Introduction

This reopening plan was developed with the input of a broad group of stakeholders and in accordance with guidance released by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The material contained herein is subject to change if updated guidance or new information becomes available.   

Reopening our schools during a global pandemic will be a challenging process.  We will continue to learn as we move forward together.  This plan will be updated to reflect what we learn as the process unfolds.

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Collaboration with Stakeholders

The Westhampton Beach School District collaborated with a broad group of school stakeholders in developing its reopening plan:

  • A broad-based Reopening Task Force of teachers, administrators, nurses, clerical, custodial, union representatives, and other school staff was formed and met several times beginning in April to develop reopening plans.
  • The Task Force consulted with the District’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Dempsey, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Public presentations and discussions were held at Board of Education meetings on June 15, July 13, and July 27. 
  • Surveys of students, parents, and school staff were conducted to inform the development of this plan.

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Communication Plan

Regular and frequent communication with all stakeholders is an important component of a safe and successful reopening. The Westhampton Beach School District will continue to utilize multiple pathways to communicate with students, parents, staff, visitors, and the larger school community.  Communication tools will include automated telephone calls, email blasts, letters, postings on the District’s website, social media, an electronic message board, and traditional signage.  All communication will be provided in English and Spanish (the languages spoken at home among families in our school community).

Communication will include information about COVID-19, safety protocols implemented on our campus, and information and training about hand hygiene, face coverings and other personal protective equipment, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene.  Verbal communication and signage will be used to remind students, staff, and visitors to adhere to CDC and DOH guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment (face coverings) when social distancing cannot be maintained.  See Appendix A.

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COVID-19 Resource Person

The designated COVID-19 resource person for each school in the Westhampton Beach School District will be the school nurse.  The COVID-19 resource person is the main point of contact for COVID-19 questions and to report suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.  The COVID-19 resource persons are:

 

School

COVID-19 Resource Person

Phone Number

WHB Elementary School

Sherry Marks, RN

631-288-3800 x228

WHB Middle School

Linda Belli, RN

631-288-3800 x227

WHB High School

Mary Anne Andarakis, RN

631-288-3800 x218

 

Each nurse has voicemail for calls received after regular school hours.

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COVID-19 Safety Coordinator

The designated COVID-19 safety coordinator is responsible for overseeing continual compliance with this plan.  The COVID-19 safety coordinator is:

Michael R. Radday

Superintendent of Schools

(631) 288-3800 x241

mradday@whbschools.org

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Health and Safety

The health and safety of students, staff, and visitors in our schools is paramount. This reopening plan was developed in accordance with the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  The District will continue to monitor the latest guidance and information related to COVID-19.

Schools play an important role in educating students and the school community about COVID-19 and the preventative actions that can be taken to control the spread of the virus.  Preventative actions include health checks, healthy hygiene practices, social distancing, personal protective equipment and face coverings, proper management of ill persons, and thorough cleaning and disinfecting.

The Westhampton Beach School District has reviewed our enrollment and facilities to determine the number of students allowed to return to face-to-face instruction.  The factors considered in making this determination included enrollment, staffing, available square footage in our facilities, the ability to maintain social distancing, the availability of personal protective equipment and face masks, transportation capacity, and local hospital capacity.

 

Health Checks

The Westhampton Beach School District will require all staff members to complete a required screening prior to arrival at school and all parents/guardians to screen their children before sending them to school.  Parents/guardians and school staff members will be instructed that any student or staff member with a fever of 1000 F or higher and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection should not be present in school.  Parents/guardians and school staff will be provided with resources to educate them regarding the observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and the health screening that must be conducted each day before coming to school.  The resources and regular reminders about screening requirements will be provided in English and Spanish through automated phone calls, email blasts, and letters.

The screening questionnaire will determine whether the student or staff member has:

  • knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
  • tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14 days: and/or
  • traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

Any person with a temperature 100.0°F or higher or who has a positive response on the screening questionnaire will be immediately isolated from others and sent home.  That person will be referred to a healthcare provider and given resources on COVID-19 testing. 

Students and staff will be instructed to notify the school nurse immediately if they develop symptoms or if their answers to the screening questionnaire change during the school day or outside of school hours.  The school nurses may be contacted as follows:

School

School Nurse

Phone Number

WHB Elementary School

Sherry Marks, RN

631-288-3800 x228

WHB Middle School

Linda Belli, RN

631-288-3800 x227

WHB High School

Mary Anne Andarakis, RN

631-288-3800 x218

 A voicemail system is available for calls received outside of normal business hours.

In addition to the aforementioned health screenings, school staff will be trained to observe the signs of illness, including:  flushed cheeks, rapid breathing of difficulty breathing, fatigue, or frequent bathroom use.  Persons exhibiting these signs with no other explanation will be sent to the school nurse for evaluation.

 

In addition to the aforementioned health screenings, school staff will be trained to observe the signs of illness, including:  flushed cheeks, rapid breathing of difficulty breathing, fatigue, or frequent bathroom use.  Persons exhibiting these signs with no other explanation will be sent to the school nurse for evaluation.

Non-essential visitors will be prohibited during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Only visitors conducting essential business will be permitted in the school building, such visits scheduled by appointment only.  All visitors, including contractors and vendors, will be required to complete a screening questionnaire and will have their temperature checked using a contactless thermometer prior to entering the facility.  Visitors will be required to wear an approved face covering at all times when in school facilities.   Personnel at the visitor entry point will have extra disposable face masks available at all times.  Signage reminding visitors of CDC and DOH guidance will be posted at all entry points and throughout the facility.

 

Healthy Hygiene Practices

Students and staff will receive repeated and ongoing training in hand and respiratory hygiene.  Adequate supplies and time will allow for frequent hand washing/sanitizing.  Signage will be placed throughout the school facility to remind individuals to:

  • Stay home if they feel sick.
  • Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Wear a face covering.
  • Wash/sanitize hands frequently.
  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Properly store and discard personal protective equipment.

 

Hand Hygiene

All person in school facilities must practice good hand hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Good hand hygiene includes:

  • Traditional hand washing with soap and warm water for twenty seconds.  This is the preferred method.
  • The use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or greater) when soap and water are not available.  Touchless hand sanitizer dispensers will be placed throughout the facility with signage indicating that visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water.
  • Students and staff who are unable to use alcohol-based sanitizers for health reasons will be permitted to wash their hands using soap and water.

 

The Westhampton Beach School District will provide the following:

  • Adequate facilities and supplies for hand washing including soap and water;
  • Paper towels in touch-free dispensers;
  • No touch trash cans;
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or greater);
  • Adequate time in the schedule to allow for frequent hand-washing/sanitizing; and
  • Promotion of proper hand-washing before meals, after recess and physical education, before and after removing personal protective equipment, and at other times as appropriate.

 

At a minimum, students and staff should wash or sanitize hands as follows:

  • Upon entering the building and each classroom;
  • After using shared objects or surfaces;
  • Before and after snacks and lunch;
  • After using the bathroom;
  • After helping a student with toileting;
  • After sneezing, wiping or blowing nose, or coughing into hands;
  • Upon coming in from outdoors; and
  • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.

Students and staff will be trained in proper hand hygiene.  Signage in English and Spanish about hand hygiene will be placed throughout the facility.

Respiratory Hygiene

Proper respiratory hygiene is a critical component in slowing the spread of COVID-19.  It is important for students and staff to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.  Proper hand hygiene should be performed after coughing, sneezing, and handling dirty tissues.  Tissues and touchless trash cans will be available.

Students and staff will be trained in proper respiratory hygiene.  Signage in English and Spanish about respiratory hygiene will be placed throughout the facility.

 

Social Distancing

Social distancing (physical distancing) is defined as maintaining six feet of space between oneself and others.  The Westhampton Beach School District has developed class schedules and configured classroom space to allow for social distancing.  Excess furniture has been removed from classrooms to maximize social distancing and facilitate cleaning and sanitizing.  All desks have been arranged to face the same direction.

Procedures have been implemented to minimize the amount of close contact between students in high-traffic situations (entryways, hallways, lockers, etc.). Students will be instructed about the importance of social distancing and signage will be placed throughout the building as visual aids/reminders.  Students, staff, and visitors will be required to wear face coverings except during designated “mask breaks” when social distancing can be assured.

Medically Vulnerable / High-Risk Groups

Students and staff members who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 may need special accommodations. This includes students who have family members living with them who are at high risk.  Accommodations may include additional distancing, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), or other prevention strategies. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains a list of underlying medical conditions that place people at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19.  The updated list can be viewed at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html.

Students and staff members who have underlying conditions that place them at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19 should consult with their healthcare provider regarding these risks and prevention strategies. Staff members who may require accommodations should contact William Fisher, Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Instruction.  Parents/guardians who have children at increased risk who may require accommodations should contact the school nurse.  A note from the healthcare provider will be required.

