2020-2021 School Reopening Plans - Religious and Independent Schools 2020 Reopening
Teaching and Learning
Mill Neck Manor School realizes and embraces that all students should feel safe, engaged and excited about learning and our school staff has strived to keep this spirit alive despite the many changes due to COVID this past spring and summer. Mill Neck Manor acknowledges the importance of setting a positive routine and welcoming environment that supports students during this unpredictable time no matter the format of teaching. Knowing that relationships are at the heart of teaching and learning, the school joins students, staff, and families in hopes and efforts to return to their routines and a sense of “normalcy” as soon as possible. Mill Neck also understands the need for our school staff, students and their families to be flexible and prepared for alternate models of teaching and learning to ensure the least amount of disruption for students--whether it be in-person, remote or using a hybrid model. During this upcoming school year, it is of the utmost importance that individual student needs and equity are put at the center of all learning experiences.
Mill Neck Manor is planning for three possible scenarios to begin the 2020-2021 school year emphasizing the need for flexibility considering the ever-changing nature of this pandemic. As we all wait to learn decisions made by our government and local officials about schools reopening, we are continuing to prepare for remote learning; modified services and classes on campus; and a hybrid model of both remote and on-campus classes. Bringing students back to campus in a safe manner will be done in phases with verified safety protocols in place throughout each step--beginning with staff and resource management, clinical audiology services, individual evaluations, a model therapy room and a model class rooms. Initiating on-campus services with essential services and small numbers will give us the opportunity to bring students back in a safe and highly controlled manner that is verified and refined through practice. No matter which phase or models are used to instruct the students, our goal is to continue to provide high-quality education while maintaining safe environments for all students and staff members.
Health and Safety on Campus
Mill Neck Manor realizes that the health and safety of the students and adults in our school is paramount. Health and safety considerations are always first in decision-making and these factors will be considered to determine if/when and to what extent it is appropriate to resume in person instruction:
- Ability to maintain social distance in the school by students and staff
- PPE and face covering availability for all persons entering and remaining in the building
- Availability of safe transportation (accomplished by each local district who transport our students)
- Capacity to increase school wide cleaning and disinfection
- Local hospital capacity (reaching out to our local DOH)
- Feedback from the school’s stakeholders
Mill Neck Manor will review and consider the number and timeline of students and staff allowed to return in person based on the size of the classrooms and ability to comply with safety protocols.
The school has an important role to play in educating and communicating with our school community -- including everyday action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. School policies to prevent the spread follow the recommendations of health authorities and address the following areas:
- Health Checks
- Health Hygiene Practices
- Social Distancing
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Face Coverings
- Management of Ill Person
- Cleaning and Disinfection
When surveying school staff, 87% reported that the safety protocol that made them most comfortable working face to face with students was compliance with social distancing. Compliance with wearing masks was the second highest rated valued protocol. Other preferred protocols include barriers between workspaces and rotating/staggered schedules (see Figure 1).
Social distancing mechanisms will be initiated if/when on campus programming begins, with an emphasis on communicating social distancing policies to students and staff, establishing safe spaces, and creating schedules to minimize numbers of staff/students on campus (see Table 1).
Table 1. Social Distancing Protocols
If/when the building re-opens for programming, staff will be provided with personal protective equipment and guidelines for reducing the use of shared objects and materials (See Table 2).
Table 2. Personal Protective Equipment and Maintenance
DEC will adhere to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the CDC and DOH, maintaining on-site logs of date, time, and scope of cleaning (See Table 3).
Table 3. Hygiene and Cleaning Protocols
Communication/Family and Community Engagement
Mill Neck Manor has engaged with school stakeholders and community members – including administrators, faculty, staff, parents of the students, the NY Department of Health, members of the Mill Neck Union (NYSUT), State Education Department and members of the Board of Trustees while developing the Reopening Plans. A committee was formed consisting of administrators, teaching staff, medical personnel and campus employees who were involved in the creation of the planning and will continue to be engaged as we move forward.
Mill Neck Manor will provide regular updates about health safety, the reopening plan of the school, expectations and protocols for the school, and all other information families should know. Mill Neck Manor developed several remote communication systems where parents were given important information throughout the remote learning time period using Blackboard Connect, Class Dojo, Google Applications, and through community Zoom assemblies. These platforms will be used to announce school re-opening plans following the timeline below (Table 4).
For the purpose of initial planning--information was collected from parents using phone calls in Spanish and English concerning their opinions about remote learning and plans to reopen. A more in-depth parent survey will be distributed through a variety of means along with the initial reopening plans to guide future discussions on what is best for all students and families. Data was collected from staff electronically to ascertain their experiences and opinions about remote learning and reopening plans.
The Mill Neck school website and social media accounts are connected to the larger Mill Neck Family of Organizations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As we continue to strive toward improving technology and virtual infrastructures--Mill Neck is in the process of upgrading the campus-wide website. This website will include more inclusive formats to continually review the reopening plans to see what will be necessary as the school year begins. Additionally, Mill Neck Manor is utilizing its social media to inform the community of its health safety plans for entering the campus and/or the school buildings. Hearing from all of the school’s stakeholders is necessary for a successful school reopening, therefore, we will ensure a variety of means of communication where families, community and others can offer feedback or ask questions.
As we prepare for reopening, Mill Neck Manor will create videos, posters, and actual live practices to explain to students how to follow the new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly. These include hand washing, wearing masks (uniquely designed plastic masks that allow our Deaf students and staff to visually communicate appropriately), social distancing and general hygiene (protection during sneezing, coughing, etc.). During previous remote learning, the school communicated with parents using ASL/English/Spanish videos posted on our Vimeo page and regular posts on Class Dojo with a variety of language translations available. In addition to videos, the school provided live training and community assemblies. These practices, along with lessons integrated into classroom instruction, will continue to prepare students for safe returns to campus.
In addition to virtual technology, Mill Neck will communicate with all students, faculty, staff and visitors using verbal, written, and graphic communication. Faculty and staff are currently given regular notices regarding safety protocols when visiting the school. Signs are posted throughout the campus, when passing through the security booth, prior to entering the school building, and upon entering the school building. All communications – verbal, written or signage adheres to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Health (DOH) guidance memos on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), specifically acceptable face coverings.
As students and adults return to campus for in-person instruction, it will be very important the physical spaces they occupy are set up and maintained in a way that provides the maximum possible protection from spreading the coronavirus.
Mill Neck Manor will follow health guidance related to social distancing and other safety measures to insure that we can prevent the spread of COVID-19. To achieve these goals, Mill Neck is re-configuring all spaces within the building as well as altering existing spaces throughout our campus.
Any potential changes within the school building due to COVID-19 health and safety requirements will be in compliance with the State Education Department, with all fire safety regulations, all building codes and would be reviewed by Nassau County and/or code enforcement officials to ensure compliance. Any physical changes, relocations, enlargement, replacement, repair, equipment, use and occupancies, maintenance, removal, and demolition of the building will comply with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Any changes or additional Mill Neck Manor will continue to make sure that the function, position and operation of fire doors will remain unchanged and will work if set off by a fire alarm and they will not be touched during normal use. Mill Neck will continue to conduct standard operations and procedures. Fire (evacuation) Drills and Lockdown Drills are required and they will be completed as listed in the Fire Code Section 404. Mill Neck Manor will maintain the Fire Safety, Evacuation and Lockdown plans and how we conduct these drills.
Mill Neck Manor will create arrangements to reduce the transmission of the infection through:
- Time Management – times in the hallways will be staggered to ensure that no students are in hallways at the same time of day to reduce congestion and maintain social distancing.
- Leaving Doors Open – to reduce the spread of the virus from doorknobs, doors, levers, windows, etc., all doors will be kept in an open position.
- Plastic Separators – light-transmitting plastics will be placed in locations where social distancing or mask requirements cannot be easily regulated. These plastics comply with Building Code Section 2606.
- Alcohol Based Hand Rub Dispensers – hand washing facilities are easily accessible and will determine if the use of alcohol-based hand rub dispensers is necessary.
- Dividers at Doors and Other Point of Congregation – Mill Neck will use dividers at places to control movement where students and staff normally line up or where overcrowding may occur. We will consult the Nassau County enforcement officials – to ensure that these dividers will not obstruct escape during an emergency.
Required Square Footage
Mill Neck Manor is reconfiguring its space to ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained by all persons in the school or on the school grounds. Mill Neck will follow New York code which sets standards for individual rooms based on the room’s function: 20 square foot per person, 15 SF per person for cafeterias, 50 SF Vocational and Special Education, 150 SF for offices and 5-15 SF at the gymnasium.
Facility Alterations and Acquisition
Mill Neck Manor may elect to use other available space for teaching within the school to increase the capacity for adequate social distancing – including the auditorium, cafeteria and library. Other space may be considered as long as it’s created to come to code.
Mill Neck Manor can increase its space by adding building additions, leased space – transportable classroom units or spaces such as tents. All alterations will require an inspection and assurance it is up to code.
Mill Neck Manor will check to make sure that the areas of egress, the fire alarm system, ventilation and lightning will continue to be within code.
Mill Neck Manor will increase the fresh air ventilation rate to the extent possible to aid in maintaining healthy indoor air quality. Mill Neck Manor will optimize its HVAC system by creating a schedule to consistently and continually change the filters and checking the balance system within the building.
A successful nutrition program is a key component to every educational environment and the meals served protect the most vulnerable children against hunger. Mill Neck Manor recognizes that students perform best academically when they are well nourished. Sixty percent of Mill Neck Manor students receive free or reduced lunches and rely on the school to provide this nourishment.
As Mill Neck Manor prepares to begin serving school meals, School Food Authorities (SFAs) will follow national, state and local health and safety guidelines. There will be ongoing discussions to ensure that students participating in all learning models have access to healthy meals.
The traditional format of having students come to the cafeteria and to be served both breakfast and lunch as a group will be modified. Students who study remotely or through a hybrid model will be provided meals and assistance to getting meals in each child’s local community when/if the students are learning remotely. All meals will continue to comply with Child Nutrition Program requirements and all information will be shared with families through varying means (verbal, in language of the home, written form, Face-book, Class Dojo, video, etc.) as mandated by school policies regarding communication with families.
Mill Neck Manor will send letters at the end of August (prior to the beginning of the school year) as well throughout the school year concerning school nutrition. Based on the Federal standards, families of children eligible for free and reduced meals will be notified that they can and should submit a new application prior to the opening of school as well as any time during the school year. The application will be available on the school website for any parent to take advantage of if there is anything that has changed in their home life. Mill Neck Manor will provide an option of obtaining electronic signatures as needed. The school social worker will be responsible for supporting and informing families in need.
The School Registrar will receive and respond to all communications regarding nutrition and food services from the families. The Registrar’s contact information name is included in the cover sheet for the State form and parents may contact them for any assistance.
Mill Neck Manor distributes a form that lists information related to all food/meals:
- Availability of meals
- Monthly menus – in print and online
- Payment methods – checks and cash (with the potential for an electronic system connected to our food program where parents can put a credit card in for payments for their child’s meals
- à la carte sales
- Students bringing food from home – availability of refrigeration and microwaving food (with the assistance of staff if needed)
- Restrictions of visitors during meal service
Mill Neck Manor has updated its standard operating procedures for sanitation of the kitchens, cafeteria, and storage areas. Kitchen staff will use gloves when handling or delivering all foods. Additionally, staff will use disposable aprons when handling or delivering foods. Only the program staff and maintenance staff will be allowed to enter the kitchen and preparation areas. To keep food, students, and staff safe, equipment and supplies such as thermometers and disinfectant wipes have been purchased. Additional barriers will be installed at the “point of sale/point of pickup”.
