Health & Safety

The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is our top priority. We want students and employees to feel comfortable and safe, returning to school campuses. Our reopening plan incorporates recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

The following protocols and procedures will be in place in at our school for the 2020-21 school year should in-person schooling resume. Anyone with questions or concerns should contact our COVID-19 safety coordinator at Lwells@techvalleyhigh.org (518-862-4960) or sfiess@techvalleyhigh.org (518-862-4958)

For more information about how health and safety protocols and trainings will be communicated to students, families and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

Health checks

Tech Valley High School has gathered resources to educate parents/guardians and staff members regarding the careful observation of symptoms of COVID-19 and health screening measures that must be conducted each morning before coming to school. The resources include the requirement for any student or staff member with a fever of 100°F or higher and/or symptoms of possible COVID-19 virus infection to not come to school. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of Coronavirus symptoms was used to develop these resources.

Tech Valley  will implement the following practices to conduct mandated health screening:

  • Staff, students, or a parent on behalf of their child, must complete a health screening that permits the staff member or student to attend school that day.
  • The health screening must be completed every day that a staff member or child will attend school.
  • The screening must occur in the morning and prior to the staff member or student’s arrival on school property.
  • All staff members and essential visitors must enter the building through the main entrance and show their daily clearance upon entry.
  • Student entry locations are building specific and will be posted.

The health screening will be performed using Tech Valley’s health screening tool. The tool is accessed at  on the internet and will be shared in the near future here and on our website.   If a staff person or student does not have access to the internet, access to a device that connects to the internet, a thermometer or has any other circumstance that precludes them from conducting the health screening at home prior to their arrival on school property, please contact the Tech Valley High School Administration.   Alternative arrangements will be made to support the daily required health screening of the staff member or student that will permit attendance at school that day.  

The daily health screening check will require the staff member, student, or parent on  behalf of the  student, to attest that:

  • The staff member/student has not experienced any symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, including:
    • a temperature of greater than 100.0°F
    • cough
    • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • fever
    • chills
    • repeated shaking with chills
    • muscle pain
    • headache
    • sore throat
    • new loss of taste or smell
    • gastrointestinal tract symptoms
  • The staff member/student has not tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days
  • The staff member/student has not knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19
  • The staff member/student has not  traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

Students may not attend school if they have had a temperature of greater than 100.0°F at any time in the past 14 days, even if a fever-reducing medication was administered and the student no longer has a fever. [1] Please see the “Return to School After Illness” section of the reopening plan regarding the requirements that permit a student or staff member to return to school.

Per the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), schools are prohibited from keeping records of student, faculty, staff, and visitor health data, but are permitted to maintain records that confirm individuals were screened and the result of such screening (e.g. cleared/not cleared for entry).

Daily health screening attestations will be reviewed by the Tech Valley High School  Nurse.

If a student arrives at school and the Tech Valley High School Nurse doesn’t have a record of the attestation:

  • Students will be taken to a screening area so on-site screening can be coordinated in a manner that prevents individuals from intermingling in close or proximate contact with each other prior to completion of the screening [2].
  • If more than one student is waiting to be screened, they must practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
  • A Tech Valley High School staff member will take the students’ temperature.
  • A Tech Valley High School staff member will call the parent/guardian to complete the remainder of the screening.

If any student has a temperature of 100°F or greater or who otherwise has signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire will be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home with instructions to contact their health care provider for assessment and testing.[3]

[1] Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health, p.19
[2] Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health, p.19
[3] Interim Guidance for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, NYS Department of Health, p.19; State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools p.21

Students must notify their teacher or principal if they develop symptoms or if their answers to the health screening change during or outside school hours. Staff members must notify their principal and email contact the HR Department  if they develop symptoms or if their answers to the health screening change during or outside school hours. Guests must follow the notification instructions they received upon entry to the building if their answers to the health screening change during or outside their visitation hours.

