Health and Wellness

As students and staff return to face-to-face instruction in the fall, their traditional environment may look different due to enhanced safety and health protocols. This new normal will require an adjustment for all, but ultimately these changes will keep health and safety as the top priorities on every campus. All students and staff will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms daily and individuals with symptoms will be separated and sent home. The Elmira City School District has a written protocol developed in collaboration with the District or school’s director of school health services to instruct staff to observe for signs of illness in students and staff and requires symptomatic persons to be sent to the school nurse or other designated personnel. 

Per the Chemung County Department of Health, “the county publishes our county’s hospital capacity on the county website”. The Department of Health will collaborate with the school District to provide guidance on closures based on hospitalization rates and capacity. In the event of a confirmed case the District will disinfect all necessary areas based on CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting.

Chemung County General Health Flow Chart (.pdf)
School Flow Chart Essential Workers (.pdf)
School Flow Chart Return After Positive Test Students Staff Faculty (.pdf)
School Flow Chart Return After Screen Positive, Student (.pdf)
School Flow Chart Screen Positive (.pdf)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) keep an up to date list of symptoms of Coronavirus on its website. This list is not all inclusive as some individuals may display other symptoms or none at all. As of 7/31/2020, the following are listed as the most common symptoms of COVID-19:

 Fever or chills (100°F or greater);
 Cough;
 Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
 Fatigue;
 Muscle or body aches;
 Headache;
 New loss of taste or smell;
 Sore throat;
 Congestion or runny nose;
 Nausea or vomiting; and/or
 Diarrhea.

Staff are educated to observe students or other staff members for signs of any type of illness such as: Flushed cheeks; Rapid or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity); Fatigue, and/or irritability; and Frequent use of the bathroom.

In the event of confirmed case of COVID-19, the District will contact the Chemung County Department of Health. The County’s Public Health Nurse works directly with illness cases to provide guidance on disinfection, cleaning and reopening. Based on guidance from the Department of Health, a single case would not warrant a school closure, as long as community transmission is not high, determined on a case-by-case basis.



Health Screen Protocols

The Elmira City School District has a written protocol for daily temperature screenings of all students and staff, along with a daily screening questionnaire for faculty and staff and periodic use of the questionnaire for students. We are asking parents to please monitor their child’s temperature daily before school. Temperature check is only accurate when there has been no use of fever-reducing medications i.e.: Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Motrin, Advil (Ibuprofen). A screening tool will be provided by the school. Please make sure you are completing and submitting this questionnaire to the school as instructed. A screening questionnaire determines whether the individual has:

 knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with anyone who has tested positive through a
diagnostic test for COVID-19 or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19;
 tested positive through a diagnostic test for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
 has experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, including a temperature of greater than 100.0°F in the past 14
days: and/or
 has traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days.

Students riding a bus will be screened at the bus stop by designated staff before boarding the bus. Screening will include temperature check and COVID-19 questions. If student with any above symptoms is identified, a parent will be contacted, and student will not be allowed to board the bus. Students arriving via bus will enter the school building at the designated entrance so that staff is aware that bus students have been screened. Students will then proceed to classroom/homeroom.

Students who walk to school, are dropped off, or drive will be directed to designated entrance for health screening. Appropriate social distancing guidelines and supervision will be in place while students wait for assessment. Trained staff will also abide by appropriate social distancing and PPE guidelines. Screening will include temperature check and questions. Students passing screening will proceed to classroom/homeroom.



Parents/Guardians Observe Children for Signs of Illness

The Elmira City School District will ensure that parents/guardians will be provided materials to assist in observing for signs of illness in their child that require staying home from school.

We are asking parents to please monitor their child’s temperature daily before school. Temperature check is only accurate when there has been no use of fever-reducing medications ie: Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Motrin, Advil (Ibuprofen).

A screening questionnaire will be provided to you by the school. Please make sure you are completing and submitting this questionnaire to the school as instructed.



Positive Screen Protocols

If your child reports to school with any positive symptoms, they will immediately be isolated under supervision until parent/guardian pickup. Parent/Guardian will be advised to notify Health Care Provider.

Nurse will escort student outside to parent/guardian for pickup. We ask that you do not enter the building unless otherwise directed.

Student Becoming Ill in School

Staff will be trained to identify potential COVID-19 symptoms. If your child develops symptoms during the School Day, they will immediately be isolated under supervision, assessed by health care personnel, and parent/guardian will be notified for pickup of student.

It is imperative that your child’s school have updated contact information. Please notify school of change of address and/or phone number immediately.
In the event that a parent/guardian cannot be reached for pickup, designated school staff (2 staff members required) will make a home visit to advise need for pickup. If parent/guardian not home, home visits will be made to designated emergency contacts.

Assessment by School Nurse or Healthcare Provider

The Elmira City School District ensures that ill students and staff be assessed by the school nurse (registered professional nurse, RN) or medical director and that if a school nurse or medical director is not available, ill students and staff will be sent home for follow up with a healthcare provider.

