STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — As New York City begins to reopen amid the coronvirus (COVID-19) pandemic, schools across Staten Island are making plans to safely reopen buildings in the fall — preparing for increased cleaning and sanitization, face masks, temperature checks and what instruction will look like for students.
New York City public schools and Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of New York recently released plans for reopening schools in September on a staggered, split schedule — with the option of full-time remote learning for families.
The New York State Department of Education presented its framework of statewide guidance on Monday for reopening schools in the fall. The guidance includes wearing face coverings, enforcing social distancing, providing transportation and electronic devices, as well as cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
The borough’s Catholic high schools and non-public schools, serving Staten Island students from pre-K3 to 12th grade, are also making reopening plans — including full-time in-person learning and blended learning.
Here’s a look at reopening plans at schools across the borough.
St. Joseph by-the-Sea
St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Huguenot created a draft plan for re-entry, which was produced with scientific and technological input, according to Principal Fr. Michael Reilly. It is currently under review with all members of the school administration and will evolve with circumstances and state guidance.
The school will use a blended model of both in-person and remote learning — which will be synchronous. Students have been and will be able to continue to receive their education using iPads and a technology called Canvas.
Students will be able to learn on-site and remotely in real-time, as classes will be streamed to student iPads or computers so they can watch, learn and participate in the course, even from home.
The plans ensure safety for students, faculty and staff; the continuity of learning both in and outside the classroom; the accommodation of students whose parents are concerned about pre-existing conditions; accommodation of students who need to be in school on a regular basis; and the conformance to all applicable state guidelines, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and best practices.
The school will enforce face coverings or masks, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, social distancing of at least six feet, and students, staff and faculty must stay home when they feel ill.
Classrooms will have desks spread six feet apart at half capacity. Hand-sanitizing stations will be installed throughout the building, as well as aggressive signage.
Students will be required to enter through only two pre-determined entrances, each equipped with a thermal camera and staff members monitoring the students. Students who are flagged by the camera will be re-checked, and if they are determined to have a temperature, will be isolated and required to return home.
You can view a photo of the camera and how it works above.
Each classroom is being equipped with an IQAir HealthPro Plus HyperHEPA filter units, which will recirculate all the air in the room 20 times per hour. Units will be placed in hallways and larger rooms as needed.
Overhead air conditioning units and classroom units will be fitted with internal ultra-violet light filters in the air handlers to provide a second purification of all air in the room.
The entire building will be deep-cleaned each night for the following day using foggers and aggressive disinfecting of all surfaces.