Our families are invited to send all questions about reopening to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
Health & Safety
Q. Are masks required?
A: Yes. Students, staff and visitors to our schools will be expected to wear face coverings at all times, indoors and outside, including on the school bus and in classrooms Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, instruction, and for short breaks so long as they maintain appropriate social distance. We understand this will be challenging for some of our students, particularly our younger students; teachers and staff will closely monitor and allow for breaks as are developmentally and age appropriate and as they are needed. If students are unable to medically tolerate a face covering, we will work directly with the family and medical providers to address the need.
Q. Can face shields be used in place of masks?
A: Face shields may be used, but they are to be worn in addition to face masks, not in place of them.
Q. What are parents required to do to screen children’s health before school each day?
A: In accordance with CDC recommendations, parents/guardians will be responsible for checking each child’s health before school each day. If a child presents with any of the following, they should be kept home from school:
- Temperature above 100.0 degrees F
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chills (with or without repeated shaking)
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
Please note that this screening is in addition to other conditions that should preclude students from attending school (e.g., pink eye, vomiting) or any situation in which a child appears not to be well enough to participate in the activities of the school day.
Q. What happens if a student’s health screening has not been submitted? Will they be permitted to enter the building?
A: Screening student health at home before the school day is only one tool the district will use to ensure that students are well enough to attend school. Additional health screening measures include monitoring students who have not self reported and doing so upon their arrival at school.
Q. What is the protocol if there is a positive or suspected case of COVID-19 in the school?
A: The district will notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 diagnostic test result by an individual within school facilities or on school grounds, including students, faculty, staff and visitors of any of our schools.
To assist the local health department with tracing the transmission of COVID-19, the district has a plan to trace all contacts of exposed individuals in accordance with protocols, training and tools provided through the New York State Contact Tracing Program.
Confidentiality must be maintained as required by federal and state laws and regulations. School staff will not try to determine who is to be excluded from school based on contact without guidance and direction from the local health department.
Q: Will testing for COVID-19 be conducted at school?
A: In the event that testing will need to be conducted at the school, the district will work with the local health department to support implementation.
In order for a staff member or student to return to school after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or testing positive, they must provide documentation from a health care provider of a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result and symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation.
Q: Will schools be conducting contact tracing if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19?
A: The district will participate in contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department.
Q: What are the district’s plans for cleaning and disinfecting school buildings?
A: The district will ensure adherence to hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH. Regular cleaning and disinfection of the facilities will be rigorous and ongoing, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces and shared spaces. Deep cleaning and disinfection will occur daily.
Q. Will outside visitors be permitted into school buildings? Will outside groups still be able to use school facilities?
A: No outside visitors or volunteers will be allowed on the school campus. Parents/guardians will report to the front office and not go beyond unless it is for the safety or well-being of their child. Essential visitors to facilities will be required to wear face coverings and will be restricted in their access to our school buildings.
Q. What is the school district doing to get clean airflow into classrooms?
A: Upon reopening, the district plans to increase ventilation with outdoor air to the greatest extent possible (e.g., opening windows and doors) while maintaining health and safety protocols, particularly for younger students. Additionally the district has conducted a thorough evaluation of the existing ventilation systems to assure they comply with all recommendations.
Q. How will school supplies that are typically shared be addressed?
A: Students will not be sharing materials. We have staff compiling what is absolutely required and assessing our current supplies on hand. Our hope is to provide most of the needed materials for each student. For special area classes, for instance art, students will be provided with “individual kits” containing their needed materials.
Q: What supports are available for my child’s mental health needs?
A: The social emotional well-being of students and staff is a priority for the district, especially throughout this pandemic. To support our school community and ensure students’ social emotional learning, the district has added a full time social worker for the coming school year. This individual will work in conjunction with the members of our existing Instructional Support Team, inclusive of our principal, school psychologist and school counselor. Additionally we are creating embedded instruction to be conducted during the first several weeks of school to provide strategies for students to utilize when facing challenges related to the transition.
Q. What are the drop-off and pickup times for in-person instruction?
A: Please see the following in person information and schedules:
- Arrival – 8:30 Bus/8:45 Parent
- Dismissal – 2:00 Parent/2:15 Bus
- Arrival – 9:00 Parent/9:05 Bus
- Dismissal – 1:30/Bus 1:45 Bus
Q: Will elementary students have recess? If so, will recess be outside if conditions permit?
A: Elementary students will still participate in recess. Elementary principals will work with staff to develop alternative recess activities that abide by social distancing guidelines. To the extent possible, and weather permitting recess will be conducted outdoors.
Q: How will PE work for all grades?
A: Students will still participate in Physical Education classes. Whenever possible, students will use outside space for physical education instruction. We will adhere to NYSDOH guidelines of maintaining 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity.
Q. How will the district decide if there is a need to go fully remote? Will that decision be made districtwide, or on a more individual basis (school, class, etc.)?
A: The district will collaborate with the local health department to determine the parameters, conditions or metrics (e.g., increased absenteeism or increased illness in the school community) that will serve as early warning signs that positive COVID-19 cases may be increasing beyond an acceptable level.
At a minimum, schools will close in accordance with direction from the governor and New York State Department of Health if the 7-day rolling regional average of the infection rate rises above 9%. In that instance, schools throughout the region must wait until the 14-day average is below 5% before reopening, and permission must be grated from the local department of health and other governing agencies.
The district will be notified by the local department of health regarding the status of infection rates. The district reserves the right to modify operations prior to closing to help mitigate a rise in cases.
Q: Will athletics, clubs or extracurricular activities still be offered?
A: All after school sports and club activities are suspended for the first trimester. This will be reconsidered prior to the start of each trimester.
Q. Are before- and after-school programs available?
A: We will continue to partner with the YMCA to offer child care options to families. It is the intent to continue to have the after care program, as well as implement a before care option if there is a need from our families.
Teaching and Learning
Q. Is remote learning an option for families who do not want to send their child to in-person instruction?
A: Remote learning will be an option, as parents will select their choice via the district survey. Once the number of families choosing the remote option is known , additional information will be made available.
Q. If we choose remote learning, how long do we have to stay with that learning model?
A: If the remote option is selected, K-5 students must remain remote for the trimester and the option can be revisited at the end of each subsequent trimester. Grade 6-8 students will need to commit for the semester.
Q. What is the difference between remote learning and homeschooling?
A: Remote learning is delivered by the school district for students who are enrolled in school, but are not attending in-person instruction. Instruction is provided by certified teachers in accordance with New York State Learning Standards. Parents who wish to homeschool their child must provide written notice to the school district, and submit an individualized home instruction plan, as well as quarterly reports and evaluations to the district.
Q: How will my child’s IEP be affected by remote learning?
A: The district will work with its committees on special education and preschool special education to ensure that students’ individualized education plans can be followed during both in-person and remote learning.
Q: Can my child still receive services such as occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech therapy remotely?
A: Yes the district will work with all service providers to comply with IEP mandated services.
Q: How will the district provide translations of reopening information for students and families?
A: The district will make every effort to ensure that communication to parents/legal guardians is in their preferred language and mode of communication.
The district’s reopening plan and subsequent updates appear on the district website, which can be translated into other languages via the G-Translate feature available at the top of each page.