Facilities

NOTE: This document is based upon current guidelines and recommendations from the NYS Department of Health and the NYS Education Department. It is a living document and is subject to updates as more information becomes available.
UPDATED 8-28-2020

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection in the District, facilities operations will be geared toward meeting social distancing requirements and cleaning frequently touched spaces regularly. In carrying out projects or tasks supporting infection control, requirements will be met for changes associated with building spaces. Plans for changes or additions to facilities that require review by the Office of Facilities Planning (OFP), will be submitted to comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code.

The function, position and operation of stairs and corridor doors, which have closers with automatic hold opens (and are automatically released by the fire alarm system), will remain unchanged.

The Carmel Central School District plans to meet the deadline for submission of Building Condition Survey or Visual Inspections on time. In addition, lead in water sampling will be carried out upon the reopening of school under conditions consistent with when the building is “normally occupied.”

Upon reopening, the District plans to increase ventilation, to the greatest extent possible.  Water systems will be flushed in buildings that have been unoccupied.

The following actions will be taken as needed:

  • Consultation with engineers to establish sufficient fresh air exchange.
  • As needed, tents, both temporary and permanent are regulated by code and must be submitted for a building permit.
  • Minimum number of toilet fixtures that must be available for use in a building is established in the building code.
  • Maintain adequate, Code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed.
  • If other air cleaning equipment (e.g. new technology) is proposed, submit to OFP for review and approval.

Facility Entry

To ensure all faculty, staff, students, and visitors comply with physical distancing requirements, anyone within Carmel Central School District facilities will practice social distancing expectations:

  • Where feasible, entry and egress in and out of all buildings will be limited to a single location. If applicable, a single point entry and single point egress will be identified to minimize cross traffic.  All entry to the buildings will occur through the main entrance to a check-in point at the security station. In some cases, alternate areas will be established and supervised to avoid unnecessary crowding.
  • A face covering, must be worn by all individuals, students, staff, and visitors on Carmel Central School District property. Acceptable masks include disposable surgical masks, cloth masks purchased or made from household items. Clothing and household items (like scarfs, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels) are not acceptable in original form for use as masks on District grounds. Gaiters are not permitted. Masks with vents are not permitted.
  • A plastic face shield alone is not an acceptable face covering.
  • All individuals may choose to utilize their own face covering, however additional face coverings can and will be provided by the District as needed.

Visitor and Vendor Practices

No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on school campuses, except for in the case of emergency or school drop off/pick up. 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 to facilities and parent/guardian visitors will be required to wear face coverings and will have restricted access to our school buildings.

Visitors

  • All visitors must be wearing proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times when a six (6) foot social distance cannot be maintained.
  • All visitors check in at Security for temperature screening and to fill out the COVID-19 CHECK-IN SCREENING. The visitors must sign in and out with the monitor on duty.
  • No visitor should enter a building unless necessary. All meetings should be held outside or via virtual meetings when possible.
  • All visitors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for contact tracing. All visitors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a visitor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they are visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
  • At the end of each day, the receptionist/designee must submit the sign-in/out documents to building administration.

Vendors

  • All vendors must be wearing proper face covering prior to entering any building and it must be worn at all times when six (6) foot social distance cannot be maintained.
  • All vendors must report to the front door greeter desk first for temperature screening and to fill out the COVID-19 CHECK-IN SCREENING. The vendors must sign in and out with the monitor in duty. No vendor should enter a building unless necessary for completion of their job. All meetings should be held outside or via ZOOM when possible.
  • All vendors must sign in and out at the main entrance of each building stating their destination at that building for contact tracing. All vendors should be accompanied by a staff member.
  • Should a vendor become ill while on campus, they must alert the staff member they’re visiting to report the issue and then immediately seek medical attention.
  • At the end of each day, the receptionist/designee must submit the documents to: building administration.

Signs and Messages 

Signs will be posted in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread pdf icon of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face cover).

Space Design and Capacities

General Office Area

  • All offices will practice social distancing as feasible. 
  • Individuals entering the main office will wear a mask or face covering. Individuals seated 6 feet apart will be able to remove his/her mask.
  • Where applicable, all offices and small spaces will be limited to one (1) individual at a time.
  • In an office with multiple occupants, individuals will maintain at least 6ft of separation between individuals.
  • Additional protective barriers such as polycarbonate screens or strip curtains will be utilized to create a physical separation without hindrance to egress or airflow.
  • Workstations will be reconfigured so that employees do not face each other, or establish partitions if facing each other cannot be avoided
  • Face coverings will be worn in these multiple use office settings when not maintaining social distancing of 6 feet apart.
  • Tasks requiring large amounts of people will be reduced.
  • Employees will be encouraged to use virtual meeting tools, including phone and virtual teleconference, in lieu of in-person meetings, whenever possible
  • If in-person meetings are essential, consider limiting meetings to 10 people or less depending on local, state, and federal guidelines.

