Williamsville Central School District

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2021-2022 Williamsville Central School District
Health and Safety Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated March 4, 2022

In this document you will find information on:

It is important to note that this is a working document and subject to change based on updated health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and New York State Education Department (NYSED).  If guidance should change regarding athletics, the District will adjust health and safety guidelines accordingly for athletics.

2021-2022 Williamsville Central School District
Health and Safety Measures during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Health & Safety: What To Expect For The 2021-2022 School Year

All of our elementary, middle, and high schools will open for full-time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. Students who are enrolled in the e-Academy will begin to receive fully-remote instruction on Monday, September 13, 2021 through Erie 1 BOCES.

It is important to remember the key prevention strategies for slowing the spread of COVID-19, as shared by the CDC include but are not limited to:

  • Vaccination
  • Consistent and correct mask use
  • Physical distancing
  • Screening testing to promptly identify cases, clusters, and outbreaks
  • Ventilation
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine
  • Cleaning and disinfection

Health Screening Questionnaire and Temperature Checks

NYSDOH daily health and temperature screenings are optional.

Notification of a Positive Case of COVID-19 In School

The District will share a daily COVID-19 report on the COVID-19 Education page. In addition to this, stakeholder can view the NYS COVID-19 Report Card to stay up to date on COVID-19: https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home

Vaccination

Currently, individuals 5 years of age or older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are three COVID-19 vaccines available to individuals:

  • Johnson & Johnson (1 dose – currently approved for individuals 18+)
  • Moderna (2 doses – currently approved for individuals 18+)
  • Pfizer (2 dosescurrently approved for individuals 5+)

According to the CDC, in general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Consistent and Correct Mask Use

Beginning Wednesday, March 2, 2022, mask wearing will be optional in our school and District buildings.   Mask wearing, regardless of vaccination status, is strongly recommended for 10 days after an individual’s last exposure to a positive COVID-19 individual.  If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 and returns to school under the reduced isolation guidelines, they must wear a mask on return to school on Days 6 – 10.

According to the CDC, when selecting a mask make sure it:

  • Has two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • Completely covers your nose and mouth
  • Fits snugly against the side of your face and doesn’t have gaps
  • Has a nose wire to prevent air from leaking out of the mask

Physical Distancing

The District will use physical distancing of at least 3-feet to the greatest extent possible in each of our school buildings as we resume full-time, in-person instruction.

Surveillance Testing

Surveillance testing is offered on-site to students, staff, and faculty.  If interested in participating in this program, please fill out the appropriate consent forms.

School Ventilation

The District is following and complying with CDC guidance as it pertains to proper ventilation within schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Additionally, while the usage of fans in classrooms in a COVID environment is not recommend, if classroom temperatures require air movement, fans used should not be transferring air across students. Fans should be positioned so air movement is above students and toward the classroom windows.

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, all individuals should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Hand sanitizer can also be used.  Hand sanitizing stations are available throughout each school building.

Handwashing and respiratory etiquette signs are available in each of the school buildings.

Staying Home When Sick

Below are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to watch for:

-      Fever (100°F or greater) or chills

-      Cough

-      Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

-      Fatigue

-      Muscle or body aches

-      Headache

-      New loss of taste or smell

-      Sore throat

-      Congestion or runny nose

-      Nausea or vomiting

-      Diarrhea

Any student, faculty, or staff member with a temperature of 100°F or greater and/or symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home regardless of vaccination status, not report to their school building, and immediately report signs or symptoms to their child’s school attendance office/or their direct supervisor.  This also applies to any student or staff member that receives a positive COVID-19 test result.

For any student or staff member already in the building, they will be isolated immediately in a supervised designated isolation room and will be sent home immediately.  Such students will be referred to their healthcare provider and will be provided with COVID-19 testing resources.

Return to School

***March 11 Update: A negative COVID-19 at-home test result is now accepatable for return to schoool***

READ: ECDOH Return to School Memo

NYSDOH is amending its guidance to allow all such persons (i.e. those who develop COVID-19 symptoms and have no known exposure to someone with COVID-19) to participate in school activities following a negative NAAT or antigen test result, regardless of vaccination status.

Before you get started, please note the following:

  • There are three ways a student can return to school after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms:
    • 1) provide a negative COVID-19 test, OR
    • 2) provide a doctor’s note with an alternative diagnosis, OR
    • 3) stay out of school for at least 5 days since the onset of symptoms; student must be fever-free for at least 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medications, and have improving symptoms.*  (*based on updated NYSDOH guidance.)
These apply to all symptomatic students, regardless of vaccination status.

  • When symptomatic and testing to return to school, the test performed must be an FDA- approved COVID-19 test. This can be a NAAT test, or Nucleic Acid Amplification Test, such as a polymerase chain reaction or PCR. It can also be an antigen test. Antibody test results will not be accepted.
  • If you choose to provide a negative COVID-19 test to return to school, then you do not need a doctor’s note. Just keep in mind that in addition to the negative test, your child must be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and showing symptom improvement.
  • If your child is symptomatic and receives multiple tests and one of those tests comes back negative while another comes back positive, you child will be treated as a positive.

Exposure and Notification

Any individual who was in the same school setting (i.e. bus, classroom) as a COVID-19 positive individual is considered exposed and will be notified.  Regardless of vaccination status, NYSDOH school guidance states individuals who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual are not automatically excluded from school and should wear a mask and test as recommended.  Notification of exposure will now be communicated through WITS and sent directly to parents/guardians and staff members who are impacted.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The District will continue to follow health and cleaning protocol consistent with CDC guidelines to help remove germs and slow the spread of COVID-19.  The Facilities Department will make cleaning solution and/or cleaning wipes available to teachers. New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidance does not allow students to be asked to clean areas. The District will allow students the option of cleaning their space. Cleaning solution and/or cleaning wipes will be available upon request for this purpose.

Well Rooms and Isolation Rooms

One of the most important changes in our buildings is to the health offices.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, each school has established a “Well Room” and “Isolation Room.”  Well Rooms are intended for healthy students or staff members who may experience an injury during a school day, require daily medication or procedures, and other non-COVID-19 related visits.

Isolation Rooms are reserved for the care of sick individuals.  If a student or staff member shows signs and symptoms of COVID-19, they will be placed in an Isolation Room, assessed by the school nurse, and referred appropriately.