Reopening FAQ

Who do I contact with questions? Please contact your child’s principal or counselor with any
questions.

Elementary Wednesdays
1. For K-5, what is the remote learning day going to look like on Wednesdays? A focus will be placed on social-emotional learning on Wednesdays. Students will be expected to join their class for a social-emotional learning lesson, led b
y their teacher via Zoom or Google Meet. Information will be coming home outlining how to join. Students will also be required to log into their Google Classrooms and complete assignments.
2. Will elementary students have to be “live” doing their Wednesday virtual work? Yes. students will be expected to join their class via Zoom or Google Meet.
3. Can students complete the work later in the day to help with working parents not being home at that time? While assignments will have flexibility for when they can be completed, remote classes will be scheduled and students will be expected to attend at those scheduled times.

Elementary Cohorts
1. In the classroom, (K-5) are the kids allowed to work together in their cohorts? Yes. There will be times throughout the day when students will be working in groups. When doing this, they will be wearing masks. There will be times throughout the day when students will be required to wear masks so they can work in groups. There will also be barriers at certain tables within the rooms, to allow for students to work with teachers and other students. 
2. If my 2nd grade student was assigned a teacher at the end of last year is she still his teacher if we choose the 100% remote option? No. There will be a teacher designated specifically to the students who are in the virtual learning cohort.
3. With smaller classroom sizes for elementary, have the assigned teachers changed? And if so, when will we find out w
ho the teacher is? Assigned teachers may have changed. Cohorts are being created the week of 8/17 and parents will find out by the end of the week of 8/24.

MLA/HS virtual
1. When will teachers have time to address remote learners at the MLA level? There will be a schedule of Zoom meetings with teachers throughout the week. At a minimum, students will have weekly access to each of their teachers for 30 minutes through voice or video calls. All teachers will be available through email throughout the week.
2. Will the student have a set time to learn from each teacher synchronously? Yes, there will be a schedule of Zoom meetings with teachers throughout the week.
3. Will students be checking in at a certain time in order to be held accountable? Student attendance will be linked to engagement in learning assignments throughout the week. While attendance at scheduled weekly Zoom meetings will be taken, it will not be directly linked to daily attendance record keeping.
4. How can we be sure they are engaging and working for most of the day versus a few hours? Is there any way to live stream instead? At this point, we will not be live streaming lessons. Teachers will work with students during scheduled Zoom meetings and will be available to access through email throughout the week. Students will have daily access to one or more of their teachers each day. Work completion will also ensure accountability.
5. How are lessons taught on virtual days? Students will receive weekly instruction, separated daily, through Google Classroom. Students are not going to be zooming into classrooms throughout the day for live lessons. There will be a schedule of Zoom meetings with teachers throughout the week.
6. Will remote days be scheduled or at the students’ own pace? Remote days will be a mix of scheduled meetings and students working at their own pace to complete assignments.

MLA/HS cohorts
1. How are cohorts selected with students having some advanced classes and some normal grade level classes? Criteria for cohort formation was based on academic needs and course requests. Students in advanced classes will be placed in the same cohorts, to allow for advanced instruction, however, not all 2020-21 course requests were able to be filled.
2. What happens in the cohort groups with different electives that are permitted? Do kids get placed in electives that they didn’t choose? Students may be placed in electives they did not choose, but we will keep students with similar elective choices together so students are still in a related field. (i.e. Students who sign up for photography may end up in a different fine arts elective, with students who selected various art electives.)
3. When will high school students receive their schedule? Detailed schedules were sent out the week of 8/24.
4. How will band and chorus work? Students will need to be spaced at least 12 feet apart. Logistically, the district is trying to determine if/how band and chorus will be able to take place.
5. Will there be any senior privileges for our senior class? Depending on the individual cohort schedules, seniors will have late arrival and/or early dismissal. Seniors will not be able to leave campus for their 30-minute lunch.

