CDCSD Reopening Plan for September 2020

Cairo-Durham Central School District Reopening Plan 2020-2021

Updated November 19, 2020

Table of Contents


Safety and Health Procedures


Food Service


Budget & Fiscal

Mental Health, Behavioral, and Emotional Support Services and Programs


Staff Evaluation

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C


The safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff is paramount and has been at the forefront of our planning. Our planning is designed to bring the most students back to face-to-face education as possible, while providing additional opportunities and improving upon the remote learning systems that we adopted this past spring. To allow our school district to continue to remain open, there are a number of features, contingencies, and safety protocols that we must plan for, and we have attempted to outline this throughout our plan. We understand that the situation around COVID-19 is ever-evolving, and as a result, our plan will be forced to evolve with it. We have put together a plan that allows our schools to have the flexibility to address these concerns. The following plan has been developed with a vast number of stakeholders whose input has helped to shape our plans for full, hybrid, and remote instruction.

Guiding Safety and Health Principles

Any and all discussions about how to safely and effectively reopen our schools requires us to understand the how of safely reopening. There are four major areas that were considered to reopen: face-coverings, social distancing, hygiene, and screening. As a baseline, we are required to maintain six feet of distancing in most scenarios; wear appropriate face coverings and PPE while in transit and when we cannot appropriately socially distance; we must maintain proper hand hygiene; and adhere to the CDC’s and Department of Health’s guidance as they relate to the cleaning and disinfection of our classrooms. We will continue to perform screening of all staff, students, and faculty members prior to their entry into the building. In order for us to be safe, we need to be able to achieve and maintain these requirements.

The school district has designated Jeffrey Miriello, Business Official, as the COVID-19 Safety Coordinator. This individual shall be responsible for the continuous compliance with all aspects of the school’s reopening plan, as well as any phased-in reopening activities necessary to allow for operational issues to be resolved before activities return to normal or “new normal” levels.

The school district has designated building principals for each grade span as the primary points of contact upon the identification of a positive COVID-19 case and to be responsible for subsequent communications. The building principal shall be responsible for answering questions from students, faculty, staff, and parents or legal guardians regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and the plans being implemented in the school.

Educational Philosophy

During the course of our discussions with stakeholder groups which included teachers from each grade span, counselors, custodians, social workers, administrators, TAs, nurses, department supervisors, and others, we discussed the best learning environment for our students while keeping the safety of our students and staff in mind. The input of our families through multiple parent surveys offered valuable information as we drafted and updated our reopening plan.

The initial Cairo-Durham CSD Family Survey disseminated to families asked parents and guardians to consider how the closure affected instruction and their ability to work within a remote environment as well as canvassing families about their biggest concerns about returning to school. The survey posed questions about connectivity, social emotional concerns, and the barriers experienced while their children completed remote learning activities during our closure. Families provided questions, comments, and concerns in the survey form that helped guide our conversations around instruction and how we can better ensure their children and our staff’s safety. Based on the survey and our stakeholder meetings, we drafted ideas for all three instructional models. Since our initial plan, additional family surveys were shared in order to make changes to the initial plan.


A number of educational models were explored and the feasibility of each model was considered based on the resources available to us, our regional health metrics, and the guidance that we received from the New York State Department of Health and New York State Education Department. As a result of these different factors, we have developed three instructional models for full, hybrid, and remote learning which are outlined later in this plan under Education. Each plan takes into consideration the varied needs of our students including ELLs (English Language Learners), students with disabilities, and individuals lacking appropriate connectivity.

Given the highly contagious and opportunistic nature of COVID-19, our school district will approach high risk populations uniquely depending on the individual situation, but potential solutions for these vulnerable populations includes remote learning, modified educational and work settings, or by providing additional PPE to individuals with underlying health conditions. In addition to this, we understand that certain student and staff populations may require modifications to social distancing or PPE based on hearing loss or impairment; receipt of language services, or because they are a young student in an early education program. In these scenarios, we will ensure that any modifications would minimize COVID-19 exposure risk for students, faculty, and staff to the greatest extent possible.

The school district has given special consideration to the way that we will perform safety and emergency drills throughout the course of the school year while we are required to socially distance. We will still complete our eight evacuation drills and four lockdown drills, but the way that we conduct our drills shall be modified for the upcoming school year. Due to the hybrid nature of our school schedule, we will need to ensure all of our students receive instruction in emergency procedures and participate in drills. In order to ensure the safety of our evacuation drills, we may conduct our drills on a “staggered” schedule by having classrooms evacuate separately rather than all at once to ensure appropriate distancing. To ensure the safety of our lockdown drills we may conduct them in several different ways to enforce social distancing – whether this be through the use of a “staggered” schedule with smaller numbers of students which allows us to maintain social distancing or by conducting a lockdown drill through verbal and visual instruction and providing students an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about lockdowns.

