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    આ દસ્તાવેજનો અનુવાદ કરવા માટેની માર્ગદર્શિકા

    Ā dastāvējanō anuvāda karavā māṭēnī mārgadarśikā

     

    The Federal American Rescue Plan Act, which we will call the “Act” , requires each district seeking monetary assistance under the Act to create a Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Service, we will call it the Safe Return Plan.  The Act also requires that the district seek comments from the public on the proposed Safe Return Plan.  The Plan must be reviewed, and if necessary, revised every six months.  The district must also seek comments on any revisions.

    Our Safe Return Plan below provides some details about how the district will apply the current guidance from the Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health agencies now that all of our staff and students have returned to in-person instruction.  Since the original Safe Return Plan was drafted that guidance has changed, which has resulted in the revisions to the Safe Return Plan noted below.  These revisions have already been incorporated in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety and in the Appendices to that Plan. 

    Please see the different areas of the Safe Return Plan below, and the revisions which appear in bold.  Please click on the form link to provide comments about that area.  This form will remain open through December 21, 2021.  The district will consider these comments before the revision to the Safe Return Plan is finalized.  There is an additional link at the end of the Safe Return Plan in case you have any general questions or other comments.

     1.  Maintaining Health and Safety

    a.  Universal and correct wearing of masks - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental, educational and health department guidance with regard to the wearing of masks. The  district will follow the face-covering requirement as described in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21-22SY (Appendix C). More specifically, Franklin Township Public School will require the mandatory use of face masks by staff, students, and visitors in the indoor portion of the school district premises, except in the following circumstances: when doing so would inhibit the individual’s health, such as when the individual is exposed to extreme heat indoors (where an individual is seeking a medical exemption, documentation from a medical professional supporting this exception is required); when the individual has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face masks without assistance; when a student’s documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Educational Plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, precludes use of a face mask (where an individual is seeking a medical exemption, documentation from a medical professional supporting this exception); when the individual is under two (2) years of age; when the individual is engaged in activity that cannot physically be performed while wearing a mask, such as eating or drinking, or playing a musical instrument that would be obstructed by a face mask; when the individual is engaged in high-intensity aerobic or anaerobic activity; when a student is participating in high-intensity physical activities during a physical education class in a well-ventilated location and able to maintain a physical distance of six feet from all other individuals; or when wearing a face mask creates an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task. Per the current guidance of the CDC, masks will continue to be worn by all on school buses and vans.

    Outdoors: In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. The CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people.  Fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised.  As such FTPS will allow students to remove their masks outdoors in consideration of these recommendations and at the discretion of their teacher. 

    Schools will continue to use diagrams showing the correct way to wear a face covering and staff and students will be reminded of this requirement using the Positive Behavior in Schools framework as a reinforcement tool.  Provide comments on this area

    b.  Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding) - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to physical distancing.  The district will use Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix D) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 2021-2022 school year.  

    More specifically, per the Governor’s current directive, all students have returned to in-person instruction every day.  The district has returned to a full day schedule for all students. The district will continue to ensure that all instructional and non-instructional rooms in schools and district facilities comply with physical distancing standards to the maximum extent practicable. Currently those standards recommend a three foot physical distance in all school buildings.  Student families will continue to be allowed to opt out of transportation to and from school and where possible students from the same household will be seated together.  Before and after school care options will follow all applicable guidelines.  Within the school day, elementary students will be kept in the same group (cohort) as much as possible and secondary students to the extent possible..  Students within a cohort will eat meals together following all applicable physical distance requirements to the maximum extent practicable. Meals and physical education classes will take place outdoors whenever feasible.  Physical distance will be maintained in the classroom whenever possible and when space limitations prevent the recommended physical distance in the classroom, physical barriers will be utilized.  A limited number of off campus field trips may take place in the spring of 2022.  Schools will continue to use markers, arrows and other diagrams depicting the preferred physical distance in various areas including the entrance to the building and in the hallways.  Staff and students will be reminded of the physical  distance requirements and the Positive Behavior in Schools framework will be used to reinforce compliance with this requirement. Provide comments on this area.

    c.  Handwashing and respiratory etiquette - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to handwashing and respiratory etiquette.  The district will use the hand washing and respiratory etiquette requirements as described in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix E) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21/22 school year.  This part of the Safe Return Plan will cover handwashing procedures and how the district will respond to situations where students might gather.  

    The district will prepare and maintain hand sanitizing stations with alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) or other approved sanitizers, when and where appropriate.  These stations will be located: in each classroom (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer); at entrances and exits of buildings; near lunchrooms and toilets. Children ages five and younger will be supervised when using hand sanitizer.  In classrooms that have existing handwashing stations, stations will be prepared with soap, water, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers (at least 60% alcohol) or other approved sanitizers, when and where appropriate.  Each school’s pandemic response team, which will be renamed the Safe Return Team, will review and revise, if necessary, its school-wide plan for hand washing.  Schools will continue to use diagrams to depict hand washing practices.  Staff and students will be reminded of those practices and the Positive Behavior in Schools framework will be used to reinforce them.  Meals and physical education classes will be held outdoors whenever possible.  The implementation of the curriculum for physical education and fine, visual and performing arts classes will be revised to comply with applicable health department guidance, if necessary.  

