ACLD is committed to ensuring the health and safety of every person supported, all families, and employees. Please read the most updated information regarding the COVID-19 virus and the evolving situation.
August 6, 2020
We hope you are safe and healthy, and have found some rest and relaxation over these summer months. As we approach the start of our 20-21 school year, we want to share some important new information with you about health and safety protocols that will be in place at our schools in the upcoming year.
Our schools are planning for a 5-day a week, full day return to school in the fall with staggered shifts of arrival and departure to allow for the necessary health screens and social distancing that are essential to keeping everyone safe and well.
However, any family can choose a 100% remote learning, for any reason. If your preference is 100% remote learning, we ask that you let us know this by Monday, August 10th, so that we will have enough time to plan.
Criteria to Open Schools:
We continue to carefully monitor a constantly changing health landscape, with priority given to the health and safety of our students, teachers and staff. This commitment will be the foundation of all policy and practice, not only in our schools, but across New York State moving into this new school year.
We, along with all schools in New York, await our Governor’s directive on the re-opening of schools, which we understand will be dependent upon close monitoring of the metrics of the COVID-19 virus. Dependent upon the scope of the infection rate, we may be given orders by the Governor to stop children attending 5 days, and go to a hybrid or fully remote option.
Our proposed hybrid model consists of 3 days of full day attendance for our most challenged students, those enrolled in the 8:1:2 class structures. For students in our 10:1:2 class structures, the hybrid will allow for 2 full days of attendance. On the remaining days of the week, remote instruction will be provided.
Should it become necessary, we would resume our 100% fully remote model of instruction. This model will include a technology assessment with your family (with a goal of access for all families), mailing and delivery of necessary materials and instructional materials, as well as an expectation for daily check in and attendance.
What Happens if Someone Gets Sick
In close collaboration with NYSED and NYS DOH, we have developed strict protocols that address prevention, precaution, and response to one or more of our students or employees having a confirmed case of COVID-19. A ‘confirmed case’ means that a parent or guardian, student, or staff member submits a positive test result from a healthcare provider or laboratory to the school.
Our protocols to keep all healthy include:
Prevention: if a student or staff member is feeling sick, or has/has had a fever of 100 degrees, or answers ‘yes’ to any of the required COVID-19 health screen/travel questions, they are required to stay home. Parents and staff are provided with information regarding symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Should students or staff exhibit any symptoms consistent with the virus, they will be asked to see a healthcare provider and obtain a return to school note, prior to coming back to school.
You can expect that our school nurses will be asking for more healthcare provider notes in this school year, and we thank you in advance for your understanding in the necessity for increased precaution.
Feeling Sick at School: If a student begins experiencing symptoms in school, they will be isolated and monitored by a school staff member until they are picked up by a parent/guardian or emergency contact. Staff members who become symptomatic at work must notify a supervisor and immediately leave the building.
Contact Tracing: In the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case in our schools, local and state DOH departments will be contacted and investigation will be conducted in concert with them to determine close contacts within the school. Once the close contacts are determined, all will be instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days since their last exposure to that confirmed case. If there’s more than one case in a school, we are prepared to follow directives given by the DOH which could include closure of classrooms or the whole school for a period of quarantine.
Instruction will continue remotely during any necessary quarantine periods.
Overall Health and Safety Protocols
-At all times, staff and families must wear face covering protecting/covering their nose and mouth while at the school. Though we will provide practice and encouragement for your children, exception is recognized for young children and those who are not developmentally able to wear a face covering.
-Attention is given to social distancing by the staff in our schools, where possible throughout each school day. Families are asked to respect and practice the same upon a necessary visit or pick up/drop off times at the school.
-Schools will be cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and at night, with special attention given to high-touch areas. Cleaning logs are kept to define and document cleaning and disinfection daily schedules.
-Face coverings, gloves, staff smocks, sanitizers and EPA approved cleaning supplies, will be readily available to all staff. Education is provided to staff on added precautions to be taken during toileting and eating routines.
-Each school will have a designated isolation room for use in the even a student becomes ill during the school day.
We will send more information in the coming days and weeks and web-based access to our Employee and Parent Handbook COVID-19 addendums, our NYS DOH FORWARD Safety plan, and School re-opening plans.
