Before opening, ELIJA will continue to maintain communication with parents/guardians and local health authorities about the scale and scope of in-person special education services and instruction being offered within the school.
- ELIJA will protect and support staff and students who are at higher risk for severe illness by considering remote options for virtual learning, if in-person is not feasible at a given time.
- ELIJA will continue to consult the most recent federal, State and Local guidance for school programs, including ongoing mitigation strategies, as well as prevention, support, and communication resources.
- ELIJA will continue to ensure that appropriate social distancing, personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene, and cleaning/disinfection protocols are in place.
- ELIJA has posted signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering.
- ELIJA has trained all staff on the below precautions.
Social Distancing and Operational Activity
Within Level 1, staff maintain social distancing from all learners/caregivers of at least 6 feet, and learners/caregivers maintained social distancing from all other learners/caregivers of a least 6 feet, while on-site.
Within Levels 2-3, staff continue to maintain social distancing from drivers (e.g., parent drivers, bus drivers); however, they no longer maintain a distance of 6ft from learners due to the severity of their impairments and need for immediate adult support. While on-site within their respective cohort assignment during their A or B day schedule, learners maintain a 6 ft social distance from other learners. Within each cohort the students attending on A days and B days remain consistent. Students do not cross over days. Staff do not cross over cohorts. Desks within the classrooms have been spaced out to seat learners 6 feet apart. The number of students in a classroom will not exceed 4 (our current ratio is 1:1).
The building is divided into four cohorts in order to reduce shared spaces. Mixing between cohorts is restricted and social distance markers have been placed in the hallway to help student maintain cohort boundaries. Additionally, the trampoline have been dismantled and any source of physical activity (e.g., scooter, bicycle) is individually assigned to a specific learner and is only used by that learner, in addition to being disinfected after use. A common room is not available within our cohort system. Indoors swings that are vinyl and able to be disinfected are available for use within a designated area within a single cohort and only one child is permitted to be in this area at a time. After use, the swings are disinfected.
Up to 4 learners are assigned to a single classroom and are socially distanced at least 6ft from the next learner. Learners are monitored by Instructors, who are wearing PPE and not consuming food. Learners wash their hands before and after consuming food. Following the meal, the learner is encouraged to resume wearing his/her mask (if applicable). Instructors consume their lunches outside of learner classrooms, in a staff-only location (e.g., staff office location, outdoor location). Staff must maintain social distancing of 6ft while consuming food and wash their hands before and after consuming food.
Each cohort has a separate entrance from others, as well as separate toileting facilities, outdoor facilities, and indoor instructional facilities. Cohort 1 has a total of 8 learners and 14 staff; Cohort 2 has a total of 0 learners 8 staff; Cohort 3 has a total of 12 learners and 22 staff; and Cohort 4 has a total of 8 learners and 13 staff.
Learner arrival and departure is staggered by location and highly organized by cohort.
Field trips and community programming are currently cancelled. Visitors are not permitted into the building unless essential (e.g., maintenance) and are then required to follow our arrival procedures (attestation, washing hands, temperature check, surgical mask replacement).
Fire evacuation remains up to code through a main area of egress for each cohort.
Health Hygiene Practices
All staff have been trained and are monitored with washing hands for 20s with soap and covering coughs and sneezes. These practices have been taught and continue to be reinforced with learners.
All staff have been taught and continue to be monitored on the proper positioning and wearing of face coverings, which are required to be worn at times when social distancing is not possible. Staff received and continue to be trained through in-person demonstrations on how to receive and position a face covering, as well as how to remove it.
All staff are provided with an acceptable face covering (disposable mask) at no-cost to the employee and ELIJA has an adequate supply of coverings in case of replacement. All staff must wear a face covering unless they are unable to medically tolerate such covering.
Staff have access to additional PPE and is provided to them at no-cost, including N-95 masks, face shields, gowns, and bouffon hair coverings. Face shields are highly encouraged but not required. A protocol for maintaining N-95 masks, and face shields is in place for any staff who request this additional protective equipment. A protocol for daily cleaning of face shields has also been issued and all staff have been trained and will continued to be trained in this protocol.
Learners are encouraged to wear acceptable face coverings and skill acquisition programs will be introduced to teach tolerance and independent wearing throughout the day, as needed.
Note: Face coverings will not be used by anyone who is unable to medically tolerate such covering, including learners where such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to education services and instruction.
Adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, and tissues are at the facility and are tracked to ensure there are enough on site.
Cleaning logs are completed daily by staff and audited by necessary personnel regularly. The staff must wipe down all surfaces and items that are used regularly after use. They must wipe down their classroom and common area used before leaving for the day and turn in their daily cleaning log.
- Cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation have been intensified.
- The Facilities Director has ensured that ventilation systems operate properly.
- The Facilities Director has ensured that all water systems and features are safe to use.
