COVID-19 Reopening Safety Plan

This guideline will outline Tribeca Preparatory’s reopening learning plan for the 2020-21 school year and the three options being considered.

Tribeca Preparatory is a school for students with special needs that is known for being a program that can adapt, be flexible, innovate and create programs where our students will excel. Although no one can predict the future, Tribeca Preparatory will ensure that the learning experience for our students will continue to meet our high expectations in the areas of social, behavioral and academic growth and progress.

As the COVID-19 situation in New York steadily improves, Tribeca Preparatory is scheduled to open for in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year on September 10, 2020. The health and safety of our school community is our first priority and we have incorporated best practices from educators from around the world who have re-opened their schools. In addition, Tribeca Preparatory will be adhering to all regulations provided by our local, state and national officials.

This guideline will outline Tribeca Preparatory’s reopening learning plan for the 2020-21 school year and the three options being considered. The health and safety of our students and staff is our primary concern and will be frequently evaluated with a focus on continuous improvement


Option 1: In-person Learning

If conditions in New York City permit, we will open with inperson learning in accordance with all applicable regulations. We will follow the social distancing guidelines and will require the use of face masks and face shields or surgical glasses in accordance with official guidelines. Classroom and therapy room capacities will support our ability to maintain social distancing.

Our In-Person Learning Model will closely resemble the typical school day before COVID-19. Although we may incorporate a staggered start to ensure smooth entry to the school through health assessment checkpoints, we do expect little change in the school day schedule. In addition to social distancing requirements, we plan to limit the in-school mobility of our students. Students will remain in the same classroom for much of the day with their related services providers providing 1:1 pull-out to receive their therapies (speech, occupational therapy, and counseling).

Special Note: For students who may not be able to attend school because of individual or family health vulnerabilities or because of self-quarantine, we will be able to customize a program remotely to accommodate this need.

If a particular community member tests positive for COVID-19, that class will move to a Remote Learning Model for two weeks. Remote Learning will be offered to any student even if the inperson model is currently offered.

Option 2: Remote Learning

If conditions in New York City do not permit in-person learning and require us to close the school, we will transition into our Remote Learning Model. Tribeca Preparatory’s planning and experience with remote learning during 2020 will enable us
to rapidly transition to a remote model within 24-48 hours if necessary.

Remote Learning Model, as we experienced throughout the spring term, our Remote Learning Model is customized and individualized for our students. Remote Learning incorporates live instruction and synchronous instruction. It will also include pre-recorded instructional segments as well as monitored independent work. Our Remote Learning Model incorporates social interactions via playdates amongst classmates for our students.

Option 3 Hybrid Learning

Tribeca Preparatory will use this model if 16 or more students are enrolled. The Hybrid Model will be comprised of a combination of In-Person Learning and Remote Learning. Currently, our enrollment does not necessitate the implementation of this model.

Hybrid Learning Model, or a mixture of In-Person and Remote Learning, will occur when state officials impose stricter building capacity limitation. As previously mentioned, this model will be utilized only if 16 or more students are enrolled in the school. We have an abundance of rooms in our school to allow adequate and generous amount of social distancing for all of our current enrolled students. The Hybrid Model will only take place if additional students enroll to our school.

Conditions for Opening School

Tribeca Preparatory’s top priority is to provide dynamic programming in a safe and effective manner. We prioritize the health and well-being of our students, staff, and the families we serve. The plan is designed to be flexible, so that we can adapt and refine our response as needed. We will rely on guidance from the Department of Health, orders from the Governor’s office and CDC. Our procedures in enforcing compliance with all COVID-19 preventative measures and practices may be modified and revised as guidance changes.

Prior to the first day of school Tribeca Preparatory requires all staff to provide us with a COVID19 test result and a 14-day pre-summer self-monitoring protocol must be adhered to by all. This will include keeping a record of all students and staff  temperatures for 14 days prior to school. This is essential to us beginning the school year knowing we are clear of any positive cases.

Health Check Stations for Building Entry

Parents must take their child’s temperature prior to sending their child to school daily. In addition, all students and staff will pass through a health checkpoint before getting access to the school entrance. This will be located at the reception area or at curbside at morning drop off. This will include a temperature check (before school and at dismissal) as well as a COVID-19 symptoms check questionnaire. All information will be filed confidentially in accordance with HIPPA regulations and noted elevation in temperature will result in the student or staff being sent home and monitored.

