School Reopening Plan (Archived from 2021-22)


The purpose of this plan is to ensure the collective health and safety of Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District students and staff throughout the 2021-22 school year. The health and safety of our students, staff, and their families continues to be a priority, and we remain committed to doing our part to minimize the potential health and safety impact of COVID-19.  

This reopening plan incorporates the latest guidance, recommendations and requirements from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York State Education Department (NYSED), as well as the Onondaga County Health Department. This plan emphasizes a layered approach to safety measures in all schools and classrooms. The plan is dynamic and subject to change based on new and evolving guidance. The level of infection, the spread of the virus and response to the disease in our community will be at the forefront of our decision making throughout the school year.

First and foremost, Fayetteville-Manlius CSD will offer in-person instruction to all students five days a week, per the regular school schedule, as it was prior to the onset of the pandemic.  Because of this expectation, there will be no remote (or hybrid) instructional options this academic year. 

Guiding principles of the reopening plan

  • The health, safety and well-being of the children and adults is paramount.
  • Educational equity will be at the forefront of decision-making.
  • Return all students to school, full-time, five days a week.
  • Support students’ social, emotional and mental well-being.
  • Prioritize the needs of our most vulnerable students.
  • Communicate regularly with all stakeholders, including staff, families, students, and the community.
  • Ensure flexibility to meet the needs of all students regardless of changing circumstances.

Content outline

Click on the links below to jump to specific sections of the plan or continue to scroll down. 

COVID-19 vaccinations

According to the CDC, high levels of COVID-19 vaccination among eligible students, as well as teachers, staff, and household members, is one of the most critical strategies to help schools safely resume full operations. Vaccination sites are available across Onondaga County.

Masks and social distancing

Updated March 3, 2022

Effective March 2, the state ended its face mask requirement in schools as a strategy to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

At that time, wearing masks indoors for all Fayetteville-Manlius School District students and staff members became optional. This includes while students are traveling on school district transportation.

On Feb. 25, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new mask guidance that relaxes the recommendations for face coverings. Under the revised guidelines, indoor masking in counties is based on a combination of COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations. Through this new rubric known as the “COVID-19 Community Level,” counties are identified as high-, medium- and low-risk.

Families with individual concerns regarding medically fragile and complex situations are encouraged to contact their building principal and or school nurse to discuss on an individual basis.

At least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms and other areas of the school will be maintained where possible. While the physical distance of 3 feet is not required when students are being transported on school buses, students will be separated as much as possible.

Management of ill persons, contact tracing and monitoring

Families should NOT send their children to school if they are exhibiting COVID-related symptoms. Students, teachers and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and be referred to their health care provider for testing and care, regardless of vaccination status. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 is essential to keep COVID-19 infections out of schools and prevent spread to others. 

The district requires students who are exhibiting COVID symptoms to report to the nurse’s office where they will immediately be sent home (there is no longer an isolation room in each school building). Faculty and staff should immediately leave the building and call the office to inform them that they are experiencing symptoms. Students or staff will be referred to a healthcare provider and provided resources on COVID-19 testing.

PPE requirements for school health office staff caring for sick individuals includes both standard and transmission-based precautions. 

School health office cleaning will occur after each use of cots, bathrooms and health office equipment (e.g., blood pressure cuffs, otoscopes, stethoscopes). Health office equipment will be cleaned following manufacturer’s directions.

Disposable items will be used as much as possible (e.g., disposable thermometers, disposable pillow protectors, disposable thermometer sheaths/probes, or disposable otoscope specula).

Isolation and Quarantine Protocols

Updated March 3, 2022

On March 1, 2022, New York state issued the following guidance regarding COVID-19 isolation and quarantine protocols:

  • Regardless of vaccination status, if a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for a full five days. They may return to school after day five if they are asymptomatic or if symptoms are resolving. For days 6-10 following a positive test, they are required to wear a mask in school, including on district transportation.
  • If a student or staff member has been exposed to COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status it is highly recommended they wear a mask for a full 10 days following that exposure.
  • State and local health officials continue to recommend testing for COVID-19 following a possible exposure. COVID-19 tests are available at school to anyone who wants one. If you need a test, please contact the main office of your student’s school, or if a district employee, contact your supervisor.
  • Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home from school or work, regardless of vaccination status or recent infection, until tested and/or isolate for five days. If you or your student has symptoms and you aren’t sure what to do, or if you need a COVID-19 test kit, contact the main office of your student’s school. District employees should contact their supervisor.

