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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

State of CT New Guidelines - 2/16/2022

…As of February 16, 2022,  employees in public and non-public schools are no longer required to be fully vaccinated, nor will schools be prohibited from hiring prospective employees who are not fully vaccinated. As a result and effective immediately, Manchester Public Schools will no longer require unvaccinated employees in public and non-public schools to undergo weekly testing as an alternative to becoming fully vaccinated.

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 voluntary (a CT district-by-district decision) 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.

   

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.

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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
    • 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. 
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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:

  • For obvious health and safety reasons, students and staff members are reminded that NO other persons may accompany them to in-session classes or learning spaces at any time - this includes children, family members, friends, etc. 
  • 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:

  • It is recommended that masks must be worn at all times
  • When in close contact - less than 6 feet apart - one of the following is recommended:
  • 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.

Candidate face masks

  • 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 you stay home because you are feeling ill, self-monitor your own health.  Especially, if you have a cough, fever, and/or loss of taste/smell, it is recommended that you get a COVID test.  Quarantine until you receive the test results.  If the test results are negative and you feel better in a few days without cold/flu-like symptoms (symptom-free) you may return to work immediately without quarantining at home.  
  • Please be aware that COVID tests are being made available through the Town of Manchester and at local drugstores and especially CVS and Walgreens pharmacies.  Merely go online to schedule a test.
  • If a staff member or student feels ill during a scheduled work/class session, he/she may inquire if there is an available nurse at MHS to assist.  However, it is always advisable that the staff member/student go home immediately to avoid possibly infecting others.  
  • 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.

NEW District/MA&CE Guidelines Regarding COVID as of 2/14/2022

NOTE:  Excerpts from Superintendent Geary on 2/11/2022

As you may be aware, Governor Lamont announced a plan to end Connecticut’s school mask mandate effective Monday, February 28, 2022. The governor also stated the decision to continue the requirement for masks to be worn in school would be made at the local level. At Monday evening’s Board of Education meeting, I will recommend an end to the mask mandate in Manchester Public Schools effective Monday, February 28, 2022.

Given that the governor and Department of Public Health have indicated the state-wide mask mandate is no longer needed and our local data suggests Manchester is no different than anywhere else in the state, masks will be optional in Manchester Public Schools beginning on February 28.

Finally, students or staff who test positive for COVID-19 will quarantine for 5 days and wear a mask for five days following their return to school as stated in the current CDC guidelines.  We will continue to work closely with our local health department to monitor COVID-related metrics in the event changes need to be made to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and families. 

Mitigation strategies, including handwashing, quarantine and isolation, and social distancing when possible will remain in place. In the near future, we will update our Health and Safety Protocols document and share a revised version on our website. 

Masks

As you know, effective February 28, 2022 masks will be optional. We are recommending the continued use of masks by adults in the following situations:

  • When working 1:1 with students in close proximity
  • Large gatherings (more than 30)

These are recommendations not requirements.

NEW District/MA&CE Guidelines Regarding COVID as of 1/3/2022

As was previously the case, ​​individuals who are symptomatic with any of the high risk symptoms associated with COVID-19 should immediately isolate at home, test for the virus with a PCR, antigen, or self-test, and remain away from activities outside of the home until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours and other symptoms are significantly improved. 

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for at least 5 days from the first full day following the onset of symptoms or positive test whichever is first. If symptoms develop or persist, individuals isolate for an additional 5 days. A mask should continue to be worn for an additional 5 days at all times when around others.

Quarantines

If you are a close contact to a person who tests positive, follow the guidelines below:

  • Fully vaccinated close contacts with no symptoms do not need to quarantine after an exposure unless they develop symptoms
  • Close contacts who are not fully vaccinated will quarantine at home for 5 days after exposure 

Contact Tracing

Based on the recommendation of DPH and CSDE, Manchester Public Schools will discontinue individual contact tracing. There are several reasons for this change that include 1) individual contact tracing is less effective when community transmission is high; 2) in-school transmission has remained low throughout the pandemic; 3) the need to prioritize our limited school resources. Phone calls to individual families regarding cases of COVID-19 will no longer be made. We will continue to notify school communities by email if a positive case is reported. 


PLEASE REMEMBER - if you have questions about “what to do” with regard to the above information, please contact Mr. David Welch, Adult and Continuing Education COVID-19 Health and Safety Compliance Liaison, 860-647-5075, ext. 70071 or dawelch@mpspride.org

Visitors

Questions which will be asked before allowing a person entry:

  • Please identify yourself? 
  • What is the nature of your business at the school today?
  • Whom did you want to visit today?  Did you have an appointment?   (We will need to Verify appointment before entry is allowed.)
  • Do you have a Photo ID or other acceptable ID on your person? 

(If we do not recognize the person and they do not have a scheduled appointment and they do not have proper ID – no entry will be allowed without further vetting.)

All visitors should immediately report to the front desk upon entering the building to register. And we will VERIFY the person’s ID with the sign-in log. 

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.
  • 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.