Arrival at Work/Pre-Work Screening/PPE and Face Coverings
All staff are required to wear face masks properly positioned above the nose and covering the nose and mouth while on-site. Staff are provided a new surgical mask upon arrival, after washing his/her hands and completing the temperature check. Learners are not required to wear masks but are encouraged.
Four (4) check-in stations are positioned outside of each cohort area, for learners and staff assigned to that cohort to complete the check-in procedures. Check-in consists of:
- A health screening attestation – reviewed by the Executive Director and CEO daily
- Hand washing for 20s with soap and water – outdoors
- Temperature check using a non contact thermometer
- Provision of a disposable surgical mask
Health screening attestation - Prior to entering ELIJA staff and learner guardians must complete Employee Self-Health / COVID-19 Risk Assessment Form, available through the ELIJA.org website
If a staff answers YES to any of the questions on the health assessment survey (e.g., if you have any possible symptoms or any concerns about potential exposure to COVID19), a phone call will be initiated by the Executive Director to discuss further. The Nassau County DOH will be contacted and consulted with on a regular basis for further guidance.
Clearance of staff and learners will be relayed to screeners to ensure that the attestation has been received and approved before the staff/learner initiates the remaining check-in procedures and enters the building.
- Hand washing – In additional the sinks inside the building, portable sinks have been placed outside each cohort entrance to allow for hand washing to occur prior to approaching the check-in screener. Water is replenished daily. Soap, paper towels, and a trash can that can be opened by foot lever is available at each portable sink.
- Temperature check – All staff and learners must have a temperature lower than 100.0 in order to enter the building.
- Surgical mask – All staff will be provided with a three-ply surgical mask or can wear a N95 mask or own 2-ply cloth face covering each day and are required to wear the mask at all times when physical distancing is not possible to maintain.
The staff completing the screening must clean his/her hands before beginning the screening process for another staff or learner and must wear a mask and a face shield during this procedure. An optional surgical mask replacement is exchanged by the screener using a disinfected tool (e.g., fork with prongs) to lift the mask from the bag or box and offer to the staff, who then receives it by taking it by the string, steps back, and replaces the mask on his/her face with the surgical mask
All employees will receive training on the sequence to put on PPE (masks, goggles, face shields) as well as the sequence for removing and disposing of PPE (in the designated bins located in each classroom and common areas of the building).
Learners, and essential visitors also have their temperatures taken upon arrival. Learners also have their temperatures checked midday after lunch.
Upon arrival: If a student has a temperature of 100.0 or above, he/she will not be allowed into the building if driven by a parent. If arriving by bus, the leaner will either be sent home by bus or brought to the designated isolation room until a parent can pick him/her up.
Midday: If a learner has a temperature of 100.0 or above, he/she will be brought to the designated isolation room until a parent can pick him/her up.
Upon arrival: If a visitor has a temperature of 100.0 or above, he/she will not be allowed into the building.
If a staff or learner exhibits COVID-like symptoms during hours of operation, they will go to the designated isolated area within each cohort until they can go home safely.
ELIJA will notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
ELIJA will close off areas used by any sick person and will not use them until they have been cleaned.
If an employee starts to feel sick while at work, they must avoid contact with others and take precautions to prevent transmission. They should immediately inform a supervisor (via phone). The supervisor will help determine a plan for leaving the facility in a way that eliminates risk to others. Employees who become ill while at work must be directed to leave the facility as soon as possible. In cases where it is not possible to leave immediately (e.g., too sick to drive, waiting for ride), they may be asked to wait in a designated isolation area. The Nassau County DOH will also be consulted.
Hygiene, Cleaning, and Disinfection
The building is cleaned daily by a professional cleaning company. Disinfectant is used by staff throughout the day, in the form of Lysol/Clorox wipes, Lysol/Clorox spray, and bleach/water solution to clean surfaces (e.g., furniture, materials, toys). A surface cleaning is scheduled within each cohort daily from 3:30-4pm.
Hand washing occurs upon arrival and again prior to greeting a learner when he/she arrives. Hand washing/cleaning is promoted throughout the day after each 30m session is completed and before the Instructor rotates to work with his/her next scheduled learner.
Restroom cleaning occurs after each use, either by spraying down or wiping down surfaces with a Lysol/Clorox wipe, Lysol/Clorox spray, or bleach/water solution. Portable restrooms are available for visitors outdoors, with an available bleach/water solution.
No cafeteria, library, or playground exists on-site.
When learners arrive either by parent or off buses, their backpacks are disinfected while they complete the arrival procedure of washing hands and temperature check. The backpacks are placed indoors for the learner to pick up en route to his/her classroom.
If a learner needs to be quarantined due to possible symptoms of COVID-19, he/she will be brought to a designated room while waiting for a parent or guardian to pick him/her up. After the learner leaves, the entire space will be disinfected.