Each week, staff members will submit answers to the following questions in order to maintain safety:

  1. Did you come in contact with a known person who tested positive for COVID-19?
  2. Have you or anyone in your household recently traveled outside the United States?
  3. Have you or anyone in your household traveled to any of the “hot zone” states?
  4. Were you in a group of 20+ people?
  5. Are you or anyone in your household exhibiting any of these symptoms?
    1. Fever
    2. Chills
    3. Shortness of breath
    4. Muscle or body aches
    5. Headaches
    6. Loss of taste and smell
    7. Sore throat
    8. Nausea
    9. Diarrhea
    10. Congestion or runny nose

No student or staff will be permitted to school with a fever greater than 100.3. Students and staff who exhibit two or more symptoms will not be permitted in the building. PLEASE DO NOT BRING OR SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL IF HE/SHE IS SICK. A parent or guardian will be called to immediately pick up the student from school. Students may return to school upon symptom resolution and documentation from the health care provider per NYS DOH Regulations.

To protect the health and well-being and safety of our students and staff these protocols will remain strictly in place.

A staff member or student should stay home if they exhibit any of these symptoms:

  • Exhibiting any known symptoms of COVID-19
  • Temperature of 100.3 or higher
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea/Vomitting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Lice/nits
  • Bronchitis
  • A rash that has not been diagnosed
  • Impetigo
  • Severe cold
  • Any contagious disease

A student or staff member can return to school when:

  • He or she can been fever free for 24 hours without medication
  • If the illness is related to COVID-19 a minimum of 2-week quarantine and documentation from a physician is required
  • 48 hours after a lice treatment , or lice/nit free
  • 24 hours after being on an antibiotic for a bacterial infection
  • Nasal discharge that is NOT green, yellow or “thick”
  • Conjunctivitis free, no longer discharging or the condition has been treated with an antibiotic for 24 hours
  • Rash has subsided


Our school will only use the side entrance to enter and exit the school. This entrance gives our students and staff exclusive use that the other residents in building do not have access to. Given the strict arrival and pick up procedures we have in place, updates and “mini conferences” will not be permitted. A phone conference must be made by appointment by the parent.

Arrival Procedures:
  • For students arriving on the school bus, a staff member will call the parents the morning of and ask them COVID screening questions. Once the school bus is in front of the building the matrons will call the school. A staff member will pick the student up from the school bus and their temperature will be taken from the bus. Student and staff must wear a mask as they enter the building.
  • For students being dropped by their parents/guardians – Parents will call the school upon arrival. A staff member will ask them the COVID screening questions. Once they are approved a staff member will pick up the child from the lobby and take the students temperature.
Dismissal Procedures:
  • For students being picked up by school bus – The matron must call the school and a staff member will bring the student to the school bus.
  • For students being picked by their parents/guardians – Parents and guardians must call the school and a staff member will escort the student to the lobby. Student and staff must wear a mask as the leave the school building.

School bus transportation services is provided by the NYC Department of Education and Office of Pupil Transportation (OPT) and is written on their IEP. At this time school bus transportation has not been released by the DOE. When more information is available Tribeca Preparatory will adhere to all of the safety precautions:

a. Students will wash their hands before boarding the school bus
b. Wear their mask if 6 feet social distancing not available
c. Tribeca Preparatory staff will have disposable masks readily available at all times

  • Before and after care will no longer be available.


We have provided PPE to our staff at no cost. PPE includes face masks, shields, surgical glasses, and gloves. A mask for staff will be recommended at all times and gloves will be used as needed for safety. Staff must wear a mask while commuting to and from work and all times at school when unable to social distance. This is also highly recommended for students too.

Masks/Face Shields:

Tribeca Preparatory is a school for children with special needs. It is highly recommended that all students wear their face masks when they enter the school building and when they are not able to social distance at school. All staff must wear a face mask when they are in the school building. Mask breaks will be provided.

Students and staff are required to wear face masks when they are outside school buildings if they are unable to maintain social distancing. Students may wear either face shields or face masks. Face shields will be provided by the school.

Face masks will be provided by parents/guardians for their children. The school will also provide students will disposable masks. Students must have a minimum of four spare masks in a bag marked with their full name. Students will be asked to bring masks home at the end of the week for laundering. Teachers will remind students throughout the day of the importance of wearing a face mask/shield and parents are encouraged to begin to have conversations with children about use of masks and practice building their stamina for wearing them.