Personal Protective Equipment

The Westhampton Beach School District has reviewed the OSHA COVID-19 guidance and developed this plan in accordance with that guidance to protect staff from potential exposures.  Additionally, the District consulted guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for infection control procedures for school-based health personnel when caring for ill persons.  The following infection control procedures will be implemented:

  • Licensed healthcare professional must utilize standard precautions at all times;
  • Transmission-based precautions will be used when assessing persons suspected of having COVID-19.
  • The District will provide adequate supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by school health professionals to assess and care for students and staff.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) will include, but is not limited to disposable surgical masks, respirators (N95 masks), face shields, disposable gloves, and disposable gowns.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be used when performing aerosol generating procedures and when assessing and caring for a person who is suspected of having COVID-19. 

Cloth Face Coverings

Cloth face coverings can help slow the spread of COVID-19. They are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms. Cloth face coverings are not surgical masks, respirators, or other medical-grade personal protective equipment. All individuals in school facilities, on school grounds, and on school buses must wear a cloth face covering except during scheduled “mask breaks.”

The Westhampton Beach School District will provide face coverings to all employees and to all students who forget to bring their own face coverings. Employees may choose to supply their own acceptable face coverings, but will not be required to do so. An employee who submits documentation from a healthcare provider stating that he/she is not medically able to tolerate a face covering will not be subject to the face covering requirement.

Face coverings may be challenging for some students to wear for extended periods of time.  Mask breaks will be scheduled, during which students can remain socially distanced.  Face coverings will not be placed on or required for:

  • Students younger than two-years-old;
  • Students where such coverings would impair their physical or mental health;
  • Students where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction;
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious; or
  • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance.

  

Instruction and signage will be provided to inform students, parent/guardians, staff, and visitors on:

  • The proper way to wear face coverings;
  • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering;
  • The proper way to discard disposable face coverings;
  • The importance of routine cleaning of reusable face coverings; and
  • Not sharing face coverings.

 

Students and staff may use alternate personal protective equipment, including face coverings that are transparent at or around the mouth, for instruction or interventions that require visualization of the movement of the lips or mouth. These alternate coverings may also be used when students (e.g. hearing impaired) would benefit from seeing more of the face of the staff member.

Management of Ill Persons

Students or staff with symptoms of illness will be immediately sent to the health office. The school nurse will assess individuals, as chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies or gastrointestinal conditions may present the same symptoms as COVID-19 but are neither contagious nor pose a public health threat. If the school nurse is not available, the nurse from another school building on the campus will be contacted. During this challenging time, school nurses will be provided with additional support to assist with non-nursing tasks such as student supervision, phone calls, and paperwork.

School staff must immediately report any illness of students or staff to the school nurse. If a student or staff member becomes ill with symptoms of COVID-19, he/she will be sent to the school nurse and sent home immediately. The school nurse will notify the Suffolk County Health Department in accordance with Education Law §906.

Each nurse’s office in the District will have two rooms – a room for healthy students and an isolation room for assessing ill students.  Students waiting to see the school nurse will be kept socially distanced (at least six feet apart) and will be required to wear a face covering, unless otherwise exempted from that requirement.  School nurses who are assessing or providing care to ill persons should follow transmission-based precautions, which include the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Students suspected of having COVID-19 awaiting transport home by a parent/guardian will be kept in an isolation room and supervised by staff utilizing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).  Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian when the parent/guardian arrives at school.  The parent/guardian will be instructed to call their healthcare provider for follow-up care.  If they do not have a healthcare provider they will be instructed to follow-up with a local clinic or urgent care center.  Symptomatic students and staff members must follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Stay Home When You Are Sick” guidance unless otherwise directed by a healthcare provider or the Suffolk County Health Department.

If a student or staff member has emergency warning signs (trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to arouse, bluish lips or face), school personnel will call 911 immediately and notify the operator that the person may have COVID-19.

If a student has symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), the school nurse will notify the parent immediately and recommend immediate follow-up with a healthcare provider.  The symptoms of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, and feeling extra tired.  School personnel will call 911 immediately if the student is in distress or is having trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to arouse, bluish lips or face, or severe abdominal pain.

In the event that a student or staff member reports testing positive for COVID-19, the school’s COVID-19 resource person or the COVID-19 safety coordinator will notify the Suffolk County Health Department to determine what steps should be taken to protect the school community.

Return to School after Illness

The Westhampton Beach School District will follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for allowing a student or a staff member to return to school after exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.  If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19, that person can return to school:

  • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours;
  • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and have a written note from a healthcare provider stating they are clear to return to school.

If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a COVID-19 test or their symptoms, or if the person does not get a test but has had COVID-19 symptoms, that person may not be at school and should stay home until:

  • It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;
  • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); and
  • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

COVID-19 Testing

Decisions about whether a COVID-19 test needs to be administered should be determined by a healthcare provider or the Suffolk County Health Department.  The Westhampton Beach School District will work with the Suffolk County Health Department in determining whether large-scale testing is needed as a result of an outbreak of COVID-19. The COVOD-19 resource person will refer students and families to their healthcare provider when a test may be needed. If the family does not have a healthcare provider, the COVID-19 resource person will refer them to a local clinic or urgent care center.

Contact Tracing

The Westhampton Beach School District will work with the Suffolk County Health Department to provide information to trace all individuals who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.  In order to facilitate this process, the school will maintain the following information:

  • Accurate attendance records for students and staff
  • Up-to-date student and staff schedules
  • Detailed visitor logs (date, time, location)

Confidentiality will be maintained in accordance with all federal and state laws and regulations.

School Closures

The Westhampton Beach School District will collaborate with the Suffolk County Health Department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level. Decisions about school closures will be made in conjunction with the Suffolk County Health Department.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The Westhampton Beach School District is following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance for cleaning and disinfecting schools. Normal, routine cleaning will be enhanced using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved disinfectants.

High touch surfaces (tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, and phones) as well as restrooms will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.  Logs will be maintained and will include the date, time, and scope of cleaning/disinfecting for each area in the facility. (See Appendix B)

Staff will be properly trained in the use of cleaning/disinfecting products.  Appropriate personal protective equipment will be provided to staff engaged in cleaning/disinfecting.  Students will not be present when disinfectants are in use and will not participate in cleaning activities.

HVAC systems will be cleaned and filters will be changed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.  Air filters in the District will be replaced with high-MERV filters (MERV-13) where possible.

School Health Office Cleaning

The school health office will be cleaned and disinfected regularly.  Cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment.  Health office equipment will be cleaned and sanitized in accordance with manufacturer’s directions.

Safety Drills

Education Law §807 requires that schools conduct eight (8) evacuation and four (4) lockdown drills each school year. These drills are an important component of keeping students safe in school.  The Westhampton Beach School District will modify drill procedures for the 2020/21 school year to minimize the risk of spreading infection.  

Regardless of the modifications used when conducting safety drills, students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

Safety drills will be modified as follows for the 2020/21 school year:

  • Evacuation drills will be staggered to avoid large groups assembling in stairways, at exits or at other “chokepoints.”
  • Lockdown drills will be conducted without gathering out of the line of sight.  Instruction will be provided on how to get out of the line of sight in the event of a real emergency.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings during all safety drills.

If a safety drill is conducted when students are on an alternating day hybrid schedule, the drill will be repeated on the alternate day so all students participate.

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Facilities

When students and staff return to school buildings for face-to-face instruction, it is vitally important that physical spaces are configured and maintained in a way that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19.  Social distancing, increased ventilation, and frequent cleaning/disinfecting will help to mitigate the risk of infection.

No significant changes have been made to the District’s school facilities that would require approval by the Office of Facilities Planning.  If any changes are considered in the future, they would be submitted to the Office of Facilities Planning for review and approval.  District facilities will continue to meet the requirements of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.

Prior to the opening of school, all HVAC systems will be cleaned and filters will be changed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations.  Air filters in the District will be replaced with high-MERV filters (MERV-13) where possible.

Non-essential furniture and supplies have been removed from school buildings to facilitate cleaning/disinfecting and proper social distancing.  Classroom furniture will be limited to hard surface items (non-porous), which will allow for more effective cleaning/disinfecting.

The District will ensure that the number of available toilets, sink fixtures, and drinking fountains meet the standards of the New York State Building Code.  Drinking fountains will be converted into water bottle filling stations wherever possible.

Hand sanitizing stations have been added in common spaces and classrooms where soap and water are not available.

All facilities staff will be retrained in proper cleaning/sanitizing procedures and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).  Appropriate PPE will be provided to staff. Logs will be maintained and will include the date, time, and scope of cleaning/disinfecting for each area in the facility.

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Child Nutrition

The District’s Food Service Director has been an integral part of the reopening discussions and planning to ensure that all enrolled students will have access to school meals each day whether school is in-person or remote. All applicable health and safety guidelines will be addressed while ensuring compliance with Child Nutrition Program requirements.  The District will communicate with families through all available means, in the languages spoken by those families to ensure the nutritional needs of our students are supported.

