We need substitute teachers. If you are interested in becoming one to support students, please contact Valerie Castiglia at email@example.com or 315-889-4100. Thank you!
At this time, any new elementary entrants to our district will be assigned to remote learning until space opens for additional in-person classroom instruction. The secondary grades have very few in-person spaces available, and new entrants may be assigned to remote learning as well. We have tried our best to meet everyone's requests for both in-person and remote learning, but we simply do not have the flexibility to keep up with an influx of new students who are now requesting in-person instruction.
UPDATED SCHOOL REOPENING and COVID-19 TRACING, TESTING, and COMMUNICATION PLANS **Updated 8/25/20**
Dear Community Members:
We are getting closer to opening school, but we are not there yet! Much work remains to be done to get everything in place in order for our district to operate safely for our staff and students. The good majority of our PPE has come in from vendors, however, some orders remain on backorder. We are working with suppliers from across the country to secure everything we that we need. Despite our best efforts to budget and control the costs of securing these items, the financial impact of the 2020-2021 school year will be felt for years to come as we recover both as a country and community from this virus. We remain highly optimistic that everything will be here so we can open safely on September 8th.
Remote learning has been an option selected by approximately 10% of our student population. We are actively working on securing staff and building a schedule that would work to support these students. In order to open in-person, our teaching staff has been dedicated to the in-person instruction and supervision of students in socially distanced settings within the school buildings. Supporting remote learning requires identifying staff, figuring out flexibility in schedules, and responding to shifting programmatic needs based on the students who request to learn remotely in 2020-2021. This undertaking is not cheap from a financial standpoint and genuinely threatens our finances as a district, as creating and supporting two different concurrent models of learning increases costs relating to staffing, curriculum, internet access support for families, and technological support. We will do everything we can to support our remote learners, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t stress that this is a significant undertaking for a district of our size, as we have never attempted to have a fully remote and full in-person model of instruction simultaneously occur. Every day we make progress on this front. I hope that by the end of next week, the building principals can more formally articulate our remote learning plan and schedules with families that have selected that option. We are working very hard to organize something meaningful, that is well paced, and is aligned to instructional standards.
I know that time is growing short between the days left on the calendar and the opening of school. We are swimming against some very tough currents in uncharted waters and find ourselves at the cross-roads between political, economic, epidemiological, academic, and social forces. Your support of our district means a great deal. The words of kindness, support, and understanding as we move forward are really sustaining and powerful. In the old words of popular quote, “the difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.” Thank you for all you are doing, and for your patience. This coming school year will take all of us to make it happen, as we work to provide an education for our students.
The following has been developed in consultation with the Cayuga County Department of Health. Our plans and information contained in this document are dynamic and can, and most likely will, change based on information and local guidance based on the virus and its containment and/or spread.
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District, will communicate directly with members of the Cayuga County Health Department regarding COVID-19 issues and protocols. The primary COVID-19 contacts at the Cayuga County Health Department are:
Kevin Zippel, PhD., RN Supervising Community Health Nurse
Nancy Purdy, BSN, RN Director of Community Health Services
The Cayuga County Health Department designates (315)253-1560 for primary use which is answered at the office during typical working hours and after hours by a 24 hour 7 day a week answering service who will contact appropriate personnel as requested.
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will communicate with the Cayuga County Health Department for any COVID -19 related concerns and questions pertinent to the operations of their districts including but not limited to the public health and well-being of the District’s students and employees.
The Cayuga County Health Department will communicate with the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District regarding COVID-19 related information or concerns pertinent to the public health and well-being of the District’s students, faculty and staff; including but not limited to quarantine and isolation of students and employees.
The Cayuga County Health Department will communicate with the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District if the designated primary contacts change and who they are.
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will communicate with the Cayuga County Health Department if the designated primary contacts change and who they are.
