• Great Neck Public Schools


    Building Practices

    School Reopening 2020-2021


  • Consistent procedures regarding the day-to-day operations of a school building will support the health and wellness of students and staff. Clear expectations regarding the many aspects of an instructional day are provided following a review of current laws and regulations, new and evolving research, op-ed pieces, as well as various health and regulatory agencies’ guidance documents. The following sources were instrumental in shaping the Building Practices Advisory Committee’s recommendations:

    1. American Academy of Pediatrics report, “Guidance for School Re-entry”
    2. School Nutrition Association report on school reopening
    3. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education report, “Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance”
    4. Illinois State Department of Education report, “Starting the 2020-21 School Year”



    1. Classroom Setting/Structure
      1. Elementary Specific
        1. All classrooms will utilize individual student desks and chairs spaced six feet apart. No shared tables or group seating. One desk/chair per child. Desks organized in rows with a teacher desk in front of the room.
        2. Classroom rugs/carpets should not be used as gathering areas and will therefore be removed from the classroom.
        3. Limit student movement throughout the day. Special area teachers rotate between classrooms whenever possible.
      2. Secondary Specific
        1. Passing time would have single direction hallways and staircases.
      3. All levels
        1. One designated window will remain open during the school day in each classroom. As we look to start with a multitude of new processes/procedures, additional Superintendent's Conference Days are recommended.

    2. Breakfast/Lunch/Recess Setting/Structure
      1. Limit daily meal options. This includes “cold only” breakfast and lunch in sealed trays for purchase until further notice.
      2. Eliminate the purchasing of ala carte items until further notice.
      3. No cash transactions for meal/food purchases PreK-12.
      4. Acquire and put into place an automated online purchase and ordering system.
      5. Individual healthcare plans will be developed for students with airborne food allergies.
      6. Elementary Specific
        1. All Pre-K through Grade 5 students eat in their applicable classroom. Schools may consider allowing some students to eat in the cafeteria if six feet of social distancing is attainable. 
        2. Large garbage cans will be placed outside of the classrooms.
        3. Recess (elementary and middle level only) discussions will be handled at the building-level with administration and building-based committees.
      7. Secondary Specific
        1. Students would eat in the cafeteria and/or alternative locations while maintaining six feet of social distancing.
        2. Possible use of larger areas, e.g. gymnasium, auditorium, during lunch periods to accommodate the high number of students assigned to lunch.
        3. Surfaces for students with food allergies will be disinfected before/after eating.
      8. Potential use of satellite locations in the school for food purchases. Technology would be needed to provide ports/jacks for Point-of-Sale systems to process transactions.

    3. Extra Curricular Activities
      1. Elementary Specific
        1. Morning Enrichment courses will not run until further notice.
      2. Secondary Specific
        1. Clubs/activities may meet virtually.
        2. Morning intramurals will not run until further notice.
        3. Athletics will follow the guidelines aligned to New York State Public High School Athletic Association Section 8 athletics.

    4. Arrival/Dismissal Times
      1. Elementary Specific
        1. Arrival
          1. Discontinuing the 7:45 am early morning care. All elementary school doors would open no earlier than 8:45 am.
          2. All students who enter the building (either by school bus or parent drop-off) will wear masks and report directly to their classroom. Elementary locker usage will be prohibited until further notice.
        2. Dismissal
          1. Student dismissal will take place from the classroom. School bus numbers will be called over the PA system as they arrive in the bus circle. All students will wear masks during this timeframe and report directly to their respective bus from the classroom. Eliminate private bus/program pickup.
      2. Secondary Specific
        1. No early arrival permitted. Students would not be permitted to enter the building prior to the start of the school day. Students would enter the building and report directly to their class. Students would not be permitted to use school lockers.
        2. Departure time would be staggered at the end of the day. Begin to dismiss students 5-6 minutes prior to the end of the school day.
        3. Use several points of entry to alleviate student arrival (bus and parent drop-off).

    5. Use of District/School Facilities
      1. Eliminate the use of facilities by out-of-district organizations.

    6. Field Trips
      1. Eliminate physical field trips until further notice.

    7. Large Group Assemblies/Gathering
      1. Eliminate large group assemblies and gatherings until further notice.

    8. Safety Drills
      1. Continue all safety drills as usual. All students and staff will wear masks for the entire duration of each drill since social distancing may not be feasible.

    9. Health Protocols
      1. Students and staff are required to wear masks during the school day.  Students will be allowed to use their own masks from home, and face mask breaks will be incorporated into the school day.
      2. Hand sanitizer dispensers will be located in the hallways and inside each classroom that does not have a sink.
      3. Increase window ventilation in classrooms and hallways, if possible.
      4. Eliminate the use of multiple restrooms being open during the day. Sanitize the available restroom multiple times during the school day.
      5. One student permitted in the restroom at a time.
      6. No uniform bathroom passes (i.e., wood block).
      7. Establish a quarantine room for students exhibiting symptoms of illness.
      8. Limit or eliminate visitors into buildings to the greatest extent possible. When entry is needed, visitors must have their temperature taken and be provided with sanitizing products.
      9. Elementary Specific
        1. No more than one student, per gender, will be permitted to leave the classroom to use the bathroom. Masks are to be worn at all times.
        2. If two students are already in a multi-stall “gang-style” bathroom, the student will take a seat at one of the staged chairs placed in the hallway outside of each bathroom entry. There will be three chairs, placed three feet apart, outside of each bathroom.
        3. No drinking directly from water fountains. Personal water bottles may be filled, or drinking from a school provided (and disposable) dixie-cup only.

    10. Use of Shared Supplies
      1. No “community” supplies will be made available (pens, pencils, calculators, instructional support materials, etc.).
      2. Parents must label all personal belongings and materials clearly before sending anything to school with their child. Only essential learning tools should be brought to school. Toys, personal items, etc. must stay at home.

    11. Strict Adherence to Physical Distancing Guidelines
      1. In classrooms
        1. Desks must be in rows; use assigned seats for DOH tracing purposes.
        2. Adults should maintain six feet from students and one another.
      2. In bathrooms
        1. Staff monitor to enforce one student in the bathroom at a time.
      3. In hallways during passing times
        1. Use tape to establish lanes and directions in each hallway.
        2. Increase time between classes to avoid crowding.
      4. Build supervised mask breaks into student schedules
        1. Outside with social distancing.
        2. If indoors, use the open cafeteria and gym spaces, using spacing circles.
        3. If during a class, student needs to ask permission and must stand in the hallway within the teacher's line of vision.
      5. Students should be properly masked at all times when six feet or more of social distancing cannot be accomplished.

    12. After-school SCOPE Program
      1. Eliminate the use of facilities by out-of-district organizations until further notice.