Teachers may choose to use face shields or surgical glasses in addition their masks when they are engaged in whole group instruction and are not able to socially distance. If a student is exhibiting behavioral issues teachers must use an N-95 mask.

Classroom Setup Modifications:

We have measured and adjusted the layout of all learning spaces in the school (classrooms and specialist areas) to ensure the recommended 6 feet of distance between students. We have achieved this by spacing out each desk and removing classroom furniture that is not necessary. Furniture will be rearranged to accommodate physical distancing requirements and, custom-made dividers will be utilized on each table to ensure safe communication and collaboration if necessary. To adhere to the 6 feet social distancing guidelines students one student will be permitted in at each table. If students come in close proximity to each other they will be strongly encouraged to use their masks.

  • Tribeca Preparatory has 2 classrooms and several small therapy rooms. Each classroom can accommodate 8 students with ample space to social distance them 6 feet apart. There is an option to split this group and use other rooms in the school for further social distancing
  • We have interactive smartboards in each classroom that can facilitate group activities across both classrooms
  • All classroom and therapy doors will all remain open when it is safe and appropriate in order to promote fresh air circulation to reduce the spread of germs by frequent contact and touching of surfaces. Doorknobs and high contact areas such will be cleaned and sanitized frequently.

When common objects must be shared between employees and students the following protocols will be implemented:

  • All surfaces, classrooms, bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches, railings, instructional and therapeutic materials, etc. will have a cleaning protocol that each staff member assigned will maintain and adhere to all cleaning procedures.
  • Students will have storage organizers and bins labeled for their materials designated for individual use such as, pencils, markers, crayons, scissors, etc. These materials will be cleaned and replaced if needed.

Lunch and snacks must be provided by parents each day. Lunch and snack will be stored in the student’s cubby. Meals and snacks will be in the classrooms. Staff will eat their lunch separately from the students to ensure they are able to keep their masks on.


Signage for Social Distancing and Traffic Flow in Building:

We will be creating traffic lanes in hallways and on stairs and limiting the number of students in restrooms and elevators. Wall and floor signage and markers will be placed throughout our school.

Students will be explicitly taught about physical distancing via strategies such as marked spaces on the floor, use of tables for learning and/or use of carpet squares, hula hoops or other means of marking a learning space. During center times and designated recess times, students will be reminded to stay an arm’s length away from one another; however, we anticipate that they may get closer to one another when playing. Using facemasks and shields will be encouraged. To mitigate concerns for health and safety we will ensure hand washing before and after recess and center- based activities.

Restricted Access to Building:

Only faculty, staff, and students will have access to the school. Parents will not be permitted in the school except for the first day of class to help our students transition if necessary. Meetings and conferences with parents will be held virtually via Zoom or another conferencing platform. 

Classroom Capacity Limits:

Each classroom will be limited to 8 students. Our therapy rooms are limited to two persons at a time to comply with social distancing requirements and masks will be required if social distancing does not permit. Therapy rooms may be utilized to support small group instruction. Their capacities range from 1-2 students. We will not know if we need to repurpose these spaces until we get closer to opening.

Health Station:

The Head of School’s office will be the COVID-19 symptoms area. This area will allow us to segregate symptomatic students until they are picked up by parents/guardians. The provider in the office must wear an N95 mask in this situation. Parents/guardians should have a plan in place to pick up symptomatic children from school within an hour of being contacted by our Head of School.

Cleaning and Sanitization Protocols:

We are working with our custodial provider on modified cleaning and sanitizing routines and schedules. This will include the development of specific cleaning protocols for rugs, toys, learning materials, technology, classrooms, high touch surfaces, bathrooms, and common areas. Increased cleaning and disinfection protocols will be implemented by our staff. Cleaning and disinfection of all activity areas, equipment, and supplies will be carefully monitored. The use of EPA-approved soaps and sanitizers will be available throughout our school. Our hand sanitizers will be alcohol based containing 70% or more.

Adhering to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) we will maintain cleaning logs on site and the scope of cleaning. We will review all hygiene and cleaning requirements and protocols for all staff and families. Staff will meet on a regular basis to update and review cleaning and sanitization protocols.


