Communication/Family & Community Engagement

To help inform our reopening plan, Tech Valley High School has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, parents/guardians of students, to inform planning.  Engagement efforts included online surveys, regional superintendent meetings, and internal committee conversations.

Tech Valley High School remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the school’s website at www.techvalleyhigh.org, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website homepage and every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA.

Ongoing Communication

As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, Tech Valley High School  has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to Tech Valley High School staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors, and education partners and vendors.  Tech Valley High School will use its existing communication channels including e-mail, School Messenger phone system, website, and social media outlets, as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements, and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic.  If translation of materials needs to occur please reach out to Lorinda Jensis at either 518-862-4960 or ljensis@techvalleyhigh.org to set up a call with the administration to discuss your specific needs.

Tech Valley High School is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication.  It has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective in communications with our school community. Tech Valley High School will rely on e-mail, School Messenger phone system, website, and social media outlets to communicate news, requirements and updates related to reopening of school and other information that addresses the safety of the students. The information that we will share will be based on state guidance and based on our school community’s needs.  Feedback from varied internal and external stakeholders is an essential part of our planning. An online survey was launched in July to help us better understand the concerns and questions individuals have as we consider a safe return to our school buildings.

In support of remote learning and our school philosophy Tech Valley High School will (as always) make computer devices available to students and teachers. In our on-line survey to our families, we have determined who needs support with internet access.  If there is a need, we provide hot spots for our families or work to secure stable internet services at an alternative location.  If this is not possible, we will work with the family and staff to continue to support the student’s learning.  Tech Valley High School will provide students and their families with multiple ways to contact schools and teachers during remote learning, including e-mail and teacher voicemail.

Tech Valley High School will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. Parents, teachers, and counselors will continue to work with the home district CSE to address requirements of the IEP and continue to meet the daily needs of the child in the classroom. Teachers in the Special Education Department will continue to engage daily with students and their families via e-mail and phone calls. Translation services are used as needed.  Please reach out if you require these services and we are not aware.

In addition, Tech Valley High School will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication.  If families need material transcribed into a home language other than English, they should reach out to Lorinda Jensis at either 518-862-4960 or ljensis@techvalleyhigh.org to set up a call with the administration to discuss specific needs.  

Tech Valley is committed to ensuring that all of its students and their families are taught and re-taught new expectations related to all public health policies and protocols. As part of this continuous training, we will assess the best approach to communicating the information for each students’ grade level and will provide frequent opportunities for students to review these policies and protocols. This targeted education will help ensure that all students and their families know what is expected of them as they successfully return to the school setting. Students will be trained by teachers and administrators upon return to school.

These trainings will cover:

  • Identifying symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Required personal protective equipment (PPE) including social distancing when in Tech Valley High School.
  • Proper face covering procedures (how to wear, remove, clean, dispose, etc.)
  • Hand hygiene
  • The proper way to use disposable gloves
  • Social distancing
  • Respiratory etiquette (coughing, sneezing, etc.)

Tech Valley High School will create and display signage throughout all of its facilities to address public health protections surrounding COVID-19. Signage will address protocols and recommendations in the following areas:

  • Proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Acceptable face coverings and requirements related to their wearing these.
  • Hand hygiene
  • Adherence to social distancing instructions
  • Symptoms/prevention of COVID-19

In addition to signage, Tech Valley High School will encourage all students, faculty, staff, and predetermined visitors through verbal and written communication to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and DOH guidance regarding the use of PPE through additional means such as sending the links to the guidance home and posting on our website.  E-mails and video training will support the communication of infection prevention.

Tech Valley High School is committed to creating a learning environment that protects student, and staff health, safety, and privacy. Our school will operate under a standard procedure for addressing situations in which an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 or appears symptomatic. These procedures are outlined in the Health & Safety section of our reopening plan.

If a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. Tech Valley High School will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed by local health officials.

School Closures

Tech Valley High School is preparing for situations where we need to close due to a significant number of students or staff testing positive for COVID-19 or a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases.

Tech Valley High’s nurse and medical director will consult with local health officials to determine parameters, conditions, or metrics, as the school year progresses to assure, we are monitoring the conditions of our building.  We will look at such indicators as increased absenteeism or increased illness, that could serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be rising beyond an acceptable level.  We will also work with our BOCES District Superintendents to monitor what is occurring in our sending districts.

Tech Valley High School may choose to modify operations in our schools before closing to help mitigate a rise in cases. Tech Valley High School will consult our medical director and/or the local health department when making such decisions. 

School building administrators regularly communicate with each other and, if needed, consider closing school if absentee rates impact the ability of the school to operate safely. If our incidence of illness begins to rise, we will pivot and move to a 100% on-line teaching.  This will be communicated through School Messenger, email, and our website.