Consolidated School District of New Britain
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Consolidated School District of New Britain
CSDNB Reopening Plan
 


CSDNB Reopening Plan for the 2020-2021 School Year

Dear CSDNB Families and Community Members,

Following the requirements and guidelines set forth by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Consolidated School District of New Britain has outlined a comprehensive full in-school plan, a hybrid model, and a complete remote learning plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Our charge from Governor Ned Lamont and the CSDE was to prepare for a full reopening with 100% of students in the classroom for the start of the school year.

On July 27, Governor Lamont and the State Department of Education announced that school districts in Connecticut could now choose to begin the school year in either a traditional all-in model or a hybrid model, a change in what had been previously directed by the Governor’s Office.

After careful consideration - and knowing that we want to maintain the highest level of safety and well-being for all students and staff - we will open the coming school year in our hybrid model through at least the remainder of 2020.

We will continue to work closely with the New Britain Health Department and the State Department of Education, and will reassess before the end of 2020. At that time, we will make a determination as to whether we remain in a hybrid model to begin the 2021 calendar year or switch to the traditional model with all students returning to school.

Click here to view the revised cohort schedule
Click here for more information on our hybrid plan

We began planning for the reopening of our schools before the students ended their school year and have been meeting daily up to this communication. Working together with Cabinet members and the Reopening Task Force, we involved all stakeholders in developing the plan by creating multiple reopening subcommittees. These subcommittees included caregivers, students, teachers, paraeducators, support staff, administrators, community partners, and Board of Education members. 

Subcommittee members helped identify needs, areas of concern, and questions, and also provided ways to improve how we provide a remote learning experience for all New Britain students. We are grateful for all stakeholders’ work toward producing a quality plan to ensure student and staff safety and learning in both the classroom and the remote environment.

This plan we are presenting is a flexible and high-level overview of our intentions for the upcoming school year. The intricate details, including scheduling, will be determined and planned for at the school building level. Schools will communicate this information to families once those plans have been finalized. All of this will continue to evolve as guidelines and recommendations change based on the current trends in our city and state.

View the PDF/printable version of the plan or you can scroll down to view it here on the web. View a snapshot of your child's day, whether in the traditional or remote model.

We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all of our staff and students. Over the past several months, we have collaborated with the New Britain Health Department, the CSDNB Medical Advisor, and the Connecticut State Department of Education as we prepare for our schools’ reopening. We have also appointed an LEA (i.e., school district) COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison as required by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

We all have a responsibility to follow the guidelines and requirements outlined in the plan to ensure we are keeping our students, staff, and family members safe. To help us achieve that goal, all students and staff will be required to wear face coverings and shields while in the school building. Additionally, frequent handwashing and maintaining appropriate social distancing will be required. We know we can count on you to ensure your child is practicing all of the guidelines outlined to keep everyone safe and healthy.   

As more information becomes available based on the latest guidance and recommendations from the Governor’s Office, State Department of Education, and New Britain Health Department, we will be sure to communicate that to you on our website, through our social media platforms, and other mediums, including phone calls, emails, and text messages.

In Partnership,
Nancy Sarra
Superintendent of Schools

Resources
CSDNB Reopening Plan
Hybrid Reopening FAQ
2020 Cohort Calendar
Daily Snapshot (Traditional vs. Remote)
Updates from Superintendent Sarra
Virtual Town Hall Replay (July 23)
Submit your feedback
Intent to Return Survey
We are asking all families to take part in a brief survey, which will ask what your intent is for your child this coming school year.

The survey is available in four languages. Please click the appropriate link below.

English Survey
Spanish Survey
Arabic Survey
Polish Survey
CSDNB Reopening Plan
Below are the topics covered in the CSDNB Reopening Plan. You can view the PDF/printable version of the plan here or you can scroll down to view it here on the web.

CT's Plan to Learn and Grow Together
School Liaison, Communications and Data
CSDNB Implementation Strategy
Daily Attendance
Containment Plan
Outside Visitors/Meetings
Facilities and Operations
Food Service
Transportation
Health Practices and Protocols
Staffing
Professional Learning
Academic Platforms
Technology
Educational Delivery
Specialized Instruction
Specialized Instruction: English Learners (EL)
Social-Emotional Learning & Mental Health (SEL)
Physical Education / Arts & Music Education
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Before- and After-School Programming
Family and Student Engagement
Have feedback for us?
If you have feedback for us, or if you have any questions, please submit it here.

ADAPT, ADVANCE, ACHIEVE
CONNECTICUT’S PLAN TO LEARN AND GROW TOGETHER

The following was written in the Connecticut State Department of Education’s reopening plan from June 2020 titled, Adapt, Advance, Achieve: Connecticut’s Plan to Learn and Grow Together.

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families and students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives, and conducted a review of nationally and globally published  school reopening plans for the 2020– 2021 school year.

Due to positive containment efforts in Connecticut, reopening schools in person can be successfully achieved based upon current data. Connecticut has determined it is appropriate to plan a consistent approach to the operating model, but be prepared to modify plans as necessary. Ultimately, the importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, student safety and well-being, and social-emotional learning.

Maximizing in-person instructional time after the current period of disruption is critical. However, given the uncertainty planning for reopening months from now, schools must be prepared to modify their reopening model to support a partial reopening if the public health data changes.

LEAs made strong and often very successful efforts at safeguarding students’ social-emotional learning opportunities, and emotional safety during the spring of 2020 when in-person classes were canceled. Nonetheless, isolation outside of the schoolhouse is not ideal for students over longer periods of time. For different age groups, multiple variables support the need for full-time education in school. In some cases, physical safety and access to basic needs such as food, supervision, and shelter are also strong factors in opening schools to students in the fall.

Another top priority that supports a full-time in-school model is to ensure equitable access to education, and mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.

As noted herein, however, structuring a statewide approach to the operating model and scheduling will only be successful when implemented in conjunction with a strong monitoring and containment strategy, which may ultimately result in schools, districts, or regions making individualized decisions in response to specific student/staff diagnoses, or changing public health data in a particular school or region. 

The CSDE and Department of Public Health (DPH) understand the importance of consistent decision-making should public health data require either modification of the reopening model, or that in the future students return to remote learning. Therefore, LEAs should expect forthcoming guidance from DPH to establish a tiered system to guide decision-making if additional public health and safety restrictions are required.

SCHOOL LIAISON, COMMUNICATIONS PLANS, AND DATA COLLECTION


SCHOOL LIAISON COMMUNICATIONS

We have designated an employee to serve as the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison. This person will be responsible for managing engagement with students, parents, staff, and community members to answer any questions or concerns about health and safety requirements. 

