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Reopening Plans » NSHAHS 2020-2021 Reopening Plans

NSHAHS 2020-2021 Reopening Plans

Dear NSHAHS Families and Faculty:
We look forward to welcoming back our students and faculty in the Fall and we have been working throughout the last few months to ensure we do so in a manner that focuses on the safety and productivity of our students, faculty, staff and families. At this time, we are planning to implement a hybrid model of instruction for students in grades 9-12. Students will be assigned to one of two groups according to last names. Group A will consist of students whose last names begin with A through L. Group B will consist of students whose last names begin with M through Z. Group A students will attend school for in-person instruction on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays. Group B students will attend school for in-person instruction on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Fridays. On days that students are not engaging in live classes, they will attend Zoom classes, following their schedules. Attendance at both in person and Zoom classes will be mandatory and contribute to student evaluations.
Our school reopening plan will evolve as we continue to learn more about guidelines from state and local authorities. Throughout this year, we will need to be flexible and agile, adapting to changes in guidelines and community needs as they come. Our priority will always be the safety of our faculty and families and upholding our excellent NSHAHS educational standards.
We have created a dedicated reopening website to keep you apprised of all the latest updates and information. More information about special programs can be found at the high school website, www.nshahs.org
We look forward, God willing, to a year filled with good health, and personal, academic and religious growth. Please read on for essential information as we welcome you to our 2020-2021 school year.
  • NSHAHS is committed to providing our students with the same level of academic variety, rigor, and practicality.
  • Our students will continue to learn how to think, analyze, probe, evaluate, explore and expand their interests. We recognize that special circumstances have required the changes documented here and these will not be permanent. We are committed to continue our mission of preparing our students for their bright futures.
  • After school clubs and enrichment programs will continue using remote learning applications when feasible.
  • To encourage each student to develop their true potential, while also nurturing their social-emotional growth
  • To provide a safe, secure and supportive environment for each of our students and faculty members
  • To instill in our students a sense of responsibility and understanding of how they individually impact on safety and welfare within and beyond our community
  • To serve as an ir miklat - a place of spiritual and psychological refuge for our students, faculty and families during extremely trying times, giving emotional support to all 
  • Based on guidance from the New York State DOH, the CDC and our medical consultant, Dr. Sharon Nachman, we have developed health and safety protocols built around five key components:
  1. Observing mandated and recommended health guidelines
  2. Requiring masks for all students, faculty, staff and essential visitors
  3. Conducting daily health screenings
  4. Following protocols for handling possible and confirmed Covid-19 exposures 
  5. Practicing good hygiene standards
Commitment to Mandated and Recommended Health Guidelines
  • NSHAHS as an institution, as well as every individual school family, must abide by guidelines provided by New York State and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We must partner together to protect the safety of our students, faculty, families and communities. NSHAHS reserves the right to remove any student, faculty member or family from in-person learning based on behaviors deemed to be presenting risk to our NSHAHS community. 
Mask Requirement for Students, Faculty, Staff and Essential Visitors
  • Wearing masks has been identified by the CDC as “one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus – particularly when used universally within a community setting.” Masks must be worn appropriately (covering both nose and mouth) by all students from the time they board their bus or carpool until they return home. This includes, but is not limited to, while in classroom during instruction, in restrooms, outside on campus, during the drive to and from school, etc. There will be a break during lunch periods when social distancing is very strictly enforced. 
  • We understand that wearing a mask throughout the day may be onerous, however, given its proven efficacy in slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19, it is an essential component of our school safety protocol.  Students who are unable or unwilling to wear masks throughout the school day will be required to remain at home and learn remotely. 
  • The most important way to prepare your child to return to school is to make sure that he/she is accustomed to wearing a mask. By the time school begins, ensure your child has a mask that he/she is comfortable wearing for extended periods of time.  Students should have backup masks as mask efficacy is reduced when the mask becomes damp or wet.   
  • All faculty and staff will be required to wear masks throughout the school day and will have the additional option of wearing clear face shields. 
Student and Faculty Health Screenings
  • Based on recommendations from our medical consultant, NSHAHS will not require COVID testing for our students and staff prior to school reopening. Please note that depending on how things evolve within our community over the next few weeks, NSHAHS may require COVID testing for all students and faculty in advance of the start of school. In the event we deem this necessary, parents will be notified of this change in policy via email and on our reopening website.   UPDATED ON 8/16/20: NSHAHS is requiring a PCR Nasal Swab test for all students and faculty in grades T-12. Please note that depending on how things evolve within our community, NSHAHS may require COVID testing for all students and faculty from time to time during the school year. In the event we deem this necessary, parents will be notified via email and on our reopening website.
