Reopening Plan FAQ
The following questions and answers are meant to help clarify General Brown's reopening plans for parents and students. If you have further questions that are not covered here, please reach out to the district’s COVID-19 Coordinator Barbara J. Case, Superintendent of Schools, at (315) 779-2300 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communication/Family and Community Engagement
Q: How will parents be notified of changes to the school schedule (in-person learning, hybrid learning or remote learning)?
A: The district will use existing internal and external communications channels to notify staff, students and families/caregivers about in-person, remote and hybrid school schedules with as much advance notice as possible. The district will use our existing communication service of SchoolMessenger that includes phone calls, emails, and text messages to parents. Parents should be sure to update their contact information with their children’s school buildings. Information will be updated regularly on the school website. In addition, we will use the news media if applicable.
Q: How will parents be notified of their children’s class schedules?
A: Students should have received their Team A or Team B assignments and class assignments by mail during the second week in August. If you have not received team assignments, please contact the main office of your child’s school. Jr./Sr. High School students will receive their class schedules prior to the start of school.
Q: Will I be notified if there is a suspected or confirmed COVID case, or quarantine, within the school community?
A: In the event that a student or staff member is sick or symptomatic, notification to potentially exposed individuals will occur pursuant to the state’s contact tracing protocols as implemented by the local health department. Notification to the wider community will occur only under the direction of local health officials.
Q: How will I communicate with my children’s teachers during remote learning?
A: Teachers may be reached by phone, email, or through the online platforms used. Teacher emails are available on the District website. Grades Pre-K-2 will be using the online platform Seesaw. Grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom. Teachers will provide correspondence and instruction for students and parents utilizing this platform.
Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about the district’s reopening plan or health and safety protocols?
A: The district’s COVID-19 Coordinator is Barbara J. Case, Superintendent of Schools. Parents can contact her at (315) 779-2300 or via email at email@example.com.
Q: Who should I contact if I need reopening resources translated into another language?
A: Translation requests can be directed to Missie Nabinger, Director of Student Services, at (315) 779-2300 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: When will the public meetings be held to address any questions families have regarding reopening plans?
A: The public meetings will be held via WebEx on Monday, August 17 at 6:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 18 at 1:00 p.m., or Tuesday, August 18 at 4:00p.m. Please visit the District website prior to the meeting for access.
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 and for short breaks so long as they maintain an appropriate social distance. Students who are unable to medically tolerate a face covering will not be required to wear one. A doctor’s verification will be required.
Q. What is an acceptable face covering?
A: Cloth face masks that cover both the nose and mouth that include, but are not limited to, homemade sewn masks, "quick cut" masks and bandanas are acceptable. Surgical masks are also acceptable. More information about masks and mask care can be found at the Centers for Disease Control website.
Q. Will masks be provided to students and staff?
A: Face coverings and related necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to students and staff at no cost. Each student will be provided with 3 masks and a lanyard. Staff and students are allowed to use their own acceptable face covering. All masks should be laundered at home routinely.
Q. Can face shields be used in place of masks?
A: Face shields may be used by some school staff, but they are to be worn in addition to face masks. Face shields are not a replacement for a mask.
Q. Are students required to wear masks in the classroom? On the school bus?
A: Students will be expected to wear face coverings at all times, indoors and outside, including on the school bus and in classrooms, even when six-foot physical distancing is possible.
Q. What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask?
A: Just as any other instance in which a student refuses to follow school rules, teachers and other staff will work toward compliance with the student.
Q. What are parents required to do to screen children’s health before school each day?
A: 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. The district will provide parents with an online screening tool to report their children’s daily health assessments. More information will be forthcoming.
Q: How is the health of staff being screened?
A: All district staff members are required to perform a self-health assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving at work. If personnel are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19, they will notify their supervisor as per the district’s reporting policies and seek medical attention. Staff will also use the online screen tool to report their daily health assessments: https://entry.neric.org/gblions/
Q: Will the district be keeping records of student or staff health information?
A: The only records maintained by the district regarding student and staff’s health information will be whether they were cleared or not cleared to attend for the 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 temperature screenings at each building’s entrance.
Q: What do I do if my child is showing COVID-19 symptoms?