  • All enrolled students will have access to “Grab-N-Go” meals each day whether they are physically present or learning remotely.
  • “Order-A-Head” software will be utilized for meal prep at all three buildings, thus addressing the needs of students with food allergies and dietary issues. 
  • Use of a bar code scanners at the POS systems will eliminate the need for students to touch a keypad when picking up their meals.
  •  District social workers are in frequent contact with homeless, at risk and economically disadvantaged students and will continue to collaborate with the Food Service Director to ensure those most in need are taken care of. In addition to the District social workers and the Spanish speaking clerical liaison, the District utilizes the District website, emails, robocalls and may be able to utilize the nutritional software program to inform families about meal availability. 
  • The Food Service Director, Naim Walcott, will be the designated contact person to receive and respond to communications from families.  Mr. Walcott can be reached at (631) 288-3800 x261 or by email at nwalcott@whbschools.org.
  • A meal pick-up schedule will be established for those students participating in remote instruction.
  • Families will be reminded they are able to submit a new application for free or reduced-price meals at any time during the year.  Applications are available online and are mailed home to many families as well.  Phone and in-person support will be provided to assist families in applying.

Food Service Safety Procedures:

  • Students will wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating.  Multiple hand sanitizing stations will be at the entrance of the cafeterias.  Staff will be at the entrances and exits reminding students to use the hand sanitizer prior to and after they have finished eating if they are unable to wash their hands with soap and water.  Signage stressing the importance of doing our part to stop the spread of COVID19 will be utilized.
  • Students will be socially distanced during school meals.
  • Physical distancing will be required while on serving lines, and floor signage and floor prompts will be installed.
  • Students will be reminded frequently that sharing of food and beverages is prohibited.
  • Polycarbonate barriers have been placed at all points of service. 
  • All food service equipment will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.
  • All serving areas, door handles, tables, and desks will be cleaned and disinfected prior to the next cohort of students entering the cafeteria or other assigned eating area.
  • Food service staff will be retrained regarding up-to-date health and safety procedures.
  • All food service staff will be required to masks at all times.  Only food service staff and other approved staff will be permitted in school kitchens.

Elementary School:

  • All students will be able to eat in the cafeteria by grade level.
  • The Elementary schedule will be adjusted to provide ample time for cleaning and disinfecting between grade levels.
  • Utilizing both the cafeteria and stage will provide for six feet of social distancing.

Middle School:

  • Tables will be marked to indicate where students may sit.
  • Desk guards will be used on tables where applicable to provide a barrier between students.
  • Cubby space in the cafeteria will not be utilized by students.
  • Seating on the stage and classrooms will provide for additional space to maintain social distancing.
  • A kiosk will be located in the 300-wing for an additional pick-up point for students eating in classrooms.

High School:

  • Additional lunch periods will be added to provide reduced capacity.
  • All traditional multi-seat lunch tables will be removed and replaced by individual student desks, which will be spaced six feet apart to allow for social distancing.
  • The large group instruction (LGI) rooms will also be utilized for additional seating.
  • A kiosk will be located in the front of the building, providing students the opportunity to grab a lunch on their way to class.

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Transportation

Transportation will be provided to all students with consistency and equity.  The District will ensure the following as it relates to transportation: regular school bus disinfection measures will be performed; students and school bus staff will receive training regarding social distancing on the bus, at stops, and at unloading times; and the proper training of students and staff regarding the wearing of masks.  Both students and drivers will wear masks and social distance on the bus.  The District will continue to provide transportation to homeless students, students in foster care, those who attend religious, independent or charter schools – and those with disabilities.

The following protocols will also be implemented:

  • Alternative modes of transportation (riding bikes, walking, parent drop off) will be encouraged to reduce the number of students requiring bus services.
  • Siblings or children who reside in the same household are encouraged to sit together to increase capacity on the bus.
  • When boarding the bus, students will occupy seats from back to front, where feasible.
  • Seats will be marked with tape, indicating where students may seat.
  • Time required to load and unload buses at stops will be increased as social distancing protocols must be adhered to when students embark or disembark the bus.
  • Students will be required to wear face masks/coverings prior to boarding the bus and at all times when on the bus.
  • A student without a face covering may be provided one by transportation staff.  Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, including students where such covering would impair their physical or mental health are not subject to the required use of a face covering.  In such a situation, seating arrangements will be made to socially distance the student without a mask from other children.
  • Students will be reminded that they are not to eat or drink on the bus, which would require them to remove their mask.
  • Utilizing buses for “play dates” or alternate drop off locations will not be permitted.
  • Ventilation on buses will be increased by opening windows and top hatches (weather permitting).
  • School buses will not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition.  School bus drivers, monitors, and attendants must not carry personal bottles of hand sanitizer with them on the school bus.
  • Field trips requiring bus use will be suspended.
  • Buses will be cleaned and disinfected between routes.
  • All transportation staff will perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to work.
  • Drivers will be required to complete a checklist after each cleaning, which will be forwarded to the District.
  •  Drivers will maintain a passenger log for each run to assist with contract tracing when needed.
  • Whenever possible, a single driver will be assigned to the same bus and same routes to minimize mixing.
  • All transportation staff must wear a face covering along with an optional face shield.
  • Drivers, monitors, and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a student must wear gloves.

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Social Emotional Well-Being

Communities and schools are facing unprecedented challenges as we respond to this global pandemic.  As the Westhampton Beach School District and school personnel adapt to environments that result in substantially reduced time spent interacting in-person, ensuring intentional and meaningful inclusion of social emotional learning (SEL) across all aspects of operating strategies is critical to supporting the well-being and success of students, staff, and families.  Along with physical health and well-being, the District will prioritize social emotional well-being -- not at the expense of academics, but in order to create the mental, social, and emotional space for academic learning to occur. The District will be prepared to meet students where they are, regardless of the circumstances in which they find themselves, through various modes including surveys and speaking with students and staff to determine families’ needs.

The District has established a shared decision-making team (Wellness Committee) comprised of school building and District leaders, Board of Education members, parents, community-based service providers, teachers, certified school counselors, and other pupil personnel service providers, including school social workers and school psychologists, to inform the comprehensive developmental school counseling program plan.

The District will communicate social emotional well-being and learning as a priority, and engage members of the school community in implementation efforts. The District and individual schools have built SEL teams that will lead this implementation. The SEL plan was built upon existing strengths as a foundation for growth, and examines opportunities to leverage community school strategies to support and sustain the work. 

The District will leverage mental health and social emotional well-being strategies to support and sustain increased educational equity by leveraging collaborative community partnerships to strengthen our initiatives. The Westhampton Beach Elementary School has partnered with Backpacks for Fellow Students (BFFS) to provide all necessary school supplies for any students in need.  The Westhampton Beach Middle School will continue to partner with Human Understanding and Growth Services (HUGS), the PTO and the School Resource Officer to provide support to students on decision making, self-esteem, equity and well-being.  The Westhampton Beach High School will continue to utilize Family Service League and DASH for students in need.

The District will provide resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services, as well as programs both within and outside of the school community. Professional development opportunities will be provided for faculty and staff on how to communicate with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide supports for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. The District will deepen understanding of mental health, well-being, trauma-responsive and restorative practices, and SEL through professional learning, and work collaboratively with staff, students, and families to strengthen partnerships and plan for implementation.

Prior to the re-entry of students, the District will invite the staff into the building to talk about differences, losses, and newness of preparation for teaching and learning. The District will utilize Superintendent’s Conference Days to support staff in professional development, and will survey staff regularly to ask about needs and be prepared to respond with assistance or referrals. The District will provide access to mental health and trauma supports for adults in the school community, and leverage transformative SEL to promote adult anti-racism and anti-bias efforts through the Committee on Equity, Equality, and Social Justice.  This Committee is comprised of students, parents, staff, and community members. The District will also nurture SEL competencies to improve cultural and linguistic responsiveness and sustainability. The Teacher Center of the Western Hamptons will continue to provide courses and workshops related to SEL and culturally responsive teaching. 

At the Westhampton Beach Elementary School, the mental health team will provide professional development for staff members on an ongoing basis. The mental health team also created a website of SEL resources for students, teachers, and parents.

At the Westhampton Beach Middle School, the social worker will work with staff to provide professional development on equity, empathy, and mindfulness. The entire Middle School community will engage in a building “read along” supporting SEL needs. 

The Westhampton Beach High School will incorporate SEL training during department meetings and faculty meetings. The mental health team will also meet weekly to assess the needs of faculty and staff, and identify appropriate professional development offerings. 