Instructional Models
1. Will a student who initially starts the year in the full-time remote model be able to switch to "in-person" learning at a future point during the school year? Yes. Elementary students can switch at the end of the trimester. MLA and HS students can switch at the end of each quarter.
2. Is this plan meant to last the whole year or will you re-assess during the school year? Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing developments and changes in the recommendations we receive from the Department of Health and the New York State Education Department, this plan is (and must remain) a living document that is adapted throughout the year. Any updates to the plan throughout the year will be communicated with our families.
3. What is the difference between homeschooling and virtual learning?
a. Homeschooling: Parents provide the curriculum, materials and teaching of lessons. Homeschooling (home instruction) is governed by the regulations of NYSED . Parents who wish to home school their children must provide written notice of intent to the school district superintendent as well as a complete Individualized Home Instruction Plan (IHIP) for their child(ren). The district will not be involved in planning lessons for students who are being homeschooled.
b. Virtual learning: Teachers will provide lessons and learning activities for students, based on the curriculum that has been developed for the class. Students are expected to engage with teachers throughout the week through email, phone calls and/or video calls. Attendance will be taken for students who are enrolled in virtual learning. 
4. How will 100% virtual learning differ from hybrid virtual learning?
a. 100% virtual learning: Virtual learning will include both synchronous and asynchronous lessons for students. Teachers will provide learning activities for students at the beginning of each week. Students and parents will have the opportunity to connect and interact with the teacher throughout the week, as needed, via email, calls and video calls.
b. Hybrid virtual learning: On each day that high school students are not in-person learning (Group A: Tuesday/Friday, Group B: Monday/Thursday), they will have opportunities to connect wi
th their teachers. That can include email, phone and video call check-ins to discuss progress on lessons that were assigned for the week. On Wednesdays, when Elementary students are virtual, each student is expected to participate in a virtual social-emotional learning lesson.
5. If a parent/guardian did not take the survey, what will happen with the student? Parents/guardians who do not take the survey indicating they are selecting the remote or homeschool plan for their child(ren) by August 10, 2020, will have their child(ren) placed into the hybrid model.
6. Will a family be allowed to opt back into in-person instruction if they initially opt out?
a. Yes. If a student chooses to opt in-to the hybrid model after beginning the year as a remote learner, they will be able to.
b. PreK-12 will be permitted to opt in for in-person learning at the end of each grading period.
c. Families can reach out to their principals with any additional questions.
7. Will there be an orientation for families who choose the remote plan? Elementary families will have a virtual meet and greet to orient children and families on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Jr./Sr. High School teachers will be reaching out to families ahead of the start of school to make that first contact and provide information about how the virtual learning model will look in their specific course.
8. What if I want to keep my child at home?
a. Families will have the option for students to participate in either remote-learning or homeschooling.
b. Families who choose the remote-learning model will have curriculum and instruction provided by the district.
c. Families who choose to homeschool will have their student unenrolled from the district.
d. Any families with questions regarding remote learning or homeschooling options can contact the Executive Director for Curriculum, Instruction and Professional development, Sarah Callahan (sarah.callahan@erschools.org) with any additional questions.

Parent instruction
1. Can parents please have copies of the second step curriculum to facilitate conversations with kids at home? While we cannot distribute actual copies of the Second Step Curriculum,
we can provide parents with support on this and will provide online options for parent access. In addition, parents will need to support their elementary students engagement in their weekly synchronous virtual social-emotional learning lesson.  This will give families a good springboard for further discussion at home.
2. How can I prepare my student for school? Encourage students to wear their masks, to be prepared to keep them on for longer periods of time. There will be videos posted on the district website with information/tutorials for parents who are teaching from home or preparing students for in-person learning.

Supplies/Orientation
1. Is there a school supply list for remote learners? Supply lists for remote learners will be similar to the in-person supply lists. Families are encouraged to re-use supplies from previous years.
2. Will there be a Kindergarten orientation with parents? Teachers will connect with families ahead of the start of the year through videos and/or virtual meetings.
3. Will there be a supply drop-off day so that students can see their classrooms and meet their teachers before the first day of school? There will not be an in-person supply drop-off day, but there will be virtual meetings between students and teachers.

