LTPS Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction

  • Lawrence Township Public Schools

    Date: June 20, 2021

    Date Revised:

    The information contained in the below is the plan for our district as of June 24, 2021. We will review and revise the plan as necessary prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Once any revisions have been made, we will share that information with the community.

    Maintaining Health and Safety

    1. Universal and correct wearing of masks,

    As of the date of this plan, all Lawrence Township Public School (LTPS) students, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks while in the school buildings. Should we receive any additional information from the New Jersey Government, the New Jersey Department of Education or our local health department, that would suggest we should change our current mask rules, we would communicate at that time with our school community.

    https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/reopening-guidance-and-restrictions/are-schools-open-what-are-the-safety-requirements

    1. Physical distancing (i.e., including use of cohorts/podding)

    We will follow the guidance by the NJDOE and our local health department.

    Should Mercer County go into the “Low Risk” phase, it is expected that schools will be able to reduce the current social distancing parameters.

    As of this time, the guidance requires 6 feet for social distancing when eating. Should this guidance be adjusted, we will adjust our district guidelines accordingly.

    https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/reopening-guidance-and-restrictions/are-schools-open-what-are-the-safety-requirements

    1. Handwashing and respiratory etiquette

    The six steps to follow for proper handwashing

    1. Wet hands with warm water.
    2. Use enough soap to produce lather.
    3. Rub hands together for 15-20 seconds.
    4. Wash hands thoroughly under running water to remove the soap.
    5. Pat hands dry with a paper towel.
    6. Use a towel to turn off the tap.

    Hand washing signage

    1. Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation

    LTPS will adhere to existing required facilities cleaning practices and procedures, and any new specific requirements of the local health department as they arise. LTPS will also continue its schedule for increased routine cleaning and disinfecting, especially of frequently touched surfaces and objects, and sanitize bathrooms daily and periodically throughout the day.

    LTPS has established a Covid 19 Cleaning Protocol that specifically identifies commonly touched and infrequently touched surfaces. The protocol calls for frequent cleaning and disinfection using select methods and products that are balanced based on need. Need includes how quickly an area may need to be disinfected and how safe the product is to use. For example, frequently touched surfaces may require the use of a product that kills the Covid virus after allowing the product to “dwell” on the surface for 30 seconds. Other areas may be cleaned and disinfected using a product that is more “green” and has a 5 minute dwell time. The choice of the product and method varies within the Cleaning Plan based on need.

    Indoor Air Quality

    HVAC units will be continuously inspected to ensure that proper air exchange is occurring. Filter change logs will be maintained for all HVAC units. HVAC units will be visually inspected to ensure proper air damper and fan functioning.

    When air conditioners are running AND where the proper amount of fresh air is being introduced (in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendation) occupants should not open windows. When air conditioners are NOT running, occupants are encouraged to open windows to increase air circulation provided that occupants are free of allergy and other health concerns.

    Each classroom and office space has also been provided with stand alone HEPA Filtration machines.

    1. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local health department

    Contact Tracing

    Contact tracing is the process to identify those who come in contact with people who have tested positive for a contagious disease. It is used to inform, provide guidance, and offer support to individuals. Contact tracing is a long-standing practice in NJ and around the world to control the spread of disease.

    If you test positive for Covid-19, you may have already transmitted the virus to others. Those individuals could now be infected and spreading the virus to others.

    Contact tracing is critical to stopping the spread of Covid-19 and keeping you, your family, your friends, and your community safe and healthy.

    All of the district nurses have been trained using the State of NJ contact tracing program. If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 or test positive, the district nurses will work in conjunction with Lawrence Township Health Department, to identify and notify your close contacts.

    A close contact is when a person is within 6 ft. of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hr. period starting from 2 days before illness onset ( or for asymptomatic people, 2 days prior to Covid test) until the time the person is isolated)

    Contact tracers provide information to close contacts about the risk of developing illness, daily symptom monitoring, how to prevent the spread of virus, and where they can get tested.

    Confidentiality is Key! No names or personal information is shared.

    Contact Tracing Infographic

    Quarantine vs. Isolation

    Quarantine keeps someone who was in close contact with someone who has Covid-19 away from others.

    Isolation

    Isolation keeps someone who is sick or asymptomatic but tested positive for Covid-19 away from others, even in their own home.

    Quarantine-vs-Isolation Infographic

    1. Diagnostic and screening testing

    Daily Symptom Monitoring

    Families receive and sign off on the district parameters surrounding the Daily Symptom expectations prior to participating in the district’s summer program. This will make the families aware about what they should do each day before sending their child to school. The acknowledgement will also inform them about what to do should their child have any of the disqualifying symptoms.

     Prior to Arriving at School or Boarding the Bus:

    • All families are required to complete a daily email health self -assessment screening for each student through Qualtrics which will be sent to the parent’s designated email each morning.
    • This includes a brief questionnaire and temperature check.
    • Please complete the Qualtrics by 7:00 a.m. each morning. 
    • The daily Covid-19 self-assessment will be required to be completed BEFORE boarding a bus or arrival to school each day.