The District will also use data, such as survey results, to identify SEL needs and incorporate strategies to meet those needs in the District’s or school’s comprehensive school counseling plan.  Pupil personnel staff will develop or adopt a developmentally appropriate screening tool, administered with parental consent and student assent, that can assist with identifying the needs of returning students.  Once student needs are broadly and individually identified, tier 1, 2 and 3 activities and services can be developed or adopted to address those needs.  The Westhampton Beach Elementary School’s mental health team will provide tier 1 services to all classes on coping and resilience skills. Additional tier 2 and tier 3 supports will be provided for students based on their individual needs.  The Westhampton Beach Middle School mental health team and staff will provide Tier 1 services to all classes on resilience, equity, social awareness and self-advocacy. Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports will be provided for students based on individual needs. Additionally, a course at each grade level will be added to support overall wellness, study habits, and SEL. The Westhampton Beach High School’s mental health team will meet weekly in the beginning of the school year to identify student needs and support strategies, and will provide staff with mental health referrals for all students. 

In the event that schools are closed and students are engaged in remote learning, the mental health staff will be available to students, families, and staff so that their SEL needs continue to be met.  Mental health team staff and administrators will reach out to students, teachers and parents for progress and “wellness checks” on individuals. There will be weekly check-ins with teachers to determine and assist with any student needs. The school guidance counselors, social workers, and psychologists will be available to all students and families via telephone or video conference.  Resources will also be sent to parents to help provide SEL support.

Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS)

The District's counseling/guidance program will be reviewed and revised to plan, develop, and implement a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).  As part of an MTSS framework, SEL, mental health, and well-being supports offered at all levels will reflect school-wide implementation of effective, efficient, and evidence-based practices and strategies that all students can access.  MTSS is an evidence-based approach to comprehensive program delivery that addresses academic and behavioral challenges including proactive activities for all students (universal interventions), targeted activities for students identified at-risk (secondary interventions) and intensive activities for students identified at high risk (tertiary interventions). MTSS is grounded in the belief that all students can learn, and all school professionals must be responsive to the academic and behavioral needs of all students. MTSS focuses on evidence-based practices, relies on student progress data to inform instructional decisions, and ensures that each student, based on their unique needs, receives the level and type of support necessary to be successful. It is an important means of addressing equity, and most importantly, ensures that all young people are provided with the support they need to thrive.  A strong set of universal interventions designed to support social emotional well-being will be crucial to our collective success as students and adults return to instruction and the school environment with increased needs. The supports represented in the universal tier are foundational to secondary and tertiary supports.  In general, universal interventions should be effective for most students, but targeted and intensive supports will be needed to address student needs that could not be met with universal interventions. A strong foundational tier helps ensure that schools are not overidentifying students and adults for tier 2 and 3 supports, which allows them to more strategically allocate resources for the higher tiers. 

The chart below outlines the MTSS to be utilized by the Westhampton Beach School District:

 

Tier

Intervention

Frequency

Duration

Group Size

Provider

I

Classroom services on coping and resilience with SEL survey

Once per trimester/

quarter

30 minutes

Whole class

Mental Health Team

I

Guidance counselor conferences

At least 1 x monthly

15-20 minutes

Individual

School counselor

I

Classroom Behavior Management System

Daily

Throughout the day

Whole Class

Classroom Teacher

I

Classroom Accommodations

Daily

As needed

As needed

Classroom Teacher

I

Push-in Character Education/SEL Lessons and culturally responsive lessons

As needed

10-30 minutes

Whole Class

Mental Health and other teaching staff

II

Lunch Group for students experiencing a change in family dynamic (ES)

1x week

20 minutes

Varies

School Social Worker

II

Check & Connect

1x week

15 minutes

1

Mental Health

II

Group Counseling

1x week

20-30 minutes

2-6

Mental Health

II

Classroom Strategies (Calm Classroom, Learning to Breathe)

Daily

Throughout the day

As needed

Classroom Teacher

III

Building-Level

Behavior Evaluation/

Proactive Support Strategies

Daily (Strategies)

Throughout the day (Strategies)

1

School Psych. (Evaluation)

Classroom Teacher (Strategies)

III

Bereavement counseling groups

1x/week

to 2x/month

40 minutes

Small group

East End Hospice

III

Individual Counseling

1x/week

to 2x/month

30 minutes

1

Mental Health

 

Restorative Practices

All schools within the Westhampton Beach School District will implement restorative practices within the school community, which invites an opportunity to reflect on school culture, discipline policies, practices, and disparities.

Addressing behavior that is inappropriate from a whole-child perspective requires students’ and adults’ acquisition of, and practice in using, all five SEL core competencies, and is strengthened by an understanding of, and sensitivity toward Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma-informed practices. Restorative practices are processes and approaches designed to build community and meaningful relationships, develop shared values, help students better understand their behavior, how it impacts themselves and others, and ultimately to use that self- and social awareness to repair damage caused to relationships as a result of inappropriate behavior. It focuses on strategies and skills such as understanding and managing one’s emotions and behavior, negotiating conflict constructively, building empathy, making constructive decisions about personal behavior, and realistically evaluating the consequences of one’s behavior. Replacing traditional discipline with restorative alternatives offers opportunities for youth to learn from mistakes, and may reduce disciplinary disparities and negative outcomes.

Adult SEL and Well-Being

Before school reopens, and throughout the school year, the District will build school community structures that encourage human connection, and that acknowledge it is necessary to take care of our physical and emotional safety and comfort before we can effectively teach and learn. Schools will offer ongoing embedded opportunities for adults to develop and strengthen their own social and emotional competencies, and offer all staff opportunities to heal together, to build strong, mutually supportive relationships, and to process their own emotions, including bus drivers, cafeteria workers, office workers, nurses, pupil personnel services staff, and administrators. The District will address the social emotional well-being of the staff during the Superintendent’s Conference Day prior to school reopening.  

The District also provides resources such as an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all staff.  EAP offers free and confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals, and follow-up services to employees who have personal and/or work-related problems.  EAP counselors are available to the District in a consultative role to address employee and organizational challenges and needs.  Additional resources will be provided to staff both within the District and within the larger community (East End Hospice, Family Service League).     

In addition, the District staff has access to a Google Classroom resource entitled Mindfulness for Staff created by a social worker and guidance counselor.  This site provides videos, links, and resources for mindfulness, meditation, self-care, yoga and breathing strategies.

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Attendance and Chronic Absences

The Westhampton Beach School District recognizes that daily and consistent student attendance is a mandated requirement, and positively correlates with both student achievement and success.  As such, the District has developed a mechanism to collect student attendance regardless of the instructional model/setting.  All of the District’s current attendance policies and practices will continue to be in effect for in-person, hybrid, and remote learning instructional models.  In the event of extenuating circumstances, a student/parent may contact their building administrator to request flexibility of the attendance policy based on their personal situation. 

The objectives of the attendance policies are as follows:

  • Increase student achievement and close gaps in student performance;
  • Proactively identify negative attendance patterns, and provide necessary interventions to minimize instructional loss;
  • To ensure the safety and mental well-being of all students;
  • To verify that individual students are complying with education laws relating to compulsory attendance; and
  • To determine the District’s average daily attendance for State Aid purposes.

The District will utilize PowerSchool, the District’s student management system, to record attendance on a daily basis, whether instruction is being delivered face-to-face or remotely.  When learning is hybrid/remote, this may include systems which record student participation in synchronous and asynchronous learning situations by completion and submission of assigned tasks.  Clear expectations will be provided to both students and parents in each of the learning environments.  Ongoing communication and continual reinforcement of the importance of attendance will be initiated for all stakeholders.  Building administrators will work in conjunction with teachers and each school’s attendance clerk to routinely review attendance records. This review will be conducted to identify individual and group attendance patterns, and initiate appropriate action to address the problems of excessive or chronic absenteeism.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing at least ten percent of enrolled school days, which in New York State is eighteen school days per year, or two days per month.  Research indicates that missing ten percent of school days tends to be the “tipping point” when student achievement declines.  In order to mitigate chronic absenteeism, various stakeholders (including the attendance clerk, classroom teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, and parents/guardians) routinely monitor individual student absences via PowerSchool to proactively identify any excessive absences, and initiate direct and immediate contact with both the parent/guardian and student to determine the root cause.  A multi-tiered outreach approach promotes the development of positive school relationships that may become a lifeline for students who become disconnected from school.  In conjunction with the building principals, identified building support teams meet regularly to address specific needs of students and families, and provide constant engagement with at-risk, non-engaged students to facilitate continuity of attendance and instruction.

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Technology and Connectivity

Technology knowledge and skills are vital for full participation in 21st Century life, work, and citizenship.  Sufficient access to computing devices and high-speed Internet is essential for educational equity.  The Westhampton Beach School District recognized these points as early as 2004, when the District began its instructional technology initiative to provide portable computing devices to all students.  As such, the District was able to maintain a full instructional program remotely for all students from Mid-March through June 2020, as teachers and students immediately transitioned to emergency remote learning.  During this time, all parents/students were contacted and/or surveyed to ensure they had access to hi-speed Internet to support their remote instructional needs.  The District has continually engaged all stakeholders, including administrators, teachers, students, and parents, to reflect on lessons learned during past remote learning opportunities, and to assess the effectiveness of digital tools, platforms, and resources utilized.