Chromebooks
1. If my child is in the remote plan, will the District provide Chromebooks and resources? Yes, students will have access to technology and other resources provided by ERUFSD teachers.
2. How do remote learners pick up Chromebooks? Families can contact Jared Snyder (jared.snyder@erschools.org) or David Rovitelli (david.rovitelli@erschools.org) to schedule a time to pick up their device.
3. Do the kids bring their chromebook home or does it stay at school? Students will be encouraged to bring devices home each day, in case there is a situation where students need to remain home for a period of time.
4. What if the Chromebook is not working? Students can contact David Rovitelli (david.rovitelli@erschools.org) if their device is not working.
5. What do I do if I need virtual learning technical support? If your child needs help accessing their ERUFSD email or you need assistance when accessing school platforms from home, you can get help from the Instructional Technology Department at 585-248-6359 or by emailing erit@erschools.org.
6. How will the district address connectivity issues with the internet?
a. East Rochester Union Free School District will provide a Chromebook for every student in grades 1-12. Grades 9-12 students will be able to bring their own device.
b. Students will be able to access the internet through the guest wifi network while on campus.
c. Families who do not have accessibility to the internet for remote learning will reach out to their building principals and will be addressed on a case by case basis.

Mental Health
1. How will the District support students' social emotional health? The District has a comprehensive mental health program with services and supports. School counselors, school social workers and school psychologists will consult with teachers and administrators, as well representatives from Rochester Regional Health. We will provide direct support to students who need social emotional support. Within this comprehensive program we will assist students in the transition back to school and make a concerted effort on getting to know students, understanding any concerns they may have related to COVID-19, as well as other areas of concern. Parents who feel their child may need individualized support can reach out to the School Counselor or School Social Worker at the start of school, by contacting the school building directly.

P.E./Athletics
1. How is physical education to be done with masks if a child has an inhaler? Students will not be required to wear masks during PE, as they are going to be spaced at least 6 (but typically 12) feet apart from each other.
2. What type of activities are planned for PE? Activities such as Yoga, tennis, lawn games and many track and field events will be a part of this years PE structure at the middle level and HS levels. At the elementary level activities such as Yoga and Fitness will be a primary focus.
3. Can students take their masks off in PE if they have that class first thing in the morning? Yes. Students who have PE as the first period of the day will be prioritized to be screened, so they will be able to remove masks for class.
4. If there are no lockers does that include no gym lockers, so no changing clothes for gym? Students will not be changing clothes.
5. Will materials/supplies be shared in PE classes? What is the procedure for sanitizing these materials? Will there be enough time for teachers to sanitize between each class? There will be a limited number of shared items, those that are shared will either be sanitized with the gun or sprayed down following each class.
6. Will there be a fall sports season? When will the season begin?
a. The fall sports season has been delayed until at least September 21, per guidance from the New York State Public High School Athletic Association.
b. More information will be provided to families as the district receives additional guidance.

Arrival/Dismissal
1. Will the drop-off and pick-up times be staggered for the K-5 kids? Times will not be staggered, but different cohorts will enter/leave the building through different doors. Doors will be color coordinated, so students know where to line up at arrival.
2. If MLA starts at 9 a.m., when can students start to enter the buildings? Students will not be allowed to enter the building until 15 minutes prior to the start of school. 
3. Will there be any options for Middle School students to wait at school after walking their elementary school siblings to school? At this time, students will not be permitted to wait within the building.
4. How will entering/exiting the school safely be addressed?
a. Schedules have been adjusted to accommodate the arrival and dismissal of students.
b. Teachers at the elementary level will meet cohorts outside grade level designated doors before bringing them inside and to their classrooms.
c. At the high school level, multiple doors will be used for entry and dismissal.
d. Students will be required to wear a mask when entering the building.

