Our Approach

Newburgh Enlarged City School District is committed to making the soundest decisions regarding our reopening, and we strongly believe in making those decisions based on science. Our approach is comprehensive in nature and it is informed by what we see happening internationally as well as by national guidance, state guidance, and local decisions.

NECSD strives to safely return students to the physical schoolhouse, but we recognize that doing so can only be done safely. This website is designed to inform parents and employees of the plans for reopening our school campuses. On this site, you can view the guiding documents that we considered in creating our reopening plan and familiarize yourself with the options for returning to school.

OUR FOUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES

1
Ensure the safety and wellness of scholars, faculty and staff.
2
Deliver high-quality instruction to students, regardless of delivery model.
3
Be open to changing policies that don’t work

4
Plan for progress, not perfection

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Guidance from NYSED




REOPENING

OUR SCHOOL

BUILDINGS

The safety of our school community is our top priority. During planning we have made sure to include all aspects of the school experience and what safety precautions would have to be taken for each. These include teaching and learning, social-emotional learning, exceptional learners, transportation, facilities, food service, health and wellness, ELLs, school security, and more.

Student and Staff Experience

The district's number one priority is a safe learning environment that protects both the student's social-emotional wellbeing as well as allowing them effectively learn. Below are some of the social distancing and safety equipment that is planned to be installed in our school buildings and offices.

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Single Direction Walking
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Daily Health Screenings
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Distance Workstations

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Reduced Classroom Seating
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Sanitation Stations

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Avoid Sharing of Equipment
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Virtual Meetings

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PPE/Increased Sanitization

Current Health and Safety Supplies

Below is a sample of our current supply of health and safety items. We will continute to monitor best practices and recommendations and order additional or new equipment as necessary. Currently these items meet or exceed safety requirements.

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360,000
General masks on reserve (N95 & Gowns only for school nurses)
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45,000
Pairs gloves on reserve
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200
Sanitizer Dispensers 400+ Refills (more on order)
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40
Disinfecting machines (Supply for 12 months)
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18 Months
HEPA Filters for Air Filtration with 3-month changes
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1000+
Tissue boxes (more on order)



PROPOSED

INSTRUCTIONAL

MODELS

Our teams know that no model will meet the needs of every student/family or staff member. We have worked hard to provide instructional models that allow for us to educate our students in a manner we believe will minimize health risks and provide a positive student experience. These models also allow for flexibility should we need to transition between different models.

SCENARIOS RESEARCHED DURING PLANNING

Our planning teams began working based off these four scenarios. The teams are currently now narrowing these down to chose our best scenario for reopening school.

HYBRID 1: AB/AB
(not selected)

Alternate Days (AB/AB) Schedule for In-Person Learning



HYBRID 2: AAAA/BBBB
(not selected)

Full Week Rotating (AAAA/BBBB)

HYBRID 3: AA/BB
(our selected plan)

2 Day Block (AA/BB) Schedule for In-Person Learning

VIRTUAL 100%
(selected to begin the year)

100% Virtual Learning for All Students

OUR RESPONSE

TO

COVID-19

Since our school buildings closed in March 2020. Our district has been working non-stop to provide educational resources to students, families, and staff/faculty.

ENSURE STUDENTS WERE SAFE AND ABLE TO LEARN

The district's top priority when school buildings were closed in March 2020 was to make sure students were safe, healthy, and able to be educated. Our first priority was to make sure students and families had the essentials they needed.

The weekend Food Backpack Program distributed food to families in need at the old Sacred Heart school- 550 scholars per week from April- June. Volunteers from different departments and schools served the program each week.

March 26- Mass Food Distribution - This was a collaboration between the Homeless Liaison, Equity and Access, Health Services and various schools. 12,777 pounds of food were distributed to our families. 

Hygiene Products were distributed at Food Backpack Program between April and June, on average 300 scholars were served per week- This was a collaboration with Homeless Liaison, FACE, Registration, Health Services.

In addition, to these program the district distributed chromebooks and hotspots to make sure students could learn remotely. We also increased our professional development opportunities for our teachers to ensure they could teach effectively in the new environment.

STRATEGIC PLANNING TEAMS

Our next steps were to setup Strategic Planning Teams which would help serve to drive our decision-making. These teams were essential to make sure all voices were heard, all district members were represented in the decision making process.