  • Parents must submit an online health screening questionnaire every school day between 6am-8am which will be monitored by our staff. Students whose parents have not submitted the daily screening may not be allowed into the building.
  • Parents must take their children’s temperature prior to their children going to school each day. Students with a temperature of 100.0 F and above may not be sent to school.  
  • School staff will additionally take every student’s temperature before he/she enters the building. Students with 100.0 F and above may not enter the building. School health professionals and administrators may use discretion to not admit a student who does not have fever but who displays symptoms or behaviors indicative of potential illness.
  • Students and faculty who are observed or self-report feeling ill will be taken to the designated isolation area. The campus will have a designated isolation area separate from the Health Office for students/faculty who feel ill and display symptoms. Such students/faculty will remain in the isolation area until they can safely leave the premises. Any parent or guardian who is called to pick up a child must make arrangements to do so immediately.  
  • Any student who has been sent home due to health concerns, regardless of whether the student has a temperature of 100.00 F or above, must be seen by a doctor and will not be permitted to return to school without written clearance from a doctor.
Protocols for Possible and Confirmed COVID-19 Cases – Exposed and Infected Persons
  • We have a dedicated area in which any person in the school who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending of the severity of the symptoms.
  • Until symptomatic students can be picked up, they will remain in the isolation area.
  • If your child is identified as symptomatic and potentially infected, we advise you to have them evaluated by a health care provider.
  • You will need to pick up a potentially ill child as soon as possible.     
  • Any individual who has been exposed to COVID-19 must complete a quarantine and will not be allowed to attend school unless symptom-free. We will coordinate with local health authorities.
  • NSHAHS will not readmit any students or staff who have been identified as potentially infected without clearance from a personal physician and/or by guidance from the school medical consultant.
  • An individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 will be eligible for readmission to school based on the guidelines provided by the CDC.
  • NSHAHS will communicate directly with any family or faculty member who may have been exposed to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases. 
Cleanliness and Hygiene
  • Students will be prompted by faculty to wash their hands regularly throughout the day with soap and water.
  • Students will have access to hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the buildings. Additionally, we recommend that every student come to school with an individual hand sanitizer to be kept on his/her desk. 
  • Use of any water fountain will be prohibited. Please ensure your child brings a refillable water bottle to school daily.
  • Our facilities teams will be cleaning bathrooms, hallways and surfaces throughout the day. Classrooms will be cleaned thoroughly every evening with whole room cleaning devices specialized to reach every surface and corner. Classroom surfaces will be cleaned nightly. 
  • Faculty members may choose to clean surfaces during the day as deemed necessary. Supplies for cleaning will be located in each room. 
Physical Changes to our Building
  • We have arranged to conduct classes in a manner that is consistent with social distancing rules. There will be no extra desks in classrooms.
  • Increased signage throughout the building indicating any directional changes and the location of sanitizer dispensers. 
  • The gymnasium will be used as a second dining room to enable social distancing during breakfast and lunch periods. 
  • Stairway usage will involve up and down designated stairways. Signage will indicate in which direction the traffic should flow.
School Day
  • Freshmen Orientation for all incoming ninth graders will take place at the High School on September 8, 2020 from 9:00am to 12:00pm.
  • The first day of school, both live and remote, is September 9, 2020. 
  • We are using a hybrid model which involves dividing up our student body alphabetically by last name. A-L will be Group A and M-Z will be Group B. Group A will attend school on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays. Group B will attend school on Tuesdays, Thursdays and alternate Fridays. On days not in physical attendance, students will participate in the live class using Zoom. Everyone, every day, learns the same material at the same time. 
  • Attendance on Zoom is mandatory and will be reflected in class grades.
  • Parents who opt for full remote daily learning must notify the school Administration.
  • There will be no change to the timing of periods during the school day. Students will receive their schedules as usual and are expected to follow the timing of classes both when in school and when participating in remote learning. 
  • We will maximize use of our outdoor spaces on the campus, including the various fields and lawns. Some classes may be held outdoors. 
  • Physical Education classes will take place in a socially distanced manner, outdoors. In inclement weather appropriate physical education lessons will take place is an indoor location. Masks will be required. 
  • Students will move from classroom to classroom. Wearing masks and avoiding any close contact will be mandatory.  Students will not be permitted to linger in hallways. 
  • Lockers will be off-limits to all students. Students will be required to carry their classroom materials from room to room. 
