School is Open

View the Greater Johnstown School District Reopening Plan presentation (as of September 17, 2021) as a printable PDF. A text version is available below.

PDF documents linked on this page can be accessed using Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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School is Open 2021-2022

The Greater Johnstown School District Reopening Plan for September 2021 (as of September 17, 2021)

Aiming for the best year ever for the GJSD

The GJSD will provide and support diverse, quality academic opportunities in collaboration with our community in order to graduate citizens with the knowledge , skills and ability to promote and succeed in a stronger society.

Student-Centered, Safety Centered

The GJSD is planning for a safe and complete opening of the 2021 2022 Academic Year.

  • 100% of All Students in person. Every Day. Full Day.
  • Expectations for Improvements in Attendance.
  • A Respectful and Safe School Environment. A COVID Safe School Environment.
  • Rigorous and Relevant Curricular, Co Curricular, Extra Curricular Programs and
  • Opportunities, Including Arts, Academics, and Athletics.
  • Changes in safety strategies are very much subject to change, depending on local rates of infection, which are reported by the NYSDOH through our local Fulton County DOH.

Student & Safety Centered: BASIC PLAN – Updated 8/30/21

  • ALL CDC RECOMMENDATIONS WILL BE FOLLOWED, except where actual mandates/requirements are provided through NYSDOH, Governmental Order or Law, or those
    given to the authority of the local DOH must be followed.
  • 100% In-Person Learning in Each Building: PAS, WSS, JJSHS, Including All Curricular, Co-Curricular, and Extra Curricular Activities.
  • No Remote Learning , Except in the Case of School Initiated Emergency Protocols.
  • Face Coverings Required with Continual Assessment of Need and Application of Common
    Sense Measures.
  • Three Foot Physical Distancing, as the Rule.
  • Cleaning and Sanitation Routine.
  • Transportation Provided with No Limitations for Seating, Face Coverings are Required.

Student & Safety Centered: Facilities

  • The Johnstown Junior Senior High School grades 7-12
  • Warren Street Elementary School grades 3-6
  • Pleasant Avenue Elementary School grades K-2
  • The Knox Building (UPK, BOCES, Administration, B&G Transition, and IT)
  • Industrial Park Facility (Buildings, Ground, and Maintenance) – Moving to the Knox Building
  • The Glebe Street Building (grades 9, 10 Ptech)
  • The Jansen Avenue Building (Sale pending voter approval, August 25th , 2021)

Student & Safety Centered

  • Continuity of Learning
  • Vaccination
  • Consistent and Correct Use of Masks
  • Physical Distancing
  • Screening Testing
  • Ventilation
  • Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette
  • Staying Home when Sick Getting Tested
  • Contact Tracing, Isolation, Quarantine
  • Routine Cleaning and Disinfecting

Continuity of Learning

  • All instruction will be in person.
  • A full compliment of courses, programs, services, and activities will be offered.
  • All Teachers are planning through Google Classroom, as a rule, and will be prepared, if necessary, to temporarily teach remotely due to an emergency closing (not snow days)
  • Instruction and Learning must not be interrupted
  • The District may consider applications for alternate home bound instruction only when
    appropriate (as we have always done prior to COVID 19). A doctor’s note is not a prescription for home bound instruction , and may be considered as only one piece of evidence for  determination, along with recommendation by the Principal.
  • The District’s Comprehensive Improvement Plans are underway (academic improvement, attendance improvement). Expectations for Instruction and Learning are articulated through the District’s Comprehensive Instructional Plan (CIP) initiative.

Vaccination

  • CDC: “Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID 19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.”
  • Students under the age of 12 are ineligible at this time for vaccination.
  • May use vaccination status information consistent with applicable laws and regulations for testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation practices.
  • Disclosing vaccination status is voluntary.
  • The District will be compliant with all relevant statutory and regulatory requirements.
  • The District will sponsor vaccination clinics throughout the school year when possible.
  • Vaccinations may not be mandated by schools for staff or students at this time.

Vaccination – Informational Update 8/30/21

  • August 23, 2021 : The FDA has announced the full approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for the prevention of COVID 19 disease in individuals age 16 and older. The FDA licensed vaccine will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty , but nothing about its ingredients have changed. The vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of an additional dose in eligible immunocompromised individuals. The Pfizer BioNTech COVID 19 vaccine was first
    authorized for emergency use on December 11, 2020, and it was expanded to include 12 to 15 year olds on May 10, 2021.
  • July 27, 2021 : The CDC added a recommendation that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, but added that vaccinated people “might choose” to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at an increased risk for severe disease from COVID 19, or if they have someone in their household who is the same. Further added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have come in to close contact with someone with suspected or
    confirmed COVID 19 to be tested 3 5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • July 27, 2021 : The CDC recommends indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Face Covering – Update 9/17/21

  • Consistent and correct use of masks over nose and mouth. 
  • Masks will be required on school bus transportation in all cases. 
  • Masks will be worn for indoor events, including athletics, with planned mask breaks. 
  • The District will have an adequate supply on hand. 
  • There is possibility of “reasonable accommodation.”
  • The District will employ common sense measures with this requirement, especially whenever employing mask breaks.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING (not “social distancing ”) – Update 8/30/21

  • Three feet between students, wherever and whenever possible as the rule;
    Six feet between adults and students will be maintained wherever and whenever possible
  • The NYS Department of Health issued the following on 8/28/21: “Because of the importance of in person learning, schools should implement physical distancing to the extent possible within their structures but should not exclude students from in person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement.
  • The District will maximize physical distancing to the extent possible during eating, drinking, singing and playing wind instruments.
  • All Interscholastic Athletics will maintain three feet physical distancing whenever not in direct competition (e.g. sidelines, bench, coaching, etc.). Masks will be worn indoors, except when competing on the court. This may be subject to change.
  • Seating charts of paramount importance.
  • Physical distancing is not required on school buses.

