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 FACE COVERINGS 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. Face Covering Requirements
All students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors will be required to wear face coverings at all times:
- when in hallways and common areas
- when social distancing of at least 6’ cannot be maintained
- while on school buses
- while waiting outside before and after school
It is recommended that students wear face coverings at all times.
Students may remove face coverings:
- when eating or drinking during assigned meal periods
- during instruction when social distancing of at least 6’ can be maintained, at teacher’s discretion
- during “mask breaks” as directed by a teacher or administrator
Pursuant to federal, state and local health department guidance, face coverings 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. Face Covering 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.
A face shield may not be worn in place of a face covering. Individuals choosing to wear face shields must also wear a face covering.
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 face coverings 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 face covering correctly
- Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.
- 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 face covering below your nose.
- Don’t touch the face covering, and, if you do, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer
- Carefully remove your face covering 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 face covering will have consequences.
- Students may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the Code of Conduct. Repeated failure to comply with face covering requirements could result in 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.
Face coverings will be provided to students and staff, if needed, at no cost.
An employee is allowed to wear their own acceptable face covering if they choose. Employees unable to tolerate face coverings 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 face coverings.
BOCES 2 will instruct students, parents/guardians, staff, contractors and vendors (via various platforms) on:
- The proper way to wear face coverings;
- Washing hands before putting on and after removing their face covering;
- The proper way to discard disposable face coverings;
- The importance of routine cleaning of reusable face coverings.