Berlin CSD – Continuation of Instruction Plan 2021-2022

Multi-Layered Mitigation Strategies
Face Coverings
Health and Safety
Social-Emotional Well Being
Teaching and Learning
Exceptional Education
Music/Physical Education
Contact Tracing/Quarantine
Full Remote Program


The Berlin Central School District worked with a cross-section of stakeholders to develop
school reopening plans that provide a safe learning environment for students and staff this fall.
Stakeholders followed the guidance released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and New York
State Education Department (NYSED) to create a comprehensive plan that centers around the health
and safety of our school community to provide equity and access to a quality education while also
meeting the social-emotional needs of our students.

The Berlin Central School District held reopening committee meetings and community forums
to obtain feedback and insights.

Our work aligned with the two goals of keeping all our students in-person for the whole year
and maintaining safety for our staff and students.

The committees reviewed a plethora of resources such as published school reopening research,
CDC guidelines, resources from NYS Department of Health, opening plans from other NYS Districts,
Questar III documents, and guidance provided by the New York State Education Department.

Multi-Layered Mitigation Strategies

Many of the health and safety guidelines put in place last year, which helped prevent COVID-19
outbreaks and school closures, will be continued to ensure the safety of students, staff and families:
● Regular cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings and buses
● Improved ventilation in all school buildings
● Continued use of social distancing
● Wash hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand
sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
● Respiratory etiquette – cough or sneeze into your mask or use a tissue or the inside of your
● Stay home when sick and call your family physician
● Potential surveillance and point of care testing of students and staff in schools

Face Coverings

In accordance with CDC and NYSED recommendations, face masks covering both the mouth and nose
will be required for all students, staff and visitors inside schools and on school buses regardless of
vaccination status.
Masks will be optional when outdoors on school property. An exception to this will be when a
vaccinated staff member or student has been exposed to the virus, is asymptomatic, and waiting for
testing. In this case the individual has to wear a mask outdoors as well.
Students will be provided mask breaks when seated in class and socially distanced (some possible
● Every other row for 2 minutes
● One student per pod for 2 minutes
● Going outside for a few minutes
● Others as determined by the building principals

*Importantly, CDC guidance also indicates that in the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close
contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student if both the
infected students and the exposed student correctly and consistently wore well fitting masks the
entire time.


The district will continue to provide communication and updates regarding academics, athletics and
other items through the district website, Facebook, Twitter and School Messenger as needed.

Health and Safety

We will maximize social distancing; manage and isolate ill persons until they can be sent home;
instruct students and staff in proper hand and respiratory hygiene; require face coverings; and
clean/disinfect the schools in accordance with NYSED and CDC guidance.
Use of lockers will be permitted this year unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

All students and staff are required to:
● Wear a face covering over their nose, mouth and chin except when engaged in
Eating or during a mask break.
● Maintain 3 feet of social distancing while in school and on school grounds wherever
appropriate (e.g. common areas such as entrances/exits, lobbies, hallways, etc.)

● Must keep their child(ren) home from school if they display a temperature greater than 100.0
Fahrenheit or are not feeling well with Covid related symptoms.
● Prior to the start of the new school year, parents must make arrangements to have their child
picked up from school in the event he or she becomes ill during the day, as determined by the
school nurse, within one hour of being notified of illness.

The District will:
● Send a message to parents reminding them to check their children for Covid related
symptoms before sending them to school.
● Ensure all students, faculty and staff wear face coverings indoors.
● Any return to school will be coordinated with the local health department.
● Ensure all ill students and staff be assessed by the school nurse (RN), and that if a school
nurse is not available, ill students will be sent home for follow up with a health care provider.
● Ensure all visitors will obtain prior approval from the building principals before visiting.
● The district will designate a COVID-19 Safety Coordinator.
● Notify the local health department about positive COVID cases and work closely with local
health department guidelines for contact tracing and coordination as needed.


The District will:
● Conduct daily cleaning and disinfection of facilities.
● Encourage teachers to have windows open and conduct outdoor instruction classes where
practical and feasible.
● Encourage bus drivers to open windows and vents, weather permitting.

Social-Emotional Well Being

● Continued use of the Comprehensive Developmental School Counseling Plan.
● Student Support Teams which consist of both counseling and administrative staff.
● Social-emotional resources for students, families, and staff regarding mental health, behavioral,
and emotional support services will continue to be available in a variety of forms.
● Social-emotional learning resources have been distributed to teachers and other staff, with
professional development to be provided as-needed.
● Formal implementation of restorative practices with universal-level practices beginning
throughout the district for the 2021-2022 school year.
● Suicide prevention resources and training will be available to all teachers, which can include
● Resources for staff to increase knowledge and use of self-care and other coping strategies both
in and out of the classroom.
● Structured opportunities will be provided for both students and staff to spend time with and
support one another.

