School Re-Opening and Safety Plan 2020-2021 » School Re-Opening 2020-2021

School Re-Opening 2020-2021

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Al Madinah School

Comprehensive Safety Plan & Re-Opening Guidance Document

FALL 2020



This guidance document is intended to address the requirements set forth by the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and New York State Education Department (NYSED) in re-opening schools.  It provides all parents, students, and employees with guidelines and precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19


Al Madinah School’s Comprehensive Safety Plan and Re-Opening Guidance Document has been submitted and approved by DOH and NYSED.



Getting our children back in school successfully and safely is our biggest goal. Our re-opening plan prioritizes the health and safety of the communities we serve. We have made a financial commitment to keep our communities safe, as will be outlined below. We kindly thank all the families that have shared their feedback on our Re-opening Parent Survey. This was not an easy decision to make as we are trying to meet each and every family's needs. With the uncertainty and challenges that this school year might bring, we firmly believe that with effective communication, cooperation and support we will be successful. We pray that Allah SWT keep our families and communities safe.

 This guidance document will cover in depth three main areas: effective communication with school community, health and safety protocols and educational programming, scheduling and student support services.


Effective Communication with School Community:

We are committed to making sure our families and staff know and understand our re-opening plans. This document will be shared with all registered families and returning employees, and will be posted on our website. There will be a separate web-page dedicated to COVID-19 school alerts and messaging. Families and staff can subscribe to this page to receive frequent updates. This document can be easily translated in multiple languages through our website. Families and staff will be able to comment and ask questions regarding this document in writing via survey links in various languages.

We will host a series of family, student and staff information and training sessions. These sessions will include our safety plan, awareness of signs and symptoms of COVID-19, proper hygiene and recommended best practices. A pre-opening parent information session will be held virtual and in-person before the start of the school year.  Parent information sessions will be held during our scheduled parent orientations with additional virtual sessions. Staff information sessions and training will be held before in-person instruction begins and throughout scheduled staff meetings. In addition, all students in grades Prek - Grade 12 will receive a series of age appropriate awareness and training on proper hygiene protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the school year in the form of videos, sessions and lessons.


Hotline: The school will provide a separate line of communication dedicated strictly to COVID-19 questions and concerns. Other means of communication is still available but this hotline will offer an additional layer of support and assurances for families.  This hotline will operate 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. Text messaging will be enabled.


Wellness Coordinator: In addition to having a full-time DOH nurse the school will have a designated Wellness Coordinator and Hotline. The Wellness Coordinator will be the point of contact for all COVID-19 related questions, issues and concerns for families, students and staff.  The Wellness Coordinator will be responsible to ensure that all healthy and safety measures and protocols are implemented and in compliance with all state and city regulations. Further description of duties will be described in the Health and Safety section below.


Signage: Signage will be posted throughout the building in various languages to remind students and staff to use proper hygiene, social distance, wear masks, cleaning and disinfecting and directing the flow of people through the hallways, stairs and elevators.


Additional Communication: Gradelink emails, School Reach Messaging, REMIND, and Chat Groups will continue to be used to keep families and staff informed.


Health and Safety Protocols

All COVID-19 Pandemic Health and Safety guidelines, protocols and requirements forth by the CDC and NYS Department of Health will be closely followed and adhered to


Al Madinah School’s  Financial Commitment to Health and Safety:
  • Keeping our school community safe is our 1st priority in re-opening.  Below is a brief list of what Al Madinah School has provided to keep our school community healthy and safe.
  • Installation of thermal detection devices at all school building entry points
  • Installation of touchless drinking fountains
  • Installation of touchless paper dispensers
  • Installation of mounted touchless hand sanitizers in all 35 classrooms and hallways
  • Installation of pexi-glass in open spaces
  • Purchase of over 10,000 masks and gloves
  • Purchase of an advance supply of 3 months of cleaning and disinfecting materials
  • Purchase of additional queue lines to control traffic flow
  • Restructuring and redesigning of space to allow for adequate social distancing
  • HVAC filter enhancements for higher efficiency and increase fresh air ventilation by keeping windows open when circumstances allow
  • Social distancing signage and floor stickers
  • Cafeteria table social distancing sticker seating place mats
  • Hallways have been changed to one-directional flow with floor sticker signage
  • All classroom doors will remain open
  • Designation of isolation rooms for sick children
  • Hiring of Wellness Coordinators in addition to the school nurse
  • Providing a 24 hour/7 days a week Hotline
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces with accountability logs


In addition, Al Madinah School will continue to provide curb-side breakfast and lunch pick up and home delivery to nigh need zip codes if and when student(s) are in quarantine or during school closures. More details will be provided throughout this document.