Project Team
4-8
people

The Project Team meets 1-2 times a week to analyze the work that has been conducted and plan for future meeting agendas to keep the work moving forward

Roberto Padilla, Superintendent
Ed Forgit, Deputy Superintendent
Stacy Moran, Newburgh Teachers’ Association President
Scott Prokosch, Newburgh School Administrator Association President
Cassie Sklarz, Communication Strategist

Task Force
60-80
people

The Task Force began meeting in May 2020 and meets once a week. The Task Force is comprised of members who represent our NECSD community and include representation from:
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Catholic Charities
  • Community Members
  • City Councilperson from the City of Newburgh
  • Latinos Unidos
  • Mount St. Mary College
  • NAACP
  • NECSD Educators
  • NECSD Teachers' Union
  • NECSD Administrators' Union
  • NECSD District Physician
  • Newburgh Armory Unity Center
  • Newburgh Free Library
  • Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
  • Parents from each grade band
  • Town Councilperson from the Town of Newburgh
Advisories
125+
people

The Advisory teams began meeting in June and meet bi-weekly. The Advisory teams are comprised of those who found interest or have expertise in this work and have volunteered to contribute to this planning. The Advisory teams research specific topic areas and bring that research to the Task Force to provide a feedback loop.
Advisory Teams:
ELLs
Exceptional Learners
Facilities
Food Service
Health and Wellness
SEL
Teaching & Learning Curriculum
Teaching & Learning Technology
Transportation
Safety & Security




GATHER FEEDBACK

Although the Strategic Planning Teams allowed for input from many groups and demographics we also wanted to allow every family and staff member to be able to provide input. We setup numerous surveys about reopening school buildings. We've gather that important feedback and also used that data to guide our decision making.

Two surveys were designed and deployed– one for families and one for faculty and staff – to learn more about their perceptions of COVID-19, as well as their preferences for school/work attendance, transportation needs, potential barriers to working in either a physical or virtual environment, and proficiency with various learning platforms. Two ThoughtExchange boards were launched – one for everyone and one for families only.



ThoughtExchange
Participants: 3,410
Thoughts: 4,508
Ratings: 122,283


General Surveys
Staff-Faculty: 1,528
Thoughts: 4,508
Ratings: 122,283

Timeline




FREQUENTLY

ASKED

QUESTIONS

As school gets closer we are trying to answer as many questions as our families have. Some questions we are still waiting for guidance from NYS on while others are answered below. We've also held three Virtual Family Forums, those videos are below as well.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW IN SPANISH





HEALTH AND WELLNESS

We will rely on families as partners and the Department of Health to inform the district of a positive case.  A flow chart discussing this process can be found on page two of the Testing addendum to the Family Guidebook for Reopening Schools.  
Information regarding positive cases should be shared with the district covid help resources: 845.563.3412 or CovidHelp@necsd.net

Yes. The district requires masks and 6 ft. of social distancing (or more when necessary) as much as possible. Masks will be provided if needed prior to entering a school bus, prior to entering a school, or throughout the day if necessary. Face shields can be worn with a mask, but cannot be worn instead of a mask.

Mask breaks will be coordinated by the classroom teacher and implemented only when social distancing is in place and when there are very few to no, other individuals present . Scholars will be able to remove their masks during meal times while they are eating and maintaining 6ft. of social distancing.

No, New York State is not requiring COVID testing for scholars or faculty/staff prior to the start of school.

Scholars should have their own materials. For items that must be shared, appropriate disinfecting will occur between use.



FACILITIES

Yes. Through our Energy Performance Contract (EPC), all district buildings have updated energy management systems. According to guidance, HVAC systems will be required to include filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value - or MERV - rating of which filters out the COVID-19 virus, but can, if the system makes additional protections, run on a minimum MERV of 11. Ventilation protocols include increased outdoor air, reduced air circulation, longer system run times and frequent filter checks.  The district has decided to go a step further in installing MERV 13 filters, the highest rating compatible with our systems. Additionally, the district will be changing each MERV 13 filter every 60 days, more frequently than the 90 day suggestion. On the outside of each unit, a sticker or paper will be present that is updated to indicate the last time the filter was checked and/or changed.