Tech Valley High School reserves the right to check the temperature of staff, students or visitors at any point during the school day if an individual is demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms

Social distancing, face coverings & Personal Protective Equipment

Tech Valley High School requires social distancing of all students, faculty, staff and visitors when in school facilities, grounds and transportation in accordance with school guidance.

    Students, staff, and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings indoors and outside, including on the school bus and in classrooms, even when six-foot physical distancing is possible.   Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, instruction, and short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one. 

    Face coverings and related necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost. Staff and students are allowed and encouraged to use their own acceptable face covering. Acceptable face coverings for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. An employee or student is allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering if they choose. Employees with healthcare provider documentation stating they are not medically able to tolerate face covering will not be required to do so.

    Face coverings should not be placed on:

    • Students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction
    • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
    • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance

    Tech Valley High School will instruct students, parents/guardians, and staff, contractors, and vendors on:

    • The proper way to wear face coverings
    • Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering
    • The proper way to discard of disposable face coverings

    Students and staff who forget to bring a mask to school will be provided with a paper mask. 

    Infection control strategies

    Tech Valley High will implement a variety of Infection Control Strategies, including:, but not limited to, sinks that are supplied with soap and paper towels, alcohol-based hand rub dispensers, dividers in certain areas and other strategies as outlined in agency guidance. Staff and students will be trained in proper hand hygiene and respiratory practices.

    Barriers

    • A polycarbonate screen has been installed that divides the lobby from the receptionist
    • An office has been converted to an isolation room adjacent to the nurse’s office.

    Cleaning and Sanitizing

    • Alcohol-based hand rub dispensers are available in the hallways and each classroom.
    • Regular disinfection will happen daily and throughout the day. Fomite surfaces, including door-handles and light-switches, will be sanitized frequently.
    • Touchless bottle filling water dispensers are available for students to fill their own water bottles. In addition, disposable cups will be provided to students.

    Social Distancing

    • One-way hallways will be marked and maintained.
    • Class-sizes are reduced, and students learn in static cohorts.
    • Cohorts assigned to one classroom with desks stationed 6-ft apart for the duration of in-person instruction. Teachers will rotate between classrooms.
    • PE classes will occur outdoors, maintaining 12-feet distancing whenever possible. If weather does not permit, the multi-purpose room will serve as a gym overflow area where students can exercise while a 12-ft distance.

    Time-management:

    • Arrival and dismissal will be staggered to reduce pupil contact and maintain social distancing.
    • Instructional schedules will be modified to include more synchronous remote learning experiences.

    Plumbing Facilities and Fixtures

    • All of the toilet fixtures that have been available for use in a building will continue to be available with social distancing being adhered to. Monitoring of the bathrooms will assure students are maintain social distancing. Tape will be on the floor showing the distance they must stand apart.
    • The middle sink in the bathrooms will be turned off and taped off so that students may maintain 6ft of distance while washing hands (2 max).
    • Hand dryers in the bathrooms have been shut off and paper towel dispensers have been installed.
    • Drinking water facilities: Tech Valley High School has disabled the drinking fountains except for bottle fillers, and students will be encouraged to bring a fillable water bottle to school. Disposable cups or bottled water will be provided as needed.

    Ventilation

    Adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) will be maintained as designed. Ventilation with outdoor air will be encouraged to the greatest extent possible while  HVAC units will be serviced including proper filtration requirements considering the capability of the system.  

    Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

    Tech Valley High School requires students, faculty, or staff members who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the school day to report to the nurse’s office. If several students waiting to see the school nurse, students must wait at least 6 feet apart. The school has designated areas to separate individuals with symptoms of COVID- 19 from others until they can go home or to a healthcare facility, depending on the severity of illness. One area will be used to treat injuries, provide medications or nursing treatments, and the other area will be used for assessing and caring for ill students and staff. Both areas have easy access to a bathroom and sink with hand hygiene supplies. Students and staff who are determined to have COVID-19-like symptoms will be referred to their healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing upon leaving the building.

    At Tech Valley High School, we will use Room 109 as the treatment and medication area for non-COVID related matters.  The nurse’s office 111 will become the isolation area for COVID-19 suspected symptoms. If additional space is needed for isolation, we will use 103A.

    Personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, eye protection (e.g., goggles or face shield) will be added. When caring for a suspect or confirmed individual with COVID-19, gloves, a gown, eye protection, and a fit-tested N-95 respirator will be used, if available. If  an N-95 respirator is not available, a  surgical face mask and face shield will be used.

    School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms, and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

    Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometers, disposable thermometer sheaths or probes, disposable otoscope specula).

    Aerosol Generating Procedures

    Respiratory treatments administered by nurses generally result in aerosolization of respiratory secretions. These aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) potentially put healthcare personnel and others at an increased risk for pathogen exposure and infection. Tech Valley High School requires the following PPE to be worn during AGPs: gloves, N-95 or a surgical mask with face shield, eye protection and a gown. PPE will be used when: suctioning, administering nebulizer treatments, or using peak flow meters with students who have respiratory conditions.

    Treatments such as nebulized medication treatments and oral or tracheostomy suctioning will be conducted in a room separate from others with nursing personnel wearing appropriate PPE. For nebulizer treatments, if developmentally appropriate, the nurse will leave the room and return when the nebulizer treatment is finished.  Cleaning of the room will occur between use and cleaning of the equipment to follow the manufacturer’s instructions after each use.  Currently we do not have any students who have these needs.

    If Students or Staff become Ill with Symptoms of COVID-19 at School

    Tech Valley High School requires students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students and staff are supervised, prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home. Students will be supervised in the isolation area while awaiting transport home and will be separated by at least 6 feet. Students will be escorted from the isolation area to their parent/guardian. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

    Return to School after Illness

    If a staff member or student is exposed to COVID-19, Tech Valley High School and local health officials requires that they complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning/work. Steps that need to be met include:

    • Tracking the status of students diagnosed or not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms, receiving a test etc., and those who have indicated close or proximate contact and are or are not symptomatic is the responsibility of the school nurse at the building level in collaboration with the school administration.
    • Tracking the status of staff diagnosed or not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 after experiencing symptoms, receiving a test etc., and those who have indicated close or proximate contact and are or are not symptomatic is the responsibility of Questar III’s Human Relations department.
    • Once the school nurse or Human Relations department has been informed about a potential or verified case of COVID-19 via in person self-reporting, positive attestations, county notification etc., they should immediately contact Lynne R. Wells or Sarah Fiess, COVID-19 Coordinators. 

    Based on diagnosis, symptoms of exposure to COVID-19 the following protocols apply:

    If a person is not diagnosed by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) with COVID-19 they can return to school:

    • Once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, and they have felt well for 24 hours, and;
    • If they have been diagnosed with another condition and has a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.

    If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home until:

    • It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms;
    • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); and
    • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

    If a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider based on a test or their symptoms or does not get a COVID-19 test but has had symptoms, they should not be at school and should stay at home and may not return to work/school until: 

    • They have completed at least 10 days of isolation at home from the onset of symptoms or 10 days of isolation after the first positive test if they remain asymptomatic (this applies whether the employee is symptomatic or asymptomatic) ;
    • It has been at least three days since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine), and;
    • It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.

    If a person has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time and is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms:

    Please note: The New York State Department of Health considers a close contact to be someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the person was isolated.

    • The person may return to school upon completing at least 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms.
    • The Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady,and  Schoharie County Health Department should be contacted if the extent of contact between an individual and a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 is unclear.

    If a person has had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time and is not experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms:

    • The person may return to school upon completing 14 days of self-quarantine.

    Please note: All of the above protocols will be implemented in coordination with the Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady,and  Schoharie County Health Department. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides specific guidance for individuals who are on home isolation regarding when the isolation may end.