COMMUNICATIONS PLAN COMMUNICATIONS

The COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison is Matthew Cannata, Safety and Communications Manager. If staff, families, or other stakeholders have any questions or concerns, he can be reached via email at cannatam@csdnb.org or by phone at 860-839-6185.

The Safety and Communications Manager will be responsible for overseeing a communications plan, which will enable us to effectively reach all stakeholders, including families, staff, and community partners. These stakeholders will receive regular updates related to cleaning and hygiene protocols and prevention action items. Additionally, we will communicate all relevant information if there is a need to cancel classes at any point during the school year. 

These updates, which will be translated into Spanish, Arabic, and Polish - will be disseminated through phone calls, text messages, emails, social media, and our website. Additionally, we will tailor communications for those who have visual and/or hearing impairments. 

Feedback regarding this plan and any changes to policies or procedures has been and will continue to be solicited from all stakeholders. Our goal is to ensure that there is ongoing two-way communication and that everyone has a voice during this process.

Over the past several weeks and months, we have surveyed families to gather a wide variety of information, which has helped us during the reopening planning process. As we move forward, additional data collection from surveys— including whether caregivers plan to send their child to school in the fall—will be conducted. 

We have also reached out to all families to ensure that their contact information is current in Powerschool so they can receive timely communications from the district.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

During the time that COVID-19 is at a transmissible level in the community, we will offer three different models for our students - traditional, hybrid, and remote. Schedules, policies, and/or procedures may be adjusted based on guidance from the State Department of Education and the New Britain Health Department.

IMPLEMENTATION
STRATEGY
Model A | Traditional COVID-19 vaccine is available or effective mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC are in place.

Students will return to school buildings with 1:1 devices. In classrooms, we will observe three (3) foot social distancing as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, with face coverings and face shields required. Students will be in consistent cohorts at the K-8 level and have a modified schedule to limit transitions in grades 9-12.

There will be a blend of synchronous (includes real-time interaction) and asynchronous (does not include real-time interaction) learning environments for those who are physically or virtually present. The daily attendance expectation is for students to be present—either in person at school or remotely from home—each school day. Daily attendance will be monitored, and all attendance will be taken in PowerSchool.

Students may opt-in for 100% remote learning instead of the traditional model. 

IMPLEMENTATION
STRATEGY
Model B | Hybrid Rotation Low COVID-19 transmission risk in the community.

We will implement the following schedule while in the hybrid model:

  • HALS | 7:20 AM - 1:20 PM
  • Satellite Careers Academy | 7:20 AM - 1:20 PM
  • New Britain High School | 7:30 AM - 1:30 PM
  • Brookside School | 7:40 AM - 1:20 PM
  • Transitional Center | 7:40 AM - 1:20 PM
  • Middle School | 8:20 AM - 2:20 PM
  • DiLoreto Elementary & Middle School | 8:20 AM - 2:20 PM
  • Elementary School | 9:10 AM - 3:10 PM
  • PreK will continue with their half day and full day programs with lower class sizes based on OEC recommendations. AM sessions will attend from 9 - 11 AM, PM sessions will attend from 12:30 - 2:30 PM, and those attending full day sessions will be in school from 9 AM - 2 PM.

To reduce the number of students on campus and riding in buses, all students in grades K-12 will be grouped into two separate, alternating cohorts. Cohort A will consist of students with last names beginning with A-L, and Cohort B will consist of students with last names starting with M-Z. Please note that our goal is to have all siblings grouped into the same cohort so they can all attend school and take part in remote learning on the same days. We will implement the following schedule pattern:

  • Cohort A (last names A-L) attend school on Monday and Tuesday, and then take part in remote learning Wednesday through Friday.
  • Cohort B (last names M-Z) will take part in remote learning Monday through Wednesday and go to school on Thursday and Friday.
  • In weeks where there is no school, we have shifted the schedule to make up for that day off.

A calendar that lists which days each cohort will attend school and which days they will participate in remote learning can be found here. Please note that if school is canceled due to inclement weather, that cohort will revert to remote learning on that day, and there will be no adjustments made to the schedule.

Parents may choose to opt-in for 100% remote learning at any time instead of the hybrid model. Additionally, on any of your child’s ‘in school’ days, you may choose to send your child to school or keep them home.

IMPLEMENTATION
STRATEGY
Model C | Remote Learning Moderate or more severe spread of COVID-19.

All school buildings will be closed to the public, and all students will engage in remote learning. Remote learning is the process of connecting virtually to the classroom during regular school hours and class times through a device issued by the district. This will feature a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning environments for students who are virtually present.

Attendance for remote learning is monitored based on a daily virtual presence.  All attendance will be taken in PowerSchool. Students will participate with other classmates through their remote connection.

DAILY ATTENDANCE

As noted above, daily attendance will be required in all models of learning. Attendance will be monitored and recorded in PowerSchool daily. Systems will be put into place for the early identification of students who are missing too much school. Using these systems, we will work to detect the root cause and then implement and monitor effective interventions to reverse a pattern of absenteeism.

CONTAINMENT PLAN

We have developed protocols and procedures to be followed if a student or staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19 or other potential infectious illnesses. If a student, staff member, volunteer, or visitor has been present in school and has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis, the Nursing Director and School Nurse will consult with the New Britain Health Department and Superintendent of Schools. Confidentiality will be maintained following FERPA and other applicable privacy laws. 

The New Britain Health Department, in consultation with the Nursing Director and Superintendent of Schools, will assess the risk of further transmission in the school and district, and provide recommendations regarding the possible closure and reopening of schools. 

The Superintendent of Schools will take these recommendations into account and will make the decision to close that school and others as needed. The New Britain Board of Education, City of New Britain officials, and the State Department of Education will be notified of the closure. Additionally, communication will be sent to all families and stakeholders in that school to inform them of the closure and next steps. 

The amount of time a school is closed will be dependent on the circumstances surrounding the closure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that schools be closed for two to five days. During this initial shutdown period, health and school officials will be able to better understand short- and long-term impacts and consider contact tracing. This period will also allow the Superintendent to determine the next steps. All of this information will be communicated to families and stakeholders.

Official communications to the school community will only be made through the Superintendent’s Office and appointed members of the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

Please refer to the CSDNB Flow and Exposure Charts for more information on proper contact and notification protocols.