Also through the EPC, the analysis, evaluation and refurbishment of approximately six hundred “Uninvents” which provide the heating, ventilation (Outside air) and in some cases air conditioning to each of the classrooms and other spaces. The evaluation included visual, technical and operational functionality of each unit’s internal components including a thorough cleaning and replacement of any and all defective parts. Outside air damper regulation is a key priority as part of this process. This work was performed in all district facilities.  The district operations staff followed up with the installation of higher – density, COVID-compliant filtration. 

Another distinct feature of the EPC is the commissioning or re-commissioning of all of the functional parts within each school’s environmental equipment. This is a well- documented and assessment process which serves as a check and balance of the above-listed scopes of work. As part of the EPC, commissioning documentation is evaluated by the district as well as EPC engineers to determine and confirm system optimization and functionality. This is a highly proactive approach to environmental concerns.

Information about cleaning can be found on pages 8, 31, and 37 in the Family Guidebook for Reopening Schools

The district, adhering to and promoting hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection guidance set forth by DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will; train all students, faculty, and staff on proper hand and respiratory hygiene. 

The district has purchased at least one Clorox fog machine per building that will be utilized each Wednesday and each weekend for deep disinfection. 

The district will maintain logs that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection, as well as identify cleaning and disinfection frequency for each facility and area type and assign responsibility to staff.

We will clean high-traffic spots frequently throughout each day. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards and tablets, toilets and restrooms, faucets, and sinks. We will also ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on the frequency of use. Additionally, schoolwide cleaning, including classrooms, buses, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds will also take place daily. 



SAFETY AND SECURITY

All evacuation drills will be staggered with one classroom evacuating at a time  per wing or exit and the next class will not start evacuating until the previous class has cleared and social distancing can be maintained. Faculty will enforce social distancing outside and re-entry will be conducted in the same manner. 

Lockdown drills will be a facilitated lockdown where a discussion will be held with students to review when and how a lockdown should be conducted. 

Everyone will be informed that in the case of an actual emergency we will follow all normal emergency procedures and will return to social distancing when a threat to safety is no longer. 



FOOD SERVICES

The district will continue to provide school breakfast and lunch to all students, both on site and remote. For students on site, the provision of meals while maintaining appropriate social distancing between students will be maintained. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating so long as they are appropriately socially distanced. The district will explore alternate areas (e.g., classrooms) or staggered meal periods to ensure social distancing and proper cleaning and disinfection between students.

All students will have a hot option, a cold option and a sandwich option for lunch each day.

All students will continue to receive breakfast and lunch free of charge.

Menus, allergens and nutrition information will be posted on our MealViewer website.

Elementary (grades Pre-K - 5 and K - 8 buildings): As part of morning routines, teachers will complete an online order form for lunches to be delivered to the classroom. This ordering system will identify allergens so students will not be able to request a meal that contains something they are allergic to. Meals will be delivered to the classroom on/in a cart by cafeteria staff.                                                                    

Secondary (grades 6-12): Meals will be pre-ordered by students as part of homeroom/morning routine. Meals will be either picked up from a hallway kiosk (one classroom at a time) or delivered directly to classrooms

Yes. Meals will be provided for students that have opted for virtual instruction and for students that have not yet been phased into the hybrid plan. 

Five (5) days worth of breakfast and lunch will be provided on Wednesdays at the following locations and times:

GAMS 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm
Vails Gate 10am-12pm and 3pm-5pm
South Middle School 11am-12pm
Horizons on the Hudson 3pm-4pm
Meadow Hill 3pm-5pm

Meals will be provided with a drive through set up. Parents can pick up for their children but must provide the student ID# for each child they are picking up meals for. Meals are only available for students enrolled in NECSD school buildings (this includes 100% virtual learners). Meals can not be provided for children that do not attend NECSD.

All students are eligible for free breakfast and lunch. We encourage our students to participate in the meal programs both inside of school and remotely.



TRANSPORTATION

Up to 50% capacity.

Face masks will be provided to any scholar who needs one upon entering a school bus. A bus conduct report will be made for students who continuously remove their mask.

At this time, Pre-K scholars will ride different buses than older grade levels.

Transportation will be provided for schools outside of the district as was done in the past.

Each school will have a designated area for parent dropoff and pickup.

Alternate stops must be in place for 5 school days/one week. Bus passes will be issued for emergencies only.

Buses will be cleaned/disinfected twice a day. Once after the AM routes and once after the PM routes.



