Frequently Asked Questions about the District Reopening Plan
Q. How will remote learning be different than in the spring?
First and for most, attendance will be taken, and grades will be given. Teachers will take attendance each day for elementary students and during each class period for secondary students. For students accessing daily instruction through asynchronous means attendance will be taken in other ways. There will be scheduled “live” instruction for classes at all grade levels in a variety of manners. Teachers will be assessing all students prior to instruction to ensure that all student academic levels are accounted for when creating instructional plans. The district will provide multiple ways for students to participate in learning and demonstrate their mastery of the learning standards in remote and hybrid instructional models through the use of various platforms such as, Office 365, Nearpod, SeeSaw, Schoology, and Mastery Connect.
Certain groups of students will be prioritized for in-person learning to the greatest extent possible. These groups include, but are not limited to, special education students, English language learners, students who did not engage in remote learning during the spring of 2020, and students with technology or connectivity needs.
Elementary Students: All students will be on a single learning platform as much as possible, depending on grade level. At the K-3 grade levels, this platform is the SeeSaw learning management system and at grades 4-5 it is the Schoology learning management system. Remote learning students will be rostered to a remote instructor who will be responsible for daily language, reading, writing and mathematics instruction. Should schools be forced to a fully remote model, students will be spread across the grade level and all teachers will take responsibility for the continuity of remote instruction.
Secondary Students: Instruction will focus on required content areas and courses needed for graduation as well as the inclusion of elective courses. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. Learning opportunities for secondary students will include a greater emphasis on synchronous instruction for at least a portion of a scheduled daily class. Teachers will provide live instruction and lessons to students that are remotely learning. Teachers will ensure that their students are directly engaged with them and their class peers in experiential learning on a regular basis. Live lessons will be presentation-based with teacher instruction overlaid. Students will use Schoology or Microsoft Teams with O365 tools and interactive lesson delivery with applications such as Nearpod. It is expected that content and instruction will progress each school day regardless of which group is physically in the building and which group is home. Students at home are expected to participate daily in their courses through MS Teams or another method of communication.
Q. What will in-person learning look like?
Elementary Students: Pre-K through 5th grade students have the option to return to school 5 days a week. The number of students in each of our classrooms will be reduced to adhere to CDC guidance regarding proper social distancing. Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. Schools will minimize the movement of students, including lunches in classroom, and special area subjects held in the classroom when possible.
Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction while limiting aerobic exertion. We will adhere to 12 feet between students when engaging in physical activity.
Students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, to reduce their exposure to additional students as much as possible.
Secondary Students: Students will be returning to school in a 2:2 model with all students attending each day, but only half present in the building with the other half joining virtually. All secondary students will be grouped with a 2 day on, 2 day off rotation, with attendance in person and online alternating every two days. Eastridge will follow an 8-day rotation. Group 1 will attend their A day and B day classes in person, then Group 2 will attend their A day and B day classes in person. This rotation will repeat with Group 1 following their C day and D day classes, then Group 2 following their C day and D day classes to ensure that all classes receive equal in person instruction. At the Middle School, students will be grouped in cohorts who will remain with the same peers throughout the day and have teachers rotate into the classroom as often as possible.
Instruction will not be repeated, just because the letter days are repeating. It is expected that content and instruction will progress each school day regardless of which group is physically in the building and which group is home. Instruction will focus on required content areas and courses needed for graduation as well as the inclusion of elective courses. All instruction will continue to be aligned to the New York State Learning Standards.
In all learning modalities the district’s goal is to be able to seamless transition between modalities as mandates dictate, or as needed. This plan will lessen students feeling like they need to catch up or that they missed something while in a particular learning model.
Q. What about special area subjects (music, art, physical education)?
Special-area subjects (e.g., art, music, physical education) may be pushed into the classroom. Whenever possible students will utilize outside space for physical education instruction while limiting aerobic exertion. In physical education class, students will maintain a distance of 12 feet in all directions while participating in activities that require aerobic activity and result in heavy breathing. Band and Chorus will be limited to small groups and within social distancing guidelines. For remote learners, special area instructional activities will be posted weekly.
Q. What if I chose 100% remote learning for my child but feel that they would do better with in person learning?
In all learning modalities the district’s goal is to be able to seamless transition between modalities as mandates dictate, or as needed. The district is developing a system by which families can transition from one model to the other at strategic points throughout the school year in both the elementary and secondary levels. However, we ask that students stay in 100% remote learning for at least 10 weeks.
Q. How will classes be socially distanced?
Students will practice social distancing from the arrival on school grounds through departure. When students enter the building, they will go directly to their classroom. Hallway use will be limited throughout the day. Hallway lockers will not be used. No more than 16 students will occupy a classroom grades K-12, and no more than 16 students will occupy a preschool classroom per the allowance of square footage. This allows students to be spaced 6 feet apart from their classmates. During Physical Education class, students will maintain a distance of 12 feet in all directions while participating in activities that require aerobic activity and result in heavy breathing.
Q. Do all students and staff have to wear masks during school?
Masks will be required based upon best available data and input from the local Department of Health, CDC guidelines and New York State guidelines. Students and staff will be provided with reusable masks, if needed, at no costs. Acceptable masks for COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, cloth-based coverings and surgical masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Consistent with the District’s reopening plan, all students, staff and visitors shall wear an appropriate face covering at all times while on school district property, unless permitted to remove such face coverings during authorized mask breaks when social distancing is maintained. Students will be allowed to remove face coverings during meals, and for short breaks as long as they maintain appropriate social distance. Students who are medically unable to tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one but will need a doctor’s notes stating as much.
