Below is the 2021-22 Palmyra-Macedon Central School District Reopening Plan. The plan represents continuing efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Doing so decreases chances of quarantines and school closures. Keeping school open with healthy children in attendance provides the best educational opportunities for our students to learn, to participate in sports and extracurricular activities, and to be contributing citizens in our community.
Palmyra-Macedon Central School District
Reopening to Diminish Risk to Public Health
Summary Points of the Plan: 1
Plan Introduction: 2
COVID-19 Vaccination: 2
Mask Requirements: 3
Physical Distancing: 4
Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: 4
Staying Home when Sick and Getting Tested : 5
Contact Tracing: 6
Cleaning and Disinfection: 6
Instructional Model: 7
Appendix A (9): How To Wear Face Coverings
Appendix B (10): Types of Masks per the CDC
Appendix C (11): Can my Child Go To School Today?
Appendix D (12): My Child Has COVID-19 Symptoms. When Can They Go Back to School?
This cover page summarizes the Palmyra-Macedon Central School District’s continuing efforts to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our schools. Doing so decreases chances of quarantines and school closures. Keeping school open with healthy children in attendance provides the best educational opportunities for our students to learn, to participate in sports and extracurricular activities, and to be contributing citizens in our community.
To do this, we need everyone’s help and support.
Substantial changes to school health protocols from 2020-2021 to 2021-22*:
Enclosed with this cover letter is a detailed plan effective Monday, August 23, 2021.
Please note these summary points* from the plan:
1. When indoors, all individuals will be required to wear masks.
It is expected that the level of COVID community transmission for Wayne County will be moderate or higher for the opening of school. That means, based on the recommendations of the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, indoor mask wearing will be required when school opens. Masks are required indoors for all students, staff, and essential visitors regardless of vaccination status.
2. Masks are not required outdoors for vaccinated individuals. Masks are not required outdoors but are recommended for unvaccinated people.
3. There are built-in opportunities for mask removal during the school day that are aligned to the CDC guidelines. Parents are asked to discuss mask wearing and any exclusions outlined in the plan with your child prior to the start of the school year.
4. Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses at all times.
5. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are important.
6. Individuals are expected to stay home when sick. Submission of daily health screens to the district are not required.
7. If an individual is a close contact to someone else who tests positive for COVID-19, the health department will require contact tracing. Should a student be expected to quarantine, a parent will be given a courtesy notice by the school district and official notice by the health department’s contact tracers.
*Read the plan for complete details.
Palmyra-Macedon Central School District
Reopening to Diminish Risk to Public Health
This plan is subject to change with limited notice based on State, regional, and local circumstances.
This plan is effective August 23, 2021. All Pal-Mac students will fully return to in-person learning on September 7, 2021. The plan is applicable to all students, staff, visitors/spectators at all Pal-Mac events and activities including the regular school day, field trips, athletics, and extracurricular activities.
In 2020-21, Pal-Mac had zero confirmed transmissions of COVID-19 in the school setting and remained fully open for the duration of the school year. As such, this plan was created using strategies from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and guidance from the NYS Education Department to maximize opportunity for in-person learning, reduce the risk of school closure, and stop the spread of COVID-19. Our schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this plan emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies to protect people who are not fully vaccinated, including students, staff, visitors, and other members of their households.
This plan was reviewed by Wayne County Public Health (WCPH) and the School District’s Medical Director. The district, in conjunction with these entities, will monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to monitor this plan and make adjustments as necessary. The health and safety measures in this plan will apply to everyone regardless of their vaccination status.
COVID-19 vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccination is not required for school attendance/employment. According to medical experts, the COVID-19 vaccination has a significant impact on COVID transmission.*
*Those who are vaccinated can still contract and potentially transmit COVID-19 but symptoms tend to be mild and significantly diminish severe illness, hospitalization and death.
Consistent and correct mask use for students, staff, and visitors
Minimum Expectations for Indoors*
Given the new information from the CDC (July 27, 2021), “to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others” masks are required indoors unless WCPH determines that the Level of Community Transmission is Low, and with exceptions described below. Levels of transmission are designated by the CDC and confirmed in consultation with WCPH.
Masking is required indoors so long as WCPH determines that the Level of Community Transmission is Moderate, Substantial, or High (exceptions: core instruction with physical distance, breaks, meals).
NOTE: Face covering breaks are optional, and students may fully leave their face coverings on if they choose, with the exception of the meal break.
When possible, face covering breaks will be staggered or occur outside or in other areas with good airflow, and where a minimum of 3 feet distance can be accomplished. Staff members will use care not to single out any student who opts to leave a mask on during face-covering breaks.
For CDC Community Transmission level of Low, school officials will consult with WCPH to determine any appropriate modifications to mask requirements.
Masks are not required for vaccinated individuals.
Masks are not required but are recommended for unvaccinated people.
Supply of Masks
Parents are encouraged to supply face coverings for their child’s use in the school setting. Employees are encouraged to supply a face covering for their use. PPE will be available to all students and staff members as needed.
Passengers and drivers must wear a mask on school buses at all times regardless of CDC community transmission levels. Students must be wearing a face covering at the bus stop at the time of boarding the school bus. Students who do not have a face covering will not be denied transportation; they should wait until other students have boarded and will immediately be given a face covering by the bus driver. In order to ride the bus, all students must wear a face covering for the duration of the time aboard the bus. Students without authorized accommodations who refuse to wear a face covering will not be able to board the bus and the child will remain in the custody of the parent. Parents are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses.