TECHNOLOGY

Yes. We hope to be able to provide Chromebooks to every scholar this year, however, our shipment of devices has not arrived. We ordered a supply earlier than many of the surrounding districts, but due to the global demand, they are delayed. When we receive those devices, distribution dates/times will be shared via robocall, on our website, and on social media. If Chromebooks are not available prior to the start of school, other information about instruction will be shared.

No. If your scholar has a device at home, they do not need to pick up a Chromebook. Information about the primary programs scholars will be using can be found, along with helpful links on page 2 of the Remote Learning Plan 2.0 addendum. Scholars will primarily be utilizing Google Classroom and Seesaw to access lessons and communicate with their teachers. 

These are web based programs that scholars should be able to access from any device. 

If your child needs help logging on to a device that is not a Chromebook, this guide may be helpful, focusing on step 4. 

Yes. Scholars should bring their Chromebooks with them to school for any in-person learning days.

Sprint Hotspots are available through the district. Distribution schedules and locations are communicated via robocall and posted on our website and social media sites. If you missed a distribution, please email helpdesk@necsd.net or call 845-568-6540 to coordinate a pick up.

Yes. Please bring a photo ID, along with the ID# for the scholar. If they do not have the ID#, they must provide the name, grade level, and school.



ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELLs)

ENL students will have scheduled ENL stand-alone instruction according to their proficiency levels, in addition to the content area and co-integrated ELA/ENL. ENL teachers provide additional support with language and content instruction.



SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING

Guidance Counselors, Social Workers and Psychologists will be available to assist your child that may have difficulty during this virtual time. All members have google classrooms that have resources and activities to help students and families during this time. A complete listing of the NECSD PPS directory can be found here.

We will make every effort to allow students to socialize abiding by all health and safety protocols that are mandated by the NYSED and DOH.



EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS

Scholars with an IEP, 504 plan, or who are part of an ICT classroom will be phased in with their grade level.

Scholars who are in a Special Class (8:1:2), (12:1:1), or (12:1:2) (self-contained) classroom will be phased in during Phase 2.

Yes, all students will receive related services as per his/her Individual Education Program (IEP). Students who are prescribed more than one session per week will receive the prescribed number of sessions. These will be provided based upon reasonable and feasible accommodations, if delivered in a remote learning environment

For students receiving 100% virtual instruction, the IEP will be implemented with reasonable and feasible accommodations to the greatest extent possible. Teachers and providers will be working with families on an individual basis to determine and discuss any adjustments to the IEP necessary given the virtual learning environment.

Teachers and providers will have daily office hours which can be accessed for additional assistance.

Students will not lose his/her spot within their recommended program. At this time, we cannot determine if their placement at their current school will change.



TEACHING AND LEARNING

If a student is having difficulty the parent, caregiver or student should reach out to the teacher and/or Building Administrator to inform them and ask for assistance. Contact lists have been included in the family guide book. Additionally teachers will have virtual office hours in the morning and can support your concerns in that way as well.

Student times for virtual learning are 9:00 am - 3:15 pm

Every teacher is expected to provide synchronous lessons daily. The expectation is to provide short min-lessons for each subject taught. At the secondary level each of your child’s teachers will provide a mini lesson at the beginning of the scheduled time according to the virtual schedule. Each mini-lesson will include corresponding activities that students will complete asynchronously. Additionally, teachers may invite students into small group or individual synchronous lessons on certain days or for certain subjects.

It is the expectation that teachers check in live with students each day and have their cameras on, starting at 9:00 am. Mini-lessons will be taught and teachers are expected to take attendance, check in with students for how they are doing, and then teach a short lesson. It is not expected that teachers provide live, synchronous lessons through their camera for the full duration.

Students that are able to be on camera and participate in synchronous instruction each day (and for each period at the secondary level) will be marked as having participated.

Additionally for students who may not be able to participate in the live lesson, teachers will post a video of their mini-lesson and then share one assignment at the beginning of each day/period. Students will be responsible to submit the assignment by midnight of that day.

** The daily assignment must be completed and turned in by midnight of the day it is due or the student will be considered to not have participated:

■ Elementary – participation will be entered for one assignment each day

■ Secondary – participation will be entered for one assignment per period each day

During virtual instruction parents will call their child’s building to report a child’s absence from instruction including the date, the reason for absence and a phone number for staff to contact the parent to verify the message.

At this time school-wide events will be scheduled and planned virtually. Information about dates, times, and log-in information will be provided by your school(s).