    [1] State Education Department Issues Guidance to Reopen New York State Schools (July 16, 2020)

    COVID-19 Testing

    In order for a staff member or student to return to school after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or testing positive, they must provide documentation from a health care provider following an evaluation, a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result, and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation.

    In the event that a large-scale testing will need to be conducted at the school, Tech Valley High School will work with Capital Region BOCES and Questar III administration  as well as the with the Albany County Department of Health to support implementation.

    Contact Tracing

    Tech Valley High School will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

    To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, Tech Valley High School has developed and maintained a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.  

    Tech Valley High School may assist with contact tracing by:

    1. Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
    2. Ensuring student schedules are up to date
    3. Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and wherein the school they visited
    4. Assist the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual according to the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program

    If/when COVID-19 cases are discovered in the school, in consultation with the local health department, the school will do the following:

    • Close the classroom/school down and do a deep cleaning of the room(s) and the building.
    • Work with the health department and share the attendance records of all students and staff members that had come into contact with the individuals with COVID-19 and other cohorts of students and teachers that have been in the building when the individuals with COVID-19 were in the building.
    • Share the log of any visitor that was in the building and specifically in the rooms and area where there could have been a potential exposure.

    Confidentiality will be maintained as required by federal and state laws, and regulations. School staff should not determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.

    For more information about how COVID-19 containment efforts will be communicated to students, families, and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

    School Closures

    A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols, and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in- person education and/or closing the school. Tech Valley High School will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

    At a minimum, schools will close in accordance with direction from the governor and New York State Department of Health when any of the following conditions occur:

    • If the regional infection rate rises over 9% after August 1:
      • If the infection rate rises above 9%, schools must wait until the 14-day average is below 5% before reopening with permission from the Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schoharie County Departments of Health and other governing agencies.
    • If the 7-day rolling average of the infection rate is above 9%.
    • Tech Valley will be notified by the Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schoharie County Departments of Health regarding the status of infection rates
    • Tech Valley High School reserves the right to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases:
      • If the infection rates rise above 5%, • Tech Valley High School will consider modifying school operations in consultation with the Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and  Schoharie County Departments of Health.

    CRB reserves the right to close its schools in consultation with the Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga and  Schoharie County Departments of Health if it determines absentee rates or other conditions impact the ability to operate safel

    For more information about how school closure information will be communicated to students, families, and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

    Health Department Contacts:

    Tech Valley High School is located in Albany County but serves many other counties.  The Department Of Health contact information for the counties currently participating in the Tech Valley High School program are:

    • NYSDOH Covid – 19 Hotline; (888) 364-3065
    • Albany County Department of Health; Phone (518) 447-4580
    • Rensselaer County Health Department; (518) 270-2655
    • Schoharie County Health Dept.; (518) 295-8365
    • Columbia County Department of Health; (518) 828-3358
    • Greene County Department of Health; (518) 719-3600
    • Saratoga Department of Health; (518) 885-2276
    • Schenectady County Department of Health: (518) 836-2400

    Health hygiene

    Tech Valley High School will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, and providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school (e.g., entrances, restrooms, cafeteria, classrooms, administrative offices, auditorium, custodial staff areas), and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

    1. Stay home if they feel sick.
    2. Cover their nose and mouth with an acceptable face covering when unable to maintain social distance from others or in accordance with any stricter policy implemented by the school.
    3. Properly store and, when necessary, discard soiled PPE.
    4. Adhere to social distancing instructions.
    5. Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.
    6. Follow hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
    7. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

    Hand Hygiene

    Students and staff must carry out the following hand hygiene practices. 

    • Wash hands routinely with soap (any kind) and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Dry hands thoroughly after washing. Use paper towels to dry hands if available instead of a hand dryer if they are available.
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed on the hands until it is completely absorbed. DO NOT dry hands if sanitizer is used.

    Hand washing should occur:

    • Before and after eating (e.g., snacks and lunch).
    • After using the restroom.
    • After using a tissue.
    • Before and after using shared materials.
    • Before and after putting on or taking off face masks.
    • After coming in from the outdoors.
    • Anytime hands are visibly soiled.