Screening – Update 8/30/21

  • CDC recommends screening TESTING to identify people infected with COVID 19 in communities with high community transmission levels, low vaccination coverage, and for certain “higher risk” activities (think athletics).
  • Screening TESTING requires parent permission at this time.
  • No Parent Square health screening will be employed at this time; however, athletes and student participants in extra curricular activities WILL screen through Parent Square daily during participation.
  • Infrared digital scanners will be installed at each entrance of each building, and will be utilized when necessary.
  • Sign in procedures will continue in each building for visitors, as it would normally.
  • Social Contract as a way of understanding our roles to eradicate COVID 19 in our community so that learning can continue as uninterrupted as possible.
  • Know when and when not to stay home. Education.
  • Each building of the GJSD is a “Limited Service Laboratory” can provide rapid testing, if necessary.

Ventilation

  • All District buildings are designed to operate to bring in outside air for the maximum air circulation/flow possible.
  • Outdoor activity and learning is encouraged whenever possible.
  • All ventilation systems meet the NYSED requirements
  • All ventilation systems are deep cleaned, regularly maintained, and monitored for efficiency and effectiveness.

Hygiene

  • Proper handwashing will be taught, practiced, and reinforced regularly.
  • Coughing/sneezing etiquette employed.
  • Safe water supply will be available and maintained.
  • Hand sanitizer is readily and widely available for every space and person.
  • The District will help to educate both students and staff when they should stay home and when they should return to school/work and when to be tested.
  • “Showing symptoms of any communicable or infectious disease reportable under the public health law that imposes a significant risk of infection of others in the school, he or she shall be excluded from the school and sent home immediately…” (Education Law 906).
  • The District uses decisional flow charts.

Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine Update 8/30/21

  • Quarantine is an enemy to instruction and in person learning. The District will advocate to safely
    keep students out of isolation and quarantine whenever possible.
  • All students will have 1:1 devices, ready to use at any time, should quarantine be necessary.
  • Seating charts will be strictly employed and maintained whenever possible (bus, cafeteria, classroom,
  • Contact tracing, isolation, and quarantining practices will follow local Department of Health
    guidelines, but will also employ common sense, especially in contact tracing. Students and staff in close contact with an infected or exposed individual will utilize a six foot radius proximity rule*.
  • *Exception from isolation and quarantine: Distance within six feet radius of an infected or exposed individual (laboratory confirmed or a clinically compatible illness for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a period of 24 hours and correctly and consistently worn well fitting masks the entire time). Exception does not apply to adults/staff.
  • According to the CDC, people who are fully vaccinated to NOT need to quarantine after contact
    with someone who had COVID 19 unless they are symptomatic.

Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • District staff is conscientious, trustworthy, and safety minded. They are trained in all relevant safety practices to keep students and staff safe.
  • All areas will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • A ready supply of disinfectant (e.g., sprays, available in each instructional
    space and throughout the facilities.
  • If a COVID positive person is confirmed, that space will be cleaned and disinfected as soon as possible.
  • The HFM Transportation Service will continue its routine cleaning and disinfecting procedures and practices.

Continuous Evaluation

  • The District will be nimble and adjust when needed.
  • Watch the local transmission rates.
  • Regular meetings with the Department of Health
  • Plans are contingent on governmental mandates.
  • Nurses employed to the extent possible
  • Things will change.
  • Governmental advocacy efforts need to continue.
  • If we all prioritize safety, students will benefit academically, socially, and emotionally, and learning will improve.

Metrics – GJSD Sources and Regular Flow of Information

  • NYS.GOV Fulton County for percent positive results and seven day rolling average @ https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-county-dashboard
  • 8/25/21: CDC ––“Level of Community Transmission in Fulton County, NY” @ https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
  • 8/25/21: Mohawk Valley “percent positive results over time” seven day rolling average @
    https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-region-dashboard
  • Regular meetings with the Fulton County Department of Health
  • Regular meetings with area Superintendents and Athletic Departments (Foothills League and Section II)
  • Plans are contingent on governmental mandates and change is inevitable.
  • School nurse professional expertise will be employed to the extent possible
  • Governmental advocacy efforts need to continue.
  • If we all prioritize safety, students will benefit academically, socially, and emotionally, learning can be continuous for all. A SOCIAL CONTRACT will be sent to all families to articulate various stakeholder responsibilities.

School is Open – 2021-2022

Reference: Chain of Command
  • District Website, Parent Square
    •  Teacher/Advisor/Coach
      • Principal/Associate Principal/Assistant Principal/Dean of Students (WSS)
        • Directors: Technology, Curriculum, Facilities, Special Education, etc.
          • Assistant Superintendent/District Offices
            • Superintendent of Schools
              • Board of Education President

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