Q. Will my child be allowed to wash their hands throughout the day?
All students and staff will be trained on proper handwashing and sanitizing. There will be designated times built into each day for students to wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer. There will also be posters in key areas and videos playing on monitors in the schools about proper hand washing, mask wearing, social distancing, etc. in order to educate staff and students on how to proactively stop the spread of germs.
- Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds will be done:
- After eating
- After sneezing, coughing, or nose blowing
- After using the restroom
- Before handling food
- After touching or cleaning surfaces that may be contaminated
- Before and after putting on or taking off face coverings
- Anytime hands are visibly soiled
- If soap and water are not available, students and staff will use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Respiratory hygiene practices will include covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or the corner of elbow, disposing of soiled tissues immediately after use, washing hands after sneezing or coughing, and wearing a face covering.
Q. How will staff ensure that the buildings are cleaned and sanitized?
The district will ensure adherence to hygiene, cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and DOH. Cleaning and disinfection logs will be maintained that include the date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.
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, which should be cleaned and disinfected between each individual use. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.
The district will ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of restrooms. Restrooms should be cleaned and disinfected more often depending on frequency of use.
Q. How will students on the buses be social distant?
Students and school staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school buses (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated) and should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable. School bus capacity will be limited to one student per seat, unless two students live in the same household, then they may share a seat. Students who are medically unable to tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one but will need a doctor’s notes stating as much, but they must be appropriately socially distanced. Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses. All buses that are used every day by districts and contract carriers will be cleaned/disinfected once a day. High contact spots will be wiped down in between bus runs during the morning and afternoon runs.
Q. What is the process for breakfast/lunch?
Breakfast: Grab-and-go breakfast will be picked up by students as they enter the school building. Students will give food service personnel their name for the roster and then take the breakfast bag with them for consumption in their classroom.
Lunch: Meals will be pre-ordered in the morning. There will be two lunch options including fruit and vegetable sides of the day, and an ala cart milk option. Families will be encouraged to use MySchoolBucks as a payment system to limit possible contamination with cash and checks.
For meals in classroom (Elementary): Meals will be delivered to the classroom and will be pre-packaged with all condiments, utensils, and choice of milk.
For meals picked up in cafeteria (Secondary): If meals are picked up in the cafeteria, social distancing measures will be in place, staff and students will wear masks, and hand sanitizer stations will be set up before and after entering the lunch line. If meals are self-selected there will be limited access to touch points by pre-portioning/packaging servings, and food will be served to students by food service staff. Pre-wrapped utensils and condiments will be placed on students’ trays by staff as well.
Students K-8 will be eating lunch in the classroom, while students 9-12 will be spaced out in the cafeteria and other open spaces, 2 per table, in accordance with social distancing guidelines.
As New York State guidelines relax all students may eventually return to eating in the cafeteria while adhering to current guidelines.
For students selecting 100% remote learning/days students are learning from home: for any students that are remote learning 100% of the time or in a hybrid schedule, breakfast and lunch options will be available to pick up daily. These options will be at the same price point a student would pay if they were receiving their meals in school.
Q. How will I know if a school building has to close and/or reopen again?
In the event that a school or the state experiences a spike in COVID-19 cases, the district may be required to shut down a particular school building or transition the entire district to full time remote learning. Parents and guardians will be notified of these changes via our mass communication system (Robo calls or emails), Talking Points, the district website, and social media. It is important that all parents make sure that their contact information is up to date in Infinite Campus so that they can receive the necessary updates as needed. If you have a change in any contact information, please contact your student’s school main office to provide updated information. Conversely, when schools are due to reopen parents will also be notified with the aforementioned communication tools.
If Someone Gets Sick
Q.What should I do if my child has symptoms of COVID-19 before they go to school or while they are in school?
Before School: Parents/guardians will be required to check their child’s temperature and answer the district’s health screening questionnaire via the Infinite Campus parent portal daily before children leave for school. If your child presents with any of the symptoms listed in the health questionnaire, or has a temperature of 100o F or higher, the following protocols should happen:
- The parent or guardian keeps the student home and contacts the student’s school health office.
- The family health care provider is contacted for guidance.
- Testing may or may not occur, depending on the advice of the health care provider, including testing of siblings/household relations who are symptom-free.
- The school nurse will follow up with the family later in the day for information regarding a diagnosis.
- The student that had symptoms can return to school:
- IF NOT DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 or HAS A NEGATIVE COVID-19 TEST, once there is no fever, without the use of fever reducing medicine, and felt well for 24 hours, a note from a healthcare provider stating they are clear to return to school is required.
- IF DIAGNOSED WITH ANOTHER CONDITION, a note from a healthcare provider stating they are clear to return to school is required.
- IF DIAGNOSED WITH COVID-19 WITH OR WITHOUT TESTING (All will require a note from a healthcare provider clearing them to return to school).
- If it has been at least 10 days since the first sign of symptoms.
- It has been at least 3 days since the student had a fever (without using fever reducing medicine).
- It has been at least 3 days since the student has been symptom-free.
- If a student has a positive COVID-19 test, all siblings/other children in the household need to quarantine for at least 14 days and be cleared by a healthcare provider.
While in school: If your child presents with any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while in school, the child will be sent to the nurse for screening. If the nurse feels that the child should be seen by their health care provider, the child will be isolated and supervised by a nurse until their parent or guardian pick them up. The person picking up the student will be screened before allowed entrance to the building. Then the child’s parent or guardian will need to follow steps 2 through 5 above.
Q. What happens if my child has a classmate/teacher that tests positive for COVID-19?
Any student that has no symptoms but has been in close contact* with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be home from school for fourteen days and learn remotely.
* The New York State Department of Health considers close contact to be someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the person was isolated.
To find a COVID-19 testing site near you, click here
- Regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds will be done: