. This includes students in attendance at school and students learning remotely.
  • We will continue to address all applicable health and safety guidelines.
  • We will continue to include measures to protect students with food allergies if providing meals in spaces outside the cafeteria.
  • Protocols and procedures are in place for students to perform hand hygiene before and after eating, how appropriate hand hygiene will be promoted, and how sharing of food and beverages will be discouraged.
  • Protocols and procedures have been established that require cleaning and disinfection prior to the next group of students arriving for meals, if served in the same common area.
  • We remain in compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.
  • Protocols have been established that describe communication (similar to Student Services) with families through multiple means in the languages spoken by families.
  • Each school building and/or district reopening plan allows for physical distancing (six feet separation) while consuming meals in school.

Social Emotional Well-Being

NHCSD has developed a K – 12 Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Plan that addresses many facets of the counseling program, serving the needs of over 2,500 students across five buildings. In order to reflect the Commissioner’s Regulations effective July 1, 2019, a team of certified school counselors will review the current plan to ensure the plan is updated to meet the needs of our students and staff. The district considers this plan a dynamic document, and is subject to revision and updates to reflect current and future needs.

The Counseling Advisory Council (CAC) has conducted a crosswalk of the New Hartford Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Plan and the Recovering, Rebuilding and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools Reopening Guidance. The goal of this process is to identify additional resources; establish a referral process; denote trainings/professional development required to meet the current needs of our student s and staff due to COVID-19; and support the implementation of the counseling program.

NHCSD will implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework that will guide our delivery of services to all students. We will employ a three tiered approach:

  • Tier 1: Deliver Social Emotional Learning instruction and evidence-based practices in the classroom targeted to all students.
  • Tier 2: School Counselors and/or Social Workers will provide small-group or individual supports for students identified as at-risk with moderate mental health, behavioral and/or emotional needs.
  • Tier 3: Students suffering from significant mental health, behavioral and emotional challenges may require individualized clinical interventions, counseling and/or a referral to local community resources.

Age-appropriate screening tools will serve as a gauge for the counseling staff to inform the management of additional interventions, supports or programs necessary to improve student mental health, behavioral and emotional issues. Additional tools and resources will be provided to classroom teachers that will help them be able to better identify the aforementioned areas of concern they may have with a specific student or students that may result in a referral to a member of the counseling staff.

Faculty and staff will continue to be provided professional development opportunities through the district and the New Hartford Teacher Center utilizing webinars, video conferences, and in -person presentations (when permitted) with trained professionals with counseling or other appropriate background. Presentations by our counseling staff during building-level faculty meetings will be utilized as well. Professional learning will focus on the five competencies of social -emotional wellness including self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision making. Strategies to develop the necessary coping and resilience skills for students will be supported through focused SEL instruction that students will receive by the counseling staff and classroom teachers. Additional supports targeted to faculty and staff wi ll be implemented through the same methods identified above.

School Schedules

Class Schedules

To ensure equity in education the priority remains to focus on offering all students in-person instruction. Based on the infection rates and the designation of high transmission rates are identified, the NHCSD has the ability to shift from in-person to or fully remote learning allows for a consistent schedule. NHCSD is prepared to operate under in-person learning or a fully remote model. The in-person modality is full day on site for students based on three feet physical distancing with masks. This goal is to allow all students to receive as much in -person, live instruction as possible. In the event the District transitions to fully remote, all students will receive instruction that is aligned with the New York State Learning Standards in every subject area. Delivering in-person, fully remote model will ensure students receive equitable, high quality standards based instruction which includes daily interaction with teachers in order to meet their academic, social, and emotional needs.

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism


Daily student attendance is critical, especially when students are at home, during this uncommon time. Attendance records will be maintained for all instances when students are expected to be “in class” whether in the classroom or connected remotely from home. Student attendance will be guided by the New Hartford Central School District’s Attendance Policy #6005. Though good student attendance is critical, students should always be kept home from school when they are experiencing any symptoms of illness. The following will take place daily:

  • Every teacher will record attendance daily on our student management system whether instruction is delivered in school or remotely.
  • Each school will make a phone call home to check in with students not logged in or virtually present.
  • Building principals will analyze attendance weekly and implement a tiered approach to avoid potential chronic absenteeism.

