About Us

Health & Safety 2021-22

Come learn with us, safely.

Bank Street has developed strong health and safety policies that are aligned with guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the local Department of Health and informed by feedback from a range of experts, including doctors, architects, and engineers. Additionally, our policies are in compliance with New York’s HERO Act standards to protect against airborne infectious diseases.

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. These robust health and safety measures build on those from last year, which enabled us to remain open in-person for most of the school year and become a leader among New York City schools in how to operate safely. Moving forward, we will continue to refine our policies and improve our systems to maintain the well-being of our community for another year.

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

Health & Safety Plan (English pdf) Health & Safety Plan (Spanish pdf)

Screening Testing

Bank Street facilitates weekly testing of staff and students throughout the year. If a case arises in our building, that person is isolated and we begin contact tracing to identify and test others who may have been exposed to the virus.

Daily Health Questionnaire

Each morning, Bank Street families complete a health questionnaire prompting them to report symptoms for everyone in their family. Everyone entering our building will also be screened for fever through a thermal camera. If an individual presents a temperature of greater than 100.0°F, they will not be permitted to enter the building. 

Attendance Policies

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

Face Coverings 

Face masks are expected to be worn at all times, except when three to six feet apart and in a stationary position for snack, lunch, and approved mask breaks, and during some outside activities. We 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.

Air Cleaning & Purification

Bank Street has made infrastructure investments to the HVAC system over the course of the last five years, including additional HVAC improvements such as installing MERV-13 filters last summer. We also added a UV air purification system and added HEPA filters to all of our classrooms, enabling us to reach at least six exchanges per hour in all educational spaces.

Classroom windows are 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.

Cleaning & Hygiene

Teachers help students develop healthy habits by creating routines around frequent hand washing throughout the day, including upon arrival at school, before eating food, after using the bathroom, and after re-entering the building, as well as before and after each activity. 

We have installed additional hand sanitizer dispensers in each classroom and throughout our hallways as well as touch-free hand soap dispensers and faucets where needed.

Daily Procedures

  • Arrival & Dismissal: Drop-off times are 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 unless vaccinated and approved in advance.
  • 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 remain six feet apart whenever possible. 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

The average class size of groups will be 16-17 students, with a maximum of 20 students in cases where the room has enough space for students to remain distanced. Students will be assigned to permanent homeroom groups, or sections, in a classroom and remain with that class for much of the day, except during select activities.