Close Contact- a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated. Contact Tracing- interview a person having been diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection to determine whom they may have been contact with during the timeframe of being infectious in order to prevent spreading of the infection. Contact tracing is led by the Cayuga County Health Department. The school will be required to provide attendance records, contact information and other supportive information as requested to the health department. Incubation Period- the interval between the time of invasion by an infectious agent and appearance of the first sign or symptom of the disease in question. For SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the incubation period is on average 4-5 days but may be as long as 14 days. 5% of persons will develop symptoms in 2 days; 50% of persons will develop symptoms in 5 days; 95% will develop symptoms within 14 days.
Infectious Period- period of time during which a case is able to transmit a disease to others. The infectious period for COVID 19 starts 2 days before someone develops symptoms; is most infectious day of symptom onset; and infectiousness wanes over the course of 10 days.
Infectivity of COVID-19 - is determined by its reproduction number, or R0 (pronounced R naught), which current epidemiological estimates suggest lies between 1.5 to 3. This means that every COVID-19 patient may infect up to three other people on average.
Isolation- the Health Department will require, through public health order, a person to go into mandatory isolation who has tested positive for COVID-19 and shall be monitored by the health department.
Proximate Contact - It is not necessary for proximate contacts to be placed in quarantine. Being in the same enclosed environment such as a classroom, office, or gatherings but greater than 6 feet from a person displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Precautionary Quarantine- A resident of New York State (NYS) returning from travel to a designated state for designated period of time or an international traveler arriving to NYS are required to quarantine for 14 days. It is possible having traveled to these areas, the traveler is a proximate contact of a positive Covid-19 individual(s).
Self- Care- ability to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider.
Quarantine- the Health Department will require a person having direct contact to a positive Covid-19 person to mandatory quarantine, through public health order, and will monitor person for development of symptoms. Separating people and limiting movement of people who have or may have been exposed can help to prevent spread of illness from people with COVID-19 before they feel ill or have symptoms.
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will monitor daily the employees, students and necessary visitors for symptoms of COVID-19, to include daily screening before entering the school buildings. All students will have their temperature taken upon entering the building. Those with fevers of 100 ° or higher will be sent home. Parents are strongly encouraged to assess their child’s health prior placing them on the bus or transporting them to school.
Employees and students should be encouraged to self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, chills, cough, the loss of taste/smell, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Employees and students are not to attend school if feeling ill.
COVID-19 testing is contingent upon availability of specimen collection material, appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and laboratory capacity. As such, the specific recommendations for specimen collection sites may be altered to reflect resources, timeliness of analysis and response. It is recommended all people seeking a COVID-19 test call in advance to schedule their appointment and assure health care personnel are appropriately attired. Additional opportunities for COVID-19 testing may become available over time.
At the time this plan is written, here are local resources for COVID-19 testing. At all testing sites bring your health insurance card if you have one.
Personal HealthCare provider
Cayuga County Urgent Care Centers including:
FingerLakes Medical Urgent Care Center
303 Grant Ave.
Urgent Care of Auburn
37 West Garden St., Suite 105
WellNow Urgent Care Center
271 Grant Ave.
Out of county testing sites:
Upstate University Health System
550 Harrison Center
550 Harrison Street, Syracuse
No appointment necessary
Syracuse Community Health Center
819 South Salina St., Syracuse
Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm.
No appointment necessary
Cayuga Medical Associates
Appointment and Registration: cayugahealth.org/
Or call 607-319-5708.
Appointment is required and testing criteria must be met
Call the NYS Department of Health hotline number for additional sites:1-888-364-3065
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will immediately notify the Cayuga County Health Department (CHHD) upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by an individual in school facilities or on school grounds, including employees, students, and visitors. The CCHD will verify the person has tested positive.
The Cayuga County Health Department will lead the COVID-19 contact tracing effort partnering with the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District to provide names, addresses, phone numbers of pertinent people. Additionally, the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will be required to provide attendance records, contact information and other supportive information as requested to the health department.
If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District may choose to temporarily move instruction to a remote format until all contacts can be identified, notified and placed in quarantine.
