Communication/Family and Community Engagement
To help inform our reopening plan, the Northport-East Northport UFSD has sought feedback and input from stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, PTA leadership, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, virtual forums/meetings and one-on-one conversations. A sincere thank you to the individuals who volunteered their time to serve as committee, subcommittee and focus group participants.
PTA FOCUS GROUP
PTA leadership from each building, including SEPTA and GTPTA
TEACHING & LEARNING SUBCOMMITTEES
- Instruction- Elementary & Secondary
- Co-curricular & Athletics
- Grading/ Expectations- Elementary & Secondary
- Special Education
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEES
- Buildings & Grounds
- Food Service
- Facility Usage
The district remains committed to communicating all elements of this reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the district website at http://www.northport.k12.ny.us/, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local, regional and national circumstances.
As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the district has developed a plan for communicating all necessary information to district staff, students, parents/guardians, visitors and education partners and vendors. The district will use its existing communication modes (Parent Square, the District website, emails, automated phone calls, social media including the District Facebook page & Twitter feed, recorded video, live, in-person meetings) as well as appropriate signage and training opportunities to support the dissemination of consistent messaging regarding new protocols and procedures, expectations, requirements and options related to school operations throughout the pandemic. Information will be disseminated from the District level as well as the building level by respective administrators.
The school district will provide communications in the language(s) spoken at home among families and throughout the school community. All materials will be posted to our website, which allows for translation into over 25 different languages.
Northport-East Northport UFSD Communication Strategies will be in place:
- To encourage all students, faculty, staff, and visitors through verbal and written communication (e.g., signage) to adhere to NYSED, CDC, and DOH guidance regarding the use of acceptable face coverings - a face mask covering the nose and mouth, when a social distance cannot be maintained.
- To provide regular updates about health and safety, scheduling, and all other information faculty, staff and families need to know.
- To provide information to families through a wide array of platforms including mail, email, telephone calls, text messaging, social media and website postings.
- To provide information on how families can access technology and receive technical support to assist with utilization and maintenance of equipment.
The Northport-East Northport UFSD has developed and will continue to create communication materials accordingly, including the creation of sample messages/letters for COVID-19 cases or potential cases for various school audiences. We will utilize communication methods used by the District to keep the school community informed. Information will be dispersed through a variety of platforms that include:
- District website
- Automated phone messaging system
- Email blast
- Online training of staff through the Global Compliance Network
- Correspondence (letters) to homes
- Social media accounts used by District
- Town Hall Meetings (Zoom, Google Classroom, etc.)
- Board of Education Meetings (Live streamed for public viewing)
Clear messaging will be prepared and consistently communicated before re-entry, on the first day, during the first week, throughout the first month, and continuously throughout the year. Minimum monthly communication will provide information on the following topics:
- Who to contact with questions, concerns or suggestions.
- Empowering people to make a positive difference and communicate the expectation for them to do so.
- The facts as we currently know them (NYSDOH, CDC).
- The importance of social distancing, monitoring symptoms of COVID-19 and when to stay home.
- Setting protocols for entrance (daily health screening) and review the process for staff calling in sick. Constant reminders for staff to stay home if they feel sick.
- Encouraging and implementing social distancing in bathrooms, break rooms, hallways, etc. Installing social distancing markers on the floors, etc.
- Practicing proper hand hygiene. (Staff is allowed to use hand sanitizer, but hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is still more effective. Hand sanitizer works best on clean hands.)
- Encouraging and practicing proper respiratory etiquette (i.e., coughing or sneezing into your elbow if a tissue is not available).
- Encouraging personal responsibility for yourself and your work area.
- Educating the school community on district policies/procedures, including how to properly wear and dispose of a face mask/face shield.