• Great Neck Public Schools


    Health & Safety

    School Reopening 2020-2021


  • The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount. Health and safety considerations are a priority in every decision made and every action taken by the District. Schools have an important role to play in educating and communicating with our community about everyday preventive actions that can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Prevention is accomplished by following the recommendations from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the following areas: health checks; healthy hygiene practices, social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings; the management of ill persons; and cleaning and disinfection.



    1. Safety and Security
      1. Daily temperature screenings of all students and staff, along with a daily screening questionnaires for faculty and staff is required.
      2. Staff or students with a temperature, signs of illness and/or a positive response to the questionnaire must be sent directly to a dedicated quarantine room where students are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home.
      3. Staff will be trained regarding the enforcement of social distancing.
      4. The District Safety Plan has been revised to include pandemic response.
      5. Hygiene and etiquette expectations have been developed.
      6. Create messaging for parents regarding the prevention of the flu and COVID spread.

    2. Building Physical Modifications
      1. Direct hallway traffic in one direction only to reduce congestion.
      2. Use of visual aids (e.g., painter’s tape and traffic cones) to cue appropriate social distancing.
      3. Hand washing and/or sanitizing stations readily available in classrooms.
      4. Stagger arrival and dismissal times.
      5. New and revised policies should be in place (as needed) and communicated externally and internally (e.g., travel, events, external use of facilities, visitors, etc.).
      6. Temperature scanning at the school building main entrance for students and visitors.
      7. Staff must conduct a GNPS-approved self assessment daily before arrival to their work location.
      8. Allow staff to enter and exit buildings through multiple entry / exit points (with card readers).
      9. High school students will temporarily remove masks upon entry at the main entrance for security screening.
      10. Only essential personnel will be allowed entry into buildings.
      11. Students requiring pick-up during the day should be brought outside to a guardian.
      12. If physical distancing (six feet) cannot be maintained for individuals in line waiting to enter or exit a building, then face coverings are required. Physical guides, such as tape on floors and signs on walls, help ensure that staff and students remain at least six feet apart in lines and at other times.
      13. Signage around school buildings to promote respiratory and hand hygiene (e.g. GCN Training slides, TV75, Smart Boards).
      14. Use of facilities by outside groups is restricted.
      15. Fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills are required as per Education Law requirement.

    3. Building Entry Procedures
      1. Masks required to enter buildings.
      2. Use of hand sanitizer station upon entry to building.
      3. Limit unnecessary visitors into the building.

    4. Acceptable Masks
      1. Surgical masks - ASTM Level 1 or above (preferred).
      2. Form-fitting cloth mask – two layers of material.
      3. N-95 masks with valves are permitted for designated staff members (nurses and teachers in self-contained classes where students are not able to wear a mask).
      4. Masks must fully cover both the NOSE and the MOUTH at all times.
      5. Availability of N95 face mask, face shield, gown, gloves for all nursing staff and self-contained special education staff.

    5. Student Masks
      1. The UPTC and PTOs will research obtaining compliant cloth masks with school logos.
      2. Disposable ear-loop ear face masks will be available for students without a mask.

    6. Nurses’ Offices
      1. Medical evaluations should be performed in a separate evaluation room (not in the Nurses' office space).
      2. Rooms will be disinfected and cleaned in between evaluations.
      3. Students with any COVID-19 symptoms and/or a temperature of 100 degrees and above must be sent home.

    7. Ventilation Requirements for Nurses’ Offices and Evaluation Rooms
      1. HEPA air purifier (“Blue Air” brand) and MERV-rated filters.
      2. Purchase largest machine possible to increase the air exchange.

    8. Nurses Office Traffic Flow Management
      1. Students waiting to see the nurse must wait in physically (socially) distanced chairs in the hallway outside the nurse’s office. This practice may vary from building to building based upon layout and location of the office.

    9. Pickup Policies if a Student is being Sent Home
      1. Elementary School - A staff member will bring the student to the building exit for parent pick-up.
      2. Secondary School - A staff member will bring the student to the building exit. Student will be instructed to meet parent outside of building.
      3. The healthcare provider must fill out a form prior to a student’s return to school.

    10. Increased Daily Nursing Staffing
      1. The District will hire additional substitute nurses.
      2. Increase working hours of part-time nursing staff.

    11. Absence Screening and Absence Tracking
      1. To be done by nurses.
      2. Nurses to track and notify Dr. Joseph Hickey (the Safety Coordinator) of any clusters and/or spikes in illnesses.
      3. District will confer with the Department of Health (DOH) if clusters and/or spikes occur.

    12. Return to School Policies for Staff and Students (with and without a positive test)
      1. Requires a medical clearance note to return to school.

    13. Notification of Positive COVID-19 Cases to DOH
      1. Request that parents and staff notify the District of a confirmed COVID-19 test.
      2. If there is a positive COVID-19 case within any of our schools, the District will confer with the DOH.
      3. Nurses must track cases within their buildings and report any positive cases to Dr. Hickey.

    14. Disincentivize Students from Coming to School Sick in Order to Decrease Exposure to Students and Staff
      1. Medical clearance from a doctor is required for students to return to school.
      2. Accommodations will be made for making up missed assignments or exams.

    15. Communicating with Parents Regarding Preparations Necessary for Return to School
      1. Update immunizations letter and send to parents.
      2. Update physicals letter and send to parents.
      3. Share CDC Checklist for Parents.
      4. Draft and send a letter notifying parents of COVID-19 symptoms and prohibition of students attending school with a temperature of 100.0 degrees and higher.
      5. Draft and send a letter notifying parents and students of stricter repercussions for vaping in school due to the increased risks of aerosolizing virus particle.
      6. Draft and send a letter notifying parents and students of returning to school policies after COVID-19.
      7. Launch a social media, video, and poster campaign to educate parents about self-reporting symptoms and to get families to buy-in to the community idea of protecting one another. The campaign could feature class presidents, team captains, and others, modeling best mask-wearing protocol.