Return to School After Illness

Updated March 7, 2022

COVID-19 symptoms:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches,
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting 

All school students, teachers and staff with new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 must be excluded from school, regardless of vaccination status, and should contact their health care provider and either:

  1. Provide documentation from a health care provider following an evaluation; OR
  2. Per New York State Department of Health, provide negative COVID-19 diagnostic PCR (NAAT/molecular) test or antigen (rapid test) result. (Prior to Dec. 13, only a PCR test result was accepted.)

If you have symptoms, especially if you have had an exposure to someone with COVID-19, we recommend getting a PCR test first. If PCR tests are not able to be obtained, the antigen test will be accepted. However, when symptoms are still present or not improving, students should not attend school anyway, as they may spread another virus or illness to others. This has always been the request of the school system.

*Please note, Onondaga County will accept POSITIVE COVID-19 Home Test Kit results after the results have been downloaded via their website.

Once accepted/processed by the county, the school accepts these results. 

Exceptions to the testing requirements include:

  • Pre-existing medical conditions that are not new or worsening as noted by health care provider.
  • Health care provider provides a note for a known chronic condition with unchanged symptoms or a note explaining a confirmed acute illness/alternated diagnosis (example: laboratory confirmed influenza) AND COVID-19 is not suspected.

Please use the links below to schedule or find a local testing location:

*Please note that you may receive testing results, even within less than 24 hours, at the Upstate and County sites. The pharmacies, although convenient, may not return results as quickly; it may take several days for results to return.
The district will refer to the New York State Department of Health regarding protocols and policies for faculty and staff seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the faculty or staff member had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.

COVID-19 screening testing

COVID-19 screening testing identifies people infected with COVID-19, including those with or without symptoms, who may be contagious. We will work with the Onondaga County Department of Health to offer testing of students and staff at each of our buildings. Forms from the Onondaga County Health Department will be provided to our families so that they may indicate their consent for either the diagnostic and or surveillance testing.

Per an Emergency Order issued by the Onondaga County Executive, all Fayetteville-Manlius staff must be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. This emergency order may be superseded in the near future by a gubernatorial Executive Order.

Contact tracing

Updated March 3, 2022

Since the New York state and Onondaga County health departments are no longer conducting contact tracing, the district will no longer be collecting and reporting information about contacts. However, district officials will continue their due diligence in monitoring the location and numbers of positive cases reported to them and conduct investigations if the data shows there may be community spread within one of our schools. 

While the spread of the virus at school has been minimal, data to this point in time also has shown there have been very few individuals identified as needing to quarantine from an exposure at school. 

The district will maintain a record when a positive case occurs in a building. Data on the number of positive cases will be available on the district website and the New York State COVID-19 School Report Card..

Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff should not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.

School closures

A closure refers to contingency plans, protocols and procedures for decreasing the scale or scope of in-person education and/or closing the school. The district will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.

The district will announce any changes to the regular daily schedule using the school district website, the SchoolMessenger alert system and local media. Local media will also be used (major television and radio stations, newspapers, etc.) when schools are closed due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. 

Quarantined students

A student who is quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 will have access to his or her classwork and assignments via Schoology, See Saw and/or print materials supplied by the classroom teacher. Quarantined students will have access to their school issued iPad (grades K-2) or Chromebook (grades 3-12) as well as all classroom software programs.

Health hygiene

Updated March 3, 2022

The district will emphasize healthy hygiene practices for students and staff by providing initial and refresher education in hand and respiratory hygiene, along with providing adequate supplies and time for frequent hand hygiene. Signs will be posted throughout the school, and regular messaging will be shared with the school community. Signage will be used to remind individuals to:

  1. Stay home if they feel sick.
  2. Report symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.
  3. Follow hand hygiene and cleaning and disinfection guidelines.
  4. Follow respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Cleaning, disinfecting and ventilation

The district will continue to maximize the flow of outside air into the buildings. The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and NYSDOH. 

