Jump to: Appendix B – Emergency Response Plan
Emergencies and violent incidents in school districts are critical issues that must be addressed in an expeditious and effective manner. Districts are required to develop a District-wide School Safety Plan designed to prevent or minimize the effects of serious violent incidents, declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease or local public health emergency declaration, and other emergencies and to facilitate the coordination of the district with local and county resources in the event of such incidents or emergencies. The district-wide plan is responsive to the needs of all schools within the district and is consistent with the more detailed emergency response plans required at the school building level. Districts are at risk of a wide variety of acts of violence, natural, and technological disasters. To address these threats, the State of New York has enacted the Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) law. This component of Project SAVE is a comprehensive planning effort that addresses risk reduction/prevention, response, and recovery with respect to a variety of emergencies in the school district and its schools.
School safety is the job of the entire school community. This effort requires leadership and coordination by school administration, and involvement and participation from all sectors of the school community. New York State school districts are required to develop a district-wide school safety plan to help school officials identify and respond to potential emergencies. Planning, conducting drills and participating in exercises with law enforcement, fire, emergency officials and other members of the school community ensures a comprehensive, unified approach to emergency response planning. The Menands Union Free School District-Wide Safety Plan was developed by the Menands School District Safety Team with guidance from the New York State Police.
The Menands Union Free School District supports the SAVE Legislation, and intends to engage in a planning process. The Superintendent of Schools encourages and advocates on-going district-wide cooperation and support of Project SAVE.
Section I: General Considerations and Planning Guidelines
The Menands Union Free District-wide School Safety Plan was developed pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation 155.17. At the direction of the Menands Union Free School District Board of Education, the Superintendent of Menands Union Free School District appointed a District-wide School Safety Team and charged it with the development and maintenance of the District-wide School Safety Plan.
B. Identification of Chief Emergency Officer
The Menands Union Free District designates the School Superintendent as the district’s chief emergency officer whose duties shall include, but not be limited to:
- Coordination of the communication between school staff, law enforcement, and other first responders;
- Lead the efforts of the district-wide school safety team in the completion and yearly update by September 1st, of the district-wide school safety plan and the coordination of the districtwide
plan with the building-level emergency response plans;
- Ensure staff understanding of the district–wide school safety plan;
- Ensure the completion and yearly update by September 1st, of building-level emergency response plans for each school building;
- Assist in the selection of security-related technology and development of policies for the use of such technology;
- Coordinate appropriate safety, security, and emergency training for district and school staff, including required training in the emergency response plan yearly by September 15th; and
- Ensure the conduct of required evacuation and lock-down drills in all district buildings as required by Education Law section 807.
- Ensure the development of protocols for responding to a declared state disaster emergency involving a communicable disease that are substantially consistent with the provisions of section 27-c of the Labor Law.
C. Identification of School Teams
The Menands Union Free School District has appointed a District-wide School Safety Team consisting of, but not limited to, representatives of the School Board, teachers, administrators; school safety personnel; and, other school personnel. The members of the team and their positions or affiliations are as follows:
- A representative of the School Board
- Maintenance Supervisor
- School Principal
- School Secretary
D. Concept of Operations
The concept of the Emergency Response Plan is to execute effective and timely decisions and actions that prevent harm, protect lives and property, mitigate damages, restore order and aid recovery. The District Safety Team, various agencies and services are involved in responding to incidents, including emergency responders from law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, mental health and other community organizations.
- The district-wide school safety plan is directly linked to the individual building-level emergency response plan to the school. Protocols reflected in the district-wide school safety plan guide the development and implementation of individual building-level emergency response plan.
E. Plan Review and Public Comment
- Pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulation, Section 155.17 (e) (3), this plan will be made available for public comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The district-wide plan may be adopted by the School Board only after at least one public hearing that provides for the participation of school personnel, parents, students and any other interested parties. The plan must be formally adopted by the Board of Education.
- While linked to the district-wide safety plan, the building level emergency response plans shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law or any other provisions of law, in accordance with Education Law Section 2801-a.
- Full copies of the District-wide School Safety Plan and any amendments will be submitted to the New York State Education Department within 30 days of adoption. The building level emergency response plans are supplied to the local police departments and the Albany County Operations of Emergency Management.