Written Protocol for Positive Response to Questionnaire | Students and Staff


The Elmira City School District has a written protocol requiring students or staff with a temperature, signs of illness, and/or a positive response to the questionnaire to be sent directly to a dedicated isolation area where students are supervised.

If your child reports to the school staff any positive answers to the screening questions, they will be isolated under supervision until parent/guardian pickup. Parent/Guardian will be advised to notify Health Care Provider.

A School Nurse will escort student outside to parent/guardian for pickup. We ask that you do not enter the building unless otherwise directed.

Return to Work and School After Illness

The Elmira City School District has written protocol that complies with DOH and CDC guidance for the return to school of students and staff following a positive screen for COVID-19 symptoms, illness or diagnosis of confirmed case of COVID-19 or following quarantine due to contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. Return to school will be coordinated with the local health department. The school District will contact The Chemung County Department of Health with contact name, phone number, and known address.

The County will then coordinate with the District to conduct contract tracing and verification of COVID-19 testing measures. Per the Chemung County Department of Health, “the county publishes our county’s hospital capacity on the county website”. The Department of Health will collaborate with the school District to provide guidance on closures based on hospitalization rates and capacity.

Social and Emotional Well-Being

We recognize that this is a less than ideal situation for our young learners. The pandemic and upheaval of routine for our students and families can cause anxious feelings. The Elmira City School District has an advisory council composed of counselors, Family and Community Outreach Coordinators (parent representative), community partners, and other essential stakeholders from various disciplines to address the social and emotional needs of our students. 

This council is an important school community resource, especially during this time. As always, the District will provide students resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional support services and programs. Our comprehensive protocol refers students to the School Based Mental Health (SBMH) model and we have unlimited spots to accommodate all students with a need. We also supplement this program with day-to-day support from counselors, social workers and community schools support staff. 

Additionally, the Elmira City School District will partner with community agencies, school counselors and Restorative Practices staff, to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff on how to talk with and support students during and after the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as provide supports for developing coping and resilience skills for students, faculty, and staff. Staff participating in this Professional Development will appropriately build this skill set to effectively support students and families.



Following Guidance and Protocols

Schools must follow CDC, NYSDOH and local Health Department guidance for allowing a student and staff member to return to school after being diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms consistent with possible COVID-19. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 but does NOT have COVID-19:

If a person has symptoms of possible COVID-19 illness, but is determined NOT to have COVID-19 by a healthcare provider (physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant), they can return to school when: 

• There is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicines, for at least 24 hours;
• They have been diagnosed with another condition (not COVID-19) and have a healthcare provider written note stating they are clear to return to school.
• They are allowed to return to school based on existing school District illness policies / protocols. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 & is diagnosed with COVID-19:

If a person has symptoms of COVID-19 and has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a healthcare provider either based
on a positive test result or just based upon their symptoms, they should remain at home and not return to school until:
• It has been at least ten days since the individual first had symptoms, AND;
• It has been at least 24 hours since the individual has had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine); AND
• It has been at least three days since the individual’s symptoms improved, including cough and shortness of breath.
• Repeat COVID-19 testing is NOT required prior to reentering school. However, if a healthcare provider advises a person to be COVID-19 test negative prior to school reentry, they can reenter school when they have no fever, their respiratory symptoms have improved, and they have received two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart.

No symptoms of COVID-19 & is diagnosed with COVID-19:

If a person has tested positive for COVID-19, but has no symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home and not return to school until:

• 10 days have passed since test was done (if they continue to have no symptoms of COVID-19).
• Repeat COVID-19 testing is NOT required prior to reentering school.
• However, if a healthcare provider advises a person to be COVID-19 test negative prior to school reentry, they can reenter school when they have no fever, their respiratory symptoms have improved, and they have received two negative test results in a row, at least 24 hours apart. 

COVID-19 illness & people with weakened immune systems:

People with conditions that weaken their immune system (immunocompromised), who acquire COVID-19 illness, might need to stay home longer than 10 days. This would be determined and communicated to the school District by their healthcare providers.



Protocols for Hand Sanitizing

The Elmira City School District has written protocol to clean and disinfect schools following CDC guidance. Frequent disinfection and hand sanitization will ensure health and wellness of students and staff. The Elmira City School District has written protocol to clean and disinfect schools following CDC guidance.

Hand sanitation units will be installed in strategic areas around all of ECSD’s 14 facilities. Hand sanitizer will be available at the main entry to the school, in classrooms, in the cafeteria and in common areas throughout the School.  Staff and students will be expected to regularly wash or sanitize their hands.

Hand Washing/Sanitizing Expectations

• Provide hand sanitizer upon entry to classroom and periodic teacher reminders during instructional day.

• Habitual and thorough hand washing after recess, before eating and following restroom breaks.

Disinfecting Expectations

• Staff will have access to disinfectant solutions to sanitize high-touch and working surfaces and shared objects frequently.

• Staff will limit the use of shared supplies when possible.