GCCS COVID-19 Updates

 2021-2022 COVID-19 Prevention For Families & Students

 

The Genesee Community Charter School staff is aware that the most important component of a successful school year is safety.  School will be fully in person this year, 5 days a week. The protocols described below will be used by GCCS to aid in maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

We are committed to staying up-to-date on the guidelines provided at the local, state and federal level to address issues related to COVID-19 and any variants. This means that some of the protocols outlined below may be subject to change.

New Vaccine Opportunities! Vaccines are available for children over 6 months old. Students can be registered at: https://healthcalls.monroecounty.gov/vac/form/kids

IMG 0945 IMG 0943 IMG 0949 IMG 0950

 

Masks (Face Coverings)

  • Masks will be optional for most students, staff, and families throughout the day.
  • Masking is required for students, staff, or families who are in days 6 – 10 of isolation after testing positive or are in days 1 – 10 of being exposed to someone who tested positive.
  • Surgical or N95 masks are available for adults by request. Surgical masks are available for students upon request.
  • Students will eat meals and snacks without masks, remaining distanced and with open windows for increased ventilation.


Staggered Arrival

  • Arrival will begin at 7:50 and will last until approximately 8:05 am.
  • No temperature checks or screening questions will be taken at arrival this year since the NYS guidance says this is not a recommended prevention strategy. Instead, we encourage you to review the contact tracing and prevention questions and alert the Main Office if your child is experiencing symptoms or has come in close contact with someone who has tested positive. 
  • Students who ride in a car, walk, or bike to school will be released at the entrance of the school building to walk into school with a staff member.  Cars may park in the small or Planetarium lot to escort children to the door or they may drop off at the sidewalk near the front entrance.  Please do not let your child walk through the parking lot unescorted.
  • Buses will be released to the building as they arrive and staff will help to escort students to classrooms.

Random Rapid Testing

  • GCCS highly encourages students to participate in random rapid testing as a preventative measure.
  • All families will be provided a testing consent form to complete for their GCCS students (no student will be tested without guardian consent).
  • Random rapid testing will take place weekly and will usually sample students from each classroom. 
  • If a student tests positive on-site, they will remain in the COVID isolation room with the nurse until they can be picked up from school in a timely manner.

Test-to-Stay Protocol

  • Test-to-Stay is no longer a protocol we will follow because students and staff who are exposed are no longer allowed to be excluded from school unless they are symptomatic.

On-site PCR Testing

  • Students who develop symptoms at school can receive a PCR test to rule out COVID IF families have filled out a PCR consent form.
  • If students are not feeling well and they test negative, they may still be sent home for further evaluation.

Exposure and Contact Tracing

  • If students, staff, or families are exposed, they must wear a mask for the 10 day period following exposure.
  • If a positive case is identified in the class, the entire class will be considered “exposed” and will need to mask and test.
  • Rapid antigen testing will need to happen between 5 and 10 days after exposure and can occur at home or at school.  Families may be asked to take pictures of negative at-home test results to send electronically to school.
  • Exposed individuals will not need to be excluded from school.
  • Families with a positive case will need to notify anyone close to them. 

Cleaning Protocols

  • To ensure the safety of the building and shared spaces, the following measures will be taken:
    • frequent cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces
    • frequent handwashing
    • working and appropriate ventilation for each classroom (including keeping doors and windows open often)

Other Prevention Strategies

  • Cohorts – Classrooms will be considered “cohorts” this year.
  • Distancing – when possible, students will be 3 or more feet from each other during masked times and 6 feet during unmasked times such as breakfast, lunch, and snack.  
  • Ventilation – windows and doors will be open as much as possible to bring fresh air into the classrooms.  GCCS has purchased specialized air filtration units for each room in the building.  These units run all day and help to reduce the spread of any viral infections that may be in the air.
  • At-Home Testing – rapid antigen tests sent home from school or obtained at home CAN be used as a release from isolation for the school.  They can be used as an at-home prevention strategy and can be used to identify positive cases in your household.  Positive cases can be reported online using this online form: https://healthcalls.monroecounty.gov/hometest

Vaccinated Students

  • Children ages 6 months -11 years now can receive the Pfizer vaccine.  Anyone older than 12 can receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.  Those who were vaccinated more than 6 months ago should receive a booster.  Vaccinations help to reduce the chances of being infected with COVID or will reduce the symptoms of COVID should someone be infected.
  • IF a student is fully vaccinated and their last dose was more than two weeks ago, then the following is true according to the CDC and local health departments:
    • An asymptomatic fully vaccinated and boostered individual does not need to quarantine if exposed at school or at home.
    • An asymptomatic fully vaccinated child (5 – 11 years old) does not need to quarantine if exposed at school or at home 
    • A fully vaccinated individual who tests positive for covid needs to isolate for 5 days, then may return to school with proper masking for days 6 – 10 IF they are asymptomatic.

Non-Vaccinated Students

  • If a student is not fully vaccinated, the following is true according to the CDC and local health departments:
    • A non-vaccinated individual who tests positive for COVID needs to isolate for 5 days, then may return to school with proper masking IF they are asymptomatic.
    • A non-vaccinated individual who is exposed at school to COVID will need to mask for 10 days and be tested at home or at school (with consent) at least once between 5 and 10 days after exposure.
    • A non-vaccinated individual who is exposed at home will NOT have to quarantine for 5 days, but will be required to mask for 10 days and test at least 6 days after exposure.
    • IF a non-vaccinated individual is not complying with testing and masking after exposure, they may be required to quarantine.

Remote Learning

    • GCCS is not offering a full remote option for the 2021-22 school year.
    • GCCS will only consider a fully remote option if the school or class infection rate exceeds the community infection rate or the county initiates a school mandate to temporarily shift to remote instruction.
    • If the child(ren) is absent due to COVID-related concerns, learning will continue remotely through a combination of continued learning packets and check-ins with GCCS staff members (additional information will be provided by classroom teachers)
  • Remote learning or other educational materials will not be provided for students who are ill or absent for other reasons (such as a family vacation).

Family Involvement

  • Community Circle
    • Family Participation and methods of Community Circle will be based on the current Monroe County infection rate.
    • Recordings of Community Circle will be provided as much as possible for families to view regardless of participation or infection rate
  • Classroom Volunteers and Day Chaperones
    • Volunteers and Day Chaperones are required to be vaccinated.
    • Volunteers and Day Chaperones do not need to be tested prior to attending a field study unless requested by themselves or a staff member.
    • All volunteers and Day Chaperones are expected to follow the school’s COVID guidelines, including being masked, maintaining the appropriate distance and engaging in appropriate hand washing.
  • Overnight Fieldwork
    • All students, families, and staff will be tested for COVID-19 at least 5 days prior to departure for overnight fieldwork.
    • Vaccinations will be required for all chaperones, and staff members. 
    • Vaccinations may be required for students on overnights depending on the destination’s requirements.
    • All attendees are expected to follow the school’s COVID guidelines and the guidelines of the location/venue of the field study such as being masked  and engaging in appropriate hand washing.
  • School Visitors
    • School visitors will be required to be masked and wash their hands upon arrival.
    • Visitation will be very limited at arrival and may be limited during the day depending on the current infection rates.

This information is subject to change with the rapidly changing guidance from the CDC, New York Department of Health, and Monroe County Department of Health.

 

Helpful links:

 

CDC Update on Isolation: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html

 

Monroe County Information and Updates:

https://www.monroecounty.gov/health-COVID-19

 

Positive Home Test Reporting Form for Monroe County:

https://healthcalls.monroecounty.gov/hometest

Responsible Parties: The GCCS Reopening Task Force

Genesee Community Charter School formed a Reopening Task Force for the purpose of creating and evaluating reopening plans throughout the 2021-202 school year.  There are 13 members on the Task Force (4 of which are GCCS parent representatives ) all providing expertise regarding a successful reopening this fall.  Our reopening plans fall into three categories and the following staff members are the points of contact for each category and can be contacted to discuss or receive a full copy of the current reopening plan:

Additionally, you may call the school (585-697-1960) with a request for the plan or to discuss GCCS’s approaches to COVID-19 prevention.

GCCS will utilize the following sites for infection rate information: 

School Covid Report Card: click here for GCCS Covid-19 Report Card

New York State Dashboard: https://forward.ny.gov/covid-19-regional-metrics-dashboard

Monroe County Dashboard: https://mappingmonroe.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/217749730f174776a3896b3e8950e03b

Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Case in the Community

If there is a confirmed positive COVID-19 case among a student, staff member, or member of the RMSC Preschool during any scenario that includes in-person instruction, the Department of Health will conduct a contact tracing examination to consider those who were in direct contact with the infected individual and may require a 48 hours school closure to do so.  The Department of Heath will determine how many individuals need to be quarantined/isolated and tested before returning to in-person instruction.  Any students who are quarantined, isolated, or confirmed positive for COVID-19 have the opportunity to be provided remote instruction during this time.

Additional Resources from the Monroe County Health Department:

Contact Tracing

It will be important to document who is in close contact with others when a positive case of COVID-19 is identified in the school building.  The following measures will be taken to support the efficiency of contact tracing:

  • School Sign-In Log 
    • Family members, special service providers, visitors, vendors, or contractors will be required to sign-in and be screened in the River Room before working in the building.
    • The log will remain in the River Room for future contact tracing purposes.
  • Classroom Sign-In and Out Log
    • Each classroom will have a sign-in log for any support staff or special service providers that enter the classroom to support students for more than 10 minutes.
    • Each adult will record the date and time they were in the classroom for contact tracing purposes.
  • Daily Attendance
    • Student attendance will be recorded daily at the time of arrival.  This information will also play a key role in contact tracing if a positive case is discovered in the community.