The school will maintain an adequate supply of face masks, soap, hand sanitizer and tissues in the food service areas. The kitchen, its equipment, any area where food is prepared or eaten (including tables, chairs and carts that will be used to transport food throughout the building) will be routinely cleaned and disinfected throughout the day. A chart will be posted and signed off daily with specific cleaning tasks, which staff person is responsible, when it should be done and when it is completed. All staff will be trained on protocols of health and safety as determined by the Department of Health and CDC. All staff will be retrained if there are any areas they might be deficient in regarding standard operating procedures. Staff will be cross-trained to prepare for an absence or an emergency where one person needs to cover for another.
Contacting Vendors and Suppliers for all Schools
- Mill Neck Manor will contact its current vendors to find out their status, (open or closed) which could affect the food supply chain or affect the availability of services. Any lack of services and concerns will be determined prior to the school year so alternative vendors may be found. We will arrange for safe ways to handle deliveries so as not to cause any contaminations.
USDA WAIVERS APPROVED FOR NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH AND SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM
Mill Neck Manor SFA will notify the SED Office of Child Nutrition for waivers necessary for operations
- Non congregate Feeding
- Meal Service Time Flexibility
- Bulk Meals require both non-congregate and meal time waivers
- Parent Meal Pick Up
- Meal Pattern Flexibility
- Offer Versus Serve Flexibility for High School
SFA will contact SED Child Nutrition Program Representation to ensure operations are within waiver allowances.
To prepare for eventual reopenings, food safety plans will include meal service in classrooms, additional meal service procedures in the cafeteria, social distancing, PPE during meal prep and delivery and receiving and storage. A meal counting procedure will be developed for meals served outside of the cafeteria. Teacher assistants will email the exact number of meals required for each class by 10:00AM each day and which children will be eating school meals.
Mill Neck will alter its food delivery model and will shift from a cafeteria model for Pre-K through sixth grade to a classroom delivery model based on the attendance and requests for meals. Grades 7-12 will be served in the cafeteria while maintaining social distancing protocols. Physical distancing guides will be implemented in food service areas such as tape on floors and signage to increase table spacing, remove tables, mark tables as close or provide a physical barriers
When distributing food, cafeteria staff will use pre-portioned condiments on each tray. Meals will be placed on a counter or tray line for quick pick up. Students and staff will maintain physical distances in lines marked by distancing stickers. To safely monitor students eating in classrooms, all non-food service staff on any meal service –related activities they may be responsible for. Staff members will be provided with designated tables in their classrooms or department spaces to take meals.
Mill Neck Manor will complete written protocols regarding meal provision and the role of the cafeteria and SFAs, including/requiring:
- Specific locations where meal will be served (classroom, cafeteria, other)
- Students to be 6 feet apart or separated by a barrier while consuming meals
- Discontinuation of shared tables, self-service refrigerators and places for
- Discouragement of food sharing between students
Throughout lunch periods, a schedule for clean and disinfect tables, chairs and other frequently touched hard surfaces between groups of students will be posted and signed off on daily.
Mill Neck Manor does not provide school transportation. Each school district is responsible to transport the child from their district back and forth to Mill Neck Manor. It is the responsibility of the district to insure the health and safety of each student and to set up a protocol to insure that each bus passes the State DOH regulations. The school will communicate with districts, families, and the DOH to review best practices in transporting students from a wide network of communities.
As of March 2020, Mill Neck followed NYSED directives by preparing a program to remotely meet student academic, social and emotional needs to the greatest extent possible. More than 75% of staff members determined that online schooling was at least partly beneficial to students during this period (See Figure 2).
Figure 2. Staff Perceptions of Online Schooling Benefit for Students
As we begin the 2020-2021 school year, the Mill Neck Manor academic plans will continue to follow NYSED and CDC guidelines as well as the Governor’s mandates. This plan will include options that families and staff as well as our students will accept and benefit from. Through additional family surveys, focus groups, and town hall meetings, additional input will be gathered to inform and shape the plan. Space and enrollment constraints as well as the unique learning style and audio-visual needs of Deaf students will be factored into classroom and building designs.
Mill Neck Manor School is preparing to continue a remote model of synchronous and/or asynchronous instruction, while considering the option of hybrid models and eventual return to face-to-face/in person teaching. Through staff surveys, we have determined that less than 15% of staff members prefer to begin the school year on campus, with 33% preferring a hybrid model and 39% preferring to remain fully online (see Figure 3).
Figure 3. Staff Preferences for School Reopening Models
As Mill Neck students come from varying school districts throughout Long Island as well as New York City, their school districts are setting their programs up in a different manner, to match the needs of their communities. Mill Neck’s programs will be informed by these models while based on the guidance from CDC and NYS DOH.
While online learning appears to have been beneficial to students, there are also concerns about loss of learning. More than 75% of staff reported that students experienced some degree of learning loss during remote schooling (See Figure 4).
Figure 4. Staff Perceptions of Student Learning Loss
While online learning has been beneficial for our students, it has not been ideal. Preparing for an eventual return to school remains a viable and necessary goal. In order to achieve this goal, students and staff must comply with safety protocols. The majority of staff members reported that it would be extremely difficult to manage both physical distancing compliance (Figure 5) and mask compliance (Figure 6).
Figure 5. Staff Perception on Maintaining Physical Distancing Compliance (Easy to Difficult)
Figure 5. Staff Perception on Maintaining Wearing Mask Compliance (Easy to Difficult)
To address safety concerns and mitigate the impact of school closures, Mill Neck will begin opening campus with essential services--including staff and resource management (tech support, mailing materials, setting up classrooms) an audiology clinic, and model service rooms. These model rooms will be set up following health and safety protocols for 1:1 sessions such as evaluations, related services, and individual and/or small group instruction. As these practices are adopted and verified by staff members and administrators, they will be integrated into the evolving policies. These expectations will be communicated to students, staff, and families--and reinforced through training and assessments to ensure compliance.
While preparing for on-campus instruction, Mill Neck Manor will consider ways to lessen the number of students and staff in the facilities and on the grounds such as:
- Seeking alternative spaces in the community to allow for more in-person instruction
- Adjusting class or work hours and where possibly appropriate
- Limited in-person presence of only staff who are necessary to be at school during normal school hours
- Maintain or increase remote workforces to follow social distancing guidelines
- Stagger schedules and allow more passing time between classes to reduce congestion in the hallways
- Shift the design of school schedules to accommodate social distancing guidelines by varying when cohorts learn (full time in-person learning for younger students and part-time distance learning for older students)
Mill Neck Manor School will collaborate with our stakeholders including, but not limited to teachers, staff members, parents, community groups and public school districts that provide mandatory services as alternate schedules are created and revised. These schedules will be shared and made available to the school community as soon as possible before the start of the school year; and anytime a change is needed, in order to allow families to arrange childcare and employment. Throughout the Fall term--we will be prepared to shift into larger openings or a fully remote model, depending on circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak, and schoolwide compliance with safety protocols.
Mill Neck Manor is considering the following options and will continue to plan on each of these should they be necessary or prove to be safe:
- Return staff and students to campus in planned phases with modifications that meet the State and local health requirements
- Return students to campus by age and and a slow integration of other students
- Schedule cohorts of students on campus at various times
- Alternating days for our students
- The use of distance learning to lower the campus population
- Extending the calendar year and day schedule
Each of these plans will be discussed with staff and parents to determine the efficacy of these specific options. Regardless of the instructional model, the priority remains equity and access for all students.
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Mill Neck Manor School is responsible for developing a mechanism to collect and report daily teacher/student engagement or attendance, regardless of instructional setting.
Currently, there is no guidance for the 2020-2021 Mandated Services Aid to report for reimbursement. It is a requirement by NYSED as well as each local school district. Mill Neck Manor School like every school is required to have a minimum annual instructional hour requirement and 180 days of session requirement are mandated by State statute. All of this is important to understand the fundamentals of education finance policy in NY State to develop the most responsible and flexible budget plans for reopening our school.
School districts across the State have expressed concerns about the impact that students choosing to stay home during the pandemic will have on their state and calculations. The aid given to school districts is based on Average Daily Membership or district enrollment. Low attendance in schools affect State aid and has adversely affected the funding because of an epidemic.
Some types of educational models may not lend themselves to every content teacher connecting with every student enrolled in their class every day. Sinc the guidelines for these programs will need to be updated to reflect the potential for additional COVID-19 related disruptions, Mill Neck Manor will need to document participation of both teachers and students very well. We are aware that flexibility should be considered when monitoring attendance in a remote model. Parent schedules, availability of technology or other barriers may preclude students from connecting with teachers at a certain time. Mill Neck Manor will do its utmost to ensure students are able to attend classes no matter the format to avoid chronic absenteeism.
Full Time Distance Learning
Mill Neck Manor School acknowledges that there are students who are unable to return to school due to health issues or who may be uncomfortable returning to school on the scheduled start date (we are completing a parent survey to get a complete picture of this number). These students will be able to participate in the full-time distance learning program. These students will be placed in an age appropriate cohort, thus facilitating a transition into the hybrid model should we be able to offer it and should they choose to do so. Families will be asked to express their intent for students to engage in this option prior to the start of the school year. Students may return to the hybrid model (should that be available) upon notifying the principal. Once all issues have been resolved within the building, with transportation, COVID-19 numbers, we will expect for all students to return to school.
Mill Neck Manor School wishes for all students in the distance learning setting to have a webcam access in their classrooms via designated online learning platforms. Mill Neck Manor School will issue a Chromebook to all students engaged in distance learning to any degree and assist in getting Wi-Fi to those in need. We will work with each student’s local district to see if we can collaboratively get devices and Wi-Fi for each of these students. Student’s parents will be expected to sign an “acceptable use agreement”. Students/parents are expected to adhere to all expectations outlined in the agreement when using the device and/or accessing the school’s technological resources.
If Mill Neck Manor School should have to close for all students at any time, the schedule will change to the all-distance learning version. Families will be notified promptly if a shift to this schedule is imminent. The timing will be outside of Mill Neck Manor School’s decision - it will come from the local counties and/or NY State.
Technology and 1:1 Devices
Mill Neck Manor School continues its investment toward ensuring that every student has a device that is suitable for the type of work they are expected to use as well as a Wi-Fi locally available network. This connection is for students who are at home assigned hybrid model days or for distance learning model days.
If there are any problems with the device and should there need to be a device repair or replacement, the family should email the principal who will work with the IT Department to investigate the situation and to offer assistance.
Mill Neck Manor School believes that all students and families must have a contact for their teachers and therapist if there are any questions about their instruction and/or technology. Prior to the opening of school, each teacher will send a note to the family, introducing themselves as well as appropriate ways to contact them. Additionally, this will be done by the therapists, if your child receives therapy and by ancillary staff - art, physical education, cooking, library and computer. Parents and students should feel confident to contact the staff person to insure that there is an open dialogue between both groups and to insure that there are always ways to resolve any issues. The principal will send similar information to allow an open communication system as well.
Mill Neck Manor School has come to realize that during the COVID-19 epidemic and now with the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, all staff, students and families have had to be flexible, understanding and patient. All of these qualities as well as those normally seen within a school setting, will remain despite the type of learning system we will need to offer. If at any time you believe that there is a serious concern, we would appreciate your willingness to reach out to either the classroom teacher, therapist and/or Administrator. It is our job to ensure that each child has a free and appropriate education and we adhere to that goal.
Mill Neck Manor School understands that an allegation of educational neglect may be warranted when a parent or guardian fails to ensure a child’s prompt and regular attendance in school or keeps the child out of school for impermissible reasons resulting in an adverse effect on the child’s education progress, or imminent danger of such an adverse effect on the child’s educational progress, or imminent danger of such an adverse effect. Educational neglect should not be considered where the parent has kept their child home because they believe it is unsafe for their child to attend school in person during the pandemic, and the child is participating in remote learning opportunities.
Mill Neck Manor School may contact Social Services with any questions or concerns related to a child’s welfare. We prefer to use the contact of Social Services only until we have exhausted all other strategies to connect with students and families.
Reporting and investigating suspected cases of educational neglect present a range of complex issues and challenges for our school. We attempt to collaborate with families in addressing their concerns. We have used Child Safety Meetings to determine if a case is extreme and we will attempt to reach out to the family to see if there is a way to intercede prior to contacting outside agencies.
Mill Neck Manor School is researching types of programs that will capture the engagement of students and staff in an accurate manner. This data will be shared with parents and school districts as IEP’s are created annually.
Teaching and Learning
New York schools are required to provide 180 days of instruction to students. These instructional days may be counted for programs that are delivered in person, remotely, or in a hybrid model. Regardless of the delivery model, school will remain in session during normal school hours from Monday through Friday each week, with several safety-related changes and protocols in places for student cohorts that are attending in person. All teachers who are responsible for classes are licensed under NY State Education Department and are able to manage face-to-face, remote learning or a hybrid model. Staff are expected to become proficient in the use of the main platforms and will continue to receive assistance in learning to utilize these with ease.
Mill Neck Manor School has a continuity plan that was created in March and has been altered throughout the spring and summer to match the changing needs of the students and the goals based on the Governor’s mandates as well as the requirements outlined by SED (see attachment).
Equity has been at the heart of our instructional decisions. All of our instruction has been developed and will continue to be so that whether we have students and staff in person on our campus, or remotely or through a hybrid model based on the county and state school closure, there are clear opportunities for instruction that are accessible for students.
Mill Neck Manor School as a registered nonpublic high school offers a NYS diploma and our instruction must be aligned with the outcomes in the NY State Learning Standards. All students IEP’s are created to ensure that our students have modifications and accommodations and these must remain consistent no matter where the instruction takes place. In order to certify that a student may receive credit for any given course - done remotely or in-person, we are mandated to offer the specific hours of class time, as well as any other State requirement.
Mill Neck Manor School has its aligned instruction to our academic program and we include regular and substantive interaction with a certified or dually certified teacher regardless of the delivery model.
Mill Neck Manor School will create a clear communication plan for how our students and their families can contact the school and teachers with questions about their instruction and/or technology. Staff have daily group and individual sessions with our students and these times are when we discuss any issues that may be prohibiting their instruction.
Mill Neck Manor School will determine by the middle of August the exact plan that we will be utilizing for the opening of school in September. Individual student schedules, specific electronic platform information (for remote days) and teacher/staff contact information will be provided by the principal prior to the start of the school year. If/when a hybrid schedule is in place, students will have full remote access through the Google platform to daily in-school lessons and may follow their daily schedules.
Mill Neck Manor School believes that the Anchor standards, Creating and Presenting, lend themselves more directly to in-person instruction, while Responding and Connecting, are standards that may be addressed more routinely on distance learning days. During in-person instruction, teachers may prepare students with skills and knowledge they will need while working remotely (ie - online platforms, tools, available resources, etc.). Teachers may use a flipped classroom approach - students research a topic at home and then come prepared to learn more about it in class.
The principal and all teachers will be flexible in terms of how assignments are presented, as well as in establishing deadlines for work submission, as well as working with students facing challenging circumstances in the distance learning setting. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Also considered will be a student’s IEP and any special requirements, program modifications or accommodations that must be consistent over all types of instructional models.