• Montgomery Township School District’s Proposed Plan for

    Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

     

    1. Maintaining Health and Safety

    For each mitigation strategy listed below (A–H), Montgomery Township School District will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff and the extent to which it has adopted policies, and a description of any such policies, on each of the following safety recommendations established by the CDC. 

    A.  Universal and correct wearing of masks (1000 character limit)

    The district set forth detailed protocols for the universal and correct wearing of masks. All staff and students are required to wear masks during the typical hours of a school day, including on buses and district vehicles. Students are expected to provide their own masks, however, additional masks are available for any student that arrives on school premises or transportation without a mask. The district will adhere to all mask mandates as directed by both state and local agencies. Additionally, the district will consult with the local health department and the school physician to determine if students and staff will continue to wear masks if state or local guidance determines that masks are no longer needed indoors at school facilities.

    B.  Physical distancing (e.g., including use of cohorts/podding) (1000 character limit)

    Following the CDC’s and the NJ Department of Health recommendations for best practices in schools and in continued collaboration with the local Department of Health, the following protocols will be in place:

    Building administrators have worked closely with our Maintenance Department and classroom teachers to employ  a variety of strategies to maintain safe social distancing between students and staff. 

    • Arranging seating to maximize distance and marking floors to indicate where desks and chairs should be placed.
    • Creating seating charts in classrooms and buses to maintain assigned seats throughout the day.
    • Removal of nonessential furniture from classrooms
    • Use of outdoor spaces for instruction when feasible.
    • Use of physical guides throughout the school buildings (wall signs, floor markings) to assist with traffic flow and serve as a reminder to maintain social distance.
    • Use of clear partitions as a barrier when safe physical distancing is more difficult to maintain.
    • Use of virtual interactions for events and interactions where safe social distancing is not possible.
    • Limiting nonessential in-person interactions among staff members during meal breaks and meetings. 
    • Reduction/elimination of the use of lockers to the greatest extent possible. 
    • Creating distance on school buses by skipping rows, and opening of windows on buses for airflow. 
    • Static classroom environments.

    C.  Handwashing and respiratory etiquette (1000 character limit)

    Handwashing protocols are established in each building and are based on the developmental needs of the various student groups.  Scheduled handwashing times are established throughout the school day. Each classroom is provided with the necessary materials to facilitate appropriate hand washing measures.  

    Respiratory etiquette and protocols are established across the district. Measures include but are not limited to scheduled mask breaks, mask tolerance protocols for younger students and students with disabilities, and the district-wide expectation for masks to be worn while on school premises.  

    The district will adhere to all mask mandates as directed by both state and local agencies. Additionally, the district will consult with the local health department and the school physician to determine if students and staff will continue to wear masks if state or local guidance determines that masks are no longer needed indoors at school facilities. 

    D.  Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities, including improving ventilation (1000 character limit)

    The District will continue to clean and disinfect all rooms in all schools daily.  The District purchased disinfecting products and equipment, including sanitizing sprayers, dedicated microfiber cloths, and dedicated microfiber cloth washing machines.  Custodians have been trained in the use of new cleaning products and proper cleaning methods.  District will continue to purchase these cleaning supplies & equipment, and conduct audits of custodial cleaning results.  The district employs full time, dedicated, and qualified Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC) technicians to monitor and maintain building HVAC equipment daily.  The district has (and will continue to) upgrade building HVAC control systems, purchase high quality HVAC filters, and increase the frequency of HVAC filter changes.  HVAC fresh air levels have been increased, and windows have been serviced to allow improved ventilation.  

    E.  Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the State, local, territorial, or Tribal health departments (1000 character limit)

    Following the CDC’s and the NJ Department of Health recommendations for best practices in schools and in continued collaboration with the Montgomery Department of Health (MTDoH), the following protocols will be in place:

    The district partners with the MTDoH, the district school physician, and the District’s team of school nurses to establish protocols and procedures for contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, communication with building staff and families, and the tracking and reporting of data to the county in adherence with the State and local health and safety guidelines.  Information for the community, families, and district staff is disseminated via electronic communication, up-to-date postings on the district’s website, and building-specific communications at the various levels.  

    F.  Diagnostic and screening testing (1000 character limit)

    Following the CDC’s and the NJ Department of Health recommendations for best practices in schools and in continued collaboration with the local Department of Health, the following protocols will be in place:

    Utilizing a questionnaire, the district screens for COVID-compatible symptoms of all visitors, vendors, and delivery professionals prior to permitting access to the school facilities.  The district, at this time, does not provide onsite COVID-19 testing.   The district receives the communication of positive test results from families, employees, and the local health department. Subsequent quarantine measures are coordinated by the school nurses,  the township health department, and the school physician.  


    G.  Efforts to provide vaccinations to educators, other staff, and students, if eligible (1000 character limit)


    The district provided flexible accommodations to all staff seeking vaccinations to ensure staff were able to make appointments and accommodate any pos-vaccine symptoms.
    On 3/12/21, the district partnered with the Atlantic Health System to provide vaccination appointments to any staff member (administrators, support staff, custodial, related services interested in receiving the vaccine.
    On 4/20/21, the district partnered with the Atlantic Health System to provide vaccination appointments to any district substitute interested in receiving the vaccine.
    On 4/21/21, the district partnered with the MTDoH to offer the Moderna vaccine to any interested staff member at a township vaccination clinic.
    On 6/3/21, the district partnered with the MTDoH to host a vaccination clinic that was open to any students eligible for vaccination. 

    The district will continue to partner with the township and county to offer on-site clinics for staff and students. Additionally the district will continue to partner with local health agencies to provide information to staff and students on where to obtain vaccines in the community.  

    H.  Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities with respect to the health and safety policies (1000 character limit)

    Following the CDC’s and the NJ Department of Health recommendations for best practices in schools and in continued collaboration with the local Department of Health, the following protocols will be in place:

    The district, in accordance with guidance from the NJ Department of Health, NJ Department of Education, and the local health agency, provides appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities that include but are not limited to clear facemasks, face shields, plexiglass dividers, mask tolerance behavioral programming, telehealth related services, social distancing, individual material sets, in-home behavioral supports.  Student needs are assessed on an individual basis and accommodations and modifications are provided.  

     

    2. Ensuring Continuity of Services

    A. Montgomery Township School District 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 character limit)

    Academic Needs

    Students, beginning in the Summer of 2021,  will be provided individual as well as small group intervention  opportunities.  Student academic progress will be continually monitored through both state and local assessments.  Data will be analyzed at regular intervals to determine when individual or curricular interventions are necessary.  

    Mental Health 

    The district will continue to focus resources on the planning for, preparation of, and support of student mental health initiatives.  Such supports include but are not limited to summer mental health counseling, acquisition of a universal mental health screening tool, a partnership with a local mental health provider to provide presentations and educational materials for students and families, development of after-school counseling services for students in the fall, and the provision of behavioral support services for students that may experience school avoidance or hesitancy upon return to in-person instruction.  

    Food Services 

    Seamless Summer Option (SSO), in which all students will receive daily a free breakfast and lunch, will continue during the 2021-2022 school year as it was for the 2020-2021 school year.