School Operations

Table of Contents

Reopening Plan Main Page | School Schedules | Attendance of Chronic Absenteeism |
Extracurricular Activities and Athletics | CTE

School Schedules

The Johnstown School District will provide a hybrid model of instruction for all students K-12. Any changes to the instructional schedule will be shared with all stakeholders.

  • Equity and access is a priority for all students.
  • School schedules will be shared on the district website and Parent Square.
  • Staggered special times to ensure proper cleaning and limit hallway congestion.
  • Class schedules will accommodate social distancing guidelines.
  • Cohorts will be created to accommodate social distancing guidelines.
  • When possible, workforce presence will be reduced.

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Attendance of Chronic Absenteeism

Arrival/Dismissal | Transitions | Lunches

  • The Johnstown School District will assign each homeroom teacher (preK-8) or advisory teacher (9-12) as the daily point of contact for attendance purposes.
  • The district is working with SchoolTool to develop reporting practices for daily attendance based on each learning model (in-person, hybrid, and virtual).
  • Students preK-12 will be split into two groups and given a flag in the district’s Student Management System in order to easily pull reports and identify students scheduled to be in-person and virtual.
  • Students in a virtual setting will have scheduled Live virtual meetings through the ZOOM platform and daily attendance will be recorded. All Live virtual meetings will be recorded and shared with students to complete on-demand, if and only if, they were not able to access the live session. Attendance will be recorded once the student has completed viewing the on-demand lesson. This will allow for equity for students and families who may be unable to connect with teachers at a certain time due to, parent/guardian schedule, availability of technology or other barriers.
  • During these challenging times, the district will focus training and support to staff on the development of positive school relationships with students who may be disconnected from school. Once contact is made, emphasis will be on addressing the student’s or family’s barriers to “attendance” or engagement with instruction.
  • Student attendance will continue to be required and recorded for all instructional days
  • The district will continue to follow all BOE policies and procedures regarding attendance


  • Schools will establish arrival and dismissal procedures to minimize crowding, including drop-off and pick-up points for walkers and bike riders.
  • Dismissal procedures will include transition directives and pathways that limit the mixing of cohorts of students.
  • Signage will be provided to remind students and parents of the traffic flow pattern upon entrance and exit of school grounds.
  • Students will always be required to wear their face covering during dismissal.
  • Dismissal procedures will be staggered to limit congregation.
  • Schools will have clear communication plans with families regarding times when supervision is available and when students are permitted on campus.
  • Administrators will create site-based protocols for all late arrival and early pickup.
  • Parents/guardians picking students up will have to wait in the designated area, with face covering, and students will be escorted to them.
  • Tardy students: Parent/legal guardian should walk their student to the front door. Once the main entrance door has been unlocked, the student will gain entry into the building.

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  • Movement in-school will be reduced by keeping students in cohorts as much as possible throughout the day.
  • K-6 special area teachers (music, art, physical education, media) may go to the individual classrooms. Physical education and music classes will be outside when possible.
  • Bathrooms will be monitored by staff to ensure social distance and cleanliness.
  • Students will walk only on the right-hand side of all hallways. Schools will utilize signage on walls to encourage proper movement to limit contact, as well as floor signage to encourage 6-foot distancing where possible.
  • School administration will establish one direction hallways (where available) to assist with the flow of student movement. Staff members will monitor hallways and escort class changes when possible to ensure steady flow of students with no congregation in hallways.

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  • Students will eat lunches in classrooms.
  • Lunches will be delivered to students in classrooms.
  • Students will have a 20 minute lunch and 20 minute recess during the lunch period.
  • Custodial staff and administration will create a schedule to ensure proper sanitation of all areas after each lunch session.
  • Students will be reminded that the expectation is to wear a face covering up to the point of beginning their meal and immediately upon finishing the face cover will be put back on.
  • Administrators will educate students and post signs on proper entering, exit and disposal of trash procedures.