    Extra and co-curricular activities will be offered, any of these activities which are offered in person will follow all applicable health department guidance.  Athletics will be offered in compliance with the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.  Middle school athletes, provided there is sufficient interest, will also be offered. Provide comments on this area.

    d. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation - The district will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to maintaining healthy facilities, including guidance regarding ventilation.  The district will use the requirements regarding maintenance of healthy facilities as described in  Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix H) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21/22 school year..  The district continues to be prepared with supplies for the 2021-2022 school year including industrial sanitizing wipes, soap and hand sanitizer.  The district will continue use of its established cleaning/disinfecting schedules, targeted areas to be cleaned, and methods and materials to be used, which are contained in a procedure manual posted on the District website. This manual will be reviewed and revised as needed. Franklin Township Public Schools will sanitize bathrooms daily, or between use as much as possible, using protocols outlined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The district will follow CDC recommendations on the use of hand dryers when feasible.  The district will clean shared surfaces regularly and will investigate ways to reduce the amount of staff utilizing the same areas by decreasing the use of paper for visitor/staff sign in and utilizing best practices with regard to cleaning shared printers and copiers.  The district will continue and expand its use of bottle filters in place of drinking fountains.  

    In the 2020-2021 school year, the Board of Education authorized a field study of the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in the schools of the district.  This study was completed and deficiencies noted in the report were corrected.  Other general recommendations found in the report, for system modification continue to be reviewed and implemented where feasible.   This includes upgrading filtration systems, where and when practical, in district HVAC units with containment filtration systems that are designed to filter air equal to or better than a MERV 13 filter.  This is the type of filter recommended by ASHRAE who are experts in the field. Additionally, recirculated air units will have a fresh air component, and windows will continue to be opened, if practical, to further assist in bringing fresh air into indoor spaces. If air conditioning is provided in the space, filter(s) for A/C units will be maintained and changed according to manufacturer recommendations and in accordance with the district’s preventive maintenance plan. Air purifiers will be utilized in common areas when possible. Provide comments on this area.

    e. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine - In collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine.  The district will use the contact tracing/isolation and quarantine procedures as described in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix B and I) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21/22 school year.  

    The district will post a message on the district website as well as the website of each school listing the symptoms associated with Covid-19 and questions regarding exposure to the virus.  Principals will routinely remind their student families to check their children for symptoms and exposure to Covid-19 and to keep children who are feeling ill at home. 

    Daily screening forms and temperature checks of all staff and students entering the building will not be utilized everyday, but may be implemented if circumstances warrant, i.e. recommended by the applicable agencies in response to an elevated Covid Activity Level/Regional Risk Matrix or increased cases in a particular school building.  The Board of Education has adopted a policy and regulation which govern the reporting of absences.  These documents are posted on the district website.  Each school has a dedicated telephone extension for parents/guardians to use to report an absence.  Additionally, absence reporting procedures have been published on each school website and are reviewed at back-to-school events and new student orientations.  

    Students or staff members who develop symptoms, including a fever of over 100 degrees,  during the day will be brought to an isolation room for confirmation of an elevated temperature and a further assessment. Health checks will be conducted safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy laws and regulations and results will be documented when signs/symptoms of COVID-19 are observed.  Accommodations will continue to be used when necessary to screen those students with disabilities and/or special needs.  Students and staff with symptoms related to COVID-19 will be safely and respectfully isolated from others. Students will continue to be supervised in the isolation area until they can be picked up by a parent/guardian.   

    The parents/guardians of students who are placed in the isolation area and exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 consistent with the Criteria for Testing Symptomatic Students Protocol will be given information about the districts’ rapid testing resources available at one of the district facilities.  The parent/guardian may then proceed to that location with the child for testing or may bring the child home.  The isolation room will be thoroughly disinfected after each use.

    Staff members who present with symptoms consistent with Covid-19 will be asked to visit an ambulatory COVID-19 testing site for a Covid-19 test.   Both symptomatic staff, who did not utilize the ambulatory site, and the families of symptomatic students will be encouraged to seek a COVID-19 test from their medical provider.  

    Any child or staff member with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will continue to be treated in a manner consistent with the recommendations of the local health department and may vary depending upon the current COVID-19 Regional Risk Matrix.  The district will continue to follow current Communicable Disease Service guidance for illness reporting and any incidences of students sent home will continue to be logged in the Genesis Student Information System. The District Lead Nurse and Assistant Lead Nurse will continue to work with the Human Resources Department to  track symptomatic staff members who are sent home. Symptomatic staff members and students who were sent home will be allowed to return to district buildings after meeting the criteria specified in the Isolation Protocol which will continue to be posted on the district website, revised and acknowledged by the Board of Education as necessary.  

    Should the district learn that a staff member or student has tested positive for COVID-19, the District Lead Nurse/Assistant Lead Nurse will continue to work with the Somerset County Health Department to report the case and assist in any contact tracing at the state, county or local level, as needed. 

    The staff member or student who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified of the appropriate isolation period.  Staff or students identified as close contacts will be notified of the appropriate quarantine period.  Students who are unable to participate in in-person learning due to quarantine will be eligible for home instruction which will take place virtually after the school day has concluded. Additionally these students will be able to “listen live” to their scheduled classes.  Teachers will virtually connect with the student who is in quarantine so that the student may hear what the teacher and students in the class say.  The student in quarantine will not interact with his teacher or other students in the classroom during this time, but will monitor the class using audio means only. Staff or students who have been made to isolate or quarantine will be allowed to return to the district building in accordance with the Isolation Protocol which has been developed, acknowledged by the Board of Education, posted on the district website and revised as needed.  Additionally, applicable staff and student families will be notified of a positive case.  The case will be included in a chart on the district website and reported to the appropriate state agencies. Provide comments on this area.

    f.  Diagnostic and screening testing - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to diagnostic and screening testing. The procedures for testing are detailed in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix K) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21/22 school year. 

    The district will utilize some of the same procedures with regard to diagnostic testing of staff and students as were used in the 2020-2021 school year.  The district utilized an ambulatory COVID-19 testing site to provide testing for symptomatic staff members in the 2020-2021 school year and will continue to utilize those services in the 2021-2022 school year. Additionally, in the 2021-2022 school year, parents/guardians of students who were placed in the isolation area and exhibit symptoms of Covid-19 consistent with the Criteria for Testing Symptomatic Students Protocol will be given information about the districts’ rapid testing resources available at one of the district facilities.  The parent/guardian will be given the opportunity to have their child tested at that location.

    Both symptomatic staff, who did not utilize the ambulatory site, and the families of symptomatic students continue to be encouraged to seek a COVID-19 test from their medical provider.  Testing results will be reported to public health authorities by the entity conducting the testing as required.

    As for screening testing, the district has worked with Franklin Township to advertise and provide a site for a weekly COVID-19 testing site for the majority of the 2020-2021 school year and will continue to do so as those testing opportunities arise..  Additionally, the district will provide information on other testing sites, if known.  

    The availability of screening tests and the interest of staff and student families will determine if and the manner in which the district provides screening testing in the 2021-2022 school year.  Pursuant to Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix A) and Policy 1648.13 School Employee Vaccination Requirements, covered workers who are not fully vaccinated must be tested for Covid-19 once a week following established procedures. 

    Testing results will be reported to public health authorities by the entity conducting the testing as required. Provide comments on this area.

    g.  Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to vaccinations.  The district’s efforts to provide vaccinations are described in Board Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward - Covid 19 - Health and Safety (Appendix A) which governs the return to in-person learning in the 21/22 school year and Policy 1648.13 and Appendix A of that Policy. 

    The district has and will continue to provide information to staff and the school community about local vaccination opportunities.  The district has and will continue to work with the Somerset County Prosecutors Office and the Somerset County Department of Health to advertise, provide support and a location for a vaccination clinic for eligible students. The district has also established partnerships with local medical providers such as the Atlantic Health System and Robert Wood Johnson who have worked with the district to provide opportunities for staff to receive vaccinations. The district will look to continue these partnerships in order to provide as many vaccination opportunities as possible to staff and students during the 2021-2022 school year. Provide comments on this area.

    h.  Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies - Franklin Township Public Schools will continue to follow the applicable Federal, state and local governmental and health department guidance with regard to appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to health and safety policies.  The district will continue use of the appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities including an exception to the face covering requirement for a student with a documented medical condition or disability, as reflected in an IEP, which precludes the use of face covering.  The purchase and use of specialized Personal Protective Equipment and barriers for teachers and staff who work with students with special needs to ensure the delivery of related services.  The broader criteria used for an individual to be considered a close contact of a symptomatic or COVID-19 positive individual, for quarantine purposes in a Special Education setting.  Provide comments on this area.

    2.  Ensuring Continuity of Services

    Staff professional development at the beginning of the school year has focused on their emotional well being as well as the social emotional health of their students.  Additionally, the district will continue its partnership with Rutgers Behavioral Health, Effective School Solutions, and the Positive Impact Mentoring Program to further support the health of students at greater risk. Academic needs will continue to be addressed by the Multi-Tier System of Supports as well as through the use of acceleration which is  a targeted approach in which the grade-level teacher starts with grade-level content and strategically builds in key concepts from the previous grade level when students might need them to master the grade-level work. This “just-in-time teaching” ensures students spend more time on the work of their grade--the key to catching up. The physical needs of students will continue to be addressed by the school nurses and both breakfast and lunch will be offered to every district student daily.  The Somerset County Greater YMCA will provide before and after child CARE programs at each of the district’s elementary schools provided that enrollment supports the need for such a program.  Provide comments on this area.

     3.  Provide Comments or Questions in an Area Not Covered Above.