• Great Neck Public Schools


    Communication / Family & Community Engagement

    School Reopening 2020-2021


  • Throughout the development of the Great Neck Public Schools Reopening Plan, the District sought input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians, health professionals, law enforcement, and board of education members. Engagement efforts included surveys and stakeholder representation on various subcommittees of the District’s School Reopening Advisory Committee. The Reopening Plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website, and it will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances.

    The District has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to the school community, including staff, parents/guardians, students, and other key audiences, using existing communication channels as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements, and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. 


    1. Stakeholder Engagement
      1. School Reopening Advisory Committee - The district established a School Reopening Advisory Committee in May 2020 to help guide a safe and measured reopening of school for September. The Committee convened in late May to begin the process of looking at the potential scenarios for the delivery of instruction for the 2020-21 school year.
      2. Subcommittees - Five subcommittees were created in early June 2020 to assist the School Reopening Advisory Committee, each with a particular area of focus for the final overall reopening plan. More than 100 individuals representing stakeholders from all sectors of the school community were involved in the work of the School Reopening Advisory Committee and the subcommittees, including:
        1. Central administrators (superintendents and directors)
        2. Building administrators (elementary and secondary)
        3. Teachers (Pre-K–12)
        4. Building and Grounds supervisors
        5. Building custodians (elementary and secondary)
        6. Transportation dispatchers
        7. Technology staff developers
        8. District physician
        9. School nurses (elementary and secondary)
        10. Psychiatrist, psychologists, and social workers
        11. Paraprofessionals
        12. Office staff
        13. Support staff
        14. Law enforcement
        15. Parents
        16. Board of Education trustees
      3. Surveys - Committee and subcommittee members reviewed survey feedback provided by students, teachers, and parents to help inform their recommendations for the reopening plan.

    2. Communication Plan
      1. Communication Goals
        1. Involve and engage stakeholders in the development and rollout of the district’s reopening plan.
        2. Provide key audiences with consistent information through instructions, training, signage, a reopening web page, emails and other existing communication channels.
        3. Provide students and staff with training and materials about how to follow COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly based on guidance from the Centers of Disease Controls (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH), including social distancing, wearing face coverings, handwashing hygiene, and respiratory hygiene.
        4. Use regular written and verbal communications to encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to adhere to CDC and DOH guidlines regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) when safe social distancing cannot be maintained.
        5. Develop communications that are available in the language(s) spoken at home throughout the school community, and accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments.
      2. Audiences
        1. Internal Audiences
          1. Staff
          2. Faculty
          3. Administrators
          4. Board of Education
          5. Union leadership
        2. External Audiences 
          1. Students
          2. Parents/Guardians 
          3. Community Organizations
          4. Taxpayers 
          5. External Partners
          6. Vendors
          7. Media
          8. State Education Department 
          9. State and Local Health Authorities 
      3. Communication Channels
        1. District Website
        2. Blackboard Mass Notification/ParentLink (automated call and text system) 
        3. Email 
        4. Telephone Calls (specific audience) 
        5. Social Media
        6. GNPS/TV (internal closed-circuit channels and public access TV stations) 
        7. Surveys
        8. Web-based Meetings and Live Streams (Zoom, Google Meets) 
        9. Internal Communications (supervisor to staff, teacher to student)
        10. Signage
        11. Media 
        12. Postal Mail  
      4. Coordinated Communications Process 
        1. All communication regarding the Great Neck Public Schools reopening and contingency planning will be posted on the GNPS Reopening webpage. The website will be the main source for accurate, updated information.
        2. Other communications channels will be used to point audiences to the website when updates are announced. It is important that all updates be posted to the website, as this allows for instant translation into other languages (using the website Google Translate) and ensures accessibility for those with visual and/or hearing impairments.  
        3. When communicating with staff, students, and parents/guardians, communications will be translated into other languages as necessary and practicable. This may require a staggered release — first in English, followed by other languages when the translations are available.
      5. Strategies and Tactics
        1. The district will utilize various strategies and tactics to meet communication goals. A sampling of these strategies include:
          1. Establishing the School Reopening Advisory Committee and subcommittees to guide the development of the reopening plan.
          2. Inviting stakeholders to serve on subcommittees to prepare recommendations for the reopening plan.
          3. Surveying stakeholders to gain input and feedback.
          4. Creating a dedicated web page on the district website to serve as a central hub for information regarding the reopening of schools for the 2020-21 school year.
          5. Promoting the availability of information on district website so stakeholders know where to look for accurate and timely information.
          6. Posting the reopening plan directly on the district website to ensure immediate translation, as well as accessibility for the visual and hearing impaired.
          7. Communicating regularly with stakeholders using various channels to provide updates leading up to the opening of school and throughout the school year.
          8. Preparing and providing continuous training to ensure staff, students, and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to public health policies and protocols. Methods of delivery may include instructional videos, printed materials, websites, in-person trainings and demonstrations, infographics, and signage.
          9. Developing or reproducing signage, including posters, signs, wall/floor decals, to remind students, faculty, staff, and visitors to adhere to health and safety protocols and recommendations, especially the proper use of PPE, acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wear, hand washing, respiratory hygiene, and social distancing instructions.
      6. Evaluation
        1. The effectiveness of this communication plan will be measured periodically using key metrics. Results of the evaluations will be used to improve upon the plan for ongoing communication with the school community.