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2021-2022 MA&CE Safety and Health Document

2021-22 MA&CE Safety and Health Document

Re-Opening Plan for Manchester Adult and Continuing Education 21-22

People’s health and safety should always be schools’ and institutions’ first priority. Our new “norm” demands it. Although our current norm is riddled with inconveniences and requirements that infringe upon what we are used to doing and acting, the specific safety mandates in this document are necessary and even life-saving. Please join me in embracing “Safety First!” —D. Welch, (Safety Coordinator)

Program/Building/Classroom Safety Protocol - POST -Pandemic Academic School Year 2021-22

If you haven’t already, Staff MUST GET VACCINATED!

Because of the highly contagious delta variant, Governor Lamont has ordered that all state employees, teachers, and staff in K-12 and day care be vaccinated by September 27, 2021This includes Adult Education programs and their students.  (Governor’s Executive Order)

Key Takeaways:  U.S. Department of Education (August 2021):

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
  • 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.
  • Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, 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.
  • Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).

Prevention Strategies (Links) from the U.S. Department of Education:

The CDC recommends universal indoor masking, physical distancing to the extent possible, and additional prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, and staff.   Schools should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement; layering multiple prevention strategies is essential when physical distancing of at least 3 feet is not possible at all times.

Connecticut State Department of Education Information: 

Schools should plan to have all students, in all districts, return to schoolhouses for full-time instruction at the beginning of 2020-2021, so long as public health data continues to support this model. This model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment and class cancellation plans.   STATE of CT Guidelines

In-Person Learning 

Heightened health and safety protocols will be in place, which can be reduced or increased as appropriate throughout the year. 

  • Classes will operate at a modified capacity relative to 6' distance between learners/teacher.
  • Face coverings/masks are required for all students and staff while inside school buildings except when prevented due to a documented medical condition. 
  • Seating in classrooms will continue to face the same direction, if possible.  (Please note that grouping of students may occur.)
  • Cleaning and sanitization protocols will continue to take place; hand sanitizers will be available for all students and staff, hand washing will continue to be encouraged. 

Manchester Public School District - Overview of Health & Safety Precautions:

Before School

We are asking that students/staff stay home if they are feeling sick, have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, if they are not fully vaccinated. In order to prevent transmission among the school population, students/staff should self-screen before leaving for school. Check to ensure temperature is below 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit and observe for symptoms associated with COVID-19 outlined by public health officials.   If a student/staff member is waiting for his/her test results, he/she will need to stay home until a negative test result is received and shared with school personnel.

Hand Washing and Sanitizing

Students will continue to engage in frequent hand washing or sanitizing upon arrival, after bathroom use, and after coughing or sneezing. Hand sanitizers will be made available for all staff and students.

Face Coverings

Universal and correct use of masks is required for all students and staff members. Should the guidance of the CDC change to allow all who are fully vaccinated to not wear masks, MPS will adjust our practices. If masks are still required, mask breaks will be provided during the day. The district will provide a set of cloth masks to students as needed. Masks are not required outdoors.

Social Distancing

MPS will maintain social distancing of 6 feet when possible.  

Visitors

We will return to welcoming visitors to schools. To ensure safety of students and staff, visitors are asked to utilize our hand sanitizing stations upon arrival. Virtual meetings and conferences are available for students when meeting remotely is more convenient for that student.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The state requires masks be worn in schools by all students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status  through September 30.
  • All MPS staff must be fully vaccinated or have received the first dose and either received a second dose or have an appointment for the second dose in a two-dose series vaccination.
  • Exemptions from this requirement may occur because a physician, physician’s assistant, or advanced practice registered nurse determined and documented that the administration of COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be detrimental to the covered worker’s health, or the covered worker objects to vaccination on the basis of a sincerely held religious or spiritual belief, and the covered worker is able to perform their essential job functions with a reasonable accommodation that is not an undue burden on the school.

Quarantines:

  • Fully vaccinated close contacts should be referred for COVID-19 testing. If asymptomatic, fully vaccinated close contacts do not need to quarantine at home following an exposure (they can continue to attend school in-person and participate in other activities). In addition to correctly wearing masks in school, they should wear a mask in other indoor public settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • Not fully vaccinated close contacts will quarantine at home for 10 days after exposure. 
Manchester Adult and Continuing Education Re-Opening for 2021-22

Manchester Adult and Continuing Education Health and Safety:

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH), and the Office of the Governor have determined that access to in-person learning is a priority.  Our Manchester Adult and Continuing Education Program  acknowledges this and plans to operate with in-person schooling for 2021-22.  Still, some classes will be offered in a distance learning capacity to accommodate our adult learner with a variety of needs in various circumstances.  Our most vital goal for the upcoming school year is to keep students and staff safe and supported through the health and safety parameters outlined in this document.