Meals
1. How will breakfast operate?
a. At the elementary level, students will enter the building at 8:10, purchase and pick up a pre-packaged breakfast, and bring breakfast to their classroom to eat at their individual desk.
b. At the middle school level, students will be able to purchase a pre-packaged breakfast upon entering the building at 8:45 a.m. and bring breakfast to their classroom to eat.
c. At the high school level, students will be able to purchase a pre-packaged breakfast upon entering the building at 7:45 a.m. and bring breakfast to their classroom to eat.
2. How will lunches operate at each level?
a. Elementary: Classrooms in grades K-5 will use an online ordering process each morning to order lunch for that day. Menu choices will be limited. By cohort, buyers will report to the cafeteria to pick up the lunch they ordered. Students will use social distancing cues on the walls/floor and masks when entering the cafeteria. Lunch will be prepackaged. Students will eat lunch in their classroom.
b. MLA: Classrooms in grades K-8 will use an online ordering process each morning to order lunch for that day. Menu choices will be limited. By cohort, students will report to the cafeteria to pick up the lunch they ordered. Students will use social distancing cues on the walls/floor and masks when entering the cafeteria. Lunch will be prepackaged. Students will eat lunch in a variety of locations throughout the building (cafeteria, gymnasium, auditorium, etc.), while socially distanced from classmates.
c. High School: By cohort, students will report to the cafeteria to pick up the lunch. Students will use social distancing cues on the walls/floor and masks when entering the cafeteria. Students will eat lunch in a variety of locations throughout the building (cafeteria, gymnasium, etc.), while socially distanced from classmates.
3. How will breakfast be consumed during the 45-minute period of mandatory masks in the morning? Students will be permitted to remove their mask for breakfast, as long as they are seated at their designated seat and spaced at least 6 feet apart from others.
4. Can students bring their own lunches from home? Yes.
5. Will remote learners be able to get meals from the school? Yes. There will be a remote learning meal program, similar to what ran from March-August. However, families will need to fill out reduced lunch forms, as the free meal program has been suspended by the governor.

Childcare/BOCES
1. How will after school work with the YMCA? The YMCA will maintain and adhere to guidelines set forth by both the YMCA and the Monroe County Department of Health. For more information on this, please reach out to the YMCA.
2. Will the HS students still be having BOCES programs or will they no longer be offered? Yes. You can contact Monroe One BOCES for more information.
3. Will the teens & tots program still going to happen this year? Yes. You can contact Monroe One BOCES for more information.

Facilities
1. Why are water fountains on? There is a requirement for districts to have one fountain for every 100 students inside the building. However, students are encouraged to bring their personal water bottles from home.
2. Will hand sanitizer be in the classroom for the kids to use? Yes. There is a hand sanitizing station inside each classroom.
3. Will there be hand sanitizer stations at entrances to the building? Yes. The district has purchased free-standing hand sanitizing stations to be moved throughout the building. There will be stations placed at each entrance to the building.
4. Will wipes be available for every classroom? How often should touch surfaces be wiped down? Yes, they will be available. There is currently no specific guidance from the state on how often surfaces should be wiped down.

5. Can teachers/staff use bleach-based products? While bleach is effective and Food Service uses it to disinfect our kitchens, it can be damaging to certain surfaces. This is why we avoid using bleach throughout our building. 
6. Are student helpers able assist in cleaning, as long as they are wearing gloves? Does the district need parent permission? No. Students are not able to assist in cleaning, even if they are wearing gloves.   
7. Is there information on specific cleaning techniques, like that certain cleaners have to be left on surfaces for a certain amount of time before being wiped off? You should follow the instructions on the container holding the cleaner. The district is providing teachers and staff with a cleaner/disinfectant, meaning it will do both jobs. However, cleaning and disinfecting is still a two-step process: First, you clean to remove soil, meaning you have to wipe the surface clean and dry. Step two is you use the same product to disinfect by spraying the surface and letting it sit wet for the recommended time. You shouldn't wipe the surface of disinfectant. Let it dry on the surface. The cleaner/disinfectant will work for most everyday jobs. If you have major soil on a surface, like something that is difficult to wipe away, then a straight cleaner is necessary (we use Suprox and Suprox-D). 
When will teachers/staff receive cleaning and disinfecting supplies? All rooms are to be stocked with cleaning supplies by the end of Tuesday, September 8, 2020.  


Screening
1. How do we get to screen the kids? The district will be using the Management Software company by the name of Qualtrics.
2. At what point is it determined that a student has filled out the health screening? Before they enter school? In the classroom? All students and staff will be required to fill out the screening prior to arrival at school.
3. How will you know when a student enters the building that they have not completed the health screening at home? We are asking families to fill out their screening form a minimum of 30 minutes prior to arrival at school. A report will be generated and we will be provided with a list of those individuals that have not been screened in addition to those that have not passed the screening.
4. Is the district planning to provide a thermometer for families to take the students temperatures every morning? No.

