About Us

Health & Safety 2020-21

Come learn with us, safely.

Bank Street School for Children 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 student 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 students 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 infrastructure investments to the HVAC system over the course of the last five years, including additional recommended HVAC improvements this summer following a thorough assessment by experts.

Classroom windows will be kept open during the school day to ensure ongoing fresh air in each room. In addition, windows will be kept open for at least two hours before and after the school day.

Face Coverings & Personal Protective Equipment

Face masks are expected to be worn 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.

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

Daily Procedures

  • Arrival & Dismissal: Drop-off times will be staggered in order to ensure students have time and space to enter the building safely. 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 section’s dedicated classroom. During lunch, students will be able to unmask, but they will need to remain distanced.
  • Transitions (Hallways, Stairs, and Elevators): Students should remain approximately six feet apart whenever possible, both within their sections and when passing others in hallways and public spaces. During transitions, students must wear face coverings and stay in a single file on the designated side of the hallway and stairwell. The use of the elevators will be strictly limited to students who receive pre-approval for ADA-accessibility needs.

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.

The average class size of groups will be 12 students; some groups will be slightly smaller, some slightly larger, with a maximum of 15 students in cases where the room has enough space for students to remain socially distanced.

Students will be assigned to permanent homeroom groups, or sections, in a classroom and must remain in that classroom for much of the day, except during select activities that can be held outside. Student interaction will be limited to those within their group, except in certain situations that allow for adequate social distancing.

Similarly, teachers will be limited in the number of classes that they interact with.

Closing the Building

If the building needs to be closed, we will transition to BankStreet@Home, our virtual learning platform. Through Google Classrooms and SeeSaw, we will provide age appropriate synchronous and asynchronous lessons for every grade. We have implemented new technology tools, migrated curriculum, and optimized our new CRM system to help facilitate and strengthen our approach to online learning.  

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