The building manager have been will be monitoring and maintaining our AC/HVAC air filtration system. We have enhanced our air filtration system and are modifying the system’s dampers to provide a greater amount of fresh air to our air circulation. MERV 13 Air Filters and or UV-C light will be implemented.

Personnel Hygiene Protocols:

The importance of hand washing, and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, will be emphasized daily and frequently. Staff will continue to discuss good personal hygiene with our students and there will be posters promoting good personal hygiene in classrooms and common areas across our school. We will create social stories and have prerecorded videos demonstrating proper hygiene for students at various developmental stages. These videos will be available and shared prior to our return to school in September.

Posters or markers on the floors will remind students of:

1. Proper hand washing techniques
2. Proper physical distancing
3. Proper use of face mask or shield
4. Safe removal of face mask when eating
5. When it is necessary to wear disposable gloves, i.e. looking through library books, playing shared instruments. 

Anytime students enter or leave a classroom or learning space they will be required to wash or sanitize their hands.

a. Strict handwashing protocols for both staff and students will be enforced
b. There are touchless hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our school
c. A school wide campaign will focus on good hygiene to decrease face touching, mouthing
objects, biting fingers, nose picking, etc. to promote healthy hygiene


Events and Visitors:

For safety reasons the following will be in effect:

• Field Trips: At this time, we have canceled field trips until further notice
• Large Group Events: All large group events have been canceled until further notice
• School Visitors: Limited to visitors in essential and/or necessary functions (i.e. picking up your child
• Parent Meetings will be held online
• After school activities: We are making determination on a case by case basis

Deliveries, Packages, Repairmen:

Anyone delivering anything to school will be required to wear a face mask at all times. Their temperature will be checked upon arrival at school. School will supply fresh disposable gloves that must be worn. Food cases and other wrapped items will be disinfected prior to being handled. Repairmen on site must wear a mask and school-supplied gloves at all times and stay a 12-foot distance from students and staff at all times.


  • Prior to returning to Tribeca Preparatory all staff and students will be required to a mandatory health screening questionnaire beginning 14 days prior to returning back to school on 9/10/2020 Staff must provide a negative COVID-19 test no later than 8/28/2020.
  • Tribeca Preparatory will adhere to all CDC and DOH screening protocols
  • If anyone in the Tribeca Preparatory community tests positive for the COVID-19 we will adhere to the CDC and DOH protocols and notify anyone who have been in close contact with the person. The Head of School will immediately notify all families, staff state and local authorities and will cooperate with tracing efforts and follow protocol for cleaning and decontamination.


What happens if a student or staff member develops COVID-19-like symptoms while at school?

Persons with possible COVID-19 symptoms will be directed to a quarantine area where they will be sent home immediately. Persons who have been sent home due to possible COVID-19 infection may return to school when they provide 2 consecutive negative COVID-19 test results and all symptoms have resolved.

What happens if there is a COVID-19 Positive Diagnosis?

If a student or staff member reports they are COVID-19 positive, Tribeca Preparatory will maintain the confidentiality of the individual at all times while mitigating the situation. The case will be reported to the Health Authorities and all families and staff of the individual’s group will be notified immediately. All facilities that the individual came in contact with will be vacated, deep cleaned and disinfected per CDC guidelines. We expect that all students and staff members who came in close contact with the infected individual will be required to quarantine for 14 days, and that any persons classified as having a proximate exposure would be required to self-monitor for symptoms for the same 14 -period. CDC guidelines for handling exposure and mitigating risk of exposure will be strictly followed.

Persons who test positive for COVID-19 may return to school when:

The answer is YES to ALL of the following:

  • Has it been at least 14 days since you first had symptoms?
  • Have you been fever-free for three days (72 hours) without any medicine for fever reduction?
  • Has it been three days (72 hours) since your symptoms have improved?
  • Has fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medications?
  • Have respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) resolved, and there have been TWO negative COVID-19 tests at least 24 hours apart?
What is the definition of a “Close Contact”?

The CDC defines close contact as interactions within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes. Contact tracing will be carried out by trained staff in conjunction with the Suffolk County Health Department.

What is the definition of “Proximate Exposure”?

A “proximate exposure” is defined as interactions greater than 6ft from an infected individual within a shared space.

On behalf of Tribeca Preparatory we look forward to a healthy and safe start of the school year during this unprecedented time. We take the safety and health of our students and staff very seriously. All of these safety measures have been examined and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.