OUTSIDE VISITORS / MEETINGS

The New Britain Board of Education has approved restricting access to school buildings during the school day by nonessential visitors and permitting only minimal use of school buildings outside of school hours. Upon arrival at schools, visitors will see signage that reads, “Visitors will not be permitted into school facilities unless scheduled to enter, or required by law, or otherwise required by a student’s individualized educational plan. Face coverings are required for all who enter our schools. Please be sure mouths and noses are fully covered.”

Once inside the school building, visitors will sign into a log that is kept in the main office. The log will include the visitor’s name, phone number, and arrival/departure time.

Before arriving at the school building, we ask that visitors screen themselves at home by taking their temperature and self-monitoring for symptoms related to COVID-19. If a visitor’s temperature is above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, we ask that they stay home and either reschedule their appointment or request to have the meeting held virtually.  Anyone who may be displaying COVID-19 symptoms will not be permitted to enter the school building.

Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meetings may be held virtually. Other meetings for school organizations may be held in-person or virtually. If in-person meetings are held, these organizations will be expected to follow all health and safety regulations.

FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS


CLASSROOM LAYOUT FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

We will attempt to maintain six (6) foot social/physical distancing when possible. Social/physical distancing will be maximized in classrooms and other settings through purposeful seating arrangements and traffic patterns throughout the school. However, existing buildings and limited classroom sizes will sometimes create the need to go below the CDC recommended six feet. In these scenarios, we will adopt the American Academy of Pediatric school reopening guidance and make three (3) feet—with a face covering—the minimum distance allowed in any building.

If the weather does not allow for outside breaks, we will repurpose larger rooms such as cafeterias and gymnasiums as alternative learning spaces or activity areas (maintaining six (6) foot minimum social distancing) for breaks. Larger spaces - such as music, science, and art rooms - will be used for those classes that have the highest numbers of students and greatest difficulty maintaining proper distancing. We will also be utilizing outdoor tents/canopies to foster outdoor activities and instruction.

Teachers will stay stationary at their desks as much as possible. Face shields will be provided for all staff and students to minimize the risk of transmission from droplets.

REOPENING OF FACILITIES BEFORE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

Before reopening our schools, the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison will confirm with the CSDNB Director of Facilities and the CSDNB Director of Nursing that all plans comply with the Department of Public Health’s Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting of Schools during COVID-19 and the Department of Health’s Return to Service Guidance for Building Water Systems.

SIGNS AND MESSAGES FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

Signage regarding rules, regulations, and policies related to COVID-19 and best practices to mitigate the risk of transmission will be posted throughout each building. These signs will be printed in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Polish. Additionally, accommodations will be made for those who are visually and/or hearing impaired.

VENTILATION FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

Before reopening our schools, the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison will confirm with the CSDNB Director of Facilities that all plans comply with the Guidance for School Systems for the Operation of Central and Non-Central Ventilation Systems during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

TRAINING RELATED TO FACILITIES FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

The CSDNB Director of Facilities will provide training, frequency scheduling, documentation, and expectations for all staff that will be using disinfectants and other cleaners in district buildings. The additional three days given back to LEAs will allow school building leaders to incorporate training days to practice new building-level protocols.

A standardized districtwide video will be created for students and staff. This video will demonstrate proper social distancing, how to screen for COVID-19 symptoms, how to use personal protective equipment, proper cleaning protocol, hygiene practices, and more. Staff will also be trained on the confidentiality around health conditions and health records/reports related to COVID-19. CDC training videos on the COVID-19 virus, including videos on proper hygiene, will also be available to all staff. 

Additional training will be provided to staff working in specialized programs where students who, due to their physical, behavioral, intellectual, or mental condition, require adult assistance with activities of daily living and/or with following hygiene guidelines.

Frequency scheduling and disinfecting training packets will be provided for substitutes and others who enter the building.

BATHROOM PROTOCOLS FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

Before reopening our schools, the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison will confirm with the CSDNB Director of Facilities that all plans comply with the Department of Public Health’s Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting of Schools during COVID-19

Bathrooms will be disinfected at least twice a day. Designated bathrooms have been identified in each building where diapering is needed for students.  We will maximize the use of disposable towels instead of using hand dryers due to ventilation and the possible risk of increased COVID-19 transmission.

DAILY OPERATIONS FACILITIES AND OPERATIONS

The CSDNB Director of Facilities will ensure that all cleaning and sanitation products used have been approved by the State of Connecticut and are being appropriately used according to label directions. 

Building plans for disinfecting high touch surfaces will include door handles, handrails, sink handles, restroom surfaces, instructional materials that cannot be supplied to a specific student, and recess equipment. This does not include playscapes. Frequently touched surfaces and equipment will be cleaned and documented every two hours while the building is occupied with students and staff throughout the day. 

Desks and classroom equipment that are used by more than one group will be cleaned in between use. Under the teacher’s direction, the students will be responsible for cleaning the desk surface before use.

Other considerations include leaving hallway and classroom doors open, as allowed by fire codes. This will be done to limit the use of high touch surfaces (like doors and handles) and to promote air circulation. Additionally, water bottle filling stations (minimum two per school) will be installed for use in place of drinking fountains.

FOOD SERVICE

The CSDNB Food Services Director will comply with all federal, state, and local guidelines regarding child nutrition and food services. The Food Services Director will comply with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) regulations and policies for school meals and milk, including the meal pattern requirements. This includes the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP). The CEP allows schools that predominantly serve low-income children to offer free, nutritious school meals to all students through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).

FOOD SERVICE IN SCHOOLS FOOD SERVICE

The Food Services Director will work with all building principals to ensure that each school’s food service promotes social distancing to the highest possible extent. In most cases, students will eat meals in the classroom. Desks, tables, and other classroom surfaces will be disinfected and sanitized before and after meals. 

When students are in the cafeteria, there will be no self-serve areas, whether it be food buffets or condiment areas. Physical barriers and partitions will be installed in food service lines. Social distancing throughout the cafeteria will be promoted to the greatest extent possible. 

The Food Services Director will be responsible for supplying food service workers with the appropriate equipment, including gloves and face coverings. 

If schools are closed, the district’s food service will revert to a grab and go distribution plan at schools throughout the city. During this time, all food areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Should caregivers opt for a remote learning experience for their child throughout the 2020-2021 school year, grab and go meals will be provided at designated sites for daily pick up by caregivers.

TRANSPORTATION

While in the traditional and hybrid rotation models, regular transportation will be available for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade who live outside of the New Britain Board of Education’s approved walking radius. Additionally, special transportation will be provided for all students in PK-12th grade who have special transportation identified in their IEP and/or 504 plan. There will be no school bus transportation if schools are closed.