  • Students will eat lunch in a cafeteria and will be given a 25 minute lunch period.
  • Students will be distanced in the lunch line and will not be using a pin pad to complete their lunch transaction.
  • Administrators will ensure tables are labeled to identify seating locations.
  • Specialized seating for students with health conditions will be a priority
  • An alternative location will be identified for students who are unable to eat in the designated eating areas due to medical concerns.
  • Lunch will include pre-packaged items that can be picked up quickly to reduce time waiting in line.
  • Lunch arrival and dismissal will be staggered whenever possible.
  • Administrators and Lunch Monitors will explain to students that they are not to pass or share any items, including food, with other students.
  • Custodial staff and administration will create a schedule to ensure proper sanitation of all areas after each lunch session.
  • Students will be reminded that the expectation is to wear a face covering up to the point of beginning their meal, and immediately upon finishing the face cover will be put back on.
  • Administrators will educate students and post signs on proper entering, exit and disposal of trash procedures.
  • Administrators will establish one entrance and one exit for a designated eating area to help control traffic flow and monitor how many people are allowed in each dining area.

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Extracurricular Activities and Athletics

Facilities Cleaning | Social Distancing | Spectators

  • Extracurricular activities should be done virtually where feasible. Our district will follow guidance from NYS DOH and the Fulton County Public Health Department.
  • If held in person, social distancing guidelines, PPE usage, cleanliness and proper sanitation will occur.
  • A review of each extracurricular activity will take place to ensure proper procedures for group size will be followed.

The District will make a determination on all fall sports based on guidance from the NYS Public High School Athletics Association, the Fulton County Public Health Department, and current Executive Order. A communication plan will be developed to ensure that students, staff, families and the community is informed of each decision that is made by the district.

Interscholastic sports are not permitted. Additional information on athletics is forthcoming.

List of sports risks:

  • Higher Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants, lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.
    • Examples: Wrestling, football, boys lacrosse, competitive cheer, dance.
  • Moderate Risk: Sports that involve close, sustained contact, but with protective equipment in place that may reduce the likelihood of respiratory particle transmission between participants OR intermittent close contact OR group sports OR sports that use equipment that can’t be cleaned between participants.
    • Examples: Basketball, volleyball*, baseball*, softball*, soccer, gymnastics* (if equipment can’t be sufficiently cleaned between competitors), ice hockey, field hockey, tennis*, swimming relays, pole vault*, high jump*, long jump*, girls lacrosse.
      • *Could potentially be considered “Lower Risk” with appropriate cleaning of equipment and use of masks by participants.
  • Lower Risk: Sports that can be done with social distancing or individually with no sharing of equipment or the ability to clean the equipment between use by competitors.
    • Examples: Individual running events, throwing events (javelin, shot put, discus), individual swimming, golf, alpine skiing, sideline cheer, cross country running (with staggered starts)

When assessing the risk of spread, the following will be considered:

  • Physical closeness of players, and the length of time that players are close to each other or to staff.
  • Sports that require frequent closeness between players may make it more difficult to maintain social distancing, compared to sports where players are not close to each other.
  • For close-contact sports (e.g., wrestling, basketball), play may be modified to safely increase distance between players. For example, players and coaches can: focus on individual skill building versus competition; limit the time players spend close to others by playing full contact only in game-time situations; decrease the number of competitions during a season.
  • Coaches can also modify practices so players work on individual skills, rather than on competition. Coaches may also put players into small groups (cohorts) that remain together and work through stations, rather than switching groups or mixing groups.
  • Amount of necessary touching of shared equipment and gear (e.g., protective gear, balls, bats, racquets, mats, or water bottles).
  • Minimize equipment sharing, and clean and disinfect shared equipment between use by different people to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.
  • Ability to engage in social distancing while not actively engaged in play (e.g., during practice, on the sideline, or in the dugout). During times when players are not actively participating in practice or competition, attention should be given to maintaining social distancing by increasing space between players on the sideline, dugout, or bench. Additionally, coaches can encourage athletes to use downtime for individual skill-building work or cardiovascular conditioning, rather than staying clustered together.
  • Size of the team. Sports with a large number of players on a team may increase the likelihood of spread, compared to sports with fewer team members. Consider decreasing team sizes, as feasible.
  • Nonessential visitors, spectators, volunteers. Limit any nonessential visitors, spectators, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations.
  • Travel outside of the local community. Traveling outside of the local community may increase the chances of exposing players, coaches, and fans to COVID-19, or unknowingly spreading it to others. This is the case particularly if a team from an area with high levels of COVID-19 competes with a team from an area with low levels of the virus.

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Facilities Cleaning

  • Adequate cleaning schedules should be created and implemented for all athletic facilities to mitigate any communicable diseases.
  • Prior to an individual or groups of individuals entering a facility, hard surfaces within that facility should be wiped down and sanitized (chairs, furniture in meeting rooms, locker rooms, weight room equipment, bathrooms, athletic training room tables, etc.).
  • Individuals should wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with warm water and soap before touching any surfaces or participating in workouts.
  • Hand sanitizer should be plentiful and available to individuals as they transfer from place to place.
  • Weight equipment should be wiped down thoroughly before and after an individual’s use of equipment.
  • Appropriate clothing/shoes should be worn at all times in the weight room to minimize sweat from transmitting onto equipment/surfaces.
  • Any equipment such as weight benches, athletic pads, etc. having holes with exposed foam should be covered.
  • Students must be encouraged to shower and wash their workout clothing immediately upon returning to home.

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Social Distancing

  • Ensure that for any indoor sport or recreational activity, capacity is limited to no more than 50% of the maximum occupancy for a particular area as set by the certificate of occupancy, inclusive of employees and patrons/players/spectators.
  • Ensure a distance of at least six feet is maintained among individuals at all times, whether indoor or outdoor, unless safety or the core activity (e.g. practicing, playing) requires a shorter distance. If a shorter distance is required, individuals must wear acceptable face coverings, unless players are unable to tolerate a face covering for the physical activity (e.g. practicing, playing); provided, however, that coaches, trainers, and other individuals who are not directly engaged in physical activity are required to wear a face covering.
  • Reduce bi-directional foot traffic of patrons/players/spectators walking through the space using barriers, tape, or signs with arrows on sidewalks, walking paths, aisles, or hallways.
  • Designate separate entrances and exits, to the extent practicable.
  • Rearrange waiting areas (e.g. lines, parking areas) to maximize social distance among other patrons/players/spectators and minimize interaction with others in the area.
  • Ensure individuals not participating in sports or recreation activities (e.g. coaches, spectators) wear appropriate face coverings when they are within less than six feet of other individuals, unless a physical barrier is present. Additionally, employees must wear face coverings any time they interact with patrons/players/spectators, regardless of physical distance.

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For spectators, the following additional safety measures apply

  • For sports events (e.g. games), limit spectators to two spectators per player.
  • Ensure spectators maintain six feet of physical distance between individuals and/or family/household units at all times and all spectators must wear face coverings when they are in common areas and situations where six feet of distancing is not able to be maintained, so long as they are over the age of two and medically able to tolerate such covering.
  • Facilitate appropriate distancing through the use of markings on the ground or seating areas, and other signage.
  • Ensure that, among all spectators, no individual group exceeds the gathering limit that is currently in place for the region.
  • Facilitate appropriate gathering size through the use of signage and/or staff to ensure groups are aware of and adhere to guidelines.
  • Social Distancing during contests/events/activities, including on sidelines/benches
  • Appropriate social distancing will need to be maintained on sidelines/bench during contests and events. Consider using tape or paint as a guide for students and coaches.
  • Group people into tiers from essential to non-essential and decide which tiers will be allowed at an event:
    • Tier 1 (Essential): Athletes, coaches, officials, event staff, medical staff, security
    • Tier 2 (Preferred): Media
    • Tier 3 (Non-essential): Spectators, vendors
  • Only Tier 1 and 2 personnel will be allowed to attend events until state/local health departments lift restrictions on mass gatherings.

Further NYSPHSAA Officers’ decision includes:

  • There are currently no off-season workouts occurring until further guidance.
  • Delay Fall sports start date until Monday, September 21st (NYSPHSAA PAUSE)
  • Cancel Fall Regional and State Championship events
  • Waive seven-day practice rule
  • Maintain current practice requirements
  • Encourage geographic scheduling for games & contests
  • Schools would have the option, if permitted by state officials, to offer off-season conditioning workouts.

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Administrators from BOCES are working to develop a schedule to accommodate students attending their CTE Program. Currently, students have the opportunity to attend their program on a regular schedule where juniors will attend in the morning and seniors will attend in the afternoon on a daily basis.

For information about how school schedule information will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

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