A: Parents are encouraged to contact your child’s doctor if your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Your child should not attend school if they are displaying these symptoms.
Q: If my child exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, how long will they need to be out of school?
A: The district has established protocols and procedures, in consultation with the local health department(s), about the requirements for determining when individuals, particularly students, who screened positive for COVID-19 symptoms can return to the in-person learning environment at school. This protocol includes:
- Documentation from a health care provider following evaluation
- Negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result
- Symptom resolution, or if COVID-19 positive, release from isolation
The district will refer to the Department of Health's “Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure” 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.
The district requires that individuals who were exposed to the COVID-19 virus complete quarantine and have not developed symptoms before returning to in-person learning. The discharge of an individual from quarantine and return to school will be conducted in coordination with the local health department.
Q: What should my child do if they feel sick during the school day? Will I be notified?
A: If a student feels sick during the school day, they will report to the nurse’s office for evaluation and potentially be directed to a supervised isolation area prior to being picked up or otherwise sent home.
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: What should I do if I have traveled internationally or from a state with widespread community transmission of COVID-19 per the New York State Travel Advisory in the past 14 days?
A: Executive Order 205 requires all travelers coming from states with significant rates of COVID-19 to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of their last contact with that state. The list of states that meet the criteria for required quarantine can be found here.
Q: My child is considered to be high-risk for COVID-19. What are my options?
A: We recognize that some students are at an increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness. It is our goal that these individuals are able to safely participate in educational activities.
Parents of children that are more at risk of COVID-19 should speak with their child’s doctor and/or medical professional(s) to determine the best academic and service options for their child. The district will work with the medical provider to identify and provide further accommodations to the greatest extent possible to better support the child.
Q: Will testing for COVID-19 be conducted at school?
A: No. The District will collaborate with the local Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health will make the determination who needs to be tested through contact tracing. All testing will take place at a local testing center.
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 coordinate with the local Department of Public Health to provide the necessary information to conduct contact tracing. Find the nearest testing location.
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 occur, including more frequent cleaning and disinfection for high-risk and frequently touched surfaces. Cleaning and disinfection will be rigorous and ongoing and will occur at least daily, or more frequently as needed.
Q: Will fire drills and lockdown drills still be conducted? What will be the process for maintaining social distancing?
A: Schools must continue to conduct mandatory fire and lockdown drills according to the existing statutory schedule. Drills will be conducted in a manner that maintains social distancing at exits and gathering points outside the building, while still preparing students to respond in emergencies.
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 school campuses. 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. Drop boxes will be available at every building, including the District Office.
Q: Will there continue to be PTO meetings?
A: The district will be collaborating with the General Brown Parent-Teacher Organization to ensure meetings will follow all NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines.
Q: Will there be clear physical barriers at any school building locations?
A: Safety glass barriers will be used in all buildings’ main offices.
Q. What is the school district doing about getting 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. We will also be using the highest rated filters our systems allow.
Q. How big will the class sizes be for in-person instruction?
A: Class size will reflect the need to ensure that students’ desks/seats are positioned no less than six feet apart. In our school buildings, each classroom can accommodate approximately 10-13 students depending on the physical size of the classroom.
Q: How will desks be arranged in the classrooms? Will students be facing each other or facing forward?
A: Desks will be arranged in classrooms to ensure that students are positioned no less than six feet apart while seated, all facing the same direction.
Q: Will students still use lockers?
A: Students will not be allowed to use lockers at the Jr./Sr. High School. Students will be asked to limit their belongings brought to school daily. Teachers will work with students to identify the necessary supplies needed. An updated supply list for Junior High students can be accessed here.
Q. How will school supplies that are typically shared be handled?
A: Sharing of supplies will be limited. Any supplies or devices that must be shared will be cleaned and disinfected prior to being used by another student.
Q: How is the district ensuring that any changes to its facilities are in compliance with fire code and other regulations?
A: All spaces to be occupied by school students and staff must meet the requirements of the 2020 New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Code.
Q: Will students and staff have access to hand sanitizer?
A: Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and common areas throughout the school buildings. Parents may opt their child out of using alcohol-based hand sanitizer while at school. To do so, please send a written notice to your child’s school. [Note: this opt-out is required by NYSED, effective March 2020.]
Q: Will students and staff have access to water fountains? How will water fountains be cleaned?
A: The district will ensure that students and staff have access to drinking water during the school day. Students and staff will have access to water fountains. However, we strongly encourage everyone to bring water bottles from home to be refilled. Water fountains will be cleaned and disinfected periodically throughout the day.
Section updated 9/3
Q. Will lunches need to be brought to school every day? Or will they be provided? Will hot meals still be available?
A: School meals will continue to be available to all students, including those attending school in-person and those learning remotely. Students may also bring lunches from home.
Q: Where will students eat breakfast and lunch?
A: Students will pick up their meals in the school kitchen service line and eat in their classrooms. Students with allergies will be offered alternative menu items, as well as an alternative location to eat their meals.
Q: How will students pay for their meals?
A: All students in the General Brown Central School District will now receive free meals whether attending in-person or remote classes. The free meals for every student will continue until December 31, 2020, or until the USDA changes its guidance. Parents/guardians do not need to fill out any forms to receive the free meals. While in school, students will receive the basic meal at no cost and can purchase additional (a la carte) items. In the cafeteria line, no pin pads will be used. The cashier will look up the student’s name individually to charge for the a la carte items.
Q: What hygiene practices will keep students safe during meals?
A: Students will be required to perform hand hygiene before and after eating. Students do not need to wear face coverings when seated and eating as long as they are appropriately socially distanced.
Q. Will meals be provided on remote learning days? How will this work for those students who are participating in fully-remote learning?
A: All General Brown students and their family members who are between the ages of 3 and 18 can receive the school district’s weekly meal packages at no cost. Pickup for the entire week’s meals will take place on Wednesdays between 10 and 11 a.m. Families participating in hybrid learning (two days of in-person learning and three remote days) will receive three breakfasts and three lunches for each child. Families whose children are doing fully remote learning will receive five breakfasts and five lunches for each child. More details about this can be found here.
Q. Will bus transportation still be provided? Are there any changes to who can ride the bus to and from school?
A: All students are entitled to transportation by their home district to the extent required by law.
Q. Will social distancing be enforced on buses?
A: Students, drivers and staff should maintain appropriate social distancing to the extent practicable on the school bus. Members of the same household may be seated together. To reduce density on buses, parents are encouraged to drive their child/ren to school. If you are willing to transport your child/ren to school for the entire school year, please contact the bus garage at (315) 779-2300, option 5, option 1.
Q. Will masks be required on the bus?
A: Students, drivers and staff must wear acceptable face coverings at all times on school transportation (e.g., entering, exiting, and seated). If students need a face covering, they will be provided with one by the driver prior to entering the vehicle. Students whose physical or mental health would be impaired by wearing a face covering are not required to do so, but must be appropriately socially distanced.
Q. Will students’ temperatures be checked before entering the bus?
A: Students’ temperatures must be checked by parents prior to boarding buses. Please refer to the health screening section of the reopening plan.
Q. How many students will be on a bus?
A: Students will be required to social distance on the bus to the extent practicable; however, members of the same household may sit together on the bus. Therefore, the number of students on each bus may vary, from 23 to 30.
Q. How many students will be in each seat?
A: Students must sit one to a seat unless they are members of the same household.
Q. What will be the bus schedule?
A: Transportation schedules will be communicated to parents as soon as practical but no later than the first week in September. Parents with questions or concerns about their child’s bus schedule may contact Jason Valentin, Assistant Transportation Director, at (315) 779-2300, option 5, option 1.
Q: What are the times for dropoff and pickup at each of the buildings?
A: Those schedules will be communicated to parents no later than the first week in September.
Q. Will there be transportation after school?
A: Currently, there will be no late buses.
Q. Can I drop off my child(ren) in the morning, but use the bus after school?
A: Parents and legal guardians are encouraged to drop off or walk students to school to reduce density on buses. If your child only needs one-way transportation to or from school, please contact Jason Valentin, Assistant Transportation Director, at (315) 779-2300, option 5, option 1 with that information.
Q. Can my child be dropped off or picked up at different locations during the week?
A: The district will work with families to best meet their needs. However, multiple drop off or pick up locations should be limited, so that we can properly maintain social distancing and accommodate the reduced bus capacity as required by NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines. Transportation changes will not be guaranteed after the start of school because of bus capacity limitations.
Q. What is the schedule for cleaning the buses?
A: 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 after the morning (AM) and afternoon (PM) run depending upon the disinfection schedule.
Q: Will hand sanitizer be available on the bus?
A: New joint guidance from NYSDOT, NYSED, and NYSDOH has been issued since the Parent Forum Presentation regarding hand sanitizer on the bus. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as students in NYS get ready to go back to school, students and personnel on the bus will also be authorized to carry personal-size bottles of sanitizer, whose contents should not exceed 8 ounces in volume. These should be secured inside backpacks or in pockets when not in use so as not to become a projectile in an accident.
Q: How will social distancing be enforced when students are getting on and off the bus at school?
A: Students embarking and disembarking buses are required to remain socially distant to the extent possible and wear a face covering. The first students on the bus will sit in the rear. The last students on the bus will sit towards the front and will be the first to disembark.
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 incorporated social and emotional learning activities within the curriculum.
Q: How can a student reach out to counselors if stressed?
A: During in-person or remote learning, Jr./Sr. High School students who are in distress or in need of social and emotional support may go see or call a counselor at any time. Students in the elementary buildings may go see or call the social worker, counselor, or psychologist at any time. The classroom teacher can assist with this process.
Q: What is the district doing to support the mental health of its staff?
A: The district has made available resources and referrals to address mental health, behavioral, and emotional needs of faculty, and staff when school reopens for in-person instructions.
Q: Will students and families have an opportunity to attend Open House as regularly scheduled?
A: The district always looks forward to welcoming new or rising students into its buildings; however, due to pandemic, Open Houses will not be held in person. The district is exploring virtual options.
Q: Will parents/guardians be allowed to escort their child(ren) into the building on the first day back to school?
A: Parents will not be able to enter the building.
Q: What will the “hybrid” model that the district will be using when it reopens look like?
A: To ensure the district is able to follow all NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines for the health and safety of all students and staff, in-person instruction will have to be done at 50 percent capacity. To do this, students will be assigned one of two teams. Team A will attend in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday. Team B will attend in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be a virtual learning day for all students. This day will also serve a deep-cleaning day for our school buildings. There will be five days of instruction per week. Two days will be in-person, and three days will be remote learning.
Q. What are the drop-off and pickup times for in-person instruction?
A: At this time, the district is in the process of determining bus assignments, bus routing, classroom capacity, and students' class schedules. Once that is finalized, we will notify parents via our communications plan. The Jr.-Sr. High School will begin unloading buses at 8:10 a.m. Student drivers and parent drop offs may enter at that time as well. For that building, dismissal will begin at 2:01 p.m. and will be staggered with an estimated completion at approximately 2:16 p.m.
Q. Can students arrive at school before classes begin? If so, where will they go?
A: No. There will be a set time when students can enter the building and parents will be notified about the school schedule. Students will not be allowed to arrive earlier than the established time because of the required screening protocol.
Q. How will students be grouped by grade level or class during the school day?
A: Students will be assigned to cohorts by classrooms and will remain with that cohort throughout the day to the greatest extent possible.
Q. How will “special” subjects (e.g., art, music, PE, etc.) be delivered to students?
A: Instruction in special areas will be delivered to the students in their classrooms.
Q: Will elementary students have recess? If so, will recess be outside if conditions permit?
A: Elementary students will still participate in recess. Only one classroom at a time will be allowed on the playground equipment. Elementary principals will work with staff to develop alternative recess activities that abide by social distancing guidelines. Playground equipment will be cleaned per CDC guidance.
Q: Will students still have assemblies? Field trips?
A: Pursuant to NYSDOH guidance, schools must ensure that appropriate social distancing is maintained between individuals while in school facilities and on school grounds (inclusive of students, faculty, and staff). Because of these guidelines, assemblies, field trips and other large-group activities will not be held at this time. The district will explore virtual options for assemblies.
Q. Will students stay in the same classroom all day?
A: School schedules for the reopening of school will be designed to minimize the movement of students within the building. To the extent possible, students will remain in small cohorts if/when leaving the classroom, such as for recess or any necessary transition, so as to reduce their exposure to additional students. In as many cases as possible, teachers will move from classroom to classroom and not the students.
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. Masks will be required at all times. There will be no use of locker rooms and PE lockers.
Q: Are 5th and 6th graders switching classes or will they be staying in one room (and teachers switching) so that student desks are not being cross contaminated by different students?
A: The students will remain in their classroom and the teachers will travel between classrooms.
Q: Is the district doing anything to reduce congestion in hallways or lobby areas?
A: To adhere to NYSDOH and NYSED social distance guidelines, the movement of students will be minimized or staggered.
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: The district is exploring the types of activities that can be conducted in a safe environment with appropriate social distancing protocols.
Regarding sports, General Brown Central School District on Sept. 16 joined other school districts in Jefferson County and the Sandy Creek Central School District, in making the difficult decision to postpone the district's participation in Fall 2020 interscholastic athletic competitions. This decision was made after reviewing the parameters set forth by New York State for the allowance of lower risk school sponsored sports beginning September 21, as well as meetings with officials from Section III and the Frontier League. The district also consulted with local public health officials, physicians, school medical directors, students, parents, and the community at large before making this decision.
Q: Will music and drama performances still take place?
A: In order for the district to adhere to NYSDOH and NYSED guidance, in-person group gatherings will not be permitted.
Q: Will there be instrumental lessons?
A: There will be virtual lessons offered at the Jr/Sr High School and Brownville-Glen Park Elementary School.
Q: Will my child be able to travel to other schools to participate in events?
A: The district will not be offering any events or school activities at this time that would involve students traveling to other schools. The only exception to this would be Career and Technical Education or other programs through BOCES, including special education programs/services, that are related to a students instructional program.
When additional information relating to athletic programs becomes available, the district will communicate it to families.
Q: Can my child who is enrolled in 100% remote learning still participate in athletics?
A: New guidance from NYSED and NYSPHSAA has been released that allows students enrolled in 100% remote learning to participate in athletics.
Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism
Q: How will a student be marked “absent,” “present” or “tardy” during remote learning?
A: There will be an expectation for daily attendance of all students. All attendance procedures will be in full effect whether students are in-person or remote.
Q: Will I be notified if my child has been marked “absent” or “tardy” during remote learning?
A: If your child does not participate in assigned activities on a remote learning day, he/she will be marked absent. Parents of students who are chronically absent will receive notifications from the school nurse, counselor, teacher, and/or principal.
Technology and Connectivity
Q: What technology do we need to have at home to participate in remote learning?
A: Students will need a device, which could be a desktop computer, laptop computer, Google Chromebook, tablet, iPad, or any other comparable device. Access to the internet is optimal but not required.
Students who do not have a computing device can request one by contacting the main office of their school Devices will be prioritized to families with no computing device at home. Wi-Fi will be available in the parking lot outside the Jr./Sr. High School gym, so that instructional materials can be downloaded and accessed later at home.
Q: What resources, if any, will be provided to parents/guardians to help prepare them for the potential shift to online-only learning?
A: The district will provide training resources for families to better understand the online platforms used by students.
Q: We are unable to access the internet where we live. How will instruction be provided for my child during remote learning?
A: A hot spot will be installed at the Jr./Sr. High School gym parking lot. People can access it while sitting in a car in the parking lot. It is expected to be installed by September. The user ID and password will be changed monthly and posted on the New Gym entrance door.
Q: What do we do if my child’s school laptop breaks or stops working?
A: If a student’s laptop or device breaks or stops working, you should immediately notify your teacher or building principal so that they are aware of the situation and can direct you accordingly.
Q: How can we get technology help from the school?
A: Please contact Mike Parobeck via email at email@example.com.
Q: How is the district ensuring student data privacy during remote learning?
A: The District will ensure compliance with Ed Law 2-D.
Teaching and Learning
Q: What will the “hybrid” model that the district will be using look like?
A: To ensure the district is able to follow all NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines for the health and safety of all students and staff, in-person instruction will have to be done at 50 percent capacity. To do this, students will be assigned one of two teams. Team A will attend in-person instruction on Monday and Tuesday. Team B will attend in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will be a virtual learning day for all students. This day will also serve a deep-cleaning day for our school buildings.
Q. How is the district preparing for remote instruction?
A: The district has been providing resources and continued professional development for teachers to prepare for remote learning. All instruction will include daily digital lessons covering all curriculum content. The digital lessons will be asynchronous, meaning students do not have to attend a live webcast of a lesson. The district will be using online learning platforms for learning.
Q: Will remote instruction in the fall be different from what it was in the spring? If so, how?
A: While remote instruction in the Spring was review-only, all instruction in the fall will follow grade level curriculum with new content. New lessons will be required for both the hybrid and the 100% remote instruction learners. Also, attendance will be taken daily, and students will earn grades.
Q: What platforms will be used for remote instruction?
A: Grades PK-2 will use the Seesaw online platform. Grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom.
Q. Are there any training sessions or resources for parents/guardians on the platforms students will be using?
A: Resources for parents will be available on the District’s website prior to the start of school.
Q: How will students be held accountable for attendance and classwork?
A: There will be an expectation for daily attendance and full participation of all students. All attendance procedures will be in full effect whether students are in-person or remote.
Q: Will remote learning be synchronous (students expected to be online at a specific time) or asynchronous (students completing work on their own schedule)? What will interactions with teachers be like?
A: Most remote learning will be asynchronous to provide flexibility for families. Some remote activities on virtual day (Wednesday) may be synchronous to allow for the whole class to engage with each other.
Q: What learning activities will occur on virtual learning days (Wednesdays)?
A: The all virtual learning day is considered a regular day of instruction. The difference is that all students in a classroom will learn remotely.
Q. Is remote learning an option for families who do not want to send their child to in-person instruction?
A: The district is offering a 100% remote learning option for all children. Families who choose this option must be willing to commit to this model for the entire 2020-2021 school year. Families may express their interest in this option by completing the 100% Remote Learning Enrollment Form which can be found on the district website. Parents of students with an IEP or 504 plan that choose the remote-only option should recognize that all special education services will be offered virtually to the greatest extent possible. Parents may choose to switch their child at any time during the school year to 100 % remote learning; however, we cannot accommodate students switching back to the hybrid model of instruction.
Q: If my family has several school-aged children; do we have to choose the same learning model for all of them, or can separate children participate in hybrid and 100% remote instruction?
A: Families should choose the learning model that best meets the needs of each child. One child can do the hybrid model while another participates in 100% remote learning.
Q. Will everyone have access to the remote learning resources, even if they are attending some form of in-person instruction?
A: Students enrolled in the hybrid and 100% remote learning, will receive new, digital lessons from teachers on a daily basis.
Q. Will the same teacher be instructing my child both in person and remotely?
A: Students will have the same teachers for in-person and remote instruction. In addition, elementary teachers at each grade level may assist with preparing digital lessons.
Q: How will teachers communicate with students and families during remote instruction? How do I contact my child’s teacher if I have questions during the year?
A: Teachers may be reached by phone, email, or through the online platforms used. Teacher emails are available on the District website. Grades Pre-K-2 will be using the online platform Seesaw. Grades 3-12 will use Google Classroom. Teachers will provide correspondence and instruction for students and parents utilizing this platform.
A: Chromebooks are available to families that do not have a computing device in the household and can be signed out from any of the building main offices. Wi-Fi is available in the Jr./Sr. High School student parking lot to download materials or to work live on instruction. WiFi is also available at the Brownville Village Library located in the General Brown Mansion.
Q: Will my child still be able to attend their Career and Technical Education (CTE) program at BOCES?
A: Students will still attend Career and Technical Education or other programs through BOCES. The District will coordinate with BOCES for student programming. Please see the BOCES reopening plan for more information on how CTE programs will be conducted. If students wish to attend 5 days of CTE, they may self-transport the additional three days. They will also need to pick up a driver’s permit in Mrs. Doldo’s office.
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 students’ work be graded or evaluated?
A: Student work will be evaluated by classroom teachers in the same manner prior to the pandemic. Teachers will record progress reports and grades which will be sent home at 5 and 10 week intervals.
Q: How will struggling students receive help with their schoolwork?
A: Students and their parents are encouraged to contact their teacher with any concerns about schoolwork.
Q: How will students complete science labs?
A: Labs will be both in person and virtual.
Q: Will students still take state exams (e.g., the 3-8 math and ELA assessments, Regents exams)?
A: Any Grades 3-8 and Regents examinations required by the New York State Department of Education (NYSED) will be made available to students in the appropriate grade level. If examinations are waived, the district will communicate that information to families.
Q: Will students still be able to borrow books from the school library?
A: Yes, students will still be able to borrow books. The District will follow procedures outlined in the Reopening Plan.
Q: How will this new schedule work with students who are taking long distance learning through JCC when they are attending school only 2 days a week- More specifically Introduction to Sociology was originally scheduled to be taking place through long distance learning at GB on Tuesdays and Thursdays but my daughter is only attending school on Thursday and Friday. Since this class is being offered through JCC will it just be completely online now since that is the direction JCC has decided?A: The distance learning Sociology class through JCC will most likely be on Wednesdays now, when all students are home. They are looking to have a zoom lecture and online class combination. We are waiting on confirmation from JCC.
Q: Will the students scheduled for English 101/102 and Math 185 (Precalculus/Calculus) still be receiving both their high school credit as well as JCC college credit?
A: Yes, all students in EDGE classes will receive both high school and JCC credit.
Q: At the junior/high school, does a select small group of students switch classes together as a group or are their mixed groups depending on a students schedule? (E.g same 10 kids go to science then English then Technology)
A: Students in grades 7 through 9 will stay in small groups. Those students will mostly stay in the same classroom all day, with teachers moving to them. There will be some exceptions for classes such as foreign language and electives. Students increase 10 through 12 will follow a block schedule and change classes, having class four times per day.
Q: My daughter was taking Driver's Education last spring before COVID so obviously she did not receive credit for this course. She was scheduled to take it again this fall. Due to the new schedule is Driver's Ed even being offered again? If so, how will that work?
A: We will be offering driver education with a smaller number of students, only having 2 students in the car at a time. Those students that were taking it in the spring will have the priority in taking it this fall. We have been working with the Jefferson County Department of Health to identify specific safety protocols for in-car driving. Parents will be asked to acknowledge and accept understandings and limitations.
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: Students can receive services through teletherapy during remote instruction.
Q: If my child receives group services, how will they be implemented safely?
A: All group services will be implemented following DOH guidelines. Social distancing and masks will be required.
Q: What do I do if I need additional support for my special education student during remote learning? In-person instruction?
A: Parents may contact Missie Nabinger, Director of Student Services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns about their special education student.
Q: Will my child still be able to attend their special education program at BOCES?
A: Students will still attend programs through BOCES. Please see the BOCES reopening plan for more information on how BOCES programs will be conducted.
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. Anyone needed assistance can contact Missie Nabinger, Director of Student Services via email at email@example.com.
Q: How will instruction be provided to students who are English language learners?
A: The district will work to identify English language learners during the first 30 days of the school year. Instruction will be provided based on each student’s measured English language proficiency level.
Q: What do I do if I need additional support for my English language learner/multilingual learner during remote instruction? In-person instruction?
A: If an English language learner/multilingual learner needs additional support during remote instruction or in-person instruction, please reach out to their teacher.
Q: Will substitute teachers be used during remote learning?
A: When a teacher is unable to work, the District will utilize substitute teachers as necessary.
Q: Will student teachers be used during remote learning?
A: There is a possibility that student teachers will provide instruction alongside the classroom teacher. We will follow the NYSDOH and NYSED guidelines as it pertains to student teachers.
Q: Will all instruction be delivered by a certified teacher?
A: All teachers will hold valid and appropriate certificates for teaching assignment, except where otherwise allowable under the Commissioner’s regulations (e.g., incidental teaching) or education law.
Q: Will teachers and principals continue to be evaluated during this time?
A: Yes. All teachers and principals will continue to be evaluated pursuant to the district’s approved APPR plan.