Communication of these instructional plans will be shared via website, paper copies available in each building, and upon request. Further details for sharing information regarding instruction is included below under the heading Communication.

Safety and Health Procedures

Face Coverings

Prior to entering the school district, a school facility, or school grounds, staff, faculty, students, and visitors agree to wear a face covering in all required areas. The school district will remind staff, faculty, students, and visitors of this process through training, signage, verbal communication, and other means throughout the school year. During the school day, individuals will be required to wear a face covering while on the school bus, when they are entering or exiting the school building, while they are moving through the hallways or their classroom, at any time that they cannot maintain adequate and appropriate social distancing, and any other time as dictated by administration. Individuals may be required to wear a face covering while they are maintaining social distancing, including when they are seated in a classroom. Mask breaks will be provided when there is appropriate social distancing, as well as while eating breakfast, lunch, or snacks. The school district shall train all students, faculty, and staff on how to adequately put on, take off, clean, and discard PPE by virtual instruction and in-person tutorials. This training will include an explanation of what is considered appropriate PPE and will be supplemented by signage, continued education, and verbal instruction. While the school district will encourage all staff, students, and faculty to provide their own face coverings, the school district will continue to maintain an adequate stock of disposable PPE for their emergency use or by request. In order to ensure that stock is maintained, the Director of Facilities will be responsible for performing daily checks of supplies and working to order more as needs dictate. The school district has worked throughout the spring and summer to supplement the stock of PPE for the upcoming school year and will continue to do so throughout the school year. The school district will also maintain a supply of disposable face coverings on each of the school buses for students who have forgotten, broken, or soiled their face coverings. Bus drivers will observe all students entering the bus for potential signs of illness as well as appropriate face coverings and will issue a disposable mask when a student’s face covering is insufficient. The school district will also require students, staff, and faculty to keep a replacement mask(s) at the school district in case their initial mask fails or becomes soiled throughout the school day.

Social Distancing

For our school district to maintain safe operations, we must attempt to maintain social distancing to protect against the transmission of the COVID-19 virus while on school grounds and in school facilities. To facilitate this, our school district has redesigned our classroom spaces, common areas, and other rooms throughout the buildings for appropriate social distancing. Specifically, appropriate social distancing means six feet of space in all directions between individuals or the use of suitable physical barriers between individuals that do not adversely affect air flow, heating, cooling, ventilation, or otherwise present a health or safety risk. The only time where social distancing requirements may be relaxed in the school district is when the safety of an activity or the core activity requires a shorter distance or individuals are of the same household. To promote this type of behavior, the school district has instituted measures such as reducing classroom items and furniture to a bare minimum, placing six-foot distance markers around the school, placing signage to clearly mark traffic flow patterns, and staggering the school schedule to reduce the amount of students in the hallway at any given time.

Furthermore, the school district has evaluated smaller spaces in the school building, such as elevators, break rooms, and faculty offices, and will be limiting the use of these spaces. These identified spaces will require the use of face coverings and occupancy should not exceed 50% of the maximum, unless the space is designed for use by a single occupant. In addition to the above noted changes, our school district has evaluated the feasibility of modifying existing areas of mass assembly, such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, and cafeterias, to provide additional learning spaces for students that are more easily appropriately socially distanced.

To decrease the number of students riding on school buses, the District will encourage parents/guardians to drop off and pick up their students. At Cairo-Durham Elementary School, parents will continue to utilize the exit road near the multi-purpose room to pick up and drop off students. At the Middle School/High School campus parents/guardians will follow the signage in the parking area to navigate to the pick up/ drop off area. Parents and guardians will be encouraged to stay in their cars while their students are supervised to/from the buildings.


To ensure that sick or ill students, staff, and faculty are not allowed on campus, the school district will be adopting a strict screening policy which includes temperature checks for students, faculty, and staff, daily screening questionnaires for faculty and staff. The school district will also require screenings for contractors, vendors, and visitors who will be entering the school building. We will require all screenings to occur before individuals reach the school building or enter any school facility and should an individual fail the screening or feel ill, they should remain home. Furthermore, we ask that parents and guardians remain vigilant in observing their students for signs of illness and to keep them home when they are ill. To facilitate this, the school district will require that home screenings, including temperature checks be performed before the student leaves the home in the morning. Parents will report the results of this screening by using an app or website issued by the District. For those parents/guardians who do not have access to technology, and for those individuals who fail to complete a home screening prior to the start of the school day, these individuals will be screened prior to attending school/work. In the case in which a student screening is not reported, the student will be examined at their school before entering the classroom. If an individual wants to enter a school building or facility, but has not been screened prior to entry, they will be required to complete an in-person screening with a secretary in the main office of the school building to be entered. Secretaries will be provided with all required PPE to ensure their safety and well-being.