For a tour of the school your child is attending please use the following links. In addition, you will find a link to the Covid-19 addendums that have been made to ensure the health and safety of students and staff.
Thank you, and we welcome you back to ACLD!
Noreen Clemens Principal, Robin Stevens KLC Assistant Principal and Linda Eisen SCC Assistant Principal
July 17, 2020
We know there is much to celebrate after 17 weeks of suspension of the Day Programs and we are pleased to announce that OPWDD’s certified day programs and services, both site and community based, will resume operations consistent with the Governor’s New York Forward initiative. This directive includes site-based and center-based Day Habilitation programs, and site-based Respite which will reopen on Wednesday, July 22.
In addition, there is guidance on resuming home visits and community outings from OPWDD. We are committed to maintaining health and safety standards, and social distancing regulations to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. The safety of the people we support and our staff is paramount. Below are some of the guidelines and new regulations ACLD will be following for the reopening.
Day Program Reopening
- Reopening – Program resumes Wednesday, July 22, 9-3 pm
- Transportation – ACLD’s Administrative and transportation team has been working on modifying the fleet of vehicles to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines and safety practices. With modification to the routes, we will be able to transport three individuals with a driver, and in some cases four people with a driver if the people live together in the same home. (family unit). ACLD will supply everyone with a surgical mask and a face shield to be used during transport as well as throughout the day. The health screening will be administered on every person. As part of the screening, the person supported will have their temperature taken by a staff member prior to entering the vehicle. If their temperature is greater than 100. they will not be allowed to board the vehicle.
- Health Screening – All staff, people supported and essential visitors must undergo the appropriate screening prior to entry into the day program. Each visitor’s temperature must be recorded – if the temperature is noted to be 100℉ or higher, then the visitor may not enter the program. Additionally, each visitor must answer the pre-screening questions.
- Any individual or staff exhibiting signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival will not be allowed to enter the program building. They will be required to return home until they are fever free for 72 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- Social Distancing – At least six feet of physical distance will be maintained among individuals and staff, unless not feasible because of the activity, or as directed in an individual’s treatment plan.
- Face Coverings – All staff will wear appropriate face masks. People supported must wear face coverings if they can medically tolerate one whenever social distancing cannot be achieved.
- Group Sizes – Smaller, consistent group size, limited to a maximum of 15 people supported. Minimize the use of floating staff unless critically necessary.
- Use of social distancing floor markings, physical barriers and continually disinfect high touch areas throughout the day.
Community Outings for the Residential Program
- Community outings will be limited to no more than 10 people, including staff.
- Outings to stores, outdoor restaurants, salons, etc., will be extremely limited in frequency and duration. Low risk, outdoor outings are highly encouraged.
- Planned recreational outings will be limited to one location per day for any person supported participating.
- Proper hand washing and sanitizing prior to leaving the home and immediately upon return to the home. Staff will have hand sanitizer on hand to ensure people supported are sanitizing throughout the community outing.
- Face masks/coverings will be worn on all community outings, whenever medically able to tolerate.
- The transportation team has been working on modifying the fleet of vehicles to ensure compliance with social distancing guidelines and safety practices.
Home Visits From the Residential Program
- People supported may resume participation in home and family visits as of July 15th.
- Families will be reminded during any off-site visit, that exposure to members of different households and to public places, in general, should be done with caution and on a limited basis.
- People supported may participate in a home visit as long as they are not suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, and are not under any quarantine or isolation requirements.
- The person supported must pass a health screen and temperature check immediately prior to leaving the certified residence.
- Please note, the location(s) of the visit may not include: (a) any household member suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19; (b) any household member who has been exposed to COVID-19 in the prior 14 days; or (c) any household member displays any symptoms of COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days.
- All social distancing regulations, face coverings and proper hand washing must be maintained during home visits.
- Proper health screening will be required upon return to the residence.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we navigate this reopening. We are so excited to welcome back the people we support and we look forward to resuming our programs in a safe and adapted manner.
If you have any questions, please reach out to your program administrator.
Robert C. Goldsmith, Executive Director and Robert Ciatto, Chief Operating Officer