Caregivers are encouraged to transport their children to school to reduce the mixture of student cohorts. If caregivers choose to have their child ride the bus to and/or from school, please note that students will not be allowed to enter the bus or be transported if they do not wear a face covering. All passengers and the driver are required to wear a face covering that must be kept in place at all times, including during transit and before boarding the bus. 

Passengers will load into the bus from the back to the front and then unload the bus in a controlled manner upon arrival at the school, from front to back. Training videos will be made available on the CSDNB website, demonstrating the correct application of face coverings and other personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as bus loading and unloading procedures. 

All buses will be sanitized per local and state public health guidelines. We will continue to monitor the Governor’s Office and CDC’s direction on vehicle sanitizing recommendations and will adhere to their guidance. We will also work with our bus transportation providers to help implement best practices for bus drivers to ensure their safety and the safety of those students who are riding the bus.

TRANSPORTATION Model A | Traditional COVID-19 vaccine is available or effective mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC are in place.

Sessions will resume with 100% of our students attending school for six (6) hours per day. Buses will operate at full capacity or close to while maximizing health and safety protocols, as well as considerations outlined in the plan. Transportation will work on a three-tier system with modified bell times in place for the 2020-2021 school year.

TRANSPORTATION Model B | Hybrid Rotation Low COVID-19 transmission risk in the community.

Sessions will resume with 50% of our students attending school for six (6) hours per day, utilizing a Week A and Week B attendance plan. All passengers will be spaced six (6) feet apart utilizing alternating diagonal seating. Family members and/or members of the same household will be permitted to sit together. Transportation will work on a four-tier system with modified bell times in place for the 2020-2021 school year.

Based on the current threat level and the recommendations from the Governor’s Office and the CDC, CSDNB will adopt one of the following operating/capacity procedures:

Option A
Type 1 (77 passenger) buses will be limited to 26 passengers; Type 2 (26 passenger) buses will be limited to 8 passengers; Transit vans (8 passenger vans) will be limited to 3 passengers. 

Option B
Type 1 (77 passenger) buses will be limited to 13 passengers; Type 2 (26 passenger) buses will be limited to 5 passengers; Transit vans (8 passenger vans) will be limited to 2 passengers.

HEALTH PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES


COMMUNICATION REGARDING HEALTH PRACTICES HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

The CSDNB Communications Department will create videos, photo galleries, and infographics to help students understand all of the expectations around public health policies and protocols. To this end, we will be creating short public service announcements with staff and students. We will also consider using animated videos to further students’ understanding of health protocols.

We will familiarize all stakeholders of the standard public health practices used to prevent the spread of diseases. These practices include, but are not limited to, social distancing, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizer use, face coverings that cover the nose and mouth, cough etiquette, and enhanced cleaning/disinfection of surfaces.

IMMUNIZATIONS AND HEALTH ASSESSMENTS HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

The CSDNB Nursing Director will oversee and monitor changes and updates to the State of Connecticut Requirements for Immunizations and Health Assessments. Guidance from the Department of Public Health regarding immunizations was last issued on June 17, 2020, emphasizing the importance of protecting students by staying up to date on immunizations and confirming that students need to meet State of Connecticut immunization guidelines to attend school.

Guidance from the CSDE regarding health assessments was last issued on June 26, 2020, outlining the requirements for Health Assessments before students enrolled in school. Families of students who, by state legislation, are required to have an up to date Health Assessment, will be encouraged to provide the school district with the health assessment paperwork.

The Nursing Director will notify families if the State of Connecticut makes any additional updates to the requirements for immunizations and health assessments.

STANDARD PUBLIC HEALTH PRACTICES & ADEQUATE SUPPLIES HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

There will be enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all areas in the school throughout the day. Disinfection of high touchpoint and high use areas in the building will be completed every two hours and will be recorded and available in the main office.

Cleaning and disinfecting equipment will follow similar procedures in our shops and labs used by our Career and Technical Education Department. Many of our CTE courses already instruct students in proper cleaning and safety protocols. This practice will be complemented by training in all safety processes and procedures around COVID-19. We will have a properly labeled spray bottle or disinfectant wipes near the equipment at all times, and a no-touch trash receptacle. 

Nightly cleaning and disinfecting protocols for horizontal high touch areas and high use areas of the building will be communicated and enforced. Additional identified weekly deep cleaning and disinfecting will occur on the weekends as needed. 

Soap and hand sanitizer will be readily available for all occupants in the building. Hand dryers will be shut down and paper towel dispensers will be used as a replacement. Disinfectants will be standardized across the district. Dilutable disinfectants, pre-soaked wipes, and RTU hospital-grade disinfectants will be used in district buildings depending on need. Additionally, no-touch step cans and large 44-gallon waste receptacles on wheels will be purchased for trash containment.

We will also ensure that we have adequate personal protective equipment at all times. We have ordered 400,000 adult and 400,000 youth 3-Ply masks for staff and students for the start of the school year. To ensure that we have enough gloves at all times, it will be directed that gloves be used only when there is contact with blood and body fluids.

REPORTING ILLNESSESS & ADDRESSING VULNERABLE POPULATIONS HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

Before leaving for school, we ask that you check your child’s temperature, which should be lower than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, we ask that you monitor your child for any symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. If your child is feeling sick, has a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and/or is displaying any symptoms related to COVID-19, you must keep your child home. 

Please notify the school immediately if your child is sick with COVID-19-related symptoms, especially if they had known contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, and they have also had contact with the school population.

Students who have traveled to states designated by the Governor of Connecticut as part of the Regional Travel Advisory in the past 14 days will not be allowed to attend school in person until they have completed 14 days of self-quarantine. Please notify your child’s school if this applies to your situation.

SCREENING PROCEDURE FOR STUDENTS HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

School staff may visually screen students before school, as they enter school, and during the school day for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This may include visual wellness checks and any necessary follow-up temperature checks with no-touch thermometers by school nurses or other trained staff members. These staff may ask students about any COVID-19 symptoms they may have exhibited within the last 24 hours and whether anyone in their home has had COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test.

Temperature checks for students at the point of entry will not be implemented. No-touch temperature checks for students may be done at school by a school nurse or other trained staff member if students are ill or upon request. 

All school nurses will comply with relevant privacy and health laws. To decrease the risk of spreading or contracting the virus while complying with relevant privacy and health laws, the school nurse will be in touch with caregivers to monitor symptoms in students that could be related to COVID-19. This may include discussing the student’s specific symptoms with the New Britain Health Department or, as required by law, sharing information for contact tracing.

STUDENTS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

There may be instances where students are symptomatic upon arrival to school or, during the school day, begin to show COVID-19 symptoms and/or any other potentially infectious illness. In this scenario, the school nurse will immediately separate the student from other students and staff. These students will be required to wear their face covering and be taken to a designated isolation room, which will be supervised by a trained adult or medical professional. If there is more than one student in the isolation room, social distancing guidelines will be followed. 

School staff will contact the child’s caregiver so that they can pick the child up from school. The student will remain in the isolation room until they are signed out of school by their caregiver or other designated contact person on file in the school’s main office. The school nurse will advise caregivers that sick students are not to return to school until they have met the CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.  

Please refer to the CSDNB Flow and Exposure Charts for more information on proper contact and notification protocols.

SCREENING PROCEDURE FOR STAFF HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

Before leaving for school, we ask that staff check their temperature, which should be lower than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, we ask that they self-monitor for any symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19. If a staff member is feeling sick,  has a temperature of 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and/or is displaying any symptoms related to COVID-19, we ask that they stay home.

Temperature checks for staff at the point of entry will not be implemented. Temperature checks for a staff member may be done at school by a school nurse or other trained staff member. All school nurses will comply with relevant privacy and health laws.

Staff must report to the Office of Personnel and Talent Development, the Nursing Director, their school principal, and/or the school nurse if within the past 14 days, they have been in a state that is covered under the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory or if they have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 before coming into school. The Office of Personnel and Talent Development or the Nursing Director, with advice from the New Britain Health Department and the CDC, will provide the staff member with information and PPE requirements.

School nurses and school administrators may visually screen staff before and during the school day for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. This may include visual wellness checks and any necessary follow up temperature checks with no-touch thermometers. Staff may be asked about COVID-19 symptoms within the last 24 hours and whether anyone in their home has had COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test.

The school nurse will monitor symptoms in staff that could be related to COVID-19 to decrease the risk of spreading or contracting the virus while complying with relevant privacy and health laws. This may include discussing the staff member’s specific symptoms with the New Britain Health Department or, as required by law, sharing information for contact tracing.

STAFF SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

There may be instances where staff are symptomatic upon arrival to school or, during the school day, begin to show COVID-19 symptoms and/or show symptoms of any other potentially infectious illness. In this scenario, they will be sent home immediately and will be advised to seek medical care.

If the staff member is not able to leave right away for some reason, they will be taken to the designated isolation room where they will wait until they are ready to leave the building. The school nurse will advise the staff member not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation.

If a staff member has been present in school and has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the school nurse and the building principal will contact the Nursing Director and the Superintendent of Schools. The school nurse or the Nursing Director will notify the local public health officials. The New Britain Health Department will assess the risk of further transmission in the school and district and will advise the Superintendent. 

Please refer to the CSDNB Flow and Exposure Charts for more information on proper contact and notification protocols.

MANDATORY FACE COVERINGS HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the State of Connecticut, face coverings that cover the mouth and nose will be mandatory for all students while they are in school and on the bus. The only exceptions for face coverings are for (1) anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance or (2) anyone who has a medical reason making it unsafe to wear a face covering.

Students who have a medical reason that makes it unsafe for them to wear a face covering must present a signed letter from a licensed medical provider outlining why the student is unable to wear a face covering.

If a student refuses to wear a face covering, they will be sent home from school and be required to take part in remote learning. As a point of clarification - this is not for students who are generally following the policy, but occasionally pull the covering away from their face due to discomfort.  Developmental considerations are appropriate, and exceptions may be necessary for these scenarios.

Students may remove their face covering during breaks, which will be scheduled by the teacher and school building administrators. These will occur when students can follow effective social distancing guidelines and/or when they are outside. Additionally, students may remove their face covering when eating, drinking, taking part in intensive physical activity, or when they are outside and social distancing policies can be followed.

We are working to secure clear window surgical masks for all SLPs (Speech and Language Pathologists), teachers who have students who are hearing impaired, KEY staff, Pathways staff, and others whose students rely on lip reading and/or need to see the teacher’s/staff’s mouth or face.

Parents are expected to provide students with face coverings. It will be the caregiver’s responsibility to clean their child’s face covering and face shield with soap and water each day. Part of our hygiene education will be caring for cloth masks, including best practices for effective cleaning and sanitation.

SOCIAL DISTANCING HEALTH PRACTICES & PROTOCOLS

In conjunction with the considerations outlined throughout this plan concerning classroom and hallway social distancing rules, we will continuously educate staff and students about the importance of social distancing and face coverings to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Floor markings throughout classrooms and the school will also be included to illustrate social/physical distancing.

We will adjust our approach to social distancing if guidance from the CDC or Department of Public Health changes due to shifting public health data or an evolving understanding of the COVID-19 disease, including transmission. 

School building administrators will develop building-specific plans that will effectively prepare for times when social distancing may be particularly difficult. This includes, but is not limited to, accommodating students with whose learning or other needs may require closer proximity and/or direct contact due to special health care needs or disabilities. In these circumstances, staff and/or students will be provided with additional PPE. 

Administrators will also be responsible for planning for the number of people that can safely be in all school spaces, including larger rooms.

STAFFING

The CSDNB Office of Personnel and Talent Development will comply with all legal and regulatory requirements related to personnel, including but not limited to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidance related to the ADA and COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to engage all staff and monitor whether changes in union contracts and/or memorandums need to be made to support the school district's needs.

In the past several weeks, we have begun to communicate our plans for the upcoming school year and have relayed any changes in policies for the upcoming school year. This includes the latest guidelines regarding travel out of state and the necessary quarantine requirements upon arrival back into Connecticut. We have also surveyed staff about their intent for the 2020-2021 school year, and have begun to plan with those considerations.

We continue to meet with our unions and other employee groups and to offer support through our Employee Assistance Program and other wellbeing strategies. 

We have been partnering with our substitute service provider to ensure that we have adequate coverage for all school buildings. Additional meetings will be held in the coming weeks as we get more clarity from staff regarding their status for this school year.

If schools are closed at any point during the school year, we will require department virtual or in-person checks with staff to ensure both job consistency and accountability.

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

We will provide professional development regarding health practices, cleaning methods, best practices for COVID-19 mitigation, and more. These offerings will be available throughout the summer and become accessible within the district’s professional development platform for on-demand access.