Section II: Risk Reduction/Prevention and Intervention
A. Prevention/Intervention Strategies
- Collaborative agreements with state and local law enforcement officials designed to ensure that school safety and security personnel are adequately trained including being trained to de-escalate potentially violent situations.
- Non-violent conflict resolution training programs
- Peer mediation strategies
- Youth-run programs overseen by school staff
- Creating a forum or designating a mentor for students concerned with bullying or violence
Training, Drills, and Exercises
- The Menands Union Free School District understands the importance of training, drills, and exercises in being prepared to deal with an incident. Annual training is provided to ensure that school personnel and responders are aware of their responsibilities under the District Wide Emergency Response Plan.
- The district has policies and procedures for annual multi-hazard school safety training for staff and students, including the strategies for implementing training related to multi-hazards. All staff will undergo annual training by September 15 thereafter on the building-level emergency response plan which includes components on violence prevention and mental health. New employees hired after the start of the school year receive this training within 30 days of hire or as part of the district’s existing new hire training program, whichever is sooner. The district certifies that this training is completed during the October NYSED BEDS data collection.
- During each school year, twelve required drills will be completed to prepare students to be able to respond appropriately in the event of a sudden emergency. Currently, four are required to be lock-down drills and eight are required evacuations. Eight drills will be completed by December 31st of each year.
- School district staff act as hall monitors and meet state certification requirements
Implementation of School Security
The district has developed policies and procedures related to school building security, including, where appropriate: visitor sign-in and badge procedures, employee badges, security procedures (locked doors).
Vital Educational Agency Information
The district also maintains the following information about each educational agency located in the confidential, Building-level Emergency Response Plan:
- School Population
- Number of staff
- Transportation needs
- Business and personal telephone numbers of key officials of pertinent educational agencies.
B. Early Detection of Potentially Violent Behaviors
The Menads Union Free School District has implemented procedures for the dissemination of informative materials regarding the early detection of potentially violent behaviors, including, but not limited to: the identification of family, community and environmental factors to teachers, administrators, parents and other persons in parental relation to students of the school district or board, students and other persons deemed appropriate to receive such information. The district has and continues to participate in programs such as: small group/individual counseling, Suicide threat assessment, child abuse and prevention workshops, programs designed to inform staff on how to identify potentially violent behaviors and other risk factors. The district additionally employs a school psychologist, counselor, special education staff and a school health nurse who are instrumental in assisting the district in identifying early warning signs in students, early intervention/prevention strategies and the development of violence prevention instruction for staff.
C. Hazard Identification
The Building Level Emergency response plan identifies hazards of environmental, health, safety and security for the students and faculty of the school. The plan contains resources and mitigation measures to decrease risk and provide appropriate response.
Section III: Response
A. Notification and Activation (Internal and External Communications)
- The Menands Union Free School District is fortunate to have substantial ties to the community of Menands and Albany County. If there were to be an emergency within our facility, that facility would call 911 for emergency assistance. If involvement is needed from other local government agencies, then the Superintendent or designee would act as that contact person. Additional procedures for communications can be found in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan including local emergency contacts and phone numbers, and the NYS/BOCES Communication Flow Chart. These contacts provide guidance for obtaining assistance during emergencies from emergency services organizations and local government. The following examples are the types of arrangements that could be used by the district:
- Superintendent (IC-Incident Commander or backup IC) in an emergency would contact the county dispatch center for fire, EMS, or police by calling 911.
- Superintendent (IC or backup IC) contacts the highest-ranking local government official for notification and/or assistance.
- If there is a disaster within the district that has the potential to impact other educational agencies within the district boundaries, the Chief Emergency Officer (Superintendent) activates a phone tree to inform all necessary parties. The phone tree is located in the Building-level Emergency Response Plan.
- The district uses a communication alert via electronic notification to contact parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. The district has an audit process to contact parents and guardians not utilizing the communication alert system.