Medications/PPE
1. Are there any changes being made to how children will receive medication through the nurse's office? At this time, we are not anticipating changes but we may.
2. What about providing masks? The district will have masks available to students and staff who need one. We are encouraging students and staff to bring their own masks, as the district will have a limited supply available. The district will have masks sized for children, as well as masks sized for adults.
3. Have you thought about students with special needs especially sensory needs? The district will work with families to determine the best option for students who have trouble with masks. Families with concerns can reach out to Monica Stadler (monica.stadler@erschools.org).
4. Are face masks required for visitors? Yes, masks will be required. No vented masks will be permitted.
5. How will students remain socially-distanced throughout the day?
a. Students will be placed in instructional cohorts of up to 12 students.
b. Each cohort will remain inside one classroom, with desks distanced from one another by at least 6 feet.
c. Teachers will rotate between classes to cut down on the amount of foot traffic in hallways.
6. Will masks be required for students/staff? Will masks be provided by the district?
a. Yes. Students and staff will be required to wear masks whenever they are unable to maintain social distancing. This includes school buses, hallways and movement within classrooms.
b. Masks may be removed while seated at a socially distanced desk inside a classroom, at the discretion of the teacher.
c. Masks will be provided by the district, if one is needed.
d. No vented masks will be permitted.
7. What will the repercussions be if a student doesn’t wear their mask?
a. The Board of Education has approved a policy regarding masks.
b. The policy states, “Students who refuse, or repeatedly fail, to wear a mask or face covering as set forth above shall be subject to disciplinary consequences under the District’s Code of Conduct. Repeated failure to comply with these protocols could lead to suspension of the student from school and/or from District transportation.”
c. This policy was approved during the Board of Education meeting on August 18, 2020.

Illness
1. What if there is a positive case of COVID-19? Will students have access to remote learning when they are not inside the building? Yes. Students will receive remote learning if they need to stay home for a specific reason, including a COVID-19 diagnosis.
2. If my student has allergies and coughs/sneezes often, will they need to stay home? If they do, can they switch over to remote learning? Can a doctor write a note, saying the student suffers from allergies and may show those symptoms? Yes. A doctor can write a note. If a student needs to stay home because of symptoms, even if they are from allergies, the student can participate in remote learning during the period they are home.
3. Can my child still come to school if a family member tests positive? This is determined by the Monroe County Department of Health or the individuals’ health care provider and MUST be communicated to the school’s COVID-19 Coordinator at ercovid19director@erschools.org.
4. If a student/staff member becomes infected, what happens next? The district is notified by the Monroe County Health Department, who will direct the district as to how to address the situation.
5. What should I do if a student exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 while at school? Click here to read guidance from the Monroe County Department of Health
6. What should I do if the student’s test comes back positive? Click here to read guidance from the Monroe County Department of Health
7. Will the District conduct COVID-19 testing?
a. Recent comments by Governor Cuomo regarding COVID-19 testing in schools have raised questions as they are contrary to what the state’s own guidance documents recommend. (See below.)
b. “It is strongly recommended that schools comply with CDC guidance and not conduct COVID-19 testing or require testing or antibody testing of students or staff members. The decision of whether a test needs to be conducted should be determined by a healthcare provider or the local department of health.”
c. Page 41 of the New York State Education Department’s Recovering, Rebuilding,and Renewing the Spirit of New York’s Schools Reopening Guidance document
d. We do not currently believe the East Rochester Union Free School District will be involved in performing COVID-19 tests on students or staff members. Such testing requires public health oversight, medical decision making and specifically trained staff. School nurses do not perform tests to confirm or rule out conditions but triage students to identify illness. School nurses will work closely with primary care physicians and the Monroe County Department of Public Health in a supportive role.
e. While some schools in New York City may have testing on-site through their public health departments that is not the case in East Rochester. Locally, mostCOVID-19 tests are done at health care centers or urgent care facilities.
f. In order to reopen, school districts will have written protocols to ensure staff are trained to identify symptomatic individuals. In East Rochester, we are also developing a triage process for school nurses who will inform families at the sign of illness.
g. Ultimately, we believe parents are responsible for medical decisions regarding their children.

School Closure
1. Will schools close? If so, under what circumstances? We are able to open school because the Finger Lakes region is currently in Stage 4 of the reopening process, with an infection rate under 5% over 14 days, using the 7-day average for the region. A state mandate from Governor Cuomo has set this as the model. Monroe County has an average of 1.1%.


East Rochester Union Free School District 2020-21 Reopening Plan FAQ (updated 9/6/20)

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