Fulton and Hannibal School Districts’ fall reopening plans

OSWEGO COUNTY – The fall reopening plans for Fulton and Hannibal school districts very closely mirror those of the county’s other seven districts previously detailed over the past few weeks.

Even prior to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recently issued mask mandate, all of Oswego County’s school districts agreed with CDC guidance and issued mask mandates of their own.

None of the county’s districts has mandated vaccinations for anyone, including faculty and staff.

Here, then, are the reopening plans as presented by the superintendents of the Fulton and Hannibal school districts:

First, Fulton’s plan:

School schedules: All kindergarten-12 students will return to in-person learning five full days per week!

Pre-K students will learn in person five days per week on a regular schedule.

Special area and elective classes will be part of daily schedules.

Students will be changing classes at the secondary level and moving to special area classes at the elementary level.

School day times:

Pre-K: 8:30-11 a.m. or 12:45-3:15 p.m.

Grades K-6: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Grades 7-12: 7:35 a.m.-2:35 p.m.

At this time, all instruction will take place in person for all students. Families with documented medical needs who may require specific accommodations should contact the Office of Student Support Services at 315-593-5547.

Physical distancing:

The Fulton Central School District (FCSD) will follow current Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance to maintain three feet of distance in classrooms, whenever possible.

Physical distancing is not currently required on school bus transportation.

Physical distancing will be maintained at six feet for certain activities, such as physical education and music, whenever possible.

Seating charts will be maintained for contact tracing purposes.

Daily health screening:

Families and staff will continue to complete daily health screenings online.

More information about accessing the screening will be provided before the start of school.

Temperature checks will be completed each day for all students.

Masks:

Students and staff will be required to wear masks/face coverings when indoors and on school district transportation, regardless of vaccination status.

Visitors/spectators will be required to wear masks at indoor events.

Masks are not required outdoors.

Masks will be provided to staff, students and visitors who do not have their own.

Mask breaks will be provided throughout the school day.

Contact tracing and quarantine/isolation:

Quarantine and isolation orders come from the Department of Health.

FCSD assists with contact tracing by providing information about close contacts*, duration of exposure, vaccination status and mask-wearing.

Vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact* with a COVID positive individual are not required to quarantine, as long as they do not have symptoms. Individuals who have been exposed to COVID should monitor closely for symptoms.

Unvaccinated individuals who have been in close contact* with a COVID positive individual will be required to quarantine.

Individuals who are COVID positive are required to isolate.

*Close contact currently is defined as a person within 6 feet for 15 min. or more over a 24-hour period.

Stay at home when sick or symptomatic:

All students and staff must stay at home when they are sick or have symptoms.

Symptoms include:

Temperature of 100 degrees or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea Vaccination information:

Vaccinations are currently available for individuals who are 12 years old or older.

The district encourages all eligible members of the school community to get vaccinated to minimize the impact of COVID and help them return to “normal” school operations.

In addition, current guidance indicates that being vaccinated will prevent individuals from being quarantined if are they exposed to COVID, but do not develop any symptoms.

Next, Hannibal’s reopening plan according to District Superintendent Christopher Staats:

“As you may have heard from the media, the New York State Department of Health does not plan to offer additional guidance to school superintendents related to reopening schools this fall. However, earlier this week, Oswego County communicated that there is an increase in positive cases of COVID-19 in our area. Although I may receive some guidance from the New York State Department of Education, I am confident that they will encourage us to fully open our schools 100% and do our best to prevent the transmission of any illness within our school. I am committed to providing your family with the safest experience I can this year and will follow the strong recommendations that I have received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics and our own medical doctor to make the best decisions I can. I understand at this time there are many opinions related to responding to COVID-19, but ultimately I accept that the decisions made to create optimal conditions rest on my shoulders. I am pleased to share that the Hannibal Central School District is prepared to open with 100% capacity, with our traditional schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 7. Recognizing that we still have a substantial rate of transmission in our county, we will open the school year with the following plan:

Fall reopening plan (as of August 12, 2021):

All Hannibal Central School District programs will be in-person five days a week. (CiTi BOCES will also operate their full program.)

Masks are required for all individuals (faculty, staff and students) for all indoor activities and while on school busses, regardless of vaccination status.

I am mandating hourly mask breaks for our entire school community.

We will continue wearing masks until transmission rates decrease to a level our medical doctor determines is safe for us to make the transition to not wearing masks.

Masks are currently not required for any outdoor events.

We will provide as much physical distancing as a classroom allows us to have based on enrollment and encourage healthy habits like frequent handwashing.

We will continue to take everyone’s temperature upon entry to our buildings (including BOCES) each day.

No faculty, staff, student, or visitor should enter our buildings when having any symptoms of COVID-19 (temperature of 100 degrees or higher; cough; shortness of breath; fatigue; muscle/body aches; headache; loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; or nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.) We recognize certain individuals may have some of these symptoms due to other medical conditions such as allergies. If this is the case, continue to have your medical provider send a letter to your child’s school nurse. Everyone in Hannibal recognizes that this is our first big step towards being “normal.” Although nothing is perfect, I believe it is in our students’ best interests to re-establish routines and fully engage in their learning this September. We will continue to keep you updated regarding updates that I receive via our weekly newsletter that I send out each Friday via email. I will also post those newsletters on our website for easy access.”

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