    Respiratory Hygiene

    The COVID-19 virus spreads from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes. Therefore, the school will emphasize the importance of respiratory hygiene.

    Students and staff must carry out the following respiratory hygiene practices.

    • Cover a cough or sneeze using a tissue. If a tissue is used, it should be thrown away immediately.
    • If you don’t have a tissue when sneezing or coughing, sneeze into your elbow.
    • Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.
    • Face coverings are protective. Wearing a face covering will keep the respiratory droplets and aerosols from being widely dispersed into the air.

    For more information about how hygiene information will be communicated to students, families, and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.

    Cleaning and disinfecting

    Tech Valley will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19” and other guidance, as applicable.

    Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that includes the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

    Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include

    • Bathrooms
    • Health offices, isolation rooms
    • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
    • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
    • Breakrooms
    • Kitchen
    • Science labs
    • Classrooms
    • Maintenance offices and work areas
    • Large meeting areas (Multipurpose room, gymnasiums)
    • Outdoor seating areas (wood)

    Students, faculty, and staff will be trained on proper hand, and respiratory hygiene.  Such information will be provided to parents and/or legal guardians on ways to reinforce this at home.

    The school will provide and maintain hand hygiene stations around the school, as follows:

    • For handwashing: soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels.
    • For hand sanitizing: an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
    • Accommodations for students who cannot use hand sanitizer will be made.

    Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual’s use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed. 

    Tech Valley High School will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often, depending on the frequency of use.  

    For more information about how cleaning and disinfection information will be communicated to students, families, and staff members, visit the Communication/Family and Community Engagement section of our reopening plan.                     

    Vulnerable populations/accommodations

     We recognize that some students and staff members are at an increased risk for COVID-19 illness, or live with a person who is at an increased risk. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities. Parents of children that are more at risk of COVID-19 have been asked to speak with their child’s doctor and/or medical professional(s) to determine the best academic and service options for their child. Staff have been notified to contact HR if they have conditions that put them at an increased risk of COVID-19. Students who have family members who are in high risk groups may also need to attend school remotely. If a child is unable to return to in-person instruction this fall, remote academic instruction and related services will be provided to meet the individualized education program (IEP) and/or instructional program to the greatest extent possible.

    Persons in these groups should consult with their healthcare provider regarding prevention:

    • Individuals age 65 or older
    • Pregnant individuals
    • Individuals with underlying health conditions including, but not limited to:
      • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
      • serious heart conditions
      • immunocompromised
      • severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
      • diabetes
      • chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
      • liver disease
      • sickle cell anemia
      • children who are medically complex, who have neurologic, genetic, metabolic conditions, or who have congenital heart disease are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 than other children

    Visitors on campus

    No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, for the safety and well-being of students. Parents/guardians will report to the front reception area and are required to wear face coverings and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Visitors must follow all safety protocols as listed above.

    School safety drills

    Tech Valley High School will conduct fire (evacuation) drills and lockdown drills as required by education law and regulation and the fire code without, exceptions. Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.

    Fire drills will be conducted as part of orientation for students in the first weeks of hybrid instruction.  Each classroom will be assigned a primary building egress door and move to a designated area of the campus where they can wait safely, masked, with 6ft social distancing for the duration of the drill. Classrooms will be dismissed back into the building one at a time, maintaining social distancing in hallways, stairwells, and the classroom.  Both the A and B cohorts of students will have a fire drill as part of their orientation.

    Lockdown drill protocols will be reviewed during the student orientation period, where to hide or shelter within their classroom “pod.” Subsequent drills may model sheltering or hiding with masked precautions.  Students will be instructed that if it was an actual emergency that required evacuation or lockdown, the most imminent concern is to get to safety; maintaining social distancing in an actual emergency that requires evacuation or lockdown may not be possible and should not be the first priority.

    Tech Valley High School will continue to work with the Emergency Response Team on the SUNY Poly campus in order to coordinate the timing of each evacuation drill.