Our district’s screening process will meet all of the requirements as set forth by the state, where a temperature at or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit or a failure of the screening will result in that individual not gaining entry into the school. If the individual who fails a screening is a staff member, faculty member, or outside visitor, then they will be instructed to leave the school facility and see their health care provider. If the individual who fails a screening is a student, then they shall be taken to that building’s isolation room to be assessed by the school nurse and await a parent, guardian, or emergency contact who can bring them to a health care provider for further evaluation. The isolation room shall require appropriate social distancing to be maintained, an increased cleaning and disinfection schedule from the school district’s buildings and grounds staff, and constant visual supervision. We will provide all required PPE to the individual(s) who will be supervising the isolation room to ensure their safety. When an individual’s parent, guardian, or emergency contact arrives at the school district to pick up their student, we will once again remind them that their student is required to be seen by a health care provider in regards to the failed screening. The school district will also instruct staff and faculty members to observe for signs of illness in others and require that symptomatic persons be sent to the school nurse or isolation room for a check-up.

The school district has worked with and remained in communication with our county health department to determine the specific return requirements of individuals who fail a screening, test positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test, or have come in close contact with or have been exposed to somebody who tests positive for the COVID-19 virus. After a failed screening, the school district will require, at a minimum, an alternate diagnosis from a health care provider or a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result. If, after a failed screening, that individual tests positive for COVID-19 from a diagnostic test, then the school district will work with our county department of health to determine their minimum standards for return to the school district. In addition, the school district shall work with our county health department to determine the process for the provision or referral of diagnostic testing for students, faculty, and staff, should that become necessary. The school district has also worked with our county department of health to determine what metrics will serve as early warning signs that COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level, both within our schools or within the larger local community.

The school district has identified Building Principals as the individuals who will serve as the central point of contact and who are responsible for receiving and attesting to having reviewed all screening activities on a daily basis. These individuals shall also be identified as the contact for individuals to notify if they later experience COVID-19 related symptoms during the day or have COVID-19 exposure, as noted on their questionnaire.

Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection

Our school district has instituted, trained on, and follows the CDC and NYSDOH guidelines on the hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection of school buildings and materials. We have developed extensive procedures and protocols for school-wide cleaning and the disinfection of classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, libraries, playgrounds, school busses, and all other school facilities based on the CDC guidance. We have also identified the areas of buildings that will require additional cleaning and disinfection, such as bathrooms. Throughout the course of the year, our district will maintain cleaning and disinfection logs which identify the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection for those areas. We have also developed and maintained a list of commonly touched surfaces throughout the school district, with a cleaning and disinfection schedule assigned to individuals and positions for these surfaces. We will also be increasing ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible based on the outdoor air temperature and the capabilities of our HVAC system. Lastly, the school district shall continue to conduct or complete the process of performing its required Lead-in-Water testing as required by NYS DOH regulation 67-4.

Our school district understands that for us to maintain a safe and healthful school environment, we need to promote and encourage proper hand hygiene throughout the day. In order to achieve this goal, we will be installing hand hygiene stations throughout common areas of the building so that students may sanitize their hands while they are in transition and at times where they may not be able to clean their hands with soap and water throughout the school day. We will also be training students, faculty, and staff on proper hand hygiene throughout the school year and provide continued education for individuals through proper signage at all levels of the school district. Throughout the course of the school day, we will require students, staff, and faculty to wash or sanitize their hands before and after eating.


We recognize that transportation will present its own unique set of challenges for this upcoming school year and as a school district we are committing ourselves to providing a safe and healthful school environment at all phases and stages of the school day. In order for us to maintain this safety, face coverings will be required while students are entering the bus, exiting the bus, and are seated on the bus, unless a student is not physically able to wear a face covering. We will maintain social distancing to the greatest extent possible while on the bus unless individuals are from the same household. If a student tries to enter the bus without a proper face covering he/she will not be denied service or entry. Instead, the bus driver will be provided with a stock of disposable face masks that will be provided to students with missing or insufficient face masks. Furthermore, transportation will not be denied to students with disabilities that would prevent them from wearing a mask nor will they be forced to do so during transportation. Throughout the course of the school year, we will continue to train students, faculty, and staff on how to follow any new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene.

The school district shall commit to ensuring that all buses that are used during the day are cleaned and disinfected at least daily and that all high-contact points shall be wiped down after each run. In addition, the District has contracted with Questar III BOCES to periodically apply an anti-microbial application on all District vehicles. This antimicrobial product has been proven to kill the virus on contact.