Healthy Hygiene: Everyday preventive actions can be taken by all to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Best practices in healthy hygiene will be taught and re-taught to all students, staff and sent to families for reinforcement. Adequate supplies to allow for frequent hand sanitizing/washing, cleaning and disinfecting has been provided by Al Madinah School. Hand washing and sanitizing will be scheduled and directed throughout the day such as: upon entry, before and after eating, after touching a frequently touched surface or shared tools, before touching your nose, mouth or eyes etc. Al Madinah School has installed mounted hand sanitizers in all classrooms and hallways. Additional healthy hygiene lessons, reminders, announcements and signage will include:
  • How to correctly wash your hands with soap and water
  • How to correctly use hand sanitizer
  • How to clean and disinfect shared space/materials
  • Stay home if you feel sick
  • Report symptoms when you feel sick
  • Report if you were exposed to someone who had symptoms of COVID-19
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a face covering
  • Adhere to social distancing
  • How to stay safe while commuting on the MTA.
  • Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.


Cleaning and Disinfecting:  Cleaning and disinfecting guidance set forth by NYS DOH and CDC will be implemented. Regular cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted daily, after every shift, or more frequently as needed.  High-touched surfaces, objects, tools, machinery, as well as high traffic areas, such as bathrooms and common areas will be cleaned and disinfected more often.  Al Madinah School has purchased a large supply of cleaning and disinfecting materials and will continue to order as needed to ensure that all areas are cleaned and disinfected frequently and properly. Al Madinah School has contracted with a professional COVID-19 disinfecting company to disinfect the entire building in the event there is a positive case. In addition:
  • Wipes for cleaning products will be made available when shared tools such as computers, phones, copy machines etc. are used.
  • Custodial staff will be trained on all disinfecting and sanitizing protocols.
  • Custodial staff will have a schedule to ensure cleaning and disinfection between shifts and frequently touched surfaces.
  • The office manager is responsible for the maintenance of disinfecting and sanitizing logs completed daily by the custodial staff. Logs include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection in each area.
  • Nightly disinfecting of classrooms, health offices, bathrooms, administrative offices, cafeterias, stairwells, and all other common areas.
  • Bathrooms will be sanitized hourly or as needed.
  • High touch surfaces such as handrails, bathrooms, door knobs, handles, and light switches are cleaned throughout the day.
  • Health offices will be sanitized after each use.


 Information Sessions, Awareness and Training: As stated above, information, awareness and training sessions will be conducted prior to the start of the school year and throughout as needed to keep families, students and staff informed of our comprehensive safety plan and if and when it is revised or updated.


Wellness Coordinator & Hotline:  As stated above, Al Madinah School will have wellness coordinators and a Hotline to better serve our school community in keeping everyone safe and informed.  Some duties of the wellness coordinator include:
  • Wellness Coordinator will ensure that all persons entering the school building are screened, monitored and wearing PPE
  • Wellness Coordinator will review and maintain thermal detection logs for each and every person who enters the school building and review and maintain all health check screening documentations and checklists
  • Wellness Coordinator will be responsible to isolate potential cases and communicate with families, staff and administration
  • Wellness Coordinator will operate the Hotline


