Communication and Engagement
To help inform our reopening plan, the district has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations.
The committee met in subcommittees and as a whole on July 14, July 15, July 22, and July 28. Parents were surveyed at the end of June as part of the “End of Year Survey” and a parent forum was held on July 29.
The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at www.greenisland.org, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan can be accessed on the Reopening Updates and Information page, which appears on the homepage of the website under Quick Links. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into other languages, via the Google Translate feature available on the district website. The website can be translated in the following languages: Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Cebuano, Chewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Kinyarwanda, Korean, Kurdish (Kurmanji), Kyrgyz, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian (Bokmål), Odia, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Romanian, Russian, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Serbian, Sesotho, Shona, Sindhi, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Tatar, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Turkmen, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, West Frisian, Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba and Zulu.
As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication channels – including District Website, Email, School News Notifier/SchoolMessenger – as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. Translation into other languages available upon request.
The district is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. The district will rely on the District Website, Email, School News Notifier/SchoolMessenger to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening and in-person instruction, including social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. The information that we will share will be based on state guidance and input from the reopening committee.
In support of remote learning, the district will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them. Students in grades 4-12 are part of our 1:1 chromebook program. Students in grades K-3 will be surveyed to identify who is in need of a device. The district will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, including phone, email, and district approved learning tools such as Google classroom.
The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible.
The district will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child.
In addition, the district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication. In addition, for families to access Google translate on our website, every effort will be made to communicate in preferred language upon request.
The district is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, the district will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ age group and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. Students will be trained during their first day in attendance on the following protocols based on NYSED and CDC Guidance:
- Hand hygiene
- Proper face covering procedures (how to wear and remove) -
- Social distancing
- Respiratory hygiene
- Identifying symptoms
The district will create and deploy signage throughout the district to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:
- Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear
- Hand washing
- Adherence to social distancing instructions
- Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19
In addition to signage, the district will encourage all students, faculty, staff and visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means such as the district website, electronic sign in front of school, and email blasts.
The district is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student and staff health, safety and privacy. Our district will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan.
The District is developing the necessary communication protocols for all stakeholders, in the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. These protocols will be distributed to all stakeholder parties prior to the beginning of the school year electronically. The District will also provide all families, a written safety protocol on the first day of school. The district will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by local health officials.
The district is preparing for situations in which the school building need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases.
The district will work with the Albany County Department of Health if a student or staff member has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID. The district will adhere to the Albany County Department of Health’s recommendations and the guidance set forth by the Governor’s Office and the New York State Department of Health.
The district may choose to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. The district will consult its medical director, Dr. Koston, and/or the Albany County Department of Health when making such decisions.
School building administrators will communicate with each other regularly and, if needed, will consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely.
In the event of an immediate school closure, the district will follow the emergency early release plan in the School Safety Plan. In the event of a planned school closure, parents will be notified via SchoolMessenger and the district website.