Students change classes in May 2019 at Massena Central School’s Freshman Academy. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — Massena Central School District officials say they’re in good shape as they develop a required pandemic response plan that must be adopted by the Board of Education by April 1.

“Our teachers, our staff and our administrators did a lot of work in creating a reopening plan, so we already have some of that work done,” Superintendent Patrick Brady said.

High school Principal Alan Oliver, who chairs the district’s safety team, said much of the required information is also part of the district’s safety plan.

“It’s really just implementing the policies and procedures we already have in place and writing them down in the plan that the state requires us to have. There’s no big shift there from anything we’re doing already,” he said.

Mr. Brady said the plan is required under state law to be part of the district safety plan in case of future pandemics. He has been working with Mr. Oliver, as well as St. Lawrence-Lewis and Jefferson-Lewis BOCES representatives.

“We’re also required to share this with our labor units and get their response from it, so we will do that as well,” he said.

The response plan must include a description of titles that would be considered essential in the event of a state-ordered reduction in workforce because of a pandemic.

“So we have to look at all of our titles and look at which ones would be considered essential,” looking specifically as those who can work from home full-time, part-time, or aren’t able to work from home at all, Mr. Brady said.

The plan must also address technology such as laptop computers, cell phones and other items that would be needed for employees to effectively work during a pandemic.

In addition, Mr. Brady said, they must indicate how they would stack work shifts with essential employees and contractors to ensure there was no overcrowding, and the protocols they would use to procure and store personal protective equipment such as masks. How they would screen, clean and disinfect are also part of the plan.

He said they would have a draft of the plan ready for board of education review in February.

“Because it needs to be part of the district safety plan, there are regulations that require the board to have a 30-day period where the public can review it,” he said.

Following the 30-day review period, a public hearing would be held during the board’s March meeting, and board members would be asked to adopt it then.

“It’s due to be adopted by April 1st,” Mr. Brady said.

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