Teaching and Learning

● The BCSD will not be offering a hybrid learning plan. Instead we will be providing 5-days
per week on-campus instruction for all students, unless there are mitigating circumstances,
such as quarantine or COVID-related illness.
● Only those students in quarantine due to COVID will have an after school model of tutoring
provided online so that these students do not fall behind in their studies. Tutoring for
Elementary aged students will be for 1 hour for each day missed; for secondary students the
tutoring time will be 2 hours for each day missed. This aligns with NYSED guidelines.
● If a school has to close due to Covid, an abbreviated Zoom class schedule will be provided
by each building. 2D compliant platforms for remote instruction (SeeSaw for K-3, Schoology
for 4-12) will continue to be provided by the District.
● Students who meet the qualifications for “Medically Fragile” will be provided instruction
from Questar III BOCES teachers. The commitment for this will be for the entirety of the
2021-2022 School Year.
● All other elements related to Teaching and Learning and classroom instruction will endeavor
to return to normal pre-COVID conditions to the greatest extent possible.

Exceptional Education

IEP and 504 Implementation
● The Berlin Central School District will continue to provide FAPE to students with disabilities,
including providing all accommodations, modifications, programs, services, assistive
technology, etc., as outlined in a student’s Individualized Education Plan or 504
accommodation plan.
● Delivery of services during school closures and/or COVID-related absences may be delivered
● In the event of a COVID-related absence, such as quarantine or school closure, a student’s
contingency plan may be implemented for the duration of the remote instruction. This plan will
be developed in collaboration with all stakeholders including teachers, related service
providers, and families, and will include modified services and goals if applicable that will be
in place throughout the duration of the COVID-related absence. Contingency plans will go
through the CSE process as an amendment with parent/guardian consent.

Services for students who withdraw to homeschool

● Students enrolled in a homeschool program are entitled to receive special education services.
Requests for these services must be made in writing.
● A board of education determines the location where special education services will be available
to home-schooled students, which could include the site of the home school.


● The district will utilize all available resources to continue to assess students for initial
evaluations and reevaluations as per State and federal timelines.

Collaboration with Agencies Outside the Berlin Central School District

● The district will work with private and public out-of-district placements and agencies and
providers of services to ensure the provision of special education services for the students
served by those programs.
● Any outside service providers will continue to follow Berlin health and safety protocols.
At this time, 504, CPSE, and CSE meetings will be conducted in a remote manner to ensure the
continued health and safety of our faculty, staff, and community. We will continue to monitor the state
of public health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and reevaluate our meeting procedures as needed.


● Masks will be worn during all bussing.
● Coaches will maintain and submit attendance daily for tracking purposes.
● High risk sports (indoors) will require masks of all participants, both during games and
practice. There will be no masking requirements for outdoor sports at this time.
● Weekly testing for all moderate/low risk athletes (ie soccer, cross country). 2x weekly for high
risk sports (ie:Volleyball)
● Contact tracing in accordance with guidelines used in school.
● Common equipment (ie: volleyballs…) cleaned during breaks in play as appropriate.
● Indoor gyms disinfected as used (gym, weight room), maintenance staff notified of unplanned
● Lockers used as normal.
● As of now we are permitting outdoor spectators but no indoor spectators.


● Drivers, attendants, and students are required to wear face coverings while loading, riding,
and unloading with the exception of those who are medically exempt.
● Students will be assigned seats.
● At this time, there will be no field trips.
● Parents are encouraged to drive their children where feasible.
● Students have to ride their own buses.


● Masks while going through the line.
● Take off the mask while eating.
● Assigned seating.

Physical distancing will be maximized to the greatest extent possible in areas where food service takes
place. Mask removal will be limited to only while students eat to limit potential exposure.

Breakfast – PK and K will eat in the cafeteria. 1-5 take breakfast to classrooms.
Lunch – Only one grade at a time in the cafeteria. Seated by homeroom.

Music/Physical Education

● Band and Chorus at 6 feet separation.
● PE – indoors is 6 feet separation.

Contact Tracing/Quarantine

The district is discussing contact tracing and quarantine protocols with the Questar Health and Safety
team and the Rensselaer County Health Department.


The district is working with Questar BOCES, other schools and the county health department to
develop and implement a voluntary Covid-19 testing program for students and staff.

Full Remote Program

A Full Remote Program through Questar III BOCES is in development for medically eligible students.
This program would be a regional Full Remote Program for K-12 students taught by Questar
instructors. Course options may be limited at the 7-12 level. The district anticipates making final
arrangements for this program within the next few days and will make the application available to
parents this week.


Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools (CDC)
COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools (American Academy of Pediatrics)
Back to School Health and Safety Guide (NYS Education Department)