Bank Street Head Start

Health & Safety

Explore our policies and guidelines for maintaining the safety of our community.

Bank Street Head Start has been developing strong health and safety plans that are aligned with guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the local Department of Health. We have also consulted with a range of experts, including doctors, architects, engineers, and air safety consultants, and hired Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), an environmental health and safety consulting firm, to provide more specific guidance.

By implementing multiple layers of protection for children and staff, our plans will allow our educators to continue to foster meaningful learning experiences and help us preserve the health and safety of our community.

Below you can find an overview of our health and safety plans. You can also read our full Reopening Plan.

Reopening Plan (English pdf) Reopening Plan (Spanish pdf) COVID-19 Questionnaire

Testing & Daily Health Screenings

Each morning, Bank Street families will complete a health questionnaire prompting them to report symptoms for everyone in their family. Each child will have their temperature taken upon arrival and will only be able to enter the building once it is confirmed that they are fever and symptom-free. Bank Street will facilitate regular testing of staff and children throughout the year.

If a case arises in our building, that person will be isolated, along with anyone else who may be infectious, and we will begin contact tracing to identify and test others who may have been exposed to the virus.

Attendance, Sickness & Travel

Our attendance and sick policies have been updated to include protocols around attendance in cases where a child or family member may have symptoms or may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

Families and staff traveling back into New York State may need to quarantine if they are returning from certain countries or states designated in the New York State COVID-19 Travel Advisory before they are allowed back into the school.

Cleaning & Hygiene

Teachers will support children in developing healthy habits by creating routines around frequent hand washing throughout the day, including upon arrival to school, before eating food, after using the bathroom, and after re-entering the building, as well as before and after each activity.

In addition, we are installing additional hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom and throughout our hallways as well as touch-free hand soap dispensers and faucets where needed.

Air Cleaning & Purification

Bank Street has made improvements to our HVAC system over the past few months. The combined air quality improvements we are making to our facilities will ensure that our air quality is above the recommended standard.

Face Coverings & Personal Protective Equipment

Face masks are expected to be worn by children and adults at all times, except when approximately six feet apart and in a stationary position for snack, lunch, and approved mask breaks. Face masks are also required outside when doing group physical activity/exertion or when not approximately six feet apart. We will support children in age-appropriate ways to wear masks throughout the day.

Children can bring their own face masks to school though Bank Street will supply face masks for all staff and children who may need them.

Daily Procedures

  • Arrival & Dismissal: Drop-off times will be staggered in order to allow each child and family the time and space needed to ensure a safe entry and exit as well as support healthy separation. In order to further mitigate the risk of infection, parents and other adults outside of the school community will not be allowed in the building.
  • Lunch: Lunch will occur in each classroom. During lunch, children will be able to unmask, but they will need to remain distanced.

Social Distancing

In order to create social distancing in classrooms, we will be enforcing a rule of at least 50 square feet per person to each classroom, which is based on maintaining approximately six feet of social distance wherever possible. The maximum number of students in a given group is determined by the number of students able to safely be together in their assigned room.

We were able to reduce enrollment in our 3s classroom and are limiting in-person learning to 15 children in our pre-K classrooms. These children will spend the day together and teachers will be mindful of creating an environment where children have more physical distance with each other. Children’s interaction will be limited to those within their class, except in certain situations that allow for adequate social distancing. 

Closing the Building

If the building needs to be closed, we will transition to BankStreet@Home, our virtual learning platform. Through Google Classroom, we will provide age-appropriate synchronous and asynchronous lessons for both age groups. We have implemented technology tools (G Suite and Zoom) to help facilitate and strengthen our approach to online learning.  

We also have a number of children who have selected to participate in virtual learning through BankStreet@Home throughout the fall instead of attending in person.