First and foremost , safeguarding the health and safety of students, staff, and visitors is our first priority as we reopen our Manchester Adult and Continuing Education Program this fall.  We will make every effort to keep our program vital and invitational while navigating the safest, proven circumstances possible with our efforts.  All students interested in registering or re-registering in our program offerings will be provided an unfettered opportunity to do so or elect to participate in virtual learning classes.  Given our ability to offer safe and adequate space, students will be involved in small, in-person classes or a hybrid of distance learning and in-class assistance and even tutoring when necessary.   To address individual student needs for robust technology use, we have organized a system of distributing technology devices (i.e. laptops, tablets, etc.) and establishing wifi sites to support students again this fall and moving forward.  And we will continue to monitor student access to equitable learning opportunities as well as teacher-to-student assistance and even connections through direct counseling, case management assignments, tutoring, student surveys, and embedding soft skills into each of our class offerings.  Our protocols and safety plan will be communicated to all students and staff, not only at the start of our first trimester but throughout the year.  This will  be accomplished through our website, publications, pamphlets, signage, etc.

Liaisons for MA&CE

General Protocols:
  • Students and staff must wear face coverings or masks that completely cover the nose and mouth while in the school building/classrooms.
  • Teachers are reminded to arrange student seating within the classroom to accommodate the maximum distance (6’ at least) and desks facing front not in groups.
  • PC Building Admittance Protocol - Safety First!  The link below provides the steps and protocols necessary for students/visitors to enter the building which is specific to Manchester Adult and Continuing Education:

Building Admittance Protocol

  • Students/staff should stay home if feeling ill.  Students must stay home if they are feeling sick, have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or its variants, or have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • Morning health check (screening) will be invoked by a MA&CE worker prior to a student/person entering the building/classroom. Check to ensure temperature is below 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit and observe for symptoms associated with COVID 19 outlined by public health officials.
  • Students/staff must wear face coverings or masks (whether vaccinated or not) that completely cover the nose and mouth while inside the school with exceptions only for those students for whom it is not safe to do so due to medical conditions.  
  • The mask/face covering should fit snug fit around nose and cheeks and avoid gaps  
  • The fabric should be thick enough not to see the sun/light through
  • No neck gaiters
  • No bandanas
  • No exhalation valves or vents

(As a reminder, any student who cannot wear a mask for a medical reason must have a note from a physician.)

  • Social distancing is required.  Students must maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible. Students are expected to practice social distancing when entering and exiting the building, in classrooms, and moving throughout the school.  Six feet markings to signify the required distance between persons is marked on floors and in classrooms. 
  • Office staff will limit the number of staff/visitors to the main office to ensure physical distancing. (1-2 families at a time) In an effort to minimize the number of visitors in the main office, visitors may be asked to wait to come into the school due to proper physical distancing.
  • “Mask Breaks” should be held outside - one small class at a time.
  • There will not be staggered classes (back-to-back) due to the cleaning/sanitation needs of entire rooms/spaces between classes - districtwide.  The same student cohort may occupy the same space per day, due to the mandated cleaning which will occur nightly.
  • A student who is noncompliant with the wearing of a facemask/or following the definitive requirements for safety will be asked to leave the program until he/she consents to following the specific safety requirements of the Manchester Adult and Continuing Education program.
  • ALL classrooms and rooms, in general, MUST have one window open when being used for ventilation: “The solution to pollution is dilution.”

MA&CE Signage:

  • Classrooms with Occupancy Capacity - Number posted next to the main entry.
  • Standing and/or hanging acrylic posters/safety reminders displayed in classrooms and throughout the spaces being utilized for instruction/meetings.
  • “Sanitation Stations” will be available in all classrooms which include antibacterial wipes (or some form of hand sanitizer), rubber gloves, and spare masks.  

PPE for All Areas (including main entrance, classrooms, work areas - will have):

  • Hand sanitizers 
  • Hand sanitizer stations/self-standing units
  • Disposable masks
  • Disinfectant air spray
  • Trash receptacles
  • Face Shields - for testing scenarios specifically
  • Posters/signage for floor and walls 
  • Desks/chairs arranged six-feet apart (or more)
  • Computers and building interiors and “touch points” - regularly cleaned and sanitized - integrally between classes and adult uses for all areas 
  • At least one, Plexi-glass windows/stanchions for use with close contact instructions, meetings, etc.
  • Free-standing hand sanitizer stations - visibly accessible - if available

Buildings/Spaces/Classrooms Musts:

  • A specific protocol has been established for entering and remaining in a building...Entry Protocol
  • Any person entering the classroom will be required to use a hand sanitizer upon entry.
  • All rooms have been re-configured to meet specific safety requirements which include (but are not limited to): desks/tables/seating marked six feet apart.
  • Student groupings/class membership must refrain from interaction with other students in class spaces.
  • Counselor conferencing with students should occur in a secured space with a plexiglass-type partition, or better yet, online - “counselor conferencing.” 

Click Here for the following document: MA&CE Room List for 2021- 2022 - Return to Live Classrooms

Protocols for Specialized MA&CE Classes:

(Please click on the link for the specified class)

Food Service/Cooking Protocols

Driver’s Education Class Protocols

CPR & First Aid Classes

Testing Protocols - Specific Expectations:

Handling candidates with face masks - Candidates are permitted to wear any surgical or cloth face mask, including a homemade face mask.  Required COVID Health and Safety Reminders/Updates for Staff when Working with Students in Close Contact  (new as of 2/8/2021)
  • Masks must be worn at all times

  • When in close contact - less than 6 feet apart - one of the following must also be met:

  • Wear a double layered mask (2 cloth masks, cloth/medical mask combo, 2 medical masks, some other variation)

  • Wear a plastic shield or plastic glasses face covering (worn over mask)

  • Wear a KN95 mask worn (alone) 

When touching multi-touch areas - one of the following must be adhered to:

  • Wear gloves

Capturing photos

  • We will ask the candidate to remove his/her face mask during this step.  Our intake employee will observe the candidate during this process for anything unusual. (For example, is there paper tucked into the face mask? If the candidate has a face mask that covers the ears, we will ask the candidate to show each ear.  This is to confirm that there is nothing attached to the ears, such as a Bluetooth device, before the candidate replaces the face mask.)
  • If a candidate refuses to remove a face mask for the photo, we will take the candidate's photo with the face mask on and carefully compare the new photo and the photo on the candidate's ID to the existing photo in Admissions Manager, if there is one.   We know to create a case, selecting these options:
  • Exam delivery
  • Candidate refused to follow proper procedures
  • Inspecting face masks

(Pearson VUE recommends practicing social distancing while completing the face mask inspection and pat-down process. Keep an appropriate distance between you and the candidate as recommended by your local government. For more information, see Checking items brought into the testing room. If you have security concerns about the face mask a candidate is wearing, follow the three-step witness, intervene, and notify (WIN) process. For more information, see Responding to candidate misconduct.

Requiring candidate face masks

  • Also, we will include this requirement in the Directions section of Site Manager.   Doing so ensures that new candidates are informed of the policy in their candidate confirmation letters.  Finally, we will notify any candidates who scheduled an exam before we have updated the directions that they are required to wear face masks.
  • If a candidate arrives without a face mask,  we will provide the candidate with a disposable mask.  (Candidates are permitted to leave the test center and return with a face mask, for example, from their car.)  
  • Candidates should not remove face masks inside the test center.  Their nose and mouth must remain fully covered, and they are required to wear face masks when interacting with others. Candidates are only permitted to remove face masks if they are practicing social distancing while eating or drinking outside the testing room.
  • If candidates remove face masks for any other reason, the test proctor will ask them to replace it.  We will be sure to warn candidates that this behavior is not permitted and they will not be allowed to continue testing if they do not comply.  If a candidate refuses to replace a face mask, we will turn the candidate away and create a case, selecting these options:
  •     Exam delivery
  •     Candidate refused to follow proper procedures 
  • Testing Proctors must wear PPE masks and a face shield if working with students individually
  • Testing Proctors must wear disposable gloves when working with students individually
  • As outlined in previous room requirements, no materials should be shared with other students/proctors during a testing session
  • As outlined in previous room requirements, all computer keyboards/mice must be covered in washable plastic when in use, unless used by one continual user and not being shared/used by others
  • As outlined in previous room requirements, cleaning/disinfecting must take place after a student has left a testing session/station in preparation for the next student test-taker
  • Individual plexiglass stations should be available for student test-takers in the testing rooms utilized

Staff Health (COVID-19/Variant reminders) and COVID Response:

  • First and foremost, if you have a fever, cough or other symptoms, stay home:
  • If the student/staff tests positive, he/she must quarantine for 10 days.
  • If a student presents COVID-like symptoms entering or while in a classroom, that person will be directed to go home immediately.  
  • If a student or staff member develops COVID-19 symptoms, as consulted/diagnosed from medical providers the student/staff should not return to school until the student/staff is cleared from a medical provider.
  • If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, but continues to have no symptoms as described above, students should return to school after 10 days since the test was passed, OR upon clearance from a medical provider.  The district may require medical documentation in order for the student to return to school.  Our program will always contact the Manchester Health Department for guidance/affirmation of procedures.

Staff/Student COVID-19 (Delta/Other Variants) Reminders:

  • Students and staff should wash / sanitize hands throughout the day - everyone upon entry to and exit from a classroom space.  Also, after having close contact with others; before and after using the restroom; after blowing nose, coughing, sneezing; and before and after eating and preparing food.
  • Surfaces do not have to be constantly cleaned and wiped. Washing / sanitizing hands is the best defense.
  • Stay 6 feet away from one another, as much as feasible.  Desks need to be 6 feet apart.
  • Face masks need to be worn at all times.
  • Fans are allowed if pointed toward the ceiling.  Window fans must be in exhaust mode.  Be sure to keep a window partially opened for ventilation reasons.
  • Keep classroom doors open where possible when the room is occupied.
  • Bathroom doors will remain open where possible when the school is occupied.

Daily Self-Health Screening for Staff and Students:

Health Screening and Monitoring During COVID-19 - Screening, monitoring and testing are essential components of limiting the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.  An important part of keeping schools safe is actively monitoring oneself for illnesses and cognizance COVID-19 symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19

People with these symptoms or combinations of these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough and/or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (CDC defines this as 100.4F or greater, or when one feels warm to the touch, or gives a history of feeling feverish)
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

(This list is not all possible symptoms. Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.)

COVID-19 Screening Questions

Students and staff should assess themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 before reporting to school; (and/or may be asked the following by school personnel upon arrival):

“YES” or “NO” since my last day in the building, have I had any of the following:

  • A new fever (100.4°F or higher) or a sense of having a fever?
  • A new cough that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • New shortness of breath that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • New chills that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • A new sore throat that cannot be attributed to another health condition?
  • New muscle aches (myalgia) that cannot be attributed to another health condition or specific activity (such as physical exercise)?

If you answer YES to any of the screening questions before arriving, you should stay home and not enter the building.

Vaccination Centers (as of August 1, 2021):

Manchester Health Department Clinic

479 Main Street

Manchester CT, 06040

Manchester Memorial Hospital

71 Haynes Street

Manchester CT, 06040

Walgreens Pharmacy

295 Main Street

Manchester CT, 06040

CVS Pharmacy 

241 Middle Turnpike West

Manchester CT, 06040

Walmart Superstore - Walmart Pharmacy

420 Buckland Hills Drive

Manchester CT, 06042

Big Y Pharmacy 

234 Tolland Turnpike

Manchester CT, 06042

ShopRite Pharmacy

214 Spencer St

Manchester CT, 06040

GET VACCINATED - Save a Life...Save Your Life!

COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized in the United States have been shown to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 infections, including asymptomatic and symptomatic infection, severe disease, and death. These findings, along with the early evidence for reduced viral load in vaccinated people who develop COVID-19, suggest that any associated transmission risk is likely to be substantially reduced in vaccinated people.  Available evidence suggests that the COVID-19 vaccines presently authorized in the United States offer protection against known emerging variants, including the Delta variant, particularly against hospitalization and death. 

Data suggests the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program has the potential to substantially reduce the burden of disease in the United States by preventing serious illness in fully vaccinated people and interrupting chains of transmission.  Current efforts to maximize the proportion of the U.S. population that is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 remain critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic!

“Science Brief: COVID 19 Vaccines and Vaccinations” Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), July 27, 2021

Resources and Information from the Town of Manchester

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources: 

Scheduling Your COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment:

  • The Connecticut Vaccine Appointment Assist Line:  877-918-2224. The line will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offer a call-back option when workers are busy assisting other callers.
  • ECHN hotline for COVID-19 vaccines at Rockville Hospital: 855-450-0392
  • UConn Health Phone Scheduling Line: 860-679-5589 (Choose option 2). 
  • Hartford HealthCare Access Center Line: 860-827-7690 or toll-free at 833-943- 5721.
  • Community Health Center, Inc: Community Health Center, Inc.Locations are available in East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown, and New Britain. Call 877-918-2224 or 211
  • First Choice Health Centers: 860-528-1359 

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts & Resources:

Manchester Health Department |479 Main St. Manchester,CT | healthdepartment@manchesterct.gov | 860.647.3173

You can access the most updated document here.