*This is subject to change based on local rates of transmission. Changes to protocols for level designations will only be modified per the recommendation of WCPH.
Minimum Expectation for all subject areas*
3’ minimum distance is required to the extent possible for students, staff, and visitors.
For students having meals in cafeterias, distancing will be implemented to the extent possible. Each table will be a pod that would be subject to quarantine if deemed a close contact.
Instruction is considered a core activity. As such, physical distancing may be diminished for shorter intervals of core activities.
Large group assemblies where social distancing can be maintained are permissible. (In cases where transmission is substantial or high, indoor occupancy by outside agencies may not be permitted or will be limited to three feet distance.)
*Changes to protocols for level designations will only be modified per the recommendation of WCPH.
Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
Information will be shared with staff and students on how to follow COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including but not limited to hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene.
Hand hygiene stations will be maintained, including handwashing with soap, running water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible.
Should a person become ill and exhibit symptoms, they will be separated from others by at least 6’ until they are picked up to leave.
Bus windows and roof hatches will be opened weather permitting.
Ventilation with fresh outside air shall be provided in all occupied spaces. The Director of Facilities or designee shall ensure that all occupied spaces will have an operable system to bring outside air into the space and that those systems are maintained to operate in accordance with the original design.
Staying home when sick and getting tested
Parents are responsible for screening student health every day prior to a student boarding a school bus or entering a building. Staff members are required to conduct their own daily screening. The screening must include a temperature check and assessment of illness-related symptoms. Parents allowing a child to board a school bus or students/staff entering the school building for the instructional program are verifying that a health screen has been completed and that the child/staff member has not:
Knowingly been in close or proximite contact in the past 10 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 10 days;
experienced any symptoms* of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100°F, in the past 10 days; and/or
travelled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per New York State Travel Advisories https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
Parent submission of a daily health screen is not required.
See Appendix C to reference: Can my child go to school today?
*A complete list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
Contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine*
Seating Charts for Purposes of Contact Tracing
Students will be assigned a seat on a bus. Students will not be able to choose their own seat. Seating charts must be available for buses, cohorts, lunches, and other such pods.
Contact Tracing and Positive Results
There will be a contact tracing protocol administered by WCPH.
The School Nurse Supervisor will immediately notify the local health department about any case of diagnostic test results that are positive for COVID-19.
WCPH will not disclose personal information for those testing positive for COVID-19. Relevant parties will be notified appropriately by WCPH.
Students/staff who screen positive for COVID-19 symptoms can only return to school when approved by school medical authorities and in accordance with the protocols of the local health department and the school district. Any return-to-school for a confirmed positive will require signed documentation from a healthcare provider that includes negative COVID-19 testing, and symptom resolution/release from isolation.
In order to limit contacts and reduce risk of transmission in the school, visitors in buildings will continue to be substantially limited. Parents should continue to use designated drop-off/pick up procedures for each building and avoid entering the buildings. Virtual options will be encouraged.
For CDC transmission level designations at substantial and/or high, school buildings may initiate voluntary testing in concert with WCPH. Testing for students would only be performed with parental consent.
*The likelihood of having to quarantine is substantially diminished for those who are vaccinated, wear a mask, and physically distance.
Cleaning and disinfection
The district will adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the CDC.
Students and staff will disinfect personal equipment (e.g., desk, workstations, supplies) at intervals throughout the day as designated by school staff members.
Per the NYS Education Department, the district is expected to prioritize a return for all students to in-person instruction.
All school buildings are staffed with school counselors, school psychologists, and community agency social workers/counselors. Students will be supported by a professional in the counseling office or other trained staff members. Staff member training will be offered by the Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) team regarding talking with, and supporting students during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. SEL teams with respective representatives are in place to employ existing practices for coping and resilience skills.
Appropriate assistance to individuals with disabilities or other health care needs will be provided.
Absence from Instruction Due to Illness
When your child is absent from school for illness or any other reason,
parents or guardians must notify the School Health Office. Please
remember to send in a written note of explanation when your child
returns to school.
Missed work due to absence can be requested from the classroom
teacher. For students in grades 6-12, call the Counseling Office prior
to 10:00 AM to request missed work.
Staff absence will be handled per building protocols.
Should a complete school closure be warranted as determined by the local health department in consultation with the school superintendent and district’s medical director, the identified communication protocols will be used to provide information to families as aligned to the District’s existing safety and emergency plans. A transition to fully remote learning will require at least 3 days and no more than 5 days of planning time where remote instruction may not occur.
Homeschooling (home instruction)
Homeschooling is governed by the regulations of the New York State Education Department. Parents wishing to homeschool a child must follow the published guidelines, including the submission of an intent to homeschool and an Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP). The Stated Education Department has published a Q&A document to support parents in the homeschooling process at:
Parents must immediately email a letter of intent to homeschool to: Dawn Nichols at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: 151 Hyde Parkway, Palmyra, NY 14522. Once the original letter of intent has been received a school official will contact the family.
These health procedures will be executed in each school building based on student schedules, cohorts, and facilities. As such, questions about information not addressed in this plan can be emailed to the building principal.
The latest information about COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
How To Wear Face Coverings
Types of Masks per the CDC
Some masks work better than others to help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Note: N95 respirators approved by CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) should be prioritized for healthcare personnel.