Conference Rooms

  • Will limit in-person meetings (refer to NYS guidance), if virtual meetings are not feasible
  • If meetings are to occur in person, they will be conducted in a quick manner
  • Social distancing among participants will be required
  • Lingering and socializing before and after meetings should be discouraged

Break Rooms and Lunch Rooms

  • Breakroom use is discontinued if a minimum of 6 ft. separation cannot be maintained when consuming food or drink. Social distancing markers and signage will be provided as necessary.
  • Staggered break schedules may be utilized to assist with separation concerns.
  • If staff wish to take breaks together they must do such in a large space or outside, where at minimum 6ft. of separation can occur.
  • Amenities that are handled with high contact frequency, such as water coolers, coffee makers, and bulk snacks will be cleaned frequently throughout the day.
  • Communal meals will not be provided to employees, and food will not be available in common areas where employees may congregate.

Copier Rooms/Areas

  • Congregating in copier rooms/areas is discouraged.
  • Cleaning supplies will be provided at copier stations.
  • Staff are encouraged to wipe down touch surfaces post and prior use.

Elevators

  • One person in an elevator at a time, unless a student requires an escort.
  • Personnel must wear acceptable face coverings when in common use areas.
  • Elevators will be frequently disinfected.

Restrooms 

  • Every other urinal/stall/sink will be utilized with frequent cleaning throughout the day, and deeper cleaning at the end of the day.
  • Individuals must knock before entering a bathroom to ensure there is no other occupant present.
  • In special circumstances where a student must be assisted in the use of the lavatory, the adult present must be wearing all applicable personal protective equipment including a face covering and when medically applicable, the student will be wearing a proper face covering as well.
  • Entry doors to gang bathrooms will be left open where applicable to reduce the need to handle

Hallways/Stairwells

  • Where feasible hallway traffic may be limited to single flow direction.
  • Where single flow is not applicable, bi-direction traffic will be permitted.
  • Directional flow will be identified by indications on the floor/stairs
  • Adequate distancing will be obtained between all individuals by taped off lanes on the corridor floors/ stair treads.
  • All individuals must also allow for adequate space between when traveling in the same direction.

Classrooms

  • Occupancy in each classroom will be limited to 50 % capacity, or as close as possible. Each Student, teacher and support staff will remain not less than 6 ft. of separation from others.
  • Additional considerations will be taken to account for space utilized for classrooms and teaching material.
  • Overall class sizes will be reduced to accommodate all safety parameters.
  • Students, teachers and support staff will be required to wear a proper face covering.
  • Where possible special teachers and PPS staff will travel to the classroom to provide instruction.
  • Restrict items in the classroom to that of obvious use.
    • Remove any unnecessary furniture as feasible.
    • Remove any soft surfaces that are difficult to disinfect such as:
      • Area Rugs
      • Soft fabric chairs

Nurse Stations

  • All students and staff are required to wear appropriate face coverings.
    • N95 Respirator use for nurses should be limited to situations of suspected COVID-19
    • Nurses must receive proper training and fitment of N95 Respirators prior to use.
  • Where applicable, nurse stations have been reconfigured to:
    • Maintain social distancing of no less than 6ft.
    • Create “sick” and “well” zones.
      • Students that receive daily medication should be treated separately from students presenting with symptoms of illness.
      • Nebulizer treatments should be conducted in a separate isolated space with adequate fresh air circulation.
    • Physical separation will be achieved by utilizing:
      • Individual exam rooms
      • Polycarbonate barriers
      • Retractable dividing curtain walls.
    • Isolation Room/s
      • Individuals presenting with symptoms representative of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated to reduce risk of transmission.
      • A separate room will be utilized where applicable.
      • Reference the Isolation Room/s section for additional information. 

Isolation Rooms

  • Where applicable, separate, independent room/s with a door in close proximity to the exterior will be utilized for quarantining individuals who present with symptoms representative of COVID-19.
  • Where excess space is not available. Nurse stations will be equipped with dividing curtains allowing for both a physical divide and at minimum 6ft of separation.
  • These rooms have been identified in each building
    • Kent Primary School - Room # 142
    • Kent Elementary School - Room #121
    • Matthew Patterson Elementary School - Room #166
    • George Fischer Middle School- Room #118
    • Carmel High School- Room #303

Security Vestibule/Reception areas

Security Stations will remain at all entrances of each building.

  • Where a multi- entrance design is used, additional security posts will be instituted as needed.
  • They will serve as the primary location for accounting for all individuals entering and exiting the building.
  • Barriers exist between monitors and those individuals who sign in.
  • Floor demarcations will be installed to indicate where visitors shall stand to maintain social distanced.
  • Reception areas will have seating removed or adequately spaced to provide at minimum of 6ft of separation.
  • Frequently touched materials such as magazines will be removed.