Screening, Monitoring and Prevention:
  • Thermal Scans: All students, staff, parents, visitors, vendors etc (all individuals) will be screened by thermal detectors before entering the building. All individuals entering the building must have a face mask and immediately sanitize hands upon entering.  Face masks will be required prior to the thermal scan. Extra face masks will be available for those who need an entry.  Hand sanitizing stations are available once the individual is cleared by the scanner.  The scanning process takes 4 to 6 seconds and will record and save data.  Visitors and parents in general will have limited entry.  The thermal detection system will immediately alert the wellness coordinator and administration if someone is above the thermal threshold of 100 degrees F, and/or not wearing a mask. If so the person will be denied entry into the building, sent home or to wait in the isolation room for a parent to pick up. The scanning system will be installed in all points of entry.
  • Mandatory Health Questionnaires: Mandatory health questionnaires will be required before employees begin work each day and for essential visitors, asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days. Responses must be reviewed every day by the wellness coordinator/administration and such review must be documented.  In addition, all families must complete a Mandatory Wellness Screening Questionnaire prior to the start of the school year.  All new admits thereafter, regardless of enrollment date, must complete the Mandatory Wellness Screening Questionnaire before starting school and thereafter as determined.  The office manager will be responsible to ensure that all families have completed questionnaires before the start of school and thereafter.
  • Daily Screenings for Nursery and PreK: Daily screening questionnaires will also be used for all nursery and Pre K students as parents drop off in the AM. Staff will document on a checklist.  Periodic screening questionnaires will be used for older students.
  • Face Masks: All individuals must have proper personal protective equipment (PPE) upon entering and at all times in the building to protect against the transmission COVID-19. It is encouraged for students and staff to wear their own masks. Al Madinah School has an adequate supply of child and adult masks if needed. Students will be required to wear face masks on the school bus. Face covering breaks will be allowed during instruction when students are seated and socially distanced 6ft or more apart. The staff in the room will be responsible for supervision. Face coverings are required when moving around in the building. Face masks are required to be worn by all individuals that cannot maintain appropriate 6ft distancing.  Face masks can be removed during eating as long as individuals are socially distanced.
  • Social Distancing: Social distancing of 6ft is required for all staff, students and individuals in the building. Signage and floor stickers will be used to remind all to proper social distance. Physical barriers will be placed for crowd control.
  • Containment: The following protocols are in place: When students or staff present to the nurse’s office, they will be triaged and assessed by the school nurse. If no fever and no symptoms of COVID-19, then the nurse will treat and proceed as she normally would. If the person is presenting with fever &/or symptoms of COVID-19, that person will be immediately isolated, and parent /guardian notified to pick up the child as soon as possible. When the person arrives for the student, they will wait outside the building, show ID, sign out the child and then the student will be escorted to the person outside. Resources for care will be given to the person accompanying the student, as well as criteria for return to school.  Staff experiencing symptoms must immediately leave the building or wait in the isolation room to be picked up. If tested for COVID-19, may NOT return to school, until results are provided to the school PRIOR to return.
If COVID-19 negative, the student or staff must be 24 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medications, and if antibiotics prescribed, must have received the first 24 hours of doses, and a note from a healthcare provider with diagnosis allowing them to return to school. The note may be reviewed by a school nurse, wellness coordinator or administration PRIOR to return to school.


If COVID-19 Positive, the student or staff may return to school 10 days after the start of symptoms AND 3 days/72 hours fever free without the use of fever reducing medications AND 3 days of resolution of symptoms AND note from healthcare providers allowing return to school. The note may be reviewed by a school nurse, wellness coordinator or administration PRIOR to return to school.
COVID-19 Positive Protocol: Once a student or staff member reports a positive COVID-19 result:
  • Immediately notify the Wellness Coordinator.
  • The Wellness Coordinator will notify the principal and the principal will inform NYC DOH.
  • After receiving guidance from the DOH, the Wellness Coordinator will contact the students or staff who have been in contact with the positive case. See definition of contacts below.
  • Advise the students, parents, guardians and staff members in contact with the case to advise 14 day quarantine.
  • Those involved initiate remote learning.
  • After completing the required quarantine, those students and staff may return to school if they are feeling well, have not had a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, pass the health questionnaire and temperature check.
  • The positive case may return to school 10 days after the start of symptoms AND are fever free for 3 days/72 hour without the use of fever reducing medications, AND 3 days of resolution of symptoms AND healthcare provider note allowing return to school. The note may be reviewed by a school nurse, wellness coordinator or administration PRIOR to return to school.
  • ANY student or staff member who has been tested for COVID-19 MAY NOT return to school, until the results have been received and documentation provided to the school. The note may be reviewed by a school nurse, wellness coordinator or administration PRIOR to return to school.
  • All decisions regarding return to school will be made in conjunction with the NYC DOH.