Although, originally not allowed, individuals may now take personal-size quantities of hand sanitizers on the bus. Furthermore, we will provide all required PPE for transportation department staff and require the use of a face covering. Should a driver, monitor, or attendant be required to have direct physical contact with a child, they will be required to wear gloves, which the school district shall provide to ensure their safety and healthfulness. These employees will also be required to complete the daily self-health screening prior to arriving at work to help ensure the safety and healthfulness of their fellow employees.

If our school district is in remote session or otherwise, we will continue to maintain transportation services to nonpublic, parochial, private, charter schools, or students whose Individualized Education Program has placed them out of district to schools who are meeting and conducting in-person session education when/if the district is not.


Extracurricular Activities

  • Physical Field trips will not be allowed at this time.
  • Extracurricular clubs will be allowed to resume if club members maintain social distancing, appropriate PPE usage, and other CDC guidelines.
  • The school district will expect all before and aftercare programs to maintain social distancing and PPE usage. Cleaning and disinfection guidelines will be followed as outlined in the Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection section of this document.
  • The school district facilities will be closed to the public at this time.
  • Intramurals will not be allowed at this time.


Although not anticipated, any changes or additions to facilities must comply with the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (BC) and the State Energy Conservation Code and submit all changes to the Office of Fire Prevention (OFP). The District will continue to monitor the condition of each school to ensure compliance with the most recent Building Condition Survey and Visual Inspection, where applicable. A visual inspection will be scheduled for fall 2020. Lead-In-Water Testing as required by New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) regulation 67-4 will continue as scheduled.

Each school will ensure that all existing and new Alcohol-based Hand-Rub Dispensers which are installed in any locations are in accordance with FCNYS 2020 Section 5705.5. Although not anticipated, Any dividers in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, auditoriums, gymnasiums, doors, and other points of congregation will ensure the submission of detailed floor plans to OFP for review and if necessary all new building construction and temporary quarter projects will be submitted to OFP for a full code review. Although no reduction is anticipated, any altered number of toilet and sink fixtures will meet the minimum standards of the BCNYS. Each building will be provided water coolers (one per one hundred occupants). The District will maintain written plans on how to maintain adequate, code required ventilation (natural or mechanical) as designed. Any project submission only dedicated to "COVID-19 Reopening" will be labeled as such.

Food Service

Regardless of the educational model chosen by our school district and the dynamic nature with which that can change, our school district shall continue to provide school breakfast and lunch to all students who were previously receiving school meals – both on-site and remotely. While on-site, we will maintain social distancing during the course of our meals and provide food service. At Cairo-Durham Elementary School, meals will be served to students in grades 2-5 in the Cafeteria and the Multi-purpose Room, while Kindergarten and First grade will eat meals in their classrooms. The cafeteria can safely seat 56 students, while the Multipurpose Room can safely seat 35 students. Individual desks and chairs will be provided and organized using social distancing guidelines. Meals at Cairo-Durham Middle School and High School will be served in the respective cafeterias. Meal times will be reduced for all schools, with breakfast times ranging from 10-15 minutes and lunch time durations of approximately 20 minutes. In the case of remote learning, students will have the option to receive school breakfast and lunch. Options will be available for meal pick up at Cairo-Durham High School or delivery to a student’s residence.

The District will follow its current protocol for protecting students' food allergies. Allergy information is inputted into our point of sale system and a dedicated allergy section is established in each consumption area.

Hand sanitizer will be placed in the entrance and exit areas of each food service area. Students will be supervised and required to use sanitizer before and after each meal. For students who require additional hand washing, they will be allowed to wash their hands in the nearest restroom.

Students will be trained by their teachers in the importance of social distancing including the importance of not sharing food and beverages. Monitors in each food service area will ensure that no students share items from their meals.

Regardless of the instructional model provided by the District, the District will comply with all guidelines set forth by the Child Nutrition Program. All students will be offered full meals as set forth by these guidelines. Periodic reviews will be conducted to ensure compliance with the Program. Regular health inspections will be performed by the Department of Health to ensure conditions are sanitary and meet all guidelines for food service.

As described in the communication section of this document, communication of all safety protocols will be provided to parents/guardians in order to ensure a safe environment for meal service.


Our school district affirms and attests that we have reviewed and understand all state-issued industry guidelines and will submit our plans for reopening to them. In addition to this, we will post copies of our finished plan on the school website and in conspicuous areas across school buildings and facilities. As part of our district’s communication plan, staff, students, and families will be trained in protocols related to Covid-19. The district offered an orientation to acclimate students to the new protocols as to what school will look like as we reopen. Covid-19 training days for staff were provided prior to students returning to school. The district additionally offered virtual orientations on these protocols in the fall.

Throughout the course of this process, we continue to develop consistent communication plans to ensure that members of the school community are kept up-to-date with all developments and changes to our plan. This process will be managed through verbal instruction, posted signage that is consistent with DOH COVID-19 signage, and the maintenance of a reopening page on our school website.

We developed communications for students and families about how to prepare for the upcoming school year, including specific information on the social distancing requirements, how to properly wear a face covering, and proper hand and respiratory hygiene. Throughout the course of the school year, we will continue to train students, faculty, and staff on how to follow any new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly, including hand hygiene, proper face covering wearing, social distancing, and respiratory hygiene.

Budget & Fiscal

The District will maintain financial integrity during the COVID-19 crisis. It has become apparent that additional expenses will be incurred during the crisis, not only in equipment and supplies, but also in the area of additional work hours and staffing. In order to meet these expenses in a fiscally responsible manner, the District will closely monitor its budget, especially reductions in state aid and will diligently seek reimbursement from state and federal agencies when appropriate. The District will update its Reserve Plan and Long-range Financial Plan.

Mental Health, Behavioral, and Emotional Support Services & Programs

The school district will make every effort to address the mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of students, faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instruction. Throughout the course of the school year, we will identify and support students who are having difficulty transitioning back into the school setting by screening students regularly. Other steps to promote student and faculty/staff social and emotional well-being include:

  1. Review and update district-wide and building-level developmental school counseling programs to meet current needs.
  2. Student support professionals will address how the school/district will provide resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs.
  3. Enhance relationships with outside service providers to ensure effective student referrals for support services, including but limited to Greene County Department of Mental Health and Twin Counties Recovery Services.
  4. Provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide support for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff.
  5. Offer other professional learning opportunities to all staff. Address critical topics related to personal, student, and community well-being, including trauma-responsive practices, social emotional learning, restorative practices, mental health education, culturally and linguistically responsive-sustaining practices, implicit bias and structural racism, and facilitating difficult conversations about race.
  6. Survey students, parents, and staff on student social and emotional needs to ensure data-based decision making regarding delivery of supports.
  7. Offer faculty and staff members referrals to outside service providers when necessary.
  8. Continue to develop MTSS (mult-tiered systems of supports) to promote student social and emotional well-being. These will include, but are not limited to Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems (PBIS), P2 : The Positivity Project, p>Second Step, and restorative justice practices.

Mental health, behavioral, and social emotional supports are available to students in each school building. Parents can contact their child’s teacher or the personnel listed below to arrange services.

Staff Member



Email Address

Robert Becker

School Counselor

Elementary School

Kayla Carpenter

School Psychologist

Elementary School

Taryn Clark

School Psychologist

Middle School

Bobbi Cunningham

Greene County Mental Health School Based Clinician

Middle and High School

Karen Drossel

School Social Worker

Middle and High School

Jamie Heilmann

School Counselor

High School

Sarah Hicks

School Social Worker

Elementary School

Justin Karker

School Counselor

High School

Claire Marcus

School Psychologist

High School

Meghan Stalter

Greene County Mental Health School Based Clinician

Elementary School

Tara Van Roy

Twin County Recovery Services Intervention Counselor

Middle and High School

Lauren Werking

School Psychologist

Elementary School

Kristina Westfall 

School Counselor

Middle School



The Cairo-Durham School District utilizes School Tool as our school management system (SMS) and as a means to record daily student attendance, student grades, and other pertinent information. If required to conduct remote learning (fully or as part of a hybrid model), teachers will also record student attendance in a Google document based on student login into Google Classroom or Google Meet. Students are expected to attend classes whether in-person or remote. A student who does not attend as scheduled will be counted absent.


The District will follow all the Board of Education grading policies while encouraging teachers to utilize alternate assessments that would alleviate concerns regarding academic integrity associated with in-person, hybrid, or remote instructional models. These policies will be clearly communicated and transparent to students, parents, and caregivers. Grading is a tool to indicate achievement and development in each class or subject in which a student is enrolled. The district recognizes that the classroom teacher has the primary responsibility to evaluate students and determine student grades. The district will continue to use a uniform grading system for K-5 and for 6-12.


The Cairo-Durham School District has a one-to-one computing program in place for students in grades 6-12. During the initial closure all students in K-5 were offered Chromebooks. At this time, all K-12 students have access to a school device. Families identified through our parent surveys and staff outreach who lack connectivity will be contacted by the district to ascertain the best strategy to provide access. Students without connectivity may be able to utilize district provided hotspots or schedule district facility use to access the internet.

Learning Plans

All students should have the opportunity to feel safe, engaged, and excited about their learning, whether in-person, remote, or a combination of the two. At the center of teaching and learning are the relationships that students have with their peers, teachers, and school community members. Our district recognizes that students need a return to their routines and a sense of normalcy. The need to be flexible this school year will be essential. We recognize that we must be prepared at any point in time to shift between in-person, remote learning, and a hybrid model.