Virtual training on multiple educational platforms and resources that will be used during the 2020-2021 school year began the week of July 20. All training sessions are being recorded and cataloged on our online professional development platform for on-demand access for all staff. 

During the week of August 17-21, administrative professional development will be offered. This includes training on PPE, safety, and health and sanitizing protocols. Additionally, SEL and Academic plans for returning students in preparation for the traditional, hybrid, and distance learning models will be covered. A specific focus will be on preparing for the rollout of training to the entire staff.

During the week of August 23-September 2, full staff professional development will be held. This includes training on PPE, safety, and health and sanitizing protocols. Specific planning and preparation for how to roll the training out to students and communicate with families on an ongoing basis will be a focus of the week. 

Additionally, this week of professional development will include SEL and Academic plans for the return of students. This entails developing lesson plans with the flexibility to shift from the traditional model to the remote learning and/or hybrid model.

Other topics included in all training sessions will be recognizing the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, standard public health protocols, hygiene practices, and reporting illnesses. Ongoing training will be conducted as changes occur in recommendations from the Connecticut State Department of Education and the New Britain Health Department.

ACADEMIC PLATFORMS

The following tools and technology platforms will be available to teachers to enhance their ability to provide an engaging learning environment for their students, whether in school or learning remotely.  Virtual professional development offerings on these platforms and more, began July 21 and will continue until school starts.  Sessions are being recorded so that they are flexibly available to staff to learn according to their schedules and so that they may revisit their learning as needed. 

Prekindergarten
SeeSaw, Clever, Securly, Google Meet

Grades K-1
Fundations, SeeSaw, Clever, Securely, iREADY, Reading A-Z/RAZ-PLUS, BrainPOP (JR, ELL, Espanol), Screencastify, Google Meet, Peardeck, SPIRE (Bridges & select Sped Ts)

Grades 2-5
Fundations (Gr. 2) , Clever, Securely, Newsela, iREADY, Reading A-Z/RAZ-PLUS, BrainPOP (ELL, Espanol), Screencastify, Google Meet, Peardeck, Google Classroom, SPIRE (Bridges & select Sped Ts)

Grades 6-8
Clever, Securely, Newsela, iREADY, RAZ-PLUS, BrainPOP (ELL, Espanol), Screencastify, Google Meet, Peardeck, Google Classroom

Grades 9-12
Newsela, Screencastify, Securely, Google Meet, Peardeck, Google Classroom

District staff will use common, agreed-upon platforms to communicate with students. In grades PK-1, Seesaw will be used. In grades 2-12, Google Classroom will be used.  Family communication will be through School Messenger.

TECHNOLOGY

Access to technology will be 1:1 for students in grades PK-12. For students who do not currently have a device, we will be in contact regarding distribution in the coming weeks. Please note that caregivers who are choosing to enroll their child in homeschooling (different than remote learning) are not enrolled in the district, and as such, they will not receive a device for their child. 

With a 1:1 model, funding is needed to purchase additional technology to support student learning in all three educational models this coming school year. Adjustments were made to the 2020-2021 operating budget to reflect the continual need for device purchase/replenishment. Further review will continue throughout the school year to achieve sustainable funding.

We are taking steps to ensure that equitable technology access will continue for all of our students. To that end, we will do everything possible to ensure that every student has access to digital technology and/or high-speed Wi-Fi. Several initiatives will, in partnership with the city and community providers, expand student access to their learning platforms in public libraries, parks, neighborhoods, and sites servicing kids who may not be physically present at school. 

Additional partnerships with Comcast will help us advocate for some of our families through the Internet Essentials program.  As a final resort, the district will pursue additional personal level equipment when applicable.

EDUCATIONAL DELIVERY

For a description of how virtual learning is different this school year, please click on the appropriate link below.

EDUCATIONAL
DELIVERY
Model A | Traditional COVID-19 vaccine is available or effective mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC are in place.

Families will have the flexibility to choose one of two different options, or a combination of them. Option 1 will consist of a blended delivery of synchronous and asynchronous instruction in building, which will be a six (6) hour day for all students. Option 2 will be remote learning. This will be a blend of virtual synchronous and asynchronous instruction according to school day hours. To allow flexibility for families, a student may, for example, go to school on Monday, access remote learning on Tuesday and Wednesday, then return to school on Thursday and Friday.

EDUCATIONAL
DELIVERY
Model B | Hybrid Rotation Low COVID-19 transmission risk in the community.

Families will have the flexibility to choose a combination of both remote and in-building days. Option 1 will include a blended schedule with 50% in-building instruction, which will be a six (6) hour day for all students. The other 50% will consist of remote learning on alternate weeks. Option 2 will be remote learning. This will be a blend of virtual synchronous and asynchronous instruction according to school day hours.

EDUCATIONAL
DELIVERY
Model C | Remote Learning Moderate or more severe spread of COVID-19.

100% remote learning will be the only option available. This will be a blend of virtual synchronous and asynchronous instruction according to school day hours.

SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION

Model A | Traditional COVID-19 vaccine is available or effective mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC are in place.

The district will provide the following devices to students, depending on their level: Preschool students will each receive an iPad; students in grades K-1 will each receive a touchscreen Chromebook; students in grades 2-8 will each receive a Chromebook; students in grades 9-12 will each receive a laptop. Instruction will be as seamless as possible from the classroom to the home environment.

With 100% of students in school, students with IEPs will receive services in the inclusive, resource, or self-contained settings.  Services will be based on the IEP. Individual student needs and parent input will be used to develop alternative methods for service provision and will be reflected in the IEP either through the amendment or PPT process. The resource room setting may be utilized for specific reading interventions and related services. The use of this setting will require approval by the building principal and district coordinator.

Students in the district’s post-secondary transition program will continue to have access to vocational opportunities in the community where health and safety measures are instituted. 

For families who continue to opt for remote learning instruction after schools reopen, services and support will be provided based on the IEP/504 plan. Instruction and related services will be designed to utilize virtual platforms and tele-therapies. Service Logs will be used to document IEP services and supports, and 504 Plan accommodations will be implemented per plan requirements.

The district will provide each student and adult with face shields.  Staff and students are responsible for supplying personal face masks. Frequent breaks will be held outdoors or inside, where there is enough room to follow social distancing guidelines. Accommodations will be made for students who are unable to wear a face covering continuously. The adults working in our KEY program for students with Autism and other significant developmental delays will all receive gowns in addition to face coverings and face shields.