COVID-19 Closure for Cleaning and Disinfecting: If there is a report of a COVID-19 positive case in school, the school will NYC DOH, and in accordance with DOH and CDC cleaning and disinfecting procedures, the school will follow the recommendations and guidance. Depending upon when the case is reported, the school may close for 24-48 hours for cleaning and disinfection. Remote learning will be done on the days when schools are closed for cleaning.


Contact Tracing: The Wellness Coordinator will work in collaboration with the school administration and NYC DOH to identify students and staff who may need to quarantine following exposure to a COVID-19 positive case. Confidentiality will be maintained. The person who is positive is referred to as the case. The people, the case has been in contact with are considered the contacts. Students or staff who have not directly been in contact with the positive case are considered contacts of a contact and will not be asked to quarantine. Proper utilization of contact tracing will reduce the spread of COVID-19. Using the CDC guidelines for identifying a close contact. A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. The school shall notify students (including the parent /guardian) and staff who are considered a close contact and ask them to quarantine for 14 days. They will be given the list of COVID-19 symptoms to watch for, resources for referral to healthcare and testing. They will be encouraged to call their healthcare provider for further guidance. Those students and staff shall initiate remote instruction. At the conclusion of the isolation of the positive case and the quarantine period of their contacts, they may return to school. Documentation must be submitted PRIOR to return.  See above for regulations of when to return.


Fire Safety Drills and Lock Down Drills:   Fire Safety Drills and Lockdown Drills are required by Education Law and regulation and the Fire Code and they must be conducted without exceptions. Fire Code Section 404 requires that schools maintain Fire Safety, Evacuation, and Lockdown Plans and these plans include how lockdown and evacuation drills are conducted.  Health and safety protocols will be carried out to the best of our ability during these drills.


Educational Programming and Student Support Services


School Schedule and Operations:

We believe it is important for our children to receive Quran and Arabic everyday alongside the major academic subjects. Al Madinah School will be providing a Blended Learning Model. This model maximizes in-person instruction while protecting the health and safety of our students and educators by expanding square footage capacity for all classes and grades to improve social distancing.  This will also provide parents with clear and consistent schedules for their children.  Learning Labs will be made available for families who would need before or after care for remote learning. A separate application will be required and all healthy and safety protocols will be implemented.  Further guidance on the Learning Labs will be provided for families in September.  As we implement this model we will also be prepared to shift back to fully remote learning models should circumstances change and school buildings are required to close.


Daily Operations:  Arrival, dismissal, breakfast, lunch, snack, salah operations will be subject to change to modify as needed for the health and safety of students and staff.  Further guidance will be forthcoming.

Elementary School Schedule Monday - Friday


1          7:30 am - 8:08 am

2          8:10 am - 8:48 am

3          8:50 am - 9:28 am

4          9:30 am - 10:08 am

5          10:10 am - 10:48 am

6          10:50 am - 11:28 am

7          11:30 am - 12:08 pm


Middle School & High School School Schedule Monday - Friday


1          12:10 pm -12:48 pm

2          12:50 pm - 1:28 pm

3          1:30 pm - 2:07 pm

4          2:17 pm - 2:47 pm

5          2:49 pm - 3:27 pm

6          3:29 pm - 4:07 pm



Our curriculum will be revisited and aligned to the Blended Learning Model that will be followed by our school. Our students will receive 4.5 hours of in person instruction each day and our 5 day schedule will include all the academic subjects. Our students will also receive online instruction either in the form of live streaming or recorded videos to supplement the learning time in school. Our curriculum will continue to address the state standards. Teachers will review the state standards and re-visit units of study and identify the most important topics/contents that need to be taught in person for all academic subjects to meet the state standards in that subject. Teachers will also identify those topics/contents that can be introduced in person/ or can be taught in an online format. Each unit study will be further defined in learning targets and skills for our students. Students will have clarity about learning objectives for in-person learning and online learning. Our students will be organized into small cohort groups, students will remain in their classes and teachers will move from class to class to offer instruction.There is also an urgency of implementing social-emotional learning (SEL) to promote the well-being of our students. Many of our students may have experienced trauma and family stress due to isolation from school, family, friends and community. We will cement our school’s climate to foster our students’social-emotional needs. SEL will be included meaningfully to promote the well-being of our students whether at school or at home. The SEL standards will be incorporated daily into classroom management practices where teachers will reinforce key SEL related cognitive skills such as focusing on the topic, paying attention, setting and achieving goals, planning, organizing and problem solving.