Computer Labs

  • These areas will be closed off to staff and students during the time-period of social distancing. Devices will not be shared. When devices are used in classrooms they will be cleaned immediately after.          

Library Spaces

·       These spaces will be closed to students during social distancing. Only the Librarian, or the adult assigned to the Library will have access. Library classes will be pushed into the classroom.

Playground Spaces

  • Playground equipment use will be discontinued until further notice.

Engineering Controls

  • Portable hand wash stations will be installed in the cafeterias.
  • Alcohol based hand sanitizer will be available in each entry, all corridors, and each classroom.

Vestibules/Reception Areas

  • Where a multi- entrance design is used, additional security posts will be instituted as needed.
  • They will serve as the primary location for accounting for all individuals entering and exiting the building.
  • Barriers exist between monitors and those individuals who sign in.
  • Floor demarcations will be installed to indicate where visitors shall stand to maintain social distanced.
  • Reception areas will have seating removed or adequately spaced to provide at minimum of 6ft of separation.
  • Frequently touched materials such as magazines will be removed.

Water Fountains

As required by New York State, a potable water supply will be provided per 150 occupants but not less than one source per floor. Water fountains will be cleaned frequently throughout the school day. Water Fountain use in elementary school will be discouraged. Cups will be provided to classrooms with sinks in elementary schools. In secondary schools, cup dispensers will be available near water fountains for use. 

Floor Demarcations

  • All entrances or areas of static wait have floor signage installed allotting for a minimum of six(6) feet of separation between all individuals
  • All Corridor floors and Stairway treading have been fitted with stripping to indicate directional traffic flow and social distancing.
  • Corridor doors will all be affixed open using electromagnetic hold-open devices to minimize the need to touch doors.

Ventilation

Carmel Central School District will ensure sufficient ventilation and fresh air to all spaces of occupancy by means of:

  • Modifications to the Building Management Systems to allow fresh air dampers to introduce more outside air.
  • Spaces where fresh air is limited due to original building systems, fresh air will be introduced through open windows and doors.
    • Options for replacement and modification to existing systems will be explored.
  • More frequent maintenance and inspection of the systems will occur to mitigate extra strain on systems.
  • Filter replacement schedules will be more frequent.

Cleaning and Disinfection

The Carmel Central School District will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH, including “Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19,” and the “STOP THE SPREAD” poster, as applicable. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.

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

  • Bathrooms
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
  • 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
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens
  • Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus Garage
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Outdoor seating areas (plastic or metal)

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

The District 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 will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.

The District will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use. 

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

Disinfectants must be products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and be appropriate for the surface.

Emergency Response Protocols & Drills

The 2020-2021 school year may include hybrid models of the traditional school day. Emergency response drills, including evacuation and lockdown, may be spread across the different student populations dependent on the day each population is present the day the drills are scheduled.

Emergency Response Protocols

  • Shelter-In-Place
  • Hold-In-Place
  • Evacuation
  • Lockout
  • Lockdown

Shelter-In-Place

Areas will be identified in each school that will be used for the Shelter-in-Place along with areas that cannot be used for due to certain types of environmental hazards (i.e.: high winds, tornado, etc.). Shelter-In-Place protocols will be the same with the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Shelter-In-Place as feasible.
  • Use of face coverings throughout the event- teachers and staff will ensure students have face coverings on when exiting the classroom or other area.
  • Extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one

Hold-In-Place

Hold-In-Place protocols will be the same the following changes:

  • Provide 6 feet of space between students and staff during the Hold-In-Place
  • Use of face coverings throughout the event
  • Extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one

Evacuate

Evacuation protocols will be routinely the same with some minor adjustments:

  • Areas outside of the building will be identified in advance that will allow 6 feet of separation of students and staff. The area will be located so that students and staff will not impede emergency responders
  • In effort to get all staff and students out of the building as quickly and efficiently as possible, face coverings will be worn at all times
  • Extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • The person holding the door to get out of the building will be identified in advance, therefore reducing the amount of people touching the door hardware when leaving the building.
  • As written in the pre-established protocols, bring all necessary items needed and the following items will be added: extra face coverings, in the event a face covering becomes unusable and hand sanitizer

Lockout

Lockout protocols will be the same, besides maintaining six (6) feet of space between students and staff in the area.

Lockdown 

Lockdown drills will be announced during the time-period of mandatory social distancing. Teachers and staff will ensure students are wearing masks.

  • Evaluate, in advance, if there is room to social distance without being in the line of sight
  • Face coverings should be worn during the event at all times
  • Plan to have extra face coverings on hand in the event that a person does not have one
  • Instruct anyone that does not have a face covering to use their shirt to cover their nose and mouth during the event