The CCHD will notify the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District of any positive or quarantined employees or students. Scenarios
Employee/Student Has Tested Positive For COVID-19
Will be provided a Public Health Order by the Cayuga County Health Department to be in mandatory isolation for the period of COVID-19 infectiousness. During the period of isolation, the individual will be monitored by the health department. The local health department will officially release employee/student from isolation when criteria for discharge has been met.
Employee/Student Has Been In Close Contact With Positive Covid-19 Person
Will be provided a Public Health Order by the Cayuga County Health Department to be in mandatory quarantine for the period of COVID-19 incubation period. During the quarantine, the individual will be monitored by the health department and if symptoms develop, the health department will encourage COVID-19 testing. The health department will officially release employee/student from mandatory quarantine when discharge criteria has been met.
Employee/Student Is Symptomatic Having No Close Contact With Positive Person
If employee/student is ill feeling or screens positive for COVID-19 symptoms, they are to remain at home and provide self-care. Prior to returning to school, an employee/ student will need documentation from a health care provider following an evaluation, a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution
Employee/Student Has Had Close or Proximate Contact With Someone In Quarantine
A contact (Person C) of a contact (Person B) is not considered at risk unless Person B tests positive for COVID-19. Person C is not subject to quarantine.
Employee/Student Has Traveled To A State Designated As Having Significant Community Spread OR Any International Travel
Employees/Students who travel internationally or to a designated state with significant community spread must notify their supervisor/principal of their travel plans, including the state/country traveled to, along with the departure and return dates.
If an Employee/Student has traveled internationally or from within one of the designated states with significant community spread, he/she must register with NYSDOH and quarantine upon re-entering New York for 14 days from the last travel within such designated state or airline arrival date to New York. https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory
The requirements of the travel advisory do not apply to any individual passing through designated states for a limited duration (i.e., less than 24 hours) through the course of travel.
Employees/Students may return to work/school after completing 14 days of quarantine, dependent on the eruption of COVID-19 symptoms
Cleaning and Disinfection
Based on data from lab studies on COVID-19, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, the primary mode of transmission for COVID-19 is through close contact from person-to-person.
Coronaviruses on surfaces and objects naturally die within hours to days. Normal routine cleaning with soap and water removes many germs and dirt from surfaces.
Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. Killing germs on a surface after cleaning can further lower the risk of spreading the virus.
The following practices will be utilized by the Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District to reduce the risk of community spread of COVID-19 and other contagious germs.
The Responsible Parties at the Union Springs Central School District will follow these practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other contagions:
Daily routine cleaning of surfaces with disinfectants shall be conducted throughout the school
If a student or employee becomes ill:
Close off areas internal to the building used by the person who is sick.
Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area
Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting, unless waiting 24 hours is not feasible, then wait as long as possible. Clean and disinfect commonly touched areas like desk, locker, bathroom office, keyboards, mouse, telephones etc. Allow the areas to dry before reuse.
Wait 24 hours to vacuum the space if needed. When vacuuming routinely or as part of extra cleaning, temporarily turn off room fans and if possible turn off the central HVAC system that services the room or space, so that particles that escape from vacuuming will not circulate throughout the facility.
Regular use of the room and objects may continue after disinfection.
Students who need to learn from home will have a district Chromebook, iPad, or laptop. They will access lessons and materials from the teacher’s Google Classroom or SeeSaw account. At the secondary level, the learning platform of Edgenuity will be utilized as the course backbone and supplemented by teacher led instruction. At this time, because the number of students who need this option is still not truly defined, although now looking like approximately 10% of the student population, the extent/frequency to which teacher support in instruction beyond posting of instructional materials, and assistance with pacing of curriculum is unknown; we are actively in the hiring process at this time. We will have teacher support for these students, however, the timing, integration, and methodology of answering student questions involved with this need, will evolve over the coming weeks before school begins. Students who need to remote learn either because of quarantine requirements, health needs, or other factors will have access to:
Daily classroom assignments;
A teacher who makes contact with students remotely;
Instructional materials, as appropriate.
Remote learning will not be synchronous but will be asynchronous, and teachers will make contact with students as schedules and staffing allow.