Update (September, 2020)
Click the drop down below to read about how we are safely welcoming back our families to our buildings:
In accordance with the NYC & NYS Departments of Health guidelines, we have instituted the following measures:
Health Screening/Testing: All parents (on behalf of their children) will be asked to download the Commonpoint Queens app (available for FREE purchase in the app store for IOS and Android/Google devices) to their phones in order to self-report and answer a series of symptom checking questions each day your child attends our program. Parents will enter their child’s name and information. Once the questions are answered on the app, a screen with a green check will alert security and other arrival personnel that the child/person is ready for their temperature check. All individuals entering our buildings will be screened for temperature. If the temperature reads above 100.4, the person will not be granted entry.
The remote screening accomplishes two main goals:
- To keep anyone sick or feeling symptomatic at home and away from the school community to help stop the spread of the virus
- To alleviate the time it takes to check in to the school building in the morning, so we can maximize the on-site classroom/learning time.
Symptoms of COVID-19 that will prevent building entry:
- Fever (100.4◦F or higher);
- Sore throat;
- Uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
COVID-19 Testing: Please see our graphic above – “Can I go to Commonpoint Today?” There are clear directives about COVID testing and protocols in place in accordance with health regulatory agencies.
Equipment/Face Coverings: As per the NYC Department of Health, young children/campers (i.e., those that are not yet in kindergarten) do not need to wear face coverings when they are in child care or day camp program facility or area. Older children/campers are encouraged but not required to wear face coverings as feasible. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 2, or for anyone who is unable to medically tolerate such covering, including children/campers for whom such covering would impair their health or mental health, or where such covering would present a challenge, distraction, or obstruction to the child care or day camp program.
Although children are not mandated to wear masks in the group spaces, we are committed to being your partner in helping them get more comfortable wearing masks. Parents are free to send their child with a mask, should they choose.
Some helpful video links on wearing a mask and social distancing for children over 2 years old:
All Special Services staff will be required to wear a face mask at all times. Some employees, depending on their job functions, will be outfitted with more PPE such as face shields and gowns (nurses, facilities staff cleaning the bathrooms, etc.). We have put up polycarbonate barriers to protect the security guards.
Cleaning: The Commonpoint Queens facilities staff have been trained on hospital-grade cleaning and responsible for continuous cleaning of high-touch and high-traffic areas throughout the school day (e.g., bathrooms, door handles, stairwell handrails, elevator buttons, etc). Commonpoint Queens will continue to have a skilled cleaning crew disinfect the building after dismissal in preparation for the next day. We have purchased industrial sanitizing machines to be used daily to ensure all surfaces are disinfected.
Covid-19 Isolation Room: In the event that a child or faculty/staff member becomes ill or shows symptoms, he or she will be brought to this designated room. This room serves as a holding room until the child is picked up, preferably immediately.
Guidelines for Program Closing/Quarantine: In accordance with NYC school reopening policies, Commonpoint Queens will allow school to remain open if the city-wide infection rate stays below 3% for 7 consecutive days. If one child or staff member becomes infected, that room and all individuals will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. In the event that two or more individuals from different group spaces in our center contract COVID-19, the agency will seek guidance from the NYC Department of Heath for next steps to ensure proper safety and compliance measures are taken.
Please know that we will always err on the side of safety, as that is our primary concern. That said, we don’t want to be quick to close the entire program for an extended period of time if not necessary. Most likely, we will evaluate each case as it comes up, consult with health authorities, quickly make a decision, and be completely open and transparent with our families to the extent possible.
For all in-person learning days, the following daily routine will be implemented for Special Services families:
Morning Health Screening and Entry Protocol
- From Home – Answer App Screening Questions: Each day your child will be present, all parents will be asked to answer questions on behalf of their child on our Commonpoint Queens app (Download from Apple or Google Play). Staff will be answering the screening questions as well. Security and arrival staff will screen all completed approval screens on your mobile device. If you are not able to complete the survey from your device, one of our team members will assist you. We encourage everyone to complete this task from home to ensure a smooth and efficient arrival process.
- At our agency, children and adults with a temperature of 100.4F will not be permitted entry into our locations.
- The children will practice hand washing hygiene upon arrival to program, after use of the bathroom, before eating and before departure.
- Parents will be asked to make appointments with the Director of Early Childhood if they wish to enter the building.
- For the immediate future, all meetings between families and agency staff will be virtually.
Arrival & Dismissal Procedures: SAM FIELD CENTER (Little Neck)
- Participants will remain in their room that is used for After School activities until they are dismissed to avoid cross contamination between groups.
- When parents arrive, they should pull up on the SIDE ENTRANCE (Left) of the building (see below)
- Parents have two options for pickup – between 5:45 – 6:oo PM
- Call or Text Natalie (917) 508-2489 and inform her that they are outside and ready to pick up the child. A staff member will walk the child outside.
Snack and Lunch Procedures
- Commonpoint Queens provides a light snack each day. If you’d like to send your child with an additional snack, you are able to do so. Remember that any items containing peanuts or tree nuts are not permitted in our school. All food items should be Kosher with markings on the packaging.
- All children will eat snacks and lunch in their group spaces.
- Staff will use an EPA-approved disinfectant and paper towels to thoroughly clean the tables before and after children eat.
- Children will not be allowed to share snacks or lunch.
It is critical that we have the most updated contact information for your family. We send consistent communication throughout the school year. If your contact information changes, please let the Early Childhood Director know as soon as possible.
Special Services & Agency Blasts
Our team will send emails periodically to update you on agency programs, resources and other initiatives your family can participate in as part of our community. Typically you’ll find those are from our Lisa Armband, Special Services Director and Jared Mintz, our Director of Communications.
Commonpoint Queens is proud to have a significant presence on many social media platforms. We encourage families to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
One Call Now (Text Messages)
Our agency utilizes an emergency texting system called “One Call Now” for emergency communication. We use this system to send quick text messages to alert families of school closures, snow days, and other critical messaging that families need to receive quickly. Make sure we have as many cell phone numbers as necessary for your family.
To accommodate as many students as safely as possible, we are prepared to re-purpose many spaces into classrooms. Examples of these spaces include:
- Multipurpose Rooms
- Outdoor Playgrounds and Spaces
- Dance Studios
Following are some of the changes our students will see to accommodate the social distancing guidelines:
Stairwells will be divided into up and down staircases to monitor traffic flow.
Elevators will be reserved for only students and faculty with cases of documented medical necessity. Capacity is each elevator will be restricted to only adults and children from the same pod.
Floor markers to reinforce places to stand for social distancing are placed throughout our buildings.
We plan to offer virtual orientations for families. Those dates will be held in early September to make sure we can speak to the most updated guidelines from all of our regulatory agencies. Sessions will be recorded and will have the ability to be emailed to families who need them.
We want each family to have the opportunity to meet with our Directors before the start of school. Please reach out to your child’s Director to schedule a virtual session so we can get to know your family!
718-225-6750 ext. 286
- New York State Education Department – Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: the Spirit of New York’s Schools Reopening Guidance (full guidance)
- New York State Education Department – Reopening New York: Guidelines for In-Person Instruction at Pre-K to Grade 12 Schools
- New York State Education Department – Recovering, Rebuilding, and Renewing: the Spirit of New York’s Schools Reopening Guidance (July 13 presentation)
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Preparing K-12 School Administrators for a Safe Return to School in Fall 2020
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Considerations for Schools
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Duration of Isolation and Precautions for Adults with COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Screening K-12 Students for Symptoms of COVID-19: Limitations and Considerations
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention – When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19
- American Academy of Pediatrics – Covid-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry
- Harvard T.H. Chain School of Public Healthy – Schools For Health: Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia PolicyLab – Evidence and Considerations for School Reopenings
- eSchool+ Initiative, Johns Hopkins University – How K-12 Schools Should Prepare for Reopening During the 2020-21 Academic Year: An Equity Checklist
- National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – Reopening K-12 Schools During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Prioritizing Health, Equity, and Communities (2020)
- National Charter School Institute – Preparing School Buildings for Reopening After COVID-19
- NYC Department of Health – FAQ About COVID-19 for Health Care Providers
For families who are traveling out of the country or to high-risk states during the summer, we require that you quarantine starting on August 27 to ensure you complete two weeks of quarantine prior to the start of school. Please click HERE for the NYSDOH travel advisory page.
We trust that you find this information helpful and pledge to continue to keep you informed of any changes, as they arise. In addition to our Covid-related updates, we also will be sending out our regular back-to-school emails. As always, we thank you for your partnership and understanding during these challenging times.
Lisa Armband Senior Director, Special Services
Commonpoint Queens is proud to offer programs specifically designed to meet the social, emotional, educational, and recreational needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities. An individual interview is required for each of these programs so that our professional team can welcome your child and assist in the selection of programs that would be most successful.
For more information on our programs for youth with disabilities or to register for classes, please contact Lisa Armband, MS, Senior Director of Special Services at [email protected]
Below are several of our program offerings:
Special Services After School Program
This after school care program is for children with developmental disabilities ages 5-21. Groups meet daily after school under the direction of professionally supervised staff. New York City Board of Education transportation is provided from school to the Sam Field Center, and mini-bus transportation may be provided by the Sam Field Center to the child’s home at the end of the day.
For more information, please contact Natalie Palermo at [email protected]
School Holiday Program
We provide children with developmental disabilities with an exciting assortment of trips to places of interest on most school holidays and vacations throughout the year. Interview required. For more information, please contact Natalie Palermo at [email protected]ens.org
A once monthly recreational program that meets on Sunday afternoons geared for high functioning and independent teens with developmental disabilities. Contact Natalie Palermo at [email protected]
Project Child After School Program
This after-school program at the Bay Terrace Center offers the opportunity for children to enjoy safe, supportive and successful after-school experiences with a 3:1 child to staff ratio. Each afternoon, children participate in educational, recreational and socialization experiences designed to enhance academic and social skills while boosting self-esteem. Daily schedule includes homework help, arts & crafts, yoga, cooking, science and gym time. Program is offered 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm, with an extended care program until 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday, and runs for the length of the school year. Snack is provided.
For more information please call Stephanie Costa at (718) 423-6111 or email [email protected]
Project Child School Holiday Program
We provide children with developmental disabilities with an exciting assortment of trips to places of interest on most school holidays and vacations throughout the year. Interview required. For more information please call Stephanie Costa at (718) 423-6111 or email [email protected]
Social Skills Group
Commonpoint Queens and The Seaver and New York Autism Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai School of Medicine will be jointly sponsoring a social skills program. This program includes a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) structure for teaching skills, and will focus on skills such as non-verbal communication, social initiation, problem solving and coping strategies for children on the autistic spectrum. Each group will consist of 5-8 children and meet once a week for an hour and a half. Peer mentors, typically developing, age matched children, will be incorporated in the social skills therapy group on a periodic basis. Simultaneously, once a week a parent discussion group will meet for half an hour with our trained staff. We will have groups for children ages 5-8 and ages 9-12, and young adults ages 13-17.
Call (718) 423-6111 or email [email protected] for more information.
Commonpoint Queens is proud to offer programs specifically designed to meet the social, emotional, educational, and recreational needs of children with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities ages 5-21. An individual interview is required for each of these programs so that our professional team can welcome your child and assist in the selection of programs that would be most successful.
For more information or to register for these classes, please contact Stephanie Costa, Program Director at [email protected] or by calling (718) 268-5011 ext. 165
Special Services Summer Day Camp
Our day camps specialize in serving children 5-21 who have developmental disabilities. Campers have the adventure of full day summer camp experiences at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds with occasional field trips. For more information please contact Lisa Armband at [email protected] or Stephanie Costa at [email protected].
Autism Summer Respite
This youth summer camp program serves children with autism and other similar disabilities ages 5 – 21. Children participate in an array of educational, recreational and socialization activities following their summer school program. Day camp activities are designed and implemented by professional educators and clinicians. The summer program is offered 2:30 – 5 PM daily. At the end of each program day, participants may be eligible for mini-bus transportation home. At summer school’s end, a one-week, full day respite program is offered to day camp program participants. For more information please call Stephanie Costa at (718) 423-6111 or email [email protected]
Sam Field Center
Basketball Buddies/Soccer Stars
Children ages 5-21 are meticulously paired up with teen mentors who act as the children’s coaches and buddies throughout the season. The 1 hour class is run by a physical education instructor along with other staff including a licensed social worker. Each child learns specific basketball or soccer skills each week and the class ends with a snack break and social skills learning piece. This is a great way for children to socialize with their peers while learning social skills and sports each week. The children play in the gym and benefit from the individualized attention provided by their mentors.
For more information please contact Natalie Palermo at [email protected]
Please check back for more program listings.
A Time For Us
A Time for Us allows adults with Developmental Disabilities to participate in social and recreational opportunities in a safe and nurturing environment. Participants will have the opportunity to make lasting friendships while taking part in fun activities with peers and caring and professional staff and community members. We meet one Sunday per month, from October through June, and participate in fun and interactive activities and trips like bowling, cooking with personal chefs, arts and crafts, field days, a year-end prom and so much more. A small fee is typically collected. Times, locations, and prices will vary based on the event. For more information please contact Stephanie Costa at [email protected]
Participant Advisory Board
This group meets directly after the A Time For Us events one Sunday a month and helps to promote self advocacy skills among the participants. Adults in program are encouraged to express their interests and needs and learn essential advocacy skills to help them navigate their lives, and will have an opportunity to help plan future A Time For Us events while sharing feedback related to their experiences. For more information please contact Stephanie Costa at [email protected]
Opportunities to Work with Children with Developmental Disabilities
Consortia for Learning and Service to Special Populations (C.L.A.S.S.P.)
High school students are hand selected to learn and work in programs serving children with special needs, while taking a class for college credit at Long Island University – C.W. Post
Current college students are hand selected to learn and work in programs serving children with special needs, while taking a class for college credit at Long Island University – C.W. Post
For more information on these programs please contact Natalie Palermo at [email protected]