Examples of facility types where cleaning and disinfection frequency will be distinguished include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Athletic training rooms, locker rooms
  • Health offices, isolation rooms
  • Administrative offices (main office, reception area)
  • Frequently touched surfaces in common areas (door handles, elevator buttons, copy machine keypads, etc.)
  • Breakrooms
  • Cafeterias/Kitchens
  • Computer labs
  • Science labs
  • Classrooms
  • Maintenance offices and work areas
  • Bus garage
  • Buses, school vehicles
  • Libraries
  • Large meeting areas (auditoriums, gymnasiums, music rooms)
  • Playgrounds (cleaning only)

Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. This will include desks and cafeteria tables. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily or more frequently as needed. 

In addition to providing masks and other PPE for students and staff, alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer will be made available for use in accordance with NYSED regulations.

Visitors on campus

Visitors to schools must follow all safety protocols as listed above.

School meals

Students do not need to wear masks when seated and eating. Social distancing in the cafeterias will be maintained to the greatest extent possible but will be a minimum of three feet. Where individual desks are unavailable, some buildings will use plastic barriers to divide up larger rectangular or round cafeteria tables. Each cafeteria will be equipped with larger and more powerful air filtration machines that are similar to the hospital-grade air purification units currently being used in classrooms since the onset of the pandemic.


Updated March 3, 2022

It is optional for students and school staff to wear face masks on district transportation. Individuals will be encouraged to maintain social distance to the extent practicable.

In an effort to maximize instructional time at school, families are encouraged to utilize district transportation. All buses that are used by the district will be cleaned/disinfected twice a day. High contact areas will be wiped down after each morning and afternoon run. 

Transportation staff (drivers, monitors, attendants, mechanics and cleaners) will be trained and provided periodic refreshers on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Sports and other extracurricular activities

Updated March 3, 2022

Fayetteville-Manlius will work with the Onondaga County Department of Health, Section III and our league to develop protocols for safe participation in athletics programs for students and coaches. On March 2, 2022, it became optional for students, staff and visitors participating in interscholastic sports or extracurricular activities to wear face masks, per the state. For indoor sports, the district may increase physical distancing between players on the bench or spectators in the crowd. The district may also reduce capacity for spectators or not allow spectators at indoor sports based on determinations made by state or local authorities.

Students and adults should follow the same school-day policies and procedures during athletic and extracurricular activities. 

Remote learning

While we believe that in-person instruction, five days a week best meets the academic and social and emotional needs of our students, we recognize that some parents and guardians have concerns about sending their students to school for in-person instruction because of their child’s health status. To accommodate those families, we are partnering with OCM BOCES to offer a limited remote instruction option for students with a signed physician statement indicating that the student cannot return to in-person school due to a documented, pre-existing medical condition. 

Remote instruction will be provided by New York state-certified teachers employed by OCM BOCES, and students meeting the enrollment eligibility will be placed in the remote learning program for the entirety of the 2021-22 school year. Physician statements must be signed, dated and sent to the building principal and Amy Evans, Assistant Superintendent for Support Services. Questions regarding remote instruction through BOCES may be directed to Amy Evans at 315-692-1203.  

Parents of, or persons in parental relation to, compulsory school age children have the legal right to instruct their children at home (homeschool instruction). Parents who wish to homeschool their children must follow all New York state regulations and provide written notice of intent to the school district superintendent. Questions regarding homeschool instruction may be directed to Dr. Mary Coughlin, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, at 315-692-1202.

In the event that schools are closed by local, state or school officials due to a spread of disease or lack of available staffing resources, schools may have to temporarily shift to a remote learning platform. Classroom teachers will be prepared to switch to remote learning quickly. In the event that schools are closed for in-person learning, students will be expected to login from home and follow their normal school schedule via video conferencing tools and online learning platforms provided by the district.