Physical Distancing and Masks
BOCES 2 has developed a plan with policies and procedures for maintaining social distancing of all students, faculty, and staff when in or on BOCES buildings, facilities, grounds and transportation.
COVID-19 MASKS PROTOCOL
The health and safety of our students, our staff and their families is a 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), the Monroe County Department of Health (MCDOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). BOCES 2 has developed this protocol with procedures for all students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors when at BOCES 2 facilities.
B. Masking Requirements
All students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors will be required to wear masks at all times:
- when in hallways and common areas
- when in classroom
- while on school buses
- while waiting outside before and after school
It is required that students wear masks at all times. Students may remove masks only when eating or drinking during assigned meal periods.
Pursuant to federal, state and local health department guidance, masks should not be placed on:
- Children younger than 2 years old
- Students where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction; in such instances, medical documentation is required
- Anyone who has present trouble breathing or is unconscious
- Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask or face covering without assistance
- Currently accepted diagnoses to justify exemption from wearing a face covering are:
- A previously documented neuromuscular disorder that makes it difficult for a child to independently remove a face covering
- A child with a previously diagnosed, severe developmental or behavioral problem
- A child diagnosed with a serious emotional disturbance or other significant mental health issue that the child’s behavioral health team feels would be exacerbated if the child had to wear a face covering
E. Mask Construction
Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth-based face coverings (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut) and surgical masks that cover both the nose and mouth. The use of scarves, gaiters and bandanas is not permitted. Masks should have at least two layers of material (e.g. 2-ply).
A face shield may not be worn in place of a mask. Individuals choosing to wear face shields must also wear a mask.
Masks with exhalation valves or vents should NOT be worn to help prevent the person wearing the mask from spreading COVID-19 to others as per the CDC. The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. Masks with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled out through the holes in the material. This can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the COVID-19 virus.
Wear and use your mask correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on your mask.
- Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin
- Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face
- Make sure you can breathe
- Don’t wear your mask below your nose.
- Don’t touch the mask, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
- Carefully remove your mask without touching your eyes, nose or mouth
- Wash face coverings regularly with detergent and hot water
Throw disposable face coverings out at the end of the day at home
The failure or refusal to comply with wearing a mask will have consequences.
- Students may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Conduct. Repeated failure to comply with masking requirements could result in moving to remote only instruction, suspension from school or transportation services.
- Employees will be subject to disciplinary consequences under NYS law and/or collective bargaining agreements.
- Visitors will be required to leave BOCES facilities and may not be granted reentry.
G. General Provisions
This protocol may be subject to revision as additional or updated guidance, recommendations or directives are issued by federal, state and/or local authority. Most update guidance issued by NYS DOH on April, 9, 2021.
Face coverings will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost.
An employee is allowed to wear their own acceptable mask if they choose. Employees unable to tolerate wearing masks must provide medical documentation to the Human Resources Director for review.
BOCES 2 will utilize Information and resources regarding the proper use and cleaning of facemasks from the CDC webpage on cloth masks.
BOCES 2 will instruct students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and vendors (via various platforms) on:
- The proper way to wear masks;
- Washing hands before putting on and after removing their mask;
- The proper way to discard disposable masks;
- The importance of routine cleaning of reusable masks.