Safety

Homecoming Health and Safety Guide

www.schools.nyc.gov/docs/default-source/default-document-library/doe-homecoming-health-and-safety-guide

Fall 2021 marks an important homecoming for our schools. On September 13, we begin the journey to recovery by welcoming New York City students back to school communities and classrooms where they can feel safe and well-cared for, and where they can learn and grow socially, emotionally, and academically.

Our return to full-time, in-person learning starts with a safe and healthy learning environment for every student and staff member and ensuring students have the tools and support they need to succeed. As we prepare for the first day of the 2021-22 school year, we will continue to update this page with information about health and safety protocols in our schools, important changes to academic policy, supports and services for students and families, and more.

Health Screening

Every student and staff member must complete the Health Screening Form prior to entering the school building each day. Anyone entering the building must confirm that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, have not recently tested positive for COVID-19, and are not currently required to quarantine based on close contact with an infected person. If you need a thermometer to check for a fever, you can request one from your school.

If a student or staff member is feeling ill, they must stay home and get tested, which is an effective way of protecting the whole school community. Every school will have a nurse on staff to whom students can report if they are feeling ill.

Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

All students and staff must wear a face covering when riding on school buses and anywhere on school property, indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status, unless they have a medical exemption. Forgot a mask? No problem—every school will have a supply on hand for children and adults.

During lunchtime, masks may be removed so students can eat comfortably at a safe distance from one another. Masks may also be removed during designated “mask breaks”, during which students will maintain physical distance from each other.

  • Students who are not medically able to tolerate masks will be provided with alternative accommodations.

  • Hand sanitizer will also be available in every classroom.

Physical Distancing in Schools

Physical distancing is another important part of our multi-layered strategy to keep our school communities safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.” Additionally, wherever possible, elementary schools will keep groups of students consistently together or have teachers move between classes in order to minimize movement of students. It is important to note that the CDC emphasizes that schools should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.

During meal service, schools will use outdoor spaces and additional spaces in school buildings where possible to support physical distancing. Meals may be served in multiple locations and during multiple time periods.

Ventilation

Good ventilation is essential to prevent COVID-19. Over the past year and a half, ventilation in every single classroom across the city has been inspected, updated, and repaired as needed. Every DOE room in use by students and staff for extended periods of time will have fully operational ventilation through either natural, mechanical, or a combination of means.

As an added precaution, every classroom across New York City has been provided with two HEPA purifiers. Cafeterias in bigger schools will be provided with large HEPA units for added protection and window-based exhaust fans to provide additional air circulation, and we continue to increase ventilation in classrooms and schools. These measures meet or exceed guidance from the CDC.

You can check the ventilation status of your child’s school online: enter the school name or address on your school’s information page, which includes a section on Building Ventilation Information. If a room in your child’s school does not have adequate ventilation, it will not be used.

Cleaning

All classrooms and common areas, such as auditoriums and gyms will have hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available. High-touch” areas such as doorknobs and water fountains will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day, and each classroom will be deep cleaned and disinfected daily using electrostatic technology.

Outdoor Learning Continues

Last year, 840 schools took advantage of the innovative Outdoor Learning Initiative to expand their students’ “classrooms”. Schools will continue to use school yards, street space, and parks to provide additional space for learning. Schools in areas hardest hit by COVID-19 will continue to receive priority for the program.

October 2021

Dear PS 207 Families,

In accordance with the Commissioner’s determination issued to all schools pursuant to 10 NYCRR 2.60, all students, personnel, teachers, administrators, contractors and visitors are required to wear masks at all times indoors regardless of vaccination status.

This mandate is important to us, as, this mandate is not only for the health and safety of everyone in our school community, but also greatly reduces the number of staff and students required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. This new normal takes some practice and time to acclimate, therefore, please know, if anyone forgets to replace masks as they enter our building, or after eating and drinking, in 207 ROCKS supportive and caring style, we politely provide a mask reminder, and, as always, we are grateful to all members of our school community for their cooperation in complying with this mandate.

Please know that the safety and well-being of all members of the PS 207 community is at the forefront of our work each day. We have weekly safety meetings and communicate and reiterate safety protocols and requirements to staff and families as needed. This past week our focus has been on mask importance, therefore, we ended our week with a full staff meeting, where we discussed the importance of masks. We will be meeting with all students on Monday morning to do the same.

Please view our short video focused on mask safety, and we ask you to please join us in reiterating the importance of mask with your children (and with staff if anyone ever needs reminding).

As always, we thank you for your trust and support as we navigate our new normal together.

In unity,

The A-Team (Admin Team)

Ms. OBrien, Ms. Betancourt & Ms. Santiago

Safety ROCKS at PS 207!.mp4