Rituals, routines, and expectations will be explicitly taught to all students. Social stories will be used to support student understanding and compliance for wearing face coverings.

SPECIALIZED
INSTRUCTION
Model B | Hybrid Rotation Low COVID-19 transmission risk in the community.

With 25% - 50% of students in school, students with IEPs will receive services in the inclusive, resource, or self-contained settings. Services will be based on the IEP. Individual student needs and parent input will be used to develop alternative methods for service provision and will be reflected in the IEP either through the amendment or PPT process. The use of this setting will require approval by the building principal and district coordinator.

When students are learning in the virtual settings, the SDE Continued Educational Opportunities (template generated by the CSDNB Pupil Service Department) plan will be implemented.  Ongoing monitoring of students with little or no engagement in remote learning will be invited to attend in-person school daily to receive direct instruction. Service Logs will be utilized to document IEP services and supports, and 504 Plan accommodations will be implemented per plan requirements.

Students in the district’s post-secondary transition program will continue to have access to vocational opportunities in the community where health and safety measures are instituted. 

The district will provide each student and adult with face shields.  Staff and students are responsible for supplying personal face masks. Frequent breaks will be held outdoors or inside, where there is enough room to follow social distancing guidelines. Accommodations will be made for students who are unable to wear a face covering continuously. The adults working in our KEY program for students with Autism and other significant developmental delays will all receive gowns in addition to face coverings and face shields.

Rituals, routines, and expectations will be explicitly taught to all students. Social stories will be used to support student understanding and compliance for wearing face coverings.

SPECIALIZED
INSTRUCTION
Model C | Remote Learning Moderate or more severe spread of COVID-19.

When students are learning in the virtual settings, the SDE Continued Educational Opportunities plan will be implemented. Remote learning services and supports will be provided to the highest extent possible based on the IEP/504 plan. Instruction and related services will be designed to utilize virtual platforms and tele-therapies.

Individual student needs and parent input will be used to develop alternative methods for service provision and will be reflected in the IEP either through the amendment or PPT process. Outreach to families, clinical support, and training opportunities for caregivers will be provided on a continual basis. Service Logs will be utilized to document IEP services and supports.

SPECIALIZED INSTRUCTION: ENGLISH LEARNERS (EL)

Model A | Traditional COVID-19 vaccine is available or effective mitigation strategies recommended by the CDC are in place.

All students will return to school for a six (6) hour day and face-to-face instruction. Identified EL students will be placed in mainstream classes. With caregivers’ consent, EL students will receive ESL, bilingual and/or sheltered services. In order to limit contact and movement in the building,  ESL services will be push-in unless a small setting is  approved by the building administrator.

ESL and mainstream teachers will plan collaboratively to ensure that EL students’ language needs are met. ESL teachers will provide supplemental language instruction based on EL students’ proficiency level. EL students with 30 months or less in the states, and those students deemed in need of continued services, will have native language support services via push-in model in order to gain access to the grade level curriculum.

High School EL students will be provided an extra period of ESL supplemental services. Dually identified EL students will be provided support based on district and individual student plans.

All parent communication will be translated into Spanish and Arabic. Polish translations will be available as needed.

SPECIALIZED
INSTRUCTION (EL)
Model B | Hybrid Rotation Low COVID-19 transmission risk in the community.

50% of students will return to school for a six (6) hour day and face-to-face instruction, while 50% take part in remote learning. Groups will alternate week to week.

Identified EL students will be placed in mainstream classes. With caregivers’ consent, EL students will receive ESL, bilingual, and/or sheltered services. To limit contact and movement in the building,  ESL services will be push-in unless a small setting is approved by the building administrator.

ESL and mainstream teachers will plan collaboratively to ensure that EL students’ language needs are met. ESL teachers will provide supplemental language instruction based on EL students’ proficiency level. EL students with 30 months or less in the states and those deemed in need of continued services will have native language support services via a push-in model to gain access to the grade-level curriculum.

High School EL students will be provided an extra period of ESL supplemental services. Dually identified EL students will be provided support based on district and individual student plans.

All parent communication will be translated into Spanish and Arabic. Polish translations will be available as needed.

SPECIALIZED
INSTRUCTION (EL)
Model C | Remote Learning Moderate or more severe spread of COVID-19.

All students will take part in remote learning due to the closure of schools. ESL and mainstream teachers will plan collaboratively to ensure that EL students’ language needs are met through the virtual setting. ESL teachers will provide additional supplemental language instruction based on EL student’s proficiency level.

Native language support assistants will be paired with mainstream teachers to provide native language support to students with 30 months or less in the states and those deemed in need of continued services to gain access to the grade-level curriculum virtually.

Dually identified ELs will be provided support virtually based on district and individual student plans.

All parent communication will be translated into Spanish and Arabic. Polish translations will be available as needed.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL) AND MENTAL HEALTH

In all three models, CSDNB will employ a multi-tiered system of support to promote wellness by implementing our social-emotional learning curriculum, which aligns with the CASEL competencies, and by partnering with community and site-based mental health services.  

The district’s Guiding Principles of Community, Collaboration, and Support was established with various stakeholders and outlines tiered strategies and interventions for our community of learners. Each school will employ practices, protocols, and procedures that support a positive school climate that fosters a sense of belonging.  

CSDNB has also partnered with the various community mental health organizations to create the #ALLIn informational video to inform caregivers of the various mental health services available. This informational video will be posted on our digital and social media platforms. All tiered strategies are flexible to meet the needs of students both in person and virtually.

TIER 1: CORE INSTRUCTION SEL AND MENTAL HEALTH

We will begin our instruction for the 2020-2021 school year in our Readiness Units, created specifically to support our students in reestablishing routines, rituals and relationships within the classroom - whether live or remote - to set them up for success. 

These Readiness Units will support teachers in welcoming and getting to know students, establishing routines, and building a community of mutual respect, appreciation, and support among the learners in their class. Unit resources are aligned with five distinct pillars using New Britain’s curriculum renewal project values as the model. Each unit strives to be:

  • Culturally Responsive, using diverse resources and perspectives.
  • Focused on the importance of Social-Emotional Learning.
  • Supportive of assessment through reflection, teacher observation, and student work. 
  • Tied to researched, best practices to support special education students as active participants.
  • Flexible in their application – all the activities in the units have suggested modifications for in-person, socially distanced or remote learning applications.    

While initial learning targets outlined in the Readiness Unit focus on establishing routines, rituals, and relationships, practicing and teaching students about social distancing procedures, face coverings, handwashing, classroom environment norms, peer interactions, and overall safety procedures are critical components to community building for reopening. 