Chronic Absenteeism

Extensive research indicates that missing ten percent of school days tends to be the “tipping point” when student achievement declines. Chronic absence, or absenteeism, is defined as missing at least ten percent of enrolled school days, which in New York state is 18 days per school year, or two days per month. Chronic absence includes all absences from instruction, both excused and unexcused. It is essential for school attendance policies to focus on the academic consequences of lost instructional time and for the school procedures to address absences before students fall behind in school. During these challenging times, the development of positive school relationships may be a lifeline for students disconnected from school. Although flexibility is recommended when monitoring attendance in a remote instructional model, for students who have not engaged in remote learning and school staff outreach to parents/guardians has been unsuccessful, New Hartford will utilize a variety of methods of reaching out to families including the following:

  • Phone calls to families are often the simplest solution and provide an immediate opportunity to offer resources and assess student and family needs.
  • Where families do not respond to phone calls, texting may offer a lower-stress alternative and a subsequent phone call can be arranged.
  • Seeking out adults in the school who have established a connection with the student and/or family may yield improved results. Counselors, coaches, social workers and psychologists are often logical choices, in addition to teaching staff. Social media contact or using friends to reach out can also be effective strategies.
  • School Based Intervention Team will meet virtually and work collaboratively with parents to address and create a plan to address improving student chronic absenteeism.
  • Attendance letters will be sent on a quarterly basis to families.
  • Students not in compliance with the New Hartford Central School District’s Attendance Policy #6005 will be referred to IST at the secondary level.

Technology and Connectivity

To best support in-person, and fully remote learning, high-speed internet access and computing devices for each student and staff member’s exclusive use are critical.

As was the case in response to the COVID-19 closure at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, gaps in student high-speed internet access at their place(s) of residence will continue to be addressed through the use of district-assigned 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots.

Staff high-speed internet access at their place(s) of residence is pervasive; any unique outliers are addressed through the use of district-assigned 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspots. All staff are assigned district-provided PC 2-in1s (laptop/tablet) or laptops for their computing device needs. NHCSD has purchased an additional 1,500 Chromebooks and laptops in order to ensure all students have access to an exclusive device. This will ensure that all students are able to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards for inperson, and fully remote learning models. Mastery of learning standards will be facilitated through dial-in and/or paper learning materials and/or assessments in the event of unique connectivity challenges. Such challenges may include instances whereas a device or hotspots cannot be provided to students.

Teaching and Learning

The NHCSD Reopening Plan includes a continuity of learning plan for the 2021-2022 school year. The plan prepares the district for in-person and fully remote models of instruction.

In-Person LearningAll students physically return to school in September following health and safety guidelines. This determination is made due to successful virus containment and minimal or low levels of COVID-19 transmission.
Fully Remote LearningStudents are not physically present and learn through synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences using a remote platform. This determination is made due to high levels of virus spread and widespread transmission of COVID-19.

Instruction will be guided by current curricular materials and units that are aligned with NYS Standards. Teachers will follow the district curriculum maps, calendars and pacing guides that ensure pacing to meet grade level standards. Teachers will interact directly with students every day in several ways. Teachers will use video conferencing to have live contact with students, as well as Google Classroom, Zoom and other applications to monitor student work, check for understanding, and know if students are completing assigned tasks. Additionally, teachers will provide office hours to students to further monitor student progress. When a student is not attending live sessions and/or completing assigned tasks, the teacher will reach out to the student and parents to offer support and problem-solving. When needed, the teacher will collaborate with school social workers, counselors, the ELL teacher, the special education teacher (if appropriate) and the building administrator for additional support for the student and his/ her family. Teachers will use a common Google Form created by NHCSD to communicate concerns with counselors, social workers, and building administrators. NHCSD and its IT department will monitor students’ ability to connect to the internet. The District will provide devices and internet access to anym family who needs it. Students who receive support services will continue to receive those services. Services will be provided in school, if students are in school, as well as remotely.