  • Students may make use of the lounge areas during free time. Wearing masks and avoiding any close contact will be mandatory.
  • There will be no hot food. Students may bring food from home. Please remember we are a peanut-free environment. Cold breakfasts and cold pre-packaged lunches and drinks will be available for purchase.
NSHAHS students are all issued laptops that they will use for remote learning.
Family Choice or Health Safety 
  • We expect that some families may choose to engage primarily in remote learning and that some students with underlying health concerns may choose not to attend school in person either in the short or long term. Such families must notify NSHAHS Administration prior to the start of school.
Zoom, Google Classroom, Sites, and other Remote Learning Applications
  • Our faculty has been trained in the use of remote learning tools. 
  • We expect that the student expertise developed last spring will carry over.
  • Special orientation for freshmen will include training in the use of digital tools.
  • Students are responsible for keeping their equipment charged.
While a Student is Home Due to COVID+ Test, Exposure or Any Illness
  • A student must remain at home and will maintain continuity of learning remotely if he/she:  
  • tests COVID+; or 
  • has been exposed to COVID or 
  • is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID or any other illness 
In the Event of School/Classroom Closure
  • Should we experience a class, campus or school-wide closure as mandated by the State Department of Health or advised by our medical consultant, NSHAHS will convert to full remote learning within a 24-hour time period. Schedules and protocols will be shared to allow for continuity of learning within that time period.
Responsibility Outside of School
  • Our ability to continue in-person learning is dependent on our actions as a community both inside and outside of school. Families must abide by all CDC and State guidelines outside of school including, but not limited to:
  • Hygiene and cleanliness
  • Mask wearing
  • Social distancing
  • Participating in parties, dinners, events etc. without proper distancing or mask wearing, including children’s birthday parties and Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebrations
  • Adherence to mandated quarantine when applicable
  • NSHAHS reserves the right to remove from in-person learning any family who is observed by the school to be violating CDC and/or state guidelines. 
Travel Advisory and Mandatory Quarantine
  • New York has issued a mandatory quarantine following visits to certain states with significant community spread of Covid-19.  Click here to view the list of states that meet the criteria for required quarantine. Please continue to check this list for updates as it can change.  
  • If you have traveled internationally or from within one of the states that are subject to the travel advisory, you must quarantine when you enter New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state, provided that on the date you returned to New York such state was subject to the travel advisory requiring quarantine.
  • In light of the above, no student, faculty or staff who has traveled internationally or from within one of the designated states that are subject to the travel advisory will be permitted to enter school during the required quarantine period. Please ensure you keep this policy in mind as you make travel arrangements for your family during the last few weeks of summer as well as throughout the school year (including travel plans during the yom tovim and winter breaks) while the quarantine orders remain in effect. 
  • Parents who have a child who is subject to quarantine, due to travel or for any other reason, as of the first day of school must contact a member of the Administration. Failure to do so places all our students and faculty at risk and may result in your child not being permitted to continue at NSHAHS.
  • Parents or family members of students or faculty members who have a household member who has traveled internationally or to states on the advisory list for business or personal activities should contact the Administration for guidance.
  • We have arranged with Dell to continue the services they have provided in the past. We have confirmed, at least as of the date of this communication, that GNPS district will provide busing for our students and await confirmation regarding busing from all other districts.
  • Students must follow the protocols instituted by the bus companies.
  • Students who do not follow instructions on the buses will be denied transportation privileges. 
School Visitors
  • Only essential visitors such as therapists, contractors, etc. will be allowed on to school campuses. Such visitors will be subject to PPE requirements and completion of temperature check and health screening questionnaire. 
  • Parents will not be permitted to visit at any time. All parent meetings with teachers and/or administrators will be conducted via Zoom. Parents who are picking up students must remain in the parking lot and may be questioned by the guard. There will be no exceptions to this policy. For the safety of our security personnel and our students/teachers, do not exit your car or attempt to enter our building. 
As we have learned throughout this pandemic, the strength of our community is unparalleled. As we return to in-person learning, it is essential, now more than ever before, for every one of our community members' decisions and actions to be guided by the wellbeing of our students, faculty, staff and families. We will continue to provide updates as we get closer to the start of school. Please do not hesitate to contact us by email.  
On behalf of the entire NSHAHS Administration, we truly look forward to welcoming you and your children back for a happy, healthy and successful school year.
Dr. Daniel J. Vitow
Rabbi Dr. Noam Weinberg
Daniella M. Muller ‘91
The following updates have been made to the site or school policy:
August 16, 2020: