NPS Reopening Plan 2020-21: Frequently Asked Questions

District

 

About Reopening Schools - Fall 2020

Information as of 7/31/20

Reopening General Information

Q  

Who will decide the different options for learning? What other data will be used to guide the final decision? When will the decision be made?

A

The governor stated there would be more flexibility for districts with choosing the model for reopening.  The health data in the community will be what drives the decision.  Norwich will go with the safest option at the time. We will also be looking at the space in each building to determine if we have enough room to abide by the social distancing requirements based on the number of students who will be attending school in person. A decision will be made in the next week or so based on the numbers of students returning back to school and how many have chosen remote learning.

 

Q

What are the reopening options available for my child at this point in time?

A

Right now, we are looking at opening in person. Temporary remote learning is available for students whose parents are not comfortable sending their children back to school in person.

 

Q

How do we let the district know which option we have chosen for our children?

A

You can fill out the form for Remote Learning or contact your child’s principal to let them know. Right now, the school secretaries are not back in school so an email to the principal would be the best method of communication. Temporary Remote Learning Option Form

 

Q

Can my children return to school during the school year if I change my mind and want them to attend in person?

A

We are required to accept students whenever they are ready to return to school in person.  It may take a week to assign them to a classroom and schedule transportation.  We need to make sure we can maintain the six-foot rule in all classrooms.  So, we may need to check several classrooms to find a spot for your children.  

 

Q

Is there a deadline for notifying the district that my children will be participating in the temporary remote learning? 

Can I change my mind if I have already filled out the Remote Learning Form

A

There is not a deadline for choosing Remote Learning before the start of the school year. But, we need to know as soon as possible because we are making decisions based on the data we have in front of us.  Once the school year begins,  you can change your mind at the end of the marking period (quarter or trimester) unless there are extenuating circumstances

 

Q

What will be the school hours for the in-person model?

A

The hours will be the same as last year at your school.  However, principals will be sending out information close to the start of the year about staggering drop off and pick up times for parents who will be transporting their children.

 

Q

Is there an option to vary the model for elementary vs. middle school if the numbers work out or is there one model for the whole district?

A

There will be one model for the entire district when the decision is made.  

 

Q

Will students be attending school five days a week for both in-person learning and temporary remote learning?

A

Yes, students will be attending school five days a week in both models.  The first week of school will be half days to allow students and staff to acclimate back to school. The afternoons will provide a time for staff and their building administrators to problem solve different strategies to support our students with the new guidelines.

 

Q

How will I know when a final decision has been made about the model that has been chosen based on the health and safety data?

A

The superintendent will send out a message on School Messenger and it will also be on the front page of the website. 

 

Temporary Remote Learning Option

Q

What is the form I need to fill out if I want my child to participate in temporary remote learning?

A

Temporary Remote Learning Option Form

 

Q

If I start the year in temporary remote learning will I lose my spot at my home school?

A

There is a risk that if the enrollment at your child’s grade level is high.  We may need to place your child at another school. Please contact your building principal and the registration office as soon as you know you want your child to return to in-person classes.  It may take up to a week to place your child in a classroom and arrange for transportation. 

 

Q

What would the day look like for students who will be participating in temporary remote learning?

A

Elementary

Students would meet with their classroom teacher three times a day: during the Morning Meeting, at the beginning of the Reading/Writing Workshop, and at the beginning of math. They will continue their learning on the various online platforms connected to each academic area.  There would be a teacher in the building who will monitor their work on the online platforms and check in with them on a weekly basis.

Middle School

Students would meet virtually with their subject area teacher and the class during part of each period.  (This would require the student to log into Google Meet five times a day.  The remainder of the period they would be learning on the various online platforms associated with the subject.  There will be a scheduled “office hour” a week so they can meet with their teachers virtually.

 

We will be providing a device to all students who need one to participate in remote learning. 

Pre-School

Students will be provided with activities to meet each of the Early Learning Standards Areas.

 

Q

Will students who are participating in temporary remote learning have specials in the afternoon?

A

We are not planning to provide specials for remote learning students.

Q

Would the remote learning curriculum parallel the in-person curriculum?

A

Yes, the learning targets for each of the academic areas would be the same.  

 

Q

How will students be assessed in temporary remote learning so we know they are continuing to grow in each academic area?

A

We are currently reviewing the curriculum to identify the important content and skills within each academic unit. We will be checking for understanding of the content and skills on a periodic basis and move students along the learning pathway.  In addition, an educator at each school will be checking in with students and monitoring their online work to ensure the learning is continuing in a manner that the students will be able to transition back to in-person learning when it is time.  

 

Q

How will attendance be collected and how will grading be carried out for students participating in temporary remote learning?

A

Grading will be scored based on the student work completed on the various online platforms and the student’s responses during the live sessions for each of their subject areas. Live sessions will be conducted on Google Meet.   Attendance will be collected during live sessions and through online platforms.  Attendance will be measure by the following: no participation, partial participation, full participation.  

 

Q

Will services be provided to students with IEPs and 504 plans if parents choose temporary remote learning?

A

Not necessarily. IEPs and 504 Accommodation plans are written to be implemented in a school building. Please reach out to your child's case manager to discuss options for addressing your child's needs if you select temporary remote learning.

 

Q

Why the remote learning option is considered temporary.

A

Remote learning is only an option until the Governor has determined that the pandemic is at a point where it is controlled and all students are required to return back to school in person.  

 

Q

If I start the year in temporary remote learning will my child lose his/her spot at the home school?

A

This is a possibility if the numbers are high at a grade level.  We need to ensure there is enough space in each classroom to abide by the social distancing requirements.  

 

Q

Can students use their own devices to participate in temporary remote learning?

A

We suggest they use a school device as all of the learning platforms have been loaded on our devices.  It will not be possible to load the platforms on a personal device.  

 

Q

Can my child participate in before and after school programming if I chose temporary remote learning?

A

Unfortunately, this is not possible due to health and safety guidelines.

 

School Operations

Q

What will drop off and pick up look like now that more parents will be transporting their children? How will safety be promoted?

A

Each school will look different.  Principals are planning how students will enter and leave through different doors to assist with maintaining social distancing and keeping cohorts of students from intermingling.  Parents may be asked to drop off and pick up at different times so the number of students entering or leaving the building at the same time is reduced.  More information will be coming soon from your building principal.  

 

Q

What is the school district doing to ensure students have little physical contact with others?

A

We are using a cohort model.  Students will remain in their classrooms most of the day unless they are going outside for a mask break.  A limited number of adults will be assigned to the classroom to ensure both student and staff safety.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided in the classrooms.  The food service providers will have breakfast already in the classrooms as students arrive.  They will provide choices (most likely a “Grab and Go” meal) for lunch on a cart with a Plexiglas barrier in front of them.  All adults and students in the school are required to wear masks.  

 

Q

When will I know who is my child’s teacher?

A

This information may be provided later than in the past years.  We are adjusting class lists as we receive requests for temporary remote learning.  Principals are working to balance the classrooms to ensure both educational and safety issues are addressed.  This notification will be provided to you through email.  So, please contact your building principal if your email or any other contact information has changed over the summer.  

 

Q

What is the plan for social distancing and sharing supplies in the classroom?

A

We are following the six-foot guideline.  Classes may need to be moved to a larger space within the school if we are not able to spread out the desks. All desks will be facing forward in the room.  We are asking that students not share supplies.  They can bring in supplies but must be the only one who uses them. They can bring in a backpack to keep their supplies contained.  However, students will not be using lockers at this time.  

 

Q

What will be the situation in the bathrooms to ensure safety?

A

Students will use the bathrooms during a scheduled time for their cohort.  Students will not be allowed to congregate in the bathrooms.  They will be instructed to move in and out in a safe and efficient manner wearing a mask

 

Q

Will the students and staff have the PPE they will need to ensure a safe environment?

A

We have purchased face shields, floor signs, Plexiglas, and cleaning supplies.  Masks will also be available for students and staff.  

 

Q

How will staff be kept safe during this time?

A

Everyone's safety is our priority. Every employee must self-assess what they need to return to school. There are several options for protective leave time for those who would need that opportunity. Adults can provide their own mask or we will have one for them. We also will have face shields if they need them. We are asking teachers to take a look at the space in their classroom to ensure everyone is safe. They will be trained on COVID safety protocols prior to the start of the school year. Floor signs for directions moving within the building. There will also more handwashing stations. We have scheduled the day and trimester so that groups stay together and have less exposure to other adults and children in the building.

 

Q

Will students who require a break as stated in a plan be able to have a break when necessary?

A

Absolutely, we will look for ways that the break can be taken in a safe environment that abides by all health and safety guidelines.  

 

Q

How will educators be able to provide a restraint if necessary in a safe manner?

A

The adult administering the restraint will be wearing more protective equipment such as; face shields, masks, and gloves.  The more mitigation strategies we employ the safer it will be for students and staff. 

 

Q

Will uniforms be mandatory this year?

A

At the current time, the Board of Education has not revised this policy.  So, the expectation is that students will be wearing uniforms if they are attending school.  

 

Mask Wearing

Q

Will all students be required to wear a mask?

A

Yes, unless there is a medical issue or an issue related to a disability. Please call your child’s principal if your child fits into one of these categories.

 

 We suggest you work with your child to find a mask they are comfortable wearing.  There will be built in mask breaks throughout the day.  Some will be inside and others will be outside.  We will be sending videos to families prior to the start of school to share the expectations for mask-wearing with your children. Morning meetings will include discussions about the importance of wearing a mask during the school day. Students will be positively reinforced throughout the day for keeping their masks on.  

 

Q

What is the suggested number of masks to send in with your child?

A

A couple of masks would be helpful if you are able to supply them.  We will have masks available for students if they do not have one.

 

Q

Can a student wear a face shield in place of a mask?

A

No, we are required to have all students and adults wear a mask.  A student could wear a face shield over a mask if that is appropriate.

 

Q

Do students need to wear a mask if they are participating in class outside?

A

No, as long as they are six feet apart, they can take off their masks.  

 

Q

How will mask rules be carried out?

A

There will be positive reinforcement provided to all students who comply with wearing a mask.  We will remind students about the importance of wearing a mask and request they put it on.  The second time we need to remind the student the parents will be called to ask for support.  The third time, the student will be placed in our temporary remote learning option. 

 

Q

Will the teachers and support staff for children with hearing disabilities wear clear masks or face shields so students can see their lips?

A

.  Yes, we have purchased both for this purpose.

 

Q

Will preschool students be required to wear a mask?

A

They will not be required to wear a mask but they can do so if either you want them to or they want to wear one.

 

Transportation

Q

Will there be busses?

A

Yes, We are in the process of surveying parents to identify how many will be driving their children to school.  Bus routes will be decided based on this information.  We are trying to limit the number of students on a bus so we can distance them from one another.  Students and adults on the bus will be required to wear a mask to and from school.  We have asked for funding from the state to support bus monitors to assist students with wearing a mask the entire trip.  

 

Q

Can students from the same family sit together on the bus?

A

Yes they can.

 

Q

Can a parent change their mind about opting out of transportation?

A

.  You can change at any time.  But we need a week to adjust the bus route.

 

Medical Precautions

Q

Will temperatures be taken when students arrive at school?

A

The Commissioner of Health has stated that we should not take temperatures at the beginning of the school day as there would be too many students congregating in one area and this would violate the social distancing guidelines.  Please keep your children home if they feel sick or have a temperature.  

 

Q

What can be done if a student is sick with a cold for an extended period of time and the rule is to keep them home?

A

If your child is sick with a cough or a sneeze, then contact the principal and discuss how the school can support him/her if they need to stay out of school for a longer period of time.  

 

Q

Who do I notify if my child has a fever?

A

Please keep your child home if they have a fever. We will not be taking the temperature of students before they enter the school because it is riskier with too many students in the same area. The CT State Dept. of Education has a protocol that must be followed if a student has a fever during the school day. The nurses will be following this protocol if a student is sent to the clinic with a fever. The child must be fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication to return to school. There will be precise guidance coming from the DOH for students and staff who have been diagnosed with COVID 19.

 

We are still waiting for guidance from the Department of Health regarding testing, contact tracing, quarantine protocols, and protocols for when a staff member or student tests positive for COVID 19.

Mark Your Calendar

NPS Calendar 2020-21

First page of the PDF file: nps-calendar_2020-21