In order to provide a structured routine, all learning plans regardless of in-person or remote will follow a set schedule. Elementary students begin at 9:00 a.m. and instruction ends at 3:15 p.m. Secondary students begin at 7:30 a.m. and instruction ends at 2:15 p.m. Regardless of the reopening instructional model Cairo-Durham Central School District’s educational program continues to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.

Full Instructional Model

With a full-instructional model, all Cairo-Durham students and faculty will conduct learning in person. All will be required to follow specific safety guidelines outlined above and with the exception of faculty or students who have documented medical concerns from a licensed physician that would prevent him or her from attending. Staff, students, and families were provided virtual and/or in-person tutorials regarding the new protocols for reopening safely. As of November 16, 2020, additional elementary students in K-5 will be in-person EXCEPT for students whose families have chosen remote only instruction for Marking Period 2. This decision was based on family and staff input and the instructional needs of elementary students.

Hybrid Instructional Model

The district hybrid learning model for 6-12 will be shifting from the initial structure of two cohorts (red and blue) to three cohorts A, B, and C. Beginning Monday, November 30, 2020, the groups will rotate weekly so that two groups are always in person five days a week and the other group is remote.

This would allow for more frequent face to face instruction for students. For example,

Week 1: A + B (in person) and C (remote)
Week 2: B+ C (in person) and A (remote)
Week 3: C+A (in person) and B (remote)

Students with verified medical concerns will be accommodated based on their specific needs. This may include ELLs, special education students, 12:1:1 programs, and those without connectivity.

Students who have no connectivity or need to be in-person for support as noted above should reach out to their building principal.

Remote Learning

A fully remote instructional model for K-12 would involve all students learning off campus. Students will be expected to participate at their scheduled time and for the full time to be counted present.

The school district welcomes questions from our students, families, and caregivers about our instructional program and technology. The appendix contains a building and district contact list for various departments. Our district website includes building and department contact information as well.

The Questar III Prekindergarten program housed in Cairo-Durham Elementary School, will have measures in place to ensure that the health and safety guidance issued by SED and outlined in this plan will be followed. The district will ensure that the Prekindergarten program has a Continuity of Learning Plan to address in-person, remote, and hybrid models of instruction.


Academic Intervention Service is an additional instruction which supplements the instruction provided in the general curriculum and assists students in meeting the State learning standards; services may include guidance, counseling, attendance, and study skills which are needed to support improved academic performance. These supports will continue to be implemented both through the in person and remote learning environments.

Special Education

Students with disabilities were particularly impacted by the closing of schools in spring 2020. The district recognizes that programs and services are best delivered in person with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services.

Students with disabilities enrolled in any of the district’s 12:1+1 special class programs will attend school daily. All guidelines regarding social distancing and safety will be followed in these classrooms.

Students with disabilities who participate in less restrictive programming such as integrated co-teaching, resource room, consultant teacher services, and less than a half day of special class will follow the same hybrid model as their general education peers, supported by their special education teacher/case manager daily.

Related services (speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological counseling) will be scheduled and prioritized on students’ in person days. Individual scheduling and planning will occur in accordance with each child’s individualized education plan.

The District’s Committees on Preschool Special Education and Special Education will work closely with all programs outside district schools in which district residents are enrolled to ensure their IEPs are implemented. The district is prepared to share resources with these students, such as chromebooks, to ensure students can successfully participate in these programs. Students enrolled in these programs will attend in person as determined by the individual program locations. The district will reach out to each program regularly to assess student needs and progress.

All students with disabilities will continue to have access to necessary accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology to address their unique learning needs. Parents with concerns about the suitability of Individual Education Programs designed for their children may contact the Director of Pupil Personnel Services at (518) 622-0261 to schedule a CSE or CPSE meeting. Students’ IEP progress reports will be mailed to parents as required by each students’ IEP.

Individualized determinations will be made through the Committees on Preschool Special Education and Special Education whether and to what extent compensatory services are to be provided for any student with a disability who may have experienced a loss of skill(s) despite best intentions, efforts and creative solutions when providing educational programs and services during the previous school closure.

Parent Engagement in Special Education

Clear, ongoing communication and collaboration between parents and special education providers is essential to ensure student progress, even in the best of times. Parents are encouraged to remain in close contact with their child’s special educator, related service providers, building principal, CSE chairperson and the Director of Pupil Personnel Services to ensure ongoing communication occurs.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s individualized education plan or delivery of special education services, contact the professionals listed below.