As the District plans for reopening, instructional technology and connectivity continue to remain essential areas of focus in order to ensure maximum student engagement and outcomes during all modes of instruction.

In order to maintain consistent instructional technology equity for all students and teachers during all phases/modes of reopening, the District will:

  • Continue to formally and informally survey parents, students, and teachers to ensure continued access to high-speed broadband in their place of residences.
  • Provide mobile devices to all stakeholders, including iPads to all students in grades K-2, and MacBook laptops to all instructional staff and students in grades 3-12.
  • Provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate mastery of Learning Standards in remote or blended learning models.
  • Provide ongoing professional development throughout the year to all instructional staff to support the creation and maintenance of effective face-to-face, hybrid and remote learning environments, including high-value strategies to engage students in learning, and flipped teaching/learning methods which support both synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
  • Provide orientation, training and support resources for all families, so they will be able to assist students during remote learning instruction.  These opportunities and resources will be conducted/translated in alternate languages to support the needs of non-English speaking students and families.
  • Procure and support all necessary instructional software and resources to provide effective technology-based instruction.
  • Provide technical support to ensure continuous function of all district-provided devices, hardware, and instructional resources.
  • Ensure student data privacy and security will be maintained and that the District in compliance with laws related to student technology use, including NYS Education Law 2-d and Part 121 of the Commissioner’s Regulations.

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Teaching and Learning

The reopening plans for the Westhampton Beach School District support inclusive, culturally responsive instructional experiences that meet all established state regulations and guidelines. They also support students, who due to the 2019-2020 school closure, need additional social, emotional, or academic support to ensure success in the 2020-2021 school year and beyond. Students and their families will be involved in the planning for any remediation or support whenever practicable. The District’s staff will also maintain a positive mindset about student learning loss during the 2020 school closure, and allow ample time for students to re-adjust to the school setting.  Before students are assessed, schools will spend time on socialization and creating a climate of safety, comfort, and routine.  The District will also determine individual student needs, and target extra help to ensure both academic and social-emotional needs are addressed.  The District will provide opportunities for staff to meet prior to the start of school in order to discuss individual student needs and share best practices with in-person, remote, or hybrid models of learning, as well as identify any additional professional development needs for administrators, teachers, and teaching assistants for the upcoming school year, particularly those needs related to teaching remotely and the use of instructional technology.  With those needs in mind, the District will offer training and support for students and families/caregivers to ensure comfort and ease with instructional programs and any technological platforms and devices used to deliver instruction.

The Westhampton Beach School District will ensure that curriculum and instruction will be structured to account for the potential loss of learning from last year’s school closures. Administrators and educators will identify what learning standards still need to be addressed in the curriculum. While scaffolding and supports to cover those learning gaps will be provided, the District will focus on grade level materials, assessments, and assignments. This data will help provide educators with pertinent information and utilize classroom time effectively. The District will work with educators to identify and prioritize learning standards in each curriculum and administer local assessments to students to evaluate their understanding and progress.

Technology to Support Teaching and Learning

The Westhampton Beach School District has embraced a one-to-one computing program since 2004.  All students K-12 are provided with a personal learning device. K-2 students receive iPads, and students in grades 3-12 receive MacBook laptops. Teachers and staff are also provided with MacBook laptops to facilitate instruction. The District will survey students and families to determine their access to the Internet in order to meet the needs of hybrid and/or remote instruction. Internet access will be provided for those families in need. Teachers will use digital learning platforms to support instruction.  Software has been purchased to support curriculum and diversity learning in all models of instruction. Some of those digital platforms include, but not limited to: Email, Google Suite, Seesaw, Brainpop, Reading A-Z, Discovery Education, NEWSELA, Nearpod, Screencastify, Castle Learning, Edpuzzle, Peardeck, Problematic, Splash Math, and Freckle.

Art

Students will receive art instruction either in their classroom (Elementary School), within their cohort (Middle School), or within the art room (Middle School and High School) based on schedules.  Supplies will not be shared among students.  All required social distancing will be maintained in these settings. 

Music

For in-person and hybrid models, the District will provide general music classes in a space that will allow for required social distancing, either by pushing into classrooms (Elementary School) or cohorts (Middle School). For performance groups, the District will provide small group instruction adhering to social distancing of 12 feet apart at all times. 

Physical Education

As per New York State Department of Health guidelines, the Westhampton Beach School District will ensure that a distance of 12 feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require aerobic activity and result in heavy breathing (e.g., participating in physical education classes). Physical education activities will focus on individual pursuits or skills, rather than traditional team sports or activities (e.g. dance and rhythms, exercises without equipment, fitness, mindfulness, outdoor pursuits, track and field, throwing underhand, kicking, and target games). Games and activities that require no physical contact and do not require students to be in close physical proximity to each other will be emphasized.  All available instructional space will be utilized to support learning, while maximizing the health and safety of the students.

Professional Development

Faculty and staff will participate in many types of professional growth activities ranging from peer coaching, attendance at conferences, to formal college courses.  Professional development topics include instructional technology, supporting English Language Learners, supporting Special Education students, collecting data, learning gap analysis, prioritization of learning standards, SEL and Responsive classroom, culturally responsive teaching, and effective hybrid/online instructional strategies.  Mentoring will be provided for all new teachers.

Online collaborative platforms will be utilized to remain connected to all staff to maintain a sense of community and support in the event of a school closing.

Parent Training and Family Engagement

Whether an in-person, remote, or a hybrid instructional model is employed, teachers and staff will remain connected with students and families.  All communication will be translated in languages other than English.  Families will be provided with consistent communication related to schedules, instructional platforms, and expectations.  Virtual meetings and workshops will be available to families for remote or hybrid learning support.  The District website will also provide families with additional resources.

Westhampton Beach Elementary School Instructional Models

In-Person / Face-to-Face Learning:

All students at the Westhampton Beach Elementary School will return to school full-time daily. Arrival and/or dismissal times will be staggered for “bussers” and car riders/walkers to allow increased physical distancing on buses as well as in classrooms.  (See Transportation section for additional information.)  Multiple student entry points will be utilized to limit the amount of close contact between students in high-traffic situations and times. Students will maintain a social distancing of 6 feet at all times. One-way directional hallways, as well as physical distance visual markings will be used to reinforce social distancing and manage the student flow. The school nurse will review the mandated daily screening reports, and will discreetly conduct temperature and health checks on unscreened students and staff.    

In the classroom, students will be maintained in a common cohort throughout the entire day, while also remaining 6 feet physically distanced at all times. There will be visuals and markings on the floor to reinforce social distancing and manage the flow of students in the classroom.  All desks will face in the same direction, and windows and doors will be open to improve ventilation. There are sinks and hygiene supplies in each classroom, along with visual aids to instruct on proper hand and respiratory hygiene.  Students will be wearing cloth face coverings at all times, except during “mask breaks” and meals. Mask breaks will be every 30 minutes for a 2-minute duration.  Students will utilize an individualized storage crate for their belongings in grades K-3. In grades 4-5, students will utilize a double desk for their belongings.  Every student will maintain individual kits of “high touch” supplies such as scissors, markers, pencils, erasers, etc., to avoid sharing of supplies between students. These supplies will also be taken home daily and used in the event of remote learning. Students will not share any classroom materials. 

All students receive individual technology devices.  Every K-2 student has their own iPad, and every student in grades 3-5 has their own MacBook laptop. Devices will be brought home daily by all students.  Within the first week of school, students will be trained on the remote instruction platform (Seesaw K-2 and Google Classroom 3-5) in the event that remote instruction becomes necessary. On the first day of school, every student will be issued a remote learning bag that will include an individualized white board, expo markers, pencils, folder and a notebook. Students in grades 1-5 will receive individualized consumable workbooks for Math, Science, and Social Studies. 

During the first week of school, students will be assessed for reading and math levels using the NWEA assessment resource. Teachers will also embed formative assessments. Additional assessments will be given to students per grade level to identify gaps and needs of students. Instructional gaps have been identified from prior year teachers, and will be built into current year instruction.  There will be a strong emphasis on closing gaps identified from the 2019-2020 school year.  Social Emotional Learning will be prioritized and built into daily instruction, as well as protocol on physical distancing and hygiene. (See Social Emotional Well-Being section for additional information.) 

The Response to Intervention (RTI) Team will monitor assessment data and determine which students need Academic Intervention Services (AIS) in accordance with the New York State Department of Education’s requirements and guidance documents. AIS/RTI services will be provided to identified students in accordance with the established Health and Safety protocols, including maintaining social distancing and remaining in cohorts. 

While students will be “cohorted” together during the day, there will be opportunities for them to take movement breaks in outside designated areas around the school. Special area teachers may go to individual classrooms in lieu of rotating all students through a shared space. If students do go to a special area classroom, it will be properly disinfected prior to each new use.  Transition time has been increased to ensure proper cleaning.  Whenever possible, physical education and music classes will be held outside, with students physically distanced 12 feet apart. Students will not share any materials in special area classes, including music, art and physical education. 

Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria utilizing all available space, including the stage. Seating will be designated with visual markers to indicate 6 feet distancing (2 students per table). Time will be built in for students to wash their hands before and after meals. Students will stay with their cohorts during recess in their designated areas (fields, courtyard and/playground). (See Nutrition section for additional information.) 

Many classrooms have a single bathroom for students to use individually. The classrooms that do not have individualized bathrooms will stagger the use of restrooms for students. There will be markings to maintain social distancing as part of the bathroom protocol. There will be visual aids to instruct on proper hand and respiratory hygiene in every bathroom.  

Student assemblies and performances will be cancelled or limited, and school-wide parent meetings will occur virtually. All field trips will be transitioned to virtual opportunities for students. 

Per New York State Department of Health Guidelines, the Westhampton Beach Elementary School will ensure that a distance of 12 feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require aerobic activity and result in heavy breathing (e.g., participating in physical education classes). Activity focus will be more on individual pursuits or skills, rather than traditional team sports or activities (e.g. dance and rhythms, exercises without equipment, fitness, mindfulness, outdoor pursuits, track and field, throwing underhand, kicking, and target games). Games and activities that require no physical contact and do not require students to be in close physical proximity to each other will be emphasized.  All available instructional space will be utilized to support learning, while maximizing the health and safety of the students.

Remote Learning:

In the event that the Westhampton Beach Elementary School is required to deliver fully remote instruction, a school-wide website will be utilized for morning announcements, communication, resources, and to share student work with the broader school community. All students have instructional technology devices. Every K-2 student has their own iPad, and every student in grades 3-5 has their own MacBook laptop. Devices will be brought home daily by all students.  Within the first week of school, students will be trained on the remote instruction platform (Seesaw K-2 and Google Classroom 3-5) in the event that remote instruction becomes necessary.  On the first day of school, every student will be issued a remote learning bag that will include an individualized white board, expo markers, pencils, folder and a notebook. Students in grades 1-5 will receive individualized consumable workbooks for math, science, and social studies. Weekly special events and activities will be accessed remotely through this website. 

The school-wide schedule for remote learning is as follows:

 

8:30 – 9:00

School-wide morning announcements and SEL activities

9:00 – 11:00

Core Classroom Live Instruction (snack breaks built-in)

11:00 – 12:00

School-wide lunch and recess

12:00 – 2:30

School-wide Special Areas Live Instruction

2:30 – 3:30

Live student support with core classroom teacher

 

This schedule will ensure substantive daily interaction among faculty and students and will allow for regular daily classroom routines and procedures to be translated into remote activities.  This will help students feel a sense of familiarity while reinforcing the sense of community for the class. Teachers will use a variety of resources to create individualized projects that will connect and reinforce in-person classroom learning. 

This school-wide remote instruction schedule allows for teachers to have built in time to collaborate and plan for the creation of pre-assessments, assessments, and lessons, while taking testing accommodations into consideration. A suite of assessment tools will be utilized for standards-based grading. Professional development will be provided during collaborative time so that teachers can work together to support high-quality instruction through remote learning. The school library media specialist will play an essential role in assisting teachers and students with accessing media and digital resources. 

The RTI Team will remotely monitor assessment data, and determine which students need academic intervention services in accordance with the New York State Department of Education’s requirements and guidance documents. AIS/RTI services will be provided remotely to identified students in collaboration with the classroom teacher during designated times.  

In remote physical education instruction, the Westhampton Beach Elementary School will create opportunities for students to share and connect with one another via synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.  Physical education teachers will review current curriculum and determine which lessons or activities can be repurposed as at-home work, or completed online. Teachers will also consider if students can participate safely in the selected activities in terms of space and supervision.  Regular daily classroom routines and procedures will be translated into remote activities.  This will help students feel a sense of familiarity, while reinforcing the sense of community for the physical education classes.  Physical education teachers will consider if special events or activities can be done remotely with classes, such as Field Day, the Hurricane Roundup, and others. They will also utilize recorded videos and images to demonstrate and model activities and skills for students. 

Westhampton Beach Middle School Instructional Models

 

In-Person / Face-to-Face Learning:

All students at Westhampton Beach Middle School will return to school full-time daily. The number of entry points for “bussers” and parent/guardian drop-offs will be increased to limit the amount of close contact between students in high-traffic areas and times.  Students will be 6 feet social distanced at all times.  In the hallway, there will be signage, as well as physical distance visual markings to reinforce social distancing and manage student flow. The nurse and/or designee will review the daily screening reports, and will discreetly conduct temperature and health checks on unscreened students and staff. 

All Middle School students receive MacBook laptop devices.  They will be brought home daily by all students from the first day of school.  Within the first week of school, students will be trained on the remote instruction platform in the event that remote instruction is necessary. 

During the first week of school, students will be assessed for reading and math levels using the NWEA and STAR platform assessment resources. Teachers will embed formative assessments. Additional assessments will be given to students within specific content areas to identify gaps and needs of students. Instructional gaps have been identified from prior year teachers, and will be built into current year instruction.  There will be a strong emphasis on closing gaps identified from the 2019-2020 school year.   Social Emotional Learning will be prioritized and built into daily instruction, as well as protocol on physical distancing and hygiene. (See Social Emotional Well-Being section for additional information.)

The RTI Team will monitor assessment data and determine which students are in need of academic intervention services in accordance with the New York State Department of Education’s requirements and guidance documents. AIS/RTI services will be provided to identified students. 

Students will be “cohorted” with the same group of students throughout the day with the exception of some elective courses. Cohorts will stay in the same classroom for the majority of the day, thus limiting movement in the building and congestion in the hallways.  Teachers will rotate into each cohort group for instruction.  While students will be cohorted together during the day, there will be opportunities for them to take movement breaks within designated areas around the exterior of the school.  Special area teachers may go to individual classrooms in lieu rotating all students through a shared space.  If students do go to a special area classroom, it will be disinfected prior to each new use.  Transition time has been increased to ensure proper cleaning.  Whenever possible, physical education and music classes will be held outside, with students physically distanced 12 fee t apart. Students will not share any materials in special area classes, including music, art and physical education. 

The traditionally large-group band and chorus rehearsal groups will meet in smaller groups according to a student’s schedule. Teachers will follow CDC guidelines on physical distancing and instrument/equipment use if applicable.

Students will eat lunch in the cafeteria and in classrooms, as needed, utilizing all available space, including the stage.  Seating will be designated with visual markers to indicate 6 feet distancing. Time will be built in for students to wash their hands before and after meals.  (See Nutrition section for additional information.) 

Student assemblies and performances will be cancelled or limited, and school-wide parent meetings will occur virtually. All field trips will be transitioned to virtual opportunities for students. 

Per New York State Department of Health Guidelines, the Westhampton Beach Middle School will ensure that a distance of 12 feet in all directions is maintained between individuals while participating in activities that require aerobic activity and result in heavy breathing (e.g., participating in physical education classes).  Activity focus will be more on individual pursuits or skills, rather than traditional team sports or activities (e.g. dance and rhythms, exercises without equipment, fitness, mindfulness, outdoor pursuits, track and field, throwing underhand, kicking, and target games). Games and activities that require no physical contact and do not require students to be in close physical proximity to each other will be emphasized.  All available instructional space will be utilized to support learning, while maximizing the health and safety of the students.

Remote Learning:

In the event that the Westhampton Beach Middle School delivers full-time remote instruction, instructional technology will be utilized to engage students.  Faculty and students will have substantive daily interaction.  The school provides laptop computers to every student and teacher.  Students will use their MacBook laptops to access virtual classrooms and assignments.  

Students will meet daily with each of their classes following the schedule below: 

 

Period

Time

1

8:00 – 8:30

2

8:35 – 9:05

3

9:10 – 9:40

Break

9:40 – 10:10

4

10:10 – 10:40

5

10:45 – 11:15

6

11:20 – 11:50

Lunch

11:50 – 12:35

7

12:35 – 1:05

8

1:10 – 1:40

9

1:45 – 2:15

10

2:20 – 2:50

 

Attendance will be taken during each period.  Extra help sessions will be offered Monday through Thursday from 2:50 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. for each subject area, following the schedule that has been historically utilized.

Teachers will prepare lessons and projects for remote learning that are individualized, and connect to reinforce classroom learning.  Teachers will utilize the Google Classroom platform to post assignments that can be completed using the laptop, along with items that can be easily found at home. Students will submit completed assignments, and teachers will provide appropriate feedback to foster learning.  PowerSchool, the District’s student management system, will be used to track students’ progress and attendance.  This portal can be accessed by teachers, students, and parents to ensure all parties stay up-to-date on individual student’s progress. Teachers will provide online and offline assignments so that there is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Faculty will use various technology-based resources to create formative assessments that will be used to inform future instruction.  Departments within the Middle School have met and discussed potential learning gaps in curriculum and or skills and concepts from the 2019-2020 school year.  Pre-assessments will be utilized to further identify these gaps.  These pre-assessments will be discussed and created during these department meetings.  Departments will continue to meet regularly to build in opportunities to close these gaps.  

