Family and Community Engagement 

  • As plans for reopening schools are developed, the Phelps-Clifton Central School District will work with families, staff, and community stakeholders to instill trust and confidence through clear, consistent, and engaging communications. Regular communication and family engagement will be more important than ever this year with all the uncertainty surrounding the impact on COVID-19.  

    Objectives 

    • Engage a variety of stakeholders and community groups, including administrators, parents/legal guardians, faculty, staff, students, the school physician, Ontario County Public Health Department, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Faculty Association, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Employees Association, the Phelps-Clifton Springs Aides & Secretaries Association, the Clifton Springs Area YMCA, the Phelps Community Center. 
    • Communicate clearly, concisely, and in the language(s) spoken at home by families in the school community. Written plans must be accessible to those with visual and/or hearing impairments. 
    • Encourage all stakeholders through verbal and written communications (signage, etc.) to adhere to guidance from the Center of Disease Control and the Department of Health regarding the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and acceptable face coverings when a safe social distance cannot be maintained. 
    • Implement a comprehensive communications plan aimed at stakeholder groups, including instructions, training, signage, and a consistent means of communicating with stakeholders through webpages, social media, email, text messages, video, voice mail, and other posts. 

    Family and Community Engagement 

    To help inform our reopening plan, the District has sought feedback and input from various stakeholders, including administrators, faculty, staff, students, parents/guardians of students, local health department officials and health care providers, employee unions, and community groups. Engagement efforts included online surveys, social media and website posts, interactive virtual forums, small and large group virtual meetings, one-on-one conversations, and direct correspondence (letters, phone calls, texts, and emails).  

    Communications regarding the District’s reopening plan will make clear how families may provide feedback and voice concerns through a dedicated email address and other means. Every effort has been made to ensure that the plan is accessible to all individuals under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A/AA. The plan can also be translated into 108 languages, via the G-Translate feature available on the district website.  

    The District has also: 

    • Conducted parent reopening surveys 
    • Conducted staff return to work survey 
    • Shared information on the District website via a special tab 
    • Used mass notification system, mailings, email, and social media to disseminate information 
    • Met regularly with Ontario County health officials, parents, students, staff and other stakeholders 
    • Assembled a reopening task force for reopening and respond to community questions 
    • Held multiple virtual Town Hall meetings with stakeholders to inform and answer questions 
    • Routinely communicated with parents and provided a schedule for the release of 
    • Prominently display age-appropriate CDC and DOH guidance posters  

    In response, the District has also: 

    • Responded to parent and staff information requests 
    • Used a mass notification calling system, traditional mail, email, and social media to disseminate information 
    • Assembled a school-based reopening task force subcommittee comprised of all stakeholder groups to discuss, outline, and communicate building-specific reopening plans 

    The District will also: 

    • Share Department of Health and CDC videos on health and safety 
    • Create a one-page information sheet on the reopening of school 
    • Create a Frequently Asked Questions document 
    • Create a regular E-News edition to provide regular updates through email 
    • Will post the entire reopening plan to Midlakes.org/Reopening2020 weblink 
    • Produce district videos on key health topics: Hand washing, face coverings, etc. 

    Reopening Website Portal 

    The District remains committed to communicating all elements of its reopening plan to students, parents and guardians, staff, and visitors. The plan is available to all stakeholders via the District website at Midlakes.org/reopening2020, and will be updated throughout the school year, as necessary, to respond to local circumstances. The link to the plan appears on the website’s homepage through a dedicated menu in the upper navigation area and will be promoted in the main feature space in the "A" or main title position on the home page. The web page link with be shared with the state for reporting purposes and include plans for each of the District’s schools.  

    Communications Channels 

    As part of its planning for the reopening of schools and the new academic year, the District has developed this 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 channels 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.  

    Mass distribution channels include: 

    • Website (Midlakes.org) 
    • Blackboard Mass Notification (voice, text, and email) 
    • S’more e-news (email) 
    • Midlakes Journal (print & digital newsletter) 
    • Mailings and letters home 
    • Midlakes Schools social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) 
    • Digital signage at heavily traffic corner of Routes 96 & 488 
    • Third-party media (Finger Lakes Times, Daily Messenger, Rochester-area media, local radio) 
    • Internal email and communications 
    • Dedicate ReopeningSchools@midlakes.org email to address questions, take-in concerns 

    The Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District is committed to establishing and maintaining regular channels of communication and has reviewed and determined which methods have proven to be the most effective for communicating to our school community. The District will rely on some or a combination of its channels to communicate news, requirements, and updates relating to reopening and style of instruction (in-person, remote and hybrid models) as well as social distancing requirements, proper wearing of face coverings and proper hand and respiratory hygiene.  

    The information that we will share will be based on state guidance and includes input from administrators, staff, parents and legal guardians of students, students, the New York State Education Department, the New York State Department of Health, Ontario County Public Health as well as other educational and local community partners, and parent groups. 

    While every portion of the District’s Reopening Plan will be shared with families on as many of the District’s channels as possible with additional focus will be given to the following topic areas: 

    Health & Safety 

    The Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School District will play an important role in the health and safety of students, district staff and visitors to school campus by sharing CDC and DOH recommendations on social distancing, face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting, healthy hygiene practices, daily health checks, understanding the signs of illness and more with staff and students. 

    Child Nutrition 

    The District understands the importance of offering meals to staff and adults, under any instruction model, will share any relevant information (costs, payment methods, pricing, and free and reduced lunch applications) with families.   

    Technology 

    In support of remote learning, the District will make computer devices available to students and teachers who need them and communicate the availability of these devices and ways to ensure Internet connectivity. Also, the District has established dedicated emails for staff and families to receive individualized assistance at all hours with district-issued devices and Internet connectivity. TechSupport@midlakes.org and TechHelp@Midlakes.org will be used. 

    School Schedules 

    A hybrid model of in-person and remote instruction will likely be deployed for at least some grade levels to start the school year to reduce capacity and provide ample space for social distancing. These schedules will be communicated and shared with families using the District’s distribution channels.  

    Special Education Services 

    The District will follow its existing engagement and communication protocols with parents regarding the provision of special education services for their child. Also, the District will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication.   

    Positive Case 

    If a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to exposed individuals will occur according to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the Ontario County Public Health Department. The District will not notify the wider community unless specifically directed to do so by the Ontario County Public Health Department. Any communication related to a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or potential exposure will be directed to the appropriate groups or individuals and will respect the confidentiality of the person who has tested positive or exhibited symptoms.  

    School Closures 

    The District may choose to modify operations in one or more schools, choose a portion of a school or an entire school building to help mitigate a rise in cases if a significant number of students or staff test positive for COVID-19 or if there a considerable regional increase in COVID-19 cases. Under such a situation, the District Health & Safety coordinator will work with Ontario County Public Health in making such decisions. Those decisions will be communicated to parents/legal guardians using multiple delivery methods.