Pupil Personnel Services Department

Cairo Durham Middle/High School

1301 State Highway 145

(518) 622-0261

fax: (518) 622-2948

Jennifer Ingrassia

Office Manager, Pupil Personnel Services

Mary Savoia, CPSE Secretary

Julia Wanek, Cairo Durham Elementary CSE Chair

Corbette Russell, Cairo Durham Middle School CSE Chair

Janice Lugo, Cairo Durham High School CSE Chair

Douglas Morrissey, Pupil Personnel Services Director

English Language Learners

Our district understands the unique needs of our ELLs and their families. Information regarding this plan and future revisions of the plan will be communicated in the preferred language of the home. We will meaningfully engage parents in their preferred language or mode of communication regarding the provision of services to their child. Regardless of our instructional model, each school will complete the ELL identification process within 30 school days of the start of the school year for all students who enrolled during COVID-19 school closures in 2019-20, as well as all students who enroll during summer of 2020 and during the first 20 school days of the 2020-21 school year. After this 20 day flexibility period, identification of ELLs must resume for all students within required 10 school days of initial enrollment as required by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 154.

The school district will provide the required instructional Units of Study to all ELLs based on their most recently measured English-language proficiency level during in-person or hybrid instruction.

Staff Evaluation

Our school district’s plan ensures that all teachers and principals will be evaluated pursuant to our currently approved APPR plan, including any variance applications approved by the Department. All teachers in our school district shall hold valid and appropriate certificates for their teaching assignments, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or Education Law.

Appendix A

Positive Case Protocol

If a COVID-19 positive case is found to be in the school building, the District will follow instructions from the Greene County Department of Health and the following actions may be taken:

  • The areas accessed by the sick person will be closed off
  • Windows will be opened to increase air flow
  • There will be a 24 hour period before cleaning and disinfection is performed
  • The area suspected to have been used by the sick person will be cleaned and disinfected
  • The school building will be closed to students and staff for a period of time in consultation with the Greene County Department of Health and NYSED

Cleaning and Disinfection Frequency

Cleaning & Disinfection for school building will be performed in accordance with CDC and state guidelines. For more information please see the CDC website and the NYSDOH website.

Disinfection frequency will be dependent on the instruction model in place.

  • Logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection of a facility or area
  • Custodians will clean high touch areas frequently throughout the day. These include, but are not limited to, tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards and tablets, toilets and restrooms, and faucets and sinks
  • Physical education equipment must be cleaned after each use. Nurses must clean health office areas and must be cleaned after each use.
  • Students should not be present when disinfection is taking place. Again, student schedules will dictate this frequency, however it is expected that this action will take place at night and when students are not scheduled to be in the buildings.

Appendix B

Building and Department Contacts




Cairo-Durham Elementary School

Mr. Christopher Stein, Principal

Cairo-Durham Elementary School

Mrs. Danielle Czech, Assistant Principal

Cairo-Durham Middle School

Mr. Dotan Schips, Principal

Cairo-Durham Middle School

Mr. Joseph Witazek, Assistant Principal

Cairo-Durham High School

TBD, Principal


Cairo-Durham High School

Mr. Joseph Witazek, Assistant Principal

Curriculum, Instruction, ENL, and Federal Grants

Dr. Michelle Reed, Executive Director of Learning

Pupil Personnel Services (Special Education, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education, Student Residency, and Registration)

Mr. Douglas Morrissey, Director of Pupil Personnel Services

Business, Transportation, and Buildings and Grounds

Mr. Jeffrey Miriello, Business Official

Technology Department

Mr. Jaime Kikpole, Director of Technology and Innovations

Superintendent Office

Mr. Michael Wetherbee, Superintendent of Schools

Appendix C

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing

In the event an individual screens confirmed for COVID-19 symptoms while at school, meaning that they have a fever, or appear symptomatic while at school with any of the COVID-19 symptoms identified by the CDC, they will be placed in an isolation area. For students, parents/guardians will be called to pick the student up from school immediately. Staff members will be asked to leave immediately. Individuals will be referred to their primary care provider (PCP) for evaluation. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are not COVID-19 related, a note from the primary care provider (PCP) stating such diagnosis must be provided in order to return to school or work. If the primary care provider (PCP) determines that the symptoms are COVID-19 related, testing must occur.

It is imperative that individuals seek medical evaluation from their primary care provider (PCP) to determine whether or not these symptoms are related to a known or diagnosed condition other than COVID-19 (i.e. ear infection, allergies, etc.).

At the minimum, New York State Department of Health Guidelines requires “documentation from a health care provider following evaluation, negative COVID 19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution, or if COVID 19 positive, release from isolation.” If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required and release from isolation will be determined by the Greene County Health Department.

Any symptomatic student or staff awaiting testing results should self-quarantine and will not be allowed to return to school until released by a negative COVID-19 test result. If an individual is confirmed as positive for COVID-19, isolation protocols will be required for 10 days per CDC guidelines and symptom free for 72 hours, and release from isolation will be determined solely by the Greene County Health Department. A release letter provided by the Greene County Health Department will be required for the return to school.