Students in need of Academic Intervention Services (AIS) will be assigned one period of AIS during their ten-period school day.  These students will be identified using a multi-pronged approach, which will include performance on prior assessments, teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, as well as input from the Instructional Support Team (IST).   

All testing accommodation needs will be provided on an individual basis.  Whenever possible, multiple assessment pathways will be provided to meet the needs of individual students.

The library media specialist will be available daily for student and teacher needs.  A library-based Google Classroom has been created to communicate with students.  Additionally, the library media specialist will meet with the English Department and support lesson integration/presentation within their classes.

In remote physical education instruction, the Westhampton Beach Middle School will create opportunities for students to share and connect with one another via synchronous and asynchronous learning activities.  Physical education teachers will review current curriculum and determine which lessons or activities can be repurposed as at-home work or completed online. Teachers will also consider if students can participate safely in the selected activities in terms of space and supervision.  Regular daily classroom routines and procedures will be translated into remote activities.  This will help students feel a sense of familiarity while reinforcing the sense of community for the physical education classes.  Physical education teachers will consider if special events or activities can be done remotely with classes.   Physical education teachers will also utilize videos and images to demonstrate and model activities or skills for students. 

Westhampton Beach High School Instructional Models

Hybrid Model:

If schools reopen for face-to-face instruction, the Westhampton Beach High School will deliver instruction through a hybrid model, a mix of in-person and remote learning.  Due to facilities limitations and the need for social distancing, students will be divided into two cohorts and will alternate days of in-person and remote instruction on an A-day, B-day schedule.

Student arrival to the building will be staggered as busses drop off students at varying times, based on bussing capacity and routing.  Additionally, students being dropped off by parents will arrive at the back entrance of the school, while students being dropped off by bus will arrive at the front entrance.  There will be a total of four entry points into the building to limit the amount of contact between students.  Students will enter the building based on the location of their first period class.  While in the building, students will maintain a social distancing of 6 feet at all times.  In hallways there will be signage indicating the direction of flow for students to maintain social distancing.  In the classroom, all desks will be faced in the same direction and spaced 6 feet apart.  Windows and doors will remain open to improve ventilation for as long as the weather permits.  Students will wear face coverings at all times, except for “mask breaks” and meals. Six lunch periods will be scheduled throughout the day (periods 3-8), in order to reduce the number of students assigned each period.  Students will be seated at individual desks and socially distanced by at least 6 feet in the cafeteria and two large group instruction rooms.

Lessons will be designed and organized to differentiate between in-person and remote instruction.  During in-person lessons, students will be prepared with skills and knowledge that they will need while working remotely.  Teachers will use multiple on-line platforms (Google Classroom, Edpuzzle, NearPod, Pear Deck, etc.) to facilitate learning outside the classroom.  The school provides laptop computers to every student.  Students will use their MacBook laptops to access virtual classrooms and assignments while working remotely.  This technology will also be utilized in the classroom to facilitate in-person collaborative instruction while maintaining appropriate social distancing.   

Faculty will use various software platforms to create formative assessments that will be used to inform future instruction.  Departments within the High School have met and discussed potential learning gaps in curriculum and or skills and concepts from the 2019-2020 school year.  Pre-assessments will be utilized to further identify these gaps.  These pre-assessments will be discussed and created during these department meetings.  Departments will continue to meet regularly to build in opportunities to close these gaps.  

Students in need of Academic Intervention Services (AIS) will be assigned one period of AIS during their nine-period school day.  These students will be identified using a multi-pronged approach, which will include performance on prior assessments, teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, as well as input from the Instructional Support Team (IST).

All testing accommodation needs will be provided on an individual basis.  Whenever possible, multiple assessment pathways will be provided to meet the needs of individual students. 

The library media specialist will be available daily for student and teacher needs.  A library-based Google Classroom has been created to communicate with students.  Additionally, the library media specialist will meet with the English Department and support lesson integration/presentation within their classes.

The Westhampton Beach High School physical education teachers will consider assigning tasks for at-home completion, and then have students apply the knowledge gained in the school setting (i.e., have students practice a skill at home and then apply it during a class activity).  In school, students will participate in individual physical activities (e.g., dance, yoga, track and field, fitness stations) that comply with social distancing guidelines, and require little or no equipment. When students are at home, physical education teachers will have them focus on activities for motor skill development (e.g., underhand throwing, self-toss and catch, catching with a parent or sibling). Physical education teachers will consider a flipped classroom approach where students first learn about a topic at home, then come to the school setting prepared to learn more about it during class (e.g., students watch a video at home, then in school the teacher answers questions and teaches in more depth). They will also provide synchronous learning opportunities (distance learning that happens in real time), with opportunities for asynchronous learning as well.  Physical education teachers will allow for optimal student choice and provide opportunities for students to engage with teachers directly and often. This will be crucial to keeping students motivated both in class and remotely.

Remote Learning:

In the event that the Westhampton Beach High School delivers full-time remote instruction, instructional technology will be utilized to engage students.  Faculty and students will have substantive daily interaction.  The school provides laptop computers to every student and teacher.  Students will use their MacBook laptops to access virtual classrooms and assignments.  

Students will meet daily with each of their classes following the schedule below: 

 

Period

Time

1

8:00 – 8:30

2

8:35 – 9:05

3

9:10 – 9:40

Break

9:40 – 10:10

4

10:10 – 10:40

5

10:45 – 11:15

6

11:20 – 11:50

Lunch

11:50 – 12:35

7

12:35 – 1:05

8

1:10 – 1:40

9

1:45 – 2:15

 

Attendance will be taken during each period.  Extra help sessions will be offered twice weekly from 2:20 p.m. – 3:05 p.m. for each subject area, following the schedule that has been historically utilized.

Teachers will prepare lessons and projects for remote learning that are individualized, and connect to reinforce classroom learning. They will utilize the Google Classroom platform to post assignments that can be completed using the laptop, along with items that can be easily found at home. Students will submit completed assignments, and teachers will provide appropriate feedback to foster learning.  PowerSchool, the district’s student management system, will be used to track students’ progress and attendance.  This portal can be accessed by teachers, students, and parents to ensure all parties stay up-to-date on individual student’s progress. Teachers will provide online and offline assignments so that there is a mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Faculty will use various technology-based resources to create formative assessments that will be used to inform future instruction.  Departments within the High School have met and discussed potential learning gaps in curriculum and or skills and concepts from the 2019-2020 school year.  Pre-assessments will be utilized to further identify these gaps.  These pre-assessments will be discussed and created during these department meetings.  They will continue to meet regularly to build in opportunities to close these gaps.

Students in need of Academic Intervention Services (AIS) will be assigned one period of AIS during their nine-period school day.  These students will be identified using a multi-pronged approach, which will include performance on prior assessments, teacher and guidance counselor recommendations, as well as input from the Instructional Support Team (IST).   

All testing accommodation needs will be provided on an individual basis.  Whenever possible, multiple assessment pathways will be provided to meet the needs of individual students.

The library media specialist will be available daily for student and teacher needs.  A library-based Google Classroom has been created to communicate with students.  Additionally, the library media specialist will meet with the English Department and support lesson integration/presentation within their classes.

In remote physical education instruction, the Westhampton Beach High School will create opportunities for students to share and connect with one another via synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. Physical education teachers will review current curriculum and determine which lessons or activities can be repurposed as at-home work, or completed online. Teachers will also consider if students can participate safely in the selected activities in terms of space and supervision. Regular daily classroom routines and procedures will be translated into remote activities. This will help students feel a sense of familiarity, while reinforcing the sense of community for the physical education classes. Physical education teachers will consider if special events or activities can be done remotely with classes. They will also utilize recorded videos and images to demonstrate and model activities and skills for students. 

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Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

Interscholastic sports, and extracurricular activities are an important aspect of student life and the Westhampton Beach School District community. During the COVID shutdown students were unable to engage in and enjoy these social activities that are part of the fabric of the both the District and school programs. New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) along with Section XI, the governing bodies for all athletics in our state and county, postponed the start date for the fall seasons until September 21, 2020.  They also cancelled all fall regional and state championships. These decisions were based on the New York State Department of Health guidelines. NYSPHSAA is also preparing for a condensed season schedule beginning January 2021, should high school sports be unable to begin this fall. The District’s athletic department will follow all protocols set forth by the NYSPHSAA and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  If and when athletics resume, the district will limit access to locker rooms to promote and maintain social distancing.  All student athletes will bring all of their personal and school-issued equipment home daily to clean and sanitize. No items will be kept in lockers.  All equipment that is used during practice/games will be cleaned and sanitized after each use.

The District will work to maintain extracurricular activities to the extent practicable, while being able to preserve student cohorts and appropriate social distancing.  Some of these extracurricular activities will be shifted to virtual opportunities for students. Additionally, the District will restrict the use of facilities to District sponsored extracurricular activities and groups. Technology and online resources will be utilized to maximize opportunities for extracurricular activities.

The District’s before and after school childcare program (We Care) will operate as usual when schools are open for in-person instruction.  In the event that schools are operating in a remote instruction model, the District will provide childcare for the families of essential workers through SCOPE Educational Services and other local providers.

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Special Education

Students with disabilities were particularly impacted by the emergency school closing in the spring.  The Westhampton Beach School District has designed its reopening plan to ensure equity and access to students with disabilities so that they may receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) whether services are provided in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid model.  The District will provide FAPE consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education and related services. Parents of students with disabilities will be informed regarding the identification, evaluation, educational placement, and the provision of FAPE to their child.  Students with disabilities will be provided services consistent with the recommendations on individualized education programs (IEPs). Teachers and other providers will monitor and collect data and regularly communicate student progress to families. 

The Westhampton Beach School District is prepared with contingency plans to address students’ remote learning needs in the event of potential future intermittent or extended school closures and considers in-person services a priority for high-needs students and preschool students with disabilities whenever possible.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Students with disabilities will have equal access to high-quality programs that are designed, based on their individual needs and abilities, to enable them to achieve the desired learning results established for all students.  The Westhampton Beach School District will work to create opportunities to ensure that students with disabilities have instruction with students without disabilities to the greatest extent possible consistent with their IEP.  Students with disabilities who receive resource room, integrated co-taught and consultant teacher services will be instructed with their general education peers when in-person and virtually.  Students with disabilities instructed in special class programs will participate in general education for special area/elective classes and lunch/recess where appropriate.  Special education teachers will collaborate with general education teachers to plan for opportunities for integration such as virtual book buddies, clubs, etc.

IEP Implementation / Provision of Services

The Westhampton Beach School District has implemented health and safety protocols to protect students and staff during the delivery of special education services.  Students with disabilities in the Elementary and Middle Schools will attend school daily with their peers.  Students with disabilities in the High School recommended for resource room, integrated co-taught and consultant teacher services will attend school on an A/B day schedule with their peers.  Students with disabilities in the High School recommended for special class programs will attend school daily.  

The delivery of special education programs and services will be implemented to the extent possible as per IEP recommendations while maintaining health and safety protocols. At the Elementary and Middle schools, students who receive group related services will be scheduled with their cohort of students to maintain health and safety, whenever possible.  High School students recommended for group related services will be grouped with other students if health and safety protocols can be maintained.  When in person, service providers may utilize face shields and/or desk guards with social distancing to deliver related services to increase the effectiveness of the instruction/service. Remote services will be provided utilizing Google Classroom, video conferencing, Google Hangouts, instructional packets, etc.  Supplementary aids and services as indicated on a student’s IEP will be implemented to the extent possible if virtual learning is provided.  Teachers will ensure that the unique needs of students with disabilities are addressed regardless of instructional delivery method (face-to-face, hybrid, or remote).

Students with disabilities will continue to have access to accommodations whether in person or virtual as per the IEP.  All students have access to Texthelp Read&Write software which provides text to speech, word prediction, translation, speech input, talking dictionary, etc.  Students who have a reading disability have access to Bookshare and electronic textbooks, when available.  Whenever possible, teachers will provide students with the option to utilize technology to present what they have learned (i.e.: create a video, voice record an essay, take a photo, etc.).  Teachers will continue to make modifications to the curriculum to ensure equity and access and will consider the possibility of loss of skills during the closure when planning modifications.

All students with disabilities are provided with a laptop or tablet to access virtual instruction delivered via video conferencing.  The Westhampton Beach School District employs staff in each school building to provide technical assistance to students, staff, and families in utilizing technology to support the instructional needs of students with disabilities.  

Progress Monitoring

Teachers and service providers will continue to collect data to monitor progress toward annual goals to inform the CSE, the educational team, and parents in decision making.  Determining student progress is necessary for understanding the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and for determining whether, and to what extent, the school closures may have disrupted the student’s learning.  Documentation will be maintained electronically.  Progress will be reported to parents on an ongoing basis through the student management system, email and telephone communication, and formally when progress reports are sent home.  Communication will be provided in the parents’ preferred language.

Compensatory Services

Teachers and service providers will assess student progress utilizing curriculum-based assessments, benchmark data, criterion referenced assessments, formative and/or summative assessments.  The CPSE/CSE and educational team will review data to determine if students with disabilities have experienced a loss of skills.  The CPSE/CSE, with parental input, will determine if a student’s IEP requires amending to address a loss of skills.  Compensatory services will be provided as per the determination of the CPSE/CSE.

CPSE/CSE Process

The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and the Committee on Special Education (CSE) process will continue to function during the pandemic regardless of whether schools are conducting in-person, hybrid, or remote learning.  Prior to referring a student for special education, each school’s interdisciplinary team will take into consideration all factors that may have influenced the student’s progress during school closures due to COVID-19. If the team suspects a student of having a disability, it will refer the student for an initial special education evaluation and obtain parent consent for the evaluation. Parents who suspect their child of having a disability may make a referral to the Committee on CPSE or the CSE by contacting the building psychologist or the Office of Pupil Personnel Services.  

Students requiring an initial evaluation or reevaluation will be assessed utilizing in-person testing when possible, virtual testing and/or a review of records within required timelines.  CPSE/CSE meetings will be held utilizing Google Meet; parents have the option of video conference or teleconference.  A translator is provided in the preferred language of the parent, if needed. 

The CPSE/CSE and educational team will review data to determine the needs of students with disabilities.  Teachers and service providers will assess student progress utilizing curriculum-based assessments, benchmark data, criterion referenced assessments, formative and/or summative assessments.  The CPSE/CSE will review this data to determine if the IEP needs to be amended.  Progress will be reported to parents on an ongoing basis through the student management system, email and telephone communication and formally when progress reports are sent home.  

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Bilingual Education and World Languages

The spring 2020 COVID-19 crisis was extremely challenging for all students, including the District’s English Language Learners (ELLs).  It is critical that the Westhampton Beach School District address the special needs of ELLs while planning for reopening, and communicate with the ELL students and their families in their preferred language and mode of communication.  During reopening, all ELLs will be afforded the opportunity for full and equal participation whether it be through an in-person, remote, or hybrid model of instruction.  ELL students benefitted from remote learning opportunities and platforms during remote instruction in the spring of 2020, as each student utilized their District-issued MacBook laptops and broadband internet connectivity to engage in learning with both their English as a New Language (ENL) and content area teachers. The District will to continue to provide these resources, while considering their unique needs, and to strengthen the home language and supports necessary for English language development utilizing synchronous and asynchronous learning during reopening.

If the District is able to reopen using in-person or hybrid instruction, the ELL identification process will be completed within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020, and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year.  After this 20-day flexibility period, identification of ELLs will resume for all students within the required 10 school days of initial enrollment.  All ELLs will be provided the required instructional Units of Study, based on their most recently measured English language proficiency level during in-person and hybrid instruction.  The District will maintain regular communications with the parents/guardians and other family members of ELLs to ensure that they are engaged in their children’s education during the reopening process.

In order to support the instructional needs of all ELLs, the District will ensure that all teachers and administrators receive professional development related to technology and hybrid or remote learning strategies that focus on the learning modalities of ELLs.  Protocols have been created to promote coordination and instructional planning among English as a New Language ENL and content area teachers for the delivery of remote and hybrid learning.  Progress monitoring tools will be used to provide data that identifies gaps in student learning towards English language proficiency and towards content area proficiency in both English and the students’ home languages.  Additionally, the District will continue to implement programs that address the specific needs of Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education (SIFE), ELLs with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and other vulnerable populations during the reopening process.  The District will ensure that ELLs will be actively engaged on a regular basis to assess their need for Social Emotional Well-Being supports that address the unique experiences of ELLs, and are delivered in, or interpreted into students’ home languages during remote or hybrid learning. 

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Staffing / Teacher Certification

Among school-based factors, teaching and school leadership are the two greatest influences on student learning. As such, the Westhampton Beach School District ensures that all teachers, school and district leaders, and pupil personnel service professionals hold a valid and appropriate certificate for their assignments.  Additionally, the District may utilize incidental teaching when determining how to staff classrooms, and may employ substitute teachers to address staffing needs for the allowable number of days, given their qualifications and teaching assignment.

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Teacher and Principal Evaluation System (Education Law §3012-d)

The Westhampton Beach School District will continue to fully implement the District’s NYSED-approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) Plan for the 2020-21 school year.  Per the approved plan, each educator’s evaluation will include at least one required student performance measure.  Additionally, the Observations/School Visits subcomponent for educators may also be adapted to meet local needs, depending on whether instruction occurs in-person, remotely, or in a hybrid model.  No substantive changes to the APPR plan/model are foreseen.  In the event changes are required, the District would collaborate with the APPR Committee and the associated bargaining units to facilitate those changes.

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