The learning targets within the unit are developmentally appropriate, and learning experiences are culturally and linguistically responsive to meet the needs of our diverse student populations. In addition, the district’s social-emotional curriculum, advisory, and seminar courses enhance the learning targets. 

Specific read alouds, activities, and resources are embedded to promote wellness, reflection, and trauma identification. Furthermore, resources for staff include the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) publication.

Data from the Panorama survey questions embedded in the Readiness Unit will be used to identify students in need of tier two interventions. A form will be generated to collect data on a school level, and data will be shared during team meetings to identify students in need of tier two support.

BEHAVIORAL & EMOTIONAL SCREENING SYSTEM (BESS) SEL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Why do we need to assess social-emotional learning?  SEL measures allow us to assess the efficacy of our universal or Tier I social-emotional interventions. Completing the BESS screener in the fall and spring will provide baseline data of students’ behavioral and emotional risk factors, as well as post-intervention comparison data.  Data will allow us to determine if social-emotional wellness improved (or was maintained) over the course of the school year.

BESS Administration: Assess First Week of November and Late May/Early June (Data must be in Review 360):

  • PreK-5 teachers assess students.
  • Grades 6=12 students self assess.
  • Data will be collected and analyzed during team meetings based on a specific data teaming protocol.

Core Student Supports

  • Reconnect with students receiving tiered intervention before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reconnect with students/families receiving special education or with a 504 Plan, English as a second language, or mental health services prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Reconnect with disengaged students/families, including our homeless population, through virtual meetings with the teacher.
  • Co-teaching model with pupil services/mental health staffing (Social Worker, Guidance Counselor, and School Psychologist).
  • Partnering with the Local Prevention Council to empower middle and high school students by hearing their voices.
  • Search Institute Survey focused on developmental assets. CSDNB wants to specifically utilize data from supplemental questions regarding daily stress, anxiety and work, and whether or not students had adult support in or outside of school.
TIER 2: GROUP INTERVENTIONS SEL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Wellness rounds by School Counselors, Social Workers, and School Psychologists to model how to conduct wellness checks, including how to lead conversations while establishing routines, rituals, and relationships for teachers. Use data from wellness rounds to triage and inform supports for students and adults. Reconnect with disengaged students/families, including our homeless population, through virtual or in-person visits.

This will be done by our family support liaisons and will be reviewed during School Engagement Attendance Team meetings Utilize data from the Panorama survey to identify students in need of intervention, including: Check-In and Check-Out. Inclusion in Social Skills Groups. Alternate Schedules. Targeted Breaks.

TIER 3: INTENSIVE INTERVENTIONS SEL AND MENTAL HEALTH

Intensive interventions will include therapeutic consultation, teletherapy sessions, and/or direct counseling services.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR TEACHERS SEL AND MENTAL HEALTH

We will prepare staff to identify issues related to abuse and neglect in the context of the pandemic and comply with all mandated reporting requirements. This includes Safe Schools training on CT Mandated Reporting Training and Cyberbullying and Safe Schools training on trauma awareness and trauma-informed practices - facilitated by school-based social workers and school psychologists with the integration of suicide prevention and de-escalation techniques.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION / ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION

We will follow all CDC, state, and local guidelines related to social distancing and disinfecting areas and equipment used for physical education and physical activity. The Directors of Athletics and Fine Arts will collaborate with other stakeholders to implement a curriculum that considers all students' needs, including an emphasis on adaptations and modifications of all activities to ensure the full inclusion of all students. 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

This year, physical education will be delivered through a combination of in-classroom instruction and activities. Special attention will be paid to the amount of space available, limiting the number of participants in one area, and restricting the use of shared equipment.  We will, in all possible scenarios, implement activities that are teacher-led but performed individually. This includes a focus on lifetime fitness, exercise in alternative environments, land-based activities, and individual sports/activities. Some examples of this include step aerobics, yoga, backyard games, dance, outdoor education, track and field, and more. Any equipment used will be cleaned and disinfected in between use.

ARTS AND MUSIC EDUCATION

Our Arts Education program will continue in all forms but will look somewhat different due to restrictions on the use of shared materials. To the greatest extent possible, we will provide individual art supply kits for each student. In cases where that is not possible, we will plan for increased sanitization between all uses of materials and supplies. We will also continue to use online applications and platforms for student work. This includes SeeSaw, Google Classroom, Peardeck, video displays, and more. 

Our Music Education program will strive to maintain its current program of studies and course offerings within the parameters of safety regulations. Due to the recommendation that a minimum of 12 feet is to be observed when students are singing or performing wind instruments, we will work to schedule large ensembles in spaces that can safely fit everyone into the room. Potential spaces include auditoriums, cafeterias, gyms, and outdoor spaces. During this time, we will focus on maximizing distancing for instruments that require blowing or for singing. If this is not possible, we will schedule large ensembles into smaller groups throughout the day. 

We will continue full access to instrumental lessons during the school day with the proper social distancing recommendations observed. To help with this, we will maintain small homogenous groupings of instruments for lesson instruction. 

Further guidance regarding chorus instruction will be provided once made available by the Connecticut State Department of Education.

ATHLETICS AND EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

If schools are closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19, no extracurricular activities will be held. Guidance regarding athletic events and practices will come from the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC). If athletic events are conducted, the Athletic Director will ensure that the proper health and safety guidelines are followed. You can find the CIAC's guidance around fall sports here.

Due to the unprecedented circumstance around the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of extracurricular activities will be limited. The Superintendent or her designee must approve all events and activities. This also includes school assemblies and concerts. Final decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. If these events occur, building administrators will follow all health and safety guidelines.

BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMMING

We are committed to working with our community partners to ensure that before- and after- school programming is provided in our schools for our students. The Superintendent and the COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison will work with community partners to ensure that they follow the school’s health and safety plans, as well as the expectations of the New Britain Health Department.

FAMILY AND STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

We will comply with all state and federal family engagement requirements (e.g., School Governance Councils and Title I requirements) during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes providing an ability to host forums—whether in-person or virtually—so organizations such as the SGC, PTO, PTA, and others can meet. The Partnership Office will ensure that all Title I requirements are being met.

Our communications plan ensures regular contact with our families, staff, and stakeholders. We will continue to engage with all parties during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. All updates, including this plan, will be publicly available on the CSDNB website and will be translated into multiple languages. Hard copies of this plan will also be available in all school buildings.