We will also align our instructional strategies to meet our students’ needs. Our students will be taught in small cohorts. Teachers teaching assigned cohorts will be responsible for their academic growth and social emotional well-being. The entire teaching and learning process will be designed to meet the learner's readiness, since many students will return to school with learning loss and gaps of several months due to Covid 19. These learning deficiencies caused by Covid 19 will be addressed through a personalized teaching approach and will be strategically addressed; teachers may have to re-teach many concepts and skills to build academic background before teaching a certain topic in-person or online. Teacher modeling and coaching students through the learning process will be greatly emphasized. Teachers will provide layers of instructional support such as in-person instruction using several engagement strategies, live streaming, videos, etc to enhance learning experience and retain learning. Teachers will teach the same cohort in-person/online and support/monitor students’ learning. Teachers will use cooperative learning strategies in small cohorts and encourage students to collaborate, offer mutual support and discuss topics. Furthermore, the safety procedures of Covid 19 will also be taught to students and incorporated as the procedures of classroom management and expected behaviors of students. Students will receive instruction on using online learning tools such as Pearson realize, iready, etc. Periodic feedback from students to teachers about learning will also be encouraged to improve teaching practices. As part of student monitoring and follow-up, grade level teachers will collaborate and meet periodically.


Our school will use multiple forms of assessments to evaluate the student holistically. Our school will create a balance between traditional assessment and non-traditional assessment. We will have a mixture of state test based assessments which may be in-person, performance based assessment where content and skills will be evaluated either in online presentations, projects etc, group work based assessment (content-skill-collaboration) where student collaboration towards completing a specific task will be assessed, personalized student growth assessments based on students’ readiness either in content or skill. Assessments may be in person or online depending on the importance of topic and subject.

Professional Development of School Staff:

Our school has embedded professional learning sessions for teachers where learning and discussion about learning is ongoing through- out the school year. Additionally we will provide professional development to staff to meet the needs of our students. Professional training will include Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for Adults and Students; Covid 19 safety procedures and implementation, effective lesson planning and teaching for in-person/online learning, curriculum alignment with the hybrid model training.

Student Support Services

Child Nutrition:  Student meals of breakfast and lunch will be made available to all in-person and remote learning students.  Grab and Go meals, home delivery, parent pick up and curb side meals will be in place to provide flexibility for all families.  Proper hygiene of before and after eating including cleaning and disinfecting will be implemented.  Staff responsible for meal supervision will be trained with protocols.


Student Transportation: The school bus is an extension of the classroom, therefore, most of the recommendations that apply to school (social distancing, face masks, frequent cleaning) will be applied to the school bus as well.

  • Bus drivers, monitors, and attendants who must have direct physical contact with a child must wear gloves.
  • Siblings or children who reside in the same household, should be encouraged to sit together.
  • Parents need to make sure their child is wearing a face mask prior to boarding the AM bus.
  • A student without a mask may be provided a mask before leaving school.
  • Students will be required to sanitize hands when arriving in the AM.
  • Although the bus company is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the bus, Al Madinah School will also provide cleaning in the PM route prior to students boarding the bus.
  • Al Madinah School will also scan the temperature of the school bus driver in the PM before boarding students.
  • School buses will not be equipped with hand sanitizer due to its combustible composition and potential liability.
  • School bus aides will remind students to social distance, wear face masks and wash hands prior to boarding the bus in the PM.
  • Students will be reminded of the bus rules, such as to not eat or drink on the school bus, which would require them to remove their mask.
  • When students board and exit the bus, they will follow social distancing protocols. This will increase the time required to load and unload buses at schools in the morning and afternoon. The school will stagger dismissal bus timings to ensure social distancing.

Attendance:  Students attendance will be collected and reported daily for all students, regardless of the instructional setting.  Remote learning time will be counted towards completion of units of study in all grades. 





Please click the link below for our COVID -19 Wellness Coordinator: