Communication & Engagement
Accurate as of October 20, 2020
Family & Community Engagement
Nassau BOCES will include and engage our Agency stakeholders and community members in the development of this reopening plan. Participating audiences include administrators, staff, students, parents/guardians, the Nassau County Department of Health, and affiliated organizations such as bargaining units and community-based groups.
Two-way communications is a priority. The following tools have been or will be used to gather staff, parent/guardian and community input:
- Info@nasboces.org: Email address used to collect questions and suggestions from all audiences.
- Thoughtexchange: Crowdsourcing tool used to collect ideas and concerns about returning to in-person instruction from all audiences.
- Surveys: Telephone and electronic surveys used to collect information and input about returning to in-person instruction.
- Webinars/livestreams: Virtual meetings during which information is shared and questions are answered. Will cover safety measures and new protocols such as social distancing, face coverings, proper hand-washing and respiratory hygiene.
- Bargaining units: Unit leadership are active participants in the Agency's crisis response meetings.
- Plan development teams: The Agency developed teams to produce and review sections of the Reopening Plan. Each section of the plan had a specific development team.
Coordinated Communication Process: Verbal and written
Nassau BOCES’ communications plan was developed to meet the needs of a variety of audiences, including students, parents/guardians, staff and visitors. It features a consistent means to provide verbal and written information, signage, applicable instructions and training.
All communications regarding Nassau BOCES reopening and contingency planning will be posted on the agency’s website at www.nassauboces.org/reopening. This will be the main source for accurate, updated information. Other communications channels will be used to point audiences to the website when updates are announced. It is important that all updates be posted to the website because this allows for instant translation into other languages and also meets other Americans with Disabilities Act requirements regarding hearing and vision.
All audiences will be asked to submit reopening-related questions and suggestions to the email account firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multilingual Communications Approach
The master reopening plan will be posted to the Nassau BOCES’ website so that it can easily be transcribed into the reader’s preferred language. In addition, other communication materials will be translated into Spanish and other languages as necessary and practicable. This may require a staggered release – first in English followed by other languages when the translations are available.
The dominant languages spoken by students in Nassau BOCES’ programs are:
The following are the primary audiences that will receive communications throughout the pandemic.
Internal Audiences All employees Nassau BOCES Board 10-month employees Extended Cabinet members 12-month employees Bargaining Unit leadership Administrators Vendors/visitors External Audiences Students New York State BOCES district superintendents Parents/guardians Community organizations Superintendents External partners School district administrators Legislators State Education Department Media State and local head department authorities Taxpayers District roles: guidance counselors, department chairs, principals, etc. Vendors/visitors
Communication Plan Priorities
Nassau BOCES will inform and update parents/guardians, staff and other audiences by:
- Providing timely information on Nassau BOCES’ preparation for and response to COVID-19;
- Producing communications, visuals and frequent reminders of proactive steps to promote prevention and containment of COVID-19;
- Reaffirming the agency’s commitment to following New York State Health Department and CDC guidelines as well as guidance from Governor Andrew Cuomo;
- Developing and distributing plain language explanations of plans for reopening administrative and educational buildings;
- Developing and distributing plain language explanations of plans for how educational services will be provided throughout the 2020-21 school year;
- Ensuring that parents, staff and other audiences have a way to ask questions and make suggestions; and
- Emphasizing a clear prioritization of mental health, well-being and social emotional learning in communications.
A variety of communications channels – verbal, print and electronic – will be used to communicate with internal and external audiences.
Channels Blackboard Connect call system Social media Email Special Announcements (internal email) Information hotline (396-INFO) Supervisors to staff Monday Morning Announcements (weekly internal email) Surveys Media Videos Packets Virtual meetings Postal mail Webinars/Livestreams Signage Website www.nassauboces.org
COVID-19 Training Program
Nassau BOCES has developed a comprehensive training program for staff, students and visitors regarding how to follow new COVID-19 protocols safely and correctly. Staff will receive training prior to students returning to in-person instruction. Additional training will be provided via ongoing professional development opportunities and departmental reviews.
Nassau BOCES students will receive ongoing training in the new COVID-19 safety protocols, including:
- Social distancing;
- Proper face covering procedures, including disposal;
- Proper hand-washing techniques; and
- How to properly cover their face when coughing and sneezing.
Visitors will be discouraged from entering Nassau BOCES facilities. If it is deemed necessary for a visitor to enter a building, they will receive instructions regarding the protocols that they are expected to follow.
COVID-19 Safety Signage
Nassau BOCES will develop or reproduce several signs/posters designed to promote the prevention and containment of COVID-19. The signs/posters will be strategically posted throughout the Agency and school buildings in high traffic areas such as entrances, restrooms, cafeterias and other dining areas, classrooms, administrative offices, auditoriums and other communal areas. Where practicable, signs will be posted in both English and Spanish.
Sign Purpose Location COVID-19 screening questions (CDC version) ⭳ Highlight the main signs and symptoms of COVID-19 before staff and visitors enter buildings Main door Self-assessment questions ⭳ Asks staff and visitors to assert that they can answer no to all of the self-assessment questions before they enter the building. ID badge card reader, visitor log book Face coverings required ⭳ Alert all staff and visitors that face coverings are required in the buildings Main door 6 feet apart ⭳ Reinforce that staff and visitors should be maintaining social distancing Throughout building Use main entrance ⭳ Ensure all staff and visitors enter through an approved doorway where they will need to sign in or tap their ID to meet contact tracing requirements All entryways not currently being used Wash your hands ⭳ Reinforce good hygiene practices All restrooms and areas with sinks, high traffic-areas Social distancing – Conference rooms ⭳ Reinforce social distancing Conference rooms Social distancing – Shared kitchen spaces ⭳ Reinforce social distancing Kitchens Social distancing – Elevators ⭳ Reinforce social distancing Elevators Social distancing – Share equipment spaces ⭳ Reinforce social distancing Shared equipment spaces Cover coughs and sneezes ⭳ Reinforce good hygiene practices Classrooms, high-traffic areas How to properly wear, store and discard masks ⭳ Classrooms, high-traffic areas Main lobbies/reception areas, classrooms Isolation room Dedicated space for a person suspected of having COVID to wait Selected isolation room in each educational facility Leave this seat empty ⭳ Reinforce social distancing Conference rooms and other meeting areas COVID symbol signs Reinforce social distancing, proper hygiene for students with special needs Special Education classrooms Cleaning and disinfecting Confirm areas that are frequently cleaned School buses, food services areas Hand sanitizer Indicates visibly soiled hands should be washed Near all hand sanitizer
Nassau BOCES will continue to evaluate the effectiveness of its reopening plan through outreach and surveys to the groups identified in the Audiences section. This information will be used to update and modify the plan.