B. Situational Responses
The district has developed multi-hazard response guides. These guidelines are located in the building-level emergency response plans and are in ICS (Incident Command System) format. Plans for taking the following actions in response to an emergency where appropriate are, including but not limited to:
- Initial Actions
- Command Post Location (Primary and Secondary)
- Shelter in Place:
- Severe Weather
- Bomb Threat
- HazMat Incident
- Hold in Place: Limits student/staff movement while dealing with short-term emergencies
- Minor facility incidents
- Medical Emergencies
- Evacuation: Used to evacuate students/staff from the school
- Before, during and after school hours, including security during evacuation and evacuation routes
- Lockout: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that prose an imminent concern outside of the school
- Lockdown: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that prose an immediate threat of violence in or around the school
- School Cancellation
- Early Dismissal
Emergencies may include, but are not limited to:
- Air Pollution
- Aviation Crash
- Bldg. Structural Failure
- Bomb Threat
- Civil Disturbance
- Crimes Against People
- Elec. System Failure
- Energy Supply Loss
- Fire Alarm Activation
- Heating System Failure
- Hostage Situation
- Intruder Situation
- Loss of Building
- Loss of Buses
- Mass Casualty
- Medical Emergency
- Natural Gas Leak
- Roof Leak/Failure
- School Bus Accident
- Severe Weather Emergency
- Threats of Violence
- Water Emergency
Responses to Acts of Violence:
The school district refer to their Crisis Intervention Plans via the post-incident response team and the Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Guides located in the building-level emergency response plans. These are reviewed by the district-wide school safety team to ensure content and consistency throughout the district. These policies and procedures are for responding to implied or direct threats of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including threats by students against themselves, which includes suicide. The following types of procedures are addressed in the plan:
- The use of staff trained in de-escalation or other strategies to diffuse the situation. Training is offered through Therapeutic Crisis Intervention and Suicide Preventions.
- Informing the Superintendent or designee of implied or direct threats.
- Determining the level of threat with the Superintendent and building-level emergency response team members.
- Contacting appropriate law enforcement agency, if necessary.
- Monitoring the situation, adjusting the district’s responses as appropriate to include possible implementation of the building-level emergency response team.
- Communication with parent/guardian. When a student implies or specifically threatens self-inflicted violence including suicide, the school’s administrator(s) or designated staff member directly contacts the respective parents/guardians.
The Multi-Hazard Emergency Response Guides in the building-level emergency response plans provide guidance on the district’s policies and procedures for responding to direct acts of violence (i.e., Crimes Against Persons, Hostage Taking, Intruder and Kidnapping) by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school, including consideration of zero-tolerance policies for school violence. The following types of procedures are addressed in the plan:
- Inform the Superintendent/designee
- Determine the level of threat with the superintendent/designee and the building-level emergency response team.
- If the situation warrants, isolate the immediate area.
- Monitor the situation; adjust the level of response as appropriate; if necessary, initiate lockdown, evacuation, sheltering and/or early dismissal procedures as needed, if needed.
- Contact appropriate law enforcement agency
NOTE: The “Code of Conduct” describes policies and procedures for responding to acts of violence by students, teachers, other school personnel and visitors to the school.
The following protocols for appropriate responses to emergencies are provided as examples of responses to bomb threats, hostage takings, intrusions and kidnappings:
- Identification of decision-makers.
- Plans to safeguard students and staff.
- Procedures to provide transportation, if necessary.
- Procedures to notify parents.
- Procedures to notify the media.
- Debriefing procedures with the Crisis team where appropriate.
The district has established policies and procedures to contact parents, guardians or persons in parental relation to the students in the event of a violent incident or an early dismissal. In the Menands Union Free School District, the following communication methods are taken:
- For small-scale incidents, school personnel directly call the parents/guardians of all students directly impacted by any acts of violence. All other parents/guardians receive an informational letter. The Crisis Intervention Team is activated and available, if needed. If needed, as needed, meetings are scheduled in a timely manner for further discussion.
- For any major incident, the district works with the media along with our School News Notifier, District Web Site, Social Media, emails, and using the school notification system, to relay pertinent school-related information (i.e., how and where can parents be reunited with children, etc.) It is unfortunate, but important to remember that major emergencies can quickly tie up phone lines with incoming and outgoing calls and roads can be quickly blocked by the traffic of emergency vehicles, concerned parents and community members. School personnel directly call the parents/guardians of all students directly impacted by any acts of violence. All other parents/guardians receive an informational letter. Meetings are scheduled in a timely manner, if needed. If needed, further discussion to include the Crisis Intervention Team.
Section IV: Recovery
Recovery addresses the help needed for all involved to heal and to restore the school community to “normal” operations. The District Plan supports the school building plan by deploying district resources that support the school’s building-level emergency response team and the post-incident response team.
Recovery plans include mental health/emotional recovery, academic, physical and business recovery, and can continue long after the actual emergency. The District has a school counselor and a school psychologist and support systems. The District has the ability to coordinate with school, local, Albany County and State disaster mental health services. The District’s role with mental health services includes looking at the school culture and climate, providing student access to services and following threat assessment procedures
A. District Support for the Menands Union Free School District
The Building-level Emergency Response Plans provide resources for supporting the building-level emergency response team and post-incident response team. The district’s Incident Command System (ICS) identifies back-ups to act in place of team members in cases of absences.
The district realizes that some emergencies may overwhelm an individual school’s ability to manage an extreme crisis. If/when the school is faced with an emergency such as threats of violence or actual violent incidents, the district-wide school safety team assists as follows:
- Acting as a sounding board regarding the implied or direct threats and/or violent acts.
- Assisting in determining the level of threat and appropriate response.
- Monitoring the situation and adjusting the district’s response as appropriate.
- Assisting with parent/guardian, faculty/staff, and media communication.
- Assisting with coordinating building and grounds security in conjunction with local and State Police.
- Offering debriefing sessions as needed working in conjunction with local, Albany County and/or State emergency responders.
B. Disaster Mental Health Services
If/when a building-level emergency response team or post-incident response team is faced with an emergency that may overwhelm the school’s ability to manage an extreme crisis, the district-wide school safety team assists as follows:
Activating the district-wide post-incident response team. The district has a school psychologist, one counselor and one school nurse who have local connections to:
- Neighboring school districts
- Albany County Department of Mental Health
- Offering district support and looking for continued feedback from those directly impacted during the incident, with projected plans to assist if needed during heightened stressful times such as a re-occurrence of a similar event and anniversaries of the original event.
- Assisting with parent/guardian, student, and faculty/staff debriefing and/or post-incident crisis intervention. The debriefing is also used in part to evaluate the district’s plan for possible revisions. If needed, assisting in contacting additional outside mental health resources such as the National Organization for Victim Assistance (1-800-try-nova; www.trynova.org).
- Assisting the schools with written statements going out to faculty/staff, parents/guardians, press releases and media requests through the district’s Public Information Officer.
List and contact for the school buildings covered in the district-wide safety plan:
Menands School K-8
19 Wards Ln, Menands, NY 12204
Jennifer Cannavo, Principal
518-465-4561, ext. 119
Appendix B: Public Employer Health Emergency Plan
This plan has been developed in accordance with NYS legislation S8617B/A10832
This plan has been developed in accordance with the amended New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and I of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable.
This plan has been developed with the input of Menands Association of Teachers, as required by the amended New York State Labor Law.
No content of this plan is intended to impede, infringe, diminish, or impair the rights of us or our valued employees under any law, rule, regulation, or collectively negotiated agreement, or the rights and benefits which accrue to employees through collective bargaining agreements, or otherwise diminish the integrity of the existing collective bargaining relationship.
This plan has been approved in accordance with requirements applicable to the agency, jurisdiction, authority, or district, as represented by the signature of the authorized individual below.
As the authorized official of Menands Union Free School District, I hereby attest that this plan has been developed, approved, and placed in full effect in accordance with S8617B/A10832 which amends New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and I of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable, to address public health emergency planning requirements.
Signed on this day:
By: Dr. Maureen A. Long
Purpose, Scope, and Assumptions
This plan has been developed in accordance with the amended New York State Labor Law section 27-c and New York State Education Law paragraphs k and I of subdivision 2 of section 2801-a (as amended by section 1 of part B of chapter 56 of the laws of 2016), as applicable. These laws were amended by the passing of legislation S8617B/A10832 signed by the Governor of New York State on September 7, 2020, requires public employers to adopt a plan for operations in the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease. The plan includes the identification of essential positions, facilitation of remote work for non-essential positions, provision of personal protective equipment, and protocols for supporting contact tracing.
This plan was developed exclusively for and is applicable to Menands Union Free School District. This plan is pertinent to a declared public health emergency in the State of New York, which may impact our operations; and it is in the interest of the safety of our employees and contractors, and the continuity of our operations that we have promulgated this plan.
This plan was developed based on information, best practices, and guidance available as of the date of publication. The plan was developed to largely reflect the circumstances of the current Coronavirus pandemic but may also be applicable to other infectious disease outbreaks.
The following assumptions have been made in the development of this plan:
- The health and safety of our employees and contractors, and their families, is of utmost importance
- The circumstances of a public health emergency may directly impact our own operations.
- Impacts of a public health emergency will take time for us to respond to, with appropriate safety measures put into place and adjustments made to operations to maximize safety
- The public and our constituency expects us to maintain a level of mission essential operations
- Resource support from other jurisdictions may be limited based upon the level of impact the public health emergency has upon them
- Supply chains, particularly those for personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, may be heavily impacted, resulting in considerable delays in procurement
- The operations of other entities, including the private sector (vendors, contractors, etc.), non-profit organizations, and other governmental agencies and services may also be impacted due to the public health emergency, causing delays or other disruptions in their services
- Emergency measures and operational changes may need to be adjusted based upon the specific circumstances and impacts of the public health emergency, as well as guidance and direction from public health officials and the governor
- Per S8617B/A10832, ‘essential employee’ is defined as a public employee or contractor that is required to be physically present at a work site to perform their job
- Per S8617B/A10832, ‘non-essential employee’ is defined as a public employee or contractor that is not required to be physically present at a work site to perform their job
Concept of Operations
The Superintendent of Menands Union Free School District, their designee, or their successor holds the authority to execute and direct the implementation of this plan. Implementation, monitoring of operations, and adjustments to plan implementation may be supported by additional personnel, at the discretion of the Superintendent.
Upon the determination of implementing this plan, all employees and contractors of Menands Union Free School District shall be notified by email notification, with details provided as possible and necessary, with additional information and updates provided on a regular basis. Administrators, Faculty, Staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups will be notified of pertinent operational changes by way of emails, phone calls, website updates and messenger accounts. Other interested parties, such as vendors, will be notified by phone and/or email as necessary. The district Communications Specialist will maintain communications with the public and constituents as needed throughout the implementation of this plan.
The Superintendent of Menands Union Free School District, their designee, or their successor will maintain awareness of information, direction, and guidance from public health officials and the Governor’s office, directing the implementation of changes as necessary.
Upon resolution of the public health emergency, the Superintendent of Menands Union Free School District, their designee, or their successor will direct the resumption of normal operations or operations with modifications as necessary.
Mission Essential Functions
When confronting events that disrupt normal operations, Menands Union Free School District is committed to ensuring that essential functions will be continued even under the most challenging circumstances.
Essential functions are those functions that enable an organization to:
- Maintain the safety of students, employees, contractors, and our constituency
- Provide vital services
- Provide services required by law
- Sustain quality operations
- Uphold the core values of Menands Union Free School District
The Menands Union Free School District has identified as critical only those priority functions that are required or are necessary to provide vital services. During activation of this plan, all other activities may be suspended to enable the organization to concentrate on providing the critical functions and building the internal capabilities necessary to increase and eventually restore operations. Appropriate communications with employees, contractors, our constituents, and other stakeholders will be an ongoing priority.
Essential functions are prioritized according to:
- The time criticality of each essential function
- Interdependency of a one function to others
- The recovery sequence of essential functions and their vital processes
The mission essential functions for Menands Union Free School District have been identified as:
Student Education/Continuity of Learning – Provide curriculum and instruction to meet NYSED expectations and standards.
Child Nutrition – Provide meals to the district’s students during in-person, remote and virtual learning models.
Transportation – Arrange for transportation by qualified drivers for students, or for the delivery of food or other materials.
Social Emotional Well-Being – Have trained staff and faculty members to offer resources and referrals to students indicating the need for counseling services and intervention.
Facilities- Maintenance and upkeep of the district’s buildings, lands, playgrounds/fields and inventory.
Community Engagement – Establish and maintain regular channels of communications with administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups.
Technology and Connectivity – Distribution of laptops and internet connectivity devices for families and staff to facilitate continued education in remote learning environments necessary for continuity of instruction and education. Also responsible for troubleshooting technical issues that may arise during the virtual learning process, the offering of best practices in communication to ensure that students are able to access curricular materials, and for helping staff members disseminate information related to both academic and social-emotional education.
Business & District Office Functions – Oversight and management of the functions performed by employees in the superintendent’s office and the business office to ensure that regular business operations and services continue as necessary and/or mandated. Appropriate communications with students, families, employees, contractors, educational community, and other stakeholders will be an ongoing priority.
Each essential function identified above requires certain positions on-site to effectively operate. The list below identifies the positions or titles that are essential to be staffed on-site for the continued operation of each essential function. Note that while some functions and associated personnel may be essential, some of these can be conducted remotely and do not need to be identified in this section.
Essential positions/title: Head Cook, Food Service Helper (2), Transportation Contractor
Justification: Meals (breakfast and lunch) will be prepared and delivered to the students. In the event there are no food service employees, an agreement with North Colonie CSD has been made that will provide student lunches.
Technology Maintenance and Monitoring
Essential positions/title: Contractor IT Director & Technician from South Colonie CSD
Justification: Oversee the function of the network and assist in resolving remote operation malfunctions, and to conduct routine cleaning, disinfection & maintenance.
Essential positions/title: Custodial Staff, Maintenance Staff
Justification: Staff will occupy buildings during shutdowns for security and emergency purposes.
Business and School Operations
Essential positions/title: Business Manager, Superintendent
Justification: Oversee the day-to-day operations of the district.
Reducing Risk Through Remote Work and Staggered Shifts
Through assigning certain staff to work remotely and by staggering work shifts, we can decrease crowding and density at work sites.
Remote Work Protocols
Non-essential employees and contractors able to accomplish their functions remotely will be enabled to do so at the greatest extent possible. Working remotely requires:
- Identification of staff who will work remotely
- Teachers and Special Education Teachers & Service Providers
- School Counselors, Psychologists, & Social Worker
- School Administrators and Business Office Employees
- Approval and assignment of remote work
- School Administration: School Principal, Superintendent and Business Manager
- Equipping staff for remote work, which may include:
- Internet capable laptop
- Necessary peripherals
- Access to VPN and/or secure network drives
- Access to software and databases necessary to perform their duties
- A solution for telephone communications (Note that phone lines may need to be forwarded to off-site staff)
All faculty and staff will function remotely at the direction of the Superintendent and Business Manager. All district mobile devices have been secured and compatible with non-district sanctioned wireless internet. Phone lines that have been identified as needing forwarded will be. Staff and students that have been identified to need connectivity assistance will be provided Chromebook and mobile “hot spots.”
Implementing staggered shifts may be possible for personnel performing duties which are necessary to be performed on-site but perhaps less sensitive to being accomplished only within core business hours. As possible, management will identify opportunities for staff to work outside core business hours as a strategy of limiting exposure. Regardless of changes in start and end times of shifts, Menands Union Free School District will ensure that employees are provided with their typical or contracted minimum work hours per week. Staggering shifts requires:
- Identification of positions for which work hours will be staggered
- Approval and assignment of changed work hours
Assignment of shift changes or staggering will come from the Business Manager and district Superintendent. At the time of an emergency shut down.
Personal Protective Equipment
The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce the spread of infectious disease is important to supporting the health and safety of our employees and contractors. PPE which may be needed can include:
- Face shields
- Disposable gowns and aprons
Note that while cleaning supplies are not PPE, there is a related need for cleaning supplies used to sanitize surfaces, as well as hand soap and hand sanitizer. The Coronavirus pandemic demonstrated that supply chains were not able to keep up with increased demand for these products early in the pandemic. As such, we are including these supplies in this section as they are pertinent to protecting the health and safety of our employees and contractors.