Methods for contacting schools and teachers will be communicated in several ways:

  • District website
  • District and school newsletters (printed and mailed to each home)
  • Teachers’ Google Classrooms
  • School voicemail system which is accessible to teachers and administrators remotely
  • School email

Currently, NHCSD does not provide pre-Kindergarten programs.

Special Education

Parents/guardians will choose their preferred mode of instruction, based on the NHCSD reopening plan, and will be provided general and special education instruction in-person or by their general and special education teachers and related service providers. Staff will collaborate with parents to provide services to the greatest extent possible, consistent with IEPs, and will document these services on the selected district forms and contact logs. BOCES and Out-of-District placements will also provide individual documentation. NHCSD’s FAPE form will be completed for each special education student. NHCSD’s FAPE form documents the following information: what programs and services will be provided to the student; what method will be used to deliver those programs and services; how progress towards goals will be monitored, if the methodology must differ from what is written in the IEP due to COVID -19 emergency; and how program modifications and accommodations will be addressed, if the methodology must differ from what is written in the IEP due to the COVID-19 emergency.

Special education teachers and service providers will communicate with parents/guardians regarding the provision of services and selected mode of instruction or services. Teachers and/or service providers will document communication with parents/guardians. Teachers will maintain communication logs throughout the year. Progress reports will be provided quarterly to document student’s progress toward IEP goals.

Targeted case managers will collaborate with parents/guardians regarding the provision of services and supports, as well as modifications and accommodations, and how those may be adjusted to reflect the setting for the students’ education (i.e., in-person or remote learning). Parents/guardians will receive documentation describing the provision of services in their preferred language or mode of communication.

Students attending out-of-district programs will be provided the options those programs develop, and the district will support those models of instruction. Out-of-district placement and CPSE providers will document their provision of FAPE and communicate that with the school district and CSE office, as well
as parents. Providers will continue to use quarterly re porting mechanisms employed by those providers. Providers will use the Cleartrack contact log to maintain records of parent/guardian interaction and student participation in programs. The District will work with outside providers to ensure students have necessary technology/resources to access their education.

Programs and services will be provided to the greatest extent possible based on the student’s IEP and the method of delivery, including adaptations to accommodations and modifications in students’ IEPs to ensure access to their education. District staff can provide technical support to students. Staff will collaborate with parents/guardians to provide services to the greatest extent possible, consistent with IEPs, and will document these services, as well as any adjustments to modifications and accommodations to ensure FAPE on the selected district forms and contact logs.

Bilingual Education and World Languages

NHCSD will complete the English Language Learner (ELL) identification process within 30 days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during the COVID -19 school closure, as well as all students who enroll during summer 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2021-22 school year. After this 20 day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within 10 school days as required by NYSED Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154.

All ELLs will receive the required instructional units of study based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level. ELLs in grades K-6 will receive both in-person and remote instruction with their general education cohort. ELLs in grades 7-12 will receive in-person instruction four days per week and remote instruction one day per week to allow for deep cleaning of the school.

Service providers of ELLs will collaborate with parents/guardians to discuss their child’s education and English as a New Language (ENL) services in their preferred language and mode of communication. Service providers will document all communication including the language and mode of communication used. NHCSD will continue to utilize translating services, as needed, to ensure parents/guardians are able to communicate with staff.

The New Hartford Central School District is committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. Please join us in making the 2021-2022 school year opening a positive and fulfilling experience for the children we serve.

Contact Information

New Hartford Central School District
33 Oxford Road
New Hartford, NY 13413

Interim Superintendent of Schools
David Langone
(315) 624-1218

COVID-19 Safety Coordinator/Director of Athletics and Safe Schools
John Banek
(315) 624-1283

Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs
Mary Mandel
(315) 624-1202

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum
Allen Hyde
(315) 624-1274