If a confirmed test result occurs, the county of residency will be notified by the laboratory performing the test. Individuals will be notified by either the initial testing facility or their local health department for negative results. The parents of any student who has tested positive must notify the school district as soon as possible. If this were to occur, the school district will contact the county of residency for confirmation and collaboration in beginning contact tracing activities. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person for the school will coordinate with the Greene County Health Department for contact tracing purposes.

In the event a student is under mandatory quarantine by the Greene County Health Department, the school district will provide remote learning options for the student for the length of their quarantine.

Per the New York State Department of Education's guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “it is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health. CDC Interim Considerations for K-12 School Administrators for SARS-CoV-2 Testing Schools should identify who in the community is responsible for referring, sourcing, and administering testing (e.g., local health department testing site, physician offices, hospital system) particularly in the event that large-scale testing at the school is needed. Schools wanting to perform COVID-19 testing must apply and be approved as a limited service laboratory (LSL). Please refer to the instructions and application materials, and if applicable, the worksheet for multiple locations.” Therefore, the school district will not be testing individuals. A list of regionally available testing locations is available on the school district website for individuals that may want to be tested on their own.

greene county flow chart

Source: Greene County Department of Health

Contact Tracing

As noted in the New York State Department of Education's guidance to schools for reopening, Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: The Spirit of New York’s Schools, “Contact tracing is a public health function performed by local public health departments to trace all persons who had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. This allows public health officials to put in place isolation or other measures to limit the spread of the virus. Schools must cooperate with state and local health department contact tracing. Schools can assist public health departments in knowing who may have had contact at school with a confirmed case by:

  • keeping accurate attendance records of students and staff members;
  • ensuring student schedules are up to date;
  • keeping a log of any visitors which includes date, time and where in the school they visited; and
  • assist local health departments in tracing all contacts of the individual at school in accordance with the protocol, training, and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.

Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local department of health.”

In the event an individual is identified as a confirmed case within a school, the Greene County Health Department will determine a starting date for which the school will need to provide contact tracing information. This date will be 48 hours prior to the individual becoming symptomatic. To this end, the school district will need to keep records that will be made available to the Greene County Health Department for those who may have been in close contact with the confirmed case. Any close contacts will be identified by the Greene County Health Department. The district COVID-19 School Resource Person will be asked to assist the county with quarantine surveillance monitoring of contacts in connection with a confirmed case in a school.

If a student or staff member is identified by the Greene County Health Department as a contact, they will be contacted by a county Case Manager and be instructed to quarantine for 14 days. Any contact identified by the Greene County Health Department may not return to school until such a time as they are released from mandatory quarantine by the Case Manager.

For more information on contact tracing please see Appendix C at the end of this document.

School Closure

School closure decisions will occur in consultation with the Greene County Health Department. This may involve the closure of a classroom or entire facility depending on the quantity of suspected and/or confirmed cases. There may be no need to close to a school building if the Greene County Health Department determines that the identified close contacts are excluded from school and the facility may continue normal operations. Full closure of a school facility may be necessary in some situations and will be implemented on a case-by-case basis.

Travel Advisory

Any staff or students who travel out of state will be required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to New York State. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced new guidelines allowing travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The guidance also applies to international travelers coming from any CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country. The new protocol is effective Wednesday, November 4.

For any traveler to New York State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 or level 3 country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 14-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:
    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests come back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.
  • For travelers who were out-of-state for less than 24 hours:
    • The traveler does not need a test prior to their departure from the other state, and does not need to quarantine upon arrival in New York State.
    • However, the traveler must fill out our traveler form upon entry into New York State, and take a COVID diagnostic test 4 days after their arrival in New York.

Local health departments will validate tests, if necessary, and if a test comes back positive, will issue isolation orders and initiate contact tracing. The local health department must make contact with the state the traveler came from, to ensure contact tracing proceeds there as well. All travelers must continue to fill out our traveler form upon arrival into New York State to contribute to New York State’s robust contact tracing program.

Local Testing Sites

Greene County Public Health
411 Main Street, Catskill
518-719-3600 (call to register)
Every Wednesday evening from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Albany Drive Thru Clinic - University at Albany Campus (weather depending)
1400 Washington Ave, Albany
Call to make appointment

Hudson - Well Now Urgent Care 
446 Fairview Ave, Hudson

Emergency One Kingston 
40 Hurley Ave, Kingston
Can make online appointment

Albany Med EmUrgent Care
11835 Route 9W, Coxsackie, NY 12192
Open 9am - 9pm every day. Testing for symptomatic only.

Rapid Care Testing Locations

Oneonta Well Now Urgent Care

Pulse Medical
Open 9am - 3pm
Must schedule virtual visit first

Central Avenue Pharmacy
65 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12206
Open 9:30am - 6pm

We will update this list as more providers agree to test at their offices.