School supply lists are currently being posted on school websites. Lists for virtual and in person learning are for suggested items.

The district and building administration are working together to develop the schedules that account for students whose families have chosen only remote learning, as well as those who intend to return when Phase 2 begins. Schedules are expected to be mailed out by September 1, 2020.

There is a possibility that the teacher assignment will change

Band/Chorus/Orchestra will be offered as usual in the building's schedule for the day. The Fine and Performing Arts Director is working with the district to ensure appropriate social distancing as specified by NYSED is incorporated, and that all instruments can be played safely. Class size will be determined by the DOH/CDC/District guidelines. Students will wear masks at all times. More information will follow, as we get closer to beginning a hybrid model.

The FPA Director is working with the district to determine how instrumental lessons will occur. Class size will be determined by the DOH/CDC/District guidelines. Chorus students will wear masks at all times, and the FPA Director is working with the district to ensure appropriate social distancing as specified by NYSED is incorporated. More information will follow, as we get closer to beginning a hybrid model.

Internships at NFA West will be in place this year, but all internships will be done virtually.

There has been no final decision on whether students will be allowed to play sports, but the region has postponed sports for at least the month of September. We are waiting for the decision from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) on when sports will be allowed to be played.

AP or Advanced Placement courses will be available remotely this year.

All of our NECSD Dual Language Programs will follow the Elementary schedule for remote learning with K-3 having alternate days of instruction in the target language. In grades 4-5, Spanish Language Arts instruction will be embedded within the Literacy Block.

During the school closure in the Spring, the district offered over a 1000 courses to teachers on the Mindful Monday portion of the weekly schedule. Additionally, teachers will be provided additional training during the first week of September for supporting live teaching.

The Family Guidebook outlines what a typical schedule will look like for elementary and secondary students. Teachers will be using a workshop model which consists of a daily synchronous check in and mini-lesson followed by asynchronous activities done by the students for the duration of the lesson. FInally teachers may provide a synchronous check out at the end of the lesson. Additionally teachers may create small group and individual lessons if needed to support the daily lesson. Formal and informal assessment will be incorporated into daily lessons.

Due to the need to maintain health and safety protocols, learning requiring paper or workbooks will be minimal. This will also be true during remote learning to prevent students from sending paper-based work to teachers. The district has invested in many 21st century technology programs that fully support teaching and learning in all subjects, thereby reducing the need to use workbooks. For younger students (Pre-K through 2nd) the district will be introducing Seesaw which is a user friendly platform that is easily accessible for young students to manage their learning.

Children will not be able to meet their teachers in person during the remote phase of the reopening plan. Children who will attend in the hybrid model will be able to meet their teachers when Phase 2 begins for them.

During the Phase 2 of the reopening plan, students who attend in the hybrid model will be able to participate in gym and recess, but will be expected to adhere to the social distance protocols. Additionally, while students are expected to maintain six feet distance for regular activities, the guidance from the State Education Department and the Department of Health is to increase the distance to twelve feet when students' respiration or activity level increases. Protocols to support children in these activities will be developed prior to students re-entering our buildings.

In most cases, students will be able to continue with their honors and elective courses if they are 100%. There may be some exceptions depending on the requirements of those courses. We will communicate to families any exceptions that may occur.

Wednesdays will not be run as Mindful Mondays. These days will be used for the continuation of remote learning, as well as to bring students with specialized needs into school for additional support during Phase 2. These students include Exceptional Learners, English Language Learners students, homeless students and students who receive Academic Intervention services. Details of this plan will be communicated when the district is close to the Phase 2 of the reopening plan.

Teachers may stream their live lessons for students who are learning remotely, or they will videotape their lessons to be viewed on their Google Classroom for those students who are remote.

High school students will follow their schedules. Due to the many combinations of courses of study for high school students, it will not be feasible to have them remain in the same group. NFA administrators are working on plans for how to minimize transitions and travel when the district enters the hybrid phase of reopening.





UNKNOWNS & VARIABLES

Metrics that Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to use to determine whether school buildings may reopen as well as the regional conditions that will require students to stay at home. 

Average daily infection rate of the novel coronavirus is 5% or less, schools in that region can reopen

Average daily infection rate of the novel coronavirus is 9% or higher, schools in that region must close

(The opening calculation generally will be based on 14 days of data and the closure decision will be based on seven days of data.)