Protocols for providing PPE include the following:
- Identification of need for PPE based upon job duties and work location
- Procurement of PPE
- As specified in the amended law, public employers must be able to provide at least two pieces of each required type of PPE to each essential employee and contractor during any given work shift for at least six months
- Public employers must be able to mitigate supply chain disruptions to meet this requirement
- Storage of, access to, and monitoring of PPE stock
- PPE must be stored in a manner which will prevent degradation
- Employees and contractors must have immediate access to PPE in the event of an emergency
- The supply of PPE must be monitored to ensure integrity and to track usage rates
The Business Manager and Purchasing Clerk are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the stock of PPE. The stockpile of PPE is kept indoors in a secure and locked room of the building to prevent damage or theft. All employees have access to the PPE at all times, if the stockpile needs accessed employees can request through the Business Manager or Purchasing Clerk. At least, eight weeks of stock pile of staff and student PPE will be kept on hand, masks, face shields, nitrile gloves, eye protection and N95s (nurses only) will be kept in accordance with the NYSED Reopening Guidance quantities. In addition to the PPE, extra cleaning supplies and products are kept as well.
The Menands UFSD has accounts set up with numerous product vendors. Orders will be made as quickly as possible however due to potential supply chain shortages, the district will keep the stockpile during non-Health emergencies.
Staff Exposures, Cleaning, and Disinfection
Staff exposures are organized under several categories based upon the type of exposure and presence of symptoms. When a staff member is exposed, the District will follow applicable Albany County Department of Health, New York State Department of Health, and CDC guidelines as is required and best practices.
The Menands Union Free School District recognizes there may be nuances or complexities associated with potential exposures, close contacts, symptomatic persons, and those testing positive for a communicable disease. As stated above, the District will follow CDC/public health recommendations and requirements and coordinate with our local public health office for additional guidance and support as needed.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
CDC/public health guidelines will be followed for cleaning and disinfection of surf aces/areas. Present guidance for routine cleaning during a public health emergency includes:
- As possible, employees and contractors will clean their own workspaces in the beginning, middle, and end of their shifts, at a minimum.
- High traffic/high touch areas and areas which are accessible to the public/constituents will be disinfected at least hourly.
- Maintenance staff, under the direction of the district’s Head Custodian, will be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting common areas, based on the requirements of each individual situation and influenced by factors such as frequency of use, the specifics of the communicable disease, and recommendations from local, state, and federal authorities.
- Staff tasked with cleaning and disinfecting areas will be issued and required to wear PPE appropriate to the task.
- Soiled surfaces will be cleaned with soap and water before being disinfected.
- Surfaces will be disinfected with products that meet EPA criteria for use against the virus in question and which are appropriate for that surface.
- Staff will follow instructions of cleaning products to ensure safe and effective use of the products.
Documentation of Work Hours and Locations
In a public health emergency, it may be necessary to document work hours and locations of each employee and contractor to support contact tracing efforts. Identification of locations shall include on-site work, off-site visits.
This information may be used by Menands Union Free School District to support contact tracing within the organization and may be shared with local public health officials.
Districts may assist with contact tracing by:
- Keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members
- Ensuring student schedules are up to date
- Keeping a log of any visitor which includes date and time, and where in the school they visited
- Assisting the local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the NYS Contact Tracing Program
No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for the safety and well being of students. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well being of their child. Essential visitors and contractors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings. Visitors must follow all safety protocols and sign in and out of buildings providing the building with Name, Contact Information, Purpose of Visit/Locations, Date and Time.
District administration will keep the records at the building level and have them readily available for the Albany Department of Health via the school district’s appointed liaison.
Housing for Essential Employees
There are circumstances within a public health emergency when it may be prudent to have essential employees lodged in such a manner which will help prevent the spread of the subject communicable disease to protect these employees from potential exposures, thus helping to ensure their health and safety and the continuity of Menands Union Free School District’s essential operations.
If such a need arises, hotel rooms are expected to be the most viable option. If hotel rooms are for some reason deemed not practical or ideal, or if there are no hotel rooms available, Menands Union Free School District will coordinate with the Albany County Office of Emergency Management to help identify and arrange for these housing needs. The Business Manager will be responsible for coordinating this.