    Student Daily Symptom Tracker

    Reminders:

    • Take your child’s temperature (A fever is 100 degrees F or higher)
    • Check your child for symptoms
    • Complete Qualtrics Student Daily Symptom Tracker in your email before 7:00am.
    • Make sure your child is wearing a mask (pack an extra mask for safety)

    Students Who Experience Symptoms at Home- Not Approved

    • Contact your child’s healthcare provider for evaluation.
    • See Covid-19 Exclusion Chart Below
    • Immediate Actions in the Covid-19 Exclusion Chart can change based on the Covid-19 Activity Level in Mercer County. See NJ Department of Health Guidance Document for K-12 Schools, dated September 8, 2020.

    NJ DOH- COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for K-12 Schools

    Students Who Experience Symptoms at School

    • Students who are feeling ill at school should immediately report to the school nurse’s office.
    • Students who are determined by the school nurse to be displaying possible Covid-19 symptoms will wait in the isolation room until a parent or guardian can come to pick them up.
    • It is expected that every family has a plan in place to be able to pick up your ill child within 1 hour of being notified by the school nurse.
    • For the health and safety of all staff and students, every student living in the same household are considered close contacts and therefore must be picked up as well.
    1. Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and eligible students

    Since February of 2021, the district has shared information about vaccination sites and information that the district received from the county health department and the state. The information provided allowed staff to sign up on their own to enroll in the state system to pre-register or register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

    Subsequently, the district has held two vaccination clinics and partnered with surrounding districts that enabled the staff to attend other vaccination clinics in the surrounding area.

    The district held a vaccination clinic for staff that administered over 100 vaccinations with the first date on April 5, 2021 and the second on May 4, 2021.

    The district held a vaccination clinic for eligible students aged 12 and above and administered over 240 vaccinations with the first date on June 4, 2021 and the second will take place at the Penlar Pharmacy in Lawrenceville.

    1. Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies

    Special Education

    Every child and adolescent with a disability is entitled to a free and appropriate education and is entitled to special education services based on their individualized education program (IEP). It may not be feasible, depending on the needs of the individual child and adolescent, to adhere both to distancing guidelines and the criteria outlined in a specific IEP. Attempts to meet physical distancing guidelines should meet the needs of the individual child and may require creative solutions, often on a case-by-case basis. Ensuring the Delivery of Special Education and Related Services to Students with Disabilities Under the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and New Jersey state special education regulations, students with disabilities are entitled to special education and related services, such as accommodations and modifications to instruction, speech-language services, occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and counseling. Since the onset of virtual instruction, the NJDOE has engaged a variety of stakeholders, including educators, related service providers and advocacy groups to gain insight, share best practices, and consider policies to support districts in providing services to students with disabilities in virtual or hybrid learning Environments.

    Consistent with guidance from the United States Department of Education, districts must continue to meet their obligations to students with disabilities to the greatest extent possible. The NJDOE will continue to update school districts and receiving schools with any additional guidance from the USDE on implementation of IDEA. Specific strategies and considerations for students with disabilities must be critical points of discussion for every return-to-school scenario. To support our students with disabilities for the 21-22 school year.

    Ensuring Continuity of Services

    1. Describe how the LEA will ensure continuity of services, including but not limited to services to address students’ academic needs and students’ and staff’s social, emotional, mental health, and other needs, which may include student health and food services. (1000 characters)

    The district is providing a variety of summer programs to support the instructional needs of students in K - 12. Contact your building main office for more information.

    LTPS will work w/ a consultant to address specific learning needs. The consultants will support students during the summer of 2021 and the 2021-2022 school year to provide additional opportunities to support the student’s instructional needs.

    LTPS has contracted w/ mental health professionals to provide consultations directly with students. The counseling will support their social / emotional and overall mental wellbeing.

    The district curriculum has been revised to reinforce the essential skills from the previous school year. The district will continue to reinforce the necessary skills to make sure the students have the foundational knowledge to be successful in the immediate and in the future.

    Public Comment

    1. Describe how the LEA sought public comment on its plan, and how it took those public comments into account in the development of its plan. Note, the ARP requires that LEAs seek public comment for each 60-day revision to the plan. (1000 characters)

    We shared our plan at our Board of Education meeting on June 9, 2021. We had three (3) opportunities for public comment following the presentation.

    In addition each school held a Town Hall to share the plan and feedback was solicited and questions answered.

    Should the plan be revised prior to the start of the 2021-2022 school year, feedback will be solicited during a public meeting and through an electronic means of communication.

    1. Describe how the LEA ensured that the plan is in an understandable and uniform format; is to the extent practicable written in a language that parents can understanding or, if not practicable to provide written translations to a parent with limited English proficiency, will be orally translated for such a parent; and upon request by a parent who is an individual with disability as defined by the ADA, will be providing in an alternative format accessible to that parent. (1000 characters)

    LTPS utilized the template for our reopening plan and met with constituents to provide a narrative to the required information.

    The information will be posted on the district website. Our website is able to be translated into the various languages that are spoken in our community. The website also translates “word” documents into speech to text. These features allow our families to obtain the information in a language that is appropriate for their needs.