The Menands Union Free School District is planning for a full return to school in September, providing strong academics and extracurricular offerings. The district will employ tiered mitigation protocols that include face coverings, facilities cleaning, hand hygiene, contact tracing, quarantine, HVAC (ventilation) and surveillance testing. Guidance from the New York State Education Department (NYSED), The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, The United States Department of Education, have served as a primary guide for this opening plan.
The transmission or rate of infections according to the Albany County Department of Health (ACDOH) will be used to determine the level of protocols followed by the district.
The intent of the tiered approach is to find and maintain a balance between prioritizing health and safety of students and staff, and supporting the social, emotional, mental health of students and staff. This tiered mitigation strategy is fluid and will be reviewed intermittently based on community transmission.
There is a clear recognition of the polarized views on masking and vaccination. Our priority has been, and will continue to be, the safety of our staff and students. The mitigation strategies included in the matrix have proven successful in creating a safe school environment. We will continue to employ the strategies that work best and be responsible in terms of mitigating the spread of COVID, while balancing the provision of educational and extracurricular activities with the preservation of health and safety.
NOTE: This plan will be adjusted if dictated by any organization or body with the authority to do so.
The plan will be based on determining a level of mitigation protocol for our community.
In order to determine this level, we will look at county, town, and building-level COVID cases.
At the county level we will monitor the CDC’s level of transmission. The level of transmission is based on two factors:
- The number of new cases in the county over the previous 7 days; and
- The percentage of accurate COVID tests (Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests or NAATs ) that come back positive in the county over the past 7 days.
The determination of a specific level of transmission follows these guidelines:
Approved by the Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.